not so round Surly chainring- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    not so round Surly chainring

    Anyone else have trouble with Surly chainrings that aren't quite round? My drivetrain binds in a substantial way. I was hoping it was my ACS freewheel, but I replaced it with a WI freewheel and no change. I tried to adjust the chainring's position on the crank by loosening the bold and trying to adjust it with no improvement.

    Anyone else have a similar product.
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  2. #2
    Down South Yooper
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    5 surly SS rings here

    I've had 5 different surly rings, and all have been close enough to round to eliminate significant binding. I have had four 5 bolt rings, and 1 4 bolt ring. The 5 boltr's seem to adjust better than the 4 did, but they all could all be centered on the spider reasonably enough.

    Other rings, you could try blackspire, salsa, boone (ti), off the top of my head. Surly's SS rings are great for the money though, and last a long time for me.

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  3. #3
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    Did you ever hit the ring going over a log crossing? Thats how I killed mine in less than 2 weeks. Seems that the stainless is long wearing but relatively soft. I bent a flat spot between 2 of the bolt holes, didn't really bend it out of plane much, just flattened it.

    I've since gone back to Salsa alum with no issues.
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  4. #4
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Rotate the ring one bolt on the spider.
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  5. #5
    viva la v-brakes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by fxdwhl
    Did you ever hit the ring going over a log crossing? Thats how I killed mine in less than 2 weeks. Seems that the stainless is long wearing but relatively soft.
    Nah, it's been like that since day one. I bought the Surly ring because I was looking for a tank of a chainring, after reading some reports on this forum, maybe next time I'll look at blackspire or something

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Rotate the ring one bolt on the spider.
    So is the idea there is a slight eccentricity in the ring, and a slight eccentricity in the spider, and so moving it allows them to cancel each other out? Why just one bolt hole and not 2?
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  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473
    ...So is the idea there is a slight eccentricity in the ring, and a slight eccentricity in the spider, and so moving it allows them to cancel each other out? Why just one bolt hole and not 2?
    Start with one. If that does not work move it again.

    No ring, spider, crank and BB is ever perfectly concentric. You just need to find where they fit together best.
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  7. #7
    Trail eater
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    same problem

    Quote Originally Posted by fxdwhl
    Did you ever hit the ring going over a log crossing? Thats how I killed mine in less than 2 weeks. Seems that the stainless is long wearing but relatively soft. I bent a flat spot between 2 of the bolt holes, didn't really bend it out of plane much, just flattened it.

    I've since gone back to Salsa alum with no issues.

    I've heard great things about surly chainrings. I bought a 4-bolt 34t chainring and honestly it bends real easy. Im not an expert rider nor do I bash the chainring on logs but the slightest knock with mine and it folds, man does it fold. So much so that the chain would not stay on. Thank god for big rocks on the trail which enabled me to bend it back and ride home. But others who use them do so without any problems at all. Maybe its just me?

    I want to try another chainring, something stronger, anyone recommend a strong chainring?
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  8. #8
    I always bleed like this.
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    I oval'ed mine without hitting anything. Torque alone moved it from round to... not round.
    I switched to a BMX setup, have had no problems with the chainring since. Of course the BB setup has caused me some problems but at least the chainring has held up nicely and the stiffness of the chromo cranks an added bonus.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    4 bolt rings?

    Is everyone having problems with 4 bolt rings? It has been discussed many times on this forum that 4 bolt rings are significantly weaker than 5 bolt rings. Maybe the stainless just isn't strong enough in the 4 bolt format? Aluminum 4 bolt rings are usually thicker and resist bending because of aluminums properties, but when they do go, it is usually catastrophic. I have a 94mm 5 bolt Surly ring and have nevr had a problem with it.

    If you want a stronger ring, the Blackspire have been pretty good, but the best are obviously Boone Titanium rings!

  10. #10
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    boones rings bend pretty easy too in the hands of a hack and a misguided log crossing attempt... i still use it though with no problems.

    if your gonna run a ring ANY RING without a bashguard your gonna have to learn not to bash it into logs so much.

    i must say my salsa rings (AL) seemed to hold up better to bashing though... but they wear quicker.

  11. #11
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    Use Sheldon's adjustment method. Works most of the time. Repositioning the ring one or two bolts may also help as noted.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html#tension

    The chain tension on a fixed gear is quite critical, and is regulated by moving the rear axle back and forth in the fork ends. If the chain is too tight, the drive train will bind, perhaps only at one angle of the pedals (chainwheels are not usually perfectly concentric). It should be tight as it can be without binding. If the chain is too loose, it can fall off, which is quite dangerous on a fixed gear.

    Set the rear axle so that the chain pulls taut at the tightest part of the cranks' rotation. One at a time, loosen up each of the stack bolts, and tighten it back just finger tight. Spin the crank slowly and watch for the chain to get to its tightest point. Strike the taut chain lightly with a convenient tool to make the chain ring move a bit on its spider. Then rotate the crank some more, finding the new tightest spot, and repeat as necessary.

    This takes a little bit of your hands learning how hard to hit the chain, and how loose to set the stack bolts, but it is really quite easy to learn.

    Tighten up the stack bolts a bit and re-check. Tighten the stack bolts in a regular pattern, like the lug nuts on a car wheel. My standard pattern is to start by tightening the bolt opposite the crank, then move clockwise 2 bolts (144 degrees), tighten that one, clockwise 2 more, and so on. Never tighten two neighboring bolts in a row. You may prefer to go counterclockwise, but try to get in the habit of always starting at the same place and always going the same way. This reduces the chances of accidentally missing a bolt.

    Once you have the chainrings centered and secured, adjust the position of the rear axle to make the chain as nearly tight as possible without binding. Notice how freely the drive train turns when the chain is too loose. That is how freely it should turn when you are done, but with as little chain droop as possible.
    He's referring to a fixed gear but it works the same on a SS.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny
    Is everyone having problems with 4 bolt rings? It has been discussed many times on this forum that 4 bolt rings are significantly weaker than 5 bolt rings. Maybe the stainless just isn't strong enough in the 4 bolt format? Aluminum 4 bolt rings are usually thicker and resist bending because of aluminums properties, but when they do go, it is usually catastrophic. I have a 94mm 5 bolt Surly ring and have nevr had a problem with it.

    If you want a stronger ring, the Blackspire have been pretty good, but the best are obviously Boone Titanium rings!
    Mine was a 5 bolt, 110 bcd. The problem is how thin the surly ring is. Take a look at an aluminum ring, the teeth profile is machined thinner but the 'body' of the ring is thicker.

    The Surly ring is one thickness to cut down on weight. I've emailed surly and they said they're aware of this compromise but the cost/weight of a thicker ring wasn't worth it for them.
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  13. #13
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    Clearance on my SS monocog is ridiculous compared to my geared FS bike. Log crossings are a breeze.

    My advice to you is to rotate the ring one arm to try and eliminate as much binding as possible then just loosen the chain. Really no need to run it reallly tight. Loosen it to where it doesnt bind anymore and then just go ride. You will be amazed how loose a chain has to be for it to pop off non ramped or pinned rings.

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