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Lightweight Triple Touring Crankset

Old 01-21-24, 12:16 PM
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Lightweight Triple Touring Crankset

I have a Sugnio made Ritchey Superlogic crankset with the hidden 5th hole behind the crank arm. They are very lightweight, excellent gearing spread (48/38/24T), and use a square taper interface. I'm trying to find an equally nice if not nicer crankset with lower gearing potential. Are there cranksets out there that fit these criteria?

Square taper
20T or 22T low gear
Easily replaceable chainrings
Lightweight

In my search I can't have all of the above. 94/56 chainrings aren't readily available, and many cranksets with a lower gear veer towards chunky MTB cranksets.
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Old 01-21-24, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
I have a Sugnio made Ritchey Superlogic crankset with the hidden 5th hole behind the crank arm. They are very lightweight, excellent gearing spread (48/38/24T), and use a square taper interface. I'm trying to find an equally nice if not nicer crankset with lower gearing potential. Are there cranksets out there that fit these criteria?

Square taper
20T or 22T low gear
Easily replaceable chainrings
Lightweight

In my search I can't have all of the above. 94/56 chainrings aren't readily available, and many cranksets with a lower gear veer towards chunky MTB cranksets.
https://www.suginoltd.co.jp/store/pr...?product_id=25
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Old 01-21-24, 12:30 PM
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Wheels Of Steel how about this XTR crankset - arguably the best ever ! FS XTR M-900 Shimano crankset Xlnt Cond ! - Bike Forums

titanium bolts included

/markp
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Old 01-21-24, 12:39 PM
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fender1 Thanks for your reply! This doesn't achieve lower gearing though.
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Old 01-21-24, 12:39 PM
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That’s a 110/74 BCD crankset, only goes down to 24t, OP is looking for 20 or 22t.

You can find 22t compatible cranksets at Rivendell and other sites, but note that there are no “vintage” cranksets that I know of that go below 24. All of them will look “chunky” however.

Wondering why the OP wants that small of a chainring? I put s 44/26 compact double with a 32t big cog, which gives me a 3mph gear, great for long steep gravel climbs, and I’m a slow climber. Anything lower than that and I switch to my two foot gear, ad I can push my bike uphill not much slower than that.
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Old 01-21-24, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
Wheels Of Steel how about this XTR crankset - arguably the best ever ! FS XTR M-900 Shimano crankset Xlnt Cond ! - Bike Forums

titanium bolts included

/markp
Thanks for the offer! These also don't achieve the lower gearing I'm after. Are those in very good or excellent condition? The subject title says excellent but the post says very good.
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Old 01-21-24, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
That’s a 110/74 BCD crankset, only goes down to 24t, OP is looking for 20 or 22t.

You can find 22t compatible cranksets at Rivendell and other sites, but note that there are no “vintage” cranksets that I know of that go below 24. All of them will look “chunky” however.

Wondering why the OP wants that small of a chainring? I put s 44/26 compact double with a 32t big cog, which gives me a 3mph gear, great for long steep gravel climbs, and I’m a slow climber. Anything lower than that and I switch to my two foot gear, ad I can push my bike uphill not much slower than that.
Loaded touring. Current low gear is 24/34. Will eventually go 24/36. I want to be able to climb up walls.
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Old 01-21-24, 01:00 PM
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You could sell a kidney and go for the Rene Herse triple: https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-triple-crank/
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Old 01-21-24, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
You could sell a kidney and go for the Rene Herse triple: https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-triple-crank/
Thanks for your reply! This doesn't achieve any lower gearing than what I have currently.
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Old 01-21-24, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Thanks for your reply! This doesn't achieve any lower gearing than what I have currently.
I was going to suggest the Rene Herse as well. I suspect it is the lightest, but I'm not sure. Also, how low can you get the gearing with a vintage or modern classic 5-pin design?
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Old 01-21-24, 01:16 PM
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Shimano STX-RC series cranks used 58bcd inner rings that go down to 20 teeth, can be found on the big auction site for around $65-70.
Race Face made 94/58 bcd triples too, and they are likely lighter than the Shimanos. But like 5X the cost.

Pretty much everything else that gets down to the 20 tooth mark is more modern 4 bolt mountain bike stuff. Might be lighter but has a higher ugly factor IMO.
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Old 01-21-24, 01:18 PM
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You need a bolt circle diameter of 64 mm for a 20-tooth chainring. It's a long shot, but you could go to eBay and start an ongoing search (or whatever their terminology is) for a Suntour Microdrive crankset. The stock crankset came with an inner chainring of 20 teeth.

I see a NOS 20-tooth chainring listed on Amazon, not that that helps much. Amazon also lists 4-arm cranks that accept 22-tooth chainrings, apparently.
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Old 01-21-24, 01:19 PM
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Surly, Dimension and Origin8 all produce both 94 and 58bcd chainrings.

Your Ritchey crank was available in 94/58 and 110/74. I assume you’re running the 110/74, but I’ve had more pairs of the 94bcd pass through my hands than the 110, and they come up for sale fairly often.
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Old 01-21-24, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
Shimano STX-RC series cranks used 58bcd inner rings that go down to 20 teeth, can be found on the big auction site for around $65-70.
Race Face made 94/58 bcd triples too, and they are likely lighter than the Shimanos. But like 5X the cost.

