Shimano Deore 12spd NSMB AndrewM (23).JPG
EDITORIAL

We're Being Slowly Boiled Into Super Boost

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major (Unless Noted)
Date Jan 10, 2022
Reading time

Turning Up The Heat

When the Super Boost 157x12mm hub standard first came along, riders were still choking down Boost-148. We gargled out “no thank you” and almost every bike brand heard. Whether it was better or worse, (or any difference could only be perceived on some designer’s computer) we didn’t care. Bloated from one too many fresh incompatibilities, we couldn’t stomach even a little bit more bullshit.

And if Boost-148 flooded through mountain biking like the consumption of craft beer, it's fair to say that Super Boost has caught on at a similar rate to drinking someone's lukewarm bath water. Sure, it's been flavoured with Kool Aid and some folks have been happy to chug it up but it's safe to say its an acquired taste. Just remember that, in the near future, when we're all holding our noses and lapping it up, there's now an actual performance reason to sip that sapien-soup.

And before you scream "I'M NOT DRINKING THAT" and throw down your sippy cup, I'm disgusted by it too. But, changing analogies, we frogs who didn't jump into the boil after Super Boost's original raison d’être had already expired, are still swimming on the same shitty stove top. We skeptics, about to initiate the next rapid wave of change - the mass adoption of Super Boost-157 - are having the heat turned up much more slowly. And if we're all going to stay and get cooked, we might as well talk about the 3-millimeters making it happen.

Kids Drivetrain NSMB AndrewM.JPG

A refresher from my piece Building A Better Kids' Mountain Bike Drivetrain. For a good chainline in those high-torque climbing gears either move the chainring inboard or the low-gear outboard.

Kids Drivetrain NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

This means that your future is either going to have fewer gears, your frame designer is going to have much less space to accommodate your chainring, and/or tire or your rear hub spacing needs to grow.

Boost-148 Recap

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let's review how we arrived in this mess. The 148x12mm rear, and 110x15mm front, axle standards were initially advanced by Trek, as a way to improve the stiffness of cheap 29'er wheels with 28-spokes. I think that now, as then, the vast majority of riders would agree that any improvement in stiffness is only academic. At the very least this is true on well designed bikes with well built wheels. Ask anyone, or at least anyone I've talked to, who has ridden good wheels on a Banshee bike, which can be run with both Legacy-142 or Boost-148 rear spacing for an apples-to-apples comparison, and they'll tell you there's no difference.

There's an argument to be made that, if more stiffness was required, 110x20mm and 157x12mm were already existing standards and would have been a better choice than 148. Move the hub flanges as required to maximize whatever quality your marketing department is pushing. But here's an even better argument. There was no good reason to switch from Legacy 142x12mm spacing, at least none that ever mattered to the vast majority of riders. But most of us made the switch to 148mm anyway. And, quick! No one wanted to be caught-out holding a frame or wheels that were unsupported. And the bike industry took note.

Waltworks V2 NSMB AndrewM.JPG

I went Boost 110/148 with my Waltworks V2 because I wanted to be able to review wheels on the platform. Tire clearance, frame stiffness, fork stiffness (suspension or rigid) were never an issue with the Legacy-142 spacing on my V1. This is my most intimate example, but I'd hazard to claim it's true of every full suspension platform I've ridden as well.

Super Boost, Then

The reason that Super Boost 157x12mm came into being is so usage specific that even the originator of the standard only initially used it for one mountain bike. I'm of course talking about Pivot Bicycles and one of the more interesting every-person full suspension bikes ever made in the form of their first Switchblade. The ménage-à-scenarios that required the ultra-wide back end?

  • Very Short Chainstays
  • Front Derailleur Compatibility
  • Plus Tires (27x3.25")

Good luck finding a tire bigger than 2.6" these days. Never mind that really-short chainstays are out of fashion, and that short-enough chainstays can clear huge rubber with a Boost-148 rear hub. Even with a Legacy-142 rear end, any suspension design can clear 2.6" rubber without committing any crimes against science or nature. Front derailleur compatibility? For years now, front derailleurs have been like really bad facial hair. You don't think about it until you see it and then it's most polite to just not mention it.

ib2016d5-pivot-switchblad-rearend.jpg?w=1600

Interbike 2016, the Pivot Switchblade was easily one of the coolest machines we saw. My chat with Pivot lead Chris Cocalis was also a show highlight. It was designed to be run with 29 or 27+ tires. It had a very wide back end and short stays. Plus tires were the next big thing. Photo: Fergs


ib2016d5-pivot-switchblade-bb-2.jpg?w=1600

The Race Face Aeffect crankset was selected because Cinch allowed for the Super Boost chainring spacing and the crankset still had a 24mm spindle. Mr. Cocalis wasn't a fan of the tiny bearings necessitated by running 30mm crank spindle through a PF92 shell. Photo: Fergs

The last time I had the privilege of picking the brain of Pivot's Chris Cocalis, he spent most of our chat chewing me out because we accurately quoted his claim that the 2017 Firebird was a "Nomad Killer" but that doesn't change a couple of facts. One, he's one of the more interesting thinkers in mountain biking and I've always come away from our exchanges thinking. Also, he runs a relatively small bike brand that is often wagging the dog. See Super Boost-157 and PF92.

Me, Sept 2016:

"Chris Cocalis can definitely see a day when all Trail, All Mountain, and Enduro bikes use Super Boost 157mm spacing. With the Firebird a 148mm Boost setup provided everything Pivot needed in terms of stiffness, stays, and clearances. In the future the frame could easily be updated with a Super Boost Plus rear end with no negatives. Why not now?

Simply put. The Switchblade couldn’t exist without Super Boost Plus. The Firebird could. With all the vitriol directed by riders towards 148mm Boost spacing I can see why Pivot wouldn’t want to jump on the grenade of ‘change for change’s sake’"

While I think it's fair to agree that Super Boost-157 was necessary for the Switchblade to exist in its first format, it's also fair to say that mountain bikes changed very quickly after 2016. Plus tires quickly settled at 2.8-3.0" and then almost as quickly were pushed out in favour of 2.6" rubber that didn't have any special requirements for internal rim widths or frame clearances, and I already mentioned front derailleurs and super-short stays. Even as the current Switchblade maintains true 27+ tire clearance, Pivot's entire full suspension lineup could have easily switched to Boost-148 years ago without any practical negatives. I contend that's true of any brand that's been pushing Super Boost-157.

DSC01181-denizmerdano-dreamride-stevevanderhoek-devinci-spartan.jpg

Devinci and Pivot are the two major bicycle players making Super Boost-157 bicycles. Interestingly, neither brand is pushing crazy-short chainstays with the Spartan at 432mm and the Firebird at 431-445mm depending on size. Photo: Deniz Merdano

Super Boost, Now

Running stock setups, chainlines for 12-spd drivetrains have sucked for years now. Just shift into that massive 50, 51, or 52t cog and witness the contortions that the ever-narrower and more expensive chain has to perform to get way over to your chainring. Back pedal and listen to the drivetrain protest, despite being silent in the middle of the cassette. Hop on the bike and pedal around trying different gears, and tell me you can't feel the extra drag up in that dinner plate. But now, the biggest bike companies and drivetrain manufacturer's have worked together to find a solution to that extra drag, noise, and premature wear in those high-torque low gears... Just kidding, they're making things even worse.

Previously, the chainline for a Boost-148mm 1x drivetrain was 52mm. For this year the good folks at Shimano and SRAM are working with huge brands like Scott and Trek to push that out another 3mm to 55mm. I know that doesn't sound like much, but cassettes are a game of millimeters. Not only is your low cog in an even worse position but your second gear, which was decent previously, is basically in the same shitty position your low gear was in before. For comparison's sake, the chainline for a Super Boost-157 rear end was originally 56.5mm and many folks run 55mm as well despite the cassette being pushed outboard 4.5mm from Boost-148.

Canyon Lux Spec Crimes NSMB AndrewM.JPG

The chain angle was bad enough on the Canyon Lux with a 52mm chainline that I reduced the chainring size significantly to spend more time in the middle of the cassette. I know 3mm doesn't sound like much but the same setup with a 55mm chainline would be notably worse.

Starting in 2019, I've written a series of pieces lamenting bad chainlines in high torque gears entitled Does The Future Have Fewer Gears? I think we all know the answer is no. There are tricks that can be theoretically be implemented with bikes like the 2022 Slash or Top Fuel. Downsizing the front chainring could allow a rider to move their chainring inboard by running a Boost 52mm chainline or even a Legacy 49mm 1x chainline. This will vary frame to frame so I recommend doing your research before making a purchase.

Likewise, it's always possible to swap the cassette for one you can pull a couple of cogs out of, making for bigger jumps between gears but effectively spacing the low gears outboard. In my experience this requires switching to an HG hub driver, rather than SRAM XD or Shimano MicroSpline, so it will be increasingly less economical or viable, with the latest machines.

In reality, there's only one spec solution when an average rider, with actual hills to climb, comes around to how awful these bikes pedal in their low gears. Not even, mind you, compared to other people's bikes, but just compared to cogs on their own drivetrain with straighter chainlines. Not even just the average rider on the trail, but the plethora of average riders who work at the various bike brands moving to wider spacing.

DSC07373-denizmerdano-weareonecomposites-arrival.jpg

Many riders, myself included, were put off by We Are One's choice to go with Super Boost-157 rear hub spacing on their new Arrival frame. But when many other brands get on board in order fix the 55mm chainline mess they're going to look like prophets. The Arrival is optimized around the largest 8x cogs on your cassette. Photo: Deniz Merdano

When I heard that We Are One had chosen to use Super Boost-157 hub spacing on their new Arrival platform, I was more than a little flummoxed. I've been waiting for years now for Pivot or Devinci to blink first and then for the whole 157mm spacing option to evaporate overnight. But, their choice makes a lot of sense for two reasons. Firstly they've optimized the chainline around the largest 8x cogs by combining a Super Boost-157 rear hub with the Boost-standard 52mm chainline. This is a beautiful thing. The equivalent of moving the cassette outboard 4.5mm from a standard Boost-148 chainline.

They're also making the right choice for their customers who are planning to own their Arrival for some few years. Will Trek Bicycles, Scott Bicycles, and many others, be selling Super Boost-157 bikes a year from now, for their 2023 model year? Go ride up a steep hill in the lowest gear on any Boost-148mm frame with a 55mm chainline and you tell me. Whether we're uncomfortably steamed frogs or reluctantly imbibing grey-water, I know if the next bike I ride has a 55mm chainline I'd prefer it to be Super Boost in the back as well.

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Comments

ridestuff
Derek Baker
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+8 Andrew Major AverageAdventurer Karl Fitzpatrick Maximum Radness Luix Zayphod Cr4w Nologo

Every "advancement" in modern mtb is making me seriously consider a gearbox bike next...

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+10 Maximum Radness Luix nothingfuture Cr4w MTBrent taprider Marc Rossi Turn7 Nologo Tremeer023

Or... a single speed?! HAHAHAHAHA. Sorry. Force of habit. 

------

I think we're at an interesting moment with gearboxes. Wireless shifting carries the promise of much better controllers, but I question whether the e~bike aesthetic can sell for riders who aren't choosing an e~bike? 

Certainly integrated motor/gearbox systems are coming for e~bikes though and maybe with investment from a major player, Shimano, there will be a small enough, efficient enough, cheap enough system that folks who've been threatening to invest in one will get there on their person-powered bikes too?

Reply

craw
Cr4w
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Nicolai is developing a proprietary gearbox. Their existing e-bike is a bit of a monstrosity for sure but if anyone could pull off a smart proprietary integration it's Nicolai.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

slimshady76
Luix
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Zayphod Andrew Major Tremeer023

I for one salute our (future) gearbox overlords.

Reply

skyler
Skyler
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+8 Vik Banerjee Deniz Merdano cheapondirt Andrew Major Martin Velocipedestrian Albert Steward LWK

I think Shimano deserves more blame than they get for the horrible concept behind their 12speed cranks. All they had to do was take the M8000 cranks and give it a few direct-mount chainrings. But, the way they went about it - by having chainline change through the use of different crank spindles, and then giving it such a narrow Q-factorthat the 52mm chainline version won't clear many frames - is just infuriating.

