Low-geared crankset: 20T x 30T- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Low-geared crankset: 20T x 30T

    I am switching away from my 26er to the world of 29s (Trek/Fisher HiFi) and want to bring my old bikes gearing with me. After doing the calcs I can tell this calls for 20T x 30T in front mated to a 11x34 in back. I'm going to switch to a 58mm/94mm 5-bolt Surly crank, but am having trouble finding a ramped 30-tooth ring. Everything is oriented to using the 30 on the bottom. But I'm old. And a little fat. And I need to use it on top. Any suggestions? FWIW, I have looked at:

    Salsa
    RaceFace
    FSA
    Surly
    ExtraLite
    ActionTec
    TA Specialites

    It seems like my only options are cheaper non-ramped or pricey titanium ramped. Have I got that right?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I am switching away from my 26er to the world of 29s (Trek/Fisher HiFi) and want to bring my old bikes gearing with me. After doing the calcs I can tell this calls for 20T x 30T in front mated to a 11x34 in back. I'm going to switch to a 58mm/94mm 5-bolt Surly crank, but am having trouble finding a ramped 30-tooth ring. Everything is oriented to using the 30 on the bottom. But I'm old. And a little fat. And I need to use it on top. Any suggestions? FWIW, I have looked at:

    Salsa
    RaceFace
    FSA
    Surly
    ExtraLite
    ActionTec
    TA Specialites

    It seems like my only options are cheaper non-ramped or pricey titanium ramped. Have I got that right?

    What about an 11-36 casette and a 32 tooth chainring?

  3. #3
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    If you absolutely want to get 20T/30T, take a look at Anderson Machine. He makes 30T ramped chainrings that work with a 104BCD crank http://andersenmachine.com/product-info/

    However, based on the calculations naya's suggestion will get you lower gearing at a much lower expense. Go with the 11-36 or 12-36 cassette and you'll be fine.

    Front Rear Wheel Gear Inches
    22 34 26 16.8
    20 34 29 17.1
    22 36 29 17.7

  4. #4
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    I eliminated a 36 cassette because I am going to retain the 9-speed shifters. That leaves only the heavy HG61 cassette, about twice the weight of an XTR 9-speed 34. I'm concerned about weight -- again, I'm coming from a nimble 26" Fisher Sugar. It weighs <28lbs.

  5. #5
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    Dude, ride more, use an 11-34 with a 22-32 , and HTFU! With a little riding, effort and practice, you'll master the gears, no problem. 20 tooth ring gears don't have enough teeth on them to be good at driving your chainline and lasting. Ask JeffJ in a private message about his 20 tooth adventures. YMMV, but if you are a Clyde, and climb, they don't last, hardened TI or not.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Dude, ride more, use an 11-34 with a 22-32 , and HTFU!
    Hehe. Well, the fact of the matter is this setup needs to carry me across the 50-year-old mark. And sad to say, even though I ride over 1000mi. per season, I am declining a bit every year. So I know the gearing I need. I'll look into Middleburn; and I already have an email in to Russell at AndersonMachine. Thanks guys.

  8. #8
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    I can relate to your reluctance to go 2x10. But if getting the right gearing is your priority, and you're willing to splurge on an xtr cassette, why not switch to 10 speed shifters and a 11 or 12-36 cassette instead? It wouldn't be xtr, but it would get you where you want, and give you a more durable inner ring.

    Or, depending on your height and preferences, a 5mm longer crank might be an option too..I don't remember w/ certainty, but I think that lowers effective gearing by 2t on your rings. That should make a 32/22 effectively 30/20 without any of the deficiency/durability issues of a real 20t.

  9. #9
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    Origin8 is coming out with a 94/58 sub compact 22-30-44 crankset for ebb. I've seen them on Fleabay for $169. If you don't already have the Surly crank, you could easily modify this one.

  10. #10
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    Origin8 doesn't sell their 30T rings separately. Every other size/type they have. But no can do on the 94bcd 30T

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    Origin8 doesn't sell their 30T rings separately. Every other size/type they have. But no can do on the 94bcd 30T
    Right. But do you already have the Surly crank?

  12. #12
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    I saw the Origin8 crankset. But the problem is that I plan on going with Surly to take advantage of their oversized crank arms. So far I think Middleburn is going to be the best option for the chainrings.

    Why the heck, though, doesn't Origin8 sell that 30T chainring separately?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I eliminated a 36 cassette because I am going to retain the 9-speed shifters. That leaves only the heavy HG61 cassette, about twice the weight of an XTR 9-speed 34. I'm concerned about weight -- again, I'm coming from a nimble 26" Fisher Sugar. It weighs <28lbs.
    XTR M970 11-34 244gr (source weight weenies)
    HG61 12-36 424gr (source scales at home)
    Difference 180gr

  14. #14
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    I've been running a 20T granny for 17+ years with no issues. I use an Avid stainless steel chainring and it has functioned and held up fine.

    My middle ring is a 32T Shimano SG. Big ring is 42T, but I don't use it anymore and will replace it with a bashguard soon, so I essentially have a 20/32 setup. There is overlap between the gears on the 2 chainrings, so I don't see any advantage to a 20/30. My crank is also a 58mm/94mm 5-bolt.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I saw the Origin8 crankset. But the problem is that I plan on going with Surly to take advantage of their oversized crank arms. So far I think Middleburn is going to be the best option for the chainrings.

    Why the heck, though, doesn't Origin8 sell that 30T chainring separately?
    Well, if weight is a serious issue--as mentioned in your reluctance to go 36T cassette--I think I remember reading that the Surly Mr. Whirly cranks are pretty darned heavy. Might want to check on that. If so, maybe you should just go Middleburn cranks and rings?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I eliminated a 36 cassette because I am going to retain the 9-speed shifters. That leaves only the heavy HG61 cassette, about twice the weight of an XTR 9-speed 34. I'm concerned about weight -- again, I'm coming from a nimble 26" Fisher Sugar. It weighs <28lbs.
    How about a 9 speed cassette that weighs 200g and has a 36T?

    9 speed cassette with 36T available here.

  17. #17
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    I run middleburn cranks and rings- in BCD 20t and 30t. They rock. Shift like a dream. I use a grip-shift front shifter which helps a TON as I could never get a trigger to shift well. Got mine via mail at MTBtandem, very helpful and knowledgeable. I also run the Shimmy 36t cog- my low end is WICKED!
    Last edited by D3DO; 12-27-2010 at 07:26 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I eliminated a 36 cassette because I am going to retain the 9-speed shifters. That leaves only the heavy HG61 cassette, about twice the weight of an XTR 9-speed 34. I'm concerned about weight -- again, I'm coming from a nimble 26" Fisher Sugar. It weighs <28lbs.
    Let's see if I can put two and two together here... you're concerned about weight, so much so that you don't want a cassette that will do what you need because it weighs 180 grams more than a lightweight cassette, BUT you NEED a really low granny gear, which leads me to conclude that you perhaps need to pay attention to YOUR weight. Or, just stick w/ your 26" bikes or buy a lighter 29er.

    Unless you're competing at the elite or pro levels, worrying about the weight of the HG61 cassette is crazy, IMO.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3DO
    I run middleburn cranks and rings- in BCD 20t and 30t. They rock. Shift like a dream. I use a grip-shift front shifter which helps a TON as I could never get a trigger to shift well. Got mine via mail at MTBtandem, very helpful and knowledgeable. I also run the Shimmy 36t cog- my low end is WICKED!
    I've looked on their site and see that the 30T is unramped - but you say it shifts well. Good to know, but could you confirm your 30T is unramped? I'm currently riding a 29er with theShimano 36 in back and 20T/32T in front with grip shifters, and have been thinking of going 30T. Like you, I'm into low gearing.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    How about a 9 speed cassette that weighs 200g and has a 36T?

