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Chainring $40 vs $125

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Chainring $40 vs $125

Old 05-07-21, 08:34 PM
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jay4usc
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Chainring $40 vs $125

Currently I have a stock wabi chainring$40 on my wabi classic (single speed) and thinking of buying a DuraAce chainring $125. Due to my 16t WI freewheel my options are limited to 3/32 -144mm. Is the DuraAce worth the upgrade? Am I going to notice a big difference? Any thoughts before I pull the trigger?

I ride about 100 miles a week for cardio exercise and no hills.

thanks
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Old 05-08-21, 04:56 AM
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Wear out the stock one first and then change, I feel you will not know the difference until you need a new one.
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Old 05-08-21, 06:47 AM
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I work in Pounds, but the principle will be the same:

Diminishing returns.
A $20 chainring may be twice as good as a $10 chainring.
A $40 chainring may be "noticeably better than" a $20 chain ring.
Very few people will genuinely notice any real world benefit from an $80 chainring compared to a $40 chain ring.
When the rest of your bike is perfect, buy a $125 chainring.

You will get more performance benefit per Dollar by spending on tyres, pedals, or seat.

If I were going to splash out on either, I would spend a bit extra on the sprocket rather than the chain ring.
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Old 05-08-21, 08:43 AM
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A quality chainring like that is generally going to be rounder and have better tooth profiles rather than just stamping it it is likely machined or machined a lot better and probably out of a stiffer material to reduce flexing. Some also might have coating like a TiNi coating to reduce friction as well. This is not Dura-Ace specific but indicative of other higher quality chainrings.
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Old 05-08-21, 09:10 AM
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If I knew the DA was perfectly round and I wouldn't have any tight spots on the chain like I do with my Wabi ring I would buy one. But that's a lot of money for something I'm not positive of.
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Old 05-08-21, 09:25 AM
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There are CNC machined chainrings available for less than that, though.
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Old 05-08-21, 10:45 AM
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Thanks everyone, your input was helpful. I will hold off until I wear mine out.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:01 PM
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Mojo, in my humble opinion, has great cogs and chainrings for the money.

No experience for DA, nor Wabi, but couldn't imagine spending that much on a DA unless I only had one bicycle or raced competitively. My opinion and thoughts.

Maybe I'm so slow on a bike, that I rarely notice it, but does the tight spots ruin your cadence/speed? Is your chain excessively tight? Just curious.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Senrab62 View Post
Mojo, in my humble opinion, has great cogs and chainrings for the money.

No experience for DA, nor Wabi, but couldn't imagine spending that much on a DA unless I only had one bicycle or raced competitively. My opinion and thoughts.

Maybe I'm so slow on a bike, that I rarely notice it, but does the tight spots ruin your cadence/speed? Is your chain excessively tight? Just curious.
tight spots donít bother my cadence unless my legs are really tired. I always keep about 1inch of slack on the tightest spot on my chain.
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Old 05-10-21, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jay4usc View Post
tight spots donít bother my cadence unless my legs are really tired. I always keep about 1inch of slack on the tightest spot on my chain.
My experience as well, but I just assume my cadence is messed up anyway when I am tired. Same w/chain tension so as long as not too tight you should be fine.

I do believe there used to be a larger selection of decent chainrings. Seems like they are not as plentiful as they used to be.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:14 AM
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Another very good choice for a lot less money than Shimano Dura Ace is the Canadian Blackspire 144 bcd chainrings, which are available with 3/32" wide teeth. They are CNC machined from top quality 7075-T6 aluminum and are extremely round. The problem is that they are only available in black and quite hard to find at the present time. I own a Wabi Lightning, and the stock Wabi chainrings are not very round. I replaced mine with a Blackspire, and the difference is very noticeable. You can see how it looks in the photo, and can also see that I've replaced practically all of the stock Wabi components except for the wheels.


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Old 05-11-21, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Another very good choice for a lot less money than Shimano Dura Ace is the Canadian Blackspire 144 bcd chainrings, which are available with 3/32" wide teeth. They are CNC machined from top quality 7075-T6 aluminum and are extremely round. The problem is that they are only available in black and quite hard to find at the present time. I own a Wabi Lightning, and the stock Wabi chainrings are not very round. I replaced mine with a Blackspire, and the difference is very noticeable. You can see how it looks in the photo, and can also see that I've replaced practically all of the stock Wabi components except for the wheels.


