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  1. #1
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Triple chainrings

    I am looking for alternatives to the Shimano Dura Ace chainrings I have on my tandem. The main reason is that my drivetrain is otherwise Campy, and it appears incongruous. Also, they don't look that great, and don't line up with the spider.



    Are there other chainrings that will shift nearly as well?

    The SL-K MegaExo Tandem crankset features Super Type chainrings, which appear robust. Anybody have these, and can report on how they shift?




    Does anybody have any other triple 130/74 BCD chainrings they can recommend?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Maybe Raceface? Or Sugino?
    Steve
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  3. #3
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    We're using TA rings on our Calfee. The shift from middle to big is a little balky but could be due to going from 42 to 56.

  4. #4
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    But they shift great. There is a noticeble drop off in front shifting from Dura Ace rings to FSA.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

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    TA Alize on our Calfee too. So far shifting very well (1 year <5K miles). 54/44/28 (9-speed) w/n-gear jumpstop. Lightning cranks. Equal to Shimano I think.

  6. #6
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    But they shift great. There is a noticeble drop off in front shifting from Dura Ace rings to FSA.
    Yeah, I can't abide by any drop off, as it isn't exactly shifting nirvana right now.

    I think I've found the answer though.

    Praxis is a new company based in Santa Cruz, that is coming out with a line of forged chainrings. The forging is done in Taiwan by Dragon Tech, which is apparently the ne plus ultra of forging. I had seen accounts of what they are doing, here, here, here. One of the reasons the Shimano chainrings are the strongest/stiffest/best shifting is that they are forged, whereas all other chainrings, save Campy, are CNC'd. Another supplier of forged chainrings is a welcome development, especially for flexy chainring averse tandems.

    Here's a video explaining this:



    It had all looked great, but in none of the accounts was there was any mention of a triple. And since the triple is so unfashionable, I thought it unlikely that Praxis would make one in their initial offerings.

    But, lo, I go to the website today, and a triple is right in there with the standard road double.




    Now the big question will be, which Liquid Ano® color to get?




    Quote Originally Posted by Road Bike Review
    Praxis Works has also come up with an anodizing process it is calling Liquid Ano®. Exclusive to Praxis, they’re able to give each ring a deep paint like luster with a durable and super slippery finish. The result to the end user is a chainring that looks great on the bike, but will also reduce shifting friction, possibly resulting in better shifting and longer wear.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, 53t is as big as they make...
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Let us know how they shift. I replaced my middle FSA ring with Shimano, a great improvement, and want to replace the big ring, too.

  9. #9
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    Just talked to Adam at Praxis and the chainrings are not available yet. They are all sold as sets so you will need to replace all three as they are engineered and designed only to work together.

  10. #10
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    We have used FSA and now use TA. No balky shifting. TA took a little time to adjust correctly. I did see a great improvement in front shifting when we moved from Shimano Ultegra shifters to Campy Chorus. I like front shifting that is not indexed. It seems to down shift under more load than the indexed Shimano. Shimano and Campy both worked well shifting to a larger ring.

  11. #11
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    Stronglight CT2 seem to be popular, but I have never used them.
    The FSA rings that came with the Gossamer crankset seem to be fine.

  12. #12
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    Stronglight CT2 seem to be popular, but I have never used them.
    Stronglight's are often praised over at the Weight Weenie forum, where there are many Europeans. I do not think Stronglight has a US Distributor. Instead, the site with the greatest selection is XXCycles, which is confusing as all get out.

    I emailed XXCycles some questions.


    I have a tandem with a 130/74 BCD crank. FD: 2005 Campy Record Ti. RD: Campy SR 11-spd, chain is 11-spd.

    I have 52/40/32 Dura Ace triple chainrings, which works, but I'd like to look at non-Shimano alternatives.

    What Stronglight chainring(s)should I get to replace the DA, that might work best with 11-spd?

    Would CT2 10/11 spd outer chainring work best with 11-spd, though the chainring is not meant for triple?

