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Old 09-28-08, 08:55 PM   #1
mrbubbles
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Tour as is or upgrade components?

I have a 1989 Miyata 615GT. As far as I know everything is stock as is with exception of the cockpit, should I upgrade the drivetrain to 8 speed or tour as is?



Its got a 40 spoke rear wheel and 36 spoke front, the cogs are 13-30 6 speed with 48-38-28 front, I'm sticking with friction shifting as I'm beginning to like it (this is my first bike with friction).

Edit: My possible upgrade include Deore XT rear hub with Velocity Dyad 36 holes, Deore RD, Deore LX crankset 44-32-22 with 8 speed 11-32 cassette. Wonder if I should run the components to ground before upgrading or upgrade right away? Note: I have all of the required parts except Dyad and Deore LX crankset.
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Old 09-28-08, 09:48 PM   #2
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>Wonder if I should run the components to ground before upgrading or upgrade right away?

You'd have to tell us your priorities and thinking on why you'd be upgrading. 28x13 is plenty low enough. If it rides ok, and clearly you're going for a low-cost touring bike here, why would you put expensive components on it?

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Old 09-28-08, 10:43 PM   #3
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If the gearing is good for you,I'd run it as is.Put as much weight up front as you can stand,take as much load off the rear axle as possible.Being a six speed helps with the axle bending issues.It is a freewheel,right?If it's freehub,go for it.As long as it's not some 3 year world tour or something,I'd ride that anywhere.

With lower gears,the Dyad rims and DB spokes,and a good going thru,I'd take it on the 3 year tour also.

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Old 09-28-08, 11:23 PM   #4
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I did a solo cross country tour this summer on a 15 speed bike. Lowest gear was 24x28. Wished for a little lower only a couple times.
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Old 09-28-08, 11:58 PM   #5
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24 rear? What were the other 4 sprockets?

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Old 09-29-08, 12:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
I have a 1989 Miyata 615GT. As far as I know everything is stock as is with exception of the cockpit, should I upgrade the drivetrain to 8 speed or tour as is?
I've got a 1990 Trek 790 that is similar. Your gears are slighter lower than mine, so I'd say try yours out and see how they work for you. If you're not heavily loaded and/or climbing big mountains, you may be fine.

I think what is more important is changing the handlebars, to a Randonneur style, or maybe the On One Midge, which I just installed. It will give you more hand/body positions to break things up a bit.

But then again, if you gain the bars, you'll be mucking with the cables, shift and brake levers, which makes it a good time to change the gearing.
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Old 09-29-08, 05:42 AM   #7
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IMO it depends on how long of a tour you're planning.

If it's just a week, and the current components are actually in good shape and unlikely to break in the next 300-500 miles, I think you'd be OK.

If it's longer than that, I'd be a bit concerned about wear to the drivetrain. I'm not much of a mechanic, so in that case I'd take it to a shop and get an estimate for replacing anything that looks worn down & have them check the wheels and hubs. (I'd expect the wheels and hubs to be fine though.)

As to bars, you could just get Ergon grips with bar-ends.
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Old 09-29-08, 06:34 AM   #8
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My only concern would be whether the gearing is low enough. Places where I have toured the 28-30 might leave you wishing for a bit lower.

I personally wouldn't tour with flat bars or bars that high, but some prefer them.

Where are you thinking of touring?
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Old 09-29-08, 07:22 AM   #9
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You are in BC? How about a 22/34?
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Old 09-29-08, 10:44 AM   #10
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If your current low gear works for you, I'd run it to the ground before upgrading.

But you can, at any time, make a crankset change, almost without swapping anything else....although you'll lose a little bit on the top end by going to a smaller crankset.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:56 AM   #11
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I appreciate the suggestion. I will change the 28 chainring to 24 and swap the flat bar to drop bar. I will upgrade when the components completely wear out, no use having perfectly functional parts taken off.
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Old 09-29-08, 12:11 PM   #12
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I think it really depends on how far you want to go.

I just did a 2 day ride with a buddy and he was on a single speed with risers (basically a flat bar).

It was okay, but I, or he, wouldn't want to go any longer without some drop bars and some brakes hoods to rest your hands, and a possible reevaluation of the components. But again, the bike was so simple, not much to go wrong. Had to true up the wheel a little and luckily we didn't break any spokes, but besides that, it was it was fine.

The wheels could be fine, but who knows. They could be a weak link, but if you upgrade the wheels, you might as well upgrade everything else, like the cassette, derailleur, BB etc. So if you plan to do long distance stuff, I'd look into replacing it, but if it was local rides, I'd ride it till it broke.
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Old 09-29-08, 12:18 PM   #13
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So if you plan to do long distance stuff, I'd look into replacing it, but if it was local rides, I'd ride it till it broke.
I'm sticking with it as is for now, 40 spoke is pretty tough for a rear wheel (I'm 150lbs). I have all the necessary parts for upgrade except for rim, spoke, crankset + bb. I'll ride it til everything breaks.
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Old 09-29-08, 12:27 PM   #14
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You can pretty much make older components to last even on very long tours if you do your own maintenance.
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