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  1. #1
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    Upgrade CC, Buy New CC, or Buy LHT?

    Posted over in commuting, thought I'd post here, too. I have an '08 CrossCheck as my main bike. I also recently bought a steel Salsa El Mariachi 29er (essentially 700 wheels instead of 26 in) for MTB. I am 5'5-5'7, so ride ~50-52 frame.

    I picked up the CC used on CL last summer, didn't know a lot about bike components, but the bike was near new. Very lucky to find one in my size on CL and an awesome color (misty Gray). Doo Doo Brown (aka Beefy Gravy) is atrocious. Anyhow, I later learned the bike was built from the frame and didn't have the gearing for me. I definitely need lower gearing for climbs and I am no roadie racer.

    I am a fair weather commuter (~3-5 miles each way), ride to eat, small grocery runs, after work cruise along the beach, and weekend rides. Eventually a century and a tour down the coast. I was camping up on the NorCal coast and discovered touring for the first time and that is what got me back in to riding after 16 years.

    Here is the problem. I need lower gearing. With the Dura Ace components I can't add a small ring and long cage derailer and bigger cassette won't work. So, I have to swap everything. LBS was talking over $600. The whole bike was only $800. Needless to say I started thinking if I'd just be better off trying to sell on CL and get close to the $800 that I paid and then buying a CrossCheck or LHT with the right gearing. Seems I'd come out ahead, assuming I could sell it.

    The LHT I wasn't sure about for the riding I do and I like the 700 wheels. I also saw that REI has the Randonee 20% right now and I have a dividend. However, reading the forum it seems a lof of people don't like the drivetrain and REI is saying MTB components won't work. Long story short, thoughts on best solution?
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  2. #2
    rwp
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    Well, if it were me, I'd definately not pay the bike shop $600 to trade components.
    If you're handy and have the tools & confidence to change them yourself, then the best option is to keep the crosscheck and switch over to mtb drivetrain or something like a compact double or sugino XD crank with 12-27 cassette (depending on exactly what you want). Selling your Dura-Ace stuff should pay for the new parts. Net cost is close to zero.
    Buying another bike means paying full retail or waiting until the right used one comes along.

  3. #3
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    A long cage derailer should work fine with your shifters. What size chainrings do you have now? It should be easy to put a compact double and an 11-32 cassette. Your shop is pulling your leg, check out Sheldon Brown's website for instructions and buy some tools.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  4. #4
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    Buy slightly used or even new gear on craigslist. It's really quite easy to change out all the drivetrain but you can have your LBS to do it too if you need. It definitely shouldn't cost $600 to get what you need (probably; new crank, RD, cheap 11/32 or 11/34 cassette, possibly FD). I'm in Dana Point and look in the OC craigslist bike section all the time and find really great deals. Just get an idea of what you want and you'll find it on CL.

    What's your current drive train setup out of curiosity?
    Next Cruiser from Wal-Mart (hells yes)
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  5. #5
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    Buy slightly used or even new gear on craigslist. It's really quite easy to change out all the drivetrain but you can have your LBS to do it too if you need. It definitely shouldn't cost $600 to get what you need (probably; new crank, RD, cheap 11/32 or 11/34 cassette, possibly FD). I'm in Dana Point and look in the OC craigslist bike section all the time and find really great deals. Just get an idea of what you want and you'll find it on CL.

    What's your current drive train setup out of curiosity?
    Next Cruiser from Wal-Mart (hells yes)
    1993 Specialized Stumpjumper
    2007 Specialized Rockhopper
    2008 Surly Cross Check

  6. #6
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    Rear: Shimano Ultegra RD 7700
    Front: Shimano Dura Ace FC 7701
    Shifters: Dura Ace Barcons
    Crank: Dura Ace 52/39
    Cassette: 11-25, I think

    I think it is a generation or two old from what somebody told me in another post. The LBS said that I'd need a new long cage derailleur and chain to go with a wider cassette, and then would need a new crank and FD because they wouldn't work with the wider gearing. I was looking at compact double, even saw Velo had a new 46/30 on the way or on the MTB forum I read about Middleburn duo 44/29 or I might even need a triple. I don't really need the 52 I don't think. I ride ~15mph, 18-20 at the top end. I am sure as I get in better shape that will go up, but I will always be more of a Fred than Roadie. I am never going to be riding in matching outfits in a big group drafting off of people. However, I do need to climb hills.

    My goal for this year is to be able to ride to San Diego from Huntington Beach (~100 miles) and take the train back. Then in the next couple of years ride from Seattle down the coast. In the meantime I just worked up to being able to ride from HB pier to Angel's stadium and back (~30 miles).

