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New Build crank

Old 11-29-15, 09:29 AM
  #1  
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New Build crank

Building a Surly Ogre and am looking at all the options for the "drive train". This build will be strictly off road touring so I'm looking for a beefy set up. Wondering if there are any good 8 speed setups to be had. Seems like everyone has gone to 9 or 10.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:59 AM
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Nothing wrong with using a crankset that is designed/labelled as 9-speed with an 8 speed setup. That's what I have on my bike now, and it shifts really well. With that in mind, there are a plethora of options, especially if you want to stick with 22/32/42 or 44. Do you already have a BB installed? I not, do you have a preference for BB type? Do you want to go triple or double?
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Old 11-29-15, 10:05 AM
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what bars are you thinking of doing? Flat, risers, those Jones type ones, trekking bars or drops? Off topic but curious.

If I were doing a lot of off road I'd not be keen on bar ends and find trigger shifters to still be nicest when on loose surfaces and want/need all the control of hands on grips or wherever.

I ride an old 8 spd mtn bike as a commuter and whatnot, but I dont see why you are hesitant to use at least 9. Why not have closer ratios for the same cassette spread?

as for cranks, I would still go traditional mtn triple for the advantages of triples, and 42/32/22 still are a great range for riding with stuff on your bike, especially off road as the average speeds are never going to be as high as on pavement (generalization but you know what I mean) and the mid 32 ring will be used the vast majority of the time, from pretty much 10-30kph easily, which really is the area we are riding in the most.

This speed range is from my experience with a 26in triple bike, in fact I just started riding it again after being on my drop bar bike since late spring early summer, and on my mostly flat commute, mid ring really does fit in that range, although I do spin faster than some people.

with an ogre, and 700 wheels, the gearing will be higher than my 26in wheels, so this is a help if you are concerned about the mid ring being too low, but my experience really does show a 32 would be good.

what experience do you have mtn biking and lower gearing, mtn cranks and such? My feeling is dont drink the Double Koolaid, a mtn 42-28 won't have as low gears, and triple fd work perfectly fine if set up normally, so I my experience is that triple fd's work perfectly fine and give you a nicer range than a double, especially given you're bike will be 20lbs heavier or whatever with a load.

Again, what experience with this sort of intended riding do you have and with what gearing?

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Old 11-29-15, 10:07 AM
  #4  
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I use a 10 speed Campy road crank with an 8 speed system. Some say that you are supposed to put some thin spacers in between some of the chainrings and crank because the chainrings are thinner. I added the spacers, but I am not sure if that is absolutely necessary.

Thinner chainrings probably wear a little faster.
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Old 11-29-15, 10:13 AM
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"speeds" apply to the back not the crank. you are quoting marketing .. +1) thinner chains get thinner chainrings ..

Off road bike packing .. get an MTB crank 44:11 should be high enough..
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Old 11-29-15, 10:27 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
"speeds" apply to the back not the crank. you are quoting marketing ..
I've always understood "speeds" as to meaning the total number of gears, i.e 2 front, 5 rear = 10 speed etc...
On its own a cassette can be called 5, 9, 11 speed or whatever, but a bike's "speeds" is described by multiplying front with back. A triple crank with an 11-speed cassette makes a 33-speed bike.

But whatever Sheldon Brown on speeds: 6-speed, 7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed?

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Old 11-29-15, 10:36 AM
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then you say 22 or 30 speed .. though back in the day we would say the tooth counts, next .. 52-36 , 13-28 (6 v * freewheel)

In the 50's I Built a 27 speed bike ... 3x3x3 speeds..


*You could use 'Vitesses' too Same thing, but French..

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Old 11-29-15, 10:38 AM
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What was a 10-speed bike back in the day? That's what we called 'em anyhoo...

