Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1

    Bike Build - Triple or Compact?

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Jumping on TE forum to get some outside opinions about my new bike.

    Ordered a Seven Ti Axiom frame and will have my local mechanic build it up for me. My typical rides are 30-50 miles on flat terrain (local) and do several week-long bike rides in hilly areas each year. The bike can accommodate racks, fenders and bigger tires if I want to do some loaded touring. My dilemma is whether to go with a triple or a compact. Most high end bikes are equipped with a compact but I'm not sure that is best for me. I'm 62 and want this bike to get me to age 85 and beyond. The bike will have disc brakes that will make descending easier on the grip. Also, I ridden a triple for the last 20 years so there would be a learning curve for the compact.

    There are fewer and fewer triple sets to choose from so what is the best way to go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    OK, I am just a year younger than you and I have totally switched from a triple to a compact. First, I had a custom Ti Guru frame built, very similar to your bike. I went with a compact, with a mountain rear cassette , giving me even lower gears that were on the triple I also had (it's an 11-34). There was not much of a learning curve, except that I had to stop thinking of the smaller ring as the "granny gear." I use it a lot more! Last fall I bought a new carbon bike and it also has a compact. But now, Shimano makes a road cassette that goes to a 32 cog, which is what I got. You need to be concerned about the gear ratios, not whether it is a triple or compact. Unless you are going to be doing very heavy loaded touring (which you probably wouldn't do with this bike), there is no need for a triple.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    I have a Seven Ti Axiom and did the same kind of thing that Crankin did--got a mountain cassette. My lowest gear is about the same as I had with my old Bianchi's triple--I live in a very hilly place, and I like doing hills, so that was essential. All working very well.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    129
    What Crankin said--what is most important is your gear ratios, and you can now get as wide a range with a compact double as with a triple. A reason to go with a triple over a double would be that with the double a wide range will mean a little bigger jump between gears than the same range in a triple. Sheldon Brown's gear ratio calculator might be useful--you can plug in the info for what you have with your triple, and see what would produce the same ratios with a double. http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/
    1980-something Colnago
    2010 Jamis Quest
    2013 Wabi Classic

    mebikedolomitesoneday.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I've been off TE for a bit and late to this thread, but I'll reiterate what I've said before: it's less about the gear range and more about the RPM range. Riders have "power bands" just like internal combustion engines do. If you're comfortable in a wide range of RPMs (like a RPM range of 15+), then by all means get a compact. But if you get in a situation, more than occasionally, where your bike just doesn't have the right gear - upshift and you're "lugging," downshift and you feel like you're spinning like a sewing machine and not getting anywhere - that means you're the type of rider who would do better with a triple, which will give you more steps between the gears.

    Just like an 8-speed transmission in a car vs a 3-speed.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I will differ. If you will be touring with a loaded bike, a triple will definitely be your friend. I have bikes with compacts, bikes with triples and bikes with doubles. If I'm doing any touring with any load (and I do credit card touring, so no tents), I really enjoy my triples.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    959
    Like so many of you, I have bikes with both. And after putting tons of miles on both, I prefer a triple. It gives me the low gearing that I need, but the jumps in between gear ratios is much closer and to my liking. But we all have different areas that we ride in and different opinions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,936
    I have an 11-32 cassette with a standard derailleur on my campy 11 speed compact and it is awesome. It is the same easy gear ratio as on my triple and frankly it shifts better (the triple needs a little adjustment). So you have a lot of range with a compact.
    Last edited by maillotpois; 02-23-2015 at 08:06 AM.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    959
    As a shop owner, I have heard many times over the years that triples simply do not shift well. The reality is that as long as everything is adjusted correctly, the cyclist isn't asking the bike to shift in weird combinations... then everything is fine. Like any bike, there are ways to shift that make it easier and more rewarding for the cyclist. For most folks, the large jump between the larger mountain bike cassettes are sometimes a challenge, but the each of us have different opinions and different needs, so the end result is that whatever works.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by ridebikeme View Post
    As a shop owner, I have heard many times over the years that triples simply do not shift well. The reality is that as long as everything is adjusted correctly, the cyclist isn't asking the bike to shift in weird combinations... then everything is fine. Like any bike, there are ways to shift that make it easier and more rewarding for the cyclist. For most folks, the large jump between the larger mountain bike cassettes are sometimes a challenge, but the each of us have different opinions and different needs, so the end result is that whatever works.
    My old road bike had a triple with a Tiagra front derailleur, and it needed to be adjusted frequently. Then one day something on the derailleur broke while it was being adjusted at the shop. They only had an Ultegra in stock, so they replaced it with that. And suddenly I no longer needed frequent adjustments.

    I'm equally happy with the compact double on my current bike, but I've never done loaded touring so I defer to folks with experience in that area.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    959
    NY BIKER: It's definitely true that the better quality the drivetrain is the better that it shifts, but I suppose that is true whether it's a triple or any of todays products. AS for self contained touring.. a triple is definitely better. But if folks get out and ride, that is the point of the story.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •