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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for a new drive train on my 2001 Trek 520?

    Want to upgrade the front crankset and rear cassette for a hill climbing touring set up. What shouldI t be looking at?

    I also want to put a trekking butterfly handlebar with some thumbie indexed shifters. Please mention models and sources. Thank you.

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    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    Want to upgrade the front crankset and rear cassette for a hill climbing touring set up. What shouldI t be looking at?

    I also want to put a trekking butterfly handlebar with some thumbie indexed shifters. Please mention models and sources. Thank you.
    If you are going completely new I'd go with a mountain double (42x28 etc) and an 11x36 rear cassette. I like SRAM

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    degeared
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    I would also go 36T out back (or 42T Cog!!), but with a triple up front if you're going to be loaded down. I am biased towards Shimano stuff.

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    Fullcount, The best sources can change daily so search when you're prepared to buy. For thumbies you'll need either friction or an indexed set matched to the front derailleur (road or mountain group specific). With a mountain group's FD you can also use a mountain bike group's indexed shifters.

    Even with your current cassette, if Bikepedia is correct, a 22-32-42T crank set will deliver a ~20 GI granny. If you have a Hollowtech crank set/bottom bracket this may limit your choices. Just for fun, there is two versions of Hollowtech which are non compatable with each other.

    Brad

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    I am turning my rigid frame mtb into a touring bike. These are what I am putting on my trekking bars. They are for Canti's not v's. But there are other ones for different brakes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-ST-EF6...f+65++shifters
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Fullcount, The best sources can change daily so search when you're prepared to buy. For thumbies you'll need either friction or an indexed set matched to the front derailleur (road or mountain group specific). With a mountain group's FD you can also use a mountain bike group's indexed shifters.

    Even with your current cassette, if Bikepedia is correct, a 22-32-42T crank set will deliver a ~20 GI granny. If you have a Hollowtech crank set/bottom bracket this may limit your choices. Just for fun, there is two versions of Hollowtech which are non compatable with each other.

    Brad
    I have a 30 - 42 - 52 crankset with a 11 - 32 cassette with 27" tires. If I could get down to a 22 tooth granny gear, that would be great. I am just too new to this stuff in order to ask for the correct thing at my lbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    I have a 30 - 42 - 52 crankset with a 11 - 32 cassette with 27" tires. If I could get down to a 22 tooth granny gear, that would be great. I am just too new to this stuff in order to ask for the correct thing at my lbs.
    Are you sure you have 27" wheels and tires? 700C had by 2001 become the standard and is what Bikepedia lists your bike as equipped with.

    As you're new to the mechanicals, your LBS might help save you money by ordering the correct and compatible parts. You can also do your conversion in two steps, first the mountain bike crank set and whatever else that maybe needed and then the second for the trekking handlebars and shifters to break the expense into two steps.

    See if your shop offers maintenance classes.

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    I have a 30 - 42 - 52 crankset with a 11 - 32 cassette with 27" tires. If I could get down to a 22 tooth granny gear, that would be great. I am just too new to this stuff in order to ask for the correct thing at my lbs.
    I think your granny gear is a 74mm BCD, if so the smallest you can put on that crank is a 24t granny.

    I run 52/42/24 chainrings and a 11/32 eight speed cassette on two different touring bikes that I built up. Thus, I think that I have the same gearing that you would have if you switched your granny to a 24t. (You might have a 9 speed rear, not 8, but otherwise about the same.) The upshift from the 24t to the 42t is not a smooth shift, but I can usually make that shift in a distance of less than 30 feet, so it is not really that bad. All other shifts work just fine. I am using bar end shifters, the front is friction. It would also be prudent to get a chain catcher if you try the 24t chainring. I can't use the rear 11t or 12t cogs when I am on the 24t granny because the derailleur won't take up that much slack, but those are pretty far cross chained, I do not use those gears anyway. Since I spend 95 percent of my time on the 42t or 52t chainrings, I do not let the non-smooth upshift from the 24t to the 42t bother me.

    IMG_4891.jpg

    My point is that with the cost of a 24t chainring, you can get substantially lower gearing. While it is certainly possible to get even lower gearing with a mountain crank, etc., you start ringing up the cash register a lot more if you want lower gearing than you would get with a 24t front/32t rear gear.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    I have a 30 - 42 - 52 crankset with a 11 - 32 cassette with 27" tires. If I could get down to a 22 tooth granny gear, that would be great. I am just too new to this stuff in order to ask for the correct thing at my lbs.
    I'm running a M591 22/32/44, with 11-32 rear and STi's on my Disc Trucker.
    If I had to do it over I would have gone with 26/36/48...

