biopace on fixed

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jon_H, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Jon_H

    Jon_H Guest

    Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to get
    rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals mode..

    cheers
    Jon_H
     
    Tags:


  2. Jon_H

    Jon_H Guest

    "Jon_H" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to

    get
    > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals

    mode..
    >
    > cheers
    > Jon_H
    >
    >


    I did find this http://sheldonbrown.com/biopace.html
    if it's good enough for Sheldon Brown it's good enough for me.

    cheers
    Jon_H
     
  3. "Jon_H" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to
    > get
    > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals
    > mode..
    >
    > cheers
    > Jon_H
    >
    >


    No way on a fixed gear bike. The Biopace chainring os sort of a weird oval
    shape, so there is no way to setup the proper chain tension.
    Now if you are talking about a single speed with a freewheel for coasting.,
    then yes you can do that, but you will need to use one of the many chain
    tensioner devices that are available.
     
  4. Jon_H wrote:
    > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to get
    > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals mode..
    >
    > cheers
    > Jon_H


    I've used a 52 tooth BioPace chainring on a fixed gear bike. No
    problems with the chain tension. It didn't get tight then loose as you
    might imagine; there were still 52 teeth and the chain doesn't get
    longer and shorter. Go for it, if you want to.
     
  5. landotter

    landotter Guest

    I'd just go for a tooth or two higher on a Biopace equipped fixie, as
    oval rings feel wierd at high rpms, but are pretty nice when you need
    to "grind".
     
  6. Simon Cooper

    Simon Cooper Guest

    "Earl Bollinger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Jon_H" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a

    fixed.
    > > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to
    > > get
    > > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great

    extent,
    > > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals
    > > mode..
    > >
    > > cheers
    > > Jon_H
    > >
    > >

    >
    > No way on a fixed gear bike. The Biopace chainring os sort of a weird oval
    > shape, so there is no way to setup the proper chain tension.
    > Now if you are talking about a single speed with a freewheel for

    coasting.,
    > then yes you can do that, but you will need to use one of the many chain
    > tensioner devices that are available.


    That would be true if you contacted significantly more or less than half the
    chain at once. It'd also mean the rear der moved back and forth all the
    time on a geared bike, which it doesn't really. Essentially you have 2
    large radius and 2 small radius parts of the chainring, and the chain wraps
    about half way around it, so it's always encompassing 1 large radius and 1
    small radius section - which takes the same length of chain.
     
  7. Jon_H

    Jon_H Guest

    "landotter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'd just go for a tooth or two higher on a Biopace equipped fixie, as
    > oval rings feel wierd at high rpms, but are pretty nice when you need
    > to "grind".
    >


    I'm currently running a 48T so I thought a 50T would be about right, I'm
    looking at using a 90 inch gear for time trials.

    cheers
    Jon_H
     
  8. Nate Knutson

    Nate Knutson Guest

    Jon_H wrote:
    > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to get
    > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals mode..
    >
    > cheers
    > Jon_H


    I had a fixed gear set up with a Biopace ring for maybe 6 months that
    was my only bike at the time. I asked Sheldon for tips (he has a bunch
    of biopace fixies) when I set it up and he emphasized that chainline
    was important when doing this.

    Despite the obvious geek points, I never really liked it. The swing in
    tension isn't as extreme as one might imagine (the number of teeth
    being engaged at the same time doesn't change that dramatically) but
    when you backpedal in most chainring positions there's still a huge
    float, just like on a poorly set up fixed gear. That messes with the
    "smoothness" of the ride a lot if you trackstand or push back on the
    pedals to slow down or stop very much. More critically, I've wondered
    whether having the chain be slack enogh when you push back might create
    a risk of derailment. It seems like if there's even enough slack for
    the chain to leave the cog and/or chainring even with some hand effort,
    it could conceivably happen randomly when you're riding. What the
    limits of this might be or if it even applies here I have no idea
    about. I've kinda guessed it's why chainline is so important, though.

    My setup was a 42t Biopace HP ring on a 70's Shimano steel disc brake
    hub, which had track threading to secure a rotor and lockring, a cheap
    stamped 17t cog, and 2 brakes. It worked for a while until I was riding
    along, not sure whether I backpedaled or not, and a bunch of stuff
    failed in some kind of sequence that left the chain derailed and
    wrapped weirdly around the hub, both the cog and lockring threads
    damaged, and the cog and lockring both bent and jammed oddly on the
    hub. I never figured out exactly what happened but I'm pretty sure it
    couldn't have had anything to do with the Biopacedness. I switched to a
    freewheel on the other side of the same wheel with the same chainring
    and rode the bike as a singlespeed (no tensioner) for a long time
    without problems.
     
