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Touring Drivetrain selection: please give feedback

Old 03-21-09, 02:03 PM
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Touring Drivetrain selection: please give feedback

I'm converting my fixed gear Cross Check into a tourer. I've done a lot of research both here and on the Surly LHT/CC Owners Group, and this is what I'm planning to purchase.

Dura Ace barend shifters: SL-BS77
Shimano Tiagra Triple FD: FD-4503-B
Shimano XT Shadow RD, long cage: RD-M772-SGS
Chainrings: 50 38 24 (on 105 road triple cranks, which I have)
Cassette: 9 speed with a low gear of 34

Will this work for a cross Canada trip? Any suggestions for changes? Which brand of chainrings and cassette should I buy?

Thanks.
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Old 03-21-09, 02:44 PM
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In general, I'd say that most triples with a wide cassette will be quite sufficient for any extensive tour.

More specifically, I mostly copied the Long Haul Trucker's drivetrain for my Cross Check.

Dura-Ace bar ends (came with bike)
Rear deraillieur, Shimano XT RD-M761
Deore cassette, CS-HG53, 11-34T
Triple FD (not sure of the model) with 48-36-30T rings

I try not to carry heavy loads, and so far this has been low enough for me.

Keep in mind you will most likely need a different bottom bracket to accommodate a triple crankset.

Also, officially front derailleurs do not have an unlimited range. E.g. the FD you selected has a 20T max range, so you might only be able to do 50T - 40T - 30T up front. Someone with more mechanical experience than I may have better input on how far you can go over the official specs.
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Old 03-21-09, 05:27 PM
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Yan, do you honestly see yourself using a 50/11 or 50/12 gear?
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Old 03-21-09, 05:47 PM
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I've been looking at Harris Cyclery's custom 14-34 cassettes, but they're expensive at $120. Is there a cheaper cassette with comparable range?

Shimano says the FD-4503 needs a 11 tooth difference between the top and intermediate chainrings. The 105 road triple cranks have a 130mm bolt circle diameter for the outer chainrings, which limits the intermediate ring to atleast 38 tooth. This means I have to get a 49+ tooth outer ring. I rounded this to 50. The stock Tiagra crankset comes with a 50 tooth outer ring as well.

https://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830606982.pdf

Also: I'm in university, without room for more than one bike. I'd like the same bike to fit my non-touring needs as well. A 50 tooth chainring is nice to have when I'm off tour.
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Old 03-21-09, 06:05 PM
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ah,,I get it. you might think of having two cassettes, one for around town road riding and one for touring. With a triple and no touring load a 13-26 is mighty nice. I got a LHT and had a lighter rear wheel built up with a 13-26 cassette.
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Old 03-21-09, 07:59 PM
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running a 50 with a 24 chain ring is a 26t range and I doubt your FD will cover that. Do something like 46-38-26 with a 12-34 cassette
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Old 03-21-09, 08:19 PM
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SRAM cassettes are more affordable, and compatible with, Shimano. A PG970 has several ranges, most are around $40.

The difference between a 50T and 48T is really small. At 90rpm, with the cassette at an 11T, the 50T will be at 32.6mph, the 48T was 31.3mph.

Meanwhile, a 34T - 24T combo is absurdly low. At 60rpm that's 3.5mph. That's walking speed. And a 34T - 28T is 3.9mph @ 60rpm.

I.e. you really are not losing a lot of usable range if you wind up with something like an 11-34T cassette and 48/38/28T rings.

What are your other uses here? Commuting? Fast group rides? Relaxed rides in the country? Racing?

Last edited by Bacciagalupe; 03-21-09 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 03-21-09, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
SRAM cassettes are more affordable, and compatible with, Shimano. A PG970 has several ranges, most are around $40.

The difference between a 50T and 48T is really small. At 90rpm, with the cassette at an 11T, the 50T will be at 32.6mph, the 48T was 31.3mph.

Meanwhile, a 34T - 24T combo is absurdly low. At 60rpm that's 3.5mph. I.e. walking speed. And a 34T - 28T is 3.9mph @ 60rpm.

I.e. you really are not losing a lot of usable range if you wind up with something like an 11-34T cassette and 48/38/28T rings.

