110 KG rider Triple or Double chainset

by cbrookes75   August 11, 2014  

Hello all,

Nice to join you, apologies if this has been covered at length before (please post links). I am male weight around 17 stones 110 Kg and recently got a "Hybrid" bike. The hybrid is heavy and I'd like to be faster, so I am looking at spending around 1000 quid on a road bike, things like the Scott Speedster 20, these are available as doubles or triples.

My current bike weighs about 15Kg and has 28 38 48 crankset with a 14-28 cassette, so I get a 1:1 ratio as the easiest, I can't obviously try all sorts of bikes up all sorts of hills, so I wondered if any of you had moved from a 28 to 28 ratio to a 34 to 30 etc. ratio on a significantly lighter bike and if you were able to get up hills in higher gears than you could before?

I hope you understand my question and any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your time!

Chris

Smile Smile

19 user comments

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Mathematically, the gear ratio makes a bigger difference than the weight.

Total weight goes from 125kg to 120kg, or 4% lighter.
Low gear goes from 28/28 to 34/30, or 13% harder.

So, if you regularly use that 28/28 gear, yes you will sweat a little on 34/30. But if you keep riding you should both lose weight and get stronger legs...

posted by chokofingrz [297 posts]
11th August 2014 - 19:11

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I started on a scott speedster bought second hand with a tripple I still use it today for commuting but it really is uncomfortable even on short rides it honestly beats the crap out of you.
I started riding when i was about 90kg and am now down to 84kg (i'm 35). The front end is pretty low and the saddle that came with it was terrible I've just bought a new saddle (same as on my other bike) to see if this will improve it. The scott made me decide what i didn't want in a bike. I then bought a Felt Z series (many other manufacturers have similar geometry of varying price) over the more racy F series straight away i could spend far more time in the saddle and be much faster i've done 2500 miles on it in less than a year my average speed over my local test route has improved by 2mph. So to conclude try before you buy!

To answer you question about gears personally i don't see any advantages of a triple. My felt came with a compact and 11-30 rear cassette you can get up anything with that. Today I run a 11-25 but it's pretty flat where i live I only change it when i have a really hilly sportive takes less than 5 minutes to do.

posted by pablo [27 posts]
11th August 2014 - 19:38

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Thanks for the replies, I will try a few more bikes before buying, I had never sat on a dropped bar bike before sitting on the Scott today, it felt not bad, but with no pedals etc I couldn't really say how it would be in the long term.

In my mind the mathematics makes sense, I just kind of asked myself " if I added 6 kg to a backpack on my bike how much harder would going up hill be?"

How can you try before you buy, as the bikes in the shops don't have pedals on them?

Thanks again!

posted by cbrookes75 [32 posts]
11th August 2014 - 20:51

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I had been looking at Specialized Secteur or Roubaix triples before seeing the Scott today, would they be less "severe" starter road bikes? Do you think?

Thanks

posted by cbrookes75 [32 posts]
11th August 2014 - 21:00

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chokofingrz wrote:
So, if you regularly use that 28/28 gear, yes you will sweat a little on 34/30. But if you keep riding you should both lose weight and get stronger legs...

This pretty much sums it up.

I guess I'm in a broadly similar boat to you, still just on the wrong side of 100kg now but I've been riding a road bike without issue for around 9 months now. I've got the same 34/30 bottom gear as that Scott has and I can get up anything I've attempted on mine, including some vicious 25 percenters. Admittedly, my strength has improved massively since starting out on that bike, but that's why I've seconded the comment above.

As one or two have mentioned, the only way to tell what type of road bike will best suit you is to get out and test ride some. Any halfway-reputable bike shop will a) offer you advice on the type of geometry which best suits your intended type of riding and, more importantly, b) stick some pedals on and let you have a test ride. If they refuse then just take your business elsewhere.

When I was looking for a bike I was quite easily able to get test rides on a good half a dozen different bikes from 3 different local shops, and that helped massively in ensuring my hard-earned went on a bike that was right for me.

posted by parksey [261 posts]
12th August 2014 - 9:12

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It's all down to you in the end. I did the Cingles at 103kg, with 34-28 as my lowest gear, which was OK. I never felt that I needed a smaller gear.
OTOH, when I'm touring with panniers and tents...that triple is a godsend.
Good luck and ride lots, whatever you go with.

posted by andyp [963 posts]
12th August 2014 - 9:47

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I investigated the whole compact/triple 'business' when I bought a road bike and boy were there some megabytes of data on it. Opted for a compact in the end but where I live is pretty hilly so I'm occasionally out of the saddle. I was recently in the Vosges and Swiss Alps and triples were EVERYWHERE! Granted it's a bit more 'hilly' but they were being ridden by 'wiry' locals who looked like they spent most of their spare time riding bikes. I remember a Dutch couple burning past me on a Cat 1 climb; I was in my lowest gear and they still had a few more to play with. I went into a local bike shop and was admiring a row of Orbea bikes (incl carbon); all fitted with triples and not a compact in sight. A friend of mine who has done the Etape and Marmotte said that he'd wished he'd had a triple on the final climbs. Not sure it matters what you're riding but nothing beats overtaking someone on a hill riding a more expensive bike than yours.

