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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-29-08, 12:03 AM   #1
CHEN
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Original Plan for my Drivetrain....worth it?

So i had been planning to purchase an EAI superstar cog, Specialties TA chainring, and a supertoughness chain for my new build....this comes out to roughly $175

but after doing some reading about 1/8 vs 3/32 and kind of weighing my options i was thinking i can just do

sugino 130j chainring, EAI cog, KMC chainring for about $60.

Is there going to be a noticeable difference in performance between these two drivetrain options? should i just opt for the cheaper, or should it NOT cheap out on my build at the last minute?

whadda you guys think?
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Old 01-29-08, 12:25 AM   #2
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No need for an EAI Superstar if you're not racing on the drome. EAI's regular cogs are super nice as it is. Also, no real need for that spendy chain when KMC Kool chains run great with a little lube added. As far as the chainring, nicer chainrings are usually more round/true than lower quality ones, and this does make a difference in performance (not that noticeable assuming chainline is straight and everything else is in order but it's there) and safety (more leeway in chain looseness before you'll throw it).

Main things that matter on the street are that your drivetrain allows you to run a perfect or near perfect chainline, and that you maintain your chain through cleaning/lubing to ensure longevity in the drivetrain and also gain performance efficiency.
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Old 01-29-08, 12:30 AM   #3
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If you really want a higher-zoot cog for street riding, I recommend a Phil Wood instead of the EAI Superstar. You really don't need the latter unless you're doing some elite-level racing at the 'drome. On the other hand, the Phil wood is beautifully machined and finished, and mine has performed beautifully in ****ty conditions for over a year now with almost no discernible signs of wear.
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Old 01-29-08, 12:36 AM   #4
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yeah, any "good" cog (EAI/DuraAce/Phil) will last a loooong time, no need to go crazy.

Last edited by jodypolk; 01-29-08 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 01-29-08, 12:45 AM   #5
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I did a search on the forums and just found a lot of stuff that is confusing me in terms of the chainline....what am i looking for? How can i tell if my chainline is perfect or not? Is there a way to measure this?
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Old 01-29-08, 12:48 AM   #6
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Sheldon Brown's site has a good article on it.
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Old 01-29-08, 01:04 AM   #7
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I did a search on the forums and just found a lot of stuff that is confusing me in terms of the chainline....what am i looking for? How can i tell if my chainline is perfect or not? Is there a way to measure this?
you don't even need to have it exactly perfect. +/- 2mm is acceptable and will have negligible difference in performance.

but if you are in the process of getting new parts (as opposed to making some mish-mash of old parts work) its not tough to dial it in.
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Old 01-29-08, 01:27 AM   #8
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so you guys mentioned that i don't really need what i was originally planning to get unless i was planning on doing some crazy velo racing....but now i'm curious as to why it would be good for racing? Is it just minor improvements that wouldn't matter on a daily basis? Durability? or does it effect efficiency?
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Old 01-29-08, 01:31 AM   #9
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Think about it like this. A track bike is the most minimalistic bike you can ride, right? Well, when you're that stripped down to the essentials, everything is going to make a little difference that could buy you a little time in a race.

Also, actually racing your bike generally merits higher quality componentry anyway. The trick is figuring out which high quality components benefit someone who just appreciates quality vs. someone who is racing.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:31 AM   #10
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so you guys mentioned that i don't really need what i was originally planning to get unless i was planning on doing some crazy velo racing....but now i'm curious as to why it would be good for racing? Is it just minor improvements that wouldn't matter on a daily basis? Durability? or does it effect efficiency?
Superstar cogs and NJS chains are a waste of money, even for someone who is racing. The only speed you'll gain from these will be due to your lighter wallet.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:55 AM   #11
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NJS chains are a waste of money, even for someone who is racing. The only speed you'll gain from these will be due to your lighter wallet.
thats why you don't pay what bens is asking for them. my njs chain costs as little as the non njs chains.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:00 AM   #12
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I did a search on the forums and just found a lot of stuff that is confusing me in terms of the chainline....what am i looking for? How can i tell if my chainline is perfect or not? Is there a way to measure this?
Most trackhubs place the cog in a plane located parallel to the centerline of the bike, 42.5 millimeters away. there is some slight variation - Sheldon Brown has a database of measurements. Add the center-to-shoulder measurement of the hub in question to the chainline-from-shoulder measurement of the cog in question. Or, you can take the reasonable shorthand of assuming it's 42.5mm.

