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Biopace Enthusiasts

Old 12-21-09, 01:54 PM
  #1  
Ericson38
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Biopace Enthusiasts

Wondering what you think of your Biopace ? I enherited one on a 1987 Centurion Elite RS with Shimano downtube shifters.

I'm impressed, more consistent leg effort, more natural feel compared to circular crank equipped 1993 Trek 2200.

Other opinions ?
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Old 12-21-09, 03:29 PM
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This argument has gone on since the 1980s and my conclusion is you either liked them or hated them or didn't care. I like them but they were more a sales gimmick than anything else. To me they are same as rapid rise rear derailluers. Not needed but good for sales. Roger
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Old 12-21-09, 03:36 PM
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I liked mine but I'm not sure I really noticed that much difference. I may use some on my next vintage build, but haven't made a firm decision yet.
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Old 12-21-09, 03:38 PM
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I liked mine when I got them on a decent chromoly road bike from the 80s which was light years ahead of the department store bikes I'd ridden before that growing up... now that I've ridden nicer bikes I'm not sure they make a huge difference, but I've yet to try doing any longer distances on a non-biopace yet, so maybe that's where their advantage is... I think Sheldon said some like them for touring. I think they're a neat idea, regardless.
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Old 12-21-09, 03:40 PM
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I like mine. But, i've little to compare them to. All I rode before the current road bike was mountain bikes with round rings.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ericson38 View Post
Wondering what you think of your Biopace ? I enherited one on a 1987 Centurion Elite RS with Shimano downtube shifters.

I'm impressed, more consistent leg effort, more natural feel compared to circular crank equipped 1993 Trek 2200.

Other opinions ?
Bio pace was original equipment on my 88 Specialized Sirrus. Initially I liked it; however, after time it felt like it was limiting my spin to right at 90 RPM. Shortly thereafter I traded out the Bio pace rings for round Campy rings and I found myself much happier as I was able to spin at 110 RPM.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:32 PM
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Full biopace cranksets? No. As sirrus says, spinning fast on them is really weird, almost impossible, or at least very awkward.

However, a biopace granny? Now that's something I get behind. I run half step plus granny on my touring bike, so it's only used when there's a real hill I'm up against. That's when the extra little oomph comes in handy, and the spinning doesn't matter quite as much.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:45 PM
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I've change my old cottered crank on a old 70's bike for a Shimano Exage 300 with Biopace chainrings and i like it! It feel good to ride with it.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:15 AM
  #9  
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I had a bike with biopace rings a few years ago, but it was my first road bike, and I never really noticed the difference. I've been curious about trying them again though.

Haven't heard them mentioned on this board, but a company called Rotor is making elliptical rings now that some top pros are really getting behind, especially on time trial rigs: https://www.rotorbikeusa.com/qrings_compact.html

I'd love to get a pair and try them out, they look really slick too, like the old drilled chainrings. Damn expensive though.
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Old 12-22-09, 05:19 AM
  #10  
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I read some time ago that the BioPace design was prone to creating bounce at higher RPM's. I do not know if this is true or no but I do know one thing for sure, the not round design does create imbalance during rotation.

About ten years ago, I stumbled across a Motobecane Mirage with a weird crank set. The ring(only one ring and not really a ring at all) was really oval in shape. I could not wait to give the bicycle a try and did so with-in a few minutes of bringing it home and servicing the bike.

Well, that test ride helped me name the Motobecane as the Bicycle from Hell!!! I could not believe it but at very low RPM's the bicycle actually started to bounce as I increased pedal speed. Were I to run the bike up to a cadence of 90 RPM my guess is that the bicycle would actually be bouncing off of the ground.