  9. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On Fri, 31 Mar 2006 06:43:46 -0600, "Earl Bollinger"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Jon_H" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >> Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    >> The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    >> appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to
    >> get
    >> rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    >> especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals
    >> mode..
    >>
    >> cheers
    >> Jon_H
    >>
    >>

    >
    >No way on a fixed gear bike. The Biopace chainring os sort of a weird oval
    >shape, so there is no way to setup the proper chain tension.
    >Now if you are talking about a single speed with a freewheel for coasting.,
    >then yes you can do that, but you will need to use one of the many chain
    >tensioner devices that are available.


    Counterintuitively, it isn't a problem. The chainring is lopsided, but
    symmetrical, since a full half of it is covered by the chain at a time, it all
    averages out.

    Ron
     
  10. meb

    meb New Member

    Joined:
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    0
    I have a pair of Biopace equiped recumbents in which the I do see a return side tensioner oscilating premised upon chainring position. However, unlike most upright fixies my chains encircle more than half of the chainrings.
     
  11. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On Sat, 1 Apr 2006 19:15:02 +1100, meb
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >RonSonic Wrote:
    >> On Fri, 31 Mar 2006 06:43:46 -0600, "Earl Bollinger"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> >"Jon_H" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> >news:[email protected]
    >> >> Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a

    >> fixed.
    >> >> The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they

    >> don't
    >> >> appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want

    >> to
    >> >> get
    >> >> rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great

    >> extent,
    >> >> especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the

    >> pedals
    >> >> mode..
    >> >>
    >> >> cheers
    >> >> Jon_H
    >> >>
    >> >>
    >> >
    >> >No way on a fixed gear bike. The Biopace chainring os sort of a weird

    >> oval
    >> >shape, so there is no way to setup the proper chain tension.
    >> >Now if you are talking about a single speed with a freewheel for

    >> coasting.,
    >> >then yes you can do that, but you will need to use one of the many

    >> chain
    >> >tensioner devices that are available.

    >>
    >> Counterintuitively, it isn't a problem. The chainring is lopsided, but
    >> symmetrical, since a full half of it is covered by the chain at a time,
    >> it all
    >> averages out.
    >>
    >> Ron

    >
    >I have a pair of Biopace equiped recumbents in which the I do see a
    >return side tensioner oscilating premised upon chainring position.
    >However, unlike most upright fixies my chains encircle more than half
    >of the chainrings.


    Now that you mention it, so does the chain on a fixie. I guess by not enough for
    it to become a problem.

    Ron
     
  12. Jon_H

    Jon_H Guest

    "Nate Knutson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Jon_H wrote:
    > > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a

    fixed.
    > > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to

    get
    > > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great

    extent,
    > > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals

    mode..
    > >
    > > cheers
    > > Jon_H

    >
    > I had a fixed gear set up with a Biopace ring for maybe 6 months that
    > was my only bike at the time. I asked Sheldon for tips (he has a bunch
    > of biopace fixies) when I set it up and he emphasized that chainline
    > was important when doing this.
    >
    > Despite the obvious geek points, I never really liked it. The swing in
    > tension isn't as extreme as one might imagine (the number of teeth
    > being engaged at the same time doesn't change that dramatically) but
    > when you backpedal in most chainring positions there's still a huge
    > float, just like on a poorly set up fixed gear. That messes with the
    > "smoothness" of the ride a lot if you trackstand or push back on the
    > pedals to slow down or stop very much. More critically, I've wondered
    > whether having the chain be slack enogh when you push back might create
    > a risk of derailment. It seems like if there's even enough slack for
    > the chain to leave the cog and/or chainring even with some hand effort,
    > it could conceivably happen randomly when you're riding. What the
    > limits of this might be or if it even applies here I have no idea
    > about. I've kinda guessed it's why chainline is so important, though.
    >
    > My setup was a 42t Biopace HP ring on a 70's Shimano steel disc brake
    > hub, which had track threading to secure a rotor and lockring, a cheap
    > stamped 17t cog, and 2 brakes. It worked for a while until I was riding
    > along, not sure whether I backpedaled or not, and a bunch of stuff
    > failed in some kind of sequence that left the chain derailed and
    > wrapped weirdly around the hub, both the cog and lockring threads
    > damaged, and the cog and lockring both bent and jammed oddly on the
    > hub. I never figured out exactly what happened but I'm pretty sure it
    > couldn't have had anything to do with the Biopacedness. I switched to a
    > freewheel on the other side of the same wheel with the same chainring
    > and rode the bike as a singlespeed (no tensioner) for a long time
    > without problems.


