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My wife is thinking about getting a 566 but she needs a triple. I know that the Ultegra bike comes with a compact double and I'm sure many of you would love to rant about how the ratios are very close. However, let's pretend that a triple is the only option. I'm looking for suggestions on the most cost efficient way of accomplishing this, given that the frame is relatively expensive ($1800) and the complete bikes are relatively inexpensive. I'd like to spend about as much as the Rival equipped bike ($2600ish). Some obvious options that I've considered:

1. Buy Ultegra bike, ebay compact-double and buy triple parts - $$$$$
2. Buy Rival bike and ebay double and buy triple parts - $$$$
3. Buy frame and build up as a triple. - $$$$

The biggest problem is that the Rival bike is really inexpensive given the price of the frame, so I have difficulty getting close to that price, if I build it up myself. I'd rather not mess around with selling the entire group off of the bike, but that's an option if necessary. This bike comes as a triple (105) in other markets, anyone know if you can get that build in the U.S.? Any other clever suggestions (maybe an Ultegra triple chainring on the rival bike?). I also thought of putting a 32 cog in the back and a MTN derailleur but I don't think the SRAM shifters will shift their MTN derailleurs. Just thought I would see if anybody had any genius ideas. Also, anybody have any reasons why this wouldn't make a good women's bike?
 

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thoughts...

There is no reason to rant about a compact, but it is a fact that the only lower gear that you could get is the 30/27, since a compact's 34/27 is the same as the next lower ratio on a triple, the 30/24. Be sure that your wife really needs that 30/27.

If you absolutely require a triple, you could sell off the shifters, FD, crank, BB and RD to offset some of the cost of the triple parts.

I rode a triple for years, but it was Campy 10, which I feel is more versatile, particularly in the operation of the FD. I've managed to improve my climbing enough to handle the Colorado mountains with a 50/34 and 11-25.

While the price of the complete bike is low, you need to determine if all those parts are really what you want. It's not uncommon to find the bars and saddle not to your liking and change those out, reducing the advantage of the prebuilt bike.
 

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The Rival bike is compact (At least mine was)
Option 3, get the rival, give me the compact, and I will give you a 105/tiagra triple plus whatever else I have lying around:)

I went from a triple to the Rival compact. I was hesitant my first day climbing Mt. Diablo (10 miles 4000+ feet) no sweat. didn't miss a beat or notice it much if at all.
 

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C-40 said:
There is no reason to rant about a compact, but it is a fact that the only lower gear that you could get is the 30/27, since a compact's 34/27 is the same as the next lower ratio on a triple, the 30/24. Be sure that your wife really needs that 30/27.
Actually with SRAM you can get a 34/28 which closes the gap even more. My LBS swapped them out when I bought the bike.
 

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yes...

sroxberg said:
Actually with SRAM you can get a 34/28 which closes the gap even more. My LBS swapped them out when I bought the bike.
A 34/28 is nearly the same a 30/25, so it's a little better, but that 19-22 shift is a really big jump.
 
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