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How bad is a middle chainring without ramps and pins?

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How bad is a middle chainring without ramps and pins?

Old 02-09-21, 12:07 PM
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urbanknight
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How bad is a middle chainring without ramps and pins?

I ordered Vuelta SE Plus chainrings for the tandem (50/39/28) and although the 50 and the 39 both advertised ramps and pins and said they were for doubles and triples, the 39 has no ramps and pins. The seller verified with me that none of their 39's have ramps and pins and told me that they will still work, but I can return them if I want. Thoughts?
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Old 02-09-21, 12:24 PM
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They will work, but easier with bar cons then STI, which kind of wants the ramps and pins. STI doesn’t overshift like you can with bar cons.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
They will work, but easier with bar cons then STI, which kind of wants the ramps and pins. STI doesnít overshift like you can with bar cons.
I am using brifters, so you're saying worst case I might have to (for lack of better words) shift up twice and then back down?
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Old 02-09-21, 01:18 PM
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more like ease off the pedals and hold the shifter at maximum upshift for a half second while waiting for the chain to catch.
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Old 02-09-21, 01:20 PM
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I have Shimano 10-speed triples on four bikes, two FC-5703 and two FC-4603, that have 50/39/26 and 50/39/30 chainrings respectively. I can assure you the 39T middle chainrings all have pins and ramps shifting aids.
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Old 02-09-21, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I have Shimano 10-speed triples on four bikes, two FC-5703 and two FC-4603, that have 50/39/26 and 50/39/30 chainrings respectively. I can assure you the 39T middle chainrings all have pins and ramps shifting aids.
You saying the OP is lying or just stating a random fact that is basically useless in this thread?
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Old 02-09-21, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I have Shimano 10-speed triples on four bikes, two FC-5703 and two FC-4603, that have 50/39/26 and 50/39/30 chainrings respectively. I can assure you the 39T middle chainrings all have pins and ramps shifting aids.
That's what confused me. This company makes granny rings, but doesn't offer ramps and pins until you get to 46T. Now I'm starting to think maybe they intend them to be for 1x mountain bikes and not triples.

So, anyone know where I can get a set of 50/39/28 (or close) chainrings for a triple? 130BCD.

Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
You saying the OP is lying or just stating a random fact that is basically useless in this thread?
Eh, people sometimes misunderstand or don't read questions fully before they answer. Pretty sure I've been guilty of it before, so I'll just gloss over it and move on.
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Old 02-09-21, 02:00 PM
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I don't know what speed drivetrain you have, but here is a Tiagra set for 10speed:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...94&category=50
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Old 02-09-21, 02:04 PM
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You can use the middle ring as is with your STI shifters. But you will need some technique in backing off slightly on your pedal stroke, or soft pedal, when you shift to the middle ring.

Having the ramps and pins make an easier and smoother shift, if you donít ease off.

John
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Old 02-09-21, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I don't know what speed drivetrain you have, but here is a Tiagra set for 10speed:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...94&category=50
Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
You can use the middle ring as is with your STI shifters. But you will need some technique in backing off slightly on your pedal stroke, or soft pedal, when you shift to the middle ring.

Having the ramps and pins make an easier and smoother shift, if you donít ease off.

John
Heh, guess I should have mentioned more specs. It's a 3x9 Shimano 105 drivetrain. 130/74 BCD, although I suppose as long as I find the middle and outer, I could use them with any inner.


Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
You can use the middle ring as is with your STI shifters. But you will need some technique in backing off slightly on your pedal stroke, or soft pedal, when you shift to the middle ring.

Having the ramps and pins make an easier and smoother shift, if you donít ease off.

John
I know I used to do that instinctively, but haven't paid attention to it over the past 30 years. Also not sure how simple that will be with second human pushing the drivetrain and not aware of exactly when the shifts are coming.
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Old 02-09-21, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I know I used to do that instinctively, but haven't paid attention to it over the past 30 years. Also not sure how simple that will be with second human pushing the drivetrain and not aware of exactly when the shifts are coming.
Ah yes, a tandem. Although it was typical decades ago, I’d agree that it might not be a technique to be re-learned.

