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  1. #1
    fc
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    Calf meet chainring.

    Do you have the 3rd (aka big) chainring on your bike? Do you use it? Has it caused you great bodily injury? Do you plan to keep it?

    Or have you removed it? Do you miss it or is it better?

    I worked on a couple bikes today and will post them tomorrow. But meanwhile, here's a montage. I'm missing Ziscwig's shredded calf from a little Demo tumble.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-calf.jpg  

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  2. #2
    rho
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    My bashguard saved me from one of those today!

    And then I promptly missed having a big chain ring when I got back to the 10miles of pavement to get home.

  3. #3
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    i've got a scar from a big ring, theres 6 or 7 teeth marks, i consider it a badge of honor

  4. #4
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    I can spin pretty good, so I don't miss it.
    If I still had the large ring in place in downieville last weekend when I crashed on butchers ranch, it would not have been pretty.
    Getting tangled in a bike is not a good thing......especially with a large ring. Hot rotors are bad enough.
    I had a bad crash about 4 years ago and the bike scorpioned up into the air above me, I stepped back, and I reached out and caught it with my left arm as I didn't want the bike to hit the ground. Took a chainring in my bicept. There is not much of a scar, but it was bad at the time.
    Here is a pic that isn't too bad. The back of my ankle.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-snc00261.jpg  

    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  5. #5
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    I run on the big ring on all downhills. Having the chain on the teeth helps reduce the carnage.

  6. #6
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    My daughter got one of those "Chunk out of leg due to chainring" injuries riding her first mountain bike, a Speccie Hotrock 24", down the driveway at home. Her leg looked a lot like the first pic Francois posted. Don't know how she crashed, but she is a constant gravity test as it is. Anyway, since it healed she always is showing off her "mountain bike scar" to all the other kids, telling them that they arent real bikers until they sport one of those.

  7. #7
    Feeling a little taller
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    I just changed the big ring on my wife's bike to a bash guard. She would get rookie marks every ride and she's not fast enough to need the big ring anyway.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


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  8. #8
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    I can spin pretty good, so I don't miss it.
    ....
    I had a bad crash about 4 years ago and the bike scorpioned up into the air above me, I stepped back, and I reached out and caught it with my left arm as I didn't want the bike to hit the ground. Took a chainring in my bicept.
    ...

    I think most people will not miss it. I think it is one of the worst inventions ever and Rensho and I will go on a crusade to eradicate it.

    'the bike scorpioned up'
    Awesome visual savagemann!!!! When that happens, it is time to run!

    fc

  9. #9
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy
    My daughter got one of those "Chunk out of leg due to chainring" injuries riding her first mountain bike, a Speccie Hotrock 24", down the driveway at home. Her leg looked a lot like the first pic Francois posted. Don't know how she crashed, but she is a constant gravity test as it is. Anyway, since it healed she always is showing off her "mountain bike scar" to all the other kids, telling them that they arent real bikers until they sport one of those.

    That's the thing man, you don't even have to crash. You can just have an unstable dismount and all hell can break loose. I think the calf doesn't have a ton of nerves so it don't hurt that much. The ankle on the other hand...

    fc

  10. #10
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    Man, you people really suck. The big ring is all I use. Never had any problems.

  11. #11
    fc
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    Here's the project yesterday. It was installing a Shimano guide on an SLX crank.

    To do it even better, change the middle ring from a 34 tooth to a 36 tooth or 38.

    To save weight use a Salsa chainring guard that is way lighter if you're not going to be bashing the guard on rocks.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0001.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0002.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0007.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0012.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0025.jpg  


  12. #12
    It's the axle
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    What the...

    Total news to me. And that is some nasty result right there.

    Well, on the other hand, I'll admit that when I was a kid I welded up a tall unicycle. I still have sprocket marks on my shin from when the chain came off, and I came down from my perch.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  13. #13
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    I still have my scar from last year. Looks a bit like the 3rd pic in the OP.

  14. #14
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    I never use my big ring except during fire road downhills at Sea Otter and Lemurian, so for most of the year I keep it off and put on a bash guard instead. This has made my lower extremities MUCH happier. My upper extremities, too - I once got stabbed in the arm by the big chainring when I fell trying to get my bike on top of my car (I'm exceptionally short).

    f u, big chainring.
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  15. #15
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    My chainring dug in to my tibia in 2007, pinning my leg in place as my body rolled and broke my tib/fib. I kept it on the bike, but moved to a single speed last year and am making the Epic a 1x9 now.
    :wq

  16. #16
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    Putting on a BBG bashguard or another bash is the first thing I do to all cranks - especially if I plan to use them with platform pedals. That said, I currently have a big ring on my training and one other hardtail. Plan to switch them to 1x10 with a lightweight chain guide.

    Safety, ground clearance, lower weight, shorter chain and der. cage for better shifting and less chain slap. There is no need for a large ring, especially with modern wide range cassettes. Leave it for the roadies.

  17. #17
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    Wink

    Since the move to bigger wheels several years ago the big ring did not get much use. It eventually was removed and replaced with a bashguard. No need for it since I can spin the 11 out and there are never any podium girls on my rides anyway.

