Are bikes as good as they were?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
reohn2
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby reohn2 » 19 Nov 2018, 9:27am

Gattonero wrote:
Greystoke wrote:...
Newer bikes require more specialized tools to work on them...


Really?
Do you know how many specialized tools you would need to install and service a cup/cone BB? While newer cartridge-type BB's will require only one tool. Same for a threadless headset, only one or two allen-keys needed, vs dedicated headset spanners for a threaded headset...
OTOH, quality of the assembly for off-the-shelf bikes seems to be going downhill with the years, right now even expensive bikes are poorly assembled resulting in a shorter lifespan of their parts :?


I only ever needed one,a multitool which was stamped out of 3/16" or 1/4" mildsteel plate,it had various spanner sizes including headset,C spanner and BB cup spanners(two sizes) and was stamped Phillips,I still have two of them languishing a drawer somewhere.
But I take your point,give me sealed square taper BB bearings,and Ahead headsets any time,I still cup and cone wheel bearings though :)
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Gattonero
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Gattonero » 19 Nov 2018, 10:28am

To install properly a cup/cone BB you would need a dedicated tool for the fixed cup on the Rh, plus a tool to hold the adjusting cup (pin spanner, or sometimes a flat spanner) plus a suitable hook tool for closing the lockring. Let alone fitting the cotterpins :mrgreen:
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

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Gattonero
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Gattonero » 19 Nov 2018, 10:31am

tatanab wrote:
Gattonero wrote:Do you know how many specialized tools you would need to install and service a cup/cone BB?
None. As a schoolboy I used to do this with a hammer, screwdriver as a punch, and my dad's stilsons if I wanted to shift the fixed cup. Try doing that with your Shimano style unit. Of course that was in the days of cotter pins, so no crank extractor needed either. Same for threaded headsets - one big adjustable spanner. Similarly, a hammer and a nail to shorten a chain.

Of course I understand that you are writing about the enthusiast home mechanic or a shop mechanic, not a schoolboy making do with what was available.


I'm talking about a decent bicycle, not the rusty clunker we all had. Yes, I too have used the hammer when I was a kid, and the bike was surely nowhere near as to be called a "quality bicycle". Would you remove any decent Campagnolo/Shimano/Tange cup&cone bb by the sole use of hammer? Oh, dear...
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Ivor Tingting » 21 Nov 2018, 5:32pm

Read the OP's post obviously and the first page. Cannot be bothered with the rest. The OP seems pretty pragmatic. Bikes are much better than they were although there must still be some stinkers.

Bicycle technology has improved massively and prices for some things have come down in real terms from decades ago e.g. disc brakes. For me the major improvement is the lack of maintenance some bikes now need. The UK bike market is still not selling everyday commuting bikes that can do everything that would attract many more people to cycling. Retailers are still selling MTBs and top end road race bikes to the masses. The scene is so much different in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. For those that have done a bit of research and are prepared to spend a little more on a do it all every day bike there are now many more options. Bikes with Internal Hub Gears, belt drives and disc brakes. These all make bikes genuinely low maintenance and so much easier to ride. So I say while there are undoubtedly still crap bikes being sold in the UK, there are a lot more opportunities to get hold of bicycles that really are better than they were years ago and indeed build your own bike to your own spec.

One of the biggest cons I think is the derailleur transmission. Fine in dry hot weather but show it any dirt or rain and within a short time it needs cleaning relubing etc. It has become so widespread because initially it was so cheap to manufacture. It is still cheap to manufacture but the prices of components in the last 10 years have started going skyward. Internal hub gears such as Rohloff 14 spd hubs are superior in every way or the Pinion 18 spd gearbox with belt drive for practically zero maintenance. I clean my bike once a year because it gets dirty nothing else. The transmission doesn't need cleaning or relubing, the brake pads don't need changing, yet after 2 years and 20k miles. It's all good. The bike I now have is so much better than some of the old bikes I used to ride and still have. They are still good but they have open derailleurs with rim brakes which I just don't ride any more. Should sell them really. I rode my Trek road race bike only once this year. I chose a dry day.
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Cugel
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Cugel » 21 Nov 2018, 8:25pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:Read the OP's post obviously and the first page. Cannot be bothered with the rest. The OP seems pretty pragmatic. Bikes are much better than they were although there must still be some stinkers.

