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  1. #1
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    3rd Cog is cross-chain?

    I may be biased due to the source so I thought I'd throw this out for opinions. Last Sunday I rode in the Tour de Cure and one of the rest stops had a mechanic from a local bike store for free adjustments. As I walked up to the table, a cyclist had his bike up on the stand getting his chain oiled. About then I overheard the tech say, "Guy that's a really bad gear combination you've got there" and he went on at some length about it. Noisy, hard on his chain, so much extra friction and so on and so forth. I couldn't resist a sidelong glance at it. It was a road double with the chain on the big ring and the third cog. I didn't see how many cogs the cassette had but I assume 10.

    Maybe it's not optimal but I'd never heard that the third cog was "cross-chained" let alone as bad as all that. I frankly thought he was being a know-it-all bozo at the cyclist's expense. But I'd also overheard the tech laughing about struggling "first-timers" and guys who hadn't trained enough which may have colored my opinion. What say you?

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    Ehh I cross chain all the time and it hasn't damaged me or my bikes. If I need to use the small small to go down a short descent before a hill, I use it rather that go to the big, then back to the small. If I am in the big ring and do a smaller hill I might use the big/big.

    I only really think it's a cross chain and the derailleurs/chain is unhappy at the end of the cogset (so just really 2 gear combos). That's where most bikes make a little noise and you can tell. Even going up/down one gear isn't cross-chaining to me.

  3. #3
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Yeah,3rd/big ring would be cross-chaining(assuming modern 2x10). And this can be bad for skinny 10spd chains. I see folks come into my clinic all the time with their bikes cross-chained,and I explain proper shifting and gear selection.

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  4. #4
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    That's just foolish. Why would you want to use the third cog or any of the cogs in between? Big ring should be used only with the smallest cassette cog. Small ring should only be used with the biggest cassette cog.

    Quit using it as a 20-speed. It's 2 speed only.

    ***A lot of sarcasm, sorry. I just find it crazy that somwhere between the design and manufacturing process this isn't addressed. If the middle cogs are to be considered cross-chaining and unusuable, design should be updated to prevent this from being an issue.***

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Lovers of the high efficiency % .. best is when the chain runs straight

    triple cranksets have redundant ratios .. the overlap where the gear is actually virtually the same .
    pick the least-worst chainline.

    middle chain ring .. when you shift to the last cog on the edges, of the cassette,
    consider what the gear you might need , after that.. get even steeper ? change front .
    then downshift to the middle of the cassette, the same ratio you were going to use mid - big

    and then RD will have a couple More , lower gears.

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    Crap.

    The only way that would be cross-chaining is if the crank is 'Q'-ed out too far (not properly centered in reference to the cassette). Either that, or the 10-speed system is so finicky that I'd tear it off the bike and wing it into the river at some point.

    9-speed doesn't have that issue.

    (Funny -- never thought I'd sound like a "Lud" talking about 9-SPEED!)

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    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    I've never thought 3 cog in was cross chaining, but I never go more than that if I'm paying attention.

    Drive train is in great shape too.
    Roadie in San Diego with a bad knee recovering from back surgery.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You talking the 34t and like a 15t, cog #3 of 10 or 11?


    note: the Shorter the chain-stays, the More it's an issue..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-27-13 at 01:05 PM.

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    I ride a compact double and when I'm on the big ring I try to stay off the three lowest cogs of the cassette. It gets easier as your conditioning improves.

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    I'm with DXMan and Savagewolf on this, and honestly, I can't believe people actually care. I mean, sheesh, I ride to have fun and get the job done, not to make my equipment last as long as possible. If I need to 'cross chain' to get up the hill or whatever, I'm gonna do it, and I'll replace the crummy chain and cogset when they're shot, which if my almost 30 years of riding is any indication, will be plenty long down the road. Cross chaining as a concern is, IMO, a non-issue (assuming proper drivetrain setup).
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    I ride a compact double and when I'm on the big ring I try to stay off the three lowest cogs of the cassette. It gets easier as your conditioning improves.
    Until when? Your condition improves to the point where you can sack the derailleur crap for a single speed belt drive?

    It's very hard for me to make sense out of avoiding using the gears to do the work they were intended to do, especially just to save wear, which may be years down the road before it becomes critical. If people could say 'cross chaining' is flirting with disaster that'd be one thing, but really, it only means your drivetrain *might* wear out more quickly depending on a bunch of other factors remaining constant, and no one can say that a certain amount of minutes in a cross chain combo will result in X or anything else.

    A classic case of 'much ado about nothing.'
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  12. #12
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Until when? Your condition improves to the point where you can sack the derailleur crap for a single speed belt drive?

    It's very hard for me to make sense out of avoiding using the gears to do the work they were intended to do, especially just to save wear, which may be years down the road before it becomes critical. If people could say 'cross chaining' is flirting with disaster that'd be one thing, but really, it only means your drivetrain *might* wear out more quickly depending on a bunch of other factors remaining constant, and no one can say that a certain amount of minutes in a cross chain combo will result in X or anything else.

    A classic case of 'much ado about nothing.'
    Thank you. That's how I was seeing it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I knew there was some reason I ride IGH... hard as hell to cross chain one of those!

