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Worst cycling products ever made ?(42 posts)

Worst cycling products ever made ?ol
Feb 20, 2003 5:35 PM
I can think of three straight away.
1. Bio pace chainrings.
2. Campy Delta brakes.
3. Alan aluminium bike frames ( were they noddles or what).
You're not even closeKerry
Feb 20, 2003 6:10 PM
I agree on BioPace, though they were more useless than bad. But IIRC, Sean Kelly won several TdF green jerseys, several editions of Milan San Remo, top placings in the world championships, and was at least twice top ranked rider of the year (Super Pernod Trophy) on Alan frames. Indurain won at least one TdF on Delta brakes.

How about you focus on things like those goofy pivoting butt cheek saddles, or slime filled tubular tires, or MAVIC Mektronics that quit in the rain, etc.
PowerCam Crankset, early 80'sBig-foot
Feb 20, 2003 6:19 PM
Had a cam between the bottom bracket and chainring that engaged during the downward stroke of the pedal, causing the chainring to rotate slightly faster to pull more chain --- all of the benefits of BioPace, but with more mechanical complications.

It had a bit of a following for a while. Lon Haldeman won the Race Across America on one --- but also blew up his knees with it, as did a large number of retail buyers of the crankset.
You're not even right......Ye Olde Balde One
Feb 20, 2003 8:39 PM
Kelly used Vitus frames, not Alan.

BH (for two years before switching to Vitus) and Teka before them both used Alan frames. So did Roland Liboton, multi time World Cyclocross Champion, among other cross riders (mainly badged as Guerciotti).
1. Goofy pivoting butt cheek saddles - an old flame loved hers.dzrider
Feb 21, 2003 5:34 AM
2. Alen Ax (sp?) drive trains

3. Cranks with 90 degree bend on the arms.

4. 1980's Pinarello decals.

5. Girvin Flex stems.

As for Delta Brakes, I tried a few bikes that had them and thought that they were the absolutely the best for modulating speed, but not much good for a panic stop. All's according to what you want them to do, I guess.
You're not even closeRob Sal
Feb 21, 2003 11:01 AM
Its funny, I was expecting someone to mention Delta brakes, and I was expecting that the person that made nomination has probably not used them before forming their opinion. I have three pairs, have been using them for at least 10 years and never had problems. Other riders to win the Tour using them, Roche and Delgado. Roche also won the Giro and Worlds using them too! Plenty of people go on about Deltas, but its funny no one seems to talk about Shimano's attempt at a Delta copy!

Also, the Vitus/Alan Duralinox frame is one of the most successful frames of all time, despite its reputation for being flexible. Sean Kelly used Vitus almost exclusivley from his early pro years right up to his Milan San Remo win in 92!!
re: Worst cycling products ever made ?gybeho
Feb 20, 2003 7:13 PM
1. Biopace Chainrings (we have a winner?)
2. Modolo Kronos Brakeset (Just sold a set of Deltas for $200 so I can't complain about those, hehehe)
3. Slime (WTF)
4. TVT - Alan - Vitus Carbon frames (even scarier noodles)
5. Campagnolo Carbon Fiber Seatpost (just had to!!!)
6. My Sigma BC1400 computer is really starting to piss me off. Three sets of batteries in four months!
I had Modolo Kronos levers on 'nago in '84, they rock! bmSpunout
Feb 21, 2003 4:11 AM
Modolo brake hoods fit my hands better than any others.dzrider
Feb 21, 2003 5:38 AM
The "synterized" brake pads, however, screamed like 1000 kids at a horror movie.
agree on 1 & 3lonefrontranger
Feb 20, 2003 8:24 PM
You'll get some arguments on the Delta brakes would be my guess, from those who actually know how to install and adjust them properly. Delta stopping power increases geometrically as a function of their travel, i.e they need to be set up pretty far off the rims. This is assuming you have that idiotic off-sized Allen key they came with (now I make no apologies there, that WAS a stupid idea; WTF Tullio?). However, a properly adjusted set just may be the best criterium racing brakes ever invented by God or man; can you say infinite modulation? Been hunting for a set myself, too cheap to pay inflated auction pricing 'cause I just know some nut like you is gonna pitch a set at some swap meet somewhere.

Here are a few this former shop rat hopes to never see again:

- titanium spokes, I mean what the HELL?
- cheap Taiwanese alloy railed imitation Flite saddles; a plague of these invaded the States in the early 90's.
- those stoopid GD razor scooters, so okay they're not specifically cycling products but geez did our shop sell a crapload of 'em only to get them returned in three pieces a week later...
- Rolf first generation Vector Comps; the world's worst hubs, backed by the world's worst service and warranty claims department.
- Trek Y-series OCLV dual suspension frames, good grief what an awful design. A simple 2' wheelie drop and snap!
- Specialized lugged carbon fiber frames, I think they might have actually made these out of toilet paper rolls and Elmer's glue.

