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alternatives to triple cranks(7 posts)

alternatives to triple cranksSteve Upshaw
Apr 23, 2001 6:00 AM
Yesterday I did a 75 mile road ride called Tour De Cashier. In the ride there are 3 steep and long hills with about 21% max grade. In the steepest climbs my cadence dropped to 35 and I was dropped by my friends who have triples and the climbs which I usually enjoy were torture. Currently I have a Durace components with a 39/52 in the front and 12-25 in the back. The possible solutions I see are the following:
1.Convert to a triple ring setup (It seems a shame to get rid of my durace components)
2. Lose 10 lbs and get in better shape (I'm not sure this would be enough [in my defense I have no problem keeping up with my friends during mtn biking])
3. Convert to a 12-27 cog set in the back (I'm not sure this would be enough)
4.Convert to a 12-27 cog set in the back and change the front to a 46/34 (Can this be done in the front? It looks like on the Duraace that a 39 is about the smallest inner ring it will take)
5. Change my rear derailer to a Mtn LX or XT and run a 32 cogfor these mountanious centuries (Is that compatible with STI shifters?)
6. Accept that it is my lot in life to suffer during these climbs
Any input is much appreciated
Steve Upshaw
A little of #2- #6SimpleGreen
Apr 23, 2001 7:09 AM
You should try to get into a little better shape.

To climb steep stuff you need POWER. Go find a short steep hill and work on your out of the saddle power for several 3-5 minute climbs. Concentrate on working your muscles, not necessaily speed. I find this helps my strength (power). You may also want to do some big gear exercises while seated on flat or slightly uphill terrain. I'm sure all the usual training books have workouts for these. Just watch your knees.

If I had to go on that ride myself, i would at least take a 27. If your cadence was down to 35, then a 27 is still not enough. An XT or XTR 9-speed deraileur and a mountain block is compatible with the road setup. You may need to get a different chain too --check your LBS or someone else may know. This is the cheapest and most flexible solution, because you only need a deraileur and cassette and possibly longer chain. The triple set up means new cranks, BB, deraileurs, shifters, cables and possibly chain. Not worth it, although you do not have to switch around stuff.

The rings can't be smaller than 38 for the small in front. THat might help a bit, but not enough for the steep stuff.

Good luck!
re: alternatives to triple cranksKen
Apr 23, 2001 7:52 AM
If it were I using your current setup I don't think that I could have finished the ride without walking the bike. So congrats just for finishing. I ride a Campy 53/39 with 13/29. When I get to long hills like the ones you mentioned, I'm really huffing at 39/29. No sweat for those little 30 mile workouts. But when our bike club is going on our century (miles) bike ride that goes through numerable 7% and 8% peaking out with a 20%+ grades I'm going to woosey out and ride my mountain bike, a 9 speed LX with a nice 32 tooth big rear cog.
re: alternatives to triple crankspusher
Apr 23, 2001 9:05 AM
But now you can have triple and D-A, see the flame post on the subject!

46/12 is way small - you will surely miss this top end on the flats. Running the MTB rear looks like the way ahead for a cheap solution....
re: alternatives to triple cranksSteve Bailey
Apr 23, 2001 3:03 PM
I saw a solution once from some folks who ride in western NJ. They've gone to a 94/58 BCD crank with a 44/30 ring set-up, no small. This plus a 11-23 cogset gets a high of 105 and a low of 34. This is only slightly different then the Shimano triple option of 52/42/30 front crank/ring with a 12-23 cogset. So ask yourself if you need the 52 or 53 front ring with the 12 cog ?. Do you race ?.

From all I could gather, the only thing needing to be changed was the crank, with the addition of a 30 tooth middle ring. The front derailer needed to be lowered (check to be sure it can be), and sometimes a new b-bracket spindle to get the chainline back, although this is dependent on the individual bike. That plus removing some chain links. The shifter and fnt. derailer worked fine with the smmaller rings

re: alternatives to triple crankspmf
Apr 25, 2001 4:49 AM
So far, I've resisted a triple. It seems to be the trend though and is nothing to be ashamed of. A 21% grade hill is pretty steep.

I got a 38 tooth inner ring from Excel (a Siguino) for $18 to go with my 12x27 cassette. It helps a little bit. However, if I lived someplace where steep climbs were an everyday thing, I'd get a triple.

I wish Shimano made a 39 tooth ring for their triple. The Ultegra one is 52-42-30 (I think 30, or something real small). This leaves you with the choice of grinding up a moderate hill in the too big 42, or wildly spinning in the too small 30. An unramped 39 tooth from a double Shimano set-up won't work. Perhaps the new DA triple will have a 39 I could use on my wife's Ultegra triple. Anyone know?
re: alternatives to triple cranksmr tornado head
Apr 26, 2001 5:34 PM
My solution has been:
1) 13-28 rear freewheel, &
2) An old Sugino crank with a 110 bcd, which allows me a 52 big ring and a 36 small ring.

Works pretty well on the many short (less than 2-3 mile) but steep hills around here. On the steepest, I can pretty much stand and let my weight push downthe pedals and do ok

Shifting between chainrings is a big jump and takes some getting used to.