    Well the Biopace ring arrived today so I shall be fitting it and having a
    quick spin around the block to see what happens.

    cheers
    Jon_H
    >
     
  13. Jon_H wrote:
    > "Nate Knutson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > >
    > > Jon_H wrote:
    > > > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a

    > fixed.


    I found an almost complete peugeot hybrid in the trash under a foot of
    snow. so i brought it home and started building it into a fixed gear. I
    set the clainline very carefully and everything, but everytime i
    cranked the pedals the chain would derail. i almost went insane and
    then i saw it had biopace rings.

    i could not get it to work at all. i was using the middle position and
    i know smaller biopace rings had more eccentricity than the larger
    ones, so maybe sheldon's page is not a sick gag and it only works with
    the bigger rings, who knows.

    since the rings are riveted to the spider i decided to make it a single
    speed and use the rear dr. as a chain tensioner.
     
  14. On 2006-03-31, Jon_H <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to get
    > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals mode..


    No can do. You cannot use a chain tensioning device on a fixed gear bike
    (it will be destroyed as soon as you try to resist the motion of the
    pedals), and a non-round chainring requires a chain tensioner in order to
    prevent the chain from falling off the ring as the effective ring radius
    changes during pedalling.

    --

    John ([email protected])
     
  15. On 2006-04-01, RonSonic <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Counterintuitively, it isn't a problem. The chainring is lopsided, but
    > symmetrical, since a full half of it is covered by the chain at a time, it all
    > averages out.


    Ah, but it *IS* a problem. The issue isn't that half the ring isn't always
    wrapped by chain, but rather that the effective radius of the ring changes
    as the pedals move. This in turn changes the angular distance between the
    last tooth on the rear cog and the first tooth on the ring, which means
    the chain continually slackens and tightens as you pedal. This isn't too
    much of an issue provided you can keep contant tension on the chain by
    pedalling, but becomes problematic at high rpms -- such as experienced on
    high-speed downhill runs, and precisely the situation where you DON'T want
    to worry about your chain coming off!

    I have an ostensibly round ring (but in fact about 2mm out of round) I've
    used on a fixed gear and had considerable trouble setting the chain
    tension such that it is loose enough to freely move but tight enough to
    prevent derailment. Biopace rings are MUCH further out of round than that.

    --

    John ([email protected])
     
  16. SYJ

    SYJ Guest

    Jon_H wrote:

    >
    > I did find this http://sheldonbrown.com/biopace.html
    > if it's good enough for Sheldon Brown it's good enough for me.
    >
    > cheers
    > Jon_H


    Say, where is Cap'n Bike? I haven't seen him post in awhile...

    SYJ
     
  17. Nate Knutson

    Nate Knutson Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Jon_H wrote:
    > > "Nate Knutson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > >
    > > > Jon_H wrote:
    > > > > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a

    > > fixed.

    >
    > I found an almost complete peugeot hybrid in the trash under a foot of
    > snow. so i brought it home and started building it into a fixed gear. I
    > set the clainline very carefully and everything, but everytime i
    > cranked the pedals the chain would derail. i almost went insane and
    > then i saw it had biopace rings.
    >
    > i could not get it to work at all. i was using the middle position and
    > i know smaller biopace rings had more eccentricity than the larger
    > ones, so maybe sheldon's page is not a sick gag and it only works with
    > the bigger rings, who knows.
    >
    > since the rings are riveted to the spider i decided to make it a single
    > speed and use the rear dr. as a chain tensioner.


    Do you know if it was a regular Biopace ring or a Biopace HP? (Regular
    ones are perfectly ovular, HP's have a less extreme oval to them and
    have a more complicated shape to try and make the design work better at
    high RPM). I could see regular BP rings not working as well because the
    tension change will be more extreme.
     
  18. Someone wrote:
    >
    >>Counterintuitively, it isn't a problem. The chainring is lopsided, but
    >>symmetrical, since a full half of it is covered by the chain at a time, it all
    >>averages out.