    9 speed cassette with 36T available here.

    How have yours been holding up BB? I've been thinking about these for some time. Thanks for the link.
    G
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I am switching away from my 26er to the world of 29s (Trek/Fisher HiFi) and want to bring my old bikes gearing with me. After doing the calcs I can tell this calls for 20T x 30T in front mated to a 11x34 in back. I'm going to switch to a 58mm/94mm 5-bolt Surly crank, but am having trouble finding a ramped 30-tooth ring. Everything is oriented to using the 30 on the bottom. But I'm old. And a little fat. And I need to use it on top. Any suggestions? FWIW, I have looked at:

    Salsa
    RaceFace
    FSA
    Surly
    ExtraLite
    ActionTec
    TA Specialites

    It seems like my only options are cheaper non-ramped or pricey titanium ramped. Have I got that right?
    You do not need a ramped ring. Straight cut teeth shift just fine
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  22. #22
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    I'd been considering that guy's Ti 36-cog set. You say it works reliably? If so, I can skip the whole business of converting to Surly and 58/94.

  23. #23
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    There is a guy who posts on mtbr fairly regularly that makes a bunch of chainrings but I can't find him or his website. Anybody know who I'm talking about?
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air
    I've looked on their site and see that the 30T is unramped - but you say it shifts well. Good to know, but could you confirm your 30T is unramped? I'm currently riding a 29er with theShimano 36 in back and 20T/32T in front with grip shifters, and have been thinking of going 30T. Like you, I'm into low gearing.
    If you need something lower than the 32xx36, why not just shift down to the small ring?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier
    There is a guy who posts on mtbr fairly regularly that makes a bunch of chainrings but I can't find him or his website. Anybody know who I'm talking about?
    Post number 3 above in this thread.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air
    I've looked on their site and see that the 30T is unramped - but you say it shifts well. Good to know, but could you confirm your 30T is unramped? I'm currently riding a 29er with theShimano 36 in back and 20T/32T in front with grip shifters, and have been thinking of going 30T. Like you, I'm into low gearing.
    I have not used ramped rings in years. 36/24, 32/22, 34/24, 44/28. All shift just fine as long as you do not just stomp on the pedals and force the shifter.
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  27. #27
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    Started riding and racing road bikes in the late 1960s. Got my first mountain bike in 1979. Ramped chain rings were not "invented" back then. These bikes were generally 12 ro 14 or 21 speeds, and yes they shifted fine.

    As Shiggy says, don't stomp on the pedals and force the shifters. In other words, you knew how to shift gears correctly without some company trying to make it easier for you to use poor technique.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    If you need something lower than the 32xx36, why not just shift down to the small ring?

    Not really a question of need - as you say, the little ring is available. But with the hilly technical terrain here in CT, combined with my less than stellar endurance, I find I rarely use the small cogs. I expect that with the 30T, I'd stay in the bigger ring more. And it's something new to try.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  29. #29
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    I run a 20,30,36 on my Sultan, along with straight cut front chainrings.
    this set up worked fine with a nine speed setup and works even better
    with the poormans 10 speed setup. you can upgrade and have a 11-36
    rear cassette new XT RD, KMC chain and right xt shifter from CRC for 220$.
    high altitude technical riding requires this gearing for other than the young
    if you are going to ride for a few days in a row.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin
    Well, if weight is a serious issue--as mentioned in your reluctance to go 36T cassette--I think I remember reading that the Surly Mr. Whirly cranks are pretty darned heavy. Might want to check on that.
    From what I gather using the Search button, it looks like:

    Surly 175mm with bottom bracket/cups: 890g
    XT HollowTech 175mm with bottom bracket/cups: 860g

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    From what I gather using the Search button, it looks like:

    Surly 175mm with bottom bracket/cups: 890g
    XT HollowTech 175mm with bottom bracket/cups: 860g
    The weight of the XT includes all three rings and all hardware. However I believe the weight you found for the Surly is with a single ring only. I've seen the weight of a Surly triple setup like the XT quoted as ~950g

    edit: corrected

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Dude, ride more, use an 11-34 with a 22-32 , and HTFU! With a little riding, effort and practice, you'll master the gears, no problem. 20 tooth ring gears don't have enough teeth on them to be good at driving your chainline and lasting. Ask JeffJ in a private message about his 20 tooth adventures. YMMV, but if you are a Clyde, and climb, they don't last, hardened TI or not.
    I've been rocking 20t rings for the last 1000 miles and three years . No problems. Works great. And I'm a fatass who climbs steeps and spends a lot of time in granny gear.

