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mixing road and MTB drivetrain components

Old 01-19-17, 10:08 AM
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mixing road and MTB drivetrain components

Hi Guys,

Building a touring type bike - I'd like to use STI shifters but with components offering a lower/wider range of gear inches than a road groupset would offer.

I've been looking at Tiagra 4700 10 speed STI shifters with a Shimano XT M785 10 speed dbl chainset (24.38t) and 10 speed MTB cassette (11-36t).

I've read about the ability to cross over road and MTB components given the correct capacity derailleurs. Are there derailleurs out there that would allow me to combine the above components?

If the above combination is ridiculous could anybody suggest a drive train combination using STI shifters (and preferably a double chainset) that could provide gearing in the region of 18" - 100" (700 x 32 wheels).

This is the first time i will be building a bike from scratch so my expertise / knowledge is limited.

THANKYOU!
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Old 01-19-17, 10:20 AM
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Front road STI shifters and MtB cranks and ders are not going to play nice together most all the time. Granted with a double crank the mismatch is less of an issue but Shimano didn't intend them to be compatible so your experience might be a better or a worse one. Bike designers who worry about this stuff usually spec bar end levers due to the front's friction function.


But my question is why a double crank? Andy.
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Old 01-19-17, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Front road STI shifters and MtB cranks and ders are not going to play nice together most all the time. Granted with a double crank the mismatch is less of an issue but Shimano didn't intend them to be compatible so your experience might be a better or a worse one. Bike designers who worry about this stuff usually spec bar end levers due to the front's friction function.


But my question is why a double crank? Andy.
Thanks for the reply Andy.

Only reason I think id prefer a double crank is id like more options than a single but still want to keep things simple so a double appears simpler than a triple.

Im not completely opposed to bar end shifters. If all feedback about mixing components is negative i may well go for them.
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Old 01-19-17, 10:45 AM
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A triple on a touring-type bike isn't a bad idea. If I didn't have a restriction imposed by Di2, I would get a triple for my main ride. I put a (Campy) triple on my old steel "racing" bike, and I am not ashamed to use it. It gives you everything, with very little compromise in shifting. You do need a compatible STI shifter, however.
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Old 01-19-17, 10:50 AM
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It seems like older (12 click) campy ergo shifters with an mtb FD (made by whoever) with a double or triple crankset,. a 9 speed shimano mtb RD and a jtek type 2 shiftmate would give him brake/shifter combo plus the gearing of a mtb, wouldn't it?
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Old 01-19-17, 10:59 AM
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Triples are , or can be set up like a single ,

the other 2 chainrings take over for when high is just not high enough,

and Low you need a few more gears.. It has worked for Millions of touring cyclists..


make out a gear ratio chart, using one of the online aides like "sheldon gears"

Another option .. hybrid rear hub .. 3 speeds in the hub, and diver that takes cassettes .

then the functions of a triple are all internal , and downshifting bat a slow speed on a Hill can happen

IGH can Shift while stopped too..
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Old 01-19-17, 11:13 AM
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I'm in the process of doing a similar thing. I'm converting an old road bike that had a 6 speed freewheel and double crankset to a 9 speed freehub cassette with a triple crankset. I would suggest looking at Microshift groups. Microshift manufactures low cost brifters and derailluers that work with 9 speed triples. Here is what I purchased for my drive train:

MicroShift R9 Dual Control Shift/Brake Levers - 3 x 9 Speed:



MicroShift FD-R539 Triple Front Derailleur - 9 Speed:



MicroShift RD-R47 Rear Derailleur - 9 Speed:



Sram PG-950 9 Speed Cassette 11-28t:



Sugino XD600 Crankset 26-36-46:



Shimano UN55 Bottom Bracket English 68 x 118mm:



I still have all the parts sitting in boxes, so I can't say yet how well everything works together. I'm waiting for my frame to be shipped back to me from the powder coater. Microshift seems to be the only company that still manufactures 9 speed and 8 speed groups with STI levers..

Another option is to use bar end friction shifters. With friction shifters, you can mix and match derailleurs, cranksets, and cassettes pretty much however you like. My touring bike has bar end shifters, an 11-34t 9-speed cassette, Shimano Deore mountain rear derailleur, and a Shimano Sora road front derailleur.
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Old 01-19-17, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DGULL View Post
I've been looking at Tiagra 4700 10 speed STI shifters with a Shimano XT M785 10 speed dbl chainset (24.38t) and 10 speed MTB cassette (11-36t).
Older 9-speed MTB derailleurs can be shifted as 10-speed using older Shimano 10-speed STI shifters. Something like Ultegra 6700 with a 9-speed Deore or Deore XT rear-derailluer. Front derailleur is a bigger issue.

