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Old 05-23-11, 03:12 PM   #1
swix
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touring crankset size / options

so im hoping start touring this year! i have a 2001 jamis nova that i think would work awesome but am wondering: will its current crankset (tiagra 39/53) be terrible? sounds like most people use mtb triple cranksets and im guessing i may need to get one.

would i be able to just slap on a tiagra triple ? or shimano LX triple (is that 9sp compatible)? i realize those are very different cranksets but would having 30T also be terrible for climbs? my main concern is not knowing what will work with what. i know my FD can do 22T so that should be fine correct? what about my shifters (tiagra)? lots of questions :\

any advice/suggestions? im flexible but would rather not replace the whole drivetrain or spend $300+ on this.
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Old 05-23-11, 03:22 PM   #2
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Last year I went on a 3 week tour with a 52/39 crankset paired with an 11-34t cassette. We only hit one hill I had to walk but that crankset was still a bad decision. In the end, though, I'm all about touring with what you've got. This year I've got a road triple; still not as low as I'd like, but it's what I have lying around at the moment.

If I weren't saving all my money to fund the tour I would be all over that LX crankset from Jenson. If you're running a friction front shifter I say buy the LX and a matching FD. It'll only set you back around $120-130 and with the right cluster in the rear you'll have pretty much the lowest gearing possible.
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Old 05-23-11, 03:43 PM   #3
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so i would need to get a new FD for the LX? what is a friction front shifter? i have tiagra 9sp flight deck shifters.
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Old 05-23-11, 03:55 PM   #4
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You would almost certainly need a new FD for the LX crankset but it won't be an issue because your tiagra 2x9 shifters aren't compatible with a triple. So unless I'm mistaken, either crankset will be out of the question if you don't swap out your front shifter.

If you decide to just stick with the double make sure to get a wide range cassette in the back. And if you go this route, I really suggest packing lightly. It can work, it just means that you will too.

Last edited by Deathmobile; 05-23-11 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 05-23-11, 04:56 PM   #5
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Go with the Mountain crank, you will welcome the granny gear on mountains,
new cassettes for MTB, have 12 t high gear cogs, 12/44 is plenty high a top gear.
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Old 05-23-11, 05:31 PM   #6
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When I rode from SF to LA, I spent quite a bit of time training with a road triple (52/39/30) and 12-27 cassette. As I started adding gear to the bike, I found that the road triple became more of a liability. With 15-20lbs of gear on the bike, I found that 50-70 mile days with 3000 feet of elevation gain weren't quite as fun as they had been with a lighter load. The setup was usable, but I ended up switching to a trekking crank (48/38/26) and found that it made riding quite a bit more enjoyable...

Last edited by sstorkel; 06-01-11 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-23-11, 07:32 PM   #7
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so new shifters, FD and crank? this sucks.. wish they just made everything compatible!

what shifters would work good for the LX FD and crank with drop bars?

thanks for the info.
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Old 05-23-11, 08:29 PM   #8
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looks like i could just get the tiagra triple shifters? is that correct (expensive!)? sora worth a look?

what about BB, does that need to be changed? currently its Shimano BB-UN52, 110mm spindle, 68mm width.
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Old 05-23-11, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by six
what about BB, does that need to be changed? currently its Shimano BB-UN52, 110mm spindle, 68mm width.
You are correct. Mtn cranks are set up to use a 50mm chainline, so a shorter BB spindle is required to pull it in to 45-47mm. I use 103mm with the 68mm BB shell, 44/32/22 mtn crankset. If you go the "Trekking crank", 48/36/26 you can get away with a 107-110mm BB. The 26 tooth chainring can usually be swapped with a 24. The Tiagra 4503 FD works well with Tiagra triple shifters.

This is the set up on my LHT. I have used it a 3 bikes so far, and it works really well.


I also built up my wife's new bike using the same combination.


