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  1. #1
    espod
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    Lowering gear ratios on 1986 Raleigh Technium

    I have a 1986 Raleigh Technium 480 that is in great shape, all original gear.

    42-52 Sakae Crankset (170 mm ?)
    14-28 cluster - Suntour "Perfect"

    Suntour LePREE front & rear derailleurs

    I need some seriously lower gear ratios for an upcoming tour with long hills and 20 lbs of gear.

    Any advice on upgrading either front crankset or rear cluster or both?
    Specific questions:

    1. Could I get a triple ring crankset for this bike? Where? What is involved?
    2. If I couldn't get a triple, could I replace the 42 with something substantially smaller?
    3. How about replacing the entire 42-52? With what?
    4. Where can I get a rear cluster with 14-30, 14-32 or maybe 14-34? Possible?
    5. Can I put a 7 sprocket or more cluster on this bike?

    Thanks!!!

    Eric

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    You could go to a smaller front ring if you can find one to fit. Not much you can do with the rear.

    The best solution is a triple.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  3. #3
    espod
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    Converting double crank to triple crank: 1986 Raleigh Technium

    Triple sounds ideal. My research so far leaves me with the following questions:

    1) Will I absolutely have to get a new, longer spindle? If so, how likely am I to find one that will work with my 1986 Raleigh Technium bottom bracket?
    2) Will my existing down-tube mounted, friction style shifter work with a triple? What is the max tooth difference that this type of derailleur can handle?
    3) In an article on converting doubles to triples, http://www.stanford.edu/~dru/tripleize.html, a device called a tripleizer is mentioned, but all leads on tripleizer have run cold. Any exp on these out there?

    It is starting to sound like much $$$ and time. I was hoping to spend around $200-$300, anymore starts to sound like a down payment on a new machine.

    I would like to know if I can replace my 6 sprocket free wheel with a 7 sprocket free wheel with a 30, 32 or 34 tooth granny sprocket. Would be a lot cheaper than upgrading the front..

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by epodietz View Post
    Triple sounds ideal. My research so far leaves me with the following questions:

    1) Will I absolutely have to get a new, longer spindle? If so, how likely am I to find one that will work with my 1986 Raleigh Technium bottom bracket?
    2) Will my existing down-tube mounted, friction style shifter work with a triple? What is the max tooth difference that this type of derailleur can handle?
    3) In an article on converting doubles to triples, http://www.stanford.edu/~dru/tripleize.html, a device called a tripleizer is mentioned, but all leads on tripleizer have run cold. Any exp on these out there?

    It is starting to sound like much $$$ and time. I was hoping to spend around $200-$300, anymore starts to sound like a down payment on a new machine.

    I would like to know if I can replace my 6 sprocket free wheel with a 7 sprocket free wheel with a 30, 32 or 34 tooth granny sprocket. Would be a lot cheaper than upgrading the front..

    Thanks
    I just recently finished converting an '80s Trek 400 road bike from a 52/42 double with a 6 speed 14-28 rear freewheel to a 52/42/30 triple with an 8 speed 11-28 cassette. Since you want to stick with your friction shifters and are ok only going to 7 speeds, you can easily stick with a freewheel and not worry about swapping wheels or installing new shifters (I wanted to add STI to this bike).

    First off, Shimano does make a 7 speed freewheel with a 34 tooth large cog. You can get one here: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1665 or many other places too I'm sure. In order to run a freewheel that big though you will need a rear derailler that can handle a 34 tooth cog which almost certainly your current one cannot. You'll probably also need to lengthen your chain to make sure that shifting into the big/big combo doesn't break anything.

    If you did want to convert to a triple as well, the first thing you should check is whether your current crankset has bosses that allow you to bolt on an inner ring. The Trek I built had these bosses so making a triple crank was as easy as buying a $15 30 tooth inner ring plus $6 for bolts and spacers. If you don't have the bosses, you'll be buying a whole new crank. Check Ebay or elsewhere for a Shimano Sora triple. They can usually be had very cheap brand new (<$70 IIRC). In order to use a triple crank you'll need to make some other significant changes though. From what I've heard (never tried it though) your current downtube shifters should shift a triple crank with no problems. Your front derailler however will not. That will need to go along with the rear derailler (unless you already swapped it for the freewheel change). A triple crank requires that the derailler take up more chain slack so a longer cage derailler is needed than with a double setup. Additionally, you'll need a new bottom bracket otherwise your chainline in the little ring will be way off (not to mention that the derailler probably won't properly shift into the inner ring). My Trek had a ~115mm BB which I had to swap for a 122mm BB to get the inner ring in the proper position. The bottom bracket you need will depend on which crankset you choose though.

