I have an unorthodox (but highly functional) setup on my touring rig and I'm looking to either replace my worn stuff with brand new stuff or convert the entire rig. I am not a bike expert but I am trying, so I would really appreciate any advice, and also patience with a willing student.
I like a 2-ring setup, and I don't want to switch to 3 rings. I climb mountains fine. If I'm honest with myself, shifting in the front can be finnicky.
I also use my bar-end shifters set to friction, not index. I like "tuning" the bicycle actively as I ride. This should simplify the 9sp/10sp conversation.
Here's my bike: http://archive.raleighusa.com/archiv...t-townsend-11/
50/34 10sp crankset, Shimano Sora (Stock, replaced rings once)
Sora front derailleur (Stock)
I did replace a lot in the back:
Shimano XT rear derailleur
Shimano XT 9-sp chain
So, the way I see it, I have three options:
1. Buy a Shimano 105 5600/5700/5750 (which?) front crankset and a Shimano Ultegra bottom bracket. This is the "direct upgrade" approach.
2. Get a 10 speed cassette, buy a 5600/5700/5750 (which?) crankset and a 10 speed chain and an Ultegra bottom bracket. I hear the rear derailleur doesn't care about the 9sp/10sp conflict.
3. Is there a 9 speed crankset that will work on my bike?
Final question: I am going with an Ultegra BB for better bearings, seals, etc. Lots of bad weather riding. Any increase in durability or longevity in an Ultegra crankset? I don't care about saving weight.