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2 Build Options

Old 05-18-17, 05:56 PM
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ADAP7IVE
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2 Build Options

Planning a custom Ti build and riding with a disability (thanks to everyone for helping me on previous posts about shifting!); purpose is a long-distance off-road bikepacker/trail play bike. I must be able to shift easily entirely with the left hand if shifting is involved. The only real issue now is the drivetrain. The most elegant and simple options I have found are below:

1) Single Speed. This eliminates most of the maintenance and failure concerns of other drivetrains I considered (Rohloff, Di2, Mechanical XT, etc). It will keep the bike light and quiet, and I've found proof of concept in several impressive bikepackers doing Tour Divide on SS rigs. Potential for extra training via "harder" riding in a single gear (consider that a plus, not a minus). I travel light in general so heavy bikepacking isn't a concern, but the downside I can see is the potential for hating long climbs and/or killing my knees.

2) Di2. I originally wrote this off due purely to cost, but a builder showed me some configurations that keep costs down (particularly because I wouldn't need a right shift lever or front mech). I could easily shift with one hand on drops or a flat bar. Maintenance is reduced via the lack of shift cables, and shifting will be reliably good. Concerns are obsolescence (unfounded?) and risk of electronic failure in mud/rain (also unfounded?).

Last edited by ADAP7IVE; 05-18-17 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 05-18-17, 08:10 PM
  #2  
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if you go SS, i would take along ability to lower the gear inches. most people over estimate their comfort/abilites on long trips via SS bikes. don't ask how i know.

a few extra cogs is all that's needed.

last trip i had a freehub rear hub with two cogs and a loosely tightened retaining ring. when i wanted to switch i just removed the rear wheel and the retaining ring and swapped the cogs. the chain (which i tested before the trip) along with the adjust ability the rear dropouts afforded me, allowed the chain to work with either combination. so no chain breaker was needed.

and if the difference between the tooth count of the cogs is too great to use just one chain, you really don't need a chain breaker, just a chain with a couple, or three, quick links (or whatever they are called) in it at judicious points.

and if you're not too fussy about chainline, you can set it up so as to just loosen the rear wheel, move the chain over to the other cog, tighten up the wheel, and be on your way.

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Old 05-18-17, 10:00 PM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
if you go SS, i would take along ability to lower the gear inches. most people over estimate their comfort/abilites on long trips via SS bikes. don't ask how i know.

a few extra cogs is all that's needed.

last trip i had a freehub rear hub with two cogs and a loosely tightened retaining ring. when i wanted to switch i just removed the rear wheel and the retaining ring and swapped the cogs. the chain (which i tested before the trip) along with the adjust ability the rear dropouts afforded me, allowed the chain to work with either combination. so no chain breaker was needed.

and if the difference between the tooth count of the cogs is too great to use just one chain, you really don't need a chain breaker, just a chain with a couple, or three, quick links (or whatever they are called) in it at judicious points.

and if you're not too fussy about chainline, you can set it up so as to just loosen the rear wheel, move the chain over to the other cog, tighten up the wheel, and be on your way.
Thanks for your help. It's good to know there are manageable options for changing the gearing mid-trip if necessary.
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Old 05-18-17, 10:09 PM
  #4  
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If you are going custom Ti and DI2 is throwing you off price wise...you might want to find another builder? Di2 might be expensive but so is a good quality custom titanium frame generally much more so. Di2 as stated elsewhere would probably be the best option for you since you can put shifters just about anywhere and have them shift any which way and you can do IGH or geared setups both road and MTB which are now cross compatible it makes a ton of sense.

If you are worried about running out of juice get it hooked up to a dynamo set up like I am planning and that hapman Cycles, Shamrock Cycles and Calfee (amongst possible others) have done or have some solutions to help out at least. Work that out with your frame builder and set it up so you can cleanly fit all the chargers and such (which aren't that big but do take up some space.
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Old 05-18-17, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
If you are going custom Ti and DI2 is throwing you off price wise...you might want to find another builder? Di2 might be expensive but so is a good quality custom titanium frame generally much more so. Di2 as stated elsewhere would probably be the best option for you since you can put shifters just about anywhere and have them shift any which way and you can do IGH or geared setups both road and MTB which are now cross compatible it makes a ton of sense.

