Triple vs Compact crankset

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Andrepaul, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Andrepaul

    Andrepaul New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm currently building up a bike and would like to know if I should get a (Campy Chorus) triple crankset or go with the new compact crankset. I'm slightly out of cycling shape since I haven't cycled for a month or so. I sometimes have knee problems but only when I overdo the mileage on a ride..you know, instead of 35 miles as planned, I'll do 75 and live to regret it. So what are the positives and negatives excluding weight and cost?
    Thanks
     
    Tags:


  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    No one here has a flippin clue what you need. Since you rode a whole month ago you should have an idea of whether what you were using worked or not, and if not which direction to go to fix it. I't's not like you are a n00b that just fell off the potatoe wagon.
     
  3. philso

    philso New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    i don't know,boudreaux. in most cases, i'd say you were right in saying he's the only one who can know. however, 2 facts remain salient. "reoccuring knee problems" generally only get worse. taken together with "doing 75 and living to regret it", i'd say it indicates advancing decrepitude due to advancing age or a probably incurable malaise of some sort. his physician would probably recommend a triple along with some large cogs in the rear.


    by the way, only english majors spell potato with an "e".
     
  4. mark higgins

    mark higgins New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Friends I have swear by compacts over triples having used both. They weigh less and look better. Unless you live in the Alps or similar do you really need a tiny granny gear? The gear range is better with less huge jumps across the block.
    As for knee problems some swear people I know swear by Speedplay pedals. As said by others the only way you can find out what suits you is to try it and see.
     
  5. bbattle

    bbattle New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd go over to Sheldon Brown's website and use the gear calculator to check the differences between a triple and compact. If you got a compact 50-34 and 13-29 Chorus cassette, you'd be covering most of the range of a triple.

    I'm using a compact crank with 12-25 ultegra and I like it a lot.
     
  6. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ditto on the compact. I use a 50-36 compact with a 12-25 ultegra cassette and I like it a lot. The hills here in central PA aren't easy (but they're not exactly the rockies), and I don't ever see a need for the granny gears a triple offers.
     
  7. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    By varrying the cassette size, you can get pretty much the same range with either a tripple or a compact. The tripple however letting you get away with tighter cog spacing. Ideally you want to select a combination that will give you the straightest chain line to the middle of the cassette most of the time. For example, I use a 52-42-30 crankset with a 12-23 cassette. Riding alone on a flat road, that puts the chain in a straight line at about the 42x16 combination. For me, that's a comfortable cadence to be doing about 20mph, with room to shift in both directions. The other two rings pretty much only get used for pace lines and really steep hills.
     
  8. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    You been smoking too much carpet again? You can stick a 24 or 26 granny on a triple.Best you can do with a compact is a 33 small ring.
     
  9. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    You somehow managed to bold the pretty much the same part without really reading it. A 24 tooth granny is a rather extreme case. I've seen bikes set up for Mt. Washington with bigger rings than that. Normal people riding on normal roads can get the gears they need with either a tripple or a compact.
     
  10. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, but the real point being,contrary to your statement, one can always get lower with a triple. Maybe you are just having trouble seeing thru the carpet smoke?
     
  11. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you even know what the real point is? And how is it contrary to my statement? I never said anything about absolute lowest gear.
     
  12. Andrepaul

    Andrepaul New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guys, I'm a newbie to this stuff and I sometimes need to use my easiest triple gear combination on really steep grades. If I get the compact I think I'm understanding that the gearing "resolution" will change or in other words I won't have so many intermediate gear options but I still will have the extreme high and low gears of a triple. Is that correct? I still would like to have the option of going to the really easy gears in the steep hills.
     
  13. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Think about it. If you have a 30 granny on the triple and go with a compact The smallest chainring you can use is a 33.Compacts typically come with a 34. Given the same big cog for each, you cannot get as low a gearing with a compact. Lets just assume you are using shimano and their biggest road cog cassette has a 27. No way can you get the low gearing of a triple with a compact.....The other guy just added to n00bs confusion with his inane statement.....Certainly, if you have a 23 or 25 cog with your 30 granny( 35 and 32 gear inches), you can go with a compact with a 34 and a 27 cog(34 gear inches) and get back to about where you were.If you already have a 27 cog on there it ain't going to happen with a compact without a custom cassette or BTB cassette to get a bigger cog....Sheldon Brown has a gear inch chart at www.harriscyclery.com Learn to use it.
     
  14. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Read post 12 and try and comprehend the confusion your inane statement has thrown into an otherwise simple concept. Gear inches is a simple enough concept,but n00bs have enough trouble with it without inane pronouncements like ...'you can get pretty much the same with either'... or whatever. Simply put you can always get lower gearing with the triple if low gears is what one needs.
     
  15. Andrepaul

    Andrepaul New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info:

    My current triple set-up is as follows:

    Crankset 30/42/52
    Cassette 12/26
     
  16. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Simple answer using a gear inch chart. The 30-26 is 31 gear inches,and to get that low with a compact crank and a 34 small ring,you need a 30 big cog. If you use the 30 granny and don't plan on getting alot stronger,you are better off sticking with it.
     
  17. Bruce L

    Bruce L New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Finally after debating for almost two years I switched from a triple to a compact 50/34 and love it. I just feel more efficent with smoother shifting. I live in a hilly area and most of my rides are climbing. My cassette is 12/27 and I feel I'm just or even stronger using my 34/27 than when I was in my 30/27 when climbing the steepest gradients. Spinning also seems easier. The weight savings and esthetics are just a bonus but shouldn't be your major factor in converting. If you are a real weak climber than maybe stay with the triple but otherwise go for it!!!!!!
     
  18. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, obviously you have to eat more spinach or be stronger to use a 34-27 if you had been defaulting to the 30-27.That isn't genius work. I use to default to the 30,and now do the same ride in the 52 with the same big cog.Spinach and training harder works.And this happened when I was older than dirt,and I'm now another 6 years older than old dirt.
     
  19. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a compact triple, with an inner of 22 teeth. It doesn't get used much, but it does get used. The outer ring was 42, but when that wore out I replaced it with a 46. At the back I have a close ratio cassette, so I have a wide range of closely spaced gears. Nothing really high, which is OK for me as I don't race. I would say that for anyone with knee problems, a 22 tooth inner ring is of greater value than a 50 outer.
     
  20. philso

    philso New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Andrepaul - if you need easier gearing than what you have now, you can:

    - get a smaller ring up front
    - get larger cogs in the rear

    these are the usual choices. another option would be to get longer crank arms as long as you have enough clearance with the front tire
     
Loading...
Loading...