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  1. #1
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    Building a LHT from the wheels up... is all this compatible?

    Hi all,

    I'm building touring bike. It's my first time building a bike with more than one gear (I've owned road bikes, but I always bought them complete).

    I was hoping I'd be able to list the components/parts that I've gathered so far to see if everything is going to work out together. I know I probably should have posted this list *before* buying all of this, but I didn't think to beforehand unfortunately.

    Here's what I have so far:

    Ultegra 6500 Triple Cranks (Octalink V1) 52/42/30
    Ritchey Pro 27.2/350 seat post
    Brooks B-17 Saddle
    Surly Stainless Rear Brake Hanger
    Shimano Dura-Ace BB7703 118.5mm Bottom Bracket
    Shimano PD-M324 Pedals
    Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Tires 26"x40c
    Madolo Yuma Traveler Trekking Bars
    Shimano FH-T780 XT 36H Rear Hub
    Shimano DH-3N72 Dynamo Front Hub 36H
    Avid Shorty 6 Cantilever Brakes
    Mavic XM 719 Ub 26" Rims - 36 Hole
    Shimano Deore XT M771 Front Derailleur Down Swing Dual Pull Band Type 34.9mm
    Shimano Deore XT M772 Rear Derailleur SGS Long-Cage 9 Speed, Top-Normal
    SRAM BL700 Flat Bar Road Brake Lever Set
    Shimano XT M770 9 Speed MTB shifters
    Shimano XT M770 9 Speed MTB Cassette (11-32t)
    SRAM PC971 9 Speed Chain (114 links)

    I'm intending all this to go on a 52cm Surly Long Haul Trucker Deluxe (which has not been purchased yet).

    I have not included the stem because I'm waiting until I get the frame so I can get a better idea what length I might need because I'm using butterfly/trekking bars.

    Once the bike is built, I'll worry about racks/bags and the dynohub electrical part.

    Will all this work out together?

    Thanks.

    -Eric

  2. #2
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    It appears that things should play together with little to no problem. I confess I would make a couple of different choices. At my weight and age, your gearing is much to high for me. I built my touring bike with a 20-32-42 crankset, although a 22 low would probably fine, with a 12-36 9spd cluster. For tires I have found Conti Sport Contact 26x1.6Ē to be terrific: both fast and very comfortable, but they are slicks and only suitable for pavement or gravel, not dirt. The dyno front hub is probably fine. I didnít see any front light listed. I just make sure I am not riding until dark, but I am a wuss.

  3. #3
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    Eric, If you're planning a light tourer/rando bike it all looks good. If you're thinking expedition level swap the crankset for one from the mountain bike line.

    Brad

  4. #4
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    Regarding chainrings, I encourage you to use what you already have. Yes, many if not most loaded touring bikers will recommend a MTB set of chainrings, but I personally am very happy with my front of 52/42/24 and 11/32 eight speed rear. If you want to change it later to a mountain bike crankset, you can.

    Will your front derailleur fit on th frame? I do not recall the derailleur size I have but it is for a larger seat tube. I made a shim out of a 1 to 1 1/8 inch adapter for a threadless stem, I had to cut the adapter down the middle to have two halves and bend it slightly to fit. That adapter was included for free when I bought my stem.

    I do not recall how many links in my chain, but when I first built up my LHT, I bought a standard chain and it was shorter than I needed. Had to add a couple links. Since virtually no major bike manufacturers make a bike with a largest chainring of 52, 32 largest rear cog and long chainstays, most chain manufacturers may be slightly short for this combination. If you buy the chain at a local bike store, ask them if they can give you a couple extra links, they might have some extra chain in the back and if you are lucky they will give it to you for free.

    If you find that the 30 tooth granny gear is too large, I am running a 24. A word of caution, the upshift from the 24 to the 42 is a difficult shift and it requires a friction shifter. I usually can make the shift in a distance of less than 50 feet, so I live with it. If you choose to later get a 24 to replace the 30, you should also get a chain catcher. (You may want that anyway.) I find the advantages of lower gearing with the 24 to outweigh the disadvantage of a difficult upshift.

