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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    The Colnagos use external lugs and still do even on the C62 to this day. It isn't clear to me why they do it since their C series hat were made in Taiwan used a very high level of engineering that included the fairing into other tubes which spreads the loads over a much greater area and hence reduce any local loads.

    When people talk about poor Chinese components they clearly do not know anything about it and do not know that their best engineers have attended the greatest universities in the world. Before WW II the Japanese had the best engineering there was at the time. Today the Chinese are much the same though government military contracts retain as good American engineering.
    Yep, external lugs. How about that? Ernesto knows when something works really great, stick with it and win world fame. External lugs hold the frame steady while the tubes can be slim and absorb shocks nicely. Stiff at the joints, resilient in the tubes. Calfee uses the same techniques. No plastic shock absorbers glued in, just straight, natural, seamless steel [or carbon].

    Well, I guess you're on point portraying Chinese engineers as clever as the Sony and Toyota guys a few decades ago. The Chinese have always been creative with "Western technology," ever since steamship days. Trouble is, they always seem to cut corners, to get a little more bang for the buck.

    The desk I'm sitting at looked really spiffy out of the box, but 5 years later the paper thin wood laminate is separating and wearing off in the spots I put stuff on; the trim has separated so many times, it's now duct taped; the slide-out keyboard shelf is drooping. Underneath the laminate it's fiberboard, so the only repair would be pasting another laminate over the top.

    Had to put a bigger switch on the desk top lamp. Its base is so short it has to sit up on a box to get a good spread of light. The original switch in the base lasted about a year. The spring broke. Another lamp came with a little twist grip switch on top that lasted about two years. It couldn't handle the electrical current or heat from the bulb, or provide enough grip for the fingers to turn it on or off. So put a more substantial switch on it with a heat absorbing porcelain socket, and had to wrap a zip-tie around it to make it turn. I mean, come on, if the switch has a wimpy grip, make it larger.

    The Sansom flip phone I carry on bike rides has worked great for years electronically, but the buttons have split, the numbers are hard to read, and it finally flipped open being dropped one too many times. I'd say a result of insufficient engineering, using materials that didn't hold up under use.

    Three small examples.

    And then there's the legacy of cars made in Detroit in the '70s. The Americans can do it when they try, but the Germans and Japanese have higher standards. Now that China has more millionaires than the US, they can afford to squander on R&D and also turn out some nice stuff, huh?
    Last edited by Fredrico; 1 Week Ago at 02:54 PM.

  2. #202
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    [QUOTESo what we're presently seeing in cycling is probably a very bad trend - lightest weight possible which is similar to the latest trend in components which are the largest number of speeds possible. This will cause little more than headaches for the sports/recreational rider. Though some trends are good (tubeless tires) most of the others are not, More speeds means narrower cogs and rings, higher ratio differences with 11-32 cogsets for hard Tour stages and derailleurs now so weak that picking up a rock or wire into your rear derailleur can end your ride. It makes you yearn for the old days of 8 speeds when you could have a gear for every purpose without having to shift two or three times every time you are changing terrain. So maybe manufacturers should be building bikes more for the actual use of a rider rather than getting them to play at racing rather than buying a bike that actually serves a purpose. This is fine for kids but I have ridden in a lot of areas and what I'm seeing is that riders tend to be in the mid 30's and later. Racers are very few but people trying to keep up with them are far too plentiful. And here I am now in the higher age group and most of my riding buddies are dead or having extreme health problems.

    I have a good day when I do a metric and average 15 mph. And yet when I did a very large metric with about 2,000 riders in it when I crossed the line I was told that I was the 182nd finisher. And several hundred of the Century riders started an hour before me! Does this sound like people should be worried about maximum performance and only using the lightest and most expensive bikes made? You could get a high quality high quantity manufactured bike made of steel with top line components on it for $2,500 or less vs a $13,000 carbon fiber wonder. If you are in your mid to late 30's that $10,000 in your retirement account can made a huge difference to having a longer and more comfortable retirement on your original bike![/QUOTE]

    Much blather about nothing. more opinion that actual fact. The whole spew nonsense about weight weenie crap has been long over. Weights on major components have come down by small percentages with each new group but haven't changed drastically in 15 yrs at least. Most companies are no longer pushing the weight limits on every single component they produce. You will always have companies that will build uber light brakes or pedals or wheelsets. Speedplay and their $600 (at one time. don't know if they still make the them) ultralight titanium pedals. Less weight = more $$$$$ and they are now playing to the bigger audience.

    From your other posts we've learned your an engineer or so you claim and yet you say that you have never changed your cables except when you have changed components. You do know that cables stretch? and can fray? Just FYI. Also a "good" steel frame (Independent Fab for example) these days will cost $2k+.

