Author Topic: Opinions on first budget touring bike  (Read 1862 times)

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Offline froze

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2020, 12:41:31 am »
So what is your current gear range on the rear cluster and the front chain rings?

How much weight will you be carrying?

Will you be climbing mountain grades?

If you answer the last question as yes, and the 2nd to last as around 40 pounds of gear, than the answer to the first question ideally should be the rear gears with a range of 11-36, and a chainrings should be 44/32/24.  Those gear ranges are suited for carrying a load on a bike up mountain roads while maintaining a high cadence, they're not that great for top speed, but while touring you won't be concerned about that anyways.

Offline DaveB

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2020, 09:41:51 am »
rear gears with a range of 11-36, and a chainrings should be 44/32/24.  Those gear ranges are suited for carrying a load on a bike up mountain roads while maintaining a high cadence, they're not that great for top speed, but while touring you won't be concerned about that anyways.
That gearing does indeed give a very low low gear (24x36 assuming a 700c wheel) of 18 gear-inches.   The high gear isn't all that bad (44x11) at 108 gear-inches, which is the same as the high gear of 52x13 which Steven Roche used when he won the Tour de France in 1987. 

The disadvantages of these very wide gearing sets is the big gaps between the intermediate gears.  An 11x36 cassette, even 10 or 11-speed, has big difference between the cogs so finding a comfortable cadence can be difficult.   The current fashion of 2X or even 1X gearing makes this even worse.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2020, 10:27:33 am »
That gearing does indeed give a very low low gear (24x36 assuming a 700c wheel) of 18 gear-inches.   The high gear isn't all that bad (44x11) at 108 gear-inches, which is the same as the high gear of 52x13 which Steven Roche used when he won the Tour de France in 1987. 

The disadvantages of these very wide gearing sets is the big gaps between the intermediate gears.  An 11x36 cassette, even 10 or 11-speed, has big difference between the cogs so finding a comfortable cadence can be difficult.   The current fashion of 2X or even 1X gearing makes this even worse.
All of that is very subject to personal preferences and tolerances as well as load carried, terrain traversed and so on.  Some folks find 108" much higher than they need and 18" much lower than they need.  Their may be folks that want higher and lower than that, but i have a hard time imagining it myself.  Also some folks don't mine a bit of spacing in their gears.

It used to be standard practice to tour with much less range and bigger gaps and some folks still do.  Personally when I did the TA with a heavy load I found a 46/34/26 and a 12-32 pretty much okay.  I wouldn't have minded a 24t in the Appalachians, but I managed.  These days with a very light load I have gone with a range of 25-88 gear inches (39/26 12-28 on an old 1990 road bike with a improvised ulrtra compact double) and been pretty happy with the set up for the Southern Tier.  I as a geezer managed to keep up with a fit young rider on the flat sections, actually descended faster, and was faster on the rolling stuff most days.  He was a much better climber than me, but that wasn't the bike, the gearing, the load, other than the fact that he just climbs WAY better than me.   Sometimes I needed to spin faster than is my typical habit, but the 88" wasn't really a handicap.  Climbing I never wished for a lower gear, the 25" was just fine and probably would have been fine with a heavier load as well.

Offline DoverFPV

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2020, 12:08:26 pm »
I tore the drive train apart and cleaned everything up. It has 46/39/24 and 11-32. The only thing showing signs of wear is the 39t chainring. I think im going to drop it down to get better mid range. Do you think just a tooth to 38 or should I go lower? and will any ring with a 130BCD work or do I need specific rings to keep shifting working well. Also what brands should I be looking at for durability? I'm glad I decided to join these forums.

Offline DaveB

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2020, 05:48:43 pm »
Do you think just a tooth to 38 or should I go lower? and will any ring with a 130BCD work or do I need specific rings......
With a 130 mm BCD, a 38T chainring is the absolute smallest you can go and these are not common.  The 39 is almost universal so you are probably stuck just getting a direct replacement.  If possible, the new middle ring should be matched to your big ring but I  don't know of a 46/39 OEM ring set. 

Offline DoverFPV

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2020, 11:18:42 pm »
I was digging through my parts bin and found a set of deore cranks that have a 110 BCD. model FC-MT60. I'm not sure if these are worth putting on once my current chainrings wear out (or if they'd even fit).

here's links that I found on my current set: http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=CEDB66E4-5515-4248-B333-A6CB33366801&Enum=115&AbsPos=22

Deore set: http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=dadd7d79-0fd8-4a5b-a578-4f76495ec375

I see they are heavier, and have a different spindle shape. Is this a silly idea?

