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A couple of questions about a touring build??

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A couple of questions about a touring build??

Old 10-25-19, 05:31 PM
  #1  
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A couple of questions about a touring build??

Iíd like to try and have an adventure next spring and Iíd like to ride from Niagara Falls to Miami. I have a Takara frame that just got powder coated. I've had water bottle bosses, shifter bosses and pump peg bosses added. The Takara was born with 27 inch wheels so with 700c rims, I have lots of options for tires and lots of room to fit them in. Frame has been coldset to accept 130mm.

I have a set of 600 Ultegra 8 speed barcons on the for sale forum with zero interest so might keep them for this touring bike. The bike will have a triple crankset. I still am working out what front and rear derailleurs I will use. I am wondering about using a wheelset that is currently set up for 10 speed, but changing the cassette for a 7 speed. I have a set of mint Mavis rims with 600 tricolour hubs and a 10 speed cassette. I have a few nice 7 speed cassettes that I can use.

Per Sheldon Brown: "Also, hubs marked "8-speed", "9-speed" or "10-speed" will work with any number of sprockets up to 10! (Add a 4.5 mm spacer before installing a 7-speed cassette on an 8-, 9-, or 10-speed hub)"

1st question: Can I pull the 10 speed cassette and use a 7 speed cassette and adding spacers? Alternatively, if that is out can I modify the ten speed cassette by removing cogs? If need be I can replace the current axle with a shorter one (I think that 7 speed Shimano were only 130mm but couldn't confirm on line).

Shifter model is SL-BS50 8 speed and they have a piece of tape on them from the factory marked "Not compatible with Dura Ace rear derailleur". Actual shifter levers marked SL-BS64. I have several 7 speed wheelsets and am unsure if these can be tuned for 7 speed or if 8 is the only option.

I have heard both sides - No, they work best with Hyperglide cassettes and will only work with 8 speeds, will not shift a 7 speed and .
- Yes, they will work with various cassette models and will work with 7 speeds but require a bit of fine tuning.

2nd question: Will these 8 speed shifters work with a 7 speed cassette?

These are the shifters:




I turn 57 in November and my knees have had a bad life and they really hate hills. The first 400+ miles of my route will take me through some hills New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I have a Takagi 50/45/32 that is brand new still in the box with new bearings. Alternatively, I have a SR Apex small bolt circle crankset that is 48/44/30 rings, along with the Suntour adjustable chainline bottom bracket that has new bearings installed. The option of the granny/bailout chainwheel should help with the hills. I believe that Takagi cranksets were made for Shimano (this one is marked Tourney GS). Since I'm only using 7 speeds on the rear I hope that will prevent cross chaining. If I use Shimano shifters, Shimano derailleurs, Shimano crankset and a Shimano cassette I wouldn't think there will be any compatibility issues.

3rd question: I realize thatit is up to the derailleurs to perform the actual shifting, just trying to make it easier. Should this crankset work well with a 7 speed rear?

Here is the crankset I plan to use.

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Old 10-25-19, 05:42 PM
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Sorry - I don't have any firm answers to your tech. questions - just a question of my own.

Since you have bad knees and will be riding in hill country do you think a 30T (or 32T depending on which crank you use) will provide gearing that is low enough - especially since you will be carrying gear with you? Maybe you'll be using some large cogs on the cassette?
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Old 10-25-19, 06:11 PM
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Playing safe, 3rd ?, that Tourney will work with a 7 speed out back.

Now, your route. Where in NC will you cross? Most riders I see coming down come along the coast. If that be the case, consider my house a rest stop!
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Old 10-25-19, 06:12 PM
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I am not an experienced cycle tourer, however, if you find that your knees are bothering you on the uphills, there is no shame in walking the bike. I also don't have the answers to you questions.

I can tell you that you I also get knee pain and you have a worthy trip planned, so go for it.

That is a nice looking crankset by the way. We are going to need pictures and this comes together.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:15 PM
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If you're planning a tour, here is what I would do:

- Use an 8-speed cassette like this one, 11-32 for a little over $20: https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-HG-CA...43Q?th=1&psc=1. This way, you can use the shifters and not worry about fiddling for compatibility.
- Use either crankset with 46-36-26 rings, likely easier to find compatible rings with the Takagi since the Apex may have an arcane bolt circle diameter. Your knees will thank you for the 26/32 combo, and with the 11-tooth small cog, a 46 is a plenty big front ring for a suitable top gear.

