Triples - What's The Big Deal?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by TNEWSOME1, May 10, 2003.

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  1. TNEWSOME1

    TNEWSOME1 Guest

    Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a triple crank?
    On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and more Ultegra,
    Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with that? Are we all getting
    old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.

    My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little chainring
    unless I'm going almost vertical. I think a double crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more
    sense, in my opinion.

    What do you all think?
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a triple crank?
    > On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and more Ultegra,
    > Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with that? Are we all getting
    > old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.
    >
    > My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little
    > chainring unless I'm going almost vertical. I think a double crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette
    > makes more sense, in my opinion.
    >
    > What do you all think?

    US Postal and several other teams used triples on climbing stages in the Tour and Vuelta, and that
    made it okay.

    A triple is a great way to get some bailout gears, to spin faster on climbs, and lots of other
    things that make sense for all of us wanna-be, not-quite, and never-was types. We're not as fast as
    the pros, so we certainly shouldn't be riding their gearing.

    12 or 13-25 or something, with 53/39 double,

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  3. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    Ride many miles.

    After, if you wish you had triple, get a triple.

    Otherwise not.

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these
    days
    > wants a triple crank? On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing
    > more and more Ultegra, Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with
    > that? Are we all getting old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.
    >
    > My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little
    > chainring unless I'm going almost vertical. I think a
    double
    > crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more sense, in my opinion.
    >
    > What do you all think?
     
  4. > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these
    days
    > wants a triple crank?

    I'm 6' 3' and 210+ lbs. I need a triple for hill-climbing, since I live in a very hilly area.

    > My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little
    > chainring unless I'm going almost vertical.

    I rarely use the small chainring, either, but when I do need it it is very helpful.

    > What do you all think?

    Everyone is different and has different needs. We need to keep this in mind. Some people might be
    buying into marketing, and some people might simply need or want the gear range.
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a triple crank?
    > On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and more Ultegra,
    > Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with that?

    I bought a new bike with a triple because I realized that adding a triple in the future would be
    expensive while it doesn't add much (if anything) to the cost of a new bike. I don't think the extra
    (small) chainring is much of a burden to carry, and when I have needed it (long mountain rides when
    my legs were cramping), I was very glad to have it. I like flexibility (of configuration) in a bike.
    I also like very wide gearing, I use a triple with an 11-28.
     
  6. As Ryan put it, I'm a "never was" (actually, a "never wanted to be").

    However, I do like hilly terrain,and lacking the muscles of Marco Pantani I need that itty bitty
    ring that only a triple can give me to hold cadence up the hills.

    If you have the strength and or ride on terrain that doesn't require the lower gears, stick with you
    double. it's lighter and simpler. "If it works, don't f*** with it".

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  7. [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a triple crank?
    > On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and more Ultegra,
    > Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with that? Are we all getting
    > old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.
    >

    I really like a 12-21 with a triple. It just plain works well for me.
    <G> Luckily, you can still have it your way, so we can both be happy.

    Barry
     
  8. Bill Kingson

    Bill Kingson Guest

    On Sat, 10 May 2003 20:20:39 GMT, <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a triple crank?
    >On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and more Ultegra,
    >Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with that? Are we all getting
    >old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.

    I just made the move to a triple. (Perhaps it's my message you were responding to). I had a 52x39
    double crank and changed to a 52x42x30 triple. The back is 13x30. After I read your post, I went for
    a ride to ponder a fitting response.

    I rode straight up a hill that I couldn't conquer 16 years ago despite several attempts. Same bike,
    same rider, new triple crank.

    For me, it's not a matter of trend-following. Putting a triple-crank on a 23 year old bike defies
    most trends. A few people in this group thought it was an ill-considered project.

    I began riding to work last December. I liked the little gear on my mountain bike for getting
    through slush and snow. It made sense to build the same advantage into my road bike so I could ride
    UP some hills that I used to ride AROUND.

    It didn't cost much and it doesn't weigh much more. (I'm not counting grams or riding
    competitively).

