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Stainless Steel Chainrings for LHT (Sugino Crank)

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Stainless Steel Chainrings for LHT (Sugino Crank)

Old 10-19-21, 12:16 AM
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CyclistSF
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Stainless Steel Chainrings for LHT (Sugino Crank)

Hello!

I'm getting really tired of having a bike that doesn't shift perfectly, so I'm starting over with a new drive train. I have a cassette and chain, but need to replace the chainrings on my sugino 600 crankset. I saw that Surly makes some stainless steel ones which sound super appealing for durability reasons.

Anyone tried this and had success or issues using them with the friction shifters that came standard on my LHT? I know surly says something about them not being cut for smooth or fast shifting or something, but I'm curious if the friction shifters would solve that problem. I'm also not seeing one with a lower number of teeth for my granny gear (20 something teeth).

If the stainless is not the way to go, would I be better off just getting a low(ish) end crankset from shimano (alivo or the like)? Seems like a much cheaper option but I want something that'll hold up.

For reference, I'm just commuting 5mi each way daily and doing some super steep hills on the way home for the views and exercise. I'll probably take this bike on some longer touring trips in the future when time allows but for now I'm rocking an old Trek 1000 for longer mountain rides.

Edit:
Also, I'm seeing lots of love for "TA" chainrings on this forum. I've looked and can't find anything less than 33t. I'm trying to keep a pretty low granny gear if possible, as I'm riding somewhat loaded and some of the hills I like to explore on my way home are something around 20% grade.

Thanks!

Thanks for any help or advice you can give! I'm pretty sure it's 110mm, and I know my arms are 175mm, though I'm not sure how much difference any of that will make.

Ugh. I'm just realizing that each ring will have a different BCD? Now if I can actually figure out what the hell sizes I need. Shows how much I know. Ugh.

Last edited by CyclistSF; 10-19-21 at 12:53 AM. Reason: adding info
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Old 10-19-21, 03:22 AM
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This may help:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-bcd.html

It is unclear what you have, is it a five arm triple, 74mm BCD inner and 110mm BCD middle and outer?

If it is a five arm 74mm granny gear, the smallest is a 24 tooth, several companies make that size chainring and they are rather inexpensive.

Keep in mind that LHT were produced for over a decade, lots of different parts were used over the years, I think the only single drivetrain part that would be consistent from beginning to end would be a front bar end shifter, although the specific model of that varied with which rear shifter it mated with. So, referring to LHT and asking about a part is kind of like saying you need a rim for a Ford F150.
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Old 10-19-21, 03:37 AM
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Starting with an evenly worn (or un worn) drivetrain is always the first place to start.

Next, if you want a good shifting drivetrain, you'll need to know how to maintain it.

Good quality housing with well oiled, properly adjusted lines and some fiddling with the barrel adjustors will get you most of the way there.
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Old 10-19-21, 05:32 AM
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You may not have any need to replace your chain rings, and your shifting problems may be something simple, or not.
internet folks can't help you, you just need a trusted mechanic to assess the bike and it's indexed shifters.
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Old 10-19-21, 06:52 AM
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Another issue is relative wear -- i.e. how do parts with different hardness coefficients interact.

In preparation for this past summer trip, I replaced chain and cassette, only to find out that my mid chainring was worn out (i.e. chain was skipping under medium+ load). I generally ride on Wippermann ss chains and started to wonder if this was such a great idea, after all. Perhaps a softer chain would be easier on the chainring. Perhaps a stainless steel mid ring would be better.

More related to the OP -- Shimano makes claims about components being made to improve shifting. Some chains are directional, cogs are shaped to meet a particular type of chain. Or so they say. You may also want to consider what "perfect shifting" means for touring vs road race vs mountain.
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Old 10-19-21, 07:56 AM
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From my armchair, without seeing the bike, the chainring would be the last thing I'd replace. If you tell me the current ring looks like sharks teeth, I'd reconsider.

First things to check are the derailer adjustment, new cables and housing, and cassette.

If you do get down to the chainring, I'd look for any new ring from a known vendor. (There are some no-name brands whose goods wear like cheese.) Steel rings, if they're the right hardness, probably wear slower than aluminum; stainless is a hard sell to me, because some stainless is great and some is closer to aged cheese.

If you're new to derailer system tuning, you might save money finding a good mechanic to isolate the problem and fix it rather than buying one thing after another until it's all better. Even then, you'll probably want that good mechanic to tune things so they work together correctly.
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Old 10-19-21, 01:46 PM
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Yeah, that's what I wasn't sure on. it bought it used and it came with a sugino 600 crankset.

For some reason I was thinking the entire thing was 110mm bcd, but obviously that doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-19-21, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclistSF View Post
Yeah, that's what I wasn't sure on. it bought it used and it came with a sugino 600 crankset.

For some reason I was thinking the entire thing was 110mm bcd, but obviously that doesn't make sense.
It almost certainly has a 74mm BCD inner and will take a 24T. I have owned several XD600s and they all did.
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Old 10-19-21, 02:57 PM
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And there is no reason you should be shifting this bike with friction, unless the bar end shifter for the Rd is borked for indexing, which is unlikely.
Really though, poor shifting could be a whole slew of things, and nothing to do with the chain rings.
But none of us couch potatoes can help you with this.
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Old 10-19-21, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
It almost certainly has a 74mm BCD inner and will take a 24T. I have owned several XD600s and they all did.
Yay, thanks. that's what I was looking for (without busting out a ruler and trying to measure while still on the bike.

Yes, I totally understand poor shifting can be the result of many little things, but my favorite mechanic moved away many years ago and I don't have the time, space or skill level to diagnose anything other than cable tension and limit screws. I've also taken my bike in several times and the mechs are like "I put a new chain on it. should be good" or "I replaced the one problem cog" etc. and it's been progressively worse and worse.

With the amount of use this bike gets and the value I put on that use I think now is a good time to start completely fresh, with the new(ish) bike shop down the street I'm hoping for an awesome mechanic. Also going to be hardcore about upkeep... keeping it clean and well oiled, avoiding cross chaining, etc. and am hoping to have it last a good while with the new setup.

Thanks for your help!

I was really lost with the BCD stuff, just started to learn and then realized the two bigger plates were lined up but the smaller one had bolts in different places.
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Old 10-19-21, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
And there is no reason you should be shifting this bike with friction, unless the bar end shifter for the Rd is borked for indexing, which is unlikely.
Really though, poor shifting could be a whole slew of things, and nothing to do with the chain rings.
But none of us couch potatoes can help you with this.
I think the front is what he was talking about, all Shimano bar end front shifters are friction as far as I know.
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Old 10-19-21, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclistSF View Post
Yay, thanks. that's what I was looking for (without busting out a ruler and trying to measure while still on the bike.
It’s fairly simple.

Yes, I totally understand poor shifting can be the result of many little things, but my favorite mechanic moved away many years ago and I don't have the time, space or skill level to diagnose anything other than cable tension and limit screws. I've also taken my bike in several times and the mechs are like "I put a new chain on it. should be good" or "I replaced the one problem cog" etc. and it's been progressively worse and worse.
It’s not as hard as you think and there are lost of sources on the Intertubz that will help. I’ll also cut down on half of the skill level needed by saying you shouldn’t diagnose anything related to limit screws without a very good reason to do so…like someone picking up a screwdriver and messing with the limit screws. Once they are set there is almost no reason to even touch them.

With the amount of use this bike gets and the value I put on that use I think now is a good time to start completely fresh, with the new(ish) bike shop down the street I'm hoping for an awesome mechanic. Also going to be hardcore about upkeep... keeping it clean and well oiled, avoiding cross chaining, etc. and am hoping to have it last a good while with the new setup.
I have bikes that have tens of thousands of miles on them. I seldom need to tear them down and start over. If you don’t understand how to diagnose problems without starting over, you’ll probably be wasting money by starting afresh. Chainwheels seldom wear out, even on high mileage bikes. You really haven’t said what the problem is but most every problem on a bike that is suffering from poor shifting is due to cables. Usually, it’s a simple as adjusting the cable tension.

I was really lost with the BCD stuff, just started to learn and then realized the two bigger plates were lined up but the smaller one had bolts in different places.
Let’s see if I can parse what you are trying to say. Yes, the two larger “chainrings” (not “plates”) are bolted together with the crank spider making a spacer between them. The inner ring (if you have a triple) has a different bolt circle diameter so that it can be smaller. You’ll often seem the BCD of both listed on a list of cranksets as in 104/64 or 110/74. There are others but they can all be measured as give in the link above.
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Old 10-19-21, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I think the front is what he was talking about, all Shimano bar end front shifters are friction as far as I know.
ah yes, for some reason I thought he was talking about rear shifting also.
Ive always found that friction front shifting is so much nicer and smoother, as we can finesse it just right, and it can be so quiet too. Very nice from the tactile enjoyment of riding a bike.

but as said, who knows what the real issues are with this bike, pretty tough without more info or seeing teh bike.
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Old 10-20-21, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post


It’s not as hard as you think and there are lost of sources on the Intertubz that will help. I’ll also cut down on half of the skill level needed by saying you shouldn’t diagnose anything related to limit screws without a very good reason to do so…like someone picking up a screwdriver and messing with the limit screws. Once they are set there is almost no reason to even touch them.



I have bikes that have tens of thousands of miles on them. I seldom need to tear them down and start over. If you don’t understand how to diagnose problems without starting over, you’ll probably be wasting money by starting afresh. Chainwheels seldom wear out, even on high mileage bikes. You really haven’t said what the problem is but most every problem on a bike that is suffering from poor shifting is due to cables. Usually, it’s a simple as adjusting the cable tension.



Let’s see if I can parse what you are trying to say. Yes, the two larger “chainrings” (not “plates”) are bolted together with the crank spider making a spacer between them. The inner ring (if you have a triple) has a different bolt circle diameter so that it can be smaller. You’ll often seem the BCD of both listed on a list of cranksets as in 104/64 or 110/74. There are others but they can all be measured as give in the link above.
Awesome. thanks for the detailed response. Yes I think I've found the correct BCD. Main problem right now is the chain skipping and jumping when I'm not even shifting. I'd estimate at least 25,000mi on this crankset. Had the bike for 10 years, it's a daily commuter and had this crankset on it when I bought it. I do see some shark finning. Would be nice to start a-fresh and go from there. then I can be sure to address issues as they come right away.

Cheers!
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Old 10-21-21, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CyclistSF View Post
Awesome. thanks for the detailed response. Yes I think I've found the correct BCD. Main problem right now is the chain skipping and jumping when I'm not even shifting. I'd estimate at least 25,000mi on this crankset. Had the bike for 10 years, it's a daily commuter and had this crankset on it when I bought it. I do see some shark finning. Would be nice to start a-fresh and go from there. then I can be sure to address issues as they come right away.

Cheers!
dude, why didn't you share this info at first?
show some photos also, all of this is crucial for free interwebs mechanic all advice
have you ever changed the chain?
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Old 10-27-21, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by CyclistSF View Post
Awesome. thanks for the detailed response. Yes I think I've found the correct BCD. Main problem right now is the chain skipping and jumping when I'm not even shifting. I'd estimate at least 25,000mi on this crankset. Had the bike for 10 years, it's a daily commuter and had this crankset on it when I bought it. I do see some shark finning. Would be nice to start a-fresh and go from there. then I can be sure to address issues as they come right away.

Cheers!
I would rather have your Sugino crankset instead of a low end Shimano crankset. But thats purely from a tradition and practicality perspective.

If the issue is the chainrings...
- Just change the chainrings on your Sugino arms. Buy new chainrings in the tooth counts you want. 110/74bcd, as already mentioned. Buy ramped chainrings that are aluminum. They will shift better due to ramps and the aluminum will be lighter than steel and last for years(decades even).
- Buy a Shimano triple that uses a hollowtech2 bottom bracket. These are dead simple to install and maintain. examples- Shimano Deore FC-T611, Shimano Deore XT FC-T780, Shimano Deore XT FC-T8000
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Old 04-07-22, 11:50 AM
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I am resurfacing this thread because the OP asked about the Surly 36t x 110mm Stainless Steel 5-bolt Chainring and I have the same question.
Also my scenario with my LHT is very similar with around 30,000 miles. My shifting is not horrible but my middle Sugino chainring is starting to form shark tooth. It looks like the replacement Sugino chainring is $70 and the Surly is $35

Sugino Chainring Material: AL-2014
vs
Surly Chainring Material: 304 stainless

Anyone have any experience with these Surly Chainrings?
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Old 04-07-22, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
And there is no reason you should be shifting this bike with friction, unless the bar end shifter for the Rd is borked for indexing, which is unlikely.
Really though, poor shifting could be a whole slew of things, and nothing to do with the chain rings.
But none of us couch potatoes can help you with this.
Unless you just prefer friction. I prefer friction on anything except a sporty racing bike. I like being able to travel the full range of the cassette with one throw and half a full crank turn. With indexed gears your cable tension has to be precise. It's not a huge deal but it's not as easy and simple and bomb proof as good friction shifting.
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Old 04-07-22, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bokerfest View Post
I am resurfacing this thread because the OP asked about the Surly 36t x 110mm Stainless Steel 5-bolt Chainring and I have the same question.
Also my scenario with my LHT is very similar with around 30,000 miles. My shifting is not horrible but my middle Sugino chainring is starting to form shark tooth. It looks like the replacement Sugino chainring is $70 and the Surly is $35

