Advice on triple chain set

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Ivorcadaver
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Advice on triple chain set

Postby Ivorcadaver » 23 Jul 2020, 9:45pm

I am resurrecting a 10 year old Ridgeback hybrid ‘Supernova’ that has been languishing in the garage for the past few years. My intention is to create a general purpose bike for lugging shopping around, riding trails/canal paths and maybe do a bit of touring. I have a steel fork on order that has the necessary braze ons for front low riders ( current carbon fork is a bit battered and I found the manufacturers 2 year warning label a bit alarming).
I have a selection of old chain rings and am not sure which were originally fitted (I ran the bike with an IGH for a while) so I thought I would splash out on a new set of chainrings (48, 38, 28 in conjunction with 11/32 8 speed). Individual rings seem a bit pricey and it seems cheaper to buy a complete new crank set (a new set of 8 chainring bolts alone would be £20). I think I have identified that my bike has a Hollowtech 1 Octalink bottom bracket arrangement which seems to be now obsolete. As I don’t want to renew the bottom bracket and cranks my question is if I buy a crankset will I be able to remove the chainrings and transfer them to my cranks? I am aware that BCDs will have to match. Browsing the numerous options on the internet it’s not obvious to me that cranks and rings are always bolted together and I want to be able to remove and transfer them. At this stage I’m looking at budget options (which seem to be steel rather than aluminium). Is there anything else I should consider? Any advice or suggestions gratefully received.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Brucey » 23 Jul 2020, 10:02pm

Ivorcadaver wrote:….. I think I have identified that my bike has a Hollowtech 1 Octalink bottom bracket arrangement which seems to be now obsolete. As I don’t want to renew the bottom bracket and cranks....


Well when the octalink cranks/BB clap out you will have to replace them with something.... The even older square taper crank format seems to be highly resistant to extinction, and you can buy good cranksets of this type with the chainring sizes you want at reasonable cost, so I'd suggest that you do that.

for example https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m8b0s109p2000/SPA-CYCLES-XD-2-Touring-Triple-Chainset

The chainset above uses the common 110/74mm BCD five bolt format for which there is good chainring availability. The only wrinkle is that in the crankset above, the big ring chainring peg has to be in a non-standard place which restricts choice of big rings if you must have a peg and cannot move it yourself. You can easily spend more on a couple of chainrings (or even just one) for some chainsets vs the cost of the chainset above and the BB that goes with it.

You need to say what exact crankset you have if you want informed comment on chainring cost/compatibility for your current cranks.

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

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Location: English Riviera

Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 Jul 2020, 10:23pm

Hi,
Ditch the 48t............you will never use it effectively with a 11t rear.
42T is much more sensible.
My tourer turned up with a 46T & 11-28 and I struggled to get on the top clanger a lot of the time.
Its now 24-32-44 x 11-32, and I can turn out 100 miles in about 6hrs 10 mins, on a fully fitted tourer with panniers.
Just like to point out I have a very low cadence and even if you used 60 cadence you would be doing 19 mph @ 120 its 37.5mph :P
A cadence of 80 would be in tony martin territory :)
All assuming you have 700 c tyres hybrid.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

Stradageek
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Stradageek » 24 Jul 2020, 8:35am

My Hollowtech 1 Octalink BB is still going strong after 30,000 miles (maybe because it's raised out of the muck as it's on a recumbent) but I have replaced the middle (alloy) chainring twice at about £20 each time.

bgnukem
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Joined: 20 Dec 2010, 5:21pm

Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby bgnukem » 24 Jul 2020, 1:06pm

I can vouch for the Spa triple chainset (and their chainrings) and square taper bottom bracket combo, have used them on 3 of my 4 bikes for years without issues. The cheaper versions have a slightly rougher finish in places but I believe the are the same basic forgings. Some versions have a chainring bolt hidden behind the RH crank, which is a bit of a faff.

