Questions tagged [drivetrain]

Questions about a bicycle's drivetrain system, including the chain, gears, chainring, derailers, etcetera.

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21 votes
7 answers
37k views

Parafin wax vs wet lube for bike chain lubrication?

So im thinking of waxing my chain (with parafin wax) what would the advantages of this be over wet lube (i use muck off). Anybody have any experience with waxed chains? Thanks.
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  • 1,066
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is there a practical gain from elliptical/oval chainrings?

I have seen competitive (amateur) cyclists with oval chainrings (front). What is the deal? Are they just for showing off, or is there a practical gain from it (different force transfer).
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  • 3,179
22 votes
2 answers
6k views

How bad is cross chaining?

Accepted wisdom is that cross chaining is bad and that we should never do it. However, most of us set up our bikes so that we can run any gear combination. Invariably, I'll occasionally look down and ...
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35 votes
9 answers
32k views

Any experience with shaft driven bikes?

I've ridden a shaft driven bike once, when biking in deserted mines in Limburg.‡ They used shaft driven bikes because the mines are damp, and a shaft can be enclosed completely, protecting it ...
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  • 995
17 votes
2 answers
40k views

I'm changing from 8-speed to 10-speed will I need to replace my rear Hub?

I've dug an old road bike out of the garage for the winter and need to upgrade the drive-train, I'm happy about most of what I need but but I'm not sure about the rear hub (an old Shimano Ultegra).. ....
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  • 599
13 votes
12 answers
100k views

While pedaling standing up, bike crank gives in as if shifting, what is causing this?

While standing up and pedaling, the cranks give in as if shifting. It seams like I am shifting down, but my hands are off the shifter, almost like the chain is skipping a link. I took it to a bike ...
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  • 131
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

(Automatic Bike Project) amount of torque required to change gears?

I am planning to build an electronically controlled automatic bike transmission for my senior design project. I'm personally more of an electrical guy, so dealing with the mechanics is somewhat new to ...
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4 votes
5 answers
57k views

9-speed system to 11-speed drivetrain upgrade?

I am currently upgrading my bike from a 9 speed to an 11 speed system. I am currently using shimano 105 components and will continue to use them within the new system. Current bike has a shimano 105 ...
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  • 61
36 votes
5 answers
12k views

Perfectly setting up gears - how?

Every time I have my bike serviced, the bike shop sets up the gears on a stand in their workshop. The gears change perfectly on the stand, but when the bike is on the road, the rear derailleur doesn't ...
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  • 461
19 votes
10 answers
3k views

What would happen if I don’t replace worn drivetrain components?

What would happen if I took a entirely new drivetrain and just never replaced anything? Of course, I’d keep it clean and lubricated. With 11 and 12 speed chains being as expensive as they are, the old ...
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  • 11.3k
15 votes
6 answers
71k views

Bike is shifting on its own

Ever since I got my bike (Surly Long Haul Trucker), it has been prone to shifting on its own. This is almost guaranteed to happen when I stand up on the pedals, and happens regularly when sitting as ...
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  • 880
3 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can a worn drive-train be upgraded incrementally or should it be all at once?

It seems like I have a worn drive-train (sad trombone previous question) and should think about improving it. I'm a little leery about throwing good money after bad into a used bike. Must I buy a new ...
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8 votes
4 answers
37k views

Can I fit a cassette with a larger range with my Shimano Tiagra 10-speed ( GS-4600) derailleur?

I'm currently running a 2x10 shimano tiagra 10-speed drivetrain with a 50/34 compact crankset, a 12-30 rear cassette, and a Shimano Tiagra GS-4600 derailleur (that's medium cage aka road long cage) on ...
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  • 17.7k
8 votes
3 answers
397 views

Have multi-speed non-freewheeling bikes ever been common?

Prompted by a recent question I was pondering the idea of bikes with variable gearing (derailleur or otherwise) but without the ability to freewheel. Have such bikes ever been widely used? They would ...
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  • 47.2k
7 votes
4 answers
17k views

Can you use a SRAM 10-speed Powerlock with a Shimano chain/drivetrain?

I just bought a pair of SRAM Powerlocks for 10-speed chains. The packaging says that they can only be used with SRAM chains. Will anything nasty happen if I use it with a Shimano chain and cassette?
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  • 4,112
4 votes
6 answers
7k views

Are older road bike parts compatible with newer standards? How do older and newer bikes match up performance wise?

I'm a big mountain biker and looking to get into road biking. However, I don't want to drop $1,500 on a new or relatively new road bike without being sure I'd want to stick with it. Anyway, I found ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Converting from 7-speed to 10-speed rear wheel

My Bridgestone MB-5 currently has a 7-speed rear wheel. I'd like to convert it to a 10-speed. Is this possible? Is it practical?
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60 votes
6 answers
109k views

What are the pros and cons of internal gears?

I've had my hybrid 24-speed for a bit over 3 years now, and just last weekend, when looking for a bike for my wife, discovered internal gears. Suffice to say it blew my mind when I saw 7-speed ...
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35 votes
12 answers
22k views

Is there such thing as an automatic transmission for bikes?

Has anyone ever designed or manufactured an automatic transmission (or automatic shifter?) for cycling? I imagine such a device would automatically change the gearing to allow the rider to maintain ...
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  • 1,271
33 votes
2 answers
17k views

Why does pedalling backwards not move my bike backwards?

On the Mountain bike I have, pedalling backwards moves the chain but doesn't drive the wheels of the bike backwards like you would expect it to. Why is this?
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  • 2,494
14 votes
7 answers
32k views

Mysterious case: chain falling off large chainring, how to fix?

