Touring road triples. SLX or XT? Owt else?

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  • Touring road triples. SLX or XT? Owt else?
  • mcmoonter
    Member

    I want to fit a lower geared triple to my Vaya rather than the 52-39-30 Ultegra I currently have. Only on the longest steepest downhills and with a hurricane force tailwind do I ever use the 52. I can get up most everything with the 30 but on my last trip to the Cascades with some really long (50 mile) climbs I felt I would have been happier spinning a smaller gear. As I can fit wider tyres I may use it on some trails too.

    Merlin currently have an SLX triple with 48-36-26 rings for £75 and an XT M771 with the same ring combo for £109. Both are 170mm. Is the XT worth the extra £30? It’s been ages since I rode with a 170mm crank, would I notice any difference? I’m a serial spinner.

    Is there owt else I should consider?

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    The Stronglight cranks from Spa Cycles in Harrogate are beautiful things.
    Good value too.

    Not sure if only square taper though, if that’s an issue.

    cynic-al
    Member

    They say smaller cranks are easier to spin.

    You’ll not notice any performance difference with XT over SLX – there is of course some bling factor.

    Is there nothing old style available? Still running some Ritchey and Specialized 90s cranks here 😀

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    been toying with swapping out the double on my rough tourer for a triple for same reasoning mcmoo. The investment in new chainset, levers and the rest everything puts me off though. Not to mention new stuff is often 10 speed, most of my current kit is 9 (or indeed 8) speed..

    I assume you’re maybe on 175mm? I Did get as far as swapping cranks from 175mm (got second hand just to get bike built up) for 170mm and they feel ‘easier’ – intangible really but glad I swapped them out anyway – the 175mm for my legs just felt too much of strain on the big stuff..

    bigger rear cassette ? (but that may need different rear mech..)

    Premier Icon ctznsmith
    Subscriber

    Stronglight and Spa XD-2 cranks are indeed all square taper.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I’m still using 9 speed stuff. 34T mtb cassette.

    The Spa Stronglight chainsets are around £100, they look nice too.

    I’ve used Shimano stuff before and have been happy with it. I’ve got the tools to fit it too.

    Looks like 170mm cranks would better suit my pedalling style too.

    thomthumb
    Member

    aren’t there issues with using road mechs / mtb chainsets or road shifters/ mtb mechs.

    if you’re aware ignore me and carry on…

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    £59.00 on their website for the 4 visible bolt versions.
    All sizes seem to be in stock.
    Link.

    oldgit
    Member

    Just gone the Spa/Stronglight route. Price, ring choice and bullet proof.

    daleftw
    Member

    Square taper is where it’s at.

    But if you’re dead set on XT/SLX, I’d say nah. Get the SLX.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    You get to play ‘who’s going to serve me’ roulette with Spa too.
    😀

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I’m still using 9 speed stuff. 34T mtb cassette.

    Me too. I tour on an 853 Inbred anyway, pulling a trailer with the camping gear in.
    It’s set up with rack, slicks, mudguards and rigid fork. It’s spot on for me.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    You get to play ‘who’s going to serve me’ roulette with Spa too.

    Shudders. I’ve always hoped for red but only ever land on black when I call them. 😥

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Last time I drove over I was initially told they couldn’t serve me because they had too many orders to post.
    Same bloke then told me my bike was too small anyway.

    Popped over the road, had an orange juice, calmed down, went back, served by a different and extremely polite member of staff who allowed me to give them some money.

    Odd place!

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    I’ve gone for a MTB Double on my Fargo..
    I’m running a standard triple on my Vaya at the minute tho.

    tinribz
    Member

    Another Stronglight fan, have a triple and double. Lightweight too. Look better in the flesh than the pics on spa cycles.

    Square taper seemed a bit retro but they are way better than any crappy Octalink. Yes weird shop, went in asking what size bag they recommended for touring, guy said forget bags all you need is a credit card.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    used Spa for 20 or so years.
    the tip is, to be ruder and more brussen…. 😆

    it works for me, never had a problem with em, John the owner is a sound bloke.

    their own brand stuff is ace value, I have a triple sat witing for my £25 deore chainset to wear out.

    Premier Icon Hooter
    Subscriber

    I respec-ed my ultegra triple from 30-39-52 to 26-38-48 rings. Needs a bit of faff with the front mech tho.