    It was a bit of a hassle getting the chain line right, mostly due to my dyslexia and inexperience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    I'm running a M591 22/32/44, with 11-32 rear and STi's on my Disc Trucker.
    If I had to do it over I would have gone with 26/36/48...
    I have three cranks that fit my touring bike. Unloaded, I use a 30/39/52 road triple. For light loads and hilly terrain or medium loads and relatively flat terrain I use a 26/36/48 mountain bike "touring" crank. For heavy loads, I use a 22/32/44 mountain bike crank. I've been able to get away with an 11-28 cassette so far, but if I had a heavy load and lots of hills to climb I'd swap in an 11-32 or 11-34 cassette.

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    On my touring bike, I have a Sugino XD600 crankset square taper (26-36-46) and SRAM cassette (11- 32) that I purchased at Niagara cycle works. I have bar end shifters indexed for the rear d and friction for the front. You can source these components from various dealers- even Amazon. I always try to get free shipping. Once you decide what you want search the internet and see what the best price is.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    I have a 30 - 42 - 52 crankset with a 11 - 32 cassette with 27" tires. If I could get down to a 22 tooth granny gear, that would be great. I am just too new to this stuff in order to ask for the correct thing at my lbs.
    Most LBS mechanics are decent people, so go tell them what you want and ask them how to get there.

    In your case, tell them you want a 22 small ring triple crank up front, and want to change bars and shifters. They can fit you with a butterfly bar, MTB crank, and shifters to match. Hand them a credit card a week later, and you're done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Most LBS mechanics are decent people, so go tell them what you want and ask them how to get there.

    In your case, tell them you want a 22 small ring triple crank up front, and want to change bars and shifters. They can fit you with a butterfly bar, MTB crank, and shifters to match. Hand them a credit card a week later, and you're done!
    +1

    This is exactly what you should do, OP.

  14. #14
    degeared
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Most LBS mechanics are decent people, so go tell them what you want and ask them how to get there.
    Maybe "most" are, but I will say I have met plenty downright d-bags that I would be wary of just taking anyone's advice. Hopefully, the guy knows of a good, reputable shop.

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    What is involved in changing to a mountain bike gear set?

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    Let me verify that I am doing my gear inch Calc correctly. I am running 700c x 28 tires but using 27" in my calculation. (30/32=.9375) x 27= 25.3125 gear inches.

    My wife's Jamis MTB is at 16.8". The suggested set ups only take me to 21" range. Since I am 220 lbs, I find getting up hills with a load a challenge. What should I target for hill climbing? Sub 20" range? Of course, loosing some of that 220 will also help, but I would like to enjoy some pedaling uphill vs pushing my bike.

    Thanks for for all the help gang.

  17. #17
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    Let me verify that I am doing my gear inch Calc correctly. I am running 700c x 28 tires but using 27" in my calculation. (30/32=.9375) x 27= 25.3125 gear inches.

    My wife's Jamis MTB is at 16.8". The suggested set ups only take me to 21" range. Since I am 220 lbs, I find getting up hills with a load a challenge. What should I target for hill climbing? Sub 20" range? Of course, loosing some of that 220 will also help, but I would like to enjoy some pedaling uphill vs pushing my bike.

    Thanks for for all the help gang.
    IMHO too much emphasis is placed on low gearing. I'm not a strong cyclist yet I've toured with 38" minimum gear. Anything in the 20s will be perfectly fine with a bit of practice. Also losing a few pounds from the belly and your panniers always helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    What is involved in changing to a mountain bike gear set?
    Installing a mountain bike group's crank set can be as easy as swapping the crank set and lowering the front derailleur or as involved as also swapping bottom brackets and the front derailleur. With a friction FD shifter any FD can be used.

    A great source for calculating gear inches is: http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ as you can factor for tire size easily. I agree somewhat with nun's comment, but I'd narrow the range to 25 Gi or less. A touring bike project I have in progress will have a 23.7 GI granny, for example.

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    Let me verify that I am doing my gear inch Calc correctly. I am running 700c x 28 tires but using 27" in my calculation. (30/32=.9375) x 27= 25.3125 gear inches.

    My wife's Jamis MTB is at 16.8". The suggested set ups only take me to 21" range. Since I am 220 lbs, I find getting up hills with a load a challenge. What should I target for hill climbing? Sub 20" range? Of course, loosing some of that 220 will also help, but I would like to enjoy some pedaling uphill vs pushing my bike.

    Thanks for for all the help gang.
    My three touring bikes run 19.3, 20.1 and 20.7 gear inches for my lowest gear.

