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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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iandon [21 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I realy like triple chainsets and would miss the range of easy gears that kept my legs spinning when it all goes very steep. 

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bikefixer [1 post] 2 months ago
3 likes

Me: Older cyclist, semi-retired bike mechanic/retailer with 30 years experience.

Most of my bikes have doubles (52/42 or 52/39) which are fine for flats, rolling hills or bridges in my area. My "take it with me" bike is a triple. In my area, west central Florida, 34/50 gearing is not useful, especially in group rides. Often I see riders in the 34/12 or the 50/28 combinations. Usually I hear them first. I call them future customers. I recently replaced two 50t chainrings because of chain line wear. Would have done one more, but can't find a Shimano 6750 50t ring.

When I ride in very hilly areas I appreciate my triple. It allowes me to run a tighter cassette, 12/23, with closer gear ratios to more easily maintain my desired spin.

About 3 years ago six of my customers had their cranks changed to compact for a tough ride in Georgia (USA). The ones who did not change back to standard gearing all ended up replacing the 34t with a 38t ring.

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Aryan [1 post] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
james_from_stoke wrote:

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.

You said it perfectly. Relieved to see a sensible contribution to this thread! You are right, most people don't understand the benefits of 3 chain rings, evident when they remark such things as ''but there are so many duplicate gears!!'' and ''you can get the same range with 'X' cassette and a compact'' etc....etc... 

Some dismiss it on aesthetics alone, and they are not worth the time to talk to (in fact most probably won't consider it based on aesthetics and 'image', the flawed arguments are just icing on the cake for them). Function is beautiful to me, I don't care how 'clean' it looks, if it's inferior it doesn't qualify.

Also not an oldie here reminiscing about 'the good old days'. I'm 19, although I'm often labelled a 'retro grouch'... Are you on insta or FB? @Swansea_Road_Bikes here.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2709 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Ah yeah but, Road CC have already spunked themselves over the Rotor 13 speed 1x as the solution to all gear ratios. Frankliy it's yet more waffle, it's still aimed at pro racers and to get the lower ranges that mere mortals require means you have to go with a cassette that still has huge jumps between the ratios, this was one of the reasons why Aqua blue hated it (as well as the constant mechanicals they were having).

A 10-39 cassette with a 42T gives you a gain ratio of 8.87 - 2.27, a 50/34 with 11-32 gives you 9.6 - 2.24, so your top end is seriously restricted. Okay, you go to a bigger ring, a 46 for example, yup you made the top end similar and the bottom end 2.11 so slightly lower, but now you've got even bigger jumps between the ratios because you had to get the 10-46 cassette! Oh and you still need to buy new frame and wheels.

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leqin [261 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Ah yeah but, Road CC have already spunked themselves over the Rotor 13 speed 1x as the solution to all gear ratios.

So is that going to be the prefered lubrication and, if that is the case, will there be a wet or dry solution?

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Triple crank are not dead, as long as Shimano keep making the XTR DI2 Triple front derailleur.  Goes off to buy a spare  1

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Yorkshire wallet [2429 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Don't really see how you're restricted by a 50t unless you're REALLY quite fast on the flats. 50x11 at 90rpm is 32mph!

Lets's be realistic, there's a lot of people cycling for whom 17mph avg over a couple of hours is a good ride. Not everyone is smashing out time trial speeds. 

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don simon fbpe [2844 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Ride what you want.

I've ridden in a pretty mountainous region on a 53/39 and 28 at the rear without problems, except Bola del Mundo.

Mountain biked (XC) with a double and done the same routes on a 32/16 singlespeed.

I think there will always be a need for triples.

They're not for me, but hey!

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
don simon fbpe wrote:

Ride what you want.

I've ridden in a pretty mountainous region on a 53/39 and 28 at the rear without problems, except Bola del Mundo.

Mountain biked (XC) with a double and done the same routes on a 32/16 singlespeed.

I think there will always be a need for triples.

They're not for me, but hey!

 

How much do you weigh?  I bet it's quite light.  No way a +90kg rider can manage a decent cadence up mountains, same for older riders in general

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don simon fbpe [2844 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:
don simon fbpe wrote:

Ride what you want.

I've ridden in a pretty mountainous region on a 53/39 and 28 at the rear without problems, except Bola del Mundo.

Mountain biked (XC) with a double and done the same routes on a 32/16 singlespeed.

