Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

How often do you use the big chainring?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

How often do you use the big chainring?

Old 10-05-22, 03:30 PM
  #51  
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 10,012

Bikes: Kirk Custom JK Special, '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2407 Post(s)
Liked 2,998 Times in 1,624 Posts
95% of the time with my 50/34 and 11x32 setup (really need to climb more hills)

50/50 on my 53/39 13x32 setup (need to get in better shape and climb more hills)
__________________
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can.





squirtdad is online now  
Old 10-05-22, 05:24 PM
  #52  
Not lost wanderer.
 
bwilli88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Lititz, Pa
Posts: 3,387

Bikes: In USA; 73 Raleigh Super Course dingle speed, 72 Raleigh Gran Sport SS, 72 Geoffry Butler, 81 Centurion Pro-Tour, 74 Gugie Grandier Sportier

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 901 Post(s)
Liked 1,048 Times in 552 Posts
I either ride a 1x or half step and switch off a lot. Kind of a gearing junkie.
__________________
Cambodia bikes, Bridgestone SRAM 2 speed, 2012 Fuji Stratos...
bwilli88 is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 05:35 PM
  #53  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: SE Wyoming
Posts: 604

Bikes: 1995 Specialized Rockhopper,1989 Specialized Rock Combo, 2013 Specialized Tarmac Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Liked 589 Times in 278 Posts
Headwind uphill, little ring. Tailwind downhill, big ring. About 50-50.
Inusuit is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 06:02 PM
  #54  
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,855

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 154 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3618 Post(s)
Liked 3,458 Times in 1,963 Posts
When I found that my aging legs couldn't handle the typical large chainrings on my bikes, I started downsizing the large rings. The 54T ring on the tandem went to 50T; 52T and 53T rings on other bikes went to 44T, 46T, and 48T. That allows me to use the full range of gears available on my bikes. But I have a pile of 52, 53, and 54 tooth rings I'll likely never use again.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Likes For JohnDThompson:
Old 10-05-22, 06:46 PM
  #55  
Senior Member
 
Manny66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Whittier
Posts: 896

Bikes: 1973 Colnago Super, Litespeed Classic , Automoto , Pinarello Gavia TSX,Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra,Eddy Merckx EMX-5 , 1982 Moser SL, Concorde TSX, Vitus 979 KAS. Diamant SLX,60's Meteor

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 250 Post(s)
Liked 1,004 Times in 344 Posts
The BIG ring every time I ride, except when im up a steep climb.

I rode up Azusa Canyon on my vintage Moser 53-42 with a corncob rear..Big mistake.
Manny66 is offline  
Likes For Manny66:
Old 10-05-22, 07:10 PM
  #56  
Senior Member
 
mackgoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: San Clemente
Posts: 669

Bikes: 87 Bianchi X4, 95 Bianchi Ti Mega Tube, 06 Alan Carbon Cross X33, 74 Galmozzi Super Competizione, 64 Bianchi Specialissima.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 261 Post(s)
Liked 559 Times in 170 Posts
at least 95% of the time.
mackgoo is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 07:54 PM
  #57  
Senior Member
 
Chombi1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 4,543
Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1658 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 861 Times in 563 Posts
BITD, I was almost always on my big ring (52 or 53T) when I rode...... but Southeast Wisconsin is quite flat.....
__________________
72 Line Seeker
83 Davidson Signature
84 Peugeot PSV
84 Peugeot PY10FC
84 Gitane Tour de France.
85 Vitus Plus Carbone 7
86 ALAN Record Carbonio
86 Medici Aerodynamic (Project)
88 Pinarello Montello
89 Bottecchia Professional Chorus SL
95 Trek 5500 OCLV (Project)
Chombi1 is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 08:28 PM
  #58  
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 7,778

Bikes: Miyata 618 GT, Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, Santa Cruz Highball

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1643 Post(s)
Liked 2,746 Times in 1,275 Posts
As soon as I Crest a hill I'm back in the big ring. It's also a lot cheaper to replace when it wears out. That said, we have a lot of hills so I'm probably in it 60 percent of the time.
curbtender is online now  
Old 10-05-22, 09:24 PM
  #59  
The Huffmeister
Thread Starter
 
AdventureManCO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: The Le Grande HQ
Posts: 2,945

Bikes: '79 Trek 938, '86 Jim Merz Allez SE, '90 Miyata 1000, '68 PX-10, '80 PXN-10, '73 Super Course, '87 Guerciotti, '83 Trek 600, '80 Huffy Le Grande

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1332 Post(s)
Liked 3,805 Times in 1,529 Posts
Wow, thanks for all the replies. Been gone a couple days working out of town, long days, etc. and haven't had a chance to check in.


