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Triple Ring(8 posts)

Triple RingHENRY K
Jan 12, 2003 5:27 AM
What are my options if I would like to go with something lower then a 52-42-30 on my Ultegra groupo. I'm 50 and my days of running out of gear with the 52 are long gone (I can coast on steep downhills).
improve fitness??C-40
Jan 12, 2003 6:17 AM
I'll be 50 in a few months, but it hasn't slowed me down that much. My average speeds are within 1 mph of my best from 10 years ago. I ride relatively hilly terrain with a 12-25 and rarely use the 23 or 25. Unitl Campy 10 speed came out, I always used a 12-21 casette and 53/39 chainrings.

To answer your question, the obvious answer is to try MTB components. You don't mention your current lowest cog, but I'll assume that it's a 27. That's the lowest available in shimano road components. A 12-34 cassette would provide a lot lower gear, but would require an MTB rear derailleur. The problem with wide range MTB cassettes for road use is the big gap between gears. You'll probably find yourself hunting back and forth between cogs only to discover that the right ratio just isn't there quite often.

If you're willing to sacrifice some top speed ability, an MTB crankset with 44/32/22 or 46/34/24 chainrings might be a better answer. This swap will probably require a new bottom bracket and front derailleur, but won't require a new rear derailleur. To use an MTB crankset, your frame must be threaded for an english bottom bracket. If you've got an Italian frame, you're probably out of luck.

The other question is whether you really need a lower gear because you just can't make it up some hills, or whether you need a better spread of midrange gears. With an MTB crank, you should seldom need the lowest chainring. You might find that you could use a 12-23 cassette that has the important 16T cog. A 24/23 or 22/23 would still be a lower ratio than a 30/27.
Change rings..Rusty Coggs
Jan 12, 2003 7:41 AM
The rings on your crank can be changed to something like 48/38/26, among other choices, and still use the current front derailer.The mtb RD and cassette is another option.Your RD might shift a 30 large cog and Sheldon Brown might have a custom cassette in a road oriented configuration.
Better RangeHENRY K
Jan 12, 2003 2:52 PM
To C-40. You had a good point. My small gears are fine I just would like a better range. Thanks for your suggestions
swap chainrings...C-40
Jan 13, 2003 5:15 AM
In this case, changing chainrings might be the best option. Depends on how old your current components are. If you have the old Shimano tapered spindle BB, you may still want to consider a crank and BB swap to get the new splined BB. Sometimes a new crank (with chainrings) costs little more than three aftermarket chainrings.
13 tooth small cog? nmDougSloan
Jan 12, 2003 1:52 PM
13 tooth small cog--Leroy
Jan 13, 2003 6:10 AM
Campy's got a 50-40-30 and a 13-26 rear even up to a 13-29. You could climb the living room wall with that combination. Shimano is bound to have something close to that.
re: Triple RingChen2
Jan 13, 2003 3:29 PM
My wife's bike has a Campy 50-40-30 crank-set. The rest of the drive train is Shimano 9-speed. Cassette is 14-28 using cogs from a Dura-Ace 12-25 and individual cogs from We tried using a mtn. bike crank-set but it did not shift well, the Ultegra road front derailleur didn't fit the rings well and we could not use a mtn. front derailleur on the OCLV frame. Also tried aftermarket rings on the Ultegra triple but they shifted very poorly. Then we tried a mtn. 12-34 cassette with the standard Ultegra crank, it shifted well but the ratio gaps between cogs was too big.
The Campy crank with Ultegra front derailleur shifts pretty good for a triple. Shimano does not make anything like it.
I don't think your age will hold you back. I'm 60 and run a 53/39 crank with 13-25, 13-26, & 13-27 9-speed cassettes and get up the hills OK.