bikes with single chainring

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
landsurfer
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby landsurfer » 11 Jan 2020, 4:17pm

I've been riding single chainring bikes for 20+ years.
Both my Jamis Aurora's and my Spa Steel Touring have single chainrings based on SPA's doubles and FSA triples.
I have an 11-40 rear cassette on all the bikes. I have never felt short of gears.
LEJOG, CTC and weekly rides on the hills of South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire ...

I have 32 tooth chainrings on the SPA and one of the Jamis ...
The black Jamis has a 26 tooth chainring, it's the one i did the LEJOG on...





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brynpoeth
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Jan 2020, 4:36pm

A 63" top gear, is that right? :wink:

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SimonCelsa
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby SimonCelsa » 11 Jan 2020, 4:40pm

'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' but those tiny chainrings just don't look right. On such a large frame you really need a good 53 tooth dinner plate to make it look more manly :wink: :wink:

brynpoeth
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Jan 2020, 4:44pm

SimonCelsa wrote:'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' but those tiny chainrings just don't look right. On such a large frame you really need a good 53 tooth dinner plate to make it look more manly :wink: :wink:

Right again, I should fit fixed with maybe 67x35, big chainrings last longer and run smoother, almost the only place where bigger/heavier makes sense :wink:
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TrevA
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby TrevA » 11 Jan 2020, 7:59pm

In the dim and distant past (1983) I did a tour of the Alps using a single chainring, a 36, and a 14-28 6 speed freewheel. I was pretty fit at the time but never struggled for a low gear and we did some pretty big climbs including the Cormet de Roseland, Iseran, Lauteret/ Galibier, Telegraphe, Madeleine, Aravis and Colombiere. All my kit in a saddlebag and a small handlebar bag.
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foxyrider
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby foxyrider » 11 Jan 2020, 8:06pm

TrevA wrote:In the dim and distant past (1983) I did a tour of the Alps using a single chainring, a 36, and a 14-28 6 speed freewheel. I was pretty fit at the time but never struggled for a low gear and we did some pretty big climbs including the Cormet de Roseland, Iseran, Lauteret/ Galibier, Telegraphe, Madeleine, Aravis and Colombiere. All my kit in a saddlebag and a small handlebar bag.


thought you said the Alps not those pifling French things! :lol:
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TrevA
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby TrevA » 11 Jan 2020, 8:23pm

Iseran is the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps. Galibier is pretty high too :D . People were still skiing at the top of the Iseran, in July. Wrote my name in the snow at the side of the road on the Galibier.
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Mike_Ayling
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby Mike_Ayling » 11 Jan 2020, 8:48pm

pwa wrote:I believe that 1x11, due to the poor chainlines in some gears, has an efficiency similar to that of good hub gears. Apart from a small weight penalty, the hub gear alternative has a lot going for it. If you can afford it Rohloff gearing would give 14 evenly spaced gears and a good range. Maintenance would be a lot lower that with an 11 speed derailleur system, and it would last a lot longer.


+1 for Rohloff

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pwa
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby pwa » 12 Jan 2020, 8:39am

TrevA wrote:Iseran is the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps. Galibier is pretty high too :D . People were still skiing at the top of the Iseran, in July. Wrote my name in the snow at the side of the road on the Galibier.

As you probably know, though the Iseran may be the highest paved pass, it is not the highest paved through road in the French Alps, which is the Cime de la Bonette that gratuitously climbs up and around a peak at the side of the (lower) Col de la Bonette just for fun.

reohn2
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby reohn2 » 12 Jan 2020, 12:02pm

My understanding of gears has always been that their use is to maintain an optimum cadence(rev range) for the power source(engine),the optimum cadence varies for any given individual but is usually between 85 and 95rpm with exceptions of course
The human engine needs to operate within it's optimum cadence(OC) to be comfortable over long periods,with the extremes of comfort being around 25 to 30 rpm either side of the OC,the further one goes from OC for any length of time and engine begins to suffer by becoming anaerobic leading to premature tiring of the legs.

As others have pointed out a 1x system to have wide enough range for many and varied terrain needs many more ratios on the rear to make up for the lack of front chainrings,the problem with the 1x as I see it,is the gaps between ratios which need to be wider than 2or3x systems somewhere in the cassette,to offer that range.These wide gaps are usually toward the bottom end,the climbing ratios,where the gaps become overly wide,whilst the most used cruising ratios can be optimum the climbing ratios become wider and therefore OC suffers as a result leading to spinning out or grinding a slower cadence.It all depends on the terrain anticipated,long climbs and or a loaded bike needs closer climbing ratios for optimum performance IME.