You could probably use 10 speed rings on a 9 speed system. I’m not sure of the best ring set to use, but that would be the direction I would go if I couldn’t find 9 speed rings.

John
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Old 02-09-21, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Heh, guess I should have mentioned more specs. It's a 3x9 Shimano 105 drivetrain. 130/74 BCD, although I suppose as long as I find the middle and outer, I could use them with any inner.
These ramped/pinned chain rings are designed as matched sets- the cut down teeth on one chain ring lines up with the lift pins on the next chain ring etc. So it's best to get the whole matched set. Triple chain rings are hard enough to dial in correctly, you don't need the added challenge of mix-and-match chain rings.
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Old 02-09-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
These ramped/pinned chain rings are designed as matched sets- the cut down teeth on one chain ring lines up with the lift pins on the next chain ring etc. So it's best to get the whole matched set. Triple chain rings are hard enough to dial in correctly, you don't need the added challenge of mix-and-match chain rings.
True, but the inner ring is usually flat, so it shouldn't matter.
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Old 02-09-21, 03:11 PM
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There's a technique when shifting small ring to middle on an STI to just throw the big lever inward a bit past the "click" That allows the brifter to pull more cable and to drive the chain up on the ring. You'd be doing this with barcons.
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Old 02-09-21, 03:50 PM
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I have a Ultegra double 9 spd with a replacement outer ring that has no pins/ramps. It does shift well enough for me but not as crisply as if the pins/ramps were present. I "grew up" without pins/ramps in the early SIS days and am accustomed to it. I would say it depends on your likes and tolerance. I also have a 9 spd triple on a very old Sakae crankset (no pins/ramps) but use friction shifters with it. In that case, friction is the bomb!
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Old 02-09-21, 04:02 PM
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Thanks everyone. I found a 39T chainring with no pins or ramps in my bin and am going to throw that on and see how it feels before committing to the rings I just bought. It's kind of annoying that the manufacturer's page literally has them under the category of "ramped and pinned chainrings" and has "Ring tooth sizes available for most road doubles and triples" in the description.
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Old 02-09-21, 04:15 PM
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We use TA rings many of our triple setups, tandem and half bike. The outer and middle rings come with pins but not ramps. They shift fine and last much longer than stock Shimano for us. The great thing is you can choose sizes that make sense for your purpose instead of being stuck with the limited less friendly Shimano offerings. Did I say they last a long time on the tandem?
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Old 02-09-21, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ross200 View Post
We use TA rings many of our triple setups, tandem and half bike. The outer and middle rings come with pins but not ramps. They shift fine and last much longer than stock Shimano for us. The great thing is you can choose sizes that make sense for your purpose instead of being stuck with the limited less friendly Shimano offerings. Did I say they last a long time on the tandem?
Thanks. I had actually just discovered them on Harris Cyclery. Expensive, but they would do exactly what I want.
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Old 02-09-21, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
You saying the OP is lying or just stating a random fact that is basically useless in this thread?
Neither. The OP was told by the seller that the 39T chainring he received, which was stated to have the various shifting aids and came without them, would work. My point was the all of the triple crank middle chainrings I've seen do indeed have the shifting aids. and it's probably a worthwhile feature. Why do you have a problem with that?

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Old 02-09-21, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Neither. The OP was told by the seller that the 39T chainring he received, which was stated to have the various shifting aids and came without them, would work. My point was the all of the triple crank middle chainrings I've seen do indeed have the shifting aids. and it's probably a worthwhile feature.
I contacted the manufacturer directly. Nice and fast response, but they verified that all their 39-46T chainrings are meant for doubles only. I told them they might want to update the description since it claims they all have ramps and pins and are made for "doubles and triples", and I told them how annoying it is to waste time and money shipping them back to the vendor.
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Old 02-10-21, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I ordered Vuelta SE Plus chainrings for the tandem (50/39/28) and although the 50 and the 39 both advertised ramps and pins and said they were for doubles and triples, the 39 has no ramps and pins. The seller verified with me that none of their 39's have ramps and pins and told me that they will still work, but I can return them if I want. Thoughts?
On my wife's "gravel bike" (really a cross bike used on gravel), she uses Shimano 6503 triple STI shifters and I installed an old-ish Suntour triple with no ramps or pins. I used the same shifters and crank on my "gravel" bike before I put it on hers. Does it shift as quick as the Ultegra 6503 the shifters used to have? No, not really. But functionally just fine, about B to B+ if the Ultegra crank is Grade A. My wife never complains about the front shifting and believe me, she would ask me to tweak it if she wasn't satisfied. But she's not a racer nor a really strong rider. Enthusiastic, high mileage, but probably doesn't demand as much perfection as some people might.

