Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Anyone tour using a double not a triple?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Anyone tour using a double not a triple?

Old 09-09-18, 08:04 AM
  #1  
raria
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 913
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 761 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Anyone tour using a double not a triple?

I've never gotten triples to set up properly and tend to spend each time on tour twidling with them. Now my triple STI just died (see Tuning 9 Speed Tiagra). Luckily it was on a ride around the neighborhood.

So I'm thinking of getting rid of my triple and installing a double for touring. Anyone done this?

Good idea or bad?
Suggestions?

I don't do the "must do 100 miles today" type touring so losing some speed isn't an issue.
raria is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 08:22 AM
  #2  
velojym
Senior Member
 
velojym's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Alabama
Posts: 487

Bikes: 2000 Kona Jake the Snake, 2000 Kona Fire Mountain, Montague Fit, Surly LHT, Montague Paratrooper, Cannondale M500, Santana Arriva, Bridgestone 200, Trek 1200

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 106 Posts
I did almost all my touring, and all my centuries, on a Kona Jake-the-Snake with a double in front, 9 rear. The knobby tires were swapped for 23c Axial Pros, and I swapped the narrow 105 cogset for a wider XT one, and matching rear mech. I was the club's hill-climbing monster at the time, too.
velojym is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 10:52 AM
  #3  
bikenh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,229
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
I've ridden single speed tours, so its highly doable. I guess the only downfall is if you think one gear inch is going to make big difference in what you have to put out when riding. I guess when you don't realize it takes the same amount of power to go up a hill, no matter what hill it is than you really care. Gravity is gravity andyou have to overcome it one way or another. You still have to put out the same amount of power through the legs to make it up the climb or you won't make it up the climb. It still takes the same amount of effort whether riding in a 52x12 or 30x30, the only difference is how fast you pedal and how hard it seems due to the lack of speed of the pedals going around.
bikenh is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 11:08 AM
  #4  
manapua_man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,023
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 223 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by raria View Post
I've never gotten triples to set up properly and tend to spend each time on tour twidling with them. Now my triple STI just died (see Tuning 9 Speed Tiagra). Luckily it was on a ride around the neighborhood.

So I'm thinking of getting rid of my triple and installing a double for touring. Anyone done this?

Good idea or bad?
Suggestions?

I don't do the "must do 100 miles today" type touring so losing some speed isn't an issue.
Outside of a few hard tail mtbs/folding bikes, most of my bicycles are 2x, and almost all of em get used for longer trips outside of the DH and most of the XC MTBs. My current "fast" touring bike is a CAADX with 46/32 up front and 11-34 in the rear.
manapua_man is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 11:44 AM
  #5  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,328

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2297 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 542 Times in 443 Posts
I use bar end shifters on my derailleur touring bikes with triples, the front shifter from Shimano is friction. I do not mind occasionally trimming it a bit as I move from one end of the cassette to the other on the middle ring. Thus, triples work great for me.

My rando bike has a brifter for the rear, downtube friction shifter with triple for the front. The downtube shifter is less than ideal compared to the bar ends in my opinion, but I have have not made a priority of swapping the front shifter for a bar end.

Last year a friend of mine was getting ready for his third cross country ride and about a month before he was to start, his rear Shimano brifter (9 speed) became dysfunctional. He could not find a good replacement quickly, asked me what I thought of bar ends. I let him ride one of my bikes for about 10 miles to try them. He bought bar ends and used them for his cross country tour, they worked great for him. One other person in his ACA cross country group on that tour had her rear brifter die on her, thus she finished that tour with a three speed bike (she had a triple, so she could shift the front only).
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 12:18 PM
  #6  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,151

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 455 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 147 Posts
I finally replaced my ancient three ring 21 speed touring bike (26/36/46) with a two-ring 18 speed one (34/50), actually built as a gravel bike with a nice rear rack (25 kg load rating). Low gear is now 34-32, vs 26-28, a ratio higher by 14%.

