Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tamland Updates

Yesterday I made mention of the Ultegra 11 speed chain ring "upgrade" I made to my Tamland Two, (more on that in a minute), but I've got a couple of other tweaks that I've made as well.

First up is the obvious- the Ergon SM-3 saddle. It's white and looks nice on the bike, but the ride is what matters. That will be decided upon later, but this is a saddle I have wanted to try out for awhile. The mtb version is one that agrees with my behind. Hopefully this one should be the same. The seat post was a component I was going to consider swapping out here, and I still may, but for now the groovy little Raleigh branded number on here stays put.

The other components here are the WTB Nano 40's which I am running tubed to get a direct comparison with other tires I have been using. So far they are really good. On dirt they are fantastic, but then that shouldn't be any surprise to those who have run Nanoraptors on their mountain bikes. The gravel performance is quite good. Maybe a bit squirrelly in comparison to the Gravel Grinder tires I am also checking out.  The tires are very comparable to Clement MSO 40's, but for one thing, and that is on hard packed road and pavement. The Nano 40's knobs deflect just enough that they steal a little bit of energy on pavement or hard dirt. I can tell there is a huge gap in speed in comparison to the Gravel Grinder, which rolls much freer on harder surfaces than the Nano 40's do. Again- that shouldn't be a big surprise. The Gravel Grinder has a diamond file tread, which is very minimalistic, and edge knobs for stability/cornering traction, which do not hit the road unless the terrain is loose, sandy, or muddy. Of course, if you lean the bike over, they will contact the ground as well.

The Ugly just got Uglier
Okay, I didn't write anything about this yesterday because I did not have the rings in front of me and I didn't know for certain how they might come apart and reassemble. However; it is apparent to me now that not only is the lack of shaping and machining disappointing on the 46T Ultegra 11 speed ring, but the overall look is simply astoundingly ugly and embarrassing. This goes beyond the color of the metal, this is just a kludge, and a very expensive one at that.

Open Letter To Shimano:

Hello! I purchased a bicycle with Ultegra 6800 11 speed parts which was equipped with a "mid-compact" ring set of 52T-36T. Fortunately I was happy to find that Shimano produced a 46T ring for this FC-6800 crankset which suits me more for my style of riding. Thank you for that choice!

However; the 46T ring, while fitting the BCD of the crank perfectly, does not at all fit the look of this crankset. The asking price of this ring, which is easily twice that of other rings its size for competing crank sets, is such that I would expect a seamless look with my crank arms. Not this travesty of visual presentation, which is so far removed from the look of the 52T ring as to suggest that the ring could not have possibly been designed for this crank set.

May I suggest that it is for reasons exampled by the above- and more- why consumers often have a poor opinion of Shimano cycling products? I cannot fathom how one of Shimano's premier road components could have such poor visual integration which is totally uncharacteristic of Shimano and belies its heritage.

Fortunately I can report that the crankset shifts and functions perfectly, but at the price the ring sold for and due to my high expectations for Shimano Ultegra components I must say that I am extremely dissatisfied with this chain ring and crankset combination. (Ring model FC-6800 46T-MB YIP498050)

Regards,
Guitar Ted

9 comments:

Michael said...

I'm right with you on the shimano chainring. I think the 4 bolt arms look OK, especially with the scultupred chainrings, but that looks a bit cheap and nasty. I really like shimano stuff, but they have missed the boat on this. Interested in the reply from Shimano, if one is received.

shiggy person said...

$23 for the inner ring and $190 for a FLAT outer? Crazy.
Do they ship the 46/36 crankset with the same ugly(er) ring?

Guitar Ted said...

@shiggy person: I don't know if Shimano has shipped a "complete" 46/36T yet. My thoughts are that when they do, it will be a completely different crank set, more in line with the currently offered CX crank sets in ten speed. It probably will match the ring I have now a lot better. I just cannot imagine that this ring and this crankset were ever meant for each other.

shiggy person said...

Seems Shimano is pricing the flat ring as if it were a sculpted ring

Guitar Ted said...

@shiggy person: Agreed. Something isn't right about this, but the ring does work. So at least there is that!

75 miles south said...

"iTain't pretty, but if you want pretty gears, call a watch maker."

Glad it works, and understand the disappointment.

Mosquitos said...

You need the following shimano Chainring bolt : Y1P498090 (which could be provided with the ring considering the price, almost the same as the whole crankset here in japan...)

Guitar Ted said...

@Mosquitoes: Thank you! Those look like the "beauty bits" necessary to give the crankset the similar look to the 52T outer I replaced. I will report back once I have them in hand. Again- Thank You!

Scott Rosenthal said...

Dude, why didn't you sell the crankset and buy the right one from the beginning?

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Ultegra-11-Speed-Crankset-172-5mm/dp/B00CSYS66Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404610786&sr=8-1&keywords=ultegra+6800+crankset

They've been in stock for a couple months at least