thelawnet wrote: ….And as I said, there is certainly a group of people who'd be quite happy hooking their bike up to their computer, but would never touch a barrel adjuster.
yes, these people are mostly known as 'non-cyclists'....
It doesn't matter how much electronic bullsquirt you add to a bicycle, it doesn't mean it isn't a mechanical device any more. If you have no mechanical aptitude whatsoever you are still going to have fairly massive and frequent bicycle problems with any 'posh' modern bike. Using electronic gear shifting just adds another layer of disparate complexity to the bicycle whilst offering very little in return.
Outside of professionally maintained bikes used in high level competition, there are about a hundred different things I would do to improve bicycles before I'd bother with that.
I've mentioned this before but things that are of real benefit to the majority of cyclists can be described as 'displacive technologies', i.e. they effectively replace the previous technology, which more or less disappears, certainly in any one manufacturer's range. IMHO the closest things we have had to a displacive technology in the last 40 years are indexed shifting/HG sprocket designs. [However the thing that has been of most benefit (to tourists certainly) has been the cassette hub. That this isn't a universally held view is amply demonstrated by the fact that cheap bikes have indexed shifting before they have cassette hubs.]
Anyway all the 'new things' (some of which are reinventions at best) that have become popular in the last few decades which includes
- 8,9,10,11, 12, 13 speed gearing
- tubeless tyres
- different sorts of brakes
- carbon fibre parts
all share one thing in common; none of them are truly displacive technologies; at best they have become common -but not ubiquitous- in one or more subsets of cycling. Manufacturers that offer these technologies have, by and large, thought it prudent to continue to offer the (older) alternatives too. This is at least tacit admission that their new stuff isn't going to suit everyone/everything if not an outright admission that it is seriously flawed.