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How do I build a 46-34-22 crankset?

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How do I build a 46-34-22 crankset?

Old 04-24-17, 08:42 AM
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How do I build a 46-34-22 crankset?

Hi! I'm currently running a 48-38-28 crankset on my gravel grinder and find that I need a bit lower gearing as I run out of gears on my local gravel climbs. I've been reading on the forums and some users mentioned using a 46-34-22 crankset but I'm not very mechanically inclined so I don't know how to build/get one for my bike (my LBS wasn't much help either).

If you could help listing out what pieces to buy I'd be really really grateful. I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm over my head reading about BCDs and BBs and max. capacity of derraileurs *iz confused*

I don't mind changing parts to get what I think will be my perfect gearing, but I'd like to keep this as cheap as possible as I plan to upgrade to 2x10 next year (just want to make my life easier in the meantime).

I have a square taper BB, Suntour XCC-T208 crankset, Tourney front derailleur FD-A073 and rear Altus derailleur RD-M310-L.
IMG_6753.jpg


Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-24-17, 09:18 AM
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I built a 46-32-22 crankset by substituting a 46T ring onto a 42-32-22 crankset. I needed to shim the 46 ring outwards 1.2mm to avoid excessive chain rub but got it to shift OK with a 13-28 cassette. I ended up restoring the 42 ring as I did not feel that the somewhat slow upshifts to the 46 were worth the extra top end to me. I probably have the 46 around someplace, but since I moved from NJ to GA...?
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Old 04-24-17, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
Hi! I'm currently running a 48-38-28 crankset on my gravel grinder and find that I need a bit lower gearing as I run out of gears on my local gravel climbs. I've been reading on the forums and some users mentioned using a 46-34-22 crankset but I'm not very mechanically inclined so I don't know how to build/get one for my bike (my LBS wasn't much help either).

If you could help listing out what pieces to buy I'd be really really grateful. I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm over my head reading about BCDs and BBs and max. capacity of derraileurs *iz confused*

I don't mind changing parts to get what I think will be my perfect gearing, but I'd like to keep this as cheap as possible as I plan to upgrade to 2x10 next year (just want to make my life easier in the meantime).

I have a square taper BB, Suntour XCC-T208 crankset, Tourney front derailleur FD-A073 and rear Altus derailleur RD-M310-L.


Thanks in advance!
With that crank, you don't build a new crank set. The chainrings on that crank are riveted on. They aren't meant to be replaced. You'll need a new crank and, probably, a new bottom bracket unless you are lucky enough to find a crank with the same "q-factor".

A "46-34-22" crank is a rare bird, however. You can find 44-32-22 or 48-36-26 fairly easily and they aren't too expensive. This one, for example, is a very good crank. You can easily swap the inner ring on the 48 tooth crank for a 22...it only take 4 allen wrenches... and you'll instantaneously have much lower gears. This chart compares your gearing to the 48-36-26. If you were to drop the inner on the same crank to a 22, this is how the gearing compares. On the other hand, if you were to go with the 44-34-22 crank, you would lose a little on the top gear...the resulting high gear is still very respectable...with a slightly tighter range.

Swapping the cranks isn't that difficult...there are lots of instructions out on youtube...but you do need special tools. The good thing about the Deore crank is that it's dead simple to install once the old crank is off. It take far fewer tools and is really easy.

About going to a 2x10 system, I would recommend against it, especially if you are struggling with your current gearing. Say your were to go with this 2x10, 40/28 crank. Compared to your current crank, you'll lose the high gear but still end up with the same low gear that you are currently having problems with.

If you compare it to the 44/32/22, it's fairly easy to see that the low is lower and the high is higher. Something you may not notice (or appreciate) is that the gearing of the triple has more progressive steps between the ranges. Going from the 40 tooth outer to the 28 tooth inner, results in a huge rpm change. Say that you are riding in the 40 outer and on the 17 tooth cog in the back. When you shift from the outer to the inner, you have to increase your leg rpm from 90 to over 120 to maintain the same 17mph speed. It feels a bit like your chain has fallen off.

The triple is more progressive. Doing the same shift, you go from 90 to about 110 rpm to maintain the same speed. It's easier to do.

I know this is a lot of information but play with the gear calculator and different gearing combinations. It's very illustrative and it's better to do a bit a planning before you lock yourself into something that may not make your life better.
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Old 04-24-17, 09:38 AM
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Several things you need to do. First, google to find out the BCD (Bolt Circle Diameter, meaning which chainrings will work with your "spider"--the four arms attached to the crankarm). Then google again to look for 46, 32 and 28 tooth rings that match up with the # of arms and BCD. THEN google to make sure your front derailleur will handle the 24 tooth difference (46t to 22t) you want to move to.