Shades

posted by Shades [211 posts]
12th August 2014 - 10:22

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Thanks for the input, I shall try and get on a few test rides! Smile

posted by cbrookes75 [32 posts]
12th August 2014 - 10:24

1 Like

As Shades suggests above, where you live could well be important in whether the lower gearing of a triple would be worthwhile, but I suspect a compact, particularly with a 12-30 cassette, will see you right in most parts of this country.

As something of a compromise, if you're not in a massive hurry to buy then bikes will soon start to appear with Shimano's new 11-speed 105 groupset (105 is the prevalent groupset at the thousand pound price point). I believe these will have an 11-32 cassette, so a lower gear still. Might be worth thinking about.

posted by parksey [261 posts]
12th August 2014 - 11:34

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I keep hearing good things about the SRAM Apex groupset as an alternative to a triple, and I'm toying with getting it on my next bike. Anyone got any experience of it?

posted by bamilton wackad... [49 posts]
12th August 2014 - 11:55

3 Likes

The compact vs triple debate doesn't have a definitive answer. Have a look at a previous discussion - http://road.cc/content/forum/59546-compact-or-triple

I like the triple on my road bike, I find the 39t middle ring means on rolling terrain I don't have to swap chainrings or cross-chaining like those with compacts have to.

Good luck with your shopping, you're truly spoilt for choice at this price point. I suggest you also look at the bike reviews here on road.cc and http://road.cc/buyers-guide

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2000 posts]
12th August 2014 - 12:04

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I am also 110kg and I live in hilly snowdonia apart from my marin mtb my other bike is a cannondale caad 8 alu bike with a 9 speed ultegra triple chainset and a 12-27 cassette and I have been thankfull for the granny gear on several occasions when the road ramps up - as with everything the more you do the better and stronger you get - and I have found that I can handle most hills without resorting to the inner ring but it is reassuring to know its there and get a bike fit so that you are comfortable and diallied in and very soon you'll be 100kg ??

posted by prinzi [76 posts]
12th August 2014 - 12:04

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Thank you all so much for your kind encouraging and helpful feedback, as I want to head west from Oswestry into the Berwyn mountains and beyond I will get a triple with tha largest sprocket at the rear that I can!

Thanks again!

Chris

posted by cbrookes75 [32 posts]
12th August 2014 - 12:30

1 Like

cbrookes75 wrote:
Thank you all so much for your kind encouraging and helpful feedback, as I want to head west from Oswestry into the Berwyn mountains and beyond I will get a triple with tha largest sprocket at the rear that I can!

Thanks again!

Chris


You won't need a triple to head to the Berwyns and beyond...

...but you might well want one coming back the other way! Wink

Really, though?

posted by workhard [388 posts]
12th August 2014 - 15:46

2 Likes

Thanks for all your assistance, I have ordered a Specialized Roubaix SL4 Sport Triple, so should have that before the weekend! It has the required 30:30 lowest gearing, so with losing 6 kg approx. I should be a little faster uphill! I tried it on a "turbo trainer" in the shop as it was raining outside! Very good service from Dave Mellor Cycles in Shrewsbury! Smile :)

posted by cbrookes75 [32 posts]
12th August 2014 - 17:21

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Interesting discussion as getting towards making a similar decision. Thanks for posting the outcome.

Not surprised at all about the service at Dave Mellors, my LBS too Big Grin

posted by Tannwick [5 posts]
12th August 2014 - 18:12

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Tannwick wrote:
Interesting discussion as getting towards making a similar decision. Thanks for posting the outcome.

Not surprised at all about the service at Dave Mellors, my LBS too Big Grin

The true outcome will be found out over the coming weeks! Will I be able to cycle faster on a lighter bike? Smile ( The scientist in me says I MUST! But only time will tell! )

Thanks again all for your help and direction!

Smile

posted by cbrookes75 [32 posts]
12th August 2014 - 18:19

3 Likes

cbrookes75 wrote:
Thanks for all your assistance, I have ordered a Specialized Roubaix SL4 Sport Triple, so should have that before the weekend! It has the required 30:30 lowest gearing, so with losing 6 kg approx. I should be a little faster uphill! I tried it on a "turbo trainer" in the shop as it was raining outside! Very good service from Dave Mellor Cycles in Shrewsbury! Smile :)

You chose a great place to buy from, Dave is a super, super fellow.

Good luck with your riding, you are in a great spot to choose either flattish routes to the east or the beaty of the Berwyns and more to your west Cool

You may be interested in the Shropshire club events, including the early season Reliability Trials - open to all riders and not just for speedy riders (to give you an idea the 2014 series is here). Get in touch via my profile if you want to know more or chat about local stuff.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2000 posts]
12th August 2014 - 21:31

3 Likes

Have sent you a message also Simon

posted by Tannwick [5 posts]
13th August 2014 - 17:49

1 Like