    The number of teeth has no effect on chainline. Wear becomes more critical, so you have to keep an extra close eye on chain wear and lubrication, but that is pretty dang easy. I have yet to wear out a chain on my 29ers as it is.

    FWIW, I'm running a 30 tooth non-ramped and pinned Vuelta middle ring, and it shifts just fine. You just can't mash it into gear as easily as a ramped and pinned ring.

    Oh, and Vuelta makes a ramped and pinned middle ring. They call it the SE-Plus. You can get them directly from their website. IIRC, it comes to around $35 when you add shipping on there.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/704wnx6u1Z8hdU0RzrKMRw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/TOy2LVqukFI/AAAAAAAASgE/MICDg34ShHk/s800/IMG_2214.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>

    My RX29er has Coda 175mm cranks, but I think I want to go with 180s like my other bikes.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gaKvuiDaKLnG5OACvXBekw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/S_oQKGBmzbI/AAAAAAAAOfA/nvp2IGw1YLU/s800/IMG_2044.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-28-2010 at 02:07 PM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I eliminated a 36 cassette because I am going to retain the 9-speed shifters. That leaves only the heavy HG61 cassette, about twice the weight of an XTR 9-speed 34. I'm concerned about weight -- again, I'm coming from a nimble 26" Fisher Sugar. It weighs <28lbs.
    There's nothing nimble about a 28 lb bike.
    With the low end Shimano 36t cassette, you're adding a little over a 1/3 lb.
    I put one on my 24 lb Lenz.....which made the bike 24 1/3 lbs.
    I didn't notice it...with the exception of the lower gearing...which was nice because I'm over 50 too.

    Check with Blackspire....they have some good rings in odd sizing.
    And I agree with others here....un ramped works pretty damn good.

  34. #34
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    Like others have said, a 36t in back with a 22t granny gets you close to the 20t*34t, and you don't have to do any weird hacks on a 4 arm crankset, or use older, harder to find 5 arm cranks and chainrings.

    If I were to do this over again, I might go with Shimano HT2 4 arm cranks (LX, SLX or XT), 36t cassette, and a different rear derailleur. My XTR derailleur has a max big cog of 32t. I have 34t cassette on there now, and the top pulley rides on the 34t cog a bit. I could shorten the chain a couple links, but that might mean 'forbidden gear' will break the derailleur off... and when racing or pushing really hard, I get stupid sometimes.

    If you go compact, I really do like having a 30t up front. The terrain around here in NorCal just begs for it, IMO. I can stay in middle ring for nearly all of my rides except for the steepest pitches... or when I go to do rides at altitude, like Tahoe, Demo or Eagle Peak, Pincecrest Peak.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-28-2010 at 02:15 PM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot

    If I were to do this over again, I might go with Shimano HT2 4 arm cranks (LX, SLX or XT), 36t cassette, and a different rear derailleur. My XTR derailleur has a max big cog of 32t. I have 34t cassette on there now, and the top pulley rides on the 34t cog a bit. I could shorten the chain a couple links, but that might mean 'forbidden gear' will break the derailleur off... and when racing or pushing really hard, I get stupid sometimes.
    What XTR derallr only goes to 32t?
    My 970 and 97x Shadow mid cages work fine on the 36t with a tweak of the b screw

  36. #36
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    Had a nice chat with a tech support guy at Surly. He crunched some numbers and we came to the conclusion that their cranks/bottom bracket add ~150 grams over a HollowTech II setup. Not a bad penalty for a much wider gamut of gearing choices.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    Had a nice chat with a tech support guy at Surly. He crunched some numbers and we came to the conclusion that their cranks/bottom bracket add ~150 grams over a HollowTech II setup. Not a bad penalty for a much wider gamut of gearing choices.
    so 150g penalty for a set of cranks (plus the relatively high price of that setup and the rings) is ok but not the 180g penalty for a much cheaper cassette with no other drivetrain changes necessary?