On my commuter bike I decided to rid myself of the small inner chain ring (which is almost never used) and front dérailleur (now redundant). However, I have come across an unusual problem. Whilst ...
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it possible to use road-style brifters with an internal gear hub?

I have a touring bike with road-style Shimano brifters, which I love. I'm also very intrigued by internal-gear hubs, but these hubs seem to focus on rotary or push-button shifters. Is it possible to ...
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  • 1,501
7 votes
3 answers
11k views

Derailleur Pulley Wheel Compatibility

I can't find replacement pulley wheels for my derailer that are explicitly made for it. Should I be safe replacing them with a set with the same number of teeth (i.e., the same diameter) and targeted ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Major Problem: 135mm rear spacing road touring frame with shimano 5800 11 speed cassette?

I have a brand new traitor wander touring frame, it has 135mm rear spacing like a mountain bike (this is a road touring frame). I bought 29er mountain bike disc wheels that were advertised as 11 ...
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  • 21
20 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why do people use bigger cassettes for lower gearing when they could instead use smaller chainrings?

I want lower (sub 1:1) gearing on my next drivetrain but also a decent range, reasonable spacing between gears and still be reasonably light. While looking at different combinations of components, I ...
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  • 203
18 votes
4 answers
2k views

Minimal effort chain cleaning

One of the main reasons I eventually give up my bicycle commute in winter is that keeping my bike -mainly the drivetrain- clean despite all the rain/dirt/salt/hail/snow becomes too much of a time suck....
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9 votes
4 answers
22k views

How much distance can I put on drivetrain components?

I figure the jockey wheels on my derailer will last nearly forever, but what about the rest: cassette, chainrings, and chain? How many miles, kilometers, or furlongs do they normally last? I know ...
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9 votes
3 answers
32k views

Can I replace chainrings without replacing the rest of the drive train?

I now ride a 60cm SurlyLHT with chain rings at 26/36/48t. Can I replace with a smaller set at 22/32/46t (or similar combination) without having to replace the entire drive train - cassette, rear ...
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8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Independent drivetrains on tandem bicycle

On a standard tandem frame, is it possible to build a tandem bicycle with independent drivetrains for the two riders? Is there a custom frame builder that would build a tandem like this? I'm aware of ...
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6 votes
4 answers
860 views

Downgearing with a road triple

My mother is trying to get back on her bike after years of knee problems + surgery, which so far has gone ok, but she has had some trouble with climbing hills. She's thinking that she should try to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
15k views

Replace a 52/36 crankset with 50/34

I'm looking at purchasing a new bike with a 52/36 crankset on a 11-32 cassette. I've grown accustomed to a 50/34 crankset on the same cassete, and for the type of riding I do in the PNW (300-400ft ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is sanitizer an effective degreaser?

Thanks to COVID lockdowns, things are shut and I'm anyways miles away from larger market areas. What I do have is litres of sanitizer, the kind that is watery in consistency (not gel-like) and is ...
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  • 312
5 votes
1 answer
400 views

Claud Butler Tandem - add a front derailleur?

I'm in the process of stripping a SWB Claud Butler tandem so I can get it repainted. There are a couple of things I need help with.... a) Can you fit a front mech to the bike, and if so, are there ...
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Gates belt drive: installing larger front sprocket

I ordered a Cube Hyde Race bike with Gates belt drive. I live in an area where it rains a lot, and I use my bike year round, so I was sold on the promise of virtually maintenance-free drivetrain. The ...
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3 votes
3 answers
258 views

How long can I safely use a chain for?

My chain is well over the 0.75% extension at which I would normally replace it. However, the cassette and chainrings are also old enough that a new chain would slip on them, so they would also need ...
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  • 2,777
3 votes
2 answers
961 views

Shimano Nexus with shift levers

Shimano Nexus usually comes with a twist shifts. Is it possible to also use shift levers with Nexus? Which ones? More concretely, Shimano Nexus C6000 Revoshift (8s) (hub) and Shimano Alfine 7000 (8s) ...
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  • 155
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

9sp/10sp compatibility in Shimano SLX drivetrains

This is related to my previous question about SLX chainrings. I'm half way through upgrading my drivetrain from 2x9 to 2x10. I currently have: Shifters: SL-M670-I (10sp), Chainset: FC-M665 (9sp ...
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  • 2,777
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

SLX chainring compatibility

I'm considering swapping the inner ring on my SLX double chainset (M665) from 22T to 28T. I noticed that the newer M675 has a 40/28 option, so I figured that the 28T chainring from this set-up would ...
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  • 2,777
2 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to thread gear cables through outers and end caps?

I'm currently putting a bike together with recycled parts and want to get away with not having to purchase a new gear wire. On my first attempt to thread the RD wire I ended up fraying it, cutting off ...
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  • 8,777
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

How to get slower gearing on a 1x10 drivetrain

Looking at purchasing a new bike with a 1x10 gearing setup. I am concerned that with my current or future level of fitness, I may need slower gearing on the bike. What is the easiest (and cheapest)...
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1 vote
2 answers
7k views

Will 10 speed cranks work with an 8 speed freewheel?

I'm looking at building a road-bike, and I've just purchased some wheels with campagnolo hubs, with an 8 speed freewheel on the back. Can I use Campagnolo Daytona / Veloce cranks on the front? I ...
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0 votes
4 answers
3k views

"Clacking" noise coming from drivetrain

I have a 2005 Specialized S-Works Tarmac with Dura-Ace components and Mavic Ksyrium SL wheelset. I get a "clacking" noise coming from the drivetrain area only when pedaling forward. I say "...
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