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Component choice for the Secteur Sport or Comp plus Double vs. Triple

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Road Cycling 的t 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

Component choice for the Secteur Sport or Comp plus Double vs. Triple

Old 11-14-10, 11:57 PM
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Component choice for the Secteur Sport or Comp plus Double vs. Triple

I知 new on this forum and a newbie prospective road biker (not including a little biking 20+ years ago in college). I致e narrowed down my road bike decision based on what has felt good on test rides so far. Also, unfortunately I知 limited to certain bikes just based on my size. At 65 275lbs and long legs, all of the LBS I致e been to agree that I need a 63 or 64 sized bike. Limited models in that size.

Originally my first choice was/is the Specialized Secteur Comp because it came in my size and it had the upgraded 105 components. HOWEVER, since I知 a total newbie lacking conditioning, I知 thinking a triple would be better than the compact double. The problem is that the Comp model doesn稚 come in a triple. The only other Secteur that comes in my size is the Secteur Sport that does come in a triple. My question: AM I LOSING A LOT IN THE DOWN-GRADED COMPONENTS OF THE SPORT VERSUS THE COMP?

Let me talk about my goal. I would like to set a goal of getting good enough to do a Century. Being that the SF bay area it isn稚 100% flat by any stretch the triple seems to be the right option. One thought is that if I go with the comp compact double I would start with super easy rides until I get in shape enough to deal with an incline. I really want to 鼠ike riding and just making the transition is going to be frustrating enough. I prefer to limit the number of hills I have to walk up.

Two other options that came up while doing this investigation. One LBS said that can put a triple on the Secteur Comp (gives me the 105 components and the triple). Though I get the feeling that its going to take more than a $20 sprocket. Is THAT A COSTLY OPTION? The other option was looking at the Trek 2.3 which does have the 105 components and comes in a triple. I rode a 2.1 (61cm) I think and it felt good but for me the Secteur felt better.

Finally, because of the size of the bike there is an issue of delivery. I haven稚 checked on the Secteur Sport Triple yet but the Comp (in a 64) has a scheduled availability date of end of Jan/early Feb. And the Trek 2.3 doesn稚 even have a delivery date yet. I知 sorta stuck in being able to start my training. Until then I値l read here, dream, and try to figure out which bike is going to be best.

Thanks
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Old 11-15-10, 05:37 AM
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Here https://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng...-CAAD-10-5-105 is another option that's available in 63 in the same price range. It's a new model of a well-respected series - I've got an earlier version (2009 CAAD9) and am pretty happy with it.

If you want a triple, you can get it...it just takes money. Converting a double to a triple would run ~$450, without checking the prices. The big expense is the left brifter (brake/shifter) at ~$250, then the crankset is ~$200.

Another option is to find a used bike in your size. Bikes lose a lot of their value as soon as they're out the shop door. You might be able to find one a couple of years old, with the specs you want, and save some money at the same time. If you go this route, take someone with you who knows bikes so s/he can check it over.

Finally, there are advantages to a nine speed bike. Tiagra is decent quality stuff - I've got 5k miles on my bike, and the first 4k were with Tiagra. Normal replacement parts like chains and cassettes are about half the price of ten speed stuff. Nine speeds won't make you ride slower or impede your progress. There's one fewer gear...that's it.

If I were in your shoes, I'd get the nine speed triple and worry about the fancier stuff when you upgrade the components or get another bike. Right now, getting on the bike is more important.
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Old 11-15-10, 06:36 AM
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I was faced with a similar choice, only with the Secteur Elite (Apex group) vs Sport. I went with the Sport, which has a Tiagra RD, that reports suggest is as good as the 105 in terms of durability. Don't know much about the 2300 groupset, so I can't answer that question.

The stock triple set-up will give you a low of 30x26 (31.1 gear-inches), while the compact will give you a 34x25 (36.7 gear-inches). If you swap out the cassette for a 11-28 that will get you within 1 gear-inch of the triple's lowest gearing with the compact. I'm planning to put an 11-32 cassette on mine, which will give me a low of 28 gear-inches.

FWIW, I have a triple on my Trek 1500 and rarely used the inner ring, which is what promted me to try a double.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by scubapilot2000
Let me talk about my goal. I would like to set a goal of getting good enough to do a Century. Being that the SF bay area it isn稚 100% flat by any stretch the triple seems to be the right option. One thought is that if I go with the comp compact double I would start with super easy rides until I get in shape enough to deal with an incline.
Play with Sheldon Brown's Gearing Calculator until you've convinced yourself that there's very little difference between a compact double and a road triple, then buy the compact double.

