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  1. #1
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    Advice on rando drivetrain

    I'm zeroing in on a Bob Jackson World Tour as the base for a rando, credit card touring bike. May do some light loaded touring but emphasis will be on a lighter build.

    Used an Ultegra road triple on a prior road bike for ~12-15k miles and was not pleased with it. Seemed to always need attention. So I'm inclined toward mtn components, maybe a compact. Would like to have at least a 48 big ring so that may rule out mtn crankset. On the other hand, the compact will not give a nice wide range.

    Like the idea of a Phil Wood or SKF BB; something adjustable and bomb-proof.

    Not afraid to go non-period even with a BJ lugged frame, but do kind of prefer simple alloy components where possible. Don't love the carbon fiber look, but do like the concept of Campy Ergo brifters for the FD trim capability and the indexed shifting.

    Have searched the net and this forum, but not really honed in on a good mix of drivetrain components. Assuming brifters and, maybe, a mtn 9 speed cassette and medium cage, low-normal, RD, what would work smoothly and be robust?

    thanks in advance,
    -jeff

  2. #2
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    I went with just this kind of setup on my 1984 Trek 520... 11-34 9-speed cassette... Sugino triple up front... 105 front derailleur... and a low normal (rapid rise) Shimano XTR rear derailleur.

    I love the rapid rise stuff because it can be had for a song. Don't know why people don't want to use the low normal derailleurs, but I'll take 'em all day for the price that I got mine. My LBS accidentally ordered a low normal and it sat on the shelf for almost a year before I bought it brand new in the retail box for $40. People apparently just won't buy them.

    That drivetrain setup is bullet proof... I've had not a minute's trouble with it.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  3. #3
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    Oh yeah... I don't do the brifter stuff. I use down tube friction shifters.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Modern 105 & Ultegra triples work perfectly, as well as doubles.

  5. #5
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    Agree on the compact doubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Modern 105 & Ultegra triples work perfectly, as well as doubles.
    I think my Ultegra triple was circa 2002 on a Trek 5200 OCLV frame. A friend I ride with had an Ultegra triple gruppo circa 2003 with similar frame. Neither of us had a good experience. If modern means post those years, maybe I should re-think!

    On the flip side, my 2007-ish Ultegra compact is like a dream. Point and go all day long. Switch seamlessly between cassettes, etc.

  6. #6
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    Hydrated: Good input - so you did go with the Sugino triple and were happy w/ it. That's where I have been leaning. Like the look and the price is great.

  7. #7
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    I put together a bike last fall with Shimano 105 9-speed brifters, 105 triple crankset, 9-speed 12-34 cassette, long-cage XTR derailleur. Works well.

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Other than wearing out a set of brifters, my Ultegra triples have been completely trouble free. Of course, I replace my own cables and housing and adjust them myself. It's easy to do it wrong, but worth learning to do it right. Just follow the package directions. In the back, it depends on your strength and terrain. I used to run a 25 in the back until I got old and wimpy and went to a 27. For long 18% pass climbs it'd be worth having a 34.

    Although it's possible to break an Ultegra brifter by shifting both handles really hard, especially with heavy gloves, so you do have to be careful of that.

    What goes wrong IME is headsets, wheels, and tires. CK headset and building your own wheels goes a long way to help. Also cables breaking, so a spare cable is nice. But if you break a rear cable, at least with a triple you still have a 3-speed bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    Don't know why people don't want to use the low normal derailleurs, […]
    Because, if your cable snaps, it'll jump into your rear wheel rather than away from it.

    .tsooJ

  10. #10
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Just outa curiosity, why the World Tour instead of one of their Audax series? Seems like the WT would be designed for carring mondo luggage for months at a time, and wouldn't be a particularly lively, inspiring bike to ride.

    SP
    Bend, OR

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyorpb View Post
    Because, if your cable snaps, it'll jump into your rear wheel rather than away from it.

    .tsooJ
    Well, if the limit screws are set correctly it won't go INTO your wheel, but yes, it will go to the largest cog.

    Easy fix on the road if you don't have a cable though, just re-adjust the limit screws so it sits on a gear that's more appropriate for you to get home or to a bike shop.

  12. #12
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    Why not Audax

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    Just outa curiosity, why the World Tour instead of one of their Audax series? Seems like the WT would be designed for carring mondo luggage for months at a time, and wouldn't be a particularly lively, inspiring bike to ride.

