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Building a tourer and have some questions

HebdenBikerHebdenBiker Posts: 787
edited October 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hi

My Orbit Gold Medal frame is currently in Bob Jackson's being blasted and sprayed. In the meantime I have a few technical questions regarding the build.

1. I bought some Campag Khamsin wheels (G3 27 spoke) on Ebay, but having now done some research, I'm thinking these will not be strong enough for a a bike loaded with rack, panniers, tent etc, plus me (85kg.) Should I resell the Khamsins and get some 36 spoke wheels built?

2. If so, please recommend me a wheelbuilder who will build a pair of 36 spoke wheels onto Campag hubs.

3. I've decided to go for a triple. What axle length will I need to get the correct chainline? Tubing is 531c.

4. What size band will I need for the front mech, and where can I get a Campag triple band-on front mech with this size band?

5. Is there a maximum rear cog size I can run with a Campag triple setup? If not, I'd like to get the 29-13 cassette. I have a feeling though that I can only run a 23.

Thanks in advance!

Posts

  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Hi

    You should definitely get some 36 spoke wheels for touring. There are quite a few wheelbuilders around to build them. A Google search should turn some up in your area, wherever that is. Or ask Bob Jackson, since that's where you bike is.

    On the other stuff you'd need to provide a bit more information. For example, what chainset are you running? That will largely determine your BB axle length. The 531 tubing is irrelevant. Sheldon Brown has good information on the subject of bottom brackets and chainlines and axle lengths and charts giving suggested sizes for a wide range of chainsets. Check it out. But be warned; this is a very imprecise science and you might be wise to seek help from your LBS

    Again, whether or not you can run a 13-29 is hard to say without knowing your set up. I would think so if you are kitted out to run a triple. I have that on my road bike with a 50x34 compact (Chorus) and no problems.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    5. Is there a maximum rear cog size I can run with a Campag triple setup?

    Yes, 29T, or 30T if you send loadsamoney on a Marchisio cassette
  • Weejie54Weejie54 Posts: 750
    Yes, 29T, or 30T if you send loadsamoney on a Marchisio cassette

    You only need a 30T Marchisio sprocket and an adaptor. You can replace a 29T sprocket on a lower end Campy cassette. Highpath can supply when Chris Bell returns.
  • harpoharpo Posts: 173
    1 - yes I'd go for 36 spoke wheels
    2 - I got some nice touring wheels built by http://www.harryrowland.co.uk/
    3 - Don't know I'd ask your bike shop, I got too short an axle based on the recommendation of the retailer of the chainset that I bought and ended up getting the size up and replacing it
    4 - will depend on the diameter of the frame tube, some of them come for a larger frame with an adaptor for a smaller frame
    5 - sorry can't help, I think different derailleurs can manage different sprokets, with my shimano set up I went up to 28 on the rear with a long cage tiagra derailleur which I think was the max it can take with a triple (28/38/48) up front. To go bigger than this I would have needed a different touring or mountain bike derailleur
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    For fully loaded touring over several days, I would recommend mtb triple chainset/chainrings and cassettes, this will then influence mechs needed.

    I've got shimano 9spd mtb mechs on my wife's tourer with Ultegra STI shifters, i have downtube shifters so I can (theoretically) run any mechs I want, compatible with 34-11 cassette.

    This does all depend on terrain, and how often you want to walk. seriously lumpy stuff will demand much lower gearing, pan flat will be doable with much higher gearing.

    I'm not an expert on this, but have recently completed a camping tour of the welsh coast, several 15% hills and a few 20% (we walked these). Even 10% hills will need lower gearing when you have and extra 10-15kg on the bike and you know you have to get up and do the same again the next day.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Hi

    My Orbit Gold Medal frame is currently in Bob Jackson's being blasted and sprayed. In the meantime I have a few technical questions regarding the build.

    1. I bought some Campag Khamsin wheels (G3 27 spoke) on Ebay, but having now done some research, I'm thinking these will not be strong enough for a a bike loaded with rack, panniers, tent etc, plus me (85kg.) Should I resell the Khamsins and get some 36 spoke wheels built?


    2. If so, please recommend me a wheelbuilder who will build a pair of 36 spoke wheels onto Campag hubs.

    Yes. Try Spa Cycles or Harry Rowland in Kent. But let the wheelbuilder advise you about hubs.
    3. I've decided to go for a triple. What axle length will I need to get the correct chainline? Tubing is 531c.

    Depends on the chainset. The instructions on the chainset should give you the information you need.
    4. What size band will I need for the front mech, and where can I get a Campag triple band-on front mech with this size band?

    Depends on the size of the seat-tube: if in doubt measure it.

    But no disrespect to Campagnolo - are you sure? Most people tour with a large chainring no larger than 48t (and corresponding smaller chainrings). I'm not sure a Campag chainset will give you the ratios you need. There's no point buying Campag if you end up with the wrong gear ratios. Sorry.