    What about Stronglight 130 Dural 1° TYPE S? Is this a triple-specific outer ring? Is it a better shifting outer triple chainring than CT2? If so, which 42 and 30 Stronglight chainrings would match and work best?

    Thanks, looking forward to your recommendation.

    Ritterview



    Quote Originally Posted by XXCycle
    Hello dear rider,

    Transmission on tandem need more precision for good action. The best solution is to use one complet crankset like your Ultegra. For the best solution , two way : buy one crankset campa triple 2011 or one Stronglight impact special for tandem.

    Have a good ride.
    --
    Amitiés cyclistes
    xxcycle.com
    Hmmmm...I didn't figure on getting a whole new set of cranks. I persisted therefore:

    Laurent:

    Before I toss my $1500 cranksets for square taper, shouldn't I try chainrings?

    And besides, Campagnolo doesn't make a tandem crankset, which needs a reverse-thread, left-sided spider for the synch chainrings.

    If I were to get Stronglight triple chainrings, which ones would I order?

    I think I see a CT2 middle chainring, but not a CT2 outer triple chainring.

    What are the chaingrings used on the Impact special tandem crankset you recommend?

    Thanks,

    Ritterview




    Quote Originally Posted by XXCycle
    For you the best solution, it's stronglight impact special tandem;
    Chainring are not build with ct² technologie.

    Nevertheless, they producted with same high precision, like for each stronglight product.

    So, I still have no idea which Stronglight chainrings I would want to order, and I know of no way of figuring this out! I just figured I'll wait for the Praxis.

  13. #13
    Charles Ramsey
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    Buy a new crank the bolts on the inner chainring are loaded in bending rather than shear. This design is OK for a single but not for a tandem you will eventually break those bolts.

  14. #14
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Ramsey View Post
    Buy a new crank the bolts on the inner chainring are loaded in bending rather than shear. This design is OK for a single but not for a tandem you will eventually break those bolts.
    To which crank are you referring, and what in particular about the design is deficient?

  15. #15
    Charles Ramsey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    To which crank are you referring, and what in particular about the design is deficient?
    The photo with the Duraace derailer I don't recognize the model it looks like a double crank was drilled and tapped to add a third chainring. In a 70's article on tandem racing most likely bike world mentioned that tandem racers were able to shear the bolts of Campagnolo cranks. The Campagnolo had a 144 mm bolt circle diameter you crank has a 74 mm bolt circle diameter on the smallest ring this means these bolts are under twice the stress. It is much easier to break something by bending than shear the longer the bolt the easier it will break. My advice is to run the crank until something wears out then replace it with a new one.

  16. #16
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
    Just talked to Adam at Praxis and the chainrings are not available yet. They are all sold as sets so you will need to replace all three as they are engineered and designed only to work together.
    Ominously, the triple has been removed from the Praxis website. Time to get on the horn again with Adam!

  17. #17
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Watching this thread.

  18. #18
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Let us know how they shift. I replaced my middle FSA ring with Shimano, a great improvement, and want to replace the big ring, too.
    I called Adam at Praxis, and he essentially told me that eventually there would be a Praxis road triple, but not likely this year. Drat. I asked him whether an outer double ring would shift well on a triple. Maybe it would, but not as well as a triple they would design with integrated shifting features. Okay, I said I would wait for the triple...but, in the meantime, I asked if he had any outer road chainrings, maybe a blem, that he could part with so I could give it a try. Why, he just happened to have one right in front of him.

    So, for $10 shipping, Adam sent me his blem Praxis 53t road double chainring. Front:Rear.



    I installed it on my bike, replacing the TA 52t Hegoa chainring I had had before. It fronts the TA 42t Alize middle ring, and the 30t TA Zelito inner ring. This with a Campagnolo 11-spd Record chain, 12-29 Campy cassette, Campy Super Record rear derailleur. The left shifter is a Centaur 10-speed, and the right is Super Record. The front derailleur is a Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7703. The chainring spacers on the Lightning crank have been narrowed (because of the 5.5 mm 11-spd vs. 5.9 mm 10-speed chain), so the chainring tooth-to-tooth distance is reduced.



