Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

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Greystoke
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Greystoke » 6 Sep 2020, 10:03am

As I say each to their own but anyone considered sturmey archer 8 speed hub? Small chainwheel for clearance and fairly evenly spaced gears, or Shimano 8 speed and one or two chainrings?
Even if the above wear out the cost could be similar to a new lightweight cassette.

thelawnet
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby thelawnet » 6 Sep 2020, 10:40am

Technically I suppose SRAM's 10-11-12-13-15...36 12 speed cassette is 1x in that it matches a 11-28t compact setup. Of course lots of bikes now on 11-34t compacts, so....
It does cost £160 too......

A lot of the giant cassettes are on MTBs weighing 13kg and up so the weight isn't a big problem. Latest 51t cassettes are 600g at Deore level.

Wiggle ask

£30 for 10sp 11-36 375g Deore, £45 for SLX 369g, XT 343g £60, XTR is 272g and would be v. expensive but no longer widely available
£45 for Deore 10sp 11-46t 535g and no lighter option
£49 for Deore 11sp 11-51t and no lighter option though the 11-42t double does have lighter versions
£75 for Deore 12sp 10-51t 595g, 534g SLX (£100), 470g XT (£100), 367g XTR (£250)

So by making cassettes larger Shimano achieve higher selling prices and bigger profits for them/ bike shops at service time

Especially at full rrp as would be in a bike shop, where 10 speed Deore 11-36t is £42rrp and Deore 12 speed is £90.

Upselling to lighter versions will be easier as buying an xt 11-36t cassette was daft, but an advertised 125g weight saving, even if in reality not that much, will persuade more people.

Essentially you create a bigger and more expensive consumable that needs replacing more frequently, as the cassette now costs the same price as a crankset, yet is intended to wear out more often.

NickJP
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby NickJP » 7 Sep 2020, 8:40am

Back in the days of 5-speed freewheels, three chainrings made sense as the only way to get a good gear range on a touring bike. Now, with 11- and 12-speed cassettes that have both smaller cogs at the high end and larger cogs at the low end, plus smaller gaps between adjacent gears on the cassette, two chainrings are more than adequate.

My gearing used to be this (46-42-26 chainrings and 14-34 freewheel):

Image

Now it's this (38-26 chainrings and 11-40 cassette):

Image

I have both a higher high and a lower low with the two chainring setup.

Greystoke
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Greystoke » 7 Sep 2020, 9:42am

That's a very impressive gear range and I'd say a sensible compromise

Brucey
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Brucey » 7 Sep 2020, 10:39am

NickJP wrote:Back in the days of 5-speed freewheels, three chainrings made sense as the only way to get a good gear range on a touring bike. Now, ……. two chainrings are more than adequate.

Now it's this (38-26 chainrings and 11-40 cassette):

Image

I have both a higher high and a lower low with the two chainring setup.


all well and good but, er, isn't that a three ring setup in which you have denied yourself the big ring by cutting the teeth off it for some reason...? :shock: :wink:

I would spend a lot of time 'tapping along' using 38/15 on that setup, such that I'd wear it out prematurely for sure. I'd also not enjoy the losses caused by the poor chainline and highish chordal losses associated with the use of those smallish chainring and sprocket sizes.

My 'crazy notion' is that you would be better off with teeth on the outer chainring, and a cassette that is slightly less wide, so that you can build a (stronger and/or lighter) less dished rear wheel, and have a more efficient transmission more of the time through better chainlines and lower chordal losses in the most used gears.

A simple way of actually doing this is to fit a 48T chainring and throw the 11T sprocket in the bin, so 26-38-48, 13-40 cassette, fitted to a modified (less dished) rear hub.

http://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=DERS&KB=26,38&RZ=11,13,15,17,19,21,24,27,31,35,40&UF=2185&TF=90&SL=2.6&UN=MPH&DV=gearInches&GR2=DERS&KB2=26,48,38&RZ2=13,15,17,19,21,24,27,31,35,40&UF2=2185

Instead of 'tapping along' on a crossed up, fast-wearing, high-loss 38/15 gear you would have a more efficient, smoother, harder wearing 48/19 gear with a perfect chainline. And all the same lower gears (many of which share comparable benefits), and possibly slightly less weight in the transmission vs the setup you have. Anytime you are using the big chainring and a gear over about 50" in that setup, you are likely to be between 0.5% and 1% better off in terms of transmission efficiency; basically that is likely to be anytime you are not actually going uphill.

If you insist on having a chainguard it can be added to a three ring setup and will weigh ~90g or something.

More than one way of skinning a cat and all that but asides from needing a RD that will soak up another couple of inches of chain slack, isn't it win-win-win all the way with a third chainring...?