Naturally, many manufacturers are forced to spec 55mm cranks because the narrower chainline simply won't clear their chainstays.

Shimano had the best cranks in the biz - 24mm steel spindle, hollow alu arms, great price:weight - I can't believe how wrong they got it with this approach.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+7 Andrew Major mrbrett Kyle Smith Mammal cheapondirt ManInSteel Tremeer023

28t on all my bikes and wouldn't have it any other way. One of them even has a 96bcd XT crankset with a wolftooth ring. Great chainline.

Super Boost can go right to hell but unfortunately we are all going there with it....

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Andrew Major Andy Eunson Tjaard Breeuwer ManInSteel Tremeer023

Marketeering will easily be able to "sell" Super Boost as "more efficient" and put a meaningless number on the watts saved... Therefore it's probably going to happen.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer cornedbeef

Ugh. And yes.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I really thought it was going to die off... like any year now. Would have bet you a coffee. Even once We Are One launched their production take on the (common?) hack of moving rings inboard... but once I saw the uptake in 55mm chainlines I had to agree, straight to hell. 

And you're fit! I don't understand why more folks don't switch to a 28t (or a 30t if that's the frame minimum). Pay for itself in chain/cassette wear within the first drivetrain for a lot of riders.

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 nothingfuture Andrew Major Metacomet Andy Eunson Ryan Walters ManInSteel

another vote for small rings shifted inboard! i built up my first (148) boost bike last year, and, assuming the industry knew what they were doing, bought the appropriate boost (dm) ring; resulting (big cog) chainline was terrible! soon swapped to a non boosted ring & everything runs happily now. it just feels like a design error - like how much time to people spend cranking big watts through their 10t cogs?

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 taprider Marc Rossi

People powered? Totally.

------

It's a funny side fact that many e~bikers absolutely torch the 1-3 small cogs on their drivetrains. I've even seen some cracked small cogs on cassettes where the biggest 8x look fresh. 

A Boost-148 / 55mm chainline is probably great on a broped.

Reply

momjijimike
momjijimike
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major AndrewR ManInSteel

I run 28T for years now. Some month ago I switched to the inexpensive steel version from Sram. No more bling bling absolut black or Garbaruk :( 

But the steel ring looks much better in relation of wear. I needed two Alu 28T per season... 

And no, please no change to superboost - I wanna run my three I9 boot wheelsets for years :)

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 ManInSteel

Can always Super-Boostinate if it’s 148. Problem Solvers hasn’t done 142->157 yet… but the 142->148 works great.

Reply

hbelly13
Raymond Epstein
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Problem Solvers does make a conversion kit to go from 148 to 157. It does require obviously a re-dish, but realistically re-lacing. This is in fact what I did with an old 148 wheel I had.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yeah, Super Boostinator kit (if it’s 148). 

Did you have to re-lace? I haven’t seen a Boost or Super Boost kit install where the wheel couldn’t be re-dished.

hbelly13
Raymond Epstein
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

"Did you have to re-lace? I haven’t seen a Boost or Super Boost kit install where the wheel couldn’t be re-dished."

Yeah, as soon as my wheel builder began to attempt re-dish the wheel the machine built wheel's spokes began to snap. He got it rolling and then I ended up cracking the rim about 5 mos later.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Ah! Did he feel that it was an issue with big shift from Boost to Super Boost or more to do with the quality of the initial wheel/build? 

I don't do much with wheels but I've re-dished two from 142 to work with 148 Boostinator kits and it went fine. Both nice handbuild wheels with quality rims & spokes.

mhaager2
Moritz Haager
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 4Runner1 Andy Eunson

Oh thank God! Finally someone who agrees on the merits of smaller chainrings. I was wondering who all these people are routinely spinning at 800 watts that need 34 tooth chainrings.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer

I've been on the same XT cassette for the past 2 years. Strava says thats 2500kms of recorded rides. So I imagine around 3000km in total. Thats not insignificant. Sure the cassette doesnt look brand new but it still shifts absolutely perfect under load.

Chatting with S. Mathews the other day as he made fun of my 28t chainring against his 34t, it is strangely more difficult finding the right gear on the descents with a 28t ring. Probably because I am pedalling further down the cassette where the teeth count are closer to one an other..

Reply

mhaager2
Moritz Haager
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

What is this pedalling downhill you speak of? That sounds crazy😅

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I just ordered parts for a new bike build, using Sram eagle. I have been happily running 11 speed 10-46t cassettes with a 28t chainring, but 30 was the smallest available for the Eagle crank sets.

Granted, since they switched to a 52t big cog, that would still be lower than my current 28/46, but, since they didn’t change the other 11 cogs, it is not the same effect as running a 28t with a 10-50 casette.

So one answer to why people aren’t running 28t rings, might simply be:

Can’t get a 28t Eagle chainring from SRAM

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

North Shore Billet makes down to a 24t ring for SRAM 3-Bolt. That’s what’s pictured with the kids bike at the top of the piece.

Reply

momjijimike
momjijimike
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I use those 28T with my Eagle:

SRAM X-SYNC Direct Mount Chainring

Heavy, but inexpensive and lasts forever.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Andrew Major mrbrett mechdiff@gmail.com ManInSteel Tremeer023

Thanks for the Superboost update. It's a sad state of affairs when the bike industry goes in this sort of direction vs. a simple solution of improving chainlines in the easy gears by keeping them narrow. I am glad it's fairly easy to opt out of the maddness and set your bike up well as long as you don't need the latest greatest "improvements". Most of the time that approach saves you money as well. 

It'll be interesting to see how the mainstream of consumers react. They may have jumped on 142-->148 relatively easily, but perhaps they'll punish companies that try and force them to go 148-->157. If that happens and companies who stick with 148mm would do well that would be nice to see. Within reason consumers can veto new standards if they really want to.

Reply

Andeh
Andeh
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Vik Banerjee Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer JT

I hate the officially stated ideas for Super Boost like most people.  I don't want 3" tires, super short chainstays, etc.  But the way WAO is using it (with regular Boost crank) is a compelling argument.  We're not roadies, most of our revolutions are on the largest 1/3 of the cassette, especially the biggest cog.  We have data to back that up from the AXS app.  So it stands to reason that the only reason we should be messing with rear hubs at this point is to optimize chainlines, not making it worse (55mm?  WTF).

My GG bike is spec'd with the hub dished 3mm to drive side, with similar intent.  I can tell you from first hand experience, it dramatically reduces the wear in the big cogs.  On my X01 cassette with about 1,000 miles on it, most of the wear on the anodizing is about 2/3 of the way down the cassette.  Unfortunately, while this is a good engineering idea, they've gone to standard Boost chainline for the fully Revved carbon rear end, presumably to let people let off-the-shelf wheelsets.  I get that reason for selling more bikes to the lowest common denominator, but it only took my mechanic about 15 minutes to redish my old wheels into the GG frame.

Reply

Hexsense
Chavit Denninnart
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Yet it's roadies that got it right.

45mm chain line for 142mm rear hub. That chain angle is equivalent to 48-49mm chainline on 148mm hub...

And they spend a lot of time on small cogs rather than climbing cogs.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yep, I think GG - like Cannondale - deserves some props for prioritizing chainline over other on-paper gains. I didn't know GG had gone away from the practice with their new rigs, that's really too bad.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

New rig. The Trail Pistol is the only option with a carbon rear end. The disease may spread, but for now it's confined to that one model.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

Thanks for the clarification. I was going to say I wonder why they didn't stick with their guns... but I don't really. They're probably designing their new SB-157/55 setup as we speak.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I feel like my 2018 Smash was Peak Guerrilla. I'm glad I bought when I did. They are showing no signs of going SB at this point, but the changes/priorities they are keen on don't get me excited to fork over cash to replace my metal Smash.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

It would be interesting to see them offer a limit production run of aluminum Smash bikes (maybe slightly updated geo - bit longer stays, bit slacker HTA... maybe not) and see if/how fast it sells out just to gauge interest. I know a couple aluminum GG owners who LOVE their bikes - and would highly recommend them to others - but have zero interest in a carbon one.

mrbrett
mrbrett
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major Mammal Tjaard Breeuwer

Chainline bothers me when it’s a mess but none of my bike buddies seem to care and they can’t be bothered to fine tune spacers and chainring offsets to get just the right fit. Are the bike companies playing these shenanigans because there aren’t enough people that notice?

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 nothingfuture mrbrett Cr4w ManInSteel Tremeer023

The number of folks I've asked with totally worn-out big-cogs, roached chains, destroyed N/W rings, and otherwise fairly fresh cassettes, who don't seem to notice the extra drag/noise is almost as shocking as the number of people riding around with loose lock-on grips

BUT, everyone I've ever talked into running a smaller chainring (to use more of their cassette) and a more inboard chainring if it becomes possible when downsizing has certainly noticed the immediate difference in feel (I hear "efficiency") grinding up steep climbs - so I think it's fair to say, in my experience, that there's a lot of not-asked/don't-tell going on. 

There are plenty of non-super-human bike enthusiasts working for these big bicycle companies - average riders, if you will - who, are spending plenty of time in these low gears so my assumption is that, as bad as 52/148 was, once enough folks try 55/148 this will become a common talking point within design teams - hence the prediction of a mass move to Super Boost.

Reply

WheelNut
WheelNut
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn taprider

A smaller chainring also increases anti-squat, so that can help contribute to the feeling of more efficient pedaling.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+7 Andrew Major Metacomet Mammal mrbrett Tjaard Breeuwer nothingfuture ManInSteel

That entirely depends on the main pivot location of the said frame.

Reply

chris-killer
Chris Killer
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

WalrusRider
WalrusRider
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I can't just buy a boost chainring for my boost bike? That's all I've ever done and my drivetrain seems quiet and lasts a long time. I clean it religiously though.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yeah, for your current bike that's not an issue. You're probably buying a 3mm offset ring for a 52mm chainline? 

If you ride steep pitches a lot (high torque in big cogs) and your frame/gear combo can clear a non-Boost ring (49mm chainline) that will improve your drivetrain life. But certainly, no one's telling you what to do though. 

My issue here is brands pushing 55mm chainline for Boost-148 in 2022.

Reply

LWK
LWK
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I went and checked Trek's website and indeed, the 2022 Slash is 55mm chainline.  What was it last year - 52mm?

and then what is the rationale for the major players changing it?  it doesnt sound like its for a shifting performance gain...

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

To tell the story right?

My understanding is the new Trek Top Fuel needs a 55mm chainline to clear whatever size ring they’re running.

Reply

nothingfuture
nothingfuture
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major IslandLife Tjaard Breeuwer

My new ride is a Waltworks and it's 157 SuperBoost, at Walt's insistence.

I was wary, as it's MUCH more difficult to find wheels/hubs anywhere between "junk" and "super expensive," but given what I was asking for (super short chain stays, 3" tires, etc etc etc), it was pretty much the only way forward. I'm running regular boost cranks, and but do I NOT LIKE that massive cog on the back- I've used it once in the last year, and the noise was ugly.

So: I'm pretty ok with SuperBoost, generally- I think it's fine, I guess. I wish SRAM made a cassette that wasn't a 10-52, and I'd rather have an 11-45 or something. Maybe I'll swap my cassette body to MicroSpline and grab one of those XT 10-45 or something? I'm already running a 30t chainring, and while I was skeptical, it's been great. Or, heck, maybe I'll go back to 11speed and do an 11-46 or something.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 nothingfuture ManInSteel

Short stays plus 3” is why Super Boost-157 exists! Funny that in a few years it could be the easiest setup to get wheels for…

I still love HG freehubs for the options. Although maybe less with 12-spd to date.

Are you running a 52mm chainline? If you’re running the recommended 56.5mm and can clear it I’d recommend following WR-‘s example and going to 52mm (Boost-148 standard). Makes that 52t cog much quieter.

