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Thread: A Biospace

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    A Biospace

    I have decided I wanted a biospace chainring. If I get one of those do I also need a different chain?

    how do I get one of these anyway?

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    jcm
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    As you probably know, Shimano BioPace, Sakae Ovaltech, and one other brand that escapes my memory, haven't been made since about 1991. The only practical way to obtain a set is to shop around and find a low-use MTB from about 1987 to 1991 and see if it can be fitted to your bike. Or, if the bike is good and the right size, just buy it and convert it to your purposes.

    There were some decent road bikes that had BioPace as well, notably Centurion, possibly Nishiki, and others. Again, you'll be looking at vintage stuff.

    There is a small niche that has fueled a resurgence in interest recently. The result is that there is a few peolpe that are manufacturing out-of-round chainrings again, but I don't know anything about them. Probably expensive. I just stick with the older stuff, and scrounge up what I can find to keep things in good shape.

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    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    I know someone in the past switched out the Biopace on my Centurion Ironman, and I would love to put it back to the original Biopace. But it means that I will have to either eBay, or get lucky and find a donor on either CL or in thrift shops.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishYouWasMe
    I have decided I wanted a biospace chainring. If I get one of those do I also need a different chain?
    how do I get one of these anyway?
    First question--you MAY need to get a new chain and rear cluster, depending on how many miles you have on your bike. "Drivetrain wear" causes the teeth to get finer and the chain to stretch. Take your bike to a bike shop and ask if they can measure the chain stretch (they have a special gauge for measuring this) and see if they think you can put a new set of chainrings on or not. BioPace chainrings don't normally require different chains, unless [maybe?] if you're running a 9- or 10-speed rear cluster.

    ...By the way, there was actually TWO versions of BioPace rings; the second had a milder "shape" than the first, and there were different materials and details as well (made of aluminum, stainless or regular steel, some with pins and ramps, others without, and so on).

    Second question--where do you get BioPace chainrings? You can still find new unused ones (or lightly used ones) on eBay. Two others were Sugino Cycloid and SR Ovaltechs.
    What's the difference? Here's a page I put up, tracing a few of them:
    http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dcim...hainrings.html
    (-note that these traces don't have the dead spots aligned accurately, and are not to scale. All of these came in similar tooth counts [circumferences] so these traces are only for demonstrating the different shapes they used)

    Yellowjersey.org has a selection of some non-round rings:
    http://www.yellowjersey.org/esoteric.html

    I think Harris Cyclery had a few too, but I can't find the page right off:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/hub.html

    There's at least four companies making non-round chainrings right now--Rotor (Q-Rings) and O.Symetric, as well as at least two smaller shops selling online. One possible problem with these is that if your bike has a braze-on front derailleur mount, then the front derailleur may not adjust high enough to clear the long axis of the larger chainring.
    -----
    I am using some Rotor Q-Rings on my main bike right now. The Q-Rings are somewhat unnique in that they allow yo to place the longer axis wherever you want it. Last season I found I tended to get knee pains at around 60 miles and Q-rings are supposed to reduce that, but I haven't rode them enough this year to tell any difference except for fairly-lousy shifting onto both the small and large rings.
    ~

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    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    I have 2 used ones. I put them on ebay a couple weeks ago. Aparently so few people are interested in them, I got about 3 'views' and 0 bids on them.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

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    Happy old man al-wagner's Avatar
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    Not to sound too stupid but what is a biospace chainring?
    http://www.thegmbc.com/
    http://www.gmaa.net/

    In New England we have nine months of winter and three months of damned poor sledding.

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    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-wagner
    Not to sound too stupid but what is a biospace chainring?
    bioPace. Its a chainring that isnt perfectly round. It was engineered on a computer to
    match the strong and week parts of a rider's leg rotation. Some people like them, most
    people don't bother.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    I have 2 used ones. I put them on ebay a couple weeks ago. Aparently so few people are interested in them, I got about 3 'views' and 0 bids on them.
    Depends on the exact type and condition; Yellowjersey sold out of their DeoreXT's.
    I have been told that a small number of MTB'ers still believe they are a benefit, for low-cadence technical riding.
    ~

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    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Mine are off a 20 year old bike.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

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    Q-rings take some time and effort for optimal fit, but they are phenomenal innovations as compared to the old biopace rings.

    Doug - you may not have them adjusted properly if they're shifting bad. I know dozens of people using them and they've never reported such issue. Contact Rotor and they'd be more than happy to help.

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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150
    Depends on the exact type and condition; Yellowjersey sold out of their DeoreXT's.
    I have been told that a small number of MTB'ers still believe they are a benefit, for low-cadence technical riding.
    ~
    While I don't do off-road technical stuff, I can tell you from my experience crossing many greenbelts with windfalls and such, that BioPace/OvalTech does indeed help with stall speed manouvers. Especially on the dig-out. It's almost impossible to spin the rear tire or torque a wheelie. Also, I have seen many people who are intimidated by those steel bollard gates that keep cars off the MUP's. They wobble their way thru like they're gonna die. I just give it a quick left-right and shoot right around. Very good low speed control, Even with a set of Ortliebs on the back. My MTB is set up for road travel, BTW. I run either 1.5" Armadillos or some type of skinny slick under 1.37".

