Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

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Norman H
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby Norman H » 9 Oct 2019, 9:29am

I've only got a couple of bikes on doubles now and they are both running 46/36 chainrings. Both are 10 speed, one is Shimano 12-27 cassette and the other is Campag 13-29. These bikes are used for day rides with minimum luggage. All my other bikes are load luggers of various sorts and are running triples, either 48/38/x or 46/36/x.

Common to all the bikes is the 10 tooth gap between the two outermost rings. I much prefer this as it minimises double changes. Fortunately I've got a good supply or older front triple changers that work well with such a ten tooth difference.

Like others I see no need to overthink this when using the triples and riding at touring pace. I tend to spend most of the time in the middle ring. Its the gear for undulating terrain. The big ring is reserved for the flatlands and downhills or for tailwinds. And the granny is handy for the steepest hills or at the end of one of those long days. The secret is to learn to anticipate in particular when the granny ring will be needed and to complete the change in good time.

Brucey
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby Brucey » 9 Oct 2019, 9:52am

Norman H wrote:….. The secret is to learn to anticipate in particular when the granny ring will be needed and to complete the change in good time.


yes of course. But having been using this sort of setup for decades, (without thinking too hard about it, it seems...) I've only just noticed that I often do this shift (and others) whilst keeping the same gear ratio in use (hence SSR shifting) rather than as part of a downshift per se. That is really the nub of what I was on about.

The existence of near-exact duplicate gear ratios makes this easy to do; no brainpower required, evidently, else I would have noticed before now... :wink:

cheers
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Mick F
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby Mick F » 9 Oct 2019, 10:05am

Just thinking ...................

On my way home from almost every ride, I have to climb a 25% hill. Prior to that, I'm whizzing along the lanes in top gear.
I have to change from outer/small to inner/big within a hundred yards or so whilst freewheeling and braking. (Turning the cranks to change gear of course) Easy done with Ergos, but with DT shifters it takes a bit of a technique!
Mick F. Cornwall

reohn2
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Oct 2019, 10:15am

Whether triple or double for me it's about anticipating the gear selection for the terrain as it unfolds before you,selecting the right chainring before running out of rear sprockets,then having enough rear sprockets in hand should I need them.
Having some duplicate or near duplicate ratios is IMO a plus,ie; on approaching a hill dropping from say the big ring x fourth to middle ring x seventh or eighth sprocket means maintaining pace whilst having six or sven lower ratios in hand in stead of just three one of which is forbidden.The same rule applies to middle and inner rings.
One thing I do like about triple and Alpine doubles FTM,is they offer me a very low set of ratios for steep roads and tracks without yawning gaps between ratios,something road doubles and 1x systems don't.
Important to me these days is a 19 or 20 inch gear which gets me up almost anything whereas anything over 85inch is useless to me.
That said I find I could do with something a little lower on my MTB which is currently on 10sp 22/30/40 with an 11-36 cassette if anyone has any ideas ie; would the Deore M610(I think) mech handle an 11-40 cassette?
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Samuel D
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby Samuel D » 9 Oct 2019, 10:20am

One form of SSR I recall from using a triple on a mountain bike is shifting to the outer chainring and cross-chaining as much as necessary before a bumpy descent, the better to retain the chain and prevent chain slap. I think freedom from this sort of mental overhead is a major driving force behind the adoption of 1x set-ups with their clutch derailleurs.

reohn2
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Oct 2019, 10:21am

Brucey wrote:
Norman H wrote:….. The secret is to learn to anticipate in particular when the granny ring will be needed and to complete the change in good time.


yes of course. But having been using this sort of setup for decades, (without thinking too hard about it, it seems...) I've only just noticed that I often do this shift (and others) whilst keeping the same gear ratio in use (hence SSR shifting) rather than as part of a downshift per se. That is really the nub of what I was on about.

The existence of near-exact duplicate gear ratios makes this easy to do; no brainpower required, evidently, else I would have noticed before now... :wink:

cheers

It becomes natural if you ride enough and especially in hilly terrain with the gear set tuned to one's own particular and know requirements.
The choice of gear is a process that takes time as the body and mind tunes itself to a flowing rhythm without huge jarring 'key' changes in the tune :wink:
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reohn2
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Oct 2019, 10:26am

Mick F wrote:Just thinking ...................

On my way home from almost every ride, I have to climb a 25% hill. Prior to that, I'm whizzing along the lanes in top gear.
I have to change from outer/small to inner/big within a hundred yards or so whilst freewheeling and braking. (Turning the cranks to change gear of course) Easy done with Ergos, but with DT shifters it takes a bit of a technique!

