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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

learned to ride a good many years ago, first geared bike a Peugeot ten-speed, 1966; long gone, alas. Campy components, friction shifters, and deep, dark purple. Sigh...

Now on a ca. 2003 CrossCheck, built up by one of my kids from odd parts in a shop where he worked, then modded by me in 2010. Bits from Sora (front derailleur) Tiagra shifters/brake levers, 105 hubs, Mavic rims, Deore XT, 9-speed, 11-34 rear derailleur and cassette and Campy 53-39 crankset...and probably missing something. Oh, Schwalbe Duranos. An MTB Devo saddle. The bike goes about 26 lbs, I go about 226.

I live in the Rockies, so do a fair bit of slow climbing. I've been thinking about going to a compact crankset...I know, I know, 34-34 for low-low is nearly cheating!

What I'd really like is just to change the chainrings, but I don't think I can do that...are there 135mms that'll go 50-34...not any more, at least, not from Campy...and they're it for 135s, no?

and if I do have to go for a whole,, 50-34 crankset, what then? What'll match up well with the Deore?

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated, or maybe this should go to another forum?

Thanks,

The Prairie Dad
 

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You cannot put any ring smaller than 39 on campy's 135mm bcd spider. You need a new crankset if you want to go smaller. There are lots of cranksets available. I assume you have a Campy bottom bracket, so that would have to be changed, too.

If I lived in the Rockies, I'd have a triple, no doubt about it. With the short steeps here and no climbs longer than 2 or 3 miles, I manage with a 39/26 low. For now. (I'm about your age).

I never heard of a bicycle branded "Michelin." I thought they only made tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry, you are right of course...just sleepy at this end, and mixing up two iconic French companies in the bike business...it was a Peugeot, just about the twin of this one I just found on *Bay... Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle wheel Wheel

And yes, I know the bottom bracket will need changing as well, if I change the crankset...I was just hoping against hope that I wouldn't need to! The problem with triples (aside from the ribbing that I will take from my sons) is that I do, sometimes, really like having that 53...how high can I with a triple...48 about tops?
 

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Peugeot. As I suspected. (My first 10-speed, in 1972, was a Peugeot).
The problem with triples (aside from the ribbing that I will take from my sons) is that I do, sometimes, really like having that 53...how high can I with a triple...48 about tops?
Au contraire. One of the advantages of the triple (as distinguished from the "compact") is the ability to have some really low gears while still having a normal high. You may be thinking of MTB cranks. Road triples often have a 52 or 53. 30-39-52 is common.

You'd probably need a new front shifter, but I'm not sure about the one you have.

As for the ribbing, tell the whippersnappers to STFU and just try to follow your wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's a Tiagra brifter, not sure of the model number. The rear one is nine-speed, just like the derailleur/cassette, and I _think_ the front one will do okay with a triple...will have to ask at a good shop I know. I do have to shift twice to downshift on the front, but I've never watched what it does when it's up on a stand. I would hate to have to replace it, it's not all that old or worn. Not easy all this old-style mixing and matching!

thanks for your help
 

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I am 67 and have a compact 50/34 on the front and a 16/30 (10 speed) on the back. If I am going faster that about 20mph I am coasting downhill.!
 

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53 is huge.

for 135mm bcd, a 39t ring is the smallest.

changing cog size in the rear effects gearing more than your rings anyway.
 

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I am 67 and have a compact 50/34 on the front and a 16/30 (10 speed) on the back. If I am going faster that about 20mph I am coasting downhill.!
16-30? That's unusual. So your top gear is 50/16, or about 83 inches. So 90 rpm gets you only 22 mph, and 110 only 27. I like to spin, but that would be too limiting for me. I like to be able to pedal at least into the mid 30s on long descents. Above 35 or so I'm coasting.
 

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My '06 Fuji Newest came equipped with a triple with 52-tooth big ring. Middle is 39 or 40, not sure. Granny ring is 30. The triple will allow you to ease past folks struggling up hills with their compact doubles:D
 

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The 50/34 "compact" is a relatively new innovation that has replaced the triple crank for many people but I don't like the wide gaps between cogs. Some new bikes are coming with 11-32 cassettes to get a low gear but I miss some of the middle cogs.

It will be somewhat expensive to change to a triple, though. The crank, shifters and both derailleurs will need replacing. I took a quick look at Amazon and those parts (Tiagra 4603 10-speed) would be more than $300 but Shimano sells for less in Europe and we have an especially favorable exchange rate with England right now so check their sites.
* I just looked at Ribble and found this: Shimano Tiagra 4703 10 Speed Triple Groupset - Road Groupsets - Ribble Cycles
It's the entire (newest 4703) group (including brakes and cassette) for $264.
You could sell the new brakes and old parts to recoup some of the expense.

BTW, a lot of the most active posters here are in your age group. I'm almost 65 and love the triple crank and don't care what anyone else thinks. I've passed younger guys on climbs when they're walking their bikes and I'm still pedaling.
 

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You are running 9 speed, right? If so I have a 9 speed Tiagra triple crank (30,39,50) that matches up great with the XT bits. Takes a standard threaded external BB (I may have one that fits, but also very cheap on eBay) that I would let go for cheap. It has about 2000 miles on it from my CAAD and I replaced with a double this year just because.

PM me if interested.

Oh, and you may need a FD and shifter as well. I have the FD too if you want. 34.9, bottom pull. Shifter are cheap on eBay for 9 speed.
 
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