    >

    John Thompson wrote:
    >
    > Ah, but it *IS* a problem. The issue isn't that half the ring isn't always
    > wrapped by chain, but rather that the effective radius of the ring changes
    > as the pedals move. This in turn changes the angular distance between the
    > last tooth on the rear cog and the first tooth on the ring, which means
    > the chain continually slackens and tightens as you pedal. This isn't too
    > much of an issue provided you can keep contant tension on the chain by
    > pedalling, but becomes problematic at high rpms -- such as experienced on
    > high-speed downhill runs, and precisely the situation where you DON'T want
    > to worry about your chain coming off!


    Actually the radius has nothing to do with it, the issue is concentricity.

    A properly centered chainring, whether round, biopace or elliptical will
    always have half of the teeth on either side of its "equator."

    A 42 tooth chainring (what I mostly use on my fixed gears) will engage
    21 rollers with 21 teeth.

    There is a _slight_ tension variance due to the fact that the angle
    between two straight chain sections varies slightly with the orientation
    of the chainring.

    I can assure you, John, that this _does_ work. I have Biopace
    chainrings on several of my fixed gear bikes, including my fixed gear
    tandem (which has three of them!) and also on a couple of bikes with
    internal gear hubs. No chain tensioner is needed, and my chains do not
    fall off.

    > I have an ostensibly round ring (but in fact about 2mm out of round)
    > I've used on a fixed gear and had considerable trouble setting the
    > chain tension such that it is loose enough to freely move but tight
    > enough to prevent derailment. Biopace rings are MUCH further out of
    > round than that.


    They may not be round, but they are well made and tend to be pretty
    concentric.

    For your eccentric setup, there is a technique that often helps to
    correct this problem. I explain it at:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html#tension

    Sheldon "Biopace" Brown
    +----------------------------------------+
    | All theory, dear friend, is grey, |
    | but the golden tree of actual life |
    | springs ever green. --Goethe |
    +----------------------------------------+
    Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
    http://harriscyclery.com
    Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  19. Ted Bennett

    Ted Bennett Guest

    John Thompson <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 2006-03-31, Jon_H <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a fixed.
    > > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they don't
    > > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want to get
    > > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great extent,
    > > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals mode..

    >
    > No can do. You cannot use a chain tensioning device on a fixed gear bike
    > (it will be destroyed as soon as you try to resist the motion of the
    > pedals), and a non-round chainring requires a chain tensioner in order to
    > prevent the chain from falling off the ring as the effective ring radius
    > changes during pedalling.


    Would you include a Bio-Pace ring in the "non-round" category? If so,
    you are wrong. My fixie has *never* thrown its chain in many miles of
    use, with a 42T Biopace ring. And I'm far from from the only one.

    You are right about a chain tensioner not working on a fixed gear. The
    post you replied to did not mention a chain tensioner.


    Ted

    --
    Ted Bennett
     
  20. Jon_H

    Jon_H Guest

    "Ted Bennett" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > John Thompson <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > On 2006-03-31, Jon_H <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > > Can anyone envisage any problems with a 50T biopace chainring on a

    fixed.
    > > > The reason I am asking is I can pick one up fairly cheaply as they

    don't
    > > > appear to be in fashion and the seller obviously has a few they want

    to get
    > > > rid of. Will this have an effect on the chain tension to any great

    extent,
    > > > especially downhill when the legs go into being dragged by the pedals

    mode..
    > >
    > > No can do. You cannot use a chain tensioning device on a fixed gear bike
    > > (it will be destroyed as soon as you try to resist the motion of the
    > > pedals), and a non-round chainring requires a chain tensioner in order

    to
    > > prevent the chain from falling off the ring as the effective ring radius
    > > changes during pedalling.

    >
    > Would you include a Bio-Pace ring in the "non-round" category? If so,
    > you are wrong. My fixie has *never* thrown its chain in many miles of
    > use, with a 42T Biopace ring. And I'm far from from the only one.
    >
    > You are right about a chain tensioner not working on a fixed gear. The
    > post you replied to did not mention a chain tensioner.
    >
    >
    > Ted
    >
    > --
    > Ted Bennett


    10 Mile TT on the fixie tomorrow night so I should know more. A quick blast
    around the block has not produced any problems so far.

    cheers
    Jon_H
     
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