Photo of your Walt?! Sounds sweet! What 3” rubber you running?

Reply

nothingfuture
nothingfuture
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I just had to look. I'm on Shimano XT 8130 or whatever, which specs tell me is a 56.5 chainline. It's... ok. Like I said, I never (no, really never) use the 52, so I'm not overly concerned about the chainline to it... though it's a drag (I suppose) to have a 12spd drivetrain and treat it like it's an 11.

Maybe I'll swap cranks at some point to a 52mm chainline, and move to a Shimano 10-45 12spd cassette- I'd get all the range I'm currently using but actually have 12 gears and a chainline that allows me to use the bailout.

Not like I'm dying to buy a crankset, cassette, and freehub body right now, but there you go.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yeah, don't fix what ain't broke but you're going to need a chain/cassette/ring eventually. 

How's the bike otherwise?!

Reply

nothingfuture
nothingfuture
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Andrew Major

The bike is excellent.

I ride super-duper old school New England trails- they're incredibly tight, awkward, technical, and typically low-speed (relatively, I suppose...). The Waltworks was an exercise is (finally) building something I've wanted for a long, long time: a spiritual successor to a Cannondale Beast of the East (and it's brethren) but re-envisioned for now. So: super short chain stays, fat tires, 140mm fork, longish reach, tall stack, tall bottom bracket, but will a slackish head tube angle.

I've been riding it for about a year, now- and I'm still adapting to it. It hasn't been a jump-on-and-rip sort of thing, as it's a pretty drastic change from the sort of bikes I've been riding for the last 30 years or so. But we're getting used to dancing together, and we get a little more fluid each time I take it out. A lot of people would, I think, look at this bike's geo and think it's stupid and backwards, but it's really built for the specific riding I like to do. I don't have berms to shred or "flow trails" or any of that. I have granite, awkward, tight, and slow- so if you think of this bike more like a trials bike you can pedal sitting down, maybe it starts to make more sense?

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nothingfuture
nothingfuture
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

How short are the chainstays on the Waltworks?

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nothingfuture
nothingfuture
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

On mine? It's a 27.5" wheel with room for 3.0" tires, and the chain stays are 415mm minimum (on Paragon rockers, so there's 20mm of adjustment rearward from there).

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jt
JT
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 IslandLife Cr4w JVP Carlos Matutes utopic

Super boost is a more practical solution to the issues regular boost was trying to solve. While we can lament the development/addition of new standards, let's not throw the one that actually solves design issues better under the bus. I don't understand why Trek didn't go that 157mm route initially, since the folx likely to buy a Stache would likely be looking for a more aggressive/fun handling bike which would require a stronger rear wheel and it wouldn't necessitate opening molds for new hubs. I'll gripe about near every pressfit bottom bracket standard all day, but super boost just seems practical when you look at regular boost and frame design goals.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 JT Mammal Greg Bly ManInSteel Dogl0rd Tremeer023

Personally, I think Super Boost sucks. The goal of super-short chainstays is dead/dying, and (sadly) so are Plus tires so what's the point? Some extra theoretical wheel stiffness? I'd rather have the extra trail and heal clearance of the narrower back end. 

That said, one or the other please.

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jt
JT
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I like a tighter chainstay, but that has much to do with the nature of our trails and topography. Minimizing dish on a wheel isn't a bad thing, as evident by all the ways co's have tried to get as much real estate between the flanges or equalize spoke bracing angles. The point I agree with you is one or the other. It'd be nice to have the bandaid ripped off rather than slowly peeled. It does provide a good bit of dialogue though, so maybe the slow tear is a boon for sites during slow news periods?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer JT

Hahaha, someone said something to me about “slow news periods” when I wrote my second look of the Chameleon MX. I never think of things that way - I just write about what’s on my mind. When I wrote this I was thinking about how much I wished Super Boost had died before it was given a legitimate reason to live.

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jt
JT
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I jest of course, but the product slow down does make for more contemplation in turn driving spirited conversation. For that I'm thankful.

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craw
Cr4w
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Carlos Matutes Timer Tjaard Breeuwer ManInSteel

Trek is the real villain here. If they had used up that consumer goodwill bumping everyone to a smarter standard we'd all be a lot happier now.

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jt
JT
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Carlos Matutes Tjaard Breeuwer

I wouldn't say villainy is the culprit, but I wonder how much of this could've been avoided if they would have spearheaded a push towards 157 outta the gate. Incremental change is nice and all, but sometimes nature throws out a big change too. I've been working on a couple designs and the real estate gains going from 135/142, 148, and 157 are pretty substantial as you move towards 157. My point more or less is we could be having forum banter on the insipidness of one design standard rather than two, and who doesn't relish in streamlining dialogue?

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Jotegir
Lu Kz
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 RoboDuck Mammal Tjaard Breeuwer

As someone with cartoonishly large feet where heel clearance is an issue to be considered on nearly any bike I jump on, I am not ready for our super boost overlords to seize power.

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andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major FlipSide Martin

A lot of bike design ideas seem good on paper. Like boost. Wider flange spacing will make a stronger wheel. But stronger than already strong enough? For so many years we were sold it’s stiffer, it’s lighter, it’s got a greater range, it’s stronger. Stiffer than something that already doesn’t flex? Usable range? Lighter but less robust and that stem that won’t hold because it’s too skeletal? Now we are told we want compliant parts. I have 2.5 of tire travel, 150mm of fork travel and I’m supposed to want and expensive fucking bar that flexes what? 3 mm? Bullshit. I want a super short chainstay and seat tube angle that places my saddle under my nut sack? Oh my Chameleon has a slack seat tube angle because it’s over forked with a 150 36 and even worse I’m running 29er wheels with 27.5 drop outs. That bike used to climb well until I learned it was basically un-rideable in that configuration so now I walk everything. Oh even worse I’ve set the drop outs at max length. Oh horrors. 

Not all improvements are pure marketing hype. I do like not having a front derailleur. Chainrings designed to drop chains so you can shift in hindsight seem dumb. Whereas chainrings designed to prevent that are brilliant. Dropper posts aren’t really necessary but who the hell wants to ride without one now. Not me.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

All of this.

I like how you phrased this and will be stealing it:

Wider flange spacing will make a stronger wheel. But stronger than already strong enough?

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andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major Martin taprider

I said this to myself years ago when Raceface came out with their first 4 bolt face plate stem claiming it was 40% stiffer than the best selling competition. Which was the Thomson 4 bolt stem. 40% stiffer than absolutely rigid meant nothing.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Martin Velocipedestrian Greg Bly

It's just like Giant and their epically stupid OverDrive 1.5"-to-1-1/4" steerer tubes. All that additional incompatibility and tomfuckery for a meaningless 'difference' in the real world.

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maximum-radness
Maximum Radness
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Cr4w

Hey Andrew: 

I love your mind. 

The arrival nailed it. 

Isn’t knolly doing the same thing with 157 trail? 

Just got a spire, and almost built it up with old 104 bcd cranks …. Cuz chainline.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Velocipedestrian Greg Bly

Thank You!

No, Knolly considers 56.5mm "optimal" but recommends a 55-57mm chainline. 

When the dust settles I would imagine we'll see the 'standard' as 55mm w/ a Super Boost 157mm rear end. I agree though, I think for anywhere with big hills/ tough climbs / pedal-and-plunge riding the setup on the Arrival with its 52mm chainline w/ 157 is nifty.

I'd prefer a narrower back end and looking at various suspension designs I don't really get what's so hard about a 49mm chainline with a 148 rear end. It's probably some aesthetic industrial-design factor I wouldn't understand - like internal brake routing.

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knollybikes.com
knollybikes.com
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 Carlos Matutes Velocipedestrian Tjaard Breeuwer DanL Vik Banerjee IslandLife

Just to clarify - from Knolly's position:

56.5mm is the theoretical ideal chainline and what is stated by drivetrain manufacturers: 9mm more width (148 --> 157) divided by 2 = 4.5mm or 52mm --> 56.5mm. Officially we support their specification since they make these parts and have to support them.

That being said, unofficially many of us at the office are running 54 - 55mm chainlines with good success.

Shimano also recently released a midline crankset: the XTR 9125 which while "designed" for 148mm Boost bikes, works quite nicely with 157mm bikes for those that want the 55mm chainline natively.

There are some other tricks you can do as well, with Boost 148 cranksets and spindle spacers to get chainlines in the 53-55mm range.  We can't endorse them officially of course, but we know customers are doing this.

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smvogel73@gmail.com
Scott Vogel
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Hey Andrew…great read…super informative for someone like me that’s still learning. 

So as I read (and as you noted in the above response)…like most MTBer’s that aren’t racing, I WAAAAY more often find myself in the lower half of my cassette than the upper half. That being the case, stands to reason (if I’m understanding this correctly) that I should favor the 49mm chainline for my lower gears…right? Wouldn’t that simply entail switching out my ring from a 3mm offset (ie, boost) to a 6mm offset (non-boost)?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Cheers!

Assuming your frame clears the 49mm (and if you’re going smaller at the same time it likely will unless your frame has a minimum chainring size) then you’re correct. You just need a non-Boost ring.

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jwellford
jwellford
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I like this idea but I’ve had a hard time getting a 49mm chainline to work well with 12-speed SRAM and boost. The chain skips against the 12T when I’m in the 10T, due to the crazy angles you get in the small cogs when you shift the chainline in. I guess I rarely spend time in my 10T but it bugs me when the whole drivetrain doesn’t function perfectly…

Edit: I might be thinking of the time I tried a 3mm narrower chainline on my 142mm gravel bike with 11speed. Which should also be better theoretically? I have a 6mm offset 32T ring lying around that looks like it will clear the chain stays on my big MTB: I’ll try that out for sure.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

This is what I’ve done with my regular boost 11 speed bike, running a non boost chainring, to get the chain line biased for optimum performance in the easy gears

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

This is what I’ve done with my regular boost 11 speed bike, running a non boost chainring, to get the chain line optimized for the easy gears

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MarcR
Marc Rossi
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

The last 4 words of your reply. So good.

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WheelNut
WheelNut
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Clearance from chainring to tire is a big driver of chainline. Providing adequate clearance for a 2.6" tire doesn't leave much room for the chainstay yoke with a 52mm chainline. Smaller tires (or steel chainstays, haha!) would allow for narrower chainlines.

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just6979
Justin White
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 taprider Andrew Major Andy Eunson

Or longer chainstays, which many riders might actually appreciate since front-centers are now relatively enormous.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Lynx .

Yeah, magic geo to match the new (awesome) long and slack made front-centers requires much longer stays than most manufacturers are running. I wish Banshee had a local dealer / demo option as I'd love to get some of my friends who think they love short stays out on a Titan. Such a fun bike.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Mammal

There are plenty of examples of full-suspension bikes that clear 2.6" rubber with a 52mm chainline. I mean, almost every pre-2022 Boost-148 bike, and most of the 2022 models, since running Boost-148 with a 55mm chainline is new.

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WheelNut
WheelNut
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yes, a 52mm chainline and 2.6" tires is everywhere because that is the max of what is possible with that combo. You wondered why not a 49mm chainline though- That is getting too tight for the chain stay yoke. 49mm CL with 2.4" tire clearance would be achievable though. Tire size drives chainline and you can see examples all over: Fat bikes, road bikes, gravel bikes, etc. One of the tightest points on a frame is the driveside chainstay yoke. This has been the case for decades (centuries?) with old steel frames being indented to squeeze the chainstay in between the tire and the chainstay.

As for super long chainstays. Sure you could build an FS bike around a 455+ rear center that could probably accommodate a 49mm chainline, but is there really a (large) market for that?

