Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

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ukpacker
Posts: 43
Joined: 28 Sep 2015, 8:26pm

Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby ukpacker » 28 Sep 2015, 9:04pm

Hi
has anyone swapped a 26-36-48 'trekking' chainset on a Dawes or Ridgeback bike for a MTB 22-32-44 ? How did it go, any problems?
cheers.
ukpacker

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby Brucey » 29 Sep 2015, 9:51am

it might help if you say what parts are fitted (exact model numbers) and/or post photos of your bike's transmission.

It might be that you already have an MTB-esque chainline/front mech/shifters etc. in which case what you want to do will be relatively easy. On the other hand it might be that you don't, and what started out being a simple job rapidly turns into something that is very expensive to do in the way you first thought of.

For example in the latter case the best solution can be to use a different type of chainset, if (say) it means you can avoid buying a new front mech and new shifters to work it with.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GOHughes
Posts: 35
Joined: 31 Jan 2009, 1:32pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby GOHughes » 29 Sep 2015, 10:44am

I have a Dawes Sonoran and have changed the chain set to a 22/32/42. I got my LBS to do this so don't know exactly which chainset was used other than it is Shimano. £19.95 for the chain set and £10.00 for labour. If you're doing it yourself make sure the chainset and your existing BB are compatible. Also, you'll need to remove a few chain links.

I now have a bottom gear of 19" which helps with panniers fully loaded with weekly shopping and trips to the tip with recycling. Highest gear is 112", still far higher than I need but lower than the original 122" - can't see how such a high gear would be needed on a hybrid, trekking bike.

There are a few duplications of gear but no more than the original set up.

If you wanted to go for slightly better chain set than the one I had fitted you could go for a Shimano M340 Alivio 22/32/44 with a Shimano ES25 Octalink 68 x 121mm BB.

ukpacker
Posts: 43
Joined: 28 Sep 2015, 8:26pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby ukpacker » 29 Sep 2015, 4:30pm

I do not own a 700c touring bike yet . I would prefer to purchase an of the peg touring bike with a quality steel frame but I cant find one with low enough gearing. (16-18 inch) The Ridgeback especially seems to have a nice frame and if i can get a discounted or second hand one then changing the crankset might work but only if the frame shape does not make this impossible. Thorn state that their club tour frame will not take an MTB crank so that places a question mark over the compatibility of other touring framsets with MTB cranks. It's interesting to note that the Sonoran accepted an MTB cranset but i am really looking for a steel touring frame.

The other option would be to by a Ridgeback Panorama and swap the crank for a Spa Cycles XD2 custom triple with TA chainrings-24- 34-44 and the 11-32 cassette for a 12-36t . The Ridgeback uses STI shifters and an XT rear mech so would that work? Might be less of a gamble than purchasing a MTB 22-32-44 only to find that something fouls up on the frame? That would produce a range of 18-99 inches. I am used to riding a 26 inch wheel bike which I can easily winch up any hill with a range of 16-98 gear inches. Or maybe even put a 44 t on the back of the cassette but by far the simplest option would be to swap the road crank for an MTB one but only if someone else has done this first and can say that it works.
Thanks for your comments.
ukpacker

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby Brucey » 29 Sep 2015, 4:44pm

I would bet money that the club tour frameset will 'take an MTB chainset' but the point is (as I suggested earlier) you might need to change almost every other part of the transmission and shifters to do it. [There is the issue that the chainline is 'wrong' for a 130mm rear hub too, but that doesn't worry everyone...]

The same need not apply (on a bike fitted with 'road equipment' if you choose a chainset that accepts small chainrings, but can run at a 'road' chainline. Hence the spa cycles chainsets are very popular.

Additionally some bikes are set up with a 'trekking transmission' that is really an MTB setup, but with slightly larger chainrings; if you have one of these it is usually just a question of swapping the cranks and perhaps the front mech.

But the ease of the proposed swap will vary hugely in any event, not with 'the frame' but with the other bits that are already on the bike.

BTW all of this swapping about is (IMHO) very much easier to do if you are using 9s or lower. Once you get into 10s the choice of mechs become more constraining. Quite recently I think that Thorn have given up speccing 9s parts on a lot of their bikes and this is the outcome; fewer 'real world' gearing choices for touring bikes.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ukpacker
Posts: 43
Joined: 28 Sep 2015, 8:26pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby ukpacker » 29 Sep 2015, 11:56pm

I think both the Ridgeback and Dawes use these 'trekking' chainsets. Does that mean the hub on the rear wheel needs a spacer in front of the cassette to keep the chain line correct? if I swapped one of these trekking chainsets for the mentioned Spa Cycles custom TA chainrings might that create a chainline problem?
Thanks.
ukpacker

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby Brucey » 30 Sep 2015, 7:31am

For all the troubles it causes for other reasons I think the chainline issue (in and of itself) is a little bit of a red herring in that

a) between 'road' and 'MTB' it only makes ~2.5mm difference or something like that and

b) the chainline is often 'imperfect' anyway, e.g. even with a 135mm hub and a standard MTB chainline.

c) you may not want the chainline to be 'perfect' anyway because of the pattern of gear usage that you anticipate.

