Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

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hondated
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby hondated » 18 Sep 2017, 1:42pm

Great thread.
Owning seven bikes for various reasons I've suddenly realised it's not another bike I need but rather new heart legs and head.
If you think the hobby of cycling has changed over many years then try taking up fishing again after 55 years and then you will see change.

Brucey
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby Brucey » 18 Sep 2017, 4:16pm

Samuel D wrote: ....Still, I can think of two examples off the top of my head: Shimano Biopace chainrings and the new construction technique used in Michelin Hi-Lite tyres. Berto was a fan of them both, but they’ve both fallen by the wayside.

You may know this, but I wasn’t aware of it before reading the book: the Hi-Lite didn’t use the standard two-three ply construction with parallel cords but instead a fine two-way mesh sandwiched between two coarser two-way meshes. The book doesn’t go into enough detail here, but it doesn’t sound like a system in use today. (It also sounds a bit bonkers to me, since rolling tyres need to change dimension across their plies and you’d think a mesh would hinder that – though perhaps not if a scissor action is possible?)...


Whilst biopace may have fallen by the wayside the concept of changing things using oval rings is arguably alive and kicking. Both the TdF and the Vuelta were won on oval chainrings this year.

I know that HiLites were built differently, but my recollection of them was that

a) they stretched, so would gradually increase in size and
b) they felt soft and draggy even when they were up to pressure, and
c) the fabric used in the carcass was rather more vulnerable to damage than other constructions. A good number of the hilites I had died because I ran over a small stone (that didn't cause a puncture or damage the tread) but it did damage the carcass.

I don't know this for sure but the fabric in HiLite carcasses looked suspiciously like the fabric in the carcass of the Michelin 'elan' (circa 1977, one of the very first modern skinny HP tyres, made specifically to fit onto Mavic E2 rims). They felt squidgy and draggy even when fully inflated too, they swelled and they suffered carcass failures also.

My pick of Michelin tyres for training on for years was one called 'Bib-sport 25'. (Think if you will of a 'select' but with a nicer carcass and a rib and file tread). It was resolutely conventional in its construction and didn't have puncture protection or anything but was fast (for its size and weight), had a nice tread pattern, and was strong enough to tour on too. Once matured for a year or so they didn't cut up badly or anything.

The problem in a tyre with more, thicker threads in more, thicker layers is that the carcass won't bend (flex) as nicely as if it is built of thinner, fine weave plies. The shearing action may or may not be accommodated well; the devil is in the detail.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tangled Metal
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby Tangled Metal » 18 Sep 2017, 9:17pm

There's a guy I see commuting locally on an mtb with three spoked wheels and some really weird suspension on the front. Can't remember what it was other than I think there was a parallelogram structure in it. The bike looked a mix of cheap/nasty and decent quality.

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bigjim
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby bigjim » 18 Sep 2017, 10:21pm

Jobst Brandt blasting the industry for carbon fibre, low-spoke-count wheels, cassettes with more than about five sprockets, etc.

Jobst did embrace some modern developments in cycling. His bike was designed to take an AHead stem instead of traditional quill. He used 7 speed Shimano cassettes as he thought his original Campag freewheels were weak and badly designed. Plus, also rode with SPDs. He was more married to the simplicity concept rather than in his opinion, being driven by marketing.
Hence his ownership of only one bike. Described himself as a bad consumer. I'd quite like to be described as such.
Nothing left to prove.

StephenW
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby StephenW » 18 Sep 2017, 10:21pm

This is a slightly different angle to Brucey's original point, but perhaps part of the reason this "progress" is frustrating, is that so much effort is going on things which are relatively unimportant (e.g. adding another sprocket), when there are other areas with significant potential for improvement. If bike design was already nearly perfect in every other way, then we wouldn't be so bothered about all this faff for just one more sprocket.

mark a.
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby mark a. » 18 Sep 2017, 10:30pm

There's always room for another moan, it seems. It wasn't that long ago that people were complaining about hipster fixie riders (we still do, to some extent, especially after the recent court case).

So from the super-simple fixie to the over-complicated MAMIL-machine we have all bases covered as targets for our scorn.

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Spinners
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby Spinners » 18 Sep 2017, 10:36pm

hondated wrote:Owning seven bikes for various reasons I've suddenly realised it's not another bike I need but rather new heart legs and head.



Well said.

Here's another good 'losing the plot' example with someone reviewing Specialized's 2018 line-up;

Top dog is the S-Works Tarmac Ultralight (£9,000) which sheds more weight over the regular versions by using a very thin paint finish that weighs just 10g!

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Samuel D
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby Samuel D » 19 Sep 2017, 1:36am

bigjim wrote:Jobst did embrace some modern developments in cycling.

He did indeed. The good ones as he saw them!

I think the most surprising thing he adopted was indexed shifting. I say surprising because, in addition to his concern for simplicity and engineering elegance (not to mention his lack of concern for novice-friendly operation), he recognised the costs of allowing unnecessary standards to proliferate. And indexed shifting comes with unavoidable new standards, reducing the scope for mixing and matching components.

