Triple chainrings, what's the big deal???

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bikelyst, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Bikelyst

    Bikelyst New Member

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    I've seen many posts saying that trips are "granny gears" and "for newbies" but honestly, what is the difference between triple and double chainrings. Besides the triple giving more gear ratios. And I understand that for weight weenies having a triple would add extra weight. But what are the pros and cons for each. Lemme' know what you think.
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Triples give more ratios. That's about the only significant difference. Sure, there's a weight difference, but that doesn't yield a performance difference. Some claim that sshifting with triples can be problematic, but that's a load of crap, especially with the triples out today.

    It all comes down to this: use what works for you.
     
  3. Bikelyst

    Bikelyst New Member

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    Just as helpful as you always are.;) Thanks for the help and congratz on hitting 1,000th post.
     
  4. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Q-factor is the other often criticised issue ie. Wider spacing b/n the pedals. Some would say that wider Q is less efficient and/or less comfortable.

    I run a triple. I need the granny for some of those hills around me.
     
  5. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    I run a triple and as I never use gears that low, its only purpose for me is to catch the chain when if falls off the 42t ring. It all depends on your body type and where you ride.

    Advantages;
    - lower gears available
    - no need to compromise on your cassette, as if you run off the end you can drop to the granny
    - catches the chain if it falls off the middle ring

    Disadvantages;
    - approx 150gms extra weight
    - longer cages required on front deralier
    - longer arm reqired on rear deralier, to take up more chain
    - 6 to 8mm wider bottom bracket

    For most its not worth worrying about, if you have it keep it, if you don't have it, don't bother. If you need lower gearing than your current gearing, look at repacing the existing cassette or small chain ring.
     
  6. djk202020

    djk202020 New Member

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    Double, it just seems simpler, I like things simple. Some of the gear ratios of a tripple are repeated. If I cant find a gear to ride in when choosing from the 20 then I have a problem.
     
  7. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

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    I looked at this thread earlier & thought what useful replies....then came post #6.[& 7 :p ]
     
  8. Bikelyst

    Bikelyst New Member

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    FYI, I myself run a triple. Because there are some killer 2 mi climbs here (Yes, we do have hills in Wisconsin)
     
  9. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Not really an advantage of a triple, you can have just as low w/a double and the right cassette. Think the advantage is really 'wider spread from high to low gear'. Which translates to being able to make it up the hill + having a gear to get you down the other side quickly (w/o turning crazy rpm).

    Triples are for grandmas who coast downhill, or reasonably fit people who want to (a) have not killed themselves by the top and (b) have a gear to spin (w/o crazy high rpms) at 60mph back down. ;)
     
  10. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    Here's an observation which rarely comes up in the compact double versus triple discussions:

    Depending on your cruising speeds, a triple may actually allow more efficient shifting.

    I'm riding a compact double (50/34) with a 12-27 in the back. For climbing it is awesome, and I can get up nearly anything I could get up in a triple with almost as much ease.

    But on the flats when cruising between 18-20mph, I find I'm always switching between the 50 w/ mid-to-large cogs, and the 34 w/ mid-to-small cogs; at that particular speed (where a lot of the club rides I do happen to wind up) it falls right on the cusp between chainrings. Whereas when I ride a 52/39/30 triple I can pretty much leave it in the 39 to maintain that speed.

    (Obvious solution: go faster!)
     
  11. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Similar to above, a triple would permit one to have the wide top to low end gears without giving up on the gaps b/n cogs. So fine gearing steps can be maintained. While using a double to achieve the climbing and speed, one need to have a bigger range in the cassette.
     
  12. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    Juast to clarify "granny gear" is not a put down when used by most people. It is just an old term used for bikes , cars and trucks that reflects the gear you don't usually use, but when you do it is very low speed.

    It could be an insult, but generally is not.

    And it is not just for beginners, I understand that they are sometimes used by the pros when they face a particularly challenging hilly course. For some of us that can only afford one setup, it makes sense to have the flexibility of a triple.
     
  13. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    You can also get a granny gear as large as 38, so you could, for example run something like 53/42/36 to give you a spread of rear clusters in different situations
     
  14. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    If you get a triple you should really like your middle ring for the best chain line in most situations. My triple is 52/38/24 I use the 38 most of the time a double is better for racing if I had a double I would get a compact crank.
     
  15. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

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    You're a good spinner [of yarns :) ] 60 mph in 53/11 = a cadence of 168. [give or take]
     
  16. Bikelyst

    Bikelyst New Member

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    Ok, I am curious, why is a double better for racing?
     
  17. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I don't race so IMO it's lighter, it shifts better between rings in general (less chain short cage) and chain line is straighter creating less resistance. Also I think racers aren't looking for comfortable spins up hills they are attacking hills to break away. Shifting down to a 24T granny is slow and without a third eye chain watcher you might drop the chain off the ring shifting up from a 24T to a 38T is even slower.... in a race that would be bad. Shimano's top of the line Dura Ace components do not come with a triple crank.

     
  18. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    For most racing, you don't need that spread of gears, therefore its just extra weight and a tad more air resistance.
     
  19. Akadat

    Akadat New Member

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    A triple works for me and my latest commuter. It is a rockhopper racer, 26x1.6 slicks, 52/11 to 32/28! I have choices: ride up the embankment, jump over kerbs or flow with the traffic; trundle up the hill or stand up and attack it; coast down or pedal at speed.

    If I need to win races on the road or mountain track then this bike will fall short, but set up this way it is a capable all rounder.
     
  20. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    We're talking 52-11 - triple - no? Is your max speed on a downhill really a function of how fast you can spin? Tuck.
     
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