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can you turn a triple into a double?(17 posts)

can you turn a triple into a double?filly
Feb 16, 2003 6:25 PM
my stock ultegra crank is a triple, and i'm wondering if you can simply remove the inner ring, adjust the low limit screw (a lot) and use it as a double. also, does the left shifter come in two versions--one for double and one for triple? i guess so, right, since a bike with a double should not be able to shift into a non-existent inner chaninring that you'd find on a triple. that said, then i guess if this jerry-rig (how do you spell jerry-rig???) is possible, i'd have to be constantly mindful of where i am on the chainrings so as not to accidentally shift down to where my small chainring used to be. then i'd have slack cable and would have to double shift up to get to my pseudo inner chainring. actually, now that i'm writing all this out, this seems like a wackjob venture, and i'm probably just looking at problems.
why?cyclopathic
Feb 16, 2003 6:48 PM
just don't use it if you don't need it.

Ultegra shifter is double and triple compatible, so yes you can do what you want. If set up properly there won't be any problem with cable slack. On doubles you use for small ring the same position as granny on triples and middle ring position for big ring. Third position at top gets locked out by front der high adjustment screw.

Honestly I see no point in doing it. Peer pressure? after Angliru last year triples almost a fashion statement. weight? you're saving about 40-70g.
why?filly
Feb 16, 2003 7:09 PM
yeah, i guess it's kind of like if you don't need it, why keep it. to be honest, i used to use it until yesterday when i rode with other people for the first time. you know, it was my first opportunity to measure myself up against others. i thought it was a necessity out here in san diego with all the hills and mountains. well, yesterday, heading up torrey pines road (within a mile of the Buick open--pretty cool), i put 'er down in the small ring. in a few minutes, i started getting passed by these double folks. after about the 10th guy, i shifted up to the middle ring and began regaining my ground. as they passed me, i saw that they were in their small (my middle) ring up front and innermost cog at the back. well, i understand that if you have a triple, your not really supposed to be in the outermost cogs when you're in the middle chainring (torque and bad alignment issues). that said, i'm losing some efficiency and couldn't really find the happy medium i needed to be in to COMFORTABLY pedal up the hill. i mean, i passed some folks up that passed me a few seconds earlier once i shifted, but i was working harder than they were. i realized that if i had a double and could utilize that inner cog with the double's inner chainring, i could motor up that hill a bit better. i also think that setup could handle most of what san diego could throw at me. i might be all wrong here...
who told you that?cyclopathic
Feb 16, 2003 7:41 PM
you can use largest cog with middle ring. Removing small chainring wouldn't change alignment unless you put narrower bottom braket.

Most triple owners ride them as doubles, use all gears in back and keep granny as a back up to ride the hills double's owners walk.
who told you that?filly
Feb 16, 2003 7:52 PM
hey, thanks for the insight. i'm probably going to just leave as is, but i'm moving to louisiana at the end of the year. at that time, it might be a different story. the biggest incline there will probably be the one up my driveway.
Side Notewookieontherun
Feb 16, 2003 9:07 PM
I love that hill. It's always a great challenge. Coming down it is amazing too! Best view ever!
triples almost a fashion statement?mohair_chair
Feb 17, 2003 9:24 AM
Yeah, almost! With all due respect, you are nuts if you believe that. A fashion statement to whom? Didn't you just suggest the guy was giving into peer pressure?

I hope I am out of fashion with my double. At least I don't have to come up with a crazy and meaningless rationalization for having it. I'll just tell people I'm retro. Funny thing is, no one has ever asked.
yes anything can be donethe bull
Feb 16, 2003 7:13 PM
to do it properly change out.
shifter (left)
frt derailler
rear derailler
crank
bottom bracket
and adjust chain
most people spend $450 to upgrade to that
maybe you can trade w/ someone
yes anything can be donefilly
Feb 16, 2003 7:37 PM
you're telling me that all this needs to be done. what about the info the first poster talked about. a little switcheroo here, a little limit screw adjustment there, and that's all she wrote. you're saying no way?
well....the bull
Feb 17, 2003 4:45 AM
turning the screw would work.
but you would still have extra clicks in the shifting system
If I were you I would ride about and just not worry about it.The triple is good if for mountian climbing and touring with heavy packs.I never had a triple but the are times when I was climbing mountians and wished I did.It is not going to kill you having it there.In fact if you ever were to drop a chain it would just fall down in the little gear.
see ya around!
well....Rich_Racer
Feb 17, 2003 12:29 PM
You love Torrey Pines Road!? I think I've only been up it once I just thought there was a lot of traffic. I always go down La Jolla Shores Drive instead - although it is a bit windy. Maybe I should give Torrey Pines another look!