In the twenty plus years I rode the old bike, over 3K miles/year, there were only a handful of times I used the lowest gear, on short steep gravel driveways out of campgrounds, easily walkable, virtually never on pavement. My last XC tour, 4400 miles, I went UL and never touched the granny gear, so I then resolved to eliminate it as soon as convenient. If a good 1X drive train came up for the right price, I would have tried it, and probably will next time, maybe in another couple of decades (I can hope).

I have not used the new bike on tour yet, though I carried 50 pounds of groceries home from the store yesterday on 5% grades and the ratio was fine. I haven't used low yet, other than to check that it's there.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 01:03 PM
  #7  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,320 Times in 830 Posts
Yea, they do.. my traveling mate , from UK, in 1975, used a *TA Cyclo-tourist Double,
on a tour down california coast.. it was a 50. 28.

*you could do that with them, because the inner bolted to the outer
and outer bolted to the crank arm..


My 1 by 14 IGH is very nice...
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 02:01 PM
  #8  
dh024
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 314
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
I swapped out my triple for a Sugino low-wide double crankset for touring about 5 years ago. I upgraded my rear DR to a long-cage version, and everything worked beautifully without modifying any other existing components. At the cost of some high gears I rarely used (especially for a loaded bike), I greatly increased my gear range and gained some really low gears for hill climbing. As a bonus, I no longer worry about cross-chain shifting and I now have a chainring guard on my crankset, which is very nice for commuting.
dh024 is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 02:52 PM
  #9  
John N
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 288

Bikes: Co-Motion Americano Rohloff, Thorn Nomad MkII, Robert Beckman Skakkit (FOR SALE), Santana Tandem, ICE Adventure FS

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 13 Posts
It is all about the range of gears you want. I started touring 40 years ago with a double, moved to a triple, and now use a Rohloff (1x14). The Rohloff has a ultra low of about 16 inches and a high of around 85 inches. The low is lower than my double or triple and I don't care if I spin out with the high end only 85 since I am doing 20+ MPH by then. That is plenty fast the few times I have ridden along at that speed when not going downhill where I tend to gently pedal to keep the legs warm but not exert energy.

If you can pedal it, do what makes you happy and don't worry about what anyone says, if anything. Best, John
John N is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 03:20 PM
  #10  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,779
Mentioned: 205 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13964 Post(s)
Liked 2,155 Times in 1,610 Posts
Most of my "tours" have been short... < 10 days. But, virtually all have been riding a double, with a 41T or 42T for the small ring up front.



I've gone a bit more relaxed with the gearing over the years, so I think that ride had a 41T front and 26T rear... and one hill got the best of me. The first day was absolutely wicked.

Oh, and if the photo above looks flat... it is only because it is 3/4 the way to the top of a mountain.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 06:17 PM
  #11  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,576
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2091 Post(s)
Liked 499 Times in 424 Posts
Originally Posted by raria View Post
I've never gotten triples to set up properly and tend to spend each time on tour twidling with them.
I have never had a problem setting up a triple and they always just work, no adjustments, no issues. On downtube shifters, various trigger shifter bikes, sti's (3 diff sti's) and Gevenalle shifters.
I don't claim to be a super mechanic, just a regular joe blow who makes mistakes here and there and bumbles my way along, but honestly, setting up triples has just be non eventful, as is using them.

that aside, which Im sure you dont want to hear ;-)
as per your question, with large cassettes in 10 and 11 speed nowadays, (42t up to 50t) a reasonable double can have reasonable low and high ranges, but a triple will always have the advantage of a wider range often combined with a tighter cassette to boot--win win.

give some ideas of what you are thinking of using, component wise.
djb is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 06:57 PM
  #12  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,819

