Alternatives to a triple

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
samsbike
Posts: 1126
Joined: 13 Oct 2012, 2:05pm

Alternatives to a triple

Postby samsbike » 4 May 2016, 11:23am

I currently use a shimano triple - 30/39/52. I quite like it as I use the 39 most of the time and then get onto the 30 when it gets a bit tough.

However, I hardly ever use the 52, and the change isn't that great up or down from the 52 to the 39. Also given that triples are more and more difficult to find (I think only tiagra is now in a triple) - is there a double that would work in a similar fashion - 30/42 or something.

I did have a compact 34/50 and never liked it as I was always on small/small and going onto the 50 felt like the chain was too crossed.

cheers

User avatar
vollerama
Posts: 11
Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 1:28pm
Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby vollerama » 4 May 2016, 11:30am

Hi Samsbike

I presently ride on a triple, some FSA chain set that came with my bike which is 48-36-26. I tend only to use the 48 tooth ring on the flat or downhill anyway when engaging warp speed. I think that almost everyone sits on the middle ring anyway.

AFAIK Shimano group-sets from the 105 "downwards" to Claris offer triples, though I do not know if they offer a choice of chain ring sizes. My FSA chain set is starting to wear and I cannot find a direct replacement for it anywhere. It was when searching for this I discovered Spa Cycles' chain set offerings and they sell Stronglight, Shimano, and other quality brands with a wide choice of chain ring sizes. I'll probably replace mine with a Stronglight part.

As for a smaller double, look at mountain bike chain sets from Shimano or SRAM - they can go super-tiny. Peruse the sites of Wiggle or Chain-Reaction and you'll get a feel for what's available. As for what will fit your frame, that's another thing entirely!

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby meic » 4 May 2016, 11:49am

We are pretty spoiled for choice.

I have chosen to optimise my middle ring, which was at 39t back when I decided (now it would be less) and I would spend most of my not seriously hilly miles on that. On reasonably flat territory I wouldnt change front rings at all.
The inner is chosen for very hilly climbing and the outer for outright top speed.

This means that my outer is almost never used and will not get replaced alongside the middle and inner.
It wouldnt be a disaster if the outer ring wasnt there at all, but it isnt too much extra weight to carry.

I could lower middle and outer (giving easier front changes all round) but that would mean doing more front ring changes while riding.

We have the versatility to do what we like, though it is not very economical to trash a system without wearing it out if it doesnt work quite as intended.
If you do want to make more use of the large ring then lowering both middle and large seems good, say 36 and 46 would have me using the small sprockets and large chainring as much as the other gears. It would certainly make more even use of my rear cassette.

To me the alternative to a triple would be the same inner and middle and coasting down steep hills, rather than raising my "main" chainring to 42 teeth.
Yma o Hyd

whoof
Posts: 1922
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby whoof » 4 May 2016, 12:00pm

Spa super compact double. Inner ring 24 to 30 t with an outer of 40 to 46t

http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 0s109p3383

User avatar
Graham
Moderator
Posts: 5935
Joined: 14 Dec 2006, 8:48pm

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby Graham » 4 May 2016, 12:25pm

whoof wrote:Spa super compact double. Inner ring 24 to 30 t with an outer of 40 to 46t

http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 0s109p3383

Interesting : as Spa state, this is their TD-2 triple with an outer chain-guard ring and a slightly longer bottom bracket axle to improve the chain-line.

Not any weight-saving over a triple and the chain-guard looks a bit naff compared to the actual chain-rings.

Annoying Twit
Posts: 959
Joined: 1 Feb 2016, 8:19am
Location: Leicester

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby Annoying Twit » 4 May 2016, 12:37pm

Do Shimano still do a triple for the 105 groupset? I thought they had stopped doing them with the 11 speed 5800 version. Does anyone really need 33 gears?

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby meic » 4 May 2016, 12:41pm

The Spa super compacts seem like quite a good idea, giving a useable gear range where you need it most.

