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9 speed mtb trekking crank with Ultegra 10 speed triple

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9 speed mtb trekking crank with Ultegra 10 speed triple

Old 03-20-11, 12:32 PM
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beninslc
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9 speed mtb trekking crank with Ultegra 10 speed triple

Hello, I have a Surly Traveler's Check S&S coupler equipped bike that I use for cycling all over the globe both as an on and off road bike for day rides, credit card and loaded touring. I (probably mistakenly) built it up with stock ultegra 6600 10 speed triple with 30-39-52 and 11-28 cassette. I find for a touring bike the road triple gearing is just not right, both the 39 and 52 being too big and the 30 not small enough for big hills with a big load. I thought about going to 10 speed 11-36 cassette with mtb r. der to give me the low gearing, but that still would not solve the problem of the 39 and 52 rings being too big plus you would have bigger jumps between gears with the 11-36. Seems like a better solution would be to replace the crankset with a sugino or shimano 9 speed trekking triple with gearing like 24-36-48. I have read that this should work if a 10 speed chain is used. Does anyone have firsthand experience with this? Will the 9 speed rings shift ok with 10 sp. cassette, f&r ders, chain? Will my Ultegra 6603 triple fd (not braze on mounted) shift the trekking crank ok or will i have to go with an mtb fd? Will the SRAM 10 speed chain i'm currently using work ok if I size it correctly? Is the shimano trekking crank's q factor significantly higher than the ultegra triple's or the sugino's?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 03-20-11, 01:45 PM
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Chain ring tooth has thickness, which is reduced slightly as 'speed' count packs more into a limited space.

I have run a 50,40,24, and a 50,38, 24 triple on loaded tours for a long time.
substituting just 48 t outer , and getting say a 130 bcd 38t,or just staying with the middle 39,
and then substituting a 24 for the 30 .. should let you use the crank you have.
just changing the tooth count of the chainring itself ...
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Old 03-20-11, 02:06 PM
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I just mounted a 48-36-26 Shimano trekking crank on my bike with a 105 front derailleur. It was tricky to set up and required a lot of trimming, but it works.
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Old 03-20-11, 02:30 PM
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I would also reconsider using a MTB crank, but they can be made to work. Both the Q factor and the chain-line is less than ideal on a road bike frame. The Alpina triple front derailleur is designed to work with 110 bcd touring triple crank-sets and Shimano brifters: http://www.interlocracing.com/cdfrtder.html

You could keep your crank and add a Sram Apex 11-32 ten speed cassette. You would need to install a long cage rear derailleur like this http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=950 to provide enough chain wrap capacity. In addition, you could remove the 30t granny gear and install a 28t. These three changes will cost less than a new Shimano Crankset & IRD Alpina triple front derailleur. You might not even need the 28t granny gear, a 30t chainring and a 32t cog can help you climb a 20 degree hill at 4 mph.

This provides a very broad range for the kind of light touring and less technical off-road use that a CX bike excels at.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-20-11 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 03-20-11, 04:11 PM
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I had a Cannondale t1 with Ultegra brifters and long cage RD and 105 50/39/30 triple crank and FD.
Bought and installed a Shimano LX Hollowtech II 48/38/28 crank. (FC-T661) It went on perfectly with very little adjusting.
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Old 03-20-11, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
I had a Cannondale t1 with Ultegra brifters and long cage RD and 105 50/39/30 triple crank and FD.
Bought and installed a Shimano LX Hollowtech II 48/38/28 crank. (FC-T661) It went on perfectly with very little adjusting.
You Cannondale uses a 105 series front derailleur, the OP has a Ultegra front derailleur. The 105 front derailleur is shaped for a 50/39/30 triple crank, fitting a 48/39/28 triple crank is an easy change out, just lower the front derailleur on the seat-tube a little. His Ultegra front derailleur is shaped for a 53/39/30 triple crank, getting a 48/36/24 triple to work with the Ultegra front derailleur is much more difficult.
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Old 03-20-11, 04:39 PM
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The racing triple is a joke. Try it first with a 50 on the outside and a 24 on the inside. The brifter will not shift a mountain front derailuer because of different cable pull. I don't know what is available in 10sp for the rear but a 12-32 would be great if they make one. The 24-32 would give you a 20 inch low gear.
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Old 03-20-11, 04:52 PM
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in my opinion the biggest issue isn't with the chain or the RD it's with the FD. You may have some issues getting a road FD to work with smaller teeth up front and a MTB FD has different pull ratio than a road FD.

