67 votes
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What is a narrow wide chainring and what are its benefits and drawbacks?

Modern chains have inner and outer links. On a conventional chainring, all of the teeth are the same width, and therefore have to be narrow enough to fit into the chain's inner links. This means ...
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  • 2,777
26 votes
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What explains 9 speed cassettes price differences?

In most cases with bicycle parts, more expensive means lighter. There can be exceptions, especially when you get to the super low end parts where cheaper can also mean cheaper construction. Since you ...
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  • 404
20 votes

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

In my experience - breakage is not directly correlated to wear. I've had bikes with unknown mileage on them, and have chosen to ride the transmission into the ground. Generally the performance slowly ...
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  • 101k
18 votes
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Whatever happened to the 4 x n derailleur drivetrains?

I had a MTB that had a quad chainring. The bike was a Raleigh Delmara and it was equipped with a friction shifter. Photo is dated 2017, but it was ancient at that time, probably late 90's steel MTB ...
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  • 101k
17 votes

Converting 3x7 to a 1x7. Is it possible with only existing parts?

You have a zero cost solution, which is to keep the front derailleur but remove the cable (and shifter if you like). Then use the FD limit screws to fix it in the right position to act as a chain ...
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  • 47.2k
15 votes
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Why use 54T (or bigger) chainring?

UCI time trials are a class race contested in the tiny fractions of a percent, tiny differences in equipment become very important. Riders practice in wind tunnels to tweak everything from clothing to ...
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  • 23k
15 votes
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What would happen if I don’t replace worn drivetrain components?

Despite the "hell will freeze over" warnings (it doesn't) it is worth considering why you ride a bike, and why you ride an 11- or 12-speed bike when a 9 speed will do the job just fine ...
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  • 40.8k
15 votes
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1x, 2x, 3x chainring - does it matter?

Chainrings designed for multispeed systems have special pins and ramps in them, to assist shifting. Key word being assist. If you have rings for a certain config, it might not have those features in ...
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  • 11.8k
14 votes

What is the easiest to upgrade my chainrings from a double to a triple?

You have a couple different options. I think the cheapest would be to switch to a compact crankset which would change the front chainrings from 52-39 to 50-34. I'm pretty sure you could do this while ...
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  • 21.4k
14 votes

What should I upgrade first?

Switching from 3x8 to 1x11 would be an expensive upgrade, well beyond your budget unless you get lucky hunting for used equipment, and may require a cascade of upgrades you hadn't planned on, which ...
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  • 24.5k
14 votes

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

Gear ratio range. If you decrease the chainring sizes you decrease the highest ratios available. It's not possible to make the gap between the chainrings much bigger and get decent front shifting so ...
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13 votes

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

There is a limit to the amount of tension a given chain should be put under. Smaller chainrings increase that force - the pedal arm and chainring form a lever, and the smaller the chainring (and ...
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13 votes
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Yes/no replace chainrings+cassette after chain failure?

Yes. The cassette teeth are clearly worn, and the large chainring teeth have worn into characteristic shark fin shape. If you use new chain with these, it will skip. The small chainring looks still ...
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  • 19.5k
13 votes
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How can I lower the gear ratio on my son's bike?

The specific model of rear derailleur you have is an Acera RD-M360 SGS, produced about 2009-2011, for 7 or 8 speed drivetrains. Shimano very helpfully provides archive specifications on the product ...
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13 votes
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I failed to replace my chain at the proper interval. Will I have to replace my whole drivetrain?

Yes - after that mileage you will need both a new chain and new cassette. A new chain on the old cassette will not mesh right, and accelerate wear on the new chain. Depending how much chain elongation ...
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  • 101k
13 votes

1x, 2x, 3x chainring - does it matter?

Additionally, a 1x chainring is likely to be "narrow-wide" to help with chain retention. If you look closely, every tooth is alternately wider and narrower, so you place the chain on such ...
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  • 101k
12 votes
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How worn is this chainring?

Shows some wear, but looks OK. All teeth look symmetrical and so do the spaces between them. Really worn teeth look like a swept back shark dorsal fin or develop a visible burr. Do a Google image ...
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12 votes
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Why do people use bigger cassettes for lower gearing when they could instead use smaller chainrings?

You mostly answered your own question: the racing market drives the industry, sometimes to the detriment of the availability of real-world gearing. A major compounding factor is that there are a lot ...
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12 votes
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How does lubricating your chain help protect your cassette and chainrings from wearing too?

In the ideal case, the chain will not actually be rubbing significantly against the chainrings under load. As the chain wears, the spacing between the chain links becomes different from the tooth ...
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  • 1,315
12 votes

Chain is slipping relative to large chainring but not the small one

From looking up the specs I presume your crank is FC-M8000-2. If you're saying that the crank arms are moving while the big ring and chain remain stationary in space, and the rear cog didn't move, the ...
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10 votes
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Chain slipping on middle chainring

I expect that after 10,000 km your chainring also needs to be replaced (frankly, I find it astonishing that you made it that far without replacing anything else. That's amazing.). Am I correct in ...
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  • 930
10 votes

Do aluminium chainrings/cassettes contribute to chain wear?

Interesting question. Real world conditions are messy with multiple factors impacting any analysis, as such my answer will be speculative, but based on a number of sensible working assumptions. ...
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  • 29.9k
10 votes

How to remove a (press fit?) crank arm from a chain ring?

Sorry, those chainrings are riveted in place. You just have to replace the whole crank arm.
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10 votes

Why is cross chaining 'bad', but 1x is OK?

One key difference is the design of the chainring. A traditional ring is made to allow shifting, which means there’s specially shaped teeth and protrusions that will pick up the chain and help lift it ...
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  • 541
10 votes

Are 52/34 chainrings compatible with an 11/32 11speed cassette

The combination of rings and sprockets you can use depends on the specs of the derailleurs, specifically the total capacity of both the front and rear derailleurs and the max sprocket size of the rear ...
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10 votes

What should I upgrade first?

Disclaimer: I am not a fan of upgrading bike components. I believe for most people, it's a waste of money, usually trying to make a silk purse from a sows ear. Some succeed, but few do better than ...
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  • 40.8k
10 votes
Accepted

Are narrow-wide single chainrings compatible between 9, 10, 11 and 12 speed?

I would have thought that most narrow-wide rings would work with 9 through 12 speed chains. as they all have the same internal (roller) width. Chains from 5 to 8 have an inner width of 3/32″ (2.38 mm)...
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10 votes

Whatever happened to the 4 x n derailleur drivetrains?

Here's a review of a 4× adapter (which apparently you can still buy). I also know that there's a specialty tandem drivetrain, Davinci, that uses an interesting 4× setup. I've never heard of any of the ...
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  • 24.5k
9 votes

Can I swap down to a different number of teeth on a chainring

Yes, this should be possible. Though there are several things you need to check to ensure it is compatible: Number of bolts, and bolt circle diameter (BCD). Count the number of bolts, and measure the ...
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  • 1,572
9 votes

Chain slipping on middle chainring

Cogs and chains "wear together" (regardless of whether they are front rings or rear sprockets). The old chain does not slip on the ring, because the old chain's rollers are worn down. They have an ...
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  • 2,623

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