Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Double or triple?

13»

Posts

  • Simon MastersonSimon Masterson Posts: 2,740
    ooermissus wrote:
    So to summarise:

    Compact advantages: lighter; simpler to set up (allegedly); cheaper to produce; narrower stance (if that matters to you); toughens you up; you won’t get laughed at.

    Triple advantages: fewer front ring changes; narrow gear spacing; better for your knees; you won’t have to walk up hills.

    And the weight thing is of no significance whatsoever...
  • overlord2overlord2 Posts: 336
    When i'm passing the compacts on Hardknott on the Fred I might say "should have got a triple" :lol:

    Standard - For pros or those riding hills less than 10%
    Triple - For normal people who want to ride gradients over 10%
    Compact - For normal people who want to look like a pro

    I have to say I have a compact as well as a triple and after 2 years using it I will not be buying another compact.
  • KevChallisKevChallis Posts: 646
    overlord2 wrote:
    When i'm passing the compacts on Hardknott on the Fred I might say "should have got a triple" :lol:

    Standard - For pros or those riding hills less than 10%
    Triple - For normal people who want to ride gradients over 10%
    Compact - For normal people who want to look like a pro

    I have to say I have a compact as well as a triple and after 2 years using it I will not be buying another compact.

    Bit odd response, I don't want to look like a pro, I am not a pro, neither will be a pro, yet the major amount of bikes, both new and used in my price range, 90% have compacts
    Kev
    PlanetX Pro Carbon
    Voodoo Bizango
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    For me the answer is pretty simple:

    1. Work out what the lowest gear you need is (e.g. in "gear inches")
    2. If you can get this low using a standard chainset, use it
    3. Else If you can get this low using a compact chainset, use it
    4. Else use a triple.

    There is an advantage in using a triple, that you can get away with smaller sprockets on the back, and hence get closer ratios between the gears. But in this day of 11s gearing, I have 12-27 (12-29 available) with only 2 teeth difference at the most.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • overlord2overlord2 Posts: 336
    KevChallis wrote:
    overlord2 wrote:
    When i'm passing the compacts on Hardknott on the Fred I might say "should have got a triple" :lol:

    Standard - For pros or those riding hills less than 10%
    Triple - For normal people who want to ride gradients over 10%
    Compact - For normal people who want to look like a pro

    I have to say I have a compact as well as a triple and after 2 years using it I will not be buying another compact.

    Bit odd response, I don't want to look like a pro, I am not a pro, neither will be a pro, yet the major amount of bikes, both new and used in my price range, 90% have compacts

    Which is exactly what im getting at. Compacts are sold because they are cheaper to build and because they look more like a 'pro' machine. Triples just don't look pro, are more expensive, and are not fashionable though they are the best suited crankset to 90% of riders.
  • Jim CJim C Posts: 333
    Lots of experienced and fit riders use a triple. The current 12hour time trial national record holder (300 and something miles) used a bike with a triple whilst setting that record.

    Advantages- a couple or 3 lower gears (Hardknott, Asterton Bank, etc) Closer ratios on the cassette. A 39 tooth middle ring on which most riders will spend most of the day.

    Disadvantages - a couple of ounces of weight
    jc
  • Big clue in my user name, but as a relative newbie over 40, anything that means i can go uphill without stressing the
    knees as much, is fine by me. . I have a triple with a 30 crank with 12-27 on the back.

    I am doing 3 rides a week to improve, & with my set up I can go on a long hilly ride at the weekend knowing I will be able to have another quality training session by Monday or Tuesday. If i had to grind all the way up hills at the weekend that I wouldn't do justice to that first midweek session. To my mind it's similar to the principle
    of 'sweetspot' training you read about.

    When I get my next bike i will take a view as to what then suits my (hopefully) improved capabilities, but at the moment this set up is right for me.

    I would imagine someone much younger would get stronger much quicker as well as recover faster and so perhaps could grow into higher gears quicker so the HTFU principle might be more applicable

    As for looking 'pro' or not the advantage of being older is you stop worrying what people think and do what suits you
  • marylogicmarylogic Posts: 355
    IMHO for many people buying a compact is like buying a pair of cycling shorts a size too small because that's the size you'd like to be. The result is not pretty.
  • greasedscotsmangreasedscotsman Posts: 7,224
    Mercia Man wrote:
    By the way, I've just noticed that Merlin are selling the fantastic highly polished Dura Ace 7800 triple chainset for just £179.99 at the moment (RRP £449.99).