Regarding your RD, I'm assuming its an Ultegra GS which is the long cage ultegra version. I have this on my bike and run a 32 tooth rear with no problems whatsoever and I think I could probably run a 34 tooth if I needed to. Worst case scenario you swap out the rear deraileur for some type of shimano MTB RD, there wont' be any shifting compatibility issues there.

In my opinion i'd look to keep the existing crank and see about getting more gears on the back. I understand the issue of having the gears spaced too far apart, but you don't have to have an 11 tooth gear as your highest gear, you could have a 12 or even a 14.
Harris cyclery has a couple of options.

Harris Cyclery Cyclotouriste 14:
14 - 15 - 17 - 19 - 21 - 24 - 27 - 30 - 34 Teeth

Shimano
HG-61 12-36 9-speed Cassette
<H3>12 - 14 - 16 - 18 - 21 - 24 - 28 - 32 - 36 Teeth





</H3>

EDIT : I misread your post, you are looking at using a 9speed crank with your 10 speed rear end. there are 11-32 casettes available, i'm not sure about the ability to customize 10 speed casettes but it's worth looking into

Last edited by motobecane69; 03-20-11 at 05:16 PM. Reason: incorrect info
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Old 05-17-11, 09:51 PM
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An update on this post. I replaced the Ultegra triple crank with a Sugino XD-500 9 speed 24-36-48. It works fantastic and I am totally happy with the new gearing. Leaving the 11-28 cassette on for now, may replace it eventually with a 12-32 or 12-36 for heavy duty loaded touring with big climbs. A few notes:
--My old Ultegra 6603 F. Der works just fine. Some people claim it won't work, specific to 30-39-52 gearing, needs alot of work, etc. Hogwash, at least on my setup. Just lowered it for the smaller big ring, dialed in limit screws and cable tension and trim, and it works great, can use every gear except big big and small small. Shifts crisply and precisely, though perhaps a tiny bit less smooth/more grindy. This may be a result of the 9 speed rings with 10 speed everything else.
--took 1 link out of chain because of the smaller ring sizes.
--It happens I was running an SRAM 10 speed chain. I read in Lennard Zinns column that they work best when mixing in 9 speed rings. He claims Wippermann and Shimano do not work.
--Alot of debate about whether to use a 110 or 113 mm bb with the Cross Check/Sugino triple setup. I bought a 113 and it works fine but it looks like a 110 would also work and be better chainline/shifting and lower Q factor. Thank God for Shimano UN54, at only $20 you can afford a bit of trial and error.
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Old 05-18-11, 08:33 AM
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This is good info, beninslc. I use the 113 with that crank and the shifting from granny to middle is not too precise. I will look at the setup and see if a 110 looks like it will work. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 05-18-11, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by beninslc View Post
An update on this post. I replaced the Ultegra triple crank with a Sugino XD-500 9 speed 24-36-48. It works fantastic and I am totally happy with the new gearing. Leaving the 11-28 cassette on for now, may replace it eventually with a 12-32 or 12-36 for heavy duty loaded touring with big climbs. A few notes:
--My old Ultegra 6603 F. Der works just fine. Some people claim it won't work, specific to 30-39-52 gearing, needs alot of work, etc. Hogwash, at least on my setup. Just lowered it for the smaller big ring, dialed in limit screws and cable tension and trim, and it works great, can use every gear except big big and small small. Shifts crisply and precisely, though perhaps a tiny bit less smooth/more grindy. This may be a result of the 9 speed rings with 10 speed everything else.
--took 1 link out of chain because of the smaller ring sizes.
--It happens I was running an SRAM 10 speed chain. I read in Lennard Zinns column that they work best when mixing in 9 speed rings. He claims Wippermann and Shimano do not work.
--Alot of debate about whether to use a 110 or 113 mm bb with the Cross Check/Sugino triple setup. I bought a 113 and it works fine but it looks like a 110 would also work and be better chainline/shifting and lower Q factor. Thank God for Shimano UN54, at only $20 you can afford a bit of trial and error.
I'm glad to hear that the combination of an nine-speed touring crank, ten-speed Sram chain, Ten-speed road front derailleur and the ten-speed shifters is working for you.

