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Old 08-27-07, 02:49 PM   #1
higgit
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Mtn Bike Crankset on a Road Bike?

Hi,

This is my first post. I am a retiree who has become addicted to cycling. My wife calls me obsessive; she's right.

I have a 2006 Specialized Sequoia Elite. My age is 68 and I do 50-100 mile club rides in a hilly area with hopes of doing a trip like Mountains-to-Sea in NC or the Blue Ridge Parkway before I have to use a walker.

I have had difficulty with long, over 10% climbs so I replaced the 11-25 (9 speed) that came with the bike with a 11-32 Mtn bike cassette (Deore) to go with the 52-42-30 Sugino triple crankset.

This has made climbing significantly easier and I am very happy with the extreme 30/32 ratio. However, what I gained in climbing, I have lost in ability to keep up with the better riders in my club because the gap between (cassette) gears has gone way up. I realize that I need the close ratios of a 12-23 cassette.

So, I thought: why not install a 44-32-22 mtn bike crankset (Deore XT) with a 12-23 cassette. That way I would have both the hill climbing capabilty (22/23 extreme overall ratio) and the close ratios for level paceline riding. What I would give up is the higher speeds from the 52 wheel, which I am happy to do because I seldom, if ever, achieve (level, wind-free) speeds of over 22-24 mph. And, going downhill for me is more about applying brakes than cranking.

First, technically and mechanically, can one use a mtn bike crank (Deore XT) on a Sequoia frame (9 speed)? Any issues with bottom brackets, etc.?

Second, will it work? Will I meet my twin objectives of: climbing capability and close ratios? Has anyone done this?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Ted
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Old 08-27-07, 03:08 PM   #2
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higgit,
I'm running a 48-36-28 with a 12-34 rear cassette without problems on an older c-dale road bike. Instead of a mtn. bike crankset, why not go with a trekking crankset? Those run 48-36-26 which will give you a wide range for both flats and hills. I should not think that you would have to change out your front der., whereas you might if you went with the mtn. set. You would have to ask a mechanic about that. I know that some of the spec. sirrus models came with that crankset and they are fairly easy to find.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:17 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that you will probably need to slide the front dérailleur down the seattube a little to accommodate the smaller big ring. If your bike has a clamp-on dérailleur, then it's no sweat.
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Old 08-27-07, 04:01 PM   #4
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+1 on the 26/36/48 crankset. You will be able to continue to use your front derailleur as is. You may need a matching bottom bracket to go with the crank but everything else will work.

Attempting to rectify the situation by using an MTB front derailleur to go with an MTB crank will result in a mismatch of Road shifter ratio's and MTB front derailleur ratio's. In addition the derailleur cable arm will probably foul the space between the seat post and the front of the rear tire.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:38 PM   #5
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How about the 13-30 CS922 Century Special?
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#9
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Old 08-27-07, 06:10 PM   #6
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You have to think through your own needs and riding habits. It strikes me that something like a 48/36/26 paired with a 12-25 cassette might be a good match, but I wouldn't know what would be best.

I recently test rode a bike with a 12-27 ten speed and there were several gears which were just one tooth apart. For me that was an inconvenience, as I had to shift a lot more often. Sounds like you would have liked it.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:11 PM   #7
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Rather than a modern MTB crank, I would suggest something with the old MTB and touring bike standard 110/74 BCD triple. This would give you many more options for lower or higher gearing as your requirements change by swapping chain rings. A Sugino XD with 26/36/46 rings should work.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:19 PM   #8
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Others have given good advice, here's some add'l thoughts

What I like is range without duplication. By that I mean a wide range of gearing options, without a lot of overlapping gears when you switch to a different front ring. Having a super wide cassette - 11-34, as example, when combined with certain cranksets, may only yield X amount of useful and different gears, with a lot of duplication.

I get as much range as I can achieve in the front crank and as tight as I can get - given the expected use, in the cassette. Thus I'll use a 26/36/50 in the front, and a 12-23 or 12-21, 9spd. in the rear, yielding 19 different gears out of 24 possible in a range of 111 gear inches at the top, and 33 at the low. This allows you to stay in a ring as long as possible, with 1 tooth jumps (making it easier to maintain cadence), before needing to shift down or up in the front. FWIW, even though the Shimano standard tooth differential for the front derailer capacity is supposed to be 24 tooth, you can regularly runs 26 with no issue.

The 11-32 with stock Shimano road triple, puts you all over the map in terms of shift pattern, with the result that you tend to stay in the ring, and spin slower or faster then desired.