In any event the 'wrongest' chainline (in a modern bike) is probably if you use an MTB chainset onto a 130mm rear hub.

Some framesets (fewer steel ones I guess) have fat chainstays and this means that you can't easily fit any chainset which runs a 'road' chainline. If you replace a MTB chainset with a once giving a 'road' chainline I'd expect in some cases that the front mech won't reach in far enough. If it is a top swing front mech, and any kind of oversize seat tube, this is really very likely.

In general terms what you originally proposed is often OK but whether it will work OK is dependant on the details of the bike in question, so you are unlikely to get a definitive answer until you either settle on one bike or find someone who has converted a current model in a similar fashion.

There is something to be said for an alternate route, e.g. buying a touring bike with dropped bars and a 'road' based triple transmission, because then you can usually fit a Spa or TA chainset to get lower gears, often whilst retaining the original front mech. If the intervals between the (middle and outer especially) chainrings are the same on the new and old chainsets, and there is enough clearance between the tail of the front mech and the chainstay (to allow the mech to be lowered), it'll probably work OK without major complications.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

keyboardmonkey
Posts: 609
Joined: 1 Dec 2009, 5:05pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby keyboardmonkey » 30 Sep 2015, 11:24am

ukpacker wrote:I think both the Ridgeback and Dawes use these 'trekking' chainsets. Does that mean the hub on the rear wheel needs a spacer in front of the cassette to keep the chain line correct? ukpacker


No.

ukpacker wrote: if I swapped one of these trekking chainsets for the mentioned Spa Cycles custom TA chainrings might that create a chainline problem?
Thanks.
ukpacker


I think your best option is to source a square taper TA chainset with an appropriate bottom bracket length (whatever than is) that is designed to work with a 'road' chainline. I am confident Spa Cycles will sort you out. IMHO if you can get the Ridgeback Panorama at a bargain price then do so.

Brucey wrote:... In any event the 'wrongest' chainline (in a modern bike) is probably if you use an MTB chainset onto a 130mm rear hub.


What Brucey has written above is precisely how the earlier Ridgeback Panoramas were built - and explains how the gearing is specified now...

In, say, 2008 the Panorama had:

9spd Tiagra shifters, front mech (XT rear mech) and Deore 'trekking' chainset. The Deore chainset fitted then was Hollowtech II and although the chainline on the triple could in theory be altered with the three spacers in reality I can't remember it being done (bit hazy about that, sorry).

But the Deore range is MTB with a chainline optimised for use with a 135mm hub (hence the 2.5mm difference Brucy also refers to: 135 take away 130 divided by two). This meant that instead of the Panorama's middle chainring being aligned with the middle sprocket on the cassette it lined up with one of the smaller ones. It's not the end of the world, but it was enough of an issue for Ridgeback to change the chainset for later models. This explains why the 2015 models has:

9spd Sora shifters, front mech (XT rear mech) and Alivio M431 48/36/26 'trekking' chainset (and Shimano BB-UN55 square taper BB cartridge according to an online source).

I initially thought that the changes from around 2010 were to cut costs, but I was persuaded otherwise when I contacted Ridgeback for clarification. This was the response I received:

"Amazingly Shimano still don't produce a specific transmission for touring & there are always minor issues with chain line & front derailleur function.

Contrary to the bike in the brochure & online, the 2010 Panorama will come with a Shimano chainset ref FC-443 this is below Deore but comes with a regular square taper axle which allow us to specify the optimum length for best function. In terms of benefit, this nominal downgrade far out weighs the a slightly better quality chainset with an inferior chain line
."

So, the bottom line is buy the bike and get the chainset you want/need, I reckon. There may be some trial and improvement with the BB length, but in the scheme of things it shouldn't be a huge concern - other than financial! IMHO the only issue you may have is with the front derailleur: the curvature of the 'road' front derailleur in relation to the size of the smaller chain rings and being able to set the height of the front derailleur - the potential problem with bottle cage braze-ons and the bottom of the front derailleur and its proximity to the chain stay.

(There is also meant to be a problem with using STIs with smaller than 'road' sized chainrings, but again I understand that is mainly to do with the fixed Q factor of Hollowtech BBs on Deore etc chainsets. In any case there is at least one person on this forum who comes along to say he or she is using 6600 (I think) shifters with (I think) a 44/32/22 chainset.)

