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Drivetrain Questions for New Build

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Drivetrain Questions for New Build

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Old 09-20-16, 10:46 AM
  #1  
mishathepenguin
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Drivetrain Questions for New Build

Hiya everyone,

Though I've been riding bikes for years and have been *thinking* about cycle touring for a long time, I've never actually been able to get out there and do it. Now that work and living circumstances are making it more feasible, I've begun planning a flexible "do-it-all" Surly Cross-Check build.

I have no interest in racing and (for now) am not ready for a Panamerican tour, though I would like to be able to handle much of what lies between those extremes. I'm thinking low front bags, a randonneur-type bar bag, and maybe a large saddle bag for fair-weather "ultralight" camping -- a few days max -- at the moment.

I've nailed down most of the components but the drivetrain is giving me a headache.

I want to use a newer 10-speed Sugino XD compact double (48-34T) with an 11-36T MTB cassette.

The Shimano parts lineup and compatibility charts are pretty confusing, but I *think* I can use a Deore "Trekking" FD (FD-T611-3) to accomodate the 48T chainring and a Deore "MTB" RD (RD-MT610-SGS) for the 36T cassette.

For cost and simplicity I like the Dia-Compe 10-speed friction shifters, but then I read about Shimano recently altering the cable pull ratios (I don't quite understand the implications, if any, for friction shifting) and I'm not sure all those parts will play nice. Does anybody have reason to believe such a setup will not work or, better yet, has anyone built/used a similar setup?

I'm not really interested in a triple or an MTB-specific crank since I will probably not be touring as often as I will be riding on the road for commuting/fitness/utility, and I'd prefer to use widely available contemporary parts (hence, 10-speed) rather than searching for NOS 9-speed bits.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!
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Old 09-20-16, 11:02 AM
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Friction shifting it is You that moves the chain from 1 cog to the other ..

because 10 has to fit in the space of 8, the gear shifting you do with your hand requires more Precise feel.

lots confuse the trendy sales websites for the repair parts sources Bike shops Use ,
and with so many 9 speed bikes on the roads ... believe Me ...

You can find parts .. in regular shops that repair existing bikes.

& 8 speed stuff is still being put on New Bikes,

and 5,6&7 speed freewheels are still made.
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Old 09-20-16, 11:18 AM
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Cross check for loaded touring? I use mine for commuting. Better options? Maybe? 34-36 seems like it will not be low enough. Opinions vary widely here. I use a triple mt crank for most of my touring bikes. I use a 22 front 34 rear all the time, Hills of New England mostly.
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Old 09-20-16, 11:20 AM
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As Bob alludes to: Do you have experience friction shifting 10 speed cassettes? 9 speed ? less??

All people are different, my experience is that I am fine with friction up to 8 speed but not beyond. On my two commuters I run 8 speed friction, and have 5 speed friction on my Cycle Pro Ram. On other bikes I have 7, 8 and 9 speed indexed.

My touring build (in progress) has a 50-39-30 Shimano crankset, 12-36 9 speed cassette, Shimano M592 RD, Shimano road triple FD, Microshift 3x9 brifters. 30-36 may not be low enough.
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Old 09-20-16, 11:57 AM
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I run friction shifting on 9s, and find it works well... perhaps easier to shift than the original 5x2.

My config is actually vintage Campy shift levers (the bumpy ones), with an Ultegra 6500 (I think) Rear Derailleur. I get essentially full tube to tube range with my right gear shift lever to shift the entire cassette.

It doesn't make any sense to discuss speed specific friction shifters.

It looks like the new Shimano derailleurs take less cable pull than the old ones, thus less lever movement to shift. Good for some setups, not so good for others.

So, for example, I'm maxed out on lever range, so I could not use an 11s cassette with my current setup. But, it might work with a Shimano 6800 rear derailleur (or any Campy rear derailleur).

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Bicycl...ing_Dimensions
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Old 09-20-16, 12:19 PM
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If you're interested in a lower low, double up front 46-30, 10 speed sti or bar ends,let me know.
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Old 09-20-16, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for your input, everyone.

I'm doing my research over the net as my LBS is roadie-centric with a side business in "tuning" neglected hybrids.

All the bikes I've had (aside from my fixed and MTB) have had friction shifters, but none beyond 8-speed. Good to hear that 9-10-11 don't pose any additional problems beyond the need for finesse.

Within the touring context, are there weight ranges people generally assume when talking about "loaded" vs. "medium" vs. "light"? I intend to carry a similar load to what I hike with on foot (about 35 pounds), plus me (about 160), and the weight of the bike itself.