And on a more personal note, there is a special spot reserved in hell with red-hot fleas for the limpwit who wrote the Polar 710/720 series user manuals.
Gee LFR, tell us how you REALLY feel!! :) nmnoveread
Feb 21, 2003 7:20 AM
no way!RJF
Feb 21, 2003 7:39 AM
Hey, I had one of those Specialized lugged carbon frames and rode it for 8 years (just retired it last month)!! IMHO it was a great frame. Very comfortable, plenty stiff. Sometimes I see it get a bad rap, so maybe there were some bad ones made, perhaps early on. I loved mine!
there were a lot of bad oneslonefrontranger
Feb 21, 2003 8:10 AM
Specialized Epic Comp series frames were the main reason lugged C/F got a bad reputation in the late 80's / early 90's, tho Vitus' abortive attempts didn't help any either. Some were fortunate enough to get a good one, as you did, but a reputable framebuilder I know claims that the first 2 years' production had a nearly 40% failure rate (lugs would come unglued). I personally saw 3 brought into the shop with bond joint cracks or full separation and one that spontaneously separated at the BB / rear stay junction in a race.
at least two were good!4bykn
Feb 21, 2003 2:44 PM
I own a '92, it's my backup bike now. My older bro' has a '91 I think, and it is still his primary ride. They each have at least about 30,000 miles on them with no signs of problems. (I hope I haven't jinxed myself).
14K miles on mineDaveG
Feb 21, 2003 5:21 PM
I had a '94 Epic which I put about 14,000 mile on without any major problems - although there was some minor paint peeling around the lugs. While the ride was comfy, I would definately not characterize the frame as stiff, at least not under my 180lbs. All and all, it served me well. Hopefully the second owner is still enjoying it.
hey! no pickin on specialized carbon.yodlebike
Feb 21, 2003 9:51 AM
i got one of the later ones ('94ish) - gorgeous ruby red paint, rides great, could be a tad stiffer for me but...the real issue is weight. i've finally decided to retire it as the main bike. gonna swap my daytona/centaur over when i decide what to buy. help me obi-wan!

anyway, great bike had it for years ridden hard, raced and still going strong. ymmv tho.
Feb 20, 2003 8:34 PM
1. Specialized Body Geometry saddles -- torture device

2. bio pace

3. Niterider LCD Digital Pro lights; I bought 2 at $350, and they never worked, at least for more than 30 minutes
anything that breaks prematurely--especially forks and stemsgtx
Feb 20, 2003 10:01 PM
Hard to have a stem or fork break and not go down. So, some nominees in this category...

Syncros stems (okay, Syncros anything)
Manitou forks in the mid 90s (major recall for poorly designed fork crowns)
And I'm sure there are plenty of carbon forks out there that fit the bill...

Stupid/scary light bars and seatposts, too...
re: Worst cycling products ever made ?Alexx
Feb 21, 2003 4:28 AM
1) Biopace (and there was also a "reverse-biopace" ring somebody else made, too)
2) Slime
3) any Bell cycling product other than helmets
4) any Wellgo product
different resultsJS Haiku Shop
Feb 21, 2003 6:41 AM
2.5 years using bell child trailer and 4 years on wellgo mtb spd pedals (numerous long rides & centuries, including some climbing, plus mtb and (recently) cyclocross), zero problems.
I'm not defending Biopace, butMel Erickson
Feb 21, 2003 6:53 AM
They worked fine. They were a solution in search of a problem. They were dumb and weird looking. They had no real purpose. But, they worked, just the same. I still have a set on an old Miyata mountain bike. I ride it as a commuter/grocery getter. I don't really notice the difference and they work like any other chainring.
I can't really slam the BioPace too hard either...joekm
Feb 21, 2003 7:39 AM
My old bike had a Shimano Exage SIS (which back then stood for Shimano Indexing Shifter, not Shimano Integrated System as I believe it does now).

Anyway, this included the BioPace crank and the whole system has worked flawlessly for several years.
I rode Biopace for several years w/o problemsRickC5
Feb 21, 2003 10:12 AM
The chainrings may have been goofy looking, but they didn't seem to hurt anything either. In fact, as I recall, they were reasonably popular in the early-mid 1980s. Definitely NOT what I would consider a "worst product", but just one that didn't really improve anything.
some folks must like BiopaceDaveG
Feb 22, 2003 7:30 AM
My first road bike had a Biopace crankset which I replaced with a standard 105 crankset after a few miles. The cranks were sitting in my misfit parts bin for years until I decided to list them on the rec.bicycles.marketplace list. I received a tremendous response right away and sold the crankset within a few hours.
Shimano Positron II ...joekm
Feb 21, 2003 7:31 AM
But I only say that because I have no personal experience with the original (2 cable) positron rear mech.

On the Positron II, the was no upper and lower range adjustment and, when the ball-and-tooth index mechanism wore out, there was no way to dial in the range. You either lost the upper or the lower gear.

