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I would like to use a Shimano XT group for my flat-bar disc-brake touring bike, but the XT crankset doesn't suit my touring needs very well. I would prefer having a 50/34 crank instead of the XT's 38/26.

To what extent is is possible to just change the crankset? I would like to keep the XT shifters etc., it's just the crankset that needs changing. Specifically, I'm considering putting on a Campagnolo Centaur Red&Black 50/34 crankset. Would this combination work? Does anyone have any experience with this or a similar setup?

Thank you very much for your answers!

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    Assuming you have a full XT group, the front derailleur likely won't be able to clear/shift a 50/34 to begin with. – Batman Mar 15 '15 at 22:00
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There are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Will the current front derailleur work with the new chainring sizes?

    If you have enough adjustment range in the position of the front derailleur, this can almost always work with a double chainring. However, it may require some grinding of the cage on the front derailleur. The outer edge of the cage needs to match the curvature of the outer ring and the inner edge needs to clear the smaller chainring when the chain is on the big ring. I think the XT derailluer can work, but Shimano also makes a flat bar component group that might better match the crank. Shimano Flat Bar Road Group

  2. The new crank will require a different bottom bracket, does the new crank work with the size bottom bracket on your bike?

    Most MTB's have a wider bottom bracket, 73mm vs the 68mm common on road bikes. Depending on the exact configuration of the crankset and axle you may be able to solve this with spacers, but the cranks need to clear the chainstays. For a "touring" frame this should not be a problem, my guess is that it would come with the 68mm standard BB width.

  3. Does the rear derailleur have enough capacity to work with the new gears?

    The capacity is (Big - little front)+ ( Big - little back ). 50-34 = 16, 38-26 = 12. That should not be enough of a change to matter.

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