  18. #18
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    This is my right shin after meeting a 44t Shimano chain ring at 2010 Napa Valley Dirt Classic, Quote from the EMT after the race, " I can see the bone "
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-img_1451.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Yuck! Seeing pictures like those was one of the reasons I got rid of the big ring a couple years back.
    This is no time for levity. - Oliver Hardy

  20. #20
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    On my geared bike (purchased several years ago) the big ring was removed and replaced with an ethirteen bash guard and the 32/22 rings were replaced by 34/24 rings before bringing it home from the shop.
    "EPO can turn donkeys into horses!" function

  21. #21
    jms
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    Combo pack.

    Oh for the love of......

    Yaah, I use the big ring, used it yesterday on the way into Wanoga during the HC 100, and at the start to heading the first singletrack section and...

    Oh C'mon FC! Maybe you guy's can do some kind of MTBR ring guard, spoke guard, pedal reflector shoot combination-shootout-comparison test.

    And just to add fuel to this, what do you propose to with the new 2x drivetrains? Are you proposing to remove the outer ring on these too?

    Sigh, this board gets "smaller" every day.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms
    And just to add fuel to this, what do you propose to with the new 2x drivetrains? Are you proposing to remove the outer ring on these too?
    I propose the same thing as I do with current 2x drivetrains - buy a triple and add a bashguard. 24 - 36 is good for anything. It works - why change it?

  23. #23
    Obi
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    FC, what's with the spider's web and home in the cross pipe in those pix? Maybe the bikes want revenge for lack of use?

    *Most of the guys around here have seen both my shins and calfs.. what wasn't caused by chainring has been done by eggbeaters and flat pedals. It's a part of the game, a price you pay for the pleasure, sort of like the Ti-hardware upgrades and scar to my left shoulder.

    Like I always say "Singlespeed..DUH!!"

    ..besides, consider the scars to be armor, only thing is if you hit it again, it tears off the entire patch instead of a slight cut.
    Last edited by Obi; 08-08-2010 at 03:32 PM.

  24. #24
    fc
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    some of the home projects... No big ring will be left unturned. Road bikes even?

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-cimg0850.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-cimg0861.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0020.jpg  


  25. #25
    Obi
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffh
    This is my right shin after meeting a 44t Shimano chain ring at 2010 Napa Valley Dirt Classic, Quote from the EMT after the race, " I can see the bone "
    That's what I'm talking about, you're not keeping it real until the bone shows!

    With the texture and makeup of the skin on the shin it honestly doesn't take much to gut someone there. Luckily it looks like you were stable with little blood loss and likely had the antibiotics for follow up..how many staples, 13? IIRC mine was around that #.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    some of the home projects... No big ring will be left unturned.
    Hmmm, now I'm thinking more and more about milling down a XTR spider to fit on my ChrisKing-SS hubs. After seeing how well Jeff's worked for his Ti bikes I figure I can see how bad it would be on the Surly 1x1..

    Now all I'd need to do is also mill the drive-side BB or go convince Brent or Bernie to tig on some ISCG mounts for a front Guide, or make a call out to Paul Components for the guide.

    *What then? ObiFiveSpeedOnly?
    Last edited by Obi; 08-08-2010 at 03:45 PM.

  26. #26
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms

    And just to add fuel to this, what do you propose to with the new 2x drivetrains? Are you proposing to remove the outer ring on these too?

    Sigh, this board gets "smaller" every day.
    That's the interesting thing. All these new drivetrains have no big ring. I think the world is discovering that the big ring is a menace and is not really needed. I recon that it's a niche market and maybe 10% of riders really need it enough to counter the downside.

    fc

  27. #27
    Obi
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    ^Take a look at the cross used chainring and cassette combinations and actually if you get the right front ring and rear cassette combination you effectively have all the range anyhow.

    Beides, honestly, after all these years riding and wrenching the big ring is IMHO the most overrated and underused piece of metal around.

    The only time I have ever wanted one was when spinning on a flat paved surface for more than a mile with no wind in my face to get above 25mph..

    ...at that point you're better off going to the "Dark Side".

  28. #28
    MarkyMark
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    I have a couple bikes with 952 XTRs where the big ring is the spider. I use it occasionally when bombing down (fire)roads, but it's mostly a bashguard on the trail. I installed a new XT crankset on my Intense Spider so I'm free to replace it.

    I think I got bit once a long time ago. My left calf has a couple scars that look suspiciously like chainring teeth marks. My GF has some nice scars on the back of her calf too.

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Do you have the 3rd (aka big) chainring on your bike? Do you use it? Has it caused you great bodily injury? Do you plan to keep it?

  29. #29
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    Bah. 22/36 with a bash for me. But for those of you who love your big ring at least get a big ring/leg protector.

    Ibis Mojo HD3 - Norco Torrent 7.1

  30. #30
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    haha

    Francis, you crack me up.

    Sabine

  31. #31
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    If it doesn't leave a scar, I would demand a refund!
    The guy yo' momma "act" like she don't know!

  32. #32
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    You have to man-up a bit (HTFU as another poster would say). I haven't used the big ring since...today. Lots of trails are up, down or flat and the big ring is useful for the down or flat sections. It is also pretty handy when riding to or from the trailhead or between trails on the road.

    Of course, you could just get another piece of gear. You could go with a belt drive and eliminate the chainring teeth completely. Or you could get one of these:

    Calf meet chainring.-chain-guard.jpg

    This protects your leg, keeps your chain clean and comes with an All Mountain kickstand! Toss in the lightweight white tire and you will really be making a statement that the others won't be able to ignore.
    Let the good times roll.
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  33. #33
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine
    You have to man-up a bit (HTFU as another poster would say). I haven't used the big ring since...today. Lots of trails are up, down or flat and the big ring is useful for the down or flat sections. It is also pretty handy when riding to or from the trailhead or between trails on the road.