I think there will always be a need for triples.

They're not for me, but hey!

 

How much do you weigh?  I bet it's quite light.  No way a +90kg rider can manage a decent cadence up mountains, same for older riders in general

At that time I was 40-45 yrs old and weighed 80-85kg, at around 45 yrs I'd dropped to 70-75kg. the bike was a 1999 bike too, so not a weight weenie.

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
don simon fbpe wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
don simon fbpe wrote:

Ride what you want.

I've ridden in a pretty mountainous region on a 53/39 and 28 at the rear without problems, except Bola del Mundo.

Mountain biked (XC) with a double and done the same routes on a 32/16 singlespeed.

I think there will always be a need for triples.

They're not for me, but hey!

 

How much do you weigh?  I bet it's quite light.  No way a +90kg rider can manage a decent cadence up mountains, same for older riders in general

At that time I was 40-45 yrs old and weighed 80-85kg, at around 45 yrs I'd dropped to 70-75kg. the bike was a 1999 bike too, so not a weight weenie.

 

You have made your point, the Bola at 21.8km @ 6.2% average is a decent climb, not the worst but a fair test and you suggested it was a struggle with 39*28. 

Ive done longer, 21 miles, sometimes steeper climbs, but were able to spin@ 86rpm ave,  to save my legs for later on.  I weigh 95KG

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don simon fbpe [2844 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:
don simon fbpe wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
don simon fbpe wrote:

Ride what you want.

I've ridden in a pretty mountainous region on a 53/39 and 28 at the rear without problems, except Bola del Mundo.

Mountain biked (XC) with a double and done the same routes on a 32/16 singlespeed.

I think there will always be a need for triples.

They're not for me, but hey!

 

How much do you weigh?  I bet it's quite light.  No way a +90kg rider can manage a decent cadence up mountains, same for older riders in general

At that time I was 40-45 yrs old and weighed 80-85kg, at around 45 yrs I'd dropped to 70-75kg. the bike was a 1999 bike too, so not a weight weenie.

 

You have made your point, the Bola at 21.8km @ 6.2% average is a decent climb, not the worst but a fair test and you suggested it was a struggle with 39*28. 

Ive done longer, 21 miles, sometimes steeper climbs, but were able to spin@ 86rpm ave,  to save my legs for later on.  I weigh 95KG

Bola del Mundo is actually the final 3-4km, which is a struggle on 39/28, the rest was run of the mill for that area. There are three approaches and as I lived off the M-604, I came from the Rascafria side, so a slightly different climb.

I am pleased that you've done longer and harder climbs. The point being that people can use whatever gearing suits them and gets them out on a bike, what suits one person isn't a rule and there in no single sensible option. If triples help people get into cycling, and climbing, that allows them to upgrade as they get fitter and strong, then fantastic.

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

I'm not arguing everyone has to get a triple crank, you can achieve similar ratios on the easy end of gearing with MTB crankset double.  Most folk don't need 48t or above chainring, a 46t/44t is more than adequate.  I do have a 48t but it's a little overkill.  I can push the speed over 50+ mph but that is with a very high cadence 140rpm.  Generally most folk are looking for easier gearing to make hills easier, but either through embarrassment, ignorance or bloody minded won't consider anything other than standard, mid or compact groupsets.  

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Dingaling [31 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Some people seem not able to understand why others want a triple. Low gears to get up long climbs are readily available right up to the top groups. The problem is that the top groups do not offer this low gearing with some high gears. I don't care how many people tell me and everybody else that we don't need 48-52/11 I want those high gears to be there just for the few occasions when I can use them.

XTR has now reduced the big chainring to 38T which would give me 39kph at a 90 cadence (210cm wheel circ.). Totally inadequate. When I pass cars going down mountains I want to be able to pedal when I do it and not be at a cadence that has me coming off the saddle.

There are no big mountains where I live but there are a couple of longer descents where I can hit 75kph so I want to pedal towards that as long as I can. Simples.

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

XTR has now reduced the big chainring to 38T which would give me 39kph at a 90 cadence (210cm wheel circ.)​

Shimano spec the crankset max chainring @40T.  This is hugely under-rated.  I am using a 48T outer chainring down to a 26 inner ring and there is no rubbing on either ring.  I could probably got a 50 in if I had gone with 50/34 but I wanted the huge gearing range a triple offers.  