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1519 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 20 Posts
Triples made a lot more sense when freewheels were only 5-speeds. I'd be tempted to make a double work, so long as you can get it down to a 1-to-1 gear ratio.
McBTC is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 07:20 PM
  #13  
davester
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 1,987

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 645 Post(s)
Liked 310 Times in 177 Posts
As indicated by others, it is the gear range you should care about, not whether two or three chainrings is needed. Back in the olden days of 5 and 6 speed freewheels a decent touring gear range required a triple. Now that we have 9 and 10 speed cassettes, a triple may not be necessary. Figure out what low gear you want (for loaded touring and non-superhumans I'd say somewhere around 20 to 25 inches). Next figure out what high gear you want (typically anything over 100 inches is useless when touring). Then play with a gear calculator (this is my favorite: Bicycle Gear Calculator ) and figure out if you can get that range with roughly 10% to 15% jumps between gears without an overly contorted shift pattern (tighter at the top and bigger jumps at the bottom). For a modern bike with 9 or more cogs on the back this should be achievable with two chainrings. If you're riding more vintage stuff like I do then you'll probably prefer a triple.

Alternatively, if you're young, strong and foolish like I was back in the 70s you will do a fully loaded tour through the Swiss Alps with a 52-42 racing double setup and relatively close ratio racing gears. Never again!
davester is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 08:47 PM
  #14  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,576
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2091 Post(s)
Liked 499 Times in 424 Posts
Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Triples made a lot more sense when freewheels were only 5-speeds. I'd be tempted to make a double work, so long as you can get it down to a 1-to-1 gear ratio.
1 to 1 is in the 26, 27 gear inch range, maybe even more, and just makes life harder on your knees.
Get it down to 20 and all is good, put a bunch of stuff on a bike and hit steep hills and you'll want lower than 25, 26, 27
and dont worry, it wont make you a mamby pamby, promise ;-)
djb is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 10:13 PM
  #15  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,150

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 42 Posts
I needed LBS to adjust triple Tiagra/brifter FD correctly but installing 3x9 Deore derailleurs/bar-ends was fairly easy. If tours include significant climbing & bike allows 3x then why switch to 2x? For me 3x is just logical, wider range gears with a negligible weight penalty. I once did a weekend unloaded mountain tour on a 2X racing bike but back then I was 2X stronger. At least the 52x14 let me zoom down the hills, a low-range 2x will just passively coast.
DropBarFan is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 10:44 PM
  #16  
dh024
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 314
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Triples made a lot more sense when freewheels were only 5-speeds. I'd be tempted to make a double work, so long as you can get it down to a 1-to-1 gear ratio.
Agreed. And if you don't mind losing a bit of top end on your touring bike, there are lots of options out there to run a double with plenty of low end.

My Surly ECR even came from the factory with a 36/22t crankset and a 12-36t cassette, so technically EVERY gear is at least 1-to-1. It sounds super low, until you factor in the massive circumference of a 29x3" tire. But it is a bit of an unconventional touring bike - not meant for speed.
dh024 is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 04:33 AM
  #17  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 3,402

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, Falcon and lots of other bikes.

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1058 Post(s)
Liked 442 Times in 259 Posts
I have toured with a 40-26 crank and a 12-32 8 speed cassette. Worked pretty well. I use bar end friction shifting and currently have no problems with a 41-38-24 triple and 12-36 9 speed cassette. I am considering returning to the 40-26 crank however just for the simplicity.
what is really important is whether or not you can pull the hills with your low gear, and if not whether it bothers you to walk. Enjoy the trip!
52telecaster is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 05:04 AM
  #18  
ricrunner
Senior Member
 
ricrunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New England Australia
Posts: 165

Bikes: Malvern Star Oppy S1 Gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
I run a compact double. 50-34, and an 8speed 11-34, sure I would like a 46-30 upfront, and when the front chainrings wear out that's what I will do. I do walk occasionally, but that doesn't worry me, but I am getting much stronger nowadays as am hitting the gym twice aweek. But I am also 59 so don't know how much long I will reain strong or fitter.
ricrunner is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 05:21 AM
  #19  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 3,402

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, Falcon and lots of other bikes.