    The slowest I can maintain an upright balance without falling over is 3.5 mph. These gear ratios give me a cadence of roughly 60 at my slowest speed.

    A lower gear would not help me balance any better, I still need at least 3.5 mph to stay upright, but a lower gear would increase my cadence. In anticipation of a big trip I may do, I have bought the hardware to set up one of my bikes with a 16.5 gear inch low gear to increase my climbing cadence. But I recognize that it will not make my load lighter, I still need to generate a lot of watts to get up a steep hill at the minimum speed I need to stay upright.

    Not gearing related, just a comment - a 28mm tire is pretty narrow for your weight if you are also carrying a load of camping gear on your bike. But if you want to stay with a 28mm, you should probably use 26.6 inch wheel diameter for your calculations.

    I still think you should just see if a 24t granny chainring will give you the gearing you want, and maybe a chain catcher. If that does not do it for you, then open up the wallet for lower gearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    What is involved in changing to a mountain bike gear set?
    You want a new crank (with a small ring). With butterfly bars, you may have to swap out the STI shifters (I'm not sure what was standard on a 520 from 2001). With a small chain ring, you may need to change front derailers.

    You've got the choice between asking random strangers from the internet who may or may not look a pictures of a similar bike in their browser, or going to someone who should be able to work with you to figure out what it'll take and then doing the work for you. This is why I recommend getting the LBS involved early.

    As for gearing, a 20" low gear is a good target for loaded touring. The next lower gear is called "walking," and if you're doing tours in the Appalachians, you face a good chance of using that low gear. If you don't have a cassette with a 34 tooth cog, you can probably get another, lower gear by swapping the cassette.

    All of this is one random stranger's opinion. Some people want an 18" gear, some think 30" is enough. Some people get by with a road derailer on a MTB crank, some can't get it adjusted and have to go to a mountain derailer. AKAIK, nobody can get a Shimano MTB shifter to work with a road derailer, or vice versa.

  21. #21
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    AKAIK, [sic] nobody can get a Shimano MTB shifter to work with a road derailer, or vice versa.
    That's a argument for SRAM then. I recently went from a SRAM 12/25 cassette and Rival short cage derailleur to a SRAM X9 long cage derailleur and a 12/36 cassette. I didn't change the SRAM Rival shifters and everything works fine. I have 46/34 rings so my gear range is 104" to 26".

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    @OP: If you want to learn the nuance of what works with what, keep reading, and even better, head over to http://sheldonbrown.com/speeds.html to read about what can be interchanged. A word of warning that it is somewhat confusing and ill-documented from Shimano's standpoint, though Sheldon and his successors do a good job. If you have the money and want an easy answer, as suggested above, go to your local bike shop and tell them what you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    AKAIK, nobody can get a Shimano MTB shifter to work with a road derailer, or vice versa.
    True of Shimano Dyna-sys (10 speed and above mountain bike). However, Shimano 8/9/10 road and 8/9 mountain are the same pull in the rear, so you can swap from 9-speed road shifters to 9-speed mountain shifters. Also, a 9 speed rear derailleur will work just fine with an 8 speed cassette and shifter. Front derailleur pull is different between road and mountain, so you need to either get a front derailleur, shifter, and crankset that are all either mountain or road, or you need to use a friction shifter (bar-ends or thumb shifters).

    As far as shifters go, are you referring specifically to thumb shifters, or are you referencing any flat-bar shifter? If the former, you can either get Paul thumbies to mount your current bar-ends on, or you can purchase these friction/index (left/right) thumb shifters (which I believe, after just receiving a pair, that you can use as an alternative mount to Paul thumbies, if you desire to maintain friction and index shifting on your flat bars) or these cheaper, purely friction shifters. If you mean any flat bar shifter, then you can either get one of the road flat-bar shifter sets or a mountain flat-bar shifter set. The latter will require you to replace your crankset and front derailleur or frequently monkey around with it to make sure it is adjusted to the narrow zone where it will work correctly (since they are not technically compatible).

  23. #23
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    Finally got my bike back from my LBS. I went with a mountain bike front crank 22-32-42 and changed out the rear cassette to a 12-36. I can get this thing down to 16.8" gear inches which is roughly what my wife's Jamis MTB is set at. So pretty happy with that. I also had the lbs order me a new adjustable front stem and left the drop bars on the bike with the bar end shifters. The adjustable stem allows the drop bars to ride up higher so I am not so stretched out with the tummy getting in the way of the up stroke. Had a professional fit done and bike rides sweet now.

    Thanks for for everyone's help.

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