Lowering Gears for Touring Bike



P

PatC

Guest
I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used for
commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring. Unfortunately,
beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105 triple crank, and 12-26
road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.

First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.

Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple crank, or
should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done with it?

Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?

My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28 (if
anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear derailleur (or
maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing. Leave the bar end
shifters and front derailleur the same.

I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.

BTW - if anyone in the USA wants to make some sort of trade, email me (take
the Z's out). I also have a Centaur standard double with about 1000 miles
on it that I'd be willing to depart with...

Thanks in advance!
 
Z

Zog The Undeniable

Guest
PatC wrote:

> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used for
> commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring. Unfortunately,
> beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105 triple crank, and 12-26
> road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.
>
> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
> mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.


Pretty much whatever you like, as long as you are experienced enough
never to shift into a big-big combination. MTBers used to run road rear
mechs a lot in the weight weenie days (I used a 105 short cage with
46/36/24 rings and an 11-28 cassette and never had any problems at all).

> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple crank, or
> should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done with it?


Yes, you can fit a smaller granny ring. I have a 26T on mine, for
instance. The 105 front mech is only supposed to cope with a 22T
difference between big ring and granny though - some people get away
with more. I'm currently using an older XT front mech with a capacity
of 26T, but I'm looking to replace it as it tends to slip on the seat
tube unless radically overtightened.

> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?


Those would be Rapidfire shifters, unsuitable for dropped bars. There's
no need to change your shifters as all Shimano 9 speed shifters have the
same cable pull.
 
D

Dave Thompson

Guest
PatC wrote:
> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used
> for commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring.
> Unfortunately, beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105
> triple crank, and 12-26 road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.
>
> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can
> it go mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably
> not.


Install an XT rear der and 11-34 cassette.

> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple
> crank, or should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done
> with it?


A Salsa 28t granny ring will work fine with your triple set-up

> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?


No.

>
> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28
> (if anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear
> derailleur (or maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing.
> Leave the bar end shifters and front derailleur the same.
>
> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32
> rear cog is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up
> yet.


There's no such thing as too low a gear when you're riding in the mountains
by yourself.

> BTW - if anyone in the USA wants to make some sort of trade, email me
> (take the Z's out). I also have a Centaur standard double with about
> 1000 miles on it that I'd be willing to depart with...
>
> Thanks in advance!
 
PatC wrote:
> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used for
> commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring. Unfortunately,
> beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105 triple crank, and 12-26
> road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.
>
> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
> mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.


Some people say it can handle a 32 cog. But that kind of depends on
where Surly put the hole on the hanger. Some say it will almost always
handle a 30 cog. But I would recommend getting a cassette with a 34
tooth rear cog. Preferably the Shimano 12-34 9 speed. 11-34 if you
can't find the 12-34. See if the 105 rear derailleur will work. If
not then get a Deore rear derailleur. $35 from Nashbar at most. Works
as well as any other Shimano rear derailleur. New chain too since you
are going to a bigger rear cog.


>
> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple crank, or
> should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done with it?


Your triple crankset has a 74 mm bolt circle diameter for the inner
chainring. It will accept a 24 tooth inner chainring. $10 from
nashbar. Get a 24 tooth. Don't F around with a 28 tooth chainring.


>
> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?


Bar end shifters are wonderful for touring. Particularly the front
derailleur shifter. You can ease the chain down instead of slamming it
down with STI and hoping it lands in the right spot. Get a chain
watcher just in case because it is a big drop from the 42 to the 24
inner ring.

>
> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28 (if
> anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear derailleur (or
> maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing. Leave the bar end
> shifters and front derailleur the same.


Very odd and wasteful logic replacing the crankset when you can get a
lower gear just by replacing the inner chainring for $10. Wasteful
logic going with the LX rear derailleur.


>
> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
> is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.


Too low to be useful? Odd concept. I guess it depends on whether you
plan to climb any mountains or steep hills.


>
> BTW - if anyone in the USA wants to make some sort of trade, email me (take
> the Z's out). I also have a Centaur standard double with about 1000 miles
> on it that I'd be willing to depart with...
>
> Thanks in advance!
 
D

Dale Benjamin

Guest
"PatC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
> is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.


I think it would work fine in some cases. I have a 24 small ring with a 23 back
cog, comes out to around 4 mph with a cadence of about 50, which is fine for the
steepest hills.

