Di2 - A technology too far?

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thelawnet
Posts: 2132
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby thelawnet » 3 Jun 2019, 5:00pm

hamster wrote:The biggest problem is that Shimano for decades has set out a stall of something new every year. That's fine if you are in the chip business which delivers twice as much compute power / half the size every 18 months...but this does not and cannot happen in mechanical engineering. Hence a load of pseudo innovations (metric chains, low-normal mechs, Octalink, 13 gear cassettes, dyna-sys pedals etc) which offer little or nothing in benefit.


Shimano still on 12 gears.... I think their product cycle is more like 4 years than one.

Computers haven't been able to double computing power in 18 months for over a decade now.

Something like a Core 2 Quad (4 cores at 2400 MHz), which was released in 2007, is still faster than some cheap chips sold today.

12 years before you would have had a Pentium (1) 120 Mhz, which bears no comparison.

There is still some sort of progress, but my next laptop is being purchased on the basis of lower power consumption (heat), the old one being a bit knackered, better charging methods, rather than any fundamental improvement over an 8 year old laptop.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2734
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Jun 2019, 5:14pm

Out of curiousity, what are Dyna-Sys pedals? I can only find that name in reference to a 10-speed mtb drivetrain with longer cable travel introduced by Shimano back in 2011. Even that only comes up in two places (Sheldon and an Australian technical document) so I'm guessing it wasn't a big success, but in any case neither mentions pedals.

Edit: Sheldon's page does mention Dyna Drive pedals, so I presume this is what Hamster was thinking of. He says:
Dyna Drive ®
In the early '80's, Shimano introduced a special crank/pedal set, which used much larger diameter threading where the pedal screwed into the crank. This allowed them to build the bearing into the inside of the pedal thread, eliminating the need for a pedal axle. The purpose of this was to improve the biomechanics of the pedal by placing the bottom of the foot below the pedal axis.
This was rather a good idea biomechanically, but never caught on. In practice, the pedal bearings turned out to be underengineered for the loadings they had to deal with.

hamster
Posts: 3148
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby hamster » 3 Jun 2019, 6:08pm

thelawnet wrote:
hamster wrote:The biggest problem is that Shimano for decades has set out a stall of something new every year. That's fine if you are in the chip business which delivers twice as much compute power / half the size every 18 months...but this does not and cannot happen in mechanical engineering. Hence a load of pseudo innovations (metric chains, low-normal mechs, Octalink, 13 gear cassettes, dyna-sys pedals etc) which offer little or nothing in benefit.


Shimano still on 12 gears.... I think their product cycle is more like 4 years than one.

Computers haven't been able to double computing power in 18 months for over a decade now.

Something like a Core 2 Quad (4 cores at 2400 MHz), which was released in 2007, is still faster than some cheap chips sold today.

12 years before you would have had a Pentium (1) 120 Mhz, which bears no comparison.

There is still some sort of progress, but my next laptop is being purchased on the basis of lower power consumption (heat), the old one being a bit knackered, better charging methods, rather than any fundamental improvement over an 8 year old laptop.


Moore's law was used to increase the number of cores. Note that Moore's law does not govern speed, which is limited by feature geometry much more. Core 2 Quad was 45nm. Note that I also said half the size, as ICs are now on 9nm (Samsung S8, Apple A11), so in 8 years they went from 45nm to 9nm. That's still tracking Moore's law. Note that PC processors are no longer particularly bleeding edge, that's servers and phones now.
The heat management in your laptop is due to the smaller process as it dynamically cycles cores in and out of duty to control heating...and the extra cores is a direct consequence of Moore's law.

Brucey
Posts: 34866
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby Brucey » 3 Jun 2019, 7:03pm

Image

dyna drive pedals and cranks. FWIW the idea behind it i.e. the position of the bearings relative to your feet, is at least 100 years old.

