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Advice on changing drive train on Specialized Sirrus

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Advice on changing drive train on Specialized Sirrus

Old 03-21-10, 03:05 PM
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Advice on changing drive train on Specialized Sirrus

Hi there,

I wish I'd found this forum a while ago as it would have saved a lot of trail and error, skinned knuckles and lost temper - ah well, better late than never.

My question centres around my 2005 (I think - I bought it last year on ebay and the seller said he thought it was a 2005 model) Specialized Sirrus. It had already had a fair bit of use before I got hold of it 2 summers ago, and recently picked up a strange grinding that I could feel through the pedals - on closer inspection I found that the back cassette had become badly worn on the 5th sprocket and the outer chain ring up front. So I guess it's time to put some money into the bike, but I'm a little unsure as to what my options are.

There aren't many decent LBS's (see, I read the "new posters" thread for the lingo) here in York, and I feel bad calling in to pick their brains when I know fine well that I'm not going to buy the parts from them and as I don't know anyone with any technical knowledge I've been at a bit of a loss. If, after reading my post, you can let me know what searches to direct me to, I'm happy to spend some time researching, but I really aren't sure what I'm supposed to be looking for!

Would I have to replace the stock parts identically or do I have a bit of leeway?

Crankset - Specialized Forearm Sport, 28/38/48t (I think)
Chain - Shimano CN-HG50, 1/2 x 3/32"
Rear cogs - 8-speed, 12 - 26 t

Rest of the specs should be in this link https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...rrus&Type=bike

It's only the 48t outer ring on the front that's worn and I'd like to just replace that if possible, but what should I be looking for with regards to compatability? Would I have to replace the rear cassette with one with identical numbers of teeth - I've seen a couple of 12-25's going quite cheap.

So far I've only had to replace the tyres, brake blocks and BB, so I've done pretty well!

Thanks for your patience. Hopefully I'll be able to learn a bit with help from you guys!
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Old 03-21-10, 03:34 PM
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For the least amount of chance that something will need to be adjusted, you'll want the same specs on the replacement parts, but they don't need to be identical.

That's a really cheap crankset- just about any chainring will be an upgrade from what was stock. You just need the number of teeth and the ring's bolt-center-diameter (BCD) to get a match.

Any 8-speed chain will do- I prefer SRAM over Shimano, simply for the quick link they come with (you'll likely still need a chain tool to shorten it, as well.)

The 12-25 cassette will be just fine. A little smaller probably won't require adjustment to the derailer, but slightly larger one might. You'll want a chain whip and sturdy wrench with the right cassette lockring tools to do the swap yourself. That might be an operation to have a bike shop show you, if you haven't done it before and don't have the tools.
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Old 03-22-10, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Raiden
For the least amount of chance that something will need to be adjusted, you'll want the same specs on the replacement parts, but they don't need to be identical.

That's a really cheap crankset- just about any chainring will be an upgrade from what was stock. You just need the number of teeth and the ring's bolt-center-diameter (BCD) to get a match.

Any 8-speed chain will do- I prefer SRAM over Shimano, simply for the quick link they come with (you'll likely still need a chain tool to shorten it, as well.)

The 12-25 cassette will be just fine. A little smaller probably won't require adjustment to the derailer, but slightly larger one might. You'll want a chain whip and sturdy wrench with the right cassette lockring tools to do the swap yourself. That might be an operation to have a bike shop show you, if you haven't done it before and don't have the tools.
Cheers for the quick reply Raiden,

Bearing in mind that I want to try and keep the costs down and my usage (commuting and general fitness) is there a range of products you'd recommend - ie a certain grade of Shimano/SRAM? Would I benefit from matching up the chain with the cassette or as long as the chain's the right length, would it not make much difference?

These are a couple of things I'm looking at,
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...T#ht_500wt_976 (chain)
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...T#ht_743wt_734 (cassette)
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...#ht_1160wt_960 (crankset)


A little while ago I had a problem with my Raleigh wireless cycle computer - the basic functions such as time, temperature work fine, but the actual readings taken from the wheel come through very randomly - I can be riding at a consistent pace and the speed shown fluctuates. I've tried taking the batteries and resetting it a couple of times but to no avail.

