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Old 11-23-10, 08:58 PM   #1
twinsfan1976
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Anyone ever setup a front quad chainring crank?

Just curious if anyone has set one of these up using the mountain tamer adapter. I successfully setup a mountain tamer tripe where I put a 18t small ring on, but now I am building a Surly LHT and thinking I would like to have a little more in the way of options. I am toying with possibly 46-36-26-18 possibly, or 44-34-24-18 or something of that ilk depending on the crank I buy. If anyone has done this or knows of a front derailleur that would work in this setup please share your insights. I am fairly decided on Bar end shifters, possibly mounted to Pauls thumbies. I am sure I will have other questions coming up, I have never built a bike from scratch before. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:03 PM   #2
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no need.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:07 PM   #3
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There is a need when you are 300+ lbs riding a loaded bike. Gears gears and lots of em. Plus I liked to be a little off the beaten path with my ideas. I was looking for help with this, I know they exist and I want to know how to do it.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:10 PM   #4
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No, really, there is no need. With a good spread of gears you can enjoy the 2mph climb and the 40mph decent. Modern bikes have too many gears.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:21 PM   #5
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I would install a 22t front and a 34t rear first and see if that's enough. If not, you may need a longer BB spindle if you're running a quad set-up (speculation on my part as I've never done it), as the inner chain ring may be too close to the chain stay. Also, many higher-quality front derailleurs have a screw holding the front cage together - a couple of washers and a longer screw should give it more range.

I would think a 18 to 44 jump would be doable by most any higher end (XT, XTR, X.0, etc) triple FD. Again, no experience with this... good luck!

Edit: I found this webpage that details their installation of the mountain tamer.

Last edited by hopperja; 11-23-10 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:30 PM   #6
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Yeah on my current triple I am running a 46-36-18 setup using a Shimano non-series plain FD that I cannot find a product number one. The rear a 13-34 8 speed with an Alivio RD and it works flawlessly, other than trying to shift to the 34t cog from the 28tooth while on the 2nd chainring, I have to shift from the 3rd rear cog up to 34t as there just isn't enough clearance, but that issue rarely comes up in riding. I am sure I will probably end up going with one of those new 12-36t 9 speed rear cassettes with an XT M772 shadow RD. I just like to tinker, so the quad kinda caught my eye.
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Old 11-23-10, 11:19 PM   #7
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Here's a link to my LHT build: http://thirdwave-websites.com/bike/s...cfm#drivetrain, I ended up with a gear-inch range of 16gi to 113gi, that's a pretty wide range.
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Old 11-23-10, 11:22 PM   #8
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Thanks Ed. I have looked at that page countless times for inspiration over the past couple years about what I'd like to do when I build up a bike. Nice to meet the man behind the page. That is one beautiful bike!
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Old 11-23-10, 11:23 PM   #9
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I have a mountain tamer quad, [will sell] did that experiment 20 years ago,
16 26 36 46..
ends up as recumbent tricycle gearing, ..
in lowest gears the development on the ground is so short ,
Momentum uphill goes away before you get the other foot on the pedal ,
and with 2 wheels you fall over.

trike, no problem..

... currenly have 17'' low on Rohloff hub 26'' wheel 38/16 cogs
and a Brompton 16'' wheels, 54 t mountain drive crank AW 3 hub 15t cog
reduction gear in crankset is as if a 21.6t when in low,

still sometimes more pleasant to just walk the hill , anyhow.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-23-10 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 11-23-10, 11:34 PM   #10
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Wide can be overrated.

I did have a mountain tamer on an early mountain bike. I remember the install as being pretty easy. And no particular complexities with gearing given the fact that it was a friction shifting era Canondale bike. I rarely ever used it, but the gear was there, and I did use it the odd time. My feeling is it might be hard to find a use for it on a loaded bike on a smooth surface, since it can be difficult to keep a bike upright at normal granny speeds with panniers. But then you have already tried the 18 tooth route, so I guess you know. The 4th ring was so small it wasn't any burden to carry, so I don't see much of a downside. Learning how to ride hills is normally more beneficial than a retreat through all the gears. Also, there comes a point where walking is a whole lot more sensible than hammering away like a sewing machine. Too bad tourists can't make a trendy thing out of pushing as in cyclo cross.
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Old 11-23-10, 11:44 PM   #11
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Like this ?

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Old 11-23-10, 11:48 PM   #12
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Or this ?



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Old 11-24-10, 10:22 AM   #13
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yeah, it can be done - Ive done it with a TA cyclotouriste setup on a dawes tandem.

I repeat, there's no need unless you are riding a tandem and want additional HIGHER gearing, like: 20, 32, 42, 52*

but by all means spend your money and time engineering an over-complicated solution in search of a problem. It might even work (poorly). YMMV.

There's a reason that this approach aint common.

Last edited by positron; 11-24-10 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 11-24-10, 10:32 AM   #14
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I tried a mountain tamer with a 20t ring and I had trouble staying upright because my gearing was so low that I was going too slow. Apparantly you already know that you can go that slow since you have already used a 18t chainring.

