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ISO a new carbon fiber bike with a Triple

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ISO a new carbon fiber bike with a Triple

Old 01-25-15, 09:31 PM
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gif4445
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ISO a new carbon fiber bike with a Triple

What companies, if any, put out an entry plus carbon fiber road bike with a triple crankset? A year ago, I purchased a Specialized Roubaix Elite. It came with a compact double (50/34), which for local riding in Nebraska, is more than adequate. Even in the hilliest areas, like the Bohemian Alps. However, I love to go west into the mountains and do the rides there. Bottom line, I need lower gears at times. I've looked into a lower compact double (mountain bike crank I think), changing cassettes and replacing my double with a triple ($$$$$). But now I'm thinking N+1. Or N-1+1. Whatever. But who has such a beast. And who has such a beast with similar geometry to the Roubaix? Has every company gone the way of the compact double? I'm not at that point where I have the time or desire to build.
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Old 01-25-15, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gif4445 View Post
What companies, if any, put out an entry plus carbon fiber road bike with a triple crankset? A year ago, I purchased a Specialized Roubaix Elite. It came with a compact double (50/34), which for local riding in Nebraska, is more than adequate. Even in the hilliest areas, like the Bohemian Alps. However, I love to go west into the mountains and do the rides there. Bottom line, I need lower gears at times. I've looked into a lower compact double (mountain bike crank I think), changing cassettes and replacing my double with a triple ($$$$$). But now I'm thinking N+1. Or N-1+1. Whatever. But who has such a beast. And who has such a beast with similar geometry to the Roubaix? Has every company gone the way of the compact double? I'm not at that point where I have the time or desire to build.
What gearing do you have on your rear cassette? I went from a 11/25 to a 11/32 for a big climbing day and it was a huge difference. So much so that I never changed back to the 11/25.
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Old 01-25-15, 09:56 PM
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My first bike was a triple and I loved it. My current bike has a compact and it's ok. I see the benefits of a compact but for the marginal weight difference of a triple I would rather have that.
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Old 01-25-15, 10:17 PM
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I would try changing the rear cassette, which is far less expensive than a second bike. I went from a triple to a compact double and after a while, I adjusted. I suck at hills and keep thinking I should replace the 11-28 with something larger, but I am worried about having gear ratios with larger spacing.
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Old 01-25-15, 10:40 PM
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I would also try cassette. If you can put a 11-32 that should be more than adequate from most climbs. May have to change rear dérailleur to use 32 tooth
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Old 01-26-15, 12:08 AM
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The Roubaix has a 12-30 cassette. But honestly fellas, I want a little overkill on this change. I'm 57 yo and currently recovering from a ruptured anterior tibialis tendon. The thing tore at the site of a 50 yo multi-laceration leg injury. That 50 yo accident also cut my achilles tendon in two, among others. Who's to say that's not next and I'm headed for additional problems in this area? I'm not wanting to make a little change. I want something with additional flexibility. This summer, I took this Roubaix over the first pass of the Triple Bypass Ride out of Evergreen CO. Made it up ok, but really could have used a lower gear or two. Now, I've finally came to the conclusion that intense mashing is evil for me, and I need to be smarter about things, I want a bike that has all the gearing I will ever need. I know it will come with some penalties. But sitting here one month into a 3-4 month rehab, the weight of an extra gear, cross-chaining etc., doesn't seem very important.
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Old 01-26-15, 10:04 AM
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Tiagra triple group is plenty cheap at Ribble and similar sites. IDK about complete carbon bikes (but I'm sure there are a few).
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Old 01-26-15, 11:20 AM
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One place that does have a CF bike with triple is bikesdirect if you don't mind that route:

Save Up To 60% Off Carbon Road Bikes- Motobecane Sprintour

But like dt said, you can get a complete Tiagra triple group for $250

Shimano Tiagra 4603 Triple Groupset | Merlin Cycles

So if you are happy with your bike, maybe the conversion is the way to go
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Old 01-26-15, 12:33 PM
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Old 01-26-15, 05:19 PM
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Yep, get another cassette for steep hills. Triples were good when cassettes had much fewer gears. Now with 10 or 11 gears they're not really needed and a double is fine, especially if you switch cassettes when you do mountain rides.
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Old 01-26-15, 05:21 PM
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There are many cassettes than have "granny" gears on the market. 34-28 is my granny gear, and I go into it when the gradient hits 10% or more. 32t is also popular, 36t is not too uncommon to find online, I have seen a some 42t as the largest. My friend built a new mtn bike, and he included a 46t as one of the rear gears. I am pretty sure a 34/42 would be adequate for all situations.
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Old 01-26-15, 05:52 PM
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You could always buy a Roubaix Sora and put a Tiagra triple on it. Would probably be around $1750-1800.
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Old 01-27-15, 04:26 PM
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I built up a carbon triple not many years back because I liked having familiar ratios, 52/42, and just wanted a bailout option. That bike runs a 9-speed Ultegra set up.

To upgrade your Roubaix, you'll need a triple crankset such as the Shimano 105 FC-5703 (w/ spacer and ring installed on the left crank side), a new left shifter like the 105 ST-5703 or ST-R703 (the R703 has external shifter cable routing), and new front and rear derailleurs. A roll of handlebar tape? A new chain (compatibility might be good but Shimano recommends a different model than that used with a double).

I total it up to about $350 if you do the replacement yourself. That's not too bad and cheaper than a new bike.

If you want a real kludge (more so than the ST-R703 route), you could save about $75 by using a bar end shifter on the left.
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Old 01-27-15, 04:29 PM
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have you looked up the gears on the gear calculator Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator ? the compact double is probably as good as a road triple, unless you want to get a mountain bike triple.
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Old 01-27-15, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Yep, get another cassette for steep hills. Triples were good when cassettes had much fewer gears. Now with 10 or 11 gears they're not really needed and a double is fine, especially if you switch cassettes when you do mountain rides.
The cog sizes are what matters, not how many cogs there are. And for this discussion, the size of the large cogs. I would rather have a triple with a tight spaced cassette with a 26T max than a double with a wide spaced one. I would certainly rather have a triple than a compact crankset.
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Old 01-28-15, 06:57 AM
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A triple with a 12-25 cassette has much tighter and more even shifts than a compact with 11-28 in the back
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Old 01-28-15, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
The cog sizes are what matters, not how many cogs there are. And for this discussion, the size of the large cogs. I would rather have a triple with a tight spaced cassette with a 26T max than a double with a wide spaced one. I would certainly rather have a triple than a compact crankset.
Yep, we agree on the cogs and gearing. I was saying an extra cassette gives him everything he likely needs.
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Old 01-28-15, 08:05 AM
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You should read this other thread: Wanting a triple chainring 'fondo' bike - have I lost my mind? . There's arguments for both triples and wide range doubles.

For a long day ride with big hills and flats, I like a triple because it has small steps between gears in the 10 mph to 22+ mph range where many cyclists spend most of their time. I have a compact double with a 11-28, and I'm always shifting between gears at 18-22 mph, trying to find my preferred cadence. That might not be as critical for some riders--I know a couple of riders that really like their 11-34 cassette.

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Old 01-28-15, 09:03 AM
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I'm no expert, but anything over 30t on the back and I believe you are looking at a mid or long cage rear derailleur. I looked into a triple conversion on my Bianchi a few years back before riding the Triple, largely because of the two 16% grade plus sections on Vail pass eastbound and the fact I can't climb out of the saddle. Decided just to suck it up, but I don't have legacy leg issues. If Juniper westbound was a grind, you are wise to look for a gearing change.

A bit of quick research led me to determine that Ultegra 6703 (10 speed triple), and Campy Athena (11 speed triple) are still available new or nos. Trek builds up its Project One bikes at a facility in Whitewater WI, and the Domane 4 series, comparable to your Roubaix, is available as a P1 build (so is the 6 series). That may give them some flexibility. Although neither of these drivetrains is listed as an option on the P1 website, a dealer can always ask. Alternatively, a good LBS on a new purchase of any good CF bike should be willing to trade out for a triple and credit you for the compact left behind.

