|The French Connection for shiny, pointy rings of doom was Peter White Cycles.|
Old, old school mountain bikers might recall that the earliest Breezers, Ritcheys, and other custom mountain bikes came with TA Specialties crank sets as they were the only thing around one could fit to a bike with triple chain rings and get ring tooth counts which would provide the wide range gearing riders wanted. After the industry caught on to mountain bikes and started making purposeful designs for the activity, TA Specialties fell from grace. Touring, as a cycling activity, also faded from the forefront in the late 80's and early 90's and where TA Specialties held a strong presence was now no longer a focus for the majority of cyclist in North America.
|Here are the rings with the bottom bracket and my XT crank arm.|
I purchased my rings via Peter White Cycles, but I understand that there are a couple of other US importers as well. Anyway, since I had a triple chain ring crank, I decided to utilize all three positions and purchased a 46T, 36T, and 26T Chinook model set of rings in silver. The rings are ramped and pinned for better shifting and they have a beefy, solid feel to them. I was impressed with how well they seemed to be made.
I bolted those up to my circa 2008/2009 XT triple crank and then I matched that up with a set of Shimano outboard bearing cups that I filled with Enduro sealed bearings. I also used an anodized red FSA bottom bracket sleeve just because it looks cool and is, well..........metal. I like the way it interlocked in with the Shimano bearing cups better than a plastic Shimano tube does.
|All bolted up and ready to install.|
I have found that a 46T is a good place to be for gravel travel on flatter roads, so the 36T only gets used on hilly to rolling terrain. That 26T will come in handy when I am on really long rides and the legs are spent, or if the winds are contrary in combination with hills. A "leg saving" bail out gear. It is nice to have that to fall back on.
This bike will likely bike a 9 speed rig now. I have a mostly silver XT rear derailleur from the mid 90's that I will likely use here. I also will have to check in to a front derailleur, but obviously those are silver most of the time, so I am not too worried there. I checked in to my parts bin and I do not have a shifter set up. This means I will likely get either a set of bar end shifters, (not the best option with Luxy Bars), or I will opt for a new set of Gevenalle levers.
Then there are the wheels. That could get pretty expensive, and I am leaning toward doing White Industries XMR hubs laced to Velocity Blunt SS polished rims. This may have to wait for a bit. So, depending on how things go on that front, I may end up rolling on a place holder wheel set for a time. Most likely I will if the rest comes together well.