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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a new bike that is on the way, and this specific model only comes with Ultegra 10 (6600) double. Since I live in an area with many 15+ degree grade, I really need a triple. Coming from the mountain biking world and to new to road biking world, I have no idea what is exactly involved in converting them to Ultegra 10 (6603) triple, and I would like to minimize the cost. From my understanding,

- need new STI 6603 triple shifter as 6600 double shifter doesn't work
- need new triple crankset (that's pretty obvious)
- need new front derailleur

So what else is required?
- new rear derailleur?
- cassette, I'm thinking I can just keep it
- chain, I'm thinking I can just keep it

I'm planning to sell my double components on ebay/craiglist/classifieds to recoup the cost.

I have heard others mention, making modifications to my current setup to minimize cost. For example:
- look for the smallest chain ring and replace that
- put mountain bike cassette (would Ultegra 10 shifter work for 11-34 mtn cassette that has 9 speed in the back? not sure if I need to change the chain, or anything else to make this work)
- or combo of above

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

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gastarbeiter
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before we can even begin, you write that you come from mountain biking.

are you a strong biker, or just do the occasional off track ride?

how old are you? how much do yopu ride?

if you're strong, fit, etc, then why bother with converting?

if you're not so fit, and have no plans on pushing to the nextx level, and really need/want the granny gears, then why not see if the shop will let you swap for triple?



sungchang said:
I'm getting a new bike that is on the way, and this specific model only comes with Ultegra 10 (6600) double. Since I live in an area with many 15+ degree grade, I really need a triple. Coming from the mountain biking world and to new to road biking world, I have no idea what is exactly involved in converting them to Ultegra 10 (6603) triple, and I would like to minimize the cost. From my understanding,

- need new STI 6603 triple shifter as 6600 double shifter doesn't work
- need new triple crankset (that's pretty obvious)
- need new front derailleur

So what else is required?
- new rear derailleur?
- cassette, I'm thinking I can just keep it
- chain, I'm thinking I can just keep it

I'm planning to sell my double components on ebay/craiglist/classifieds to recoup the cost.

I have heard others mention, making modifications to my current setup to minimize cost. For example:
- look for the smallest chain ring and replace that
- put mountain bike cassette (would Ultegra 10 shifter work for 11-34 mtn cassette that has 9 speed in the back? not sure if I need to change the chain, or anything else to make this work)
- or combo of above

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
botto said:
before we can even begin, you write that you come from mountain biking.

are you a strong biker, or just do the occasional off track ride?

how old are you? how much do yopu ride?
I wouldn't consider myself a strong biker at all, more of recreational mtn biker. I ride mostly cross country with some trail riding (no more than 2 ft drops). I enjoy climbing although I'm on the slow side due to my clydes proportions. Unless the hill is really steep, I try to mash more on my middle chainring. I am 40 yrs old with 3 little girls with the youngest only 7 mos old which limits my riding time. I rode a little over 1000 miles on my mtn bike last year, and I'm targetting to do a little better this year.
if you're strong, fit, etc, then why bother with converting?

if you're not so fit, and have no plans on pushing to the nextx level, and really need/want the granny gears, then why not see if the shop will let you swap for triple?
Quite few of my friends are into road riding. Instead of me convincing them to go mtn biking with me, I am giving road riding a chance :) My goal is to use road bike as training ride especially with all the rains we have been getting lately, but I want to join my friends and keep up with them who are typically riding the following trails:

Montebello Road: http://graphics.stanford.edu/~lucasp/grade/montebello.html
Old La Honda: http://graphics.stanford.edu/~lucasp/grade/oldlahonda.html
Redwood Gulch: http://graphics.stanford.edu/~lucasp/grade/redwoodgulch.html

Ordered online from a shop in NJ and I'm in Calif. I talked to them about conversion, but cost difference seem to be too high, so just kept it at double.
 

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I'm pretty sure the Ultegra double left shifter will shift the triple as well. You will need a different rear derailleur with a longer cage that takes up the chain slack.

I ride in the same area. I use a triple because the road I live on makes the ones you listed look flat, and I like low gears and long rides with a lot of climbing.

Consider a 50/34 front "compact" double and a 12-28 cluster from IRD. If your rear cluster is a 12-25 (very common) the 34x28 gear is the same gear ratio that you would get with a 30x25. And it'd be much cheaper since you'd only need a new crankset and cluster.
 

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ericm979 said:
I'm pretty sure the Ultegra double left shifter will shift the triple as well. You will need a different rear derailleur with a longer cage that takes up the chain slack.

I ride in the same area. I use a triple because the road I live on makes the ones you listed look flat, and I like low gears and long rides with a lot of climbing.

