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Old 01-31-11, 09:20 PM   #1
cld_hrtd
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Time to replace my chainrings - upgrade?

I've worn out my "stock" chainrings on my Shimano M770 crankset and am need of replacements (all three). I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation insofar as purchasing new chainrings: i.e. should I just replace them with new Shimano M770 rings or should I put something else on the crank? I've heard that some other aftermarket brands sell chainrings that may not be the lightest in the world but will last me longer than the factory shimanos. Any experience here? BTW - I run Shimano "shadow" deraileurs and a 10 speed "ultimate touring" cassette from Sheldon Brown.
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Old 02-01-11, 06:13 PM   #2
sehsuan
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i can't say enough - but no one else seem to read my posts - Rotor Q-Rings!

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=178239&v=2F
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Old 02-01-11, 07:08 PM   #3
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If you don't mind a few extra grams, steel rings generally wear longer than aluminum alloy rings, especially in your smaller rings.
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Old 02-01-11, 09:31 PM   #4
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I too have used cheap steel granny rings, wears fine, a lot cheaper, a few more grams, who cares.

as for your question--If you are not familiar with gear inches, check out a gearing chart and figure out what gearing you have in all your various combos and see what diff chainrings would do--perhaps improve what you are used to. Given you have worn these ones out, you must ride a fair amount, so think of what you dont like about your gearing, too lows, too highs, spacing between gears too much of a jump etc etc etc. Take a look using the sheldon gear calculator to see if your present gearing has lots of identical gearing--ie, large chainring+for example 22 tooth rear = middlechainring+26 tooth rear.....

basically, this is teh time to make changes of teeth on your rings, so its worth it to get to know what you have and think of what would suit you better. I did this at one point and ended up learning about gearing, glad I did when I got new chainrings as it made my touring bike more versatile and gave me more "inbetween gears" in the middle range we usually in most of the time (plus I got some lower gearing which is nice with big hills and loaded)

sorry, no recommendations for brands, I dont wear out rings quickly so look more at price. In fact I wear drivetrain parts out very slowly so its not worth spending twice as much for stuff that is "better" or whatever, and the slight weight differences are not a concern to me.
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Old 02-01-11, 09:42 PM   #5
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Race Face Turbine rings for Shimano. Lasted me 20K miles. Granny is steel. The others are aluminum - and they are beauts!

http://raceface.com/components/rings/turbine/turbine-s/

44-32-22 will allow you a tighter cassette for touring.
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Old 02-01-11, 09:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sehsuan View Post
i can't say enough - but no one else seem to read my posts - Rotor Q-Rings!

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=178239&v=2F
sehuan, dont know about others, but in the early 90s I had a terrible experience with Bio-pace oval rings, and despite what Q rings claim, my knee problem from Biopace and teh general weird feel of oval rings make me never ever want to experience oval rings again. Nor recommend them. I dunno, but for anyone who may at one point reach high cadences, oval rings just make this weird unbalanced jerky motion for your knees, and knees dont like it---my opinion.
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Old 02-01-11, 11:01 PM   #7
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djb, I had the same problem in the late 80's with the biopace rings. I had never experienced sore knees until after riding on those things for a couple months. I was quick to switch them out for round rings and the knees recovered almost immediately. I once even had a chance to discuss the topic at length with the late great Sheldon Brown as he was a big proponent of those Biopace rings but I just couldn't get them to work for me.
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Old 02-02-11, 12:04 AM   #8
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I feel the issue with them is that for someone who uses low cadences, its ok. But although I probably use a med cadence most of the time, at times I can spin up more, and I distinctly remember the herky jerky ness of my knees and it just not feeling right.
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Old 02-02-11, 12:05 AM   #9
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That was good advice from djb. I wonder how many miles you are getting from your chainrings? I expect well over 100,000 miles from a set. Obviously, the more time you spend going through mud and gravel in locales where it is not possible to clean the drivetrain the shorter life these parts will have, so YMMV.
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Old 02-02-11, 03:49 PM   #10
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I just put Surly Stainless chainrings on,look/work great.No pins or ramps or.....just rings.