Bicycle technology has improved massively and prices for some things have come down in real terms from decades ago e.g. disc brakes. For me the major improvement is the lack of maintenance some bikes now need. The UK bike market is still not selling everyday commuting bikes that can do everything that would attract many more people to cycling. Retailers are still selling MTBs and top end road race bikes to the masses. The scene is so much different in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. For those that have done a bit of research and are prepared to spend a little more on a do it all every day bike there are now many more options. Bikes with Internal Hub Gears, belt drives and disc brakes. These all make bikes genuinely low maintenance and so much easier to ride. So I say while there are undoubtedly still crap bikes being sold in the UK, there are a lot more opportunities to get hold of bicycles that really are better than they were years ago and indeed build your own bike to your own spec.

One of the biggest cons I think is the derailleur transmission. Fine in dry hot weather but show it any dirt or rain and within a short time it needs cleaning relubing etc. It has become so widespread because initially it was so cheap to manufacture. It is still cheap to manufacture but the prices of components in the last 10 years have started going skyward. Internal hub gears such as Rohloff 14 spd hubs are superior in every way or the Pinion 18 spd gearbox with belt drive for practically zero maintenance. I clean my bike once a year because it gets dirty nothing else. The transmission doesn't need cleaning or relubing, the brake pads don't need changing, yet after 2 years and 20k miles. It's all good. The bike I now have is so much better than some of the old bikes I used to ride and still have. They are still good but they have open derailleurs with rim brakes which I just don't ride any more. Should sell them really. I rode my Trek road race bike only once this year. I chose a dry day.

I woulda read your post but I couldn't be bothered, especially since the paragraphs are such great big fatties. :-)

Cugel

Abu Milhem
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Abu Milhem » 21 Nov 2018, 9:34pm

I don't know. I have not bought a 'bike' since 1995. Since then I have only bought frames and my choice for components ends at at about 1995 with the beginning of the end of Suntour as manufactured by Maeda Industries. I only use old new stock. I am quite at home with old fashioned headsets in steel and Duralumin, loose ball cup and cone BBs and ditto hubs. I build all my own wheels and wouldn't be interested in any technology that I couldn't completely strip down and service myself. I have garnered enough new old stock freewheels and cassettes (7 speed is my limit) to see me and my fleet out. I will soon be taking delivery of a 650B frame to suit a pair of 1978 Mavic Mod 4s on Campag Super Record hubs that are lovely. Spring should be fun.

brynpoeth
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby brynpoeth » 21 Nov 2018, 9:37pm

Plus One for equipment one can maintain oneself

Progress has gone too far with 14-speed cassettes and the like
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reohn2
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby reohn2 » 21 Nov 2018, 11:38pm

brynpoeth wrote:Plus One for equipment one can maintain oneself

Agree though I appreciate not everyone wants to or can't.

Progress has gone too far with 14-speed cassettes and the like

Especially when combined with one chainring which means less gears and greater gaps between them to cover a wide range.
BTW AFAIA the most is 12sp on any cassette,whether manufacturers will risk an unlucky 13sp is anyone's guess,especially when the racing types are so superstitious :shock:
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jb
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby jb » 22 Nov 2018, 12:32am

Cycles are far better than they ever were in almost every respect. What they have lost is the simple interchangeability that once prevailed. Also the bespoke frame builder has suffered.

If we end up back in a world where people with not much money and a need for cheap personal transport that is easily kept serviceable, then we may see a return to a cycle that had poor components cheaply replaced as long as time was the only free commodity available.
Cheers
J Bro

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Cugel
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Cugel » 22 Nov 2018, 9:54am

reohn2 wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Plus One for equipment one can maintain oneself

Agree though I appreciate not everyone wants to or can't.

Progress has gone too far with 14-speed cassettes and the like

Especially when combined with one chainring which means less gears and greater gaps between them to cover a wide range.
BTW AFAIA the most is 12sp on any cassette,whether manufacturers will risk an unlucky 13sp is anyone's guess,especially when the racing types are so superstitious :shock:


14-speed cassettes!? I must have a-one, toot sweet, along with the new 4-ring chainset. Now, let's see 4 X 14 is ..... No, I never learnt beyond the 12 times table - I'll need to find my slide rule.

Still, all them gears! As we know, having more gears makes you go much faster.