Consider a 50/34 front "compact" double and a 12-28 cluster from IRD. If your rear cluster is a 12-25 (very common) the 34x28 gear is the same gear ratio that you would get with a 30x25. And it'd be much cheaper since you'd only need a new crankset and cluster.
um i dont think so, cuz like they're labeled as double and triple because they have a different number of pushes to get them from ring to ring and stuff, (ie the extra clicks for trimming), and so if you were to get a double shifter on a triple chainring, im betting you'd only be able to use two chainrings.
like ericm said, a compact would probably be good.
if you're getting a triple crank, you're going to have to get a different, triple-specific BB as well as crank and long cage derailleur (longer cage gives you more chain wrap for the chain to flex and shift between rings).
i have a triple on my bike, and honestly, i hate it. i wish i had a double, because my front derailleur is just... bad... meaning if im in the third ring, there're grinding sounds (like when you're in between gears) on my 2 smallest and 2 biggest rings. same for the lower rings except that 2nd, it grinds in smallest/3 biggest, and in first it grinds in the 5 smallest rings. it's a pain, and i wish i had a double.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ericm979 said:
I'm pretty sure the Ultegra double left shifter will shift the triple as well. You will need a different rear derailleur with a longer cage that takes up the chain slack.

I ride in the same area. I use a triple because the road I live on makes the ones you listed look flat, and I like low gears and long rides with a lot of climbing.

Consider a 50/34 front "compact" double and a 12-28 cluster from IRD. If your rear cluster is a 12-25 (very common) the 34x28 gear is the same gear ratio that you would get with a 30x25. And it'd be much cheaper since you'd only need a new crankset and cluster.
My undestanding is that a triple can be used with double crankset, but not the other way around for the Ultegra 10 shifter. That being said, I just realized that I might not have to get the both shifters...that I might only need the left shifter (or is this incorrect???) which case the cost might be a little lower.
 

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My newest bike was set up for my test ride with ultrega triple but i wanted double at my age and fitness level. They changed the shifter, front derailluer, and the cranks. everything else was the same. There was no cost difference because it was all ultegra and they do not charge differently for seting up bikes double or triple.

If i were you I would give the compact drive idea a try. With a 10 speed set up there are a ton of gear already.

Ted
 

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Go Compact, it's lighter, more efficient & will cost less to buy. Plus if you're running Ultegra the new shimano compact will fit without changing the BB.

If I understand correctly, you've already bought the bike, so the parts on it are yours?
 

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BTW 50/34 + 12-25 was sufficient for me on a 10% avg 10km climb with 14% in places, inspite of a mangled ankle. So if you have two good legs 12-25 or 12-27 will be fine and not mean lots of faffing about!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bike2Live said:
Sungchang, Go "compact". Your life will be good. End of story. Bike2Live
What do you mean by going "compact"? Sorry all this road stuff is so new to me...bike is not even here yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ultimobici said:
BTW 50/34 + 12-25 was sufficient for me on a 10% avg 10km climb with 14% in places, inspite of a mangled ankle. So if you have two good legs 12-25 or 12-27 will be fine and not mean lots of faffing about!
That's great. Coming from mtb world, I am not sure what to expect ;) That being said, how much do you weigh? Now if I lost 70 to 80 lbs from my clydes bulk (245 right now) than I would have been much less concerned.
 

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Going compact

sungchang said:
What do you mean by going "compact"? Sorry all this road stuff is so new to me...bike is not even here yet.
Shimano just came out with a crankset with compact chainrings. Compact chainrings are smaller in diameter with less teeth. Less teeth on the chainrings means a lower gear ratio which is better for the climbs. The Shimano compact cranset is compatible with the standard 10 speed deraileurs (105, Ultegra, and Dura Ace), no need to change anything except the crankset and bottom bracket, The whole thing should cost you around $315 plus tax (installed).
I got mine about 2.5 weeks ago and have nothing but good things to say.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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sungchang said:
I'm getting a new bike that is on the way, and this specific model only comes with Ultegra 10 (6600) double. Since I live in an area with many 15+ degree grade, I really need a triple. Coming from the mountain biking world and to new to road biking world, I have no idea what is exactly involved in converting them to Ultegra 10 (6603) triple, and I would like to minimize the cost. From my understanding,

- need new STI 6603 triple shifter as 6600 double shifter doesn't work
- need new triple crankset (that's pretty obvious)
- need new front derailleur

So what else is required?
- new rear derailleur?
- cassette, I'm thinking I can just keep it
- chain, I'm thinking I can just keep it

I'm planning to sell my double components on ebay/craiglist/classifieds to recoup the cost.