I have non indexed,downtube shifters...and know how to use them.
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Old 02-03-11, 10:54 AM   #11
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sehuan, dont know about others, but in the early 90s I had a terrible experience with Bio-pace oval rings, and despite what Q rings claim, my knee problem from Biopace and teh general weird feel of oval rings make me never ever want to experience oval rings again. Nor recommend them. I dunno, but for anyone who may at one point reach high cadences, oval rings just make this weird unbalanced jerky motion for your knees, and knees dont like it---my opinion.
djb buddy,
the good news is... i've never used biopace in my life. the only surefire thing i can confirm is that q-rings are rotated 90 degrees to the infamous screw-up called biopace. this is the only thing that Rotor SpA did correctly, i did a review of it in 2006 (although i had limited offroad testing) and the URL is here:
http://www.togoparts.com/articles/article.php?artid=178

the ones i'm using, were not meant for my XT M760 cranks but the washer-modification makes it work. i have read other reviews about the difference between the biopace and q-rings, biopace users tend to be "once-bitten twice-shy" but i suggest you roll up to your local store and compare the q-rings beside your old biopace at the correct bolting positions, because the biopace places the largest effective teeth count at 12 and 6 o' clock, while q-rings place it generally at about 4/10 o clock, which makes it look like the letter Q, hence the name.

and nope, i get no kickbacks from rotor.

edit: oops, i forgot - you need to compare with a set with the same BCD, of course!

Last edited by sehsuan; 02-03-11 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 02-03-11, 11:38 AM   #12
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When I looked at replacing the chainrings on my 105 triple crankset, I discovered I could buy a new 105 triple for about the same price as the rings alone. Since your BB may be worn too, you may want to just replace the whole crankset. LX and XT now have steel middle chainrings. Not sure about the XT, but the LX gives you the option of 26-36-48 if you want a little higher gearing.
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Old 02-03-11, 11:53 AM   #13
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Great advise

Thanks for all the advise. I'm looking into a few of the recommendations from you all and will report back once a decision is made! Any one else want to toss a recommendation in yet then feel free, I'll look I to it as well.
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Old 02-03-11, 03:29 PM   #14
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+1 on Surly Stainless steel chainrings, I have 3 steel chainrings on 2 different bikes ,
many touring miles on steel chainrings I got decades go..

For My Rohloff Bike I got a 38t-110 Surly Chainring , you can buy those ,now.

the others were lucky finds , take offs in bike shops I worked in..
the buyers wanted gram reductions so got aluminum ones instead.


Thgere are good aftermarket chainrings in 7075t6 a long wearing alloy.
salsa, willow. Vuelta , and others ,
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Old 02-05-11, 01:18 AM   #15
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Good info fietsbob. I'm looking into the salsa rings and taking djb's advice on tweaking my gearing to my preference. Great advice from all... thanks! I did check out some feedback on the Q-rings but they seem counter-productive to all the training and racing I've done so far learning to spin round 'rings. Maybe I'll give 'em a shot some time down the road...
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Old 02-05-11, 01:32 AM   #16
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You're running 10 speed right? Because of the narrow chain, don't get aftermarket rings, stick with the same ones you have been running. That way you can be 100% sure it's going to work.
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Old 02-05-11, 02:01 AM   #17
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10 speed seems a folly or 30 speed if running a triple crank for touring,
but, I cant fault most buyers , marketing keeps driving the market . not need.
I suppose you are not planning any adventures
where the repair parts are not going to be the latest stuff,
it's not going to be there in , like the Peruvian Andes.
stay stateside and it should be a 2 day UPS shipment away.

But i have gotten a lot of miles out of a simple 7 x3 drivetrain.

and then got a Rohloff IG hub. seems they ship repair parts where needed
to remote corners of the globe if needed , which is rare.

