Single Speed Pedals

Cheap as Chips

Tired of these shitty pedals that came with my single speed, so a quick trip over to Wiggle, and I purchased a set of DMR V12’s.

I don’t need anything special, but for the money, the DMR pedals are ideal. Large platform, grippy and long lasting. That’s all I need, and no doubt the pedals will likely outlast this bike. We shall see what they are like when I take the bike off for a trip to town on Wednesd

Ovals..


In my last post, I said how I was wanting to try oval chain rings. Well, due to good fortune, I’ve come by some.

Absolute Black Chainrings

So, I stripped down the chainrings, threw out the knackered shimano bolts, and installed the new rings, with a helping of anti seize paste on both parts of the bolt. Just watch out for this stuff, a tiny spot on the fingers, and your finding spots of it all over for months. It’s really tenacious stuff.

Fitting them onto the bike, it’s noticeable just how odd they appear. They where easy to install however. I hadn’t changed the gearing, sticking with the same 50/34 the bikes always had. Installation meant I had to move the front derailleur up, to account for the greater height of the large ring. The official installations have instructions to fanny about with the limit screws. I didn’t have to touch those. I raised the derailleur, ensured the cage was parallel with the ring and then set the cable tension, ensuring the gaps were correct.

Testing the shifting, it was absolutely fine, didn’t drop or over shift, and each change happened as expected.

The first few rides, I never really felt any difference in the pedals, but a few rides, I started to notice a couple of things. Firstly, I was riding higher in the cassette (smaller cogs) because my cadence had shot up, to get my favoured RPM, I’d had to start using gears well up the cassette. This meant that I’ve also started to use the larger chainring a lot more than I ever have.

“Our Oval chainrings work because a rider does not produce power evenly through a pedal stroke; they maximize the part of the stroke where power is produced and minimize resistance where it isn’t. Oval rings make the spin cycle a lot smoother and are easier on legs while climbing. Believe it (or not), but a round chainring doesn’t transfer torque to your rear wheel as smoothly as an Oval one. You will actually feel your stroke to be more “round” with an Oval shape than with a round chainring.”

absoluteBLACK

Secondly, I was rotating the cranks easier, and for longer. I found it a lot easier to just keep going. Coasting was down and out. This may be down to the fact it feels smoother, less forced as that “Dead Zone” is overcome with the oval.

Graph showing values after oval chainrings installed.

You can see in the graph above, cadence is constant, speed and power are levelling out. It just seems easier to keep going. When sprinting, the power just seems more urgent, and direct.

Don’t get me wrong, these chainrings are not going to change you into Bradley Wiggins overnight, but they do, clearly make a difference, to me at least. I’d recommend, if you need to change worn chainrings, give them a try and see if they are for you. One of the drawbacks, I’ve noticed a few people looking, and noticing this weird wobbling thing. 😏

Chain woes

Recently, I decided to replace both the chain and cassette on my bike. The chain was worn, it could be lifted off the large chainring, and thought I’d do the cassette at the same time as it too had worn.

I didn’t however check the chain ring. I’d last changed the inner ring back in 2017. Now, almost to the day, it’s needing changed again. I immediately recognised the sound, but it wasn’t as bad as last time, but the same grind noise I heard back then, so realised the chain ring was clearly on the way out.

Riding, gives a distinct metallic scraping noise from the front chain rings and looking at the teeth you can see a wear pattern. The new chain has trouble meshing with the wear, giving a scrape as it tries to settle in.

So, it might get better as the chain beds in, but I’ll change the ring.

A good clean out of the bikes drive chain and a new bottom bracket, as you might as well while your crankset is off.

Another learning curve.

So I had my bike up in the workstand cleaning the gunk after the very, very wet ride I had earlier. In the lower gears, the chain jumped off the lower jockey wheel, jamming between the jockey and cage.

Not being quite sure what was causing it I started to look into it. I initially didn’t think it could be Todo with the wet ride so I looked at the jockey, not worn, so cleaned it off and ensured it still spun freely. Put it back on and the same thing happened. Ok, perhaps the derailleur cage is bent. Nope, that was fine, so check the hangar, that’s perfectly straight.

Could it be the chain? Time to break out the chain cleaner. A good scrubbing of the chain, and bingo, no skipping off the jockey. So all I can think of is that some filth had worked into a chain link causing it to be skipping off the jockey.

More Maintenance headaches. 

Been quite a maintenance heavy week. I decided to change the cassette and chain, and after changing out the chain there was a terrible metallic scraping noise from the front derailleur.

I could not see where it was scraping on the derailleur, so I changed the cabling, reset the derailleur. Still the scraping. Looking at the inner chainring, there was a slight deformity to some of the teeth. Nothing major, but it was enough to keep hold of the chain on each rotation.

So, decided to replace the inner ring, as it had done nearly 3k, but finding one was harder than I thought. These things where rarer than hens teeth, Everyone was out of stock. However chain reaction sent an email the next day, they had four in Stock that day. I grabbed one while they had them, they where all sold by the end of the day…

Dismantled the drive chain, full clean and fitted the ring. All good. Bolts snugged down and ready to go.

Bike rides silently again. Back to the pleasures of silent running!

But getting used to a 12-25 cassette again..