I've picked up on the Cross-Check because of it's adaptability. I'm not looking for a dedicated touring frame at this time; I intend to spend a not insignificant amount time riding it unloaded in the guise of a road-ish bike.

I'm not particularly dazzled by the marketing hype and have been led to 2x10 more by... chance? I've understood the (now 10-speed) Deore to be a favored workhorse and picked it accordingly. I'm not wild about triple cranks, hence 2x10. I see the general consensus is that that is not low enough. I am also in hilly New England. Perhaps the only way to get an appropriately low gear out of compact double is a too-pricey-for-me boutique item from the likes of IRD or VO.

The affordable XD 46/36/26 brings me back to 9-speed country, and hence my next question: is the current-generation Shimano 9-speed group ("Alivio") any "worse" than the Deore in terms of materials or manufacturing, since it's positioned as a "lower-end" group set? Or would a properly assembled and well-maintained bike built around those parts work just as well as another?

And thanks for the offer, robow, but I see I have some things to iron out first.
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Old 09-20-16, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mishathepenguin View Post
Hiya everyone,

Though I've been riding bikes for years and have been *thinking* about cycle touring for a long time, I've never actually been able to get out there and do it. Now that work and living circumstances are making it more feasible, I've begun planning a flexible "do-it-all" Surly Cross-Check build.

I have no interest in racing and (for now) am not ready for a Panamerican tour, though I would like to be able to handle much of what lies between those extremes. I'm thinking low front bags, a randonneur-type bar bag, and maybe a large saddle bag for fair-weather "ultralight" camping -- a few days max -- at the moment.

I've nailed down most of the components but the drivetrain is giving me a headache.

I want to use a newer 10-speed Sugino XD compact double (48-34T) with an 11-36T MTB cassette.

The Shimano parts lineup and compatibility charts are pretty confusing, but I *think* I can use a Deore "Trekking" FD (FD-T611-3) to accomodate the 48T chainring and a Deore "MTB" RD (RD-MT610-SGS) for the 36T cassette.

For cost and simplicity I like the Dia-Compe 10-speed friction shifters, but then I read about Shimano recently altering the cable pull ratios (I don't quite understand the implications, if any, for friction shifting) and I'm not sure all those parts will play nice. Does anybody have reason to believe such a setup will not work or, better yet, has anyone built/used a similar setup?

I'm not really interested in a triple or an MTB-specific crank since I will probably not be touring as often as I will be riding on the road for commuting/fitness/utility, and I'd prefer to use widely available contemporary parts (hence, 10-speed) rather than searching for NOS 9-speed bits.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!

CROSS geometry for touring? rethink about it.

Sugino has nice 30/46 crank sets, and when its uphill you will need it! for sure your will need it! and in the back a 36 cassette.

all best
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Old 09-20-16, 04:47 PM
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Thanks for chiming in, str. My interest has been piqued in no small part thanks to the wonderful photos you've posted in the "Touring Pic" thread, along with those of your very smart and clean looking ride in the "Loaded Rigs" thread. While a Ti bike and rides through the Caucasus are not likely in my future, I am intrigued by the light-looking front load setup it appears you favor.

As for the crank you mention, are you talking about the OX601/901 Compact +? That looks interesting, but it also costs nearly as much as the frame itself. IRD and Velo-Orange each make a crank similar in concept -- 46-30T doubles -- but I'm not sold on the retro-chic looks.

Both you and Leebo have suggested a Cross-Check to be less than optimal for my purposes. Might you have other suggestions, keeping in mind that a dedicated touring-only frame is not really what I want? I have thought about the VO Campeur.

I've been keeping an eye out for the usual vintage suspects on my local CL (my father scored a near mint Univega Gran Turismo that I'm very envious of), but so far, nothing has turned up.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-20-16, 10:54 PM
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I have done expedition touring on a Cross Check. It was slightly noodly under heavy load but fine. A good compromise if you are only going to tour occasionally.

The compact double crank you chose is not low enough. You need to go with a 24t, or at least a 26t inner chainring. This means a triple crank, or one of the new 24-38 mountain doubles from Shimano. The 38-11 high gear combination you will have doesn't sound very fast, but in practice it will be fast enough. You'll never reach that speed on the flat. When I'm touring and see a downhill, I coast. I don't pedal to go faster. You'll only need higher gearing if you plan to ride in a road paceline.
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Old 09-21-16, 06:52 AM
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mishathepenguin, 35 lb. is pretty close to what I consider fully loaded touring. The only CX bike I've had experience with is the Bianchi Volpe, which can handle that load. Weight distribution is perhaps the key when using any CX bike for loaded touring. Use front and rear panniers and load the front heavier than the rear. Bianchi fairly recently began to equip the Volpe with a low rider ready front fork.

