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triple users...(16 posts)

triple users...C-40
May 18, 2003 6:17 PM
Haven't owned a triple in 15 years, but with the impending move to Denver, I expect I could use one in the mountains.

If I go to a triple I'm set on the the FSA Carbon with 53/39/30 rings and 12-25 cassette to keep it as much like my double as possible.

Curious to know if you find the middle ring and largest cog to be useable? Also if the middle ring and next to smallest cog are useable (should be since the middle ring is further to the right)?

If the middle ring and large cog are useable, then the next decision is whether to use a short cage derailleur which will restrict the little ring to the 21-25 cogs for use only as a bailout, or get the medium cage for full capacity.
re: triple users...Rusty Coggs
May 18, 2003 6:24 PM
I use short cage for all my road triples.Wrap capacity is more than what spec states. But, I really only use the granny for a bailout anyway. With short cage size cahin for big/big.
re: triple users...B2
May 18, 2003 6:53 PM
C40 -

Are you sure you need a triple? I've got one on my commuter bike with a 12/27 cassette, but it's got racks and panniers and I may use it for a tour or two. I do use the granny gear nearly every day, but only because there is a 30 yard hill that must 25% grade? (damn steep anyway). Other than that one little hill, I never use the granny gear and it's not like we don't have any hills in Seattle.

My road bike has a 53/39 double and 13/29 cassette. I use this combination with a standard cage rear derailleur and the derailleur capacity is more than sufficient. With the 39/29 combo you can get up just about anything. We've got one hill that's been named "lung tosser" and I can get up it without standing. 39/29 is a really low gear!

You may want to think about a double with a big cog in the back.

Good Luck,
Lung Tossertommyturbo
Jan 7, 2004 1:33 PM
I live in Seattle and use thw 13/29 as well. I'm curious as to here this "lung tosser" hill is?
consider this....battaglin
May 19, 2003 4:46 AM
if you're not really into racing you can use aftermarket cranks, such as stronglight or TA. I've attached a stronglight granfondo double with 50/36 tooth. combined with a 11-28 cassette, this could give you all the gearing for all types of terrain. I ordered mine thru the net from it's a french web retailer carrying TA and Stronglight products.
My experience.........Len J
May 19, 2003 5:39 AM
Middle ring/Largest cog usability is a function of chain stay length (due to the angle). On a trek Carbon I had chain rub with this combination, on my Serotta (which I had lengthened the chainstays slightly) I have no problem with this combination.

Short cage/Medium cage question. I would go with the medium cage. It gives you more flexibility if you should ever go "Ride the Alps" to add lower gears. To me there is no downside to having more flexibility.

Shimano's cruel joke on the average cyclist...Silverback
May 19, 2003 7:47 AM
The testosterone-crazed 20-somethings will disagree, but in real mountains, for most riders, that 53-39-30 is a poor choice for a triple. If you need a small ring (I'm not embarrassed to admit I do; there are 5000-foot climbs all around me and I'm an official Aging Cyclist), something like a 46-36-24 (what Rivendell uses on the Atlantis and Rambouillet) makes much more sense.
I switched to that almost three years ago, and it's a huge improvement. I still have all the high end I need (how often do you spin out in your 53-11?), a real low when I need it and many more usable gears in the middle.
re: triple users...LC
May 19, 2003 9:37 AM
I found I could use any gear from the middle ring, although Shimano says to not use the first and last gear from the middle. I think the 12-25 with a triple will be perfect.
C-40, I suggest the 53/39 with the 13/29 cassette and....cycleaddict
May 19, 2003 10:36 AM
the medium cage derailleur. I've done the Alps and Pyrenees with this combination including 30 pounds in the panniers. I'll be doing Mt. Ventoux next week in addition to several other climbs and will be using this combo.
Now, if you are getting a bike specifically for climbing/touring, go with what you intended only put a med. cage derailleur into the mix.
re: triple users...DaveG
May 19, 2003 4:21 PM
I run a Campy 9 triple (52/42/32 with 13x26) which may not be as applicable to your situation. I avoid using the middle ring/big cog combo but there are enough redundent gears that it is not necessary. the drivetrain is generally more forgiving with smaller cogs so middle with 2nd smallest cog is not an issue. I have no experience with a short cage derialleur on a triple. I suppose there is some small loss in shifting quickness with the medium cage but not enough that I really notice it (I also run Campy double on another bike).
re: triple users...Leroy
May 20, 2003 4:54 AM
I run a campy 13-23 9 speed triple, and a 13-26 double on another bike, here in the Texas flatlands. I think the triple is worth it in unknown hilly territory just for the peace of mind.
get the darn tripleDougSloan
May 20, 2003 6:42 AM
People need to get over the anti-triple thinking. If you live near or in mountains, it will make climbing far easier and better on your legs.

To answer your question, yes, you can easily use the middle ring and largest cog. I do it all the time on my bike with a Record triple, and its middle ring is a 42. YOu can use the middle ring with all the cogs, actually.

I'd still get the long cage derailleur to be safe. You won't lose any shifting performance with it, and you'll never have to worry about ripping the derailleur off the frame from too short or too long a chain when you shift into the "wrong" combination.

Tim Coleman, who has the course record for the Climb to Kaiser at 8:23 (my best was 11 hours), with 13,500 feet of climning and 20% sections, uses a triple. I'm looking at it in my office right now (evidence -- handlebar breakage accident). If he, who climbs nearly 50% faster than I do, can use it, any amateur who rides in mountains could benefit from it.

Sure didn't hurt Heras climbing the Angliru during the Vuelta nmTNSquared
May 20, 2003 9:53 AM
another personal exampleDougSloan
May 21, 2003 8:25 AM
There is a really steep hill about 4 miles from my house that is an up and back on a hill in a new residential neighborhood. I'd say the average grade is over 12%, topping at over 20%, for .7 mi (approx). This is a hill so steep it is a challenge at times to keep the front tire down. Speeds for me drop as low as 3.5-4 mph in places. Incidentally, it's called "Summit Ranch" off Auberry road, for anyone around here.

Using my 15 pound EV2 with a 39x25 gear (41.5 gear inches), my best time recently was 8:37, going as hard as I could (hr just under max), but being required to stand for most of the climb. To compare, one day while returning from a hilly 40 mile ride on my steel Bianchi with the triple, weighing in around 20 pounds, I did the same hill in a 30x23 gear (34.7 g.i.) -- almost a full minute faster, sitting and (sort of) spinning the entire way. I realize this is subjective, but I know I was much more tired when I rode it with the triple. If I had used the 30 ring with 25 cog, I would have been even faster.

Now, put this hill near the end of a century or longer ride, and the benefit of a triple becomes very clear, at least for us mortals.

thanks for your comments!...C-40
May 21, 2003 4:33 AM
Ordered the Record triple group with FSA carbon crank,ISIS BB, 12-25 cassette and medium cage RD from Wise Cycle Buys. May not get the crank real quick, but the rest was available.
tell us how it works outDougSloan
May 21, 2003 6:59 AM
Wait for about a month of using it, then let us know how it's worked out for you. Keep in mind the setting up and dialing in a triple takes a little more time and trial and error, so don't make a judgment right off.