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tehllama42
Tehllama42
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

As somebody who rides XL bikes, a 450+ mm rear center isn't the horrible loss of capability most bike reviewers would crack it up to be, particularly if you're looking at something that is running big heavy tires... but that isn't what I'd design the back of the frame around that in a market as capricious as this one.

tehllama42
Tehllama42
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

As somebody who rides XL bikes, a 450+ mm rear center isn't the horrible loss of capability most bike reviewers would crack it up to be, particularly if you're looking at something that is running big heavy tires... but that isn't what I'd design the back of the frame around that in a market as capricious as this one.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I don't anticipate companies building Boost-148 bikes with 49mm chainlines because everything in drivetrain land these days is about 32-34t rings w/ 10-51/52t cassettes. But, many (most) bikes built around a 52mm chainline can run a 49mm chainline with a 28t or 30t ring and locally that actually puts the average rider (fitness/strength) in the center of their cassette much more often and provides a much straighter chainline in low gears. 

I think longer stays are the future (balancing out the long front centers - Reach + HTA) but even if they aren't I don't think it will change the steady march towards a mass adoption of Super Boost-157. 55mm chainlines are going to be addictive for bike designers (especially as BSA makes its comeback) and SB-157 is the answer. 

Not my answer, for the record, I'd like to see ~ 5-spd cassettes which would solve all the issues in one.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

"As somebody who rides XL bikes, a 450+ mm rear center isn't the horrible loss of capability most bike reviewers would crack it up to be..."

Never mind the series of frames that led to my Waltworks V2 having 450+ stays - and it's a hardtail so maybe it's not relevant anyways - but the Banshee Titan is my favourite test bike I've ridden and it's beautifully balanced front/rear.

Lynx
Lynx .
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

And yet I can run my 2018 Unit with a 52mm chainline, 135mm rear and 29x3.0" tyres without any issues what so ever. FYI, 450-460mm stays, on XL bikes, is a pretty sweet combo, even longer if you're riding a HT or rigid.

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Lynx
Lynx .
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Just caught this piece, another Andrew comment buster, so haven't gotten the time to go through all the comments, but here's my thoughts. 
I'm a dedicated Banshee fanboi, I have the pre-production Prime, it came with the option for a 150x12 rear, I opted out to be able to use my existing wheels, but didn't make that mistake when I got my Phantom, I got both the 150x12 and 142x12 drop outs for it and when I setup the 150x12 rear using my old M780 cranks and 51mm chainline, the chainline was absolutely perfect, well almost, still could have been a tad more inboard. I've since broken the BB on the Phantom and stole the rear tri and put it on the Prime, I've also managed to acquire an old XTR crank with 46mm chainline and that also works fantastic with the 150 rear end, definitely much better with the 142 for sure.

So in essence, absolutely, 100% agree that a 150 rear paired with a 52mm chainline is the perfect combo. Boost 148 should never have even existed, should have gone straight to 150/157 rears and stuck to the 51mm chainline, except maybe for fat bikes.

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just6979
Justin White
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Cam McRae

I almost immediately changed my Stumpy 27 LT '19 to 104 BCD to add a bashguard as well as fix the chainline.

An unguarded chain and ring just won't survive out here in New England, rock strikes are inevitable, and it still amazes me that a decent number of current bikes don't come with some way to easily attach a bashguard.

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airwreck
airwreck
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Built up a xs scout for our kid, this is our families first 148 bike. Went with a canfield crankset, 11sp XT with 46 and 28 front ring. Thought we would need a no offset chainring but went back to a 3 mm due to horrible chainline. No room to spare on the chainstay. Will have to go to a no offset ring with a bigger ring which he's likely to need for bike park so we'll probably switch it to 10 speed with smaller cassette. Frustrating to say the least, can't say we'll be buying another 148 bike and we'll continue to avoid 12 speed.

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Kenny
Kenny
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major mrbrett

I'm wimpy enough that here on the shore I want/need a small chain ring, which means non boost chain rings fit on all of my boost frames. Clearance is fine and chainline is much better.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

On some frames, yes. I’m in the same boat that I can usually get away with a non-Boost 30t or even 28t ring. I treat the big (usually aluminum) cog as a bailout.

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martn
Martn
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer

I still don't get how so many people seemingly don't care about their chainline. For me it's one reason why I run a single speed hub with the largest 7 cogs of an 11-speed cassette (142 mm hub and old XT cranks with a 104 mm chainring).

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

Yes, the nice thing about 4/104 is being able to easily re-space the ring itself. Used to do that with my first 1x setup. 

I think most folks just want to ride their bike. ‘We’ keep selling the over-complication of a relatively simple escape to the woods.

Also, I try not to be jaded but tightening lock-on grips > thinking about chainline!

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just6979
Justin White
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Dogl0rd

" ‘We’ keep selling the over-complication of a relatively simple escape to the woods."

Maybe because the folks making all the money often aren't doing a very good job at making bikes that better fit the reality of how normal people use their bikes on that simple escape to the woods. Legacy ring offset on Boost hubs and/or smaller chainrings definitely better matches the gear selection reality for most people, but they won't sell it that way because it's not "cool" or "pro" enough.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 nothingfuture

It is sometimes legitimately hard to convince folks to try a smaller chainring - even though their cassettes are fresh but for the 2-3 largest cogs that are roached - even when their cycling strength/fitness, for whatever reason, calls for it because they're worried what other riders will think. Sometimes peers, sometimes local legends, but often just this amorphous sense of other. 

I'm not going to throw anyone in front of a bus but I've had a few conversations about riders who are probably in the top 3% of the local scene by fitness and ability telling them all the advantages of pushing a 34t on their 30lbs+ 29'er. 

I'm immune to that personally. I've spent years having members of the global single-speed community from such mountainous locals as Minnesota questing my manliness because of the gearing I run when 32x16 works great for them on their <20lbs flat bar gravel bike with 2.1" Thunder Burts.

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fartymarty
fartymarty
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

I've just signed up for a 100 miler in July (Southdowns 100) with 12,000 ft of climbing...

i think it's time that the 30t comes out (I can't fit any smaller on a 104). Hopefully it plays well with the single pivot on my Starling.

Edit - Now you mention it it does have granny tabs. Thanks for the bailout idea - run a 30 and granny - manual 2x. It will be a bit of a fade with the chain guide tho...

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 ManInSteel

Your 4/104 crankset doesn’t have Grannie tabs? NSB makes a 28t N/W that mounts off the 4/64. Wolf Tooth makes a 26t and a 28t round and a 28t oval.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 ManInSteel

28t w/ BlackSpire 4/104 Grannie God bash.

alexdi
Alex D
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Luix

I'm partial to Cannondale's AI offset. Same 148 hubs, better chainline, and even spoke angles. To your point, it's not like we need the extra stiffness from pushing out the NDS.

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earleb
earle.b
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Luix

Was just scrolling the comments looking for mention of Cannondale AI. 

I know I will be building my next frame around an AI shifted rear end AND 52mm chainline.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Luix

But, but, theoretical frame and wheel stiffness!?!

Sounds brilliant to me. When does the next frame go under the torch?!

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earleb
earle.b
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Luix

If I could just stop falling down rabbit holes....

Current rabbit hole, flex all the thing, no bearings all flexures.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Like bolt on leaf-spring flex points or plates that flex a la Castellano Fango?!

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earleb
earle.b
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Mammal Andrew Major

See Cannondale 2021 Scalpel horst flex pivot for flex pivot inspiration.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Cool! Can't wait to see it. Let me know if you want an (old) grom to do some filing or other manual sh*t work.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

Good point. They get a lot of derision for their proprietary tech, but they should also get credit as a brand that’s actually thinking about chainline.

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Abies
Simon Apostol
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Cam McRae

I changed over to a 28t Wolftooth non-boost (49mm offset) chainring and my drivetrain functions so much better! This is with an 11 speed 11-46 so I was previously spending a ton of time in the lowest cog. The combination of better chainline and ability to be one cog down in the cassette is enough of a game changer that I've banished any thought of moving to 12 speed on this bike.

Andrew, thanks for all of your articles on this stuff because honestly I never would have thought about it otherwise.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Vik Banerjee Simon Apostol

Cheers Simon, makes my day hearing folks get something positive out of it (other than just some entertainment - hopefully). 

You're far from the only person I know sticking with 11spd or even 10spd, and I know a lot of folks committed to doing so as long as they can get parts. I think this sentiment is well documented that the reason Shimano is producing 11spd LinkGlide. (Some folks have claimed it's designed with e~bikes in mind and I'd also be happy to believe that).

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Abies
Simon Apostol
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Cam McRae Andrew Major Velocipedestrian

You saved me hundreds of dollars! (to be used on pointless shiny stems and seat collars and such)

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Simon Apostol

As long as your priorities are right! HAHAHAHA. I love shiny stems and seat collars.

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lamar454
Peter Appleton
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Cam McRae

i'll continue stock piling my 10 speed xt and xtr

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Shoreloamer
Greg Bly
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major utopic

Less gears in the back allows for a narrow cassette. I would love to have a wider BB .  

Change hub spacing , change rotor spacing . For what ? Greater stiffness?  Or better chain line ?  

No boost for me .  It's my less than clear understanding that boost 157 somehow helps 29 inch wheels maintain stiffness?  

We used to stuff 3 inch Gazzlotties between the stays .  

Sorry luv my 26 inch wheels . Articles like this enhance my love for 26 inch wheels .  

Andrew your writing prose so thick with sarcasm and in my opinion blatant truth is very rewarding to read .  

Thank you.

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Trailrabbit
Trailrabbit
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Martin

Great article! 

I am 100% on board with running legacy (30t) chainrings on all boost frames. Works a lot better for me than running boost chainrings (Im using RF Cinch cranks). Also, I did have problems with worn low gears running 34t. Now on 30t, wear seems to be optimal / proportional on low / high gears. 

I run Eagle on all of my bikes. Early November, there was 0 eagle derailleurs in stock here in EU, so out of curiosity, I installed the Microshift advent X - 10 speed drivetrain onto my nomad. 500km of mud and snow and rain later- I did not have to touch it! Not once! Quite a revelation for me. I must say, this may be my favorite drivetrain of all time. 

This groupset does not know what a chainline is., and if it does, it just doesn't  care. 

So yes, seems like for me - the future has fewer gears..

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Martin

Cool! It's sweet how many alternate drivetrains options are popping up and how many people are having positive experiences. I've only played with very-basic Microshift products and they've been good.

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Trailrabbit
Trailrabbit
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

There is just one thing to think about when going the "alternative" route. Since Microshift is not common in bike shops / at least not where I live, I always suggest to carry a spare derailleur and shifter in the tool box when riding away from home / holiday trip. Not a big deal. (advent X derailleur costs around 55 EURO, shifter was 24 EURO) In case something happens. 

Also - I think the XC part of the bike population may miss the narrower steps in gearing. I do too. A bit. 

But still, if nothing apocalyptic happens to the Microshift drivetrain, I will stop buying 12speed and switch to 10 speed also on my other bikes.

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martin
Martin
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

It seems like everyone who uses Microshift affordable options are satisfied. Thanks for your experiences!

I just installed an 8-speed Microshift Acolyte drivetrain on my fat bike (12-46t cassette). The derailleur even has a clutch and it cost 110$cdn taxes included for shifter, cassette and derailleur. It might be all I'd need on any of my bikes but we'll see how the shifter and derailleur hold in time. The steel cassette I'm not worried!

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cheapondirt
cheapondirt
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

It might be premature to speak of Supre drive as a potential industry influencer, but I think that's designed around super boost too.

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fartymarty
fartymarty
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Luix

Andrew - IIRC wasn't boost 148 introduced on the Stache so Trek could squeeze a 29x3 in with ridiculously short CSs?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Luix

It was definitely launched through the whole lineup for model-year 2016 with wheel stiffness the stated goal.

2014 (and '15) Stache cleared > tires AND had a front derailleur with a pinched seat tube for clearance. It used a 142x12 rear hub and the stays were quite reasonable (no sliders though).

***CORRECTION: Boost-148 appeared on the whole 2016 lineup, including the Stache. The 2015 Remedy was 142x12 but the 2016 Remedy was the first Boost-148 bike I saw - in year 2015.

****Double Correction: No it didn't. 2016 Stache is the first to clear 3".

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fartymarty
fartymarty
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Luix Andrew Major

Cheers.  As a Krampus owner I just remember the Stache with the ridiculously short stays and silly wide 148 rear when Surly made a 29x3 work with a 135mm rear and "normal" length chainstays.  I didn't realise the older Staches had a 142 rear.

