Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
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the first is that the chain clears the FD cage if it can't be trimmed, because you don't want to saw it through. Also that it clears the outer chainring coming from the outermost rear sprocket. That takes care of the minimum practicalities. Now the cross chaining issue.
While many people talk about cross chaining in a digital sense as in non-crossed combinations are OK and crossed aren't, thatosn't how chains see it. Chains run best when they're aligned, and wear faster and are less efficient when they aren't, with the degree of the problem related to the amount of deflection. It's a spectrum, with minor angles being minor problems, and more being worse.
So coming to your question, the inner and outer sprockets are the worst to use with the middle ring, but 2nd ones on either side are only slightly better, and so on until you get the middle and middle. So try to ride with the more aligned groups, but if it's the right gear for the moment using the outermost with the middle from time to time won't be a disaster.
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