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Poll: What's the one bike 'advance' you think is clearly(14 posts)

Poll: What's the one bike 'advance' you think is clearlyscottfree
Jun 12, 2002 6:52 AM
superior to the retro stuff? What's the one 'modern' feature, if you could only pick one, that you think is a 'must have?'

And as a corollary: What's the silliest 'advance,' one you wouldn't be caught dead with?

Must have: I say clipless pedals. I hated clips and straps in 1975, I hated them in 1985, and I hated them in 1995 when I finally switched to Looks.

Silliest: Threadless headsets. Good God. They're ugly, and it's just insane that once the steerer tube's cut, you're stuck. Adjusting stem height is a God given right! Threadless headsets are madness, madness ...
Can't think of one offhand...maybe tires?Silverback
Jun 12, 2002 8:10 AM
I'm not retro for the sake of being retro (at least I don't think I am), but I had to think hard on this one. Index shifting makes riding easier for people who can't shift, but I can. Threadless headsets offer no advantage to me, and having to buy a new stem to raise your bars an inch is just stupid. Clipless pedals, nyeh. They don't make me any faster, and I've got a closet full of bike shoes I'd have to replace. I like the location and convenience of STI, but barcons are nearly as handy and I can friction shift them if I bend a derailleur or something. No plastic saddle I've ever tried comes close to my 10+-year-old Brooks.
Maybe tires, though. Modern tires are tougher, lighter and grip better than those old hard-rubber things.
tires are probably it.....Spirito
Jun 12, 2002 10:43 AM
its pretty hard to buy a bad tire nowadays if you are realistic about weight and the amount of coins spent. same goes for tubes. some of the colors on the other hand......

there are a few older style parts that bore me.....

pedals with clips and straps are tedious to tighten and untighten especially in traffic. if you ride with them loose then its no problem but i like to feel well connected.

older cables and housing's arent worth using. current no-name housing and cables are cheap and so much more consistent in quality. last longer too.

older seat posts are so boring and fiddly and mostly limited for adjustment.

older brake calipers aren't worth the effort generally

most older rims vary in quality and roundness. 80% of current rims are suitable for 80% of current riders. before rims were focussed on the racing side and the touring side and middle ground wasn't really covered except for a few like the mavic ma2.

current bike shorts are pretty comfortable and getting a good fit is much easier. and yes they can all be used with friction shifting. NOS late suntour is around but not as easily found - apart from them the other old derailleurs are either flawed by design or too expensive by comparison to todays $30 front and $45 rear copycat throwaway when the pulleys or cages wear out items.

almost all current derailleurs are no brainers (which is all i care about) - its just the finish is not as nice. and yes they can all be used with friction shifting. NOS late suntour is around but not as easily found - apart from them the other old derailleurs are either flawed by design or too expensive by comparison to todays $30 front and $45 rear copycat throwaways when the pulleys or cages wear out. almost set and forget.

there are a few current headsets for threaded forks that look ok and priced resonably that usually have a longer life and require less maintenance. i still refuse to buy a chris king as i cant stand the way they look and are labelled.

older chains are just a waste of time when a sram pc-48 is cheap and is a great quality chain. i dont know oif an older chain for 10 bucks that works as well and is easier to clean an maintain. although if you run a 5 speed rear im not sure if it works or if there is anything current to suit.

all other older stuff is cool and not really a hinderance - saddles then and now can be hit or miss. the one thing is worry about is that apart from nitto nobody has introduced a nicely finished quill stem - i hope someone brings out a new one that is not some stupid color or designed with some crazy mutations and shapes.

apart from being slightly heavier i think most cranks and hubsets from around the mid 80's are better finished and last longer than todays. that most older hubbed wheel have much less dish keeps some balance in their favor with regard to wheel integrity. before this designs were not as integrous and older campy axles in particular were slipshod. i still think loose bearings are fine and a better design for hubs - maintenace is not so hard.

i wish there was more bar-tape options like there used to be. modern saddles are so limiting in their color options too.

and current jerseys do everything but look tastefull. is there some design school that they all go to as im sure most of them aren't thinking in terms of aesthetic appeal - colors, combo's, lines are all so wrong. id rather stink than look chintzy ;-)

9 or 10 cogs with a non-existent chain is silly...Djudd
Jun 12, 2002 1:09 PM
I can't tell you how ridiculous this is to me. If you cannot ride your bicycle with gears enough to keep your chain safe you don't ride enough. Utterly unnecessary. I don't mind innovations that actually mean something but there are just not that much more you can do to the basic design of the bicycle to improve it. The original post pointed out the uselessness of the threadless headset and the inability to simply raise and lower your stem!!!! What the heck is that!!! I raise or lower stems almost routinely depending on the ride or several other factors. Bikes are made to ride and any circumstance.
Jun 12, 2002 1:26 PM
sorry not getting your drift...

