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  1. #1
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    First Touring bike: Would an Alivio crank be good?

    Hi,

    I'm getting a 56cm, 26" wheel Surly LHT for my first touring bike. I haven't bought it or anything else.

    (1) Would an Alivio M410 48/38/28, 8-speed, crank be a good idea or a bad one? Has anyone done long touring with one? Are all three chainrings steel?

    (2) Or, a Deore M590 48/36/26, 9-speed? Are all three chainrings steel?

    Any other suggestions are welcome.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The Deore M590 is a much better crank with outboard bearings, is stiffer, and has a steel granny ring with alloy middle and top rings... but I would look for a classic touring crank that uses a 5 bolt 110/74 bcd as it will offer a wider range of chain rings as the 110/74 is more widely used.

    Velo Orange offers a nice touring triple for $129.00 and if you have a good co-op you might be able to find a nice touring triple and save some pretty good money... Sugino cranks are very good and use the 110/74 bcd pattern.

  3. #3
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    Joe, If you already have the M410 I'm sure the crankset will be fine, perhaps not ideal if you'll ride in hilly terrain while fully loaded. I don't have any experiance with VO, but I have a Sugino 22/32/44 on the touring bike and it's a stout piece. I don't worry much about alloy gears on the crankset, just me I suppose.

    Have fun with the build.

    Brad

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I put thousands of miles on steel chainrings by choice, very wear resistant.
    better than budget soft aluminum,
    but if you can remove the 28t and replace it with a 24t
    the low gear will be lower.. steel for that position is superior ..

    A mountain bike crankset on a touring bike is a good thing ,
    if you are going to seek a more expensive crankset.

    [of course, in comparison with leaving as is, any change is more expensive]

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    if you're buying new, i'd suggest a deore with the 48-36-26 and replacing the 26 with a 24.

    Hands down the best value in new style touring range cranksets.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Lately I have been doing more shopping on e-bay. I picked up a couple of spare 94/58 cranks by Coda for $25. That allows me to get a 20 low ring and 32-42 for the outer rings. At my age, I need all the help I can get at the end of the day on a long steep hill.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    if you're buying new, i'd suggest a deore with the 48-36-26 and replacing the 26 with a 24.

    Hands down the best value in new style touring range cranksets.
    I agree with this. The OP might even consider putting a 22T granny on there to help even more on the hills.

    My preference is to put steel on the middle ring as it is the one that I use the most even when touring loaded. But the last time I did this, I had hell's own trouble finding a 32T one off the shelf through what were then my favourite bike shops. One eventually took a ring off a crankset for me and charged a reasonable price.

    The big and small rings can stay as alloy, even though it could be argued that the inner ring will wear faster because it is smaller.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    most of the replacement basic 24t rings i've seen are steel from shimano, as is the stock 26 tooth on the deore. I've got one a deore crank in the garage right now and the middle and inner stock rings are steel. i should go double check, but that's the spec too.

    steel inner/middle rings should set someone up good for many tens of thousands of miles....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Senior Member boomhauer's Avatar
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    almost okay

    I've used this same crank arrangement (Shimano C102, 28/38/48 teeth) that came with my 2000 Trek 7200 hybrid. I bought it new and immediately rode from El Paso to Alberta, Canada.

    Wish I had a smaller sprocket for the mountain passes (maybe a 22 tooth) but it wasn't bad since I didn't have much stuff. I did have a tent, sleeping bag, fishing pole but no front panniers.

    I've been riding this thing around town for the last ten years and the chain, crank and spockets will be replaced shortly. The chain now skips because the teeth are worn or the chain is streached.

    You shouldn't have any problem with the Alivio. I think it is about the same as the C102 (which looks like a cheap piece of crap...but it worked for 10 years and a zillion miles)

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    Deore M590 is winning

    Ok, so it looks like the Alivio M410 would work, but the Deore M590 probably gives better bang for the buck. I don't already own an M410. I just didn't want to spend more on something that was not really going to be any better.

    Durability is my main issue. I'm trying to stay away from aluminum alloy for chainrings as much as I can, but you know how it is. I found a good article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_alloy. But, it doesn't answer the final question: How durable are these various alloys (AL-2014, AL-6061, AL-7075), with regard to tooth wear, after years of touring? That's the bottom line.