    I did not see spokes on your list. There is a local bike shop where I take a rim, my hubs and they will measure these parts and determine which spoke lengths I need. I then buy the spokes and build up the wheels myself. Most shops however won't tell you what spoke lengths you need, instead they just want to sell stuff. Good luck figuring out which spokes to buy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cale's Avatar
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    I don't think the mountain bike front derailleur is compatible with the road chainrings. A road front derailleur will have the profile that matches the broader profile of the large road ring. The mtn shifters are not compatible with typical front road derailleurs, so you need a flat bar compatible front derailleur that combines the mtn shifter's pull ratio with the road profile. I discovered this while building my commuter bike last month. The Shimano FD-R443 is what you need.
    Last edited by cale; 10-31-12 at 08:59 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    It may be hard to find 26" fenders that fit between the shorty cantis. My planetbike cascadia 26" fenders are really wide. I had to raise the hangers to fit them under my shimano cantis. I would suggest V-brakes, or paul cantis. I would like to switch, but I need a good road lever that works with long pull brakes. I love the cane creek ones but they're short pull. I've heard some argue that cantis provide more stopping power but this hasn't been my experience. (and before people start suggesting this, it's neither a pad, nor an adjustment, nor a lever issue. I've iterated many times on these)

    Perhaps someone can point you to some more narrow 26" fenders.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cale View Post
    I don't think the mountain bike front derailleur is compatible with the road chainrings. A road front derailleur will have the profile that matches the broader profile of the large road ring. The mtn shifters are not compatible with typical front road derailleurs, so you need a flat bar compatible front derailleur that combines the mtn shifter's pull ratio with the road profile. I discovered this while building my commuter bike last month. The Shimano FD-R443 is what you need.
    I'm not sure the profile of the derailleur matters so much. I use an Ultegra FD with a MTB crank and it shifts fine for me. Agree that there may be compatibility problems when using a road derailleur with MTB shifters. I haven't tried it myself, but have heard that the two types of derailleurs require shifters that pull different amounts of cable.

    Chainline may also be a problem. I use an Ultegra FD-6603 triple front derailleur with a Shimano MTB crank and bottom bracket. When I initially installed the crank, the front derailleur wouldn't extend far enough to push the chain onto the largest chainring. That's because road and MTB drivetrains use different chainlines. I had to remove spacers from the bottom bracket in order to bring the chainrings closer to the frame. With a road crank and MTB front derailleur, you might have the opposite problem: not being able to shift to the smallest chainring because the derailleur won't move close enough to the frame?

    Since the OP's entire drivetrain seems to be based around MTB components, I'd recommend switching to a MTB trekking crank. The Shimano Deore FC-M590 crank is popular and costs $100-130 with bottom bracket included. I like the 26/36/48-ring version but there's also a 22/32/44-ring option if you're planning to carry heavy loads.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skreee View Post
    Avid Shorty 6 Cantilever Brakes
    I find these brakes to be thoroughly disappointing when used with road levers. I can't wait to replace mine with something better...

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Madolo Yuma Traveler Trekking Bars
    that choice does make using MTB straight Bar Brifters fine..
    Why not just go with V brakes.


    My favorite MTB Rim brake is Magura.

    Say No to over-gearing .. no Road race triple!

    Bene Sugg: sticking with the rest of the MTB drive train.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-31-12 at 11:28 AM.

  10. #10
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    but I personally am very happy with my front of 52/42/24 and 11/32 eight speed rear. If you want to change it later to a mountain bike crankset, you can.
    I'm assuming you didn't buy that as is. How did you build it up and which front derailleur do you use?

    Thanks,
    Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Since the OP's entire drivetrain seems to be based around MTB components, I'd recommend switching to a MTB trekking crank. The Shimano Deore FC-M590 crank is popular and costs $100-130 with bottom bracket included. I like the 26/36/48-ring version but there's also a 22/32/44-ring option if you're planning to carry heavy loads.
    I use a Shimano Alivio triple crank that was originally 48/38/28 and swapped out the granny so now I've got a 48/38/22. The only disadvantage of this is that I need to coordinate my shift into the granny gears. I've got trigger shifters and it is quite easy to move the rear derailleur 3 gears as I simultaneously drop from the middle to granny gear up front, but I had to teach myself to do it.

    Cheers,
    Charles
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  12. #12
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    You shouldn't need a rear brake hanger as there is already a seat for the rear brake cable housing on the frame.

  13. #13
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Buy the complete.

    Move the stock bar end shifters to Paul Thumbies and get some road pull flat bar levers and your preferred bar. Swap the stem and seatpost if needed for correct fit. If you're doing the Brooks thing get the Velo Orange post. It's cheap and decent and has enough setback to give you the proper fit with those silly short Brooks rails.