A simpler thing, and maybe less expensive than buying three new rings, would be to purchase a new crankset. Unless you absolutely need a 46t big ring and 34t middle, you could get a Deore Crankset with 44-32-22 (I'm assuming your present setup is 9 or 10 speed. A 10 speed ring will work fine with a 9 speed chain, but not a 9 speed ring with a 10 speed chain). That would also mean going from square taper to Hollowtech II bottom bracket.

So it's not really a simple fix. I'm amazed your LBS is no help.
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Old 04-24-17, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp
I'm amazed your LBS is no help.
They said they'd get back to me, but it's been a couple weeks and no dice. Here either you ride mountain bikes or racy road bikes, so since my bike is kinda in the middle they don't mind me much. I didn't had much luck with them either when I wanted a fitting as they only focused in race fit (I live in a relatively small city, yay centralism).

Thanks cyccommute for the lengthy answer! The Deore crankset is kinda pricey locally (like, twice what CRC has it for), but I found this at a local distributor:
volante fc-m4060 9v. 48x36x26t 175mm alivio | Shimano Chile, bicicletas, repuestos, componentes, accesorios, deportes, motos. I'd have to get a spare 22t chainring and an Octalink BB, right? I'm ok with that.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
About going to a 2x10 system, I would recommend against it, especially if you are struggling with your current gearing.
TBH, I'm kinda hoping that by the time I have all the stuff to upgrade I'll HTFU (I'm only 30 so I'm sure there's room to improve lol). I haven't been to the gravel routes recently, but for the past few weeks I've been pushing harder gears on my commute/road rides and seems to be working, I can now pedal on gears I was previously using only for downhills (:
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Old 04-24-17, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
I found this at a local distributor:
volante fc-m4060 9v. 48x36x26t 175mm alivio | Shimano Chile, bicicletas, repuestos, componentes, accesorios, deportes, motos. I'd have to get a spare 22t chainring and an Octalink BB, right? I'm ok with that.
Again, you need to check whether your front derailleur will handle a 26 tooth difference (48-22). Four teeth don't seem like a lot, but it may mean the tail of the cage not being able to clear the chain when in the smallest chainring.
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Old 04-24-17, 01:19 PM
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ummm... that front fork looks BENT... unless you want to end up toothless, GET IT CHECKED/REPLACED, ASAP.

and... i'd advise looking into upgrading to a Hollowtech II crankset/BB assembly, if you install a different crankset... lighter, stronger.

Last edited by maddog34; 04-24-17 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-24-17, 01:43 PM
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Since you are running out of gears climbing, I'd just look for a 42-32-22 setup. First thing I would do is measure how long the length of the square taper spindle. I think it is 113mm. Then find a crank that will fit that length.

If it is 113mm, I think a Shimano Alivio FC- M430 square taper crank should work. I have seen a 44-32-22 configuration for that crank, but I don't know the availability. The chainline is 50mm instead of 48mm, but I wouldn't sweat it.

Your local bike shop should at least be able to check what Alivio square taper cranks are available and what spindle length is required regardless of their race orientation.

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Last edited by 70sSanO; 04-24-17 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 04-24-17, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
Since you are running out of gears climbing, I'd just look for a 42-32-22 setup. First thing I would do is measure how long the length of the square taper spindle. I think it is 113mm. Then find a crank that will fit that length.
John
I would advise doing the opposite; choose a crankset you want and then get the BB which it requires. If it fits your current one good, otherwise just get the one you want.
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Old 04-24-17, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr
I would advise doing the opposite; choose a crankset you want and then get the BB which it requires. If it fits your current one good, otherwise just get the one you want.
Normally that would be the way to go, but the OP is going to go to a 2x10 in the future (which doesn't make sense based on his gearing desires) and eliminating the cost of a component to tie him over might be a better way to go. There might be a cheaper crank than the Aivio, but that is one that should work with his setup. I just did a quick search to find an inexpensive crank.

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Old 04-24-17, 02:27 PM
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I am cheap; and like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTOKZE4
I have it on one of my project bikes; actually tossed the rings and installed a 38T wide-narrow for a 1x8 set up with a 11-40 cassette. It was the lowest cost way I found at the time to get new 104BCD x4 or 110BCD x5 cranks.