Nowadays I would probable say "uh it's got 27 gears, you know a triple crank and 9-speed cassette"... ain't got easier
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Old 11-29-15, 01:03 PM
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Plan on buying the jones loop and butterfly trekking bars, trying each for a while to see what I like best. As for experience on a MB, I started out on a Trek 3500 (I still have) and really like the thumb shifters. I'm finding there are a ton more options for a MB than a touring road bike when it comes to gears and such.
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Old 11-29-15, 05:14 PM
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I would probably run a more modern XT 9 speed RD on an 8 speed cassette hook it up to a Ultegra Bar End Shifter (Rivendell sells the 8 speed version) on a Paul Thumbie mount and then whatever at the front.
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Old 11-29-15, 07:59 PM
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I have to ask... why 8-speed? If you are building it, why not go ahead and go 9-speed? Same cassette spacing on the rear hub. Do you have some sweet 8 speed part already?
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Old 11-29-15, 08:18 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
I have to ask... why 8-speed? If you are building it, why not go ahead and go 9-speed? Same cassette spacing on the rear hub. Do you have some sweet 8 speed part already?
I can't say why the OP is looking at 8, but I can say why I did. I built up my first touring bike in 2004. At that time both 8 and 9 were common. I chose 8 because I wanted the rear to stay in adjustment longer, the distance between the rear cogs is slightly greater. And, I am using a Sram 11/32 cassette. Both the 8 and 9 speed cassettes have the following cogs in common: 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21 and 32. The only difference between the two cassettes is that the 8 speed has a 26T cog while the 9 speed has a 24T and 28T cogs. I concluded that I would rarely be on the cogs that are bigger than 21, so I would rarely be on the part of the cassette where I would notice the additional cog.

Right now I regularly use three 8 speed bikes (all three use the same Sram 11/32 cassette, one 7 speed, one 6 speed, my trainer bike (indoors on the trainer) is an old mixte frame 6 speed, and a Rohloff bike. Every one of the bikes uses the same chains.
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Old 11-29-15, 08:57 PM
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re 8 vs 9, yes it is only 1 more, but your example of 8sp 11-32 and 9 sp 11-32 is one I am familiar with. In our household we have both and all I can say is that when you ride bikes that have closer ratios, you really get to like it.

the 8sp 11-32 has a 20% jump in there, between the 15t and 18t, which is a big jump. I rode a 8sp 11-28 for a long time and now have a 12-25 on that bike, with a 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25 which has closer % between shifts, which is just so nice.
I realize that a 12-25 isnt much use while touring, unless its on a bike with a 42/32/22 which gives a 22 g.i. low, but really my point is that having closer jumps is always going to be attractive and has real world advantages, easier on the legs and knees, nice in headwinds or long drawn out climbs where sometimes you are too high, then too low.

I guess I look at increased speed in back as a real plus, and for me having closer ratios are a priority and a real world advantage for my legs when you have a bunch of extra weight on a bike in a touring situation.

As I've gotten older and more gearing nerdier, I'll prefer to have a smaller crankset, but which allows a tighter cassette for the vast majority of riding speeds, in the 15-25kph range--as this is where it will be easier on your legs and knees and you will be faster overall at the same time (but still having a crucial low gear inch that of course depends on your load and terrain you'll be in).

here are three charts of three bikes in our household with various gearing setups, specifically look at the percentage jump between shifts.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I can't say why the OP is looking at 8, but I can say why I did. I built up my first touring bike in 2004. At that time both 8 and 9 were common. I chose 8 because I wanted the rear to stay in adjustment longer, the distance between the rear cogs is slightly greater. And, I am using a Sram 11/32 cassette. Both the 8 and 9 speed cassettes have the following cogs in common: 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21 and 32. The only difference between the two cassettes is that the 8 speed has a 26T cog while the 9 speed has a 24T and 28T cogs. I concluded that I would rarely be on the cogs that are bigger than 21, so I would rarely be on the part of the cassette where I would notice the additional cog.

