Double or Triple?

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Double or Triple?

Postby Chainstays » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:13 am

I'm guessing that most people use a triple but are there some people out there that have done or have seen people using doubles in C.O.?
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Postby Jackson » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:19 am

Yes, doubles as well as single speed have done CO.
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Postby AngryKnees » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:55 pm

I did CO2005 on a double (52/42), and lived to tell the tale. The only times I really wished I had a triple was on some of the really steep grades, and even there I just stood up and pedaled until I thought my lungs were going to pop out. Then, I joined the other exhausted people on the side of the road (including people with triples), took a break, and kept on going.

I think it's a matter of what you train with and how you train. My training rides always included some sort of climbing, so I got used to climbing in a double.
Last edited by AngryKnees on Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Force 5 Robert » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:20 pm

Triple here... even though the granny does see much use it is nice to know it is there and I have extra gearing to spare in case it gets steep and/or I just want to spin comfortably rather than pushing too much for too long.
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Postby clwilli » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:14 pm

Compact double.....ready to climb. If that doesn't work I'll use the 5 speed, SAG VAN......LOL
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Postby StarlightPurpleIF » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:17 am

Use what suits you best based on your abilities.

If you have a double and are worried (as I was when I saw some of the profiles), consider adding a compact crank rather than going tripple, which can get expensive depending on your current set up. I got a Ritchey WCS compact crank (50-34) put on this past Tuesday and will put it through its paces tomorrow. You can pick up one for less than $200. I ride a Dura Ace Octalink BB so the crank was compatable without any additional parts. With that and a 12-27 on the back I think I should be o.k. considering I made it through the grueling CO XV and the more kinder, gentler, but still with some long climbs (can you say "Boardman to Condon" and "Larch Mountain") and some short, very steep hills, CO XVIII with a 53-39 on the front.
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Postby David R » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:07 am

The question is not double vs triple but what gear ratio you need and how fine a jump you need between shifts. A compact 50/34 - 11/27 is almost the same thing as a 53/39/30 - 12/25. Doubles have fewer shifting issues than triples, triples giver you smaller incraments of change between shifts.

I ride a 53/39 - 12/25 all summer long, even did the tour de blast with it. Thought I'd put on a 50/34 for CO just in case 7 days in a row of mountain climbing starts to wear on me.

For those who run triples and wish they could go lower, look at putting a 48/34/24 on the bike.
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Postby Mysterio » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:15 am

I have to make a decision this week. I changed to a compact double in the spring from a triple. I am used to is now but fear not having that last one or two gears for CO. I am considering putting it back on for CO but can't seem to decide on whether I should do it or not. I am now not used to using the triple. Oh dear....
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Postby Force 5 Robert » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:21 am

Bike type and ring type matters too...

I imagine all here are talking road bikes for the most part, but last year's CO I ran a 11-34 and a 53/39/24 round rings on my recumbent and did fine. Only used the 24 a few times when I was really having a hard time. That was an extreme range, but the weight of the bike justified it as well.

This year I am on a different recumbent that is significantly lighter. I'll run a 11-32 tops in the back and will run my 52/40/30 Q-rings up front. The 30T Q feels like a 26T round ring but powers up like a bigger gear on the climbs, so I know I will have plenty. Hills I could never tackle in a 40T round ring I can easily move up in the 40T Q-ring - on the same bike.
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Postby lynne » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:52 am

I dropped from the roster yesterday, but if I were going to ride this year it would be a triple. I did use my triple last year and it was nice to have. If you have one, why wouldn't you use it? Shame? Unless you need a higher top speed and can't get it from a triple, it seems stupid to try and push gears that could hurt your knees. It must be a man thing... Macho...thing...something
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Postby dougnlis » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:34 pm

Mysterio wrote:I have to make a decision this week. I changed to a compact double in the spring from a triple. I am used to is now but fear not having that last one or two gears for CO. I am considering putting it back on for CO but can't seem to decide on whether I should do it or not. I am now not used to using the triple. Oh dear....


As David R says, it isn't how many gears, it's which gears. If you are used to the compact double but want a lower low, your answer might be to look at the rear cogs instead of at the crank set. Or you may be borrowing problems where they don't really exist and your current set up will get the job done for you.
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Postby David R » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:37 pm

You are quite right F5R, I'm only talking about your standard wedge bike. I know very little about recumbunt gearing and if you are riding one of those heavy MT bikes you probably need a 22-34.

lynne, compacts don't give you higer top speed, they give you the same top and bottom ratios as triples do, you just have bigger jumps between gears. You don't get quite the gear selection of the triple but you get a better shifting system. There are so many repeat ratios in the triple set up that you actualy get the same number of usable ratios with the compact.

mysterio, keep the compact and change your rear sprocket, its a lot less work than changing your crank, derailure, and shifter back to a triple.
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Oh, I'm so glad you mentioned it

Postby John A Campbell » Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:19 pm

I've got a couple thousand miles of training and I live in a place where 10 mile climbs aren't uncommon. So I was pretty confident I could do the ride on my normal 53-39 double. I wasn't even thinking about my compact until someone mentioned it here. Can you say overconfident? I went back and looked at some of the grades (day 4, 2 miles, 7.8%, day 5, 2 miles, 8.8%). Compact here I come!
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Postby lynne » Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:03 am

David, I don't know all the particulars about compact versus triple. What I am basing my comment on is last year my friend had a compact double and we were side by side, I was spinning and he was not. We were both in our lowest gear. Maybe his rear cog could have been changed to give him a lower gear? I don't know.....
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Postby Chuck B. » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:28 am

I don't know about all this compact vs double vs triple geometry stuff either, but I do know that with the setup I have now, I can spin my way up some stuff in the middle chainring that I had to go to the smallest chainring to make it up before.

I have a 52/42/30 triple up front with a 12-34 9 speed mountain cassette in the rear. It made my maiden voyage up Larch Mountain not quite a joy but at least doable with less than 100 miles under my pedals for the year going in. And this was after riding from Troutdale to Multnomah Falls via Women's Forum and Crown Point then back to the Larch turnoff.

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