It is kind of difficult to start off from a complete stop in a ratio that gives
3 mph at a cadence of 50, especially with 50 pounds of gear. Try to avoid that
situation at first. It does take some getting used to. But it is a useful gear
once you're moving.

Rear axles are near the stress limit in this ratio, so be sure to take it easy.
Good luck!


--
Dale Benjamin
[email protected]
 
P

Pete Biggs

Guest
PatC wrote:

> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple
> crank?


Yes, outer and middle BCD is 130mm, 38T minimum for middle. 74mm for
inner, 24T minimum. A 26T granny is a little more practical than a 24,
though (when middle is 38+).

How about 26/38/50 or 24/38/50 with a 13-30 "Century Special" from
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#9 (Reasonably close ratios and no
need for new derailleur).

....Or there's the "Cyclotouriste" 14-34.

~PB
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo

Guest
PatC wrote:
> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used for
> commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring. Unfortunately,
> beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105 triple crank, and 12-26
> road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.
>
> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
> mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.


Probably easily handle a 30t biggest cog. Anything bogger, need a MTB
rear der with a longer cage. remember the longer cage is just for more
chain so a big-big combo won't break a chain.

>
> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple crank, or
> should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done with it?


Yes you can, smallest for the middle is 38t, smallest for the small is
24t. BUT may be cheaper to buy a whole new crank.

>
> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?


Nothing barend from shimano except DA.
>
> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28 (if
> anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear derailleur (or
> maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing. Leave the bar end
> shifters and front derailleur the same.


Good choices.
>
> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
> is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.
>
> BTW - if anyone in the USA wants to make some sort of trade, email me (take
> the Z's out). I also have a Centaur standard double with about 1000 miles
> on it that I'd be willing to depart with...
>
> Thanks in advance!
 
P

PatC

Guest
"Dave Thompson" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> PatC wrote:
>> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used
>> for commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring.
>> Unfortunately, beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105
>> triple crank, and 12-26 road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.
>>
>> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can
>> it go mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably
>> not.

>
> Install an XT rear der and 11-34 cassette.
>
>> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple
>> crank, or should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done
>> with it?

>
> A Salsa 28t granny ring will work fine with your triple set-up
>
>> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or
>> XT shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?

>
> No.
>
>>
>> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28
>> (if anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear
>> derailleur (or maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing.
>> Leave the bar end shifters and front derailleur the same.
>>
>> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32
>> rear cog is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up
>> yet.

>
> There's no such thing as too low a gear when you're riding in the
> mountains by yourself.
>
>> BTW - if anyone in the USA wants to make some sort of trade, email me
>> (take the Z's out). I also have a Centaur standard double with about
>> 1000 miles on it that I'd be willing to depart with...
>>
>> Thanks in advance!

>
>



Thanks everyone for the info and advice! I was at my LBS Saturday
afternoon and ordered a 26T/74mm Salsa small ring. I'll see how it goes
before I throw any more money at it.

Somewhere in this venture, I'm going to have to find the money for
panniers, and probably a lighter tent with shorter poles. I'd better get
a part-time job at a bike shop... (-:

Those of you building a touring bike, build it for purpose. Take the
advice and gear it low from the start! My bike is slow, heavy, but
comfortable. So, don't expect to ride it with a bunch of sport riders in
your local club. Plan to take your lightweight bike with high gears
out for speed riding.
 
S

Sheldon Brown

Guest
PatC wrote:

>>First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
>>mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.

>

Peter Chisholm replied:
>
> Probably easily handle a 30t biggest cog. Anything bogger, need a MTB
> rear der with a longer cage.


Right.

> remember the longer cage is just for more
> chain so a big-big combo won't break a chain.
>

That's not correct. No chain will break in big-big unless it is too
short. The longer cage is to prevent droop in small/smallish, when the
chain is properly sized for the sprockets installed.

The reason the 105 won't work with bigger than a 30 isn't the cage
length (droop is pretty much harmless, and only occurs in gear
combinations that you shouldn't use anyway), but the height of the
jockey pulley. It is too high to clear a larger rear sprocket. The
jockey pulley will bump up against the big sprocket when you're in low
gear, causing unpleasant noise and vibration.
>
>>Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
>>shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?

>
> Nothing barend from shimano except DA.
>

True for 9- and 10-speed, but not the answer to his PatC's question.