So some recommendations:

1) Think about what gears you use know ?, do you need the 11 tooth with the 52big ring ?, is that too much speed ?, or could you start the cassette higher at 13 or use smaller rings ?.

2) Use Sheldons gear chart calculator - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

This will help you figure out what's available in terms of gearing options.

3) Note that not all of the triple mt. bike cranks that use the 110/74 bcd cranks, are 9 speed (if you use 9 speed). I found this out the hard way while attempting to use a Sugino XD crank on a 9 spd. system. The 9 spd. chain would drop into the space between the big and middle ring - the crank was designed for 8 sp., as the LBS informed me.

SB
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Old 08-27-07, 07:25 PM   #9
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IMHO the earlier suggestion of the 13-30 cassette gets my vote. Changing the rear cassette and, if needed, going to a long cage derailleur is the easy fix for the problems. I have a Shimano XT 12-32 cassette with a 52-42-32 and I very seldom use the smallest cogs.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:30 PM   #10
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With similar thoughts in mind I slightly modified my touring setup. SRAM makes a 11-26 9spd rear cluster which I installed. I also replaced the 30 tooth granny with a 28. That gives me a 28 gear-inch low end but still some pretty tight ratios up top. You could maybe even go down to a 26 granny which would get you pretty close to your 30/32 low end.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:34 PM   #11
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I have a 26/36/48 with a 11/32 cassette and I can just about go up walls.
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Old 08-27-07, 08:19 PM   #12
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I have a 26/36/48 with a 11/32 cassette and I can just about go up walls.
With that set-up you could pick up some extra money pulling stumps in your spare time, George.

All kidding aside, I AM a fan of low gearing.
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Old 08-27-07, 08:25 PM   #13
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You clearly understand what I am trying to achieve.

I really wish I had a 10-speed set-up, but I only got the bike last December so I know my wife would definitely have something to say if I proposed a new Roubaix!!!

In three weeks, I'm going to try to do a century in Canandaigua NY (Bristol Mtn Highlander) with 6000' of ascent. In my collection of parts I have a used 44-32-22 and a 12-23 so I'll get them installed and try these ratios. I'll let you know how it went.

Without the close ratios of the 12-23 I get dropped all too frequently on club rides. It amazes me how much work it takes to accelerate going from a 21 into an 18 (or 18 to 16) trying to keep up.

The amazing thing about all this is that I have become addicted to cycling. There is simply so much to it.

Lovin' it. Many thanks. Ted
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Old 08-27-07, 09:18 PM   #14
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We just got our Trek hybrids barely a month ago, and I'm already dreaming of a road bike. If you want someone to tell you it's OK to get a new bike 9 months after your first bike, you've come to the right place. These guys are pros! You'll feel silly for waiting 9 whole months.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:40 PM   #15
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I was delighted with the 110mm/74mm BCD Sugino mountain triple I put on the Peugeot PKN-10. I wanted close-ratio gearing and a short-cage derailleur, but I wanted a somewhat lower gear than on my other bikes. My favorite combination was 48-45-34 / 13-15-17-19-21-23, which gave me 15 or 16 usable closely spaced ratios from 40 to 100 gear-inches. I know lots of you disagree with me on this, but I have no use for any gear over about 100 gear-inches, and my current fleet has top gears of 93.5, 94.5, 96, and 98 inches. After I gave him the Peugeot, my son wanted a higher top gear and a lower bottom gear, and he had issues with skating the chain on the half-step chainrings, so I changed it to a 21-speed with a36-to-108 range: 52-45-34 / 13-15-17-19-21-23-26. It doesn't have the smooth ratio progressions I favor, but it gives him the range he wants. The rear cogset would work well with my mountain bike's 48-40-24 ringset, for those who want a lower range of gears.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You clearly understand what I am trying to achieve.

I really wish I had a 10-speed set-up, but I only got the bike last December so I know my wife would definitely have something to say if I proposed a new Roubaix!!!

In three weeks, I'm going to try to do a century in Canandaigua NY (Bristol Mtn Highlander) with 6000' of ascent. In my collection of parts I have a used 44-32-22 and a 12-23 so I'll get them installed and try these ratios. I'll let you know how it went.

Without the close ratios of the 12-23 I get dropped all too frequently on club rides. It amazes me how much work it takes to accelerate going from a 21 into an 18 (or 18 to 16) trying to keep up.

The amazing thing about all this is that I have become addicted to cycling. There is simply so much to it.

