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Old 08-20-07, 06:28 AM   #1
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Advice in converting a road bike to a triple with 34T at the back

One of my road bikes is currently setup with 10 speed Dura Ace Double and I am contemplating on converting it to a climbing bike over the winter and at the same time be able to use it for regular road rides. I was thinking of having a low gearing of 22/24 on the front and 32/34 gearing in the rear. For this, I was planning on using an 11-34T cassette with a mountain rear dérailleur (XT or XTR) and a triple crank set for the front.

Can I use my existing 10 speed DA shifters on a 9 speed RD and cassette ? If I am not mistaken the cassette and XT/XTR RDs are nine speed.

As far as the front drive train, do I need a new FD. I also assume that I also need a left shifter for the triple.

Any other suggestions or alternatives is appreciated.Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:45 AM   #2
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I just converted a Specialized Roubaix for a customer this week, very similar to what you are trying to accomplish. His gearing is now 24/36/46 X 11-34 using a Sugino XD600 crank with a Salsa ring, LX rear derailleur and Deore cassette. Unfortunately, this crankset does not shift well with a 10-speed chain, so the 105 brake/shift levers were replaced with 9-speed models. The 10-speed front derailleur was left alone and the entire system shifts perfectly.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:03 AM   #3
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A Jtek Shiftmate Model 2 will allow you to shift a Shimano 9-speed cassette using a Shimano rd and a 10-speed Shimano brifter. You will need to change the left brifter to a triple.

It might be cheaper to buy an entire set of 105 brifters rather than just buy the Dura Ace left brifter. The 105 brifters, both 9 and 10-speed versions, are double and triple compatible. The 9-speed ones should be available at attractive prices since they are "obsolete".
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Old 08-20-07, 08:06 AM   #4
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I just converted a Specialized Roubaix for a customer this week, very similar to what you are trying to accomplish. His gearing is now 24/36/46 X 11-34 using a Sugino XD600 crank with a Salsa ring, LX rear derailleur and Deore cassette. Unfortunately, this crankset does not shift well with a 10-speed chain, so the 105 brake/shift levers were replaced with 9-speed models. The 10-speed front derailleur was left alone and the entire system shifts perfectly.
Why didn't you just substitute a 9-speed chain? The cassette and crank would both be happy and the brifters wouldn't care.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:15 AM   #5
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I had a set to swap and it "upgraded" another bike to 10-speed. Good use of the extra 10-speed cassette, I figured.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:17 AM   #6
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I had a set to swap.
That does keep the cost down.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by snhrider View Post
One of my road bikes is currently setup with 10 speed Dura Ace Double and I am contemplating on converting it to a climbing bike over the winter and at the same time be able to use it for regular road rides. I was thinking of having a low gearing of 22/24 on the front and 32/34 gearing in the rear. For this, I was planning on using an 11-34T cassette with a mountain rear dérailleur (XT or XTR) and a triple crank set for the front.

Can I use my existing 10 speed DA shifters on a 9 speed RD and cassette ? If I am not mistaken the cassette and XT/XTR RDs are nine speed.

As far as the front drive train, do I need a new FD. I also assume that I also need a left shifter for the triple.

Any other suggestions or alternatives is appreciated.Thanks in advance.

A nine speed mtb cassette and a 110/74 BCD crankset (such as the Sugino cranks already mentioned), along with a nine speed chain would be the place to start. The 74 BCD allows you to go as small as a 24t chainring. IRD makes a front derailleur, the Alpina, that's shaped properly for a 46/48t large chainring, and is designed for shifting with brifters. My experience has been that a standard Shimano "road" triple FD will work just fine with "touring" sized cranks also. As for your 10 speed shifters, you could try alternate cable routing and see if you can get satisfactory shifting of the 10 speed shifters with the nine speed cassette. Might work out okay, might not, but it's probably worth a try since you've already got the shifters.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_aa-l.html#alternate

Also, if for some reason you decide to go ten speed (I wouldn't, but that's beside the point), IRD does make 10 speed cassettes with "mtb" gearing. Expensive, but they are available. I wonder if Shimano's LX or XT "trekking" cranks, which are designated "nine speed," would work okay with a 10 speed chain. I'm pretty sure the Sugino's are "eight speed" (they work perfectly fine with nine speed chains, though), and that's why the 10 speed chains have a problem with them; the space between the chainrings is too wide for the extremely narrow 10 sp chain.

And btw, the RD won't care how many cogs are on the cassette, the number of "speeds" is in the shifters and cassette. Good luck-

Last edited by well biked; 08-20-07 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:30 AM   #8
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Doesn't he need a new rd for the 34?
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Old 08-20-07, 08:34 AM   #9
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Doesn't he need a new rd for the 34?
Yes, he'll need a mtb RD such as the XT or XTR he mentioned-
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Old 08-20-07, 08:34 AM   #10
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I was thinking of having a low gearing of 22/24 on the front and 32/34 gearing in the rear.
Geez ! What do you plan to climb, a wall?
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Old 08-20-07, 08:56 AM   #11
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Geez ! What do you plan to climb, a wall?
Well, not quite. I am planning on doing more hill climbs next year (Ascutney, Whiteface, etc)
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