Just my 2 cents...

EDIT: I have never toured, but I have fiddled with enough gearing to know that my preference for reliability is to have nothing jury rigged.
EDIT EDIT: That's 36 teeth of chain wrap, and Microshift has several current long cage options that will index a Shimano 8.

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Old 10-25-19, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
I am not an experienced cycle tourer, however, if you find that your knees are bothering you on the uphills, there is no shame in walking the bike.
Truer words have never been said. There is no shame in walking it, especially if your butt hurts!
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Old 10-25-19, 07:58 PM
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I think you are overthinking this.
Those 8 speed bar end shifters will interface perfectly with any Shimano 6-7-8-9-10 speed RD (and FD of course, cuz friction) as well as any Shimano type freehub wheelset with 8-9-10 speed cassette (again, cuz friction).
Your best bet is to use an 8 speed cassette of the appropriate range, your triple crank, and your freehub wheelset. No spacers required other than the ones in the cassette.
Boom. Done.

You're welcome.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:13 PM
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Since the frame has been spread to 130, it is now 8/9/10/11 speed compatible. 6 and 7 speed used 126mm OLD, though sometimes 7 had to be fudged a bit.

So you will need the 130 hubs/wheels. Simplest solution, as above, is to acquired an 8 speed cassette, then you can use those shifters you already have. Or get 10 spd shifters and go that route. .

IMO set it up correctly with compatible stuff. Yeah, you can hack stuff that isn't meant to work together and get it to work, but that's not something you want to deal with on a tour.

Those cranks will most likely be fine with whatever you choose. However, they are set up for half step now, which is a dumb idea with 8+ speeds. Probably half your gears will cancel out with the 4t spread. Use Sheldon's gear calculator.. I'd look for some chainrings with a more even spread for the middle and small, and set them up 28/40/50 or similar.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
Iíd like to try and have an adventure next spring and Iíd like to ride from Niagara Falls to Miami. I have a Takara frame that just got powder coated. I've had water bottle bosses, shifter bosses and pump peg bosses added. The Takara was born with 27 inch wheels so with 700c rims, I have lots of options for tires and lots of room to fit them in. Frame has been coldset to accept 130mm.

I have a set of 600 Ultegra 8 speed barcons on the for sale forum with zero interest so might keep them for this touring bike. The bike will have a triple crankset. I still am working out what front and rear derailleurs I will use. I am wondering about using a wheelset that is currently set up for 10 speed, but changing the cassette for a 7 speed. I have a set of mint Mavis rims with 600 tricolour hubs and a 10 speed cassette. I have a few nice 7 speed cassettes that I can use.

Per Sheldon Brown: "Also, hubs marked "8-speed", "9-speed" or "10-speed" will work with any number of sprockets up to 10! (Add a 4.5 mm spacer before installing a 7-speed cassette on an 8-, 9-, or 10-speed hub)"

1st question: Can I pull the 10 speed cassette and use a 7 speed cassette and adding spacers? Alternatively, if that is out can I modify the ten speed cassette by removing cogs? If need be I can replace the current axle with a shorter one (I think that 7 speed Shimano were only 130mm but couldn't confirm on line).

Shifter model is SL-BS50 8 speed and they have a piece of tape on them from the factory marked "Not compatible with Dura Ace rear derailleur". Actual shifter levers marked SL-BS64. I have several 7 speed wheelsets and am unsure if these can be tuned for 7 speed or if 8 is the only option.

I have heard both sides - No, they work best with Hyperglide cassettes and will only work with 8 speeds, will not shift a 7 speed and .
- Yes, they will work with various cassette models and will work with 7 speeds but require a bit of fine tuning.

2nd question: Will these 8 speed shifters work with a 7 speed cassette?

