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Help me upgrade my drivetrain, LHT

Old 07-16-20, 08:10 PM
  #1  
KeatonR
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Help me upgrade my drivetrain, LHT

I need to upgrade some parts on my LHT and could use some input.

Really, this bike is my commuter/town bike, and so there may be a better forum for this, but there does seem to be a lot of knowledge here. Anyway, I converted this to a flat-bar setup about 10 years ago, and it has been fine, but I've decided I don't love grip shifters, and the gearing isn't as conducive as I'd like for hauling a lot of groceries up hills (I have an old cyclocross crankset up front with 46-36 rings, and the biggest cog on the back is an odd 26 -- and this is 2 x 9 speed).

So, I would like some easier gears for spinning up hills, and I would like trigger shifting. What should I do? I believe my wheel set (newer mavic open pro) would support 10 or even 11 speed, so I've been looking at Shimano Deore M6000, Shimano SLX and SRAM GX. Hoping for recommendations that include which deraileur (medium, long?) to use with which cassette. Also not opposed to going 1x, but I am used to and don't mind 2x.

Attaching a pic of it in its current state. Thanks in advance!



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Old 07-16-20, 08:23 PM
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Gearing has been my hobby for several years. I'm not an expert. But I share your desire for a workable combination for loaded touring or simply climbing steep roads. I recommend a cassette whose largest cog is 12 teeth larger than the small front chain ring. If you go 1x, I recommend the same. I'm 67, and younger riders may muscle up 12+ percent grades in a one to one gear. I like to spin and get to the top without dying. It's a philosophy, and it works for me.
I use SRAM 10-42 and a 46/30 sub compact crank, X9 and X0 shifters, I think a GX derailleur, long cage.. A 1x11 with a 38T front chain ring on the 10-42 cassette works fine for training, but you need a smaller chain ring for hauling luggage up mountains. Hope this helps.

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Old 07-17-20, 03:17 AM
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you should be able to keep your deraillers, just switch out the front rings,
change the cassette and the shifters.

microshift is decent quality, still makes 2*9 and 3*9 trigger shifters that play
well with shimano products.
https://www.microshift.com/en/produc...ifters/page/2/

switch out your front rings to something like 26/36 and a 9spd 11-32 or 11-34
cassette....whatever your rear derailleur will support. that will give you a
nice low gear for getting your beer up hills.

oh, and get some fenders.
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Old 07-17-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you should be able to keep your deraillers, just switch out the front rings,
change the cassette and the shifters.

microshift is decent quality, still makes 2*9 and 3*9 trigger shifters that play
well with shimano products.
https://www.microshift.com/en/produc...ifters/page/2/

switch out your front rings to something like 26/36 and a 9spd 11-32 or 11-34
cassette....whatever your rear derailleur will support. that will give you a
nice low gear for getting your beer up hills.

oh, and get some fenders.
Funny you should mention beer -- that will definitely be involved (and, in quantity, tends to be heavy).

I live in a pretty dry climate, but I do still want fenders. I don't want to make the bike so nice that I can't park it downtown without worrying too much about it, but maybe fenders will make it look like more of a 40-year-old virgin bike and will actually serve as something of a deterrent. My high school teacher used to commute to school through NYC, and he put fenders on his expensive road bike for that very reason.
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Old 07-17-20, 03:55 PM
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From the photos it looks like your rear derailleur might not have a long enough cage to get a very wide range of gears. So, if you decide to try a wider range cassette or different crankset, you might need to change derailleur too. I could be wrong, it is hard for me to make firm estimates on a photo.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:55 PM
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All you need; A long cage rear derailleur and a cassette that goes up to 34 teeth and some 9 speed shift pods. Do not get complete brake lever/shifters (for v brakes) unless they are pre 1996/ made for cantilevers. Gearing aside. Take notice that the bike is too big. A basic thing I totally agree with, Greg LeMond who said in his book that you should have more seat post showing that the head tube size.
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Old 07-18-20, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
From the photos it looks like your rear derailleur might not have a long enough cage to get a very wide range of gears. So, if you decide to try a wider range cassette or different crankset, you might need to change derailleur too. I could be wrong, it is hard for me to make firm estimates on a photo.
I will definitely need a longer derailleur. I've been riding this one for years, so I do feel like I've gotten my money's worth out of it. And it's an Ultegra, so maybe I can get a few bucks for it, or I can donate it to our local cycling nonprofit advocacy group for someone else's build.
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Old 07-18-20, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
All you need; A long cage rear derailleur and a cassette that goes up to 34 teeth and some 9 speed shift pods. Do not get complete brake lever/shifters (for v brakes) unless they are pre 1996/ made for cantilevers. Gearing aside. Take notice that the bike is too big. A basic thing I totally agree with, Greg LeMond who said in his book that you should have more seat post showing that the head tube size.
I definitely don't want to mess with the brakes, since it took some doing for me to get them set up right.

