I mentioned earlier that I had to get the Fargo back together after robbing parts from it for the Dos Niner. Here is photographic proof of said retro-grades!
In training for the Dirty Kanza 200, I found out that the 2 X 9 gearing was really appealing to me for gravel grinding. I liked being able to stay in one ring up front and just shift the rear, with an occasional bail out to the small ring up front for steep stuff, or when I blow up, (often), or when there is a head wind and I blow up, (more often than not). Actually, to be quite honest, I think of it as a 1 X 9 with a bail out gear. Works for me, and it is closer to my single speed nature than a triple.
Here is a close up. How I got here is a round about story. I had an old Specialized touring bike that was a cast off. The frame was waaaay too big for most folks, but the bike was hung with some cool, vintage bits and I saved it from going to the dumpster for those bits. The bike hung in the corner of the Lab for years until recently when this project came up. I thought I could use the original Sugino AT cranks which had that glowing, pearl-like ano finish. (A beautiful look that is way under rated, in my opinion.) The AT cranks were set up with "half step" gearing, which meant that the big ring and middle ring were close ratio and the granny was waaaay smaller. I figured on using the middle and granny rings which were 44T and 28T respectively. That almost matches the 44T/29T on the Dos Niner. If the bottom bracket and crank would clear the Fargo, I would be in business.
<=== Need some bottle cages for the fork blade mounts? Get these Velocity Bottle Traps. You will not lose a bottle from these!
Okay, so I pulled apart the Specialized to find out the bottom bracket had some strange-to-me interface for the tool to remove it. I improvised with a Park pin spanner tool and it came right out. Huh! Whattya know! A SunTour sealed bearing bottom bracket. Well, I got it into the Fargo, but when I got the AT crank and test fit it I was dismayed to see that it wasn't going to work. Back to the drawing board!
The SunTour BB had a ginormously long spindle and still, the chain rings were hitting the chain stays. So, a "Plan B" had to be formulated. I found a 110/74BCD crank, (an old Shimano Altus), and pulled the rings I wanted off the AT crank. Then I rummaged through my collection of salvaged Shimano cartridge bottom brackets and found a 122mm spindle UN 54 that did the trick nicely. Everything went together well, and with a slight re-adjustment to the height of the front derailluer, (anybody wonder why they don't make derailleurs horizontally adjustable?), I was up and running again.
The shifting was great. The chain doesn't drop off to the inside, but I probably should put that Third Eye chain watcher on the Specialized had, just in case. Interestingly, the Specialized was a six speed rear geared bike, so these chain rings shouldn't work with a 9 speed chain, right? Well, they do just fine, actually, and I don't see any issue with the set up in that manner.
The big test will be the Fargo Adventure Ride on Friday. We'll see then, but for now, I can't see why things won't go smoothly. A last, night time, gravel road test ride will be done hopefully tomorrow, and then it is on to Minnesota with this rig.