Lovin' it. Many thanks. Ted
That ride should also tell you if the 44/12 combination is fast enough for you. My top gears are 48/14, and I have to spin like crazy to do about 24 mph.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:14 AM   #17
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You want to go from a 52 to a 44 top ring. That's 4" smaller circumference, or about .64" smaller radius.
Will your FD move down that much?
It's also not going to have the ideal "curvature" for the smaller ring.
Not saying it won't work, but something to consider.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:01 AM   #18
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With that set-up you could pick up some extra money pulling stumps in your spare time, George.

All kidding aside, I AM a fan of low gearing.
I'm in the process of buying a new bike, with the same gearing. My knees love it.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by higgit View Post
You clearly understand what I am trying to achieve.

I really wish I had a 10-speed set-up, but I only got the bike last December so I know my wife would definitely have something to say if I proposed a new Roubaix!!!

In three weeks, I'm going to try to do a century in Canandaigua NY (Bristol Mtn Highlander) with 6000' of ascent. In my collection of parts I have a used 44-32-22 and a 12-23 so I'll get them installed and try these ratios. I'll let you know how it went.

Without the close ratios of the 12-23 I get dropped all too frequently on club rides. It amazes me how much work it takes to accelerate going from a 21 into an 18 (or 18 to 16) trying to keep up.

The amazing thing about all this is that I have become addicted to cycling. There is simply so much to it.

Lovin' it. Many thanks. Ted

I have Sora 8 speed- 11/28 on the Giant- (Changed the standard 12/26 to an MTB one I had kicking about) I did not thing the Ratios were too far apart untill I got the 10 speed Boreas. When I went back to the Giant-I could notice the difference. For someone used to close ratios- It is strange.- But I also need the 30 on the front aswell. 30/28 got me up Ventoux so it must be right for me. I rarely get into the 52 on this bike and mainly ride in the 42. 42/11 seems fast enough for the few flat bits around here.

The choices- That Old MTB triple with the 46/36/28 seems a good choice. This is what we use on the Tandem but It is a compromise crankset. Just fasr enough for the flats and just low enough for the Hills- Well not really but we cheated and put 48/36/24 rings on and that is suitable. Couple that to your 12/23 and you will have a climbing gear- Have a high enough top gear and get back to the close ratios you want.
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Old 08-28-07, 02:48 PM   #20
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You could think about doing what I did. I run a 50/34 compact crank on the front using a standard front derailleur combined with a XT rear derailleur and use either a 12/27 or a 11/32 rear cassette depending on the ride. I don't have any issues with keeping up in pacelines and greatly enjoy the easier gears with the 34/32 when needed. I've done many a steep hill with grades in the 15%-20% range using the 34/32. Just another way to get to the same end result I think you're after.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:42 PM   #21
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Armed with your suggestions as well as the Deore XT 44-32-22 crankset and the 12-23 cassette, I went to my local bike shop and conferred with their mechanic of 15 years.

Together, we concluded that:

(1) Yes, I should change the cassette to a 12-23 from the 11-32, and
(2) but no to the mtn bike crankset (for now, at least). Instead, I will change the 30 (smallest chainring of the Sugino 52-42-30 Triple) to a 24. Much easier to do, therefore less expensive. He did say that, however, that I will not be able to shift from the 42 to the 24 under load. I'll have to ease up on the pedals.

I will soon see if the 24/23 can do the climbing job for me that the 30/32 did.

If not, I'll revisit the drivetrain configuration later.

Many thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I discussed all of them with the mechanic.

Regards, Ted
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Old 08-28-07, 07:03 PM   #22
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When I went to a 26 for my little ring on the front, my chain would almost always fall off when I shifted from the 42 to 26. I put on an N Gear Jump Stop and it solved that problem.
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Old 08-29-07, 04:59 AM   #23
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When I went to a 26 for my little ring on the front, my chain would almost always fall off when I shifted from the 42 to 26. I put on an N Gear Jump Stop and it solved that problem.
N Gear Jump Stops have a magical ability to remove some otherwise very nasty problems. They serve the same function as a dork disk but work in an area that could use the help more.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:21 PM   #24
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... My top gears are 48/14, and I have to spin like crazy to do about 24 mph.
I guess I'm just a spinner. My top gears of 45/13 (UO-8) and 49/14 (Capo #2) straddle yours, and I rarely feel the need for anything higher. A crank cadence of 120RPM will put you over 30mph with a 96-inch (50/14 on a road bike or 48/13 on a mountain bike) top gear.
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