Ridea Oval Chainring First Look
Saturday morning was wrench time. On my last bike ride, my front brake was squealing like a pig. I knew the pads were just about gone and somehow one brake cylinder had moved out more than the other. After the bike had been washed off the dirt it had collected on Thursday’s wet ride, the front brake got new pads, the cylinders were centered and the brake was bled. Since I had the bleed kit out, I bled the rear brake as well. Everything clean and adjusted, I figured I might just as well do some more wrenching.
I pulled out the oval Ridea chainring I presented in my post last week, and put them on my fat-bike. Using the included spacers, the chainring ended up a tad too close to the chain stay. It had some air, but not quite enough for my liking. When you have a fat-bike with chain stays as short as mine, things around the bottom bracket get a little tight and with the chainline I run, a 32 is just about the maximum chainring size I can run. The Ridea ring grows to a 34, hence the close proximity to the chain stay. Fortunately, I found some chainring spacers in the dresser that houses all my spare parts. They happened to be about half as thick. That half millimeter won, allowed for enough chain stay clearance. Next, I had to file down two of those spacers as their outer diameter was quite a bit larger than the Ridea spacers. With enough material removed, the chain ran cleanly around the chainring. Due to my dresser-picked spacers though, the chain now barely clears two of the spider arms. Once assembled, I tested every gear in the workstand and took the bike around the block. Well, so far so good. Only a trail ride will show if my setup can handle dirt and snow.
Speaking about tightness around the bottom bracket area. Many of the more recent fat-bikes have gone to 190mm rear hubs, 5 inch tires and 120mm crank set axles that can accommodate the wider rear end. I cannot see myself jumping on that bandwagon. A 170mm rear with a 100mm bottom bracket ist about as wide as my hip joints can handle. For pedaling purposes, my body is most comfortable with a narrow Q-factor. My body does okay on my current fat-bike, but it would most likely not do all that okay on an all day adventure. Throw 5 inch tires between my legs, and I’d probably have to saw my pelvis in half to widen it an inch.