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Are the triple crankset's days numbered? road.cc investigates and speaks to SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo

Triple ring chainsets have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but are they threatened with extinction?

Modern road bikes can come with any one of a number of different types of chainset fitted as standard - there's standard, compact and semi-compact chainsets for starters. But just because your bike came fitted with a certain type of chainset doesn't necessarily mean it's the right one for you. 

We asked SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo if they feel that the triple chainsets days are numbered. Here are their replies: 

Campagnolo

While most athletes are covered by the gearing offered by compact chansets and larger cassettes, there are still a faithful few who are quite keen to use the triple. Several requests from areas in France, Belgium and Canada strangely enough.

However, with the advantages of the compact crankset and a movement towards larger tooth count cassettes we believe that those wishing to run a triple ring crankset will diminish further as they will adopt increasingly more often the two chainring solution. At the moment we still offer the triple.

SRAM

Is the triple chainset dead?

Dead & buried.

Where do you see the future of modern road bike chainsets?

There’s a bright future for 1x. Simpler, quieter, more secure. Current cassette options allow gear range for most cycling disciplines. 1x even provides a more aerodynamic drivetrain for TT and triathlon. 2x remains dominant, of course, because it can provide the widest gear range and closer gear ratio steps.

Shimano

Within Shimano's current road line up triple chainsets are more common at Tiagra level and below. These groupsets attract a wider audience/riding style and therefore the demands on the components are different to those favoured by competitive and performance cyclists.

Triple chainsets have closer gear ratios, making the steps between the gears easier to move through, and therefore increasing the efficiency of personal performance. For many riders, a triple chainset provides options to allow you to continue cycling in many circumstances/conditions.

However, at the competitive end of cycling, trends for many years have been in favour of double chainsets. Wider cassette ratios are now able to cover the vast majority of gear ranges, in combination with lower crankset weight values that performance athletes demand.

Which chainset is right for you?

So if the triple is dead, what are your common choices? Let's go through the main road systems to help you find the right one for you.

53-39 - Ideal for: Pros, strong riders, or flat conditions (maybe a bit more than that but you get my drift)

50-34  -Ideal for: Most people, good all-rounder ideally suited to hilly conditions

 52-36 - Ideal for: Increasingly pros, but also the rest of us mortals too, strong all rounder, ideal for hilly conditions, paired with 11-32 cassette should get most people up even the biggest mountains.

48-32 - Ideal for: Touring and adventure bikes, it takes the existing idea of the compact chainset a step further, yielding gearing that’s ideal for bikes used across a range of surfaces and terrains

1x11 - Ideal for: Cyclocross, gravel and adventure riding. The single ring and wide-range (10-42t) cassette provides much of the range of a compact and shifting simplicity along with increased mud and ground clearance

- Read more: Which chainset is right for you?

The compact killed the triple

Gearing options have increased substantially over the years with the advent of the compact chainset the biggest reason for the demise of the triple. The arrival of the compact immediately sparked debate surrounding the death of the triple chainset, and they’re now much less noticeable in any of the big three groupset manufacturers - SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo - ranges than they used to be. 

retro chainset - 1 (1).jpg

Before the compact came along, your crankset choice was largely split between a double for racing and a triple for touring and Audax riding. At this time of limited choice, a triple was appealing for any non-racing applications, particularly touring or Audax bikes laden with luggage, the lower gears helping to spin up the climbs. 

The new wave of sportive bikes sparked the development for a chainset that offered most of the range of the triple but with better chainline, lower weight and, arguably, better looks on a sporty carbon bike. 

- Struggling on the hills? If you need lower gears to make climbing easier, here's how to get them

The compact was an instant success. First launched by FSA soon after the turn of the century, the company met these sportive bike requirements and when paired with the increased range of the 10-speed cassettes introduced at roughly the same time, provided most of the same low gearing as a typical triple setup.

A triple does offer a wide range of gears, but there is a lot of duplication. A 50/34 compact with a 12-29 11-speed cassette provided minimal difference to a 53/42/30 triple with a 13-29 cassette. The small compromise in reduced gear choices and range was compensated by reduced less gear duplication, lower groupset system weight and a narrow Q-factor.

Compacts were even used in professional races too, Tyler Hamilton using a compact on a mountain stage of the 2003 Tour de France. The fate of the triple for the new breed of performance focused sportive bikes and cyclists was sealed forever. 

