Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Mickey1980
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Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby Mickey1980 » Tue Mar 12, 2024 11:49 pm

Hi everyone!
Need help with a crank choice for 80s retro build.
Have a Europa frame on hands that I am fitting out with mostly Suntour components.
Cannot make my mind on cranks. Ideally need something squared tapered and compact, as I have 13-26 cassette (max capacity for my derailleur).
All road cranks of the 80s and 90s seem to be ridiculously high geared. Yet, I am reluctant to put modern hollowtech 50/34 compact.
Was thinking of Suntour XC triple as an option.
Any alternatives? Any doubles that would work?
Cheers!

Mickey1980
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby Mickey1980 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 12:08 am

Upd: the crank should work ok with 8 speed chain. I guess that would be 7-8 speed groupsets?

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foo on patrol
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:43 am

My Sugino BB set was 54X44 from the late 70's but can get a 42t that would fit and also you can get smaller outer rings and if you have a 26t on the rear, that should be ample for you, considering that my straight 6sp was 13-19t and rode up Toowoomba Range and Cunninghams Gape with that. :idea: :mrgreen:

Foo
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby warthog1 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:58 am

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:43 am
My Sugino BB set was 54X44 from the late 70's but can get a 42t that would fit and also you can get smaller outer rings and if you have a 26t on the rear, that should be ample for you, considering that my straight 6sp was 13-19t and rode up Toowoomba Range and Cunninghams Gape with that. :idea: :mrgreen:

Foo

Get back on it and try it now :mrgreen: :P


Yep give me (modern) lower gearing everytime. Faster for these old legs and lungs.
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby P!N20 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:08 am

Shimano cranks of the 80's and 90's were 130 BCD so you can run a 38T small ring.

I mean, I'm not sure how readily available the rings are.

Older Deore and Exage triples were 110 BCD so 33T small ring, you could omit the inner ring if you just wanted a double.

Sugino Maxy, Mighty Tour, BT, RT and GT were 110 BCD doubles.

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby P!N20 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:12 am

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:43 am
considering that my straight 6sp was 13-19t and rode up Toowoomba Range and Cunninghams Gape with that. :idea: :mrgreen:

...and his 19 was clean as whistle.

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby find_bruce » Wed Mar 13, 2024 11:21 am

Mickey1980 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 12:08 am
Upd: the crank should work ok with 8 speed chain. I guess that would be 7-8 speed groupsets?
Nah, cranks are mostly speed ambivalent - I run an 11speed crank with an 8 speed chain & rear. There are 2 subtle differences (1) as you go from 9 speed up, the chain is narrower & the rings are narrower, so you can't go the other way & run a 10speed chain on an 8 speed groupset. (2) There is a minor difference in chainring spacing for IIRC 11 speed - it makes no difference for me with downtube shifters, but some brifters may not move the chain enough.

As usual if duck comes along & corrects me, go with duck
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foo on patrol
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:07 pm

P!N20 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:12 am
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:43 am
considering that my straight 6sp was 13-19t and rode up Toowoomba Range and Cunninghams Gape with that. :idea: :mrgreen:

...and his 19 was clean as whistle.

I don't think so, we rode with what was available to us. :roll: :P

Foo
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WyvernRH
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:11 pm

IIRc there were several Japenese chainsets around using 110 BCD in the 80's, both doubles and triples. The Sugino that came with my 1982 Claud Majestic is 110 BCD with 50/34 - reckon it would take a 32 no probs. If you want to get really low (26t) then either a TA or Stronglight touring chainset will be the go.

Richard

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foo on patrol
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:13 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:58 am
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:43 am
My Sugino BB set was 54X44 from the late 70's but can get a 42t that would fit and also you can get smaller outer rings and if you have a 26t on the rear, that should be ample for you, considering that my straight 6sp was 13-19t and rode up Toowoomba Range and Cunninghams Gape with that. :idea: :mrgreen:

Foo

Get back on it and try it now :mrgreen: :P


Yep give me (modern) lower gearing everytime. Faster for these old legs and lungs.

44X19=62.5" gear and the 42X19=59.6" gear and if he has access to a 26t rear, that = 43.6" gear and that's bloody low. :P

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km

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WyvernRH
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:23 pm

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:13 pm

44X19=62.5" gear and the 42X19=59.6" gear and if he has access to a 26t rear, that = 43.6" gear and that's bloody low. :P

Foo
Hmm, maybe for fit folk like you :)

'Bloody Low' doesn't start until the gearing is below 1:1 (circa 27") for me these days.