 

A 52*11 combo @ 90rpm gives 33mph.  I, when coming down a steep hill will invariably freewheel above 30mph, but to push 50+mph requires a huge amount of power and cadence 140rpm, which defeats the opportunity to recover.  Maybe in a race scenario its useful.

 

If your thing it to pedal like crazy downhill, so be ityes

 

 

 

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

XTR has now reduced the big chainring to 38T which would give me 39kph at a 90 cadence (210cm wheel circ.)​

Shimano spec the crankset max chainring @40T.  This is hugely under-rated.  I am using a 48T outer chainring down to a 26 inner ring and there is no rubbing on either ring.  I could probably got a 50 in if I had gone with 50/34 but I wanted the huge gearing range a triple offers.  

 

A 52*11 combo @ 90rpm gives 33mph.  I, when coming down a steep hill will invariably freewheel above 30mph, but to push 50+mph requires a huge amount of power and cadence 140rpm, which defeats the opportunity to recover.  Maybe in a race scenario its useful.

 

If your thing it to pedal like crazy downhill, so be ityes

 

 

 

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Dingaling [31 posts] 2 weeks ago
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CXR94Di2,

I think I we pretty much agree. I may have just created the impression that I pedal to 50mph. I don't and can't. Around 45mph is my pedalling max. and I can't hold that for long, so it becomes a case of getting down low.

If I decide to get a new touring bike then I guess it will end up being with a 48 like your Tripster.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2709 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Don't really see how you're restricted by a 50t unless you're REALLY quite fast on the flats. 50x11 at 90rpm is 32mph!

Lets's be realistic, there's a lot of people cycling for whom 17mph avg over a couple of hours is a good ride. Not everyone is smashing out time trial speeds. 

I can hit 32mph on a short 2%-3% decline on my way to the shops if I go the long way round on the main through road, the short route to the shops has a 7% literally 400m from my front door which I hit 32mph in the dicky dark and normally around 37ish during daylight hours, it's also the route to the library and usually the route I go to start off a ride going Northwards into the countryside. There's plenty of short hills around here that means you can use the big dog often and I hate cross chaining.

I like giving it the beans as much as I can (whilst I still can!) and whilst I have the distinct disadvantage of weight and a few more years on the clock so need the lower gears around the 20" mark, I also like having bigger gears so that I don't have to spin like a washing machine if I do get onto a slope I can attack. I remember spinning out in France a few years ago on my hybrid whilst on a short visit to friends in Chamonix, 48x12 was my biggest gear then and my legs were going like the clappers before tucking in and going through a badly lit tunnel at circa 46mph which was a bit of a muscle clencher.

The thing is though, there's very few rides I will be able to maintain a 17mph v. but I will use a 50x11 relatively frequently even here in Hertfordshire. Having a triple for me is the best of all worlds, I do have a double on my carbon racer but by god it's hard work on the steeper stuff, or even a somewhat 'easy' gradient when I'm knackered or my illness means I'm washed out before I even get on the saddle.

It's only because it's significantly lighter than my audax/touring/winter racer which has a triple, has higher end kit and the best tyres and wheels I can afford that just about enables me to stick with the gearing I have unlesss I went to using a much wider cassette. I would hate to, but if it comes to it I will fit a triple to it if it means I can get the enjoyment of using a decent frame and still lug myself over the hills. Problem is there are no decent triples around from the big three players and the Shimano MTB triples are ugly if not functional.

Currently putting together my own road triple using a Sugino plus TA rings and a titanium BB.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2709 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

XTR has now reduced the big chainring to 38T which would give me 39kph at a 90 cadence (210cm wheel circ.)​

Shimano spec the crankset max chainring @40T.  This is hugely under-rated.  I am using a 48T outer chainring down to a 26 inner ring and there is no rubbing on either ring.  I could probably got a 50 in if I had gone with 50/34 but I wanted the huge gearing range a triple offers.  

 

A 52*11 combo @ 90rpm gives 33mph.  I, when coming down a steep hill will invariably freewheel above 30mph, but to push 50+mph requires a huge amount of power and cadence 140rpm, which defeats the opportunity to recover.  Maybe in a race scenario its useful.

 

If your thing it to pedal like crazy downhill, so be it

will the XTR triple Di2 front mech only work with a Shimano MTB triple chainset, IF I was to go for Electronic I'd like to use something other than the big S offerings. Can you programme the shifters to do road triple spacing or is it set in stone for MTB spacing and specifically Shimano MTB chainsets only?