    Of course, you could just get another piece of gear. You could go with a belt drive and eliminate the chainring teeth completely. Or you could get one of these:
    Sweet. I think we have a definite use for the big chainring... riding to and from the trailhead

    I'm not telling everyone to get rid of it. Just know that you have options. And understand why you really want it and what you are giving up.

    About 12 years ago I used my big chainring all the time at Mission Peak at Fremont. Just before the straightaway downhill leading to the college if you pedaled very early on the big ring after the right hand bend, you can tuck and maybe hit 50 mph. It's sweet for high speed fire road. Nice.

    That was then. Now it's really pretty useless on my favorite singletrack trails.

  34. #34
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    To me the big ring is just for going faster on downhills. If I'm going downhill, I am satisfied with the speed that gravity gives me. I'm glad I got rid of my big ring.

    Looking at the bashguard pictures above made me think of something. Is there any benefit to lowering the front deraileur if you are without a big ring?

  35. #35
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    SRSLY, I'm wondering how the new 2x10 cranks will work with a bashguard.

    Anyone know? They're not designed for a third thing, be it a ring or a guard. Then what?

    Morgan

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    To me the big ring is just for going faster on downhills. If I'm going downhill, I am satisfied with the speed that gravity gives me. I'm glad I got rid of my big ring.

    Looking at the bashguard pictures above made me think of something. Is there any benefit to lowering the front deraileur if you are without a big ring?
    The derailluer is designed to be run in it's standard position for optimal shifting. About 2mm above the big ring if you were to have one.

    The shift ramps on the der cage are designed to line up with the chain when on a specific chainring and push it up and pop it down when it is set to this standard height.

    In some cases, you may be able to get quicker shifting by slightly moving it down a few mm or so if you are not running a large ring.....at least I did on my X7 front mech.

    On my bike with an XT front mech, I didn't move it down after removing the large ring......well, I couldn't as it is an E-Type derailluer and is mounted to the front mech.
    Had I been able to move it down I most likely would have tried it to see if it was any different.

    On a few bikes I have worked on, I have solved slow shifting issues by ever so slightly lowering the front mech a mm or 2.....but going to the extreme and lowering it all the way to your bashguard may cause shifting to suffer.

    The main benefit I have noticed to lowering the derailluer is that when I have dropped my chain ( only a couple times ) the cage is lower, and I was able to reshift the chain back on without stopping. I couldn't do this with the derailluer in it's standard position as the shift ramp was much to high.

    As a bonus to lowering, I think it looks cleaner.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  37. #37
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    My bash guard went on last month.. still have the scar from a few months ago plain as day. i don't miss the big ring!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher
    SRSLY, I'm wondering how the new 2x10 cranks will work with a bashguard.

    Anyone know? They're not designed for a third thing, be it a ring or a guard. Then what?

    Morgan
    Check out the new XTR cranks. 2x and 3x for 10-speed. No problem. 104BCD.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-10spxtrcrank.jpg  

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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    The derailluer is designed to be run in it's standard position for optimal shifting. About 2mm above the big ring if you were to have one.

    The shift ramps on the der cage are designed to line up with the chain when on a specific chainring and push it up and pop it down when it is set to this standard height.

    In some cases, you may be able to get quicker shifting by slightly moving it down a few mm or so if you are not running a large ring.....at least I did on my X7 front mech.

    On my bike with an XT front mech, I didn't move it down after removing the large ring......well, I couldn't as it is an E-Type derailluer and is mounted to the front mech.
    Had I been able to move it down I most likely would have tried it to see if it was any different.

    On a few bikes I have worked on, I have solved slow shifting issues by ever so slightly lowering the front mech a mm or 2.....but going to the extreme and lowering it all the way to your bashguard may cause shifting to suffer.

    The main benefit I have noticed to lowering the derailluer is that when I have dropped my chain ( only a couple times ) the cage is lower, and I was able to reshift the chain back on without stopping. I couldn't do this with the derailluer in it's standard position as the shift ramp was much to high.

    As a bonus to lowering, I think it looks cleaner.
    Great info thanks!

    So did you lower it to have approximately the same clearance above your bashguard as it used to have above your big ring?

    Using the deraileur to fix a dropped chain would be great!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Check out the new XTR cranks. 2x and 3x for 10-speed. No problem. 104BCD.
    Cool, but what about SRAM 2x10? I have XX on one bike, and I'm looking forward to X.0 or X.9 2x10 on my more all-mountain bike, but would like a bashguard too.

    Seems like the Shimano 2x10 cranks have the same limitation.

    The big chainring on my FS 29er is pretty useless right now, having used it as a bashguard too much! Should really replace it with a bashguard, but that means going to a slightly bigger middle chainring, and then I think about waiting for 2x10, and then I think about bashguards, and here I am.

    Morgan

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Do you have the 3rd (aka big) chainring on your bike? Do you use it? Has it caused you great bodily injury? Do you plan to keep it?

