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  1. #1
    commuter TimeTravel_0's Avatar
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    crankset for touring?

    What would be a recommended crankset for touring? Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Maybe you want to start with your end goal and work backwards. You want a low gear under 25 gear inches and a high gear that is around 90+ gear inches, though that is less critical. And you want your shift transitions to be reasonable, around 15% is a good goal. A classic combo is the XD above and an 11-32 or 11-34 cassette but many other combos work, some cheap, some expensive. Try working some combos here and don't forget to enter your wheel size and your desired crank length. For most people 172.5 is the preferred choice but you can go 170 if your are shorter than average and 175 if you are taller or do a lot of climbing. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Keep in mind that it is recommended to avoid spending long periods on the extreme chain line angles = biggest chain ring and smallest cog and vice versa because of wear on the chain and system is greatly increased.

    It depends on what you are looking for price wise and what you already have on the bike. Also remember you can change the chain rings on some crank models. Consult with your LBS or friendly local mechanic for that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    My Cannondale t1 came with a 30/39/50 triple crank and an 11/32 cassette.
    I changed it to a 26/36/48 triple crank and an 11/34 cassette.
    I've done 1000 kilometres of touring on the new gears. It was on gently rolling topography with hills less than 200 metres vertical at slopes less than or equal to 6%

    I've found the new gears are sufficient for the type of touring I was doing.

    It would have been cheaper to negotiate a swap at the time of purchase, or select a bike that came with lower gears. But I was learning as I went along and am happy with the outcome.
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    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    it really depends on what frame you are using.
    then there are drivetrain considerations.

    lately I'm on a new kick with a buddy who is producing FULL CERAMIC BOTTOM BRACKETS.
    SRAM, Dura Ace, and Campy Ultra Torque

    my typical setup is a Truvativ MTB crankset with an outboard BB. at the moment its a ceramic hybrid from Enduro

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    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Funny you mention ceramic BB's. We recently had a poster ask about ceramic bearings and carbon parts. Most of us older tourers don't trust this stuff yet because we think those parts may leave us stranded somewhere nasty. Plus, it doesn't help that the costs can cut into our travel budget and little things like food on tour. The crankier ones amongst us just dismiss it as a kind of "frill". Me, I'm curious. Innovations for its own sake seems pointless and I'd rather spend my money on airfare to Timbuktu. On the other hand, is there something unusual to be gained from those exotic materials?

    To the OP, what kind of budget are you looking at?

  7. #7
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    I've been amazed with these full ceramic BB's. my buddy is the techno-gee-whiz guy on the subject. From what I know, the ceramic balls + the ceramic races, are at least 5 times harder than the best steel bearings. Plus there is something going on with the retainers and seals, that have little to zero drag. the bearings are so crazy hard, that they grind up dirt. something like riding on diamonds.

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    Since the ceramic bearings discussion on that other thread I was looking at some hubs where ceramic was an option, and the upcharge was 70 bucks which isn't all that bad where expensive hubs are concerned. It may not be all that useful, but then there are lots of expensive parts that don't even come with ceramic bearings, in similar price ranges. At one time people were buying Phil level stuff in order to get cartridge bearings, which was a lot worse deal.

    What does a ceramic BB cost?

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    MTB crankset 22-32-42 paired with Shimano's new 11-36 cogset. It should give you all the inches you need to climb all but the steepest of hills with the granny gear.

  10. #10
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    I have a 26t,36t,46t cranks set and use a 11-32 on the rear.And I also have a 22t,32t,44t with a 11-34 cassette on my Surly LHT both are great.

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    Avoid a potential frankenbike and get a standard MTB drivetrain. There's a reason that only Sugino markets a "touring" crankset: there is little practical difference between 44-32-22 and a 46-36-26 when (with an MTB long cage derailleur) you can pair them with a wide variety of 9 speed cassettes ranging from 11-21 to 12-36. Use the former when riding unloaded on asphalt and the latter when loaded on dirt.

  12. #12
    imi
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    Many have Shimano LX or XT 44-32-22 MTB cranksets with 9-speed 11-32 or 11-34 cassettes.

    My personal preference is 11-28 to have lesser gaps in the gearing, ymmv.
    edit: I have 170mm crankarms, but that's just because that's what I've always had :/

    One of my concerns is ease of finding replacements on tour so new fangled brands, designs and materials are not for me
    Last edited by imi; 10-12-10 at 08:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravel_0 View Post
    What would be a recommended crankset for touring? Any suggestions?
    A Sugino XD triple and a UN54 Shimano BB. Inexpensive, durable. Forget the fancy BB's.

    110/74 cranks offer the widest available ring selection. You have many brands to choose from. I wouldn't get a Shimnao, who play games with their ring dimensions.

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Too old school. The Sugino only allows for a 24 tooth inner. And, after buying a bottom bracket, it'll cost about as much as this one from Shimano. You can even go down to a 22 inner on the Shimano.

    The Shimano is super easy to install and maintain. No crank bolts to work loose. If you don't want the 48 tooth outer ring, you can also go with the same crank in a 44/32/22 mountain bike crank.
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  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Shimano makes 'trekking-touring' cranksets with 48-36-26. Deore, SLX, XT have 48-36-26 tooth cranksets, you can sub the 26 with a 24 and get a great touring crankset.

    There's a reason that only Sugino markets a "touring" crankset
    not correct, see above. The XT 48-36-26 looks like it is specc'd with a chainguard!

    the 48-36-26 was quite common on mountain and city bikes in the 80's. still readily available from Shimano and suitable for touring bikes and trekking bikes, etc...
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-12-10 at 09:01 AM.
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  16. #16
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Equipment discussions are like religious discussions IMO. We end up liking what we already do/have/believe.

