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LBS to swap compact for triple. Issues?

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LBS to swap compact for triple. Issues?

Old 08-11-09, 12:43 PM
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edm
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LBS to swap compact for triple. Issues?

Iím arranging the purchase of a Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5. Want the 2010 model due to some improved specs. LBS can get it with the compact crank now, but says that the triple configuration that I want will not ship from the factory until mid-to-late September.

LBS says that they will swap out the compact for triple for no charge. LBS seems very competent and has been quite helpful, so I am inclined to go this way. However, I am not an expert in bicycle mechanics or components, so I though I would post here for advice.

2009 is specíed with FSA non-BB30 Gossamer Triple, 30/39/52, while the 2010 is specíed with FAS BB30 Gossamer Triple, 30/39/52.

Questions:
Will this work involve any more than changing out the 34/50 rings and the front derailer?
Are there any issues with the differing non-BB30 vs. BB30 crank sets?
Is this a good idea, or are there any potential pitfalls to look out for?
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Old 08-11-09, 12:54 PM
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1. yes, include a BB, cranks and possible STI.
2. BB30 is stiffer but mehh
3. Not a good idea.
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Old 08-11-09, 01:29 PM
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If I were you, I'd use Sheldon's gear calculator to compare the differences in gearing between a compact double and a road triple and decide if the swap is worth it. Hint: it's not.
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Old 08-11-09, 01:32 PM
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I agree with sstorkle, its not worth it.

But if you do change, you'll need a long-cage RD and possibly a longer chain.
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Old 08-11-09, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by edm View Post
Will this work involve any more than changing out the 34/50 rings and the front derailer?
Are there any issues with the differing non-BB30 vs. BB30 crank sets?
Is this a good idea, or are there any potential pitfalls to look out for?
You likely don't need a different front derailleur.

You may well need a new rear derailluer (long cage depending on chain wrap)

+1 on thinking about whether you really want to do this. If you need a lower gear than 34x27 for your fitness and terrain, it makes sense.

If 34x27 is low enough for you stay with the compact.
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Old 08-11-09, 01:55 PM
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Mechanically it's not difficult for a good bike shop to do. I imagine they are offering to do it for free, because there are more people wanting to go the opposite way (from triple to compact)

The triple is going to give you a little bit lower gearing which is nice if you are older, slower, heavier, or climbing mountains. If you are none of those you might be fine with the compact.
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Old 08-11-09, 02:28 PM
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Keep the compact double. If you're worried about not having low enough gearing, change the cassette to a 12-27.
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Old 08-11-09, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 6Stringer View Post
Keep the compact double. If you're worried about not having low enough gearing, change the cassette to a 12-27.
This post is the winner.

Swap cassette. Easy as it gets.
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Old 08-11-09, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by estabro View Post
This post is the winner.

Swap cassette. Easy as it gets.
I was going to suggest that, but it's already spec'd with a 12-27 according to Cdale's website.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:05 PM
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34-27 is mighty low. I manage here in CO with 36-25 as my lowest, and I had no cycling muscles. I'd strongly consider giving it a try with the stock gearing, unless you have serious physical ability issues.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:12 PM
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"Keep the compact double. If you're worried about not having low enough gearing, change the cassette to a 12-27. "


+ 100 This is a no-brainer.

My last bike had a triple and my new one has a compact with a 12-27 casette. There is very little difference (1 extra low gear with the triple) except the compact is lighter.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by estabro View Post
This post is the winner.

Swap cassette. Easy as it gets.
What would prevent going ultra-wide with a mountain cassette like the (9 sp) 11-34 I just used in a MTB rebuild?
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Old 08-11-09, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
What would prevent going ultra-wide with a mountain cassette like the (9 sp) 11-34 I just used in a MTB rebuild?
Rear dr likely wouldn't handle the bigger cogs. Although I was running a 12-32 with a 105 rear dr, I would expect a competent shop to say 'no' to building that up. But the spacing on that cassette is not conducive to smooth shifts while road riding, especially if you are riding with groups. I use 12-32 on my CX bike out in the woods.

I was going suggest the SRAM 11-28 cassette but that's definitely not a worthwhile change if the bike already comes with a 27 large cog.
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Old 08-11-09, 04:22 PM
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>The triple is going to give you a little bit lower gearing which is nice if you are older, slower, heavier, or climbing mountains. If you are none of those you might be fine with the compact.<

+1 There's nothing wrong with a triple if someone needs a triple, for whatever reason.

I've been on rides in the mountains of California where guys a couple of decades younger than me were reduced to walking up long, steep grades. Afraid of looking like Freds with a triple, their hubris instead caused them unimaginable humiliation.
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Old 08-11-09, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
What would prevent going ultra-wide with a mountain cassette like the (9 sp) 11-34 I just used in a MTB rebuild?
He'd need an MTB RD -- an XT would do the job nicely for not much money. However, 10 speed 11-34 cassettes cost a fortune. But it definitely would work.