  5. #5
    back in the saddle bent-not-broken's Avatar
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    That crank should have 110mm bolt hole centers so an inexpensive approch may be to convert to a compact crank set up with 50 34 chain rings coupled with a larger cassette.
    Bent

    When the earth is covered with 2/3's beer, then I'll buy bottled water!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent-not-broken View Post
    That crank should have 110mm bolt hole centers so an inexpensive approch may be to convert to a compact crank set up with 50 34 chain rings coupled with a larger cassette.
    I thought cranks with that bolt spacing were a relatively new thing. All of the older 52/42 cranks I've seen have 130mm bolt spacing for the 52 and 42 tooth rings and 74mm for the 30 tooth ring.

  7. #7
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    While I think my '85 has gotten some upgrades, the Sakae crank is 40/52 with 110mm BCD. Should be able to swap crank arms easily enough, although there is that ISO/JIS issue (not sure what would be what at that time--maybe time for a new BB at the same time and make life easier?).

    I've been tempted to do likewise, go 34/4? (keep going back and forth on 46/48, hate to give up that 52 on downhills tho!) but I'm wary of how it would shift w/o ramps/pins on the bigger chainring--it's not exactly smooth on mine currently, so I'm not sure about making it larger than a 12 tooth jump.

    I'd also take some time and do the math out--I know I cruise alot in the 50-75 gear inches catagory, so I'd want to make sure that (for my bike anyhow) those gears are on the same chainring--I wouldn't want to be constantly changing chainring and RD around everytime there was a slight change in incline. It is hard though with only two chainrings to get a huge gear spread, and keep gear ratios relatively tight. I'm also wary of the Megarange freewheel, as I think it may be too coarse of a jump from 34 down to 24--but it might work just fine for someone else, YMMV. What can I say, it's kinda hilly around here, and I know I use my 40/30 and 40/25 alot, so going 40/34 and then to 40/24 would be too much of a jump for me.
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  8. #8
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epodietz View Post
    Triple sounds ideal. My research so far leaves me with the following questions:

    1) Will I absolutely have to get a new, longer spindle? If so, how likely am I to find one that will work with my 1986 Raleigh Technium bottom bracket?
    2) Will my existing down-tube mounted, friction style shifter work with a triple? What is the max tooth difference that this type of derailleur can handle?
    3) In an article on converting doubles to triples, http://www.stanford.edu/~dru/tripleize.html, a device called a tripleizer is mentioned, but all leads on tripleizer have run cold. Any exp on these out there?

    It is starting to sound like much $$$ and time. I was hoping to spend around $200-$300, anymore starts to sound like a down payment on a new machine.

    I would like to know if I can replace my 6 sprocket free wheel with a 7 sprocket free wheel with a 30, 32 or 34 tooth granny sprocket. Would be a lot cheaper than upgrading the front..

    Thanks
    If you're running friction I'd try a 7-speed freewheel. I have a SunRace 13-30 on a bike with 53-40 in front and have no trouble winding up New England hills (most of the time)
    If you can do your own wrenching you should be able to replace the cranks, BB, and freewheel for well under $200 if you shop around.
    Top
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  9. #9
    Your mom
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    You will definitely be able to buy a cartridge BB to go with a triple crank that will fit your Technium just fine. You'll need a new FD as well. Assuming friction shifters, that should be it. You might be able to get away with it for under $70.

  10. #10
    espod
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    Upgrading 1986 Raleigh Technium from double to triple crankset

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I went with a Sugino 46-36-26 ($99) and a new bottom bracket ($25), all from Harris Cyclery http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/index.html which has a very informative website and great service (shipped same day). I am sticking with my 14-28 6 speed freewheel for the time being. I am told my friction shifters should have no problem, we'll see if the derailleur can handle it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Keep us updated!

  12. #12
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    You might need a new front mech. The Sugino cranks are nice. My wife has the Stronglight version.

    For reference, 110 BCD is not new at all. It's old. It got brought back as some kind of startling new invention. Compacts are basically touring doubles.

  13. #13
    espod
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    Status update: Converting double to triple crank

    Well the deed is done! I purchased Sugino XD-600 46-36-26 crankset ($99) and 68 x 115 BB ($25) from Harris Cyclery and had it installed by my local bikeshop. While I had intended to do all the work myself, I chose to have the bike shop do it after acknowledging that the cost of the tools and the time expenditure wasn't worth it for something I wasn't likely to ever do again.

    And it all works! I especially like the middle chainwheel (36) where I now spend most of my time on 14/16/18/21 and goto 24/28 on all but the worst hills. Previously with my 52/42 I would only use 14/16/18 occasionally.

