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Old 10-09-10, 05:55 PM   #1
Germanicus
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Tricross upgrade options: Suggestions?

Hey Guys,
I have a 2008 Specialized Tricross sport triple (9-speed) and recently took a spill and bent the teeth in my crankset.

I could just replace the chain ring with the same one I have (FSA Vero Triple) but am wondering if I should use the oppurtunity to upgrade my drivetrain.

The options I am considering are:

1) Keeping the same set-up but with a replacement chainring.
2) Upgrading to a better, 9-speed triple crank. (What is better than FSA VERO?)
3) Switching out the front crank to a compact double crank. (is that possible)

[I wish I could have a 10 speed compact double but it would be too pricey to upgrade everything]


Any suggestions?
Thanks!

My current setup:


FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Tiagra
REAR DERAILLEUR Deore LX, 9-speed, long cage
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Tiagra, 9-speed STI
CASSETTE Shimano HG-50, 9-speed 11-34t
CHAIN Shimano HG-73, 9-speed
CRANKSET FSA Vero, cold-forged crankset
CHAINRINGS 50x39x30T
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Old 10-09-10, 06:16 PM   #2
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You can get an FSA Omega triple with MegaExo bottom bracket for around $60 on eBay. That's not a whole lot more than a new chain ring. On the other hand, they recommend that you have your bottom bracket re-faced when you install an external bearing bottom bracket. So maybe it's best to just replace the chain ring. You probably wouldn't feel a huge difference.

I don't think there's a whole lot of advantage to a double crankset unless you're racing. The theory is that they shift better, are easier to setup and maintain and are slightly lighter. While a compact double gives you most of the range of a triple, it's a little less.

Incidentally, you can use a crankset that is marketed as 10-speed with a 9-speed drivetrain.
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Old 10-09-10, 09:25 PM   #3
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What I would suggest is what I did and I've been very happy with it. I put on a 48/34 TruVatiV Elita crankset that I got new off EBay for about $80. Came with a bottom bracket and it's been a very good crankset for the year I've had it. Shifting is great and it looks very nice.

Edit: Yes, your current shifters/derailleur setup can work with a double.
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Last edited by knobster; 10-09-10 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 10-11-10, 09:07 AM   #4
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Thanks Andy,
I looked at the Omega but it didn't really seem that much of an upgrade. In fact its actually 155 grams heavier than my current crank.
I think if I keep the triple, I will just get a replacement chainring. I'm actually more interested in seeing if I can get it to work as a double. It's true I don't race, but the bike is a little on the heavy side anyway so any reduction will help.

Thanks Knobster,
Not sure Truvativ supports that crank anymore. Can't find it on their site but did find it elsewhere. Seems like the same weight as the Vero but uses an ISIS BB.
I think I would not switch to another triple unless it was lighter, stronger or had some real advantage over my current crank. It is nice looking though.

If it will work, I would like to learn more about converting it into a compact double.

How can I use a double crank with a shifter and derailleur made for a triple?
I did read that my Tiagra will work with both, but what stops me from shifting the inner ring right off the crank with a third "click"?
Will I need to modify the lever or derailleur?


Thanks
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Old 10-11-10, 10:31 AM   #5
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You can setup a double with your current shifter and derailleur, of course. Just set the derailleur limits to the extremes you want and then set the cable tension to put the two chain positions on two of your three shifter spots. Be sure to make the last release, rather than the last push, the gear you don't use. Otherwise, you could damage your shifter trying to shift into the phantom gear and pushing against the derailleur delimiter.

One word of advice I would give you is that the profile of a triple derailleur is significantly different than the profile of a double. It makes shifting a little sloppier and leaves more room for your chain to come off at one end or the other. You can get an FSA Energy derailleur (designed for compact double) on eBay for around $20.

Also, when comparing weights, consider that the weight of MegaExo cranksets, even when listed without bottom bracket as FSA does, includes the spindle. Consequently, the bottom brackets for these cranks are typically lighter. You still have to check, though, as I see the BB FSA recommends for the Omega is a good 40 grams heavier than the BB they recommend for the Gossamer.

Also also, if you're going to go for a serious upgrade, the external bottom bracket cranksets are supposed to be stiffer, as well as lighter. My legs aren't sensitive enough to feel the difference, but that's the theory. I have FSA Gossamers on two of my bikes (one double and one triple) and like them a lot. The bearings on one set wore out after about 5000 miles, and I replaced the FSA bottom bracket with a Dura-Ace 7900 bottom bracket. This is a nice option, if you happen to find a deal on a crankset without a bottom bracket. Not all the FSA cranksets are compatible with the Shimano bottom brackets, but Gossamer is. I think the Energy is too, but the carbon ones aren't IIRC.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:26 PM   #6
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Thanks,

If I go for a compact double, It might be a Sram GXP crank. I like their black and gunmetal aesthetic. Probably S500, rival or S900 GXP (If I can find a good deal.)
Otherwise the 105 black looks nice. Just have to make sure the chainline works.

I would definitely get a front der. made for a double. I saw on Shimano's website that they make a Tiagra double front derailleur as well as a triple. Maybe I would go that route since I know it will work with the Tiagra shifter.
I guess I should get a new chain and cassette as well so they all wear together. Jeez, I guess I need to budget all this out and weigh the options...
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Old 10-11-10, 12:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanicus View Post
Not sure Truvativ supports that crank anymore. Can't find it on their site but did find it elsewhere. Seems like the same weight as the Vero but uses an ISIS BB.
I think I would not switch to another triple unless it was lighter, stronger or had some real advantage over my current crank. It is nice looking though.

If it will work, I would like to learn more about converting it into a compact double.

How can I use a double crank with a shifter and derailleur made for a triple?
I did read that my Tiagra will work with both, but what stops me from shifting the inner ring right off the crank with a third "click"?
Will I need to modify the lever or derailleur?


Thanks
Not sure if they still sell the crank as I bought mine off EBay. It was new. Uses an outboard BB system. Wasn't sure which one you were stating used the ISIS BB. What I'm talking about is their compact double setup. i.e. 48/34.

Andy already answered your other questions.

Edit: The one I got was the same one that came on the 2010 Tricross Comp (which I have one of those bikes also) http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...3&menuItemId=0
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Old 10-11-10, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanicus View Post
Thanks Andy,
I looked at the Omega but it didn't really seem that much of an upgrade. In fact its actually 155 grams heavier than my current crank.
I think if I keep the triple, I will just get a replacement chainring. I'm actually more interested in seeing if I can get it to work as a double. It's true I don't race, but the bike is a little on the heavy side anyway so any reduction will help.
,
The only time weight matters is when you're going up a hill. It matters most, obviously, when you're going up a steep hill. And the extra grunt of a triple's inner ring will help you more there than reducing the weight of your bike by about a mouthful of water!
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