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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just curious what you loose going from tripples to doubles. As a noob do I really need the extra gears? Just would like some input as I start to look at more used bikes

Thanks
Sam
 

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What Would Google Do.
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you loose the pointlessly easy (my opinion) 3rd chainwheel granny gear unless you do touring in steep mountains with 60-70lbs of gear on the bike!
And gain Strength. Tripples were designed to be used MOUNTAIN biking on MUDDY TECHNICAL tracks and super steep pinch grades 25%+....not to be used for going at walking speed up a sealed road 13.5km to 1800m~ @7.9% gradient, when you literally would be quicker walking! - I dont know why people DO THIS!, its pointless, they might as well drive up?? again my opinion..have been on both sides before settling on this side.
 

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muscleendurance said:
you loose the pointlessly easy (my opinion) 3rd chainwheel granny gear unless you do touring in steep mountains with 60-70lbs of gear on the bike!
And gain Strength. Tripples were designed to be used MOUNTAIN biking on MUDDY TECHNICAL tracks and super steep pinch grades 25%+....not to be used for going at walking speed up a sealed road 13.5km to 1800m~ @7.9% gradient, when you literally would be quicker walking! - I dont know why people DO THIS!, its pointless, they might as well drive up?? again my opinion..have been on both sides before settling on this side.
#1) What the heck is a "Tripple"???

#2) Cranksets with 3 chainrings (a triple crank) existed decades before Mountain Bikes were developed.

#3) Cranksets with 3 chainrings are a great way to get a wider gear range if you need it. Properly set up with modern components they shift fine. Heck you will even see them used in the occasional Professional Road Race.
 

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waterproof*
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so... as a newb, the thing with triples is that they offer a much lower bottom gear, so at the end of a long hard ride when your legs are totally dead, you can still get up a reasonably steep hill at about the same pace as walking. And of course if you have a loaded bike, it helps to have super low gears.

If you live in a flat area, you probably don't need a triple.

Triples have a (well deserved) reputation for being finicky in shifting, which is especially annoying when you're clawing for momentum going up a steep hill and the dang thing mis-shifts again and you run out of speed rapidly.

If you live in a hilly area and mainly ride unloaded bikes on short to medium length day rides, you might be better off with so-called "compact cranks" which are a double chainring but the gearing is in between a triple and a traditional road double, allowing lower low gears and a sufficiently high high gear.

If you want to play with possible combinations, this is a great tool:

www.sheldonbrown.com/gears
 

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A triple also offers a very nice middle ring that is a sweet spot for the average road bike rider. You can stay in that middle ring on most of your rides and not worry about constantly changing rings.
 

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Another thought.

talusmonkey said:
Just would like some input as I start to look at more used bikes
If you're still sticking to your original budget limit of $300-400 for a bicycle, it might serve you better use all your time and energy in finding a good used bicycle regardless of the type of crank. The differences of opinion regarding triples and doubles are much larger than the actual differences between those crank types. Also, it's not that big a deal to change out cranks if you just can't live with the one on the bike you bought. That's especially true if the shifters are at the lower end of the component levels—most will shift both a double and a triple.
 

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Everybody has one

muscleendurance said:
you loose the pointlessly easy (my opinion) 3rd chainwheel granny gear unless you do touring in steep mountains with 60-70lbs of gear on the bike!
And gain Strength. Tripples were designed to be used MOUNTAIN biking on MUDDY TECHNICAL tracks and super steep pinch grades 25%+....not to be used for going at walking speed up a sealed road 13.5km to 1800m~ @7.9% gradient, when you literally would be quicker walking! - I dont know why people DO THIS!, its pointless, they might as well drive up?? again my opinion.
Man, where to start?

MB-1 already pointed out that some of your facts are completely wrong, so how about some more. No matter what the situation, riding a bike is more calorie efficient than walking, so dont go blowing off about being quicker walking. You say that you've been on both sides of this, but you don't know a single thing about the OP's power output, level of conditioning, nor how steep the local roads are.

Again, all this hyperbole does nothing to add to your credibility.
 

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When looking at fairly new road bikes you will basically encounter 3 crank options. Note that the chainring numbers are variable.

1) Standard double - 53/39

2) Compact double (increasingly popular) - 50/34 - these get you gearing close to what a triple can reach. For example a 50/34 with a 12-27 10-speed cassette will give you some pretty easy climbing gears.

3) Triple - 52/39/30 - Obviously you get 30 gears compared to 20 on a double, but many of the gears combinations overlap with one another and therefore rarely get used. I had a triple and never had a problem with shifting and the "extra weight" of the third chainring is negligible IMO.
 

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I have used a triple, a regular double, and a compact double. Currently my road bike has a compact with 34-50 rings and my cross bike has a road triple (30-42-52) for summer touring.

The triple is more versatile generally--gives you a wider range which is good for carrying loads (touring, groceries in a backpack) up hills, or surviving big hills at the end of long rides. The compact double isn't bad either--less finicky shifting, pretty wide range of gears.

A triple really won't hurt, but if you live in a really flat area, you'll rarely if ever benefit from it.
 
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