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triple or double?(13 posts)

triple or double?badgerbike
Dec 21, 2001 12:12 PM
Okay. I posted earlier about how to make the switch but I should have started with this question. Do I need to? I am a new road racer. I plan to start riding criteriums and possibly some time trials in the spring. I have a lemond bike with a triple (tiagra). Besides weight, what are the benefits for a cat 5 racer to have a double vs. a triple? Thanks.
re: triple or double?jtolleson
Dec 21, 2001 12:22 PM
If you are racing, you don't need a triple, period. Even on routes with hills, if you drop into granny gear in a race environment, you will be dropped like a hot rock. And your middle cog will likely be a 42, so not as effectient for moderate grades.

Just my two cents. I love my triple for non-racing Colorado hill climbs, but that's it.
If you are racing...UncleMoe
Dec 21, 2001 12:31 PM
drop the triple. You will be laughed at, and no one likes that.
If you are racing...badgerbike
Dec 21, 2001 12:46 PM
Okay, I just got off the phone w/my lbs and the guy that I talked to said to ignore those "crazies" who tell me to switch. He said as long as the gear ratio is satisfying to me that I can either not go down to the smallest chainring while riding, or just set the derailleur so it won't move down. Other than weight, he said it's not really an issue since I am a new rider and this will be my first year. He said to wait to see how this first season goes and then if I choose to get really serious, then I should upgrade. So you tell me: Why are riders going to laugh at a cat 5 racer with a triple?
You are very green aren't you?cioccman
Dec 21, 2001 1:10 PM
This is not a criticism either. I'm going to ignore the triple thing right now other than to say, you don't need it, get rid of it, it's a liability, especially if you accidentally shift into it. My recommendation to you is find a racing oriented team, join their club, train with them, ride with them, talk with them, hang out off bike with them. If you're in an area with many races, you'll have no problem finding these teams.

Please excuse me if I'm wrong, however, I get the feeling that you've not really experienced one in any manner. If you're intending on going out solo and unattached and largely unknowing about the whole world of crit racing, you're in for one huge experience. Crit racing just like the TDF is largely a team sport with an individual winner. You'll be hard pressed to find a podium finisher in any *larger* crit that got there with no team help. Prepare for a much more physical and strategic ride than you can possibly imagine right now. Yes, wait to see how the first season goes.....

You might want to get into this team soon. Our teams have been training for two months, solid. There are many others doing the same.

Lastly, have fun with it! Good luck.
Teams and Crits,TJeanloz
Dec 21, 2001 1:24 PM
I don't know what your experience has been, but mine is that except at the Pro/1 level, teams are often more trouble than they're worth. I've never seen a group of Cat III's manage to effectively run any kind of team strategy. You'll get one guy who's a pretty shrewd crit racer win a lot of races, and his teammates are all happy to 'help' him because they know that they couldn't win it themselves, so they might as well be on the winning 'team'. Let's face it, 75% or more of Cat III and below (100% of Cat V) crits come down to bunch sprints, and I have never seen a Cat III team that could EFFECTIVELY control a bunch sprint. They all try to- but I've never seen it done well.

Bottom line, in my opinion, is that people put this huge emphasis on team, because teams are important to pros and all amatuers think they could be pros if they just had more training time. With few exceptions (I've seen teams control races when there were 50 guys in the race and 35 of them were on the same team), the best guys in the lower categories will win regardless of teams working for or against them.
I see you've been thereTig
Dec 21, 2001 1:49 PM
Cat 4 and 5 and many cat 3 road races and crit's are just as you describe them for the most part. A team has one or two strong riders who win quite a bit and the other guys just try to keep from getting dropped. Most races are every man for himself! They try to stay together for the field sprint, or a few bozo's try to break away solo but get swallowed up within 2 minutes. The range of rider ability is very wide in Cat 4 and 5. Cat 1,2,3 racers are much closer in abilities, and a helluva lot stronger.

We had a group of tight-knit cat 4 riders who managed to control races and lead out winning sprints. True team work for our metro cup series points leader. It worked and we all felt great in our rolls. This is one of those exceptions to the rule.

I actually have an '02 license after not racing for 9 years. I'll have to start all over with a much older body and less available training time. This should be interesting! I'll have to depend on my skills and experience to make things happen.
Dec 21, 2001 2:03 PM
Most of those good guys are part of a good team and are rarely just a happenstance *oh, I think I'll race today* type of guy. They are typically not guys who ride around the neighborhood for a year, up and get licensed and hit the start line one day. Those good guys typically became good by training with other good riders, learning from them, and many times, training with their teammates and learning from the other more experienced racers on their teams. Those good guys typically see the podium several times per year. Those good guys typically have teammates trying to block and lead out, regardless of the outcome, be it success or not. Those good guys, yes right on, will not likely see their team completely control and dominate a mass sprint.

Can't wait for Feb.
I won't laugh at you myself...UncleMoe
Dec 21, 2001 1:58 PM
I'm just a commuter, recreational rider. However, I had a roomate a few years ago who raced as high as Cat II. He had his race buddies over occassionally and they made fun of everyone.

As with every sport, the higher up you move in the competition, the fiercer it gets.

The guys at your LBS are somewhat right. Leave it on and see how it all works out. However, imagine the other racers before the race looking over the competition. They see you with a triple ring on. Are they gonna think "chump"? Just saying it'll leave an impression. If you beat them, well hell, that is another story.
Upgrade the drivetraincyclaholic
Dec 21, 2001 2:10 PM
I am not a racer - and the other writers have made their point about the lack of need of a triple on a crit bike - but I can offer advice on upgrading from Tiagra.

Do it! If you have a good frame then you will notice a significant change when you change all of your components to Ultegra level or higher. As a serious recreational rider, I have found that the triple would only be necessary for the most severe hills.

You can change all of the components (chain, cassette, BB, derailleurs, crankset) in a very affordable fashion if you shop around. By doing this, I turned a decent roadbike into a really good road bike that would do real well in crits.
why to laugh? because they are posers?cyclopathic
Dec 21, 2001 7:21 PM
listen to your LBS guy keep triple save headache

you probably won't need granny (unless you ride 10% 6mi climbs) and for the rest LeMonds 12-25 cass with 52/42 outer/middle wins over 53/39 12-23 double setup (o'k you loose 16t cog) 52 to 42 is much smoother transition you'll appreciate it.

and don't worry weight gain is minimal 1.5oz would not have any effect
They're all gonna laugh at you...TJeanloz
Dec 21, 2001 1:26 PM
This is true. Unless you win the race; then you can laugh at them.

My very 1st coach (when I was 13) advised his charges that for criterium racing it was impossible to win if you shifted out of the 53-12. An exaggeration, clearly, but apt for many crits...
maybee he meant "Iron Horse"firstrax
Dec 22, 2001 8:01 AM