    To the OP, it helps if you tell us what you already have and where you'll be riding/the mission.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Shimano makes 'trekking-touring' cranksets with 48-36-26. Deore, SLX, XT have 48-36-26 tooth cranksets, you can sub the 26 with a 24 and get a great touring crankset.



    not correct, see above. The XT 48-36-26 looks like it is specc'd with a chainguard!

    the 48-36-26 was quite common on mountain and city bikes in the 80's. still readily available from Shimano and suitable for touring bikes and trekking bikes, etc...
    My bad...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Too old school. The Sugino only allows for a 24 tooth inner. And, after buying a bottom bracket, it'll cost about as much as this one from Shimano. You can even go down to a 22 inner on the Shimano.

    The Shimano is super easy to install and maintain. No crank bolts to work loose. If you don't want the 48 tooth outer ring, you can also go with the same crank in a 44/32/22 mountain bike crank.

    Too old? C'mon Anybody with a lick of sense can maintain a tapered crank. You can get a better 45mm chainline with the Sugino too, 50mm kinda sucks for a road bike. If you need lower than a 24/34 or 36, I won't say it.......

    If the OP wants to go even less expensive, he can get a Stronglight Impact triple for about half of the Sugino. http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/S...=impact+triple
    Last edited by Garthr; 10-12-10 at 09:20 AM.

  19. #19
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Riding style has something to do with what you like. I have never had a reason for anything smaller than a 26 small front ring. I'm not a grinder either. Fitness level/age will also come into play as well. If in dought you can't go wrong going with lower gearing than you think you might need. I really think that you can't go wrong with the Shimano XT line of modern cranks. They are priced decent and do what they should.

    On a recent tour I needed to remove the pedals to get my bike in the bike box at the Amtrak station.... Well I didn't have a pedal wrench but I did have an Allen wrench and just removed the crank. Modern BB's have some benefits that some don't even think about.
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    My LHT has a Race Face Atlas 46/36/26 crank, XT front derailleur, and an 11-32 cassette with XT long cage rear derailleur. Down-tube shifters. 26" wheels.

    I also have an ultra-distance bike with the XT "treking crank" at 48/36/26 (matching XT fdr) and a 12-34 (XTR rdr). Down-tube shifters. 700c wheels.

    Then, there is the Ti Aero recumbent which has a Specialite Carmina crank with 50/36/24 and a Dura Ace triple fdr and a SRAM 11-28 cassette and XTR rdr. SRAM twist shifters. This lattercrank has the lowest "Q" (width) of the bunch but that Carmina crank is unreasonably expensive (IMO). 650c (26") wheels.

    After thousands of miles on each combination, I'll rate them all as excellent performers.

  21. #21
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    It needs to be borne in mind that a "touring crankset" probably requires friction shifters unless one can get ahold of an old set of Ultegra 6510 STI 9 speed shifters and a 6503 front der. A Sora 9 speed STI shifter and an IRC Alpina-d front der might substitute. The 10 speed stuff won't work. If you want STI, the safest thing to do these days is to get a MTB drivetrain and forget about using drop handlebars.

  22. #22
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    It needs to be borne in mind that a "touring crankset" probably requires friction shifters unless one can get ahold of an old set of Ultegra 6510 STI 9 speed shifters and a 6503 front der. A Sora 9 speed STI shifter and an IRC Alpina-d front der might substitute. The 10 speed stuff won't work. If you want STI, the safest thing to do these days is to get a MTB drivetrain and forget about using drop handlebars.
    There is zero compatibility issues running Tiagra STI shifters with a touring crank set. For that matter they work fine with 10 speed. Just need a compatible FD like Tiagra. The RD doesn't care what shifters you are running. Run a Tiagra FD and it will work great. No friction required.

    I've run XT RD's with Ultegra 10 speed systems for extreme climbing when I wanted to use an 11/32 RD because I needed the wide gear swing that my DA RD can't handle.

    What I'm trying to say is that most of this stuff will work and work well together.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    I'm going to go with an 11-34 cassette along with a 24 tooth granny chain ring (unless I come into some cash and decide to buy a Rohloff).
    Last edited by SouthFLpix; 10-12-10 at 11:08 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakdiver View Post
    There is zero compatibility issues running Tiagra STI shifters with a touring crank set. For that matter they work fine with 10 speed. Just need a compatible FD like Tiagra. The RD doesn't care what shifters you are running. Run a Tiagra FD and it will work great. No friction required.

    I've run XT RD's with Ultegra 10 speed systems for extreme climbing when I wanted to use an 11/32 RD because I needed the wide gear swing that my DA RD can't handle.

    What I'm trying to say is that most of this stuff will work and work well together.
    In my experience, the Ultegra 10 speed FD is too long to work acceptably with a "touring" crankset. I haven't tried a Tiagra 10 speed FD, but I would have my doubts. The XT FD doesn't work with the Ultegra 10 speed shifters either.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/derailers-front.html

    I haven't heard whether the IRD Alpina-d front der works with the Ultegra 10 speed. If so, then the new 10 speed MTB cassettes would indeed give tourers new (modern?) STI options.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Now that the cassettes are 11 or 12-32or34 You don't need a big big chainring , its overkill.
    and so a 44,32,22 Mtb crank will do, Bar end shifters work on drop bar type, nicely.

    Then again Its a touring range of gears
    with a Schlumpf Mountain drive planetary 2 speed and a 3 or 5 speed IG hub.

    and a single 38t chainring with a 16t cog on a Rohloff hub, in a 26" wheel is near perfect.
    Older derailleur bikes 50,40 24. on either an M730 110/74
    or a <C> 'race triple' sold as 50,40,30, 135 for the big rings,
    the 30 is on a 74 bCD so swap for a 24t is easy.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-13-10 at 11:53 AM.

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