Sugino Chainring Material: AL-2014
vs
Surly Chainring Material: 304 stainless

Anyone have any experience with these Surly Chainrings?
Have no applicable experience, but in this day and age when drive trains range from 8 speed to 12 speed (Campy has a 13), you should check and make sure the chainring is compatible with your chain. That link suggested it would work with 9 and 10 with a short break in period.
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Old 04-07-22, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Have no applicable experience, but in this day and age when drive trains range from 8 speed to 12 speed (Campy has a 13), you should check and make sure the chainring is compatible with your chain. That link suggested it would work with 9 and 10 with a short break in period.
I am using a KMC Z99 9 Speed chain so I think I am good on that front as I do not mind a little break in period.
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Old 04-07-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bokerfest View Post
I am resurfacing this thread because the OP asked about the Surly 36t x 110mm Stainless Steel 5-bolt Chainring and I have the same question.
Also my scenario with my LHT is very similar with around 30,000 miles. My shifting is not horrible but my middle Sugino chainring is starting to form shark tooth. It looks like the replacement Sugino chainring is $70 and the Surly is $35

Sugino Chainring Material: AL-2014
vs
Surly Chainring Material: 304 stainless

Anyone have any experience with these Surly Chainrings?
I run a Surly SS middle chainring on my Trek 520. I can honestly say that it lasts easily 3x as long as an aluminum chainring. I've never had a problem with shifting with bar ends.
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Old 04-07-22, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
Unless you just prefer friction. I prefer friction on anything except a sporty racing bike. I like being able to travel the full range of the cassette with one throw and half a full crank turn. With indexed gears your cable tension has to be precise. It's not a huge deal but it's not as easy and simple and bomb proof as good friction shifting.
hey kids, get off my grass!
just kidding.
but seriously, on my bikes that are indexed but with dt shifters and Gevenalle shifters, its still easy to travel the full range of the cassette, and index cable tension is pretty easy to get right......but if you prefer friction, thats great.
Enjoy your riding is all that matters.
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Old 04-07-22, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
hey kids, get off my grass!
just kidding.
but seriously, on my bikes that are indexed but with dt shifters and Gevenalle shifters, its still easy to travel the full range of the cassette, and index cable tension is pretty easy to get right......but if you prefer friction, thats great.
Enjoy your riding is all that matters.
I'm the same way my friend. I do appreciate indexed at times, but if I had to pick I would go all friction only.
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Old 04-08-22, 04:52 AM
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Most of my bikes are friction front, but I have only one bike that is friction in the rear full time. I really like the way the frame rides on that one that is full time friction, but I hate downtube rear friction shifters so much I can't remember which year was the last time I rode that bike. I really want indexed shifters in the rear. But, if some people find that friction rear shifters works for them, ok, I can call that personal preference.

My bikes that are friction front, all of those bikes have triple cranks. And with a triple, only the middle ring shift has to be set carefully, the big and small rings are obtained by pushing the lever to the stop, so only half of my shifts are really non-indexed. And those shifts to the middle ring, the lever goes to the same spot each time, so muscle memory can remember how to find that middle ring easy enough. Thus, friction in the front is not really a big deal.

I never have a desire to shift all the way across the cassette with "one throw".

In my case, I am better off with friction on the front shifters on those bikes with triple cranks, as I have mis-matched front derailleurs with those cranksets, an indexed shifter would be difficult to setup or might not work at all on those bikes.
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Old 04-08-22, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Most of my bikes are friction front, but I have only one bike that is friction in the rear full time. I really like the way the frame rides on that one that is full time friction, but I hate downtube rear friction shifters so much I can't remember which year was the last time I rode that bike. I really want indexed shifters in the rear. But, if some people find that friction rear shifters works for them, ok, I can call that personal preference.
Yeah, I don't see much benefit to front indexing on down tube shifters. That said, one of the nicest crispest shifting bikes I have owned or ridden is a downtube equipped 105 rear indexing just works flawlessly. When on tour and I had the bike in a shop (rare since I do my own wrenching) the mechanic commented as he shifted through the gears on the work stand, "ya gotta love these down tube shifters they just work flawlessly". The bike never had a super wide ratio cluster on it though (it had a 12-28 when on that tour). Still of all the bikes I have ever owned that one for some reason to me is the gold standard of working perfectly in many ways (not just shifting) and being a pleasure to ride. I might choose a newer bike for modern features, but that one is in my mind still something special.
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