Stay far away from Tiagra 4700 if you want good cross-compatibility.
Tiagra 4700 is an odd-duck, it's 10-speed but uses 11-speed cable pull ratios.
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Old 01-19-17, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DGULL View Post
Im not completely opposed to bar end shifters. If all feedback about mixing components is negative i may well go for them.


You might want to take a look at Gevenalle https://gevenalle.com/product/audax/ shifters. They are basically a shift lever modified to allow mounting bar end or downtube shifter pods. Simple and might be a good compromise for you.
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Old 01-19-17, 12:18 PM
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Pre-Dynasys MTB rear mechs work with road rear shifters. MTB front mechs have never played well with road shifters.

Shimano's CX-70 front mech has been used successfully in some cases to give enough swing for a MTB crank chainline. Otherwise, most road front mechs will not swing far enough.

You can mate a triple road front mech to a double crank...with some fiddling with the setup, it will swing far enough for the MTB double chainline.

I recently fell in love with triples, right as they are being phased out. They allow me to run much tighter cassettes for smoother intervals in the back, yet provide all the range I need. With doubles, or compact doubles, there is always some compromise or irritatingly large jump in the back in order to get the range. Some 11 speed cassettes have eliminated that, except the ones where they decided that since we have 11 speeds there is no need for front shifting at all, and they put in more irritating leaps to have pie-plate sized cogs.
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Old 01-19-17, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Older 9-speed MTB derailleurs can be shifted as 10-speed using older Shimano 10-speed STI shifters. Something like Ultegra 6700 with a 9-speed Deore or Deore XT rear-derailluer. Front derailleur is a bigger issue.

Stay far away from Tiagra 4700 if you want good cross-compatibility.
Tiagra 4700 is an odd-duck, it's 10-speed but uses 11-speed cable pull ratios.
thanks for that. I had no idea about the Tiagra 4700s. I've read about people using 9-speed Deore Shadow rear-derailluer with 10speed cassette and STI shifters so will add them to my parts list and look at front derailluers
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Old 01-19-17, 12:25 PM
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I use a 9-speed LX shifter with a 10 speed road group. Bear in mind the "speeds" aren't in the derailler...as long as the chain fits and the derailler swings the appropriate amount, one can do a LOT of mixing of "speeds" with deraillers.
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Old 01-19-17, 01:06 PM
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While it's true that most Shimano 10-speed shifters work with 9-speed mountain bike derailleurs, the 4700 series shifters do not. They changed the shift cable pull for the 4700-series Tiagra parts.

On the other hand, 4600/5700/6700 would work for a 9-speed rear derailleur. You can find the M591 on eBay, and it is designed to work with a 36T big cog. I'm inclined to believe that you could get any of the shifters I just mentioned to work with the XT double crank you described using a front derailleur designed for a compact double. As Andy Stewart mentioned it might be a little finicky, but you could probably make it work. Apart from how it shifts, the chainline would be less than ideal. I doubt it would be bad enough to cause problems, but you might have some issues shifting between the bigger cogs while using the big chainring.

Personally, I'm a big fan of triples and I think that would be the way to go. You can put a 24T ring on most triple cranksets and use it as a bailout gear. Most of the time you'd just be switching between the middle and big rings, so it's not a lot more complicated than a double. I say "most" triple cranksets will take a 24T because recent Shimano has decided it would be a good idea to bolt the small ring directly to the middle ring, which generally limits your options. IMO, the 5703 crankset (still commonly available new) is the best option among Shimano cranks. On the other hand, you can get a Stronglight triple for around $60. It has lower gearing to start with and uses a square taper bottom bracket.

