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Triple Front Derailleurs and Half Step Gearing (Miyata 1000 content)

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Triple Front Derailleurs and Half Step Gearing (Miyata 1000 content)

Old 10-25-11, 09:49 AM
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Triple Front Derailleurs and Half Step Gearing (Miyata 1000 content)

A month ago or so I picked up an 81 Miyata 1000 for my cousin. He is wanting to get into touring with his Rivendale/Surly riding brothers.

I bought the bike from a bikeshop in a small town. They had turned into a cheap single speed by removing two chainrings, the derailleurs and shifters. The bike had sat on CL for a while, maybe because the ad misspelled "Miyata" and didn't identify it as a 1000. And maybe because turning a Miyata 1000 into a cheap single speed was just stupid.

So I have been turning this bike back into tourer for my cousin. I had tektro brake levers, a Sora RD, a 105 FD, picked up a pair of DA bar end shifters, and used some 48cm Nitto Noodles I had. And I reinstalled the front two chain rings. Overall, the bike looks pretty nice for what we have into it.

BUT-- and there is a big BUT here-- the FD will not get the chain onto the large ring. The FD hits the middle chain ring if you try and go up. My guess is that a "modern" 105 triple FD is not meant to work with "classic" half step gearing. Is that a good guess?

So I figure that I either need a different "non-half step" middle chainring-- or a half-step particular FD. Again, is that right?

I am thinking we would rather change the middle chainring. Can anyone tell me what I would need for a new middle chainring? I think the front cranks are SR, but I don't know what chainrings will work with it. And I am not sure what teeth range would work with the 105 FD.

Alternatively, what front derailleurs would work?

Thanks for your help

Obligatory Pics of bike (first shot as purchased from add, later shots showing put back together)











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Old 10-25-11, 09:52 AM
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A front derailleur designed specifically for triple chainrings would probably work better. The inside plate of the cage extends lower.
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Old 10-25-11, 09:58 AM
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Half step plus gearing is kinda silly if you're using a freewheel or cassette with more than five cogs. If it were me, I'd replace one of the rings depending on the teeth count. You could also configure that crank into a wide range double. This probably wouldn't even necessitate a BB spindle change.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:24 AM
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Just to be clear-- the front derailleur on the bike now is a triple 105. A 5503. The shimano tech docs say that it has a "minimum difference between top and intermediate" chainrings of 10 teeth. Since the large chain ring is a 52, I think I need a 42-40 middle chain ring. Right now it has a 45 I think.

Alternatively, I need whatever sort of front derailleur is supposed to work with half step gearing. Is that still a triple front derailleur? A special kind of triple?
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Old 10-25-11, 10:31 AM
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There were some early Deore XT fronts that have a "for half step gearing" sticker on them. It doesn't seem to look much different than the standard Deore XT triple though.

Try any old Deore MTB or Suntour XC/Mountech front derailleur and you should be in business. Not really sure why your current one isn't working because it should be easier to go from 45 to 52 than 42 to 52.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
it should be easier to go from 45 to 52 than 42 to 52.
True but in this case, as Tom mentioned, the Inner plate of the FD extends quite a bit lower and has a bit of a 3d thing going on to aid in changing across a big jump in chainrings.

Start by simply moving the FD higher up on the seat tube and see if you can get some love that way. If not its either change the FD or change the middle chainring. If it were mine I'd change the chainring.

I understand the appeal of half-step on a Tourer...especially if you're in a place with a lot of flats. Problem with your setup is Its not actually half-step. If you have a 52T big ring you'll need something more like a 50t or 49t middle ring for half-step.
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Old 10-25-11, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
A front derailleur designed specifically for triple chainrings would probably work better. The inside plate of the cage extends lower.
That is exactly the problem. The inner cage is hitting the middle chain ring.

Originally Posted by sjpitts View Post
Just to be clear-- the front derailleur on the bike now is a triple 105. A 5503. The shimano tech docs say that it has a "minimum difference between top and intermediate" chainrings of 10 teeth. Since the large chain ring is a 52, I think I need a 42-40 middle chain ring. Right now it has a 45 I think.

Alternatively, I need whatever sort of front derailleur is supposed to work with half step gearing. Is that still a triple front derailleur? A special kind of triple?
Why would you think that you could ignore the specifications of the FD? Forget about 'half step + granny", and get a 40t middle ring. Choose the rear freewheel around that.
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Old 10-25-11, 11:14 AM
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Not to hijack this thread but I hopefully my question is close enough (if there is a problem let me know and I will delete this), considering the Colonels comment about swapping out the front rings.

I have a '82 Miyata 610 with the same crank setup shown in the OP, SR 5tg triple 52-47-34. I rarely find myself up in the top 52t ring. Would it be workable to ditch the 52, make the 47 the outer ring and then use say a 39 - 30 for the middle and granny rings if I could find them? Or is there something geometry-wise about the middle 47 ring that it would not work as an outer ring?