    It was an enjoyable project, but I wouldn't have bothered if I didn't have some big hills in my way.

    So, it isn't a Big Deal, but it made my bike more useful to me.

    Getting old? NAH... at fifty I'm just getting started! :)

    Bill Kingson Caribou, Maine "The northeasternmost city in the USA"
     
  9. We've got an article on our website that addresses the issue of triple vs double on a road bike. It
    can be found at-

    http://www.ChainReaction.com/triples.htm

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these
    days
    > wants a triple crank? On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing
    > more and more Ultegra, Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with
    > that? Are we all getting old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.
    >
    > My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little
    > chainring unless I'm going almost vertical. I think a
    double
    > crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more sense, in my opinion.
    >
    > What do you all think?
     
  10. It's hilly out here in Washington state and I like a tighter cassette (12-23) than I could stand
    with a double. The triple gives me some gears to bail out into when the grades get tough.

    Trevor

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these
    days
    > wants a triple crank? On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing
    > more and more Ultegra, Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with
    > that? Are we all getting old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.
    >
    > My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little
    > chainring unless I'm going almost vertical. I think a
    double
    > crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more sense, in my opinion.
    >
    > What do you all think?
     
  11. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> writes:

    >Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a triple crank?

    Some need them and some don't, and many of us will admit that we wished we had one on the last big
    climb when we were stuck with a 39X24.

    Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Jeff" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Ride many miles.
    >
    > After, if you wish you had triple, get a triple.
    >
    > Otherwise not.

    Many people would not, or could not, ride as many miles with a double. I say start with a triple,
    and if you find yourself not needing the extra gears, then dump them if their presence really
    bothers you.

    Matt O.
     
  13. Mgs

    Mgs Guest

    With the available Campagnolo rear cluster of 13-29, and a front chain ring set up of 53-39, the
    triple gives a minimal advantage to most situations.

    The real reason for a triple was that prior to Campy introducing the 13-29 rear cluster, the largest
    was a 12-27.

    Shimano still only offers 12-27 in Dura-Ace.

    I've used the 13-29 rear cluster up continuous hill climbs and 16% grades.

    And I'm 50 years old.
     
  14. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Robert Oliver wrote:
    > Everyone is different and has different needs. We need to keep this in mind. Some people might be
    > buying into marketing, and some people might simply need or want the gear range.

    When I bought my new road bike last year, I was shocked to see the triple on it. The LBS guy just
    said I should buy it that way and if I didn't use it, replace it. Since he informed me it was no big
    deal for a new bike to have a triple, I took it. I've used it when needed, which translates to
    "baked, on a steep, long climb."

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "Let me tell you what else I'm worried about. I'm
    worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our
    view of the military is for the military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and therefore,
    prevent war from happening in the first place." George Bush, Nov. 6, 2000
     
  15. Barryg

    Barryg Guest

    "MGS" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > With the available Campagnolo rear cluster of 13-29, and a front chain
    ring
    > set up of 53-39, the triple gives a minimal advantage to most situations.
    >
    > The real reason for a triple was that prior to Campy introducing the 13-29 rear cluster, the
    > largest was a 12-27.
    >
    > Shimano still only offers 12-27 in Dura-Ace.
    >
    > I've used the 13-29 rear cluster up continuous hill climbs and 16% grades.
    >

    The reason for a triple is to realize closer spaced gearing. The issue I have with your gearing is
    the relatively large gaps between gears on both your rear cluster and front chainring. A 52/42/30
    12-23 delivers a wider range of gears than your setup and running up and down the rear cluster, or
    52<-->42 makes for a much smoother ride. If you don't enjoy riding with closer spaced gearing, go
    with the double.
     
