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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody else still use the Shimano Biopace besides me?? I cant find information on it anywhere and no body seems to remeber it. I just threw it on my felt S22 time trial and am planning to use biopace on the next time trial (10 miler).
 

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BS the DC
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Biopace is an interesting idea. It's slightly ovalized chainrings that were suppose to add leverage on the down stroke and reduce leverage through the dead spots. I'm not aware of any scientific tests, but most people didn't feel that it really did any good.
 

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What the Hell is going on
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Bio-Pace, Yeah

I ride Bio-Pace on my (super retro) rain bike and to tell you the truth I really can't tell the difference between a Bio-Pace ring and a regular 'round ring but I don't have a smooth spinning cadence either. If a climb isn't too steep I find using the 42t Bio-Pace inner ring (they didn't make a 39) is a little more comfortable for me.
 

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Say "nuke-u-lar"
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Biopace kinda flopped a long time ago, I'd be surprised if there were very many functioning rings still around now (altho if they are, they're probably on ebay). There's always the newer version, the o.symetric (osymetric.com) chainrings...or perhaps the offset cranks from rotorbike.com.
 

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I had an 86 stumpjumper comp (mtn bike) with biopace, and 89 stumpjumper comp with biopace (replacement for my stolen 86) and also recently rode my brothers Trek 1000 with biopace (it had shimano light action downtube 6 speed indexed shifters, guessing its 15 years old or so). In none of the cases could I tell the rings were non-circular. There were various biopace rings from "way non-circular" to "pretty close to circular". I think the newer biopace were more circular. I also recently read somewhere that spoke well of biopace. There are people who know their *$%^ who speak well of it, especially for certain applications/types of cyclists. While I wouldn't buy it now, you'll be fine. Use it and let us know how it goes/what you think of it.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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Bio-pace

I'd check swap meets or eBay. Since Bobby Julich is having success with the system they are getting a bit of media spotlight again. I have a riding buddy who had them on his C-dale. Shimano 6-speed too. I doubt they'll make a comeback. There seemed to be a rumor of knee pain with the rings if I remember right. Some people didn't like them anyway. Best of luck!
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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It wasn't a bad idea for recreational riders who pedal at 70-80 rpm. A rather silly idea for riders who pedal at 85-110 rpm.
 

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Bikinfoolferlife said:
Biopace kinda flopped a long time ago, I'd be surprised if there were very many functioning rings still around now (altho if they are, they're probably on ebay).
Yeah, there are! I just checked, and there's a bunch of NOS items in a bunch of different tooth counts. Kind of funny... Biopace really seems like a relic to me.

Shedlon Brown says he uses it all the time on a fixed gear. I could never get mine to work. I'll have to give it a try again sometime.
 

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bsdc said:
Biopace is an interesting idea. It's slightly ovalized chainrings that were suppose to add leverage on the down stroke and reduce leverage through the dead spots. I'm not aware of any scientific tests, but most people didn't feel that it really did any good.
As I understand it, Shimano put some load cells on a pair of pedals and attempted to match the chainring leverage to the rider's output. The result was cadence dependant so the big rings were less oddly shaped than granny rings and chainrings for higher performance groups were less ovalized than for groups intended for recreational groups.
 

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n00bsauce
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I've still got biopace on my commuter Miyata Valley Runner. Don't even notice them but I'm not doing high cadence on the commuter, either. There's just no reason to change them and when you've got 9bikes to maintain you don't need a reason for more work.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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Bikinfoolferlife said:
Biopace kinda flopped a long time ago, I'd be surprised if there were very many functioning rings still around now (altho if they are, they're probably on ebay). There's always the newer version, the o.symetric (osymetric.com) chainrings...or perhaps the offset cranks from rotorbike.com.
O.symetric is oval like Biopace but tilted 90 degrees, having a different effect on pedaling efficiency.
 

