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Chainring assistance needed...

Old 12-19-18, 12:16 PM
  #1  
Mogens
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Chainring assistance needed...

Over the course of getting on a bike and learning how it works, I realized that Iíd prefer a 50/34 compact double on my 1981 Bianchi Limited, which currently has a racier 52/42. I donít race, and I wouldnít mind having a slightly easier time getting over hills. I bought a used Sugino XD2. Itís a triple, but Iím planning on only using the 110 BCD portions, I donít think I need a third chainring. Buying the standard Sugino chainrings would cost about $100. Is there a cheaper option? Iíd be happier with something used if theyíre in decent shape. How about the Shimano 105 chainrings that are cheaper? Would they be compatible? The bike has a Suntour 6 speed set up on the rear wheel and the components are Suntour Cyclone. Iím not at all fussy about the integrity of the bike as it originally was conceived, but to reassure those who are, I will keep the original Sakae Ringyo crankset for any future owner Because I can respect that. Thereís just this one hill on the Door County Century route that derailed me last September...
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Old 12-19-18, 12:29 PM
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Do you know what sub-model of 105 rings?

They should be fine, although I'd probably avoid 11 speed rings (5800) unless you are running 10 or 11 speed on the rear end.

Many of the Shimano rings will be designed to work in a matched set. That won't matter a lot for friction shifting, but may help shifting slightly. They also may not be perfectly flat.
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Old 12-19-18, 12:30 PM
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There are many chainrings on the market with 110bcd.

Be careful of new Shimano chainrings as some models of the outer (big) ring are designed with a "hidden" chainring interface that might not work with your crank.

Look at Shimano, FSA, Vuelta, Truvativ.
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Old 12-19-18, 01:13 PM
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I use Vuelta chainrings as replacements for the originals on my Centurion Ironman's Suntour crankset. Vuelta's best chainrings usually retail for around $25 but I got a new 39T for $7 last year and a 50T this week for $10, via Amazon -- those discounts appear erratically and only for certain items. I just put 'em on my wishlist or "save for later" cart option and watch prices until they drop.

The Ironman's GPX group included the usual 52/42 for that era, along with a 13-24 freewheel. Due to illness and injury this year (and age, now 61), I'm gradually adapting the bike to my body. I need to improve my climbs and I'm near the limit of what I can do physically. After seeing what the younger, stronger folks are using it seemed reasonable to follow suit.

I started with a 13-25 SunRace freewheel but didn't like the spacing with the 52/42 chainrings, and it didn't index shift reliably. That particular freewheel also had some quality control issues -- the two smallest cogs wobbled slightly. I switched back to the 13-24 Suntour freewheel and switched to a 39T Vuelta chainring. Helped a bit.

Then I switched to a 14-28 SunRace freewheel. Works fine mechanically -- no wobbles like the 13-25 SunRace -- and has helped my climbs. But the 14T small cog interferes slightly -- there isn't enough clearance between the chain and chainstay. Fortunately the horizontal dropouts have plenty of wiggle room, but it's still too snug for my liking. So I'll switch to a 13-28 freewheel.

After today's delivery the Ironman will have a 50/39 chainring, both Vuelta 110 on a Suntour crankset. And a 14-28 freewheel until I find a 13-28 replacement.
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Old 12-19-18, 03:54 PM
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Vuelta... checking that out now. Quick question, is there really a difference between chainrings for mountain bikes and chainrings for classic road bikes? Also, what aspect of the chainring do they alter to gear (no pun intended) towards 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 speed freewheels?
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Old 12-19-18, 03:55 PM
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For the Shimano 105, I'd had the 5750 model in my shopping cart. Do ramps and pins make difference? I'm obviously friction shifting. It says it's a 10 speed chainring, does that really matter in my "use case?"
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Old 12-19-18, 05:03 PM
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Just found a vintage Sugino 54t 110bcd in my dad's old part bin and bought a similar era 34t off of eBay, we'll see how that works!
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Old 12-19-18, 11:47 PM
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I'm currently running a Sugino GT with a 52/34 setup and I'm very happy with it. I have a 6 speed 28-13t freewheel. It gets up hills well, and has plenty of top end when I need it. It seems to go big/big OK, but has some chain SAG on small/small.

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Old 12-20-18, 06:12 AM
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I'll chime in with the rest and say there are plenty of options. On the expensive side t.a. rings will get you where u want to go. If you already have a 34 ignore this but if you dont, t.a. makes a 33 for the 110 bcd.
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Old 12-20-18, 06:14 AM
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https://www.wiggle.com/ta-110-pcd-ze...oad-chainring/
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Old 12-20-18, 07:16 AM
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Since you are familiar with ebay, just plug 110 bcd chainring into the search function and you will find a huge variety of chainrings for much cheaper than the sugino offerings. If you are not using indexed shifting, they will be fine.
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Old 12-20-18, 07:18 AM
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@Mogens I would read this article from Park Tools on chain compatibility. The Wikipedia entry for bicycle chain has all of the specific inner and outer widths for chains listed in its "Width" section.