There will be ZERO compatibility problems with 9-speed Shimano barcons
and ANY Shimano 9-speed system.

>>I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
>>is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.


If you're heavily loaded, not in a hurry, and have good balancing
skills, this can be useful in steep terrain.

Sheldon "Gears" Brown
+------------------------------------------+
| The lower your gear, the more of your |
| riding time will be spent going uphill. |
+------------------------------------------+
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
http://harriscyclery.com
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
PatC wrote:

> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used for
> commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring. Unfortunately,
> beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105 triple crank, and 12-26
> road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.
>
> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
> mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.
>
> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple crank, or
> should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done with it?
>
> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?
>
> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28 (if
> anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear derailleur (or
> maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing. Leave the bar end
> shifters and front derailleur the same.
>
> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
> is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.

-snip-

Good plan.

A crank with moderate sized rings and a long rear changer
will work nicely with your bar end controls. You may end up
with a different front changer but that isn't certain- set
up your existing front changer and see how it responds
before buying one.

You asked about rings for your 105crank. The limiting
factor is a minimum 38/39 middle chainring.
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
H

Hank Wirtz

Guest
PatC <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:


>
> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple
> crank, or should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done
> with it?


Everybody's addressed the chanring size limits of your 105, but let me
put in an enthusiastic plug for the Sugino XD 300/600 (only difference
is steel vs. aluminum rings). Pair it with a UN52 or UN73 if your 105 is
Octalink and you'll have a beautiful crank with great gearing for
everything but racing (or fast rides with jerks who'll drop you) for
under $100.


> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28
> (if anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear
> derailleur (or maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing.
> Leave the bar end shifters and front derailleur the same.


Not a SRAM. If they're still making any RDs that are Shimano-compatible,
they don't list them on their web site.

And if you go with an LX, remember that the 580 is top-normal, so you'll
either need to remember that when shifting; or get an older LX or a
Deore (all three options seem OK to me).

>
> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear
> cog is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.


FWIW, My current low gear is 26F/24R and I really need something even
lower,

Good luck!

-Hank
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo

Guest
Sheldon Brown wrote:
> PatC wrote:
>
> >>First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it go
> >>mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.

> >

> Peter Chisholm replied:
> >
> > Probably easily handle a 30t biggest cog. Anything bogger, need a MTB
> > rear der with a longer cage.

>
> Right.
>
> > remember the longer cage is just for more
> > chain so a big-big combo won't break a chain.
> >

> That's not correct. No chain will break in big-big unless it is too
> short. The longer cage is to prevent droop in small/smallish, when the
> chain is properly sized for the sprockets installed.


C'mon Sheldon, we are saying the same thing. Use a too short cage on a
set up, eliminate chain droop in small-small, and shorten the chain so
the top pully doesn't hit the cog in the small ring/biggest cog, and it
will probably be too short for big-big. Add more chain and the oing
cage and everything is OK.

Yes a long cage setup can have a chain too short or too log but going
from a short cage double to a long cage triple, it's for the need for a
longer chain.

>
> The reason the 105 won't work with bigger than a 30 isn't the cage
> length (droop is pretty much harmless, and only occurs in gear
> combinations that you shouldn't use anyway), but the height of the
> jockey pulley. It is too high to clear a larger rear sprocket. The
> jockey pulley will bump up against the big sprocket when you're in low
> gear, causing unpleasant noise and vibration.


If you make the chain too short, it will work. I have put a 11-32 with
a DA 8s rear der/shifters and it was fine, as log as the chain was too
short.
> >
> >>Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> >>shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?

> >
> > Nothing barend from shimano except DA.
> >

> True for 9- and 10-speed, but not the answer to his PatC's question.


Kinda grouchy today ehhh Sheldon. No barend controls now being made
from shimano except DA, yes 9s and 10s. Are there 7 and 8s barends
somewhere 'outthere' yep but they haven't been made since about
1998....
>
> There will be ZERO compatibility problems with 9-speed Shimano barcons
> and ANY Shimano 9-speed system.
>
> >>I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear cog
> >>is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.

