Triple chain ring bypass.

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ray1966, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Ray1966

    Ray1966 Member

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    One of my cycling friends got a great deal on a used road bike. He really loves it, and rides a lot now. The one thing his bike has that he doesn't care for is a triple front chain ring. He doesn't want to go and buy new chain rings and cranks. So I told him since you only use the middle and large outside, just adjust the front Dur so it can't go down to the small chain ring. Now he could simply just not shift to it, but he's afraid that he will forget hit the shifter and drop to the small. Question: He should be able to do that by adjusting the low limit on the FD right? I done it on a road bike I had and it worked just fine as a double. In fact, it seemed like it was easer to adjust and the shift was better. I never noticed any weight issues with leaving it on there. We both just ride for fitness, health and weight maintenance. Just wanted to make sure I told him an option that would work. Has anybody else done this?
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    If there's enough adjustment in the lower limit screw on the FD, it'll work, but I don't know that every triple FD has enough adjustment in the lower limit screw to accomplish that.
     
  3. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Agree with adjusting the FD screw, if your buddy feels he has to lock-out the little ring. But I'd suggest just leaving it alone.

    There's really no downside to the triple for recreational riders. You've got "standard" road gearing on the outside rings, and the little ring just goes along for the ride until you need it. On steeper grades, having the granny ring really helps, giving you the option to stay seated, slow down and enjoy the climbs when you want to. With a triple, he might even want to hunt out some of the southern IL and MO hills.
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    IMO I would leave all the way it is. Why would you want to eliminate the use of the third ring?
     
  5. Ray1966

    Ray1966 Member

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    I think the reason he wants to dump the small chain ring is that he is so used to a double and doesn't want to get hooked on using the granny gear. As for me, living here in Southern Illinois there are some pretty good hills, and now at 45 years old I find I need my small gear at times. I believe I have him talked into just leaving it alone. I told him you may never know when your going to need it, and when that time comes it will be ready to use.

    I personally don't see a problem with a triple chain ring road bike.
     
  6. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    The reasoning behind disabling the small ring seems hokey to me. It is pretty hard to forget what chainring you are using. In my mind it only makes sense if there are shifting issues with the setup - but properly adjusted modern triples work well. I have triples on most of my bikes, I rarely use the small ring. On the rare occasions that I had to, I was glad it was there - it made the difference between getting to the top on the bike vs. walking it to the top.

    In the end, speed is speed no matter what gear. I he wants to climb fast, work on climbing fast - stop worrying about the small gear. Even with the small ring disabled the cool kids will still see it as a triple.
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    At least the restriction to the larger and middle chainrings by setting the lower limit is reversible. It can't hurt to give it a shot. After all, it can be reversed with a multi-tool and a few minutes by the road side, and it can be done mid-climb! Experimentation can be a good thing.
     
  8. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    There isn't anything "wrong" with a triple road bike. Three front rings allows for a much tighter ratio cassette, which can be a good thing depending on the terrain. A little more tricky to keep in tune. .

    The only real negative I see is when the small ring becomes a bail-out panic response instead of an efficient planned shift pattern appropriate for terrain. IMO there is such a thing as too low of a gear for a given pitch. I've ridden with a few friends who are not novice riders, but unaccustomed to undulating pitchy grades (12%-15%-18%+). One or two of those and they start dropping to the 30t.x 28t/26t combo every time they see any kind of a grade. After a few 6%-8% grades in bail out mode they burn themselves out and are toast for the rest of the ride.
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    I used to burn out quicker when I had to muscle up steep hills out of the saddle in 39/25. Not sure why maintaining a decent cadence up hills would cause burn out; for me the 30 ring allows a choice of climbing gears, from say 19 to 27 on the current cassette. It allows me to maintain 70-80 cadence on those 6-8% hills without going past the redline....perfect for long days IMO.
     
  10. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    I agree, dhk2. If I'm doing just a short, quick, intense ride, I may only use my middle (39) ring with an 11-28 cassette and muscle up the various short, steep hills I have around my house. But, on a week-long tour that features some longer, fairly steep hills, I'm not shy about heading down to the 30x28 combo to save my legs for the rest of the week.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    ... there's also a degree of twisted humour, if you have the legs, to having a triple on the bike when cool kids are around and the hills get steep. Add a pair of fenders for added effect.

    [​IMG]

    Giovanni Battaglin used this modified triple chainring-equipped Pinarello to win the 1981 Giro. The race started three days after he won the Vuelta.

    If it's good enough to time the Tour of Italy on - then a triple is good enough for the likes of us mere mortals. Three days rest after a Grand Tour before starting another... God like.
     
  12. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    If that is the case, what is the worst that would happen if he accidentally shifted onto the small chain ring for a few seconds before shifting back? And he probably will learn not to do this anyway.