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slimshady76
Luix
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 utopic

And that's one of the reasons I'm still screaming "FUCK 29ers!!!" off the top of my lungs. Big brands wanted to have reasonably stiff big wheels with cheap components, so instead of enhancing the quality of the rims and spokes (and maybe offseting the drivetrain to have similar spoke angles at both sides as Specialized and Cannondale did in the past) they simply widened the rear end. 

Now we're heading a way where your bike will end up having the same Q factor as a horse.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 IslandLife Luix

Many Super Boost-157 setups will have the same Q-Factor (offset comes from chainring) but certainly there are some longer spindle setups too… I was surprised when I had to run extra BB spacers with the last Shimano setup I put together. 

Luckily I prefer a bit more stance!

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andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian

Maybe. But when you look at a guy like Andre Greipel pro road sprinter, smashing 2000 watts in a final sprint on the same diameter 700 c rims but narrower 135 hubs I tend to think bull shit on the stiffer claims. It’s so easy for a manufacturer to claim their stuff is more stiff but pretty much impossible for us regular guys to actually prove.

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slimshady76
Luix
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major utopic Andy Eunson

"Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forfty percent of all people know that."

-- Homer Simpson.

blackhat
blackhat
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I mean… that’s what engineers do when given a problem.  They try to solve it as cheaply as possible.  The choice between a few extra mm of width and every single wheel costing hundreds more for the same performance is easy.

Anyway, what’s your alternative exactly?  That we should all be on 26 wheels to reduce Q-factor by 12 mm?

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slimshady76
Luix
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 Andrew Major Greg Bly utopic

It's actually a combination of factors, not just the "stiffer is better" one. Bike brands need something to brag about, something to set them apart from the herd. Cue in Shimano and their stupid 15mm front axles, and widened hubs in general. 

Also, if you don't want expensive wheels with a sensible weight, just don't fucking make them bigger in the first place. 27.5 was a good compromise, but in all accounts it seems it was used as a gateway drug to send 26 to the grave and drive us all into 29. 

At 29 inches we are pretty much at the limit of what can be done in terms of wheel stiffness/lateral load resistance. As said by many here already, instead of widening the hubs, just play with the asymmetry and give me even spoke angles, as Cannondale did with AI, or even Specialized back in the day with the 135mm rear hub in their world cup winning Demo.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Luix

This comment has been removed.

Abies
Simon Apostol
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major ZigaK

The original Stache was a more "normal" 29er hardtail for the era. Boost was introduced on this one with the raised chainstay which is a totally different beast than pictured above iirc. I wanted one of these SO BAD. Geometry looks completely wack now.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Luix Lu Kz

Yeah, my point was simply that Boost-148 wasn't introduced for the Stache. The Stache used it to combine 3" rubber and very short chainstays into a package but Boost-148 was across-the-line justified for wheel stiffness on all their 2016 performance models. 

I actually reviewed and then Re-Reviewed that bike. It rode much better with the wheelbase setup long and with a real tire up front. I had a ton of fun on that rig once I got it dialed in (also positively ruined both rims because it could go like stink on the right terrain).

I would have loved to see it continue with modern geometry, longer stays, and SE4 / SE3 3" tire spec (front/rear). Oh, and REAL brakes! Real brakes made a HUGE difference when the beast was hungry and I needed it to change directions.

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Abies
Simon Apostol
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Gotcha, I misunderstood! And apparently misremembered my hub spacing history.

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NotEndurbro
Dustin Meyer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I owned that bike in the sweet 2013 tinted clearcoat version. I don't recall it having much clearance beyond the 29x2.4 Ardents I had on it. Was the 2014/15 different? It sure looks the same in the photo.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

You're correct Dustin. One of my friends who owned a 2015 says 2.4" tires were the absolute max in the back end. I added a correction to my original comment.

Thank You!

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BertBC
Albert Steward
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 kcy4130 Andrew Major IslandLife

Great article Andrew! I guess the one good thing with all these 'standards' is the higher likelihood of cobbling together a combination that vaguely works. It does seem like the wild west out there at the moment though.

We shouldn't assume 1x 142 was the holy grail of CL - those largely sucked too. I think think the smaller 36/40/42T sprockets likely smoothed things over considerably.

Shouldn't we be looking at chainlines optimized for middle-of-cassette assuming the bike is geared appropriately for the rider and terrain? Paying for wide range cassettes to then only use 2/3rds doesn't make much sense either

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Albert Steward Andy Eunson 4Runner1 ManInSteel Dogl0rd

I’d also argue most folks - even more advanced/experienced riders - in pedal-and-plunge terrain like the Shore use way less than 2/3rds of their cassette. I’d love to see more data, but here’s something I wrote about it in the past.

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doodersonmcbroseph
doodersonmcbroseph
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 Andrew Major Mammal ManInSteel Dogl0rd Tremeer023 IslandLife

100% agree, with my group of riding friends we always talk about how we could really live with maybe 5 gears!

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fartymarty
fartymarty
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 Andrew Major ManInSteel Dogl0rd doodersonmcbroseph Tremeer023 IslandLife

Wide Five - sign me up and take my money.  

Base it on an 8 speed setup so you get a nice thick chain.  All steel rings mated to a stainless chainring.

Maybe it's time to start hacking up that 11-36 10 speed cassette I have lying around...

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 ManInSteel doodersonmcbroseph Tremeer023 IslandLife

#WideFive for sure.

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doodersonmcbroseph
doodersonmcbroseph
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I am very tempted to get back to an HG driver and start pulling cassettes apart to min/max; especially with rapid release. Essentially 2 clicks to the small cog and one big sweep the go back the other way.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Here in Minnesota, riding sustainable trails, we are the opposite of pedal and plunge: pretty mellow grades both up and down. 

Still, I want to bias my chain line to the bigger cogs, because that is where:

  1. Resistance matters a lot. It’s hard enough going uphill, I don’t want excess drivetrain friction adding to that
  2. Often, there are (super) high torque moments in climbing, especially anything technical
  3. Conversely, on the descent, I am living easy anyway, so a bit more friction is not as big a deal for me
  4. It is far less likely that you will be doing some kind of super high torque move, when descending
  5. The climbing gears are bigger cogs, so chain line matters more, since the chain contacts closer to the cranks, effectively shortening the chain(stay)length

Rider strength also doesn’t matter, as long as the chainring is selected for size relative to the riders strength.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Thanks! 

I think it depends on where you are riding, but for anywhere with big hills or technical climbs I think We Are One has the right idea optimizing chainline around the 8x biggest cogs which see the most torque.

Good point re. Cog size. Longer stays are less brutal in the chain too. Lots of 2x setups too pre-Boost. Legacy-142 / 49 is certainly no worse than Boost-148 / 52, which most folks do seem fine with, but I used to space my chainring over with my first 1x setup (the miracle of 4x bolt 104).

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hbelly13
Raymond Epstein
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 IslandLife

I built my 2020 V3 Wreckoning up initially using my old X1 148 Boost crankset using a 0-offset ring as an initial bodge to get the bike rolling with crap I had lying around. It worked, but was a little noisy and the chain was really close to the swing arm along with some heel rub. Next I got legit and went with some Truvativ Descendent Super Boost cranks. These had a much better chainline, however SRAM's use of huge outboard spacers to get the correct set up always seemed iffy. My suspicions were confirmed when I'd have to pull the whole thing apart to re-grease and retighten it to keep it from creaking. I finally said eff-it and shelled out for a Raceface Atlas crankset, a Chris King bottom bracket and a Cane Creek compression ring. Since then, it has remained trouble free. As for other issues (shifting, heel rub, etc.) I have not really had any problems.   I certainly would have been fine sticking with any of the "standards" of the last ten years, however if Super Boost allows manufacturers to do things to improve frame design for strength, tire clearance, chainstay length or whatever so be it.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Do you know what chainline you’re running now? If it’s the recommended 56.5mm and a 52mm will clear with a smaller ring you can get the same benefits that the Arrival is offering (pun intended). 

Cane Creek compression ring is a nice upgrade. Love mine too.

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hbelly13
Raymond Epstein
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I really don't know other than that the ring is centered dead in the middle of the built in upper chain guide the Wrecker comes stock with which Evil says is 56.5. As for running a smaller ring Evil says the smallest that will fly is a 30t round mainly due to the potential interference of the chain riding on the (huge) swing arm in the higher gears. I run a Raceface 32t oval ring currently. I tried running a 30t ring on my old Wreckoning and I did get some buzz in the highest gear combo. It was not enough of benefit at least with climbing efforts I encounter to make it worthwhile.

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el_jefe
el_jefe
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Here's the convo I want - I have a V3 Wreckoning as well with 157 rear end. Set up AXTR with X01 cranks from build kit, so I expect it at the spec 56.5mm chainline. Run with 30T oval (OneUp Switch DM). While it has seem to run generally fine, I'm interested in playing with a slightly smaller chainline ie 55mm - in Whistler, with the many damn steep climbs, I'm in those large cogs all the time. I'll have to revisit this once Spring hits and I start hitting Pemby to ramp up the fitness...

Aside, I also have my extra wheelset which was 148 that I converted to 157 with beautifully machined bits from Pete at Pinner Machine Shop here in Whistler - scrap that Problem Solver stuff and buy local! :)  www.pinnermachineshop.com

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Thanks for that link to Pinner! I hadn't heard of them, their solutions look great!

Yeah, I'd be experimenting chainline for sure climbing up to trails in Whistler. I don't know what clearance issues the Wreckoning has but I've heard 30t is the minimum ring size.

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craw
Cr4w
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Dogl0rd

Anything I say about 12 speeds and giant 52t cogs will come across as elitist and all the pencil legs will get mad at me. Suffice to say I'm holding out for 158.99.

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4Runner1
4Runner1
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Cr4w Andrew Major

Pencil legs here. I’m not mad at you though! ;)

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craw
Cr4w
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

28x52t versus 32x42t versus some guy on a singlespeed. There's always another fish.

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SteveR
SteveR
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Still running 2 x10 Spd myself, with smaller rings up front than "recommended",  to optimize chainline when grinding by reducing need for the largest cog. But I had to get up to speed on 1x12 when my wife finally took delivery of her new gravel bike in September. First thing she noticed was noise on the two largest cogs. As her usual routes include a couple of short but steep uphills that I hate even on my mountain bicycle, I switched up the stock ring to something smaller. She's ok with it now as she doesn't often need the largest cog anymore, but the chainline still bothers ME and I am going to shim it over a bit, if possible. Her bike is parked until spring so I haven't looked into that yet.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I road a 2x setup quite a bit in Spring '21. Manual shifting mind you, but it was a really fun experiment. Takes seconds to switch and for short grunts I just used the larger ring  - basically would swap in/out of the grannie when I was having a water break anyways. 

Is your wife's gravel bike direct mount of using a 4/5 bolt spider? It's still easy enough to find chainring spacers and longer bolts if it's the latter. For the former, you may be able to buy a ring with more offset depending on the crank brand.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

You can also use your toe to switch into granny. It's really easy after you get the hang of it. I did that for a long time but never managed to go the other direction. Maybe a little hook bonded to the top of your shoe would work?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I tried (and tried) and just ended up trashing some shoes. Between the narrow-wide chainrings rings and short-cage clutch derailleur I just couldn't make it happen. Wanted to for the on-the-fly coolness.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I don’t know if a hook would be sufficient. Maybe some kind of metal that wrapped all the way around the chain, so you could really yank on it.

I am left handed and footed, so I am not so good with my right foot, but of course the left foot wouldn’t reach it.

Maybe I could rig somehting up with an extra shoe, with that steel bracket around the chain, and then a cable to my left hand, to shift between the front rings.

It would take some tinkering, but I think we could come up with something for us lefties.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I don’t know if a hook would be sufficient. Maybe some kind of metal that wrapped all the way around the chain, so you could really yank on it.

I am left handed and footed, so I am not so good with my right foot, but of course the left foot wouldn’t reach it.