    Or have you removed it? Do you miss it or is it better?

    fc
    I went over the bars in Nisene Marks once and ended up with the back of my knee looking a lot like the first shredded calf image. Since then I have used that as justification for using only 2-rings. But in all honesty I like the greater ground clearance and other bash advantages more than I fear the 3rd ring. I have been primarily on a 22x36 w/bash crankset for the last 5 years. There is only one taller gear than my 36x11 on a traditional 44t big ring crankset , so no I don't miss it
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  42. #42
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    Seems like the Shimano 2x10 cranks have the same limitation.
    Sounds like a business/invention opportunity.

  43. #43
    fc
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    Cool info on the new xtr danger! The chainring bolts are disguised to look like the spider arm. Neat. That means a guard will go on wit normal bolts.

    If you only have two chainrings, consider a 36 tooth instead of the standard 34. 36 is more ideal.

    Lower your dérailleur to silence it a bit when you're on the granny. Also you can put a bigger middle ring.

    Ideally you want to move the crank to the right a bit. This will optimize the chainline between the two front rings.

    So there. Less weight, quieter drivetrain, better obstacle clearance, and less front shifting means smoother riding and more flow. Plus it makes your teeth whiter and you 2 inches taller.


    We should have a party. Big Chainring Abolition BBQ!

    fc
    Last edited by fc; 08-09-2010 at 09:44 AM.

  44. #44
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    Hey, this is getting interesting. Once upon a time I made this table for standard ratios.
    Except for the chainline, with a 36 chainring, there really is no need for the big ring.

    Oh no. Now I have to ponder this for a bit. It would be like losing an old habit.

    The forum software doesn't like spaces. But you can see the freewheel number column on the left. Only the upper right ratios are bigger than anything the middle chainring can supply, with a 32. I think it was already explained with far less verbage, up above.

    Cog--22-- --32----44
    11 --2.00 - 2.91- 4.00
    13 --1.69 - 2.46- 3.38
    15 - 1.47 - 2.13- 2.93
    17 - 1.29 - 1.88 - 2.59
    20 - 1.10 - 1.60- 2.20
    23-- 0.96 - 1.39- 1.91
    26-- 0.85 - 1.23- 1.69
    30-- 0.73 - 1.07- 1.47
    34-- 0.65 - 0.94- 1.29
    Last edited by Gregg K; 08-09-2010 at 10:18 AM.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  45. #45
    Feeling a little taller
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher
    Cool, but what about SRAM 2x10? I have XX on one bike, and I'm looking forward to X.0 or X.9 2x10 on my more all-mountain bike, but would like a bashguard too.

    Seems like the Shimano 2x10 cranks have the same limitation.

    The big chainring on my FS 29er is pretty useless right now, having used it as a bashguard too much! Should really replace it with a bashguard, but that means going to a slightly bigger middle chainring, and then I think about waiting for 2x10, and then I think about bashguards, and here I am.

    Morgan
    SRAM's not as forthcoming with their online info. It looks like there's a 3x Truvativ XO 10-speed crank that might work for these purposes. http://www.sram.com/truvativ/product...speed-crankset

    It doesn't look like there's any way to put a guard on the XX cranks. Good thing I don't use SRAM...mostly because I'm sold on the Shimano dual-control levers. Down side to that is Shimano doesnt have dual-control levers for 10-speed yet.

    But, no. The Shimano 2x cranks do not have the same limitation. Look again. The crank and BB assembly is the same between the 2x and 3x with the 2x using shaped crank bolt nuts on the outside. I don't see any reason the shaped nuts can't be removed and replaced with a bash guard and standard nuts.

    The only customization might come in the form of having to file the inside of the bash guard to line up with the shoulder. This happens on other cranks as well.
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  46. #46
    fc
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    In the spirit of sharing, I will give you a big chainring. You must justify your use of it though and make me feel secure you know what you're doing (like jms).

    Here's my setup for my Niner. It works flawless. It's a 1x9 and it's the friendly cousin of the singlespeed. Although climbing recently with my daughter, it's different from last year. She has gained many lbs and I just noticed I have no granny ring.

    daughter: 'dad, look at the golden grass fields. is there mountain lion? is that horse poop? ya-di-ya..'
    dad: 'keep quiet and PEDAL!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0033.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0036.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0037.jpg  

    Calf meet chainring.-dsc_0039.jpg  


  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Do you have the 3rd (aka big) chainring on your bike? Do you use it? Has it caused you great bodily injury? Do you plan to keep it?

    Or have you removed it? Do you miss it or is it better?

    I worked on a couple bikes today and will post them tomorrow. But meanwhile, here's a montage. I'm missing Ziscwig's shredded calf from a little Demo tumble.

    fc
    How the heck are you gonna climb St. Joes w/o a big ring!

    I have a 42 on my xc bike and sometimes I think I might take the small ring off.

  48. #48
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    When you first run only a 32x11 gear, it does feel a little spinny, especially if you're use to mashing big gears. Being on a 29er size wheel helps that too.

    For some folks, 32x11 on 26" will ultimately be too short, and they'll need to look at a 34 or even 36T. If you ride a lot of road on the mtb, you certainly miss it, but you'll develop great spin with your legs and that will help elsewhere in your riding.

  49. #49
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    I was inspired by this Rensho photo so I spent all day Saturday building a new kids bike from the junk bin. Ha, ha, ha, I crack myself up . Actually this frame creaked like a mofo since it turns out all the Enduro bearings were frozen. I damn near gave up on it.

    He says mom can borrow it too. It's good. He's riding every day, twice a day. It's a hair big but it's just like Rensho and you shawties on 29ers.

