double or triples????

johpat Posts: 39
edited March 2008 in Road beginners

getting back to cycling after a 25 yr break. Due to financial cramp I am looking at a BH L31 Race One, I can get it with doubles or triples, what's the difference? pros / cons apart from a 20 price tag? will I stand a chance when climbing even the slightest incline?

My last machine was a 8 speed steel racer with cowhorn handle bars, a fashion in the mid 80's for the younger contributors.

thanks in advance


  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    I'd always go for a triple. The extra weight is minimal and the extra gears can be invaluable - particularly at the lower end. Because a lot of our riding used to be on tandems we got used to triple chain sets (on a tandem you can use higher gears effectively but, as they don't climb so well, the extra low ones are essential for touring) and they're not any sort of problem.

    I've use what are now called compacts before they had a name and they're fine but it's a triple for me. There'll be lots here who disagree though :)

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • feel
    feel Posts: 800
    I'm with Geoff on this. Even if you only have to use the small ring just once or twice... it's still once or twice you didn't have to get off and push.
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
  • daz51
    daz51 Posts: 159
    Hey Guys,

    This is my first reply on here so hope it goes well,

    I have just ordered my first new road bike being a Specialized Allez,

    I opted for the double chainring due to the new ratios. On the front the one chain ring is a 50 tooth which is up from about 42 i beleive.

    I dont know if all manufacturers are doing this but specialized are, May be worth a look.

  • Roger_This
    Roger_This Posts: 136
    I'd be inclined to agree that a triple is best if you've been away from cycling for a while (or just not a particularly strong rider). An alternative is a 'compact' double, which has a lower range of gears than a standard double, and is widely available.

    btw, you could have a look at the 'Gear Ratios' topic on this forum, it gives a bit more detail.