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I've been watching TDF.

I've yet to see a rider there using those "anatomic bend" bars that were almost all you could find in the catalogs or shops a while back. I always hated the way they looked and the one time I tried some..I almost had to back up to my bike to get on it...Very awkward looking, in my humble opinion. The pro must not see any use for them either.

Second observation: Broken chains. Two that have been shown by the TV coverage. I'd heard, when the 10sp stuff came out, that the chains were prone to snapping.. I never bothered (too $pendy to change all my bikes anyhow) to swap all my bikes away from the Dura Ace 9sp I still use. Guess it is so, the 10sp. chain breakage...if those guys, who have full time mechanics and unlimited budgets to replace chains still break them...That would really piss me off, if I was up there in the Tour and my chain failed...not to mention if it happened in a bunch on a Gonzo descent on a slick road and cause me to die or something..Hopefully, they will improve the "New" 11 speed crap to be a bit stronger in the chain department. Or maybe they ARE riding the new stuff..does anyone know?

Don Hanson
 

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Phil Liggett was bashing the 10 speed setup on the broadcast the other day. Seems like it's a balance between having more gears and having a durable chain.

I don't think I have to worry about this myself, the TDF guys push equipment to their limit while I'm just noodling along. I went to a 10 speed setup this year, 2500 miles and no problems so far with the KMC chains. I'd love to find out what brand chains they use and which ones failed.
 

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The chain that I saw fail was one of the new duraace 7900 groupsets. Kinda scary considering shimano touted it as "exponentially stronger and better." The other thing that worries me is the fact that the new chain uses a masterlink instead of a pin, so I'd be curious to find out where on the chain it failed. Don't worry though, I'm gonna guinea pig the 11 speed stuff when it comes out! Jump on that campy train!
 

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anatomic bars

Gnarly 928 said:
I've been watching TDF.

I've yet to see a rider there using those "anatomic bend" bars that were almost all you could find in the catalogs or shops a while back. I always hated the way they looked and the one time I tried some..I almost had to back up to my bike to get on it...Very awkward looking, in my humble opinion. The pro must not see any use for them either.
If you haven't seen any anatomic-bend bars, you haven't been looking closely enough. There are plenty of them. Bar bends are an individual thing. Some people like one style, some another. It's about function, not aesthetics. The one time you tried some, did you pay any attention to how they felt and worked, or just how they looked?

Here's a shot from yesterday's stage, showing riders from at least four different teams. It looks to me like all of the bars visible have some sort of anatomic bend.
 

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I had a Sram 10 sp chain snap on me. I intially thought it was the powerlink, but it was a "regular" link. I now carry a spare powerlink.....
 

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What I notice more is the angle of the bars and the position of the levers. Lot's off differences among the riders. Lot's of different saddles also. A few I would like to try, but, oh well, been there-done that...
 

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As others have noted, there are probably as many anatomic bars being used as there are more conventional round bends. I've owned both that were perfectly comfortable, like the Easton EC90 anatomic (from about 3 years ago) and the new Easton EC90 SLX3 round bend.

As for the chains breaking, the only one I saw was a Milram rider on Shimano, so that had to be 10 speed.

I've been using 10 speed exclusively since 2000 and never once had a chain problem. When a chain breaks, it's most often a sideplate coming off the end of a pin and quite often, it's a Shimano joining pin. Once in awhile you might find a defective peening job on a regular pin and even more rarely a broken sideplate. Broken sideplates are most often defective material. Apparently the designers of these chains feel that there is excess strength, since most have holes of slot in the side plates to make the chain lighter. 11 speed chains will not have any slot or holes since the sideplates are thinner. The material being used is said to be 20% stronger than the 10 speed material.

Common reasons for chain failures are using the wrong connecting link that doesn't fit properly and deliberately ignoring the manufacturer's instructions regarding the use and placement of joining pins.
 

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Kram said:
I had a Sram 10 sp chain snap on me.
After nearly 2-years on 10-speed drive trains, I have only managed to break one SRAM chain and it was my own fault as I added a link back immediately after initially shortening the chain one link too many. I ride with a racer who tops the scales at 270 pounds and can crank out a proportionate wattage and while he has been know to break framesets and cranksets, over the weekend I asked him about chains and he has yet to have one break on a ride or during a race. I suspect that the broken 11-speed chains that have gotten press during the tour are the result of mechanics realtive lack of experience with the new drive trains although it may also be defects in the chains.
 

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C-40 said:
Apparently the designers of these chains feel that there is excess strength, since most have holes of slot in the side plates to make the chain lighter. 11 speed chains will not have any slot or holes since the sideplates are thinner. The material being used is said to be 20% stronger than the 10 speed material.
Interesting analysis.

Slot's aren't about 'excess strength,' it's about unneeded weight. There are reasons for making the center of a link a certain height, such as keeping it on the cog teeth. But there's no reason for the center to have more material than is wrapping the pin - so the material in the middle isn't adding to the strength at all, and therefore slotting it doesn't decrease the strength one iota. Since slotting doesn't reduce strength, 'excess strength' can't be rationally considered as a justification for it's removal. It's simply a weight vs manufacturing effort calculation.

And the 20% stronger stuff smells of marketing doo-doo. Why not just make the 10-speed chains out of this miracle material, too? And while I'm not deeply involved in metallurgy anymore, I'm wondering why they've just made such a miraculous find as a 20% gain in something as old-school as steel, and why they're not sharing the secret with the rest of the world. Those sorts of gains would be transformational to the auto industry.

Maybe it's just the cynic in me.
 
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