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How much maximum cross-chain?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How much maximum cross-chain?

Old 06-28-16, 11:17 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Not possible for me and my terrain. I live and commute on hilly terrain, and I use everything from 34-28 up to 50-11 (the entire gear range). I shift chain rings based on what feels best for me, and on commutes that usually means I'm in the same gear combos at the same locations, most of the time, unless I get a big tail wind or head wind one day.
Surely using almost the whole cassette will reduce the frequency of front shifting.
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Old 06-28-16, 11:21 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
How exactly would you propose to make a big-small or small-big combination available without the small-small and big-big also being present? And every cassette has two ends. No matter how many cogs you add or remove, that is still the case. Derailleurs are always going to be engineered to just barely work at the cassette edges. It is inescapable.
I understand. I guess when I see cross chaining posts, I imagine there are cassette police out there waiting to flog me for abusing my drivetrain.

If I eat up a chain and cassette a little faster than needed but shift more comfortably, that's OK. I have about 10 thousand miles on my chainrings and they still look fine to me. I'll be replacing them in the fall anyhow, but in the meantime I will cross chain like there's no tomorrow.
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Old 06-28-16, 11:22 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Surely using almost the whole cassette will reduce the frequency of front shifting.
Depends on conditions. It's one thing to drop into a cross chain position for a short time because you were riding in the big ring an just needed a big cog for a bit or were riding in the small ring and needed a small cog.

It's another thing entirely to cruise at the end of the cassette -- it's a sign you're riding in the wrong ring since it's good to have a bit of space on each side of the chain to allow upshifting/downshifting without switching rings.
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Old 06-28-16, 11:23 AM
  #29  
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BTW, crosschaining is a word you'll never hear 'bent riders use. It's simply irrelevant But even they can ride in the wrong ring.
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Old 06-28-16, 11:58 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Ideally you don't want to go back and forth up front. The idea is to sit on one front ring that is suitable for the particular terrain and/or wind conditions. It isn't always possible sure, but using more of the rear cog and front ring combinations makes it more possible to do this.
I have to disagree. The idea is not to stay on one ring or the other, but to always be in the gear which best suits rider and road conditions, and hopefully also allows a little space above and below without jumping rings---when this is possible.

(For instance, sometimes I overestimate my energy level on the minor rises which pass for hills out here ... and find myself on the big ring and smallest cog. Because i don't want to double-shift and lose momentum, I will push on, but I will also wish that I had properly estimated my ability that day, and had downshifted up front before the start of the climb so I have some range downward with the quicker rear derailleur.)

With indexed shifting, if your bike is set up right, the only issue with front shifting is that it is a little slower but it is still just a click away from the next gear. Staying on one ring and working up and down is fine in a lot of situations ... but ad a little load, and then the difference between gears is magnified, and shifting up two in the back and down one up front to be in just the right ration suddenly doesn't seem like too much work.

Long hills and headwinds make it easy to understand why your bike has 18-20 different ratios.
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Old 06-28-16, 01:27 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
With 2x10 I usually stay out of the smallest 3 cogs while in the small ring, and the largest 3 cogs while in the big ring.
That's a little overly cautious.
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Old 06-28-16, 01:49 PM
  #32  
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"Militant home-brewed chain lube" guy and "Upset at non-waving cyclists" guy think the cross-chain worriers need to settle down.
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Old 06-28-16, 02:08 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Surely using almost the whole cassette will reduce the frequency of front shifting.
There are plenty of hills that I can't handle in the big ring even in the lower end of the cassette.

Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
That's a little overly cautious.
I don't like the cross chain noise. My limit screws are set up to have a hair's clearance between chain links and the FD plates on the 34-28 and 50-11 combinations. Going 34-11 or 50-28 still makes significant noise, though, even with trimming.

Honestly, with modern STI brifters, it's really not an issue to double-shift both the front and the rear in rapid succession. I can see how one might not want to shift chain rings as much if they had something like friction downtube shifters (yuck).
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Old 06-28-16, 02:22 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Honestly, with modern STI brifters, it's really not an issue to double-shift both the front and the rear in rapid succession. I can see how one might not want to shift chain rings as much if they had something like friction downtube shifters (yuck).
Friction DT is way easier than advertised -- I find them faster and easier in many situations than STI.

