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More Cowbell!
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One of the regulars around here has been building up a new bike -- I hesitate to call it a pit bike since I'd love to ride it as my race bike but when your race bike is a Sachs then I guess pit bike it is. Anyway, he was looking into the single vs. double ring settups and talked to some of the local guys. Here are some of the findings he summarized:

One guys says that when wrenching on bikes, he just finds more problems with single ring set-ups than doubles. His main gripe is that on the aluminum frames you either have to run a long BB spindle to create the chain guard sandwich or a chain watcher guide on the inside. The problem with the long spindle is that it creates a chain line that really favors the low gears; however, most people ride in the high gears. Also, it creates a wider Q which can be problematic for some people's knees. The problems with the chain watcher devices (a very un elegant solution imho) are that they can flex and once the chain goes below the guide, getting it out is a real problem.

Rhonda Mazza runs a double ring, but locks out the front mech so that it can't shift. She only uses the 38. There's no better chain watcher than a derailleur. Both Wicks and Trebon switched to a double ring late last year, but it had more to do with how fast the courses are in Europe.

The final point is that the only time you lose your chain is when you crash or mishandle your bike when setting it down and that a single ring is a poor substitute for bad technique.
 

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I have stayed with a double ring since I have started racing. But, I can see where a single 42t would be worthwhile but I don't have the patience to setup it properly. I am thinking about slapping a 42 on the inside spot then just keep a 46 on the outside. I ran a 46/36 last year and only used the 36 for only two races, out of the 20 that I did.
 

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It's funny you mention that, I was think about using the outer chain ring as the outer guard and setting the derailer to stop inner fall offs, then i got to thinking, well that's what I already have and it's called a normal bike. I am trying the single ring for this year using the third eye thing, so far it has worked well for trail riding, I have all summer to see if it works as advertised.
 

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tdiclub Member
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I think the whole lock out thing is cool, both single and double work and I think there are advantages and disadvantages of both. Simply put, a well set up bike should shift and keep the chain inline, well.

What was Wicks riding in europe a 44 inner and 48-52 outer?

I think this is where cross is going this season, hell im tempted to run and 42/50 w/ a 12-25 and a13-26 casssette.
 

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I've not tried the single ring, I'm pretty happy with 39-46 rings and a 12-25 cassette. I used a 48 for a while and I do kind of like it when the course is fast, but I'd rather just run one setup on both bikes and the 46 is fine 90% of the time. What bothers me most is running a 12-27, I notice the 3t jump between cogs at the easy end of the cassette and I like the 23 cog more than the 24. Those are the gears you're usually in when coming out of flat corners and accellerating away. I also run a 3rd eye chain watcher.
 
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