    He did the singletrack on top of St. Joes and said. 'Dad, I almost died. You owe me a dollar. Let's try that again '

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-img_0036-1-1-.jpg  

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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider
    How the heck are you gonna climb St. Joes w/o a big ring!

    I have a 42 on my xc bike and sometimes I think I might take the small ring off.
    Macho Macho man! I wanna be a Macho man!
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    In the spirit of sharing, I will give you a big chainring. You must justify your use of it though and make me feel secure you know what you're doing (like jms).

    Here's my setup for my Niner. It works flawless. It's a 1x9 and it's the friendly cousin of the singlespeed. Although climbing recently with my daughter, it's different from last year. She has gained many lbs and I just noticed I have no granny ring.

    daughter: 'dad, look at the golden grass fields. is there mountain lion? is that horse poop? ya-di-ya..'
    dad: 'keep quiet and PEDAL!!
    I've been borrowing a tandem Ibis from CDMC for a few months. The thread-related detail is that the triple is under the stoker and my 4-yo is elevated high above it with the child-stoker kit.

    I think it's time you man-up Francis! I'm doing the kid rides with a WeeRide in the front...talk about added weight! (not to mention mine)

    2010-05-20 Pleasant Hill 016
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Check out the new XTR cranks. 2x and 3x for 10-speed. No problem. 104BCD.
    Only for their "trail" double. "Race" one has smaller BCD (and smaller Q-factor) AFAIK.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Only for their "trail" double. "Race" one has smaller BCD (and smaller Q-factor) AFAIK.
    That is correct according to the Shimano website. No weights though.

    Note the difference in the race big ring that it seems to use standard chain ring bolts. http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...n/0001/FC-M985
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-10spxtrcrank2.jpg  

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  54. #54
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider
    How the heck are you gonna climb St. Joes w/o a big ring!

    I have a 42 on my xc bike and sometimes I think I might take the small ring off.
    That's called a fixie bro. You can roll like that too but you have to cut your handlebars in half.

    That's too much information now Dangerboy.

    fc

  55. #55
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    I need it

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Do you have the 3rd (aka big) chainring on your bike? Do you use it? Has it caused you great bodily injury? Do you plan to keep it?

    Or have you removed it? Do you miss it or is it better?

    I worked on a couple bikes today and will post them tomorrow. But meanwhile, here's a montage. I'm missing Ziscwig's shredded calf from a little Demo tumble.

    fc
    I spin out my middle ring all the time. Actually, I know I'm going to spin it out, so I upshift the front before I get that far.

    If a slow as heck middle aged out of shape fatass like me needs a big ring, I'm sure a lot of other folks do as well.

    Knock on wood, I've only been bitten once on my road bike. I pinch flatted and blew out the front tire going pretty good, and managed to slow the bike down to 10-15 mph or so before it pitched me on the ground. Luckily, there wasn't too much shinburger involved. Nothing a little first aid wrap couldn't handle.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I spin out my middle ring all the time. Actually, I know I'm going to spin it out, so I upshift the front before I get that far.

    If a slow as heck middle aged out of shape fatass like me needs a big ring, I'm sure a lot of other folks do as well.
    ...
    You probably ride a lot of East Bay fire road.

    Note that your middle ring is a 32 tooth. Note that you can/should change that to a 34t or 36t if you go double ring.

    fc

  57. #57
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    Took 36 stitches in my right knee once from a big ring attack.

    Everything is 36T with bash these days. More than enough unless you are riding forest service roads all of the time.

  58. #58
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    I'd do it in an instant if I didn't have to use the 34/11 combo. That chain line is ugly.

    If I could get a 34 in the location of the big ring, it would be more in line with the freewheel.

    Am I full of it?
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    In the spirit of sharing, I will give you a big chainring. You must justify your use of it though and make me feel secure you know what you're doing (like jms).
    I need wind chime parts to lull the baby to sleep? I'll take 4!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    In the spirit of sharing, I will give you a big chainring. You must justify your use of it though and make me feel secure you know what you're doing (like jms).

    Here's my setup for my Niner. It works flawless. It's a 1x9 and it's the friendly cousin of the singlespeed. Although climbing recently with my daughter, it's different from last year. She has gained many lbs and I just noticed I have no granny ring.

    daughter: 'dad, look at the golden grass fields. is there mountain lion? is that horse poop? ya-di-ya..'
    dad: 'keep quiet and PEDAL!!
    Careful with that setup, we'll have you running slalom soon!

  61. #61
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    I figured out a LONG time ago that I'm not strong enough to need a big ring for the riding I do. I don't miss it at all.
    My presence would be the equivalent of painting lamb's blood on your frame, causing the "angel of crash" to nail me instead.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    I'd do it in an instant if I didn't have to use the 34/11 combo. That chain line is ugly.

    If I could get a 34 in the location of the big ring, it would be more in line with the freewheel.

    Am I full of it?
    It's not really an issue.
    22/11 is ugly!

    I suppose you could move your crank using spacers (X type)?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    It's not really an issue.
    22/11 is ugly!

    I suppose you could move your crank using spacers (X type)?

    True. It's not as ugly as.

    And spacers would mean bigger Q.

    None of which is probably important. Huh, I'm out for a ride. There will be experimentation.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  64. #64
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    Single speed is the best solution. Calves are blemish free and toned from all the walking.

    But that MRP 1.x guide is very trick and would be fun to try. Or a Paul.