2011 Wabi Lightning Scandium
I was actually looking at Blackspire but was hesitant bc Iíve never heard of it. Thanks for sharing your experience with the brand. With the price I might just buy it since thereís a noticeable difference from my stock.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
A quality chainring like that is ...... probably [made] out of a stiffer material to reduce flexing.
Different grades of aluminum can be stronger and/or harder, but they are NOT stiffer because the modulus of elasticity does not change. So, a better grade of aluminum will not result in a less flexible chainring. The only way to increase chainring stiffness is the increase the amount of material used, which is why solid chainrings like the Sugino Zen are stiffer than chainrings with cutouts like the standard Sugino 75 chainrings. None of this matters in the real world, since most of us are nowhere near enough powerful to notice the difference.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:34 PM
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For the record, the Wabi chainring is an Andel chainring / crankset . . . Great chainring on a budget IMO. I have a 46t Andel (Wabi) on one Wabi Classic and a 48t Sram Omnom on the other. Don't really notice a difference.
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Old 05-11-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Another very good choice for a lot less money than Shimano Dura Ace is the Canadian Blackspire 144 bcd chainrings, which are available with 3/32" wide teeth. They are CNC machined from top quality 7075-T6 aluminum and are extremely round. The problem is that they are only available in black and quite hard to find at the present time. I own a Wabi Lightning, and the stock Wabi chainrings are not very round. I replaced mine with a Blackspire, and the difference is very noticeable. You can see how it looks in the photo, and can also see that I've replaced practically all of the stock Wabi components except for the wheels.


2011 Wabi Lightning Scandium
Is there a big difference on the tight and loose spot of your chain? Currently thereís a about .75 inch difference on mine. Hoping to get rid of that.
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Old 05-11-21, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jay4usc View Post
Is there a big difference on the tight and loose spot of your chain? Currently thereís a about .75 inch difference on mine. Hoping to get rid of that.
Mine is a lot less than that, maybe 1/4 inch.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Mine is a lot less than that, maybe 1/4 inch.

Thanks for the recommendation! I found them at Ben Cycles for $59.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sdimattia View Post
For the record, the Wabi chainring is an Andel chainring / crankset . . . Great chainring on a budget IMO. I have a 46t Andel (Wabi) on one Wabi Classic and a 48t Sram Omnom on the other. Don't really notice a difference.
I just installed the new chainring today and the Blackspire is definitely an upgrade compared to the Andel ring. Itís much rounder and I notice a significant difference on the dead spots on my cranks where thereís very little play with the Blackspire. Thereís also very little difference on the loose and tight spot on my chain. Itís a great upgrade for $59
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Old 05-21-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
If I knew the DA was perfectly round and I wouldn't have any tight spots on the chain like I do with my Wabi ring I would buy one. But that's a lot of money for something I'm not positive of.
yeah especially if your cranks or crank arms arenít centered.
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Old 05-22-21, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jay4usc View Post
Currently I have a stock wabi chainring$40 on my wabi classic (single speed) and thinking of buying a DuraAce chainring $125. Due to my 16t WI freewheel my options are limited to 3/32 -144mm. Is the DuraAce worth the upgrade? Am I going to notice a big difference? Any thoughts before I pull the trigger?

I ride about 100 miles a week for cardio exercise and no hills.

thanks
Funny I just happened across your post and just purchased a Dura Ace chainring today. My current French 47t was never great as it wasn't as round as I would like. I have put many thousands of miles on it that way of course and all the cheap chainrings will have that wonderful tightening of the chain in some spots, but I have been researching and believe a Dura Ace is the answer. Other options are better CNC rings, but I am sticking with Dura Ace as I think it will be very good. I should have it on in a couple of weeks as it is coming from a long way. I can update my post when I take if for a ride and see if it is a big improvement. My bicycle is of higher end in general with all Campy and such, but when it comes to a chainring on a fixed, that is a very important component. No tensioner of any kind, just a cog, ring and chain working together. Personally I think higher quality is worth it. Last longer and more pleasurable.
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Old 05-22-21, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
Wear out the stock one first and then change...
Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
You will get more performance benefit per Dollar by spending on tyres, pedals, or seat...spend a bit extra on the sprocket rather than the chain ring.
Most likely the best advice. I have a Franken-Univega that I put a cheap tapered Sunlite crank on and a cheap Sunrace long cage derailuer. I expected to get a more period Shimano 600 set to up grade them. Well that was years ago. I'll change them out soon but I can't complain about all the years they served in-spite of being low grade manufacture.

