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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am likely building up a bike soon, and want to put a triple on it. But I want a LOW Q-factor on said triple... yep, it does definitely make a difference for my riding. :thumbsup:

However, I've been out of the game for awhile, so I'm wondering... what current triples have a low-Q? (like in the 150s or even less).

Something like a Ritchey Logic triple would've been ideal (151mm Q, I think), but I understand they don't make 'em anymore? Yeesh. :frown2:



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nope..

I thinks you'll find that current Shimano models have the lowest tread width. I've used FSA in the past and all were around 159mm. Thre's just no magical way to move the rings 5-6mm further to the right and keep the same tread width.

FWIW, I used double cranks with a narrow width for about 19 years, switched to a triple with no porblems at all, then switched back to a compact with a narrow width this year. I never noticed the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
C-40 said:
I thinks you'll find that current Shimano models have the lowest tread width. I've used FSA in the past and all were around 159mm. Thre's just no magical way to move the rings 5-6mm further to the right and keep the same tread width.
Then what's the deal with Ritchey having done a 151mm Q triple a few years back? :confused:


FWIW, I used double cranks with a narrow width for about 19 years, switched to a triple with no porblems at all, then switched back to a compact with a narrow width this year. I never noticed the difference.
YMMV, but for me, Q-factor definitely makes a difference. I remember switching from a 'meh' quality double with bad Q to a double with 139mm Q back in the '90s, and my pedaling definitely benefited... quite a bit smoother, less knee pain, etc.


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??

If a triple was made with that tread width, then something else has to be compromised, like heel clearance. I still think you'll find Shimano cranks to be slightly narrower than some other brands, but no modern outboard bearing triple crank will have a 151mm tread width.

If you truly believe tread width to cause knee pain or other problems, you may have other issues like a foot alignment problem. Andy Pruitt claims that a large percentage of people suffer from forefoot varus and need cleat wedges, but just don't know it.

One way that some people discover foot misalignment is through abnormal cleat wear. They write about speedplay cleats or pedal bodies wearing heavily on the outside edge. They blame the lousy pedals, but the real problem is forefoot varus. I've got the opposite problem with my left foot and no problem on my right. I used to wear a groove into the pedal spindle with the left cleat. Lemond wedges fixed that.

I see a lot of goofy looking pedaling while following other riders. It's amazing the number of extremely crooked feet I see and knees going far to the outside on the upstroke instead of straight up and down. Most often, I see only the left knee going wild, but some people do it with both knees.

Another thing I see quite often is cleats mounted so the shoe has at least 10mm of clearance with the crankarm. These folks have a greater tread width than a triple crank, just due to cleat placement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
wim said:
For what it's worth, FC-7800 Dura-Ace triple tread is 152 mm (left 74.5 mm + right 77.5 mm).
152mm? Ah, now THAT'S more like it! Many thanks, Wim. :thumbsup:

Though, hmm, that crank doesn't take less than a 30t ring, does it? So I still sorta wonder if it'd be a good idea to try and hunt down a Ritchey triple on eBay or somewhere.... hmmm.... :idea:


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SystemShock said:
Though, hmm, that crank doesn't take less than a 30t ring, does it? So I still sorta wonder if it'd be a good idea to try and hunt down a Ritchey triple on eBay or somewhere.... hmmm.... :idea:
Nothing smaller than a 30 on that FC-7800 crankset, and the bolt circle diameter (BCD) is an odd 92 mm. I don't know of anyone who makes a 38 in that BCD, but perhaps someone does. Really, I wouldn't worry too much about a few millimeter more or less tread—your choice of pedals and shoes, how you fix your cleats, and your forefoot varus or valgus (as said above) will change tread on you anyhow, even as you ride.
 

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Two things:

1. It is possible to fit a smaller than 30T ring to the 7803 crank (or any 130 PCD crank) by using a TA triple adapter middle ring: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/chainrings.asp

2. The TA carmina crank may solve your problem: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/carmina.asp

The TA cranks do not use external bearing BBs - IMO a good thing, so you can fiddle around with chainline to your heart's content, i.e., by using Phil Wood BBs, spacers, etc.

The Ritchey cranks do have ~151mm Q, and are symmetrical if the standard width BB (120mm Ritchey, or 118mm Shimano UNxx) is used. If you don't mind things being asymmetrical they also work fine with a 112/113mm Olde Style road BB, or a 107mm UNxx with 2x1.6mm spacers behind the RH cup.

Good luck finding any on ebay!

BTW, the other issue you may have with external bearing cranks is ankle clearance - they are generally very poor in this regard; Campag UT is an exception. I am about to ditch my 7800 doubles for this reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks satanas. I do wonder why they stopped making the Ritchey triples anyway. :???:
 

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SystemShock said:
Thanks satanas. I do wonder why they stopped making the Ritchey triples anyway. :???:
Triples are not very fashionable at the moment. There's much more money to be made by peddling compact cranks, which are all the rage. Once everyone has a compact, the triple option might become interesting again, perhaps with a new, catchy name. . . :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks MCF, will do. :)
 
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