    One little problem was that when on the 36 up front and the largest rear sprocket (28) , the chain "clinked" on the front derailleur cage since the cage couldn't move any closer to the bike frame. This may have been solvable by getting a slightly larger spindle so that the chainwheel was further away from the bike frame, but a little judicious bending of the front derailleur cage (big, long needlenose) solved this problem and now I am clink-free (and I didn't mess up the shifting to the larger chainwheels!)

    As joejack951 mentioned in a previous post to this thread, the bike shop suggested that I might want to change to a long cage derailleur since otherwise I can't use my lowest 3 sprockets (14-16-18) when on the small chainwhell upfront - because there is way too much chain slack. This is quite true, but so far I have been out twice and I can manage quite well without those inside to outside gear combinations.

    I've had a little problem with the front derailleur occasionally not wanting to shift into the 36 - it just doesn't have enough oomph - had to give it a little tap on the cage to get it over. I'll have to see if this problem persists. It shifts fine when in my workshop...

    So this whole operation has cost me under $200 so far, and I actually think the partially alumninum sugino weighs less than the 52/42 I had on there.

    Thanks for all the advice!

    Eric

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    I thought cranks with that bolt spacing were a relatively new thing. All of the older 52/42 cranks I've seen have 130mm bolt spacing for the 52 and 42 tooth rings and 74mm for the 30 tooth ring.
    No, 110 mm BCD cranks have been around for decades as the standard "touring" size and it was a common size on less expensive road cranks too. They went out of style for a while when the 130/135 mm BCD became more common but have made their reappearance as the new "Compact" bcd. My 1985 Bridgestone 400 came with a 110 mm bcd SR crank that also had bosses for a 74 mm granny ring.

  15. #15
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    epodietz Your FD needs some tweaking. You'll get it dialed in shortly. Please try to resist the temptation to bend the cage. FDs are touchy beasts. If you're getting rub on the middle-large, you must be getting a bunch when you go down to 26. Why didn't you mention it? Do you know if your front chainline is correct?

    Avoiding the top several gears while in the 26 sounds doable until one day you forget and destroy the drive train. Go for the long cage RD.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  16. #16
    espod
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    Long cage front derailleur??

    Sorry to mislead in my previous post. I meant that the chain was clinking on the 26, not the 36. I've never had a chainwheel with less than 42 teeth, so as I made the last post I was absent mindedly thinking the 36 was my smallest chainwheel...

    The tweak I made to the cage works beautifully and I LOVE my new setup. The FD has to struggle a little both going from 26 to 36 and 36 to 46, but I am getting used to it. With the 42-52 switch it was very easy.

    I'm OK with not getting the long cage derailleur - I am very conscious of avoiding the crossover combinations - but I wouldn't mind doing it except that I have read in various places that a long cage derailleur can make shifting a bit more difficult. But everything I have read is theoretical - I wonder if anyone has some practical experience with going from an old short cage to a modern long cage derailleur. I am thinking it shouldn't make much of a difference with a 14-28 6 sprocket freewheel, but I really like the RD I have now and wouldn't want to make it worse. I currently have friction shifters (old school, just fine by me) and a Suntour LePREE RD. I'd like to keep it under $50-$60, including labor.

    Thanks,
    Eric

  17. #17
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epodietz View Post
    I have read in various places that a long cage derailleur can make shifting a bit more difficult.
    That's BS. There's a lot of it floating around bicycle drive trains. The cage has nothing to do with shifting. Different part of the dérailleur entirely.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  18. #18
    espod
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    Long cage derailleur

    I went ahead with the long cage derailleur and I am glad I did - I can now access all 6 sprockets on the freewheel - even small to small if I care to. That's nice, especially when going uphill in a headwind. Overall it shifts nicely though not quite as nicely as the short derailleur.

    One mildly interesting thing was that the mechanic had to resort to a mountain derailleur since the max sized cog the road derailleur could handle was 27 and I have 14-28. The RD (Shimano) cost $44, install was $10.

  19. #19
    Do I use too many commas?
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    Even though they are rated for a 27 tooth max, most long cage road rear deraileurs will handle the 28 tooth cog quite well. Shimano 105's are commonly used in that fashion.

    That being said, I have a mountain rear on my 1989 vintage Miyata road bike. It came with it and I am too cheap to change it out. Plus it works just fine. Mountain used to be called "touring" before mountain bikes became so popular. Mountain derailleurs were very common on road bikes in the not so distant past.

  20. #20
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    it shifts nicely though not quite as nicely as the short derailleur.
    You're comparing a mountain dérailleur with a road dérailleur. The two are different down in the bits that do the shifting, so it's hardly surprising that they shift differently. Yet the difference is attributed to the cage length?

    This is how questionable "common wisdom" gets perpetuated.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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