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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-19-12, 08:38 AM   #1
merlinextraligh
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56 tooth chainring

Anyone running a larger big ring?

Never really thought there was any use for something bigger than 53/11. However, in the road race at Masters Nationals, we could have used a bigger gear. We knew our only chance of doing well was to get away on the early descent, and pray to take a lead into the final climb. Attacked at 50mph+, and got a bit of a gap, but not enough to stay way very long.

Problem was we were pedaling at 130 rpm, and between the speed, frame flex, and our lack of smoothness at that rpm, the bike was wobbling around too much for comfort, and we had to just put it in a tuck and quit pedaling.

A 56/11 might have given us just enough gear to go a couple of mph faster.

I realize that the times a 56 would make a difference would be pretty limited. But if there's little downside, why not.

So anybody running a 56, does it hurt your front shifting? Limit how much you can ride in the big ring, throw off the cross over points, or have other downsides?
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Old 09-19-12, 08:53 AM   #2
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I usually run between a 56 and a 60 in the front (60/42/33) with an 11-25 or 11-28 cassette. No problems shifting. I'm running 9sp ultegra if that matters. It's really not a big difference percentage wise so it's not a big deal. Not like big tooth changes in the cassette.

Last edited by Homeyba; 09-19-12 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 09-19-12, 08:57 AM   #3
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Not really your situation, but I have a 60/42 chain ring combination on my folding bike to help compensate for the smaller wheel size (451mm instead of 622mm). Front shifting is fine but takes a bit longer than on my bikes with less of a gap in the ring sizes.
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Old 09-19-12, 11:57 AM   #4
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I run a 55 with an 11-28 cassette. I love the big gear, we can drop the singles on the downhills. We are in a hilly area, San Francisco bay area. When we stand in that gear we are flying.
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Old 09-19-12, 03:15 PM   #5
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We are using a 39/56 with a 11-34 cassette. The whole set up shifts well and we will be sticking with it. Using a DA 7800 56t chainring. I was unsure as to how much we would use the 56-11 but it is actually reasonably often. However if you use it with a closer cassette like a 11-25 you will find yourself with a lot of cross chaining unless you are fast enough to push a 56/17 or higher a lot of the time. With the 11-34 I basically ride it as you would a compact with most of the riding in the 56 and only dropping it down to the 39 for proper hills.
If you are using a triple you could go to a 45 or 46 for the middle ring and use that for a lot of the riding and avoid too much cross chaining.

Last edited by Dean V; 09-19-12 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 09-19-12, 05:08 PM   #6
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Utilized a 56T TA chainring back in the mid-70s combined with 13/28 freewheel.
Had front Suntour (VGT?) deraillleur cage extended (steel cage, brazed on part of other steel cage) to accomodate the font shifting that had an inner chainring of 28T with middle chainring somewhere in the 40s.
Yup, those where the old days when you had to imrovise.
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Old 09-20-12, 06:22 AM   #7
waynesulak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
I usually run between a 56 and a 60 in the front (60/42/33) with an 11-25 or 11-28 cassette. No problems shifting. I'm running 9sp ultegra if that matters. It's really not a big difference percentage wise so it's not a big deal. Not like big tooth changes in the cassette.

I agree. Sometimes changing a ring sounds more dramatic than it is. Our Speedstar came with a 54 tooth big ring which got some comments from observant single riders but really didn't give that much different gearing. The effect of a 56 vs 53 ring:

53/11 = 4.81818
56/11 = 5.09090
Diff = .272729

.272729/4.81818 = .056

5.6% higher gear with a 56 tooth big ring vs a 53 tooth ring. That is less slightly less than one shift on a 12-25 cassette.

A 60 tooth ring gives 13.2% higher gear than a 53 tooth ring. One good size gear shift but less than some jumps on a 11-34 cassette.
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