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

dim
Posts: 88
Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby dim » 3 Jun 2019, 7:35pm

Brucey wrote:Image

dyna drive pedals and cranks. FWIW the idea behind it i.e. the position of the bearings relative to your feet, is at least 100 years old.

cheers


On my Miyata 1000, I have the 1980's Shimano Biopace triple crankset. I had a bike fit last week (STT 3DMA) ... and the guy who does the bike fit said that it was one of Shimano's biggest 'mistakes'

I've only ridden the bike for the past week and a half, but I don't find any problem (yet)

NickJP
Posts: 97
Joined: 24 Sep 2018, 7:11pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby NickJP » 4 Jun 2019, 5:13am

Brucey wrote:Image

dyna drive pedals and cranks. FWIW the idea behind it i.e. the position of the bearings relative to your feet, is at least 100 years old.

cheers

I still have a pair of early-1980s Shimano Deore Dyna Drive touring cranks on one of my bikes, but I fitted adapters so that the cranks can take normal 9/16" threaded pedals. The cranks are quite nicely made, and take TA Cyclotouriste chainrings. As I recall, the Dyna Drive pedals had rather a reputation for failing - if the pedal body didn't break where it was cantilevered off the bearing, the bearings failed in fairly short order due to the strange loads imparted to the single bearing at the inboard end of the pedal.

Image
Image

nsew
Posts: 203
Joined: 14 Dec 2017, 12:38pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby nsew » 4 Jun 2019, 7:50am

dim wrote:
Brucey wrote:Image

dyna drive pedals and cranks. FWIW the idea behind it i.e. the position of the bearings relative to your feet, is at least 100 years old.

cheers


On my Miyata 1000, I have the 1980's Shimano Biopace triple crankset. I had a bike fit last week (STT 3DMA) ... and the guy who does the bike fit said that it was one of Shimano's biggest 'mistakes'

I've only ridden the bike for the past week and a half, but I don't find any problem (yet)


I used to run a steel bio-pace ring (26t) with round 36-46. Reason being It felt naturally good on the climbs.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Jun 2019, 8:22am

... one of Shimano's biggest 'mistakes' ...


One of Shimano's marketing strategies has involved compatibility, or rather reducing it. So, even within Shimano kit, this year's stuff may not mix with last year's. They tried to make existing standards - which were not universal anyway like pedal spindles - obsolete. When that strategy is successful, it commits users to that maker's products and reduces the effective life of those products. Shimano (and as CJ has reminded me Suntour before them) really improved some existing technology such as deraileurs and brakes. Perhaps their most obvious, but almost forgotten failed attempt to change a standard was the 10mm chain.

thelawnet
Posts: 2132
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby thelawnet » 4 Jun 2019, 10:06am

thirdcrank wrote:
... one of Shimano's biggest 'mistakes' ...


One of Shimano's marketing strategies has involved compatibility, or rather reducing it. So, even within Shimano kit, this year's stuff may not mix with last year's.


I am not sure how much of it is deliberate. A lot of the time their first version (or all versions) might be a bit rubbish. So you get lots of different 'i-spec' garbage I can only imagine because of shortcomings with the previous versions. Or they make Rapid Rise, and nobody wants it. Or they try to run 10-speed road gears on derailleurs from 7-speed, and find it doesn't work that well so dump it.

I can't imagine that the first version of things like Di2 could possibly be anything other than experimental and inevitably to be updated in version 2.

Of course all the 9 , 10, 11, 12 speed is just deliberate breaking of compatibility to sell new kit.

Brucey
Posts: 34866
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby Brucey » 4 Jun 2019, 11:46am

the change from 5 to 6 to 7 to 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 etc etc is just an (idiotic) arms race. In fairness shimano's competitors have nearly always pulled the trigger on the next generation just before shimano, rather than just afterwards, in recent years which suggests that they are all spying on one another (almost certainly true) or that shimano have (at times) had new kit lined up ready to go but don't see any reason to push the market.

When I was a yoof I was a happy participant in the 'arms race'; when most folk still had 5s, I ran 7s freewheels as soon as I could buy them (Sun Tour) and when Dura-Ace 7400 was launched five years later I really couldn't understand why it only had 6s to start with. However for racing 2x7 is enough in most cases and 3x7 is enough for everything else, and if you make the rear hub wider, I'd sooner have a stronger rear wheel than more gear ratios thank you. So whilst I've owned all kinds of bikes with more gears, I've mainly only done so because it has been fitted on bikes I have bought, rather than going out and seeking it per se.

