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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-24-14, 05:43 PM   #51
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I don't know how many cassettes I still have lying around that are probably in quite good nick. I used to have a tool that could check wear on the sprockets, but don't anymore and haven't been able to source one (not that I have tried hard lately). The shame about this is that as usual, the sprockets that are used the most are the most worn, and the ones up and down on either side are likely still in good nick.
Too bad the days of a "Cog Board" in the LBS are over, it was part of the annual overhaul to bin the top 2-3 cogs at the end of the season and fit a fresh chain. I'll still settle for modern kit w/ wide range and tight efficient steps instead but still wish that a separate 12-13-14 was available.

Doing Long Distance motorcycle timed events is vastly more complicated and expensive than cycling, a pair of tires alone consumes my entire bicycle wearables budget for a season.

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Old 05-24-14, 06:28 PM   #52
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[QUOTE=Rowan;16788590]High-distance riding does need a maintenance budget. And preventative maintenance goes a long way to removing doubts about whether something will break, and actually finishing randonnees without any mechanical issues.

I know that I have spent quite a lot of money on replacing wearable components such as tyres, brake pads, cables, chains and cassettes a long time before they are worn out so that I can do 1000s, 1200s and fleches without any distractions. Replacements might have been even in mid-season.

I don't know how many cassettes I still have lying around that are probably in quite good nick. I used to have a tool that could check wear on the sprockets, but don't anymore and haven't been able to source one (not that I have tried hard lately). The shame about this is that as usual, the sprockets that are used the most are the most worn, and the ones up and down on either side are likely still in good nick.

Ultimately, I know that krobinson wants stuff that will last a long time, but the only real solution to that is to find a component level -- whether it's DA, Ultegra or whatever -- that suits the wallet and distance desire, then budget cash for replacements at regular intervals.[/QUOTE


Think I'll get a nexus hub for the front and 105 soec rear wheel. Shifters.and deraillers last a.long time and batteries are a pain to recharge. Just redid the drive train with a richey compact (free in good condition, powerspline) and a 105 spec calssette. Along with the DA chain and my new carbon saddle (it was comfortable!) I should be good for a while.
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Old 05-24-14, 06:40 PM   #53
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Think I'll get a nexus hub for the front and 105 soec rear wheel.
The factory spec for Shimano hubs (sub-DA) is to ease automated wheel building, meaning they are too tight to be perfect for use.
Get a set of cone wrenches & an axle vise & adjust for just a "touch" of play at the axel-end, when the QR is tightened the compression will set your hub to a perfect smooth play-less spin. Better yet, back off the cones and add a bit of quality bearing grease before the 1st mile and re-adjust, you 1st pre-install maintenance will pay dividends in performance & longevity.


I did that w/ a pair of RS-30 low spoke count wheels last year, they now spin like my '84 Dura-Ace.

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Old 05-24-14, 10:10 PM   #54
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Nice. been busy working on this...


Which should handle commuting nicely. Its always a mission getting road and mtb stuff working together butvthe.results are very practical. Pity the brifters were toast. They do naje giid brake levers though.
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Old 05-24-14, 11:25 PM   #55
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Your 2300/Sora wasn't designed for high mileage usage but it's a trickle down of higher spec Shimano design and will wear out faster, but when it works it works just fine. All it takes is $$$ but reliability is built in if maintained properly. (...) Higher spec gives better polish & superior materials but all will spin smoothly for years w/ normal service.
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Ultimately, I know that krobinson wants stuff that will last a long time, but the only real solution to that is to find a component level -- whether it's DA, Ultegra or whatever -- that suits the wallet and distance desire, then budget cash for replacements at regular intervals.
What I hear from you is essentially "higher end groupsets will last longer because they are made better / with better materials".

While this may be the case at the level of 2300/Sora, I think it may be inaccurate or things may even work the other way around at the top end. Remember that the name of the game in high-end road bike groupsets is "weight savings". No one chooses between Ultegra and DA based on the expectation that DA will last longer. People get DA because DA is lighter than Ultegra, and people get SRAM Red because Red is lighter than DA.