Much is put forward about the 1x system being less complex than a 2or3x for the same range,which is strictly true in theory,in practice if a rider can manage a,10/11/12 or even 13sp cassette then surely with modern deraileurs and a leettle practice anyone can manage 2or3 chainrings on the front with less ratios on the rear?

A 2or3x offers the same or a wider range of gearing for less rear ratios and smaller gaps between those ratios especially in the bottom end climbing gears,which means there's more chance of OC for any given terrain.
Also a 2or3x8or9sp system offers a stronger chain and less precision needed in keeping it tuned and adjusted along with less cross chaining if one is mindful of the system which in turn means longer chain life.
More chain wrap eg,more teeth engaged with the chain on a well thought out drivetrain,and straighter chainlines in the most used gears means longer drivetrain life all things being equal.

The 1x system has it's uses ofr that there's no doubt but for touring in hilly or mountainous terrain it's less than optimum IMHO
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PH
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby PH » 12 Jan 2020, 2:06pm

I like to start with the rider (Me) the usage (Mine) the possibilities (All) then add the availability and costs.
Starting with the idea of a single chainring seems backwards to me, which isn't to criticise anyone who ends up with one.

rmurphy195
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby rmurphy195 » 12 Jan 2020, 2:23pm

xerxes wrote:Had to laugh at this. As a lad I used to cycle big climbs in the Lake District (e.g. Corney Fell) with just a 3 speed Sturmey Archer. OK, I had to get off and push it occasionally, but still covered big distances.


I also used to go all over the place, around warks and staffs,hills and all using a 3-speed SA-equiped gas-pipe upright bike. I also used to cyce from small heath in Birmingham, then later from Castle Brom, to the airport, stonebridge etc. Later I cycled, age 17, down from Birmingham to Hayes in middx straight down the A41 then (I think) A413 from Aylesbury on a 10-speed raleigh, using the big chainring most of the time. I even pedalled past a lorry going up a hill somewhere near Edge Hill!

But all that was 55-odd years ago, my legs (and me) are not as strong now so 3x8 is good for me! But its a relatively cheap setup, not a super-thin chain or dinner plates on the back to give a wide range of gears, hence my comment about looking at costs (I just looked at the Rohloff hub and my reaction was "how much?" in capital letters - not sure if the frame needs to be hub-specific.

The 3x8 also means that when I'm tired/going against a headwind etc. I can just use a low gear and twiddle the pedals round and round until I get my mojo back, no strain on knees etc.

HOWEVER - I do find the hub gears useful on unsurfaced roads - my Brommi is ideal on railway tracks/forest of dean trails and such like, I don't have to worry about cleaning the gears so much and that is a big plus for hub gears.
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reohn2
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby reohn2 » 12 Jan 2020, 2:45pm

PH wrote:I like to start with the rider (Me) the usage (Mine) the possibilities (All) then add the availability and costs.
Starting with the idea of a single chainring seems backwards to me, which isn't to criticise anyone who ends up with one.


Quite!

"The object of observation,the bicycle,can't be right or wrong.Molecules are molecules.They don't have any ethical codes to follow except those people give them.
The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you.There isn't any other test.If the machine produces tranquility it's right.If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.
The test of the machine's always your mind.There isn't any other test"

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Robert.M.Pirsig
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pete75
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby pete75 » 12 Jan 2020, 2:46pm

xerxes wrote:Had to laugh at this. As a lad I used to cycle big climbs in the Lake District (e.g. Corney Fell) with just a 3 speed Sturmey Archer. OK, I had to get off and push it occasionally, but still covered big distances.


John Shuttleworth too "As we reached Mam Tor I was grateful for me Sturmey Archer gears"


Brucey
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Re: bikes with single chainring

Postby Brucey » 12 Jan 2020, 2:52pm

reohn2 wrote:
"The object of observation,the bicycle,can't be right or wrong.Molecules are molecules.They don't have any ethical codes to follow except those people give them.
The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you.There isn't any other test.If the machine produces tranquility it's right.If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.
The test of the machine's always your mind.There isn't any other test"

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Robert.M.Pirsig


I agree with that. However I would also note that the main character in said book appeared to -in the simplest terms- struggle with his sanity. Which raises the question of cause and effect, does it not?

Put it this way, if you think too hard about this stuff, it might just drive you crazy. Sometimes you just have to get out and ride.

cheers
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