's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?(20 posts)

SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?The Don
Aug 12, 2003 8:51 AM
I just bought a used Guerciotti w/Columbus TSX tubing & Shimano 600 8s for less than $500. I like it, but I don't like the shifter feel. I will switch to Campy, probably Chorus 10s. If you helpful hints or comments, let me know.

More importantly, I've read the numerous archives regarding 13-29 cassettes w/doubles and 13-26 w/triple cranksets, etc. I understand the theoretical aspects, gear inches, etc. I just wanted to survey riders as to how many have triples because actions speak louder than words.

Please add where you do most of your riding. Thanks a lot!
re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?Fender
Aug 12, 2003 9:02 AM
Double. Used a 12-23 for most of the season, but just bought a 12-25 for some races this month with tons of climbing.

Ride in Marin, i.e. Paradise Loop (recovery or enduracen days), Mt. Tam, Fairfax/Bonillas, Nicasio, etc..
re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?M_Lou
Aug 12, 2003 9:24 AM
I don't live in the Bay Area anymore, but did a considerable amount of riding and racing there in the past. My rides were mainly in the East Bay (e.g.Redwood Road, Wildcat Canyon, San Pablo Dam Road, Mt Diablo) and I used a 52/42 front and 13-22 rear. That was a number of years ago, so now I'd probably use a 53/39 front with a 12-26 rear.
post Lance...gtx
Aug 12, 2003 9:35 AM
it's probably considered cool now to spin lower gears on hills, but it used to be kind of a macho thing. In the 80s I don't know anyone who would show up at a race with anything lower than a 42 x 21, and having a corn cob on back was considered cool. Living in SF and on the Peninsula in the 80s and 90s I never used anything lower than a 42 x 24 or a 39 x 23, doing all the rides mentioned above. But it depends how good a climber you are, how old you are, your climbing style, etc. And I never used the granny on my mtb til I moved to the Northwest, where short, technical climbs required it.
When I was young and strong, a double. But now...retro
Aug 12, 2003 9:04 AM
I don't live in the Bay Area anymore, but I grew up in Redwood City and did a lot of riding over the Coast Range to Half Moon Bay, Pescadero and that area, plus up and down Skyline Boulevard (Marin County terrain is similar, if you're up there). In those days (in my 20s and early 30s) I used a double with what used to be called "alpine gearing," about 50-36 rings and a 12-26 freewheel (I'm a Clydesdale, not a climber).
My main road bike now has a 46-36-26 triple w/11-28 cassette, and I can use the middle ring for most of those same roads. If I had standard 53-39-30 Shimano triple gearing, though, I'm sure I'd be in the granny more.
If you stick to the main routes, and you're fairly strong, you can probably get away with a double. If you get off on some of the little windy roads through the redwoods, or you like to spin, or you're a marginal climber like me, I'd recommend a triple or a low-range double like Rivendell's 46-34 Ritchey.
re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?mwood
Aug 12, 2003 9:10 AM
I rode a double for years, went to a triple two years ago w/ a 12-25 and like it. Like you'll hear from many of us triple converts, it is just nice to have a couple of bail out choices for some of the steep stuff around here.
I ride mostly hills: Mt. Diablo is in my backyard, I do the Santa Cruz mountains/Skyline, Mt. Hamilton, Sierras etc. when I'm spending time on my road bike.
Aug 12, 2003 9:21 AM
I have a double. I ride Mt. Diablo a couple of times per week. I think what you'll find is the decision for double or triple is a personal one based on, among other things, riding style, total bike weight (including rider) and climbing fitness. You might try to dig up a 27 or even a 28 for your current set up do a big climbing day and see whether the 39/28 combo works for you.
Great idea, thanks!The Don
Aug 12, 2003 9:48 AM
I will try it out to see how well I like a big climb in 39/28.
Triple...Lon Norder
Aug 12, 2003 9:34 AM
30x27 low gear. I ride a lot of steep stuff, like Hicks, Bohlman, Alba, Jameson Creek Roads, etc. I used a double with 39x29 low gear in my younger years.
re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?LC
Aug 12, 2003 9:54 AM
I was visiting SF this spring and brought my triple just in case. Sure glad I did, cause there are some bastard hills in that city! Being from Seattle I am certainly no stranger to hills either.

I was staying near Twin Peaks so no matter what ride I did it at least included climbing that. It seemed that to get back from downtown I had to hit at least 3 or 4 blocks where there were over 20% grades and then the mountain too! I did not know the routes very well so maybe there was ways to avoid them, but then again maybe I was looking for the best SF had to dish out ;)

I guess if I looked for the steepest hills around here I would grab a triple too, but most of the time I use a double. If I had only one bike and lived in a city where I potentially had to avoid a hill cause I only had a double, then I would certainly get a triple.
there are ways to avoid the hills somewhatThe Human G-Nome
Aug 12, 2003 10:03 AM
...but that would be much less fun of course. climbing divisadero or fillmore or anything in Pac Heights can get a little nutty. sure is a good, quick way to get strong though and you never even have to consider weight training in the offseason or climbing hills in the big ring. those little climbs are absolute monsters as anyone will be able to tell by watching this years "San Francisco Grand Prix".
Triple:30-42-52(F):12-27(R)Steve Young
Aug 12, 2003 10:01 AM
I agonised over this decision before buying the bike too. In the end there was a really good deal on closeout on a steel 2001 Bianchi (that fits perfectly and rides smoothly)a few months ago and this came with an Ultegra triple which decided the question for me.

