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Old 11-17-07, 02:44 PM   #1
joseph senger
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touring friendly drive train?

so, who uses what? and how far can you get on it?

i've always stuck with cheap for my commuting and touring drive parts; cheap cassette, chainrings, and chain. However with my new, and slightly more involved touring bike build, i must look at it more carefully, yet still left with the question; do you pay for anything besides weight savings and ultra slick shifting in this department?
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Old 11-17-07, 02:58 PM   #2
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to be honest I have had my shimano STX components outlast several of the other LX or XT components that I have used. Just my .02
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Old 11-17-07, 04:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by joseph senger View Post
so, who uses what? and how far can you get on it?

i've always stuck with cheap for my commuting and touring drive parts; cheap cassette, chainrings, and chain. However with my new, and slightly more involved touring bike build, i must look at it more carefully, yet still left with the question; do you pay for anything besides weight savings and ultra slick shifting in this department?
up front I like to use a 110/74 triple( 46/36/24) or maybe even set it up as a wide double with 42/26 rings.
The Sugino XD is great value, and if you want to splurge you can put some TA rings on it for a really nice setup. For a FD I use pretty much anything, Shimano Ultegra, Campy Mirage or IRD. At the back I tend to use Shimano XT cassettes (12-32 or 12-34) and derailleurs.
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Old 11-17-07, 04:25 PM   #4
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IMO,
shimano LX or SRAM x.7 level components offer good reliability, longevity, function-
they are the best value.
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Old 11-17-07, 04:59 PM   #5
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More expensive does not equate to increased longevity, in my opinion. The extra money is aimed at lightening weight and to an extent that results in fragility and shorter service life. The extra expense also comes in making tolerances that much closer, hence a "crisper" shift on a Dura-Ace set than a Sora.

Didn't Bontrager coin the saying: Cheap, light, strong -- pick any two? It applies to just about everything in engineering.

For mine, it depends on the type of terrain you will touring, and your need for lower gears or a wide range of gear. For example, I will run an alloy big ring and an alloy little ring, but because most of my riding until recently on my touring bike is in the middle ring, it is steel. I currently run a Deore 22-32-44 crankset going to a 32-11 cassette on the back. If I was running a road crankset with say a 26 or 28 little ring, I would try to make the small chainring steel, too, because I might spend proportionally more time in it if I was touring hilly terrain.

Again, the cassette normally would be a heavier, say, Tiagra level job -- steel and not drilled with a little hole on each tooth. Chains? There's not much more to do than again take a mid-level option if you are running a 9sp. However, I can observe that the durability of 8-speed systems with their slightly wider chains can be phenomenal. I ran a road bike for commuting, training, fun and centuries with an 8sp Sora set-up that seemed to go on forever... well over 12,000km and still shifting OK (admittedly with downtube shifters although the right one remained in SIS mode without friction shifting being needed).

Which follows me on to the pro-con arguments about bar-ends/downtubes and brifters. The option of friction shifting might be advantageous on arduous long-distance tours when uncertainty creeps into shifting because of chain, ring and cog wear.

My touring bike runs Tiagra shifters, but they are 2000-01 models, and I think assessments in another thread will give you a clue to what is happening -- the Ultegra and 105 trickle-down has meant the Tiagras have probably become less durable than they used to be.

I will toss in a bit about bottom brackets -- I have had a Shimano UN52 in the touring bike for around 40,000km. I really like sealed bearings for BBs and hubs.

Of course, with drivetrain, it pays to pay attention to maintenance irrespective of the type of equipment you run. It's not unusual to ignore the maintenance practices on a tour because, timewise, the tour might only be for a short time (three weeks or a month), but you are covering a lot of distance in that time, likely in dustier conditions. A Connex link (I prefer it to the SRAM one for its ease of disengagement, but it does need to be fitted the correct way around on 9sp) makes the "cocktail mixer" maintenance chore much easier -- along with a solvent like kerosene/diesel and a wide-mouth soft-drink bottle (Sheldon Brown likes the Pepsi bottles because of this).
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Old 11-17-07, 06:22 PM   #6
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the last 3 years across 4 continents I have used a hub gear, a Rohloff

simply perfect

george
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Old 11-17-07, 09:40 PM   #7
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the last 3 years across 4 continents I have used a hub gear, a Rohloff