The one handed double or triple change whilst changing the rear at the same time,only riders who've use DT levers appreciate the technique.Kelly's are great for this,no need to move the hands much at all and I can go from top to bottom gear in an instant,much faster than STI/Ergos or DT levers.
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reohn2
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Oct 2019, 10:28am

Samuel D wrote:One form of SSR I recall from using a triple on a mountain bike is shifting to the outer chainring and cross-chaining as much as necessary before a bumpy descent, the better to retain the chain and prevent chain slap. I think freedom from this sort of mental overhead is a major driving force behind the adoption of 1x set-ups with their clutch derailleurs.

Clutch rear mechs eliminate a lot of that problem
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NetworkMan
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby NetworkMan » 9 Oct 2019, 11:25am

Another acronym, the DNS or Deliberate Non Shift.

Coming home with the shopping I'm on the middle ring and there is a short steep section just before I arrive. Although middle-to-big is inefficient and not all that low, it is low enough for this short hill and the bike arrives home on the middle ring ready for the next outing. Of course the DNS is only applicable when the terrain is familiar.

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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby Vorpal » 9 Oct 2019, 11:47am

NetworkMan wrote:Another acronym, the DNS or Deliberate Non Shift.

Coming home with the shopping I'm on the middle ring and there is a short steep section just before I arrive. Although middle-to-big is inefficient and not all that low, it is low enough for this short hill and the bike arrives home on the middle ring ready for the next outing. Of course the DNS is only applicable when the terrain is familiar.

I do it sometimes on unfamiliar territory, if I start something in the wrong gear & think I can finish it in that gear. I might, for example stand on the pedals and honk up a short, sharp hill, if I start up and realise I should have been a gear or two lower than I am.
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby Tigerbiten » 9 Oct 2019, 12:07pm

Carlton green wrote:It’s interesting how the use of chainwheels has altered over time. Going back several decades rear cogs had few ratios on them and what was there was relatively widely spaced. IIRC it was common for a triple to have two large rings that acted as a splitter gear, my old copy of Richards Bicycle Book explains the concept. As an aside I guess that that book is considered out of date now but it provided me with a fantastic education and I sure that many parts of it are still relevant today.

A half step and granny setup.
I've used that type of setup and liked it for the ability to fine tune your top gears while keeping a reasonable range for that age.

To a certain degree I still use that type of shift habit on my HSD-Rohloff setup.
But the other way around.
At the bottom end of my range, roughly gears 1-10, I normally jump two gears up/down as standard and only use a single gear jump if I need to fine tune my hill climbing gear.
In the middle of my range, around gears 11-17, then I'm in my flatland gears and tend to only sift in one gear jumps.
In theory I could split my top gears, gears 18-24, by using two chainrings with a 6.5-7% difference, ie 56/60. But as I'm doing roughly 20 mph downhill to need to use 18th gear there's no real point.

Luck ........... :D

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531colin
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby 531colin » 9 Oct 2019, 4:58pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:
531colin wrote:Most of my bikes have 46/34/24 triple, I think there's one with 44/32/22, with 12 or 13 to 34 on the back.
<snip>
However, to-day I was out on a Spa prototype which was geared for a younger man, 48, 38, 28 and 11 to 32 on the back.....and I hardly got onto the big ring at all.<snip> but I want a chainset where I can fit a middle ring smaller than 34T.


Noting that my Spa Wayfarer is geared the same as the prototype apart from the 32 being replaced by a 34, nobody told me that it was "a younger man's bike" which may explain a lot! Back to that in a bit...……………

I had planned to ask, sometime in the future, about lowering the bottom gearing without taking much off the top end.
46/34/24 looks interesting. 12 tooth gap then 10.
Would 48/36/24 be possible? 12 teeth gap between each?
This would give me the top gearing but bring the bottom gearing down.

Edit: I wouldn't mind a 36 instead of the 34 on the back, as there doesn't seem to be a big change between granny-1 and granny. Just been out to look and the jump from granny-1 to granny on my MTB is much larger. I have the tooth counts written down and stored somewhere safe.....


I'm 72; the guys in the workshop aren't, so they build the prototypes/test bikes with a sort of "standard" gearing; they will build customers' bikes with any (workable) gearing you want, but you have to tell them what you want!
20 years ago I would have laughed out loud if you had told me I would ever want gearing lower than one to one!