Cugel

PS It's certainly true that the younger riders are very superstitious. Many believe in magic and wear a ju-ju (aka the cycling helmet) as they believe it wards away the head-smack gremlin. In fact, it attracts the crash-devils.

fivebikes
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby fivebikes » 22 Nov 2018, 1:40pm

Late to the party but back in 1980 I splashed out close on £200 for a Claud Butler specially built for Evans when they were only at The Cut near Waterloo. Basically a Majestic with Campag hubs and Suntour gears. Still got it though much upgraded. We also bought a Majestique, from Beta Bikes in West Hampstead, which was stock apart from added suicide levers. Again, still in use and upgraded.
£200 then must be around £7-800 now.
Certainly a few good bikes available at that price, including some that will still be serviceable, providing kept up with, in nigh on 40 years.
So.....of course bikes are better but that’s probably the case with most things. They might not last for ever but nothing does really. My dewy eyed nostalgia still keeps me locked into vinyl records, film cameras, wind up watches..... but I understand the progress that allows, sci fi style, me to ask out loud for a song and have it played pretty much anywhere I am at that time. Now that’s magic!

thelawnet
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby thelawnet » 23 Nov 2018, 11:05am

reohn2 wrote:BTW AFAIA the most is 12sp on any cassette,whether manufacturers will risk an unlucky 13sp is anyone's guess,especially when the racing types are so superstitious :shock:


no there is 13sp already viewtopic.php?t=123377

reohn2
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Nov 2018, 2:32pm

thelawnet wrote:
reohn2 wrote:BTW AFAIA the most is 12sp on any cassette,whether manufacturers will risk an unlucky 13sp is anyone's guess,especially when the racing types are so superstitious :shock:


no there is 13sp already viewtopic.php?t=123377

Must've missed that,it went right by me as I can only muster a 3x10sp 30sp,with 27usable gears :? :wink:
And shock horror a 2x9sp,with18 usable gears on two other bikes :shock:
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Cugel
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby Cugel » 23 Nov 2018, 3:12pm

reohn2 wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
reohn2 wrote:BTW AFAIA the most is 12sp on any cassette,whether manufacturers will risk an unlucky 13sp is anyone's guess,especially when the racing types are so superstitious :shock:


no there is 13sp already viewtopic.php?t=123377

Must've missed that,it went right by me as I can only muster a 3x10sp 30sp,with 27usable gears :? :wink:
And shock horror a 2x9sp,with18 usable gears on two other bikes :shock:


MAMILs and other snobberers will turn up their drippy nozzles at your unfashionable, nay old-fashioned, arrangements. They will refuse to return your wave or nod of greeting. They will mutter to each other behind their hands in the café, as they stare at you then snicker in a derisory way. They will go outside to look down upon and sneer at your mount.

How can you bear their distain!? I am sure you will, even now, be scanning desperately through the Black Fridays for up-to-the-minute gubbins that can be got for 5% off. Perhaps you can reduce the sneers of those fashionistas by donning a Raphoss jersey (a bodge of Rapha body with Assos sleeves, so you can have both labels).

On the other hand ......... :-)

Cugel

reohn2
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Re: Are bikes as good as they were?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Nov 2018, 5:16pm

Cugel wrote:......... I am sure you will, even now, be scanning desperately through the Black Fridays for up-to-the-minute gubbins that can be got for 5% off. Perhaps you can reduce the sneers of those fashionistas by donning a Raphoss jersey (a bodge of Rapha body with Assos sleeves, so you can have both labels).

On the other hand ......... :-)

Cugel

Sir, you have me to a 'T' or should that be a skinny Lauttè(for it must be pronounce thuslly) made with the finest Arabica coffee,ground by a berk(a) wearing black from head to foot,and milk from two year old Jersey cow wearing a pullover,milked by a fair maiden who's family simply must have been resident of that fair isle for a minimum of five generations.
Served in a cup of the finest white porcelain by a 6ft drop dead gorgeous blonde young lady with a wink as she places it on the counter top before me.Purchacing of such a fine indulgence cannot be an everday occurance and must be savoured,as much as wince of the wallet is suffered.
My yearning for AssRap(also a wallet wincer of incredulity) is well known and universal,unfortunately I find breathing quite restrictive and difficult in even their extra largest of large sizes of bibshorts and should I need to bend down to check tyre pressure I find I spring back up to attention in a most alaming fashion :shock: .
I also find the three pockets in their jerseys(not cows)so high up that my arthritic joints won't allow me access my gels and snot rag,meaning I have to wear them frack to bunt with pockets on my now bulging stomach,which isn't so bad but I do have trouble zipping up at the back,and frequently need to seek help in the same way a lady may request her beau or husband to zip up her dress :(

R2,suffering in old age,but bearing up :?
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