    Save hundreds of dollars to spend on a dynamo lighting setup or the beverage of your choice.

    The stock LHT is pretty good as-is and is not significantly worse than the build you are proposing to justify the trouble and additional expense.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Since the OP's entire drivetrain seems to be based around MTB components, I'd recommend switching to a MTB trekking crank. The Shimano Deore FC-M590 crank is popular and costs $100-130 with bottom bracket included. I like the 26/36/48-ring version but there's also a 22/32/44-ring option if you're planning to carry heavy loads.
    +1 on the FC-M590 or 591 crankset, if you can still return the one you bought. I went with the 26/36/48t version and replaced the 26t chainring for a 22t. This set up will allow you to do any kind of loaded touring in hilly or mountainous areas (w/ the 22t) while still enjoy the bike on faster training rides and keep up with friends or when commuting (w/ the 48t.) The Deore crankset is sturdy, inexpensive and of very good quality. It will pair up well with your XT front derailleur. You can read the reviews on many online shops, especially those in Europe where it's quite popular. There is an LX version available in Asia/Europe but the Deore is great.
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 10-31-12 at 05:27 PM.

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    but I personally am very happy with my front of 52/42/24 and 11/32 eight speed rear. If you want to change it later to a mountain bike crankset, you can.
    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I'm assuming you didn't buy that as is. How did you build it up and which front derailleur do you use?

    Thanks,
    Charles
    It was a Campy Mirage or Veloce crankset, 52/42/30, I put a generic no-name brand 24t on instead of the 30. (I have two touring bikes, one has Mirage, the other Veloce cranks.)

    On both touring bikes:
    - Cassette is an Sram eight speed 11/12/14/16/18/21/26/32.
    - Rear derailleur is an older XT, I think a M739 or something of similar vintage.
    - Front derailleur is a vintage Suntour Le Tech on both bikes. I think from the 1980s?
    - Bar end shifters, I think they are Shimanno BS-64?

    I prefer the older Suntour high normal front derailleurs. With these, both shift levers move in the same direction, so for example to get into the highest gear you push both levers all the way forward. A local bike shop had several as new old stock that had come off of some old Cannondales years ago, I bought a lifetime supply of them. Not all Suntours were high normal, I think only a few models were.

    If you look closely, you can see I also have a chain catcher on the seat tube to prevent me from dropping the chain.

    IMG_4891.jpg

    The reason for two touring bikes, one for pavement with 700c X 37mm tires, the other for gravel with 26 X 2.0 tires.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon View Post
    Buy the complete.

    Move the stock bar end shifters to Paul Thumbies and get some road pull flat bar levers and your preferred bar. Swap the stem and seatpost if needed for correct fit. If you're doing the Brooks thing get the Velo Orange post. It's cheap and decent and has enough setback to give you the proper fit with those silly short Brooks rails.


    Save hundreds of dollars to spend on a dynamo lighting setup or the beverage of your choice.

    The stock LHT is pretty good as-is and is not significantly worse than the build you are proposing to justify the trouble and additional expense.

    Same

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the replies, that should at least give me some ideas to keep in mind as I troubleshoot while building it.

    Rather than reply to each post, I'll just kind of summarize my responses in no particular order according to my vague recollections of what I read.

    No, no spokes yet. This is a learning experience for me. Though I'm confident enough to try and do a basic build and fiddle with things, I'm not where I have the confidence to build wheels as I have NO experience. I'm taking the rims and the hubs to the LBS and am going to pay them to figure the correct spoke length and then build them.

    No lights yet either. I've got to save for a month or two before I buy. Besides, there seems to be a lot of options, and I need to do more research first (any suggestions?). I'm also planning on equipping it with something that would allow me to charge an iphone or a GPS too. There seems to be a few options, and haven't made any decisions yet.

    I'm using the race triple basically because I got the crank and BB new for next to nothing. And I'm only planning on doing light touring for the time being. I do expect to make changes to the gearing, but I'll make those choices after I have it built and have ridden it a bit. But so everyone might have a better idea of what I'm working with physically, I'm 38, 5' 7" (170cm) short, about 150 lbs. and not overweight, (though my mother disagrees, I think I could stand to lose about 6-7 more pounds) and I'm reasonably fit from riding about 80 miles (140km) per week around Tokyo on a single speed (I know there'll be a bit of adjustment in the way my muscles are used when touring, but I expect some degree of my strength/cardio from commuting will translate across). Though I know despite all this, using a MTB crank might ultimately be in the cards.