Competition in the equipment market is good in many ways but it has also spurred the profusion of (mostly fairly pointless) 'innovations' that ultimately don't benefit anybody; they don't benefit the manufacturers, they don't benefit the end users and they don't benefit the bike shops either. Its the unintentional (and perhaps unavoidable) side effect of the free market and competition within it, the ugly face of consumerism if you like. Product life cycles are driven into being shorter than ever and it seems that the manufacturers either don't mind this or even see it as a way of shifting more stuff; from this POV it isn't in their interest to make stuff that lasts for decades.

In the mass market it has been a race to the bottom and the bottom has been reached; yer £60-100 BSOs are not fit to be ridden far, they serve mainly to put people off bikes and cycling in many cases.

No wonder then that the consumer has voted with his feet in many cases; often a 30 year old bike of quality, in good condition, is worth more than a five or ten year old bike, and legions of urban riders have said "stuff gears" and gone singlespeed .

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

mig
Posts: 2019
Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby mig » 4 Jun 2019, 12:00pm

dim wrote:I commute with my bike with di2 for more than 40km/day, 6 days a week, 12 months a year in all weather. Not once have I had any problems with the Di2 and not once has the battery failed.
I charge the battery once a month. Since I've had the bike, I've never had to have the di2 serviced/set, and gear changes are rapid/instant

Out of curiosity why did you choose that kit for that ride?

hamster
Posts: 3148
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby hamster » 5 Jun 2019, 10:03am

Brucey wrote: < ^ SNIP ^ >


I agree wholehearedly. One of the points that gets forgotten is that newer stuff (with all the extra cogs etc) is that the hidden cost is durability and robustness. Newer stuff doesn't suddenly make older kit worse either.
Still running 3x7 on my tourer, as Brucey says it makes a stronger rear wheel, which makes for peace of mind and trouble-free trips. Combined with bar-end shifters it's robust and simple as a knife and fork.

reohn2
Posts: 35312
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jun 2019, 11:44am

hamster wrote:
I agree wholehearedly. One of the points that gets forgotten is that newer stuff (with all the extra cogs etc) is that the hidden cost is durability and robustness. Newer stuff doesn't suddenly make older kit worse either.
Still running 3x7 on my tourer, as Brucey says it makes a stronger rear wheel, which makes for peace of mind and trouble-free trips. Combined with bar-end shifters it's robust and simple as a knife and fork.

3x9 offers 2 extra ratios,with the same hub/chain/cassette dureability and I've never had a 9sp rear wheel give any trouble due to load,even on tandems, though TBF the tandems were either 40 or 48hole but carried far more weight were under far more torque than any solo tourer
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I cycle therefore I am.

hamster
Posts: 3148
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby hamster » 5 Jun 2019, 1:26pm

I'd agree with pre-2001 Campag - I never ever have to adjust it. I have always found Shimano 9 speed to be significantly more tetchy than 7 or 8. The extra gears are pretty irrelevant on my tourer, which with a 7 speed 11-28 cassette gets everything from 20" to 90" without any insanely complicated shift patterns.

dim
Posts: 88
Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

Re: Di2 - A technology too far?

Postby dim » 5 Jun 2019, 2:45pm

mig wrote:
dim wrote:I commute with my bike with di2 for more than 40km/day, 6 days a week, 12 months a year in all weather. Not once have I had any problems with the Di2 and not once has the battery failed.
I charge the battery once a month. Since I've had the bike, I've never had to have the di2 serviced/set, and gear changes are rapid/instant

Out of curiosity why did you choose that kit for that ride?


I worked lots of overtime and wanted to treat myself to a faster bike as I do lots of miles ....

It was a toss up between a Tarmac SL6 and an Emonda SL6, and I got a better deal with the Emonda (it's also better on the hills)

I have a Miyata 1000 touring bike now aswell (bought it 3 weeks ago) which I will use for winter commuting, touring/wild camping and some Audax rides .... My Emonda will be used for the harder more important Audax rides (I have the Miss Grape bags for that)

I'm saving up for 2 more bikes (a Brompton and a vintage Bob Jackson racing Tricycle)