    You live in the bay area and yet you bash others when they have talked a climbing. The bay area? Really? You live someplace with a bunch of foothills. While the climbs can be steep the are also generally short.

    And you are 75. Well if you have been cycling for any length of time, you would have known that your opening statement was 95% misconceptions and misstatements.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer View Post
    [QUOTESo what we're presently seeing in cycling is probably a very bad trend - lightest weight possible which is similar to the latest trend in components which are the largest number of speeds possible. This will cause little more than headaches for the sports/recreational rider. Though some trends are good (tubeless tires) most of the others are not, More speeds means narrower cogs and rings, higher ratio differences with 11-32 cogsets for hard Tour stages and derailleurs now so weak that picking up a rock or wire into your rear derailleur can end your ride. It makes you yearn for the old days of 8 speeds when you could have a gear for every purpose without having to shift two or three times every time you are changing terrain. So maybe manufacturers should be building bikes more for the actual use of a rider rather than getting them to play at racing rather than buying a bike that actually serves a purpose. This is fine for kids but I have ridden in a lot of areas and what I'm seeing is that riders tend to be in the mid 30's and later. Racers are very few but people trying to keep up with them are far too plentiful. And here I am now in the higher age group and most of my riding buddies are dead or having extreme health problems.

    I have a good day when I do a metric and average 15 mph. And yet when I did a very large metric with about 2,000 riders in it when I crossed the line I was told that I was the 182nd finisher. And several hundred of the Century riders started an hour before me! Does this sound like people should be worried about maximum performance and only using the lightest and most expensive bikes made? You could get a high quality high quantity manufactured bike made of steel with top line components on it for $2,500 or less vs a $13,000 carbon fiber wonder. If you are in your mid to late 30's that $10,000 in your retirement account can made a huge difference to having a longer and more comfortable retirement on your original bike!
    Much blather about nothing. more opinion that actual fact. The whole spew nonsense about weight weenie crap has been long over. Weights on major components have come down by small percentages with each new group but haven't changed drastically in 15 yrs at least. Most companies are no longer pushing the weight limits on every single component they produce. You will always have companies that will build uber light brakes or pedals or wheelsets. Speedplay and their $600 (at one time. don't know if they still make the them) ultralight titanium pedals. Less weight = more $$$$$ and they are now playing to the bigger audience.

    From your other posts we've learned your an engineer or so you claim and yet you say that you have never changed your cables except when you have changed components. You do know that cables stretch? and can fray? Just FYI. Also a "good" steel frame (Independent Fab for example) these days will cost $2k+.

    You live in the bay area and yet you bash others when they have talked a climbing. The bay area? Really? You live someplace with a bunch of foothills. While the climbs can be steep the are also generally short.

    And you are 75. Well if you have been cycling for any length of time, you would have known that your opening statement was 95% misconceptions and misstatements.[/QUOTE]

    I agree w/ most of your post but cables do NOT stretch.
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  4. #204
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    I think he's gone. He started posting after 2 years of being away. Hopefully it will be at least another 2 years before we see him again.
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  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I think he's gone. He started posting after 2 years of being away. Hopefully it will be at least another 2 years before we see him again.
    He found the Down is Up/Up is Down Forum. They'll love him over there.

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer View Post
    So what we're presently seeing in cycling is probably a very bad trend - lightest weight possible which is similar to the latest trend in components which are the largest number of speeds possible. This will cause little more than headaches for the sports/recreational rider. Though some trends are good (tubeless tires) most of the others are not, More speeds means narrower cogs and rings, higher ratio differences with 11-32 cogsets for hard Tour stages and derailleurs now so weak that picking up a rock or wire into your rear derailleur can end your ride. It makes you yearn for the old days of 8 speeds when you could have a gear for every purpose without having to shift two or three times every time you are changing terrain. So maybe manufacturers should be building bikes more for the actual use of a rider rather than getting them to play at racing rather than buying a bike that actually serves a purpose. This is fine for kids but I have ridden in a lot of areas and what I'm seeing is that riders tend to be in the mid 30's and later. Racers are very few but people trying to keep up with them are far too plentiful. And here I am now in the higher age group and most of my riding buddies are dead or having extreme health problems.

    I have a good day when I do a metric and average 15 mph. And yet when I did a very large metric with about 2,000 riders in it when I crossed the line I was told that I was the 182nd finisher. And several hundred of the Century riders started an hour before me! Does this sound like people should be worried about maximum performance and only using the lightest and most expensive bikes made? You could get a high quality high quantity manufactured bike made of steel with top line components on it for $2,500 or less vs a $13,000 carbon fiber wonder. If you are in your mid to late 30's that $10,000 in your retirement account can made a huge difference to having a longer and more comfortable retirement on your original bike!
    Much blather about nothing. more opinion that actual fact. The whole spew nonsense about weight weenie crap has been long over. Weights on major components have come down by small percentages with each new group but haven't changed drastically in 15 yrs at least. Most companies are no longer pushing the weight limits on every single component they produce. You will always have companies that will build uber light brakes or pedals or wheelsets. Speedplay and their $600 (at one time. don't know if they still make the them) ultralight titanium pedals. Less weight = more $$$$$ and they are now playing to the bigger audience.