    Or you could take an 11-32 XTR 9spd cassette, drop the 12t cog and add a $65 Actiontec Ti 36t cog

  38. #38
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    I'm not indicating a preference. But it's not automatically impractical to go with a 58/94 crank.

    How complicated is it to re-fashion the Shimano crank to accept a 36 cog?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I'm not indicating a preference. But it's not automatically impractical to go with a 58/94 crank.

    How complicated is it to re-fashion the Shimano crank to accept a 36 cog?
    What???
    You don't do anything to the crank.....cog goes on the rear wheel?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    What???
    You don't do anything to the crank.....cog goes on the rear wheel?
    OK, OK. That was Sam Adams talking. Anyway, I'm researching my own question now: how does the cassette mod work. Seems like a nice way to work around the clunky HG61.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    How complicated is it to re-fashion the Shimano crank to accept a 36 cog?
    Cassette, right?

    No modification needed. First install the 36t cog and any spacer it comes with on the freehub, then install the cassette but leave off one of the first two cogs which are separate already. Voila!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    Had a nice chat with a tech support guy at Surly. He crunched some numbers and we came to the conclusion that their cranks/bottom bracket add ~150 grams over a HollowTech II setup. Not a bad penalty for a much wider gamut of gearing choices.
    Still not sure why you just don't go with Middleburn cranks if weight is such the issue. Probably close to 300 grams lighter than the Surlys for a comparable price, right? The only objection I can see you having is the ebb on the Middleburns only come in the RS8 cranks, from what I can tell, which may not be as burly as the RS7s. The RS7 has a lifetime guarantee and is said to be plenty stiff with square tapers. Just saying. I got no problem with the Whirlys, but you have shown a concern for weight.

  43. #43
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    I think there's too much Sam Adams talking here.
    Are you buying a new HiFi? It already comes with 10 speed and a 36t cassette.

  44. #44
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    Looking for a guy who posts here lot who makes chainrings and bash guards in a lot of sizes. Probably not ramped or pined.

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    Post number 3 above in this thread.
    No not that guy. He seems to only make a couple of things. This guy has a big selection. He may have a 30 as well. He might do Ti too but I can't remember.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  45. #45
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    action tec ti square taper bottom bracket with race face 5 bolt turbine cranks, action tec
    20 and 30 tooth chain rings and a cheapo 36 tooth weight in at 716 grams. another
    option to add the list
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Low-geared crankset:  20T x 30T-raceface-blue.jpg  


  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier
    Looking for a guy who posts here lot who makes chainrings and bash guards in a lot of sizes. Probably not ramped or pined.



    No not that guy. He seems to only make a couple of things. This guy has a big selection. He may have a 30 as well. He might do Ti too but I can't remember.
    IsuckAtRiding? http://www.homebrewedcomponents.com/store.php

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    I think there's too much Sam Adams talking here.
    Are you buying a new HiFi? It already comes with 10 speed and a 36t cassette.
    It's sitting by the fireplace in the living room. I like it there. 20 inches of snow outside the window but it nevertheless feels like spring is right around the corner. Boy, I have to say the 36t cog mod seems like a good idea. I can keep my nice HT2 crank and everything. But the 10spd setup has to go. I'm still a retro grouch.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    It's sitting by the fireplace in the living room. I like it there. 20 inches of snow outside the window but it nevertheless feels like spring is right around the corner. Boy, I have to say the 36t cog mod seems like a good idea. I can keep my nice HT2 crank and everything. But the 10spd setup has to go. I'm still a retro grouch.
    So you got exactly what you need...but you want to change it???
    Keep drinking buddy......this is going to turn out badly.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Keep drinking buddy......this is going to turn out badly.
    Hehe. And in case you hadn't noticed.. post count: 17

    I'm awesome!