Actually, always, if I think about it. I toured the UK and Europe back the 70's/80s using 44/30 rings to 13-32 5/6 speed blocks and I needed all of them going up some of the passes in the Pennines :P

Richard

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:26 pm

WyvernRH wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:23 pm
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:13 pm

44X19=62.5" gear and the 42X19=59.6" gear and if he has access to a 26t rear, that = 43.6" gear and that's bloody low. :P

Foo
Hmm, maybe for fit folk like you :)

'Bloody Low' doesn't start until the gearing is below 1:1 (circa 27") for me these days.

Actually, always, if I think about it. I toured the UK and Europe back the 70's/80s using 44/30 rings to 13-32 5/6 speed blocks and I needed all of them going up some of the passes in the Pennines :P

Richard

What cranks did you have back then for a 30t inner? :shock:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby warthog1 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:06 pm

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:13 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:58 am
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:43 am
My Sugino BB set was 54X44 from the late 70's but can get a 42t that would fit and also you can get smaller outer rings and if you have a 26t on the rear, that should be ample for you, considering that my straight 6sp was 13-19t and rode up Toowoomba Range and Cunninghams Gape with that. :idea: :mrgreen:

Foo

Get back on it and try it now :mrgreen: :P


Yep give me (modern) lower gearing everytime. Faster for these old legs and lungs.

44X19=62.5" gear and the 42X19=59.6" gear and if he has access to a 26t rear, that = 43.6" gear and that's bloody low. :P

Foo

Stop talking about riding and do some Foo! :P

It aint the 70's anymore.
At north of 100kg and less than 100km in your legs this year you better have an ambulance following you with a defibrillator if you try any decent climb on that gearing. :mrgreen:

It sux getting old but we are both there, though it is better than the alternative :)
A low gear and a seated spin is just much better for any decent climb
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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WyvernRH
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:30 pm

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:26 pm

What cranks did you have back then for a 30t inner? :shock:
Foo
At that point I was running Stronglight 49D 5 pin cranks, similar to the TA 5 pin cranks (chain rings were interchangeable) I think 26t was the minimum? There was also another Stronglight crankset with a slightly bigger BCD which went down to 28t IIRC from my tandem days. Got to remember there were more tourists than 'Racers' (cough.... time triallists) in Britain in those days so stuff like that was readily available.
Also, Suntour had a really good copy of the 49D crank out in the early 80's and the first Shimano Deore triple cranks (early 80's?) could handle down to 26t on the inside BCD.

You can go the other way you know. I recently built a TREK 2100 up with a surplus MTB 42/32/24 triple and using a 11-25 9 speed block I got a top of 101" (fine by me these days) and a low of 25" - see below for gear chart. Very usable in the hilly stuff around here in the Williams valley and uses a short arm 90's Shimano 600 rear derailleur.

Trek 2100
ChainRing
TOP MIDDLE BOTTOM
42 32 24
sprockets
11 101.18 77.09 57.82
12 92.75 70.67 53.00
13 85.62 65.23 48.92
15 74.20 56.53 42.40
17 65.47 49.88 37.41
19 58.58 44.63 33.47
21 53.00 40.38 30.29
23 48.39 36.87 27.65
25 44.52 33.92 25.44

Richard
PS stupid forum takes out the spaces but you get the idea....

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familyguy
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby familyguy » Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:47 pm

Mickey1980 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2024 11:49 pm
Hi everyone!
Need help with a crank choice for 80s retro build.
Have a Europa frame on hands that I am fitting out with mostly Suntour components.
Cannot make my mind on cranks. Ideally need something squared tapered and compact, as I have 13-26 cassette (max capacity for my derailleur).
All road cranks of the 80s and 90s seem to be ridiculously high geared. Yet, I am reluctant to put modern hollowtech 50/34 compact.
Was thinking of Suntour XC triple as an option.
Any alternatives? Any doubles that would work?
Cheers!
I was sure I'd had a set of RSX cranks come through my shed that were a 48/34 setup. Can't seem to find any reference to them ever making compacts now, everything says 130BCD, which as above, gives you a 38T as the smallest option. I'll see if I can dig the actual cranks up.

Any triple would go OK, if that's more the visual you're after. Just leave the small ring off them. But you'll probably need to run the longer BB spindle to keep from striking the chainstay and might impact performance a bit.