    I'm happy to report that it shifts much better than the TA. It goes up and drops readily. I find I am shifting now without looking, like I do on my half-bike. It gets right up there. I think this forged chainring is stiffer, and has effective shifting ramps. I'll really look forward to the Praxis triple, as there will be a lot of integrated shifting features between the three chainrings.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Have had a Blackspire road triple on our Rans Screamer. 48/36/24 No issues, ever. Have also had great success with RaceFace. Great Canadian products.

    Mike

  20. #20
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchell View Post
    Have had a Blackspire road triple on our Rans Screamer. 48/36/24 No issues, ever.
    These? Performance ROAD Chainrings


  21. #21
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    We're using a Blackspire 28 tooth inner chainring. It is a lot thicker aluminium than those we've used from other manufacturers, so appears to not be wearing too fast - riding in the Swiss Alps a lot means that we can wear out a poor-quality inner ring pretty quickly on the tandem. I remember comparing the weights once, and a similar standard alu' ring (TA I think) was about 50 grams, the Blackspire about 70 grams and a steel version about 100 grams, but those are only rough estimates because my memory is quite fallible. I'm happy to have a bit of extra weight there if it increases longevity. I haven't tried Blackspire's middle or large rings because those don't wear out that fast and I prefer to stick with Shimano to get the best shifting on those rings. Shimano doesn't make inner rings smaller than 30 teeth, and Blackspire is the best brand I've found for alternative inner rings. Unfortunately, availability in Switzerland is not great.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    That's correct, although my inner is 24 teeth, 74 BCD. I don't believe they're stamped as "performance Road chainrings."
    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post

  23. #23
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    We're using a Blackspire 28 tooth inner chainring. ...[for] middle or large rings ... I prefer to stick with Shimano to get the best shifting on those rings. Shimano doesn't make inner rings smaller than 30 teeth, and Blackspire is the best brand I've found for alternative inner rings.
    So, you are mixing and matching triple chainrings. Does this work for all variations of triple chainrings? If I have a middle chainring that is ramped and pinned so to be a middle in a triple, does it matter whether this is matched to the inner chainring? To the outer? Adam at Prasix stated that when they get a matched tandem chainring set the shifting would be magnificent. He thought maybe the double outer chainring he sent might work. I've found that this double outer chainring works better than both the triple TA and Dura Ace outer rings.

    I still don't know if it matters none, sometimes, little or considerably whether the outer chainring on a triple is double- or triple-specific, or designed to work with the particular middle chainring.

  24. #24
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I used a full stock set of three matching rings. But I also don't use a left-hand Shimano STI shifter on any bike, instead it's either a bar-end, down-tube, or Campy Ergo left-hand shifter so that I have total control over the front derailleur (but the right hand shifter is normally a Shimano STI). With an STI shifter with only 3.5 positions, it would be more improtant exactly which rings you are using, but it is still not much of a problem to mix and match.

  25. #25
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    ...I also don't use a left-hand Shimano STI shifter on any bike, instead it's... Campy Ergo left-hand shifter so that I have total control over the front derailleur (but the right hand shifter is normally a Shimano STI). With an STI shifter with only 3.5 positions, it would be more improtant exactly which rings you are using...
    Though I have a Shimano FD (which will be replaced when the Athena 11-speed is released), the shift levers are Campy, on the left a Centaur 10-speed, on the right a SR 11-speed.



    The travel with this was barely adequate, until I got a new crank from Lightning with the new triple spider, and with the chainring spacing narrowed to match the narrower 11-speed chain. Now the FD has plenty of travel, as it doesn't have to move as far the chainrings being more closely spaced. I have even overshifted, knocking the chain off outward from the big ring, which never happened previously. So, the 11-speed has been an advantage with the triple, as it allows the distance between the three chainrings to be closer to that of a double, so the shifters and FD do not have to work so hard.

    Note the close chainring spacing.



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