    SP
    Bend, OR
    Yeah, good question and I don't have a super rational reason. Am really stuck on the idea of canti's as well as low-rider braze-ons for front rack - just in case. At some point, going more toward a sport geometry starts to beg the question of getting another bike at all. I have a competent road/race bike and am hoping to augment it with something different. Something more about looking around and enjoying a long trip rather than just getting there. Some fork rake, good trail.

    Based on looking at geometries, weights, etc I segmented things like the Surly LHT, vintage Specialized Exped/Miyata 1000LT, Rivendell Sam Hillborne on one end of the spectrum (heavier, stouter a bit longer wheelbase, more for true LT) and the WT kind of in the middle of things (mostly due to Reynolds 631 and option for a threadless headset).

    Stuff that called to me included: Cannondale T1/T2 frame, Velo Orange Rando, Box Dog Pelican, the Rivendell SamH and a few others. The SamH is nice because it's trad lugged, but they recommend a minimum 32mm tire and GP specs out stouter, non-butted tubing.

    I would hope to end up with a 22-23# bike, 28mm tires/maybe 32 spoke wheels, that's relaxed but still reasonably responsive unloaded. As well, the WT frame is at a pretty fetching price for what it is.

    None of that really answers your question well though. :-)

  13. #13
    Increasingly Marginalized seawind161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyorpb View Post
    Because, if your cable snaps, it'll jump into your rear wheel rather than away from it.

    .tsooJ
    Limit screws?

    Edit- Sorry, rudetay beat me to it.

  14. #14
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    You could also consider getting a standard Shimano road double and using MTB rear derailleur and cassette, which will still work with STI levers. With a 34t large cog and small chainring of 39t (and you can actually fit a 38t chainring on a 130mm bcd crank) your lowest gear is slightly lower than with a small cog of 27t and a small chainring of 34t. And actually, a combination of chainring+cog where both are larger wears more slowly and runs more efficiently than a smaller combination with the same ratio. This is because the wear is distributed over more teeth, and there's less friction between the links of the chain becauseit doesn't have to flex as far to wrap around the gears. I think nowadays there's a Campy 11sp 12-29 cassette, which would give you a low gear of 35.5" with a 39t chainring; a 34t chainring with a 12-25 cassette would give you a low gear of 35.9". In other words, a normal Shimano double with a MTB cassette will get you a slightly lower low gear than a Campy compact crank with a 29t cog, and a wider range overall (39X34 is 30" 34X29 is 29").

    But you can get the gearing you need with Campy, Shimano, or SRAM, and they all work very well (even though Campy are the only brifters that allow front derailleur trim). Personally, I think that a more important concern for long rides is the shape of the levers in your hands. The levers are significantly different in the way they feel between those three brands; and if you're willing to consider bar-ends or downtube shifters, there are also non-brifter brake levers from Shimano, Campy, Tektro/Cane Creek, DiaCompe, etc, all of which are also different. And Modolo makes brifters that work with either Campy or Shimano. They also are all different lengths, which means that they can significantly affect the amount of reach when you have your hands on top of them and the difference in reach between the hoods and the tops, and they all hit the bars at different angles. On a brevet, you don't need to be able to shift at your fingertips so you can catch the breakaway, but you do need to be able to keep your hands comfortable for many long hours on the road. IMHO, the first thing to do is to decide what levers are the most comfortable for you; then decide what your requirements are for gearing (what range, how important it is to avoid frequent double shifts, how important is close spacing, etc), then figure out what combinations of parts will get you there.

  15. #15
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    MTB cassette & rear der + road compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post
    You could also consider getting a standard Shimano road double and using MTB rear derailleur and cassette, which will still work with STI levers. With a 34t large cog and small chainring of 39t (and you can actually fit a 38t chainring on a 130mm bcd crank) your lowest gear is slightly lower than with a small cog of 27t and a small chainring of 34t. And actually, a combination of chainring+cog where both are larger wears more slowly and runs more efficiently than a smaller combination with the same ratio. This is because the wear is distributed over more teeth, and there's less friction between the links of the chain becauseit doesn't have to flex as far to wrap around the gears.
    Yeah, agree, and I'm starting to think this is the right combination. Running a 50/34 compact and a 12/34 MTB cassette would seem to be good enough for light touring.

    Appreciate the thoughts on levers. Valid point to think comfort first.

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