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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    Q-rings take some time and effort for optimal fit, but they are phenomenal innovations as compared to the old biopace rings.

    Doug - you may not have them adjusted properly if they're shifting bad. I know dozens of people using them and they've never reported such issue. Contact Rotor and they'd be more than happy to help.
    I'll be watching this product from now on... thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    While I don't do off-road technical stuff, I can tell you from my experience crossing many greenbelts with windfalls and such, that BioPace/OvalTech does indeed help with stall speed manouvers. Especially on the dig-out. It's almost impossible to spin the rear tire or torque a wheelie. Also, I have seen many people who are intimidated by those steel bollard gates that keep cars off the MUP's. They wobble their way thru like they're gonna die. I just give it a quick left-right and shoot right around. Very good low speed control, Even with a set of Ortliebs on the back. My MTB is set up for road travel, BTW. I run either 1.5" Armadillos or some type of skinny slick under 1.37".
    cool....I have a ToysRUs Tanzier Rhino mountain bike with Derka linear brakes. I didnt know mountain bikes could do wheelies...because my bike is too heavy. It will barely come off the ground when I try and lift it while pedaling.

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    I put a biopace on a 3 speed. It does not require anything a circular ring does not. You see the rings on ebay fairly often. They change the feel of the ride, are probably a bit better on the knees, but it is not a huge difference. I have 46t, switching to biopace might have more of an effect on a smaller gear. The rings work on the shimino 5 arm 110bcd cranks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge
    I put a biopace on a 3 speed. It does not require anything a circular ring does not. You see the rings on ebay fairly often. They change the feel of the ride, are probably a bit better on the knees, but it is not a huge difference. I have 46t, switching to biopace might have more of an effect on a smaller gear. The rings work on the shimino 5 arm 110bcd cranks.
    When I posted a link to that page on a newsgroup, several people noted the same thing that I saw when I was making it--the smaller non-round chainrings in ALL the earlier brands (BioPace, SR Ovaltech and Sugino Cycloids) seem to have "more radical" shapes. The 52T BioPace for instance looks rather like a circle with four less-curved areas, it looks "almost round", but the 30T looks like a diamond with rounded corners--it doesn't look round at all. Nobody who commented had any explanation for this.
    ~

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    Don't worry... give it 5-10 years, Biopace or other chainrings will come back into vogue and cost $500 or so for three.

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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150
    When I posted a link to that page on a newsgroup, several people noted the same thing that I saw when I was making it--the smaller non-round chainrings in ALL the earlier brands (BioPace, SR Ovaltech and Sugino Cycloids) seem to have "more radical" shapes. The 52T BioPace for instance looks rather like a circle with four less-curved areas, it looks "almost round", but the 30T looks like a diamond with rounded corners--it doesn't look round at all. Nobody who commented had any explanation for this.
    ~
    Exactly right. Sort of trapazoidal, actually. The smaller rings are radically easier to climb with for that reason. The top ring isn't so noticeable.

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    NFL Owner monogodo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Exactly right. Sort of trapazoidal, actually. The smaller rings are radically easier to climb with for that reason. The top ring isn't so noticeable.
    Not trapezoidal, but a parallelogram.
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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogodo
    Not trapezoidal, but a parallelogram.
    Yeah, a paralellelll-uh-gram.

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    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    I know someone in the past switched out the Biopace on my Centurion Ironman, and I would love to put it back to the original Biopace. But it means that I will have to either eBay, or get lucky and find a donor on either CL or in thrift shops.

    Good luck!

    East Hill

    What size Biopace are you looking for? I have several, and I also know where more can be had for around $2 a piece.

    jim

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    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa
    What size Biopace are you looking for? I have several, and I also know where more can be had for around $2 a piece.

    jim
    The BioPace got switched out with a 42/52t set.

    It's for this bike:



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    Senior Member jawnn's Avatar
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    Q-rings; clippless pedals; etc

    There was a test done by one of the cycling magazines about 10 to 12 years ago. They rigged a number of bikes with load cells on the pedals to read pressure pulling and pushing. The riders were a mix of everything from average Joes to Cat. 5,4,3,2,and,1 racers, Iron-Man triatheletes and pro-tour racers. Even though most of the riders felt like they pulled up a considerable amount the test showed that only a few of the very elite riders pulled up enough to make a measurable difference.

    more info here:http://funnyfarmart.com/Qring.htm

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    Senior Member Jack Hammer's Avatar
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    I had BioPace rings on my old mtb turned city bike. I dindn't like them, I got a lot of knee pain when I rode with them. After I swapped the rings out for some regular round ones the pain went away. One of my friends used to swear by them. He claimed he could ride longer without tiring and that his pedal stroke was smoother. To each his own

    Jack

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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    The BioPace got switched out with a 42/52t set.


    East Hill
    I'll trade you my Biopace rings for your round ones.

  25. #25
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    I will send you a PM, HB.

    East Hill
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