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Touring Double--need advice

Old 04-09-16, 05:32 PM
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Touring Double--need advice

I'm in my fifties and have been riding/touring for 20+ years. I have been a long time fan of touring triples and a more recent convert to external bearing BB's, but I am thinking of dumping the 30-39-50 triple in favour of a 26-40 double. High gears don't mean much to me, only the low end. Does anyone know about compatibility issues when running 9-speed DA bar end shifters, 9s XT RD and LX front and a 10s dyna-sys double crankset? Has anyone done any loaded touring with a mountain double, or is it still mainly restricted to gravel bikes?

Thanks for any help. This is my first post so go easy on the new guy.
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Old 04-09-16, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by caribou22
I'm in my fifties and have been riding/touring for 20+ years. I have been a long time fan of touring triples and a more recent convert to external bearing BB's, but I am thinking of dumping the 30-39-50 triple in favour of a 26-40 double. High gears don't mean much to me, only the low end. .... Has anyone done any loaded touring with a mountain double, or is it still mainly restricted to gravel bikes?

Thanks for any help. This is my first post so go easy on the new guy.
Since you only asked for advice, and not "expert" advice or even "good" advice (for that compatibility thing you might want to ask this question in the Bicycle Mechanics sub-forum), I will say I don't know whether 9s shifters, FD & RD and I assume the chain, is compatible with a 10s crankset. I did a little "9s/10s compatibility" search using the little white "search" window in the upper right corner of every page, and got this, among many others:
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...atibility.html

Regardless of what you may see there regarding compatibility, the rest of your question is addressed here: I converted to a 26-38T double from a compact double 34-50T on my 11 speed road bike. My new bike shop found a road triple crank - Shimano Sora 9 speed- and traded out those 9s chain rings for 26 and 38T (yes, only two chain rings) 11 speed chain rings, in order to match up with my SRAM 11 speed 10-42 cassette. I do most of my pedaling in the bigger 38T chain ring, and slip down into the small chain ring for serious hill climbing with a load. This 2x11 mtb drive train is everything I need, unloaded or loaded. I have a range from about 17 to 104 gear inches, and I find that to be plenty. YMMV

You didn't say what cassette you have or what terrain you might encounter on a tour. If your 30T smallest chain ring on your triple was not low enough, I say go to your LBS and see if they can get you a 26T that will fit on your present crank, keep the 39T middle chain ring (or change it for a 40T chain ring, but that's not much difference), take the 50T off. You will need to adjust the FD limit (or have the LBS do so) and you won't dump the chain, trying to shift to that big 3rd chain ring that isn't there anymore. Or keep it, but like you, I don't hammer down hills at max speed anymore. Maybe you ask why I changed cranksets? Because my original crank would not accept a chain ring smaller than 34T, and I wanted 26T. Good luck.
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Old 04-09-16, 08:03 PM
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Thanks for the advice, DG. I run a 13-34 cassette, but the smallest I can run up front is 30T. In a classic bone-headed Shimano move, my Tiagra triple has the inner ring bolted to the middle ring (4603), rather than a normal 74 BCD. I didn't realize this until I tried to swap out the inner. My question emerges from the need to get a new crank in order to get a smaller chainring up front. I like your plan of getting a normal road triple (74-130) and running the inner and middle rings.
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Old 04-09-16, 08:49 PM
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I installed a Sugino 40-24T wide-double crankset on my cx bike for touring a couple of years ago (paired with an 11-34 cassette). I did a trip through the Rockies (including the Icefields Parkway) and did some climbing, as well as a trip up the Coquihalla Highway and across the Cascades into the Okanagan Valley. There were a couple of times that I wished I had one gear lower, but I was hauling way too much weight. I am almost your age, and I have bad knees, so I understand the desire for low gears.

40-26 is a pretty big drop, and shifting wasn't buttery smooth, but it worked flawlessly, as long as I was being careful about gear combinations and down-shifting technique. I suspect a mtb drivetrain would be a bit better than my road setup for shifting.
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Old 04-09-16, 08:52 PM
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You could also run a trekking triple with a 44-32-22.