The chainset evolution

The evolution of the chainset and the reduction of the number of rings has been helped by the growing cassette range and increased gears of each subsequent groupset release. Back in the day, you’d be lucky with a 6-speed cassette and an 11-23t cassette, fine for racers, but the only way to get some low gears - for touring, Audax or leisure cycling - was to fit a triple chainset. 

With the advent of 9, 10 and 11-speed groupsets and an increased cassette range, with 11-28 and 11-32 now common options, there’s less need for a triple chainset. You can now get a wide spread of ratios with less duplication of gears.

Dura-Ace 9100 - crank 1.jpg

A triple chainset is essentially a double with a smaller chainring bolted on. Triple chainsets require special front derailleurs and shifters, along with a matching long cage rear derailleur to accommodate the long chain needed to cover the full range of sprocket options. Reducing the need for specific components was a boon to manufacturers as it tidied up product lines.

And so they fell out of favour with manufacturers. Shimano and Campagnolo wasted no time dropping triples from their top-end ranges, Dura-Ace and Record respectively, replacing them with new compacts. SRAM didn’t even make a triple chainset when it first got into the road bike groupset market, and has been a proponent of the single ring drivetrain for all applications outside of road racing. 

FSA K-Force Light 52/36 semi-compact chainset

Now there are an increasing array of options. The recently introduced semi-compact (52/36t) has been a hit, popular with racers and performance minded cyclists, and some reckon it even threatens the compact. 

More recent is the sub-compact (48/32 and 46/30), a new chainset being developed for adventure and touring cyclists where lower gears for tackling hillier terrain with heavier bikes is required. We expect these to become very popular with cyclists and bike brands.

SRAM Force CX1 Groupset - chainset.jpg

- First look: Does the Praxis Works Alba 48/32 herald the era of the sub-compact chainset?

Add to the mix too SRAM’s 1x11 approach, which pairs a single chainring with a super wide-range cassette, and there’s much talk of the demise of the triple chainset to the very fringes of cycling.

Do you think the triple is dead or is there still a place for it?

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

116 comments

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oceandweller [86 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
dave atkinson wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

What's the smallest cog you can have on a cassette? 9? What's the limitation there?

I'd love to ride a do-it-all 1x, electronic, wireless groupo on the road bike some day. 

current limitation is the design of the freehub and cassette. 11T is the smallest you can go on a standard shimano/sram/campag freehub

sram XD freehub allows a minimum 10T sprocket; there the limitation is the size of the axle (12mm)

you could do a 9T with a quick release 9mm axle and a different freehub design, but not with anything that's currently available

FYI, e*thirteeen sells a 9t - 44t 11-speed cassette. It mounts onto a SRAM XD freehub & is supposed to work with any suitable long cage derailleur (so, I'd guess that means Apex 1 , Rival 1 etc.). It's not even particularly heavy - in fact, the quoted weight is a bit less than the SRAM 10t - 42t cassettes I have on my 'cross/gravel bike. Not cheap however, £200 @ CRC, maybe a bit less from Europe, so I won't be buying one. Sign of the times though.

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james_from_stoke [10 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

1x is pointless for serious road riding, although I can see serious benefits for off road use, and for casual riders, many of whom seemingly fail to understand how a triple chainset works, and would be much better off with one less lever on the bars to contend with. Otherwise, the massive gaps in gearing is just unpleasant.

I detest compact chainsets, in both their 50/34 and 52/36 incarnations. The gap between the rings kills your cadence, and the huge gaps between the gears feels clumsy. I ride much more efficiently on my 53/42, switching chainrings much more frequently than on my compact. I use the small ring, rather than trying to force my way up hills in the big ring because the small ring is too small without shifting half way across the cassette (so smooth...).

My ideal race ride would have a modern standard 53/39 for the weight savings of having two rings. For casual rides and steep hills, a 52/42/32 or suchlike would be wonderful, giving a perfectly feasible bottom gear, while still allowing for smooth shifts between chainrings, and enabling a close ratio cassette at the rear - absolutely the best of both worlds.

I'm not just reminiscing about the good old days when bikes were heavy and kit was wrinkly. I'm 17, and grew up on compacts. I would never buy one now, having ridden standards. A standard with an extra granny ring is surely the way to go.

