Why does the big ring feel better?

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  • Why does the big ring feel better?
  • I've never known why, but riding in the big ring always feels better to me. It feel less flexy (?) and more direct. I've long suspected this is purely psychological – but is it? When all the "no need for a big chainring" types start arguing on here I always think of how rubbish it'd feel. Am I imagining things? I probably ride 75% on road, but ride offroad a lot, without fail I always wear the big ring out fastest…

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    Why does the big ring feel better?

    You are in soooo much trouble. 😯

    tinsy
    Member

    without fail I always wear the big ring out fastest…

    Bloody hell, I wear out middles but thats it…

    I know, I was going to add that to the tags – "why do I like it in my big ring"? πŸ™‚

    KINGTUT
    Member

    I probably ride 75% on road,

    Buy a CX bike then.

    LMT
    Member

    There is a hill at Cannock, its something i use as a challenge, stick the gears into the big ring and sprint up the hill, my mates hate it as one minute im there next gone. This is the only time i use the big ring, i have thought about ditching it for a double and a bash and i suppose if you only ride trail centers or downhill it could be done, but having the extra gear is always handy!

    Why would I buy a CX bike when I want a mountain bike? I'm a mountain biker, it's just that I happen to ride to where I go offroad, and I commute (partly offroad). Thanks anyway.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Big ring is more efficient, I forget where I've seen data on it, but the same gear in granny ring/bottom of block compared to big ring/top of block is more efficient. So it's not just you.

    finbar
    Member

    I agree, and the big ring feels better on my road bike as well. Smoother somehow, even for the same ratio. Less chain slack maybe?

    myfatherwasawolf,

    Your father would be ashamed!

    Of course, it's the little rings that interest the police, shamone…

    πŸ˜€

    Buy a CX bike then

    neither fish not foul. πŸ™„

    Smoother somehow, even for the same ratio

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking…

    KINGTUT
    Member

    Why would I buy a CX bike when I want a mountain bike? I'm a mountain biker, it's just that I happen to ride to where I go offroad, and I commute (partly offroad). Thanks anyway.

    Only 25% off road though?

    Ah well whatever suits I guess.

    hilldodger
    Member

    I've always thought that it may be something to do with more chain being 'on the ring' but that's probably just one of those riding :facts: that isn't πŸ˜‰

    I like to be able to go offroad if I want to, and I mean proper rocky get a puncture on a 'cross bike offroad, or extend the route home to Stainburn or whatever. FWIW I raced 'cross for 7 years so am pretty familiar with 'cross bikes. Anyway, I was asking about the phenomena described!

    its cos the chain is less slack

    when I'm riding my hardtail over a flatish fast peddaly bit – which is also bumpy enough for me to want to get out of the saddle, I put it in the big ring. when I leave it in the middle ring I can feel the chain slapping about and its harder to pedal in smooth circles, you can feel the tension in the chain coming and going as the chain bounces about

    if you don't have a big ring its not an issue as your chain will be shorter anyway

    Big ring – hee hee

    tinsy
    Member

    njee20 I got asked once wether there was a mechanical advantage to being in the big ring rather than the equivilent middle and rear combination, but wasnt clever enough to work it out, my theory was the leverage was the same as the BB is the fulcrum and the pedal arm length the leverage, so my guess was there wasnt a mechanical advantage, discounting drag and flex in a ring.

    Would be quite interested to find the truth though..

    clubber
    Member

    The big ring feels better because:

    1. you're normally going faster!
    2. It's more efficient (the chain turns less)
    3. Stomping on a hard gear usually feels good even if it doesn't make you go faster
    4. It's the BIG RING! GRRRR!!! πŸ™‚

    It's more efficient (the chain turns less)

    Crap chain line notwithstanding. πŸ™‚

    Think there is a psychological association between the big ring and speed, as in the days before double and bash became widespread, the big ring tended to be used to stop the chain flapping about on gnarly descents.

    clubber
    Member

    Indeed

    Indeed

    πŸ˜‰

    clubber
    Member

    Just remembered another one

    5. Because shifting into the big ring summons the mighty power of DER KAISER/BIG JAN and makes you go 11.4% faster!

    Only if riding uphill (substitute sausages for power bars for maximum effect). Downhill it's Tomac/JMC/Myles Rockwell/whoever captured people's imaginations back in the days that DH courses used to be fire roads. πŸ˜‰

    LOL at No. 5. We used to refer to shifting to the large chainring as 'sticking it in the Abdou'! We were idiots obviously.

    votchy
    Member

    At least no-one's said they prefer the granny ring 😯

    IA
    Member

    It's simple. The big ring has 37.5% more win than the middle ring.

    Sam
    Member

    Because the chain is spread over more teeth it is more efficient mechanically, it runs smoother because there is less tension on the chain for a given ratio and power input. This is quite noticeable (IME) when using different cog/ring combinations to get the same ratio on a singlespeed. eg, I have a 38/22 in preference to 32/18

    clubber
    Member

    It's a little known fact that Jan Ullrich actually won the TdF on a singlespeed – 53×11. He rode the whole race in that one gear and the mechs were locked down to avoid any shifting unpleasantness. Leaving the other chainring/sprockets on was just to keep the sponsors happy.

    So Hilldodger and Sam have provided my favourite answer so far. Seems reasonable to me!

    tinsy
    Member

    Sam if it wasnt for you coming in 2nd last night and owning a bike company I would argue with you..

    Yeah I am a stalker. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon DaRC_L
    Subscriber

    What about the benefits of spinning?

    What about the benefits of spinning?

    What sitting in a gym behind hot sweaty girls in lycra? That is beneficial.

    Oh, I see what you mean. Using the big ring and spinning are not mutually exclusive!

    He rode the whole race in that one gear and the mechs were locked down to avoid any shifting unpleasantness.

    Wasn't that more to do with Jan's insistence that the mechanical support crew be jettisoned that year in favour of a crack team of Black Forest Gateaux chefs?

    clubber
    Member

    That too. And frankly, who can blame him. Schwarzwald Kirschtorte rules!

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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