I have heard others mention, making modifications to my current setup to minimize cost. For example:
- look for the smallest chain ring and replace that
- put mountain bike cassette (would Ultegra 10 shifter work for 11-34 mtn cassette that has 9 speed in the back? not sure if I need to change the chain, or anything else to make this work)
- or combo of above

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
I bet you thought you woud just get answers to your questions. :)

If the triple fits you gearing needs, GET THE TRIPLE.

The first three requirements are correct, though many do use the same front derailleur and get away with it. Note that you do not need a new bottom bracket (or just cups) as the 3x crankset will come with a left side spacer. You will also need a new triple rear derailleur to take up that slack chain when you go onto the little ring.

You can only go down to a 38 tooth front ring with the 130 bolt circle diameter.

The Utegra rear D is only designed to go up to a 27 tooth cog. Many do get it to work with larger cogs - depends a lot on the frame build. Using a MTB cassette and rear D will work fine. You may need a longer chain depending on how they determined chain length when assembled.

The compact is another viable answer, IF IT MEETS YOU GEARING NEEDS. Most are bought by those who should be using a triple, but can't admit it.

Terry

EDIT: Another thought - If you frame only comes with a double, it may not be appropriate for a triple. A real short wheel base may cause shifting problems or the granny may hit the chain stay. Check with others with this frame to determine if apprpriate.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Just Ride

sungchang said:
I'm getting a new bike... ...new to road biking world...
Just get the new bike and ride it. You may surprise yourself and find the double works just fine for you. After a few weeks you will have a much better idea as to what gearing you need for your new road bike. The cheapest option to extend the range on most bikes is a new cassette. Consider a 12-27 cassette instead of whatever comes stock on your new bike.

After riding the new double with a 12-27 cassette you will be able to make some informed choices about whether you need a triple or a compact. Be careful to sift through the misinformation (marketing voodoo) on compact cranks. Many times the hoops that folks go through to get compact gearing simply gets them nearly the same gearing they had with the traditional double. Compacts are a great solution for some but you will need some riding knowledge first to evaluate if they will work for you. The double parts will still be nearly new for you to sell on e-bay after test riding them for a month.
 

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I think the triple is the most underrated gearing option available. One thing I like about it is the 42 tooth middle ring which allows me to handle everything from 9 mph to 27 mph and that's about 99% of my road bike riding. Most of the time I finish a ride without ever having used the front derailleur. However the change to triple requires a lot as others have indicated.

I ride all three - regular double, compact double and triple. All of them work for me with some adjustment in the rear cassette gearing. My advice would be to try the regular double first and then get a lower geared cassette if you need it for hills. I use a 12/27 with mine and I can climb anything around here with it. I use 12/25 with the 50/36 compact doubles and get about the same results as the regular double except I go a little slower downhill with a tailwind.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the inputs

Everyone thanks for the input. I knew that there will be a varying views (and responses), and I have learned to sift through them to make the right decision for me. The varying views allows me to learn of the choices so that I can make that decision.

One thing that I agree with Keeping Up With Junior and that I have been planning to do is once I get the bike to ride it out and figure out what will be the right thing for me. Btw the bike is on the FedEx truck to be delivered today by the latest tracking info :) It's a 05 Litespeed Teramo, my first titanium bike. It's coming with 12-25 rear, so one of the first thing that I might do is to move that up to 12-27.

One thing, a mtb friend of mine also suggested putting a mtn cassette (11-34 or 11-32) and rear derailleur. Only concern is that since they come in 9 speed and not 10 speed that Ultegra does, not sure how that's going to work. He has Ultegra 9 so it worked out well for him.

Btw please keep your suggestions coming and thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
TurboTurtle said:
Another thought - If you frame only comes with a double, it may not be appropriate for a triple. A real short wheel base may cause shifting problems or the granny may hit the chain stay. Check with others with this frame to determine if apprpriate.
I checked and this should not be a problem for Litespeed Teramo.
 

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The MTB rear cluster thing won't work on a 10sp road bike, until Shimano comes out with 10sp MTB parts.
The gearing you want will depend both on your speed up hills, and your riding style. Riders who are happy turning low rpms can use higher gears than riders who prefer higher rpms.
 

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wasting money

Did you order the bike through a bike shop? If so, see if you can cancel your order and purchase a bike that comes with the triple setup. You are going to spend a lot of money switching all of the components... money that could have went to better bike parts or just saved. Or, your bike shop may offer to swap out the components for a small fee. By the time you sell the parts on ebay and buy new parts, you are going to spend a lot of money.
Look at what you are going have to pay.. Between the new shifter(s), crank, bottom bracket, front and rear derailluer, you may be looking at around $700! If you are stuck, I think the Compact Crankset will be the cheapest route.. you can grab a Compact Crankset and BB off eBay for less than $150 new.

Talk to you bike shop though, when buying a new bike, you should really get something that fits your needs.
 
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