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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have been mountain biking for 2 seasons and want to get into road biking as well. I am looking into a 2010 Specialized Allez Sport, my question is what are the pros and cons between a double or triple? Thanks.
 

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Triples are heavier, can have some wonky shifts, and don't provide any bigger gearing advantages than a compact double. A compact double with a 12-25 rear cassette should be able to get you over most, if not all, climbs just as well as a triple, but save you some weight. With SRAM Apex coming out, the triple is going to become pretty much obsolete.
 

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I have an Allez Elite with a triple and pros are more and lower gear combinations, which I think is a good thing when the road slants upwards. cons is slightly more weight, but I don't think it is enough to negatively impact me or IMO most recreational riders, there is another chain ring that has to be cleaned, but that is pretty insignificant and last but not least some other riders turn their nose up at you for riding a triple which I do not find to negatively impact my riding.
 

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oroy38 said:
Triples can have some wonky shifts, and don't provide any bigger gearing advantages than a compact double. With SRAM Apex coming out, the triple is going to become pretty much obsolete.
With simple front derailleur adjustment, a triple shifts as well as a double crankset. Triple cranks can accept a 24 tooth inner chainring. This is significantly lower than the 34 tooth on a compact. Significantly lower gearing is possible with a triple. Or you can run the 24 inner ring and have a tight rear cassette for better riding on the middle and big rings. To get semi low gearing with a compact you must run a cassette with huge jumps between cogs. Pathetic. Apex does have a 32 cog in back. And of course the huge jumps between cogs. Pathetic. And of course the 32 rear cog will likely not work on most if not all racing bikes. The rear derailleur will not be low enough to clear the big cog. Dropouts on racing bikes are designed for much smaller rear cogs and to clear them only. Not for huge mountain bike rear cogs. So for all the people who think they can get low gears with the new Apex, won't happen. If you want low gears, get a triple crankset.
 

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Man up, get a double.

But seriously 2x9 rigs are the way things are going even in mountain bike world. As somebody stated, the few additional number of gear combo's don't justify the extra weight.
 

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50/34 with a 12-27 cassette will have you getting over all but the most disgustingly steep terrain.

Stick with the double.
 

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I like my triple.

I'm 225#, the extra few grams doesn't mean **** to me
 

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amartko said:
Hello all,

I have been mountain biking for 2 seasons and want to get into road biking as well. I am looking into a 2010 Specialized Allez Sport, my question is what are the pros and cons between a double or triple? Thanks.
Really depends on your weight and the terrain you'll be riding on - so you might want to specify those two.
 

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RussellS said:
With simple front derailleur adjustment, a triple shifts as well as a double crankset.
Yeah, but in my experience, they are tougher to adjust correctly and seem to go out of whack more often.
 

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My triple 6603 shifts better than ANY compact setup I've ever ridden.

And let me tell you, when I did long climbs this year, the majority of my double (compact or not) using homies could not keep up with my grandmother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the responses guys, I have a lot to learn still. Can anyone point me to a resources that explains 50-34, cassette 12-27, etcetera.
 

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It's fairly straightforward: 50-34 means the front cranks have 50 and 34 teeth.

The cassette is the group of gears in back, ranging from 12 to 27 teeth. If you're climbing you'll get the most leverage and least speed using the 34 in front and the 27 in back. On the downhill you might choose to pedal along using the 50 in front and 12 in back.

David
 

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30-39-52 with an 12/25 cassette and 172.5mm crankset:

Low gear (30x25) = 31.5 gear inches.
High Gear (52x12) = 113.9 gear inches.

34-50 with a 12/27 cassette and 172.5mm crank:

Low Gear (34x27) = 33.1 gear inches.
High Gear (50x12) = 109.5 gear inches.

Make that an 11/28 casette:
Low gear (34x28) = 31.9 gear inches.
High gear (50x11) = 119.5 gear inches.

You get nearly the same low climbing gear and a higher descending gearing, without all the unnecessary duplication of ratios that the triple sticks you with. It's lighter, easier to tune and just plain better looking.
 

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oroy38 said:
Triples are heavier, can have some wonky shifts, and don't provide any bigger gearing advantages than a compact double. A compact double with a 12-25 rear cassette should be able to get you over most, if not all, climbs just as well as a triple, but save you some weight. With SRAM Apex coming out, the triple is going to become pretty much obsolete.
Not all that true. If your triple doesn't work it's not set up properly, or it's Shimano road stuff (landfill). I just finished a week long loaded (moderately) ride in Northwest WI. I run a Campy triple 52-38-26 with an 8 speed cassette. (old bike) The 26 is a bail out, but gets used now and then. Plus, if you really need to bail, a 30 may not be enough.

The shifts from the 26 to the 38 or the other way are no different than how my compact shifts on my other bike. So don't buy into the "triple are problematic" thing. That said, for road riding, the gearing suggested by others is pretty much the norm these days when using a 50-34. Good luck.
 

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oily666 said:
Not all that true. If your triple doesn't work it's not set up properly, or it's Shimano road stuff (landfill). I just finished a week long loaded (moderately) ride in Northwest WI. I run a Campy triple 52-38-26 with an 8 speed cassette. (old bike) The 26 is a bail out, but gets used now and then. Plus, if you really need to bail, a 30 may not be enough.
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Wouldn't be too quick to look badly on Shimano. There's a reason their components sell so well, and it's not just advertising. That said, the only Shimano product I've ever had trouble with was my old Schwinn Fastback with a Shimano Triple.

gtpharr said:
Well I guess SRAM's marketing is working on some folks!
Go figure. SRAM Red is all I run on my current bikes and I haven't looked back.
 

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shimano ultegra triples shift just fine no problems. on the front you have a climbing ring, flat ring and a downhill ring. On the rear rear cassette you can leave it in the middle, move up and down as necessary. no cross chaining. if you have steep hills in your area, get a triple, you can always change to a double if you don't need it. the easy climbing gears save your knees, and sometimes, you just have to crawl up one last hill or a steep hill, and that triple is worth it. if you are young,strong, and have good knees you would not be asking.
 

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There's less play involved with a double so you'd figure shifting is more likely to be smoother and problem free. Definitely lighter, even if minimally. I used to mountain bike exclusively, all I do now is ride my road bike, I live in a very hilly area, and I find the compact double to be fine for any climbing. Right now my cassette is 12-27, I think even if I switch to 11-25 climbing won't be an issue.
 

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Go double. It'll shift smooth and if you find yourself doing massive long rides, change out to a compact. If you can, go compact now and you'll have a compromise.
 

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If you're in any kind of shape you should be able to handle a standard 53/39 front double, with a 11-25 in the rear. That should get you up most climbs 15% or less and allow you to cruise reasonably on the flats.
You didn't specify whether you're a strong young guy or an old fat guy with a mirror on his handlebars though :D
 
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