The outer width of the chain lessens the more gears you have, because the spacing between cogs on the rear freewheel/cassette gets smaller the more gears you have. Crankset manufacturers have also lessened the space between chainrings with higher geared systems, so that the narrower chains that come with the higher geared systems don't get caught in between the chainrings. You can see from the Wikipedia link above that 7 and 8 speed chains have the same outer width, so are interchangeable. Many chain brands will even label their chains as "6/7/8 speed compatible". 9 speed chains got narrower, then 10 speed chains got narrower, and now 11 speed chains are even narrower. These changes are fractions of a millimeter so you might find that a combination that is not officially supposed to work might work, depending on manufacturer. You will also see from the Wiki link above that there is some slight variation between manufacturers.

The inner width of the chain (that meshes with the cog/chainring teeth) remains the same between all chains meant for geared systems (commonly called "3/32"). Chains meant for fixed or single speed gear systems have a larger inner width (commonly called "1/8").

Ramps and pins are meant to assist the ability of the chainring to "pick up" the chain by adding features that catch it as it is being derailed and making the action of sliding onto the teeth easier. Some say this helps both friction and index systems. Some say friction doesn't need it because you can "trim" (or fine-tune) the location of the chain and therefore help it shift manually.

You will also see "narrow/wide" chainrings meant for modern mtb and cyclocross drivetrains. The teeth on these chainrings are shaped to grip the alternating narrow and wide chain links in order to help retain the chain on the chainring when no front derailleur is being used. Don't get one of these for a geared system. Other than that, there is no difference between a normal MTB chainring and a normal road chainring. If you go to the bike shop and look at a Shimano chain you will see them labeled "XTR/Dura Ace" for example, meaning one chain works for both their mountain drivetrain and road drivetrain. They both use the same widths.

Last edited by TenGrainBread; 12-20-18 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 12-20-18, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for the detailed reply, itís incredible how simple and complex these mechanisms are!
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Old 12-20-18, 10:46 AM
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I've stopped buying new cranksets and chainrings. I tend to use homemade compact doubles on my vintage bikes. Start with a Sugino double that has 110 spacing. Add chainrings off a MTB donor bike, often, the two largest rings are in the 48+/-, 35+/- sizing.

Older MTBs can make great donors. Long cage rear derailleurs, triple cranksets, thumb shifters, desirable pedals, etc.
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Old 12-20-18, 02:32 PM
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...if you're going to experiment with crank and chainring swapping (and gearing in general), by far the most common chainrings out there are the 130 bolt center diameter Shimano ones. There's nothing wrong with a Sugino 110, and it's easier to go smaller with it, but for sheer availability in the marketplace, it's hard to beat a standard Shimano 130 bcd crankset for experimentation. I use them all the time to try out various half step setups.
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Old 12-20-18, 02:40 PM
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I got the ramped and pinned Vuelta SE Plus chainrings. Supposedly they work better. Mostly I got 'em because they matched my original Suntour chainrings, and I lucked into both for less than half the usual new price. The Vueltas have been entirely comparable to the Suntours, no problems with quality.

I can't say for sure how much difference the ramped and pinned chainrings make. I still blow front derailleur shifts and drop the chain when I shift too hastily or sloppily. Usually as I'm cresting a climb and about to blast downhill to try for a new personal best time. If I take my time and shift carefully it works. But I can't just slam the front derailleur shifter around. I've tried every adjustment I can think of and nothing prevents occasional chain drops.

Usually I can pick up the chain without stopping by gently shifting again so the chain gets picked up by the smaller chainring, then carefully shifting into the big ring. This works okay on downhills or level ground. It's a potential disaster on climbs or in traffic so I avoid front derailleur shifts in those conditions.

Regarding chains, besides the above info it also depends on the specific recommendations by the manufacturer. For example, my Centurion Ironman has the Suntour GPX group with Accushift. That offers three choices for the rear derailleur: two indexed, one friction. In actual practice there's only one practical choice -- the Accushift indexed shifting. The other index mode applies only to certain freewheels that aren't commonly available. And the friction mode is so mediocre as to be useless.

So reliable index shifting depends heavily on an appropriate chain and freewheel (or cassette). If the freewheel cogs aren't spaced correctly the bike won't reliably index shift across the entire range, usually resulting in blown shifts and clattering that can't be trimmed out. I've used the original Suntour 13-24 freewheel, and two SunRace freewheels -- 13-25 and 14-28. SunRace quality control is sketchy but when you get a good one it works fine. The two smallest cogs on the 13-25 SunRace are misaligned and wobble enough to thwart reliable index shifting. The 14-28 index shifts fine, but I'd prefer a 13-28. The 14 tooth small cog forces the chain into rubbing the chainstay/lug unless I adjust the dropout location very carefully.

The original Suntour chains were garbage so it's not difficult to do better. In friction mode only the slab-sided plain link Shimano and KMC chains worked well. But in indexed mode the bike shifts more crisply with KMC's fancypants Z-Bridge link plates, like the Z72 or Z51. However in friction mode those chains shift erratically (they're extremely fussy about precise shifting, which is defied by the lack of good feel in friction mode), clatter too much and it's a nonstop chore to trim out chain noise.
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Old 12-20-18, 03:00 PM
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Basically, how it is..

Sugino has chainrings that are low cost, a multi ton punch press uses a die & punches all the teeth at once.. fast, high volume,,


harder alloys require CNC machining .. and so cost more , index shift features like ramps and shift pins come at a higher cost..






....
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