The Gevenalle shifters mentioned earlier are also very nice. They make front shifting much better, and you won't find more dependable shifters. They also offer a model which is designed to work with Dyna-Sys (10+ speed) mountain bike rear derailleurs, so you can get the fancy new technologies like Shadow Plus. Also, if your bike has cantilever studs, you can get Gevenalle levers that have the right cable pull to use V-brakes without a travel agent (a big step up from cantilevers IMO).
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Old 01-19-17, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
I'm in the process of doing a similar thing. I'm converting an old road bike that had a 6 speed freewheel and double crankset to a 9 speed freehub cassette with a triple crankset. I would suggest looking at Microshift groups. Microshift manufactures low cost brifters and derailluers that work with 9 speed triples. Here is what I purchased for my drive train:

I still have all the parts sitting in boxes, so I can't say yet how well everything works together. I'm waiting for my frame to be shipped back to me from the powder coater. Microshift seems to be the only company that still manufactures 9 speed and 8 speed groups with STI levers..
I run the Microshift 2x8 STI levers on my steel commuter/tourer with an FSA Omega compact double and a 12-32 8 speed cassette on Tourney derailleurs. In fact, I just got them buttoned up the other day and I'm just waiting on new fizik bar tape to arrive in the mail. I use Tourney because it has the integrated hanger and is very inexpensive, and it shifts absolutely perfect. A shimano 9 speed long cage road RD will work with a 34 on most frames (ignore the marketing BS, the B screw will go in plenty far for the pulleys to clear).

I had previously had Microshift R8 2x8 shifters on a lower end road bike and even though the rest of the bike was crap, the shifters stood out as quality built, comfortable, and easy to use and adjust. They work perfectly with shimano derailleurs, just make sure you match the cassette, chain, etc.

Suffice to say, they work great, and I actually love the ergonomics of them. They are a little wider than Shimano and the hoods have a nice grippy texture. The shifting is intuitive and has nice positive clicks, however the throw on the downshift is longer than Shimano, the button click for upshifts is really snappy and easy to reach from any position on the bars.
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Old 01-19-17, 01:52 PM
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You could also get some Kelly Take Off's to put with whatever brake lever you like, throw some 7900 downtube shifters on there, and you'll be able to shift whatever you want with the friction front and pre-Dynasys RDs. The thing I liked about the Take Offs when I used them on my commuter is that I could keep my hands up on the tops where I had interrupter brake levers or on the hoods and shift easily from either position. Shifting from the drops was hard, but, if this is a touring bike and you think you might be spending a fair bit of time more upright, it's an option to consider.
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Old 01-19-17, 02:48 PM
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" You can find the M591 on eBay, and it is designed to work with a 36T big cog."

M591 is rated for 11-34; the M592 is rated 11-36.
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Deore...&keywords=m592
and many other sources.
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Old 01-19-17, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
" You can find the M591 on eBay, and it is designed to work with a 36T big cog."

M591 is rated for 11-34; the M592 is rated 11-36.
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Deore...&keywords=m592
and many other sources.
I stand corrected. Good catch. It might work anyway, but it's always better to get the right part if you have the choice.

One thing to note with "Shadow" rear derailleurs is that to use them with road shifters you need an inline barrel adjuster somewhere. Mountain bikes have an adjuster at the lever so it's not an issue, but with road shifters you have to bring your own. It's not a problem, but it is something to be aware of.
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Old 01-19-17, 06:22 PM
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Old school, but half step plus granny still provides good choices for grinding away in a comfortable gear in various conditions while letting you climb anything you come across.
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Old 01-19-17, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
It seems like older (12 click) campy ergo shifters with an mtb FD (made by whoever) with a double or triple crankset,. a 9 speed shimano mtb RD and a jtek type 2 shiftmate would give him brake/shifter combo plus the gearing of a mtb, wouldn't it?

This! See attached photos. I run this basic system on 4 different bikes. The specific gearing changes from bike to bike but the use of an Ergo LH shifter and a ShiftMate are the key. Andy.
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Old 01-20-17, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
This! See attached photos. I run this basic system on 4 different bikes. The specific gearing changes from bike to bike but the use of an Ergo LH shifter and a ShiftMate are the key. Andy.
Hi Guys,

This looks like it might be perfect. I will do some further research today!
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Old 01-20-17, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
This! See attached photos. I run this basic system on 4 different bikes. The specific gearing changes from bike to bike but the use of an Ergo LH shifter and a ShiftMate are the key. Andy.
would I need to use a 9 speed cassette using the shiftmate #2 with 10sp campag ergo shifters and 9 speed MTB RD?
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Old 01-20-17, 06:55 AM
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If I remember my shiftmate chart correctly the #3 will allow you to use a Campagnolo 10 speed ergo with a shimano 10 speed cassette and a shimano rear derailleur (8,9, or 10 speed road - except tiagra 4700 or 9 speed mtb).