Originally Posted by davester
This is a silly question since the answer depends on how many teeth the rings have, what the rear cog range is, whether you live in a hilly area or not, and what your gearing pattern is (half step, crossover, wide range triple, etc.
Not silly at all! Part of the reason I ask is because there is a tendency (partially with me, but probably with many others), to keep a nice vintage bike stock, so that means using the gears that came with it. That being the case, a lot of these bikes came with 50T+ large rings - it started an internal debate: change to make it more useful? Keep stock?

Originally Posted by SurferRosa
After reading this, most English language speakers would assume you are pondering removal of the small chainring from your bikes.
Ha! You're kind of right. Fortunately every English speaker in this thread understood what I meant. We all must be really special/smart!

Originally Posted by smd4
You sound skeptical that the big ring is useful.

It's mostly flat where I am, so the 53 big ring (39 small) is definitely used and is useful. Coupled with a 12-23 cluster, and it makes for a pretty good workout.

Of course, my bike is a racing bike--not a sport tourer, hybrid or mountain bike. It would look equally silly with either a 1X or a triple.
I'm VERY skeptical...because I've got a 53T on the front of my bike and riding it is frickin hard! haha

Originally Posted by Manny66
The BIG ring every time I ride, except when im up a steep climb.

I rode up Azusa Canyon on my vintage Moser 53-42 with a corncob rear..Big mistake.
That is exactly what I have. 53T in the front with a corncob in which the largest rear is 23T. I switched a few times to the larger chainring and it felt like I was peddling through molasses.

Originally Posted by EVlove
I guess I must be fitter than I thought I'm blessed with a mostly smooth rail trail near my house and when it's quiet there, I'm in 52x19 a lot, 72 gear inches. 17 cog/80 inches when I'm pushing myself, but I can't keep that up for long.

Of course, our OP is in Colorado. I imagine I'd be struggling to get anywhere with a 52/42 setup.
I guess I am way less fit than I thought haha. But yes I'm here in CO and everywhere is a hill. I live on a hill. And I'm on the east side, where it is supposed to be flat.

I think I have a prejudice about the big ring because 1) I haven't found it useful when the terrain is so varied, 2) I have my PX-10 setup as a 1x5 and it is a really fun combo that seems to do just about everything well, and finally 3) principle...past owners shifting between the front chainrings and trying to quickly drop back down to the smaller ring is probably the biggest reason our precious (otherwise pristine) steeds are all mucked up on the chainstay. Yep. I think that is probably the biggest reason. Never dropped a chain on a 1x with a proper length chain...which I really wasn't expecting.
AdventureManCO is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 09:26 PM
  #60  
The Huffmeister
Thread Starter
 
AdventureManCO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: The Le Grande HQ
Posts: 2,945

Bikes: '79 Trek 938, '86 Jim Merz Allez SE, '90 Miyata 1000, '68 PX-10, '80 PXN-10, '73 Super Course, '87 Guerciotti, '83 Trek 600, '80 Huffy Le Grande

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1332 Post(s)
Liked 3,805 Times in 1,529 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak
The OP is probably surprised at the way this thread has gone. Most have reported using the big ring most of the time.
Honestly, a little bit. I just imagine most anyone trying to ride a 53T/corncob out here and it seems incredibly inefficient.
AdventureManCO is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 11:02 PM
  #61  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 2,476

Bikes: 1974 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1106 Post(s)
Liked 796 Times in 453 Posts
I ride mine all the time - 42/52 X 14-24. I'm usually in 52X18, sometimes even when I could go to 52X16 (but don't).