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foo on patrol
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 5:26 pm

WyvernRH wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:30 pm
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:26 pm

What cranks did you have back then for a 30t inner? :shock:
Foo
At that point I was running Stronglight 49D 5 pin cranks, similar to the TA 5 pin cranks (chain rings were interchangeable) I think 26t was the minimum? There was also another Stronglight crankset with a slightly bigger BCD which went down to 28t IIRC from my tandem days. Got to remember there were more tourists than 'Racers' (cough.... time triallists) in Britain in those days so stuff like that was readily available.
Also, Suntour had a really good copy of the 49D crank out in the early 80's and the first Shimano Deore triple cranks (early 80's?) could handle down to 26t on the inside BCD.

You can go the other way you know. I recently built a TREK 2100 up with a surplus MTB 42/32/24 triple and using a 11-25 9 speed block I got a top of 101" (fine by me these days) and a low of 25" - see below for gear chart. Very usable in the hilly stuff around here in the Williams valley and uses a short arm 90's Shimano 600 rear derailleur.

Trek 2100
ChainRing
TOP MIDDLE BOTTOM
42 32 24
sprockets
11 101.18 77.09 57.82
12 92.75 70.67 53.00
13 85.62 65.23 48.92
15 74.20 56.53 42.40
17 65.47 49.88 37.41
19 58.58 44.63 33.47
21 53.00 40.38 30.29
23 48.39 36.87 27.65
25 44.52 33.92 25.44

Richard
PS stupid forum takes out the spaces but you get the idea....

I thought that it may have been the Stronglight cranks. I still have one chainring fron the three piece cranks that I used when I was 15 but don'y know why. :shock:

Foo
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Goal 6000km

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foo on patrol
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 5:31 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:06 pm
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:13 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:58 am



Get back on it and try it now :mrgreen: :P


Yep give me (modern) lower gearing everytime. Faster for these old legs and lungs.

44X19=62.5" gear and the 42X19=59.6" gear and if he has access to a 26t rear, that = 43.6" gear and that's bloody low. :P

Foo

Stop talking about riding and do some Foo! :P

It aint the 70's anymore.
At north of 100kg and less than 100km in your legs this year you better have an ambulance following you with a defibrillator if you try any decent climb on that gearing. :mrgreen:

It sux getting old but we are both there, though it is better than the alternative :)
A low gear and a seated spin is just much better for any decent climb

Patience is a virtue and when my body is in a good enough position, I'll get plenty of K's into my legs. If you have never suffered from severe fatigue, you really don't know how bad it knocks around. :idea: Have a look at my sleep from last night on the other Forum.

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby elantra » Wed Mar 13, 2024 6:41 pm

P!N20 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:08 am
Shimano cranks of the 80's and 90's were 130 BCD so you can run a 38T small ring.

I mean, I'm not sure how readily available the rings are.

Older Deore and Exage triples were 110 BCD so 33T small ring, you could omit the inner ring if you just wanted a double.

Sugino Maxy, Mighty Tour, BT, RT and GT were 110 BCD doubles.
I think that Sugino VP were also compact cranksets and were reasonably commonly used in the late 1980’s.
It does get a bit tricky with stuff of about that era (1980’s) because I think at some stage in that decade the Japanese cranks and spindles had a subtle change in their square taper size from the “JIS” size to the European ISO size.

Old school bike mechanics will probably know more exactly but sometimes you can’t put a JIS Crankset on a ISO spindle - or is it the other way around ???

And so even on a “Jap” bike you can get caught out if the spindle and the Crankset that you have selected are from a slightly different year !!!

One way or the other the project can be achieved - might just need a bit of trial and error !

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby warthog1 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 6:54 pm

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 5:31 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:06 pm
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:13 pm



44X19=62.5" gear and the 42X19=59.6" gear and if he has access to a 26t rear, that = 43.6" gear and that's bloody low. :P

Foo

Stop talking about riding and do some Foo! :P

It aint the 70's anymore.
At north of 100kg and less than 100km in your legs this year you better have an ambulance following you with a defibrillator if you try any decent climb on that gearing. :mrgreen:

It sux getting old but we are both there, though it is better than the alternative :)
A low gear and a seated spin is just much better for any decent climb

Patience is a virtue and when my body is in a good enough position, I'll get plenty of K's into my legs. If you have never suffered from severe fatigue, you really don't know how bad it knocks around. :idea: Have a look at my sleep from last night on the other Forum.

