Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - good triple cranks for friction drivetrain?
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10-14-12, 07:22 PM
i'm on a pretty tight budget and not prone to saving, so i've been slowly swapping out bits on my old road bike (70s kabuki) with a vision of a randonneur type setup in the end. *let me underline that i am very new to cycling and am learning as i go.* aaaanywho... at this point i'm focused on my drivetrain. i'm looking for reliable parts i can buy one by one, and thus break up the cost. i'm also kind of hoping that i can end up with something kind of pretty/classic looking, but i'm willing to flex in favor of reliability and price if necessary. i like the look of the velo orange triple cranks—the product descriptions sound great, and they are definitely pretty, but i've never heard any feedback about them. any opinions on velo orange, or suggestions of comparable triples? i will also, eventually, be upgrading my rims, hubs and cassette (running a 28 spoke 5 speed freewheel at present), so any suggestions for what to look for in the future are appreciated as well. i got a good deal on a suntour v gt luxe derailleur that i'm sitting on right now, but i don't have my heart set on using it.
10-14-12, 08:09 PM
Best way to save money is to wait until your parts wear out or break to upgrade. You can rando on anything that works properly.
10-14-12, 10:58 PM
it's not the best way when you are forced in the middle of a ride to replace a part with something that either costs too much or isn't exactly right (or both). waiting for 40 year old parts to fail and hoping i will be able to find the right replacement on the road doesn't sound wise if it can be avoided. i ride enough to know what i want out of my bike, even if i haven't learned all the technical bits yet—hence my asking for opinions on triple cranks and the velo orange brand.
10-14-12, 11:29 PM
I doubt your crank will fail on you. What is your reason for wanting to change it? Do you have a double now, and you're just wanting to change your gearing?
I have a VO compact double on my rando bike. It's well priced, but you get what you pay for. The machining is adequate, the design dated and heavy but functional. The gearing on it, though, its perfect for my needs. The chainrings are a bit soft and wear faster than comparable units from FSA and Shimano that I've used. Their bottom brackets are hopeless, not even worth the time to install. That's not a problem though, just get a Shimano unit.
Overall I'm satisfied, but I have a sneaking suspicion I will break it eventually.
10-15-12, 05:56 AM
commodus, thanks for the feedback. yes i'm interested in having some lower gears. i'd like to be able to carry a heavy load on occasion, and/or to climb slowly when i'm tired. as for the crank failing, no, i suppose it probably wouldn't, but i am a tad bit worried about my hub going out in the future, and i would like to build the drivetrain just as i want it before i'm forced to make quick budget minded repairs. that said, it probably makes more sense to start out with the back end.
10-15-12, 06:45 AM
what crank does it have on it now? My memories of Kabukis are somewhat faded, but if it has a Sugino Maxy on it, that is a pretty good reason to upgrade.
10-15-12, 08:46 AM
I'm not sure of the quality and would be interested to hear input but you might look at the Sugino triples on the market...the XD-600 and XD-2 (I've only seen it at Rivendell Bicycle Works). I like the 46/36/24 XD-2 arrangement because it fits perfectly into my gearing preferences and it's a very decent looking crankset. Much better looking than some of the Shimano road stuff out there. I'm running a 17 year old Alivio crankset that works fine but I've pretty much replaced all the other major components on my bike so I'll probably upgrade to the Sugino just to get some closure on the retro-fit.
10-18-12, 01:59 AM
I have some 80's bikes, 2 i want to convert to triple crank. What i have done is 2 things-- i keep my eyes out for 80's - 90's bikes on CL with triple cranks in my size crank (170mm) looking for parts bikes for the cranks and deraillers etc. Also, I look for used triple cranks. Havent found any on CL but i did get a good deal on a Shimano 105 9 speed triple with BB off ebay, near new condition. My mechanic and people on Bikeforums have told me there is no issue re compatibility-- the modern 9 speed cranksets will work with my old 6-7 speed freewheels as long as i use the thinner 9 speed chain.
As between modern parts, ie Velo v. Shimano, my mechanic who has some experience advises that i just stick to Shimano, he finds them to work well. He can order me whatever is still available in 7-9 speed Shimano triple cranks. There is no benefit in buying a 10 speed crank new if i want to use it with old freewheels that are 6-7 speed. So other than vintage parts off CL, the best deal seems to be new closeout 9 speed cranksets if available, or used ones off ebay etc.
The problem i have with the triple cranks from Rivendell (the Sugino ones) is the chainring sizes. Everything Grant says re gearing, chainring sizes makes sense as long as you are talking about modern cassettes ie 9 speed that are available in ranges say 12-30. But for the customer still using freewheels ie 6 speed 14-28 or 7 speed 13-28 (the sizes available new now from Shimano for replacement, unless u get the Megarange) then the chainrings of the triple cranks sold by Rivendell seem too low, Id be better off with a 9 speed Shimano 105 due to chainring sizes. (There are other brands of new replacement freewheels available that are wider range than 13-28 or 14-28 by Shimano, but generally the reviews indicate they are inferior ie Sunrace or IRC,)
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