When I was younger, I used to help the neighboor hood kids with their bikes and got to explain to many a parent that it wasn't their child's fault that their shifter wasn't working right.
Anybody remember the Shimano Front Freewheel System?joekm
Feb 21, 2003 7:58 AM
At least the BioPace has some reasoning behind it. This was just an answer in search of a question.
I had the system on my first Ross...biknben
Feb 21, 2003 8:10 AM
It allowed you to shift without pedaling. It did what it was supposed to and worked fine. As a ten year old, it just made sifting a little easier for me.

It may have been goofy but I don't see how this can come up in a all-time worst list.
Anything with Cambio Rino stamped on it...Spunout
Feb 21, 2003 8:41 AM
Heavily sponsored the Canadian National TEam. Curt Harnett's bike in the NWO Sports hall of fame has Rino (Rhino ;) stamped all over it. But, I've heard stories that the guts, bearings, were all switched over to Campy ASAP without the sponsor's knowledge.

The complete grouppo was available in anodized Red, green, blue, gold... those were the 80s all right!
ooo, I almost forgot! SUNRACE components (bleh!)lonefrontranger
Feb 21, 2003 11:30 AM
How could I have forgotten. Someone dumped a set of these dogs on my SO in lieu of race promotion fees. The worst MTB oriented component group in modern memory. Indexed friction from day 1 (click shifter, wait a bit, wiggle the lever...) The crankset was about as stiff as cooked pasta and the BB made worse creaking noises even than the older cheap Shimano cartridge ones, if that's possible. We threw the whole groupset in the trash after about three months.
Profile Century aerobars..dotkaye
Feb 21, 2003 9:44 AM
the only part of these bars that I didn't have to modify was the bar itself. Everything else slipped, spun, or just plain fell off. Gosh they were horrible.

Rode with Biopace for several years, can't say it did me any harm, whereas the aerobars nearly crashed me a couple of times. No contest.

Steel rims were nasty too, a little wet and all semblance of braking disappeared.
different resultsJS Haiku Shop
Feb 21, 2003 9:55 AM
i've used three different sets of profile aero bars, two airstrykes and one century set. i'd guess they were ridden between 7,000 and 9,000 miles, including some all-day rides where they also held lights and a computer. zero problems.
re: Worst cycling products ever made ?pben
Feb 21, 2003 10:23 AM
Not sure if it was worst ever, but the 1st generation of Campy's Syncro shifters were CRAP. I know, I had them and had to switch to friction mode.
Hey..I have an old mountain bike w/Biopace...chipnseal
Feb 21, 2003 11:08 AM
But I also drove a 72 Vega in college. It WAS the GT model, as I use to explain to the hot chics it would attract...

My kids would say, "Dad...You are so cool!...NOT!
Sampson Death Cleats (nm)funknuggets
Feb 21, 2003 12:23 PM
re: Worst cycling products ever made ?Rob Sal
Feb 21, 2003 12:47 PM
One of the worst cycling products I have seen, in terms of design were some pedals made, I think, by Adidas in about 1985. Combining the style of the Look pedal users (ie no clips and straps) with the need to still bring your hand down to the foot/pedal to release the shoe. A very small lever at the backend/outside edge of the pedal needed to be postitioned to release the shoe, it looked cumbersome and fiddly even in the brochure.
re: Worst cycling products ever made ?gybeho
Feb 21, 2003 11:50 PM
I've got three pair NIB, hehehe
re: Worst cycling products ever made ?Rob Sal
Feb 22, 2003 9:08 AM
You're clearly a comic genius!
Raleigh Technium Al lugged framesFez
Feb 21, 2003 1:40 PM
Raleigh made some sweet Reynolds steel frames in the early 90s. Too bad they were bonded with the aluminum lugs with that bad Technium bonding process.

Although a great steel frame that could have lasted a long time, the failures started happening at - you guessed it - the aluminum lugs.
The absolute No. 1 worst of all time!!!!!!No_sprint
Feb 21, 2003 2:00 PM
The connection between Nick and this discussion group!

sorry Nick, had to. :)
a)uncalled for b)incredibly weak (nm)Frith
Feb 22, 2003 8:30 AM
My votesbrider
Feb 21, 2003 2:36 PM
1) Teledyne Titan CP titanium frames. Wrong material guys!
2) Specialized Allez Epic frames. Carbon and aluminum? Can you say galvanic corrosion?
3) Specialized gray tread tires. These things wore out faster than gum.
4) First generation Scott clip-on bars. No arm rests. What were you thinking?
5) Suntour self-energized brakes. Screamed like a banshee. No amount of toe-in adjusting fixed it.
6) Aluminum QR skewers. Just say no.
7) Easy Seat. You know, the one that has separate butt pads for each cheek. Well, you have a choice, your butt can hurt for a while, or your knees can hurt for the rest of your life. What'll you have?

That's all that comes to mind for now.
1988 - Shimano Exage *INDEX* Fr Der downtube shifter12x23
Feb 21, 2003 5:52 PM
I mean, DUHH!; click .. big ring, and let's see .. click the other way .. small ring. All this technology and no trim! This was on my first bike, a Nishiki something-or-other that was WAY too big .. lbs skewered me on that one. :-)