If you are converting you might want to change out the rear Cassette to an 11-34. This will require a Mtn bike derailleur. Drive train retrofits are not cheap.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-23-11 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 05-24-11, 07:03 AM   #10
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Before you spend any money on that bike, what wheels are on there? If they are crappy wheels and you start breaking a spoke every day you might wish you had just opted for a used mountain bike instead.

Personally, I think it's worth the money to get a real tour bike, but that money wouldn't be a problem for me, and I totally understand trying to work with what you have - just try to make sure in advance that it won't be a total money pit.
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Old 05-24-11, 08:22 AM   #11
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Before you spend any money on that bike, what wheels are on there? If they are crappy wheels and you start breaking a spoke every day you might wish you had just opted for a used mountain bike instead.

Personally, I think it's worth the money to get a real tour bike, but that money wouldn't be a problem for me, and I totally understand trying to work with what you have - just try to make sure in advance that it won't be a total money pit.
wheels are mavic T221, they any good? bikepedia for more info
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Old 05-24-11, 08:24 AM   #12
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I have no idea if your wheels are good - I would recommend taking the bike to a local bike shop (a good one) and asking them. 10 year old wheels could be perfect or could be just about ready for the trash heap.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:08 AM   #13
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what about BB, does that need to be changed? currently its Shimano BB-UN52, 110mm spindle, 68mm width.
Depends on the crank. The Deore M532 trekking crank that I bought for my touring bike came with an external cup BB. Newer MTB cranks are probably unlikely to work with your square taper BB...
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Old 05-25-11, 08:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by swix View Post
... ... will its current crankset (tiagra 39/53) be terrible? sounds like most people use mtb triple cranksets and im guessing i may need to get one.
I think that the majority opinion is to get a MTB triple, but I am quite happy with a road triple with a 24t swapped out for the 30t. My lowest gear with the 24t is not much higher than the lowest gear you would get with a 22t.

Loaded, I spend the vast majority of my time in the range of 50 to 80 gear inches and unladen I spend the vast majority of my time in the range of 60 to 90 gear inches. Thus, I want a lot of gears in those ranges so I can make minor gear adjustments for wind, etc.

A lot of people have redundant gears in those gear inch ranges. Before I bought I calculated the gears and I found that my 52/42/24 front with a Sram 11-32 eight speed cassette (11/12/14/16/18/21/26/32) has very few redundant gears and gives me a lot of well spaced gears in those ranges with the one and a half step gearing.
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Old 05-25-11, 09:24 AM   #15
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Gearing

I'm not addressing your wheel suitability here. Let's assume that you're sticking with this bike and these wheels.

To convert to a triple up front, I'd recommend that you look for a used trekking or touring crankset. You will have to change your bottom bracket to match - go with a simple tapered spindle, it'll be most versatile.

You'll want a low gear for climbing under load, 22 or 24 up front and 28 or 32 in the rear, for about a 0.75 ratio.

For the front shifter, your best bet is to keep the Tiagra lever, but remove the shift cable and housing, as well as the left downtube cable stop. Install a simple left downtube shifter, run in friction mode, to control your front derailleur. Simplest, cheapest, most direct. Route the cable appropriately for the downtube shifter, replace the front derailleur to make certain that you have the range that's needed for the triple up front. Any derailleur will do, as long as it fits your braze-on or can clamp onto your seattube.

That's what I'd do, assuming that you want to keep the rest.

Phil G>
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Old 05-25-11, 03:02 PM   #16
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I'd suggest a compact double like this. It has 34/48 rings and uses the same bottom bracket that you already have. It should work with your existing shifter and front derailleur as well. The gearing won't be as low as you'd ideally like, but swapping out the drive train gets expensive real fast. In most cases, you're better off saving up for a new bike than swapping out a drive train.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:39 PM   #17
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nice info guys! that 34/48 double may make the most sense until i can sell this and just build/buy a real touring setup. ill just have to work a bit harder on the hills :\
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Old 06-01-11, 12:11 AM   #18
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Velo Orange also sells a 30-46 double as well. That would get you even lower gearing than a 34/48. Here is the link: http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-crankset.html
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