  50. #50
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I've been rocking 20t rings for the last 1000 miles and three years . No problems. Works great. And I'm a fatass who climbs steeps and spends a lot of time in granny gear.
    Well, I am the 260lb fatass that R-Boy referred to and I did indeed go through three titanium action-tec 20t chainrings in a single year. Two of them were the $50 models and one was the $70 hardened model (which didn't last any longer for me). By the time the chain would get to the condition that my chain checker said it was time to replace it, the ti chainring would be junk. With a new chain, it would suck the chain up from the bottom as it exited the chainring.

    I had a steel Race Face 20t (5-bolt) chainring that lasted several years and went through a couple Salsa aluminum 20t rings fairly quickly.

    I was concerned (understatement of the year), when I went from 26" wheels to 29" wheels, that I was going to hate life on 29" wheels without my beloved uber-low gearing. I started out using a 22t chainring with a 12-36 cassette which was not even as low as I had previously. Took a little getting used to, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Now, I have a 12-36 cassette sitting on a shelf and am using an 11-34 and climb easier than I ever have. Regular riding is what has made pedaling my (52 y.o.) grape shaped ape carcass up the hills easier. In fact, these days, I am only using the largest cog on my cassette on a few very steep climbs.

    I have exchanged email with Russ A. regarding the possibility of him producing a steel 4-bolt 20t and he said he has been working on one, but that it has been a challenge to produce one he is comfortable selling (props to him for wanting to produce a quality product).

    I wouldn't mind having one to use on super steep extended climbs, but don't currently need one badly enough to shell out $50 to $70 a pop a few times a year for the currently available titanium bits just to have one for the few times I actually need it. If I am going to climb 4,000'+ on steep trails, I can always pop the 12-36 cassette on for the day.

    To the OP, if you're that concerned about it, I would look for a NOS or lightly used set of Race Face Turbine 5-bolt (58/94) square taper crank arms and one of their steel 20t chainrings. Mate that up with a HG-61 12-36 cassette and go ride your bike. Of course, you have some 10spd options, but it's going to get pricey.

    If you're "a little fat", then worrying about the extra weight of a 12-36 HG-61 casssette is kind of like spending a dollar waiting on a dime. TINSTAAFL.

  51. #51
    ballbuster
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    2003 grey series

    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    What XTR derallr only goes to 32t?
    My 970 and 97x Shadow mid cages work fine on the 36t with a tweak of the b screw
    M952. I got my b-screw dialed all the way in. I got the chain to it is downright tight on big-big on both of my geared bikes, but it doesn't break the derailleur. It might break it on my RX29er if I hit a bump while in that gear.

    I could try one more hack. On my old Stumpjumper FSR, I modified my XT derailleur by taking apart the knuckle and drilling a new hole for the spiral spring, to basically tighten it up a bit more and pull it back. Seemed to help. It would probably be easier if I just shelled out for a newer XT or XTR derailleur.

    Hard to pass up those $20 XTR derailleurs at the swap meets, tho.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-28-2010 at 09:38 PM.

  52. #52
    ballbuster
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    Dang....

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    Well, I am the 260lb fatass that R-Boy referred to and I did indeed go through three titanium action-tec 20t chainrings in a single year. Two of them were the $50 models and one was the $70 hardened model (which didn't last any longer for me). By the time the chain would get to the condition that my chain checker said it was time to replace it, the ti chainring would be junk. With a new chain, it would suck the chain up from the bottom as it exited the chainring.

    I had a steel Race Face 20t (5-bolt) chainring that lasted several years and went through a couple Salsa aluminum 20t rings fairly quickly.

