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  1. #1
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    Components...Road vs. Mt.

    I have an idea of building up a Surly Crosscheck as a lightweight, somewhat faster touring bike. I want to use some Suntour friction thumbies and am thinking about using a compact road crank as opposed to a triple. Does anyone see any problem with using older 8 speed Deore in the back (cassette, hub, rear derailleur) and using perhaps a 105 or Tiagra (or compact specific) double front derailleur? The gears would range from 11-30 in the back and 50-34 in the front.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Bob Rae for PM! Sadaharu's Avatar
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    Personally, as a novice tourist, I would struggle a little bit with my low gear at 34-30. If you were going to go that route, I would suggest going to a higher gearing in the cassette. MTC.

  3. #3
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Here's what I would do. First, dump the 8spd. 9 speed parts are easier to find, and the only real difference between the two are the chain, and rear cassette. If you've got friction shift, the speeds won't matter. Sram makes good MTB cassettes with an 11 tooth small, and touring like 32 or 34 large. As for cranks, check out the Sugino XD600, it's a 110/74 bolt pattern. All the rage with the "compact cranks" is that they are 110 BCD, so you can trhow a 34 or something on it, and still appear manly with lower gearing. If you must have a double, then just drop the inner chainring. I've had to use my inner 1 time, and was glad that it was there. Another thing to think about is this, when is the last time you heard a touring guy say "I wish I had taller gearing." You won't, so the triple is cheap insurance. Of course, I think the big ring on the XD should be a 50, but that's me. I built my LHT with a mx, XD600 triple, Ultegra Triple front derailler, and XT triple rear, shifted by Campy Chorus Ergo shifters. Now I would probably go with the canecreek ergo knock brake levers and barcons. I just picked up some 9spd Dura ace barcons off ebay for 49 bucks and like 5 dollars shipping for my bent. The Surly is in the link....

  4. #4
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    MarkW: very nice bike. "Tastefully understated."

    Q4U: do you see any advantage to 9 vs. 8 other than availability?
    I ask because 8-speed mech *seems* more common in my area. (that may just be my perception but we lag behind here a bit in Canada...)

    I have an 8-speed MegaRange (11-34)rear cassette and aside from slightly wider gear spacing in the mid-low area, it should have the same high and low as the 9-speed...unless I'm missing something?

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    8 speed lasts significantly longer. There is no advantage to a 9 speed system other than availability, but here in the UK there is no problem at all with sourcing 8 speed parts. If you tour in the third world then you have a chance of finding an 8 speed compatable chain in an emergency - no chance with 9 speed.

    I've never met or even heard of an experienced cycle tourist claiming 9 speed is the way to go. In fact most think even 7 speed would be better than 9.

  6. #6
    I ride my bike Revtor's Avatar
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    when you tour, carry nashbar's # with you. then when your bike breaks in half like we all fear and prepare for, you can have a new one in two days.

    we worry about things breaking too much. Were not touring across minefields are we?
    ~Steve

    7 speed may be fine for guys with piles of old bike parts in their garage, but most shops carry only current stuff. stay current. chances of finding 9 speed parts are better than 7 speed. 8 speed may be available today but in a year or two when 10 speed is the newest, then forget 7 and pray for 8..

    venting.. sorry. but I think its decent info

  7. #7
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    I just scored 2 9speed ultegra triple FD's at the local Performance bike on closeout. They have almost no 9 speed stuff left except special order, or SRAM. FWIW, the SRAM cassettes appear to be a good deal, it's what came on my Bacchetta recumbent. I've never had problems with 9speed stuff, and basically moved to it when it came more available. The 9spd DA barcons are getting cheaper too, about 50 bucks for a new set with cables, etc.

  8. #8
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarconsOrBust
    I have an idea of building up a Surly Crosscheck as a lightweight, somewhat faster touring bike. I want to use some Suntour friction thumbies and am thinking about using a compact road crank as opposed to a triple. Does anyone see any problem with using older 8 speed Deore in the back (cassette, hub, rear derailleur) and using perhaps a 105 or Tiagra (or compact specific) double front derailleur? The gears would range from 11-30 in the back and 50-34 in the front.

    Thanks

    BarconsOrBust: FWIW, "Mountain" components used to be called "Touring" components before MTBs came into vogue on account of their wide range of gearing options. A road or TT bike might have an 8, 9 or 10 speed cassette with only a single tooth-difference between gears ("corn-cob"). Great for a flat TT but not for a loaded tour.

    A BIG rear derailleur (read: long arm, big chain take-up capacity) will give you the ability to use a wide variety of both front and rear gearing.

    An 11-34 "Megarange" cassette is available in 7 and 8 speed. Shimano XT 9-speed has an 11-34 too, the "as" cassette, though not labelled "megarange" to my knowledge.

    11-34T on the rear - the largest possible AFAIK - gives you the potential for tighter spacing on the front - and perhaps even going with a double instead of triple chainring. You'll have to do the numbers and see what kind of trade-offs you'll encounter.

    For me, the least-expensive way to upgrade my front rings was to find a used 52/40 front crankset (found in the trash on garbage day no less!), buy a $5, 34T sprocket and replace the 30T on my 8-speed cassette with it. As I say, 7 and 8 speed is by far the most common around here.

    I now have to find a MegaRange rear derailleur but I expect a bit more scrounging will turn one up for free.

    BTW: I have a Deore front derailleur now but it's gotta come off for the uprgrade: a lot of MTB front der's are only good up to 44 to 48T rings. Typical front, road der's work up to 52T+++. (fortunately, the bike I found in the trash with the 52/40 crankset also had a perfectly servicable SunTour front derailleur... ;)

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the input. I'm a roadie at heart so small derailleurs have been my thing. So from what everyone is saying, a long cage (say deore) rear derailleur with 34t max will still work well with a 50x34 front?

    Yesterday I handled a 9spd 34-11 nexave cassette (and was offered it at $20 bucks new) and decided this touring bike needs to come together sooner than later.

    Can't wait to push 34x34.

  10. #10
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    You're *probably* OK with the Deore BUT be sure: calculate it.

    Everything you wanted to know about derailleur capacity:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ca-g.html#capacity

    ...and how to adjust one: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html

    Here's a page with a bunch: http://www.travelbybike.com/bikepart...ail/shift.html
    (I'm considering the "Shimano 201")

  11. #11
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    SRAM cassettes last significantly longer than basic shimano stuff, that have been described as "being made of cheese".

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