Good range of chainring sizes (34T - 50T+ middle/outer, down to 24T small 'ring), easily available as the 110PCD is shared with the currently-fashionable compact double chainsets, square taper bottom brackets appear to be less troublesome than the hollow-axle/external bearing types. I find the Spa chainset works well with a 107mm bottom bracket axle length, or 103 for a really tight chainline, rather then their recommended 113, but obviously it depends on the frame.

I had mis-shifting issues using these chainsets with a 9-speed chain but they are fine with 7-8 speed.

Hollowtech 1 bottom brackets must be pretty thin on the ground these days so it's probably worth ditching that system, which wasn't particularly successful even when new.

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Sweep
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Sweep » 24 Jul 2020, 4:51pm

bgnukem wrote:I can vouch for the Spa triple chainset (and their chainrings) and square taper bottom bracket combo,.........

I had mis-shifting issues using these chainsets with a 9-speed chain but they are fine with 7-8 speed.

.

If you are referring to the xd2, spa seem to say that 9 speed is fine.

https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m8b0s109p20 ... ing-Cranks

I use one on a 9 speed build.

From memory i use a 113mm square taper on it fitted to a 90s hybrid. Had 110 before but had problems getting chain onto small ring.
Sweep

fatboy
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby fatboy » 24 Jul 2020, 10:05pm

Why do you think that the rings need changing? Even if there is some wear it's most likely to be only the middle. Wearing out the inner is unlikely. Unless it's noisy or the rear mech waggles a lot (usually a sign of wear on the chainrings).

Personally I wouldn't go down the Spa chainset route as the Aluminium rings wear out quicker (so much so that I changed the chainset on my Spa Ti tourer).
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

Ivorcadaver
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Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 9:36pm
Location: Bolton

Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Ivorcadaver » 25 Jul 2020, 9:53pm

Many thanks for all the very helpful suggestions. I thought I would opt for a new Spa cycles chainset which means a new square taper bottom bracket. Never having attempted crank removal or bottom bracket replacement I watched a few YouTube videos and bought the requisite extractors. What better way to spend a Saturday evening? Removing the cranks was a 5 minute job, So brimming with confidence I attacked the bottom bracket which was stubborn to say the least. I started on the non drive side and only succeeded in cracking the castellated lock ring (I think this is the correct technical term), which seems to be plastic. I have attached a pic. Not sure what to do next, I tried the drive side and it won’t move. I am using a large (ca 10inch) adjustable spanner to try and undo it. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Image Attachments
IMG_0060.jpg

Brucey
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Brucey » 25 Jul 2020, 10:11pm

the NDS cup looks to be plastic and not fully into the BB shell. I am not surprised that it cracked.

In this case you are best off using a (much) longer spanner on the DS cup. Once the BB unit is unscrewed from the DS the NDS cup will come out OK, or can be broken up in situ. Remember of course that the DS cup is left hand threaded. If the torque required is very high, it becomes more than usually important that the tool is clamped to the cup using a crankbolt and a suitable washer; if it should slip out when you are leaning on it, that is highly undesirable.

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

Des49
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Des49 » 26 Jul 2020, 2:53pm

In my experience a 10" spanner is rarely long enough for the task.

As Brucey points out clamping the tool to the cup is very important, otherwise something will slip under force and frame damage could occur.

Below are my BB removal tools, note the bolt to secure the removal tool to the cup and also the other bolt and backing pieces which can be used to clamp the Shimano fixed cup spanner.

Key to it all is the pipe with a flattened end, this can be slipped over the spanners and with this greater leverage the necessary force can be applied in a more controlled fashion. For scale the adjustable is 12".

BB tools.jpg

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CJ
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby CJ » 26 Jul 2020, 4:00pm

It's a pity you bought a new chainset. Octalink bottom-brackets are still made by Shimano and any local bike shop should be able to order you one when you eventually need it. Cranks do not wear out and as someone has rightly said, neither do inner rings. Outer rings don't get much use, so all you probably needed was a new middle ring, which can be changed without even removing the crank - just five bolts.

