Compact Gearing Nov 15, 2009

While I was waiting for Luke this morning to shoot some lines for Empire, I ran into Alan from CyclingWMD. He was riding his freshly-built Nagasawa decked out with a Shimano Dura Ace 10-pitch drivetrain.

Having recently just went to a 36t Sprocket, It was kinda cool to see the two bikes side-by-side with their mini rings. With a 13t Dura Ace cog on the back, it’s actually a pretty good gear. It gives you a ratio of 2.769 and with 38c tires, it’s comparable to 42:15 or 48:17.

10-pitch was a solution Dura Ace came up with to save weight and allow for more direct power. It required a proprietary cog, chainring, bcd and chain. Finding these in such good condition is a tough task, but obviously Alan is up to the challenge. Dude just exudes rare bike porn.

Alan with his Nagasawa. Check out some pics of his build over at CyclingWMD.

Good seeing you man!

Copper-Plated Tree Lite Sprocket pt.2
Cycling WMD’s Nagasawa

  • jnd

    remember with smaller gearing you up chain wear and tear do to higher torque. Ive seen mini micro teensy weensy bmx gearing’s snap chains first hand.

    just an observation

  • prolly

    Correct. With 1/8″ pitch chains and compact gearing, especially fixed, they will wear a lot faster. I don’t plan on keeping 36:13 forever, but I’ll ride it this winter. I usually wear out a 16t cog every 3 months. The 13t will probably wear out after 2.

  • Ben

    Plus it looks freaking stupid on a track bike. That Nagasawa blatantly looks wrong, not just by purists standards, proportion wise… BMX’s run compact gearing for a reason, it’s out the way on grinds etc, which is an irrelevancy for fixed, “freestyle” setups.

  • Max

    It’s not just wearing… you are basically risking your lift every time you stand up and push hard. I’m not worried about the chainring (woot Tree) and cog, but that 710SL, although it has been my chain of choice for my BMX FOREVER, will most likely snap sooner than you expect.

    After all, a hallow pin can only take so much impact, and fixed totally rapes chains from the start.

  • nick

    compact fixed-gearing? now i have heard it all.

  • prolly

    I know plenty of people who ride a 36:13 and have had 0 issues with it. I also have ridden those chains for years with again, 0 issues. I’m not grinding on it and I always keep a watchful eye on my bikes. Everyone of them. Road, Track or fixed.

    Ben, I agree. Compact gearing (i.e. 10-pitch) on track bikes does look a little off. But remember, keirin bikes are usually smaller and Dura Ace was trying to save weight and produce more power at the drivetrain.

    (click and see full size)

    My Merckx track has a 53:18 (big-ass ring) and it’s a big-ass bike (62cm) so it looks proportioned. I’m still not “sold” on the compact gearing on my Bruiser, but for now, I like the way it feels (which isn’t that much different from a 42:16).

    Anyway, thanks for the commentary.

  • Jussi

    I agree with Ben, who cares how damn rare the DA10 Pitch is when it just looks plain wack on a track bike. Geeks and aesthetics…

  • ntlsteven

    S&M had a concept bike with a smaller pitch chain and drive-train to better deal with stress and wear of micro.

  • radam

    I’ve been running 36×13 and 34×12 on my bareknuckle for a couple of years now. People always talk about wear on gearing but I just don’t see it as a big issue. I run my chain tight and i ride almost every day (mostly commute). Yes i do come from a bmx background and that’s where i got the idea. I just makes sense to me, less material less weight. And personally i think it looks awesome. Haven’t had any issues with wear on my sprockets or cogs. I’ve been riding Milwaukee cogs and profile bmx 110mm sprockets, on my sugino 110 rd cranks. I haven’t had any issues w my chain yet either. I am running a mechanik half link hollow track chain and it has been the tits.

  • radam

  • CyclingWMD

    Not sure what’s up with the hating on the DA10! Shit is so rad!! It was built for Keirin racing etc as Prolly stated soooo why not get yo geek awn?! In any case, the rarity and aesthetics of the group aren’t as big a deal to me as actually being able to ride it to see how it differs from the standard. I was always so curious about that when I first heard about it. After putting a hundred or so miles on the bike I have to say, it def has a different feel to it. It seems to spins much faster. Which I’m assuming has something to do with the smaller circumference of the gearing despite being 48/16. I have a 14T cog but I’m going to try and find a 15T one first. In any case, I dig it and it rolls all types of wicked smoove. 17.8 lbs as is too :) Nice bumping into you YET AGAIN Prolls. Thanks for the mention!

  • Morgan Taylor

    You can’t quite say zero issues reported with the 710SL chain. I had it on my BMX from on the original build with all brand new parts. Perfect chain line on 25/9 gearing. I broke the chain twice and decided from then on it was not worth the smashed knee I got both times. I also know lots of people that ride them, but what’s the point? How much less does it actually weigh?