Please keep in mind that recommending this combination is a bit fool-hardy. What if it had not worked-out? You then would have been more than a little annoyed. You may also have spent some $$$.$$ with very poor results.

The front derailleur is working because the steps between chain-rings are about the same on the 52/39/30 road triple and the 48/36/24 touring triple. The shape of the cage on the front derailleur is for larger chain-rings, so the smaller chain-rings will not shift as well as the larger chain-rings. It works, because you can lower the front derailleur on the seat-post to close the gap.
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Old 05-19-11, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I would also reconsider using a MTB crank, but they can be made to work. Both the Q factor and the chain-line is less than ideal on a road bike frame. The Alpina triple front derailleur is designed to work with 110 bcd touring triple crank-sets and Shimano brifters: http://www.interlocracing.com/cdfrtder.html
I've use a mountain bike crank on several road bikes and never experienced any problems. My touring bike has a Raceface Turbine with a 46/34/20 shifted with a Shimano Tiagra front derailer which shifts just fine using STI shifters. My commter bike has had an XT trekking crank on it with an Ultegra front and it did just as well although set up of the Ultegra is a bit more difficult due to the width...or lack of width... of the derailer. Chainline and q-factor are nonissues.

The Tiagra is the key, in my opinion. It's much a much better triple derailer than it's more expensive siblings.
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Old 07-04-11, 05:09 PM
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This is a final update to this thread I began. I have now also put on a SRAM 12-32 10 speed cassette and a 110mm un-54 bb. The entire system with stock 10 speed Ultegra F. and R. Derailleurs and 105 5600 shifters is working incredibly well together and shifting as well as the original shimano triple parts. A few notes:
1. On a Traveler's Check with Sugino XD-500 24-36-48 the 110mm bb is definitely better than the 113. Better chain line and lower Q. Better shifting.
2. The stock ultegra 6600 GS triple r. der which is rated only to 28 tooth max is shifting the 12-32 cassette beautifully. I believe I am also exceeding the max chain wrap by a few teeth but it works fine and I am not at risk of a blow up even in big-big. No issues there.
3. I LOVE this gearing. Comparing to alot of other options you get a better high end than standard mtb triple (22-32-44), slightly better low range than trekking triple (26-36-48), and also pretty tight spacing on the rear with the 12-32 ten speed as well as that big old 32 cog. It works well for high speed unloaded road biking to fully loaded high mountain touring and anything in between.

I am not recommending this to anyone, merely stating that on a 54cm Travelers Check this combination works well and provides extremely versatile gearing. The main points here are that the Ultegra Road triple stuff shifts the non stock gearing just fine and the 9 speed crank works fine with the 10 speed derailleurs and chain.
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Old 07-04-11, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by beninslc View Post
The main points here are that the Ultegra Road triple stuff shifts the non stock gearing just fine and the 9 speed crank works fine with the 10 speed derailleurs and chain.
I've been using a 9-speed Shimano Ultegra triple crank with a 10-speed Shimano cassette and 10-speed Wippermann chain for several thousand miles and it works and shifts just fine. To make the mix-and-match even better, I'm using Campy 10-speed Ergo brifters, a Shiftmate and a 10-speed Campy Veloce fd. Frankenbike indeed.
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