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armb [150 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

I dithered a lot before getting a triple to replace the (old, non-compact) double on my bike. Possibly it was the wrong decision, but I haven't regretted it. Yes, there's a lot of duplication, but that means I can generally just leave it on the middle ring when commuting, but do have the wider range when wanted.

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beezus fufoon [972 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
Simon E wrote:

Just like steel frames, Brooks saddles, wool baselayers and many other things that are considered 'old hat' in the perennial drive to sell you yet more new stuff.

CXR94Di2 wrote:

Most people don't need a 48, 50,52,53 chainring.

Oh but, they do. They DO! And they will tell you so with remarkable conviction.

I don't know if it's coincidence but it appears that the people who need 52x11 to be able to ride downhill also seem to need 34x32 to go up it as well.

Big guys and I'm one of them don't need a 52x11 for downhills. Gravity works just aswell. I was out for a group ride at the weekend and even on 4% declines I was freewheeling,sat up on the hoods and still overtaking riders pedalling pretty quickly. 50,52,53 have there place and i use them on my bike for TT. The rest of the time gear down and spin.

Rolling resistance Drafting effect Aerodynamics Mechanical losses in drivetrain Take your pick, but nothing to do with your weight, unless the laws of physics have changed.

Heavier riders descend faster than lighter riders for less effort-fact. Regarding rolling resistance i was using my training tyres, 40mm G Ones :). The rest of the group 25/23mm road tyres.

I'm pretty quickly out of my depth on this stuff but does this explain it - you're the coin and they're the feathers? Or maybe those fat tubeless tyres really do 'roll well'! 

www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zff82hv/revision

PS surely "time remaining before terminal velocity" should be available on Strava Premium?

in theory, heavier riders accelerate at the same rate but will have a higher top speed - given that you can get over 100kph with a 53x11 - you're going to have to be going some to make good use of it.

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PpPete [52 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

I built my Tripster up with 40/28 chainring and swap the rear wheel with either 11-40 or 11-32 cassette. It has a low gearing of 18" high gearing of 96".

What chainset?  I could live with 40/28 & 11-32 when my beloved triple dies.

 

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [2709 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

this is seemingly a problem for manufacturers because they'd rather cut their production costs down and force the market to bend to their will rather than the market dictating what they want.

when you think how they ensure their new stuff is not backwards compatible or try to, it stinks big time.

Why was SRAM even asked to comment especially with respect to road triples, it's pretty clear what their position is.

40/42t sprockets, sure it'll get you up steep terrain but at a cost of massive jumps in between, no thanks, whether touring, ambling with a partner, kids or riding balls out, having the jumps reasonably close together means it's easier to maintain a comfortable cadence and not find your legs spinning like a whirling dervish or going down to a much slower RPM unless you flick two or three sprockets.

52/36/24 with a 12-30 is my sweetspot in terms of gear range for all occasions, whilst the vogue for many roadies is to go with a 34-32 to get up the hills I still get the impression for many this is still too high a gear especially for longer incIines or very steep roads, you can get another 3% lower with a 33T but then that's it.

Anything past a 32t and you're into the mid cage rear mech though some of the new stuff like the ugly 9100 rear d can handle a 32t apparantly, the previous DA9000 could do a 32 if you fiddled with the b screw.

Still once past 32 and because the manufacturers insist on having 11t starting sprockets the gaps are starting to get wider and wider. Sure if things change to 12/13/14 speeds at the back that might 'solve' a problem but it creates a shit ton more problems by doing so, not least frames, wheels, chains, gear changers, the cassettes themselves and so on.

I'm sticking with 6703 STIs on my audax, I don't need 11 speed for it and will use doubles and triples for particular bikes/rides as I see fit, dropping triple out of the equation for road going bikes and even for MTB I think would be a mistake but then the manufacturers can do what they want.

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Simon E [3525 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

this is seemingly a problem for manufacturers because they'd rather cut their production costs down and force the market to bend to their will rather than the market dictating what they want.

when you think how they ensure their new stuff is not backwards compatible or try to, it stinks big time.

Agree with second point but not am convinced by the idea they are 'forcing the market'. OEM is a massive proportion of production. Compare the number of new road bike models specced with each configuration.