I'm not saying ramps and pins aren't an improvement for front shifting, but the unpinned versions work fine, imho.

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Old 02-14-21, 01:04 AM
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Yeah, I encountered the same issue with Vuelta SE Plus chainrings. The 50T was ramped and pinned. But the 39T SE Plus wasn't noticeably different from the 38T plain SE model.

However I've had no problems with those chainrings on various road bikes with double chainrings, using old school Suntour Accushift downtube shifters, or MicroShift integrated shifters/brakes that are Shimano-compatible. After tweaking the setup it all shifts well. On the rare occasions the chain dropped on a shift a minor tweak restored the desired function.

For that matter, I've had no real problems with my hybrids with triple chainrings, all plain, no ramped/pinned big or middle rings. That's using three different types of Shimano STI setups. Currently my main hybrid uses Shimano bar-end shifters, and the left/front derailleur shifter is friction only. Before that I had RapidFire shifters, indexed only for front and rear.

The main advantage to ramped/pinned chainrings appears to be for the big ring.

My opinion subject to change at whim after switching one road bike from 7-speed to 8-speed Dura Ace STI, and another to 10-speed Dura Ace.
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Old 02-14-21, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Neither. The OP was told by the seller that the 39T chainring he received, which was stated to have the various shifting aids and came without them, would work. My point was the all of the triple crank middle chainrings I've seen do indeed have the shifting aids. and it's probably a worthwhile feature. Why do you have a problem with that?
You didn't mention that you kind of just stated what you had and said they all have pins and ramps.:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I have Shimano 10-speed triples on four bikes, two FC-5703 and two FC-4603, that have 50/39/26 and 50/39/30 chainrings respectively. I can assure you the 39T middle chainrings all have pins and ramps shifting aids.
So either you would be stating random fact or calling the OP incorrect. You didn't state they were probably a worthwhile feature in your above post unless you miswrote it entirely and didn't change it at any point. 2 chainrings from the same manufacturer having ramps and pins does not address the issue of Vuelta not having them nor did you state that having those ramps and pins is worthwhile. That would have been helpful to your case.

For the OP urbanknight if they give you an option to return them I might do so. The ramps and pins are handy on an indexed system though certainly like others have said will work but not quite optimally. Peter Jehosaphat White sells TA chainrings that have the ramps and pins for a 130 triple crank middle chainring in both kinds of music, black and silver. (if you don't get the reference please watch the original Blues Brothers movie).

Hopefully the one in the bin works out well enough but for an indexed set up I want my pins and ramps and anything that will give me better shifting. Friction I am pretty chill with not having them because hey it's friction it generally just works without the fuss.
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Old 02-14-21, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
There's a technique when shifting small ring to middle on an STI to just throw the big lever inward a bit past the "click" That allows the brifter to pull more cable and to drive the chain up on the ring. You'd be doing this with barcons.
I don't know how that's going to work on a tandem. You don't have quite the feel and finess for shifting.
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Old 02-14-21, 11:19 PM
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I returned them and found some 105 triple chainrings with ramps and pins. Just put them on and realized 10 speed is spaced closer than 9 speed, so the middle chainring is visually closer to the outer one and further from the inner one. Might have to shim the inner one, but tomorrow's test ride will tell. Don't care if it rubs when on the smallest cog because I should be in the big ring by then anyway.
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