I will dig the Mirage out one of these days and see if I can get some good pictures of that goofy crank set. As I recall it still has the manufacturer's sticker on it and the sticker reads something like Dunhill.
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Old 12-22-09, 07:03 AM
  #11  
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I like 'em and have found they are a big help getting my battered old knees up hills. I have mounted them on all my regular rides.
Last June I did a 185 mile charity ride on a bike with round rings and my knees hurt at the end of the day. Not the case with Biopace.
Bear in mind I am a recreational cyclist and something of a grinder to boot.
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Old 12-22-09, 07:45 AM
  #12  
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I have had several rings and cranksets pass through my hands but have not actually tried them. Interestingly, while researching the value of biopace last winter I came across a tidbit from Sheldon Brown (RIP) where he claims to have used biopace on a fixed gear with success. Most think this kind of talk is jibberish, but I think it would make for an interesting winter project

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/biopace.html
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Old 12-22-09, 07:50 AM
  #13  
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I like them, they trade out well.
Call me a square. I like round.
I'm odd enough without BioPace, right now....

As a "masher" of slow cadence riding, I suppose, as my legs start to go, I'll move to:
BioPace
Compact
Triple
Electric
Urn

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 12-22-09 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 12-22-09, 08:01 AM
  #14  
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Guess you'll have to try for yourself and see what you think. I tried them, and it just felt "wrong". No other way to describe it.
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Old 12-22-09, 08:08 AM
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Guess you'll have to try for yourself and see what you think. I tried them, and it just felt "wrong". No other way to describe it.
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Old 12-22-09, 08:56 AM
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I was given a bike with a zillion problems that I haven't managed to fix in years. It has biopace. I guess I'll try it, even if I have to move then chainrings off to a working bike. I tend to have a slow cadence, so maybe it would give me more benefit than it would fast-pedaling cyclists.
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Old 12-22-09, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I was given a bike with a zillion problems that I haven't managed to fix in years. It has biopace. I guess I'll try it, even if I have to move then chainrings off to a working bike. I tend to have a slow cadence, so maybe it would give me more benefit than it would fast-pedaling cyclists.

Hey Tom

Not trying to discourage you from trying them but I have sold a couple sets of rings for more than I paid for the complete bikes. I posted them on CL and could have sold several more sets with the same ad if I'd had them available. As Robbie said, they trade out well....
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Old 12-22-09, 09:57 AM
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A. Winthrop-

Here's some shots of mine.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ight=trek+2200
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Old 12-22-09, 10:06 AM
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I liked them for slogging out the trails on the ATB, where it's hard to keep a constant and high cadence. I prefer round rings on the road, where I can maintain a high spin. Off road, my preferred set is a BP inner and middle ring for the single track and hills, mated with with a round outer ring for fire roads.

I agree with Ashley that the OP's model is probably 1986 as opposed 1987. It's certainly no earlier than 1986 based on the decals. The Centurion Serial Number Database is approaching 300 entries and I have yet to log any confirmed Elite RS models for 1987. Furthermore we have confirmed 1986 Elite RS in the aqua and silver colour scheme. Finally, the derailleurs appear to be the New 600 EX friction version, which WSI spec'd on 1986 version of this model. However, to be 100% positive please post the serial number and I will confirm the model year and add the info to the database.

Last edited by T-Mar; 12-22-09 at 10:31 AM. Reason: added comment on OP's model year
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Old 12-22-09, 10:32 AM
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I am definitely more of a masher than a spinner and I love Biopace. Anything over 25 miles and my legs are more worn out with regular rings. With the Biopace I am as fresh as a daisy.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:12 PM
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Where I have BioPace, I ride them, their OK. Where I don't have BioPace, I ride, their OK. I don't have a big desire to add BioPace and no desire to remove it where it's already installed. I guess that's a wash.
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Old 12-23-09, 01:59 PM
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r0ckh0und, I'll keep that in mind. I think these rings are insanely worn down, and I doubt they could command a good price.
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Old 12-23-09, 02:17 PM
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Well, I just learned something. Biopace rings have value. I have been pitching them out thinking that the system was no good. Stupid me. Thank goodness I didn't get around to pitching the last few sets.
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Old 12-23-09, 02:58 PM
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Yep, I like them but I am an older slower masher than when I first started. I snagged some at the LBS take off bin.
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Old 12-23-09, 03:10 PM
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I like it. Only have experience with it on a couple mountain bikes though.
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