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  1. #1
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    Opinions: 29/42 double or 44/32/22 triple?

    Hopefully I won't start a battle and need to run for cover with this question!

    I've been running the 44/32/22 on my XC FS bike, but for my new lightweight HT build I'm thinking of moving off the reservation a bit. I want a lightweight crankset with minimal bearing drag.

    Options-
    XTR 960 triple. 770g. External BB with some drag to it.
    Truvativ Noir triple. 810g. External BB that spins more freely than Shimano.
    Middleburn RS-8 ISIS double. Hardened 29/42 rings. 710g with Crank Bros Cobalt Ti BB.

    I crank a 53/39 on my road bike on some pretty steep grades. The mountain crankset will need to take me up some very steep technical terrain that I typically spin at 22x34or32. I'm leaning toward the Middleburn at this point.

    Let the firestorm begin!!

  2. #2
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    I'd use a triple crankset with a Dura-Ace 12-27 or maybe even a 12-25 cassette. You never know when you might need that granny gear.
    Someone should post the math equation to figure out the gearing you need. I don't remember the numbers.

  3. #3
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    two counter-questions:

    1. How long are the steep technical grades you climb?
    2. What is your pedaling style? By that, I mean do you sit and spin, or do you romp and stomp out of the saddle?

    I have been running 2x9 for the last 10 years. The greatest benefit of such a set up, if you can run it, is that it gives you options. Overall you save weight too, but that's gravy. You also have the opportunity to play around with chain line and Q-factor.

    To maximize the benefit of 2x9, I recommend not just a 29t and a 42t; you also want to get a 32t and a 40t. I wouldn't recommend a larger small/large chainring (34t,36t,44t,46t), as it would give you too much of a tall range. 2x9 needs to be set up on the low side to reap its benefits.

    In the back, you'll need to get both a 12-27 and a 12-34 cassette (don't forget a chain for each one) For the record, a 22/27 gear ratio is the same as a 29/34.

    What all these chainrings and cassettes gives you, is a bevy of options to choose from. You can configure your gear range for whatever terrain you will be riding. Short steep climbs, lots of rolling terrain and/or flats, run the 12-27. Longer climbs, you'll want the 12-34. And it's kinda the same up front. I'll run 32/42t or 29/40t chainrings depending on what terrain as well.

    The only bike I have with a granny ring, is a 38lb Bullit. It is still a 2x9; I run 22/38t chainrings on that bike.

    I'll ask a third question: Do you want to set it and forget it, or play with it? If the former, run the triple. Latter, run the double.

    If you're doing the lightweight HT thing (sub 21lb?), I would go 2x9. You get more performance out of the bike. Which, I'm assuming, is the point of the exercise. If not, then forget the triple, and set the thing up as a singlespeed.

    Component-wise, the Middleburns, or tune cranks are good, I suggest finding a set of raceface turbine lp cranks on ebay. Square taper. For any of the above, match it with a Phil Wood ti square taper bottom bracket (lots of spindle length options-remember the chain line and Q-factor?). Call me old-skool, but a square taper crank and bottom bracket is still the way to go.

  4. #4
    Keep Riding !!
    Reputation: AussieRider's Avatar
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    If your already using 22/34-32 on some climbs I'm not sure a 29/42 double will work very well

    Token cranks aren't bad, some would say that they're not very stiff but I've found them to be OK and they're not expensive (in AUS anyway):

    TK200EX-AL with Cromo Spindle & TK877EX BB, 805g (170mm)
    TK200EX-TI with Titanium Spindle & TK877EX BB, 730g (175mm)
    TK200EX-TT with Titanium Spindle & TK877EX BB, 725g (175mm)

    and for fee spinning BB:

    Token Model no.: TK877TBT with TIRAMIC Bearings

    http://www.tokenproducts.com/htm/products.php

    I'm not connected to Token for what it matters but they do make some good stuff for a reasonable price
    Just Ride !

  5. #5
    parts leftover
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsuma
    1. How long are the steep technical grades you climb?
    2. What is your pedaling style? By that, I mean do you sit and spin, or do you romp and stomp out of the saddle?

    I'll ask a third question: Do you want to set it and forget it, or play with it? If the former, run the triple. Latter, run the double.

    If you're doing the lightweight HT thing (sub 21lb?), I would go 2x9.
    Interesting first post! Thanks for offering some ideas. Here are my answers to your questions:

    1. My typical ride is 1500 vertical feet of climbing in 4 miles on a 9.5 mile total loop. Some of the grades are pretty dang steep (I can sometimes climb them, sometimes not), with moondust, gravel, babyhead rocks, and some slickrock.