I feel a bit daft asking these very basic questions but I'd rather look a bit silly than waste time and money buying parts that aren't right for the job!

Last edited by woldranger; 03-22-10 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 03-22-10, 09:50 AM
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Much better to ask questions when you are unsure rather than waste money buying incompatible parts. My wife has a 2005 Sirrus so I'm pretty familiar with the parts you are looking at.

For the grinding problem, it could be caused by the crankset/cassette wear (and the accompanying chain wear) but it could also be (or be contributed to by) the bottom bracket or pedal bearings. Are you currently getting chain slip in any gear combination under high pedal pressure? If so, that points to a worn out cassette and chain. Typically chainrings will last a while unless used with a very worn chain. The special tooth profiles used to assist shifting often fool people into thinking their chainrings are worn or damaged.

My advice would be to shift into the small chainring and pull the chain off the chainrings. Now rotate the crank and try to feel for any side to side wobble or roughness. If everything feels smooth, your bottom bracket is likely ok. Rotate the pedals by hand and feel for roughness there as well. If nothing, then move on to the rest of the drivetrain.

Are you getting chain rub on the front derailler cage when using the outer 5 cogs on the cassette? If so, you probably just need to add tension to the front derailler cable to get clearance. You can read up on derailler adjustments at www.parktool.com

When's the last time the chain was cleaned and/or lubed?

If you've done all of the above and still feel that the chain and cassette need replacing, the 12-25 will work just fine and is likely what your bike has on it already (my wife's bike came with a 12-25 even though the specs said 12-26). As for chains, I'd recommend the cheapest SRAM chain. I've used them and the more expensive chains and the only difference I've found is weight. They wear just as well but cost a lot less. Note that you'll need a cassette lockring tool and chainwhip to swap the cassette. There are a number of ways to size a chain but if the current length has worked ok, just match up the new one to the old one (this will require a chain tool).
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Old 03-22-10, 10:28 AM
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joejack951,

Thanks for that, especially the first comment - I don't feel quite so foolish now! Well, it's not the bottom bracket as that's already been replaced and was the first thing I checked. I actually do need some new pedals (and my Drive side pedal broke when I came off my bike a couple of weeks ago when some idiot in a car decided to turn and not bother signalling) but it's not those either.

I worked out that it was the drive train as it's got worse of late and when I checked the cassette I saw the heavy wear on the 2 cogs that I use the most (5th and 6th) and now when I change out of those to the gears with little wear I notice a dramatic change.

Which SRAM chain are you referring to? I've seen a couple of entry level ones, would you be suggesting the PC-870 8 SPEED CHAIN or the PC-830? Looks like I'm gonna go for one of the HG-50 12-25 cassettes, but might be able to pick up a cheap Shimano HG-50 chain too from the same seller (links posted earlier). What's the main advantage of option for the SRAM - excuse my ignorance.

Anything you can suggest r.e. changing the outer ring on the crankset or possibly changing he whole unit - I don't want to get stuck with something that's not 100% compatible, but it's already been mentioned by Raiden that so long as the BCD's matches - have you changed you're wife's over?
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Old 03-22-10, 10:47 AM
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The SRAM chain has an easy to use link for joining the two ends. With the Shimano chain you have the problem of pushing in the rivet to the exact depth with the chain tool. You first need to use the chain tool to remove excess links - it should have enough links +1 to go around the big chainring and the big cog.
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Old 03-22-10, 12:20 PM
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Go with the best level chain you can. SRAM are all that I use for chains! Well, my 2009 sirrus has the KMC chain it came with, but why replace what works as is? I would venture to guess you can get away with replacing just the chain and cassette. Both are pretty simple, and you only need a few tools. Chain tool, Chain whip tool, and a Cassette lockring tool. You will want some grease to put on the freehub splines when you put the cassette back on, and maybe a dab on the lockring, too. If you continue with problems in the largest chainring after those two items are replaced, then look into buying a better quality chainring for your crankset. I find a new chain and cassette will make your drivetrain run like buttah!
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Old 03-22-10, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nymtber
Go with the best level chain you can. SRAM are all that I use for chains! Well, my 2009 sirrus has the KMC chain it came with, but why replace what works as is? I would venture to guess you can get away with replacing just the chain and cassette. Both are pretty simple, and you only need a few tools. Chain tool, Chain whip tool, and a Cassette lockring tool. You will want some grease to put on the freehub splines when you put the cassette back on, and maybe a dab on the lockring, too. If you continue with problems in the largest chainring after those two items are replaced, then look into buying a better quality chainring for your crankset. I find a new chain and cassette will make your drivetrain run like buttah!
No, the outer chainring is pretty well worn and is in need of changing, so I need to shell out for all three - the ring, cassette and chain
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Old 03-22-10, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by woldranger
I worked out that it was the drive train as it's got worse of late and when I checked the cassette I saw the heavy wear on the 2 cogs that I use the most (5th and 6th) and now when I change out of those to the gears with little wear I notice a dramatic change.