Right now I regularly use three 8 speed bikes (all three use the same Sram 11/32 cassette, one 7 speed, one 6 speed, my trainer bike (indoors on the trainer) is an old mixte frame 6 speed, and a Rohloff bike. Every one of the bikes uses the same chains.
I don't necessarily disagree... I am running 8-speed on my touring bike. Not worth changing everything to get one extra cog. But if I were doing a build I would go 9-speed because I like the spread and want the 34T cog.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:19 PM
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I find that on my DT I when I change gears with my 10 speed I end up changing two or three. I'd like a little more spread between the gears. Also I like the idea of having more space between the rear cogs for when I get in the mud. (also should make it less touchy on the adjustments, It took a while for me to get the hang of setting the derailleur adjustment)
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Old 11-29-15, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
I find that on my DT I when I change gears with my 10 speed I end up changing two or three. I'd like a little more spread between the gears. Also I like the idea of having more space between the rear cogs for when I get in the mud. (also should make it less touchy on the adjustments, It took a while for me to get the hang of setting the derailleur adjustment)
guess it comes down to preference to how you like the spacing between gears. The nice thing with cassettes is that you can always even buy a cheaper cassette and get riding experience and see what you like, and what works for you in given conditions.
I've ridden 6, 7, 8 and now 9 speed in touring situations, so like I said before, for me the closer jumps are appealing.

I would add that when you have 20, 30, 40lbs of stuff on a bike in steep climbs or pain in the arse headwinds, having closer jumps is very much noticeable and a lot easier on your leg muscles etc.

I certainly dont have a lot of mtn bike mud experience, but would say that all of my bikes for the last 30 years have worked extremely reliably for shifting adjustments, so I certainly dont equate 8 being better than 9, or 10 or whatever.

Think of all the heavy mtn bike riding that is done with 10 sp stuff now and I am sure it is just as accurate and adjustments no diff than previous generations.
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Old 11-30-15, 02:52 AM
  #17  
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The best thing about 8 speed is random chain replacement at the Walmart. As for friction, I found 9 speed friction is fine but 7/8 is better. I'm guessing 10 might start getting annoying.

Triples are great for touring.

Shimano mega cassettes are icky. 26 to 34 jump, blech.
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Old 11-30-15, 11:53 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re 8 vs 9, yes it is only 1 more, but your example of 8sp 11-32 and 9 sp 11-32 is one I am familiar with. In our household we have both and all I can say is that when you ride bikes that have closer ratios, you really get to like it.

the 8sp 11-32 has a 20% jump in there, between the 15t and 18t, which is a big jump. I rode a 8sp 11-28 for a long time and now have a 12-25 on that bike, with a 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25 which has closer % between shifts, which is just so nice.
I realize that a 12-25 isnt much use while touring, unless its on a bike with a 42/32/22 which gives a 22 g.i. low, but really my point is that having closer jumps is always going to be attractive and has real world advantages, easier on the legs and knees, nice in headwinds or long drawn out climbs where sometimes you are too high, then too low.

I guess I look at increased speed in back as a real plus, and for me having closer ratios are a priority and a real world advantage for my legs when you have a bunch of extra weight on a bike in a touring situation.

As I've gotten older and more gearing nerdier, I'll prefer to have a smaller crankset, but which allows a tighter cassette for the vast majority of riding speeds, in the 15-25kph range--as this is where it will be easier on your legs and knees and you will be faster overall at the same time (but still having a crucial low gear inch that of course depends on your load and terrain you'll be in).

here are three charts of three bikes in our household with various gearing setups, specifically look at the percentage jump between shifts.
I agree with you on the tight spacing being very nice. But while touring, 90 percent of the time I am in the range of 50 to about 90 gear inches, thus I want to have the really tight gearing in that range. I need the low gears for hills, but I am content to have wider gear ranges on the hills because I spend so little time in those lower gear ranges.

I use a 52/42/24 road crank. The 52 and 42 gears are almost exactly one and a half step gearing plus the 24 granny. I do not use the two most cross chained gears on each chainring (when on smallest chainring, do not use the two smallest rear cogs, when on the middle chainring do not use the smallest and biggest cog, etc.). Thus, my 8 speed cassette with a triple gives me a total of 18 gears.

This graph is my 18 gears plotted up using Schwalbe 559X40mm plain Marathon tires. The key on the right shows which chainring is used for each gear. The numbers are gear inches.



I did one tour with a 46T outer chainring instead of the 52 to try half step gearing plus granny. That is graphed below. This gave me one more gear in the gap of 51.1 to 59.6 and I lost a little on the high end.



