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Advice needed: converting double to triple

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Advice needed: converting double to triple

Old 04-27-09, 12:58 PM
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ZG2NYC
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Advice needed: converting double to triple

Hi all,

If this has been discussed elsewhere, please accept my apologies and kindly point me to the thread. But I couldn't find this information on the search.

I have a 2001 Cannondale R1000 that I would like to give to a buddy of mine who is new to cycling. He will be moving out to Boulder, CO and I'm concerned because the bike has a double up front.

My question is this: would he be able to convert it to a triple if he wanted? I guess I know it's possible, but what I don't know is whether the change is just on the crank, BB, and FD, or whether the brifter would need to be changed as well.

I guess he could also get into a compact double, but for me on those Colorado hills, I've thanked every holy power I could think of for having a triple at times!!!

Specs on the bike:
Crank Shimano Ultegra, 39/53
Chain 9-speed
Rear Cogs Shimano 105 9-speed, 12-23
Bottom Bracket Shimano 105
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Shifters Shimano Ultegra

Anyway, any information is greatly appreciated. Want to get him set up, but don't want him to be looking at spending a bunch of money right away either. Thoughts??

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-27-09, 01:10 PM
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KevinF
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For Shimano brifters, you'll need the triple-compatible ones; otherwise, you won't have enough "clicks" in the shifter to use all three chainrings. It is possible to get the left-side-only brifters (your LBS can order them), but single ones are about as expensive as a new set (go figure).

So, yes, as you've guessed, it's not particularly cheap. You can get a compact and put a wide-range cassette on the back. The widest-range road cassettes I've seen are 12-27, and a 34x27 gear is actually lower then a 30x23. A MTB cassette will fit on the rear wheel, which would enable you to get a 32-tooth cassette cog, but you'd want to get a MTB rear derailleur for this to operate smoothly.

Basically, I'd get a compact and a 12x27 cassette. It'll be a LOT cheaper then upgrading to a triple.
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Old 04-27-09, 01:17 PM
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ZG2NYC
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Thanks KevinF,

I was sort of thinking that way, but wasn't sure. And with a compact double, everything stays but the cranks, right?
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Old 04-27-09, 01:20 PM
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Oh cool; I'm moving out there at the beginning of June! I'm looking forward to getting onto those muntains, but I'm a masochist like that.
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Old 04-27-09, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ZG2NYC View Post
Thanks KevinF,

I was sort of thinking that way, but wasn't sure. And with a compact double, everything stays but the cranks, right?
There's a bunch of mating interfaces between cranks and bottom brackets (i.e., ISIS, Octalink, square-taper...), so you need to be sure to match the compact cranks to the bottom bracket you already have, but other then that, it should just work. The front deraileur also needs to be re-adjusted of course.

EDIT: you'll want a new chain too.
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Old 04-28-09, 11:27 AM
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I'm reasonably sure you can use the same brifters. I just changed from a 9 speed Ultegra triple to a Force compact double. I changed the FD, RD (short cage, optional), BB and chain.

The brifters have 4 clicks. In a triple configuration, you get a trim adjustment for the middle chainring only. On the compact setup, you have a trim on both rings.

BTW, I have all the triple components and will let them go for a fair price. PM if interested.
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