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What is the best advancement in cycling gear?(28 posts)

What is the best advancement in cycling gear?peloton
May 24, 2001 2:15 PM
Another one to push down some of the flaming. What do you think is the best advancement in cycling equipment over the years? What is the one thing that you wouldn't live without? Is it indexed shifting, STI/Ergopower shifters, the mountain bike, carbon/aluminum/ti wonder material, Lycra shorts instead of wool, or something else?
Good Topic!MeDotOrg
May 24, 2001 2:20 PM
...and sure to start a lively debate. Index shifting would be close, but I would have to say the rise (no pun intended) of the clincher tire. Clinchers have become virtually as light as tubulars, offering a lot of the performance with a lot less hassle.

Okay, I gotto go duck now...
Quaranta wins...Hap
May 24, 2001 9:41 PM
today's Giro stage on clinchers. IRC Paperlite Acqua 700 x 23's to be exact mounted on Campy Shamal wheels.

#1=clipless pedalsfreespirit
May 24, 2001 2:24 PM
I think in more modern times, clipless pedals are the greatest advancement.

Aside from that:

lightweight clincher tires and wheels
carbon fiber frames, forks, and wheels
indexed shifting
lighter weight everything
Helmets and wheelscarbonguy
May 24, 2001 2:25 PM
I would have to say bike helmets are a whole lot better then they used to be. Just a thought. the other thing I was thinking is wheels. Our wheels are getting so much lighter and so much faster.
Nice change...a cycling postLen J
May 24, 2001 2:26 PM
1.)STI/Ergo shifting
2.)Scientifically designed lightweight frames. Stiff where they should be, compliant enough to ride long distance.
3.)Pedal technology
4.)Aero BARS
Maybe too general...Peetey
May 24, 2001 2:38 PM
But I would have to say the ability to computer model material properties and the responses to stress. It has allowed the development of different frame materials and configurations.

Secondly, physical training techniques have changed immensely over the past 15 years.

If you're looking for single bicycle-only advancement I'd have to say the clipless pedal. Wait, no, it was Campy's Synchro II!! ;-)
Lighter, stronger materialsBrian C.
May 24, 2001 2:39 PM
It was 15 years betwen bike purchaces - a big, steel MTB in 1984; an aluminum hybrid in 1999 - and what stands out is how light the bikes are these days. (Index shifting was a neat innovation, too).
The "safety bike"Humma Hah
May 24, 2001 2:53 PM
I'm not trying to demean the advances in bikes over the years. There have been definite improvements. A choice of frame materials is nice, and some of these high-tech marvels are phenomenal. Adding decent detents to the shifters and moving them from the downtube to the bars ranks right up there with the invention of a derailleur that could be shifted without stopping and getting off the bike, and that ranks right up there with the invention of the derailleur in the first place. And modern brakes are a thing of wonder.

But I have had the opportunity to ride a "penny farthing" bike, and it only took two minutes on that frightening thing to convince me that the safety bike, two wheels of the same size, on a diamond frame with the crank in the frame, like God intended, is the greatest invention in the history of cycling.
The biggest advancement in cycling?Spiderman
May 24, 2001 2:58 PM
Me. Duh
You can thank Mr. Bianchi for that!bianchi boy
May 25, 2001 8:30 AM
At least Bianchi claims to have invented the "safety frame" in the history section of their website. I see no reason to dispute the claim. Bianchi is the oldest current manufacturer of bikes, having been around more than 100 years. I believe they've been painting their bikes Celeste green for a very long time, as well.
Great topic...DSA
May 24, 2001 3:04 PM
Here's my list...

1. Material design advancements: carbon forks and frames (especially the latest carbon lug technology), bonding of carbon with AL/Ti, enhanced steel/AL/Ti tubing, rim technology, etc. It's always good to have competition and having 4 choices of frame material has only made each material better for the consumer.
2. Clipless pedals - In terms of positively affecting a cyclist's ability to efficiently transfer energy, clipless pedals have made a huge difference. Think about having to do a race with clips.
3. Saddle technology - the various designs for both men and women have made a huge difference in comfort and enjoyment. My wife hated cycling before she bought her Terry saddle - since buying it, she's completed the NYC-Boston AIDS Ride and regularly rides her Bianchi.
4. The widespread use of the Heart Rate Monitor. No one single device has made such a difference in my training methodology and efficacy.
5. Lycra. It may sound vain, but think about having to go for a 50 mile training ride on ahot day in a wool kit or, even worse, cotton.
6. The advancement and wider disbursement of nutritional data. No matter what diet you use in your training, the amount of data and research available allows each of us to understand our individual energy needs, likes and dislikes. Maybe the world has gone overboard with this (it seems there are more "energy" bars and drinks every day), but I'd rather have more choices and information than less.
the stuff we forget - brakes, steering, tractionwes_london
May 24, 2001 3:51 PM
back in my 'days' brakes were awfull, headsets were a liabilty at best and tires had terrible grip/adhesion with pronounced ridges for rolling and a gulley when keeled over.

im literally always amazed how easy it is to retard speed. i cant remember the last time i had an issue with a headset or even opened one up.
and with todays tires i can literally dance an almost any surface in any condition. i still ride tubulars but at this rate i will probably try out the new breed of clinchers.

these things i consider irreplaceable in terms of engineering advancement.

other things are great but id rather train harder or lose some weight. grams saved on seat posts wont save your life!!!