Offline DoverFPV

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2020, 11:34:39 am »
Upon further research this morning it looks like the deore cranks have a 110mm spindle length whereas the 105s have a 118.5 length. Am I able to just order a new BB and spindle for those cranks? I found this info on https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bbsize.html. What are peoples opinions on square taper vs octolink V1? My long term goal is distance touring and easy service/parts.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2020, 12:25:27 pm »
Am I able to just order a new BB and spindle for those cranks?
Yes

Quote
What are peoples opinions on square taper vs octolink V1? My long term goal is distance touring and easy service/parts.
Square taper is an old standby.  It works fine.  It wouldn't be my very first choice if building up a new bike, but I have it on several older bikes and would not hesitate to tour with them.  Now that I think about it, I think all of my tours have been with square taper cranks.  I don't have square taper on my new road bike and MTB and I'd also go with something else if building up pretty much any new bike, but am unlikely to swap out what is on the older bikes and still will tour on at least one of them.

Offline DaveB

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2020, 09:25:01 am »
What are peoples opinions on square taper vs octolink V1? My long term goal is distance touring and easy service/parts.
Square taper bottom brackets and cranks were the standard for decades and decades until Octalink and ISIS appeared in the mid-1990's and external bearing designs in the early 2000's but are still available even now.  However, good quality cartridges are hard to find and Shimano only makes their lower lines now.  Loose bearing square taper bottom brackets are pretty much an NOS or used item.

Both square taper and Octalink (aka Hollowtech I) are now "obsolete" and external bearing designs dominate the market.  Octalink had an undeserved reputation for poor durability and, as noted it wasn't on the market for long before HTII replaced it so, again, they are available only as NOS or used.


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2020, 11:10:05 am »
I don't even know how many "standard" bottom brackets have come and gone since the "obsolete" square taper fell out of favor.  I can still order those old square taper BBs, and the last one I put in is now nine years old and they're going strong.  (Next time I change a crank I'm going to put in a Problem Solver metal cup instead of the plastic one, even though, as noted, the plastic cup is 9 years old.)

There's an interesting discussion on standards, including bottom brackets at:
http://rodbikes.com/articles/derailleur-hangers/replaceable-derailleur-hangers.html
and at some of the linked articles there.

Offline wildtoad

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2020, 12:49:13 pm »
I run square taper bb/cranks on most of my bikes, including some modern builds. Nothing wrong with them at all, easy to work on and have been 100% reliable for my 40 years or so of riding.   

There are some good quality cartridge bottom brackets on the market, but not through "mainstream" brands. At the high end are the SKF units, but they are really pricey. I think the most compelling product is the IRD Defiant bottom bracket...still not cheap but more reasonable than the SKF, 10 year warranty, beautifully finished. I picked one up last fall and installed as part of a changeover to a sub-compact crank on one of my road bikes that I use for riding in the Sierras (i.e., lots of climbing at higher elevations). 

John


Offline canalligators

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2020, 04:33:41 pm »
Square taper isn't obsolete, neither is cottered.  IMHO.  I have several perfectly functional bikes in service with cottered cranks.

I recently retrofitted a youth bike from cottered to square taper.  The objective wasn't to modernize, it was to replace a 130mm crank.  I found a 152mm crank with the desired 34t sprocket.  The big challenge was it being a French BB with 55mm bearing width.  I kept the French cups, and eventually found a suitable spindle.  $45 solution.

Offline Lindap

Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2020, 07:18:55 pm »
I realize you've purchased your bike - congratulations!  I just want to put in a plug for the Fuji touring bike.  My husband and I each bought one last year and road a Northern Tier variant - started in washington DC to ride the C &O trail/GAP then picked up the NT route - and the bikes were flawless, even on the mostly-mud C&O trail.  We opted for caliper brakes but disc brakes are available.  We bought them new at about half the price of a Trek 520 (which I had been shopping for) - and it was geared properly so no alterations were needed. Except for the seat, which I changed - but that's a whole 'nother story.  I toured the Pacific Coat trail with a Fuji 30 years ago and had no problems - except that the bike was eventually stolen.  Trek and Surley have the brand panache, but the Fuji is every bit as good and is very reasonably priced.
 
Every day is a good day to ride!