These are the shifters:




I turn 57 in November and my knees have had a bad life and they really hate hills. The first 400+ miles of my route will take me through some hills New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I have a Takagi 50/45/32 that is brand new still in the box with new bearings. Alternatively, I have a SR Apex small bolt circle crankset that is 48/44/30 rings, along with the Suntour adjustable chainline bottom bracket that has new bearings installed. The option of the granny/bailout chainwheel should help with the hills. I believe that Takagi cranksets were made for Shimano (this one is marked Tourney GS). Since I'm only using 7 speeds on the rear I hope that will prevent cross chaining. If I use Shimano shifters, Shimano derailleurs, Shimano crankset and a Shimano cassette I wouldn't think there will be any compatibility issues.

3rd question: I realize thatit is up to the derailleurs to perform the actual shifting, just trying to make it easier. Should this crankset work well with a 7 speed rear?

Here is the crankset I plan to use.

Sounds like a blast. The 5 speed rear gearset is ok and yes you can change sprockets easily. Chain whips or a bike shop can unscrew the two small sprockets. You'll need a 32 big sprocket and a 24 granny to eliminate any fears in the hills. If your barends are usable as friction shifters I'd use them especially if your carrying gear. If your gearing is good and your saddle comfortable the rest is small potatoes. Any large cage derailleur will work. I'd rather have a sturdy old timer than a flimsy new one but they'll all work. Same with the front. Sometimes even a double FD will work just fine. Again, sturdy it good. Fat tires are nice and can be had in 27" or 700. I'd prefer the 700 but whatever works best with your brakes is fine. Don't worry too much about cross shifting. You'll probably use the granny with only two or maybe three chainrings anyway.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:31 PM
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You have 8sp shifters and hubs that can handle 8sp.
Why wouldnt you just use an 8sp cassette? There is no benefit to kludging a 7sp cassette into use.
You wont cross chain with an 8sp cassette and 3x front because you will want to shift the front to a different ring before you use the full range of the cassette.

As for gearing, use a cassette that has a 32t cog and use a triple crank that's 110/74 bcd. There are thousands of these for cheap- I have a few that I would sell for $20. Use rings that you like- the 74bcd small ring goes to 26t. That range will give you tons of gear range for not much money.

I love old tech, but there are some areas where newer tech is good. And by newer tech, 8sp is still over 25 years old so hardly cutting edge.
A solid and simple 3x8 drivetrain that has a wide range will help you a ton.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:57 PM
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Looking back I just realized how silly I was.

I have at least two 7 speed barcon sets and a 6 speed but I was thinking "if no one wants to buy the 8, why not use it for my build?". New would be reliable. Then because I have some nice 7 speed cassettes I could use one of them. A cheap way to outfit. Then I see your posts and realize that I was just creating extra work fussing with trying to cobble 7 speed and 8 speed components. I'm sure now it would create grief on the road.

I'll just buy an 8 speed cassette. With 24 gears I should be able to climb a mountain.

So I can just switch out the chainwheels at will? I thought that the only replacing of chainwheels was same for same when they wore out.???

Like I said I don't know about triples. I guess I must be over thinking this.

Just need to find a cassette with a relatively large cog set...
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Old 10-25-19, 09:28 PM
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+1 on getting at least a 32t big cog on the cassette and going down to 26t granny, better to have a clean bail out gear you have never needed than to be killing your knees because you didn't get a low enough granny.. You might want to check out Crazy guy on a bike you may find one or more folks who have done the route your thinking of. BTW good for you OP for planning this, I am 55 this year and will happy to do a credit card tour of maybe 100 miles in the next year or two so good on ya!
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Old 10-25-19, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
So I can just switch out the chainwheels at will? I thought that the only replacing of chainwheels was same for same when they wore out.???
Yeah, you can usually just switch out chainrings, as long as they are the same BCD (bolt circle diameter). https://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-bcd.html

Unfortunately, it looks like the Takagi have a slightly oddball inner BCD of 75, same as old old deore. You could still put in a more normal size middle like a 40T, as it looks like the common 110 size. Measure first.

That still gets you to 32/32, or one to one gearing. That would be plenty for me except for maybe mountain fire trails offroad. Depends. If you've got sketchy knees it may be worth looking around for a 110/74 crank that can take a 26 or something.
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Old 10-26-19, 02:02 AM
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Here's what I needed.



