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Dying to know just ONE thing!(5 posts)

Dying to know just ONE thing!Robbie
Apr 22, 2001 12:27 PM
What is up with Shimano and AheadSet, or threadless, headsets?? Something I have wanted to know for so, so, so long is why they refuse to make one?!?!? Sure, you can buy a full Dura Ace or Ultegra or XTR groupset, but the headset is a throw away item at best. I don't even know if you can buy an XTR headset, can you?
Obviously, it comes down to corporate pride, and Shimano is just TOO big to pony up the nickle that Cane Creek demands for it's superior technology. I see that Campy has swallowed it's pride and realized that it is the ONLY way to go. Does Shimano really think that this AheadSet thing is a fad? What is thier deal? This is perplexing to me, and I fail to see why it is that Shimano is swimming against the tide so blindly.
I appreciate the lively discussion about to take place!!

re: Dying to know just ONE thing!Akirasho
Apr 22, 2001 1:26 PM
... course, on the other hand, when you're as large as Shimano, you can afford to wait... especially if you have some back room engineering and patents waiting in the wings... Remember that Shimano was hard pressed to license their splined BB till recently, yet as as manufacturer, was large enough to allow said BB to stand alone as a "new" standard. And, now we have new "HiddenSet" technologies and licenses to deal with. Hell, for all we know, Shimano may be in secret negotiations to by Cane Creek.

And, lets not forget that 1" threaded forks are still out there... and will be for a while. While I've got a couple of road bikes with 1 1/8" headtubes (one actually uses a Chris King adapter to run a 1" steerer), I've got even more with 1"ers.

I think Shimano recognizes the losses in some areas... seatposts are another... too many cottage players onboard to make it a big issue as of yet. I guess a business would work on securing new markets rather than to scrap too hard for a seemingly lost cause.

I'd like to know just how successful Shimano's wheels have been from a corporate POV... When the Big S did enter the market, they knew they had to offer something somewhat radical... Rolfesque but certainly not Rolfs.

And, as reported in the latest VeloNews, Shimano has recently applied for patents in framebuild technologies... seems as though they're developing a way to use the frame itself as a pressurized container for it's AirLines technology. Currently, AirLines is a Downhill specific product... but who knows... in the future, a roadie might air up two tires and a frame before the day's ride.

Corporate pride and culture are also part of the equation as you suggested... chances are, you'll be "dying to know just ONE thing" a long time...

Be the bike.
Shimano won't pay for the rights.--TNCTNC
Apr 22, 2001 7:22 PM
They're just not gonna do it. After paying DiaComp, or whoever, for the license use, they probably don't figure there's enough profit to warrant the effort. Maybe a "pride" thing going too.
Shimano won't pay for the rights.--TNCBrit Racer
Apr 23, 2001 12:44 AM
As I understood it, back in the day when Cane Creek came up with the aheadset for MTBs, they wouldn't lease out the patent to anyone at first to ensure that their brand became established. Once they did start licencing out the patent, they refused to sell it to Shimano for fear of being swamped by shimano's own aheadset which would undoubtedly be chosen by most companies ahead of any Cane Creek ones since they'd be part of a groupset (eg XT) and as such, cheaper.

Campag were allowed to licence the aheadset patent because they were less of a threat since they're obviously road only, an area in which cane creek didn't and still doesn't have a large market share.
re: Dying to know just ONE thing!mr tornado head
Apr 24, 2001 6:25 PM
All this talk remind me of checking out Shimano's patent for a 15 sped cassette-the chain is so slim, it's been redesigned. I was waiting for this to spring after Campag announced 10 speed. Perhaps in a couple of years, or maybe the durability issue is yet to be solved.