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Old 08-29-10, 12:36 PM   #1
timberline12k
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Drivetrain for a Salsa Fargo

I just purchased a 24” Salsa Fargo frameset and need to decide on a drivetrain. I have four options that come to mind.

The first is the standard Fargo XT Drivetrain
Crankset Shimano XT, Black, 16"=170mm, 18/20"=175mm, 22"=180mm
Chainring Shimano 48/36/26T
Bottom Bracket Shimano, included with crankset
Chain Shimano CN-HG93, 9-Speed
Cassette Shimano XT, 9-Speed, 11-34T
Front Derailleur Shimano XT, Top Pull, 3-Speed
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT Shadow, Top Normal, 9-Speed
Shifters Shimano Bar End

The second is the Fargo SLX Drivetrain
Crankset Shimano Deore, Black, 16"=170mm, 18/20/22"=175mm
Chainring Shimano 44/32/22T
Chain Shimano CN-HG53, 9-Speed
Cassette Shimano Deore, 9-Speed, 11-34T
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore, Bottom Pull, 3-Speed
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX, Top Normal, 9-Speed
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace

The third is something similar to the Vaya Drivetrain
Crankset Shimano FC-4550-S, 50cm=165mm, 52,54,55,56cm=170mm, 57,58,60cm= 175mm, Silver
Chainring Shimano 34/50T, Compact Double, Silver
Bottom Bracket Shimano Tiagra Hollowtech II BB
Chain Shimano HG-53
Cassette Shimano CS-HG61, 9-Speed, 11-32T
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra, Silver
Rear Derailleur Shimano LX, Long Cage, Silver
Front Shifter Shimano Tiagra Double STI
Rear Shifter Shimano Tiagra 9-Speed STI

The fourth is a Alfine 11 Speed Drivetrain

I don’t really know the advantages of each drive train listed above.

I like the idea of a compact 18 speed similar to the Vaya, but it may not be compatible with the Fargo frame. I like the shifters on the Vaya better as I plan to use the bike on rails to trails and bike paths.

I am also interested in the Alfine 11 speed IGH, but I don’t know when it will be introduced and would like to complete the bike during the next 90 days.

If anyone can tell me the advantages and disadvantages of each option, it would be appreciated. The Vaya 18 speed and Alfine 11 speed are my first choice, but I can be easily swayed at this point.

Last edited by timberline12k; 08-29-10 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 08-29-10, 02:05 PM   #2
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well road shifters front shifters dont work with mtn front derailleurs. you seem to be going through different price categories/brackets. the better derailleurs(xt, xtr, dura ace, ultegra) have stiffer linkages and sealed bearings in the pulleys, this makes a difference the long run, not much when new. when new they all shift about the same in the stand. the gearing is up to you and your load that you will carry.
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Old 08-29-10, 02:18 PM   #3
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Bar end shifters are able to use either drivetrain, its the left Brifter and FD interaction that causes problems.



XTR wastes money on gram weenie parts .. avoid aluminum axles in hubs .. on a touring rig.
second tier is more practical..

dont Know the advantages? do the Math see the ratio patterns

http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ & http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/internal.html

and do the same for what you are riding .. to know what a particular ratio feels like rolled out on the ground.

Allfine 11 speed is still Vapor hardware.. wont ship, as I hear, till well after the next Vegas trade show in the late fall .

But, Rohloff IGH drivetrains have already been ridden around the world several time on different riders bikes ..
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Old 08-29-10, 02:57 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, I'd go with the standard drivetrain (option #1). That gives you a GI range of 17" - 96", which is pretty good. You could go a little lower if you plan to use it offroad or like to ride up hills at walking speeds.

The jump between the 50 and 34 is going to be huge. If you don't need super-low gearing and don't mind a big jump on the front, though, it could work.

I happen to currently like barcons for triples. They're a little less expensive and more robust, but I wouldn't worry about it unless you plan to go offroad a lot.
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Old 08-29-10, 03:45 PM   #5
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I have a $2,000 budget for my bike and already spent $475 for the 24" Fargo frame. I would like drop handle bars, disc brakes, and 29"X 2" Dureme tires.

Are the bar end shifters easy to use? I am used to the ones located on my brakes. I would think you can swap out the bar end shifters with the type located on the brakes.

I don't really know the difference between options 1 and 2 other than option 2 is probably cheaper.

I would have gone with the Vaya, but the frame was too small. That is why am looking at the drivetrain on the Vaya. I have gears on my 27 speed F80 that I don't use, but I would like lower gearing on this new bike.

The Rohloff looks great, but it is very expensive and I don't like the drop bar shifter options.

I will probably have my local bike shop suggest some options, but I would like to have some input from forum members.

