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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:12 pm
Posts: 2
Location: London, UK
Hi all,

I am pretty close to buying a new race bike with Campa Athena 11sp double installed.

As I will be going to Italy in june to cycle the GF Giordana I'd like to have a triple on my bike by then.
(Before we start a big discussion on this: I have looked into various compact solutions and although there are definitely advantages, I think that for me personally a triple would be best)

After reading through several threads on this forum I conclude that some Campagnolo shifters are able to work with a triple front derailleur and some Campagnolo rear derailleurs are able to shift normally with a triple crankset.

Does anybody know if the latest Athena 'double' shifters are able to shift the latest Athena triple crankset if I would replace the derailleur?

I'd like to save a bit of money and not replace lever+crankset+fd+rd.... but only crankset+fd...

Thanks a lot!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
Campag do special triple shifter but given the ammount of extra front mech movement over what is needed with the double shifter + double FD I would have thought it coulld shift a triple with you FD. Shifting may not be great using using the double FD but it should work. A triple FD should then work with the double shifters unless campag have changed the cable pull and I wouldn't put it past them.

I would try the triple crankset with your set up and see how it works. If it is not shifting right then fit a triple FD.

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Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:27 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:45 pm 
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I'd say no. The powershift levers with the escape mechanism have a limited function and would not likely have the much larger cable pull required to operate a triple FD. That's why Campy makes a triple-specific Athena shifter. A triple FD is an absolute must.

A double FD only requires a total cable pull of about .3 inch, while a triple FD requires about twice as much. It's not hard to disconnect the cable from the double FD and run it through the complete range of travel, to check the pull. Push the thumb button mutiple times to be sure the cable is fully released. Wrap some masking tape around the cable, about an inch below the frame-mounted cable stop and accurately measure the space between the stop and the edge of the tape. Use the finger lever to pull as much cable as the shifter will allow. If it's less than .6 inch, it won't work.

A long cage triple RD is also needed to use a triple crank, unless you only want to be able to use the largest cog or two with the little ring. After that, the chain will hang loose, since the RD doesn't have adequate wrap capacity.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:17 pm 
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DaveS is right, don't even think about it.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
With a compact you can have a 34 x 29 low gear using standard shifter and derailleurs. Hard to think you'd need lower than that.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:20 am
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Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
bikerjulio wrote:
With a compact you can have a 34 x 29 low gear using standard shifter and derailleurs. Hard to think you'd need lower than that.


That's because you live in Toronto! Some of us live in mountainous areas, prefer to have a cadence of at least 80 rpm even on one-hour-long Alpine climbs, and don't train or dope as much as the pro's, and so need decent low gears that are only available with smaller chainrings (assuming you also want reasonably-spaced cogs in the rear). So let's not debate personal gearing range choices, and share useful information instead.

Another option that might help the OP is the Lightning crankset. I'm using it with a 94 mm double spider with a super-compact chainring setup: 29 tooth inner and 46 outer (plus a Shimano 12-30 10-speed cassette). It's like having a triple, but instead of having a middle and big ring, you have one halfway in between (whereas the regular compact gives you one ring halfway in between the triple's inner and middle rings). The Lightning cranks can fit just about all BBs with the correct adaptors (BB30, BSA 68mm, BB86), and are very light. The 94mm Lightning spider should also fit on Specialized cranks (BB30 only) but I haven't yet tried this myself.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:01 pm 
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I'd never tell someone how low his gearing needs to be, but not everyone bothers to compare the lowest geared compact to a typical triple. A 34/29 low gear is a little lower than a common 30/25. About the only advantage to the triple is a little more top gear and the possibility of having a 30/29 lowest gear.

I rode the Colorado mountains for many years and got by with a 30/25 low gear, for most climbs, but Colorado climbs rarely have the extremely steep slopes that can be found in Europe. Instead, we have greater elevations and thinner air. I switched from a triple to a compact double with a 34/25 low gear several years ago and still manage to handle the climbs with it. With an 11-25, 11 speed, I have enough top gear too. I'd miss the 50/11 top gear if I went to a 12-29 cassette.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:27 pm 
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Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
antonno wrote:
(Before we start a big discussion on this: I have looked into various compact solutions and although there are definitely advantages, I think that for me personally a triple would be best)


There is a reason the OP wrote this in his initial post. Give the guy solutions on how to get the gearing he wants, not opinions on what gears he should be using.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:12 pm
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Location: London, UK
First of all, thanks for the info DaveS, bm0p700f and ChrisW, much appreciated!

I think that I will get myself a bike with the Athena compact and the 'double' shifters and will do some measurements to see what I'll need to buy to make the Campa triple happen. Perhaps the option of ChrisW with the lightning crankset could be a nice light alternative - although they do not come cheap and I'll have to check how I can get this crankset in/to the UK. Positive would be that I can most likely keep my shifters and derailleurs.

If anyone knows of other alternatives to modify a new Athena Compact equipped bike to have a lowest gear of something around 30x29 and still have a 'decent' top gear (e.g. 45x11) - preferably of course without breaking the bank but also not the scale...

--
With regards to the compact/triple discussion... I basically would love to be able to use a really low gear like 30 x 29 when I'll be climbing the Mortirolo (
profile), the Gavia and the Stelvio. It'll be nice to be able to spin instead of grind my way up. And having the 11 cogs in the back will be nice to find a good rhythm. But everyone his/her own of course!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:36 pm 
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You'll need a 33T cog to get the equivalent of a 30/29 with a 34T compact chainring. No Campy RD will officially handle a cog that large.

One other possibility is using Chorus or higher level ultrashift levers, but to be certain that they would work, you'd need to know the required cable pull of the Athena triple FD. I've measured the cable pull on 2009 model ultrashift levers and found a little more than the minimum .6 inch of travel available from all 6 clicks. If the new triple FD needs no more than that, then those shifters would handle both double and triple cranks, just like in the days before ultrashift. The Chorus levers would also have the ability to make multiple cog shifts with one push of the thumb button, rather than being restricted to one cog at a time.


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Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:36 pm 


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