Di2 triple on road bike

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:33 am
Location: Prescott, AZ

by eyedrop

There have been older threads here and there on this subject, and it always comes to the same conclusion: Buy a compact double, run a Roadlink hanger extender, and install a huge 40t cassette.

I dont find this solution to be good enough for my preferences. There are a few problems with it:

The jumps in gear spacing on both front chain rings and rear cogs are too big. I never liked the massive 16T jump between small and big ring on a 34/50 compact. Its very annoying having to shift 4 gears in the back just to get a smooth transition between the big and small ring... Also, the 50T is not big enough for steep downhills. I always spin out. 52t or 54t is much more desirable.

Honestly, having to run these huge dinner plate cassettes and aftermarket derailleur hanger extenders while having to sacrifice shifting performance just to have really low gears is ridiculous. On a triple, you can go all the way down to a 24t or 26t chain ring and have a nice close ratio 12-23 on the back.

For me, the perfect situation would be something like a 26/37/52 with a 12-23 or 12-25. No huge gaps, awesome range, and lots of gears to choose from.

Yes, a triple weighs a little more and the q factor is not as desirable. But for me, those drawbacks are negligible.

I really wish I could get this type of triple setup on a road bike WITH electronic shifting. I just find mechanical shifting less consistent. I constantly find myself having to fiddle with the barrel adjusters, always replacing cable housings (yes Ive tried the good cables), and just general lack of responsiveness vs. an electronic groupset.

Am I the only one who desires a road triple Di2/EPS/E-Tap? Why are the tandem riders and loaded bike touring guys not complaining? I find a triple far superior to the compact in these types of applications. I think a fair amount of people would agree with me. Instead, we have an industry that is pushing more and more to eliminate triple and even double chainrings. Single chainring? No thanks...

Please discuss....

by Weenie

Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:23 pm

by Chello

There is not sufficient demand for triples. Companies aren't going to put R&D money into a system that generates no money.

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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 am

by RussellS

I'm a big fan of triple cranksets. I have one on my touring bike and my mountain climbing road bike. Touring bike has 44-33-20 chainrings and 11-32 cassette. So lots of range and closely spaced gearing too. Road bike has 52-42-24 rings and either 13-23 or 13-28 cassettes. Again excellent range and lots of closely spaced gearing. Shimano and Campagnolo mechanical gearing. All work perfectly all the time. Also have a Shimano Di2 electronic bike. Electronic shifting is great. But so is mechanical too. I would not bother to put electronic on a triple bike. No need. Extra perfect over perfect? Big deal.

Loaded touring and tandems put a big premium on reliability. Solidity. Electronic is considered less reliable than mechanical. Not sure it really is. But touring and tandems want foolproof. So no electronic for them. Electronic is racer oriented. Touring and tandems don't race. Agree compact does not give as good a range or as closely spaced gears as a triple.
Last edited by RussellS on Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:20 am
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

by Chris_W

Several tandem riders have been able to get the XTR triple FD to work on a road triple crankset. You need to have a round seat-tupe for a clamp-on FD, and then a spacer can be put between the mounting clamp and the derailleur to make the cage angle better. I'm not sure if would handle a pure road triple chainline, tandem crankset chainline is wider. The chainline on Shimano triple cranks can be pushed slightly further out by putting the 3mm non-drive spacer on the drive side, and then correcting the pedal position difference by moving the shoe cleats across as much as possible. Check out some of the discussion on this tandem forum: http://www.bikeforums.net/tandem-cycling/

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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:47 pm

by Lieblingsleguan

Your gear range can be reached with a 48-34 / 11-32 setup. If 34-28 is a low enough gear for you, you can use an 11-28 cassette.

With those cassettes and the 14T jump at the front, you don't need to change four gears in the back when shifting at the chainset, 2-3 is enough. The 48-11 is nearly the same as 52-12.

If you think the 11-32 has too big jumps, then you actually might need the triple. If 11-28 would be enough and you feel that those jumps are still too big, then you are a very special customer... 90% of the pros are now using 11-28 for every race, even the pan flat courses in the middle east, because the jumps really aren't that big on an 11 speed cassette.

I can sympathize with the fact that it is annoying to not be able to buy the perfect shifting system for oneself, but I think there are simply too few people with the same needs. I am quite happy with my 50-34 / 11-32 setup.

Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:26 am

by szazbo

Santana has it figured out and are selling tandems with Di2 triples. Limit on the chainrings are 32-42-52 and whatever you want in the back up to the limit of the XTR rear derailleur. What they have done is to make a new link arm in the FD to raise up the rear to match the diameter of a 52t ring. You need to use a XTR FD, RD and XTR Di2 display. Road levers work fine. You also get synchro shifting this way. I have tried their bike and there are no compromises. Now to get them to sell me a FD.

by Weenie

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