Maybe I could rig somehting up with an extra shoe, with that steel bracket around the chain, and then a cable to my left hand, to shift between the front rings.

It would take some tinkering, but I think we could come up with something for us lefties.

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Shoreloamer
Greg Bly
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Just like dropper post you can get a cable and a mechanical devise to do the work. Adds weight and complexity to the bike . My trekking dual sus bike is 2 speeds up front .  My sexy plastic Shimano bash ring prevents toe shifting and dropped chains .

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trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I'm possibly being a bit dense here and I've only had one cup of tea so far today but.....my Slash allegedly has a 55mm chain line, with a BSA 73mm threaded BB and what at a glance looks to be a 3mm offset ring. So is the new chain line as a result of the clip on BB spacers? Personally I've had no issues with the chain line but there's plenty of room to throw in a 6mm offset ring by the looks of things.

Edit - I think I've answered my own question in that I see there is a different SKU for the 55CL crankset so presumably the axle is a bit longer. Weird. Funnily enough I have a 'normal' crankset order with shorter arms but I don't see why it won't just bolt on with changing out the spacers.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Do you have a new 2022 Slash? My understanding is that the new Top Fuel is the first bike to require the 55mm chainring (at least in some ring sizes) for clearance.

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trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I think I do! I should know really.... It's labelled 21/22 on Trek's website. Trek state 55mm CL on the specs for it. It's a bit hard to measure with a chain guide etc on. But it's the current model as per this:

https://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en_CA/bikes/mountain-bikes/trail-mountain-bikes/slash/slash-8/p/32993/

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just6979
Justin White
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

"Running stock setups, chainlines for 12-spd drivetrains have sucked for years now."

Yup. I have a couple Boost offset rings in my parts bin that will probably never get used because running Legacy offset chainrings with a Boost hub is the "right way".

"I know if the next bike I ride has a 55mm chainline I'd prefer it to be Super Boost in the back as well."

I'd rather it be Boost 148 and be able to change the chainring offset to suit, but I see your point if they're not going to leave enough room to move the chainring inboard.

Probably depends a bit on where you ride, but there is definitely "too wide" for a rear hub: my old GX Eagle mech has taken so many impacts on at Boost-148, pretty sure if I rode on a SuperBoost-157 setup it would have been ruined many times over by now. In fact, a nice bonus* of switching to a Deore 12-speed mech & shifter is that the furthest outboard position is about 7mm inboard of the GX's most outboard.

* Intended improvement was that the Shimano mech is way way more stable. Actual shifts are pretty much the same (pretty damn good/idiot-proof in both directions), since it's the same X01 chain and GX cassette. But that GX mech (and chain) wears out so fast, especially b-pivot, that it just flops around and gives much ghost shifting, even after just a year/500ish miles. This Sramano/Shimram combo is mint, even though it should be a downgrade based on SRAM's price-points: GX/GX to SLX/Deore (shifter/mech, only versions I could find easily/cheaply).

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Justin White

"Probably depends a bit on where you ride, but there is definitely "too wide" for a rear hub: my old GX Eagle mech has taken so many impacts on at Boost-148, pretty sure if I rode on a SuperBoost-157 setup it would have been ruined many times over by now."

Yes, theoretical wheel/frame stiffness gain arguments aside, I think the biggest issue with Super Boost is clearance - heal and trail. 

------

"I'd rather it be Boost 148 and be able to change the chainring offset to suit, but I see your point if they're not going to leave enough room to move the chainring inboard."

Yeah, I go back and forth about whether I should include some sort of a disclaimer about who's voice I'm using when I write something. I wrote this from my perspective as someone who writes about bikes, tests bikes, and services bikes. From my perspective as a rider, I'm much happier sticking with a Boost-148 bike that lets me offset the chainring inboard.

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morgan-heater
Morgan Heater
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

The chainline on my bike sucks, and it's only 1x11 and 42 teeth. I still wear out the top cog way sooner than I feel like I should. Wolftooth used to make replacement cogs, but they're not selling them anymore. Kind of a bummer.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Do you have room to move your chainline inboard?

You can certainly still find replacement inner cogs from Wolf Tooth and OneUp and KORE and etc. Might require e-mailing a few shops but I'd bet someone has a few in the back they'd love to sell you.

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morgan-heater
Morgan Heater
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I've got an XD driver, I haven't looked into whether or not you can put spacers on those yet to move the cassette out. The bike came with a chainguide/bashgaurd that I kind of like that doesn't have any space for moving the chainring in.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

You cannot. Sorry.

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RoboDuck
RoboDuck
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

"There was no good reason to switch from Legacy 142x12mm spacing, at least none that ever mattered to the vast majority of riders. "

Spoken like someone who has never had to design a full suspension chainstay yoke for a 29x2.6" tire. Can it be done? Sure. Do you want to do it with some level of rigidity and without tire rubbing? Good luck. Not as much an issue if you are running 440mm+ chainstays but what if you want run size specific stays? What if you want more mud clearance like the UK market?

142mm needed a replacement. Whether or not Boost or Super-Boost was the correct answer is an argument that will probably never be agreed on.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

It couldn't be done AND accommodate a front derailleur - which was the original goal of Boost-148. But yes, I agree the super-short chainstay craze never could have happened en masse without a wider hub spacing. I don't think super-short chainstays were/are a benefit for the "vast majority of riders" but happy to agree/disagree there. 

I disagree re. the correct answer on hub spacing though. Once every major bicycle company, and really even every medium bicycle company except two (Devinci & Pivot) went to 148x12 that should have been the answer. It makes sense to have one standard and the vast, vast, majority of bike sales backed up 148x12.

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RoboDuck
RoboDuck
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Andrew Major Cam McRae Tjaard Breeuwer WheelNut

Even without a front derailleur. Just run the math on 148 (which is also not great although strongly my personal preference over Super Boost) 

Average 2.6tire is 65mm wide (32.5mm per side) and overlaps directly with the chainring on even medium short chainstays. You end up here:

32.5mm + 8mm clearance + 1.5mm chainring + 3mm ring to stay clearance = 7mm left for CS thickness. Tight but doable for non-tubular structures. 

Adding another 3mm would bump to 10mm which doesn't sound like much of difference except then its thick enough to have a hollow carbon structure (needs room for the internal bladders) or aluminium tube instead of solid forging.

Sure you can legally drop tire clearance a hair but we already see rub marks on lots of bikes in that zone (especially when mud builds up). 

I can definitely say there is real advantages to 55mm chainlines in that area BUT it does make the large cog performance a lot worse. Maybe we need to drop the innermost gear and accept the larger jumps a wide range 11 speed would offer. 

100% agree that two competing standards is just daft. The lack of heel clearance is definitely noticeable on a 157mm bike (and some 148mm bikes). Bigger deal for some people that others but not something to ignore.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

Cheers! That makes sense as someone who doesn't build frames. Cannondale's offsetting of the drivetrain came up and that's certainly a solution to improve tire clearance with Boost-148. 

I only wear a size 43 and like a fairly wide stance so heal clearance is generally an other-people's-problem for me (though I know it's an issue for plenty of riders). I'm personally more concerned with trail clearance - narrower back end. 

I agree the best solution is to stop trying for a maximum % range with the smallest number of jumps and that's how I run my own cassettes to optimize chainline. Which is an option because I'm on HG freehub bodies personally. But, I don't actually believe the future has fewer gears because so much has be invested in more = better.

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NotMeAtAll
NotMeAtAll
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

While I do agree with you that cassetes are getting comicaly wide with too much gears, and a 10 speed with 12s pitch would be the best drivetrain possible (9 to 52 please), I would gladly sacrifice large sprockets chainline to have a better efficiency overall. It might even have less wear on the hole drivetrain.

Let me explain. Recently I've seen a video over GCN about cross chaining. And the results are definetly not expected. While losses were less than 10w,  the worst offender was the small small combination. Aparently the rub of the second smallest sprocket was the culprit, but nothing concerning.

Meanwhile, I'll run for I don't know how many years my 9 speed 11/46 with Sram shifter and m7000 RD.

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LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

the problem with having a really small front chainring is when you are going dh, chainslap is more prevalent as you are way down in the cassette which bugs the hell out of me.  I'm on a 11speed setup, 29er 175mm crank, 32 t and never go into the first gear.  Can we go back to 135?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Jerry Willows

142/135x12  are the same thing (captured hub axle v. non-captured hub axle). But, yes please!

Specialized's DH bikes (135/142 v. 150mm and now 148 v. 157mm) and nice examples of optimizing trail clearance over theoretical wheel stiffness and more cogs. 

Sounds like your bike needs more Sugru :-)

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LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Specialized had the 142+ as well which was good on paper but a pain in real life.  Nice to see them divert from proprietary things these days.  They did say they would never go to 157 but they also said that about 275, so we'll see.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I don't know any company that says "they would never" so that's ballsy. Lots of "we're always evaluating new things and seeing where they go" or equivalent. 

I can't see them being a driver of SB-157 though given their past efforts at narrowing rear ends on bikes.

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just6979
Justin White
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yup. If I went smaller than 32t ring on my Stumpy, pretty sure the chain would actually touch the chainstay guard when in the 10t cog.

"Can we go back to 135?"

Not unless it also comes with 12mm or bigger thru-axles. Maybe it's just newer materials and frame tech, but I have way less tire rubbing on the seat stays ever since I got bike with a 148x12 thru-axle vs 135x10 with QR dropouts, even with a crazy snug thru-bolt on the 135.

Unless by "135" you actually mean 142x12 thru-axle, which is the same OLD as 135 QR and most 135 hubs are easily adapted with just end caps.

That said, I think my Boost 148 wheels (all 28 spoke) have been holding up a bit better than my older 135 wheels (all 32 spoke) did, even with less spokes, so the "strength from wideness" thing might have some merit, especially for big riders who ride heavy/smashy.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Maybe you need an STFU JDub?

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LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

not a fan of the looks and how it's held on with zip ties.  Most frustrating thing is spending lots of $ on some sweet carbon wheels that you want to keep for a long time and in 2 years?  Just another way to sell moar bikes and stuff.  Gotta keep the machine going...

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FlipSide
FlipSide
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Hummm, great timing for this article. I am currently building a Honzo ESD from the frame up. The plan is to use an 11sp 10/42 cassette with an 28t chainring. I was just about to buy a Boost XT crankset (simply because it's a Boost frame), but reading this article makes me think the non-Boost 52mm chainline crankset is probably the best option for me. 

- I think the 28t chainring should rule out potential chainring/chainstay interference? 

- I don't plan on running a tire larger than 2.6, so the non-Boost chainline should be fine. 

- I also rarely use the smaller cogs on my cassette.

- Using a chainline more inward should reduce the wear on my expensive XX1 cassette.

Did I get that right? If so, I don't see any reason to get a Boost crankset. Thanks!

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 FlipSide Martin

Technically Shimano 52mm and 55mm are both Boost-148 (hence this article). The 55mm uses a longer spindle.

Assuming you’re looking at Shimano for the 24mm steel spindle? If you’re open to suggestions, RaceFace Aeffect R is excellent and Cinch doesn’t require a new tool to swap rings (old Isis BB tool). Then your chainline comes from the ring and depending on size you could buy a 52mm but with smaller rings your ESD may clear a 49mm for a straighter chain in your big cogs (what WAO is doing essentially).

If you’re married to Shimano, yes get the 52mm setup.

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FlipSide
FlipSide
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Thanks!

Not married to Shimano at all. It's just that the only cranksets I've owned that I've ever really loved were the Middleburn RS7 (ISIS) and the old Shimano XT (Octalink). All the other RaceFace and SRAM cranksets I've had were OK, but I did not *love* them. I thought of going back to Shimano this time around. 

I'll check the RaceFace. It's true that changing the ring only is a better solution than changing the whole crankset if I want to play with the chainline. Thanks!

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 FlipSide Martin

Aeffect R doesn't have the bearing tension adjustment that the 30mm cranks have (or Shimano has) but I've never had an issue with their washer system. They're nicely made, not expensive, and not super heavy. Plus the only cranks that have more aftermarket options for chainrings are SRAM 3-bolt. Cheers!