Which SRAM chain are you referring to? I've seen a couple of entry level ones, would you be suggesting the PC-870 8 SPEED CHAIN or the PC-830? Looks like I'm gonna go for one of the HG-50 12-25 cassettes, but might be able to pick up a cheap Shimano HG-50 chain too from the same seller (links posted earlier). What's the main advantage of option for the SRAM - excuse my ignorance.
I was referring to the PC-830 which I have seen for very little money: https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...1&category=684

As has been pointed out, the main advantage of SRAM over Shimano (or KMC and Wipperman over Shimano) is the quicklink for rejoining the chain. This not only allows for quicker, easier installation, it also allows for easy removal of the chain for cleaning or other maintenance.

Originally Posted by woldranger
Anything you can suggest r.e. changing the outer ring on the crankset or possibly changing he whole unit - I don't want to get stuck with something that's not 100% compatible, but it's already been mentioned by Raiden that so long as the BCD's matches - have you changed you're wife's over?
The outer chainring should be a 110mm BCD. I have not changed out my wife's as hers is still in OK condition. If you can find them locally, Vuelta makes a fairly inexpensive ramped and pinned chainring that would work for your crank:

https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...8&category=674
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Old 03-26-10, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951
I was referring to the PC-830 which I have seen for very little money: https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...1&category=684

As has been pointed out, the main advantage of SRAM over Shimano (or KMC and Wipperman over Shimano) is the quicklink for rejoining the chain. This not only allows for quicker, easier installation, it also allows for easy removal of the chain for cleaning or other maintenance.



The outer chainring should be a 110mm BCD. I have not changed out my wife's as hers is still in OK condition. If you can find them locally, Vuelta makes a fairly inexpensive ramped and pinned chainring that would work for your crank:

https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...8&category=674

Getting a 110mm BDC chainring is proving a little tricky - at the moment it's looking like if I can stump up a little more cash, I can get a new crankset. I figured that's not a bad idea as there's a bit of wear on the middle ring. ANOTHER daft sounding question - are there likely to be any compatibility issues, other than making sure I'm getting one that'll fit a square tapered BB??

I think I'll probably try to get the same length crank arm that's on at the moment (standard factory fitted ones) unless people think I'd be better off with a certain length for the type of riding I do (I'm 5 11)?

I'm considering a Shimano Alvio unit https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...T#ht_830wt_960 Any thought?

I'm going to pick up one of the SRAM PC-830 chains you suggested and hopefully the cassette makes it to me through Royal Mail (the shimano hg50 I posted a link to earlier).

You've been great guys, thank you so much for all your help so far!
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Old 03-26-10, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by woldranger
Getting a 110mm BDC chainring is proving a little tricky - at the moment it's looking like if I can stump up a little more cash, I can get a new crankset. I figured that's not a bad idea as there's a bit of wear on the middle ring. ANOTHER daft sounding question - are there likely to be any compatibility issues, other than making sure I'm getting one that'll fit a square tapered BB??
Square taper bottom brackets come in a myriad of different lengths. You'll want to be sure that your chainline is correct with the new crankset. I found one online recommendation to use a 113mm square taper BB for a 50mm chainline with that crankset you mention below. Your Sirrus most likely has a 113mm bottom bracket but your chainline should be in the 45mm range given the 130mm rear hub....Just measured my wife's Sirrus (somewhat accurately) and it seems to be closer to 47mm. In that case, a 107mm bottom bracket should yield the same chainline with the new crank as you currently have.

