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Old Skool
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It depends on you...

Zig, It would help to know a little more about your level of fitness, style of riding, and aspirations. I grew up riding in Napa and Sonoma Counties. If you are fit enough, you can ride anything in the North Bay with a conventional double (39-52 or 53). If your fitness level is less, you like a more relaxed pace, and/or have a real penchant for the steep stuff a wider range is called for.

Personally, I am just getting back into the sport after a long lay-off. This coupled with the fact that I am now a middle-aged fart pretty much dictates that my next bike will have a triple. While I can still force my 39/25 up just about anything it is neither comfortable nor efficient.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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6,491 Posts
Zig said:
For Norcal (north of SF) riding. double too much? double compact to big a range?
I'm starting to sound like a recording, but YOU have to figure out what gears YOU need and then choose the system that gives you those gears in the most convenient package. - TF
 

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Banned
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6,360 Posts
Love my triples, but I'm itching to try a compact...

I ride up there and on the Peninsula quite a bit (well, a couple of times a year since I moved away, but I've been doing it a long time), and I really like the 46-36-26 triple on my Rambouillet. But I'm 61 years old and hardly ever win the mountain stages, so you need to figure it out for yourself.
I saw a neat compact double on an Atlantis the other day, though, looked like about a 46 or 48-34, and I'm thinking I could make that work if I just lost a few pounds... I don't mind the looks of a triple, but that was a nice, clean installation.
 

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Here is an article i found while researching gear inches and if i could handle a triple or double on my new bike.

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Port/2945/Gears/Gears.html (appears to have exceed its bandwidth limit for the time being....) anyway.

I graphed out the diffrence in a standard 30/42/52 vs 36/50 and i can cover all the gear inches that i will need with the compact 36/50 and a 12-26 9spd rear.(confused yet?) anyway read the article once it's availble hopefully it will help you out.

ss
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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22,021 Posts
Depends.......

Zig said:
For Norcal (north of SF) riding. double too much? double compact to big a range?
On your level of Fitness and your cadence.

A triple will give you more usable gears with an easier transition between gears. It will also be slightly heavier, have a large "Width" and open you to being called a fred. With a double, you can only go so low with your gears, so if you ride in the mountains, you may or may not beable to get up and over easily.

In regards to cadence, the faster you spin, the more low gears you need (relative to a masher) since for thesame gear, you will be going faster. This affects what gearing you need for you. A compact could be right or not depending on your cadence and the speeds you normally ride at. For me, a Compact doesn't work well because at my cadence (100+) and my normal riding 18 to 23 MPH, (I live in the flats) I would be either crosschained constantly or shifting back and forth between rings. A slower cadence rider might find it perfect.

YMMV

Len
 
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