Also... I have noticed that everytime I upgrade some little thing, no matter how small, on my bikes they seam to go faster... Ha
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Old 05-23-21, 03:00 AM
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I read somewhere else that the Sugino Zen is perfectly round and has no tight spots in the chain. Then I looked at saw they cost $245 and woah. But I read the details and it also sounds like the chain would be super quiet with the profile of the teeth. Has anyone ever had one? I'm actually considering getting one despite the price. I wouldn't feel too bad since I've had my Wabi for a year and a half and have never spent money on it yet, I've kept it totally stock. I actually like all the components it came with. Even the stock racing saddle is the most comfortable modern one I ever had.

Machined from stiff 7075 T6 aluminum, the Zen is one ultra-round, super-rigid ring.

These mighty chainrings also feature the SSGN super smooth tooth profile, which means the tooth valleys are rounder and the side tooth profile is smoother than standard Sugino 75 rings. This process helps greatly reduce chain noise and improves ring/chain engagement and wear.
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Old 05-23-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I read somewhere else that the Sugino Zen is perfectly round and has no tight spots in the chain. Then I looked at saw they cost $245 and woah. But I read the details and it also sounds like the chain would be super quiet with the profile of the teeth. Has anyone ever had one? I'm actually considering getting one despite the price. I wouldn't feel too bad since I've had my Wabi for a year and a half and have never spent money on it yet, I've kept it totally stock. I actually like all the components it came with. Even the stock racing saddle is the most comfortable modern one I ever had.

Machined from stiff 7075 T6 aluminum, the Zen is one ultra-round, super-rigid ring.

These mighty chainrings also feature the SSGN super smooth tooth profile, which means the tooth valleys are rounder and the side tooth profile is smoother than standard Sugino 75 rings. This process helps greatly reduce chain noise and improves ring/chain engagement and wear.
Yes, I own one, and they are indeed super round and super smooth running. Having said that, I spent only $108 when I bought it, and would never pay $245 for a chainring. I recently changed the gearing on that bike, and spent $70 on a Specialites TA Competition chainring, also made with 7075 T6 aluminum, although not quite as round or smooth running. There is a principle called point of diminishing returns, where a large increase in cost results in only a small improvement in performance, and I think the Sugino ZEN is a perfect example. Recently, the cost of top Sugino components has increased nearly 100%, and I no longer consider them a viable choice when sourcing components for my bikes.

As an aside, the statement that the Sugino ZEN is "machined from stiff 7075 T6 aluminum" incorrectly implies that there is a correlation between the stiffness of aluminum and its grade. This is untrue, since the modulus of elasticity of all grades of aluminum is the same. The reason that a Sugino ZEN chainring is stiffer than other chainrings such as the standard Sugino 75 chainring is that it is a solid section with no cutouts, and any other chainring made this way will be equally stiff. What can be said is that 7075 T6 is stronger and harder than lower grades of aluminum, and will last longer.
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Old 05-23-21, 02:19 PM
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I see the Zen is on ebay for $195. I ride 100-200 miles a week and a quiet drivetrain is almost worth it. Might have to get one despite it being overpriced.
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Old 05-23-21, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I see the Zen is on ebay for $195. I ride 100-200 miles a week and a quiet drivetrain is almost worth it. Might have to get one despite it being overpriced.
I don't see something of quality being overpriced. I use one as well and with my current drivetrain things a smooth and quiet and look good. Yeah it costs money but they aren't just stamping it out and calling it a day. You aren't buying derailleurs or shifters or multiple chainrings or cogs (maybe chainrings and cogs if you race or change ratios often) so spend on a nicer drivetrain and reap the benefits.
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