  65. #65
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    ack chew allie....

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    You probably ride a lot of East Bay fire road.

    Note that your middle ring is a 32 tooth. Note that you can/should change that to a 34t or 36t if you go double ring.

    fc
    ....30 tooth. but I still have the problem with 32t.

  66. #66
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    There will be experimentation.
    That's the spirit man. That's really my point here is to challenge folks to look at their gear and plant the seed to make it better. Customization is not just the art of making it look better or saving grams. It's about making your stuff work better and safer for your riding style. At the very least, try it on one of your bikes and decide.

    Most of my bikes have a 2x9 setup. But my wife's and kid's have 3x9. Why should I risk them getting gored as I challenge them to ride real trails.

    Choices:

    Drivetrain: 3x9, 2x9, 1x9,1x1
    Big ring on 2x9: 32t is default, 34, 36, 38t
    Chain guard: none, lightweight guide, bash ring
    Chain line on 2x9: leave it, move it over to right to optimize for 2x9
    Derailleur height on 2x9: leave it, drop it a few mm.

    So there. In 5 years, almost all mountain bikes will be sold with dual front chainrings. But why wait? If I can only save one calf from getting gored or tattoo'ed, it would have been all worthwhile.

    fc

  67. #67
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    Hmm, last year FC had Wistler revelation and flats. Now we are dropping Big rings.

    Fc, another year and your bikes will start looking like mine
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    When you first run only a 32x11 gear, it does feel a little spinny, especially if you're use to mashing big gears. Being on a 29er size wheel helps that too.
    Waaahhhhssssuuuppppp?!!!! Riding back home from the trail was fine with the 11T cog - things didn't get too spinny, and I'm not trying to break a land speed record anyway. 32X36 granny is fine for most hills, although climbing the steep sections of Coyote Peak @ STP yesterday was a little bit of a chore on the big wheels.

    *I have a bag full of brand new big rings in my garage. You manly men can have them - I am obviously too weak.*


  69. #69
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    Been running a 1x9 with a 34T for a couple years now... the only time your spinning out the big ring is a long downhill fire road.

    Big rings just get in the way of rocks and logs, most Trogs have ditched the big ring with lots of guys running 2X9 set ups.
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  70. #70
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    I haven't run a big ring in 6 or 7 years. Just no need for it. Sure, there are moments when it'd be nice on the road, but that's usually my rest time during a ride. It means I'm approaching a climb, or I just finished a descent. And it makes getting over logs way easier. Nothing like bending a tooth on your chainring to put a, ahem, kink in your ride...

  71. #71
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    I wish I had 4 chainrings...
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  72. #72
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    I think big chainrings are definitely useful for racing but that's about it. If you race a lot then keep it. If you don't race all that much and mostly just do trail riding, you should consider ditching it.

    I've been running the 36/22 combo that others have mentioned and I feel that it's magical. Different strokes for different folks though.

  73. #73
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    Just got back from a ride without using the big ring. First time I've ever tried that.

    The first impression was having to shift up a bunch in the rear, instead of just jumping down one in the front. But I quickly got the hang of it. Grip shifters would be handy, but I love dual control. Although this is yet another reason to ditch the shift/brake combo that is so limiting.

    But yeah, it's no big ring for me. 36/11 took me home at 25 mph on the one mile of pavement.

    The thing is, that must be a half dozen links that can come off the chain, too.

    Also, I wouldn't go bashguard. The chain would be on the sprocket unless it was on the granny. So now I've got to do some homework to find out if cranks come without the big spider. Otherwise, I'd stick it on my mill and just take off yet more weight. YAY.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    Just got back from a ride without using the big ring. First time I've ever tried that.

    The first impression was having to shift up a bunch in the rear, instead of just jumping down one in the front. But I quickly got the hang of it. Grip shifters would be handy, but I love dual control. Although this is yet another reason to ditch the shift/brake combo that is so limiting.
    I run dual control XT (second gen, first was bad) with 24-36 - and find it is faster to shift up and down then with XT triggers. Multiple shifts both direction, and unclutters my bars quite a bit.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    I run dual control XT (second gen, first was bad) with 24-36 - and find it is faster to shift up and down then with XT triggers. Multiple shifts both direction, and unclutters my bars quite a bit.

    I've got both old and new. Love em! You'll have to pry them from my cold dead xtr hands. I'm disappointed to not see them in the new gruppo.

    I think it's 3 up and 2 down.

    Not having the big ring just shifts the average location of the chain on the cluster. I'm using gears that rarely saw chain. Instead of shifting up the cluster, I could have gone into granny with one click. But that's just so foreign.

    Hey, that big ring ain't cheap. I think it was over fifty bucks the last time I got one.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    ....30 tooth. but I still have the problem with 32t.
    Sounds like you have 26" wheels. In that case you'd go to a 36t or 38t chain ring. If you're still spinning out you're either riding on pavement or down a hill that doesn't require pedaling anyway.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Great info thanks!

    So did you lower it to have approximately the same clearance above your bashguard as it used to have above your big ring?

    Using the deraileur to fix a dropped chain would be great!
    I did lower it to about 2 mm above my bash guard..... I am only running a 32 tooth chainring right now, but have a 36 tooth size bash guard........I got the 36 bash so I could keep my setup flexible for future gearing options.