I wonder if the shop has thought about all the things they need to swap. Triple STI can be converted to double, but not the other way around last I checked. New RD would be needed and new chain might be needed. In short, this will cost them a bit, though they can reuse the parts. I do not think a new FD would be necessary.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:32 AM
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I had a triple for 4 years and hated that thing with a passion. After the first 100 miles or so it never shifted right. I always just left it in the middle ring. I got a new bike with a compact double not that long ago and will never go back.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by gvonne View Post
I had a triple for 4 years and hated that thing with a passion. After the first 100 miles or so it never shifted right. I always just left it in the middle ring. I got a new bike with a compact double not that long ago and will never go back.
Gotta agree with this guy. I've only had a triple for a month and I HATE it. Never shifts properly or smoothly.

Stick with the compact and get the larger rear cog.
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Old 08-12-09, 06:09 AM
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Stick with the compact. It will shift a lot better and I think you will be happier. A triple isn't that much lower and the compact will make you stronger both physically and mentally because you won't have that granny to bail out onto.
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Old 08-12-09, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
Mechanically it's not difficult for a good bike shop to do. I imagine they are offering to do it for free, because there are more people wanting to go the opposite way (from triple to compact)
Yeah, that's what I was thinking - this is a great deal for the LBS. They get a complete triple -> compact conversion kit for free, and you know they have leftover triple components just sitting there from all the triple to compact conversions that folks do.
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Old 08-12-09, 06:59 AM
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triples shift for crap. stay with the compact. you'll be glad!
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Old 08-12-09, 07:25 AM
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whats with all the triple hatin'? I have 3, yes 3 triple, set ups. everyone of them shifts perfectly. dare I suggest that if you are having diffaculties shifting your triple find a competent mechanic to set it up. and maybe show you how to opperate it. I know that extra ring can be confusing.


why does the proximity of a third chainring ruin the shifting of a bicycle?
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Old 08-12-09, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fosmith View Post
triples shift for crap. stay with the compact. you'll be glad!
Have you ridden a good triple? I have an Ultegra SL triple that shifts every bit as well as a double. Setup is a bit more fiddly, but once done it works perfectly.

Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
The triple is going to give you a little bit lower gearing which is nice if you are older, slower, heavier, or climbing mountains. If you are none of those you might be fine with the compact.
The other thing a triple gives you is a lot of overlap in gears from one chainring to the next. When I switched from a triple to a compact double, the one thing I noticed was that I had to shift the FD quite a bit more with the double than the triple. With the triple, I could leave the chain on the middle ring and only need to shift to the big ring for fast descents, or to the small ring for steep climbs.
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Old 08-12-09, 09:42 AM
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I really do appreciate the wealth of experience here, but wow, this compact/triple issue sure does bring out the passion.

As I stated in my 1st post concerning my selection of a bike, I am 50yo, 5í9+Ē/250lb moderately fit guy who has been into endurance hiking for a couple of years. I can grind out a rather strenuous hike; Iíve done 38 miles in a day and a very challenging event hike of 25 miles with 5,800í of elevation gain. Not the fastest, but usually far from the back of the pack.

I am starting to get into longer distance bike riding (currently doing a 40mi bike path at least once a week on a hybrid). Looking toward doing some more/longer rides with the occasional century ride. Live in Maryland, so terrain can vary from level to quite mountainous if I build to that level of challenge.

Iíve really studied the gearing charts for the 50/34, 52/39/30, along with the set-up for my hybrid, which is my only real experience. Iím sure that the compact would be fine for most riding, but I am just not comfortable with not having the 30 ring available to grind up a steep section or a long slog. Iím not really looking to race, but rather to do my personal best on long rides.

Given that, I see little importance to the marginal weight penalty. I do want shifting that is reasonably smooth, accurate and reliable, but I am also not looking for that last measure of performance there either. I also see an advantage to the triple in that the middle ring should suffice for much of most rides, reducing the need for front ring changes, and when front shifts are required, it is a smaller step up/down, reducing the urgency of a rear gear change.

This reasoning pushes me toward the triple. I could be wrong, but donít know how I could evaluate what is right for me any further without actually having significant experience with both. I really connect with the thought of one earlier poster; I would much rather drop to the granny gear than come off the bike. But be assured, the good, passionate, and sincere advice on both sides is appreciated.

Stopped in the LBS yesterday to clarify what would be done for a swap (and to check out the blue/white 2010 that they just got in stock; think I will go for the black/white with red accents). Said that they would order a full FSA BB30 triple crank set for the swap. Would also swap out the STI and chain (1 or 2 more link), and at least one of the derailers (canít remember for sure on that). They were going to verify availability for parts and black/white/red frame, and get back to confirm when it could be delivered. Still a bit surprised that they will go to that length to get it to me ~4 weeks before it would be available from the factory.

Would sure be nice to have it for more of the season, but still a tad hesitant/concerned that it will not introduce a long term problem.
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Old 08-12-09, 09:49 AM
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Keep the compact.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:13 AM
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I have a better idea. My wife hates her triple and wants a compact. You get the compact, take all the parts off, send them to me, and I'll send you my wife's Triple set up.

How does that sound?
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