The left on bar ends is friction so it is compatible with a number of different cranks.
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Old 04-09-16, 09:25 PM
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another non-expert opinion.....i guess you could do it. shirley you can patch
something together that will work..........but......why?

why pick up a few 10- or 11- speed bits if the rest of your drivetrain is 9-speed?
why go looking for trouble? there are inexpensive, fully-functional components
in the 9-speed universe that will properly modify your bike.....with no worries
about compatibility.

going with the 26-40 double you lose a lot of gears (okay, not all useful), and
still won't have the low gear you want.

the trekking/mtb tribble mentioned above will give you a 22 inner ring, paired
with the 32 or 34 (or maybe a 36 if you can find it) will give you a nice low
climbing gear. the 44 outer ring won't be used often, but it's there if you
want/need it. you can always try to find a smaller outer ring (but check
minimum jump required from middle), or you could replace it with a rock
ring/bash protector.
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Old 04-10-16, 04:25 AM
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Here is a nice option if you want to stick with a triple crank instead of a double. This is a road triple, not a mtb triple, so it should have a similar chain line to your existing Tiagra crankset.

Sugino XD2 Crank, Triple 46x36x24
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Old 04-10-16, 09:02 AM
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You might need a different front derailleur. And you might have to take a few links out of the chain, but that is better than having to add them.

I can't suggest a derailleur since I use a road triple, the mountain derailleurs that have more curvature to match a smaller diameter chainring. But, if you have a road double derailleur in your box of spares, try that first to see if it will work.

A chain catcher can't hurt but probably is not necessary.
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Old 04-10-16, 09:16 AM
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My touring companion in the 80's had a Freewheel Hub with a TA cyclo-tourist Double 50t with a 28t hill gear .

Now with cassette Freehubs starting at 11 t you dont need the big ring so large .. so your 40 (or 39 or 42) 26 should be fine .

If You get a 130 road triple that takes a 74 bcd third chainring , you can replace the outer with a Cyclo-Cross Disc Chainguard .

as 130 BCD is common for those bikes , and the disc Guards are Light weight. [110 are a little harder to find]

I use a chain catcher to avoid an over shifted chain wrapping around the frame (on my Touring Triples, & my chain tensioner IGH )
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Old 04-10-16, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by caribou22
Thanks for the advice, DG. I run a 13-34 cassette, but the smallest I can run up front is 30T. In a classic bone-headed Shimano move, my Tiagra triple has the inner ring bolted to the middle ring (4603), rather than a normal 74 BCD. I didn't realize this until I tried to swap out the inner. My question emerges from the need to get a new crank in order to get a smaller chainring up front. I like your plan of getting a normal road triple (74-130) and running the inner and middle rings.
I suggest that you check out the Shimano Sora 9-speed crankset, which is what my LBS found for me. I had the same problem with my original crankset, the BCD was incompatible with chain rings smaller than 34T. Then I found that 26T was the smallest that would clear the outer shell of my BB, even on the Sora crankset. I changed the rings on the crankset to 11s in order to make use of the 10-42 cassette and get the low low gear I needed for touring. Good luck. If you have the gearing you need in your 9s cassette, stay with it. I think a 26/40 up front would be pretty good, but if heavy touring or mountain grades are ever to be in the picture, bikemig had a good suggestion: 44-32-22. Put an mtb drive train on it and be done. I think the Shimano road 9s shifters are compatible with mtb 9s RD, and friction shifting bar end levers are fine for the FD.
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Old 04-10-16, 10:12 PM
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After all of this good advice, I think that I'll start looking for discount Shimano triple road cranks and experiment with MTN FD and rings. (It would be nice if a company produced an affordable double road crank similar to the Sugino OX601D Sugino OX601D Cranks Arms w/BB Cups )
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Old 04-11-16, 02:06 AM
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I second the 44/32/22 recommendation, my inexperience with outboard bb however means you'd have to get informed advice about chainline from an experienced mechanic.
I know external bb 44/32/22 cranks sold with the bb are under 100 dollars, but find out about the chainline issues for your road bike.