Pretty much everything else that gets down to the 20 tooth mark is more modern 4 bolt mountain bike stuff. Might be lighter but has a higher ugly factor IMO.
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Old 01-21-24, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fliplap
Surly, Dimension and Origin8 all produce both 94 and 58bcd chainrings.

Your Ritchey crank was available in 94/58 and 110/74. I assume you’re running the 110/74, but I’ve had more pairs of the 94bcd pass through my hands than the 110, and they come up for sale fairly often.
Most helpful reply yet. Thank you!
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Old 01-21-24, 01:43 PM
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This is a nice crank, 94/58 bcd:

https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...1623e&Enum=115

Find one of those and you can get to 20 teeth. I have one sitting around that I plan on using for a project bike. It's a nice crank.
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Old 01-21-24, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Thanks for the offer! These also don't achieve the lower gearing I'm after. Are those in very good or excellent condition? The subject title says excellent but the post says very good.
The M900 was a nice crank, the first XTR series and beginning of chainrings with 'modern' style shift aids (middle only on the M900) & shorter spindles.

Crank arms on this example looks nice but unfortunately has replacement outer & inner ring, middle(?).
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Old 01-21-24, 03:17 PM
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The reason XTR didn't go any lower than 24t, while XT and lower price points did? I'm pretty sure it's because powerful riders like the pros, whom XTR is aimed at, would break chains and/or wear them out too fast if they used such small chainrings.

Remember, the chain tension goes up as the chainring size goes down, inversely proportional. Better to get low gears with bigger rear sprockets, if chain durability/reliability are important to you.

In the early '80s my XC-racing MTB had a TA crank with an adapter I made to use freewheel cogs as the granny. I raced with an 18 on there, mostly for weight-weenie reasons — it let me use a small freewheel and a short-cage derailer. But after I broke chains in two races, I switched back to more normal gearing.

Yes chains can break from not being joined correctly, especially back then when skill with the rivet tool was a requirement. Not saying I was the best at riveting chains, but I'd been a bike mechanic for 10 years by then and was well aware of proper technique. And I worked on my bike a lot, so extreme wear or neglect can be dismissed as the cause of my chain breaking.

I hear modern chains are more durable, from better design and materials, but I'm strictly a C&V guy now, not interested in drivetrains with more than 6 or 7 cogs in back.
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Old 01-21-24, 03:34 PM
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Middleburn does the RO1 road crank and spindle in square taper. They also do a compatible 94/58 3x spider that takes rings down to 20t.
All in silver, if you like.

Unfortunately the UK site [BETD] is out of stock of these items atm.

Recently purchased an RO2 X-Type in silver for a 2x 42/22. Crank looks real nice.
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Old 01-21-24, 03:49 PM
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Topline microdrive was cool in the day. I ran 44-32-20.
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Old 01-21-24, 05:03 PM
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Bulgie above, nails it. Mountain bike applications back then~ definitely was hard on chains, rapid wear on small aluminum chainring, rear derailleurs tension spring sometimes could be fine tuned tweaked to help avoid dreaded chain suck. Long crank arms (175) were the thing as well. Consider the extra leverage equates to added stresses. The worst though is a chain snapping while standing and pedaling.

I was using Ritchey Logic cranks yet I forget whom actually made them, might've been Sugino. Little ally ring would quickly wear out and same for the chain. Wanted to maintain lightness yet avoided steel ring so then splurged for SRP supplied titanium rings.

These days we have more options and improved components to tackle these super ratio's, capacity and wrap. Lots of experimenting for the older stuff, hacks and adapt with new little parts. Drill and reclock for internal spring tension, adapt to longer aftermarket arms, various tooth count jockey pulleys, extended derailleur mounts etc..

But even if you got all the above dialed in for some vintage touring rig, think about the crank Q- factor plus torsional flexing of a weighted down steel frame. I've had some perfectly operating mountain goat climbing bikes on the workstand but definitely didn't act the same in real world conditions.
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Old 01-21-24, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Are there cranksets out there that fit these criteria?

Square taper
20T or 22T low gear
Easily replaceable chainrings
Lightweight

In my search I can't have all of the above. 94/56 chainrings aren't readily available, and many cranksets with a lower gear veer towards chunky MTB cranksets.
With those requirements you’re looking at an early-mid-‘90’s crank from the beginning of the “compact drive” period. That means the SunTour XC Pro Microdrive or the Sugino or Specialized-badged Sugino cranks.

Maybe, just maybe, Euro-Asia Imports has some NOS still around. They’re packrats and wholesale-only:

https:/www.euroasiaimports.com/productcart/pc/XC-Pro-MicroDrive-Crankset-1579p9975.htm
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Old 01-21-24, 05:33 PM
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A modern-ish alternative: Peter White lists TA Carmina cranks. Lots of crank lengths, lots of chainring spiders. His website might be a bit out-of-date:

https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/carmina.php
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Old 01-21-24, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
A modern-ish alternative: Peter White lists TA Carmina cranks. Lots of crank lengths, lots of chainring spiders. His website might be a bit out-of-date:

https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/carmina.php
Did Carmina ever get redesigned with a smaller "hollow" in back? The one in the pic clearly was not strong enough, the web of alu around the hollow was too thin:



Any brand/model of crank can break, from abuse or mega miles, powerful clydesdale or what-have-you. Maybe the one in the pic was a fluke, but that thin web looks like trouble to me.
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Old 01-21-24, 06:55 PM
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Suntour XC Pro MicroDrive was a 94/56:

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