Anybody out there still riding a triple?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by lohsnest, May 3, 2008.

  1. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I lived in Saratoga Springs in the summer of 1979. We rented a small cottage that was behind the big white house on the corner of Broadway and Lincoln. From what I hear, the cottage is no longer there.

    You are right about gaining altitude right out the door. We used to ride up to Lake George on weekends and there were some nice climbs on the way. I don't remember what chainrings and cogs I had on my bike back then, but I do remember that it was more of a loaded touring setup than a speed setup.
     


  2. graf zeppelin

    graf zeppelin New Member

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    I know the house you mean. That's still there. I'll have to check on the cottage and let you know. Not sure myself. Hope you had a good stay. Sounds like it. :)

    Love the rides up to Lake George or Sacandaga. Hills aplenty up that way and you can hit West Mountain Road or Prospect Mountain along the way if you like. Good stuff. Beautifully scenic too. If you head out instead towards Saratoga Lake there's all kinds of nice rollers through farm country. I've lived a few places, but none so far that I've had such varied terrain options right out the front door. If/when I move again that'll certainly be among the criteria.

    I like the compact setup when I am in pretty good shape and I'm going out fairly far with a lot of hills. I dont like to train on it earlier in the season though. Its a different kind of ride due the cadence change, so other times I'll just take the standard double out there and suffer a bit if it comes to that. Never really had a desire to put a triple on a bike, but it certainly offers more flexibility.
     
  3. Caden

    Caden New Member

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    Here in Austin, TX plenty of road bikes are sold with triples. It is HILLY here! I laugh when I hear some heavy rider talking about how he's going to move to a double for the weight savings. I know there are other reasons for doubles besides weight, but seriously..

    I'd rather complete a 100+ degree century riding uphill into the sun with my granny available just in case than have to get on the bus at 60 miles or *walk* my bike up the hill.

    Besides, how else besides a triple would I tow my son in the burleigh uphill?
     
  4. lbraasch

    lbraasch New Member

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    1 really good gear is all you need. My commuter is a fixie. When my commute was all flats, it was 40/14, and now with a large hill in my way, I re-geared to 40/16, and am doing fine. I regularly pass up geared bicyclist attempting to spin their heart away up the incline.

    For the record, my road bike is a double. In my opinion, the people who swap out to compact crank sets are people who don't use the full extent of their granny gear, and thus paired with a 12-27 cassette have all the gears they need and will use. It's pretty ridiculous how quickly people jump to thinking they need a triple. Shifters get along with a double far better than they do a triple.
     
  5. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    If you aren't worried about doing your knees in.
     
  6. lohsnest

    lohsnest New Member

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    Funny thing is, when I was riding a triple, I would sometimes even derail the chain on the smallest cog. I could never figure out why. Even when my LBS made adjustments, I continued to have this issue. It was an FSA Team triple. Needless to say, I am sticking with Campagnolo from now on, not that thre is anything wrong with FSA.
     
  7. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    I'm sure you really meant to write:

    1 really good gear is all I need.

    I really have no idea what other people need, because I have no idea where they ride or what their physical abilities or bicycling goals are, but based on my own limited personal experience I have somehow leapt to the conclusion that the people who swap out to compact crank sets are people who don't use the full extent of their granny gear

    paired with a 12-27 cassette have all the gears I need and will use.

    I really have no idea what other people need, because I have no idea where they ride or what their physical abilities or bicycling goals are, but based on my own limited personal experience I have somehow leapt to the conclusion that
    It's pretty ridiculous how quickly people jump to thinking they need a triple.

    I get along with a double far better than I do a triple.

    Hope this helps ;)
     
  8. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    I'm sticking with Campy too.

    But it is a triple, and I wouldn't have it any other way. No problems with it during the 10 years I've had it, and I don't know about anyone else's shifters, but the Ergo shifters that came with it sure seem to handle a triple just fine. Anybody looks down on me as they see me riding my triple-equipped fine road bike, well, they can kiss my you-know-what.
     
  9. lbraasch

    lbraasch New Member

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    Camilo- my limited knowledge of the sport and needs of others is based off selling bikes to people, and having them not come back complaining that I sold them a road bike ill equipped to fulfill their needs. The uneducated conclusion I have drawn about compact cracks paired with a 12-27 comes from the obscene number of crank set/cassette swap outs I've had done on brand new bikes, and after recommending it to people over going for the triple because of the finer shifting performance.

    If a 65yr old cancer survivor (talking fresh off chemo) can handle not using a triple, I think most people can.

    Barring knee surgery, or pending knee surgery, an avid cyclist really does not "need" a triple, it may just seem that way until they just ride.
     
  10. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    Nobody absolutely, really needs a triple, but it can be handy if the buyer ever plans to use the bike for touring. I do agree that for most normal riding, that smaller ring is almost never used. But it's a lot easier to not use it than to eventually need it and not have it.
     