    I also recently got into MTB riding and have a 1x9, 32t, 12-34. I do a lot of pushing up the hill. lol Hoping to get into better shape soon.
    Last edited by divtag; 04-07-10 at 12:16 AM.
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  7. #7
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    the only reason I could see for getting a LHT is if you're carrying so much stuff that front panniers are a standard part of your riding. The LHT is a great bike but the CC is a lot more fun unloaded and more than capable for touring.

    Throw out the window the idea that you have to have a DuraAce or Latest 105 crankset. Start off telling the shop you'd like to get lower gears for $100for parts and see if they can pull it off. If they can't go elsewhere. Go use the sheldon brown gear calculator and see what gear range you want. You don't need a triple. With all the gears on cassettes these days you could tour with a single front chainring if you wanted.
    On my CrossCheck I've got a 30tooth and 44tooth chainrings with a 12-32 8spd cassette. On the LHT I've got 34/46 with 13-34 8spd cassette. I initially set the CrossCheck up with a 38tooth chainring and 11-28 cassette for around town riding, considered going for a trip with just that then chickened out and changed it to 30/44. Again go to the gear calculator and see what gears you need to pedal 12mph-18mph, I bet the 52chainring isn't needed in your setup.

    If your DuraAce bottom Bracket will only take a high end Shimano crankset go ahead and buy a cheap Sora crankset and cheap bottom bracket. You will experience no practical difference. If the 34 chainring doesn't give you a low enough gear then change the derailleur yourself.
    Last edited by LeeG; 04-07-10 at 12:05 AM.

  8. #8
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    I'd suggest swapping the rear derailleur for a MTB one (XT or XTR if you want to keep it to the current standard) and a 11-34 or 11-32 cassette and see if that gives you the range you want. You could even take the ones off your mountain bike if you'd like to try the setup before you spend any $$.

    If if doesn't give enough range than sell the crankset and get a compact or triple. Dura-Ace is the best of the best so it's always worth some cash used.
    Bikin' far-off places with the wife: http://peacocksride.wordpress.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Like one of the above posters said, get a mountain bike rear derailer and 11-32 cassette to start. Should be less than $100. Ride that for awhile and see if you need the compact double or not. Going from your road double to a compact double won't require a different front shifter or derailer.


    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Deore-.../dp/B000NOTJ1Y

    http://www.bikeman.com/FW8420.html?u...ign=GoogleBase
    Last edited by c_m_shooter; 04-07-10 at 01:19 AM.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    You might as well get to know your bicyce since you will be touring with it. No sense in prolonging it. You WILL have to make at least minor adjustments while on the road. Best learn how to do it now.

    So go buy yourself a long cage (I like rapid rise) derailleur, a nice new cable, a chain, a new cassette, a multitool with a chain tool, a quicklink (or whatever those things are called) a chain tool, some blue loctite, and change that thing yourself!

    Read the instructions on that quicklink package and make sure you remove the correct pin on the chain.

    In fact, since we're here, I've been thinking of swapping my LHT RD for a rapid rise RD.
    Last edited by kuan; 04-07-10 at 07:23 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    Rear: Shimano Ultegra RD 7700
    Front: Shimano Dura Ace FC 7701
    Shifters: Dura Ace Barcons
    Crank: Dura Ace 52/39
    Cassette: 11-25, I think

    I think it is a generation or two old from what somebody told me in another post. The LBS said that I'd need a new long cage derailleur and chain to go with a wider cassette, and then would need a new crank and FD because they wouldn't work with the wider gearing. I was looking at compact double, even saw Velo had a new 46/30 on the way or on the MTB forum I read about Middleburn duo 44/29 or I might even need a triple. I don't really need the 52 I don't think. I ride ~15mph, 18-20 at the top end. I am sure as I get in better shape that will go up, but I will always be more of a Fred than Roadie. I am never going to be riding in matching outfits in a big group drafting off of people. However, I do need to climb hills.

    My goal for this year is to be able to ride to San Diego from Huntington Beach (~100 miles) and take the train back. Then in the next couple of years ride from Seattle down the coast. In the meantime I just worked up to being able to ride from HB pier to Angel's stadium and back (~30 miles).

    I also recently got into MTB riding and have a 1x9, 32t, 12-34. I do a lot of pushing up the hill. lol Hoping to get into better shape soon.
    I have an LHT that I built up from a frame. I see no reason to pay so much to change your components. You can do everything yourself, buy reasonably priced stuff on Ebay, and spend much less. Ultegra is excellent quality. I don't see a reason for Dura-Ace on a tourer. I have a Sugino crankset. It had 46-36-26 chainrings, but I swapped out the 26 granny for a 24. (I might even have gone to a 22 - I don't see having too low of a gear range as a negative - but you couldn't put one on the crankset.)

