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  1. #1
    drive train killer
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    2 horsepower Drivetrains

    For those of us who consistently subject our bikes to significantly more horsepower than the average rider it's nothing new to have destroyed virtually every part of a bike at some point. I (6'7" 250lbs) routinely replace chains, chain rings, cassettes, freehubs, pedals, derailleurs, brakes, wheels and so on.

    This thread is to discuss Drivetrains that can (through luck or design) handle the kind of power a clydesdale needs to put through it. I ride all cross country and minor all-mountain stuff (no big drops etc.). I am also very diligent about spinning 80-90rpms in order to minimize heavy torque situations as much as possible.

    I have yet to find a freehub design that doesn't disintegrate after a month of riding, any suggestions?

    I also have plenty of problems between climbing, cassettes and distortion due to torque (ripping the chain down the cassette etc.) I've been directed to XTR style cassettes that don't deform as easily under load...any suggestions/experiences?

    I also have problems with bottom brackets and torque. Even sitting in the saddle and spinning the big-ring my BB gives enough that the chain wraps on the chainrings, and wedges against the frame etc. Anyone know of good BB setups?

    Thanks for the info folks!

  2. #2
    Making fat cool since '71
    Reputation: ImaKlyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I'm 250-ish and ride aggressively/hard on xc and freeride and can, without any hesitation, refer you to Chris King and Hope Pro2 hubs. I have King on my squish and Hope on my rigid (does duty as a 1x8 & SS). The only downside to the Kings is price. Get the stainless freehub on them though. It's a lifetime hub. I've gone through more XTs, WTB, Bontrager than I can count and a couple of DTs.

    If you shift while putting a high-torque load on it can easily break chains and bend a tooth or two (cogs or chainrings). I used to do that (poor shifting habits) without even knowing it. A fellow clyde helped me start paying attention to that years ago. Another thing is havng things tuned up properly. You can't imagine how many times I talk to clydes/others telling me they kill chains/cassettes due to how hard they pedal and things are so out of whack regarding their shifters/derailleurs I'm amazed their cranks turn at all. 15 minutes of tinkering/tuning later and things are much better. Anyway, the XT/XTR and SRAM 990 cassettes are good since they use a type of "carrier" which fits the freehub as one unified piece, sort of, kind of.

    Your bb issue could be frame flex. Since the bb is screwed into the frame unless the spindle is broken (or Titanium...) it's not going to move much unless the frame is allowing it to....for the most part; there are exceptions of course. Again, a poorly set-up derailleur can wreak havoc just like you mentioned. So can bent chainrings or rings missing teeth or both. What bike is this happening on?

    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  3. #3
    drive train killer
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    Thanks for the info, exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for!

    All very good points to pay attention to, thanks for those.
    I have been riding with a couple of ex-pro/semi-pro mountain & road racers for the past 18 months and they have coached me to be mindful of shifting under load, spinning 80-90rpms (to reduce mashing) and various other bike-saving techniques. I usually have my bike professionally tuned (I just don't have enough time to always do it myself) before riding.

    I had been steered towards the XTR and SRAM 990 cassettes for the exact reason you mentioned, glad to hear it works in practice not just in theory.

    I'm currently riding a 22.5" Devinci Cactus (hardtail) it's very possible that the aluminum frame is flexing and causing the BB issues. I recently had all the chainrings and cassette replaced (again) and the chain wrapping lessened, although under some conditions it still happened.

    I've been drooling over a custom Zinn for months perhaps some of these issues will dissappear with a new ride!

  4. #4
    Double-metric mtb man
    Reputation: Psycho Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Layne, I'm a bigger guy too (6' 240-ish) and I'm with ImaKlyde...tuning is a critically important thing for those of us who can lay massive power down.

    My road bike is a 1979 Raleigh Super Gran Prix that has been converted to a single speed. In spite of more than adequate torque on the back, I can still pull the rear wheel out of whack by standing and mashing hard for a 10+% grade hill.

    My FS, geared mtb gets significant attention paid to the tuning as I do, on occasion, hit it with all the torque I can muster. To date, I've had some minor issues with pedals, but other than that, the bike has been holding up fine (2 yrs and 2100 km). Be meticulous in tuning and maintenance (esp. with the chain...a dirty chain will eat our drivelines in no time) and you'll be rewarded.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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