Take one specific example: cassettes. A 11-28 Ultegra 6700 cassette weighs 235 g. An identical Dura Ace 7900 cassette weighs 185 g. This 50 g difference allows Shimano to charge triple the price of a 6700 for a 7900 (here in the US, a 6700 currently goes for ~$60, a 7900 can be found for $180 if you look long and hard enough). What's the difference? For one, Ultegra is nickel/chrome-plated steel all over, and DA has several cogs made of titanium. Titanium is significantly weaker than steel, and it's inevitable that it will result in faster wear. Things are probably done the same way elsewhere: maximization of weight savings with or without some effort to keep durability in check.

If the objective is to minimize maintenance costs, an ideal choice may be something like 105, or, better yet, a mountain bike group like Deore (mountain groups are inherently tougher than road groups).
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Old 05-25-14, 12:59 AM   #56
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What I hear from you is essentially "higher end groupsets will last longer because they are made better / with better materials".

While this may be the case at the level of 2300/Sora, I think it may be inaccurate or things may even wok the other way around at the top end. Remember that the name of the game in high-end road bike groupsets is "weight savings". No one chooses between Ultegra and DA based on the expectation that DA will last longer. People get DA because DA is lighter than Ultegra, and people get SRAM Red because Red is lighter than DA.

Take one specific example: cassettes. A 11-28 Ultegra 6700 cassette weighs 235 g. An identical Dura Ace 7900 cassette weighs 185 g. This 50 g difference allows Shimano to charge triple the price of a 6700 for a 7900 (here in the US, a 6700 currently goes for ~$60, a 7900 can be found for $180 if you look long and hard enough). What's the difference? For one, Ultegra is nickel/chrome-plated steel all over, and DA has several cogs made of titanium. Titanium is significantly weaker than steel, and it's inevitable that it will result in faster wear. Things are probably done the same way elsewhere: maximization of weight savings with or without some effort to keep durability in check.

If the objective is to minimize maintenance costs, an ideal choice may be something like 105, or, better yet, a mountain bike group like Deore (mountain groups are inherently tougher than road groups).
I run deore on my mtb tourer. tough as nails. But slx is where it reallly shines for bang for your buck. Hubs are way better sealed.
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Old 05-25-14, 01:07 AM   #57
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Then why not SLX for the rear hub?
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Old 05-25-14, 01:11 AM   #58
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The slx hub on my spare mtb wheelset fits in fine. Leave.the disc off, lace it to the roadbikes rim. Both 24 spoke, both fit the dropouts.
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Old 05-25-14, 01:20 AM   #59
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The slx hub on my spare mtb wheelset fits in fine. Leave.the disc off, lace it to the roadbikes rim. Both 24 spoke, both fit the dropouts.
Saves you cash at least on the outlay. The only concern was whether the hub would fit the dropouts.

I must say SLX does seem to be a good compromise in the Shimano line-up. Good price but also pretty good engineering. I sometimes regret not putting SLX hubs on our Thorn touring bikes instead of opting for the XT hubs with the aluminium axles (which haven't given any trouble so far).
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Old 05-25-14, 01:26 AM   #60
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Saves you cash at least on the outlay. The only concern was whether the hub would fit the dropouts.

I must say SLX does seem to be a good compromise in the Shimano line-up. Good price but also pretty good engineering. I sometimes regret not putting SLX hubs on our Thorn touring bikes instead of opting for the XT hubs with the aluminium axles (which haven't given any trouble so far).
Thats an slx hub in the roadbike dropouts. Obviously doesn't like the 26 inch rim or disc but, it does fit in just fine. Not sure I want to break down that fine dt swiss wheelset though. Have to get me another rear hub.
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Old 05-25-14, 07:03 AM   #61
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What I hear from you is essentially "higher end groupsets will last longer because they are made better / with better materials".
Yes, But.....
Groupos designed for professional cycling are engineered and manufactured to the highest quality standards and UCI requirements.
Cost is not an important consideration vs. a balance of extreme reliability and light weight, one must finish to win and the mile mileage high speed pounding dished out by pro riders is an excellent test of kit. It also tests team mechanics and budgets, I lack the 2nd.

