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newbie needs advice(9 posts)

newbie needs advicejunebride
Mar 29, 2001 10:32 AM
i'm buying a sweet new bike and wiggling around about whether to put a double or triple on it. you guessed it - i live in a very hilly area (seattle). i think i can set up the ultegra with an easy double (53/39 and 12/27), pretend i know nothing of triples, and hopefully get stronger. or i can ensure that i will be able to spin at a cadence i'm used to, right from the start, with a triple.

thanks in advance for your opinions on this one.

bit more info...junebride
Mar 29, 2001 10:51 AM
... the double wasn't available for me to test ride. i found a v nice hill, took out the triple (53/40-something?/30-something? and i think 12/25), and just pretended i didn't have the granny ring. i did 5 or so hill repeats but couldn't keep my butt in the saddle for the entire climb - no matter what rear cog i was in. a sure sign my cadence was higher than i'm used to for this type of hill (in pretend-it's-a-double mode). i like the idea of the double as motivation (there's a big mental aspect of having to work with a double) - but i don't want to always be hammering up each long hill.

i'm decently fit, no issue even on shorter hills, and i like the high gears (what goes up must come down!). but considering how steep some of the hills are, i'm wavering about whether i should just get the triple for "insurance."

Sweet RideStickers
Mar 29, 2001 11:16 AM
I vote Triple. You will get the triple derailleur and a tune job. Ever think about larger cogs in the rear? Seattle is beautiful, have great rides. Ever go to Greenlake to watch the BMXers?
not a fair comparisonpmf
Mar 29, 2001 11:53 AM
The Shimano triples are 52-42-tiny (30?). A double is usually either 53-42 (flatter areas) or 53-39 (hillier areas). The difference between a 42 and 39 is huge. I use both depending where I'm riding and there is a big difference. You can even buy a 38 tooth ring made by Sugino for the set-up. Pair that up with a 12-27 cassette (biggest Shimano makes) and you've got a lot of gear.

The triple on the other hand uses specially ramped rings. Shimano does not make a 39 tooth ring for this set-up. No one does. So, you're stuck with a choice of either the too big 42 or the tiny 30 when you hit a hill. I think this is the biggest problem with the triple set-up. I tried to put a non-ramped 39 tooth ring on my wife's bike (who has a triple) and could not get it to shift from the small ring to the medium ring. Some people may tell you that this works, but the Shimano triple was designed to use ramped rings.

So riding a triple and pretending its a double is not a fair comparison because the double can have a much smaller chainring (39 or 38) than the triple has. Sure, its hard cranking up a hill in a 42x25. Its much easier in a 39x25.

There's nothing wrong with the Shimano triple. I think it'd be ideal if they just made a 39 tooth ring for it. Why they don't is beyond me. How hard can it be?
Mar 26, 2001 6:58 PM
what i really should have said was this; im no powerhouse- If i can chug around in my 42t "small" ring ok, JB should be more than fine with a 39t, provided that he/she is moderately strong and into riding fast, as opposed to riding with the kids or pulling a trailer.
I am by no means advocating the setup ive got, which is far from ideal. I often wish for a gear a bit lower, but the jump down to the 30t is just way too much. It also doesnt help that i have a 23-12 on the back. Im just making what ive got work for me, since unlike JB, i didnt have much choice regarding drivetrains when i got my bike.

btw, i love my bike, weird gears and all!
depends on your objectivedaveb
Mar 29, 2001 11:25 AM
jb, my bike came with a triple i didnt really want so i built it up with just two rings (the big ones!) If you ride fast or race, that inner ring will just sit there unused. I ride alot over in vancouver and have no trouble getting up the hills - of course i have to keep up with my buds who just have two rings too.
If you are doing a family ride, or are packing panniers, you will definitely want that inner ring. For example, my brother rides a hand bike with mtn bike gears, and i cannot physically ride slow enough on my road bike to stay with him going up hills, since my cadence gets so low i cant keep my balance.
The double is a bit cleaner and simpler, but the triple makes your bike more versatile. You just need to decide what your objective is. keep in mind that a double has a wider range of gears than a triple with an inner ring you dont use, which is which ive got.
re: newbie needs adviceLNIN0
Mar 29, 2001 12:09 PM
-Like another post said - 30/42 is either too big or too small so you might be better off having your LBS put on a double with a smaller 39 ring.

-A double will get you into shape faster

-All the guys I know that ride triples say they only used the granny gear for the first month or so...after that your legs outgrow it.

-All the triples I have rode have horrible shifting in the front.

-Once a triple - never a double. If you don't like the way it shifts as a triple and outgrow the granny gear there is still no 'pretending' it's a double...the shifters and front d/r will always be a triple.
triple or double?Turtleherder
Mar 30, 2001 8:37 AM
You could do what my wife did, put on a mountain bike derailleur and cassette on her double. The cassette is 12 - 34. She can climb trees with that bike.
triple or double?nancy
Mar 30, 2001 11:56 AM
Can you tell me her exact setup? I'm currently making a decision regarding Ultegra components. I've gone w/a triple because I plan to have the bike for years to come. I'm very interested w/the double option, however. My husband fears the kinks wouldn't be worth it. It sounds like your wife's happy, however. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!