    (Before anyone jumps on me, I've absolutely nothing against Campagnolo and indeed I once started out with the intention of building a Campagnolo-specced bike. But unfortunately Campagnolo seem to have decided to concentrate on only a very narrow part of the market. A shame and all that, but at the end of the day you needto pec your bike so that it will do the job that you need it to do (ie carry you and your luggage to the top of lots of hills).
    5. Is there a maximum rear cog size I can run with a Campag triple setup? If not, I'd like to get the 29-13 cassette. I have a feeling though that I can only run a 23.

    Thanks in advance!

    Again, are you sure? Most tourers run a 32 or even 34 on the largest rear sprocket.
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    Having a campag shifters and mechs doesn't prevent you from running whatever chainset you like. (Hint... chainreaction has some very good deals on stronglight touring chainsets at the minute!). Your choice of rear cassette will depend on: your legs; your chainring sizes. In terms of maximum rear sprocket, basically there's no restriction, but you must make sure the rear mech cage is long enough - a 13-29 will require a long cage rear mech, while you can get away with a medium cage with a 12-25. Bear in mind that campag cassettes don't go larger than 29 at the back - you need to choose your chainrings wisely as you'll have the option of 26, 28 or 30 as the smallest. If you think that 26-29 is still too big a gear, you need to be creative with your cassettes or use shimano hubs with a shimergo setup.

    Regarding the band on front mech, you need to measure your tubing (likely 28.6mm if your frame is 531) but bear in mind you can always buy a braze on mech and a separate braze on adapter.

    Wheels - Spa are good but are campag-unfriendly (in a curiously dogmatic way!). If you can find some hubs, they'll happily build them up however. Otherwise plenty of other wheelbuilders around.
  • Weejie54Weejie54 Posts: 750
    a 13-29 will require a long cage rear mech,

    Medium cage will handle it. I run 9sp 12-29 on a Chorus medium cage. No problems.
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    Medium cage will handle it. I run 9sp 12-29 on a Chorus medium cage. No problems.

    With a triple? Good to know if so!
  • Weejie54Weejie54 Posts: 750
    With a triple? Good to know if so!

    With a Campagnolo triple.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    huuregeil wrote:
    In terms of maximum rear sprocket, basically there's no restriction, but you must make sure the rear mech cage is long enough
    Not so.
    The angle of the rear mech parallelogram dictates how far down the top jockey moves as the mech swings inwards. If it doesn't go down far enough, the jockey just hits the side of the sprocket instead of moving the chain onto it. It's unlikely that a current campag mech will work with a sprocket larger than 31T, if you can find one.
    Spa are good but are campag-unfriendly (in a curiously dogmatic way!).
    Spa are a touring shop.
    Campag are racing and nothing but racing.
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    andrew_s wrote:
    It's unlikely that a current campag mech will work with a sprocket larger than 31T, if you can find one.

    Fair point and not an issue I've come across, not having had more than a 29 on the back.
    Spa are a touring shop.
    Campag are racing and nothing but racing.

    As I said, curiously dogmatic :-) I have a couple of friends who also tour with campag equipped bikes for a variety of reasons, namely: commonality with our road bikes; the fact that the kit works equally well in a touring setting (albeit not an expedition one) as shimano. What does that make us, wrong? ;-)

    Spa might do more business if the request for "touring wheels on campag splined hubs" was met with, "Sure, we can offer a number of options" rather than, "ugh, don't do campag". Nay bother, plenty of other shops, it's just an observation!
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Campag are racing and nothing but racing

    Looking at their range, it doesn't sound that far from the truth to me. Sadly.

    Speccing a touring bike with Campag transmission is definitely making life more difficult for yourself.
  • Weejie54Weejie54 Posts: 750
    Speccing a touring bike with Campag transmission is definitely making life more difficult for yourself.

    Most dyed in the wool tourists that I have encountered are not averse to mixing of components. Few drivetrain components are specifically made for touring anyway (mix of road and MTB is quite frequent). A Campag standard triple chainset, for example, is theoretically superior to its Shimano equivalent, owing to a larger BCD measurement (larger BCD means less chainring flex). In practice, it may or may not be so obvious, but the point is that you can choose your components for things like durability, rigidity and strength rather than conformity to a particular groupset or manufacturer.

    As more than one of my bikes has friction downtube shifters, I'm less concerned about sticking to Campag, Shimano or whatever. Names like TA, Stronglight, etc can be seen stamped on many of the components on my bikes - and Campagnolo stuff can prove quite worthy in a touring setup.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Weejie54 wrote:
    Speccing a touring bike with Campag transmission is definitely making life more difficult for yourself.