STI is better for double shifting, shifting while standing, and shifting when you don't want to take your hands off the bars. But exception for those situations, I actually prefer DT.
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Old 06-28-16, 03:04 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I have to disagree. The idea is not to stay on one ring or the other, but to always be in the gear which best suits rider and road conditions, and hopefully also allows a little space above and below without jumping rings---when this is possible.

(For instance, sometimes I overestimate my energy level on the minor rises which pass for hills out here ... and find myself on the big ring and smallest cog. Because i don't want to double-shift and lose momentum, I will push on, but I will also wish that I had properly estimated my ability that day, and had downshifted up front before the start of the climb so I have some range downward with the quicker rear derailleur.)

With indexed shifting, if your bike is set up right, the only issue with front shifting is that it is a little slower but it is still just a click away from the next gear. Staying on one ring and working up and down is fine in a lot of situations ... but ad a little load, and then the difference between gears is magnified, and shifting up two in the back and down one up front to be in just the right ration suddenly doesn't seem like too much work.

Long hills and headwinds make it easy to understand why your bike has 18-20 different ratios.
If you had accurately read what I wrote, you could have saved yourself a lot of typing.
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Old 06-28-16, 03:34 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
If you had accurately read what I wrote, you could have saved yourself a lot of typing.
First, I do not recognize the concept of "saving" typing. The whole reason I come here is to bang away on the keyboard ... it passes the time and annoys others---what could be better?

The specific sentence with which i took issue:
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Ideally you don't want to go back and forth up front.
still seems incorrect to me---as I stated. I don't think the Ideal is to stay on one ring, but to find the best gear---which I stated.

I see where you say
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
using more of the rear cog and front ring combinations makes it more possible
which you might think obviates the need for my post, but I was disputing specifically the word
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Ideally
Next time please try to object in greater detail do so I can spend more of my workday typing long boring posts for the BF forums. it is my only validation.

By the way (see, i could have typed BTW, but I have the typing to spend---no need to save) how is the Chinabomb? I might (Might) be about a week away from starting the ordering process (finances are so uncertain when one spends his workday typing lengthy rants for BF.)

I believe you used their bottom bracket and headset? I will need to buy an adapter ( I have Ultegra) for the BB; how's the headset? I think you also used the stock seat post? Any issues, anything change since last time?

I was also looking at a Canyon copy from another distributor. It might be made from higher-number CF but it costs more and if the 066 is still holding up for you, I might as well save the cash, I figure.
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Old 06-28-16, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
First, I do not recognize the concept of "saving" typing. The whole reason I come here is to bang away on the keyboard ... it passes the time and annoys others---what could be better?

The specific sentence with which i took issue: still seems incorrect to me---as I stated. I don't think the Ideal is to stay on one ring, but to find the best gear---which I stated.

I see where you say which you might think obviates the need for my post, but I was disputing specifically the word

Next time please try to object in greater detail do so I can spend more of my workday typing long boring posts for the BF forums. it is my only validation.

By the way (see, i could have typed BTW, but I have the typing to spend---no need to save) how is the Chinabomb? I might (Might) be about a week away from starting the ordering process (finances are so uncertain when one spends his workday typing lengthy rants for BF.)

I believe you used their bottom bracket and headset? I will need to buy an adapter ( I have Ultegra) for the BB; how's the headset? I think you also used the stock seat post? Any issues, anything change since last time?

I was also looking at a Canyon copy from another distributor. It might be made from higher-number CF but it costs more and if the 066 is still holding up for you, I might as well save the cash, I figure.
Being on the right gear ratio is presumed. "Ideally" suggests being able to accomplish that without always having to change rings. My approach is to always be in the best gear, and hopefully the overlap between the chainrings will allow thst without constantly shifting the front.
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Old 06-28-16, 04:53 PM
  #38  
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I ride in whatever combo I feel like it and I have no problems. If deraileurs are set up correctly the only real problem is premature wear and I don't think me being cross chained for a 1/4 mile here and there is going to have a drastic effect.
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Old 06-28-16, 07:21 PM
  #39  
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My bike has 22 speeds and I use them all. If my habits cause a little premature wear, I'm okay with that since I have no intention of squeezing the last mile from my components anyway
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Old 06-28-16, 07:32 PM
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You'll not likely catch me using the big ring/big cog combo but everything else is fair game.
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Old 06-28-16, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Square Wheels View Post
I understand. I guess when I see cross chaining posts, I imagine there are cassette police out there waiting to flog me for abusing my drivetrain.