  16. TNEWSOME1

    TNEWSOME1 Guest

    Hey, everybody,

    Thanks for the interesting and varied responses. It looks like I'm the oddball here. I got back into
    cycling ten years ago after a fifteen year absence and bikes sure have changed alot. Preferences of
    the cycling public have changed, too. I never even heard of a triple crank in my high school days.
    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these
    days
    > wants a triple crank? On club rides almost everybody has them. Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing
    > more and more Ultegra, Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with
    > that? Are we all getting old or something? Maybe that's it. I'm 42 years old, by the way.
    >
    > My 32lb. commuter bike (rack, fenders, the works) has a triple and I never use that little
    > chainring unless I'm going almost vertical. I think a
    double
    > crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more sense, in my opinion.
    >
    > What do you all think?
     
  17. TNEWSOME-<< Could somebody here please explain to me why almost every cyclist these days wants a
    triple crank? On club rides almost everybody has them. << Even fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and
    more Ultegra, Campy Chorus, and Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with that? Are we
    all getting old or something?

    Function of road triples has gotten to the point of really good action, so no real reason not to
    have them. If having one makes your bike more fun to ride, why not? The idea is to get on your bike
    and stay there, not 'look good' at the coffee shop.

    << I think a double crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more sense, in my opinion.

    What do you all think?

    Neither make more 'sense' than the other. It's like having the proper shoes on for a given activity.
    Besides, no real disadvantage for the average rider, of a triple.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  18. MGS wrote:
    >
    > With the available Campagnolo rear cluster of 13-29, and a front chain ring set up of 53-39, the
    > triple gives a minimal advantage to most situations.

    What about gear spacing? That's one of the reason I prefer a triple, even if I rarely use the
    granny. A 12-21 or 12-23 has a very nice, linear range. Heck, a Campy 10 speed 12-21 skips nothing!
    After demoing bikes with both setups last time I bought a road bike, I found out why most road bikes
    sell with triples nowadays. Have you actually spent any time on one?

    FWIW, I spend about 60% of my time on the granny, which is only a 22 on the mtb, when mountain
    biking here in New England. Once some get used to riding with a high RPM spin, climbing a hill on
    the road the same way starts to make a lot of sense. 20 RPM climbs can be hell on knees. A 90-100
    rpm spin up a very steep grade will motor you to the top quite nicely.

    Barry
     
  19. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > TNEWSOME-<< Could somebody here please explain to me why
    almost every cyclist
    > these days wants a triple crank? On club rides almost everybody has
    them. << Even
    > fast-paced rides I'm seeing more and more Ultegra, Campy
    Chorus, and
    > Dura-Ace(!) triples (w/12-21 cassetts). What's up with
    that? Are we all
    > getting old or something?

    No, we're all getting sensible, and so are product managers at bike companies.

    > Function of road triples has gotten to the point of really
    good action, so no
    > real reason not to have them. If having one makes your
    bike more fun to ride,
    > why not? The idea is to get on your bike and stay there,
    not 'look good' at the
    > coffee shop.

    Speak for yourself... :)

    > << I think a double crank with maybe a 13-28 cassette makes more sense, in my
    opinion.
    >
    > What do you all think?
    >
    > Neither make more 'sense' than the other. It's like having
    the proper shoes on
    > for a given activity. Besides, no real disadvantage for
    the average rider, of a
    > triple.

    The "proper shoes" around here would be a gear lower than a
    39/28, at least for me. Years of riding mountain bikes has gotten me into the "sit and spin" habit.

    I've been doing a casual test on the hill leading up to my house. It's over 10% over a mile, with a
    short stretch much steeper than that. It takes about the same amount of time sitting or standing, in
    the biggest gear I can sustain comfortably either way. The gear I use standing is within normal road
    bike range, while the gear I use seated is a little lower than most road bikes have. I prefer the
    seated solution.

    Matt O.
     
  20. Raymo853

    Raymo853 Guest

    "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > US Postal and several other teams used triples on climbing stages in the Tour and Vuelta, and that
    > made it okay.
    >

    Is this true? I thought it was they ran 52-39 or 52-38 cranks with 11-27 stock and 11-28 custom made
    cassettes. The rumors were of triples but in the end none materialized.
     
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