Foo
No mate, true.
I hope you sort it soon and can start spinning those legs :)

Can't find your post on there. A lot of sh it, but not your post.

Found it. 3h 38. Pretty sh it.
I aint anywhere near that bad but heading that way. Will stop the shift work in a few years
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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foo on patrol
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:35 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 6:54 pm
foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 5:31 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:06 pm



Stop talking about riding and do some Foo! :P

It aint the 70's anymore.
At north of 100kg and less than 100km in your legs this year you better have an ambulance following you with a defibrillator if you try any decent climb on that gearing. :mrgreen:

It sux getting old but we are both there, though it is better than the alternative :)
A low gear and a seated spin is just much better for any decent climb

Patience is a virtue and when my body is in a good enough position, I'll get plenty of K's into my legs. If you have never suffered from severe fatigue, you really don't know how bad it knocks around. :idea: Have a look at my sleep from last night on the other Forum.

Foo
No mate, true.
I hope you sort it soon and can start spinning those legs :)

Can't find your post on there. A lot of sh it, but not your post.

Found it. 3h 38. Pretty sh it.
I aint anywhere near that bad but heading that way. Will stop the shift work in a few years
Do it as soon as you can because it just messes you up so bad. :( I'm still pushing myself and probably have another hour to finish up my sorting stuff here before I can call it quites for the day. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight but I am getting closer to being back on the bike again. I have to get some reasonable training in because I've committed to racing at the very last meet at the Chandler Velodrome in June before it gets closed and buldozes. :cry:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km

warthog1
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby warthog1 » Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:20 pm

foo on patrol wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:35 pm

Do it as soon as you can because it just messes you up so bad. :( I'm still pushing myself and probably have another hour to finish up my sorting stuff here before I can call it quites for the day. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight but I am getting closer to being back on the bike again. I have to get some reasonable training in because I've committed to racing at the very last meet at the Chandler Velodrome in June before it gets closed and buldozes. :cry:

Foo
Cheers, I'm on call and if they work me too much at night I can clock off. The trigger for that happening has a much lighter spring than it used to.

Hopefully you feel better once you get a few ks back in the legs. :)
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby LG » Fri Mar 15, 2024 4:33 pm

familyguy wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:47 pm

I was sure I'd had a set of RSX cranks come through my shed that were a 48/34 setup. Can't seem to find any reference to them ever making compacts now, everything says 130BCD, which as above, gives you a 38T as the smallest option. I'll see if I can dig the actual cranks up.

Any triple would go OK, if that's more the visual you're after. Just leave the small ring off them. But you'll probably need to run the longer BB spindle to keep from striking the chainstay and might impact performance a bit.
Yes, I have a set of RSX cranks which came on a Cannondale R400 which are 48-34, a great realistic gearing range for everyday use.

The advice on dropping a small ring on triple cranks is a great one, they often came with 48-38-28, so the middle ring isn't all that small, but being 110bcd there's many chainring options around. Some sugino cranks came with spacers to run a third small chainring, so were designed to be used as a double or triple.
LG = Low Gear

Mickey1980
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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby Mickey1980 » Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:02 pm

Thanks all!
I will search for something like Sugino GT or AT.
Damn they are expensive. Would almost be cheaper to buy the frame with components on it...
By the way - noticed those Sugino are usually quite short -165 or 170 are mostly for sale. Haven't they made 175?

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby find_bruce » Sun Mar 17, 2024 1:01 pm

What's your view on modern repros? These cranks come in 175 mm & won't look too out of place on a retro build

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Re: Compact-ish crank for a retro build

Postby elantra » Sun Mar 17, 2024 10:50 pm

Mickey1980 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:02 pm
Thanks all!
I will search for something like Sugino GT or AT.
Damn they are expensive. Would almost be cheaper to buy the frame with components on it...
By the way - noticed those Sugino are usually quite short -165 or 170 are mostly for sale. Haven't they made 175?
Well I know that at least one 175 mm Sugino GT Crankset was brought into Australia because it is in my Shed.
I bought it at a swap meet a few yrs ago.
Hasn’t found it’s way onto a bike yet.
I was going to put it on my circa-1995 Retro Trek 2300 frame but it didn’t give a good chainline with the OEM bottom bracket,
So I committed retro heresy and installed Shimano external BB bearing cups and then used a Shimano Sora Compact Crankset and spindle unit.
Hardly inspiring to look at but it works well.

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