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Double or Triple Crank?(14 posts)

Double or Triple Crank?joeg26er
Feb 28, 2002 8:27 PM
Do you think for general riding a person is better off getting a triple crank or a double crank?

Are there any issues with chain rub/wear with a triple road setup?

How easy is it to swap in triple crank on an existing double set up?

What would be the gearing to look for in a triple set-up for an all-round use?

re: Double or Triple Crank?astrobiker
Feb 28, 2002 8:33 PM
I just started riding in November, and got a triple crank. I would be walking up a lot of hills without it! I wouldn't leave home without it.
re: Double or Triple Crank?R-I-D-E
Feb 28, 2002 8:45 PM
Tough question. Depending on the grouppo you choose, you have some interesting choices.

With Campy, I know with the Record group, they offer a 13-29 rear cassette. You would have to opt for the mid cage rear derailleur to handle this spread. You can go to the Campy website to see if they offer a similar set up in the lower component groups. To me that is a very cool option to a triple.

Dura Ace has the perfect triple. It gives you the "normal" 53-39 up front, but adds on a 30 as the triple. That way, you can run a more conventional rear cluster like a 12-23. Great set up for those who feel the need for a triple. As for Ultegra or 105, I don't believe that they offer the same front ring option.

You should probably talk to someone at a shop, and be honest about your level of fitness. It is very hard for anyone online to make that decision for you.


Record 10 Triplemhinman
Mar 1, 2002 5:31 AM
For 2002 Campy record has a 10 speed triple, that unlike previous triples is a true Record level setup, not the Veloce level Racing T of years past. They also have added a long cage rear (3 sizes now) so you could go as far as 52-39-30 and 13-29 on the back for ascending sheer cliffs or pulling stumps.
re: Double or Triple Crank?badabill
Mar 1, 2002 7:27 AM
Ive been looking at the new Dura-ace triple lately. I like the idea of running a 53-39-30 and a 12-23 cassette. Gives you 1 lower gear than a double as a bail-out and tightens the gear cluster. Many shops are selling the upgrade for $699, and if you are a performance team member you can get 10% off.
Triple Double Dilemmaparkmeister
Feb 28, 2002 9:43 PM
Depends on where you ride (steep hills, rollers, flats) and how you ride (slow and steady tourer, fast and furious racer).

Probably not, but have a bike shop check it out if you're not sure.

Depends on the double set up you've got. It might be cake or it might be a nightmare.

Again, it depends on your intended type of riding.

As for me, I used to ride regularly and recreationally (practically no racing) throughout the 80's, slowly tapering down to no riding at all. In '97, I started mountain biking and that has been and continues to be my primary recreation/exercise. Last year, a friend of mine bought a bike shop and I got a deal on a Lemond Zurich triple. I love it.

I debated going for the double (because what kind of sorry, no-skills havin' , old-fart Fred rides a triple?). But I saw the light (glaring off of my shiny, hair-challenged dome), bit the bullet, and went with the stock triple setup (52-42-32, 11-25). I have no regrets.

My previous road bike was an early 80's CBT Italia with Campy Super Record (12 speeds, downtube friction shifters) and the Lemond with Ultegra blows it away. Say what you will about Shimano, but those STI levers are an engineering and ergonomic masterpiece. And the frame ain't too shabby, either.

good luck with your decisions,

If in doubt...Ray
Mar 1, 2002 5:20 AM
go for the triple. If you only ride in relatively flat terrain or you're quite strong, no need. But if you have any doubts, there no downside to a triple (particularly on a bike for all around use). The front shifting isn't quite as smooth, but it's certainly good enough, and there's an small bit of extra weight. If you don't need the granny ring very often, you won't use it, but it won't do you a bit of harm. If you do need it, you'll be really glad you have it.

re:I use a tripledzrider
Mar 1, 2002 5:43 AM
It lets me use a 12-23 cassette with lots of gears in my middle range and still have some easy gears for the hills. If a full range of individual cassette cogs were still available, I would probably opt for a double on the premise that every additional piece of gear is a potential problem.
re: Double or Triple Crank?tarwheel
Mar 1, 2002 5:49 AM
How strong are you on hills? Are you relatively light for your height or heavy? If you struggle on hills, I would recommend a triple or a double with a large cassette range. On my bikes, I opted for a Campy 10-speed double with a 13-29 cassette and Shimano with a 12-27 cassette. They have nearly all the climbing gears of a triple with none of the hassle, but the spacing is a little large between some of the easier gears. The advantages of the triple are that you'll have a little more low-end gearing and you can use a tighter cassette (12-21 or 12-23). The disadvantages are that triples will weigh and cost a little more than a double, and they can be more difficult to set up and keep adjusted properly. I would not recommend buying one or the other with the idea that you could convert it later. It can be very expensive converting a double to a triple. On the other hand, if you buy a triple, you can just quit using the inner chainring if you don't need it.
re: Double or Triple Crank?Daniel
Mar 1, 2002 5:59 AM
If you are asking the question, there is only one answer. Get the triple. I put an ultegra triple on my road bike. I am glad that I did. Sometimes when there is a strong wind, even a small hill can be a daunting task.

re: Double or Triple Crank?MikeC
Mar 1, 2002 5:57 AM
There's no question that many "serious" riders think that anyone with a triple is a fred. That's ridiculous. A bike is a tool that you use to accomplish a goal or set of goals, and whatever works best for you is the way to go.
That said, if you plan on club riding being a part of your itinerary, and if you're socially sensitive, then you might want to avoid the triple. Of course, the ability to drop arrogant idiots works much better, while having to walk up hills will get you even more grief.
My main reason for supporting doubles over triples is that it's extremely rare to see someone using a triple properly. Most of the time, triple riders stay in the middle ring and just move up and down the cassette. In effect, they're riding a nine-speed, and they frequently don't achieve maximum effort/efficiency at the cadence they slip into. They'll also often pull some pretty extreme chain angles instead of shifting the front.
My knees aren't what they used to be, so I avoid mashing now. That means I run a Campy 10 double with a 13-29 cassette. I have 20 speeds, and give up very little in real-world ratios to a 27 speed triple. The cassette also includes a 16-tooth cog, which is a great crossover gear under most circumstances.
Good luck with your decision.
IMO, the benefits of a triple far outweigh the drawbackscory
Mar 1, 2002 8:10 AM
Lance doesn't need that granny ring, but I do--I have triples on all but one of my bikes, and I'd never switch back. I live in mountainous country, and even though I don't use the small ring much later in the season (it's getting plenty of wear right now), it's handy to have and saves my knees.
Most of the drawbacks people mention are theoretical, I think. The extra weight is undetectable by most riders, and if you can't shift to the middle ring without going past it, you need to go ride around and practice.
If you're going to use a triple, might as well make it really useful, too: Swap that lame 30-tooth granny for a 26 or 24.
Mar 1, 2002 10:33 PM
Unless you live in a completely flat part of the country and never ever go near any hills or are a fairly serious racer I agree that the triple is better than hte double even with the slightly higher price and weight penalty. It'll save your butt on a lot of hills.
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Mar 2, 2002 6:39 AM