Btw - I just moved to SD from England - who do you guys ride with?

yours,
Rich.
unfortunately, i ride solo most of the timefilly
Feb 18, 2003 8:40 AM
i just started riding in january, and saturday was my first group ride. it was awesome, man. i can't wait to do that ride every saturday now. anyway, the group is mainly members from the san diego bicycle club (sdbc), but the ride is for anyone. i think i'm going to join the club even though i'm here in san diego till september. i'll be out there this saturday again. if you want to head out and need some specifics, let me know. here's my email: devegafr@hotmail.com
re: can you turn a triple into a double?skywalker
Feb 17, 2003 6:04 PM
Hey filly,

I ride a triple up that lovely hill every Saturday, so here are my two cents. Most people on that ride have a double set up; not surprisingly, they work up that hill in 39x25, x23, x21 or what lowest (easiest) gear that god gave them. With a triple, you have more options than that; it is just a matter of learning how to use the options to your advantage.

Let's see if I can keep the explanation short... 39x25 (small ring of a double x largest cog of 12-25 cassette) has practically the same gear ratio as 30x19 (the smallest ring of a triple x 4th largest cog of 13-26 cassette), so you can re-create the experience of the guys riding doubles by staying in the smallest ring and shifting to one of the middle cogs in the back. Now, how do I say this without being insulting... Some people riding doubles run out of gas half way up Torrey Pines; they simply cannot maintain good cadence in 39x25. Most days I cannot maintain reasonable cadence in 30x19 either, but being a lucky triple owner, I can always shift down a notch or two, get back into cadence's sweet spot, and keep cruising to the top.

Your problem (being overtaken by doubles & picking up some speed after shifting into the middle chainring) seems to be due to sub-optimal selection of rear cog while riding the smallest ring. Try notching up the resistance gradually by moving up the cog set first.

Learning to climb takes a while, so take it easy. If you want to talk to me, catch me on Saturday. I am the dork wearing a blue frog jersey (an unfortunate fashion statement, I know). I am quiet curious about your progress toward Camp Peddleton race, too.

Just for the record, I think doubles are great. Some of my best friends ride doubles. My next bike will be a double. But a triple crank is still a blessing when it comes to climbing, no matter how much it sucks otherwise.
you riding saturday?filly
Feb 18, 2003 8:50 AM
as i put in a previous post, i'll be out there again this saturday. when you say that you ride out there on saturday, is this with the group that meets at the costa verde plaza by trophy's? if so, i'll look out for you. yeah, i'll let you know how the camp pendleton race turns out. hopefully it doesn't rain anymore because i basically lost all last week, and there aren't many days left till the race. every day is important since i don't really have a cycling base to work on. i just wish i had gotten into cycling earlier than i did. i feel like i've missed out on so many "good" years. oh well, i'm still pretty young, so that's allright. take it easy
my experience_rt_
Feb 18, 2003 6:38 AM
this may be a bit redundant with what others have already said but i thought the perspective from someone who has tried doing what you're proposing might be worthwhile.

my bianchi came stock with a triple. at the time i lived in central NC and a triple was really not necessary. not to mention i didn't want to look like some fred-ette (aside: funny, but not in a haha way, how smaller frame sized tend to come with triples rather than doubles....anyway).

so, i took the little ring off and adjusted the limit screws on the front der. i didn't even change out my shifters. this worked ok.........till i threw the chain the first time. the chain promptly got wrapped around the bolt posts for the little ring and got jammed. so i put a chain catcher on. which helped. sort of. the chain still got thrown and jammed occasionally. because the drivetrain is set up for a triple chain throw is going to be a problem. the front der is just not set up to act as a double.

after throwing my chain coming into the final sprint in a race and dropping from a possible top 5 placement to 13th, i decided to just go ahead and switch out my drivetrain to a double.

as others have suggested, my recommendation would be keep the little ring on & just don't use it, or do the complete switch to the double (requires changing: shifters, bb, cranks, front & rear ders).

rt
Some info...satanas
Feb 18, 2003 9:39 AM
Shifters (except for Dura-Ace) are THE SAME for double/triple, as are chain and cassette.

Front and rear derailleurs should both work fine, but the style police might not approve...

The triple bottom bracket axle is 118mm, versus 109.5mm for double. Changing it should reduce the risk of dropping the chain onto the BB shell, as should changing the triple middle ring to a normal inner (without shift gates).

Personally, I'd leave it alone, since I can't see any advantage in changing -- unless the Q-factor is a problem for you.
If you wanna trade....fliparagon
Feb 18, 2003 1:37 PM
Hey, I have an Ultegra double that I'm willing to trade with you if you're interested (about 1300 miles on 'em). Fashion statement? Man, I just care about my knees... Personally, I'd keep the triple if I were you but hell, it's your choice. I live in the Orange County So.Cal area but frequent my old stomping grounds down in SD for road and MTB rides (in-laws live in North County). Let me know...

P.S.
I do miss the views of Torrey Pines Road... probably the best hill to climb in San Diego... (actually proposed to my wife up there too....)