It has long lasting (but slightly heavier) steel rings; which are replaceable. It uses the standard 4 bolt 104BCD for the middle and big ring.

I suggest trying it stock 44-32-22 before changing the rings; which will likely cost more than the crankset.
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Old 04-24-17, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
Normally that would be the way to go, but the OP is going to go to a 2x10 in the future (which doesn't make sense based on his gearing desires) and eliminating the cost of a component to tie him over might be a better way to go. There might be a cheaper crank than the Aivio, but that is one that should work with his setup. I just did a quick search to find an inexpensive crank.

John
*Her.

Now it's probably clear why I don't make sense My current setup is way too cheap (3x7 mostly Tourney) and I want to upgrade to SRAM Apex because the shifters fit my tiny hands better and sadly, AFAIK, they're not available in option for triple cranksets. Why am I upgrading instead of getting a new bike? Because the bike is custom made, there are no gravel grinders for hobbitses around here (I'm 5').

As I said I just wanted something to make climbing easier until I developed some fitness. Gravel climbing is usually a 1x or 2x a month deal, so I didn't want to sacrifice too much top speed for the majority of my riding. I guess I'll just give 44/32/22 a try, since it's easily the cheapest option available.

Thanks everyone for your help
Guardar

Last edited by kuroba; 04-24-17 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 04-24-17, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Is that going to work with her existing 7 speed system?
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Old 04-24-17, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
ummm... that front fork looks BENT... unless you want to end up toothless, GET IT CHECKED/REPLACED, ASAP.
I think the fork is fine. It has straight blades so the "rake" is done by angling the blades forward from the crown instead of just curving them at the lower ends. Also, it's a small frame so the apparent rake is more noticeable.
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Old 04-24-17, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
I think the fork is fine. It has straight blades so the "rake" is done by angling the blades forward from the crown instead of just curving them at the lower ends. Also, it's a small frame so the apparent rake is more noticeable.
Every time I post my bike I get comments about the fork, there is a lot of offset because of my size but I've grown tired of explaining. It works for me (:
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Old 04-24-17, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
Every time I post my bike I get comments about the fork, there is a lot of offset because of my size but I've grown tired of explaining. It works for me (:
Yep. Big wheels on small bikes introduces the issue of how you hold the front wheel far enough from the cranks.

Many manufacturers use relatively-normal forks on such builds, and use extremely slack head tube angles to hold the wheel out, resulting in tons of trail and a bike that handles like a truck. Using a not-quite-so-slack head angle plus lots of offset is a far better compromise if you want lighter steering.
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Old 04-24-17, 04:14 PM
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I think that was pretty much a standard chainring setup in the 7/8spd days. I have several 110bcd 5 bolt cranks that have that combination.
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Old 04-24-17, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
*Her.

Now it's probably clear why I don't make sense My current setup is way too cheap (3x7 mostly Tourney) and I want to upgrade to SRAM Apex because the shifters fit my tiny hands better and sadly, AFAIK, they're not available in option for triple cranksets. Why am I upgrading instead of getting a new bike? Because the bike is custom made, there are no gravel grinders for hobbitses around here (I'm 5').

As I said I just wanted something to make climbing easier until I developed some fitness. Gravel climbing is usually a 1x or 2x a month deal, so I didn't want to sacrifice too much top speed for the majority of my riding. I guess I'll just give 44/32/22 a try, since it's easily the cheapest option available.

Thanks everyone for your help
Guardar
Your top end is also dependent on the smallest cassette cog. Once upon a time freewheel cogs started at 13t and the large chainring was 52t (or larger). This resulted in a 4 to 1 ratio. If you run a 48t with a 12t it is the same, and a 44t with an 11t gives you the same top speed. You can still run a 44t and probably be as fast or faster than your current 48t.

The only concern with the Vuelta crank would be the spindle length. The Vuelta site lists a 118mm spindle length, but it doesn't list a chainline. Because the Suntour is 48mm and most (Shimano) mtb cranks are 50mm having a shorter spindle may miraculously line up quite well if the Vuelta uses a 50mm chainline.

John
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Old 04-26-17, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
Thanks cyccommute for the lengthy answer! The Deore crankset is kinda pricey locally (like, twice what CRC has it for), but I found this at a local distributor:
volante fc-m4060 9v. 48x36x26t 175mm alivio | Shimano Chile, bicicletas, repuestos, componentes, accesorios, deportes, motos. I'd have to get a spare 22t chainring and an Octalink BB, right? I'm ok with that.
That would work as well. Looking at a exploded schematic, the rings are bolted on so they can be changed easily. The crank isn't an "Ocatlink" but an external bottom bracket type crank. I can't tell from the link if the crank comes with a bottom bracket but I would be surprised if it didn't. They are dead simple to install as I said above.