    My current bike is a 1974 Azuki 10-speed, 27 1/4" wheels, with mostly Shimano parts. The crank and rings are all steel. They need to be replaced, but they still work, after 37 years (about 17 spent not riding it). I like that deal.

    Hearing so many of you guys point out that 28 or 26 teeth isn't going to be low enough is really helpful. Everybody passes me going uphill, but I huff and puff, and it's good for my health. When I google on "104mm chainring steel" and "64mm chainring steel," I find them. Truvativ makes them, among others, but I'm not too sure about the little fiddly details, like a little recess that the spacer fits into.

    Then, I tried "104mm chainring titanium," and I found one for $60, which, you know, is something to think about.

    Thanks,

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephShead View Post
    Hi,

    I'm getting a 56cm, 26" wheel Surly LHT for my first touring bike. I haven't bought it or anything else.

    (1) Would an Alivio M410 48/38/28, 8-speed, crank be a good idea or a bad one? Has anyone done long touring with one? Are all three chainrings steel?

    (2) Or, a Deore M590 48/36/26, 9-speed? Are all three chainrings steel?

    Any other suggestions are welcome.

    Joe
    Sixty Fiver (naturally) has some good points. I bought a Sugino XD 48-36-26 to replace the stock 2008 Novara Randonee Tiagra 52/42/30 crankset with an upgraded 12-32 cassette. The drop from 30-tooth low chainwheel to 26 wasn't enough to comfortably climb long mountain stretches with load.

    Deore M590 offers a 44/32/22 chainwheel set which sounds sweet. I wish there were touring triple cranksets with a higher top chainring combined with an ultra-low granny ring but OTOH an 11-tooth cassette gear helps for top-end speed. I'd go for the lowest granny chainring available.

    BTW the LHT 559 sounds great, I'm thinking of buying the same thing in the same frame size. Seems like you could hardly go wrong with that. Nothing wrong with 8-speed per se but availability is decreasing for cassettes, 9-speed sorta seems like the way to go for new equipment.

  12. #12
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    You can mix and match a lot of the Shimano MTB chainsets. You just need the right-length cranks to start with. For example, there is a version with a 48T outer ring. Deore right the way through LX, SLX and XT all seem to be interchangeable (but who knows what changes are likely to happen today or tomorrow or next week.

    If you go with Shimano Deore, for example, you at least have the flexibility of renewing a chainring in the middle of nowhere, whereas the more esoteric ones would mean a wait for them to arrive.

    Have a look on eBay. There are businesses, at least here in Australia, who list chainrings of various specs, and if you get the right one, they might be able to CNC a stainless one, for example, with your teeth and BCD requirements (at a price, of course, but amortised over years, it might be quite cost effective).

    On the outboard bearings, I was a bit leary of this after having very good experiences with square-taper internal cartridge bearings. But the external ones we do have seem to be working quite well for us, they are quite cheap to replace, and there isn't too much mucking around with spindle lengths to get chainline working.

    I'd steer clear of the splined Shimano stuff. I just didn't feel comfortable with it, and it's not as universal as square taper cartridges and external bearings.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    7074-T6 is a very durable alloy , it is used in top range chainrings,
    like Campagnolo , TA and the premium priced Shimano and SRAM stuff

    there are aftermarket Rings like 'salsa' a QBP brand, of this , aka Ergal alloy.

  14. #14
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephShead View Post
    Hi,

    I'm getting a 56cm, 26" wheel Surly LHT for my first touring bike. I haven't bought it or anything else.

    (1) Would an Alivio M410 48/38/28, 8-speed, crank be a good idea or a bad one? Has anyone done long touring with one? Are all three chainrings steel?

    (2) Or, a Deore M590 48/36/26, 9-speed? Are all three chainrings steel?

    Any other suggestions are welcome.