Does that make a top tier electronic shift group w/ carbon tubulars the best choice for self supported long distance solo cyclists?
Maybe not, it depends on the rider's requirements. Top tier cyclocross groups may be more appropriate for sheer durability, wider/lower gearing, wide clearance brakes or discs but still light weight and high quality.

I agree that the sweet spot in price/performance was/is Ultegra in the Shimano line up but I'm considering snapping up selected "obsolete" NOS DA 7900 components on the "cheap" for my CF good weather bike. The wet weather machine will be getting the last of the mid-tier triples, good enough.

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Old 05-25-14, 08:28 AM   #62
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Saves you cash at least on the outlay. The only concern was whether the hub would fit the dropouts.

I must say SLX does seem to be a good compromise in the Shimano line-up. Good price but also pretty good engineering. I sometimes regret not putting SLX hubs on our Thorn touring bikes instead of opting for the XT hubs with the aluminium axles (which haven't given any trouble so far).
For what it is worth you can still get the M756 XT hubs with steel axles. I actually just ordered a set for a customer yesterday doing an around the world tour. I will say though, I think the aluminum axle hubs will be just fine as long as they are properly adjusted and maintained but that is no different than any other Shimano hub really. They might be more sensitive to contaminants with the smaller bearings but that is nothing more than a guess with no solid info to back that up.

For accelerated wear I fall into the mindset of building a cheap single speed or fixed gear bike to take the majority of your wear. Single speed with disc brakes would be even better as you do not have to deal with rim wear and disc pads seem to last forever on commuter bikes in all but the worst of conditions.

If you must have gears, this is a groupo I will eventually run once my current stuff is no longer working. It is designed around cyclocross racers who are notorious for killing shifters and derailleurs from mud, sand, and crashes. It is all completely rebuild able and the shifters are simply bar end shifters mounted in a much more convenient place allowing you to shift from the hoods. Gevenalle - Cyclocross
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Old 05-25-14, 11:34 AM   #63
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Yes, But.....
Groupos designed for professional cycling are engineered and manufactured to the highest quality standards and UCI requirements.
Cost is not an important consideration vs. a balance of extreme reliability and light weight, one must finish to win and the mile mileage high speed pounding dished out by pro riders is an excellent test of kit. It also tests team mechanics and budgets, I lack the 2nd.
Let's not confuse wear and risk of failure. A Dura Ace chain is not going to snap during a 1200 watt sprint, but it does not mean that it will last as long as a Deore chain. Pro racers don't have to go even 1000 km on one chain.

It's the same story with tires. The most expensive tires are the ones that are lightest and the ones with the best grip (e.g. Conti Competition) but not the most durable (Conti Sprinter Gatorskin).

Anyone know how often wearables are replaced during e.g. Tour de France?
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Old 05-25-14, 03:40 PM   #64
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I think it's generally a fairly useless argument to say that because top pro's are demanding of their equipment that the same equipment is also suitable for long distance use. A pro racer's bike gets cleaned and gone over by a mechanic after every stage. A bike may encounter plenty of dirt and sand and stuff on the Paris-Roubaix, but it still gets cleaned up afterward. A bike used for brevets might get rained on, then leaned up against two other bikes at a gas station, accidentally laid down on its derailleur side, etc, then picked back up and ridden for another fifteen hours before anyone so much as hoses it down. Pro racers need stuff that is light, predictable, and reliable, but someone is checking it over, cleaning it up, and making small adjustments practically every 100 mi. How many ride reports from long brevets have you read where the author complained of shifting that gradually got stickier, sloppier, and more sluggish over the course of the ride, particularly if it rained? If a racer's shifting is feeling a little off by the end of one stage, you can bet that it's fixed by the next stage (even if it's an amateur racer who does it him/herself). They don't go race three more days in the rain while it gets worse and worse.