    2. I sit and spin for traction on my full suspension rig until I get to something technical or stair-stepped. I get out of my saddle and drive the rear wheel down pretty hard on those spots for some extra power. I had a singlespeed for awhile and I did a lot of standing and hammering to power through stuff, but I never took it on my 1500 ft vertical ride.

    3. I'm not inclined to play with chainrings and cassettes much.

    4. The bike will be sub 21.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AussieRider
    If your already using 22/34-32 on some climbs I'm not sure a 29/42 double will work very well

    Token cranks aren't bad, some would say that they're not very stiff but I've found them to be OK and they're not expensive (in AUS anyway)
    I suspect that a double might indeed be pushing my ability where I use the granny gear now. It might make me stronger, or make some stuff non-climbable.

    Are Token cranks available in the US? I haven't seen them before.

  7. #7
    Keep Riding !!
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlim
    I suspect that a double might indeed be pushing my ability where I use the granny gear now. It might make me stronger, or make some stuff non-climbable.

    Are Token cranks available in the US? I haven't seen them before.
    Apparently so:

    www.tokenproductsusa.com

    and also on line:

    http://www.procyclingworld.com/servlet/StoreFront
    Just Ride !

  8. #8
    No longer 26
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    I really like 2x9 but take it more out of the middle by using a 24/36 set up. For the sport racing that I do it is a great combo for my 29er's. On a 26" bike I'd probably go with a 26/38 or 40. I like this type of 2x9 because it is lighter losing a bigger ring than a granny and the chainline I get while in my "big" ring is great.

    G
    You can't depend on honest answers from dependant hands...

  9. #9
    2006 sswc RockStar
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    go 27/40 with a granny and middle using a road front mech, thats what absalom uses.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockStarRacing
    go 27/40 with a granny and middle using a road front mech, thats what absalom uses.
    and a poploc, i really like that idea.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blahwtf?
    and a poploc, i really like that idea.
    ? wasnt aware you needed a poploc for a 2x9.............and its push-loc these days.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockStarRacing
    ? wasnt aware you needed a poploc for a 2x9.............and its push-loc these days.
    i think he means as the gear shifter...a poploc adjust works really well as a 2x9 front derailleur shifter, the compression adjust knob works a bit like a barrel adjuster and it only weighs 34 grams vs 90 for a gripshift or 110 for a trigger.

  13. #13
    narCOTIC
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    I have the Ti CB BB, and i love it! Real stiff. I have some ISIS FSA Carbon Team triples on there, and i swear it's as stiff as external bearing cranks i've ridden.

  14. #14
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    I always wondered ? Are you generally using 74/110 bcd or 58/94 ?

    Because I have an hard tume finding some 29t chainring I am planning to buy some tune bigfoot.

  15. #15
    No longer 26
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie_yeti
    i think he means as the gear shifter...a poploc adjust works really well as a 2x9 front derailleur shifter, the compression adjust knob works a bit like a barrel adjuster and it only weighs 34 grams vs 90 for a gripshift or 110 for a trigger.
    That sounds really cool. I wonder if I can eliminate rub on my force fd with it like I can with my twist shifter.

    G
    You can't depend on honest answers from dependant hands...

  16. #16
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    I've been running 2x9 on my 27lb FS for a few months in socal and I like it.
    I've ran my hardtail 1x9 for years with a 1:1 low ratio and figured I would need something slightly lower to carry the 5 extra lbs. So I ran with a compact crank with 29/44 and a 11x32 cassette. If you want to save weight, go 1x9 because the loss of a 50gm chainring doesn't amount to much. The biggest benefit is not having to shift chainrings except during flats or downhills.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megaclocker
    I always wondered ? Are you generally using 74/110 bcd or 58/94 ?

    Because I have an hard tume finding some 29t chainring I am planning to buy some tune bigfoot.
    58/94, you can get the 29t in 94bcd. TA makes them as well as Stronglight. The 29t will sit in the position of the middle ring and there will be no granny, so you also want a narrow BB spindle to get a good chainline, which is a big part of the whole 2x9 deal.

    Those Tunes might not be the stiffest option out there, by the way...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie_yeti
    i think he means as the gear shifter...a poploc adjust works really well as a 2x9 front derailleur shifter, the compression adjust knob works a bit like a barrel adjuster and it only weighs 34 grams vs 90 for a gripshift or 110 for a trigger.
    Is anyone successfully using the PopLoc as a shifter? It's an awesome idea. The quick release button function is pretty slick.

  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    How would a 22/40 2x9 setup shift on the front? Too big of a size difference for smooth shifts?

