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Rejuvenated LHT

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Rejuvenated LHT

Old 04-28-13, 11:52 AM
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Rejuvenated LHT

After stripping down my Utility Blue LHT that looked like this:



It now looks like this:



I stripped it to the frame because it was in need of a tune-up, was partially disassembled already, and I figured (thatís Western-speak) I might as well paint it. One thing led to another as I put it back together. Hereís what I changed:
  • Powder-coated the frame flat black. (I also treated the frame with JP Weigles Frame Saver.)
  • Installed RaceFace Turbine cranks with new RF 46-34-22 chainrings. The 22t chainring dropped my lowest gear from 19.3 gear inches to 17.6 (Iíd already replaced the stock inner ring with a 24t). This was the most expensive modification, but oh how sweet it is. (Thanks for the help sorting out the gearing, cyccommute.)
  • Replaced my rusty <blush> chain with a SRAM PC971.
  • Replaced my plastic Chain Watcher with a K-Edge Dirt-3 Chain Catcher.
  • Replaced the stock Tektro Oryx brakes (which were decent) with Paul Components Touring Cantilever brakes.
  • Replaced the original and thread-worn Continental Contacts with Vittoria Randonneur Pro RFX tires. The Vittorias are lighter (thatís a good thing) but the rubber feels soft. I hope they hold up to loaded touring.
  • Trued the wheels (as well as a novice canÖ).
  • Replaced the Planet Bike wired computer (which broke inflight to Europe) with a Cateye CC-RD300W Strada Wireless. (I also use a Garmin Edge 500, but its battery doesnít last very long.)
  • Replaced the Kalloy seat post with a Salsa Shaft. I had the Shaft kicking around from another project (and itís much easier to adjust the seat angle).
These changes cost me about $750ómoney well spent for the pleasure this machine has delivered. Itíll be carrying me on a month-long trip to points north of Salt Lake City in June.
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Old 04-28-13, 12:03 PM
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Nice upgrades, I'm a fan of MTB cranks on touring bikes, gives me all the lows I could ever want, I think I'm around 18" on one of my touring bikes. I like flat black as a frame colour too.
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Old 04-28-13, 02:48 PM
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I had the stock Surly five-bolt cranks with 100/74mm bolt spacing. The smallest chain ring for the 74mm was 24 teeth. Switching to the 4-bolt 104/64mm cranks let me go to the 22 tooth ring (there's a guy on eBay who sells a 20t 64mm sprocket, but I think that's lower than I need). I went with RaceFace because they sell a 46t for the 104/64mm (which is unusual for a mountain bike). I'm writing all these details in case someone else wants to gear down while maintaining a reasonably fast high gear. I miss the 48t a little, but I was willing to lose it to get the lower gear. (FWIW, last year I averaged 4,850 vertical feet per day while riding in the Pyrenees. Low gears matter.)
\
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Old 04-28-13, 06:50 PM
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FWIW I'm sure they make 104BCD rings up to 48 teeth. I think I even own one.
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Old 04-28-13, 11:04 PM
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Nice transformation!

What front derailleur and bottom bracket are you using with that crank? I'm in the process of rebuilding the twin sister of your LHT for my daughter, and am trying to find a good 22/32/44 set up for her. They don't make my favorite crank, Sugino DX500, anymore
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Old 04-29-13, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by clasher
FWIW I'm sure they make 104BCD rings up to 48 teeth. I think I even own one.
You're right. I was using JensonUSA.com (and other) chainring finders that weren't coming up with any. I just did a search and found several (including the Shimano Deore FC-M533). Good to know I'll have room for more upgrades next year
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Old 04-29-13, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
Nice transformation!

What front derailleur and bottom bracket are you using with that crank? I'm in the process of rebuilding the twin sister of your LHT for my daughter, and am trying to find a good 22/32/44 set up for her. They don't make my favorite crank, Sugino DX500, anymore
My front derailleur is a Shimano Tiagra FD-4403 (long cage). It works well on this range and should have no problem with your 22/44 range. The RaceFace came with its own BB (RaceFace Turbine X-Type external). I previously had a Shimano UN55 BB which held up well and was inexpensive, but the left-side (plastic) cup cracked (a common occurrence). The "Problem Solver Cup" is a metal replacement for the plastic cup, but it costs as much as the BB (~$20).
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Old 04-29-13, 09:35 AM
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How do you like the Paul Components brakes compared to the Tektros?
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Old 04-29-13, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes
How do you like the Paul Components brakes compared to the Tektros?
I haven't had them long enough to have a strong opinion, but since you asked: (1) The machining is beautiful. (2) I was hoping they'd eliminate the front brake squeal (I've only ridden ~20 miles and the pads still need to break in; I may increase the toe-in to reduce squeal). (3) They extend forward on the cantilever bolts which caused my front rack (which mounts to the cantilever bolts) to tilt forward. I'll need to make new brackets for the front rack to fix this. (4) The stopping power at this point seems similar. If I can resolve the squeal I expect it'll improve. The instructions varied on the straddle cable's length and I think I'll flatten it (which will increase the force).
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Old 04-30-13, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Sachelis
I haven't had them long enough to have a strong opinion, but since you asked: (1) The machining is beautiful. (2) I was hoping they'd eliminate the front brake squeal (I've only ridden ~20 miles and the pads still need to break in; I may increase the toe-in to reduce squeal). (3) They extend forward on the cantilever bolts which caused my front rack (which mounts to the cantilever bolts) to tilt forward. I'll need to make new brackets for the front rack to fix this. (4) The stopping power at this point seems similar. If I can resolve the squeal I expect it'll improve. The instructions varied on the straddle cable's length and I think I'll flatten it (which will increase the force).
Paul Components makes very nice pieces, well finished. I have their seatpost. Yes, they recommend a flatter straddle cable from what I read. I haven't been incredibly impressed with the Tektros but they are okay. I added the helpers which increased the braking power by a decent amount. The bike looks great, enjoy.
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