Best of luck. I look forward to reading how you get on :)

mercalia
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Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby mercalia » 30 Sep 2015, 1:07pm

are you really set on a 700c tourer? and how tall are you? maybe a 26" wheel tourer the way to go? (I assume the 26" one u have is a mt bike? .) that will instantly give you lower gears whatever the chainset. I find on my Dawes 1-Down ( an old 26"tourer) that 46/36/26 works well.

ukpacker
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Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby ukpacker » 30 Sep 2015, 4:32pm

I already own a 26 inch tourer which has wide tyres. I use it for tracks and road and have toured on mountain roads but I would like something more road specific with narrower tyres to complement my existing bike which is quite slow.
The Panorama 2015 uses an (Alivio) FC T4060 chainset which also comes in a 22-32-44 version with the same model number and both versions have a 'MTB' 50mm chainline. So It may be that the real reason Ridgeback did not specify lower gearing on the Panorama was that they wanted to use STI shifters. (I assume that these really don't work with smaller chain rings)
It may well be worth spending the money on a Cheviot frame i am now thinking. At least I will know for sure that MTB gearing will work. What puts me off that bike frame has been reviewers comments that handlebars are lower down when compared to other bikes. This is supposed to be a hobby and it's making my head hurt! But thanks all for your comments.
ukpacker.

Brucey
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Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby Brucey » 30 Sep 2015, 5:11pm

the cheviot is a nice frame in some ways but the small and medium sizes have (to my mind) somewhat long top tubes and somewhat steep seat angles. I'm not sure I'd want either on a touring bike, but maybe they would fit you better?

If you want a more upright position then the spa tourer might fit the bill?

BTW 'road STIs' (for dropped bars, as opposed to integrated controls for flat bars which are also called STIs by shimano) will work fine with small chainrings, provided you can get the right front mech, i.e. one which works OK on the small chainrings, but uses a 'road' cable pull.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ukpacker
Posts: 43
Joined: 28 Sep 2015, 8:26pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby ukpacker » 30 Sep 2015, 6:56pm

I shall ask Spa if their frames will take an MTB/Trekking chainset but with 22-34-44 teeth. The more I think about it the more I realise that things will be much simpler if my 26 inch wheel bike and 700c bike use the same components, that way I can fill a big box with enough spares to last till the end of days and hopefully have no more of this mallarky.
cheers
ukpacker

ukpacker
Posts: 43
Joined: 28 Sep 2015, 8:26pm

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby ukpacker » 30 Sep 2015, 7:17pm

But the Deore range is MTB with a chainline optimised for use with a 135mm hub (hence the 2.5mm difference Brucy also refers to: 135 take away 130 divided by two). This meant that instead of the Panorama's middle chainring being aligned with the middle sprocket on the cassette it lined up with one of the smaller ones. It's not the end of the world, but it was enough of an issue for Ridgeback to change the chainset for later models. This explains why the 2015 models has:

According to the Ridgeback website the 2015 Panorama has wheels built on Shimano T610 hubs which still have 135mm axles.
cheers

mercalia
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Location: london South

Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby mercalia » 30 Sep 2015, 8:27pm

seems like the op dont like his slow 26" bike with rather small chain rings & wants something faster so wants a 700c bike and then wants to make it slower with lower gears?. maybe he needs to get another 26" with narrow tyres and bigger chain rings? When I had a 26" and a 700c I found swapping over a bit hard one felt either too small or the other like driving a lorry?

On another note I was in Hyde Park last week end and there was this guy riding a penny farthing - had modern rim brakes. didn't look vintage but new. looked fun to try

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531colin
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Re: Lower geared chainsets for Dawes or Ridgeback

Postby 531colin » 30 Sep 2015, 8:41pm

ukpacker wrote:I shall ask Spa if their frames will take an MTB/Trekking chainset but with 22-34-44 teeth. The more I think about it the more I realise that things will be much simpler if my 26 inch wheel bike and 700c bike use the same components, that way I can fill a big box with enough spares to last till the end of days and hopefully have no more of this mallarky.
cheers
ukpacker


I think it was Brucey who pointed out above that it has very little to do with the frame itself.....let me expand on that.......
A few years ago (before I retired), Spa built several tourers with this chainset

Image
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s109p2657

That is a 4 bolt 22, 32, 42/44 square taper chainset
These bikes has Road STI levers, and were probably 9 speed, so at that time there was a 9 speed road front mech. that would handle those chainring sizes, at the chainline Spa were using.
If you want road STI levers, you have to have a road front mech, which are designed for 30, 40, 50 teeth, or thereabouts.
If you want an MTB front mech. to match 22, 32, 44 chainrings, you can't use road STIs but you can use bar end levers, but even then there is a certain amount of horse-trading to be done in connection with chainline.....the mech. will expect maybe a 50mm chainline, 45mm is more usual for a road or touring triple on a tourer.

So your question for Spa should be...."Can you build me a steel tourer with a 22, 32, 44 chainset and whatever shifters you want. (I have been retired 3 years, I'm out of date)....if you go for bar end levers, then you can have full-size Vee brakes