    You're better off with Ultegra 6700 for even less ;)

    Get the 7800, got it on my Spesh and it's great!

    4379300021_1360e5cfab.jpg
  • greasedscotsmangreasedscotsman Posts: 7,224
    AllanES wrote:
    And now i've decided I'll buy the bike based on other criteria and take whatever it comes with :)

    This is it really. There are minor advantages and disadvantages between the different setups, but it really doesn't make that much of a difference.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    marylogic wrote:
    IMHO for many people buying a compact is like buying a pair of cycling shorts a size too small because that's the size you'd like to be. The result is not pretty.

    Or in my case, I chose a Compact chainring as I expected to slim down alot...which is now definately the case :D
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • marylogicmarylogic Posts: 355
    Kudos for the weight loss. :)

    I don't want to lose any more of my 56kg so I'm just going to stick with my triple and work on the power aspect of the equation.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,393
    but it's fashion that drives the snobbery against triples, not sense.

    This^. Weight is not an issue, you're talking a few grammes here.

    Somebody has already said here, a triple means you can ride comfortably in the middle front ring over 90% of the time. A compact provides the same range of gears with a lighter weight and more common set up. It does however necessitate far more front ring changes which inevitably need a simultaneous rear change.

    I have, compact, triple and old fashioned 42, 52 on my road bikes. Each system has pros and cons. However, I'd say a compact is great if you are fit enough to do most of your flat riding on the large front ring. If you're not, a triple is a far better solution so you're not forever changing gears.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Snobbery, that old chestnut lol.

    How about people actually just prefer a compact.

    Whats the big deal about changing gears at the front anyway?
    The concept of ridding everywhere on one ring with two other redundant ones going along for the ride sounds good in one way but bad in another.

    I prefer to have less there and use more of it, even if that means changes are needed. You are changing gears (at the back anyway so whats the issue?

    If I go up a hill and then down the other side (I find that happens a lot with hills) I would have to go through 3 front rings, so if you find changing front rings painful, theres your nightmare.

    For me I just like the simplicity of two front rings over the simplicity of less front changes (possibly) over the ride as a whole.

    I agree with all the benefits that triples have but at the end of the day its a choice.
    By mentioning snobbery, people in favour of triples just sound like they have a chip on their shoulder.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,393
    Yes, snobbery!
    My main bike is a compact and it works perfectly for me. I strongly believe that for some people, a triple is a better solution and for others, a standard.
    Why do people riding triples regularly hear the words 'should have got a compact?' Snobbery, that's why. They are both valid systems so what logical reason can there be for telling strangers they chose incorrectly?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    On a ride? I think that's an urban myth, just like the one about people getting abuse for having a cheap bike or clothing.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    The only person on this tread that has been told to get a compact is the OP, and that's because he asked and generally because people feel it would be the better option for him.
  • KevChallisKevChallis Posts: 646
    And having test ridden a giant defy 4 triple vs the same bike but compact today, I will be buying a compact, I can't say why, but it felt better to me, thanks for all the info in this thread though, a lot of it is very helpful. Maybe not be the defy 4 I end up with but it will he a compact
    Kev
    PlanetX Pro Carbon
    Voodoo Bizango
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Thanks for the update. Glad you are a step nearer.
    Let us know what bike you end up getting ;-)
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Get a compact...unless you need a triple ;-)
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • dai_t75dai_t75 Posts: 189
    Just my 2p worth...

    Let me start by saying I am a novice myself (started in October).

    I got a Triban 3 that comes with a triple on the front 50-39-30. Now, the biggest sprocket on the back is 25 teeth which gives me an easiest gear of 1.2 (30/25 - please correct me if I have got this wrong). My OH also started in October and got a ladies Norco bike that came with a compact. I can't remember the numbers off the top of my head but her easiest gear is also 1.2. I have no clue if men's compacts give a similar easiest gear?

    Just some food for thought anyway. I plan on changing the cassette soon to give me 28 on the back to give me a bit of an easier gear anyway :oops:

    As an aside another issue I have with a triple is adjusting the front derailleur - no matter how much I fettle with it I cannot get it to behave just as I want it! I cannot stop the chain rubbing when on big front small back.
  • fishywebfishyweb Posts: 173
    Regarding the rubbing front derailleur, it might be you just need to tighten the cable slightly with the barrel adjuster.
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/287459
    Member of http://www.UKnetrunner.co.UK - the greatest online affiliated running club
Sign In or Register to comment.