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Which ring do you ride most?

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View Poll Results: Which chainring do you ride the most?
Big ring
53.26%
Small ring
18.48%
Middle ring of a triple
22.83%
Does not apply, I ride SS or Fixie
1.09%
Don't know (don't care)
4.35%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

Which ring do you ride most?

Old 01-25-16, 06:07 AM
  #1  
jimmuller 
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Which ring do you ride most?

Seein' as how this is the wrenching season instead of the ridin' season for much of the northern hemisphere...
Which chainring do you spend most of your time (or distance) on? Why, which is to say what feature of your riding style or terrain induces you to ride that way?

I'll go first. On most bikes the big ring. The small ring is a downshift, not quite a bailout but almost. On the Masi I usually ride the small ring. It is set up with 1/2-step crossover. The Rally-style cage means the guide pulley is closer to the FW when I'm on the small ring, so the RD shifts more cleanly.
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Old 01-25-16, 06:50 AM
  #2  
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5 of 7, soon 6 of 8 bikes of mine are a single ring.

With the other 2, mostly the large, but I live in Illinois. I need to travel to use the small.
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Old 01-25-16, 06:53 AM
  #3  
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Small/big
65%/35%
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Old 01-25-16, 06:56 AM
  #4  
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I would have voted "all of the above," had it been a choice.

Fuji Finest, with a 42-56 double, I go for the 42. Basso (42-53) is similar.
Holdsworth, with a 34-50 double, I go for the 50. Univega is similar.
Trek, with a 34-42-52 triple, I go for the 42.
Allegro, with a 38-50 double, I can't remember which ring I prefer. Fuji Ace (39-52) is similar.

I also have a fixie and several IGH bikes where this doesn't apply.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:00 AM
  #5  
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Well, almost all of my road bikes are set up with compact doubles where the whole idea is to ride primarily on the big ring, so that's what I do.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:00 AM
  #6  
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With a six speed freewheel a 52 chain ring puts me @ mid-block in the back at the cadence and pace I like to ride. Gives me several taller gears for short hard effort or aggressive downhills. I'll drop to the 42 in front when trying to maintain pace on hills, and use the upper end of the freewheel from there if/when I start to bog down.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:07 AM
  #7  
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my rides have been on relatively flat terrain so I keep it on the large ring. With the 8 block, I only use the lower 6 with an exception of the 7th going down hill. I do not get chain rub on the FD.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:22 AM
  #8  
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My commuter, which I ride most often, has a 46-34 double. My area is hilly. I ride both equally. The Semi-Pro has half step gearing, which presupposes an equal share. The tourer has a triple, and I ride the middle ring often with that one.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:25 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
my rides have been on relatively flat terrain...
You must be closer to Old Town. I'm in Kingstowne, and there are largish hills in every direction from me. PG
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Old 01-25-16, 07:26 AM
  #10  
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I have a half-step double on two bikes, those chainring see equal use.

I have a half-step plus a granny on one bike, the outer and middle chainring see equal use, and the small, inner, chainring is used very infrequently.

I have a road triple with a 53, 42 & 30 chainring set on two vintage bikes, the 42 chainring will see 70% of the miles ridden.

Finally, I have a 48, 36 & 26 chainring set on my Cyclocross bike, the 48 and 36 see equal use, the 26 is almost never used but is valuable at times.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:28 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I would have voted "all of the above," had it been a choice.

Fuji Finest, with a 42-56 double, I go for the 42. Basso (42-53) is similar...
Well, you can't ride all of them "the most" unless it is a veritable tie, now can you?

