Sunday, September 24, 2023

12 Speed Cassette Comparison: XTR CS-M9101 vs Dura-Ace CS-R9200

Hot on the heels of the previous comparison post (12 speed vs 11 speed): Instead of comparing within the same category (XTR to XTR, or XTR to Deore XT), I can also compare across categories, from MTB to Road. This kind of cross-category comparison is usually not meaningful, as they have very different intended usage. For example, it is not so useful to compare shifters, derailleurs or cranksets across categories.

For cassettes, cross-category comparisons are possible, because the design and intended usage is more similar. In fact, old MTB cassettes (up to 42T sprocket) has becomes the new gravel cassettes. A more extreme case is that older MTB cassette ratios such as 11-34T for a 2x10 or 3x10 speed MTB drivetrain, is now found on road bike cassettes nowadays.

Today's comparison will be rather brief, as the details of each cassette can be found in their respective posts. This time, the comparison is between two 12 speed cassettes. The XTR 10-51T CS-M9101 vs Dura-Ace 11-30T CS-R9200.

Large 10-51T 12 speed cassette, the XTR CS-M9101. It is also available in a tighter 10-45T specification.

Dura-Ace 12 speed cassette, CS-R9200 is available in 11-30T and 11-34T versions.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

XTR Cassette Comparison: 11 Speed M9001 vs 12 Speed M9101

Following up on the previous introduction post on the XTR 10-51T CS-M9101 12 speed cassette, here is a comparison post that is related. Before XTR moved to 12 speed, it had a 11 speed cassette, the CS-M9001 cassette. Although both are XTR cassettes, the differences are much more than just adding one more gear.

XTR 12 speed cassette on the left has 8 riveted gears and 4 loose sprockets, while the 11 speed cassette on the right has 4 sets of riveted sprockets, and 3 loose sprockets.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

XTR 12 Speed Cassette CS-M9101 10-51T

I had a chance to borrow a Shimano XTR 12 speed cassette to study, and I decided to make a few comparison posts from this. Usually, my comparison posts on cassettes are based on road cassettes such as Dura-Ace or Ultegra, as they are much more common on my bikes. I do have a few posts comparing MTB cassettes (XTR vs Deore XT vs SLX), or the S-Ride vs SRAM MTB 12 speed cassettes.

Let's take a look at this XTR cassette in detail, and compare it to other cassettes in separate posts.

Shimano XTR CS-M9101 10-51T 12 speed cassette! Also available in 10-45T specification.

All 12 gears shown here. Largest 3 gears are black in colour to help hide the sheer size of the cassette.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

12 Speed Di2 Rear and Front Derailleur Comparison: Dura-Ace R9250 vs Ultegra R8150

Here is another comparison post, and a very important one at that. This may answer a common dilemma that many cyclists have: Should I get Dura-Ace or Ultegra components? As a rough guide, Ultegra components are about half the price of Dura-Ace, but nearly all the performance and just a little bit more weight, depending on the type of component.

In the previous post, I compared the Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranksets, and concluded that the Ultegra R8100 crankset is the better choice due to the very small weight savings of the Dura-Ace R9200 crankset.

Now, let's compare the Di2 rear derailleur and front derailleur of Dura-Ace vs Ultegra. Check out the differences and similarities, and decide for yourself! Let's start with the rear derailleurs.

As Di2 electronic components, the model numbers are as shown.

Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleur on the left, Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur on the right.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

12 Speed Crankset Comparison: Dura-Ace R9200 vs Ultegra R8100

One of my favourite type of blog post is to do a side by side comparison. It allows me to see exactly how the components are similar or different.

In this comparison post, two premium cranksets are compared. The Dura-Ace R9200 crankset and the Ultegra R8100 crankset.

Both cranksets here are for the Shimano road 12 speed drivetrain, with the same 50-34T chain ring sizes and 165 mm crank arm lengths.

There are many pictures here, so I will let the pictures do the talking. Check them out below!

Ultegra R8100 crankset on the left, Dura-Ace R9200 crankset on the right.
Shown at the back are the respective packaging for these cranksets.

Right crank arm comparison, both use the Shimano asymmetric 4 arm design, with 110 mm BCD.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Dahon MuSP: Sora 1x9 Speed Flat Handlebar

When I got the Birdy City folding bike, I created this plan to transfer components across these few bikes.

This is a good chance to refresh the components on the bike, and upgrade to something more modern. 

Key objectives:
1) Sell away the old Dahon MuSP frame with rim brakes.
2) Sell away the older 11 speed Ultegra Di2 groupset.
3) Upgrade the existing drop bar folding bike (Dahon MuSP) to Ultegra Di2 12 speed.
4) Upgrade the Birdy City to a high end folding bike with premium components.

With some planning, lots of time and effort, plus some cost, I managed to complete this 3 bike swap successfully!

With the Birdy City stripped of its stock 1x9 speed Sora components, these Sora components can then be installed onto the Dahon MuSP frameset. In this post, I will focus on the specifications of the Dahon MuSP, which has a freshly installed 1x9 speed Sora groupset.

Sub-project, to convert the Dahon MuSP from a high performance 1x11 speed Ultegra Di2 groupset to a mid-range 1x9 speed Sora groupset.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Wera Safe Torque A2 Set

If you ever want to splurge on a good torque wrench, here is a good candidate. Prior to this, I have been using the same trusty Giant Torque Wrench for nearly 10 years. It is still working, but it has never been calibrated in those 10 years. Besides, it is always nice to get new tools!

The Wera Safe Torque wrench has many unique features that seem interesting to me. Check it out below!

Wera Safe Torque A2 set. There are other sets that include different types of tool bits.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Quad Lock Mag Case and Wireless Charging Pad

During the Quad Lock Black Friday sale, I managed to get a whole collection of Quad Lock related accessories for the phone. For those who have not heard of it, Quad Lock makes a whole range of accessories to fix your phone to almost any vehicle or surface. From cars to motorbikes to bicycles, you can surely find something that works for you.

A Quad Lock set basically consists of 2 main parts: The phone casing and the mount. If you have a popular phone model, the case would be readily available. Else just use the Universal Mount to stick onto a third party phone case.

The mount would be the interface between the phone case and the car/motorbike/bicycle. It is available in a wide range to suit your needs.

This time, I got a new Quad Lock case for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and it is an improved version that is Magsafe compatible.

Lots of new Quad Lock stuff! Let's go through them one by one.

New Quad Lock case on the left, with a Quad Lock logo in the center.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Rubber Boot for Crank Arms

Time for a post on a random topic!

For off-road bikes such as MTB, many of them use a rubber boot at the ends of the crank arms to protect them from rock strikes or other scratches. This is almost never seen on road bikes as there is nearly no chance of hitting the cranks on anything on the road. If you do (such as during a crash), there are worse things to consider than scratches at the ends of the crank arms.

I got these Risk branded rubber boots for crank arms. They come in a generic size, and so I will see how it fits across different crank arms.

Rubber boots for crank arms! Comes in a pair, and is available in many colours.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

C50 Wheelset Comparison: Dura-Ace R9270 vs Ultegra R8170

Having had the chance to have both the Dura-Ace C50 wheelset and the Ultegra C50 wheelset, it is now possible for me to do a comparison of these two wheelsets. From what I understand, there are many more similarities than differences between these wheelsets.

For areas that are not mentioned below, refer to the Dura-Ace C50 wheelset post for the details, as it means that it is the same for both Dura-Ace and Ultegra C50 wheelsets. For example, the carbon rims that are used are exactly the same, which is why they will have the same rim height and width.

Dura-Ace C50 wheelset, with 50 mm rim profile.