You want your chainring to also be 42.5mm away from the centerline of the bike. That will mean your chain runs straight.

So, use a ruler to measure how far your chainring is from the center of your seattube. See? it's easy. If it's more than a few millimeters off, you might want to look into corrective measures - getting a bb with a longer or shorter spindle.

To deal with this chainline issue, track cranksets have a "matching bb" that place them at the right spot for a good chainline.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:27 AM   #13
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I did a search on the forums and just found a lot of stuff that is confusing me in terms of the chainline....what am i looking for? How can i tell if my chainline is perfect or not? Is there a way to measure this?
Just eyeball it. Don't obsess over a "perfect" chain-line, you'll go nuts.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:37 AM   #14
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Whether or not higher-end track racing chains are worth the money to you is a matter of personal preference, but they are better made and will perform accordingly.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:51 AM   #15
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thats why you don't pay what bens is asking for them. my njs chain costs as little as the non njs chains.
I get KMC 510HX chains for $11..thats KMCs most durable 1/8" chain. Show me an NJS chain that will get me more miles per dollar than that.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:53 AM   #16
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Whether or not higher-end track racing chains are worth the money to you is a matter of personal preference, but they are better made and will perform accordingly.
You might be right (although my experience with NJS chains tells me otherwise), but the performance improvement (if any) is not proportional to cost. NJS parts are expensive because Keirin is a gambling sport and everyone involved wants a piece of the pie. Anyone buying NJS parts should realize that while the parts are good quality, there are equally good and even better non-NJS parts available for a fraction of the cost.

Last edited by mihlbach; 01-29-08 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:56 AM   #17
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Whether or not higher-end track racing chains are worth the money to you is a matter of personal preference, but they are better made and will perform accordingly.
Yes, to some extent you're paying for quality. And brand name. The OP needs to really decided what his needs are. For me, on my fixed Cross-Check, I'd rather buy $6 Z-Chains, run them for a 750-1000 miles and then toss them.

On the GTB, maybe I pay a little more, but since I only put maybe a 1000 miles a year on it, it doesn't merit a $50 chain. The Fixed 1x1 and SingleSpeed get the Cross-Check castoffs.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:23 AM   #18
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It just comes down to whether the increased quality is worth the increased price to the individual. To me it is, to OP it may or may not be.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:30 AM   #19
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i've not been happy with the lower-end kmc chains like the 410 and 510. the izumi eco is much quieter and less sloppy. if you're running a smallish chainring, or a higher ratio, dura-ace cogs are fine. they're only available up to 16t, which is why so many people use eai or otherwise. most track cranks come with a 48 or 49 ring, and you need a 16 to 18 cog to make that a streetable ratio for most people.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:32 AM   #20
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lol

this thread needs dutret

the real question is whether being the kind of person who runs pro stuff on the street is worth the money to you

try inflating your tires if you want increased efficiency
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Old 01-29-08, 10:27 AM   #21
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Just eyeball it. Don't obsess over a "perfect" chain-line, you'll go nuts.
well, if you're buying brand new parts for a ground-up build, you should be able to get a perfect chainline without going nuts. provided you get the right components for a 42 and tighten everything well it should, theoretically, just pop in.

as an aside, i have a pair of digital calilpers that are the ideal tool for measuring chainline. if you plan on doing a lot of builds or (especially) conversions, this is a good thing to have in your tool bucket.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:35 AM   #22
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NJS parts are expensive because Keirin is a gambling sport and everyone involved wants a piece of the pie.
That's totally wrong.
Theyre expensive in the USA because of the huge markup by the retailers in the states. In Japan, If you want good parts, buying NJS parts is about the cheapest way you can go in building your bike. I built my bike out of almost all NJS parts because it would save me money. Of course, i liked and trusted the parts too.

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Old 01-29-08, 10:39 AM   #23
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also, the dollar is weak.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:43 AM   #24
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That a new thing. The dollar wasnt weak a few years ago against the and they still marked the parts up drastically.
This just means that new NJS parts will just get more expensive as the US government continues to destroy our country.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:55 AM   #25
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Just eyeball it. Don't obsess over a "perfect" chain-line, you'll go nuts.
-1000

this kind of attitude at an LBS leads to newbies dropping chains while bombing hills. bad times.

get calipers and do it right.
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