    Most dyed in the wool tourists that I have encountered are not averse to mixing of components. Few drivetrain components are specifically made for touring anyway (mix of road and MTB is quite frequent). A Campag standard triple chainset, for example, is theoretically superior to its Shimano equivalent, owing to a larger BCD measurement (larger BCD means less chainring flex). In practice, it may or may not be so obvious, but the point is that you can choose your components for things like durability, rigidity and strength rather than conformity to a particular groupset or manufacturer.

    As more than one of my bikes has friction downtube shifters, I'm less concerned about sticking to Campag, Shimano or whatever. Names like TA, Stronglight, etc can be seen stamped on many of the components on my bikes - and Campagnolo stuff can prove quite worthy in a touring setup.

    I did say transmission. Yes you can mix and match Campagnolo shifters and maybe chainsetss with kit from other manufacturers but beyond that, you are pretty much tied in - eg Compag hubs require a Compag cassette etc etc.

    Yes most tourers mix and match components from different manufacturers - I run a mix of Shimano, Hope, SRAM, Connex - unfortunately for fans of the Campag brand, Shimano compatibility is the the basis that makes this possible. (It's a shame Compag don't make Shmano-compatible gear as well).

    As far as the chainset is concerned, I think the keyword there is theoretically. I don't know whether a larger BCD means less chainflex or no, but that seems to me to be of little real world value if it means your choice of chainring is limited in a way that excludes the gear ratios that most of us need/want to get a heavily loaded bike up a mountain. But yes if a Compagnolo chainset suits your needs then why not.

    As I said, I've nothing against Campagnolo: I once went out and bought a bunch of Campagnolo components on eBay with the aim of building a Compag-specced bike. But then I realised it didn't offer me the gear ratios I needed. so lovely as the kit was it just didn't do the job for me. If you're sure Compagnolo does what you need, then fine, but be aware of the pros and cons before you buy.
  • Some interesting and helpful replies on here - thanks.

    I should clarify. The bike I'm building is a light tourer, ie a randonneur-type bike with drop bars and Ergo Shifters. It will do everything: Audaxes, commuting, sunday rides and the option to put panniers/tent on the back and do some long-distance touring in the UK and Western Europe. I don't think I'll need mountain-bike gearing for this, and am confident that a Campag road triple will be OK.

    But I do accept that 36s wheels are a good idea.

    Oh and the measurement questions - I know I could just measure the bike but the point is, I don't have it, as it's at Bob Jackson's, which is why I was asking on here :D

    As I say, thanks for the replies so far.
  • Weejie54Weejie54 Posts: 750
    Interesting that Campagnolo went into the off road market many years ago, but made a hash of it. By the time they improved the components, the market wasn't there, due, in no small part to the consumer having no faith in Campagnolo as an MTB component manufacturer.

    How about Campagnolo off road tandem specific components?

    http://mombat.org/1992_Mountain_Goat_Tandem.htm
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    ... some long-distance touring in the UK and Western Europe. I don't think I'll need mountain-bike gearing for this, and am confident that a Campag road triple will be OK.
    ...

    I strongly suggest you do a practice ride fully loaded with your components of choice well before any planned big tours.

    You may be able to muscle up a hill whilst standing with a 24 front -29 rear gear ratio, but it is very difficult to stand up and grunt up a hill when loaded.

    Most tourers use mtb cassettes for a reason. I use a 24t granny and 34t largest cog on the back, carrying about 15kg extra with panniers and tent etc.

    I have an above average level of fitness and I am used to big climbs (I am a mtb instructor in the south wales valleys) and I still had to get off and walk some hills.

    Take a look on the CTC website for more info on touring.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    andrew_s wrote:
    huuregeil wrote:
    It's unlikely that a current campag mech will work with a sprocket larger than 31T, if you can find one.

    Out of curiosity I had a search and it appears that a few guys are happily running up to 34t rear sprokets with campag long-cage rear mechs. E.g.

    http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f ... 9&start=15

    Also, looking at my partner's 13-29 cassette with a campag long-cage mech, the b screw still has a way to go, so plenty of scope for large sprockets.

    As regards mixing and matching, absolutely, and good number of tourists use a range or manufacturers kit on their bikes. The only tie-in with campag is the hub and cassette for spline reasons. The rest of it, you can make everything else play together!
  • MrBlondMrBlond Posts: 161
    One point re. campag for touring, older campag ergos just use a ratchet system on the front shifter, so effectively you can run pretty much any chainset and front mech you like.

    All went wrong when they introduced indexing on the front ;-)
  • For anyone interested, here's what I ended up buying:

    1. A pair of 36s wheels from Harry Rowland (Ambrosio hubs and Exal LX17 rims - £195)

    2. Stronglight Impact alu triple & BB

    3. Shimano 105 triple front mech (comes with shims to to fit to right tube size)

    4. Campag Veloce 13-29 cassette

    5. Campag Centaur ergo shifters

    6. Campag Comp long cage rear mech

    Thanks for all the advice. WiIl post photo and full spec when it's built :D
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