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Old 09-21-16, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mishathepenguin View Post
The affordable XD 46/36/26 brings me back to 9-speed country, and hence my next question: is the current-generation Shimano 9-speed group ("Alivio") any "worse" than the Deore in terms of materials or manufacturing, since it's positioned as a "lower-end" group set? Or would a properly assembled and well-maintained bike built around those parts work just as well as another?
Alivio is totally fine to use. I just built a bike up with half Alivio and half Deore components. The Alivio isnt junk and it isnt going to crap out if used properly.

If you want to rock a 9sp system and are scared of Alivio, just get a Deore RD that is M591 or M592. Both of those Deore rear derailleurs are made for 9sp(or less) drivetrains.
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-9-Spe.../dp/B00WJGWJUC
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-9-Spe.../dp/B0064QND30
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Old 09-21-16, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mishathepenguin View Post
Thanks for your input, everyone.

I'm doing my research over the net as my LBS is roadie-centric with a side business in "tuning" neglected hybrids.

All the bikes I've had (aside from my fixed and MTB) have had friction shifters, but none beyond 8-speed. Good to hear that 9-10-11 don't pose any additional problems beyond the need for finesse.

Within the touring context, are there weight ranges people generally assume when talking about "loaded" vs. "medium" vs. "light"? I intend to carry a similar load to what I hike with on foot (about 35 pounds), plus me (about 160), and the weight of the bike itself.

I've picked up on the Cross-Check because of it's adaptability. I'm not looking for a dedicated touring frame at this time; I intend to spend a not insignificant amount time riding it unloaded in the guise of a road-ish bike.

I'm not particularly dazzled by the marketing hype and have been led to 2x10 more by... chance? I've understood the (now 10-speed) Deore to be a favored workhorse and picked it accordingly. I'm not wild about triple cranks, hence 2x10. I see the general consensus is that that is not low enough. I am also in hilly New England. Perhaps the only way to get an appropriately low gear out of compact double is a too-pricey-for-me boutique item from the likes of IRD or VO.

The affordable XD 46/36/26 brings me back to 9-speed country, and hence my next question: is the current-generation Shimano 9-speed group ("Alivio") any "worse" than the Deore in terms of materials or manufacturing, since it's positioned as a "lower-end" group set? Or would a properly assembled and well-maintained bike built around those parts work just as well as another?

And thanks for the offer, robow, but I see I have some things to iron out first.
I have mt 9 speed triples on 4 bikes. Very reliable, good range on both ends. All with flat bars however. 2x10? Going to want something lower than a 30 T for the front?
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Old 09-21-16, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
As Bob alludes to: Do you have experience friction shifting 10 speed cassettes? 9 speed ? less??

All people are different, my experience is that I am fine with friction up to 8 speed but not beyond. On my two commuters I run 8 speed friction, and have 5 speed friction on my Cycle Pro Ram. On other bikes I have 7, 8 and 9 speed indexed.

My touring build (in progress) has a 50-39-30 Shimano crankset, 12-36 9 speed cassette, Shimano M592 RD, Shimano road triple FD, Microshift 3x9 brifters. 30-36 may not be low enough.
I just went back to friction on my LHT with a 9 speed. My Dura Ace bar ends self destructed, so I switched to friction mode and ran it like that until replacing them with Rivendell Silver shift levers. I love them, they are the smoothest shifters I have used, and I have no problems shifting them with the 9 speed.

As a bit of a disclosure, the LHT is the only bike I have owned with an indexed shifter, so I have more years shifting with a friction shifter than indexed. Those were 6 speeds for the most part though. I did have some concern with going friction only on the 9 speed, but after getting it set up, I love it.
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Old 09-21-16, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
. The 38-11 high gear combination you will have doesn't sound very fast, but in practice it will be fast enough..
It might be "fast enough" but it will be very frustrating on a long flat road.
I often "slow pedal" for the majority of the day out on the great plains.
If the wind is behind you or it is a slight down hill you will find yourself spinning out rather frequently instead of a steady cadence.
Furthermore, I like to stand on the pedals on a long flat road once in awhile to use different muscle groups or to take the pressure off you butt. You will really spin out fast with a 38/11 gear combination.
A mountain triple will solve this annoyance. (44/11)
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Old 09-21-16, 12:21 PM
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Not sure why you want to go with friction shifting and a double instead of a triple crank.