    I don't need a rear brake hanger? Oops. I guess $10 in the grand scheme isn't much to be out.

    For the suggestions that are based more on preference rather than functionality/compatibility, I know everyone here is far more experienced than I am, so I'll keep all the suggestions in mind, but for the time being I'll just use what I have and see what I like. I've already bought the stuff, and so I'm going to use it first rather than throw it in a shoebox and buy something else on preferential recommendations alone.

    Also, I know the off-the-shelf LHT is completely adequate (a good friend just bought one built, he loves it) and would save me a ton of cash and trouble. But I'm not buying the standard LHT, I'm getting the Deluxe with the C&C couplers. I live in Tokyo, and I plan on travelling a lot with the bike overseas. And they don't sell the LHT Deluxe as a complete bike. I have disposable income (no wife, no kids, no gf... what else should I spend my money on? That's what I thought, ha ha) And I'm doing this to learn how to do it myself. Thus, the bike build.

    I also read great things about the Conti tires by several people, and I also read what seemed to be equally great things at roughly the same frequency about the Schwalbes too. So I flipped a coin. Besides, I like the reflector stripes

    The FD I bought claims to be adaptable to a range of seat tubes, so we'll see if it works out. If not maybe I could use a shim (that is, if the seat tube is too small of course).

    I've looked into the Paul Canti's, and they look great. But they also cost one arm and one leg each. I thought the Avid's were a good medium level brake. Again, I read posts by proponents of v-brakes, and of canti brakes, it was almost a filp of a coin again except that I read that v-brakes are particular about the brake levers they're being used with.

    I hope the front derailleur/MTB shifter works with the triple crank I have. I can only try and see what happens. That may determine if I switch to a MTB crank. Again, it's part of the learning experience I suppose.
    Last edited by skreee; 11-04-12 at 07:31 AM.

  19. #19
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    At your height, take a look at the crank arm length to make sure that it is not too long for your knees. I can't say what length it should be, but I suspect that if you tried to use the same crank arms I have (175mm) that you might have knee problems. I am 6' 1/2".

  20. #20
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    You could buy a Surly LHT complete as well as the Trucker Deluxe frame, transfer the components from the built up LHT over to the Trucker Deluxe, and sell the standard Surly LHT frame.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    At your height, take a look at the crank arm length to make sure that it is not too long for your knees. I can't say what length it should be, but I suspect that if you tried to use the same crank arms I have (175mm) that you might have knee problems. I am 6' 1/2".
    The cranks are 170mm, which seems to be fairly standard. My single speed commuter has 172.5mm cranks now. I haven't had any trouble with my knees so far. What is standard MTB crank length? 165mm? I haven't been on a mountain bike in a LONG time, so I have no idea.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZephyr View Post
    You could buy a Surly LHT complete as well as the Trucker Deluxe frame, transfer the components from the built up LHT over to the Trucker Deluxe, and sell the standard Surly LHT frame.
    Not a bad idea if I were living in the States. But since I live in Tokyo, that would turn out to be a huge hassle (doing ANYTHING out of the ordinary here incurs a huge hassle). Besides, buying a LHT here would also mean spending twice as much as buying one in the states. I'm not exaggerating. The markup on Surlys here is obscene. I found the Steamroller pictured below for sale here in Tokyo for almost 220,000 Yen (about $2700 USD!). To be fair, it was built up a bit... but not $2700 built up. So I've estimated that buying a LHT Deluxe frame/fork and then ordering all the componentry online (and better components as well), and then having it all sent to me will cost about the same or maybe even less than buying a standard built LHT here off the shelf.

    Tokyo Steamroller.jpg
    Last edited by skreee; 11-04-12 at 07:33 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skreee View Post
    The cranks are 170mm, which seems to be fairly standard. My single speed commuter has 172.5mm cranks now. I haven't had any trouble with my knees so far. What is standard MTB crank length? 165mm? I haven't been on a mountain bike in a LONG time, so I have no idea.
    If you have had no problems with a 172.5mm and you are going to use a 170mm, that should be no problem.

  24. #24
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    skreee, You have the right attitude WRT any issues you may have with the build up, looks pretty straight forward with little possibility of an obstacle. I ran 175 mm crankarms on my distance roadie and now have 170 mm crankarms on the tourer (172.5 mm is my preferred length) and they're working out just fine, you should have no issues.

    Brad

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