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Campy triple works when it shouldn't(12 posts)

Campy triple works when it shouldn'tMink
Jul 2, 2003 10:57 AM
I ordered a Record Triple groupset on my new bike with 11-23 cluster and 30/42/53 chainrings which was supplied without comment (and a long-cage rear derailleur) by the distributor to my LBS.

Only after I got the bike - and found that it shifts perfectly - did I discover on the Campagnolo website that this combination of gears is not advised - the smallest cog which is supposed to work with the triple - regardless of derailleur - is 13.

I wrote Campy but, apart from regurgitating what I obviously knew already, they didn't offer any insights on whether this combination is likely to wear quicker, give trouble later or whatever.

What I can tell you is that this is a fantastic combination of gears - whether I'm going up, coming down, or doing the switchback on my middle ring, I never have trouble maintaining the cadence I want.

At the easy end, the 30/23 is way easier than the 39/29 which is the best you can do with a double chainring (and I could probably go to a 25 at the back if I wanted..) Yet I still have that 53/11 for slipstreaming 18-wheelers (and Lance, if he ever comes this way) downhill.

Was I just lucky that this combo worked for me, or are Campag keeping the good news to themselves?
My experience is that it's worth a try.dzrider
Jul 2, 2003 11:16 AM
In our house we've shifted on a 6sp free wheel with 8sp Ergopower levers and derailleur, Shimano 9sp cassette with 9sp Ergopower, 8sp cassettes with 7sp SIS and other combinations I'm too lazy to recall. I always try and usually make it work well if not flawlessly. Strangely, I tried to cross the shifter cables along the down tube to protect the finish on the head tube and could not get my Chorus stuff to shift well enough to use that way.
no problem...C-40
Jul 3, 2003 5:24 AM
Lots of incorrect answers have been given.

There is no reason to have a "floppy chain" even in the little 30/11 combo, if the chain length is set to the correct length when in this combo. Of course it's silly to use anything more extreme than the 30/13. The long cage RD has a 29T capacity. It can take care of the 23T chainring difference and a 26T difference in the cogs.

You did not need a long cage RD unless you want to use the 13-29 cassette. A medium cage RD will handle any other cassette.

I just built a Record triple equipped bike, but have no use for an 11. IMO few amateurs has enough power to effectively use an 11, and I'm confident that I can spin an extra 8-9 rpm (on a 12T) more easily than applying the additional torque needed to spin an 11.

I also chose an FSA 53/39/30 crank which provides a smoother transistion between the middle and little chainring and reduces the need for the little ring.
Jul 3, 2003 1:37 PM
Oops, that should say a 16T difference in the cogs at the end of the first paragraph. This site needs an edit function for those of us who don't proofread closely and don't type too well either.

And about the camparison of the 39/29 to the 30/23. The 30/23 is only a tiny bit easier to pedal than a 39/29. The difference in only 3%, or 1/3 the difference of a normal single cog shift.
Re: My experience is that it's worth a try.kilimanjaro
Jul 3, 2003 12:52 PM
Have you ever tried 9spd campy cassette/hub, RD with shimano 9spd index shifting. I am conteplating such a setup because I want to set up a triple 9spd using DT shifters (don't ask why, there is no good reason) with my existing campy cassette/hub. Campy 9 DT shifters cost at least double that of Shimano.

Another possibility is to use Shimano DT 9 and RD mixed with Campy cassette and hub.
potential problemsDougSloan
Jul 2, 2003 12:21 PM
I have installed and re-installed the Record Triple on 3 bikes several times. Here are the pitfalls.

Using an 11-23 cassette, there is a greater chance that your chain can become too slack if you shift to the 30x11 combo; also, unless it is set up perfectly, the chain can drag on the bottom of the front derailleur cage in that combo. Plus, supposedly the long cage rear derailleur is setup for a 12-13 smallest cog, so that there is a greater chance the chain will slip under hard power or after much wear on the 11 cog, as the top pulley is not as close as it should be. You can adjust this somewhat with the B limit screw (or the Record equivalent).

If everything is set up perfectly and not worn out, it works fine. I've done it for well over a year. Start to get some chain wear or get a few things out of whack, and you can have problems. It does work better with a 12-25 in back, though.

Why use 30-11?Leroy
Jul 2, 2003 3:23 PM
Shouldn't one avoid the last 3 or 4 on the cassette with the 30 ring. The cross-chaining bad wear, etc. ain't worth it and you probably have those ratios on the middle ring, right?
You are correctRusty Coggs
Jul 2, 2003 4:02 PM
With a triple,there is ablsoutely no ponit in using the 3 or 4 smallest cogs when in the granny. Problem solved!
of course you are rightDougSloan
Jul 2, 2003 7:47 PM
You shouldn't do it, but if you do, you could have a mess. A floppy chain with no tension can muck up your chainstay and jam; of you are on top of things, ok then.

Kerry is mostly right, that you won't often need an 11, so a 12-25 as recommended would probably be better. However, from what I recall, Kerry lives in the plains, not the mountains. Don't know where you are, though. Around here, with mountains, you can use a 53x11 combo LOTS; you just have to ride here to understand. There are places where I can cruise at 40 mph for 10 miles at a time, but coasting would be slower. Not spinning your butt off to do so helps to recover.

I do live in the mountainsMink
Jul 3, 2003 9:37 AM
Thanks for making the point about terrain, Doug - I should have seen it coming. On flats and even rolling hills, I really don't need more than the 42 ring with my 11-23 cassette.

But I live in Stellenbosch, South Africa (cycling nirvana - come and visit!) and we have some wonderful mountains here, where the granny and the big ring are perfect.

And yes, I do use the 53-11 coming down the mountains - especially when I need to catch someone.

BTW, my 2003 Record long-cage rear derailleur seems to put plenty of tension on the chain at 30-11, not that I use that combo.
Hmmmm . . .Kerry Irons
Jul 2, 2003 4:48 PM
IMO it's a VERY rare individual who needs a 53/11 (41 mph at 110 rpm) AND the low gears that a triple can provide. Once you get above 35 mph, you can coast (tight tuck) faster than you can pedal unless you're going flat out hard, as in a race situation. You could get the same low gear with a Campy 13-29 cassette and then you'd only have a double with all the other gears the same except no 11 or 12. I wouldn't worry too much about the 30-11, as you would likely never go there anyway. To each their own, but I'd challenge the need for an 11 (or even 12) unless you're a top level racer or have to compete in a race with a downhill finish. Not many racers need a 35 inch low gear.
I just converted my 13/29B2
Jul 6, 2003 5:39 PM
to a 12/29 (I lost the 16T cog unfortunatley). All the guys I ride with have a 12T cog. It's not much different, but on big descents when I was spinning the 53/13 at 130 - 140RPM I was wishing I at least had a 12T cog.

In the mountains I think it will be useful. On the flats, I doubt if I will even come close to using that combo. I haven't had chance to really try it out yet (Death Ride next Saturday should be a good opportunity). I figure I can always convert back if I don't like it.