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  1. #1
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    Ultra Cheap Shimano Comp. Compact or similar idea needed

    Well my GF's bike came with an Ultegra 9spd triple on her bike. It was a nightmare, she had loads of trouble using it, always dropping the chain and was generally scared to use the thing. It never dialed in quite right so one day I just up and removed it. Set the bike up as a double and all is well. Problem is on occasion the chain drops (still less ofen then when she messed up the triple), the other problem is kind of big. This July we will be at the tour riding the mountians. Her setup is fine for semi steep hills, but her best gear is a 42/25, which means she is toast on any of these big climbs. What will be the cheapest way of getting her something more useable. I was thinking that a super cheap compact would be great but I don't know where to look. Any help?

    K

  2. #2
    wim
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    Change out rings.

    Ultra-cheap would be to fit the smallest chainrings - probably 50/38 - that fit the existing 130mm bolt circle crank spider. Someone else will need to chime in here with who makes them and where to find them.

  3. #3
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    Adjust her front derailleur properly.

    Compacts often have large drops (50-34 for example) which can exacerbate the problem of throwing the chain. It sounds to me like the front derailleur limit screw needs to be tighter, or the derailleur is too high, or the back of the cage is angled too far inward. Ultegra triples can be made to work real well and it sounds like just what she needs. Fix it or get it fixed.

    I' don't know how large a cog the Ultegra triple rear derailleur will handle. If it will take a real big one, a moderately priced alternative would be an mtb cassette.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  4. #4
    wim
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    On second thought . . .

    rusa 1586 is right. Put the triple back on if you still have it.

  5. #5
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim
    rusa 1586 is right. Put the triple back on if you still have it.
    Another vote for triple. Adjust it and put a chain keeper on it if you have to. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  6. #6
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    change cassette..

    Setting the bike up with a 42 inner ring wasn't the best idea. The 42/25 gear is the same a a 39/23 which is not very low. If you're climbing real mountains, it will barely get you started.

    The best option is to reinstall the triple and let someone who knows what they are doing adjust it. I would also install a "chain keeper" to keep the chain from falling off the little ring. I've never dropped a chain with my Campy triple.

    Another option would be a more approriate 39T inner ring and an MTB cassette like a 12-32. The jumps between the cogs are large, but at least you would have a low enough gear to survive a mountain. The triple rear derailleur would be required to have enough wrap capacity.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#8

  7. #7
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    The chain drops are few and far between now, however I had the thing taken to two good shops and she still had numerous problems with it before I made it a double. However I agree just adding the triple back to be the easiest and cheapest, and maybe now she can properly control the thing. I will check on prices for the granny gear, I remember people talking about $80 compacts... was I dreaming?

    K

  8. #8
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    cheap compacts...

    Nashbar has one for $80, but it appears they sold out.

    Here's a Ritchey for $107. A 34/25 will produce a low gear that's like a 39/29. A 34/27 would be better.

    You still better get a chain keeper.

  9. #9
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    Lots of people have trouble setting up STI triples, but it isn't THAT hard. YOU can do this.

    Pull up the Park tool directions. Follow them chapter and verse - start at the beginning and don't skip any steps. That's all there is to it.

    I think that the reason so many mechanics have trouble is that they get in a hurry and mess with the adjustments in the wrong order. Every adjustment that you make on that triple front derailleur affects every other adjustment. That's why you need to start at the very beginning. Follow the Park Tool directions and you'll be fine.

  10. #10
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    you could build one...

    Early generation Shimano MTB triple cranksets were 5 arm 110/74mm BCD (M730 is the XT) and they are readily available on ebay, cheap. There is an abundance of rings available in 110 starting at 33 tooth on up to 55 tooth and in a range of prices. You can also add the 74 mm 30 tooth (or less) inner for very low gears. Combine that with a 12/25 or 12/27 cassette and you've got some serious climbing gears. Course you'll be swapping out the bottom bracket too.

    I tend to think there is a bit more technique that needs to be learned about dropping to the small ring of a triple than many people consider. I try keep lots of pedal pressure on when making that shift so the chain stays tight on the top run and the derailleur isn't flopping, throwing lots of slack into the chain at just the wrong time. That sometimes means making an upshift on the cog just before the chainring change. Also, the Jump Stop is a very nice device (www.ngear.com) that will prevent chain drop; worked for my wife while she was learning how to shift.

    Nashbar has a house brand compact double for $80.

    I say keep the triple.
    Last edited by alibi; 06-23-2005 at 06:51 AM.

  11. #11
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    For one who is uncomfortable shifting

    Quote Originally Posted by C-40
    Another option would be a more approriate 39T inner ring and an MTB cassette like a 12-32. The jumps between the cogs are large, but at least you would have a low enough gear to survive a mountain. ]
    large jumps between cogs can be a very good thing. I went to the set up you described when I figured out how much I hate shifting in the late stages of longer brevets.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  12. #12
    Incorrigible Wanderer - R.I.P.
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    ...or find an old RSX crankset; they were available in double and triple configurations, and had a 110(/74) BCD. I've used several on 'cross bikes, to get greater flexibility in gearing without paying for higher-zoot MTB or "compact" cranks. There's a triple on eBay as we speak: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

  13. #13
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by alibi
    Early generation Shimano MTB triple cranksets were 5 arm 110/74mm BCD (M737 is the XT) and they are readily available on ebay, cheap. There is an abundance of rings available in 110 starting at 33 tooth on up to 55 tooth and in a range of prices. You can also add the 74 mm 30 tooth (or less) inner for very low gears. Combine that with a 12/25 or 12/27 cassette and you've got some serious climbing gears. Course you'll be swapping out the bottom bracket too.

    I tend to think there is a bit more technique that needs to be learned about dropping to the small ring of a triple than many people consider. I try keep lots of pedal pressure on when making that shift so the chain stays tight on the top run and the derailleur isn't flopping, throwing lots of slack into the chain at just the wrong time. That sometimes means making an upshift on the cog just before the chainring change. Also, the Jump Stop is a very nice device (www.ngear.com) that will prevent chain drop; worked for my wife while she was learning how to shift.

    Nashbar has a house brand compact double for $80.

    I say keep the triple.
    The spider for the granny on a triple is likely to hit your frame if you set it up as a double.

    The old double RSX 110mm BCD isn't bad. There are brand new ones on Ebay quite often. I picked up one a couple of months ago with 36/46 chainrings for $40.55 shipped.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    The spider for the granny on a triple is likely to hit your frame if you set it up as a double.
    Not an issue in my case. I'm currently using an M730 set up as a double on an Italian BB shell. Chainline is perfect.

    The inner ring uses removable spacers; the spider is flush with the middle ring position.

    Q factor could be an issue though; they are a little broad.
    Last edited by alibi; 06-23-2005 at 06:52 AM.

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