No manufacturer wants to make 3 variants for each groupset level, when 1 sits around for goodness knows how long and is incompatible with the others - a triple usually requires a different LH shifter and front derailleur. I can't see many people choosing that when wide range cassettes are all the rage. And when did you last hear someone saying that Dura-Ace with a triple chainset was what they were after? Not exactly emulating the 'pro' look now, is it.

Also, there are probably good margins on a 11-42t cassette, which you'll need to replace rather more often than the chainset.

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
PpPete wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

I built my Tripster up with 40/28 chainring and swap the rear wheel with either 11-40 or 11-32 cassette. It has a low gearing of 18" high gearing of 96".

What chainset?  I could live with 40/28 & 11-32 when my beloved triple dies.

 

 

Shimano XT M785 chainset

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CaraBao [4 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

I think one of the best advice I got was if you can't do it on a heavy gear, spin it. Installed a mountain triple on my road bike early '90's, paired it with a close ratio freewheel(then), now a cassette, tooth difference no more than 2, never looked back since then and still enjoying my triple.

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gmrza [36 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The ability to mix and match is the best.  For commuting (my ride is quite flat) I am current using a 50/38 setup up front.  Given that I only seldom go over 50km/h on my commute, I could easily opt for a smaller big ring.  What would probably be ideal for my commute is something like a 46/38 or 46/39 setup, coupled with a 12-25 cassette.

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reippuert [117 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
ashliejay wrote:

triple chainsets, just aren't worth the hassle, as setting up the front mech is a nightmare, as at least with a double, you set the limit screws and that's pretty much it.

= you mean tripple with Shamano and SRAM levers are a nightmare to setup. Any monkey can set it up with Campagnolo levers with micro trim.

Setup a tripple with Campy 9 speed, or with Campy Chorus/Record 10 speed levers = dead easy.

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Walo [44 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
joules1975 wrote:
Rod Marton wrote:

I for one never noticed any advantage with having more than a 7-speed.

Really? So the closer spacing between the gears wasn't something you appreciated?

The problem now is that the spacing between the gears has increased again thanks to 1x set-ups.

I'd love to see 50-36t, 48-34t, 46-32t double options as this will reduce the huge jump when changing between chainrings to something more similar to what you find on a triple. Combine these with a wide range 11 or 12 speed cassette and there isn't a need for a triple.

Shimano have done somthing along these lines with the 11 speed mountain bike groups and the double chainsets they contain.

That said, a triple does make more sense in one way  - small for up, middle for level and big for down. With a double it can take a little more thought to set yourself up for the road ahead.

I can follow your explanations and find the 12-speed cassette option especially interesting which I would also welcome.

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John N [13 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Rod Marton wrote:

Really the problem for the triple is the ever-expanding number of gears on the cassette. I for one never noticed any advantage with having more than a 7-speed and nowadays you can get the same number and range of gears with a 10/11 speed cassette and a compact double as we used to have with a triple - but they aren't as easy to get to. I know the double may be lighter, but a triple was more robust - and not all of us are weight weenies.

 

I too have never seen the need to go beyond 3x7.  It's the only set-up ever on my TREK 930 which is close on 25 years old and perhaps 50k+ miles having been used for commuting, trails, light touring etc. (though it is a bit if a Triggers Broom bike with several new wheelsets and other various parts).

It deals with just about everything I need it to adequately.

1x11 or 1x12 (or more?) are O.K. for those that want to spend weekends fine tuning everything, but I stopped all that when I stopped adjusting points on the car every other weekend. 

And another thing, whilst a single ring at the front is undoubtedly more aerodynamic (personally I'd be a lot more aerodynamic if I lost a few stone) surely the little gain made in this respect is lost pulling the chain around a microscopic small cog and more resistance (and wear) from a greater bend in the chain.

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jthef [47 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I want a good Tripple. end of story.

Both my road bike have tripples so I have close  grears  for smoth riding. and then a granny gear for when the hills go stuppid.  you can't do that with a double or single. end of story.

I would love a elecronic tripple as it would manage the worst bit of the tripple by fine tweaks of the front derailer as you move at the back. Please some one make a good one (Shimano please).

 

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psling [295 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

I prefer a triple too. Again, being older it's what I'm familiar with so set-up and maintenance isn't an issue. I do have a double (53/39) on one road bike and have had various singlespeed/double/triple on MTBs.

