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question about narrow wide chainring

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question about narrow wide chainring

Old 12-22-21, 02:56 PM
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jgedwa
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question about narrow wide chainring

Not sure to ask this here or in the mtb forum.

I am contemplating buying a cheap crankset set up for my fixed gear snow bike. The crank I am thinking of comes with a narrow wide chainring (every other tooth is wide so that the chain does not slap around and jump off a set up without a front derailleur). The chain ring has an even number of teeth and so is meant to pair with even-numbered teeth cogs in back. Otherwise it will get out of cycle and get a wide tooth jammed into the alternate narrow chain gap. I currently have a cog on the rear with an odd number of teeth.

So, here is the question: Will the wide teeth of the chainring fit in both the narrow and wide gaps of a single-speed chain? Will it work? Any downside otherwise?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 12-22-21, 03:00 PM
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I think you will be OK with a 1/8" chain.
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Old 12-22-21, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
I think you will be OK with a 1/8" chain.
That is my hope. But has anyone actually tried it?

Jim
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Old 12-22-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
That is my hope. But has anyone actually tried it?

Jim
No, haven't tried it, but mathematically it should work. A narrow-wide chainring is designed to work with a 3/32" chain, and the wide teeth will be wider than the narrow teeth by about twice the thickness of the inner chain plates, which is less than the 1/32" difference between a 3/32" chain and a 1/8" chain.
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Old 12-22-21, 03:50 PM
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That sounds pretty convincing to me. Thanks. Jim
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Old 12-22-21, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
The chain ring has an even number of teeth and so is meant to pair with even-numbered teeth cogs in back. Otherwise it will get out of cycle and get a wide tooth jammed into the alternate narrow chain gap. I currently have a cog on the rear with an odd number of teeth.
Even number of teeth up front, but shouldn't matter in the rear since these narrow/wide chainrings were designed 1x setups, right? I've never seen anything stating the rear cogs also have to be even numbered.

I'm super curious now because I was thinking about purchasing a narrow/wide for my 1x9 commuter setup.

Edit: Found some info on the MTB forum...

"The only way a chain can become out of sync is if the chain is lifted off the chainring and was placed 1 tooth away. It doesn't matter how many teeth are on the cog."

"The only issue I'm aware of with narrow-wide rings is that they don't play nice with half-links."

Last edited by squarenoise; 12-22-21 at 04:55 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 12-25-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by squarenoise View Post
...
I'm super curious now because I was thinking about purchasing a narrow/wide for my 1x9 commuter setup....
Sorry to highjack the thread, but could you elaborate on your 1x9 setup? I'm eventually headed this way but am struggling with gear inches vs hills.
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Old 12-25-21, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Sorry to highjack the thread, but could you elaborate on your 1x9 setup? I'm eventually headed this way but am struggling with gear inches vs hills.
Not to hijack your question but my 1x9 hybrid is a 38x11-32. Not great for hills should have gone with a 34+ but in the end it is not a hill bike it is a round town "beater" bike
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Old 12-25-21, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by squarenoise View Post
"The only way a chain can become out of sync is if the chain is lifted off the chainring and was placed 1 tooth away. It doesn't matter how many teeth are on the cog."
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Geez. You are right. I am a bit embarrassed to say that I ws repeating something I had read somewhere but had not bothered to pause and think it through. Thanks for pointing it out. Jim
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Old 12-25-21, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Sorry to highjack the thread, but could you elaborate on your 1x9 setup? I'm eventually headed this way but am struggling with gear inches vs hills.
It's very much a combo of personal preference, ride strength and types of roads/trails you'll be riding. All my road/touring triples are setup 50/40/30 up front and 12-28 rear and my compact doubles are 50/34 with 11-28 rear. On my triples, it's rare that I use the 30 up front and on my double I've only used the 34/28 combo on the toughest climbs. Soooo for me, a 1x9 setup of 40t chainring w/ a 11-32 cassette is just about perfect.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Not to hijack your question but my 1x9 hybrid is a 38x11-32. Not great for hills should have gone with a 34+ but in the end it is not a hill bike it is a round town "beater" bike
Around town and not a "hill bike" is exactly how I use my 1x9. It's mostly been a kid hauler, cruise to the park bike for me.

Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
Geez. You are right. I am a bit embarrassed to say that I ws repeating something I had read somewhere but had not bothered to pause and think it through. Thanks for pointing it out. Jim
It's definitely a brain teaser and I had my doubts as to what the right answer was, haha!
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Old 12-25-21, 04:37 PM
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Thanks Veganbikes and Squarenoise

My current commuter runs 22/32/42 with 11-32 on a Trek 800 Sport. That gets me 18-99 gear inches. A setup of 40 and 11-50 would capture most of that but exceed my derailleur (45 tooth). To please my CFO, I think I will eventually go with 36 up front and expand the cassette to 11-46 when it wears out.

The interim would give me 29-85 gear inches. I'm mostly ok with losing the rarely used 99 g.i. My operational range is mostly 24-84 gear inches with occasional dips to 20. An eventual 36x11-46 would give me 20-85.

Potentially stupid question: Is there a significant difference in effort to pedal 22x21 (27 g.i.) and 32x32 (26 g.i.)?

Last edited by Digger Goreman; 12-25-21 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 12-26-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Is there a significant difference in effort to pedal 22x21 (27 g.i.) and 32x32 (26 g.i.)?
I can't see it being super noticeable unless you were at your limit on a climb and needed just the tiniest bit more help.
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Old 12-26-21, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
That is my hope. But has anyone actually tried it?
Yes. I've used a 1/8" chain on a narrow-wide chainring without any issues. But it kind of negates the advantages of the alternating tooth profiles.
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