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kperras
Kenneth Perras
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

To give some insider perspective, a 55mm CL gives us more room to package competing design elements such as internal cable routing, stiffer CS yoke and MP designs, and 2.6 aggressive treaded tires with enough clearance to the frame. At the same time we have to balance this with heel clearance, and preferable Q-factors. Crankarms are also shaped to avoid ankle and shoe contact. It's all really tight down there so some breathing room is nice to have.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Todd Hellinga

I understand why frame designers are hot for the 55mm chainline - that's why I'm positive it's going to catch on. 

What year do you think you'll be moving to a Super Boost-157 hub spacing? 2024 probably at this point? Maybe 2025? Sorry if that's too cheeky.

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LWK
LWK
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Martin

but... surely these sort of things are not magically new design parameters and should have been well known - or at least could have been anticipated - when boost rained down upon us?  If yes, then why did almost all manufacturers jump on boost instead of staying 142 or going to 157?  Bike "design and development" is a bit of an oxymoron...

and thx, there is no where else in MTB media land that would dare offer this sort of critical and practical article (along with the informative comments - I've learned more about chainline than I ever cared to!)

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LWK
LWK
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

alexdi
Alex D
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

This circles back to the 'why do we need 12' question. Box's 9-speed from a few years ago was a nice alternative, though too pricey relative to Shimano. Advent 9 doesn't quite have the range. ZTTO does. They've got a steel 9-speed HG 11-50 for under $50. Pair with the Advent X derailleur and shifter ($100) or Sunrace M900 and M903 shifter ($60) and you could have a great chainline for relative peanuts.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Yeah... I was back and forth and now thinking I should have labeled this as Does The Future Have Fewer Gears VIII. It's a nice reminder of how many options are showing up in drivetrain land too.

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skooks
Skooks
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I agree that the chainline on most 157mm hub bikes is less than optimal. I mitigated this as much as possible by spacing my chainring inboard by swapping around BB spacers, and my cassette outboard by removing 1 cog and using it as a spacer. My 11speed Shimano 11-46 is now 10-speed, which is plenty for me (hope the HG standard sticks around for a long time).

Other than chainline, I have zero issues with 157. I get less heel-rub than I did on my previous 142mm bike, and I see no other downsides.  In fact I went all-in and bought a 157 HT to compliment my 157 fully.  Next bike will likely be 157 as well for wheel compatibility, but I would still consider bikes with 148 hub spacing if there were other performance benefits.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I don’t have big feet so the clearance that bothers me with super-wide back ends is trail clearance. I’m in the camp that thought Specialized had the right idea experimenting with narrower rear hubs on their DH bikes.

You can probably run a 52mm chainline on your bikes a la We Are One? 

At the end of the day this is all a conversation intended to entertain and inform. Certainly not telling anyone not to love their bikes!

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D_C_
DMVancouver
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

What makes you think there’s any incentive for bike brands not to stick with the garbage chainline of 55 mm/Boost 148? I mean, trunnion shock mounts are everywhere, which really only make life easier for the bike designer. They’ll switch to 157 axle only if they think it will sell more bikes. Consumer demand has to be there.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 DMVancouver

Consumer demand - or blowback - is real. Most folks don't have an opinion on Trunnion mount and it makes bike design easier so it's survived. That said, I've talked to an increasing number of people who won't buy another Trunnion bike, so maybe it's on a slow burn towards death? 

Other products like Giant OverDrive die so fast I can imagine there's a deep hole somewhere full of 1.5"-1-1/4" CSUs like an Atari dumpsite. In that big ass 50-52t cog the chainline on Boost-148 / 52mm bikes is bad enough that, when I was turning wrenches, I had customers mention it (because they were pedaling 32x50/52t all the time) who had other bike issues like completely blown-sloppy main pivot bearings and loose lock-on grips. As much as a surprising (to me) number of people apparently have no issues with 52mm there are enough people who do notice it that I really feel the blowback from 55mm chainlines will be real. 

Will it take a hundred years for popular opinion to turn and pressure to arrive to the manufacturers - like how Fox is putting real energy into eliminating creaking crown steerer units now or will it change as fast as OverDrive? I don't have that answer. But I think it's going to be much easier to spread the hub spacing out than to give up real estate in the BB area, hence my prediction that SB-157 will be coming en masse.

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tehllama42
Tehllama42
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Also have to accept people's willingness to just flex some stuff 6mm to cram stuff into places it isn't supposed to go on paper.

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skooks
Skooks
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Why the hate on trunnion shocks Andrew? I don't go through bearings any faster than I used to replace DU bushings.  I suspect most issues are caused by flexy linkages and poor frame alignment.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 DMVancouver

Issues with flexy linkages and frame alignment aren't new to Trunnion but, in my experience, the % of write-off-quality shocks coming from Trunnion mount bikes is significantly higher than those using standard eyelets. 

DU bushings act like the proverbial canary in the coalmine. Bad alignment, crazy frame flex, even poor suspension designs will EAT DU bushings, and sometimes hardware, but only the least discerning rider won't notice the slop/noise/etc. 

With Trunnion, when the bearings are toast (and I haven't seen a bike no matter what design, quality of alignment, quality of bearings where folks notice their Trunnion bearings are toast) whether that's indexing or half-seized all kinds of bonus loads are transferred into the shock. So now the number of shocks that need air cans, bodies, and shafts at their 100hr service interval has gone from minimal to shocking. 

------

Every time that I express derision about Trunnion, I get responses from folks (who own Trunnion bikes) telling me that in their experience Trunnion is great or simply that I'm wrong. So I've devised a two-part test to prove my point.

1) Un-bolt your shock and see if your Trunnion bearings still spin nicely. Even if you replaced them last week. That makes most people go "ohhhhhh" because if the bearing doesn't rotate the shock is taking loads it's not meant to. 

2) Corner a bike mechanic whose opinion you trust, preferably one from a high-volume mountain bike shop, and ask them what they think of Trunnion mount. The only positive opinion I've come across from an experienced wrench is that there's a lot more money to be made (parts and labour) installing two bearings than there is replacing a DU bushing. 

One of the highlights of the last shop I turned wrenches at part-time was the almost-lack of Trunnion mount.

------

Bonus step. When you have the shock unbolted remove the rear wheel and cycle/wiggle the rear end to check for sloppy and seized bearings. Crazy how many people also have blown pivot bearings they didn't know about because the rear wheel and shock were holding everything together. 

It's often the reason for broken hub axles and premature hub-bearing wear.

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D_C_
DMVancouver
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

@Skooks, in addition to was Andrew M said, this video from Steve at Vorsprung makes a good case against trunnion: https://youtu.be/I9Lpxj9zVis

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skooks
Skooks
5 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

That was excellent, thanks for the link!

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papa44
papa44
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Such a good article, one of your older deep dives swayed me to sick with my 10sp short cage zee mech and a 30 (soon heading for 28) tooth chainring. I’m on a hardtail but having not long swapped from rigid single speed (preach brother) to front boing to see what the fuss is about I can honestly say I have no need for the sort of range 12sp gives you. Who pedals downhill? Not old fellas like myself anyway.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 doodersonmcbroseph

I'm of the opinion that the 10/11 Zee Clutch derailleurs are the pinnacle of Shimano's mountain bike drivetrains. The mix of quality, durability, performance, and price is unmatched throughout their lineup from Deore to XTR. 

Grab an extra set of pulley wheels and be sure to lube the clutch at least once a year and that derailleur will outlast anything hour for hour, dollar for dollar. 

If you ever have a chance to pick up a 10spd XTR shifter for a good price (new or used) the XTR/Zee combo is magical.

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skooks
Skooks
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Yeah I think the Zee/saint were peak derailleur. I still have a couple in the bin. Has anyone tried one with a Shimano 11-speed cassette and shifter? I might have to do some experimenting.

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tehllama42
Tehllama42
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Me, still running 12x142mm with carbon rims: "Hmm... great read. I should go ride my bike"

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Amen.

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heathen
Heathen
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

@andrewmajor

I am a bit perplexed when it comes to chainline. My 2021 Transition Scout has a 148 boost rear hub with a 52mm chainline. If I am understanding this correctly, a 52mm chainline would move the chain more inboard so there would be less chain deflection in the larger cogs. Making it run smoother and quiter in the larger cogs. I am understanding this correctly?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Totally correct. Boost-148 / 52mm is the Boost standard. These new bikes move the chainline outboard 3mm (55mm) for significantly more deflection in the largest cogs.

[Super Boost-157 is spec with a 56.5mm chainline. So the chainring is only another 1.5mm outboard (v. 55mm) even though the cassette is moved out 4.5mm. Many riders are already having good experiences running SB-157 with the ring moved inboard. WAO is moving theirs in to 52mm (same as your Transition but the cassette is moved out 4.5mm)]

I prefer to run a 49mm chainline with Boost-148 when possible (clearance) since that gives me a straighter chainline in the highest torque gears.

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heathen
Heathen
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

To get the 49mm chain line with boost are you running a non boost ring?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Exactly. With most direct mount cranksets it's the pretty straightforward case of just ordering a chainring. Some frames will not clear the inset ring, and some frames will only clear it if you go smaller at the same time. So you'll have to 'measure' (I've had 100% success closing one eye and guesstimating what will fit - so while I measure bearings with a caliper, I eyeball chainring clearance - YMMV).

I bought a couple of (round) NSBillet SRAM 3-Bolt rings that I keep on hand for playing around with test bikes. I generally prefer an oval for riding with flat pedals (particularly on my single speed, but on multi-speed bikes as well) but the round rings are simpler to manage for this process.

I don't think Transition has a minimum chainring size but it may be worth confirming as it's a thing with some frames - usually carbon ones.

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maiste
maiste
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Do not forget that there is another 148 standard, the EVO6 by Syntace

This standard consist of widening the hub by 6 mm only on the drive-side as opposed to the Boost that widened the hub on both sides by 3 mm each.

The EVO6 is a better standard than the Boost. Some gains are a noticeably stiffer and more durable rear wheel and a better chain-line.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Syntace has always had some very cool ideas. I mean, they even made a solid attempt at a universal derailleur hanger long before UDH (that a lot of companies adopted).

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geraldooka
Michael
5 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

So I currently have 2 "ancient" Knolly Endorphins with 142mm rear ends running i30mm rims and chubby 2.6 rubber with zero chainline or tire rubbing issues. This on a bike with a 427mm chainstay length... From a company that now pushes super whatever... My Krampus runs i45mm rims and true 3" wide rubber has a GASP 135mm rear end and a 446mm chainstay and has no rubbing or chainline issues... How can any manufacturer make claims of superior performance of these newer standards when it is clearly possible to design and build bikes to these old ones? Its such a crock or is that crook...

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Westcoastswede
Westcoastswede
5 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

Great article Andrew. 

Although new bike day is now not so joyful! 😆 

After drinking all the Enduro cool aid, I ended up with both the 55 CL and the Trunnion mount. Score! 

I have a new 28t chainring installed for a better chainline, a set of Karvers rubber protections on the way and will keep an eye on those bearings… 

One thing that bothers me though, is after going over all of the Internett, i found no tester, reviewers, bike checker or podcast mention this problem with the chainline. Well, before you did. Surely this is something you should pick up relatively quick?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 4 weeks ago
0

Good call on the 28t to improve your chainline and hopefully so you find yourself using more of your cassette on climbs. 

Stay on top of those trunnion-mount bearings and make sure that you get your first shock service down within the warranty period against defects in manufacturing and materials. With many brands, you'll still be paying for the service you'd be paying for anyway (regardless of what they say in their literature, I'd recommend a full service every 100hrs/yearly for most suspension products) but many brands will cover - or crash replace - other damaged parts if there are any. 

I don't know what to say re. chainline reporting. I suppose in areas that are less pedal-and-plunge riders are spending less time in the low gear? Also, until recently, I was still working in a shop part-time - turning wrenches - so I may have a more grounded sense of the local average-fitness mountain biker's off-road experience? I can't speak for anyone else's process, but I look at every bike and component from the perspective that I had to spend my own money on it, so things like premature chain wear from unnecessarily shitty chainlines piss me off.

