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Thread: Biopace Report

  1. #1
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    Biopace Report

    I normally ride a 52X17 (80.4") Sugino/EAI chainring and cog setup.
    I experiment all the time and also like 47X17 (72") for the control and versatility.

    Looking for something new to try, I came across Sheldon Brown's article and Shimano Biopace chainrings.
    Apparently, Shimano tried to market these in the 90's and it didn't work out for them.
    A few people who have tried them really like them, and a few "scientific" tests regarding them proved inconclusive.

    So I ordered a 53t chainring from Harris Cyclery.
    Dirt cheap.
    I guess no one wants them.

    Anyway, I put it on my Pista with the 17t EAI cog, which comes to 81.9".
    I adjusted the chain tention at the two tightest points so that I had about 3/16" play, with effort.
    The chain would probably feel too tight to most people.
    That left it about .5" - .75" slack at the two loose points in the spin; pretty loose for me.

    On the work stand, I got the wheel and crank up to speed and then let them coast down a few times.
    The crank spun forever and stopped at random points, so I figured the tight chain wouldn't cause any issues.

    Going out to test ride it, I went on my usual 12.5 mile training ride and threw in a little detour just to add some spice.
    My training ride has a dynamic range of about 800-1000 feet in elevation changes, and takes me through both urban and suburban traffic with a couple of very intimidating hills.
    I average 13 to 16 miles per hour for the whole ride, including stoplights and the like.

    My first impression involved a sense of powerful fluidity and speed.
    I mean, I didn't do a warp 9 or anything, but I definitely felt faster for less effort.
    In fact, it felt like I'd gone down a tooth on the chainring instead of up, and I felt noticeably faster.

    Long climbs in the saddle felt more comfortable.
    I had better acceleration, almost "squirty."
    I also noticed more control going downhill, and no tendency to "bob."
    My knees seemed to like this new chainring, too.
    I couldn't feel the slack at the loose points and the chain sounded as silent as usual.

    Well, I thought maybe I just had a good day.
    It happens.
    So I asked my seventeen year old son, the world's most physically fit human being, to take it for a test ride.
    He disappeared for a long time and came back with big grin.
    "Fast," he said.
    He doesn't talk much.
    That represents about four days conversation for him.

    Anyway, I'll ride this for a week and report again.

  2. #2
    Bow$$ dustinlikewhat's Avatar
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    i hear they make you sterile.

  3. #3
    MADE IN HONG KONG
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    I keep a set of NOS 600 rings in storage ... for when i get old....just in case the rumors are true.

    Interested to know how they feel under braking and over bumps with all the slack?
    If you are not having any fun, it's all your fault

  4. #4
    King of the Hipsters
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    Dustin wrote:

    "i hear they make you sterile."

    Fat and bald, too.

  5. #5
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    I had them on my geared ride. I didn't like them.

    It's not that I thought I was going slower, it's more that I noticed them at all. I swapped my Biopace out for a set of round 600 rings and I'm happier for it.

    Just sayin.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cox
    Dustin wrote:

    "i hear they make you sterile."

    Fat and bald, too.
    No, They make you grow a long beard:
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
    Bike on flickr and on FGG

  7. #7
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    I've long liked Biopace rings. I am running 48/17 with a biopace ring on my fixed gear right now, and like it alot. No problems with chain tension or anything.

  8. #8
    So I says to Mable I says somnambulant's Avatar
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    I had a biopace ring on my mntn bike about 12 years ago. I thought I heard somewhere that they were knee-destroyers.. but I have nothing to back that up, and it never really made that much sense to me either.
    -Milpool

  9. #9
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    When I switch between biopace and regular bike, I notice for about 5 seconds, then not at all. The only time I notice now is on my ss city tank with 44x16 biopace combo - on a long ride (ended up on an unintentional 25 mile ride last week) with flat pedals and no clips it seemed to require less effort to keep cadence up somehow. Maybe it's because I've been riding my 35lb mountain bike and knobby tires for a few days.

  10. #10
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    whats a biopace chainring? whats the difference with regular chainring? please cure my ignorance of chainrings.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangster
    whats a biopace chainring? whats the difference with regular chainring? please cure my ignorance of chainrings.
    yawn.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/biopace.html

  12. #12
    Geriatric Member 48x16's Avatar
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    Can someone please throw all of them into a pit that goes down to hell and let me never heard about or see one ever again?

    thanks.

  13. #13
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48x16
    Can someone please throw all of them into a pit that goes down to hell and let me never heard about or see one ever again?

    thanks.
    you're just jealous because your chainrings weren't computer-engineered for maximum efficiency.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  14. #14
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    for the sf bay area folks who love biopace, Urban Ore in Berkeley has lots (or did a couple days ago) of them in the wrappers for a buck a piece.

  15. #15
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    I'm a biopace fan. I still use them on my Miyata 1000 touring bike. Hill feel easier to climb with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  16. #16
    J.A.M Jamtastic's Avatar
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    its all in the mind hahaha

  17. #17
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    Recently got a Miyata 912 with Biopace.Oblong rings?Wierd!!So after receiving the bike UPS and reassembling it I thought I'd take it for a 8-10 mi. stretch.FAST!!Quick starts and up to altitude in no time.The Biopace makes the 912 quite the interesting ride.Fluid....

  18. #18
    . monkey's Avatar
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    "I'm Kent Brockman, and this is a BioPace report"

  19. #19
    ******** modmon's Avatar
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    how does skidding feel on a biopace setup? might be fun to throw on my commuter...
    Last edited by modmon; 09-30-05 at 03:21 PM.

  20. #20
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    I'm riding a Gitane 912 so have'nt tried it,but from what the Bio~Pace feels like I'm sure it'd be alot of fun.I'm 44 and started out on dirt-bikes(BMX),so I'm very familiar with skidding.In Florida we used to go down to the bottom part of a road on the steepest hill we could find and scatter sand all along the edge of the pavement.We'd then go to the top of the hill,start down,then once we reached the highest speed possible we'd wait until the first moment we would hit the sand,slam the rear brake and ride the skid all the way to the end of the sand~patch.Fun Stuff!!So as far as the Bio~Pace is concerned,once you got to the end of your slide I bet you could release your rear brake,balance your cycle straight back up,give your cranks a few pumps and you'd be off and running again with little or no hesitation.As I had said in my earlier post,the Bio~Pace has excellent pickup,regardless of what "anti-computer designed" individuals say.
    Bio~Pace would be an interesting experiment for your commuter...Give it a try!!You can grab em' up relatively cheap on eBay if you shop for a bit .......

    Hey Cyclers!!Don't look now,but your wheels are going around !!

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