Fitting a new chainset is a can of worms for those who don't know exactly what they're doing. There are so many ways for a new chainset to be incompatible with the other parts of an older bike. And removing a factory-fitted bottom-bracket that's been in there a long time can be - as you've discovered - a horrible job. Plus-gas and a big, solid, bench vice are recommended.

Soak the bottom-bracket threads area in Plus-gas (beware of imitations, WD-40 etc. is NOT an adequate substitute). Fit the remover very snugly and securely to the bottom-bracket, if possible using the threads on the protruding axle and the nut or bolt that used to hold the crank on, plus assorted washers etc, to physically prevent the tool from coming off. Lift up the frame (yes you'll have to take at least the wheels off - to make it less 'unweildy') horizontally over the vice, remover downwards, and clamp the remover hard in the vice jaws. Now turn the frame, remembering that the right hand bottom-bracket thread ('fixed cup') is left-handed, so if working on this side you need to turn the frame clockwise. The reason to turn the frame is because it's much longer than any spanner and has places for extra hands to help you turn it! Plus it's easier to see and feel if you're starting to bend or break the frame, rather than loosen the bottom-bracket. It happens!
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

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Sweep
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Sweep » 26 Jul 2020, 7:06pm

CJ wrote:It's a pity you bought a new chainset. Octalink bottom-brackets are still made by Shimano and any local bike shop should be able to order you one

I thought it was an Octalink 1.
I had the idea that they (not Octalink 2) were rather hard to get hold of these days and rather expensive.
Isn't it a good idea to move away from them and embrace the apparently everlasting square taper?
(I have had an Octalink 1 bike in the past, have one amongst my many bikes which is Octalink 2 - have no great concerns about that)
Sweep

Brucey
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Brucey » 26 Jul 2020, 7:16pm

OP said 'hollowtech 1 octalink' which does not say if it is octalink V1 or octalink v2.

This;
Brucey wrote:.....You need to say what exact crankset you have if you want informed comment on chainring cost/compatibility for your current cranks....


did not elicit any further information, so whether or not chainrings and/or bottom brackets are readily available is anyone's guess; some Octalink stuff is already like rocking horse poo, and some shimano chainrings appear to have been made in a deliberately obtuse fashion, so that nothing else will fit, or the correct part is not available and/or is incredibly expensive. Others are not so bad, but we don't know which it is.

Removing a BB before it has a chance to completely seize in (and then ruin) a frameset is arguably no bad thing. Let's hope it isn't already too late.

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

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CJ
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Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby CJ » 27 Jul 2020, 2:49pm

Sweep wrote:Isn't it a good idea to move away from them and embrace the apparently everlasting square taper?

Agreed, if you're gonna move anyway, that's a good move. The cranks from Spa that he's chosen should be good for spare rings and BBs for a very long time indeed and adaptable to almost any future transmission upgrade - eg sub-compact double plus chainguard instead of less reliably shifting triple :wink:

I was just remembering the number of times as CTC Technical Officer I had to help a member, who, after going into his 'friendly local bike shop' for a new chain and cassette, had been suckered into a whole new chainset because his "rings were worn out" and "it would be cheaper", only to find that nothing worked as nice as before, because the lower profile cranks put the chainline waaay further out and the rings were slightly different sizes that his existing front mech wasn't exactly designed for... :roll:
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

Ivorcadaver
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Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 9:36pm
Location: Bolton

Re: Advice on triple chain set

Postby Ivorcadaver » 27 Jul 2020, 9:01pm

Thanks all for very helpful comment. Just to clarify this is a four arm, Hollowtech 1, Octalink and I have misplaced the middle chainring! I will persevere with Plusgas, clamping and biggest lever I can find approach. Would some heat (boiling water?) help? as I note that the coefficient of expansion of aluminium is about twice that if steel. Might just be enough to loosen things slightly.