Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby wqlava1 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:39 pm

I was on my way home from a ride at about 9pm this evening through Westerfolds park on my Velosmith, when a darkish lump on my right that I'd thought to be a rock but turned out to be couple of cubic feet of wombat muscle, wanted to go to my left at the same time as I passed him/her. It hit the chainring as my foot and right pedal were at the back of the stroke, and my chain fell off immediately as I tried to accelerate away. I suppose 115kg of me and bike had enough momentum to save me, as the bike kept going upright a little. With me stopped, and the wombat about 2 metres away, he turned & growled at me, the first noise of the encounter. I just paddled the bike down the path 20 or 30m more to stop disturbing him/her and to try to see what was wrong. Some MTBers came the other way, and stopped to give light as I had no light without the front wheel spinning. And the problem was a bit aft of there anyway. I was trying to find a good way of lining the chainring up for one judicious kick from the left under the BB, but one of them had multitool pliers with them. It worked soft of, but the chainring needs replacement. It had been bent once before when I only used a Ground Effect Body Bag on the plane home from Adelaide, but I thought then that Qantas must have been a bit brutal. With tonight's effort, I'm looking out for aluminium instead. One of the MTB guys (who for some reason thought the old Sugino GT cranks worth pointing out to one of the others) mentioned that Salsa do some nice ones. I have seen 46T and 42T online in silver, but not yet the 40T that would replace my current wiggly ring. As I said thanks to the group for the lights and assistance, they said to thank Commuter Cycles who must have been represented in the group. Thanks again guys.
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by BNA » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:01 am

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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby wqlava1 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:01 am

So, what is the collective wisdom on the best 110mm BCD singlespeed chainrings in about 38 to 44 teeth sizes? I could see myself going up a couple of teeth maybe on the bike with a Rohloff hub, but mate a little smaller for another bike with Alfine 11 where I have 38 teeth now but wonder when that too will bend with a moderate side impact. Maybe I move the chainring to the middle position and use a guard on the outer position, but then I need to change BB.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby rifraf » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:13 pm

Where have you got to with regards to a solution? Have you found a suitable chainring yet?
Is your MTB 26 or 29er? Maybe worth considering is a reversible Thorn 110mm bcd 5 hole ring.
These are available from http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/110-bcd-5-ar ... pt724_pg1/
Like the Rohloff chainring the Thorn front ring is reversible for a longer life.
You sound like you prefer much higher gearing than I do. Is it pretty flat where you ride?
The 29er I'm building with have Rohloff's 16T at rear and 34T at front.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby HappyHumber » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:48 pm

Bit in the market myself for a 110BCD... probably a 32-34 for a SS MTB Build... Got a few square taper triple cranks laying about which should serve my purpose.

Re-reading the OP.. I guess at least you can bend & then unbend stainless... Aluminium once bent will never straigthen... well.. safely anyway.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby il padrone » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:41 pm

What a tandem under load can do to an alloy chainring :o

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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby HappyHumber » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:41 pm

Arrgh dammit....
Just pulled off the well worn original pressed steel (ie. non replaceable rings) cranks... and the &%$*# things are Octalink. Typically healthy BB :roll:

Back to scrounging something else crank wise.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby wqlava1 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:35 pm

rifraf wrote:Where have you got to with regards to a solution? Have you found a suitable chainring yet?
Is your MTB 26 or 29er? Maybe worth considering is a reversible Thorn 110mm bcd 5 hole ring.
These are available from http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/110-bcd-5-ar ... pt724_pg1/
Like the Rohloff chainring the Thorn front ring is reversible for a longer life.
You sound like you prefer much higher gearing than I do. Is it pretty flat where you ride?
The 29er I'm building with have Rohloff's 16T at rear and 34T at front.


I've been very slack, and still have the straightened Surly SS ring on there. For being straightened by the light of a few AyUps with a small pair of pliers, it's a fantastic job. (Thanks again to whoever it was from Commuter Cycles!) I went and chased up an alloy 42T 110 ring secondhand but little used from the LBS, but the lack of any noise or visible deviation makes it hard for me to justify the time to change yet. I'll get out the magnetic base and needle gauge when next building a wheel and mount it on the frame to check the runout out of interest.

It is not a MTB. It is a Velosmith tourer, with Rohloff sliding dropouts but somewhere in tube specification a little lighter than the Jota on Tim Stredwick's website. It currently has the ugliest mount of the shifter (on an angled accessory T-bar off the stem) that I have ever seen, though I have a beautifully made Gilles Berthoud shifter on a Velo Orange rando bar sitting here waiting to tidy things up. I'll take photos and write a bit after I get it to a less embarrassing state.

I think I could probably reverse the SS Surly ring.

Even with 42/16 driving the Rohloff hub I will still have some pretty low gears. I think the current 40/16 is right on the limit for my weight with the Rohloff warranty - unless I lose a few hundred grams more riding some more hills.

No, it's not really flat where I ride. Usually out somewhere in the arc from Lilydale around to Whittlesea starting in Eltham, with regular forays towards the city. Sometimes riding based in Apollo Bay or Woods Point (where we have cabins).