    Stronglight road triple here. Spa cycles fitted it for me for nowt, too, 10 minutes after they were supposed to close.

    You won’t get a smile or any sales patter in Spa cycles. What you will get is a bunch of blokes who know everything about bikes, have a huge and esoteric parts inventory, and know how to look after a customer.

    If you want advice about what you need, options etc, or if you want them to do any quick jobs, like fitting a new BB or cranks or whatever, ring them beforehand and ask if it’s OK. They’ll sigh and then say “yep – come in early”. Then get in early when they’re quiet, and they’ll be more than happy to pass the time of day with you.

    tinribz
    Member

    The guy I spoke to was actually building a wheel on the shop counter while simultaneously serving customers. That’s a proper LBS.

    boblo
    Member

    Isn’t 26 still a bit high for loaded off road touring? I’d be inclined to go 24 or 22 or even 20 if you’re feeling particularly fruity…

    mcmoonter
    Member

    ‘Isn’t 26 still a bit high for loaded off road touring? I’d be inclined to go 24 or 22 or even 20 if you’re feeling particularly fruity… ‘

    If things are getting that steep I’d take the Fargo or push. It’ll be primarily used for the road. 26 should be fine.

    I’ll give the guys at Spa a shout.

    Premier Icon Hooter
    Subscriber

    I respec-ed my ultegra triple from 30-39-52 to 26-38-48 rings. Needs a bit of faff with the front mech tho.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    It’s been ages since I rode with a 170mm crank, would I notice any difference? I’m a serial spinner.

    Is there owt else I should consider?

    Raising the saddle by 5mm to match the higher bottom pedal position?

    Gong from a 30 to a 26 chainring will drop your low gear by around 15% which is roughly one gear on an MTB cassette. If one more gear lower is all you want then go for it.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Gong from a 30 to a 26 chainring will drop your low gear by around 15% which is roughly one gear on an MTB cassette. If one more gear lower is all you want then go for it.

    That’s a surprise the gain would be so little.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Try your current and proposed gears on Sheldon’s calculator.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    I’m running the XT771 on the Fargo, 48/36/26 front, 11-36 back. 105 STIs, 105 triple front mech, XT shadow rear. Works great. Trouser saver ring quite handy as I often ride in civvies. Mind you the Stronglight on my 80s Super Galaxy is going strong and will probably outlast me.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I’m just about to order a Stronglight chainset. Spa suggests using a Stronglight BB, I’ve never used them before but have never had issues with Shimano’s UN54.

    What say you?

    Rik
    Member

    aren’t there issues with using road mechs / mtb chainsets or road shifters/ mtb mechs.

    I thought this was the case too with triple sti, road triple front mech and mtb triple chainset was a no go as there wasn’t enough through on a road front mech to cope with a mtb triple chainset and a 73mm bb width.

    But midlifechashes seems to prove that theory is wrong????

    tsd
    Member

    with triple sti, road triple front mech and mtb triple chainset

    Works on my Crossbow, had to put spacers on non drvie side of the crank so the chain line is correct for the MTB cranks.

    MTB mech and road shifters is where it gets complicated and I didn’t go there.

    Edit – thats a road width BB though so…

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    I ended up with the Stonglight one, I think!
    It was the one they recommended anyway – been fine for a couple of years.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    with triple sti, road triple front mech and mtb triple chainset

    I’ve read that if using MTB triple with Hollowtech BB then using only 1 spacer on the driveside and 2 on the non drive works as it shifts the chainline 2.5mm left.

    Sometimes if that isn’t done the cage won’t go over far enough to get onto the big ring.

    cynic-al
    Member

    spacing is the same road-mtb, no?

    Its the mtb mechs that require longer cable pull.

    UN54 is good Pete

    Premier Icon Pickers
    Subscriber

    I run a Stronglight triple on my tourer with a UN54 BB. Having tried various combinations of mechs and shifters I use an old LX mtb mech with an even older downtube friction shifter. For the number of times on a ride I change the front ring this is fine.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I got the nice guy on the phone at Spa Cycles, top chat and really helpful in the way old school bike shops always are.

    It’s the last part I need to get the Vaya built up.

    Premier Icon ctznsmith
    Subscriber

    Calling Spa shouldn’t be a roulette any more but if you want to just ask for Ben (which is me).

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)

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