I don't have an answer for the OP, mine still has the original Suntour BL FD that works with no problems.
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Old 10-25-11, 11:18 AM
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as long as your crankset takes the same BCD for the outer ring as it does the middle ring (many do) you should be fine.
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Old 10-25-11, 11:26 AM
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The SR Apex Touring crank uses a 86mm BCD. You can fit rings as small as 28t. All three rings use the 86mm BCD in this case. Your chainline might not be optimal after switching the crank to a double, but this isn't hard to remedy. Personally, I really like modern cassettes and wide range doubles (46-48t, 30-32t).
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Old 10-25-11, 11:42 AM
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You might find some of your answers on the Miyata 1000 Gran Touring by clicking the link. I owned that 1000, and one other since then, and liked both bikes very much...
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Old 10-25-11, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
That is exactly the problem. The inner cage is hitting the middle chain ring.



Why would you think that you could ignore the specifications of the FD? Forget about 'half step + granny", and get a 40t middle ring. Choose the rear freewheel around that.
In my defense, I didn't check the shimano specs until after I posted the thread. But in hindsight, yes.
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Old 10-25-11, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
The SR Apex Touring crank uses a 86mm BCD. You can fit rings as small as 28t. All three rings use the 86mm BCD in this case.
Thanks--this is what I need.

ISO: An 86mm BCD chainring, 42-40 teeth. To fit an SR Apex Touring Cranks.

Have: Lots of trade bait and unmentionables.
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Old 10-25-11, 01:03 PM
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You could stick a double FD on there and I'd bet it would work. They're better suited for 1/2+G setups. Got a Cyclone MkII you could try?
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Old 10-25-11, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sjpitts View Post
Thanks--this is what I need.

ISO: An 86mm BCD chainring, 42-40 teeth. To fit an SR Apex Touring Cranks.

Have: Lots of trade bait and unmentionables.
I may have one out in my car right now. Lemme go look.
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Old 10-25-11, 03:02 PM
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yep. 86bcd, 42T off an SR Apex crankset.

PM me if you want it.
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Old 10-25-11, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
I may have one out in my car right now. Lemme go look.

Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
yep. 86bcd, 42T off an SR Apex crankset.
Have you thought about seeking help?
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Old 10-25-11, 04:26 PM
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Cyclone FD works well, and a MountTech FD is my go-to for HSB gears. Shimano also made one specifically for half-step gears, though I can't remember the model number right now.
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Old 10-25-11, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sjpitts View Post
Just to be clear-- the front derailleur on the bike now is a triple 105. A 5503. The shimano tech docs say that it has a "minimum difference between top and intermediate" chainrings of 10 teeth. Since the large chain ring is a 52, I think I need a 42-40 middle chain ring. Right now it has a 45 I think.

Alternatively, I need whatever sort of front derailleur is supposed to work with half step gearing. Is that still a triple front derailleur? A special kind of triple?
For what you have you can use nearly any vintage front derailleur that is NOT made for a triple, such as a Campy Nuovo Record, any of a number of Hurets, a Suntour Cyclone II, a Shimano 600-6207, or any one of a million others. What you can't use, as Shimano said, is a triple front derailleur.

But unless you count out all your rear sprockets and lay out a proper half-step, there's no reason to think you even have a decent HS+G. It might just be simpler to go to a 42 tooth front chainring, That should get you going. Then by riding a lot you can see if the resulting gearing works for you. Or, you can print up all your tooth counts here in C&V and I or someone else can design a good HS+G for you.

Your current derailleur isn't working because triple front mechs have a deep inner plate that's designed to press on teh chain when it sits on a small sprocket. The deep inner plate will not clear the diameter of a large middle chainring such as a 47 or whatever you have on there now. A Huret derailleur from the half-step era will clear it handily. I have a vintage Huret shifting a 48/44/26, so it can handle the deep granny, too. I've also used the Suntour Cyclone and a Shimano 600 on similar setups.

Last edited by Road Fan; 10-25-11 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
yep. 86bcd, 42T off an SR Apex crankset.

PM me if you want it.
PM sent.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
Have you thought about seeking help?
Why do we want him to get help? He has all the parts we need in his car. That is what I call a good resource.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
You could stick a double FD on there and I'd bet it would work. They're better suited for 1/2+G setups. Got a Cyclone MkII you could try?
I've used the Suntour Cyclone MK-II FD on all sorts of triples and it's never given me grief. Suntour AR or Mountech or a Shimano Deer Head would also handle your setup.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:18 PM
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i've been through this. the mountain style FDs won't work unless you have at least 10ish teeth difference in cogs. what you need is a road FD...something like a shimano 600. they are great FDs, cheap, and work with half-step granny or something like 50-40-30. very versatile.

edit: also if you decide to put fenders on it, the mountain FD will probably hit your fenders as well.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:52 PM
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I put a Shimano Deer Head on my 82 Voyageur SP with half-step rings just this last weekend and I had to adjust it very high to make it work. That and the lack of a cable housing stop on the FD reinforces my view that FrankenFrontDerailleurs are about as troublesome as mixing and matching square taper BB parts. I really liked the old HS+G gearing but not enough to try to round up all the necessary parts. Unless Zaphod has something in his car for me?
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Old 10-25-11, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sjpitts View Post
Why do we want him to get help? He has all the parts we need in his car. That is what I call a good resource.
+1!
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