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My wife won't give it up...and it makes weird sense to me

[My wife has Biopace on an old mountain bike she rides as a mudder and beater, and she won't give it up. I've offered to put on round rings several times.
As somebody else mentioned, it makes a weird kind of sense for slow-pedaling non-spinners, which is what she is. I assume Shimano's calculations are right, and that it matches leverage to your leg strength at a given point in the pedal stroke.Her bike is about nine inches too small for me, so I've only ridden it around the driveway, but it feels really strange to me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yea i havent done the time trial yet but have done a few workouts on a trainer with biopace ... no difference. I usually spin at around 95-100 rpms and with biopace it was the same. Besides being a part that constantly gets "whats that" remarks it will probably just look cool. If its good enough for Bobby Julich its good enough for me.
 

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Did you ever wonder?

FeltS22TimeMan said:
Besides being a part that constantly gets "whats that" remarks it will probably just look cool. If its good enough for Bobby Julich its good enough for me.
Have you contemplated why this product was inevitably such a failure in the marketplace? Even with all of Shimano's muscle behind it (it was virtually all that was available on lower end bikes for a few years) it didn't last. Do you suppose there was any chance that it was because it didn't really work, or worse, was actually a performance decreaser? You should be aware that out of round chainrings have been around for some 100 years in every imaginable shape, and yet none of them have caught on. Plenty of anecdotal examples, like Bobby Julich right now, but they never have any staying power. It might make you wonder if they are anything but useless. But if you think they "look cool" then what more can be said? :)
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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FeltS22TimeMan said:
Does anybody else still use the Shimano Biopace besides me?? I cant find information on it anywhere and no body seems to remeber it. I just threw it on my felt S22 time trial and am planning to use biopace on the next time trial (10 miler).
I have a set of rings in a spares box somewhere. Had them on a bike for a while, liked them when they were fashionable and I was a masher. As my knees aged and I developed a better spin, I found that I preferred round rings.

They've always frustrated me because they seem to make biomechanical sense, but it doesn't seem to work in practice. Maybe it's because we're adaptable creatures, and by the time we become accustomed to the easier feeling, our legs just take the 'free' leverage and coast through it rather than powering through. Every time they show up, there's a few folks in the ranks that try them. Cycling is a great evolutionary engine, and if the guy you ride with suddenly becomes faster, you tend to adopt the thing. Never seemed to happen with these.

Rotor's Q-rings just made a podium, so we'll be hearing more about them for a while. Not sure I understand why folks tend to credit the rings rather than the rider, but such is the quest to buy performance.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2006/news/03-24
 

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try it, you, you may not like it...

about 4 years ago i bought a beater and turned it into a commuter. it was a trek multitrak, vintage early nineties, i think. i didnt realize it had a biopace crank when i bought it at the pawn shop. i rode it for about a year and then dumped it, parted it out, because it was really screwing up my pedal stroke. now i'm no pedaling artist, just a recreational rider, but using that biopace crank really got me into bad habits. i didnt notice it while i was riding that bike exclusively, which i did for about 9 months. (my road bike was not available.) but when i started riding my regular road bike again, one with a regular ultegra crank, it took a couple of months to get out of the bad habits i'd developed on the other bike.
like other people have said, it makes sense theoretically, but in practice, it just doesnt quite work the way it should.
 

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They are not smooth

I had it on a mountain bike I rode a lot in the mid eighties. They were the more eccentric rings as it was an early version. It felt choppy to me. I run about a 90 cadence and it felt like a vibration coming from the bottom bracket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Road again on them today with the local club. I actually think they keep my cadence consistent but slightly raise it too. Still waiting till judgement day on the TT.
 

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n00bsauce
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I totally forgot about one of my favorite bikes with Biopace. I got a super deal on an '89 Schwinn Circuit in immaculate shape. I then proceeded to have it butchered by installing S&S couplers but now it's back to fine shape. It's my travel bike and has already seen Colorado and New Mexico last year. Going to Steamboat Springs and Fort Collins over Memorial Day and taking it again. It's got a complete Shimano Sante group (the white and grey group Shimano had for only a couple of years. It was slotted between Dura Ace and Ultegra) and came equipped with Biopace rings. 7spd with downtube shifters. I took it out for a leisurely 30 miler today and can say I only noticed the rings one time, when my riding buddy said "Hey, is that Biopace?"
 
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