The other big advantage of the mtn triple is using a tighter cassettes with closer ratio jumps between gears yet still giving you a low that works for you, to be determined by you only for your touring and preferences of what you want in a low.
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Old 04-11-16, 04:43 AM
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I'll be very interested in what you decide. I'm all for dropping high gears with a load on. You have experience with bar ends and triple crank, mine is old and negative. I think you are correct in persuing the compatability issue with 8,9,10,11 speed stuff. Don't forget that road vs mountain, and different companies stuff matters.
Good project.
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Old 04-11-16, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa
Since you only asked for advice, and not "expert" advice or even "good" advice (for that compatibility thing you might want to ask this question in the Bicycle Mechanics sub-forum), I will say I don't know whether 9s shifters, FD & RD and I assume the chain, is compatible with a 10s crankset. I did a little "9s/10s compatibility" search using the little white "search" window in the upper right corner of every page, and got this, among many others:
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...atibility.html

Regardless of what you may see there regarding compatibility, the rest of your question is addressed here: I converted to a 26-38T double from a compact double 34-50T on my 11 speed road bike. My new bike shop found a road triple crank - Shimano Sora 9 speed- and traded out those 9s chain rings for 26 and 38T (yes, only two chain rings) 11 speed chain rings, in order to match up with my SRAM 11 speed 10-42 cassette. I do most of my pedaling in the bigger 38T chain ring, and slip down into the small chain ring for serious hill climbing with a load. This 2x11 mtb drive train is everything I need, unloaded or loaded. I have a range from about 17 to 104 gear inches, and I find that to be plenty. YMMV

You didn't say what cassette you have or what terrain you might encounter on a tour. If your 30T smallest chain ring on your triple was not low enough, I say go to your LBS and see if they can get you a 26T that will fit on your present crank, keep the 39T middle chain ring (or change it for a 40T chain ring, but that's not much difference), take the 50T off. You will need to adjust the FD limit (or have the LBS do so) and you won't dump the chain, trying to shift to that big 3rd chain ring that isn't there anymore. Or keep it, but like you, I don't hammer down hills at max speed anymore. Maybe you ask why I changed cranksets? Because my original crank would not accept a chain ring smaller than 34T, and I wanted 26T. Good luck.
Could you tell me specifically which chainrings you used? The 26t 11 speed 110bcd ring seems particularly resistant to my search efforts.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by caribou22
After all of this good advice, I think that I'll start looking for discount Shimano triple road cranks and experiment with MTN FD and rings. (It would be nice if a company produced an affordable double road crank similar to the Sugino OX601D Sugino OX601D Cranks Arms w/BB Cups )
I am not sure what you are saying, if you plan to use a road triple crank and then only use the small and middle chainrings as if it was a double crank, then put a bash guard on instead of an outer chainring, that would probably work well with a mountain derailleur. You might have to do a little experimentation to get your chainline correct. (I use square taper bottom bracket, so it is pretty easy for me to change chainline by changing bottom brackets.)

I was rather unhappy with the prices of bash guards, so I picked up a cheap chainring and cut the teeth off of it with a saber saw (which clogged up the teeth on the blade, but blades are cheap). I then put it on the crank but before I put a chain on, I turned the crank by hand for about 10 or 15 minutes while I used a file to smooth out my saber saw cuts. It now looks like a professionally made bash guard, but it is stamped 52T.

I did this on a double, not a triple, I am using it on a bike with an internally geared hub so there are no derailleurs on the bike. After the photo was taken, I spray painted the bashguard black to match the crank and inner chainring. Am very happy with the results.

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Old 04-12-16, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rzldzl
Could you tell me specifically which chainrings you used? The 26t 11 speed 110bcd ring seems particularly resistant to my search efforts.
I apologize for the unclear explanation. I changed to the Sora crankset in order to mount a 26T chain ring. The BCD on the small chain ring is 74, and the BCD on the larger chainring is 130. Both chain rings are SRAM. I don't think a 26T chain ring is possible with BCD of 110, so the compact double doesn't have the option of really small chain rings. My LBS mechanic basically said, "Hey, we have this 26T chain ring here, maybe you could use this?" The attachment holes in the chain ring (4) required finding a new crank, which turned out to be a 9 speed Sora triple. Another brand crank could probably have worked, but they were trying to keep my cost down. Then they ordered a 38T 11 speed chain ring to go in the middle ring position of the crank. I could have gone as far as 40T for a slightly higher top gear, but the 38 is all I need for most local riding, unloaded. [At one point I was riding 1x11 with only the 34T chain ring on my original Shimano compact double.] It's only the really steep or really long inclines with a load that require the 26T chain ring.

