Just revisiting this VeloNews article with maybe a little different nuance. In case you missed it, here is the money shot:
This takes me way, WAY back to when I first got the cross-chaining dataset from Jason. Then as now there was some banter back and forth but the thing that stuck in my head was, ‘Hey, bigger gears are more efficient in a chain driven system.’ When I say bigger gears I mean physically bigger cogs and chainrings. Add up the teeth on the cog plus the teeth on the gear. More teeth=bigger=more efficient. And not just a little bit, either. Materially more efficient.
Look at the chart above. Consider the red 48x18 circle and the blue 53x19 circle. That’s the gear combination that the chain line was adjusted to for this data set…so both the 48x18 data point & the 53x19 data point are taken in a condition that minimized cross-chaining friction losses. There is about 2W difference between those two points…for pretty much the same gear ratio. 2W from the drive train might not sound like much but you’ll pay CeramicSpeed $500 for an oversized pulley system that will give you less benefit than that.
I spent many evenings futzing around with a 1x 60t chainring and miche jr franken cassettes trying to get big chainring/big cassettes to work together but could never find a derailleur/shifter pair with enough chainwrap and the right index to get it to work. If anybody has ever heard of such a setup that works or has actually implemented such a thing…let me know: we’ll talk shop.