I have downtube friction shifting on a bike that I have owned for over 30 years. I love the ride of that bike, but the shifting drives my nutty, have not ridden that bike all year this year. On one bike I have a friction front downtube shifter and a brifter for the rear. Since only about one out of ten shifts involve the front, I can live with a front friction shifter, but I hate friction rear downtube shifters.

If you want simplicity and reliability, look for some indexed downtube shifters. I do not know if they were available for nine or ten speed, but they were available for the rear on an eight. I am sure you can find some out there, but you might have to be patient on Ebay to find them. I am running an eight speed cassette on three different bikes and am quite happy with eight speed.

And I have a triple on four different bikes, none of my bikes have a double. But if you want a double with low gearing, you could get a triple and put a bash guard on where the outer ring normally goes. That would give you a double with low gearing.

I did not like the high cost of bashguards so I bought a cheap chainring and cut the teeth off with a saber saw. Then spent 15 minutes turning the crank with a file on it to remove the hack saw marks, it turned into a pretty nice bashguard, but it is stamped 52T.
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Old 09-21-16, 01:47 PM
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Building up my bike, I used Deore XT 10-Speed Shadow+ with a matching Triple FD. By doing this, I was very limited to what I could use. I could have used the Dia Compe frictions but quickly tossed it out because I didn't want down tube shifters. This left me with 3 other options. Shimano trigger shifters, or MicroShift bar ends for mountain derailleurs. Ultimately, I chose the MicroShift which, IMHO, was probably the best decision for what I wanted. When I put them on, they worked flawlessly in both friction and indexed mode. I prefer indexed, but good to know I could switch if needed. If you were to want to go mountain 10 or 11 speed with STI shifters, the only option for that is Lindarets Tanpan which converts the index from the STI to match the derailleur. Heres the link if you're interested: http://www.lindarets.com/tanpan/

As far as the crank, I went with the triple 48-36-26 XT European Touring Model. I generally would have gone double, but figured a triple crank would work well for touring and bikepacking. My thought is if I wanted to go bikepacking, I could easily modify the bike to a 1x10 drivetrain and swap out the tires.

But then again, diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.
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Old 09-21-16, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
.... get a Deore RD that is M591 or M592. Both of those Deore rear derailleurs are made for 9sp(or less) drivetrains.
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-9-Spe.../dp/B00WJGWJUC
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-9-Spe.../dp/B0064QND30
Both of the above MTB 9 speed RD will work with 10 speed ROAD shifters on a ten speed cassette, but NOT 10 speed MTB shifters.

The M591 has a cable adjustment screw and is rated for 34T max; the M592 lacks the adjustment screws (strongly recommend an inline or cable stop adjuster) and is rated for 36T max. Both are "Shadow" RDs, meaning that they tuck under the bike frame instead of sticking out. This feature is great for pannier clearance - you can have your panniers (or something strapped to them) drop well below axle level. The M592 is my go to RD.
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Old 09-21-16, 06:44 PM
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I have two friends that have logged a lot of touring miles on their Crosschecks and never complained. Neither are ultra light guys but neither bring the kitchen sink either. I think it's a fine occasional tourer and does many things well, my only complaint is the horizontal dropouts but that's just me and my wonkyness.
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Old 09-21-16, 07:32 PM
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I had a CrossCheck for a few years and used it for some lightweight bike-camping but always went to my LHT for real-touring of a month or more. I rode my fixed-speed for fun and my carbon for speed so the CrossCheck sat around a lot. It is a great do-all bike that's solidly middle-of-the-road. If I could only have one bike I might have kept it, but I had three that were each better at their defined task, so I sold it.

Here it is with the 9-speed XT mountain triple I used (44-32-22) (cassette 11-25).


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Old 09-22-16, 03:17 AM
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I personally really like riding my loaded touring bike, unloaded. I basically find it flies compared to when in touring mode or an MTB. If for some reason you have a lot of roady overlay then maybe they seem slow, but if you ride normal bikes they are great, overall more comfortable.

A cross bike if it is for real is not a road bike, or a load bike. In touring you can make any bike work, the guy who has cranked out more miles than the rest of us put together uses an upright 3 speed. But what will give you the most pleasure on the road is not always the cool bike one thinks of in front of the computer.