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

XTR has now reduced the big chainring to 38T which would give me 39kph at a 90 cadence (210cm wheel circ.)​

Shimano spec the crankset max chainring @40T.  This is hugely under-rated.  I am using a 48T outer chainring down to a 26 inner ring and there is no rubbing on either ring.  I could probably got a 50 in if I had gone with 50/34 but I wanted the huge gearing range a triple offers.  

 

A 52*11 combo @ 90rpm gives 33mph.  I, when coming down a steep hill will invariably freewheel above 30mph, but to push 50+mph requires a huge amount of power and cadence 140rpm, which defeats the opportunity to recover.  Maybe in a race scenario its useful.

 

If your thing it to pedal like crazy downhill, so be it

will the XTR triple Di2 front mech only work with a Shimano MTB triple chainset, IF I was to go for Electronic I'd like to use something other than the big S offerings. Can you programme the shifters to do road triple spacing or is it set in stone for MTB spacing and specifically Shimano MTB chainsets only?

 

It would be best to check the width and spacing of a crankset. You could always use the XTR Deore spindle and source different ring to fit .  You cant trim the steps on each change, but can slightly alter the end stops. 

 

On my installation,  I removed about 0.5-1mm from the bottom bracket spacer in the drive side to position the crankset perfectly. Then chain doesnt rub at all.  I also employ syncro shift to keep the chain as straight as possible, whilst getting the benefit of next ratio incriments

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Wheezy old git [1 post] 1 week ago
2 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.

We're not all 'athletes' all the time. Sometimes, we're just riding a bike, and we'd like to be able to do it in the most comfortable gear. For me, touring dictates wide range and narrow ratio. 

Triple. Suck it, SRAM.

 

Pefect. Awed. Thank you.  My touring bike - loaded with only 2 paniers, incl. the tent, toolkit and spares, only 2 litres of water in bottles, crawled up Grand Colombier with a 34-50 compact and a 11-34 on the back.  I learnt my lesson (and strained my achilles').  I now have a triple: 26-39-50 on the front, and the same 11-34 on the back.  Yes there's a lot of overlap, but in the 27 gears plenty of sweet spots. No 1x11 MTB type gearing is going to give me that, Mr SRAM.

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paradyzer [21 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

'Death' - Really should be called forced extinction by companies that are trying to shape the market. I'm still running used components from 8+ years ago, so suck it, 'trendsetters'.

road.cc - if we started a drinking game of having a glass of wine every time this article is 'released' we would become serious alcoholics. Just a thought.  1

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reippuert [117 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Chris Hayes wrote:

A rare sight indeed these days.... a compact chain-set is lighter, more efficient, easier to set up and maintain and should get you up most things with an appropriate cassette

 

if u need a 11-40 or 11-42 to get by with your double +50/34 any tripple will be lighter.

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NickJP [7 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Triple chainrings still needed for Tandems, which both go faster on the flat/downhill and slower uphill. We run 54/44/30 chainrings with 11-34 cassette on our tandem, and on a slight downhill we can easily wind out the 54-11, whereas at the other end of the scale we occasionally find a steep hill where the 30-34 is not really low enough.

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CXR94Di2 [2389 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
NickJP wrote:

Triple chainrings still needed for Tandems, which both go faster on the flat/downhill and slower uphill. We run 54/44/30 chainrings with 11-34 cassette on our tandem, and on a slight downhill we can easily wind out the 54-11, whereas at the other end of the scale we occasionally find a steep hill where the 30-34 is not really low enough.

 

I call wind out being over 140rpm, 54-11 ratio would be @140rpm, 54mph  

I can understand the easy gearing not being enough and I run a 26t triple inner ring with either 32 or 40 tooth cassette depending on what Im doing.

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Bigfoz [165 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I tried twice with compacts, gave up after a couple of months.  I found the gear run on them appalling. I've settled on Campag triples for my main rides, with double on race bike and summer bike. Rest of the time it's a 53/42/30 or 53/39/30 triple, with a 12-25 or 12-27 9 spd rear. Gives me a perfect doubld eset up with a granny. Fabulous for getting me up Scottish hills.

I used to ride a 53x39 by 12-23/5 when I lived in Herts, but after moving up here to Scotland, foud that a bit challenging.

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