Cranksets for road bikes are manufactured as either doubles or triples: a double has 2 chainrings, while a triple has 3 chainrings. Generally speaking, triple cranksets are intended for beginner riders who need wider gearing for hilly rides or for any rider who lives in an area where the terrain is very up and down. In those cases, a small inner chainring is called for in order to get an appropriate gearing for tackling steep climbs. All pro bikers ride double crankset setups. There are many reasons to favor a double crankset over a triple. One easy one to mention up front is weight - more parts, and more metal, means more weight. Less obvious, perhaps, but still important, is the aerodynamic consideration. The frontal area presented by a double crankset is X% less than that of a triple crankset, whatever X may be. Perhaps the most compelling advantage of a double crankset over a triple setup is ease of shifting. The front derailleur has to only handle two positions for a double crankset (not counting for micro adjustments to avoid chain rub), while it has to move through 3 positions with a triple. More range of movement, more positions to handle? That means more engineering, and a probabilistic degradation in shifting accuracy. One way bike part manufacturers have addressed the need for wider gearing is to make what are called compact cranksets. Instead of the usual 53/39 chainring setup on a double crank, a compact crankset may have a 50/34 set of chainrings. Now, change out the 12-25 cassette to, say, an 11-23 sizing, and the effective easiest gearing is now 50 X 23. You can pull up a gear-inch calculator to explore the gear savings with such setups. Note that with a standard double crankset, you can easily and quickly swap out the rear cassette to a 12-28 or other such high gearing and ease up the gear ratios for your legs. The top crank makers in the road world are the regulars: Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo. But you also have to heavily weigh other companies which specialize in cranksets, such as FSA, Truvativ, Zipp and others. There are alloy cranksets, to be sure, but with so many carbon crankset options out there in the road bike world, carbon is almost becoming the normative material. You'll find cranksets for your road bike, mountain bike, fixed gear or singlespeed bike, BMX bike, and more right here in our crankset selection.