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  14. #14
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    Hi,

    Ii sounds about right, but not serious. On a 52/42 front and 7 speed 14 to 28
    rear I regard the bottom two and top two as unnecessary crosschaining, so
    each front has 5 gears. 10 speed rear and a compact front crank I could
    see the bottom 3 and top 3 as unnecessary crosschaining. TBH on my
    bike I only really avoid the the 1 and 7 crosschaining, 2 and 6 do get
    ocassionally used crosschained depending on whats coming up.

    rgds, sreten.

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    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    If you really cared so much about wear and tear, maybe it's time to use a cheaper chain and cassette so you won't have to take a second mortgage out on the house every year or so you go to the lbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Yeah,3rd/big ring would be cross-chaining(assuming modern 2x10). And this can be bad for skinny 10spd chains. I see folks come into my clinic all the time with their bikes cross-chained,and I explain proper shifting and gear selection.
    3rd largest / big ring with a tight cogset and compact crank could be like 2nd smallest / small ring which is even worse and may be too far outboard for the chain to clear the big ring.

    Ex: 50-34 x 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23. 50x19 = 34x13.

    I spent 5-6 years with 50-34 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23 with oodles of time in 34x14 or 50x21. It worked fine and my last C9 chain was just reaching 1/32" of elongation at the 5000 mile mark when I broke a discontinued right shifter spring and moved on to 10 cogs.

  17. #17
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    And this can be bad for skinny 10spd chains.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    I spent 5-6 years with 50-34 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23 with oodles of time in 34x14 or 50x21. It worked fine and my last C9 chain was just reaching 1/32" of elongation at the 5000 mile mark when I broke a discontinued right shifter spring and moved on to 10 cogs.
    9spd≠10spd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    9spd≠10spd.
    9 speed works about as well as 8 speed which preceded it and 6 speed which predated that (4 and 5 cogs in back predate when I started riding road bikes).

    With less bearing surface I expect lower life (back-of-the-envelope arithmetic suggests 20% moving from 9 to 10 cogs) but I can't believe that a side plate reduction from 2.25 to 1.8mm (I'm assuming based on 6.8/5.9mm external widths and 3/32" internal width) and couple mm increase in cassette width (Campagnolo 10 cog setups have the last hanging off the end of the freehub body) is going to cause things to stop working where similar moves from older gear did not.

    My first 10 cog chain is fine after the first year and rainy season. If it ceases to be fine I'm out $36 which is not an interesting number divided by a year ($36/12 = $3/month) or longer.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 05-28-13 at 03:17 PM.

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    Shimano's recommendation (from a now-dead link) is:

    For doubles, avoid cross chaining the first and last cogs.
    For triples, avoid cross chaining the first two and last two cogs for the outer chain rings and the first and last cog for the middle chain ring.

    (That works out to "chain-rings - 1".)

  20. #20
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    9 speed works about as well as 8 speed which preceded it and 6 speed which predated that (4 and 5 cogs in back predate when I started riding road bikes).
    Ok? Didn't say anything about 9spd being bad,it's just 10spd isn't as durable and that's prolly what the individual the mechanic was talking to was running.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    With less bearing surface I expect lower life (back-of-the-envelope arithmetic suggests 20% moving from 9 to 10 cogs) but I can't believe that a side plate reduction from 2.25 to 1.8mm (I'm assuming based on 6.8/5.9mm external widths and 3/32" internal width) and couple mm increase in cassette width (Campagnolo 10 cog setups have the last hanging off the end of the freehub body) is going to cause things to stop working where similar moves from older gear did not.
    Batt's dead in my precision caliper,and I'm too lazy to change it,so no idea what the exact widths are. But I can tell you from experience that 10spd isn't anywhere near as durable as 8/9spd. I used to get a good year and a half out of my 8spd commuters' chains,on my 9spd bike I was getting 12-13months,and on my 10spd bike I was only getting 8-9months. I also had to replace a 10spd chain that became twisted(was on the bike when I got it off eBay) despite the fact that my Park Tools gauge showed that it was still good and it didn't show any rust or other issues. Never had an 8 or 9spd chain twist.

    I hate 10spd because it's darn near wimpy compared to 8/9,and way more expensive;at $18 a chain for 8spd and $40/chain for 10spd,10spd chains were effectively costing me 4x as much! Fine for the pro's who are racing and have sponsors to give them free stuff,but for us mere mortals it would be good to have 'nice'(105/LX+) 8/9 speed parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I hate 10spd because it's darn near wimpy compared to 8/9,and way more expensive;at $18 a chain for 8spd and $40/chain for 10spd,10spd chains were effectively costing me 4x as much!
    I order spare 10sp 5700 105 chains from the UK suppliers when I get tires. They cost $20-25 and I use a KMC Missing Link @ $2/ea to install them myself. I do wish they lasted longer but that's a drop in the bucket as far as my annual bike expenditures go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Yeah,3rd/big ring would be cross-chaining(assuming modern 2x10). And this can be bad for skinny 10spd chains...
    One of many reasons I bought up a lifetime supply of eight-speed cassettes when they started disappearing from stores. Just more damn trouble than it's worth for non-racers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    One of many reasons I bought up a lifetime supply of eight-speed cassettes when they started disappearing from stores. Just more damn trouble than it's worth for non-racers.
    You also want to stock up on shifters.

    I upgraded from 9 to 10 cogs after a discontinued spring broke in my 1996 Campagnolo Chorus levers and new 9 speed levers which had the same functionality were no longer available.

    I have a spare set of NOS 10 cog Ultrashift levers so that's less likely to happen this time around.

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