This is a bit of a bike nerdy post so most readers can probably go and do something else, maybe go and find some drying paint or something… I’ve been running Dura-Ace track cogs on my TT bike.. they’re very round which is great for achieving consistent chain tension but I do find they’re quite noisy until well worn.. an event I have insufficient patience to wait for .. so having been impressed by the smooth running of the selection of Euro-Asia Imports cogs on other bikes I forked out for a titanium nitride coated Gold Medal Pro for my TT machine. As track cogs go quite spendy at around £65… but still cheaper than a decent cassette for a geared machine and the coating means that a) it will last pretty much forever, especially on a TT bike that only does a few hundred miles each year, and b) combined with the tooth profiling it runs extremely quietly. I decided I’m never likely to run anything smaller or larger than a 14T cog, at the sort of chainring sizes I’m using it’s too big a jump in gearing, instead I can fine tune my gearing for different courses and conditions much more effectively with a selection of chainrings from 52 to 57 teeth.. which I already have. I tried it out during the ’50’ on Sunday.. it really does run very much more smoothly than the Dura Ace sprocket it replaced.. and in terms of efficiency I expect makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.. but it is very pretty so in all respects money well spent I reckon… Having fitted it though I did immediately notice one significant drawback.. at 14T it is too small for any audience to be able to appreciate its shiny goldness behind the chunky dropouts on my Isaac.. oh well.
The 50 went really well, never having done a 50 on a fixed wheel TT machine I was quite keen to get some sort of baseline as regards suitable gearing and so on to work from in future. The course used, S100/50 is quite hard with the westerly bound leg generally uphill with a steep climb to the turn. On Sunday the wind was blowing from the west so the outbound leg was quite ‘stiff’.. I reckon my gearing choice of 55 x 14 was pretty close to spot on, the third and last time up the climb my legs were just about done and it was the most I could do just to keep the pedals turning.. but with the final 10 miles or so with a tailwind and slight downhill trend that didn’t matter too much… only the final mile was back into wind and especially hurty by then. I might have been marginally better off with a 54T ring for slightly easier spinning on the west-bound leg without losing too much on the faster return leg but I don’t think my time suffered too much and I was well happy with a time of 1hr 54m for the 50 miles, putting me in 6th place of a class field of 41 riders (all geared of course.. although the fact that the winning time was an incredible 1:46:30 perhaps puts my efforts in perspective… one of those rides that makes you wonder “how…?”! I might have been a bit quicker on the day with gears, don’t know… don’t really care, it’s not my primary reason for doing it, I’m just having a good time. It was a terrific event promoted by the One & All Cycling Club and well worth getting up at 4.30am for…. back in the spring when I decided to do a few TTs again for a bit of fun, and the social side especially, I somehow forgot about the early starts… I had also forgotten just how much a 50 hurts… but absolutely awesome for feeling like your bike is getting a proper leg-stretching to the fantastic soundtrack of wind and carbon wheels on smooth asphalt :-)