CX Crank vs Triple - Much Hill Climbing Difference?

u33db Posts: 68
edited July 2017 in Commuting general

A couple of years ago i bought a Carrera Virtuoso from Halfords but for various reasons i couldn't get on with the drop bars so converted it to a flat bar.

Since it already had a Claris rear mech i fitted the full Claris groupset with the CX 46-34 crank they do.

Now its great for most roads but we have some really step hills near me so i've had thoughts of swapping to the 50-39-30 triple crank option they do.

Given the approx £150 cost to do the conversion will there actually be much improvement going triple vs the CX double crank i have?

I already have a 11-34 megarange cassette so have exhausted rear gear options.

Thoughts please :)


  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    34:34 compared to 30:34 is a massive difference, you WILL notice that
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Interestingly I have a 46/36 cx crank on my winter bike and a 50/39/30 triple on the summer one. 12-27 cassette on each. I do notice the extra gears at both extremes with the triple on the few occasions they are useful, but 99% of the time there's no difference. Gently undulating where I live in Suffolk though; I can get away with staying in the 39 ring most of the time. Lots more front shifting with the cx
  • kirkee
    kirkee Posts: 369
    If in doubt triple out....!
    I run a 9 spd deore 48 36 26mtb crank set with 8 spd claris flat bar. This set up would offer a bigger overall range with only a slight loss at top end than the larger ratio road triple you mentioned.
    Caveat - I buy and ride cheap, however, I reserve the right to advise on expensive kit that I have never actually used and possibly never will
  • imatfaal
    imatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Pick up an XT long cage rear mech and a cheap shimano 10 speed shifter and chain (Canyon doing this for around 60 quid for both - but ebay is great for this if you can spend time looking) - a long range XT rear derailleur has a capacity of 41 or 43 (cannot remember) - you have 12 difference at the front which would allow for about 30 difference (at least) at the back. Then pick up a 11-40 . You still have top end 46-11for the downhills but you have 34-40 for any up hill slopes. You then do not need to mess around with changing front mech, front shifter, crankset and all the grief of changed chain lines etc
  • u33db
    u33db Posts: 68

    Thanks for the replies.

    I've had a good think over the past few days and decided to have shopping spree on the internet last night so have the following coming;

    - Claris Triple 50-39-30.
    - Claris Triple front mech.
    - Claris Triple flat bar shifter.
    - Claris rear mech LONG cage.
    - Octalink 121mm BB to suit triple crank.

    I also have an 11-32 and 11-34 so this should give me all the hill ability i need, and enough for the flat too.

    Total cost was about 140 but i'll be able to ebay my 34-46 crank, front double mech, rear short mech and double shifters which should bring the price down to 75ish i think.