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Double or Triple?(19 posts)

Double or Triple?BhamBike
Jul 1, 2003 7:46 AM
I am going to buy my first road bike in the next few days. The question of a double vs. a triple is slowing me down. Some people tell me to get a double because I will get used to it and be glad, while others say that hills in my area are impossible without that extra ring. As far as leg strength, I run about a 22-23min 5K. I would like to taste races and touring. Any thoughts?
I am also trying to decide between the Allez Elite, OCR 1, TCR 2, and Lemond Alpe d'Huez.
re: Double or Triple?No_sprint
Jul 1, 2003 7:54 AM
Double. Absolutely no question about it. My opinion.
Triple and work on your spin/hamstringsandy02
Jul 1, 2003 8:02 AM
As I said in another topic runners should take care not to push big gears to start with due to stronger quads then hams. this can cause knee problems ( I know from well... anyway) I do leg curls after I run to keep this from happening. Your running will get better from the faster leg speed however running doesn't help cycling as much. As far as your 5 K time do the speed WORK!!! And remember your heart can recover faster then your legs! SO SPIN!!!!!!
If you're riding hills on your 1st road bike get the tripleContinental
Jul 1, 2003 8:17 AM
There's very little downside to getting a triple. Doubles are for strong, experienced riders into serious racing. If you think you want to do some touring in hilly areas you should definitely get the triple. Let's face it, you're in decent condition, but not anywhere near an elite athlete. You can get a taste of racing on a bike with a triple. I wouldn't spend much on a first bike. Once you start riding you'll learn what you really like to do and will want a different bike. A good racing bike is a different machine than a good touring bike.
many factors to considertheBreeze
Jul 1, 2003 8:22 AM
Age, size, knee history, gender, what kind of riding you plan on doing. For touring, especially in mountainous areas, a triple is really nice.

If you are young-ish (under 45?), want to race regularly, have good knee joint history, then a double might be allright. You can always run a bigger range cassette if you anticipate a lot of climbing, like up to a 25 or 28 in back.

If you really want to keep your exercise emphasis on running, then a triple might be better.

Being small, female, 40+, and living around a lot of mountian routes, I chose a triple. And don't let anyone tell you you can't get up a hill as fast a some guy with a double. I drop guys in my riding group quite regularly.
Double nmmohair_chair
Jul 1, 2003 8:33 AM
re: Double or Triple?marcoxxx
Jul 1, 2003 8:44 AM
i have a triple and very glad. i ride a lot of hills in my local area which i rarely use the small ring, but weekend mountain rides are different. I am more of a mtn biker and not many road miles yet either. It probably depends a lot on your leg strength and stamina, but I suggest you demo both setups. I am not that familar with your bike selections. I suggest testing each if possible too.
Go for 3Dropped
Jul 1, 2003 8:50 AM
I'm a relatively young and pretty thin guy who loves and loves to climb. And, as a former and sometimes mountain biker, I think that standard double ring road bike gearing is sadistic.

Go for the triple, particularly if you live in a hilly area. You're not missing anything by going that route, and you gain the ability to spin up climbs that have guys on doubles standing and mashing.
triple to startandy02
Jul 1, 2003 8:52 AM
I have never had a triple but I have had a few time where I wish I had a second bike with a triple for fun mountain rides with my wife and freinds. Like last year when I had to leave everyone becasue I 53/42 chain ring and an 11-21 in rear (where I live it is very flat) and I would have fallen over if I had stayed with them so I had to go ahead and wait at the top. This wasn't a training ride it was just for early season fun and should have at least put a 12-25 on the rear. So I would still say go with the triple Like the alpe d'Huez and upgrade later to a double with a new bike if you get into racing. that way you will have both.
Jul 1, 2003 9:30 AM
There's no reason not to throw the triple on there besides bragging rights. If you want to push harder, just don't use it! Also if you weigh 215lbs and not 115lbs your needs will be different.
re: Double or Triple?TheJoker
Jul 1, 2003 9:46 AM
I like to use low gears on hills, but with my new bike which only has 2 rings I've become accustomed to using a higher gear. I guess if you have some big hills you might want to get a 3rd, I don't see the harm in it, except a minor weight gain...
re: Double or Triple?Rob Sal
Jul 1, 2003 9:56 AM
To celebrate my 100,000th recorded mile I wanted to buy an upgrade for my bike that would benefit me and add something to my cycling experience. I decided to get a Record Triple chainset plus the other required parts (medium cage for my Record rear mech and a bb and front mech).

I can now ride across Dartmoor (which I live very close to but used to mainly avoid with my old smallest gear of 42x23) and see lots of great places that I missed because although a 1 in 4 hill can be got up in 42x23 it takes a lot out of you....especially when 2 miles down the road there is an even steeper and longer one!!

Personally I don't think there has been a better time to use a triple and remain 'trendy'.
re: Double or Triple?manicoti
Jul 1, 2003 10:46 AM
I consider myself a pretty macho rider and use a double, but I would get a triple for a new rider. The triple has a larger big ring than a double and a larger second ring than a double for more ratios.
depends on what you buy-105 52tooth chain ring i think (nm)andy02
Jul 1, 2003 10:49 AM
larger middle ring yes, larger big ring no...theBreeze
Jul 1, 2003 11:38 AM
A standard Shimano triple is 52-42-30. That's what my Ultegra came with. Most likely you could run a 53 instead. I don't think the front der would have a problem with one more tooth. Anyone know for sure?

I use the 42 for the majority of hills. Anything steep and/or long might find me on the 30.
Yes (nm)hrv
Jul 1, 2003 10:51 AM
OCR vs TCRbriburke
Jul 1, 2003 10:55 AM
I've ridden both frames - I had an OCR3 (with a triple incidentally) as my first bike, and I sold it for a TCR1 (double). The difference between the frames was huge. My first ride on the TCR it felt like it jumped off the line from stops, and the same on hills. Basically, anytime out of the saddle was a huge improvement.

On the triple vs. double thing. I had been a mountain biker for 6+ years, and really appreciated the triple on the OCR. However, the TCR came with a double, and it's made me much stronger as a result. When you have an easier gear available, and you're tiring, it's tough not to shift into it. If it's not available, you will get stronger. I have an 11-23 cassette for 'normal' rides, and a 12-27 for days in the mountains. The 12-27 provides a good low gear.

Post your email, and I'll send you a spreadsheet with the gear-inches for a bunch of combos. The triple with a 25T cassette gives a 32.40 inch gear. The double with a 27T gives a 39 inch gear.

I'm happy with a single ...Humma Hah
Jul 1, 2003 2:04 PM
... unless you plan to routinely climb 20% grades or steeper, two rings is enough, and will make you a stronger cyclist.

For eight percent grades and less, I'd use one ring in front, one cog in back, and forget all that nutty derailleur stuff. One's all you need.
Ah, the pure wisdom of simplicity... too bad for those who will never discover the joys of a single speed! -nmTig
Jul 1, 2003 6:17 PM