Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
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Taking one of the questions one at a time.
1- the reason that so many bikes come with a better Rd than FD is economics and competitive pressure. When choosing the components for a production bike makers balance the cost against the added perceived value at retail. They divide components into the ones that add value and the ones that most people miss. The RD is one of the most visible items and they'll use an upgrade just so that can say "xxx derailleur", while skimping of the less obvious FD and sometimes the shifters. You'll see all kinds of things like that, including better cranks on cheaper bottom brackets, cheap bar in a nice stem, etc.
2- there should still be some 9s triples out there, but if not you can buy a 10s crank. The difference is the chainrings will be a bit closer together. Most 9s chains will run fine on 10s cranks, though you might be slightly more limited in chain angle when crossing an inner ring to the outer cassette.
3-It's generally best to stay within brand, and sometimes even within type (road vs mtb) between levers and derailleurs. The various brands have different cable response ratios (the distance the RD moves relative to the cable movement) and often don't mix well with each other.
4-much of the difference between mtb and road stuff is marketing, though road stuff is usually built around drop bars, and mtb for upright. Also some mtb stuff might be built tougher or more abuse resistant than comparable road stuff. As long as the function suits your needs, there no harm in using mtb on the road or vice versa. (I use an mtb crank on my touring road bike)
An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.
“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin
“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions”
- Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN
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