    Lets say for example you were to run a 32t ring, with a 32t sized bash guard, and lowered the front mech to 2mm above, it would most likely suffer in the shifting department......I think how I have mine setup is most likely pushing the envelope for this type of setup.

    Now, if you were to get a "double specific" front derailluer, you would most liekly be able to get away with a lower setup, but the back end of the cage is also shorter, and may not be of any benefit to help you pick up a dropped chain. Because the cage is shorter, it is also higher.

    This is all speculative though, as I have not actually sat down and taken any measurements. But I have a double specific front mech here in the bike drawer, and looking at it is how I came to this conclusion.

    I have another bike with a 22-36 ring setup which is really sweet for some more top end, and this setup DOES have a double specific front mech, and I find the shifting to be on par with a regular setup, set to the factory height.

    22-36 is within the 14 tooth difference that is acceptable for front ratios, but it IS at the end of the spectrum of what is "standard".

    I think I may be upgrading my 32 to a 34 as soon as my ring wears out, as I have been getting stronger and find it less difficult to climb with the 32 ring as of late....but we'll see.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  78. #78
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    you obviously shorten the chain eh?

    Use the same rule of thumb as if you had the big ring? Put it on the big (now middle) front and big back, skip the rear der, and leave a free link?

    Does anyone race like this? Seems like for endurance racing you would pay not having a big ring since there's always a fire-road or other high speed section where the big ring might be helpful... ?

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokeypokey
    Use the same rule of thumb as if you had the big ring? Put it on the big (now middle) front and big back, skip the rear der, and leave a free link?
    Yes. And if it is a full suspension bike, it's not a bad idea to compress the rear end and then follow this rule.

    The best part is your shifts will be a bit faster/crisper because there is more tension on the chain when it is shorter, and there will also be less chain slap.

    Throw on a medium cage derailluer, and remove even more links, and get even better shifting.

    All of my bikes (too many) are setup this way. Here are a few of them.





    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  80. #80
    ballbuster
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    Like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clintox50
    I wish I had 4 chainrings...


    Mountain Tamer, baby!! FTW

    Yeah, that is an 18 tooth granny gear!

    Quote Originally Posted by jd1072
    Sounds like you have 26" wheels. In that case you'd go to a 36t or 38t chain ring. If you're still spinning out you're either riding on pavement or down a hill that doesn't require pedaling anyway.
    Nope! 29er! 20/30/42t up front, XT 34t-11t in back. The frame has a bug where it keeps my XTR rear derailleur from dropping down to the 11t in back, so I can't really use that gear in the big ring... so I never hit that combo.




  81. #81
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    Third Divide = BIG RING all the way baby

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Throw on a medium cage derailluer, and remove even more links, and get even better shifting.
    I don't think the cage effects your chain length does it? Your length needs to be long enough to go around the big/big combo. If there are no extra links then the cage is pointing straight forward and not wrapping any chain. So I don't think the length of the cage matters.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I don't think the cage effects your chain length does it? Your length needs to be long enough to go around the big/big combo. If there are no extra links then the cage is pointing straight forward and not wrapping any chain. So I don't think the length of the cage matters.

    Shorter derailleur cage means shorter chain by a little bit. I think a double ring setup allows you a short cage derrailleur.

    Definitely shorten your chain. The middle (now big) ring will work a heck of a lot better on the downhills since the chain length will be optimized for it. On triple ring setups, the only reason I go to the big ring on fast rocky descents is to reduce chain slap/drops.

    Jeng, Weir says you only need one chainring on Third Divide.

    fc

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I don't think the cage effects your chain length does it? Your length needs to be long enough to go around the big/big combo. If there are no extra links then the cage is pointing straight forward and not wrapping any chain. So I don't think the length of the cage matters.
    I take a good bit of time to size the chains on my full suspension bikes.
    Usually start with big/big rule.
    Cut.
    Then run it through the mech and see if it can be made any shorter while compressing the rear end of the bike.
    I usually find I can remove a link or 2.

    The best way is to remove the air out of the shock (which I hate doing all the time) if it is an air shock.

    It helps if you run some kind of a quick link as you can keep removing the chain and making it shorter until you are satisfied.
    I usually use sram power link. But lately I have been using connex links.

    I prefer running medium cages on my full squish bikes due to chain growth issues with certain suspension types. My BMC and Chumba don't have bad chain growth issues, so it is a first time setup kinda deal. After that, I just go by the old chain length.
    I would hate to go through that process everytime I need to change out a chain, as it is a pain.

    On a hard tail, you can get away with a short cage mech.

    On a side note, if you ever decide to add a chainguide, like a blackspire stinger for example, make sure you resize your chain. I know a guy that added one, and didn't lengthen his chain at all. He had some issues due to the added tension in the drivetrain.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng
    Third Divide = BIG RING all the way baby
    For me - 36t front ring was enough..

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Then run it through the mech and see if it can be made any shorter while compressing the rear end of the bike.
    I usually find I can remove a link or 2.
    If your chain loosens when your suspension compresses, it would still be risky to shorten the chain, because you may not be compressed when you shift, right?