Take it from me: if you're out of shape, even a road triple isn't going to make Bay Area hills seem easy. You'll either need to do some training to build fitness, or you'll need a mountain bike drivetrain...
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Old 11-15-10, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
Play with Sheldon Brown's Gearing Calculator until you've convinced yourself that there's very little difference between a compact double and a road triple, then buy the compact double.
Unless you replace the 30 ring which usually comes with road triples with something smaller. While a 33 is the smallest you can fit on a 110mm BCD, you can go down to 24 teeth on a 74mm road triple inner position (you probably also want a chain catcher. Add a mountain rear derailleur too if you're going to be silly and use granny ring with small cogs).

24 x 28 is like 34 x 40 except you can't buy cogs that big.

Or you want a high gear like 53x12 and low gear like 39x30 with nice gaps between cogs where you start working hard.

You get about the same gear range with

53-39 x 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-27-30 (available from IRD)
50-34 x 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-26
53-39-30 x 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23

but the last option is a lot more pleasant on flat ground when you're riding hard.

As long as you lack anatomical problems which preclude a small increase in Q factor (less than on a mountain bike) there isn't a good reason to avoid triples, unless you're trying to sell bikes and components where making and stocking the extra SKUs will cut into your profit margin.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 11-15-10 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 11-15-10, 05:22 PM
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I've known a lot of guys start out on a compact double, myself included, you'll be fine.

Compact front with an 11-25 in the back, these days you can get a 11-28 in the back and it should be even easier. You'll be fine.
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Old 11-15-10, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Menel
I've known a lot of guys start out on a compact double, myself included, you'll be fine.

Compact front with an 11-25 in the back, these days you can get a 11-28 in the back and it should be even easier. You'll be fine.
This.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
As long as you lack anatomical problems which preclude a small increase in Q factor (less than on a mountain bike) there isn't a good reason to avoid triples, unless you're trying to sell bikes and components where making and stocking the extra SKUs will cut into your profit margin.
The whole point of the OP's post is that the bike he wants isn't available with a triple. Having owned a compact double with 11-28 cassette and a road triple with 12-27 cassette, I can say for certain: if you can't climb it with the compact double, you're not going to be able to climb it with a triple either...
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Old 11-15-10, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
The whole point of the OP's post is that the bike he wants isn't available with a triple. Having owned a compact double with 11-28 cassette and a road triple with 12-27 cassette, I can say for certain: if you can't climb it with the compact double, you're not going to be able to climb it with a triple either...
I used to ride a 30x21 low gear and switched to 34x23. While there was no difference in that case and the stock 30 ring on a road triple only provides one gear's difference compared to a 34, a 24 ring is much lower.

A gear 42% easier which takes a $20 ring and $10 chain deflector to get there could do a lot for the 275 pound original poster; although getting there economically will mean bike which doesn't start with a double.
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Old 11-16-10, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
A gear 42% easier which takes a $20 ring and $10 chain deflector to get there could do a lot for the 275 pound original poster; although getting there economically will mean bike which doesn't start with a double.
If you need mountain bike gearing to get over the hills you want to climb, you should probably be buying a mountain bike rather than a road bike... Install slick tires and "dirt drop" handlebars and you're good to go!
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Old 11-16-10, 01:35 AM
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You are all so great with your insights. So much great information here...and SO MUCH TO LEARN!! The definite clarity now for me is that most of my ability to take on hills is going to be about my fitness first then about the bike. Looks like I'm going to focus on the fitness and just start riding (well that is when I can get the bike when it's available in late Jan.) and try to build my abilities with the compact double.

Thanks again to all of you for the insight and motivation!!!
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Old 11-16-10, 03:30 AM
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SRAM Apex
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Old 11-16-10, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kabex
SRAM Apex
Personally, I'll run however many rings in whatever configuration it takes to get 13-14-15-16-17-18-19 small cogs and still get up anything I care to climb at a reasonable cadence whether I'm 145 pounds and in good shape living in the Colorado Rockies (long and short highlights are Ride the Rockies Grand Junction to Golden route with 28,000 feet over 418 miles and the Mike Horgan Hill Climb at just 18 miles with 3800 feet vertically including 13% grades) or past 200 pounds on the coast.

SRAM's Apex setup is 50-34 x 11-12-13-15-17-19-21-25-28-32. 2 teeth jumps 13-15, 15-17, and 17-19 past which it's not an issue.

You're looking at up to a 30% effort increase (Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of velocity) at the same cadence to reach the next gear if you're trying to accelerate through a traffic light on your big ring or cruise at higher RPMs on the small ring.

If you're out of shape enough to need a 34x32, you're in no condition to make effective use of a 50x11 or even 50x12. Learn to spin faster which will also limit fatigue so you can do the same thing more later in the ride, tomorrow, or the next day.

53-39-28 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-26 means one cog jumps until you pass the 19.

