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Double or Triple

sfullersfuller Posts: 628
Whats the difference between a bike being a 'double' or a 'triple'?

This may seem like a simple question to those of you who know but as I dont Im totally in the dark!



  • Brind SurchBrind Surch Posts: 90
    It how many chainrings are on the front. Triple is onyl really used my tourers and montian bikes as it add extra weight and you wont need to use the smallest chainring unless you live in big moutiains


  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    I see I see.... all makes sense now! thanks
  • Well I went for triple cus lets be honest the weight difference is about equivalent to one pie or one night on the beer. I use the smallest ring all the time and I only live in Kent, if anyone else has ever had to go up the Greensand ridge or the north downs they will know that even in Kent a third ring can be rather useful. Even up hills try and keep cadence to 90 as much as possible.
  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    I prefer doubles. On a triple they call the smallest ring a granny ring.
  • Brind SurchBrind Surch Posts: 90
    The extra weight makes a big difference as it roating weight and you shouldnt be going on hill if you have to use the granny gear just on a bigger gear and ride a less steephill


  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    abit snobby not to get a triple just because it is nicknamed 'granny gear'..... sometimes you may need it. I am often in the south of france and borrow friends bikes to use to train on and am looking to buy a new bike, therfore for that reason getting a triple would be suitable as there are many nice 'hills' there... col de vence is a nice one.
  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    I never said a reason why i prefered a double?? I only stated a fact of what the gear is known as.

    I prefer a double cos the small chainrings tend to make you spin your heart out your chest.
  • Brind SurchBrind Surch Posts: 90
    The chain line on the smallest ring is really bad which can damage the chain


  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I have a compact set-up myself, which seemed like quite a good compromise - especially when I was a newbie.

    Nowadays, I'm not so sure. There are some pretty lumpy bits near where I live, but I very rarely use my small cog, and never hit the lowest ratios anymore. On a reasonably level course (small lumps only) I only seem to use the big ring and the top three cogs..

    Maybe I should switch to a 3-speed Sturmey Archer set-up? Lol [:D]
  • zig a zagazig a zaga Posts: 22
    Because I live Upt north (bradford) i was advised to buy a triple, when I bought my first road bike, 4 years ago. Last month I bought a compact double, which at the moment, is fanatastic. I have found the gearing is great for every hill i have come across so far, and i can actually do some hills on the large ring. I will see how I go, when I hit the steeper hills later, but I think i will be fine. I think the down side of the triple, was frequent adjustments had to be made, to stop the chain rubbing on the front derailler. So far the double seems better.
  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    I had a standard double until this year - Coudl get up all hills but couldnt keep up the cadence and tended to come out the saddle - this took too much out of me on hills.

    This year I have a compact - brilliant - top speed on downhills has reduced very slightly but average speed increased - I can comfortbly make my way up the steepest of hills.

    Bofomofobo - Recomned you get yourself a new cassete you might find teh one you have it poor gearing choice - perhaps get one with a range from 12-25 or less - the high numbers are the easy ones - I just replaced my 12-27 with a 12-25 and its made a really big difference - Think how many time the little cog goes round compared to the crank..

    So I recomend a compact chainset and some thought on the rear cassete.
  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    This is almost certainly a daft question, but out of interest what's a "compact"?
  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    haha it aint silly.... i have no clue also. i can guess but i might be wrong!
  • zig a zagazig a zaga Posts: 22

    I am no way an expert, but a standard double, usually has 53 teeth on the big chain ring and 39 on the small. A compact has 50 and 34. This changes the gearing. You lose a bit of speed on the big ring, but gain on the smaller ring uphill.
  • This thread has made me actually think about my gearing. Have just checked it out and I have 52, 42, 32 on front and 12-25 on the back, with 170mm crank. Wondering what changing crank length would do? Thinking 13-23 on back might be interesting as I never really use the 25 and sometimes find myself wanting to be between two gears. Anybody tried several combinations and what would they recommend? Sticking with triple cus quite happy with my 32 teeth granny ring.
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