What are your other uses here? Commuting? Fast group rides? Relaxed rides in the country? Racing?
I try to get a 100" to 20" gear range for touring. When touring I seldom get above 20mph on the flat and tend to go along in the 15mph range so having something like 65" on the neutral chain line is just fine. When I'm going downhill after I pass 25mph I coast so I don't need big gears. The bottom end is personal preference and there have been times I was glad of my 26/34 combo, but it's true that much lower and it's just as easy to get off and push......I've done that too.
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Old 03-21-09, 08:45 PM
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Transmission

If you want a 50T outer front ring then consider the Shimano 105 compact chainset. Not sure what the lowest ring size is on this chainset but if it is 30 or less then unless you are riding up cliff faces you won't need more than a 25T rear sprocket I would have thought with this combo. Check out gear ratios at sheldonbrown’s site. I would go for an Ultegra cassette 11-25 light and strong and a fraction of the price of Dura Ace. No way will you need a large sprocket as large as 27T for if so you will have real probs with chain length. What type of gradients will you be climbing and how frequently? You will definitely need a long cage rear mech. Front mech not so critical I would have thought your Tiagra would be fine, mine was. Make sure you have at least a 36 hole rear wheel if you want to carry a load, don't forget your own weight as well.

I have a Specialised Sirrus Sport with an Ultegra 52-42-30 triple chainset, Ultegra bottom bracket Octalink, with Tiagra triple front mech withTiagra long cage rear mech, Campag 11-25 and also option of 11-23 rear sprockets on rear. Campag Record hub 36 hole hand built wheels with Swiss DT double butted spokes on drive side and plain on non drive side (I think) on Mavic Open Pro CDs. Runs very smoothly. Gear shifters are Deore and change really nicely. Front tyre is 23C rear is currently 25c but also have 28C.

On my other bike Trek 7500 previously mountain bike chainset and gearing now has a Campag Record triple 53 42 30 chainset on Shimano UN54 bottom bracket. Front mech is still mountain bike Deore just shifted up seat tube a fraction and works fine. Rear mech is Shimano XT Shadow 9 speed. Rear wheel is Shimano XT 36H hub on Mavic Open Pro CD rim again hand built with Swiss DT spokes. Cassette is Ultegra 11-25 which is plenty low enough for once on the low front ring. Depends how much pain you can take. Don't see the need for a larger rear sprocket than 25T plus there would be chain probs. Gear shifters are Deore - faultless. Front tyre 23C rear 25C again 28C is available.

Hope this is of help.

Last edited by Ariane; 03-21-09 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 03-21-09, 09:22 PM
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I think your low gears of 24 front 34 back will work well for crawling up those hills. Not sure if you need a 50 though, I'd just go for a 46-48 at most. If I was you I would consider getting a 24-34-44 chainring.
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Old 03-21-09, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ariane
If you want a 50T outer front ring then consider the Shimano 105 compact chainset. Not sure what the lowest ring size is on this chainset but if it is 30 or less then unless you are riding up cliff faces you won't need more than a 25T rear sprocket I would have thought with this combo. Check out gear ratios at sheldonbrown’s site. I would go for an Ultegra cassette 11-25 light and strong and a fraction of the price of Dura Ace. No way will you need a large sprocket as large as 27T for if so you will have real probs with chain length. What type of gradients will you be climbing and how frequently? You will definitely need a long cage rear mech. Front mech not so critical I would have thought your Tiagra would be fine, mine was. Make sure you have at least a 36 hole rear wheel if you want to carry a load, don't forget your own weight as well.


Hope this is of help.
Compact chain rings usually come with 50/34 rings as they are 110mm doubles, so there's no way to go lower than 34 on them. The comments above are valid for the common road bike, but not applicable to touring where the gear ratios are considerably smaller and the capacity of appropriate derailleurs larger to take up all that extra chain length.
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Old 03-21-09, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by carkmouch
I think your low gears of 24 front 34 back will work well for crawling up those hills. Not sure if you need a 50 though, I'd just go for a 46-48 at most. If I was you I would consider getting a 24-34-44 chainring.
It's a good opportunity to try half step gearing what about 42/39/24 with an 11/34 cassette, It gives you lots of gears with an appropriate touring range. Your FD has the range, although you'll have to leave an big gap between it and the 42t ring to clear the chainstay

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...e_id=56285&v=x

You could go with the gearing I use, a 42/26 double with an 11-34 cassette. You only use the middle and inner positions on the crank. It's simple and got me through VT last year

Last edited by nun; 03-21-09 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 03-22-09, 05:51 AM
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Hi Yan
My thoughts on the most cost-effective crank-set and cassette combination of gearing for your bike are as follows.The Sugino SD 600 crankset (48-34-26) can be picked up very reasonably and is highly recommended for touring. The series of cassettes from Sram (for ex. PG950 11-34) are a great fit with this crankset and can be found on Ebay for good prices.

I am intending to use this combination on my Specialized Sirrus Comp very soon. You may need to change the BB on your Crosscheck to fit this crank.

Doug
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Old 03-22-09, 08:54 AM
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I don`t think 34-24 is absurd- I love my little old granny! I never had issues with FD, so never much paid any attention to what they`re capable of, but I think you`d really be stretching the capacity of any RD with a 26t difference up front and mtb cassette in back.
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Old 03-22-09, 12:24 PM
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38 is the lowest I can go on the middle ring because my road triple crank has a BCD of 130/74. I just ran the gears through Sheldon's calculator. Both sets use a 12-34 cassette. The first set uses a 50-38-24 crankset. The second set uses a 48-38-26 crankset. The results are in gear inches.