But Its your money..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-05-11 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 02-05-11, 10:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by sehsuan View Post
djb buddy,
the good news is... i've never used biopace in my life. the only surefire thing i can confirm is that q-rings are rotated 90 degrees to the infamous screw-up called biopace. this is the only thing that Rotor SpA did correctly, i did a review of it in 2006 (although i had limited offroad testing) and the URL is here:
http://www.togoparts.com/articles/article.php?artid=178
sehsuan--interesting how they came up with a diff approach to deal with the dead spot idea. While I applaud the idea, for me I am indeed very wary of non-round rings, no matter where the oval is positioned. In fact, when I changed my chainrings to round ones, I actually threw out the Biopace ones, specifically so that down the road I would not forget how bad they were and try them again....

As I am closer to 50 than 40 now, I honestly would never try "something different" with chainrings (for that matter too, new clipless pedals or something similiar) that could end up with a knee problem. What I mean is that my knees work well with round chain rings and I really would never take the chance to have a knee injury again, so I am very much sticking with what I know in that regard.

from an armchair view, even if the oval is at a diff point on the ring, 12 and 6 o'clock or 10 and 4, it seems to me that the uneveness is always going to be there, especially at high rpms--so I truly dont see how it would be diff. than Biopace in that regard (specifically the high cadence "weirdness" that I remember)

cheers
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Old 02-05-11, 10:29 AM   #19
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You're running 10 speed right? Because of the narrow chain, don't get aftermarket rings, stick with the same ones you have been running. That way you can be 100% sure it's going to work.
I hadn't thought of that... but I suppose so long as I use the same crank, different chainrings should have no impact on the chainline, correct?

Quote:
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10 speed seems a folly or 30 speed if running a triple crank for touring,
but, I cant fault most buyers , marketing keeps driving the market . not need.
When I bought the 10 speed cassette I had certainly fallen victim to the "more is better" marketing. In all honesty, I find it no more impressive than my old 7x3 setup. I'll probably keep it mounted until I wear it out at this point though.
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Old 02-05-11, 10:51 AM   #20
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re: 10 sp vs 7 or whatever. I see it from the pt of view that as engineering advances, what was at one point very fancy, fragile etc, can become just as reliable as an older system. I went from a 7x3 on my old touring bike, to a 8x3 (mtn bike) to a 9x3 on my cross/everything bike and the 9 speed stuff is pretty common now and I personally like having closer spacing with the gearing--and as we who have toured know, with a load of crap on a bike, closer spacing is nice to have as we work so much harder than unloaded.

guess what it really comes down to is how tough is the stuff and how expensive are replacement parts. My riding experience is not in Kurdistan, but in N. America or Europe, mostly on paved roads, so I am not beating the heck out of my stuff, plus--and a big plus, I take care of my drivetrain with cleaning, lubing, and I am not a hack shifter and by instinct I dont cross chain at all.

9 speed is now the "old" stuff, and see no reason why not to embrace it, it seems to me to be perfectly tough and reliable. Yes, I find the trimming factor of FDs a bit of a pain to get right, that I grant with sti brifters, but in itself, Im not sure that 9 or 8 is really that diff or that much stronger than 7?

again, Im not a beefy strong rider, and I keep an eye and ear on my drivetrain all the time for the maintenance side of things, so it seems to work for me.
Mind you, as always, 10 sp stuff is waaay more expensive for parts isnt it?

seems 9 sp stuff is a good medium ground of cost vs reliability.

where will it end? who knows.
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Old 02-05-11, 12:09 PM   #21
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djb, no worries. you've had a horrid experience, however i suggest if you have a buddy whose bike has those rings fitted, just give it a spin. change them out to flat pedals and have a ride - i'm glad i never tried out biopace because i only learnt how to use a bicycle in 2002 and skipped the biopace saga entirely.
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Old 02-11-11, 12:19 AM   #22
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Update: thanks again for all the help. I went with steel shimano rings, slightly different tooth count. I think I'll be happy with these for many miles to come!
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