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Westcoastswede
Westcoastswede
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Yeah, I stopped wrenching some ten years ago before Trunnion and 12spd were a thing. 

I’ll go over everything when I do the aircan services. 

I just find it weird than testers over at PB, Vital, Bike/Beta and others never mentions this design flaw. 

Over here it’s mostly hike a bike so I rarely wear out my drivetrain, but I fully agree on the shitty drivetrain

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I know this is beating around the bush but…

Fox 2013 CTD forks were legendarily bad… in 2014.

I don’t have any insider knowledge on their development but I’ll say this: I rode a 2012 Float air system with a 2013 damper and it was okay. I rode a 2013 air system with a 2012 RLC damper and it was good. My 2+2 assessment is the damper and air system were developed separately using the opposing 2012 component and then combined at the last moment.

My fork was so brutal that I ended up buying an Avalanche damper. Holy crap was it brilliant combined with the ‘13 air system.

I didn’t write about bikes then, and I was surprised that I was one of a few folks having issues (North Shore issue?). With smaller wheels the FIT RC2 dampers were an option (and awesome) but riding a 29’er the 34 was The Fork and there was no RC2 option.

When Fox released 2014 CTD it was so much improved and the check-valve update made a night-and-day performance difference if you owned a 2013 CTD FIT.

All of a sudden everywhere on the internet people were crushing keys talking about how shite the ‘13 dampers were. It would have been enough to make me a cynic if I hadn’t maxed that stat out years before.

Certainly I suspect when we are boiled into Super Boost these chainline issues will be presented, all over the internet, as a key reason we should serenely swallow the new standard. Then we two can remind each other of this conversation.

Cheers,

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Westcoastswede
Westcoastswede
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Could not agree more. Talk to you in model year 2024 then…

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BertBC
Albert Steward
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

craw
Cr4w
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

martin
Martin
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I have a 9x135mm 26" QR hardtail, a 12x148mm 29" 160mm travel FS and a 9x170mm rigid fat bike. Go figure, I don't notice stiffness issues unless I really think about it, and I have to think about it really hard since I don't ever remember it being an issue at all. 

But I properly build and tension all my wheels and I am of average weight. My 26" 12x150mm Shore with 26" DH wheels probably felt "stiffer" comparatively (I don't remember), but the added compliance of the larger 29" hoops on my newest bike would probably feel nicer on the trail if I could test them both side to side.

Engineers control flex in the frames (ex: see the latest Commencal Supreme prototype with their variable stiffness rear triangle arches), people de-tension their wheels for more compliance in DH racing, and yet we would need stiffer wheels than what 12x148mm offers ? If that's not a manifestation of wanting to change to sell more bikes and parts then I don't know what it is.

2 years ago, I asked Wolf Tooth if they were making a -3mm chain ring  (6mm offset) to get a 52mm chainline on boost 55mm XT cranks but they only had the regular (3mm offset) Shimano spacing. I got the 55mm version because I wanted a wide Q-factor (WHAT?!), otherwise I'd have preferred the 52mm clainline version. I'm also using 28t chainrings to stay on the center of the cassette as much as possible and have a straighter chainline most of the time.

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tehllama42
Tehllama42
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Good wheel builds on solid rims really can obviate that problem.
If you're only ever riding cheap machine build wheelsets on budget rims, I suspect the difference is bigger.

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LAT
LAT
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I detest trek and will never buy one of their products. I’m sure they don’t care. 

Wide range 10 speed seems like the obvious solution to me. hopefully it will still be around when I need to replace my 11 speed derailleur.

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LAT
LAT
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I detest trek and will never buy one of their products. I’m sure they don’t care. 

Wide range 10 speed seems like the obvious solution to me. hopefully it will still be around when I need to replace my 11 speed derailleur.

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Grizzle
Graham Mattingly
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

To all the Superboost nay-sayers, I pose this question: What is it about 148 spacing and the attendant chainline that makes it good, and 157 bad? I.e. yes, competing standards are certainly annoying, but what if 148 was the mistake, and 157 is the solution? Asking since 157 seems to solve other issues elsewhere on the bike, and people's biggest objection seems to be that their old stuff doesn't fit. To me that's a non argument, because during a period of rapid innovation we would expect that. It's the price we pay for awesome bikes. Is there an engineering or design based reason for 148 vs 157, all else being equal?

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Grizzle
Graham Mattingly
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

To all the Superboost nay-sayers, I pose this question: What is it about 148 spacing and the attendant chainline that makes it good, and 157 bad? I.e. yes, competing standards are certainly annoying, but what if 148 was the mistake, and 157 is the solution? Asking since 157 seems to solve other issues elsewhere on the bike, and people's biggest objection seems to be that their old stuff doesn't fit. To me that's a non argument, because during a period of rapid innovation we would expect that. It's the price we pay for awesome bikes. Is there an engineering or design based reason for 148 vs 157, all else being equal?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I think it’s been covered quite a few times in the comments? Either way,

The main technical issue with Super Boost-157 is trail clearance. I’d rather the rear of my bike was narrower not wider. In this regard I’d rather run 142 than 148 as well.

The Legacy-142 / 49mm chainline, Boost-148 / 52mm chainline, and Super-Boost-157 / 56.5mm chainline are effectively the same. The deeper conversation is about changes to those chain positions. For examples, from the piece, Boost-148 / 55mm. Super-Boost-157 / 52mm. 

SB-157 has also been un-necessary, until, potentially, now, because, as noted, none of the issues it was created to solve (super-short stays, plus tires, front derailleur clearance) exist anymore.

I think the bigger issue is that the vast majority of bikes are Boost-148 and there was no reason for any of them to be wider. I clearly think 55mm chainlines change that, and if bikes are going to 55mm en masse then SB-157 will eventually be the standard.

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Grizzle
Graham Mattingly
5 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I don't think its been adequately covered at all. While I can't read every comment in a section this long, most of what I can see are arguments related to componentry and convenience, and not engineering or bike design. I see a lot of "my old bike is still good, so nothing new should happen that conflicts with the bike I really like". There are even some who own Knollys and argue that 142mm axles are fine. Because Noel Buckley doesn't know how to make a bike frame... [facepalm].

My Evil Following V3 disagrees with the position that SB157 doesn't solve anything. That model would not be the excellent bike it is without that standard. And it most certainly is not the only one. Can you design a good frame within the confines of 148 spacing? Of course, Rocky, Specialized, Santa Cruz etc. do just fine. But plenty of newer bikes would have to make some sort of compromise, exemplified in the Following V2 that preceded my frame, known for abysmal tire clearance. While you posit that the majority of existing 148 bike do not need to be wider, that ignores the emerging possibilities afforded to frame designers by having a bigger sandbox to play in. SB157 does not confine any of them, whereas 148 makes some design difficult.

Beyond convenience with existing parts, which is a less and less valid argument in the context of rapidly changing bike design, its hard not to see 148 as the "faster horse" that Henry Ford's customers wanted.

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Westcoastswede
Westcoastswede
5 months ago
0

This comment has been removed.

NaOH
Stephen Gaucher
5 months, 3 weeks ago
-4 Zayphod impressedbyyourwokeness Cr4w RNAYEL Velocipedestrian nothingfuture Paul Stuart IslandLife Morgan Heater blackhat Spencer Nelson Robby

This article makes me feel like I'm head injured.  Something like 2000 words and my takeaways are that there are three tiny shitty companies making bikes in Super Boost that nobody cares about, but if you're riding a bike with a 148mm rear end then it's a miracle you haven't died yet you fucking hack idiot.  Meanwhile I can backpedal all day in the 50T on my Scout with nary a peep so is it magic or what?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+8 Niels van Kampenhout IslandLife Morgan Heater Metacomet khai Mammal blackhat ManInSteel

I'm sorry you didn't find it entertaining and/or informative. Thanks for reading anyways. Don't think I mentioned anything about backpedaling, or about dying, but I agree derailment is not an issue with ShiRAMano 12spd setups. At least it isn't with 52mm chainlines. 

A couple of things to consider about your Scout.

  • It uses a 52mm Chainline with Boost-148. Not the 55mm that I've noted in this piece some massive bike companies (Trek/Scott) are adopting this year. If companies stuck with a 52mm chainline I think Super Boost-157 would have eventually died a well-deserved death. To the best of my knowledge, Transition is not moving to a 55mm chainline. 

  • Transition has historically been great about choosing to spec more every-person gearing with their Eagle drivetrains. For example, 30t chainrings where many other companies spec 34t. This means that most, or at least more, riders are using the aluminum 50t gear as a bailout option.

Cheers,

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NaOH
Stephen Gaucher
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+5 Andrew Major IslandLife khai Reed Holden Mammal

Andrew, I should probably have workshopped this comment a little more.  Your article elicited a reply so it was more engaging than about 99% of the internet content I consume.  Apologies for coming off like an asshole.

I see that yes, Transition lists the Scout (and the Spire I have on order to replace it) as having a 52mm chainline, and I think I understand what that means, that there is 52mm from the centerline of the bike to the "ideal" chain position which should line up with where the chainring lives, and should somewhat correspond to the midline of the cassette, is that right?  If that's true, is there in fact still benefits to be gained by running a higher-offset chainring to get something like a 49mm chainline?  Wolf Tooth seems to indicate that 49-50mm is the actual ideal chainline for boost...

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+3 IslandLife Mammal ManInSteel

No stress & thank you,

Exactly! I don't want to pass it off as my original idea - plenty of other riders have been doing the same since the advent of 1x and as you note Wolf Tooth recommends it as well - but by moving your chainring inboard (closer to centre) you will get a much straighter chain in your highest torque gears which means less drivetrain wear for those of us grinding up hills in our low gears. To boot, on most 12-spd drivetrains I've ridden the difference in noise and drag in the 1-2 biggest cogs is a nice added benefit. 

Often in order to get it to clear you have to downsize your chainring at the same time (even then some frames will not clear the more inboard setup) but I think (and even as really fit a guy as Deniz noted) most riders - at least locally - would be happier with a 28t ring anyways. 

The easy way to visualize it is to put your chain in your biggest cog and look from the back and see how the chain contorts. Now shift down one gear and look again. Moving the chainring inboard 3mm has a similar benefit. 

------

On my own bikes - when using an HG driver - I go as far as removing 1-2 cogs from the high end of the cassette and spacing the cassette outboard. 

This is my wheel on the Chameleon MX (52mm / Boost-148). The difference in noise and efficiency between this setup and the stock cassette/chainline is surprisingly excellent.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
5 months, 3 weeks ago
0

From my Banshee Titan review:

This is a sweet 28t / 64BCD chainring from North Shore Billet that creates a 49mm chainline with 'old' 104/64 cranks (or in my case, a RaceFace Cinch Spider) mated to the same 8-spd (10-spd) cassette as on the Chameleon which is spaced over as well. The chain works great in all the gears and chainline is beautiful (yeah, nerd) in the low gears. 

28/36t is the low gear. 

I ran the same drivetrain on my SB104 BBR project bike as well with this sweet Blackspire Grannie God (104BCD bash designed to protect - and hide - the little 28t):

Cheers!

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DanL
DanL
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer

I ended up buying a 28T due to supply chain issues instead of my usual 30t (which was based on not being sneered at, haha). But then a funny thing happened -  I noticed my straighter than usual chainline (on a Knolly as well)  and the fact that I was using more of the cogs I had paid for on my cassette with a nicer range of usage. And then again due to supply chain issues, I ended up buying a E13 trs+ 12spd cassette that I can replace those big cogs on and it's XD compatible. Serendipity worked out for the better this time.

Hexsense
Chavit Denninnart
5 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Chris Killer

Just take a look on the road side.

Road doesn't really need wide tire but they care a lot about pedaling efficiency.

The most common standard is 45mm chain line for 142mm rear spacing.

Interpolate that to 148mm rear then we should have 45+3=48mm chainline?

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