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  1. #1
    Senior Member Juilin's Avatar
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    Crankset(s) aluminum or steel? and Sizing.

    I'm looking to save some money, and find a good mid-range durable crankset so that I might be able afford say, a phil woods bottom bracket. I've seen a few recommendations for the Suigno Triples -- looks like they have one with aluminum chainrings and steel chainrings both 46-36-26. Some thoughts? I really have no experience with these.

    Also would you pair this with a 8 or 9 speed cassette?

    Thanks in advance

    Juilin

  2. #2
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    If you're planning on changing the chainrings, get the steel ones because they're a lot cheaper and otherwise the cranks are the same. If you like the gearing as-is, going with aluminum will save some weight and still be pretty durable.

    I prefer eight speed on a touring bike because it is cheaper, more durable, and less finicky than nine. Parts availability is a far smaller concern than many make it out to be. Most nine speed parts will fit into eight speed drivertrains with no problems. So if you are stuck somewhere and can't find eight speed bits, you can replace them with nine speed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Juilin's Avatar
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    Do you think a 46-36-26 would pair well with a shimano 8spd 11-30. Seems to be to provide a good range but I've never done fully loaded touring before.

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    As far as I concerned there is no oproblem running nine speed as I've used it for more years than I care to remeber in either Campag or Shimano forms on my road bike as well as my mountain bike, come on guys your going have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st centuary, sadly neon colours and disco has had it's day lol. Some of you guys seem to be techno phobes, nine speed must be getting on for ten years old and if it was crap and didn't work it wouldn't be so widly used through out the world on all manner of bikes.

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by challengea2z
    As far as I concerned there is no oproblem running nine speed as I've used it for more years than I care to remeber in either Campag or Shimano forms on my road bike as well as my mountain bike, come on guys your going have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st centuary, sadly neon colours and disco has had it's day lol. Some of you guys seem to be techno phobes, nine speed must be getting on for ten years old and if it was crap and didn't work it wouldn't be so widly used through out the world on all manner of bikes.
    I have bikes with one, three, six, eight, nine and ten speeds on the rear so I'm hardly the archetypal retro-grouch. Here are the facts. There is no question that nine speed parts are more expensive than eight speed. There is no question that nine speed chains are narrower outside than eight speed chains. (Interestingly, the inside width is the same meaning that the sides have to be thinner.) There is no question that tolerances and margins for error in shifter adjustment are tighter on nine speed systems.

    This means that for a minimal increase in gearing options (usually less than the three you'd think you'd get due to ratio duplication), you will likely find that chains wear faster and shifting needs more adjusting. I have no doubt that nine and ten speed systems work. I use them all the time. But, IMHO, price/performance favors eight speed systems, especially on triples.

    While retro for the sake of retro may be unwise, novelty for its own sake is equally unwise while also being expensive.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juilin
    Do you think a 46-36-26 would pair well with a shimano 8spd 11-30. Seems to be to provide a good range but I've never done fully loaded touring before.
    I have a 13-30 7-speed rear cassette on a couple of touring bikes and it works well with a 46-36-24, but at times on steep grades I wish for a 32 rear. So go ahead and get the 46-36-26 chainset and swap the 26 for a 24 - they're only $15-20 from Harris Cyclery or Alfred E Bike. Then in the back, either run the 13-30, or if you are going to be in hilly regions, go with a 13-32 or 12-32 cassette. Harris has those too. You won't really need an 11 cog for touring.

    Be careful not to get a "Megarange" that jumps from 26 to 34 on the largest two cogs - it is too large a jump for touring where you run in the bottom two or three gears a lot. Those are for people with recreational bikes who want a normal riding range plus a "bailout" gear. I think the ideal 8 speed cassette for touring is the 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32. Paired with 46-36-24 it is ideal coverage, giving you 20 to 100 gear inches.
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    Quote Originally Posted by challengea2z
    come on guys your going have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st centuary, sadly neon colours and disco has had it's day lol. .
    Hey! what's wrong with disco?!#$@ Oh yeah, Bee Gees "Stayin' ali-i-i-ive...... "

    lol
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    The Phill Woods is a nice BB but there is nothing wrong with a high-end Shimano square taper (UN72?).
    Is a 26 ring going to be small enough?
    What kind of tour are you doing?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroads
    I

    Be careful not to get a "Megarange" that jumps from 26 to 34 on the largest two cogs - it is too large a jump for touring where you run in the bottom two or three gears a lot. Those are for people with recreational bikes who want a normal riding range plus a "bailout" gear. I think the ideal 8 speed cassette for touring is the 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32. Paired with 46-36-24 it is ideal coverage, giving you 20 to 100 gear inches.

    I used a "megarange "cassette for my XC USA trip and I found it to be great in that in the mountains it gave you a bail out gear!!

    BTW I never used my granny after leaving Custer in SD

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    Well sure, the 34 is low enough, but if you are climbing a lot of hills the jump to the next gear is sometimes too big, so you either crawl along in the "bailout" gear or have to push too hard in the next one. Maybe it's just me - it is all hills around here (northern Calif) and I am often in one of the bottom two or three gears when loaded.
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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroads
    Be careful not to get a "Megarange" that jumps from 26 to 34 on the largest two cogs - it is too large a jump for touring where you run in the bottom two or three gears a lot. Those are for people with recreational bikes who want a normal riding range plus a "bailout" gear. I think the ideal 8 speed cassette for touring is the 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32. Paired with 46-36-24 it is ideal coverage, giving you 20 to 100 gear inches.
    Are you serious!? I LOVE my Megarange freewheel. The trick is having the right chainring set up. Right now, my middle ring is 44 teeth - too big, because my cruising range is the biggest 3-4 cogs on the freewheel. A 38 or 40, though, would be perfect, allowing me to range over the middle and smaller end of the cluster, with the bigger cogs available for climbing or easy cruising. You just need to figure out which gears you spend the most time in, then get the right sized chainring to let you hover around the middle to small end of your gear cluster. The trade-off with this kind of set up is that more front shifting is required when you want to move a little bit faster. A big middle chainring is annoying in lots of ways, but it IS nice that I seldom have to shift out of it. Unfortunately, it's not as nice for touring.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Juilin's Avatar
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    Last question for you guys. Would you recommend a 165, 170, or 175 mm crank for touring. I'm 6'1" (ish) with a 34" pant inseam and 83.5 cycling inseam. I'm leaning towards the 170, but I need some advice from those that know what they're doing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    I'm just a little taller than you and use 175's, but I don't thing there would be any real downside to using 170 for you and in fact may be more appropriate for touring. Check out this article: http://sheldonbrown.com/cranks.html

  14. #14
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juilin
    with a 34" pant inseam and 83.5 cycling inseam.
    Seems to me like there is a problem with your measuring or your math. You list your cycling inseam as shorter than your pants inseam.

    I am 6'4" with a 34" pants inseam and a 90cm "true" inseam. I use 175mm cranks on my LHT. I am happy with the length. I do have to be careful about pedal strike because of the low bottom bracket on the LHT.

    IMO there is no right crankarm length, it is a matter of comfort and efficiency. What length cranks do you normally use?

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