I understand you prefer smaller crank arms. I would have expected that to be paired to lower gears too, so a 56T ring is a surprise. I have one bike with a 53T and I'm surprised to find how much I use it. Admittedly it is always with a larger sprocket. But then, the difference between 52T and 53T is equivalent to the difference between 26T and 25.5T sprockets. A 56T compared to a 52T is about like a 26T sprocket compared to a 24.1T. Not so much different after all.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:28 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
You must be closer to Old Town. I'm in Kingstowne, and there are largish hills in every direction from me. PG
Huntington station to DC. In November and December, I started riding around Arlington and then had to use the smaller ring.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:37 AM
  #13  
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If I ever get the bike I want, it will be 1x11 anyway, but big ring 99% of the time. We have hills, but I'm too lazy to shift on the front. I use the small ring on Storming of Thunder Ridge and Dairyland Dare and Bartali-type courses, but around here, you just climb the rear and hang on..... I didn't mean that the way it sounds.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:40 AM
  #14  
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50/50 to stay spinnin' center of the cassette .
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Old 01-25-16, 08:08 AM
  #15  
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46/30 TA style cranks. 95% large ring. 5% small. Paired with a 10 speed, 11-32 rear.
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Old 01-25-16, 08:56 AM
  #16  
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jimmuller, Many years ago I read that it was more efficient to use larger chain rings with larger cogs so generally I use the large chain ring with something in the middle of the rear. While that works well in my home area's flat terrain, I will use all three (30-42-52) of the roadie's chain rings in the Hill Country.

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Old 01-25-16, 09:05 AM
  #17  
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My default is the big ring. I'll go into the small if I need to...some days if my legs are extra tired I find myself in the small, or middle ring if I am on a triple for more than just uphills. On my bike with Half step+granny, middle and big rings see close on equal action. Still getting used to that one, though
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Old 01-25-16, 09:10 AM
  #18  
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A lot of the times, I'm on inner chainring/outer cog, which, theoretically-at-least, is not optimal, but 39T/13T gives me about 18mph on the flats.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:25 AM
  #19  
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My vanity dictates that I mostly ride on the big ring, on triples as well as doubles. As a result, I like to set up most of my bikes with big rings in the high 40s. I have a couple of French bikes with 52-tooth big rings--mostly because they're so cheap and plentiful for Model 93 cranks--and with those I use customized Suntour freewheels with 15-tooth big cogs. I find that I never need a gear higher than the low-to-mid 90s. I don't mind coasting down steep hills.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:34 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
... I like to set up most of my bikes with big rings in the high 40s. ...
Same here: 50-42, 49-46, 47-38, and 45-42 on the road bikes, 48-40-28 or 48-40-24 on the mountain bike. I pair the 50 and the 49 with 14T high gear cogs and the 47 and the 45 with 13T. Only the mountain bike has a top gear of 100 gear-inches or more (48/12 = 104 on 26" wheels).
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Old 01-25-16, 09:35 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
A lot of the times, I'm on inner chainring/outer cog, which, theoretically-at-least, is not optimal, but 39T/13T gives me about 18mph on the flats.
I would be concerned about accelerated chainring, chain, and cog wear in that combination.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
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Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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Old 01-25-16, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I have a half-step double on two bikes, those chainring see equal use.

I have a half-step plus a granny on one bike, the outer and middle chainring see equal use, and the small, inner, chainring is used very infrequently.

I have a road triple with a 53, 42 & 30 chainring set on two vintage bikes, the 42 chainring will see 70% of the miles ridden.

Finally, I have a 48, 36 & 26 chainring set on my Cyclocross bike, the 48 and 36 see equal use, the 26 is almost never used but is valuable at times.
Sounds good.

I have two half-steps and two 1.5-steps on the road bikes and 1.5-step-plus-granny on the mountain bike. With half-step gearing I use the inner ring only slightly more frequently than the outer, because I avoid large-large cross chaining, even though it seems to work pretty well on the Peugeot.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:57 AM
  #23  
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All of my bike have triples with 52-42/40-30 and anything on the back from straight blocks to 28T max depending on the terrain. If the terrain is flat, I'm on the big ring. If it is uphill I'm not. Funny shifting pattern. I never go to the granny until I have run out of gears on the middle ring. I will work my way back up once I'm on the granny, but not work it down. Sadly, it doesn't take much uphill to get me on the granny.
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Old 01-25-16, 10:00 AM
  #24  
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The only one, IGH, [not Fixie, or single speed]
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Old 01-25-16, 10:05 AM
  #25  
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My main road bikes have triples. Where I live is very hilly so I am almost never riding on the flat. Since I go down those hills fairly quickly, I spend very little time on the big ring and spend most of my time climbing up the hills primarily in the big ring. The proportions are probably about 50/30/20 Middle/small/big.
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