Around home I prefer the 52T outer chainring over the 46T, those two highest gears above 110 gear inches are really nice on long shallow downhills. But for future touring I expect to switch to the 46T outer chainring because I like to have that extra gear in the gap between the 51.1 to 59.6 gears. And when touring with a big load in my panniers, I am less likely to fully enjoy a fast downhill ride, thus while touring I rarely use the two highest gears of 110 or more gear inches.

I did this spreadsheeting and graphing myself because I wanted a way to graph up different gearing without including the cross chained gears. Everybody else's spreadsheets for gearing included the cross chained gearing.

I mentioned that I do not use 6 of my most cross chained gears, but by coincidence, I find a lot of redundant gears (duplicates) in those gears too, so by limiting myself to oly 18 of my total of 24 gears that I am not losing too much.

First photo is the drivetrain with 52/42/24 road crank with granny.



Second photo is on a different bike, the 46/42/24 for half step plus granny.

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Old 11-30-15, 02:28 PM
  #19  
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neat graphs, and I agree about disregarding cross chained gears. I too pretty much avoid the top couple of gears while in the granny (never use 8th and 9th gear, very rarely 7th)
In the mid ring I tend to not use the bottom one and the top one, although I do use the smallest cog sometimes, but not for extended periods.
In the big ring, I really only use the top half of the cassette

and overall, I like a mid ring that covers the majority of riding, and I've mentioned this before about your gearing, that for me a 42t mid ring is just too big. On my 50/39/26 bike, the 39 is great for unloaded and loaded to a certain extent, but I would very much prefer a 36 or even 34 for loaded touring, for my comfortable cadence and what my legs can put out comfortably, a 42 is too tall.

I very much agree with you in that the priority for closer gearing should be in the speed range that you will be going the majority of the time, this just makes sense.
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Old 11-30-15, 04:53 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
neat graphs, and I agree about disregarding cross chained gears. I too pretty much avoid the top couple of gears while in the granny (never use 8th and 9th gear, very rarely 7th)
In the mid ring I tend to not use the bottom one and the top one, although I do use the smallest cog sometimes, but not for extended periods.
In the big ring, I really only use the top half of the cassette

and overall, I like a mid ring that covers the majority of riding, and I've mentioned this before about your gearing, that for me a 42t mid ring is just too big. On my 50/39/26 bike, the 39 is great for unloaded and loaded to a certain extent, but I would very much prefer a 36 or even 34 for loaded touring, for my comfortable cadence and what my legs can put out comfortably, a 42 is too tall.

I very much agree with you in that the priority for closer gearing should be in the speed range that you will be going the majority of the time, this just makes sense.
I bet we ride around the same speed twiddling around town. I'll add: A 32 middle on 26in wheels for all around unloaded riding is too small.

My all around road ride has a 13-28 7 speed free married to a 48-36-24 I use 5,6,3 gears respectively, daily with three others once in a while when I want to avoid a ring shift.
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Old 11-30-15, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by escii_35 View Post
I bet we ride around the same speed twiddling around town. I'll add: A 32 middle on 26in wheels for all around unloaded riding is too small.

My all around road ride has a 13-28 7 speed free married to a 48-36-24 I use 5,6,3 gears respectively, daily with three others once in a while when I want to avoid a ring shift.
my 42/32/22 26in bike is just a litttttle bit geared too low with the 32 for me, it is pretty close though, with even the 32/12 combo being comfortable at 25-28kph for me at whatever cadence, but it would be nice a bit taller.

I would be happy with a 34 and it would keep the jump down to a 22 only 12t diff.

I used to have a 11-28, 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28, but l like the 12-25, with the 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25 and the 12-13-15 gets used a lot in general riding and with a bunch of weight on the bike, going along at 20-25k is very very common and the 32 still works for me at those speeds. If there is a downhill or tailwind, I can easily go up to the 42.

If I ever change out that mid ring, I will put in a 34. Ive changed the granny and the 42 in the past, so the 32 is probably due, but appears fine as far as I can tell.
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