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    Will 105 Brifters work with stock Andel crank on LHT?

    I would like to put 105 Brake lever/shifters on my Surly LHT (2010) that still has the stock Andel Crank. I can spare the coin for Brifters (I already have the RD, chain, and cassette) but if I have to get a different crank it is off the table.

    Does anyone know if the stock crank has "road" or "mountain" spacing between the front chainrings?

  2. #2
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    I don't think there's any difference in the spacing between the chain rings. I use a Shimano MTB "trekking" crank with my Ultegra FD and brifters without any problem.

    The thing you need to worry about is chainline. MTB components expect a 50mm chainline, while road triples use 45mm. When I first installed the MTB crank, my road triple FD+brifters wouldn't shift to the large chain ring. Had to remove one of the crank's 2.5mm drive-side spacers, which brought the chainline to 47.5mm, before the system worked.

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    I will not be changing out the FD; do the shift levers pull the right amount of cable? If I don't change the front derailleur, will the chainline make a difference?

    The whole point is to avoid changing the crank. As long as the chainline allows good shifting in the back, I would think I am OK. Am I misguided?

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    Why would you spend money to *lose* that blessed thing called Friction Front Shifting? Sheldon Brown was absolutely right when, taking a page from Orwell, he said that "Rear indexing is good, front indexing is bad." This holds especially true for touring bikes, on which derailleurs are likely to get out of whack after a few thousand km. And there is no advantage to having an indexed front shifter on a touring bike, let alone an advantage that can offset the disadvantages.

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    Sprinter linus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathandavid View Post
    Why would you spend money to *lose* that blessed thing called Friction Front Shifting? Sheldon Brown was absolutely right when, taking a page from Orwell, he said that "Rear indexing is good, front indexing is bad." This holds especially true for touring bikes, on which derailleurs are likely to get out of whack after a few thousand km. And there is no advantage to having an indexed front shifter on a touring bike, let alone an advantage that can offset the disadvantages.
    I disagree. If you service your bike before go on a tour, you shouldn't have any issues with STI shifters. STI levers are reliable as you can get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linus View Post
    I disagree. If you service your bike before go on a tour, you shouldn't have any issues with STI shifters. STI levers are reliable as you can get.
    I wasn't talking about issues with the shifters. My previous semi-indexed gripshifters worked fine all their life, but I hated them because they had only two or three clicks per gear. That is not what you want during a tour, not under any circumstance.

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    From looking at the Surly specs, it appears you have a road fd and a compact triple crank with 48t big ring. In theory, this should work with your 105 shifters. My experience with a similar setup using a Sugino crank was that the shift from small to middle ring was less than optimal. It required a lot of shifter movement, which kind of negated any advantage of the indexed shifting.

  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    From looking at the Surly specs, it appears you have a road fd and a compact triple crank with 48t big ring. In theory, this should work with your 105 shifters. My experience with a similar setup using a Sugino crank was that the shift from small to middle ring was less than optimal. It required a lot of shifter movement, which kind of negated any advantage of the indexed shifting.
    +1

    The 105 brifters and the 9 speed touring crank are compatible, but not perfectly. The existing front derailleur will work well with the brifter. The problem is caused by the ten-speed chain, which is slightly narrower than the 9 speed chain you are using now.

    Nine-speed touring cranks have a slightly larger spacing between the stack of the chainrings than a ten-speed crankset. The ten-speed brifter has a slightly smaller index with each click of the shifter, it's designed for a ten-speed crankset. The ten-speed chain is compatible with the nine-speed chainrings, but the indexing of the brifter is not a perfect fit with the wider spacing of the nine-speed crankset.

    The combination will work and will be reliable and durable. But it will be impossible to achieve perfect shifting. It might shift well-enough.

    Why not keep the 3x9 drivetrain and install a pair of nine-speed Tiagra brifters? These will shift with your crankset perfectly.

    I have three drivetrains on three different bikes.

    I have a 3x10 with a 50, 39 & 26t 105 road crankset with 105 brifters and a 12-30 ten-speed cassette. This works perfectly.

    I have a 3x9 with a 48, 36 & 22t Deore MTB crankset with Nine-speed tiagra brifters and a 11-32 nine-speed cassette. This works perfectly.

    I have a 3x9 with a 48, 36 & 22t Deore MTB crankset with Nine-speed bar-end shifters and a 12-27 nine-speed cassette. This works perfectly.

    With the exception of rear derailleurs, I don't mix nine-speed and ten-speed parts.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathandavid View Post
    That is not what you want during a tour, not under any circumstance.
    Funny: I've had STI shifters installed on my touring bike since I built it and have never encountered any problems as a result. I'll never go back to bar-ends or friction shifting...

    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Nine-speed touring cranks have a slightly larger spacing between the stack of the chainrings than a ten-speed crankset. The ten-speed brifter has a slightly smaller index with each click of the shifter, it's designed for a ten-speed crankset. The ten-speed chain is compatible with the nine-speed chainrings, but the indexing of the brifter is not a perfect fit with the wider spacing of the nine-speed crankset.

    The combination will work and will be reliable and durable. But it will be impossible to achieve perfect shifting. It might shift well-enough.
    This hasn't been my experience with Shimano components, at least. My Ultegra 10-speed triple FD seems to shift perfectly across all three rings now that I've adjusted the chainline of the MTB crank to match the reach of the road FD.

    I've measured the ring-to-ring distance on both my 9-speed Shimano Deore M532 trekking triple crank and my Shimano Ultegra FC-6603 road triple crank with a dial caliper and there doesn't seem to be much difference. In addition if I place the cranks next to each other, with the big ring of one next to the small ring of the other, I find that all three chain rings line up perfectly.

    Which isn't to say that the OP will have the same results with the LHT's low-end Andel crank. I'd be willing to bet it will work fine, assuming he can overcome the chainline issues. The high- and low-limit screws will set the location of the inner and outer rings and cable tension adjustments can be used to make sure that alignment with the middle ring is good. If worse comes to worst, he could spend $100-120 and replace the Andel crank with the well-respected Shimano M590 crank.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Get the FD too, but NB, Shimano designs OEM package stuff,
    breaking up their groups adds unforeseen variables ..

    Consider splitting up the Brifter set, just use the rear.
    and stick with the friction left bar end shifter.

    Friction shift advantage, is the ability to trim FD location,
    to cure chain rubs, after rear gear changes.

    But, yea, The OEM QBP build picked parts to meet a price target.
    so If you want the STI system, getting a 105 triple crankset/BB
    may do better.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-20-12 at 11:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathandavid View Post
    Why would you spend money to *lose* that blessed thing called Friction Front Shifting? And there is no advantage to having an indexed front shifter on a touring bike, let alone an advantage that can offset the disadvantages.
    For me, there is an advantage, and that advantage is ergonomics. I have tried three different brake levers, and none are near as comfortable as the 105 shifters on my cross bike. Between the angled clamp and the support in the middle of the palm, the 105s just plain work for me. I have comfortable shoes, I love my brooks saddle, and hate where I put my hands. I have no hand problems on my cross bike, so the 105s would give me total comfort on my LHT.

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