You'd want to be pretty light to be running 34/16 and Rohloff and avoiding warranty problems. Rifraf I think posted something about that recently.
viewtopic.php?f=77&t=59772
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby rifraf » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:19 pm

wqlava1 wrote:
You'd want to be pretty light to be running 34/16 and Rohloff and avoiding warranty problems. Rifraf I think posted something about that recently.
viewtopic.php?f=77&t=59772


Rohloff revised their ratios and now a combo of 34/16T is within limits as long as rider is below 100kgs from memory.
My current build project has a 38T but will be swapped out to 34 before I go riding anywhere loaded. :D
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby rifraf » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:10 am

My Rohloff equipped Ogre is now rolling and with a 34T front ring turning the standard 16T rear.
I'm surprised it doesnt feel lower geared than it does but I'm now hauling big 700c hoops with 2.35 Big Apple tyres which are ponderous compared to my Moultons 20 inch wheels.
Slowly getting the feel for it. Damn glad I invested in the 34T ring, thats for sure.
Shes fairly undulating around where I'm staying so the lower gears are getting a good workout.

HappyHumber wrote:Arrgh dammit....
Just pulled off the well worn original pressed steel (ie. non replaceable rings) cranks... and the &%$*# things are Octalink. Typically healthy BB :roll:

Back to scrounging something else crank wise.


Hi Kym,
What dont you like about octalink?
Is there no way you can mount some new rings on the cranks? What are they? Big rivets?
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby HappyHumber » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:42 pm

rifraf wrote:What dont you like about octalink?
Is there no way you can mount some new rings on the cranks? What are they? Big rivets?


Nothing against Octalink per se. It's just that it's now a dying, niche standard. Sure spares can still be got, for now, if you're willing to scrounge/wait etc.

The cranks are the sub-Deore, (FC-M4xx I think) pressed steel cheapies. Each ring plate is spot welded, if not rivetted to the other. Maybe if the middle ring was a bit less worn and these were square taper cranks I'd be willing to get creative with the angle grinder.

Even though this SS MTB will be a relatively thrifty build, I have priced all new Hollowtech II Deore sets, which include new replaceable rings as well as a whole new BB for just a smidge over the free postage threshold from Wiggle/CRC et al. Even if I get bored with the bike after a bit - at least these parts will be still servicable or sellable elsewhere.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby rkelsen » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:25 pm

wqlava1 wrote:I've been very slack, and still have the straightened Surly SS ring on there.
...
I think I could probably reverse the SS Surly ring.

The fact you were still using it after 5 months speaks volumes to me. There's no way you'd be able to ride an alloy one for that long after straightening it.

Wombats can do a lot of damage. They're powerful animals.
wqlava1 wrote:With me stopped, and the wombat about 2 metres away, he turned & growled at me, the first noise of the encounter.

Not sure if I believe that! :lol:
Last edited by rkelsen on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby rifraf » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:23 pm

HappyHumber wrote:
rifraf wrote:What dont you like about octalink?
Is there no way you can mount some new rings on the cranks? What are they? Big rivets?


Nothing against Octalink per se. It's just that it's now a dying, niche standard. Sure spares can still be got, for now, if you're willing to scrounge/wait etc.

The cranks are the sub-Deore, (FC-M4xx I think) pressed steel cheapies. Each ring plate is spot welded, if not rivetted to the other. Maybe if the middle ring was a bit less worn and these were square taper cranks I'd be willing to get creative with the angle grinder.

Even though this SS MTB will be a relatively thrifty build, I have priced all new Hollowtech II Deore sets, which include new replaceable rings as well as a whole new BB for just a smidge over the free postage threshold from Wiggle/CRC et al. Even if I get bored with the bike after a bit - at least these parts will be still servicable or sellable elsewhere.


I spotted these on gumtree yesterday:
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/stirling ... 1021063598
and thought of you.
Wasnt sure if you'd ordered or not yet or even if they were suitable.
Watch him with the bcd as I see he's written they are 110 and then in another breath 130mm.

When are we going to see your bike collection? Where are the pics?

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kind of revelation that the B73 was when I got it.
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby Wingnut » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

I've just ordered a 36t Surly ring to match my 16t on the Rohloff, I like the idea I can flip the ring when it's worn...

The 36t is for use when touring fully loaded, otherwise I'm currently using a 42t Blackspire downhill ring for commuting...I think a 38t would have been fine but Surly don't make them in 104BCD...
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby rifraf » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:52 pm

Wingnut wrote:I've just ordered a 36t Surly ring to match my 16t on the Rohloff, I like the idea I can flip the ring when it's worn...

The 36t is for use when touring fully loaded, otherwise I'm currently using a 42t Blackspire downhill ring for commuting...I think a 38t would have been fine but Surly don't make them in 104BCD...

Using Sheldons calculator and typing in 36T and 16T/Rohloff for 26x2.1 tyres I end up with 16.3 gear inches to 85.6gi.
For me those figures sound ideal.
A lot seem to like higher, but I hate to get off the bike to push and dont mind a high cadence if it keeps me moving forward.
Low enough to crawl up a wall at one end and high enough to keep pedaling down most tarmac inclines should you wish to bother (I tend to coast).
Sounds great and I only wish that could be easily accomplished with 700c hoops. :)
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Re: Surly stainless chainrings seem softer than alloy

Postby Wingnut » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:30 pm

Chainring finally arrived...might throw it on today and git it a whirl!
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