    If you ever have to ride up a 2 mile steady climb to come home from an already tiring ride, as I do on frequent weekends, you will sometimes find yourself using that ring. (Well I'm a bit older too.) For me it is a 30x23 or 30x25 setting that I use. (12-25 cassette)
     
  13. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Not so much about using the 30t, but rather how/when you get there. As a "quick shed" (bail out, crutch, etc) of ratio, 30x28 or 30x26 can kill momentum and start the climb from a weak position.
     
  14. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Just change down through the gears as you would do in a car. When 39x27 (or 28) is starting to get a bit hard and It looks like you need a lower gear a quick tap of the left lever quickly followed by a tap or two of the right will often do the trick. If you need to start a climb in 30x28 because the road is steep then that's what you need. Unless you're in a race of a very competitive group ride or chaingang then use whatever you need in order to keep the effort where you want it to be. If you perceive those gears to be weak then you have four choices: 1. Lose weight 2. Gain more power 3. Both 1 and 2 4. Or none of the above and suck it up and deal with your perceived mediocraty :p
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    A 30x28 or 30x26 is only a momentum killer if it's lower than the gear the rider needs to be in, and it is the individual rider's needs that are the ones that count. If someone needs those gears, they should by all means use them. If someone needs a 30x28 to get up a 6% or 7% hill, so be it. If they like the pace in that gear, so much the better. After all, this is an individual sport, and as such it's really only what the individual in question thinks that matters. I think a lot of those individuals think that all the really matters is getting there, not the how or when. Remember that not everyone is racing or going for a personal best.
     
  16. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    Yes and the OP specifically said they ride for fitness, health and weight maintenance. So I don't think he would worry about any possible negative connotation from other riders for using the small chain ring anyway. As a last resort, he could always tape a small block of wood to limit the derailleur.
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Tape a block of wood to your bike? Why?

    Look at the feet of Mr Climbing God, Alberto Contador.

    [​IMG]

    34x32. That's a small gear. The pink - that's to match his Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) leaders jersey.

    Chances are if you turned upto a club ride in the hills with gearing like that on someone would make fun of it - but if you need it, you need it. If Contador needs it you know that the likes of you and I really do need it...
     
  18. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Just like more padding is not always the way to a more comfortable saddle, lower gearing is not always the answer for a particular hill. Can be counter intuitive depending on the circumstances.

    As I noted, I have observed a situation where I believe this is the case. A dozen or so of us ride a charity century every year and get together for a handful of training rides before the event. The group is a bunch of 40-50 somethings who are all basically recreational riders who ride for fitness and activity. We have a 20 something and I am the oldest in my mid 50's - all reasonably fit for average joes. We can keep the group together with an average pace around 16-17 mph on lightly rolling terrain. Hardly a race group - or even a competitive group ride situation.

    The charity ride has between 6,000 and 7,000 feet of total vert, so after a couple of flatter training rides in the 40-70 mile range, we turn up the climbing for the last 3-4 rides. A couple of the riders have a style of approaching hills by dropping to their 30 ring before they have lost enough momentum to be able to add any torque to the low gear combo. They then wait for their momentum to slow enough so they can power the pedals, at which point they pedal in the 100+ rpm range to try to keep pace with the rest of the group. Obviously they can't … or don't. The rest of the riders ride away from them and I usually loop back to pace with them. Invariably when I get there, they are near hyperventilation from the too-high cadence (for them) and not at all efficient in their approach to terrain that fellow riders of similar fitness just scaled without issue. By the last 10 miles of hilly rides, these two are barely hanging on or taking rest breaks before or after any grade of consequence. The group gets frustrated with all the stopping, but since we're friends we do it.

    When the two ask me for suggestions as to why they are struggling in hill country, I don't tell them to do more of what they are doing. Pulling out their biggest gun as a first resort isn't working for them. You all may tell them to hold onto what isn't working for them, but I don't. I am confident enough in their fitness that they can have the same enjoyable experience as the rest if they change their technique.
     
  19. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    sitzmark, agree that low gears can be overdone, killing speed and momentum. Not sure why your buddies would want to use their lowest gear on every climb, spinning at 100 cadence. What do they say when you ask them....maybe easier on the knees? The beauty of the triple is that you can ignore the little ring until you need it. On climbs with faster group rides here, my little ring may never gets any use at all. When everyone else is standing and hustling up the rollers, you either do the same or get dropped in a hurry. More low- gearing choices aren't there to force us to ride slower, but certainly can allow for a more relaxed pace if that's what we need or want to do.

    Usually if I'm going to shift down to the 30, will do it first, at the bottom of the climb, and from the middle cogs. Having the little ring gives the advantage of not needing your biggest cog all the time for climbing; often I climb in 30/19 or -21, which gives a straight chainline and leaves easy-to-shift cog options for adjusting cadence on the hill or when it's time to get out of the saddle.
     
  20. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    The "negative connotation" is a funny concept. The guys I ride with on a regular basis all know my ability (or lack of) pretty well. They don't notice my gearing, just like I don't notice theirs. As far as strangers checking out the "pro-ness" of your bike, who cares? If you ride with people who think the equipment reveals something about the riders ability, I'd suggest they don't know jack about real cyclists.
     
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