BTW I love the pic of the BITD setup; I had a similar arrangement on a tandem and kept breaking the big chainring where the other chainrings bolt on to it. The cure? Fit a 54T chainring of course; that had wider 'legs' on the chainring and was quite a bit stronger.

I have had a go at comparing your old and new gearing here

http://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=DERS&KB=26,38&RZ=11,13,15,17,19,21,24,27,31,35,40&UF=2185&TF=90&SL=2.6&UN=MPH&DV=gearInches&GR2=DERS&KB2=26,46,42&RZ2=14,17,20,24,28,34&UF2=2185

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Brucey » 7 Sep 2020, 10:58am

BTW losing the 11T sprocket from an 11s cassette and redishing to suit should allow the wheel dish to be improved by ~4mm. Using a typical 135mm rear hub (eg FH-M756) this would improve the tension balance in the rear wheel from 58% to 80%. For example 130/75.4kgf turns into 130/104kgf.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

iandusud
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby iandusud » 7 Sep 2020, 11:41am

roubaixtuesday wrote:I've always found with triples you end up spending almost all the time either in the big or the little chainring. For most needs, a double suffices and the extra complication of a triple isn't needed, particularly as modern cassettes have such wide ranges.

Where a triple comes into its own is when a bike is used for multiple diverse activities eg day rides to heavy touring. Then the extra gear range is IMO essential.

For me, the only bike I have in this category is the tandem. I definitely will always want a triple on that.

Some figures: the tandem with 24/36/46 11-36 has 18-113 inch range.

Road bike with 34/50 11-32 has 28-120, which is more than adequate for any unladen day ride (and for light touring).

Very few new bikes seem to come with triples these days.

1x set ups seem to me to be the work of the devil.
I can see the attraction in principle, at least for MTBs, but expensive to get the same range as a double and with wider steps between shifts. Can't be much weight difference given the size of the dinner plate cogs at the rear.


I'm with you on this. I have a triple on the tandem where I use all the gears. My solo road bikes all have doubles. I'm not doing any mountain biking at the moment due to a dodgy back but I think a double is ideal for a MTB. My thinking is that you get a better spread of gears with closer ratios without resorting to 12 or 13 speed cassettes and in the process you get better chainline and save a lot money. Personally I think the 1X system is madness! A 2x9 set up is more than adequate.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 7 Sep 2020, 11:51am

The latest Trek 520 in the window of my LBS has a triple. I didn't notice the sizes or how many cogs. It's also a lovely bright red and comes with racks!

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Sep 2020, 12:47pm

Aside from the obvious lack of choice in terms of road STI triple set ups, prices have shot up for what's left as there's hardly any new units around, SJS have a pair of NOS 5703 STIs at £220, £20 less than I paid for Dura Ace 11 speed from Merlin cycles a few years ago. I think the cheapest on ebay for a set of Tiagra 4703s is £170, Sora R3000s is £158.
It really does look like Shimano have dumped road triple aside from the very lowest levels, it sticks in the craw quite frankly :twisted:

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Sep 2020, 12:58pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:
Cyckelgalen wrote:Triple systems are still offered but only in lower ranges, Alivio, Sora...I just wonder if that necessarily implies a drop in quality or if it is a simple model name rearrangement and today's Alivio and Sora are just as good as the previous generation Deore and Tiagra.


Current Sora is excellent, more than good enough for touring. Anything more expensive is purely nice to have, not any significant functional improvement IMO.

I've got Sora R3003, Tiagra 4703 and Ultegra 6703 plus 105/5800 and Dura Ace 11 speed 2x. Sora is okay as you've mentioned, but IMO 4700 is significantly better, it's up there with 5800 in terms of shifting, 6703 is okay but even Sora has at least equalled it, the actual left shifter is pretty much the same throughout on the Shimano triple road groups.

I was tempted to get an XT electronic triple set up for the tourer as you can use the MTB electronic derailleurs with road STIs, someone on another frum runs this with a 48T big on his triple chainset and has no issues, and the shifting is amazing from what he says, the downside is cost.

bgnukem
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby bgnukem » 7 Sep 2020, 1:18pm

I'm sticking with triple 'rings on all of my bikes as I don't like dodgy chain lines and typically only use 4 sprockets with each 'ring.

I expect a compact double could work for me in a flatter area, but I find I use my lowest 3 gears on a fairly regular basis around here - there's a 1 in 5 hill directly opposite the main gate of my workplace!

Luckily Spa Cycles are still offering a range of decent triple chainsets.

NickJP
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby NickJP » 7 Sep 2020, 1:31pm

Brucey wrote:all well and good but, er, isn't that a three ring setup in which you have denied yourself the big ring by cutting the teeth off it for some reason...? :shock: :wink:

I would spend a lot of time 'tapping along' using 38/15 on that setup, such that I'd wear it out prematurely for sure. I'd also not enjoy the losses caused by the poor chainline and highish chordal losses associated with the use of those smallish chainring and sprocket sizes.