Pneumatic Tiresgrz mnky
May 24, 2001 4:34 PM
Guess it all depends upon your time horizon, but we'd nowhere with out them. (Sir Richard Bridgestone I believe?)
Pneumatic TiresTom C
May 24, 2001 7:17 PM
It was Dunlop Grz
I'm with Grz--after tires, it's all been cosmetic.Cory
May 25, 2001 10:14 AM
Well, tires or derailleur, or at least some kind of easy gear changer. But if I had to choose between single speed and solid rubber tires, I think I'd pick s/s with pneumatics.
The whole 9-yardscoonass
May 24, 2001 5:29 PM
Clipless pedals; STI shifting; frame materials; higher performance tires; lighter/stronger can we leave any of these out??
What about pumps?mike mcmahon
May 24, 2001 5:36 PM
I'm not going to argue that frame pumps or mini-pumps are the "best advancement in cycling gear," but where would we be without them? What did cyclists do before they had pumps that could be carried with them on the bike? As we all know, forgetting your pump at home is the best way to ensure you'll flat. Did cyclists flat every time they went out before portable pumps were available? OK, the last question wasn't serious, but aren't you all glad we've got those little things with us at all times?
re: What is the best advancement in cycling gear?Mark Hollander
May 24, 2001 5:59 PM
Not really part of the bike, but lights are so much better now. Those little halogens are fantastic, not to mention the great strobing rear lights. Does anyone remember their first headlight, those things that were powered by a generator touching the rear wheel?
Just removed mine last fall ...Humma Hah
May 24, 2001 6:15 PM
... I ran the first five miles of San Diego's Midnight Madness on my generator, teasing all the other guys who were using batteries.

The last 15 miles I got tired of the thing robbing about 1 mph and switched to my battery light.

That was the first ride on which I got to see NiteRiders and their kin in action. Impressive! No secrets in front of one of those rigs.
Hey - what about the DESIGN of bike?Marlon
May 24, 2001 6:27 PM
As much as I love my road bike, I had the opportunity to try a 'bent, and boy - does it ever go! Because of UCI rules, bike racing has limited itself to the double diamond, but I wonder - what would life be like if 'bents were raced?
Ergonomic handlebarsErap Estrada
May 24, 2001 6:32 PM
They fit better into my palm....ergo bars rule!
How about?peloton
May 24, 2001 6:42 PM
Full length zippers on jerseys. It's great on a hot day to be able to regulate your temperature a little. It's amazing that even a few years ago you couldn't find them just about anywhere.
How about?Mark Hollander
May 24, 2001 7:25 PM
I have found most road jerseys don't have full length zips, I have to look at a mountain bike jersey to get a full lenght zip. Anyhow, what sort of bike is a "Bent" I am not familiar with that term? Is it one of those bike where you lay on your back and pedal?
Get 'bentmike mcmahon
May 24, 2001 9:43 PM
Yeah, a 'bent is short for recumbent, which is ridden in a reclining position.
Suspension, clipless pedals, lights, soft bar tape, q.releases..Alpine
May 24, 2001 10:32 PM
Anyone that's been riding long enough to remember having no choice but toe-clips would have to mention clipless pedals. Amazingly since the first couple of years since they were released, one of the favorites really hasn't changed much. This being the LOOK compatible type. Lance A. still uses the D/A version from those years.
If you have been mtbing long enough then you'd be forgeting something not to mention suspension. That advance has made the biggest change in mtbing than anything else. Subsequent advances in suspension has continued impacting this side of cycling.
Along the suspension lines, bar tape. Does anyone remember "Bike Ribbon"? Does anyone still use it to ride any real mileage? Probably a couple. There are always the exceptions.
If you're really old you remember what a total pain it was to change a flat before Mr. Campagnolo's greatest gift to cycling, the quick release.
Lights were a great advance as well. Some form of lights have been around forever but the old stuff wasn't very good to see by.
I could go on....
things I have seen, things I have notpeloton
May 24, 2001 10:47 PM
The best changes that I have witnessed are:

1) Clipless pedals- more power, more comfort, easy exit
2) Light, ventilated helmets- remember brain buckets? Might be dead without the new helmets I don't mind wearing.
3) Mountain bikes- How many of us got serious about cycling there?
4) Good clincher tires- ease of maintainence, good performance
5) Indexed shifting- shifting is no longer a learned art form, sweet
6) high tech materials- make your bike lighter and stronger
7) Shimano- Competition is good for everyone, namely the consumer

Things I didn't see, but wouldn't want to live without

1) Quick releases- Thank you Mr. Campagnolo
2) Lycra shorts- don't bunch up like wool did
3) the derailler- next time you upshift at an incline, say thank you to the genious that invented this. Then picture Coppi ascending L'Alpe de Heuz like a home sick angel with only one gear!

There are so many that I'm sure I forgot.
re: What is the best advancement in cycling gear?cycleguy
May 24, 2001 11:19 PM
The wheel, dah!