The inner ring is held on by 4 bolts and has a BCD of 64mm and should be easy enough to find. It shouldn't be too expensive either.

Originally Posted by kuroba
TBH, I'm kinda hoping that by the time I have all the stuff to upgrade I'll HTFU (I'm only 30 so I'm sure there's room to improve lol). I haven't been to the gravel routes recently, but for the past few weeks I've been pushing harder gears on my commute/road rides and seems to be working, I can now pedal on gears I was previously using only for downhills (:

I started riding bicycles as an adult in 1977. I've ridden bikes with the lowest possible gears since I started. I've even ridden bikes with gears that are much lower than are possible now. There is no shame in using low gears and smart people know that. I actually see my ability to pedal up things that other people push their bikes up as a badge of honor, not a stain of shame I'd much rather pedal up a hill than push up a hill. Getting off to push is a definite sign of defeat to me.

My touring bike has a 20 tooth inner and I can put a 36 tooth cog on the rear. That gives me a low that is almost lower than you get on super low 1x systems and allows me to ride up something at 3 to 4 mph (walking speed). I also have a high gear that lets me pedal to nearly 35 mph (50 kph)...and that's not something you can do with a 1x or 2x system.
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Old 04-26-17, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Is that going to work with her existing 7 speed system?
Shouldn't have a problem. The chain on a 7 speed is wider than a 9 so meshing with the chain isn't an issue. It might not be that much of an issue with a 10 speed chain. The chain width is important for the cassette but not so much for the crank.
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Old 04-26-17, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
*Her.

Now it's probably clear why I don't make sense My current setup is way too cheap (3x7 mostly Tourney) and I want to upgrade to SRAM Apex because the shifters fit my tiny hands better and sadly, AFAIK, they're not available in option for triple cranksets. Why am I upgrading instead of getting a new bike? Because the bike is custom made, there are no gravel grinders for hobbitses around here (I'm 5').
I understand your problems. I'm married to a pixie (give yourself some credit unless you have really hairy feet) and I've fought the fit fight for 40 years. There are shims for some of the Shimano shifters that move the levers closer to the bar for you and some Shimano shifters have a set screw to move the lever closer. Here's a pretty good article on adjusting levers.

Another alternative...and I really hate to suggest them because I really hate them!...is barend shifters. They decouple the levers from the shifter and allow you to find shorter throw levers.

Microshift makes a shifter that comes with a short throw option as well. The SB-R493(S) is for smaller hands but I don't know how easy they are to find. It's worth looking around, however.

Good luck! It's taken me 40 years to find the exact right bike with the exact right component for my wife. We ended up just going with a flat bar because it was easier. I hope your search is a bit shorter.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso
I am cheap; and like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTOKZE4
I have it on one of my project bikes; actually tossed the rings and installed a 38T wide-narrow for a 1x8 set up with a 11-40 cassette. It was the lowest cost way I found at the time to get new 104BCD x4 or 110BCD x5 cranks.

It has long lasting (but slightly heavier) steel rings; which are replaceable. It uses the standard 4 bolt 104BCD for the middle and big ring.

I suggest trying it stock 44-32-22 before changing the rings; which will likely cost more than the crankset.
Most sensible option IMO

If you want a chain guard (to keep the pants cleaner), get a similar Shimano lower end square tapper crankset with 44-32-22.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
We ended up just going with a flat bar because it was easier. I hope your search is a bit shorter.
No hairy feet here fortunately, lol. So pixie is the term, in my limited english the closest that came to mind was the Tolkien reference lol.

Originally Posted by Slaninar
Most sensible option IMO

If you want a chain guard (to keep the pants cleaner), get a similar Shimano lower end square tapper crankset with 44-32-22.
I'm going to the LBS tomorrow and see what they have. 44/32/22 is popular though, most likely that's what I'll go for. I'll get a version with replaceable rings just in case I need to tweak the gearing a bit.
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Old 04-27-17, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba
No hairy feet here fortunately, lol. So pixie is the term, in my limited english the closest that came to mind was the Tolkien reference lol.
Pixies are far cuter Think Tinkerbell.

And there is no problem with your English. It's as good as anyone else's here. Although I suspected that English isn't your first language given your location, I really can't tell.

Good luck!
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