  11. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    I defer to your superior experience and knowledge about my needs. Thanks!
     
  12. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    I'm sorry, but not everybody is as fit as you. I use the granny very often while climbing, and my smallest cog is a 31.
     
  13. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    We seem to be agreeing on the value of a triple. How often the granny gear is actually used would depend on many factors, I suppose. But I wouldn't compare my fitness to yours or anyone elses. I used to be fit, and I try to keep fit, but a 55 year old with a kidney transplant and years of dialysis in his past is probably not as capable as the average rider :)

    I think being pro or con triples depends on what kind of riding the person does or thinks of him/herself doing. Some are more race oriented than others. I'm not. I like distance more than speed, and my preferred type of bike is audax/light tourer. A triple is the logical choice for that kind of bike. But if someone is or imagines himself to be a racer, then a triple probably won't hold much attraction.
     
  14. ::dom::

    ::dom:: New Member

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    ...and if a 34 year old cancer survivor can with the TdF seven times in a row. I think most people can do that too. :rolleyes:
     
  15. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I like distance and speed, so I prefer a bike with racing geometry but I have a triple on it for the occasional steep hill towards the end of a ride. Hills tend to get a lot steeper after 60 miles as opposed to 20 miles. Although I did race at one time, I don't any longer. All of my riding is purely for my own enjoyment, however with the price of fuel, I may soon add commuting to the mix.
     
  16. cyclemanx

    cyclemanx New Member

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    Triple chainrings are virtually mandatory for ancient cyclists in steep hilly areas, but they have some negatives.
    1. Chain wear is much increased.
    2. FD adjustment is super-critical. If you get it right, leave it alone.
    3. Additional gear ratios may not be useable or effective.
    4. Conversion from double to triple doesn't justify the cost.
    Having said that, I use triples on my cargo bikes, and happily tolerate the negative issues.
     
  17. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    There certainly are a lot of ancient myths being perpetuated about the "problems" associated with triples. Of course, if we aren't just talking about road bikes, then triples already far outnumber doubles out there. Sure, if you put a triple on a modern tight-clearances and extremely short chainstay racing bike, you might experience some chainline problems, but not on a more moderately proportioned road bike.

    As for adjustment of the front derailleur, let me tell you that the front Campy Veloce derailleur on my bike has been running without any adjustment of any kind for the past 10 years. It's the one part of my bike that has never needed any attention at all. Now, if you're running Shimano, that's another story.

    For me, the best of both worlds for a non-racer with a taste for fine road bikes is an audax-like "sport touring" road bike with a racing triple on it. Lest you think this is some kind of heavy pig of a touring bike, all I can tell you is that I wouldn't exactly describe a custom made-to-measure hand-crafted light Italian steel road frame as a pig. Just because I value distance more than speed doesn't mean I don't enjoy the handling of a fine road bike or speed when I want it.

    I'm no newbie, and I choose triple. But it's appropriate for me because I have only one bike, and I want it to be able to do both more spirited road riding and some light touring. If you have more than one bike, then I could see having one specifically for each type of use. In that case, you might not want a triple on the road racing bike.
     
  18. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    ... but on the other hand, I'm probably totally out of date with this stuff :)
     
  19. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    There really is quite a simple answer to this question. Age, health, the classical or ferrous nature of your bike etc, are not directly relevant.
    Simply, does your cadence drop below 90 in your lowest gear on hills that you climb a lot? Secondly, do you wish to climb faster? Thirdly, do you care about your knees?
    If your answers are yes, yes and yes, then you need a lower gear than you have. If you are already riding 28F/29R, then tough luck - consider an MTB crankset.
    If your answers are (2.)yes, yes and no, or (3.)yes, no and yes then you still need a lower gear.
    With any other combination of answers, then stick with what you have.
     
  20. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    1. Wouldn't chain wear be lower on a triple, since the lower gearing allows climbing with less chain tension? I routinely get 4-5000 miles on chains, replacing at 0.75% wear on the Park gauge. Chains on my double bike didn't last any longer.

    2. Have never needed to adjust the FD on my DA 9 speed setup in the last 17K miles, and don't see why the FD setup is any harder than a double: set height and align the FD cage, set limit stops and then tension the cable, same steps as a double FD. My bike doesn't even have a micro-adjuster for FD cable tension, and I haven't missed it.

    3. ??? My 30 ring gives me three additional climbing gears, from 30/21 down to 30/25. At the bottom of a steep climb, I'll often shift down to the 30 ring on the 19, then enjoy the tight, easy to shift climbing choices available.

    4. A compact is certainly a cheaper conversion, but who are you to judge what a "justifiable cost" is for someone else? If changing to a triple allows a rider to ride a faster mountain century with less pain the next morning, what is that worth to me?
     
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