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Durable chainset for long distance touring
Dear All,

I need some advice. I am going to do a 15 000 km trip from New Zealand to Hungary later on this year and I am trying to get my bike ready. I want to change the chainset, that is the crankset, chain, shifters, cassettes and the derailleurs. Obviously I need something reliable, sturdy that will last long. I was wondering if you could share your experience that for a long trip like this which brand, type would be the best. Was thinking about Shimano Deore XT, but it is a bit expensive and I was thinking that one or two below, like the Deore SLX might be just as reliable.

Many thanks!
Generally, the higher cost units are lighter, smoother shifting, quieter, but not more reliable. My Tourney TX51 is as reliable as my Deore XT - it does weigh almost twice as much.....
Many thanks Nigel! So, would you say that just because I buy a higher level one, it would not last longer? Wouldn`t the Tourney wear down sooner than the XT?
A higher level chainset will not last longer. If you want reliability do not go to a 10 speed rear - harder to keep adjusted and faster wear. Even though "obsolete," 8 speed rear is very reliable, easy to keep adjusted and parts still pretty easy to obtain. The number one variable is you, not the bike. If you tend to tromp on the pedals instead of spinning the wear on both you and the bike is much greater. Ideally you should spin the cranks at 80-90 rpm. Less pressure on the drive train and smoother use of your muscles give a great advantage. I did a 3 month 10,000 mile ((16,700km) tour on one chain and freewheel because I spin at 90-100 rpm).
(03-17-2014, 12:08 AM)Tibbie Wrote:  .... Wouldn`t the Tourney wear down sooner than the XT?
No, more likely, just the opposite.

And I completely agree with our friend in Syracuse; go 8 speed, or even 7 speed. The chain is wider (stronger), the teeth on the sprockets are wider and stronger. And it is easier to find cassettes with steel sprockets. More teeth in the sprockets (front and rear) the less force on each tooth, and the longer it will last. A 13-34 would be good.

For the chain rings, because they have so many more teeth engaged, life is not likely an issue. For your ride, I'd suggest a 22-32-42 triple if you spin like cny-man. If you are a real slow spinner 28-38-48.

Chain: every night, wipe it down, lubricate with a light oil (I like TriFlow), and wipe of the excess.
Dear Nigel and Cny-man,

Thanks so much, that is exactly the information I needed! I highly appreciate!

Cheers, all the best!

I do agree with most things said so far (except for the nitpicking below...)
What I learned from riding through several winters: Do not buy the cheapest available chain for your setup! Chain material / quality / treatment makes quite some difference, especially if things like salt come into the mix. To prolong chain life such substances must also be removed after every ride!
Lower number of speeds = more reliable when it comes to misalignments or excessive dirt accumulation (riding in the mud). So that is a definite reason of sticking with 8 speed or so. To be honest, I would probably also use friction downtube shifters, then I would be free to use all sorts of strange combinations if stuff brakes on the road (and friction shifters do not break, in contrast to indexed rapid fire and whatnot).
Also make sure you have a steel freehub body, not a lightweight one (there was a photo recently here in the forum where a cassette had bitten into one...).

Nitpicking: The 9 speed chain is not really wider than an 8 speed chain, at least not at the point where it matters for wear. The internal width is 3/32", it is mostly slightly narrower pins and slightly narrower side plates on the higher speeds. The wear occurs on the pins (mostly) and I doubt that it will be much faster on 10 speed chains than on 8 speeds (assuming the same materials are used).
Many thanks, it is all really useful!

Based on this I think I will settle with the Shimano Alivio 8-speed cassettes, crankset and derailleurs, but might use another shifter.

Any suggestion which shifter would go well with that?

Also, I will need a good set of v-brakes. Any suggestion for that? Shall I stick with the Alivio brakes as well, or is it a good idea to mix with the higher level ones, let`s say the Deore XT?


In another discussion `Touring Bike and Intro`, the things to consider regrading a touring bike are:

easy for you to repair
strong wheels - it is worth spening a large percentage of your budget on a custom set of wheels
choose tires that are tough, they will be heavier, but it is worth having fewer flats
strong brakes - V-brakes
seat that works for you - see Sheldon Brown's discussion

What would constitute 'strong brakes`? any brand, type suggestions?

Many thanks!
Tires: Schwalbe Marathon is generally recognized as the toughest. Also get thorn resistant tubes.

V-brakes - I like Tektro, and Avid SD V the best. Higher cost does not get you stronger brakes, just lighter brakes. KoolStop Salmon pads - and bring spares.

wheels - I build my own. With an unlimited budget, I'd go with Phil Wood hubs - 40H front and rear, Wheelsmith DH13 spokes and Velocity Dyad or Aeroheat rims (same extrusion). On a budget; I'd go with Wheelmaster 40H "tandem hubs", Wheelsmith SS14 spokes, and the same Velocity rims. I also like Alex Adventurer (which Surly uses on the LHT) and Sun CR18

Lights - multiples, and consider a dynamo hub and separate battery power lights.

Fenders - SKS or Planet Bike.

Racks - Nashbar

I prefer SRAM and Sunrace cassettes to Shimano.

Shifter - friction or index? Index: SRAM MRX are cheap, reliable and light weight. Friction: I'd look for '70's Suntour.

what size tires are you planning?

Thank`s so much, that really helps!

Shifters - I`ve never had friction, so I am thinking about sticking with index. A long tour might not be the best time to start experimenting with friction "Smile

Tires: I am going to have 26, standard size, which is the easiest to replace anywhere. 29 might be difficult.


Tyres: well... no. 29er is just the "normal" Trekking and City and whatnot size, I'd say it is common enough. Either are widespread enough that you should not have trouble getting a replacement. I second the Schwalbe Marathon, they are extremely sturdy.

Plus 26" is... a weird description Wink http://sheldonbrown.com/26.html, also read http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html (heck, anything on his cycling homepage makes for a good read...)

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