For randonneurs, weight is less critical but wear life and reliability under less-than-ideal conditions is more so. This is not to say that all top-of-the-line racing equipment is necessarily bad for randonneuring. Just saying that road racing and long distance riding are two different animals, and that equipment optimized for one of those activities is not necessarily the best thing for the other.
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Old 05-25-14, 04:00 PM   #65
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Let's not confuse wear and risk of failure. A Dura Ace chain is not going to snap during a 1200 watt sprint, but it does not mean that it will last as long as a Deore chain. Pro racers don't have to go even 1000 km on one chain.
... aside from the poor guy at the London Olympic time trial (I forget who it was) whose chain snapped as he went down the ramp onto the course.
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Old 05-25-14, 05:42 PM   #66
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Let's not confuse wear and risk of failure. A Dura Ace chain is not going to snap during a 1200 watt sprint, but it does not mean that it will last as long as a Deore chain. Pro racers don't have to go even 1000 km on one chain.

It's the same story with tires. The most expensive tires are the ones that are lightest and the ones with the best grip (e.g. Conti Competition) but not the most durable (Conti Sprinter Gatorskin).

Anyone know how often wearables are replaced during e.g. Tour de France?
That would be Daily in the Giro where an entire team relies on Zero DNF and has the resources to ensure it:

Gallery: Behind the scenes with Blanco mechanics at the Giro - VeloNews.com

For elderly mere mortals like me it looks like ~3,000 miles for an Ultegra spec chain (no pro team budget here for DA) and whatever the tire-gods allow for quality clinchers.
Consumables get consumed as required, nothing new there as Sedisport chains gave a similar service life "back when" so it's all down to routine maintenance. Replace what needs to be replaced before an event, that's how we rolled "back when" and I can't see how that has changed in the last 40 years.

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Old 05-25-14, 06:11 PM   #67
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For randonneurs, weight is less critical but wear life and reliability under less-than-ideal conditions is more so. This is not to say that all top-of-the-line racing equipment is necessarily bad for randonneuring. Just saying that road racing and long distance riding are two different animals, and that equipment optimized for one of those activities is not necessarily the best thing for the other.
This why I suggested above that top-tier Cyclo Cross groups may be the most performance/cost effective solution for long distance solo cyclists. Rain, mud, wrecks and miserable conditions with sufferingly nasty climbs are what 'cross kit is designed for, sounds familiar?

With all due respect any gear that is designed for Paris Roubaix or World 'Cross will certainly make it through Paris-Brest-Paris without a whimper, although the carbon tubulars and electronic shifting would be better replaced w/ full mudguards and a reliable lighting system.

You've done simply awesome LD rides on the most reliable kit available, fixed gear on a 70's Raleigh Pro frameset w/ Dura Ace & Phil Wood hubs. "Back when" that was Pro Kit and it seems to be serving well today decades on, as modern pro kit will in future because it is no compromise Quality gear designed to take a beating and give precise long service at a price.

Selecting what works for a particular cycling role is an exercise in Project Planning with the constraints of Quality, Budget and Time. Pro kit tops out the Budget. Viva trickle-down!

For no particular reason here's a pic of my beloved FG machine sporting the 1977 NR kit it was built with although I won't be doing a century on it this season. No idea how many thousands miles are on this gear but it spins like new, money well spent "back when" it was Pro Kit.

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Old 05-26-14, 02:41 PM   #68
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SRAM or Shimano 11x32 cassette, Deore or Deore XT rear derailleur, and various front derailleurs from wherever.