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1058 Post(s)
Liked 442 Times in 259 Posts
Originally Posted by ricrunner View Post
I run a compact double. 50-34, and an 8speed 11-34, sure I would like a 46-30 upfront, and when the front chainrings wear out that's what I will do. I do walk occasionally, but that doesn't worry me, but I am getting much stronger nowadays as am hitting the gym twice aweek. But I am also 59 so don't know how much long I will reain strong or fitter.
i am 61, will be 62 later this month. I am as strong as I need to be. So are you!
52telecaster is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 12:11 PM
  #20  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,328

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2297 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 542 Times in 443 Posts
Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
It is all about the range of gears you want. I started touring 40 years ago with a double, moved to a triple, and now use a Rohloff (1x14). The Rohloff has a ultra low of about 16 inches and a high of around 85 inches. The low is lower than my double or triple and I don't care if I spin out with the high end only 85 since I am doing 20+ MPH by then. That is plenty fast the few times I have ridden along at that speed when not going downhill where I tend to gently pedal to keep the legs warm but not exert energy.

If you can pedal it, do what makes you happy and don't worry about what anyone says, if anything. Best, John
I am not disagreeing with you at all, but I did not want any readers to assume that all Rohloff bikes have a range of 16 to 85 gear inches.

My Rohloff bike, I tour with a 16 tooth sprocket (the default size from Rohloff) and a 36 tooth chainring. With my 559X57 tires, that gives me a range of 16.5 to 86.5 gear inches. Sometimes I wished I had a higher gear for long shallow downhills or a strong tailwind. But the lowest gear is more important for hill climbing, so I keep using that gearing for touring.

But for around home riding where my bike is not loaded down with camping gear, I gear it up higher with a 44 tooth chainring with the same 16 tooth sprocket (plus four more chain links), that has a range of 21.2 to 105.8 gear inches. That gives me a low enough gear for the hills near my home and a higher gear for strong tailwinds or shallow long downhills.

The chainring and sprocket selection is what determines your gear range on a Rohloff. When you buy or build up a bike you should specify a chainring that gives you the desired range.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 12:30 PM
  #21  
onyerleft
Senior Member
 
onyerleft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 626

Bikes: Pedaling for the Lord!

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 94 Times in 58 Posts
Triples made sense in days of yore with 5/6 speed freewheels. They make no sense any more with 9/10/11 cassettes, yet they strangely refuse to die the death they deserve in some quarters....
onyerleft is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 12:38 PM
  #22  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,320 Times in 830 Posts
Like # 20, Rohloff , 16t hub cog ; 26" .. 559-47 16:38.

on my 406-47 BiFri, the chainring is 53t :16 (x 20" wheel..)
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 12:45 PM
  #23  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,320 Times in 830 Posts
2 speed geared cranks , overdrive 1.6X, so with a Rohloff , you pick a low range , (within Specs)
then kicking the shift button (schlumpf)* the chainring , through the gearbox,
turns faster than the crank arms.

* (or cable, [Patterson metro] )




....
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 01:36 PM
  #24  
linus
Crawler
 
linus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OH~ CANADA
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Subcompact 46/30T double chainrings with a combination of an 11-36T or 11-40T cassette. I was using standard compact cranksets, but I feel much better with subcompact cranksets now that I travel a lot in Asia.
linus is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 09:24 PM
  #25  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,150

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
What is the advantage of Double?

I heard Double is smoothy and faster shifting than Triple.

Maybe Double has better Q-factor.
I don''t think double is necessarily smoother/faster shifting than triple, Shifting is better when one uses a stock setup whether double or triple. Q difference between double & triple is fairly minor though I suppose for some folks/bikes that could be an issue.
DropBarFan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.