    Joe
    I've used several Alivio cranks on bikes including touring bikes. I like square taper BBs and use them on most of my bikes. I can't tell any difference from the saddle between a square taper low end Shimano crank/BB and a higher end external BB/crank.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
    Sixty Fiver (naturally) has some good points. I bought a Sugino XD 48-36-26 to replace the stock 2008 Novara Randonee Tiagra 52/42/30 crankset with an upgraded 12-32 cassette. The drop from 30-tooth low chainwheel to 26 wasn't enough to comfortably climb long mountain stretches with load.
    Thanks.

    An mtb or atb triple mated to a modern cassette will give you all the range you need for touring... Deore started as a touring group and the needs of mountain bikers and tourers are nearly identical in the gearing department.

    My old XC bike is set up with a Race Face triple (110/74) and will keep up with almost anything on the road and has a stump plling low which is only good for the most ridiculous climbs.

    For touring you may want to swap the middle mtb ring from a 32 to a 36 as you will spend a lot of time here and it makes for a better mid range and the shift from a 24 to a 36 is quite decent as you stay within a 12 tooth limit.

    My hybrid / tourer runs a 26/38/48 with an 11-34 8 speed which exceeds the derailleur capacity by a few teeth (different from cog capacity) but is not a problem in practice as I don't cross chain and never run the 48/34 combo.

    With a 38 middle ring and that 11-34 I could ride almost anywhere unless I had to pull stumps.

    Touring bike has a 26- 40 - 48 with a 14-34 7 speed... there is very little gear overlap and I might even half step the front gearing.

  16. #16
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    Interesting idea of getting a lower middle chainring, hadn't thought about that. I didn't know that Deore started out as a touring group. RE the need for a high big chainring I've long held on to that idea despite doing the math & seeing that a 44/11 gives a higher ratio than an old 52/14 which I grew up on. Mental conditioning I guess. I also see that a 22/32 gives a lower granny gear than a 26/34. So I should probably switch to a Deore or similar "MTB" crankset even though I had previously assumed that the easier way to get granny gears was to change the cassette. I guess that as chainrings get smaller a 1-tooth difference changes the ratio much more than when the chainring is bigger.

    RE Deore M590 I saw a Universal Cycles ad an Ebay ad that say inner & middle rings are steel. Kinda surprised to learn they still make steel chainrings but it seems like a good idea esp for durability. Actually I'm wondering that perhaps so many components are available in aluminum alloy is more due to ease of manufacture than light weight of alloy.

    Anyway I'm learning a lot from forum posters, it encourages me to try & fix the problems with my Novara Randonee vs plunking down big $$ for a whole new "dream bike". The Randonee at least fits nicely, half the battle. I wish it didn't require so much $$ & time swapping out components. Funny thing is that the latest Randonee has Deore 44/32/22 chainrings, bar-end shifters & 11/32 cassette. So the money to bring things up to scratch is about the same as the price for the new model bike, not counting inflation of course. Sooner or later REI will wise up & make a titanium-frame tourer with disc-brake tabs, super-relaxed angles & clearance & Rohloff tab! Heh, yeah right.

  17. #17
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Buy the 22/32/44 Deore LX that Jenson sells for $89 these days and call it good :-)
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Crankset.aspx

    Comes complete with BB

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    About the only thing extra that I can think of is... if you are used to a road crank, beware that the MTB cranks have a wider Q, and that may affect leg and foot positioning, and any sensitivity the rider may have in knees or ITB.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Probably gonna be Deore M590

    Thanks to everybody. I've been reading, researching, and considering all of it.

    I'll probably get the Shimano Deore M590, and knock the granny ring down to a steel 24 (or 22), making 48/36/24t. My plan is to work out nearly everything I'm going to get for the bike, and then order it all together from a small number of stores, and try to get a better shipping deal.

    I hope you all don't mind if I harrass you with some more questions a little bit later.

    Joe

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    Next question, over front derailleur

    Ok, here's another closely related question. If I get the Shimano FD-M590 front derailleur, it says it has a capacity of 22t, meaning the difference in tooth-count between the large and small chainrings must be 22 or less. If I make the crank a 48/36/24, that's a difference of 48 - 24 = 24t. So, I'm all wound up here in a knot over this, and I wondered if anybody could help here.

    Does anybody know whether the FD-M590 derailleur is really long enough for 24t (or 26t, if I went to 48/36/22)? If not, do you have any recommendations for a long front derailleur?