If you want it, I say go for it.
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Old 01-28-15, 04:38 PM
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Instead of all these riders telling you what you REALLY should do besides what you want to do, call a couple of your local bike shops and ask them if they have a carbon bike with a triple like you want. I would bet one of them will take care of what YOU want.
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Old 01-28-15, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Yep, we agree on the cogs and gearing. I was saying an extra cassette gives him everything he likely needs.
Gotcha, my reading comprehension was lacking. That's an option but I would prefer a triple. Personally, I think triples should come on most bikes and compact cranks should disappear.
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Old 01-28-15, 09:58 PM
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Eh most triple riders could do with a single since they never shift the front and are damn near almost always crosschained even if they happen to have found the front shifter somehow. I know, I used to ride a triple, and it took going to a compact to make me realize that most triple riders don't shift nearly enough. Watching all the other triple riders in my club just confirms it.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
Eh most triple riders could do with a single since they never shift the front and are damn near almost always crosschained even if they happen to have found the front shifter somehow. I know, I used to ride a triple, and it took going to a compact to make me realize that most triple riders don't shift nearly enough. Watching all the other triple riders in my club just confirms it.
Yeah I know, being a triple rider. Those compact riders are constantly doing double shifts and screwing up the paceline. When a triple shifts the back, no one notices. Sure triples run the whole cassette from the middle ring. That's just the same as a 1 X 10 rig and is the coolest thing about a triple. One can't run the granny past the middle of the cassette, and I never see anyone run the big ring past the 3rd from largest cog. I don't think it makes the slightest difference to drivetrain life one way or the other, except that a triple spreads the front wear over three rings instead of two, so they last a little longer.

As others have said, talk to some LBSs and find one that can fit you with a bike you want and can swap the drivetrain for a triple. That's only a bother once. Shifting a compact is a bother every day.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Personally, I think triples should come on most bikes and compact cranks should disappear.
I think my 2x10 is plenty, especially the highs and lows. I run a compact with a 11-28 normally, the 34/28 is pretty low, the 50/11 is a pretty big gear. I do climb, and when I do it is very steep. If was a more normal rider with less power, I would think that a 34/34 would be enough. The gear ratios of the compact and 11-28 are very close, but I am not that picky. Add this too a modern 2x11 and the gaps between gears are greatly reduced.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Those compact riders are constantly doing double shifts and screwing up the paceline.
I have no problem doing it, one click left and two clicks right. Almost instant shift, and does not take much time. I did it multiple times during a race, and did not leave a gap between the other riders and me.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:16 PM
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I took these posters' name out of the quote because my comments aren't aimed at them, but aimed at these very cliche comments you hear time and again in this sort of discussion.

Yep, get another cassette for steep hills. Triples were good when cassettes had much fewer gears. Now with 10 or 11 gears they're not really needed and a double is fine, especially if you switch cassettes when you do mountain rides.
have you looked up the gears on the gear calculator Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator ? the compact double is probably as good as a road triple, unless you want to get a mountain bike triple.
The fact is that there is absolutely no way a common road compact double can equal the gear range of a common road triple. No way. The triple will give you lower - and possibly higher (if it's got a 52t ring) - gears with any cassette you choose. A 34t small ring simply cannot produced lower gears than a 30t small ring. How can anyone think otherwise?

And the old saw that "they're really not needed and a double is fine". How the heck does any poster here know if a triple is "not needed" for any given poster? Seriously, you know that? No you don't. You don't know the guy's physical capabilities, his age, the terrain he rides in... you know nothing. So please give it a moment's thought before you say things like this.

The OP is obviously an experienced and analytical cyclist. Based on his age, he's likely ridden more and thought about it more than most of us (I'm older though!). He's asking a simple question, He knows the capabilities of a road triple vs. a compact double. Some of you evidently don't.

The final point I'll make, currently riding both compact double and triple road bikes, is that the triple chain ring shifts much more smoothly between rings (smaller jump) and requires much less double shifting to get the gear you're looking for. At age 60, if I'm going for a multi day ride in the mountains, the triple would be MUCH more fun. And that's all that matters.

Like the OP said (or something to the effect). I really like the way my road triples work, and the compact double is "OK" too.

I'd probably go the Tiagra route, maybe work on an n+1 scheme so I would have both. (which I did and have!)
rant off.

Last edited by Camilo; 01-28-15 at 11:29 PM.
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