    You don't need many tools to swap parts. A good multitool, perhaps with a chain tool on it, will do most of it. You will need a bottom bracket tool if you need to swap that, but a good tool is an investment, right? Also, if you do most of the work yourself but take it to a pro for anything you're not comfortable with, it's not too expensive.

    I'm not familiar with the particulars of the Cross Check, but I have some general comments.

    First, your tour plans sound great. I did several short tours in the Bellingham (Washington) area which were my introduction to the practice, and I learned through doing. I had very unsatisfactory equipment in those days (all I could afford) but I still had a blast. As I accumulated better stuff I found touring easier and more convenient, but not more fun - it was always fun!

    My first "big" tour was down the west coast, from Seattle to Santa Cruz. What an experience! It was probably the best experience of my life. However, I have to admit to thinking to myself many times, particularly during the second half of the trip, "Why did I choose such a long route for this adventure? Wouldn't Washington and Oregon have been enough?" But looking back, I'm glad I did the whole thing. During every tour I've had moments when I wondered, "What was I thinking?" or, "I wish I was home in my warm, comfortable house," but on balance I always have a wonderful time.

    As far as the bike goes, here are some generalities:
    1. Really low gears and really high gears are both nice to have, but for touring I'd much rather sacrifice high gears for low. It's no fun to be struggling up a long, steep hill with a heavy load, wishing you had a lower gear (or two or three!)
    2. I like to have my weight distributed between the front and rear. Having a lot of weight on the front makes handling a little more dicey, especially at slow speeds, but it's worth it to me to take some load off the back and avoid breaking spokes.
    3. I've had a tour ruined by a spate of broken spokes. Make sure your rear wheel is top quality. Spare no expense to get a strong, high-quality, well-set-up rear wheel, especially if you're heavy or you like to carry a lot or weight (or, like me, both!)
    4. Make sure you have room to avoid heel-strike on your rear panniers. If you have big feet (like me - size 14) or big panniers, or both, a real touring bike like the LHT with longer than normal chainstays makes sense. However, my first tours were on an old 10-speed Raleigh. I had to slide the panniers back to get just enough room for my heels, but it was do-able. Get some panniers and a rack you like and put them on your Crosscheck. See if you have room for your feet.
    5. Fenders are nice. If you can get a frame with eyelets for fenders, great.
    6. Comfort is big. Around home I seldom ride more than a couple of days in a row. Any discomfort is a minor deal. On tour I typically ride 10-12 days back to back with around a 50 mile average. Any discomfort builds quickly. Common discomforts are butt soreness, forearm soreness, hand numbness. If I get too uncomfortable I take a rest day, but I don't like to be "forced" into that too often. I try and set up my bike as comfortably as possible.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    [*]Comfort is big. Around home I seldom ride more than a couple of days in a row. Any discomfort is a minor deal. On tour I typically ride 10-12 days back to back with around a 50 mile average. Any discomfort builds quickly. Common discomforts are butt soreness, forearm soreness, hand numbness. If I get too uncomfortable I take a rest day, but I don't like to be "forced" into that too often. I try and set up my bike as comfortably as possible.[/LIST]
    That matters so much more than whether the gear train is XT or Deore parts. The cheapest production stuff works perfectly fine, but if your hands or butt aren't fine the fancy gear is useless.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    Rear: Shimano Ultegra RD 7700
    Front: Shimano Dura Ace FC 7701
    Shifters: Dura Ace Barcons
    Crank: Dura Ace 52/39
    Cassette: 11-25, I think...
    I can't tell but is this 10 speed? If so, IRD sells wide-range, 10-spd cassettes that, coupled with the XT or XTR rear derailleur (rdr)would get your gearing down. These 10-spd cassettes can be had with ranges from 11-34 to 12-30. If it is a 9 speed then just change out the rdr as above and buy a mountain bike cassette in 11-34 or 12-34.

    It may also be possible (maybe someone knows for sure) to convert your standard double 52/39 front to a compact double 50/34 just by changing out the chainwheels.

    These two changes would be the quickest and cheapest way to lower your gearing for everyday use but probably you need to change the crank as has been suggested elsewhere for full-up touring.

    Link to IRD Cassettes here:
    http://www.interlocracing.com/cassettes_steel.html

  14. #14
    yes
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    It's expensive to switch between triple and doubles, especially if you want the shimano recommended pairings (shifters / deraileurs / chainrings, etc.). If you live in Huntington beach and want to switch to a triple, there are probably 50 people in your area with a triple who would love to switch to a dura ace double setup for low $$$. If you otherwise like the cross check, just post an add on craigslist for a drivetrain swap. Use an LBS if needed to swap parts.

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