You can clearly tell from Brandt’s online legacy that he cared a great deal that standards be good, few, and durable.

These days the problem of non-standardisation has grown out of all proportion. The amount of proprietary innovation on a recent Trek or Specialized ‘aero road’ bike is worrying. Little of it will be around in even five years, if recent history is anything to go by. These bicycles have truly become disposable, despite their high prices. They are so highly integrated, and parts availability is so poor, that the whole lot becomes scrap when something significant fails.

ChrisButch
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby ChrisButch » 19 Sep 2017, 9:06am

Brucey wrote:I don't know this for sure but the fabric in HiLite carcasses looked suspiciously like the fabric in the carcass of the Michelin 'elan' (circa 1977, one of the very first modern skinny HP tyres, made specifically to fit onto Mavic E2 rims). They felt squidgy and draggy even when fully inflated too, they swelled and they suffered carcass failures also.

Believe it or not I still have a Michelin Elan running on my turbo-trainer bike.

mig
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby mig » 19 Sep 2017, 9:27am

ChrisButch wrote:
Brucey wrote:I don't know this for sure but the fabric in HiLite carcasses looked suspiciously like the fabric in the carcass of the Michelin 'elan' (circa 1977, one of the very first modern skinny HP tyres, made specifically to fit onto Mavic E2 rims). They felt squidgy and draggy even when fully inflated too, they swelled and they suffered carcass failures also.

Believe it or not I still have a Michelin Elan running on my turbo-trainer bike.


yeah i avoid the turbo as much as i can too.

hjd10
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby hjd10 » 19 Sep 2017, 6:25pm

At my usual local off road trail that is Sherwood pines, I am always amazed at how many people are riding around on bikes that cost £3000 plus. I guess many people have much more money now than they have had any time before.
It is easy to fall into the situation where you are chasing the latest and greatest upgrade, the problem is you never actually get there.

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NUKe
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby NUKe » 19 Sep 2017, 9:28pm

People spend large amounts of money on cars watches. I really don't see why people get upset when people spend money on bikes, if I wanted to spend 10 k on a bike it would be my money to spend on as I please. Also 10k to one person is a lot and is pocket money to next.
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mig
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby mig » 19 Sep 2017, 10:28pm

NUKe wrote:People spend large amounts of money on cars watches. I really don't see why people get upset when people spend money on bikes, if I wanted to spend 10 k on a bike it would be my money to spend on as I please. Also 10k to one person is a lot and is pocket money to next.


but isn't this the exact thrust of the thread? that cycling is a simple, inexpensive pleasure being invaded by marketing to make such as 10K bikes available with no real need to do so.
it's all about the ride for me, not the price of the bike i'm on.

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horizon
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby horizon » 19 Sep 2017, 11:15pm

NUKe wrote:People spend large amounts of money on cars watches. I really don't see why people get upset when people spend money on bikes, if I wanted to spend 10 k on a bike it would be my money to spend on as I please. Also 10k to one person is a lot and is pocket money to next.


Oddly enough it really annoys me when people budget paltry amounts for a bike or proudly announce that they're riding an old BSO that they found on the tip. I'm not particularly well-off but I think money spent on a good bike is money well spent. The problem seems to me often the reverse: bikes are leisure purchases, cars are essential so spending on bikes is seen as indulgent.

It's the sort of bikes that people spend money on, not the amount, that I think is ridiculous ... (did I mention carbon? :mrgreen:)
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Brucey
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Re: Cycling as a whole; losing the plot...?

Postby Brucey » 19 Sep 2017, 11:27pm

I don't care if people with more money than sense buy bikes that might be stupid or pointless, I really don't. What I do care about is that folk who might not have two beans to rub together think that they have to have the same kind of kit in order to be competitive or even to enjoy cycle sport at all. This is just as dumb (and ultimately much more destructive) as folk buying supermarket bikes and thinking that they are representative of all bicycles.

Brandt's approval of indexed gears makes some sense to me. When indexing was first introduced, you had DT levers, and they had a little switch so that the indexing could be turned off. Some Sun tour levers even had a control that allowed the indexing mode to be selected, between 6s and 7s for example. Once you turned the indexing off, you had friction shifters again, that worked reasonably well. The levers were not appreciably heavier or more likely to go wrong or be damaged than friction-only levers were. So it was basically a gain with no real loss; it made the use of indexing acceptable, even if it was obviously (with hindsight) the thin end of a wedge. The only special parts were the lever matched with the rear mech and the sprockets; but the sprockets, rear mech and chain that worked with indexing also worked well with friction shifting; again no loss. Any mishmash of parts could (more or less) be made to work OK, provided you were happy with friction shifting, just like it used to.

If I were to quibble, I might say that in the friction mode, the indexed shifters feel not quite as nice as the best friction only shifters. But this is a small point.

Later incarnations of indexing eroded away all the things about it that made it acceptable in the first place.

cheers
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