Friday, March 09, 2012

Fight! Fight!

Ultegra 11-28 and Tiagra 12-30

Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Tonight, the much anticipated match-up between Shimano brothers.

On the left, Ultegra, weighing in at 242 grams with a reach of 11-28 and on the right, it's weightier brother, weighing in a whopping 329 grams and an amazing reach of 12-30 is Tiagra.

In this contest we'll see just how much that 87 gram (3.06883469 ounces for you Americans) matters on a bicycle. Though Tiagra surely weighs more, there's the matter of teeth to take into consideration. That 12 tooth vs 13 tooth high end likely won't matter with a 52 tooth chain wheel, so we'll call that a draw for now. But on the low end, where the real contest will take place, that 30 vs 28 may make all the difference when the hills hit 12 and 15 percent.

Is it better to be low, or light? How much will that 3 ounces matter, or, put another way,  will 24.5 vs 26.25 gear-inches make up for that 3 ounces? Both combatants will be paired with a 52-39-30 support staff and a long-cage derailer in their corners. Settling this contest is why we meet here tonight.

This fight promises to be a rough one, with trash talk even appearing on the Tiagra Box, placed there no doubt by Ultegra fans. Since both lads are looking at double centuries, Tiagra faithful ask "How can Ultegra characterize Tiagra in such a dismissive manner? It's just BS coming from a lighter sibling" Ultegra fans just continued their chant "Fat! Fat! Fat!"

Insulting gear box

We'll be back right after a word from our sponsors with tonight's featured match, and find out what Sierra Road near San Jose has to say.

1 comment:

  1. Juan Jose Cobo won the 2011 Vuelta a Espana using a 50/34 crank and an 11-32 cassette during 3 back to back brutal day of climbing. Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome on Skye had harder gears and wilted on the decisive day of double digit grades.

    Proving once and for all the real men use low gears.

    Winning a Grand Tour is kind of a knock out blow.
    Spin to Win!!!

    Tech Blunder of the Year: Sky’s gear choice on the Angliru

    On a climb famed for breaking legs with extremely steep, sustained pitches, Team Sky got it wrong when it came to gearing for the climb up the Angliru at the 2011 Vuelta a EspaƱa.

    Part of this was due to a lack of preparation, and part of it was due to equipment choices by two of its top riders, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. The team’s use of Osymetric chainrings made it impossible to achieve gearing similar to stage (and eventual overall) winner Juanjo Cobo.

    Cobo rode a 34×32 (28.3 gear inches) setup, and while both Froome and Wiggins also rode a 32-tooth cog, they matched it with a 38-tooth chainring. The resulting 31.6 gear inches wasn’t quite low enough for the British pair.

    Because of the exaggerated shape of the Osymetric rings, the smallest size that will fit on a 110mm (compact) crank is 38. At top dead center, Osymetric claims its 38 feels like a 35, but between 1 and 5 o’clock it feels more like a 41-tooth ring.

    Froome said after the fact that “we could have used smaller gears yesterday. Even with different gearing, it’s never going to be easy when it’s 23 percent. We hadn’t seen the climb before, but all the guys were talking about it.”

    As it was, both Sky riders struggled the most on the steepest pitches of the Angrilu. On a day where seconds mattered in the overall, this small difference influenced the order of the final podium. Cobo finished the race 13 seconds ahead of Froome, which included the 20-second time bonus Cobo took atop the Angrilu.


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