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    If your chain loosens when your suspension compresses, it would still be risky to shorten the chain, because you may not be compressed when you shift, right?
    The chain usually tightens when the suspension is compressed.
    Some suspension designs are worse than others.
    The I-Drive platform isn't so bad, and some mini link designs aren't either.
    My buddies single pivot is pretty bad.
    My BMC is barely noticable.
    I'm not a suspension expert by any means, so hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong here....= )

    EDIT:
    I think the terminology is confusing, or I'm using it wrong here.........
    Last edited by savagemann; 08-10-2010 at 11:43 AM.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  88. #88
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    Here is some more bashguard pRon.........
    This is a double specific SLX derailluer and an SLX double crankset. Note the blue ano Sugino chainring bolts......hawt!
    Also, make note of the front mech height. This is a 22-36 ring setup.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calf meet chainring.-slxsex.jpg  

    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Here is some more bashguard pRon.........
    Why would one make a bashguard anything else but a round shape?

    To facilitate catching on rocks - or to compensate for the lack of big ring shin eating skills?

  90. #90
    ballbuster
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    Why is 80% of anything done in the bicycle world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Why would one make a bashguard anything else but a round shape?

    To facilitate catching on rocks - or to compensate for the lack of big ring shin eating skills?
    To look cool... .duh!!

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    To look cool... .duh!!
    Here is a silly bash guard.

    Other options are here:
    https://www.bti-usa.com/public/category/CR/CRGB
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    To look cool... .duh!!
    Pimpbot has it spot on.....

    I bought it because I wanted a white bash, I found it really cheap, and straitline makes good stuff.

    Remember the old trials guards that were shaped like a saw blade? I guess they gave you some bite to help crawl over stuff? I dunno, but I thought they looked cool!

    Edit: Like the one Francois posted above. Beat me to it.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    The chain usually tightens when the suspension is compressed.
    Some suspension designs are worse than others.
    The I-Drive platform isn't so bad, and some mini link designs aren't either.
    My buddies single pivot is pretty bad.
    My BMC is barely noticable.
    I'm not a suspension expert by any means, so hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong here....= )

    EDIT:
    I think the terminology is confusing, or I'm using it wrong here.........
    Yes, you are right. Chain growth is often designed into the suspension, so that up and down bobbing during pedaling is counteracted by the chain tension trying to extend the shock.
    So, how does compressing the suspension allow you to shorten your chain?

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    Hey, this is getting interesting. Once upon a time I made this table for standard ratios.

    Cog--22-- --32----44
    11 --2.00 - 2.91- 4.00
    13 --1.69 - 2.46- 3.38
    15 - 1.47 - 2.13- 2.93
    17 - 1.29 - 1.88 - 2.59
    20 - 1.10 - 1.60- 2.20
    23-- 0.96 - 1.39- 1.91
    26-- 0.85 - 1.23- 1.69
    30-- 0.73 - 1.07- 1.47
    34-- 0.65 - 0.94- 1.29
    It gets even better with the 36 tooth that comes on an SLX 2X with Bash. No loss on the granny side and almost the same range on the top end. It's like shifting into 3 in the front and 7.8 in the back on a standard setup.

    ------------- Standard ------------------- 2X SLX
    Tooth ---- 22 ---- 34 ---- 44 ---- ---- 22 ---- 36
    11 ------- 2.00 -- 3.09 - 4.00 -- -- 2.00 --- 3.27
    13 ------- 1.69 -- 2.62 - 3.38 -- -- 1.69 --- 2.77
    15 ------- 1.47 -- 2.27 - 2.93 -- -- 1.47 --- 2.40
    17 ------- 1.29 -- 2.00 - 2.59 -- -- 1.29 --- 2.12
    20 ------- 1.10 -- 1.70 - 2.20 -- -- 1.10 --- 1.80
    23 ------- 0.96 -- 1.48 - 1.91 -- -- 0.96 --- 1.57
    26 ------- 0.85 -- 1.31 - 1.69 -- -- 0.85 --- 1.38
    30 ------- 0.73 -- 1.13 - 1.47 -- -- 0.73 --- 1.20
    34 ------- 0.65 -- 1.00 - 1.29 -- -- 0.65 --- 1.06
    Master of the unintentional track stand.

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    gettin close to 30 years (since 7th grade) of racing and riding with a triple crankset. chainring teeth have never broken my skin. knock on wood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Yes, you are right. Chain growth is often designed into the suspension, so that up and down bobbing during pedaling is counteracted by the chain tension trying to extend the shock.
    So, how does compressing the suspension allow you to shorten your chain?
    It doesn't.
    But you want to measure the chain on a full suspension bike when it is in it's compressed position.
    If you don't, and you are in the big/big combo and bottom out the rear end, you could snap your chain and or do other damage to the bike. I've seen broken chains, snapped derailluers/hangers etc.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    gettin close to 30 years (since 7th grade) of racing and riding with a triple crankset. chainring teeth have never broken my skin. knock on wood.
    That's cause you got skeelz. Don't you have an all mountain bike for all that big air, or mostly xc?

    fc

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    That's cause you got skeelz. Don't you have an all mountain bike for all that big air, or mostly xc?

    fc

    well, I'm mostly saying I've never thought of the big ring as a hazard, but after reading this thread it sure seems like one.

    I have a 6" FS bike among a couple others like a Kings of Kennedy(?) bike.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    It doesn't.
    But you want to measure the chain on a full suspension bike when it is in it's compressed position.
    If you don't, and you are in the big/big combo and bottom out the rear end, you could snap your chain and or do other damage to the bike. I've seen broken chains, snapped derailluers/hangers etc.
    Yep. Been there, done that.

    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  100. #100
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    Yowch!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Yep. Been there, done that.

    I'll bet that made some $pensive noises.

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