"""9 or 10 cogs with a non-existent chain is silly...

I can't tell you how ridiculous this is to me. If you cannot ride your bicycle with gears enough to keep your chain safe you don't ride enough. ....""""
sorry, my existential rage made me unclear...Djudd
Jun 12, 2002 2:11 PM
nine now ten cogs that require a chain so thin as to be nonexistent. Hummah made a good point a while ago about the basic design of the bicycle being fine.
Jun 12, 2002 2:52 PM
im soon building a 6 speed wheel where i actually can use each of the 12 ratio's .

with 9 and 10 speed cluster's i think people should call them 16 or 18 speeds (trather than 18 or 20) or in some cases less. and thats without the doubled ratio's or close to that many have. mostly a waste of time and a false improvement for at least 90% of cyclists in my view.

but new things sell and the cycling industry is no different in their use of snake oils and false hype - NEW, IMPROVED, BETTTER , FASTER, LIGHTER.......



(no holland, no france, no argentina..... wow what a world cup !!!! )
but there's one excellent point to modern design:colker
Jun 12, 2002 5:11 PM
you can buy beautifull quilled stems, lugged frames w/ steel forks, friction shifters and old saddles for peanuts!
i'm sure a new alum. pinarello will ride as good as an old steel one but it's 5x more expensive...and ugly. ahead stems are ugly: they rise upward! at least the rockshox road susp. fork didn't make it..
as for 10speeds: they are stupid. click click click. it's bad dinamics. friction is more groovy, smooth and the more tired you are the more you like it.
re: Poll: What's the one bike 'advance' you think is clearlywooglin
Jun 12, 2002 1:04 PM
Good: Aero brake hoods. Much more comfortable to ride on the heels of your hands.

Bad: Gotta go with the headsets, too. And now they're integrated.
Brakes have improved ... derailleurs silly ...Humma Hah
Jun 12, 2002 3:45 PM
Old caliper brakes were always kinda flexible, and I'm impressed with the designs in use today.

On the other hand, I thought 10-speeds (2x5) were about 7 more than made any sense. The proliferation to as many as 30 is insane! I'm with Sheldon Brown: one's all you need. Many riders today have never tried singlespeed or fixed, and think it requires some superhuman ability. They miss the experience that lead to the original golden age of cycling in the late 1800's.
blame it on tulio!colker
Jun 12, 2002 5:13 PM
the original hype manipulator.
re: Poll: What's the one bike 'advance' you think is clearlytkohn
Jun 12, 2002 5:56 PM
I agree with clipless pedals being a great advance, I also secretly liked PowerStraps. 10 cog cassettes, Kevlar saddles, and splined road bottom brackets get my thumbs down review.
brakes ...bianchi boy
Jun 12, 2002 6:52 PM
When I compare my new bikes to my old ones, the new brakes clearly offer the biggest improvement in performance. My old bike just felt unsafe after buying a bike with better new brakes. I also like index shifting and lots of gears. Maybe I live in a hillier area than the rest of you guys, or I'm just a lousier climber, but I use all 20 speeds on my bike! After those two things, I would pick clipless pedals, which are certainly more convenient than toe-clips.

The most pointless improvement, in my opinion, is threadless headsets/stems. As others stated, they are ugly, offer only limited adjustability, and just plain suck. Integrated headsets are a further way down that twisted path. The most over-rated improvement, I think, is carbon forks -- which I don't believe are any more comfortable than a good steel fork, although undoubtedly lighter.
Stolen most of my thunderWalter
Jun 13, 2002 6:49 PM
Tires are better. Cassette BBs are nice though I'm uncomfortable with the throw-away mentality they represent.

The one clear area is brakes. My #1 retro is a Basso with nearly complete Campy SR. However, I removed the brakes and put on some Record dual pivots and the diffeence is night and day. That abd I live in sunny (and flat) FLA. I admire the old-timers who actually descended mountains with the old style calipers. Admire but would not emulate. I have to say though that some calipers were better than the Campys. Best I ever used were the DiaCompe RGCs. Better than most but still not as good as dual pivots. Something to be said for fine-tuning brake centering with an allen key too.

Behind brakes are clipless pedals. However, I've been riding Looks since the later 1980s and don't really consider them "new."