Friday, 21 July 2017

The tale of the 52 tooth chain ring

So I bought a Specialized Allez, a 2016 one. An Aluminium one. To basically be my one and only bike.

On paper, I've had better bikes, faster bikes, carbon bikes. Man that Giant TCR, a white one. Every pissing stone chip and paint was missing, that god awful seat post. I mean yeah aerodynamic teardrop seat posts look cool but not once you've over tightened the poxy thing and cracked the paint. Could never get a rear light to sit right on that post either.....PAIN.IN.THE.ASS

I wanted something I could just ride, every day, in every weather that would look good doing it. I don't want disk brakes, at least not until lower end road bikes have hydraulics that don't weigh a kilo each. Plus, I can service rim brakes, yes, even I can service rim brakes.

So the Allez was perfect, this one in fact. That frame finish is a thing of beauty.

Great bike, love it. BUT, Look at the front chain ring, its HUGE. It's a 'Semi Compact' apparently, not quite a standard at 52 teeth but close enough. Initially I thought this would be fine, I could handle it, I'll just smash the flats.

Ow, how wrong I was. Ok, I am a year older than last year but basically, I blame the 52 tooth chain ring for my getting slower. I blame it completely. Rightly or wrongly, I tend to climb in the big ring on all but the steepest climbs, its clearly not that hilly near me. So my climbing has suffered. My legs refuse to commit to climbing pace now, they just instantly start to hurt. My best times on my local segments are 3 years old and I'm not even remotely close to touching them.

So the granny ring is too small and the 52 tooth chain ring is too big. FFS. Why Specialized, Why?

Today, this arrives:

And look at these numbers:

Hooray! A 50 tooth chain ring! I am so excited about having this on my bike. I'm not even near my bike, nor is the new chain ring and still, I'm excited. Even the mission that was finding it, buying it, having it delivered couldn't dampen my excitement. It was close though....

Bit of a double edged sword this one though. I've been using the chain ring as an excuse for a couple of months now, what if I fit it and I still can't climb! No more excuses.

Maybe I'll keep it in the cupboard for a bit, make out I haven't had time to fit it. We'll see.......

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