Drive train setup.

While writing about my Q-Rings one concern has come up a few times and that’s the chain getting dropped, I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t happen, it does, it has and it’s frustrating but it’s also fixable, everything has an engineering solution and all the parts are available on the open market.

Now, I guess most cyclist are like me, we have the tools we need to do the odd things that crop up most often but these tools aren’t sufficient to get a proper accurate setup and judging your front mech spacing by eye will never be as good as borrowing a micrometre from a friend.

I’m sure the issue with throwing my chain is all down to the drive train set up, I’ve never dropped the chain moving to the inner ring but quite frequently when moving to the outer and I know my setup isn’t accurate; having used the Park Tool calculator my chain is two links too long, which may not sound like a lot when you think about it but in engineering terms two inches might as well be a country mile and that kind of deviation would cause unexpected wear on the drive train and shorten the life span of your kit.

We know that a dirty drive train will cost you watts having an overly long chain not only looks rubbish but it means that you’re not getting the performance from the kit you’ve just invested in, it also makes that annoying rattling nose which really does ruin my nice quiet morning ride.

I suppose there’s and expectation that you can buy these things, put them on and away you go, I have full confidence that if I’d have replaced my 50/34 with a 50/34 Q-rings everything would be copacetic but I went a size up and as I’m on a very tight budget I can’t afford to have a bike shop do the work and actually, I like the challenge, I love fettling and getting dirty fingers.

To me working with my drive train is no different to my constant saddle adjustment and with Monday always being my no ride day when I make my changes and I look forward to Tuesday so I can feel the effects and my hope is that while I get my bike mechanically in place I can save enough to have my position and bike fit checked because all of these things add up to finding that perfect place of comfort and performance.



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