If I eat up a chain and cassette a little faster than needed but shift more comfortably, that's OK. I have about 10 thousand miles on my chainrings and they still look fine to me. I'll be replacing them in the fall anyhow, but in the meantime I will cross chain like there's no tomorrow.
I completely agree. It's just a chain, cassette, maybe a front ring. It ain't a kidney.
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Old 06-28-16, 07:37 PM
  #42  
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At one criterium the finish was after an uphill climb. On the last turn before the climb I dropped to the small ring and just shifted the rear as need be. At the finish, I looked down, small/small.

At a road race the finish was also after an uphill climb. At the finish, I looked down, big/big.

I have 22 gears and I'm going to use them all.
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Old 06-28-16, 08:54 PM
  #43  
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So on my commute home today I tried to stay in my 50 ring longer and shift to the larger cogs for lower gears. Seemed to work okay for hills where I don't usually go lower than the 5th cog in the small ring. Anything lower than that I just shifted to the small ring. It was okay, not sure if spinning the big ring in a lower gear is any more or less efficient than spinning the small ring in a higher gear. In some places I seemed to be faster than usual despite a headwind. In other places I seemed slower, but again headwind and I wasn't really feeling all that great anyway. So crosschaining and staying in the big ring most of the time - inconclusive at this point, for me.
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Old 06-28-16, 09:47 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by vinuneuro View Post
What's the maximum you can/should crosschain before the issues associated with it become apparent? Ie. When in the small ring don't use the smallest two in the cassette, when in the big ring don't use the biggest two, etc. Is it chain ring combination dependent, ie. 50/34 has more/less leeway than 53/39?
Large ring x largest cog can lead to spontaneous shifts off the big ring depending on the tooth profile and wear. Avoid that because you can crash when the chain slackens dropping onto the small ring while you're standing out of the saddle, like to power over a short hill. If that doesn't happen it may not be noticeable - I improved my power to weight ratio 80%, forget that I'm in my big ring, and end up there without hearing anything.

Small ring x smallest cog can be a little noisy even if you shim the big ring to clear although lubrication helps.

Otherwise it's fine. I rode 50-34 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23 for years where 50x21 and 34x14 were the only overlapping gear combinations that weren't fully cross-chained. Apart from too much shifting I didn't have any problems - still got ~5000 miles out of Campagnolo C9 chains and replaced them due to degraded shifting from side plate wear not elongation.

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Old 06-29-16, 08:09 AM
  #45  
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The edict not to cross chain is largely received wisdom developed at a time when drive trains were not nearly as well designed as they are today.


With modern 10-11 speed systems, particularly electronic, its just not an issue on most bikes. Depending on chain stay length, there still can be some problems, like the chain wanting to ride up the big ring in a 34/11.


if it works on your bike without making excessive noise, then its not a problem.


If it makes noise, adjust the derailleurs. If it still makes noise, stay out of the combinations that make noise.


Not rocket surgery
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Old 06-29-16, 08:12 AM
  #46  
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Inherited wisdom of the ages on proper drive train use:


1) don't cross chain;


2) don't shift under load, soft pedal when shifting


3) avoid front shifts.


All of this pretty much goes out the window with electronic and to a slightly lesser degree with newer mechanical groups.
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Old 06-29-16, 10:44 AM
  #47  
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It's been said a few times and does make any sense at all. How does electronic shifting eliminate cross-chaining issues.. the geometry of the problem remains the same.
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Old 06-29-16, 11:00 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by vinuneuro View Post
It's been said a few times and does make any sense at all. How does electronic shifting eliminate cross-chaining issues.. the geometry of the problem remains the same.
I believe you have misunderstood. What is being said is that electronic shifting makes front shifting and combination shifting as easy as rear shifting alone so that it isn't as relatively advantageous to cross chain. You can get to the right gear ratio just as easily by front shifting.
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Old 06-29-16, 12:34 PM
  #49  
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I have a Sram Force 22 group set and I read somewhere on the internet that you can't cross chain a Sram Force 22. If it's on the Internet, it's got to be true...
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Old 06-29-16, 01:13 PM
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I use the whole cassette in the big ring. If I need more gears, I shift to the small ring. Since 90% of the time, I'm not in the big/big, and 90% of the time I'm on the big chaining, I figure that 10% loss in chain life is worth 90% gain in little ring life.


The numbers all check out. No way you can argue...
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