Last edited by timberline12k; 08-29-10 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 08-29-10, 04:34 PM   #6
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You likely won't shift as often with bar-end shifters as with STI because the shifters aren't right there where your hands are, Apart from that, bar-end shifters are not hard to learn. The front derailleur shifter is friction (not indexed), you put the lever up for the big ring, in the middle for the middle ring, and down for the granny. If the derailleur needs a trim, you just nudge the shifter in the right direction. The rear derailleur shifter is indexed, though you can set it to friction (non-indexed) if you prefer. If you go with a top-normal rear derailleur, you lift the rear shifter to shift down and lower the sifter to shift up. If you go with low-normal, you lift to shift up and lower to shift down.
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Old 08-29-10, 04:41 PM   #7
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Another option worth considering -- SRAM now has 2 x 10 mountain bike groups. They started with the XX group (very pricey) a year ago, and are just now introducing the XO group. They also will have 2 x 10 options in their X9 group, as well.

I talked to a SRAM rep at a bike shop opening yesterday and he confirmed you could combine the 26/39 crankset or 28/42 crankset with an 11-36 rear cassette *with* SRAM double-tap road shifters and brake levers. I am not sure what the pricing is going to be the SRAM guy said it will be competitive with the mid-level Shimano stuff (the XX stuff was priced like Shimano XTR).

To me that makes more sense than the stock Vaya drivetrain with the 50-34 compact double. That gear is too high for a bike like this, IMHO.
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Old 08-29-10, 08:25 PM   #8
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Another option worth considering -- SRAM now has 2 x 10 mountain bike groups. They started with the XX group (very pricey) a year ago, and are just now introducing the XO group. They also will have 2 x 10 options in their X9 group, as well.

I talked to a SRAM rep at a bike shop opening yesterday and he confirmed you could combine the 26/39 crankset or 28/42 crankset with an 11-36 rear cassette *with* SRAM double-tap road shifters and brake levers. I am not sure what the pricing is going to be the SRAM guy said it will be competitive with the mid-level Shimano stuff (the XX stuff was priced like Shimano XTR).

To me that makes more sense than the stock Vaya drivetrain with the 50-34 compact double. That gear is too high for a bike like this, IMHO.
Thanks for the heads up on this option. It may fit my needs better than the others. I will need to check if it is compatible with the Fargo Frame.

Excuse my ignorance, but is it correct to assume the 26/39 offers lower gearing than the 28/42?
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Old 08-29-10, 09:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by timberline12k View Post
Thanks for the heads up on this option. It may fit my needs better than the others. I will need to check if it is compatible with the Fargo Frame.

Excuse my ignorance, but is it correct to assume the 26/39 offers lower gearing than the 28/42?
Yes.

You can play with gearing using Sheldon Brown's gear calculator:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

This is a very handy tool to understand and use -
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Old 08-30-10, 05:25 AM   #10
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I run a 46/36 crank with SRAM Apex 11-32 cassette, RD and Rival levers on a cross/touring bike. I have a standard XT set up on my Fargo. I run Shimano Ultegra STI on another drop bar bike. I still basically pick a gear and run in it and find no difference in my shifting patterns. The bar ends on the Fargo allow for trimming and if you ride in the dusty dirty stuff I find it helps. I run Woodchippers on the Fargo and highly recommend them and they work fine with brifters if you go that route. If you pick the proper crank gearing and match it with your rear cassette you can't go wrong with either setup just understand what you have and know they are different. Don't expect a 2x10 to be the same as the 3x9. Your riding destinations, terrain and preference will make the choice. I don't know what your brake choice is but remember the MTB BB7's are long pull calipers so if you go STI you need Road BB7's. They work much better.

Keep in mind the Fargo is an off road frame/bike. It will work on a paved road of course but its not a road based tourer. I'm currently running 700x40 Marathon Supremes instead of my 29er 2.0's to see how it's road manners stack up. It would work fine in a pinch but I like the 29er set up. That way it excels where you are on dirt/gravel and singletrack and run some pavement to get between those mediums. I'm probably going to buy a Vaya frame later this year after the new ones are available. Stay tuned for that new stuff later this month when Salsa makes other announcements. I think the Vaya and Fargo are different enough for me to warrant having something more road tourer oriented.
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Old 08-31-10, 08:00 AM   #11
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What do you think of the following components?

Shifters: Rival Double Tap
Front Der: X9
Rear Der: X9
Chain: PC-1070
Bottom Bracket: X9
Crankset: X9
Brakes: Avid BB7
Cassette: OG-1070
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Old 09-01-10, 05:17 AM   #12
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What do you think of the following components?

Shifters: Rival Double Tap
Front Der: X9
Rear Der: X9
Chain: PC-1070
Bottom Bracket: X9
Crankset: X9
Brakes: Avid BB7
Cassette: OG-1070
I'd go with a Shimano front D and make sure the BB7's are the silver colored road models, not the darker graphite MRB models. I don't know what cassette gearing you are thinking of but the SRAM Apex is a very good RD; very easy to set up. I have X9 stuff on one of my MTB's; its good stuff no doubt but I like the Apex drivetrain with the Rival shifters. But thats me!

Good luck! Have fun, ride!
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