I interspaced the pics of my bike with the pics from that refurbed 400 that look so nice. I need to get a real camera but the truth is, the bike isn’t that far off and is in good shape…
Strange thing about it – it has an oblong chainring made by a company called Ovaltech…? A brief glance through the forums shows people actually like them alot, and evidently Sheldon Brown does too but haven’t found where he says that myself yet. So I dunno – maybe this is a good thing.
Edit: Found it
“What Are They Good For?
“Biopace chainwheels are particularly suitable for touring cyclists and time trialists, or any application that involves a steady, fairly constant cadence. They allow healthy, efficient pedaling at slower cadences than is possible with round chainwheels. They are especially suitable for triathletes and mountain bikers. The triathlete benefits because the motion is a little bit closer to that of running, making the transition easier.
“The mountain biker particularly benefits, because the Biopace design somewhat smooths out the delivery of power to the rear wheel. In climbing on loose surfaces, the limiting factor is often traction. The rear wheel tends to break loose during the maximum power phase of the pedal stroke, wasting most of the cyclist’s energy. The Biopace chainwheel works like a storage device, storing power during the main power phase of the stroke as the feet accelerate, then delivering the stored power to the rear wheel during the “dead center” phase when the cranks are near vertical. The same average amount of power is delivered to the rear wheel, but in a smoother, less pulsating flow. All the energy is used to propel the bike forward, without the high-power peaks spinning the rear tire or causing the bike to “wheelie.”
“Biopace chainwheels were made by Shimano and were also made under license by some other manufacturers. The shape of genuine Biopace chainwheels is not a simple ellipse, but a more complicated shape which Shimano describes as a”point-symmetric egg curve.” Other crankset makers have made similar designs, generally of simpler shape (pure elliptical) but oriented in a similar manner to Biopace chainwheels. ***Examples are SR’s “Ovaltech”*** and Sugino’s “Cycloid.”
*** Ed Note: Thats what I have – an elliptical oval shaped chain ring.
“Non-round chainwheels remain controversial, especially among racers who think that everyone should ride racing bikes, but, in my opinion, they are of real value for the vast majority of non-racing cyclists.
Unfortunately, this useful option has become all-but-extinct.”
So I guess that answers that.