I'm really happy with the triple - although I don't use the small ring much the bailout gear is great for keeping the cadence up on long steep climbs especially on longer rides when the legs are tired or I'm trying to save them !. I wouldn't swap for a double now.

Hills I ride include Old La Honda, Tunitas Creek, Kings etc also Alpine, Highway's 9 and 84 (don't use triple for this one). I went over to the coast from Sunnyvale through big basin at the weekend with a friend. He is much stronger than me but although I was unable to keep up with him over Jamieson creek road (great hill!), I got up there fine and wasn't too far behind (2-3 minutes probably).

Only thing I would say is that the gaps between the larger cogs on the back are a bit big with the 12-27. I notice this more and more in normal riding (i.e. when not using the triple) as I get fitter. I'm definitely going to stick with the triple as a bailout but I'm thinking of going 12-25 or even 12-23 on the back as my fitness and leg strength comes up (assuming it does :)

re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?Sao
Aug 12, 2003 10:49 AM
I have a 52-42-30 triple and a 12-25 rear. I used the granny on a few of the tougher hills in the beginning. I never use it anymore. I do like the fact that my middle chainring is a 42 because regularly pushing the bigger gear probably makes me stronger. Maybe I'll switch to a 53-39 double someday. Yes, you can avoid the hills here but you just get used to climbing over them. In fact, it is difficult for me to find any truly flat rides. But who needs 'em? ;-)

Usually ride in Marin, same roads as many of these other folks. Wilson Hill and the Marshall Wall (called a wall for a reason) are particularly steep and challenging. I usually spin up Mt Tam in the 21 or 23 -- not great but competent.
Aug 12, 2003 11:26 AM
Ride lots o' hills everywhere -- both sides of the hill on the Peninsula, Marin, Berkeley Hills, Hamilton, Diablo, Kings Ridge, etc. (Admittedly I've yet to try the super-duper stuff like B-O-B, Quimby or Sierra, only 'cause I've not gotten around to it yet :-D)

For me personally, I think the triple is a must-have as these are usually all part of longish rides (Hamilton loop is 105 miles), and I'd just as soon have the low gears as not. (And lest you think my selection of a triple is a chick thing, I have seen a lot of women in the Bay Area with doubles. I think they're just way stronger than I am.)
personal preferencelaffeaux
Aug 12, 2003 11:42 AM
Only you know if you need a triple or not. Where you ride, how long your rides are, how strong you are, and how fast you want to go, will determine what gearing you need.

I ride in the south bay and penninsula with a double 38/48 w/ a 12-27 cassette - it's a CX bike with road tires - and I'm comfortable on rides that I do. Will that be the right set up for you? Who knows.
Just switched...-JC-
Aug 12, 2003 1:24 PM
I had an older bike I bought used with 8sp and a 39/53 crank. I swapped the casette out for a 12/27 which worked for a while but on some of the steeper hills (alpine, pescedero road, hicks, kings mountain etc...) I would really suffer and my knees would hurt badly afterword.

I recently got a new ride with chorus 53/42/30 and a 12/23 in back. I took it on its first real climb up old La Honda last night. I really liked it. I could still push bigger gears or stand when I wanted to but never *had* to stand to keep the cranks turning over.

My (much stronger) riding partner said I was clibing faster and I finished the ride much faster thanks to my legs not being blown.

Overall, it was the right move for me. You might try a bigger casette first and see how that works before dropping the tall dollars on a triple.

re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?snapdragen
Aug 12, 2003 1:29 PM
Triple (30, 42, 52), with an XT mtn. derailleur - I need all the help I can get! Cassette is 11-32. Ride in Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo counties.
Double on same rides you do ...Tahoe Gator
Aug 12, 2003 6:59 PM
You certainly won't get much respect climbing up Mt. Tam with a double, but moreoer I don't really think it's necessary. The switchbacks up from the resevoir to the bottom of the "Seven Sisters" is about the steepest, and it is manageable with a double and a bit of standing in a few places. I run a 11-27 cassette in back to get those spinning gears. Also, worth consideration, I have never found a triple front chain ring that doesn't have some shifting shortcomings.
hmmmThe Human G-Nome
Aug 13, 2003 7:08 AM
your response assumes that all of the posters on this board have the same fitness level as yourself. for some, a triple is the only way they're going to ride those routes and enjoy them at the same time. if you race, race the word triple completely out of your mind. even if you're into competitive group riding, the triple can stay at the shop. but outside of that, for the rec. rider, there's nothing at all wrong with them, especially if you live in a hilly area.
re: SF Bay Riders - Do you have double or triple chainring?Louis_G
Aug 13, 2003 6:53 AM
I live mid-Penninsula so rides I typically do are (each of these once a week or more):

King's Mountain Road to Skyline (~2000' at 6%, has short 10%+ sections)
Old La Honda to Skyline (~1400' at 7%, has short 12% sections)
Ralston to Canada to Woodside (~400' at 7% on Ralston)

and my bike came with a triple so I use a triple. Honestly I use the triple a lot on those hills. I'm a big guy though at 6'4" 220. My next bike will be a double, with this gearing it's not super duper noticable and I'd rather torture myself and get faster than pussing out.