109.5 83.2 52.6
93.9 71.3 45.1
82.1 62.4 39.4
73.0 55.5 35.0
65.7 49.9 31.5
57.1 43.4 27.4
50.5 38.4 24.3
43.8 33.3 21.0
38.6 29.4 18.6

105.1 83.2 56.9
90.1 71.3 48.8
78.8 62.4 42.7
70.1 55.5 38.0
63.1 49.9 34.2
54.8 43.4 29.7
48.5 38.4 26.3
42.0 33.3 22.8
37.1 29.4 20.1
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Old 03-22-09, 12:57 PM
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Get off the 50t thing, 50-38-24 is too much range for your FD and the RD won't take up that much chain.
The 48-38-26 is a far better way to go, but also consider the half step and using a 42-26 with an 11-34 cassette. Here are my gear ratios 90% of my time I'm in 75" or 66"

102.2 63.3
86.5 53.5
74.9 46.4
66.1 40.9
56.2 34.8
48.9 30.3
43.2 26.8
37.5 23.2
33.1 20.5
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Old 03-22-09, 03:01 PM
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OK, so... What doesn't work for you about a 105" - 20" gearing range?

Keep in mind, that is exactly what the Long Haul Trucker "complete" ships with, and it's much wider than even most other touring bikes out there.
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Old 03-22-09, 03:24 PM
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Ok. I'm going to get 48-38-26 chainrings. The only chainrings I could find that are ramped and pinned are the very expensive made in France TA chainrings. Are there cheaper chainrings out there that are also pinned and ramped?
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Old 03-22-09, 03:38 PM
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I also agree with not needing the 50.
I build my LHT with a new XT/11-34 and an old LX crankset (46/36/26) salvaged from my old mountain bike.
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Old 03-22-09, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Are there cheaper chainrings out there that are also pinned and ramped?
I would just get a whole new touring triple set (Sugino, for example). ....cheaper than buying individual chainrings, in most cases...

https://www.velo-orange.com/suoldlotr.html
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Old 03-22-09, 04:49 PM
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I searched all over for suppliers of the Sugino SD600 crankset and the best deal (by far!) was -

https://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...75_128_135_772

Doug
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Old 03-22-09, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe

Meanwhile, a 34T - 24T combo is absurdly low. At 60rpm that's 3.5mph. That's walking speed. And a 34T - 28T is 3.9mph @ 60rpm.

But at 90 rpm it's 5 mph. The point of such low gearing is still being able to spin at climbing speeds. Not everyone will need or want such a low gear, but it has its purposes.

Also, 3.5 mph is still faster than pushing the bike uphill.
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Old 03-22-09, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by stedalus
But at 90 rpm it's 5 mph. The point of such low gearing is still being able to spin at climbing speeds. Not everyone will need or want such a low gear, but it has its purposes.

Also, 3.5 mph is still faster than pushing the bike uphill.
this is so true.

so far as I am concerned, even a 22-34 is not absurdly slow. when I want to climb something steep, i can. last weekend found a hill as steep as anything I've seen in the states. still got up it easily. whats wrong with having your granny as low as you can still stay upright at 60 RPM cadence on a touring bike - thats about 3.5 MPH. at 80 its a shade more than 4 MPH. When pulling a 60 pound load up a 5 mile long 20% grade hill, I am always thankful that some others here on the forum convinced me to go 22-34. its there when I NEED it, why would I use it otherwise??
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Old 03-22-09, 05:57 PM
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I've seen trikes geared even lower. You can winch yourself up practically anything.

A 22-34 is very low....even lower on 26" wheels....
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Old 03-22-09, 06:19 PM
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As long as you pick a cassette with an 11 tooth *boogie gear*, it's almost impossible for non-professional cyclists to pick too low gearing.

Back when I was young, pro riders in Europe were racing with a 13X52 top gear (around 110 gear inches) Now, I'd admit that was over 25 years ago, but nobody reading this is as strong of rider as say, Fausto Coppi. How many gear inches did that guy need?

Let's say I put a MTB drivetrain on my 700c touring bike. The highest gear would be 11X44 (around 105 gear inches) or maybe with a Sugino crankset 11X46 (around 113 gear inches). Due to the wonderful technology of 11-28, 11-34 or 11-32 cassettes and long cage derailers, the decades of using big chainring sizes of 54-50, are well, unless you're on EPO, are over.

If you're going to build a custom bike drivetrain, stick with the low gears. Maybe you won't need them. (not everybody is as wimpy as me). But you might. I'm still wondering why the industry makes road bikes with a top end of over 120 gear inches.
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