I found the big ring superfluous. My normal cruising speed when touring is around 20kph, which is 38-19 or 38-21. As for the chainline, I set the bike up from scratch as a 110/74 double, so the chainline is exactly what it should be for those two chainrings in those positions. The only cog in which I notice any chordal effect is the 11, and that might get used for maybe one kilometre in every hundred (and probably not even that much). By the time the bike is up to 40kph, I'm usually freewheeling down the hill. As for wear, I normally get 8000-10000km from a chain before it gets up towards measuring 12-1/16" for 24 links, and a cassette lasts two chains.

Brucey wrote:My 'crazy notion' is that you would be better off with teeth on the outer chainring, and a cassette that is slightly less wide, so that you can build a (stronger and/or lighter) less dished rear wheel, and have a more efficient transmission more of the time through better chainlines and lower chordal losses in the most used gears.

A simple way of actually doing this is to fit a 48T chainring and throw the 11T sprocket in the bin, so 26-38-48, 13-40 cassette, fitted to a modified (less dished) rear hub.

More than one way of skinning a cat and all that but asides from needing a RD that will soak up another couple of inches of chain slack, isn't it win-win-win all the way with a third chainring...?

I've never had problems with dished wheels failing, so I see no need to faff around with hard-to-find obsolete components to attempt to reduce it. The last time I broke a spoke was some time in the 1980s, almost half a million kilometres ago, and that was a wheel that I'd built with galvanised spokes in the 1970s. If I fitted a third larger chainring, that would just make changing the front across the other two more finicky. At the moment, I can just shift the FD across to one stop, and change all the way across the cassette on one ring, or shift it across to the other stop and change all the way across the cassette on the other ring.

Brucey wrote:BTW I love the pic of the BITD setup; I had a similar arrangement on a tandem and kept breaking the big chainring where the other chainrings bolt on to it. The cure? Fit a 54T chainring of course; that had wider 'legs' on the chainring and was quite a bit stronger.

I have had a go at comparing your old and new gearing here

http://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=DERS&KB=26,38&RZ=11,13,15,17,19,21,24,27,31,35,40&UF=2185&TF=90&SL=2.6&UN=MPH&DV=gearInches&GR2=DERS&KB2=26,46,42&RZ2=14,17,20,24,28,34&UF2=2185

I wrote my own gear comparison spreadsheet a long time ago. Available here, in Libreoffice format: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3vf2umc7p1cacjv/gears.ods?dl=0.

mikeymo
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby mikeymo » 7 Sep 2020, 1:57pm

Genuine question - is the touring market really so small that it's not worth making triple components? There may not be as many (potential) customers as for other setups, but aren't there enough for somebody, probably Shimano, to keep making perfectly serviceable triple parts? Especially as the average touring cyclist isn't fixated on weight, but just wants something reasonably robust.

Brucey
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Brucey » 7 Sep 2020, 2:18pm

Nick, obviously you are happy with what you have, but.....the fact that you don't notice the chordal effect except in the 11T does not mean that it isn't there; it seems to me that effectively you are choosing to ride a transmission which is less efficient than it could be for no good reason apart from the front shift perhaps? I have used a lot of triples and provided the parts are carefully selected the front shift can be very reliable.

On a 5s setup the sprockets are only about 22mm in width, centre to centre, and such transmissions can be very long-lived because the chainlines are better than lots of other systems. On an 11s cassette the cluster is about 38mm wide; the chainline may be exactly where it is meant to be but that is still not very good; even if you restrict yourself to 9 sprockets per chainring that still leaves you shifting across a ~31mm wide cluster. With the suggested 3x10 setup you can access the full gear range using seven sprockets per chainring which gives you a cluster width per chainring of about 23mm; whichever way you cut it this will be longer lasting and more efficient.

As for 'seeking out obsolete parts' the setup I propose can use all current parts with small modifications. The rear wheel can be (well) built with DB spokes both sides with an 80% tension balance and for the same strength the weight of the rim can be less too.

Stronger and/or lighter and/or longer lasting too for no extra money is a bicycle designer's 'holy grail', so saying 'well my stuff doesn't break too often and doesn't wear out too quickly' is a bit like grumpily turning down a genuinely free lunch, isn't it...?

cheers
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 7 Sep 2020, 3:18pm

mikeymo wrote:Genuine question - is the touring market really so small that it's not worth making triple components? There may not be as many (potential) customers as for other setups, but aren't there enough for somebody, probably Shimano, to keep making perfectly serviceable triple parts? Especially as the average touring cyclist isn't fixated on weight, but just wants something reasonably robust.

Shimano make the Claris and Tourney triple groupsets, possibly others. I don't know present availability though. Claris is 8-speed, which should please some people. :D In fact, road groupsets up to Tiagra still have triples in manufacture.