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Mountain-Road Drivetrain Compatibility

Old 04-05-09, 12:11 PM
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Mountain-Road Drivetrain Compatibility

Howdy, I'm looking for some advice. I'm building up a Surly Long Haul Trucker and I have been collecting parts for what is essentially a Shimano mountain drivetrain. I got a Deore crankset, an XT rear derailleur, and 9-speed bar-end shifters. Now I have to choose a front derailleur and I think I should go more the road-specific route here because they allow for larger chainrings than do front mountain derailleurs.

I want to get an ultegra front derailleur, but they're all listed as 10-speeds. I figured they're compatible with the shifters because the bar-ends are friction shifters on front derailleur, but I'm still concerned about the compatibility with the other components. If I use an Ultegra 10-speed front derailleur will it work with a 22-32-44 mountain crankset? And will it work with a 9-speed chain and all that?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:39 PM
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I use a Tiagra "road" derailleur with a 48-36-26 triple and it works fine. I had to use the road front derailleur because i'm using the tiagra shifters as well. You can use either road or mountain since you have friction bar ends. You should be able to find a 9-speed Ultegra front derailleur on ebay if you're worried about the 10-speed one (i don't know if the cage is narrower or anything).
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Old 04-05-09, 01:04 PM
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I'd be worried about the narrow-ness of the cage on a 10-speed front derailleur, which would just mean that you'd have to trim the derailleur position a lot to avoid rub (easy to do with friction shifters, but a nuisance). I'm not clear on why a mountain front derailleur wouldn't be desireable, with that front chainring setup.
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Old 04-05-09, 03:35 PM
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If your setting up a MTB type cranks and ring arrangement why not just go with a Deore, XT etc FD. Having said that 9-speed road and MTB stuff are usually compatible. My drive chain uses an XT RD and a 105 FD. Don't try to mix 10 speed stuff with 9 speed stuff though
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Old 04-05-09, 03:48 PM
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I have a LHT running XT Rear Derailer, an XT 9 Speed cassette, a Dura Ace triple crankset with a Tiagra Front derailer and shift them with friction barcons. Its pretty beautiful, though I do usually have to trim the front derailer and took a bit of dialing in to get there. It is impossible to run 53-34, but you really shouldnt be doing that anyway.
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Old 04-05-09, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nun
If your setting up a MTB type cranks and ring arrangement why not just go with a Deore, XT etc FD.
I had wanted to get a road derailleur to keep my options open as far as chainring sizes (XT derailleurs have a 44 tooth maximum). I may just go that route though, 9-speed triple ultegra derailleurs are impossible to find. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-05-09, 04:00 PM
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Watch the chainline. The chainline on the Deore crankset is 50 mm. The chainline on the Ultegra front derailleur is 45 mm. The chainline on typical MTB front derailleurs is 50 mm which will match the crank.

Get yourself a Deore (LX/XT) front derailleur and don't worry about it.

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Old 04-05-09, 08:43 PM
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Try this derailer.

https://www.treefortbikes.com/502_333...erailleur.html

First, this derailer is set up for the LHT frame. (the right size clamp and under the BB cable routing).
Second, it's a got a wide cage (for 8 speed chains), so you won't need to *trim* the front shifter as much.
Third, it's possible to spend a lot more money for a derailer, but it won't work any better with your bike.
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Old 04-05-09, 08:56 PM
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I seriously doubt you`ll find a 53 ring for your Deore cranks anyway. No sense worrying about derailer compatibility.
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Old 04-05-09, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mperkins
I had wanted to get a road derailleur to keep my options open as far as chainring sizes (XT derailleurs have a 44 tooth maximum). I may just go that route though, 9-speed triple ultegra derailleurs are impossible to find. Thanks for the help.
I run an XT FD with a 48 big ring with no issues. Shimano is pretty conservative on their specs. To be precise, I run it with a 48/38/28 which even more so they say doesn't work since they say the big to middle needs to be 12 tooth difference. No issues at all. FD-M770 IIRC.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pacificaslim
I use a Tiagra "road" derailleur with a 48-36-26 triple and it works fine. I had to use the road front derailleur because i'm using the tiagra shifters as well. You can use either road or mountain since you have friction bar ends. You should be able to find a 9-speed Ultegra front derailleur on ebay if you're worried about the 10-speed one (i don't know if the cage is narrower or anything).
The Tiagra is a better derailer for triples anyway. The space between the inner and outer plates is wider than the Ultegra and the outer plate is thinner. This makes the whole derailer more friendly to the wide range a triple needs to handle. Less trimming and easier set up.

I have both. The Ultegra requires constant fiddling to keep it from rubbing.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:37 AM
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You might try going to something like the Race Face Deuce XC crank...My wife's bike uses this with a Shimano 105 fdr and STI brifters. I believe that you can get chain rings up to 48 teeth although we have only used 44/34/24 with a 11-34 cassette and SLX rdr on the back.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedo
Watch the chainline. The chainline on the Deore crankset is 50 mm. The chainline on the Ultegra front derailleur is 45 mm. The chainline on typical MTB front derailleurs is 50 mm which will match the crank.