I am using a 52/42/24 front, however next tour I will have a 46/42/24 so that I can use half step gearing. Rear is eight speed 11/32 SRAM cassette (11/12/14/16/18/21/26/32).



While it is important to have the gears you need to get you up the steepest hill that you will encounter, I also like to have a lot of gears in the range where I spend most of my time. This way, I can make a slight change of gearing for a slight change of grade or a slight change in wind. Unladen around town on pavement I am in the 60 to 90 inch range the vast majority of the time. Loaded touring (add 60 pounds) on flat gravel (rail to trail routes) I spend the vast majority of my time in the 45 to 75 gear inch range. With my gearing I have a lot of gears in the ranges where I spend most of my time and I still have a few low gears with my granny 24t for when I need them.

In other words my advice is to try to set up your gearing with more than just the lowest possible gears in mind.
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Old 11-24-10, 11:33 AM   #15
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no need.
+1 - at some point your low gear is so low you can walk faster and you can't balance the bike...so beyond that there is no point in shooting for a lower gear. On the other end you are going to be faster due to aerodynamics if you park the pedals and tuck vs. trying to get a bigger gear than a triple provides and pedal all the way down a long steep hill.
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Old 11-24-10, 01:23 PM   #16
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It might be faster to walk, but I don't think it's true that one can't balance at low speeds. See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=fvw
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Old 11-24-10, 02:01 PM   #17
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I have trouble walking and can balance at speeds approaching 0... if I had to walk my rig up a hill I'd be screwed.

Our tandem has a quad with a 54 big ring and the bronze / copper bike belongs to the boss... he's 76 and can still rock that 53-54 tooth ring on his and has ridden this set up 10's of thousands of miles.

It has a 7 speed block in the rear so has 28 speeds and the tandem will have 32.
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Old 11-24-10, 02:05 PM   #18
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It might be faster to walk, but I don't think it's true that one can't balance at low speeds. See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=fvw
Add 4 panniers to that rig and a handlebar bag and 100kms in the legs and I'm not so sure he'd be staying on the bike long before the 2 foot gear kicks in.
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Old 11-24-10, 02:58 PM   #19
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This thread brings back memories of my Mountain Tamer Quad setup in the mid 1980's. I recall many of the negatives mentioned and would add that the front derailleur needed to be widened and bent in an unusual way to make the shifting work at all. The usefulness was limited due to slow speed and balance as mentioned. I abandoned the experiment within the year of installation.
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Old 11-24-10, 05:03 PM   #20
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Add 4 panniers to that rig and a handlebar bag and 100kms in the legs and I'm not so sure he'd be staying on the bike long before the 2 foot gear kicks in.
+1

And if you look at that guy, he is not tight to the right, and he occasionally takes vacations into the truck lane. Try that as you are being passed by 18 wheelers. Also, that is presumably the right gear for that grade. Not always the case when you are pushing your granny.
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Old 11-24-10, 05:54 PM   #21
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Here's a link to my LHT build: http://thirdwave-websites.com/bike/s...cfm#drivetrain, I ended up with a gear-inch range of 16gi to 113gi, that's a pretty wide range.
I'm thinking of doing something similar on my cyclocross bike that I'll be using for a credit card tour next summer. I currently have a 53/38 up front (15 tooth spread) and a 12/27 cassette. SRAM makes an 11/32 that I'm considering, but I'm concerned about shifting and chain length. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-24-10, 06:03 PM   #22
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Our tandem features a triple chainring setup 54/42/32 with an 11-34 9-speed cassette.
In the 'old days' (1970s) ran a TA triple 56/44/28 (with custom lengthened front der) and 14x28 5-speed freewheel on our tandem.
We are ages 78/75 and live in hilly/mountain terrain in AZ.
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Old 11-24-10, 06:12 PM   #23
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Its often easier to just adjust your speed rather than adjust your gearing. I don't see the need to have 20 gears in the area of where I spend the most time riding. If a slight head wind comes or a slight grade, but not enough to gear down, I just slow down.
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Old 11-24-10, 08:39 PM   #24
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How about 10 chainrings up front and one cog in the rear. Wouldn't that be the bestestest
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Old 11-25-10, 10:26 AM   #25
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http://share.ovi.com/media/currentre...resident.10075 I'm not using them now because there is no room between the chainring and chainstays this results in damage to the chainstay due to chaingrab http://share.ovi.com/media/currentre...resident.10237 I use gripshifetrs the front is called friction but really has 8 clicks you can also use an 8 or 9 rear shifter for the front. Santana tandems came up with the erickson 9th cog gizmo http://share.ovi.com/media/currentre...resident.10025 this was used by the http://web.archive.org/web/200308110...com/index.html on their quad setup. I believe a quad is a good setup if it is designed correctly the rings will need to be close together like the rear. A 20 30 39 42 is a good setup. I also rode a 24 32 40 48 around for a year just as a test.
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