24T chainring instead of 28T is a difference you will notice, its about 14%
I would guess that your front mech. is designed for a 10T difference between big and middle rings, so you need to maintain that. (mine are "MTB" front mechs. designed for 12T big/middle difference)
I think its worth trying just swapping your existing 28T small ring for a 24T one, and see how you get on.....its the cheapest option and it could well suit.
A lot of the other stuff is on the lines of 2 teeth here or there, and the difference is such a small percentage that you may not even notice.

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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 9 Oct 2019, 5:42pm

@531colin - I've just passed 69 so not that far behind you.
Mind you, I am in flat Suffolk and I assume that you ride in Yorkshire which can require lower gearing. :shock:
I'm not knocking Spa in any way - I bought a standard touring bike and love it to bits generally. :D
It is only in this discussion that I am realising that a lot of regular bikers (including yourself) ride much lower gears than I do.
I just thought i was unfit because I ended up in the granny. Which may still be true.

As this is my first road bike and a touring bike I had no real idea what changes I might need from the standard build.
All I did was have a slightly bigger granny cog because that then matched the lowest gear on my MTB.
It has been a revelation to see what gearing people ride.
As I have embryo plans to ride End to End next year I think some low, low gears might be a good idea.

I am slowly learning about riding a road bike with drops, and I think I have a setup which works.
Gearing is the next possible upgrade.

[However, reading some of the post here, after a year of riding I should perhaps consider replacing the whole drive train! :lol: ]

CXRAndy
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby CXRAndy » 9 Oct 2019, 7:11pm

I have a triple setup on my Tripster ATR its Di2 gearing is 48/36/26 I use a 11/32 or 11/40 cassette.

I occasionally use the 26t granny ring for above 10% mainly 36t for climbing and the 48t for flat fast pedalling. The gearing allows me to pedal at a decent cadence on all gradients and I can still spin up to quite high cadences, so I can push the bike over 50mph in top gear(downhill ).

NetworkMan
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Re: Gear changing strategy; how do you use a triple?

Postby NetworkMan » 9 Oct 2019, 8:10pm

531colin wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:
531colin wrote:Most of my bikes have 46/34/24 triple, I think there's one with 44/32/22, with 12 or 13 to 34 on the back.
<snip>
However, to-day I was out on a Spa prototype which was geared for a younger man, 48, 38, 28 and 11 to 32 on the back.....and I hardly got onto the big ring at all.<snip> but I want a chainset where I can fit a middle ring smaller than 34T.


Noting that my Spa Wayfarer is geared the same as the prototype apart from the 32 being replaced by a 34, nobody told me that it was "a younger man's bike" which may explain a lot! Back to that in a bit...……………

I had planned to ask, sometime in the future, about lowering the bottom gearing without taking much off the top end.
46/34/24 looks interesting. 12 tooth gap then 10.
Would 48/36/24 be possible? 12 teeth gap between each?
This would give me the top gearing but bring the bottom gearing down.
I'm in
Edit: I wouldn't mind a 36 instead of the 34 on the back, as there doesn't seem to be a big change between granny-1 and granny. Just been out to look and the jump from granny-1 to granny on my MTB is much larger. I have the tooth counts written down and stored somewhere safe.....


I'm 72; the guys in the workshop aren't, so they build the prototypes/test bikes with a sort of "standard" gearing; they will build customers' bikes with any (workable) gearing you want, but you have to tell them what you want!
20 years ago I would have laughed out loud if you had told me I would ever want gearing lower than one to one!

24T chainring instead of 28T is a difference you will notice, its about 14%
I would guess that your front mech. is designed for a 10T difference between big and middle rings, so you need to maintain that. (mine are "MTB" front mechs. designed for 12T big/middle difference)
I think its worth trying just swapping your existing 28T small ring for a 24T one, and see how you get on.....its the cheapest option and it could well suit.
A lot of the other stuff is on the lines of 2 teeth here or there, and the difference is such a small percentage that you may not even notice.

++1
LittleGreyCat
I'm 71 but I realise that it was about 20 years ago that I first converted my Dawes Horizon from 48/38/28 to 48/38/24 after moving from flat Herts to hilly Devon. I have a Spa tourer with same arrangement and I'm about to do the same with my third bike. Just make sure.you have 8mm between chain and front derallieur cage bottom when running with the 28T ring and the rear on your chosen smallest sprocket. That may well be about third from top. You may in any event find the chain goes slack if you try to use small to small with the 24T front but you shouldn't anyway.