I would tweak mine by using a shorter BB for better chain-line in the very lowest gears where I spend most of my time.
Possibly a smaller large ring to be more in-line with flat riding
and because my STI's are dual use double/triple I could just stick a large ring in place of the guard for those rare occasions when I may want to exploit a good hill or tailwind blown by God herself.
Yma o Hyd

tatanab
Posts: 3776
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby tatanab » 4 May 2016, 12:49pm

whoof wrote:Spa super compact double. Inner ring 24 to 30 t with an outer of 40 to 46t
I made my own version 4 years ago by replacing the outer of a 50/40/30 triple by a cyclocross bash guard and changing the 30 for 24. I did this as an experiment since cassettes insist on coming with 11 or 12 tooth sprockets, so 40 by 12 is a 90 inch top gear and 40 by 28 is a 40 inch bottom gear which used to be my entire touring range. With a 10 speed cassette there are lots of closely spaced gears and I seldom bother the inner ring except when on tour. I did not change the bottom bracket because it all works well and the slight leftwards offset means the inner ring is optimised for the bigger rear sprockets while to 40 works fine across the whole cassette.

roubaixtuesday
Posts: 2245
Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 7:05pm

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby roubaixtuesday » 4 May 2016, 12:55pm

What cassette do you have?

I run a 105 11 speed, 50/34 with 11-32

Probably gives about the same range as your triple set up but with a double.

IMO perfect for day rides and light touring, but not low enough for heavy touring. Smaller chainrings are not available in 105 if you want lower gears.

PH
Posts: 7578
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby PH » 4 May 2016, 1:16pm

I don't mind spending 80% or more in the middle ring, my short experiment with a double had me changing up and down far more often than with a triple. It's not just about how many gears, it’s also about how easy it is to use them. I'm not saying a double isn't for you, rather that a different triple might be a better solution and working out where your most used gears will be on any system is a useful exercise.

scottg
Posts: 664
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby scottg » 4 May 2016, 2:15pm

Alt Triple crankset

IRD Compact 46/30 94bcd rings
http://store.interlocracing.com/irddewicorod.html

Middleburn makes a 94bcd road double

Sugino makes Compact+ The OX901 can be setup as a 110 double (say 48/34) or a 110/74 double
Meaning a 44/26 for example. You spec the rings at purchase.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46792
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby Mick F » 4 May 2016, 3:10pm

Annoying Twit wrote:Does anyone really need 33 gears?
We've had this discussion a few times on here.
Basically, it ended up with two camps.
One wants as wide a setup as you can get and as many combinations as you can afford, and the other camp wants simplicity and never sees the need for high ratios.

Personally speaking, I'd have a triple 11sp rigged for a bottom gear of 22" and a top gear of 115"
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
Posts: 35924
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby Brucey » 4 May 2016, 4:16pm

samsbike wrote:I currently use a shimano triple - 30/39/52. I quite like it as I use the 39 most of the time and then get onto the 30 when it gets a bit tough.

However, I hardly ever use the 52, and the change isn't that great up or down from the 52 to the 39...


Back in the day most chainsets for racing were 42-52. With a 14-28 freewheel this gave a range of gears from about 41" to 100". Not low enough for laden touring but OK unladen if you were strong in the hills. You will note that there would be a ~19T sprocket in the middle of the cluster that would not be an unreasonable sprocket to use with a 52T chainring.

Now, add a 28 or 30T chainring to that setup and suddenly you have a viable touring triple. Fit a 14-32T freewheel and you have a really nice set of touring gears. Doubtless some folk will be wondering why not use an 11 or 12 or 13-32T freewheel and smaller chainrings; you can do this (and the result will be lighter) but the resulting transmission won't last as long or be as efficient in operation as the one with the larger chainrings and sprockets.

You can make a custom cassette easily enough if you want this kind of triple. Note also that the shifts are usually improved anytime you make the middle ring bigger vs the big ring.

So from where you are at present you could

- upsize the middle ring to a 42
- downsize the big ring to a 48
- fit a custom cassette that lets you stay in one chainring more of the time.

People say 'oooh a double is lighter in weight' but it if is ever more than ~200g I'd be surprised, and sometimes a triple can be lighter, because large rear sprockets are heavy, whereas small chainrings are not.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2883
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby Bmblbzzz » 4 May 2016, 4:54pm

I'm not sure weight is an argument for a double against a triple. For me, it'd be about simplicity and the ease of rear shifting under load (ie going up a steep hill) compared to front shifting.

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12507
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Alternatives to a triple

Postby 531colin » 4 May 2016, 6:08pm

Here http://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=103107&hilit=11+speed&start=15 I rode the original (lash-up) ultra compact with 30/46T.
Next time, I'm going to try 24/40T....that will give me back my touring bottom gear, and I don't need a gear higher than 40 x 11, as already said.
I feel driven to stick with Shimano's recommended 16T difference between the (double) rings, but as the front mech (105 11sp) doesn't have a deep backplate I don't think you need to?