    I was concerned (understatement of the year), when I went from 26" wheels to 29" wheels, that I was going to hate life on 29" wheels without my beloved uber-low gearing. I started out using a 22t chainring with a 12-36 cassette which was not even as low as I had previously. Took a little getting used to, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Now, I have a 12-36 cassette sitting on a shelf and am using an 11-34 and climb easier than I ever have. Regular riding is what has made pedaling my (52 y.o.) grape shaped ape carcass up the hills easier. In fact, these days, I am only using the largest cog on my cassette on a few very steep climbs.

    I have exchanged email with Russ A. regarding the possibility of him producing a steel 4-bolt 20t and he said he has been working on one, but that it has been a challenge to produce one he is comfortable selling (props to him for wanting to produce a quality product).

    I wouldn't mind having one to use on super steep extended climbs, but don't currently need one badly enough to shell out $50 to $70 a pop a few times a year for the currently available titanium bits just to have one for the few times I actually need it. If I am going to climb 4,000'+ on steep trails, I can always pop the 12-36 cassette on for the day.

    To the OP, if you're that concerned about it, I would look for a NOS or lightly used set of Race Face Turbine 5-bolt (58/94) square taper crank arms and one of their steel 20t chainrings. Mate that up with a HG-61 12-36 cassette and go ride your bike. Of course, you have some 10spd options, but it's going to get pricey.

    If you're "a little fat", then worrying about the extra weight of a 12-36 HG-61 casssette is kind of like spending a dollar waiting on a dime. TINSTAAFL.
    Maybe I don't climb steeps as much as you do, but I have 400 or so miles on an ActionTec Ti 20t 4 arm ring, and it still looks new. I basically gave up on 4 arm because I wanted a 30t middle, but didn't want to pony up for that $100 one with the funky bolts. In hindsight, maybe I should have.

    So dang... three in a year?!? No wonder you are so down on them. If I had that kinda bad luck, I would be too. Are you de-greasing your chain or something to clean it?

    Right now, I have a set of M952 180mm XTR cranks with some mystery brand 5 arm compact spider on one bike, and the Cannondale Coda cranks with 5 arm compact on the other. Both with XTR Octalnk bottom brackets. I waited for a set of RaceFace Turbine or NextLP cranks, but everybody want way too much money for them used. I would also have to do square taper or rent ISIS bottom brackets for 9 months at a time. No thanks, already did that. I actually had a set of ISIS Next LPs, and they were noodely as heck.

    I picked up the Coda cranks for $30 at the used bike shop, and the XTRs for $100 nearly new old stock form a bud closing his frame building biz, complete with spider and bottom bracket. I love octalink cranks. Way stiff, cheap, narrow Q factor, and the bottom brackets last for frickin' evar. I actually have a second set of XTR 180mm cranks with a spiderless Jericho SufferRing on my singlespeed. I'm going to be bummed if the supply of XTR or DuraAce bottom brackets ever dries up, or the cranks get damaged.

    pure sex:

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4_DAHVT219EjrjFyTfziQg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/TCA4chXXeRI/AAAAAAAAQXg/CmWRXgEU6OM/s800/IMG_0617.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-28-2010 at 10:12 PM.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    Of course, you have some 10spd options, but it's going to get pricey
    not really since that's what comes stock on the bike he's buying

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappy_dunbar
    I'd been considering that guy's Ti 36-cog set. You say it works reliably? If so, I can skip the whole business of converting to Surly and 58/94.
    I've got one of the 9 speed 11-34 Ti cassettes that I purchased from him and it's been going strong for over 2 seasons. I was just pointing it out because compared to the Shimano 9 speed cassette with a 36T cog, it is another option that is a heck of a lot lighter (and a heck of a lot more expensive).

    BB

  55. #55
    jrm
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    It

    might be more cost affective to go the andersen machine matching 30/40 rings option in stead duplicating what you already have by buying a new crankset and rings. Youd just need to add a 20T granny to get a 20/30/40 set up.

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