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  1. #1
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    The BioPace Thread...Love it or Hate it.

    I see quite a few mentions in other threads about how awful BioPace was...thought it would be fun to see what the guys who rode it really think.

    Personally I rode BioPace rings for years and never gave it a second thought. They felt natural, and my knees never gave me any problems.

    Can't remember if I saw any pics of Pros bikes with them. I'm guessing somebody was getting paid to ride them though. Anyone have pics?


    I know shimano wasn't the only one on the elliptical bandwagon, I remember some wild BullsEye stuff, and some SR's that had a pretty pronounced oval.


    Thoughts? Memories? General nonsense?



    Steve

  2. #2
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Don't try this at home!

    I decided to experiment with Bio-Pace. So I dredged up a 46T ring at the shop where I wrench at and utilized it on this 10 speed drive train which is on this Salsa Cycles Vaya.

    The BioPace Thread...Love it or Hate it.-p1280002.jpg

    I've used it on gravel road rides mostly. I think there is something to the design, although I clocked my ring to more reflect what a Rotor ring would be like and not how Shimano indicates you should do this. One of my co-workers is also using old Bio-Pace rings on his commuter and loves them.

    Please excuse the non-vintage, non-mtb nature of my rig, but this was a question about Bio-Pace, so.......
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    I can remember that the wee yellow biopace sticker made the chainring look cool that's about it

  4. #4
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    Had a Stumpjumper Team with Bio Pace, it wasn't night and day different but I could tell a difference in the pedal stroke.
    Technology dragass

  5. #5
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    I recall a few engineers saying that the elliptical concept was sound, but Shimano got the ellipse wrong.

    Later incarnations of the "not round: chainrings have gotten closer to right than Shimano did.

    Other than that, I've never used it but I do have a set of NOS 600 road rings in biopace and one day I'll give it a go for laffs.

    Grumps

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Funny thing about them is, if you ride beside someone using them, man can you see it, very strange looking pedal stroke.

    I didn't like the feel personally. The head wrench at the first shop I worked at back in the 80's had a concept that I actually liked though.

    He put round middle and big rings on, and left the granny as Biopace. It was nice on the steep climbs, kinda pushed your foot up and over that dead spot near the top of the stroke, made it feel easier to climb....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  7. #7
    He be a moose too.
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    I think, but don't quote me if you're on Jeopardy, but the Bullseye rings predate Biopace. I've also heard credible people back what Mendon says about only using a Biopace granny.

    Had them on one bike bike but as I got better at spinning, then I didn't like them so much.
    Looking for: Really nice set of black M730 cranks

  8. #8
    the new Gilbert Grape
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    I put quite a few miles on an old MB-1 with bio-pace rings (seen below). I've also don a handful of miles on other bikes with bio-pace. I was never offended by the rings, and but didn't think they were better either. After about 5 minutes of pedaling they felt like any other "round" ring set up.

    On a mountain bike the pedal cadence is generally not that high. On a road bike I'm not sure I'd feel the same, but for off-road use I was pretty indifferent on having them on my bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The BioPace Thread...Love it or Hate it.-112_1262.jpg  

    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  9. #9
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    The BioPace Thread...Love it or Hate it.-image.jpgBiopace has made it possible for me to ride just about every day, without sore knees. I mix rides in on my other non-Biopace bikes, but my 1988 Stumpjumper is my main training bike. If I hammer out a hilly 2 hour ride on one of my bikes w/o Biopace, my knees get sore. Do it two days in a row and they are sore for a few days. I can definitely push a higher gear with BP with absolutely no pain after the ride. I should mention, One of my knees has a loose ACL ligament so I'm kind of a mess to begin with. I just wish I could find them for my Specialized Tarmac road bike. I know others make oval rings but whatever formula BP used for their shape really works for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Funny thing about them is, if you ride beside someone using them, man can you see it, very strange looking pedal stroke.

    I didn't like the feel personally. The head wrench at the first shop I worked at back in the 80's had a concept that I actually liked though.

    He put round middle and big rings on, and left the granny as Biopace. It was nice on the steep climbs, kinda pushed your foot up and over that dead spot near the top of the stroke, made it feel easier to climb....
    Oddly enough, Biopace elongated the deadspot and quickened the power phase of the stroke... Opposite of what all the latest stuff does. Shimano's orientation doesn't seem intuitive. I used it back in the day and once you're used to it it's just fine...

  11. #11
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    I had both road and mountain bikes with Bio Pace back when I first got into cycling. I can't say that they helped but they didn't hurt.
    Flotilla or Buffet.

  12. #12
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    When I am restoring a bike, I look at the rings proper for the era. If the era was Biopace and the nicest set I have is, I don't mind putting them on at all. Had two bikes that came with Biopace BITD. Never cared either way, but I am a masher. I also have a current set of Rotor cranks with modern elliptical rings.
    Seek: Koski Trailmaster. Breezer Series 2 or 3. Cunningham Racer.

  13. #13
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    Bio came with my first Mt bike, a Scott Sawtooth. I recently found an old 24 tooth aluminum Bio Granny gear in my old parts box, so I must have geared it down at some point.

    For all the crap the press gave bio pace, i was surprised to see the “new” wave of Rotors.

  14. #14
    Hit The Road Cyclery
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    As others have said above, elliptical chainrings aren't a bad idea, Shimano just got the orientation wrong. If you turn them so that the "high spot" is at about 2 o'clock when the crank arm is straight up they work more like Rotor Q Rings, which I've used on all my modern bikes for years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDXdog View Post
    Bio came with my first Mt bike, a Scott Sawtooth. I recently found an old 24 tooth aluminum Bio Granny gear in my old parts box, so I must have geared it down at some point.

    For all the crap the press gave bio pace, i was surprised to see the “new” wave of Rotors.
    I don't think biopace was offered in a 24t. With the 74bcd they just couldn't pull it off. The smallest I think was 26t.

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