simply perfect

george
And simply expensive

Yes, yes, I know... the same arguments you're about to use apply as well to SON dynohubs and Brooks saddles.
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Old 11-17-07, 09:41 PM   #8
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I will toss in a bit about bottom brackets -- I have had a Shimano UN52 in the touring bike for around 40,000km. I really like sealed bearings for BBs and hubs.
I like to spend money on all the parts that move constantly ie BB cartridge, hubs and headset. That's where I'd get Shimano XT, XTR or Ultegra level stuff and if you can spring for Phil Wood, White Industries or Chris King do it.
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Old 11-18-07, 12:15 AM   #9
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and i've heard bad reviews for rholoff. I fell in love with the idea a few years ago, but there were some troubling facts. First, i heard through the vineyard that they have a lot of maintenance, small bushings i presume, or bearings for the small gears? secondly, completely not field serviceable. and third, they are expensive. But, they also make so much sense. id really need to unload some gear to justify it

Jibi, have you had to rebuild yours, and if so, is it a procedure full of specialty tools, and difficulty?
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Old 11-19-07, 11:11 AM   #10
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I run 28-38-52 with an 11-34 cassette. The broad range serves my heavy bike well. Sealed bearings everywhere I can get them.
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Old 11-19-07, 11:26 AM   #11
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48/38/28 chainrings [w/ any front der] + 11-34 cassette [w/XT or LX rear der] shifted by 9spd bar end shifters. Provides good gear range and with the friction shifting option on the bar ends you can pretty much get any rear der to work in a pinch.
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Old 11-19-07, 01:22 PM   #12
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and i've heard bad reviews for rholoff. I fell in love with the idea a few years ago, but there were some troubling facts. First, i heard through the vineyard that they have a lot of maintenance, small bushings i presume, or bearings for the small gears? secondly, completely not field serviceable. and third, they are expensive. But, they also make so much sense. id really need to unload some gear to justify it

Jibi, have you had to rebuild yours, and if so, is it a procedure full of specialty tools, and difficulty?
Surely by 'a lot of maintenence' you mean - barely any maintenence!
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Old 11-19-07, 01:45 PM   #13
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A Connex link (I prefer it to the SRAM one for its ease of disengagement, but it does need to be fitted the correct way around on 9sp) makes the "cocktail mixer" maintenance chore much easier.
I use 9spd SRAM Powerlinks on all my bikes and they are symmetrical there is no left/right.
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Old 11-19-07, 05:55 PM   #14
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and i've heard bad reviews for rholoff. I fell in love with the idea a few years ago, but there were some troubling facts. First, i heard through the vineyard that they have a lot of maintenance, small bushings i presume, or bearings for the small gears? secondly, completely not field serviceable. and third, they are expensive. But, they also make so much sense. id really need to unload some gear to justify it

Jibi, have you had to rebuild yours, and if so, is it a procedure full of specialty tools, and difficulty?
change oil every 5000km and change chains when it stretches

Expensive NO!!!!

Cost effective YES!!!

Mine has been hassle free and perfect

Same as my Brooks Professional saddle.

george
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Old 11-19-07, 10:55 PM   #15
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anyone do half step gearing?. im thinking 26/42/48

i will re-consider the roloff before i order the phil hub set i was planning on. For you rohloff owners, I am in -40c a lot of the year hear in saskatoon, and although i have a hacked together fixie i ride mostly in the winter due to the inevitability of shifting and braking problems in the cold, i do ned a cargo bike from time to time, and im curious as to what characteristics temperature change has on the rohloffs feel/efficiency, and are there different oils viscosities for the transmissions bath in different temps?
thanks all

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Old 11-19-07, 11:51 PM   #16
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Email Neil at...rohloff-usa@rohloff.de

Boy, I'm glad I left Saskatchewan before I started commuting year round. Here in Vancouver it's a piece of cake. It doesn't get cold enough to warrant a change in oil for me.
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Old 11-20-07, 06:48 AM   #17
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Ah, half step gearing was a good idea when bikes had only 5 cogs on the freewheel and good riders did the double shift on their DT shifters. Now that touring bikes have 8-9 cogs in the back. with a range of 11-34, half step gearing adds absolutely nothing. But don't take my word for it, figure out all the gearing in your build yourself.

As far as bang for the buck, it's almost impossable to beat this drivetrain.

barcon or DT shifters 8 or 9 speed. $60

Sora frount derailer. $20

Deore rear derailer $30

Sram chain and cassette (11-34) $40

Square taper BB and MTB crankset $70

Yeah, it's possible to upgrade this cheap system, but honestly, this set up would go coast to coast no problem, can be easily fixed and costs around $200.

Sometimes simple is better.
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Old 11-20-07, 07:13 AM   #18
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i will email him.