  21. #21
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    My 37lb bike is now 24x36 - 11/34
    My 20lb bike is 22x32x44 - 12/27

    If I was building from scratch I would probably put the light hardtail on 26x42 to 11-34

    On the other hand I like small gear gaps of the 12/27 road cassette, and shifting front on XTR with XTR derailler is very very smooth.

  22. #22
    2006 sswc RockStar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    My 37lb bike is now 24x36 - 11/34
    My 20lb bike is 22x32x44 - 12/27

    If I was building from scratch I would probably put the light hardtail on 26x42 to 11-34

    On the other hand I like small gear gaps of the 12/27 road cassette, and shifting front on XTR with XTR derailler is very very smooth.

    you cant go 26/42, its to bigger jump, max you can go is 12 teeth with a mtb fr mech from granny to middle.

  23. #23
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    Hve a 20/30/42 on ti rigid with 11-27 cluster & 30/42 with 12-34 on steel hard tail. Never really use the 20 on the ti it's there just in case....climb much faster on the ti than the steel ht....loose as much weight from the bike as you can....makes the biggest increase in climbing speed.

  24. #24
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    well...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockStarRacing
    you cant go 26/42, its to bigger jump, max you can go is 12 teeth with a mtb fr mech from granny to middle.
    i am using 27/42 and the front shifts are absolutely no problem. Shimano also limits short cage derailleurs to cassettes up to 28t but i usea a short caged Dura Ace on a 11-32 cassette which also works fine. just don't believe all those numbers.try it - you'll see it works!

    29/42 definitely needs a 11-34 cassette if you have steeper climbs otherwise you'll suffer. that's why i went with a custom 27 which does the trick.i can use a lighter 11-32 cassette with narrower gaps, short caged derailler, shorter chain...lighter while still offering low enough gears for climbing.

    i was also using 20/32/42 with a 12-27 before.this is a great gearing with low enough gears for the climbs but it needs more shifts because of the smaller range of the cassette. however i always liked the smaller gaps of the roadie casstte for constant spinning especially on uphills. but i hardly ever needed the lowest gears so i tried 2x9

    now with a 2x9 setup the climbing is done on a 29 or in my case 27 which also makes for smaller gaps between gears even when using a 11-32 cassette. i usually did a lot of climbing in the 32 before so the smaller "granny" also brings the gears closer together. definitely MUCH less shifting in the front is involved. and you have a much wider range per chainring as well.you can leave the big ring also for some climbing and the small ring goes up to about speeds of 30km/h / 18 miles. you don't have to think about shifting in the front.it seems more intuitive to me. and it is lighter as well.

    i was using 29/42 for about 1 1/2 years now but just this summer went for longer rides up the mountains with some friends and had to suffer and was forced to push the bike on really long,steep climbs as that little bit was missing. i didn't want to use a 11-34 cassette since i really can't stand those big gaps in gears.so i am now on that 27 and it is perfect for my needs.also when calculating gears you hardly have any overlapped gears . 27/42 is what the whole Swisspower team (Frischi,olympic bronce medaillist Schurter ,european champion Florian Vogel) etc use. it works also great for me

    i found you have much more choices with old-style cranks with separate bb's than you have with those new integrated designs. with a seperate BB you can change the chainline which is also very important by using 2 chainrings only. you want to have them centered to be able to use ALL gears on the cassette with each chainring. when using integrated cranks you can just leave away either the inner or outer ring but then rings are either too far out or too far in. you have no way to adjust chainline. and i found that integrated cransk don't move this freely anyway.they have much more drag.

    pictured below the cranks of my actual winterbike with custom 27t to fit the granny ring position and the 42 in the middle. so no chainring on the outer position! mated to a 77,5g Dura Ace front derailleur and a 175g 11-32 Titanium cassette. lightweight with plenty of gears.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by nino; 10-25-2008 at 11:38 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockStarRacing
    you cant go 26/42, its to bigger jump, max you can go is 12 teeth with a mtb fr mech from granny to middle.
    Huh? Stock SLX does 22-36, so Shimano disagrees with you.

  26. #26
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    ... and if we just ...

    Dura Ace Triple converted to 2x9, 42x30 chainrings and a bashguard

    http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...ajor=8&minor=5








  27. #27
    Tech geek and racerboy
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    That's very cool. I'm assuming the LOOK has a 68mm bb shell?

    I am also trying to figure out a good way to go 2x9 on my race bike, but with a 73mm shell and a propensity to bash my cranks on anything and everything, my options are limited. I don't want a crank with exposed carbon on the ends because they'll get torn to shreds, so the FSA is out. I'd like to try and stick with an external bb for the added stiffness. I rode the entire NMBS this year and never touched my granny ring (so my lowest gear was 32x32) and I never had any problems. My race bike right now weighs in at about 18.9 lbs.
    A hardtail is forever

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