The one I don't get though is the fashion for single ring on MTB coupled with a cassette sporting a dinner-plate sized cog. Some say it's for better ground clearance but the cranks don't get shorter with a single ring and the vulnerable rear derailleur needed for the dinner plate is practically dragging the ground when in the monster cog. On a downhill bike fair enough but the minute you couple it with that huge cog and associated dangly bits just to be able to ride uphill then the idea is flawed (i.m.o.).

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RMurphy195 [152 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm one of those who just likes to ride a bike. Bought a new tourer a couple of years back,lost count of the times I was offered Audax, gravel and other bikes with the so-called compact-double where the gears were just too high, and (on paper) the jumps looked too big.

Triple - a la MTB or hybrid - is right foe me and I suspect a good many others - without having to go for thinner chains etc. that will probable wear out quicker for "normal" cyclists (mine is a 3 x 8 setup)

rock-on Spa Cycles!

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RMurphy195 [152 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
ashliejay wrote:

triple chainsets, just aren't worth the hassle, as setting up the front mech is a nightmare, as at least with a double, you set the limit screws and that's pretty much it.

personally, i doubt i'll ever go back to a double unless it's Di2 or something with synchro shift, as after using 1x for a few years, it's just easier and less hassle, and as i don't have any interest in racing, a 11-42 cassette with a 38t up front is all the range i need.

When I set up my triple front mech, I need to set the limit screws - just a minute, isn't that the same?

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RMurphy195 [152 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Must be Mad wrote:
Quote:

I liked triples. I probably sound like an old fogey, but it was just so much easier to change into the gear you wanted with a triple than a compact double. No faffing around with both levers, just flick one and you were there.

That is, surly, simply a case of knowing how to operate your kit?

From my experience of riding with guys using tripples - they seem to spend ages hunting around for the right gear, and trying to jump the chain across two chain rings at the bottom and top of each climb, where as, on the Compact, its "just one flick and your done"

People who do have that problem obviously don't know how to use their kit at all, wouldn't make any difference how many chainwheels they have.

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DingDongBell [16 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Long live the triple!

I have three bikes currently in use; the B'Twin on my Trek trainer came with a triple but, from the point of view of my trainer I only use the big ring (so I could replace it with a single ring - but why bother?); the double on my B'Twin Mach CF and the triple on my Panorama DeLuxe World Tourer.

Interestingly, on some of my hillier training routes I'm faster on the Panorama than on the much lighter Mach CF because, as a big bloke, mass really starts to count against you when you get to over a 6% gradient and the touring bike gearing enables me to keep the cadence high.

Similarly, for load carrying, you cannot beat a triple, again because it gives you more flexible options for keeping the cadence high.

Last year I organized an 80 mile round trip from London to Southend (and back) and found a few really tough hills (in Essex!!!). I rode the route many times with friends. Interestingly, despite being the biggest cyclist (in respect of size and mass) I was almost always first up the big inclines because I could use the third ring on the triple and keep up the cadence whereas smaller riders on carbon bikes simply weren't geared for the hills because they were using 11-23 cassettes. A triple would certainly have helped them out. Eventually they would put a 12-36 cassette on, which helped but the gearing wasn't as well spaced as the gearing on my tourer.

We are not all speedy boys and girls and, for sure, we sexagenarians (and beyond), who have survived much of what life has yet to throw at the youngsters and who make up a vast cohort of dedicated cyclists may appreciate the benefits of the more flexible offering of the triple for some decades yet.

All that said, I love innovation and, pockets permitting, I'm always happy to try something new.

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Pub bike [258 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
TheLonelyOne wrote:

My touring bike - fully loaded with 4 paniers, tent, toolkit and spares, and 6 litres of water in bottles and bidons, simply would not have got up Mont Ventoux without it's super-low triple enabled 22-front, 32-rear granny gear.

Same here...touring in the mountains just wouldn't be the same without a triple.  Shifts beautifully with Tiagra shifters and front mech, and XT rear mech.

  • Chainset: 22/32/48t - like a compact with a very low granny added on!
  • Cassette: 11/34t

In use:

  • Middle ring (32t) - flattish ground
  • Inner ring (22t) - uphill
  • Outer ring (48t) - downhill - for anything over 21 mph, and silly speed records (54 mph so far  1 )

90 rpm in top gear (48/11) is 32 mph  1   Of course I could ditch the outer ring, but mountain descents just would be dull.