    Thanks,

    Joe

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    The question you must answer first is: What shifters do you intend to use on the Surly? If you intend to use STI shifters, they won't work with an MTB front derailleur because of the different pull ratios.

    If you intend to go with bar-end shifters or MTB shifters, no problem, although you likely will need to use the bar-end shifters on friction because of the same pull ratio issues.

    If you go with the STIs, the road triples generally will handle the chainset you are describing, although the derailleur may be at the end of its pull to get the chain on to the outer ring. I have had success with Tiagra and Ultegra derailleurs. You will need to be careful with fore-aft alignment and gap between the outer ring and the derailleur cage.

    The capacities published by Shimano relating to tooth difference generally have a bit of "slack" in them, and are there to prevent issues when in the big-big chainring/cog combination. If you are certain you are not going to select that gear at any time, you will be safe with the scenario you ask about.

    What will happen if the tooth difference really is too big, is that when you select the big/big combination, the rer derailleur will be horizontal, the chain will be very, very taut, and you won't be able to pedal because everything stops.

    You next main concern really should be ensuring you order an SGS (or long cage) Deore, LX, SLX or XT rear derailleur.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    You shouldn't have a problem. Take a look at Sheldon's blurb about derailleur capacity here. As Rowan noted, derailleur specs are conservative to help prevent problems with novice cyclists who pedal around in big-big and small-small combinations.

    My tandem has a Deore XT M770 front derailleur (22t capacity) but shifts perfectly well with its 50-38-24 chainrings. Also, I'd suggest to never make your chain too short. If your exceeding published rear derailleur capacity, it's better to have too much slack in the small-small combination than not enough in the big-big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Buy the 22/32/44 Deore LX that Jenson sells for $89 these days and call it good :-)
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Crankset.aspx

    Comes complete with BB
    This is a good recommendation. The LX is a very nice crank and better than the M590. I have this same crank on my touring bike, but in 26/36/48 since I wanted a slightly higher top gear (this bike is also my rainy day commuter, so I'm not always hauling heavy loads).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pexio View Post
    You shouldn't have a problem. Take a look at Sheldon's blurb about derailleur capacity here. As Rowan noted, derailleur specs are conservative to help prevent problems with novice cyclists who pedal around in big-big and small-small combinations.

    My tandem has a Deore XT M770 front derailleur (22t capacity) but shifts perfectly well with its 50-38-24 chainrings. Also, I'd suggest to never make your chain too short. If your exceeding published rear derailleur capacity, it's better to have too much slack in the small-small combination than not enough in the big-big.
    Thanks pexio. Where would we be without Sheldon? That is the way I was understanding it, namely Sheldon's point about the chain "dragging over the bottom of the front cage," if your small ring is too small. So, you'd need a long/tall cage for the front derailleur. So, it looks like their "22t" FD's are probably going to work.

    Sheldon's entry also encompassed what Rowan was talking about, the rear derailleur capacity actually has to take into account the total crank ring difference.

    Rowan, The FD I mentioned, FD-M590 (or FD-M591), is a mountain derailleur, and the ones recommended in Shimano tech docs. So, it would be good, except for the fact that I'm going to modify the rings. I am trying to stay away from road stuff, precisely because of possible compatibility issues, which you know more about than I. I also didn't want to get into rear derailleurs and shifters on this thread, but you know the way drivetrains are -- they're trains that reach from bottom bracket to rear hub, including total wheel size, to shifters (and handlebar choice), and even the brake levers. But, thanks for bringing up some of the points involved. I'm deliberately not going to mention anything about all that, so we can get it on a thread with the right title.

    Jeff, I'm really bent on a 48t, and they only have that LX now in 44/32/22. So, that killed it, besides the fact that I've made an executive decision on the FC-M590.

    Thanks,

    Joe

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    The fact that the LX you have looked at doesn't have a 48T big ring shouldn't be a deal-stopper. You should be able to order at the same time a 48T ring and replace that on the crankset when it arrives. I don't think the 48T would be all that much more in cost... and you still have the 44T as a spare if you find the 48 doesn't do it for you.

    FWIW, I also have used and like the LX cranks.

    What length are you looking at buying?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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