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Old 10-26-19, 07:28 AM
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I suggest the Sugino AX MTB crankset widely available on ebay for about $125 which has 110 BCD rings and a 74 inner, you should be able to get down to a 28t ring.

As for the shifters, on option no one has mentioned is using a barcon for the rear (8 speed) on the right, and a downtube lever for the front.

Generally Shimano MTB derailleurs will handle wide ratios with ease.

A couple other comments / suggestions : Have a really good rear wheel built for you by a shop. This is a critical component that you don't want to have problems with.

get lots of shakedown mileage before embarking on your trip, to de-bug the bike and get you into the routine of being on it 6-8 hours / day.

Pre-planning the route in Google Earth - particularly if you are skirting major metropolitan areas - is a useful exercise. Identify good bike shops along the way. Blue Wheel cycles in Charlottesville is an excellent shop.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA

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Old 10-26-19, 07:29 AM
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@merziac - the mother of bailout gears!
@WGB - drop me a line if you need guidance through Virginia, particularly the Blue Ridge.
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Old 10-26-19, 08:03 AM
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There is also a lot to be learned on the
'crazy guy on a bike' touring site.

On my bike tours riding with around 65 pounds of gear I needed at least a 34 cog on my cassette and a 24 small ring on the crank.

I was in your age range then and not a particularly strong rider so I was glad to have
that low gearing to spin over the Sierra's in California and the Rockie's in Colorado and Wyoming and other states.

Nothing wrong with walking up some sections as mentioned and it can be a nice change of pace depending on if one's shoes are comfortable for walking.

However I found I preferred spinning up steep sections of mountain passes even if it was only at a 4 to 5 mph pace.

Later I actually switched to a crankset with 22 small ring.

I like having that low gearing as an option.

Some of those passes and hills go upwards for a long distance.

My friend that I accompanied on two tours was a much stronger rider and got by fine with a 32 cassette cog in back and a 24 or 26 small ring on his crank. I forget which.

If I tried it again being a decade older I'd do a 36 cassette big cog and a 22 small ring on crank for insurance.

As they say 'your mileage may vary'. YMMV.

Factors of one's fitness level, knee condition,
load on bike, percent of grade on hills and
mt. passes on your route and others come into play.

The last two tours I was on a early 80's touring bike with upgraded parts.

I learned also to go with quality tires suitable for touring and bring a spare folding one just in case.

Good luck on your upcoming adventure.
I look back fondly on the ones I did.
They were quite challenging but very rewarding.
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Old 10-26-19, 08:52 AM
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Here's the bottom line: you can't too low on a bail out gear when doing a loaded tour particularly given (a) age, (b) weight, and (c) terrain. I did a cross country when I was very fit (and younger) and developed tendinitis that almost ended the trip because I didn't have much of a low gear when crossing the Rockies.

So I agree with the others: use the 8 speed shifters with an 8 speed cassette.

For the triple, you can't really beat a 110/74 bcd crank. It can go as low as 24 teeth. Vintage MTBs often were set up with 46/36/24 rings up front and an 11-28 (or larger) in the rear. That's a really good set up. Get a 24 tooth chainring (preferably in steel). Use a 7-8-9 shimano MTB rear derailleur or a microshift 9 speed rear. With a 24 running on a 32, you will have a heck of a low gear (around 20 inches).

The cranks you currently own are beautiful but hard to find chainrings for and neither goes down to 24 teeth. I'd sell them and repurpose the funds to finding a good quality 110/74 bcd crank. Sugino still sells them. And quality used 110/74 bcd cranks are easy to find.
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Old 10-26-19, 09:11 AM
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The thing to remember is that high gears don't matter that much for loaded touring but low and middle gears do. You want to be able to find a comfortable spinning gear regardless of how beat you are and how tough the terrain and wind might be.

A good alternative to a 110/74 bcd crank is one of the shimano 9 speed 44/32/22 cranks. You'll spend a lot of time in the 32 but you will be able to spin the 44 as well. Mated to an 11/28 8 speed in the rear, you end up with a high of 108 inches and a low of 21 inches. The pay off is that by going with an 11/28 8 speed as opposed to an 11/32 8, you will have better in between gears as the jumps will be smaller.