 

 

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Bmblbzzz [245 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Must be Mad wrote:

That is, surly, simply a case of knowing how to operate your kit?

Surly riders are no more incompetent than any other cyclists. Or are you calling someone grumpy? 

 

<exits on big ring>

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TypeVertigo [428 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

What's the smallest cog you can have on a cassette? 9? What's the limitation there?

I'd love to ride a do-it-all 1x, electronic, wireless groupo on the road bike some day. 

Shimano/SRAM splined freehubs are limited to 11T.

SRAM's XD driver, which seems both threaded and splined, can accept a 10T.

Shimano actually made a groupset that had special hubs that could accept a 9T cassette. It was Capreo - specifically meant for small-wheeled bicycles, such as mini velos and folding bikes. I first heard of it in 2013, and it's still being sold, but it's nowhere near as popular as its other drivetrain stuff. Most 20" folding bikes can accept Shimano road bike drivetrain parts, and it's one area where triples are almost never seen, and a 53/39T or 56/44T crank is beneficial.

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Rapha Nadal [964 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I like a Westmalle Tripel or a Karmeliet Tripel.

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Duncann [1470 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:

I like a Westmalle Tripel or a Karmeliet Tripel.

Prefer Westmalle's Dubbel myself - but I can't ever see myself being tempted by a single. Unless it's a malt.

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Pub bike [258 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
handlebarcam wrote:

With ever narrower chains, surely the time of the quadruple is almost upon us. Think of the marketing advantage of being able to put "48 speed" on the promotional material for a new bike equipped with 12 cogs on the back and 4 rings at the front (and the obligatory bluetooth head unit displaying gears remaining before your speed drops below that required to remain upright.)

It used to be possible.  Obviously didn't catch on!

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BDP [3 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

After years of road racing on doubles I switched to triples around 2005 as wanted to ride some big sportives in the Alpes as well as other very hilly rides in UK.  Etape de Tour, Marmotte, Spud Riley, White Rose classic etc.  A triple with a nice close ratio cassette lets you very easily find a good climbing gear without all the riidiculous jumps in ratio you get with all these modern set-ups.   Will never go back.  And, BTW, raced a fair amount on my triple equipped bik up until 2010....

Triple easy to set up, not much extra weight in the overall scheme of things,  and gives you best gear options all the time. 

Stop pandering to the trend setters - stick with what you know works best

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Pub bike [258 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
RMurphy195 wrote:
ashliejay wrote:

triple chainsets, just aren't worth the hassle, as setting up the front mech is a nightmare, as at least with a double, you set the limit screws and that's pretty much it.

When I set up my triple front mech, I need to set the limit screws - just a minute, isn't that the same?

With both systems you adjust limit screws for smallest chainring and biggest sprocket, and then biggest chainring and smallest sprocket, and then adjust the cable until there is 0.5mm clearance between the chain and the FD cage in smallest chainring and smallest sprocket with trim if necessary.  Review limit screw adjustment and repeat as necessary until set up.

That is the same procedure for double or triple.

It shouldn't be any more hassle unless there is a fault in the drivetrain e.g. the FD is not correctly aligned, FD wrong height,  wrong length BB is installed etc. All of which will affect geometry and in the case of a triple whether shifting onto the middle ring works as intended, which of course affects a triple more than a double owing to the lack of middle ring  1

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Rapha Nadal [964 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:
Rapha Nadal wrote:

I like a Westmalle Tripel or a Karmeliet Tripel.

Prefer Westmalle's Dubbel myself - but I can't ever see myself being tempted by a single. Unless it's a malt.

How do you feel about a Kasteel Barista Quad?  Too much?

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zoxed [67 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

For me the big advantage of triple over double is that I can setup to allow 90-95% of my riding on the middle ring, and only change up or down for the steepest uphills and downhills. (And 1x would not give me enough range at the small steps I prefer (but OK for round town).)

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Langsam [71 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I don't get why people are having trouble setting up a triple crankset.

 

heck, I've just built a frame up from the parts bin with

-an 8-speed 48/38/28 crankset,

-a triple RSX front mech from a 3x7 groupset,

-a Tiagra STI 3x9 LH shifter,

-a SRAM 9-speed chain,

-an 8-speed Sora STI RH shifter and cassette,

and it was a doddle to set up and works perfectly....

 

I am NOT a pro mechanic either!

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