Nick
Did you notice much difference between SRAM and Shimano cassettes?
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Old 05-29-14, 09:22 AM   #69
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Did you notice much difference between SRAM and Shimano cassettes?
For whatever reason, it seems like the SRAM cassettes seem to shift a little more uniformly with my setup. It seems like the Shimano's are slightly more finnicky and if adjusted so they shift well on the small cogs, don't shift as well on the larger cogs, and vice versa. It could be a price-point thing where the inexpensive cassettes that I buy are better from SRAM. I typically am using something like PG-970 in quality, not the very cheapest, because going from PG-950 to PG-970 saves an ounce for $10. But going to PG-980 saves another ounce and costs an extra $30 and PG-990 has no additional weight savings but costs more than double a 970. I can't really see much point in buying more expensive cassettes because in my experience they don't seem to last longer. As long as you replace chains frequently, cassettes last through a lot of chains.

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Old 05-29-14, 12:36 PM   #70
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Currently running entry level specs (2300/sora) and its quite frankly not up to the the task I need to perform.
Replacing worn components is just part of the high mileage lifestyle. Recommendations:
  • 7/8 speed drivetrain stuff is the sweet spot for commuting in terms of cost per mile. Every time you add a cog to the cassette the price of all of the drivetrain stuff inexplicably increases way out of proportion to actual value. for example, why are 11 speed chains so expensive than 10 speed for basically the same thing? Apart from the tiny production runs, and the ability to charge gullible early adopters more, who knows...?
  • Buy cheap chains and replace often. 4-5 times per year. For me, Shimano IG51 is the sweep spot. Less than $15 per unit. Will a 11-speed Dura-Ace chain last 4 times longer consistent with the cost ratio? Not a chance. Will it even last double? Doubt it.
  • Old-school unsealed hubsets are the best if you are riding in the rain. Cartridge bearing hubs trap water, causing them to rot out from the inside. Hubs with no seals and grease ports allow you to purge the old grease after every wet ride. I use old Record freewheel hubs for the wet months.
  • Grease injection ports save a lot of maintenance. Headset, BB, pedals.
  • I ride 8-speed Campy Ergopower shifters. I can detect no difference in longevity or maintenance intervals between Record and Veloce. My Veloce levers have been overhauled 4 times over 15 years. The beauty of the Ergo lever design, is that once you've pulled them apart, and then installed new G-springs and hoods, they are effectively new levers.
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Old 05-30-14, 01:03 PM   #71
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Replacing worn components is just part of the high mileage lifestyle. Recommendations:
  • 7/8 speed drivetrain stuff is the sweet spot for commuting in terms of cost per mile. Every time you add a cog to the cassette the price of all of the drivetrain stuff inexplicably increases way out of proportion to actual value. for example, why are 11 speed chains so expensive than 10 speed for basically the same thing? Apart from the tiny production runs, and the ability to charge gullible early adopters more, who knows...?
  • I ride 8-speed Campy Ergopower shifters. I can detect no difference in longevity or maintenance intervals between Record and Veloce. My Veloce levers have been overhauled 4 times over 15 years. The beauty of the Ergo lever design, is that once you've pulled them apart, and then installed new G-springs and hoods, they are effectively new levers.

Walk into the bike shop needing to replace many drive train wearables. One seven speed free wheel, one slightly upgraded chain, one un-55 square taper. < $70 inc tax

Let the LBS have it's labor cut while trash talking the latest generation of campag levers, priceless.

My comment is "pick your battles." I don't mess around with hubs, chain rings and rims. I have no problems marrying a phil wood hub to an 8 speet sora cassette.
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Old 06-11-14, 05:17 PM   #72
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SRAM 8 or 9 sp cassettes and chains, friction shifters as bar ends or down tube, $20 Pasela tires, problem solved. Zero style points, however.
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Old 06-12-14, 12:38 AM   #73
krobinson103
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Style matters not. But, I gave up on this battle. This bike is being parted out to serve 4 other builds and a Soma double cross with extensive mods replaces it. I know that one will be hard to break once I get her dialed in.
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