Get yourself a Deore (LX/XT) front derailleur and don't worry about it.

Speedo
I looked at this for a while. It turns out that most Shimano cranks have a few spacers such that you can move the cranks laterally a few mm. When I looked at the XT cranks, I remember concluding that I could move it at least 3 mm with no issues.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
I looked at this for a while. It turns out that most Shimano cranks have a few spacers such that you can move the cranks laterally a few mm. When I looked at the XT cranks, I remember concluding that I could move it at least 3 mm with no issues.
That would be great if it worked. Did you try it, or just read the installation manual an conclude that you could do it? I'm a bit suspicious about anything that isn't tried and true.

I looked at the XT Crank installation manual, and can see the spacers that you are referring to. It looks like they exist to account for different BB shell widths and front derailleur attachment methods. In all those cases I would guess that the spacers are designed so that the length of the BB axle that protrudes on the left side would be the same. By using the spacers to adjust the chain line, you would change the amount that the axle protrudes on the right. Is the left arm clamping method robust to changes in the amount of axle that protrudes?

As much as I like the new external bearing BBs, life sure was a lot simpler when everyone used square taper bottom brackets and you just chose the length you needed to get the desired chain line.

Speedo

P.S. I tried to reply to your BF hinge question on Yak, but it rejected my post. I'm betting that your hinge is more like a rivet than a bolt. That is, it's not meant to be unbolted without sacrificing the pin. I also have a crank-synchronous tick on my NWT. I think of it as a feature...

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Old 04-07-09, 10:30 AM
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I'd suspect that the fD you want is the XT FD-M773, as it has a quoted 48t top ring capacity, for the trekking chainset. As someone else said, you're not going to find a 53t ring for the 104mm/4bolt cranks anyway. And, if you switched to a road crank for some reason, you have to expect to change the FD with it. I think that a lot of this has to do with what size hubs you're running. Being that this is a trucker, you ought to be running 135mm(mtb) rear hubs, which would make the mtnbike FD a better fit, and would also mean that chainline will be optimal with equal spacers on either side of the BB. The spacers are there mostly so Shimano can sell one BB to fit both 68mm and 73mm BB shells. The latent consequence, a good one, is that you can run the spacers unevenly to fiddle with chainline. This is helpful for singlespeeds or if you are running road (130mm) hubs with a mtb crank. The only downside is a weird q-factor. Now, i'm mostly adding all of this because it is *possible* that you or someone like you might be running spaced out road hubs on your trucker, but that'd be an exercise in weird penny-pinching, and i suspect that you've got 135mm hubs on there.

So, in summary:
-space your BB evenly
-run a mtb-style FD. Use the aforementioned XT if you plan on going to a larger ringset, although I've used standard LX bottomswings with 48t chainsets with no real problems, just more tuning. It's only $50 for the M773

-rob
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Old 04-07-09, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedo

As much as I like the new external bearing BBs, life sure was a lot simpler when everyone used square taper bottom brackets and you just chose the length you needed to get the desired chain line.

Speedo
This is the reason I stick with square taper Phil Wood bottom bracket bearings. They come in lots of lengths
and you can adjust then left and right about 5 mm to get the chainline just right. Couple one of those with a
Sugino XD or a TA Carmina and you're golden (the TA Phil combo does leave the wallet a lot lighter though)
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Old 04-07-09, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedo
That would be great if it worked. Did you try it, or just read the installation manual an conclude that you could do it? I'm a bit suspicious about anything that isn't tried and true...
Yes. It works (at least in some cases). The few mm displacement seems unnoticeable to the rider. However, be careful that the granny gear doesn't end up hitting the chainstay under heavy mashing. This happened, unnoticed, to a buddy of mine...Unnoticed, that is, until the chainstay was almost severed off!
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Old 04-07-09, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nun
This is the reason I stick with square taper Phil Wood bottom bracket bearings. They come in lots of lengths
and you can adjust then left and right about 5 mm to get the chainline just right. Couple one of those with a
Sugino XD or a TA Carmina and you're golden (the TA Phil combo does leave the wallet a lot lighter though)
You're right. I have no right to b**** because there is always the Phil Wood option. I hadn't considered the advantages of weight savings on my wallet...

Originally Posted by The Smokester
Yes. It works (at least in some cases).
That's not quite the ringing endorsement I would have hoped for! Also, I'm not sure that we are talking about the same kind of bottom bracket. With the new external bearing bottom brackets the position of the crank arms is flush with the bearings. You can't move it in any further. By changing the spacers I would think that you could only change the position of the left crank arm on the BB spindle.

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