Sizing is a tough one for me, because I have shorter legs and a long torso, so I basically sized the bike based on top tube. It's a 56, and a fit kit session I did some years ago did put me on a 56 for road bikes, although I prefer 55 for cyclocross/gravel. The Surly does make a taller head tube than any other frame I've seen, too.
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Old 07-18-20, 03:55 PM
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46-30 crank?
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Old 07-18-20, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
46-30 crank?
Its actually a 46-36, from an old cyclocross bike.
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Old 07-18-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
...Take notice that the bike is too big. A basic thing I totally agree with, Greg LeMond who said in his book that you should have more seat post showing that the head tube size.
I have never heard of that.

Decades ago when all bikes had horizontal top tubes instead of sloping at various angles, there was a rule of thumb that you wanted to have a "fist full" of seat post, meaning wrap your four fingers around the seatpost, if you had something different you had the wrong size frame and should adjust to get that amount of seatpost showing above the frame.

Neither of those theories addressed standover height, which of course is important too.

And neither of those theories works with sloping top tubes. I have bikes with a wide range of angles for sloping top tubes.

My last five bikes or bike frames were all ordered on line. All five of those fit me well and I mostly focused on top tube length, not seat tube length when I chose the size. Those five frame sizes have a wide range of seat tube lengths. Only one of those five has a horizontal top tube, that bike has about a half inch more seatpost than the "fist full" of seatpost showing.
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Old 07-18-20, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have never heard of that.

Decades ago when all bikes had horizontal top tubes instead of sloping at various angles, there was a rule of thumb that you wanted to have a "fist full" of seat post, meaning wrap your four fingers around the seatpost, if you had something different you had the wrong size frame and should adjust to get that amount of seatpost showing above the frame.

Neither of those theories addressed standover height, which of course is important too.

And neither of those theories works with sloping top tubes. I have bikes with a wide range of angles for sloping top tubes.

My last five bikes or bike frames were all ordered on line. All five of those fit me well and I mostly focused on top tube length, not seat tube length when I chose the size. Those five frame sizes have a wide range of seat tube lengths. Only one of those five has a horizontal top tube, that bike has about a half inch more seatpost than the "fist full" of seatpost showing.
Itís interesting. Lemond Iím guessing was talking about road racing, but then again he was also riding and racing in the time of horizontal top tubes. I personally think horizontal rob tubes are much more attractive and is one of many favors that drew me to this frame (and to my newer Gunnar Hyper XF, which actually isnít quite horizontal). But for the kind of riding I do on this bike, which is pretty casual around town stuff plus errands and commuting, this frame fits me just fine.
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Old 07-19-20, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
46-30 crank?
Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
Its actually a 46-36, from an old cyclocross bike.
Bob probably means replace your present crankset with a 46 - 30. They're not cheap but it would work. You also might be able to increase your cassette size just a touch without replacing your rear derailleur with a longer cage but you won't get an 11-34 to work with what you have. Bottom line is, you can have a 9 or 10 speed drive train with really low gearing but how much do you want to spend?
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Old 07-19-20, 10:12 AM
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a triple with a bash guard outer, middle of the triple & a granny gear bail out can work well
now that cassettes have 11t cogs not much need for bigger chainrings...
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Old 07-28-20, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
All you need; A long cage rear derailleur and a cassette that goes up to 34 teeth and some 9 speed shift pods. Do not get complete brake lever/shifters (for v brakes) unless they are pre 1996/ made for cantilevers. Gearing aside. Take notice that the bike is too big. A basic thing I totally agree with, Greg LeMond who said in his book that you should have more seat post showing that the head tube size.


I'm still curious to see how you set up the 42 cm frame you are riding.

IMO headtube size has nothing to do with amount of seatpost showing when fitting a bike, especially on a touring bike like the LHT which has a relatively long head tube compared to many bikes. There are many variables that are used to adjust saddle height, and headtube size is not one of them.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-28-20 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 07-29-20, 07:38 AM
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Lovely bike with a PERFECT fit, IMO, very rare with that bike. Somebody has been looking at POOR fitting LHTs for way too long.
Half my 23" bikes I couldn't get 1 finger around. LOL. As long as the seat top over the TT is more than pedal to ground, then you're good to go. I wouldn't be using that straight bar for sure.
I couldn't care less about deraileurs, but about 44/ 30T and 11/ 32 or 34, is plenty low if not touring. And IMO, 1x is one of the dumbest fads lately.
And kickstand on an LHT?? LOL OMG.

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Old 07-29-20, 08:00 AM
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Because people actually tour on their LHT, QBP finally got mounting pieces made to put a kickstand on their bikes..
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Old 07-31-20, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Because people actually tour on their LHT, QBP finally got mounting pieces made to put a kickstand on their bikes..
Good point. A kickstand without Surly's adapter can damage the chainstays on a LHT. That is one of the reason Surly recommended not using a kickstand on the LHT.

https://surlybikes.com/info_hole/spe..._haul_truckers
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Old 07-31-20, 12:00 PM
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I've seen a creative mechanic's hack mentioned .

remove BB, push a cork or similar plug up the chain stay , a ways , pack the space with epoxy putty where the kickstand will be squeezing ,

once the epoxy cures the chain stay tube is no longer easily crushed,

Most find this too much bother...





...
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