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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
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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
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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
    dude with orange car
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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.
    Goodbye Monkey and Thanks For All The Laughs and Inspiration - "Wrenches Flying Man!"

  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.
    Goodbye Monkey and Thanks For All The Laughs and Inspiration - "Wrenches Flying Man!"

  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".
    Goodbye Monkey and Thanks For All The Laughs and Inspiration - "Wrenches Flying Man!"

  28. #28
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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.

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  30. #30
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    haha

    Francis, you crack me up.

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


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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!!
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  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
    fc
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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
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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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