One minor point: If you have a carbon frame with kind of an oversized BB shell, you will want to make sure the heads of the fasteners clear the outer BB shell. I had to use a dremel tool with a sanding drum to grind the edges of the bolt heads as they were trying to cut a groove on the outside of the BB. -DG

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Old 04-12-16, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I am not sure what you are saying, if you plan to use a road triple crank and then only use the small and middle chainrings as if it was a double crank, then put a bash guard on instead of an outer chainring, that would probably work well with a mountain derailleur. You might have to do a little experimentation to get your chainline correct. (I use square taper bottom bracket, so it is pretty easy for me to change chainline by changing bottom brackets.)

I am, in fact, using a road triple with only the small and middle chainrings as if it were a double crank. I simply don't need a bash guard or outer chainring. The original FD (for a compact double 34/50) works fine, and the chain line is excellent on the middle chain ring. On the small chain ring, the chain rubs the middle chain ring when I get to gears 9-11 on the cassette, but by then I should be back on the middle chain ring anyway. That Sugino crank set sure is pretty, but my current solution cost 1/2 of that. Maybe on my next bike. But I (and no doubt caribou22, also) appreciate your advice. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa
..., the chain rubs the middle chain ring when I get to gears 9-11 on the cassette, but by then I should be back on the middle chain ring anyway. ....
If you decided to do something about that, you can buy some thin washers at a good bike shop that mount your smallest chainring slightly off of the crank. I think the smallest are 0.6mm thick. You obviously do not need the full kit, but a good bike shop should be able to sell you 4 or 5 spacers.

Wheels Mfg Chainring Spacer Kits
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Old 04-12-16, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dh024
Here is a nice option if you want to stick with a triple crank instead of a double. This is a road triple, not a mtb triple, so it should have a similar chain line to your existing Tiagra crankset.

Sugino XD2 Crank, Triple 46x36x24
This crank, however, will work with caribou22's external bottom bracket without issues and it's half the price to boot.

Originally Posted by caribou22
I'm in my fifties and have been riding/touring for 20+ years. I have been a long time fan of touring triples and a more recent convert to external bearing BB's, but I am thinking of dumping the 30-39-50 triple in favour of a 26-40 double. High gears don't mean much to me, only the low end. Does anyone know about compatibility issues when running 9-speed DA bar end shifters, 9s XT RD and LX front and a 10s dyna-sys double crankset? Has anyone done any loaded touring with a mountain double, or is it still mainly restricted to gravel bikes?

Thanks for any help. This is my first post so go easy on the new guy.
If you used the mountain bike version of the crank...the 44/32/22... I linked to above, you'll have just about the same range as a 40/26 double without the goofy shift pattern. Here's a comparison of the two drive trains. The thing to note on the 2x system is that there is a huge jump from the outer to inner ring. If you play with the cadence bar on the website, you can see that if you were riding at 15 mph in the 40 tooth ring and the 20 tooth cog and had to shift to the inner ring, you'd have to increase your rpms to over 120 to match the speed. Alternatively, you'd have to wait until the bike slowed to 10 mph before you could match the cadence again. That's the big problem with 2x systems. On the 3x system, the jumps between rings are more "normal" and your cadence differences aren't as large.


As to comparability, everything will work even if you go to the DynaSys double. I'd still suggest the triple over the double but that will work well in your system too.
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Old 04-12-16, 05:06 PM
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If you used the mountain bike version of the crank...the 44/32/22... I linked to above, you'll have just about the same range as a 40/26 double without the goofy shift pattern. Here's a comparison of the two drive trains. The thing to note on the 2x system is that there is a huge jump from the outer to inner ring. If you play with the cadence bar on the website, you can see that if you were riding at 15 mph in the 40 tooth ring and the 20 tooth cog and had to shift to the inner ring, you'd have to increase your rpms to over 120 to match the speed. Alternatively, you'd have to wait until the bike slowed to 10 mph before you could match the cadence again. That's the big problem with 2x systems. On the 3x system, the jumps between rings are more "normal" and your cadence differences aren't as large.


Thanks for the heads-up on the CR crank. I think that the Salsa Marrakesh is running that set-up. The more that I look into this, the more that I think my problem is related to running an external bb rather than JIS. I'm heading over the my local co-op to spec out a cheap square-taper mountain crank and a bunch of sacrificial rings. I'll probably have a solution in a month after a few loaded rides.
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