There was a 4% grade, 5 mile long hill in Albuquerque where I used my 42, a lot. Remember, though, ABQ ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level. I loved riding there.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 10-05-22 at 11:06 PM.
Bad Lag is offline  
Old 10-06-22, 12:00 AM
  #62  
Cantilever believer
 
RCMoeur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,663
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 568 Post(s)
Liked 1,970 Times in 886 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
But I have a pile of 52, 53, and 54 tooth rings I'll likely never use again.
I take a hacksaw, cut the teeth off, and use them as chainguards for saner chainrings such as 46 and below.
__________________
Richard C. Moeur, PE - Phoenix AZ, USA
https://www.richardcmoeur.com/bikestuf.html
RCMoeur is offline  
Old 10-06-22, 05:34 AM
  #63  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 6,043

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3663 Post(s)
Liked 3,099 Times in 1,867 Posts
Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
and finally 3) principle...past owners shifting between the front chainrings and trying to quickly drop back down to the smaller ring is probably the biggest reason our precious (otherwise pristine) steeds are all mucked up on the chainstay. Yep. I think that is probably the biggest reason. Never dropped a chain on a 1x with a proper length chain...which I really wasn't expecting.
I have never dropped a chain with a properly adjusted front derailleur. My chainstay is pristine. Sounds like you were riding with people who didn’t know how to adjust their bike.
smd4 is offline  
Old 10-06-22, 06:06 AM
  #64  
Senior Member
 
jethin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,125
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 293 Post(s)
Liked 360 Times in 173 Posts
I think this is kind of a silly question. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be “are you a masher or a spinner?” or “what gear inches do you mostly ride in?” And a lot of this has to do with the type of riding you do, terrain, age, fitness, etc.

Just because you push big gears doesn’t make you fast or a monster cyclist. Macho maybe.

If your gearing isn’t working for you you should consider changing it.
jethin is offline  
Old 10-06-22, 12:29 PM
  #65  
señor miembro
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,707

Bikes: '70s - '80s Campagnolo

Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3954 Post(s)
Liked 6,642 Times in 3,287 Posts
Originally Posted by jethin
Just because you push big gears doesn’t make you fast.
But most likely a lot faster than the guy who parks it in the small ring for the dur. (jme)
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 10-06-22, 01:08 PM
  #66  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,515
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 899 Post(s)
Liked 2,339 Times in 1,313 Posts
I find, with most of my bikes, that a 14/28 FW can take care of my gearing needs in a 52 or 53 chainring...until I hit a hill! Then I use the precious lil' 41 TA ring , and after that it's the walk of shame

I have to climb to my nest . My house is quite a bit above the houses 2 blocks down the hill. I've only made it on my mountain bike , can't do it on my road bike and I hate riding my mountain bike!
Leaving the nest is GREAT!!! Like the little pig holding the spinner out the window, WEEEE!

Last edited by Kabuki12; 10-06-22 at 01:11 PM.
Kabuki12 is offline  
Likes For Kabuki12:
Old 10-06-22, 01:32 PM
  #67  
Crawlin' up, flyin' down
 
bikingshearer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Democratic Peoples' Republic of Berkeley
Posts: 5,739

Bikes: 1967 Paramount; 1982-ish Ron Cooper; 1978 Eisentraut "A"; two mid-1960s Cinelli Speciale Corsas; and others in various stages of non-rideability.

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1069 Post(s)
Liked 2,651 Times in 1,107 Posts
I use the big ring (52 on most of my bike, 50 on one) almost every ride. I also use my middle ring (42 on most bikes, 38 or so on one) and my dinky ring (24, 26 or 30, depending on the bike) an almost every ride. 90+% of my rides include significant climbs (dinky ring) and descents (big ring), and all rides include good middle ring territory.

I also cheat and ride Campy 10sp triple most of the time, but on frames ranging from 40 to almost 60 years old, so it kind of averages out.
__________________
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
bikingshearer is offline  
Old 10-06-22, 09:09 PM
  #68  
The Huffmeister
Thread Starter
 
AdventureManCO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: The Le Grande HQ
Posts: 2,945

Bikes: '79 Trek 938, '86 Jim Merz Allez SE, '90 Miyata 1000, '68 PX-10, '80 PXN-10, '73 Super Course, '87 Guerciotti, '83 Trek 600, '80 Huffy Le Grande

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1332 Post(s)
Liked 3,805 Times in 1,529 Posts
Originally Posted by smd4
I have never dropped a chain with a properly adjusted front derailleur. My chainstay is pristine. Sounds like you were riding with people who didn’t know how to adjust their bike.
Well, I'm talking about former owners...people who may have never adjusted anything, then just slam the gears, grind up the chainstay, then 20 years later their relatives sell the bike and you get it. Point is that if you only have one gear up front, you are doing no shifting up front, hence much less likely to have shenanigans with the chain since a lot of that happens on the shift (at least for some).

At this point it would be great fun if I was able to ride with just about anybody, even chain droppers and chainstay grinders
AdventureManCO is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.