Video: How fast can you go with an 104-tooth chainring?

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World time trial champion Tony Martin drew a host of ohhs and ahhs when he chose to run a massive 58-tooth chainring in the one and only TT at this year’s Tour de France. That big ring paid serious dividends, though, as Martin crushed an over-matched field, winning the 54km stage by 1 minute and 49 seconds. The German’s average speed for the hour-long effort was just a shade over 30mph.

Now imagine if you could get Martin on-board the stealth bomber of a bike featured in this video, which describes the tale of a small U.K.-based frame builder and his need for speed. Using a massive 104-tooth chainring paired with an 11-tooth rear cog, he wanted to see just how fast he could pedal a bike. Have a look at this inspiring film from SpindleProductions.

Video: How fast can you go with an 104-tooth chainring Gallery
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Need For Speed

That is one serious big ring.
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Need For Speed

Prepping for the big (ring) ride.
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Need For Speed

Gear combination: 104-11 singlespeed
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Need For Speed

Crazy proportions.
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Need For Speed

Into the slipstream and getting up to speed.
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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  • Mountain Cycle Shawn says:

    Cool story. But, I really don’t see the point of drafting behind a car. The car is doing the work for you.

  • DrSmile says:

    Logic would dictate to have compound gearing. The current world record holding bike was set up like that, with a more normal sized chain ring powering a small gear on the left side which then directly powers another normal sized chain ring on the right side.

  • DrSmile says:

    Drafting is acceptable in cycling. Keirin is based on drafting behind a moped.

  • David says:

    think this is an awesome story, totally different than J Howard’s world speed record attempts, different objectives, and different bike.
    pretty sure that Howard got towed up to speed and not sure if he was on a fixie in any case

  • Eric says:

    In 1941, six-day racer Alfred LeTourneur reached 108.92 mph, paced by a race car with faring, on a speedway in Bakersfield, California, riding a similar bicycle–a Schwinn track bike equipped with huge chain ring.

  • charlie shaw says:

    we can make such a chain wheel, interesting situations considered,

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