I set up my 1993 Bridgestone XO 2 like this and it would be my go to bike for touring. I picked up a set of claris derailleurs, the 8 speed brifters, and the cassette from a take off that someone sold here on BF. The Claris 8 speed derailleurs are just fine and I wouldn't hesitate to use them on a tour. The price is right and they will do the job.


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Old 10-26-19, 09:41 AM
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My granny gear's 2 feet.

If you're gonna use a triple, go all the way and put a 24t chainring on it, as others have suggested. With an 8 speed cassette, there's no reason to use half step chainrings. I stopped at 8 because the chains are a lot cheaper ;-) If you stay with a 30ish small chainring you're better off just making it a compact double, which simplifies shifting. The other way of looking at it is if you want to use a 24t granny, you'll probably have to put up with the complications of a triple chainring.

Jealous about your trip! Publish your route, or the best guess at it here and you'll pick up some harbor pilots along the way, and make some new friends as well!

Reading your frame mods and equipment selection, all I've got to add is:

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Old 10-26-19, 11:30 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
@merziac - the mother of bailout gears!
@WGB - drop me a line if you need guidance through Virginia, particularly the Blue Ridge.
Well that is just my regular hill gear, needed it to get around Crater Lake without walking. Long legs, never raced or trained and have never had anything for hills but I can ride all day when I want.
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Old 10-26-19, 01:00 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
With an 8 speed cassette, there's no reason to use half step chainrings.:
I disagree with this and the other posterís comment that it is ďdumb.Ē I love my 3x9 half step with granny because I can really fine tune my cadence once I reach more or less cruising speed. I donít use the half step gearing for progressive shifting, it is all about dialing in the perfect gear that feels effortless. Some donít care about that. I do so that is my reason. My price is giving up a bit of top end range.
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Old 10-26-19, 01:51 PM
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As the other poster who thinks that it's dumb , here's why. In the 5 speed days, it was a way to get reasonably close spaced gears where you did most of your riding, and still have maybe 3 bail out climbing gears that were more widely spaced. To me, they were a hassle because of needing to shift twice for every gear change. With 8+ cogs in the back, it just isn't necessary to get closely spaced gears in your main riding range. Add to that a surprising number of the later half speed set ups did in fact have poorly worked out gearing. I remember one factory touring bike (i'm not going to name names) circa about 1989 that managed to get like 6 different gears out of a 3x7 triple setup. The rest were duplicates.

That said, a well thought out half step can be effective. The main problem when you get into higher number rear cassettes, is that you don't have a lot of choices in the main riding range, which I consider to be 65-70 gear inches or so. With a standard set up, you can have a bit over overlap here and get maybe 4 gears near 70 in. That way you're not riding in one gear all the time.

Obviously, these are just my opinions, and we all know what opinions are like. A few people I used to ride and whose opinions I respect with preferred half step. Works for some people. Maybe I just don't like shifting.

Anyway, FWIW, I ran the OP's numbers in Sheldon's handy dandy calc, using both cranks and a std shimano 11-32 8 spd. They are both in fact pretty good half step set ups as is. I'd be inclined to bolt one on and go.

Takagi:


SR:
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Old 10-26-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
I disagree with this and the other poster’s comment that it is “dumb.” I love my 3x9 half step with granny because I can really fine tune my cadence once I reach more or less cruising speed. I don’t use the half step gearing for progressive shifting, it is all about dialing in the perfect gear that feels effortless. Some don’t care about that. I do so that is my reason. My price is giving up a bit of top end range.
Concur. I remain a rabid fan of half-step, also 1.5-step, even with 8 cogs in back, so probably with 9, as well. The problem is that some modern spiders are too fat to support a 3-tooth drop in front. For example, I was unable to make a 53-50-39 work with a ca. 2000 Campag. Veloce crank, because the chain would hang between the outer rings.
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Old 10-26-19, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
I disagree with this and the other posterís comment that it is ďdumb.Ē I love my 3x9 half step with granny because I can really fine tune my cadence once I reach more or less cruising speed. I donít use the half step gearing for progressive shifting, it is all about dialing in the perfect gear that feels effortless. Some donít care about that. I do so that is my reason. My price is giving up a bit of top end range.
If it works for you, great! I'd be willing to bet that you have a lot of overlap gears with that setup.
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