3x9 upgrade advice

jools
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

3x9 upgrade advice

Postby jools » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:27 pm

Hi!

I have a Dawes Audax, roughly 2000 model, running Tiagra 4400 3x9. Given the age of the gear I'm having difficulty sourcing replacement parts and I'm wondering if it's time to upgrade the whole groupset or just keep going and replace the parts needed.

The bike was used for the daily commute, which involves some steep climbs so low gearing is needed. My other daily ride is a Malvern Star Oppy which is a 2x8 Claris with 34-50 chainrings and an 11-32 cassette. This works well and the gearing is low enough for the climbs. It's a bit low on the top end though, but there aren't too many places on the ride where it's a problem, so I can live with it.

On the Dawes I need to replace the FD again and also the 30T chainring. It is running 52-42-30 chainrings and an 11-25 cassette. From my research, the best option for the FD is a 5504 which is also getting old and hard to find, but I can get an NOS for about $60 landed in Aus. Newer FD's will not work with the 52T ring or the 22T gap between low and high..

The 30T inner chainring is also difficult to find in a 74 BCD, but Ribble has a Specialites TA for about $53 landed.

Looking at the gearing, I don't think the 30T / 25T combo is quite as low as the 34T / 32T on the Oppy, but the rear mech (RD4400 GS) will only go up to 28T, not 32, so to get an equivalent low gear I would need to change the rear cassette and the rear mech.

One option I have looked at is a complete Tiagra 4703 3x10 groupset, which is about $480 shipped from Ribble. The existing shifters and brakes are fine, so I could just upgrade the crankset, BB, Front and rear mechs and cassette and save around $200.

I'm going a little bit nuts trying to work out the best option so I thought I'd put this out there to see if anyone has any other suggestions?

Thanks!

koshari
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:33 pm

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby koshari » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:24 pm

just keep in mind that tiagra changes the pull ratio recently, so better check the tech docs regarding compatability.
Image

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 6196
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby Duck! » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:36 pm

As above, you cannot use the 4700 derailleurs with your older shifters, as they work on a different cable pull ratio; they need a longer cable pull to cover the same lateral distance than the old models. Previous-generation 4600 Tiagra, 5700 105 and 6700 Ultegra derailleurs will work with your older shifters, with capacity for up to a 30T sprocket when paired with a 3x crankset, or 32T with a 2x.

If you chase ot a 5504 crankset, keep in mind you will also need a bottom bracket to suit, as it uses the splined Octalink interface, where your current Tiagra will almost certainly be square taper. Even if you do have an updated 4404 Octalink crank (released around 2005), it will use a different spline pattern, which is incompatible with the 5500-series. The good news is the BB-5500 is still readily available.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

jools
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby jools » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:41 pm

Thanks for the heads-up about the shifters on the 4700. I'm leaning towards replacing the whole groupset to avoid the piecemeal approach and have something I won't need to worry about for a while. Should I skip the Tiagra and go 105? A 5800 2x11 groupset isn't a massive jump in price over the 4703 and I can get the same gear range as on the Oppy - 34/50 and 11-32T.

Is there anything I need to look out for when going from 9 speed to 11 speed? The rear wheel is already running a 5800 hub, I have a feeling the gap between the rear stays is a bit narrower than current bikes..

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 6196
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby Duck! » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:43 am

The rear spacing will only differ when disc brakes come into the mix; the 11-sp. compatible hub fits the extra cassette width in by moving the right flange inboard and lengthening the freewheel body. To fit the 9-sp. cassette on the longer freewheel body there will be a spacer behind it; simply remove this when fitting the 11-sp.

One thing to consider, the 4700 Tiagra will allow a greater gear range than the 105, by virtue of the option of a 34T cassette, or 32T with triple.

Alternatively you can get the same gear range at less expense with a R3000 Sora rear derailleur, also compatible with 34T, and will pair with your existing shifters. The trade off with extending the range with fewer gears is the greater jumps between ratios.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

jools
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby jools » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:44 pm

Thanks Duck, that's very helpful!

jools
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby jools » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:21 pm

I've decided to stick with the existing 3x9 setup for the moment and replace the broken bits. I've ordered the FD-5504 front mech, new Specialites TA 30T and 42T chainrings and the Sora RD-3000 rear mech. I'm having some difficulty finding a 9-speed 11-32t rear cassette - can I use the Shimano Alivio CS-HG400?

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 6196
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby Duck! » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:42 pm

Yes. All Shimano 9-sp. is the same sprocket spacing and overall width, so as long as the large sprocket is within the maximum capacity of the derailleur anything is fine.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

jools
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby jools » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:08 am

Thanks Duck!

ironhanglider
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Middle East, Melbourne

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:45 pm

jools wrote:I've decided to stick with the existing 3x9 setup for the moment and replace the broken bits. I've ordered the FD-5504 front mech, new Specialites TA 30T and 42T chainrings and the Sora RD-3000 rear mech. I'm having some difficulty finding a 9-speed 11-32t rear cassette - can I use the Shimano Alivio CS-HG400?


Good decision. I'm not convinced of the need for a new rear mech though (or for a a 32T rear cog which requires it). A 30x28 will get you up an awful lot of hills. (although I will concede that a 30x34 was useful for climbing 20% ramps on a tandem). However if it is necessary for you then it is. A bail out gear is always nice to have.

3X9 will not be completely out of date for a while yet and whilst an extra gear in the middle is nice, it is not vital.

Cheers,

Cameron
Image

jools
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby jools » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:22 pm

Thanks Cameron, at the moment I'm running 11-25 and I didn't think this would be low enough - I won't really know until I try and if I do need the lower gears then I'll have them on hand. I haven't commuted for well over a year and the new route has a lot of climbs but when I'm back into good shape I may not need the low gears and may switch back to the 11-25

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 6196
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: 3x9 upgrade advice

Postby Duck! » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:42 pm

Just for consideration, your current 4400 derailleur will take up to a 28T sprocket (I think officially 27, but there's a little bit of tolerance), but if you do still feel the need to go lower then you will need the more modern model with greater clearance as discussed earlier. Of course there'd be no issue dropping back to the 25 later on. :-)
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: madmacca