Double or Triple crankset for a Road Bike?(Or maybe Compact!)
Before going further, we should explain that a "double"crankset refers to one with two chainrings on the front, representing amid and high gear range option. A "triple" crankset has threechainrings, the extra chainring being a very small one on the insidethat gives you a considerably lower gear range than available with thedouble. In general, a bikes have either 7, 8, 9 or even 10 sprockets inthe back which, matched to a "double" crankset will have 14, 16, 18 or20 gears, and a "triple" will have 21, 24, 27 or even 30 gears. It'snot the number of gears that's important in the double vs tripleequation though, rather it's the range of gearing each offers.
Things to consider-
And besides, just how comfortable do you feel calling every mountain bike rider a wimp? Virtually 100% of them have triple cranks, and they USE the lower gears all the time! In fact, it’s probably the widespread success of triple-equipped mountain bikes that’s helped fuel demand for the wider range gears on road bikes.
So why wouldn’t everybody get a triple-equipped bike?
COMPACT CRANK- THE NEW KID IN TOWN! (The best of both worlds?)Just when you thought you had it all figured out, along comes the "Compact" crank. A new way (actually it's been around for some time, but forgotten) to get lower gears without a triple. Instead of the classic 53/39 front chainrings, you have a 50/36 (sometimes 50/34) combination that gets you quite a bit lower gears, while giving up a very small amount from the high end... all using standard double-compatible shifters & derailleurs. A high-quality compact setup is actually lighter weight than a standard double! The downside? You don't get as low a gear as a triple will offer, and you lose just a bit off your high end (the gears you'd be drafting trucks downhill in, but nothing you'd ever miss in day-to-day riding).
So if you don't need a super-low gear, but do need a bit more help than the standard racing-style gearing offers on many bikes, this may be just the ticket
Mountain Bike Components – Lots of Choice So Stay Focused
When looking at mountain bike components there are literally thousands of combinations you can have. Just think about all the different components there are…
It is practically impossible to compare 2 mountain bikes component to component!
At this point of time you should already know:
Now you are really getting into the nitty gritty of how to buy a mountain bike and need to start looking at what bike components you get with your bike.
Unless you are building your own bike, nearly all bikes will come as complete sets ready to ride. Given the huge number of bike components and variations you can experience I suggest that you stay focussed and stick to the important ones and then make sure the rest fall within some sort of minimums for your price range.
I suggest that you pick 3 or 4 major mountain bike components and then focus on them. For me the big 4 are:
Just about every mountain bike these days comes with front suspension forks and they are the most important mountain bike components you should look at. If the bike you are looking at does not have front suspension forks you are probably looking at a hybrid, a touring bike or a road bike.
Coil Sprung Forks
In general a coil fork is ideal if you have a tight budget or are after an all round bike. They are your most reliable choice and are more easily serviced. They are easily adjusted and tuned.
The main downside is the extra weight they have due to the steel spring inside the fork. However this also means they are usually made tougher. If you want to do DH racing, lots of jumping or just like to throw your bike around then this is the fork for you.
Air Sprung Forks
Air sprung forks are lighter than coils but are also more expensive. These days they are getting more reliable and are a great choice for a XC rider or someone who wants LOTS of adjustability on their fork.
As long as you have a shock pump you can change your air sprung fork from 0psi to around 300psi in very little time.
A coil sprung fork will come with a minimum preload on it. If you turn the grooved cap at the top of the fork clockwise you can add preload to it. This means that the spring is being pressed down and makes your fork feel firmer.
Rebound is the speed at which your fork springs back up when you push it down. It is good if your fork has a rebound adjuster but not essential. More advanced riders like to set their own rebound but if you are only an amateur rider you will be fine with the factory settings.
Many suspension forks these days can now be adjusted by changing the oil weight in the fork legs. A little dial on the fork is much easier but only more expensive forks will have this.
This is the opposite of rebound and is the speed at which the fork goes on the way down. You won’t find too many forks that let you adjust this so don’t worry about it too much. As long as your fork is set-up for your weight you don’t need to worry about compression much more.
When looking at mountain bike components, and in particular forks, I would stick to the major brands like Rock Shox, Fox, Manitou and Marzocchi. They have more money and build better and more reliable forks.
If your bike does not have disc brakes, keep in mind that you might want to upgrade to disc brakes in the future so look for disc brake mounts.
Your bikes wheels are important because the better quality wheels you get (this includes hubs, rims, spokes and tires) the better your ride will be. The more you spend the better your wheels will be, but look at these key areas:
Obviously the lighter the better. The weight in wheels is rotational mass so it counts double and lighter wheels will make a big difference out on the trail.
Again the more you spend the better the quality. Look for a reputable brand and a tyre that is durable and will last you a long time.
Depending on what surface you plan to ride on will determine your tread pattern. Smooth semi-slicks for riding on paths and big knobbly tyres for gravel and rough terrain.
Shimano and sram are the big 2 and it is pretty easy to see what you are getting. Again the more you spend the better the quality.
The rank of Shimano mountain bike components is (from best to worst):
SRAM offer parts under several different brandnames:
The rank of SRAM mountain bike components is (from best to worst):
Shimano also have the following specialist groupsets (that are very good and recommended if this applies to you):
when it comes to looking at mountain bike components, brakes are secondary because whilst they are important, they are also easily upgraded. That said, if you can get a bike with hydraulic disc brakes then do it. If not go for mechanical disc brakes. If you are on a really tight budget then you will have to settle for v-brakes and mechanical pull brakes.
Again try to stick with the major players like Hayes, Avid, and Shimano (although there are a couple of other good manufacturers around)
2011 Scott CR1 SL Geometry
Road Bike Components
I ) Shimano Road Bike Components
Shimano’s road groupsets, listed in approximately descending order of price and quality are:
II) Campang Road Bike Components
Campagnolo’s road groupsets, listed in approximately descending order of price and quality are:
III) SRAM Road Bike Components
SRAM’s road groupsets, listed in approximately descending order of price and quality are:
The Pro Gruppo. SRAM RED is the first choice for riders and racers who won’t accept any compromise. The most challenging races in the world have been won on SRAM RED, including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Paris-Roubaix. Exactly seven teams in the 2010 Tour were SRAM RED-equipped. Its success in the pro peloton speaks for itself, delivering best-in-class performance, weight and function that the world’s best riders
Perfection for racers. The perfect group for pro and amateur racers all over the world. SRAM Force delivers all the top features of RED, like the powerful Dual Pivot brakeset, multiple cable routing, and reach adjust of the DoubleTap levers. SRAM’s original road group remains one of the lightest in world, weighing less than 2000 grams. SRAM Force is the perfect choice for any rider looking for an incredible gruppo built around light weight, ergonomic comfort, with incredible efficiency, function and performance
Feel like a pro. For your everyday training, long rides on the weekends, as well as an exceptional cyclocross performer, SRAM Rival is the perfect match. With sleek carbon brake levers you have the feel and look of pro components, together with the unrivaled technologies borrowed from SRAM RED and SRAM Force, Rival is an incredible groupset for what it delivers and how well it performs.
First 11-32 cassette on the road. You like to climb long mountain passes, or your local hill, but don’t want clumsy triple cranks on your bike? With the first 11-32 cassette for the road, and our new SRAM Apex compact crankset, you will have a wider gear range than the most popular triple combinations. A wider gear ratio means you can climb and descend more efficiently. You also get all of our unmatched technical advantages like Zero-loss, reach-adjust, and DoubleTap shifting. SRAM Apex, wherever the road takes you.