Interesting tidbit about Team Sky's 2011 Vuelta a Espana

Sky’s gear choice on the Angliru 2011

In this past year's Vuelta a España, I've learned an interesting story on the famed Angliru climb about Team Sky getting it wrong ? Its a climb that is steeper than the Zoncolan ? Possibly steeper @ 23 percent in some parts. When it came to gearing for the climb up the Angliru, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome struggled with overgearing.

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.

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