That's the same low gear as the Apex but you're looking at less than a 15% effort increase at the same RPMs for any speed you're likely to achieve so it's easier to push just a bit harder in the next gear. The high end is about like 50x12 which is still more than ample. If you have an especially brutal ride coming up and can eschew the small ring x small cog combos or add a mountain derailleur you can push it 40% lower than you could with the Apex setup by adding a 24 low cog.

Riding such a combination may mean your double riding "friends" make fun of you, although I'm not sure why pie-plate sized cogs are OK but a third smaller chain ring isn't.

The bigger downside is for the bike companies which have more cassette SKUs, 50% more front crank variants, 50% more front derailleur versions, and up to 100% more left shifter variants. The bike companies making and selling complete bikes have even bigger inventory problems with up to 100% more expensive SKUs to stock and discount at the season end. Of course as long as you're just riding not selling that's not your problem.

If you're happy with 39x23 and 10 cogs starting at 12, or 39x26 and 11 cogs starting at 12 or 10 starting at 13 run a full-sized double; you'll like the increased ring overlap and fewer cogs to shift when changing rings. Given the paucity of nice ramped cassettes with 14 starting cogs as a spinner you might do real well with a 50-34x13-26 (or 23 if you've yet to make the 10 cog move). Otherwise the road triple has a lot to offer.

People who can't set up triples for good shifting are a separate problem.

At 187 pounds I still want the same tight spacing I had at 145, but need at least 25% lower gears (like a 26 cog instead of a 21) to manage the same inclines at the same cadence and power although that's down too. Until we get more cogs in back avoiding hills and triple cranks are the most reasonable solutions.

At 50% more weight, I might consider more esoteric solutions like the "mountain tamer" quad crank.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 11-16-10 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 11-16-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
Until we get more cogs in back avoiding hills and triple cranks are the most reasonable solutions.
You're right: doing some training and building fitness is absolutely not an option
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Old 11-16-10, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
You're right: doing some training and building fitness is absolutely not an option
That has limits. As a straw man consider climbs (Mt Zoncolon in the Giro) where pros are racing something between 36x28 and 34x32 although the later could be a forced marketing move by SRAM. At half the power and more weight recreational cyclists with compact doubles should have ideal gears smaller than 34x53 through 34x64.

Following a decade of decline towards middle age then with months not walking due to complications from a broken leg I rode 250-300 miles a month for a year which was enough to feel normal but didn't do much for my speed.

Three months training systematically six hours a week has helped a lot so far, but dumping speed and slope measurements into analyticcycling.com suggest I can only manage 150W for an hour, 200W for 8 minutes, or 300W for 30 seconds.

Putting 205 pounds of rider and bike on a 7% grade and turning 75 RPM calls for a 34 x 40 at 150W, 34 x 31 at 200W, and 34 x 21 at 300W.

The numbers aren't in favor of a compact double for a somewhat out of shape ex-roadie unless the slope is more like a highway overpass than a mountain. That's even more true for the original poster with 300 pounds of rider and bike.

Lets assume that I train harder and keep loosing weight at the same rate, arrive at the 145 pounds I weighed when riding seriously aged 25; end up with functional threshold power of 220W which is a middle-of-the-road 3.3W/kg for a cat 4 racer, and move back to Colorado where I'm familiar with the roads

I take my 220W up the most brutal climbs I enjoyed as a metaphorical mountain goat. Boulder to Eldora by way of Magnolia road was fun

https://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...lder/577381846

220W up 11% makes 74 RPM at the rear wheel which converts to a pleasant cadence with 34x34.

I like tight gears on flat ground. So I can either keep spare cassettes at the office and change based on whether the lunch time ride heads East or West, or choose 50-40-26 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-26 which works wonderfully in any direction (bigger gear people could substitute a 53 ring and/or trade the 18 for a 12).

Obviously it's about compromises, but you might as well start closer.

I could just mash harder. I could also ride a 30 pound Huffy with 52-42x14-16-20-24-28 but that would not be much fun. You should be suffering because you're working hard, not because you've picked a sub-optimal tool for the job.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 11-16-10 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 11-16-10, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
At half the power and more weight recreational cyclists with compact doubles should have ideal gears smaller than 34x53 through 34x64.
No, they should just be going a lot slower than a professional in the middle of a race...

The numbers aren't in favor of a compact double for a somewhat out of shape ex-roadie unless the slope is more like a highway overpass than a mountain.
You believe your website, I'll believe what I see in the real world. I'm a somewhat out of shape ex-roadie riding on the same roads as the OP and after a month or two of training, I've never had a problem with a compact double and an 11-28 cassette. If I were climbing Haleakala or Mont Ventoux on a regular basis, I might want something different. But for the area where I live? It's simply not necessary...
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