Edit: I'd remembered incorrectly. You want a #3 shiftmate according to their chart. I originally said #2. #2 will only let you do 9 speed.

Shiftmate 3

For mixing shiftersShifterDerailleurCassette type and speedPulley groove size that cable entersShimano 9 speedShimano 9 speedShimano 6 speed freewheelSmallShimano 9 speedCampagnoloCampagnolo 9 speedSmallShimano 10 speed road*CampagnoloCampagnolo 10 speedSmallShimano 10 speed road*Shimano 10 speed road*Shimano 7 or 8 speedSmallShimano 10 speed MTNShimano 10 speed MTNShimano 7 or 8 speedSmallShimano 10 speed Tiagra 4700Shimano 10 speed Tiagra 4700Shimano 7 or 8 speedSmall2001 and newer Campagnolo 9 speedShimano road to 10*, MTN to 9 speedShimano 9 speedLargeCampagnolo 10 speedShimano road to 10*, MTN to 9 speedShimano 10 speedLarge

*Except Shimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed shifters and rear derailleur
Edit#2: that table didn't insert with formatting, try this link: https://www.jtekengineering.com/resou...compatibility/
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Old 01-20-17, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
If I remember my shiftmate chart correctly the #3 will allow you to use a Campagnolo 10 speed ergo with a shimano 10 speed cassette and a shimano rear derailleur (8,9, or 10 speed road - except tiagra 4700 or 9 speed mtb).

Edit: I'd remembered incorrectly. You want a #3 shiftmate according to their chart. I originally said #2. #2 will only let you do 9 speed.

Shiftmate 3

For mixing shiftersShifterDerailleurCassette type and speedPulley groove size that cable entersShimano 9 speedShimano 9 speedShimano 6 speed freewheelSmallShimano 9 speedCampagnoloCampagnolo 9 speedSmallShimano 10 speed road*CampagnoloCampagnolo 10 speedSmallShimano 10 speed road*Shimano 10 speed road*Shimano 7 or 8 speedSmallShimano 10 speed MTNShimano 10 speed MTNShimano 7 or 8 speedSmallShimano 10 speed Tiagra 4700Shimano 10 speed Tiagra 4700Shimano 7 or 8 speedSmall2001 and newer Campagnolo 9 speedShimano road to 10*, MTN to 9 speedShimano 9 speedLargeCampagnolo 10 speedShimano road to 10*, MTN to 9 speedShimano 10 speedLarge

*Except Shimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed shifters and rear derailleur
Edit#2: that table didn't insert with formatting, try this link:
thanks mate. #3 looks hopeful!
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Old 01-20-17, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
You could also get some Kelly Take Off's to put with whatever brake lever you like, throw some 7900 downtube shifters on there, and you'll be able to shift whatever you want with the friction front and pre-Dynasys RDs. The thing I liked about the Take Offs when I used them on my commuter is that I could keep my hands up on the tops where I had interrupter brake levers or on the hoods and shift easily from either position. Shifting from the drops was hard, but, if this is a touring bike and you think you might be spending a fair bit of time more upright, it's an option to consider.
I had Kelly Take-Offs on a bike for quite a while and did like them but the Gevenalle version of the same concept is much better. The benefits of both are the same; the convenience of brifters but using downtube or barend shift levers, but the Gevenalle "brifters" are ergonomically far superior as well as lighter.
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Old 01-20-17, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DGULL View Post
Hi Guys,

Building a touring type bike - I'd like to use STI shifters but with components offering a lower/wider range of gear inches than a road groupset would offer.

I've been looking at Tiagra 4700 10 speed STI shifters with a Shimano XT M785 10 speed dbl chainset (24.38t) and 10 speed MTB cassette (11-36t).

I've read about the ability to cross over road and MTB components given the correct capacity derailleurs. Are there derailleurs out there that would allow me to combine the above components?

If the above combination is ridiculous could anybody suggest a drive train combination using STI shifters (and preferably a double chainset) that could provide gearing in the region of 18" - 100" (700 x 32 wheels).

This is the first time i will be building a bike from scratch so my expertise / knowledge is limited.

THANKYOU!
You'll find most compatibility questions answered here:

Compatibility Archives - Cycle Gremlin

Last edited by Bike Gremlin; 08-24-20 at 04:49 AM.
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