On thing you need to consider when estimating your load is the weight of the bags and racks (lots of options there, but some of then can add 10 pounds). Another thing are the supplies your bike will need on tour, spares and tools.
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Old 09-22-16, 06:24 AM
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Using your touring bike as a daily rider with no desire to race is pretty common and being able to then use it touring is a bonus. I looked at every gear setup I could think of and it boils down to total range first and secondly ease of use. I wanted gear inch range between 18-100 with dependable equipment. and like Tourist in MSN the only way to get a double that worked as road gears with a low enough small ring range was to take a triple and forget about the outer ring or turn it into a bash guard. The trouble I had with the mountain triples was they covered the perfect range but split the road gears right down the middle making my average gear range riding shifting in the front all the time between middle and big. The only advantage the mtn crank had is a very easy transition when shifting down and up off the granny. In mtn riding that is something nice to have using the bike for a road ride unloaded I seldom drop to the granny and when touring the use of the granny is more I want to go down into that range and then stay there having a selection of gears off the small ring.

What I found is I wanted a triple where the center ring is lined up with my center cog at the center of the desired gears. So from the center ring cog I could go up and down without making a front shift. I was going to file down my 52T also when I started thinking about chain line and wanting just one more top gear. My gearing was going to be 24-42 in the front and 12-36 (9 speed) in the back. I got the idea of putting a 24-42-42 in the front so I could benefit from a better chain line in the front as when I had the 22-32-42 mtn crank on I liked the feel of the 42 being the big ring. I didn’t know if I could shift from a 42 to a 42 and it would look really odd and I played with the gear calculators and found a 45 makes a perfect half step match with a 42. I went with 24-42-45 and 12-36 back and I feel it is perfect for my needs. I never go up thru the gears with a half step pattern like the old days but I often do a half step as a fine adjustment to fill in the wider gaps in the wide spaced cassette. The jumps without the half steps are close to 10GI jumps and those are quite noticeable when riding unloaded having the half step option brings them down to 5GI jumps when needed.

Off the granny when it is needed I get 6 usable gears without cross chaining 18, 20, 23, 27, 30, 36GI off my main riding gears my center/ center gear is 54GI as my starting point and I run my middle ring and big ring like a double giving me 15 gears evenly spaced between 31 and 101 gear inch.

The sacrifice is shifting from the 24 up to the 42. It is an easy down shift as I added a chain minder and shifting up as a soft shift hasn’t really been a problem as long as I anticipate the need to shift and take it easy. The plus side is the half step shifts are effortless between the 42 and the 45 not a lot different than a shift in the back

I don’t post a lot anymore and what works for one guy might not be the next guys cup of tea, but I thought I would toss out how I solved the problem for my own needs by basing it all around my center/ center gear.
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Old 09-22-16, 09:39 AM
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mishathepenguin
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It's good to see so many different ideas, and nice to know I'm not totally off the mark, though I've got some learning to do.

It's silly, but triples irk my more OCD side, including more gears than I ever use along with some redundant ones. I could just ignrore it, but since I am building this one from the ground up, I'm curious to try a wide range double with a mountain cassette: 46-30 x 11-36. The IRD one is growing on me and I think will style well with the rest of the build.

The XD with only 2 chainrings and a bashguard, as Tourist and bud have noted, would also be worth investigating.

Since I want to use an MTB rear on a bike with noodle bars up front, I'd looked at the DT friction shifters as a simple way to cut down on cost, complexity, cockpit clutter, and cabling. It would probably be a good idea to investigate the Microshift MTB 10 speed bar ends since they can be indexed to the rear, should my touch at friction prove clumsy. Thanks for the idea, Oly.

It seems like plenty of people use the CC without issue. The suggestion has some up often enough that it won't be ideal, though I doubt I'll be able to take much more than a few days at a time to ride. What would the community suggest in lieu of the CC if I'm not looking for something like the LHT? The Volpe has been mentioned.

Thank you, everyone!
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Old 09-22-16, 10:14 AM
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30 chain ring, 36 cog = 22 gear inches.
Do you live next to any mountain ranges or extremely long hills you plan to climb?
If so this isn't low enough for carrying 25 lbs of camping gear.
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Old 09-22-16, 10:35 AM
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mishathepenguin
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Boom,

I live in New England, though I'm not sure for how much longer. I don't have any specific trips planned out yet, but I thought a CT to Montreal or Quebec City ride might be nice, sometime.

What would a generally-advisable low end look like? The last time I sorted out gear inches was for a single speed fixed gear.
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