If you are worried about running out of juice get it hooked up to a dynamo set up like I am planning and that hapman Cycles, Shamrock Cycles and Calfee (amongst possible others) have done or have some solutions to help out at least. Work that out with your frame builder and set it up so you can cleanly fit all the chargers and such (which aren't that big but do take up some space.
Thanks again! The price isn't an issue anymore. I should have been clearer, but I meant that way back at the beginning of this custom plan, I dismissed Di2 out of hand because I assumed it was too expensive. Once I started talking out the details with builders, I found that it could work.

At this point I'm just comparing the relative pros and cons: do I want to have a super-simple setup and just focus on riding and getting stronger, or do I want gears to leave no question about whether I'll get over the next mountain? I really need to stop worrying about it and pull the trigger lol
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Old 05-19-17, 06:34 AM
  #6  
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If you don't reach a point where you need lower gears you either aren't bringing enough stuff, aren't going far enough out of the normal way, or both.

I'd imagine no matter how strong you are, a bike with 30 pounds of food, water, and gear (assuming a few days in the wilderness) will be a lot to ride up some hills at the end of a long day ... and less fun to try to push up those same hills, particularly if you want to camp on some high hill with a beautiful vista spread out below.

No matter how strong you are, after a few days of riding you might finish a day tired---particularly if you imagine a day of non-stop rolling hills and a headwind, for instance. You Hope it never happens, but you had best be ready if it does.

I'd look for a 1x with a 14-42 cassette, personally.

If you are planning overnight trips or will always be near stores and on mostly flat ground an SS would be simpler ... but oh, so limiting.
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Old 05-21-17, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
If you don't reach a point where you need lower gears you either aren't bringing enough stuff, aren't going far enough out of the normal way, or both.

I'd imagine no matter how strong you are, a bike with 30 pounds of food, water, and gear (assuming a few days in the wilderness) will be a lot to ride up some hills at the end of a long day ... and less fun to try to push up those same hills, particularly if you want to camp on some high hill with a beautiful vista spread out below.

No matter how strong you are, after a few days of riding you might finish a day tired---particularly if you imagine a day of non-stop rolling hills and a headwind, for instance. You Hope it never happens, but you had best be ready if it does.

I'd look for a 1x with a 14-42 cassette, personally.

If you are planning overnight trips or will always be near stores and on mostly flat ground an SS would be simpler ... but oh, so limiting.
Thanks for your input, it helps a lot. I'm looking at SRAM grip-shift now too. We'll see what happens.
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Old 05-21-17, 05:32 PM
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Why did you decide against a Rohloff?
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Old 05-21-17, 06:38 PM
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Do a bit of research for shifters that mount on standard (non STI) brake levers, Gevenalle as example

https://gevenalle.com/shifters/

You might be able to mount the rear shifter on the L brake lever. Then use a bar-con shifter for the front derailleur.

That would get all your shifting on the left side.
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Old 05-21-17, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Semipedersen View Post
Why did you decide against a Rohloff?
Rear-focused weight, initial cost, and the realization that I wanted it for low maintenance when other options (Di2, SS) would cut maintenance down as well. One option still on the table is building a frame with sliding dropouts and running it SS, then getting some new touring wheels with Rohloff built at a later time when money allows.

Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Do a bit of research for shifters that mount on standard (non STI) brake levers, Gevenalle as example

https://gevenalle.com/shifters/

You might be able to mount the rear shifter on the L brake lever. Then use a bar-con shifter for the front derailleur.

That would get all your shifting on the left side.
I like Gevenalle shifters; I contacted them the other day and they said they could do a friction shifter only on the left side. I like the SRAM XO grip shifter, too.
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