>
> If you're heavily loaded, not in a hurry, and have good balancing
> skills, this can be useful in steep terrain.
>
> Sheldon "Gears" Brown
> +------------------------------------------+
> | The lower your gear, the more of your |
> | riding time will be spent going uphill. |
> +------------------------------------------+
> Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
> Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
> http://harriscyclery.com
> Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
> http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
An 11-32 will work fine with a 105 triple; it's what I have on my bike
and is standard equipment on several cross bikes. I would suspect an
11-34 would just barely work but I think getting the chain length right
would be tricky and the jump across gears feels too large at times even
with an 11-32.

I combined it with an ISIS 48/38/28 Nashbar touring compact:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=11462&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=

The black anodized finish on the cranks has proved more durable than I
would have thought though I'd still prefer something polished.

I ended up using a Deore LX bottom pull front derailleur that I
already had up front. I tried a regular road derailleur (Centaur
triple) but even with the long stays of a touring bike I had to do a
fair amount of trimming to eliminate chain rub. No similar problem with
Deore. Regular road FD will work with bar ends or Campagnolo where you
can easily trim front derailleur position but I found it fussy.

Now that things are setup, I find the gearing excellent. However, the
drivetrain takes a beating riding in the rain. We've had a lot of bad
weather here in New England and my chain is very worn after only a few
months. The cassette even has bits of rust in places too and is pretty
ground up from dirt so get more than one when they are on sale if you
plan on riding in the rain much.

Justin
 
D

David L. Johnson

Guest
On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 15:22:11 -0400, PatC wrote:

> I have a Surly LHT touring bike that I built this spring, mainly used for
> commuting, but I plan to do some self-supported touring. Unfortunately,
> beginner's mistake, I geared it too high with 105 triple crank, and 12-26
> road cassette (9 speed) and 105 rear der.


Which gives you, I guess, a 30/26 low gear. Not low enough for loaded
touring if there are hills on your route.
>
> First question, how big can a 105 triple rear derailleur handle? Can it
> go mountain-type cassettes like an 11-32? My guess is probably not.


Probably, but you really don't need the 11 while touring.
>
> Second question, can I buy smaller chain rings for the 105 triple crank,
> or should I just buy a Sugino touring crank and BB and be done with it?


Your granny has a 74mm bolt circle IIRC, which is fairly common. You
should be able to get a smaller one and keep the rest as they are. But
even with the 26 (or maybe 24) that you can get on the granny, the
cassette will still make it tough going up hills.
>
> Third question, I'm using DuraAce bar end shifters. If I use LX or XT
> shifters (if I have to), is there a problem with compatibility?


You mean, if you change derailleurs? Yeah, you will have trouble with the
front indexing, since Shimano road/mountain front derailleurs require
different amounts of pull. But you should be able to use your current
front with a smaller crank. Rear derailleurs are the same, road or
mountain.

>
> My logic is, replace the crank with something like a Sugino 48/38/28 (if
> anyone has suggestions for others), change to an LX mtn rear derailleur
> (or maybe a SRAM?), and use a mtn cassette of my choosing. Leave the
> bar end shifters and front derailleur the same.


I would go smaller in the chainrings and not so wide a range with the
cassette, then you can use your current rear derailleur.
>
> I also don't know whether a ratio like a 28 or 26 small ring / 32 rear
> cog is too low to be useful, but truth is I haven't loaded it up yet.


I laughed when I first tried my touring gearing out, with a 22/26 low
gear. But I sure found it useful on steep backroads when doing loaded
touring.


--

David L. Johnson

__o | Some people used to claim that, if enough monkeys sat in front
_`\(,_ | of enough typewriters and typed long enough, eventually one of
(_)/ (_) | them would reproduce the collected works of Shakespeare. The
internet has proven this not to be the case.
 
If others are looking for a cheap touring bike... Because I'm way cheap
and the frame was only $120 at the time I sprung for a 54cm Nashbar
touring frame figuring what the heck. Unlike many other things Nashbar,
I found it to be of good quality; the bottom bracket and headset
machining was straight and the threads clean. The green color is very
nice too even if the paint is a bit soft. The frame was true to size,
well-aligned (subjectively- I haven't measured) and stiff enough the
rims don't rub the fender or brakes on climbs.

Something may have been up with the Nashbar fork canti mount geometry
as I couldn't get the front brakes working to the usual standards.
Braking and bike "feel" were much improved by replacement with an
Interloc Mosaic fork and long-reach brakes. Unfortunately the bike only
comes in a 1 1/8 headset too so no threaded forks or quill stems:(

I assembled it with parts I had around. Something cheap for banging
around has turned into the bike I most wheel out of the shed...

Justin