Originally Posted by woldranger
I think I'll probably try to get the same length crank arm that's on at the moment (standard factory fitted ones) unless people think I'd be better off with a certain length for the type of riding I do (I'm 5 11)?
If you don't have complaints about the current length, just stick with it.

Originally Posted by woldranger
I'm considering a Shimano Alvio unit https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...T#ht_830wt_960 Any thought?

I'm going to pick up one of the SRAM PC-830 chains you suggested and hopefully the cassette makes it to me through Royal Mail (the shimano hg50 I posted a link to earlier).

You've been great guys, thank you so much for all your help so far!
Shimano cranks tend to be a great value and given the price of that crankset versus the cost of a new chainring, it's tough to pass up the new parts.
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Old 03-27-10, 04:33 AM
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Square taper bottom brackets come in a myriad of different lengths. You'll want to be sure that your chainline is correct with the new crankset. I found one online recommendation to use a 113mm square taper BB for a 50mm chainline with that crankset you mention below. Your Sirrus most likely has a 113mm bottom bracket but your chainline should be in the 45mm range given the 130mm rear hub....Just measured my wife's Sirrus (somewhat accurately) and it seems to be closer to 47mm. In that case, a 107mm bottom bracket should yield the same chainline with the new crank as you currently have.
Once again, many thanks joejack951! But could you clear something up for me as, not for the first time in the past week or so, I'm a little confused! The bottom bracket on my Sirrus is indeed a 113mm, but it's the newest thing on the bike so it's not in need to changing just yet - is the above advice for buying a new BB, or would it have any bearing (pardon the pun!) on what crankset I buy? I've only seen a reference to spindle length on a couple of sites - one of the basic Shimano FC-M191 mentions a 122mm BB https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=ht...9830657743.pdf I don't want to go getting a bargain crankset and find I need a new BB!
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Old 03-27-10, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by woldranger
Once again, many thanks joejack951! But could you clear something up for me as, not for the first time in the past week or so, I'm a little confused! The bottom bracket on my Sirrus is indeed a 113mm, but it's the newest thing on the bike so it's not in need to changing just yet - is the above advice for buying a new BB, or would it have any bearing (pardon the pun!) on what crankset I buy? I've only seen a reference to spindle length on a couple of sites - one of the basic Shimano FC-M191 mentions a 122mm BB https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=ht...9830657743.pdf I don't want to go getting a bargain crankset and find I need a new BB!
My advice was that if you bought the Shimano crankset you found on Ebay that you would need a shorter bottom bracket to get the correct chainline. You could try it with your current BB but you'd likely have issue using the inner cogs on your cassette. Chainline is a perfectly exact science and what's unacceptable to some may be acceptable to others. It will depend on which gear combinations you use most.

I would recommend using the correct chainline though.

That basic Shimano crankset you reference now is so cheap because it uses riveted, non-replaceable steel chainrings. It will work (with the correct bottom bracket length) but it's quite a downgrade from what you have now.

Honestly, given that you don't want to swap bottom brackets, I think you'd be better off biting the bullet and buying just a new chainring even if it costs almost as much as these bargain cranksets (which aren't as much of a bargain when you add in the bottom bracket to make them work).

Given the popularity of road compact cranks, it may be cheaper and easier to go with a 50T outer ring versus the current 48. You'll need to make some minor adjustments to your front derailler but that's it. Here's an option:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/FS...ng/5360031671/

I did find some 48T options as well if you don't mind buying from France:

https://www.xxcycle.com/road-5-branch...type-s,,en.php
https://www.xxcycle.com/110-type-s-alu-7075,,en.php
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Old 03-27-10, 11:18 AM
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Ah right. Thanks again for making it simple to understand! There always seems to be something that turns up that means I can't be 100% sure that I'm buying the right thing! But if moving up to a 50t means slightly higher gearing and me possibly having to tweak the front derailler then that should be fine as there are lot more of them out there at 110mm than the 48's. WOuld this be suitable?
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-TA-50t-110...ht_1863wt_1082 though I'm sure it'll go well out of my pricerange. Is there anything else is should be looking for/to avoid??
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Old 03-27-10, 03:21 PM
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That TA ring would work though I agree on it not staying at that price. About the only rings I would suggest you avoid are Shimano rings. While they are great chainrings, Shimano has produced a number of chainrings with built-in offsets for the chainring teeth. If you used one of their rings on another brand of crankset, you'd get irregular spacing between rings which would cause shifting issues. FSA, Stronglight, TA, and Vuelta should all be safe bets.
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Old 03-27-10, 05:28 PM
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take a look at the Sugino SD 600
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=405747
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Old 03-27-10, 06:40 PM
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To the OP, where are you located? I have a 2007 Sirrus Sport that I gutted and rebuilt with drop bars, I still have all of the original stuff lying around if you want any of it. Just pay shipping and I'll send it your way, let me know if you need any of these parts and we can work something out.
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Old 03-28-10, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by eddiejclayton
To the OP, where are you located? I have a 2007 Sirrus Sport that I gutted and rebuilt with drop bars, I still have all of the original stuff lying around if you want any of it. Just pay shipping and I'll send it your way, let me know if you need any of these parts and we can work something out.
Wow, that'd be amazing! I'll send you a pm in a mo.

Not quite sure how I happened upon this forum, but I'm really glad I have! Most of the other forums I've been on (mainly computer /tech based) seem to have a vehement dislike or mistrust for newbies, which irritates the life out of me. We've all got to start somewhere haven't we? But those of you who've taken the time out to message me on here have been nothing but friendly and helpful. I guess the only downside to this would be that I might end up getting more into the technical part of cycling and end up spending loads of money on new gear!
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Old 03-28-10, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by woldranger
Most of the other forums I've been on (mainly computer /tech based) seem to have a vehement dislike or mistrust for newbies, which irritates the life out of me. We've all got to start somewhere haven't we? But those of you who've taken the time out to message me on here have been nothing but friendly and helpful.
Well, for starters, you posted a readable first message (well punctuated, not in all CAPS, not written in AOLese). Second, you gave good information to help us help you. If your first post had been "my bikes teethy thng is bad hlp me pic a new on" the response might not have been the same. I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. Good luck with the bike.
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Old 03-30-10, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951
Well, for starters, you posted a readable first message (well punctuated, not in all CAPS, not written in AOLese). Second, you gave good information to help us help you. If your first post had been "my bikes teethy thng is bad hlp me pic a new on" the response might not have been the same. I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. Good luck with the bike.
Cheers, good to know I've made a half decent first impression! If things work out, I may be able to get hold of some used Sirrus gear from eddiejclayton, depending on shipping fee's from the US to the UK.

Just to hedge my bets, I've kept an eye out for other cranksets and saw a basic FSA (Vero) triple https://www.fullspeedahead.com/fly.as...layout=product that's going for a good price so far. It comes with a 116mm BB. I've gone through a couple of sites to try and read up on the Chainline principle and it seems pretty straightforward as a rule, but I'm wondering whether the recommended BB for the FSA Vero would then throw the unit too far out, giving too high of a measurement? I guess I'd be better off trying the 113mm and if it's causing me problems, try going to the 107mm.

I've read some mixed reviews on this site about the basic FSA cranksets so I'm a little unsure about it as a fall back - but if the price is right, it may work out cheaper for me to buy this and a chain than to ship the aforementioned gear over from the States.
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Old 05-01-10, 05:52 AM
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Well guys, so far I've got one of the SRAM pc-830 chains and a Shimano hg-50 12-23 cassette. I decided it wasn't worth rushing changing over to new gear until the roads had been cleared of the bulk of he debris from the winter - the roads and cycle paths were littered with sand and salt that had been spread during our unusually cold winter.

I've seen a couple of chainsets come and go on ebay. Thanks to your advice I've a better idea of what's suitable. Sometimes I struggle when it comes to sussing out chainlines to see if I'll need to swap BB's as there's not always info available. I've seen a couple with 110 BCD's so they'd be handy as I'd be able to swap the two outer rings if the actual unit would put my chainline out of kilter.

From what I've read from you and through other posts, I should be able to put a road triple on. I've got a Shimano 2300 Triple Crankset, 52x42x30 coming up after a rather basic FSA RPM 48.38.28 https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=44147. I know I'd have to raise up the front derailleur but I think the raise in gearing may suit me.
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