# Cross-chaining in terms of angles

I'm building a recumbent trike and have reason to have the rear cassette offset from the cranks.

At the same time, the chain is very long, so the offset is compensated. It looks like the chain will be running about 3.25 degrees when the chain is on the smallest cog.

I tried to compare this with normal bike chain angles, but have a hard time finding information about chainline in terms of angles. Usually, chainline is specified in mm from the center of the bike, and there is no specific range of chain angles which is considered bad, usually there is just a vague rule of thumb not to ride cross-chained.

On a road bike with a 41cm long chainstay and 40mm wide cassette, we can use trig to calculate a max chain angle of about 2.7 degrees, if the front chainwheel is centered on the cassette. If the front chainwheel is offset 5mm from the center of the cassette, such as a cross-chain situation, then maybe chain angle is as much as 3.5 degrees. But these are approximate calculations.

Does anyone know any actual data on what chain angle is ok, except for vague warnings about cross-chaining, which depends on the bike geometry anyway?

• Changed you post title to better reflect your question. Chainline is the distance between the center of the bike and the plane the chain nominally sits on – Argenti Apparatus Mar 25 '20 at 22:08