The one thing urging me, at least in the the meantime to stick with a traditional drivetrain, is the fact i have an xtr groupo sitting here with raceface prodigy xc cranks. That said the rear cassette and middle and large chainring need replacement, as well the chain. Also, i have found out for myself that i do often double shift while on an incline, thats why the half step theory made sense for me. I also, never was using my 48 sprocket while in anything smaller than a 20 cog...so?

is the rohloff cartridge bearinged?

thanks
barrett
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Old 11-20-07, 09:04 AM   #19
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i will email him.

The one thing urging me, at least in the the meantime to stick with a traditional drivetrain, is the fact i have an xtr groupo sitting here with raceface prodigy xc cranks. That said the rear cassette and middle and large chainring need replacement, as well the chain. Also, i have found out for myself that i do often double shift while on an incline, thats why the half step theory made sense for me. I also, never was using my 48 sprocket while in anything smaller than a 20 cog...so?

is the rohloff cartridge bearinged?

thanks
barrett
Barrett

My T2000 originally came with an XTR cassette, and I would replace it with an XTR because it was the only cassette I could find [at the time] with 11-34 gearing. And the 34 being the most important part of that gearing equation, because of the touring that I do.

Anyway, current exchange rates aside, I was paying upwards of $300 per cassette. Eventually, I was able to acquire an XT in that gearing for around $100. That eased the pain for a while and delayed the Rohloff, if only for a while.

For me, it was simply doing the math. At a certain point, the Rohloff was going to save me money. And that's not including the pain of adjusting the index shifting.

Rohloff hubs are sealed units, so the bearings are not exposed to the elements like a typical hub.

Dave
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Old 11-20-07, 07:58 PM   #20
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ya dave, i know! any retailers one would recommend in the states, or anyone see a rohloff used ( I like the fact you dont see them used much)

dave,

where in vancouver are you? I moved to victoria out of university, mostly to try the ocean, and ride flatland year round. I picture myself in a daily routine out that way again some day.
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Old 11-20-07, 08:31 PM   #21
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so, who uses what? and how far can you get on it?

i've always stuck with cheap for my commuting and touring drive parts; cheap cassette, chainrings, and chain. However with my new, and slightly more involved touring bike build, i must look at it more carefully, yet still left with the question; do you pay for anything besides weight savings and ultra slick shifting in this department?
Yes. I ran tests on cheaper chains vs higher quality mid-range SRAM chains. The SRAM chains lasted much longer, and more than made up for the extra price.

It's also a lot less time-consuming, since you don't have to keep replacing chains.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:21 PM   #22
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ya dave, i know! any retailers one would recommend in the states, or anyone see a rohloff used ( I like the fact you dont see them used much)

dave,

where in vancouver are you? I moved to victoria out of university, mostly to try the ocean, and ride flatland year round. I picture myself in a daily routine out that way again some day.
I've never seen a used Rohloff, except for once on Ebay, but it was in Australia or something. And it wasn't the exact model I needed.

I got mine at Mighty Riders here in Vancouver. Ed actually stocks them, though not the exact model and colour I needed. You will eventually see more and more of them, I think.

I'm at 16th and Dunbar. God I love climbing that hill everyday.

So, you were a flatlander, moved to the Victoria, and then moved back to S'toon?

Dave
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Old 11-23-07, 07:36 PM   #23
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ya, like bmx flatland, as well as geographically i suppose. BUt ya, moved there after my degree. it was nice, i really liked it, and i often wonder why i moved, somewhat, back. I was here for last winter, working, and practicing my art, then toured most of this past summer, and now im here again working. for almost the exact same reason as last, hmmm, a weird patheticness just hit me... anyways. I am building a frame this year on the side of work, which is fun.

what do you do in van?
i love the keller quote

barrett

btw, im still not sold on the damn rohloff. i think i ruminate far too long on stupid bike parts.
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Old 11-23-07, 09:29 PM   #24
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The toughest thing I've found with respect to the change-over, was having the shifting mechanism in a different place. I've kept my drops and opted to mount a smaller stem, underneath my main stem. I then have a small piece of 22.2mm MTB straightbar coming out to mount the shifter on.

Long story short, I can no longer shift while standing. I would never gorilla-shift per se. I would always shift, when my pedal pressure wasn't extreme. It's not a big deal. I just have to change my riding style a little.

I work in a restaurant in a hotel. It allows me the freedom to pick-up and go touring. Have you ever check out CgoaB? Lots of epic tours on that site.

Dave
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Old 11-24-07, 11:07 AM   #25
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rohloff.
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