's Forum Archives - Components

Archive Home >> Components(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 )

Advice for a newbie?(8 posts)

Advice for a newbie?willierides
Dec 12, 2003 1:44 PM
Hi. My first post over here (I used to post quite regularly on the MTB Passion board).

After a lackluster season last year I'm rejuvenated to ride a lot more in the coming year. In addition to buying a decent mountain bike a few years ago, I've decided to build a decent road bike over the winter. I've been riding a Lotus that I bought at Sears about 10 years ago. Although I successfully converted it to a triple chain ring last year, it just doesn't fit me all that well and I've decided that I deserve a decent bike after all these years of riding junk.

So.....I have a new 2001 model Giant TCR 0 frame, fork and headset. I also have a set of wheels (700c, no cassette yet) and Tiagra STI shifters (nine speed, triple). I need to get brakes, cassette, chain, crank, bb, seat, seatpost, handlebars, stem and derailleurs and a kick stand....okay, kidding about the kickstand.

Are pretty much all derailleurs (Shimano) compatible with my Tiagra shifters? Can I mix and match Ultegra, Tiagra, 105 and Dura Ace as long as they're for 9-speed, triple application?

My frame is set up for a braze-on front I need to worry about top or bottom pull?

Also, what ta heck is "Octalink" and "Isis"? I guess as long as I make sure that I buy compatible cranks and bb I'm ok, but I'd like to know what they mean.

Well, that's a lot for a newbie to ask in their first post, but I'd appreciate any feedback, including general tips and advice on building my first quality road bike. I've always wrenched my own bikes and I'm really psyched to get going on this....meanwhile I'm stuck riding my old Lotus on my trainer and looking at my frame (which my wife won't let me touch until Christmas!) or heading out to the snowy trails on my mtn bike.

Okay, I'll stop now. Thanks in advance for any help!

Some adviceKerry Irons
Dec 12, 2003 5:17 PM
Can't comment directly on the Tiagra/DA combo, though you always have to be careful when mixing stuff from the ends of the product line. Others will have a direct answer to this one.

I'm not aware of a current top pull road front derailleur. Also, I highly doubt there's a cable path on your TCR for a top pull.

Octalink is the splined BB axle on the upper end Shimano components. Isis is a different splined BB standard and is not compatible with Shimano cranks. You have to have Isis cranks with an Isis BB, and Shimano cranks with an Octalink BB.
Dec 13, 2003 4:44 AM
I appreciate it....I'm going to cross-post this to the general discussion board, too.
There once was a chart (not from Nantucket)pitt83
Dec 13, 2003 12:38 PM
At But since they're not an authorized web Shimano retailer, it's gone. It had practically every combination of component with every other one. Great info. If you email them and they give you one, PLEASE send me copy to pitt83 at yahoo dot com. I've googled Shimano compatability chart, but the hits are huge. I'd love to find that again.

ISIS is like RaceFace versus XT/XTR in the MTB world. I have both and notice absolutely no difference between them. You can buy most non-shimano cranks in Octalink, and depending on my BB and crank puller tools, would buy what's compatible with the tools you already own.

If you're on a budget, their's great deals on 105 to be found and it's just fine for most applications. If you can swing a cabon bar, they're nice but not necessary. Lots of $$$, but worth it IMHO. The DA BB is nice, but requires maintainence. Go Ultegra or 105 or FSA.

Lots to do, lots to choose, lots of fun!
Pitt, I think you are confused about ISIS vs Octalinkrussw19
Dec 14, 2003 11:21 PM
ISIS is a free and open standard. It uses a 10 spline patteren and there are plenty of Non-Shimano cranks available in the ISIS pattern. There are not any Non-Shimano cranks available in the Octalink pattern, however. Shimano would not release the license patent for Octalink to any other crank manufacturers, and that is why several other companies came up with the ISIS standard.

ISIS is nothing like Race Face vs. XT/XTR it is simply another spline pattern bottom bracket spindle, but is in no way compatible with Shimano's design. You can not intermix ISIS cranks with a Shimano BB or ISIS BB's with a Shimano crank. The two patterns are different.

Also, regarding Octalink, there are two versions. V1 and V2 which are not the same. V1 fits all the road cranks and XTR cranks. V2 fits Octalink mountain cranks other than XTR.

As for crank puller tools... the crank puller tool for ISIS and Octalink cranks is the same. It's the one with the button on the end. And usually the cup tools are the same too. But some Dura-Ace bottom brackets have a lockring that requires a special tool.

Just setting things straight

OK, school me some more pleasepitt83
Dec 15, 2003 5:40 AM
I was probably excrementally liguistic before, but, I take exception with one point. Octalink seems to be liscenced to at least FSA for their cranksets (you'll notice the imprinted logo on the arm and the text).

I too was initially surprised by this as I thought the Octalink was exclusively Shimano.

I wanted the Octalink FSA when I was building my cross bike, but it was backordered. Hence, went ISIS.

Performance; I doubt anyone would ever know which was which or even have a preference.
Whoops.... you are right... my foot tastes good!russw19
Dec 15, 2003 6:12 AM
I was meaning to point out that Shimano never licensed anyone to make Octalink Bottom Brackets... I was just plain ol' wrong about the cranks. But they are pretty rare. Most companies would rather just make an ISIS crank as they don't have to pay royalties on them like they do with Octalink.

Sorry about that... but I think I posted that at about 4am and wasn't thinking entirely straight. Thanks for helping me out.

Mmmmm...Sock Fuzz (nm)pitt83
Dec 15, 2003 9:43 AM