    From your other posts we've learned your an engineer or so you claim and yet you say that you have never changed your cables except when you have changed components. You do know that cables stretch? and can fray? Just FYI. Also a "good" steel frame (Independent Fab for example) these days will cost $2k+.

    You live in the bay area and yet you bash others when they have talked a climbing. The bay area? Really? You live someplace with a bunch of foothills. While the climbs can be steep the are also generally short.

    And you are 75. Well if you have been cycling for any length of time, you would have known that your opening statement was 95% misconceptions and misstatements.
    tl;dr
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  7. #207
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    What happened to Mr Know it all/Done it all? Did he give up or get a vacation?
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  8. #208
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    He is posting on usenet again (about electronic shifting).

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    What happened to Mr Know it all/Done it all? Did he give up or get a vacation?
    I think he was butt hurt when you hit him with negative rep.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    What happened to Mr Know it all/Done it all? Did he give up or get a vacation?
    Last I heard he was scouring Youtube trying to find evidence of an entire peloton getting flats all at once.
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  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Got Time View Post
    He is posting on usenet again (about electronic shifting).
    They still refer to it as "electrically actuated shifting" on usenet.

  12. #212
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    Usenet still exists? Is it all elderly crackpots now?
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Usenet still exists? Is it all elderly crackpots now?
    I never used it on old days...someone post a link, I want to check it out. Could be good entertainment.
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  14. #214
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    Well, the old man has some great points. Steel is real. Carbon is plastic. The whole reason behind gravel bikes is to retrieve a market for strong bikes that reliably go the distance, hold up to abuse, and don't split apart in a crash and leave rider stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    10 speeds is nuts, 11, 12 even more insane. So builders go to one chainring--back to 10 speed bikes! And long cage derailleurs that bend up about twice as fast as short cage derailleurs. Those skinny 10-11 speed cogs wear out twice as fast as the old 6-8 speeds. The thin chains separate more readily and you have to use a special link, the one that always breaks, instead of just popping in normal links with a chain tool. Friction shifting is much simpler, trouble free, fast and easy on 6-8 speed gear clusters. The cables are nice and short, so the shifts are fast and stiff.

    I don't care what the magazines tell us, put on a 28mm, 32mm or 40mm tire on your go everywhere road bike and you won't go as fast and sprightly as on 25mm tires.

    Steel is cheap and easy to work with, so a great steel frame costs 1/3rd or less that of the latest carbon wonders.

    Its telling, gravel bikes are the thing. They're a return to practical bikes most riders want, and won't cost as much as a late model used car. I paid a whopping $1400 for my '84 DeRosa Professional, the exact same frame ridden by Eddy Merckx, the one he copied in his original bikes. It has at least 75,000 miles on it, crashed more times than I can count, and still rides the same as it did in '84. I could put 28mm tires on it, hell, ride it on 25mm tires, and go on hard packed dirt roads just fine. Cinelli Campione Del Mondo bars bend, but have never seen any break in a crash.

    The trusty Silca floor pump still works 35 years later, while all the others lasted about three years. The new owners resurfaced the frame fit Imperio, same pump with a slightly upgraded head, not quite as bullet proof than the original head offered by Campy.

    Who needs 10-11-12 gears in back? 6 or 7 will do it, 8 speeds a luxury. Hardly ever see riders on their big inner cogs. They're riding those sub 17# carbon wonders out on the middle cogs, the 17, 16, 15, 14, on those wimpy 36 tooth chain rings. The difference in shifting is, like he said, let the legs adjust cadence. Larger shifts teach the legs to spin nicely on the downshifts and build strength on the upshifts. I find myself shifting all the time, often across two or three gears, on 10 speeds. The really small jumps are great on the flats, except I like to stay in one gear and let the legs and grade determine speed. The shifts from 52 to 39 are bad enough, even worse jumping down to the 36 or 34. Best shifts are no more than 10 tooth jumps; 52-42 is great; 53-44 even better. Bigger cogs have more teeth and don't wear out as fast as smaller cogs.

    36 or 32 cross 3 spoking builds reliable, bullet proof wheels that last for years. When the rims get scored from braking, I've replace them on the old hubs and probably also the old spokes if I'd tensioned them evenly around the rim. I've done this 4 or 5 times and never broken a spoke.

    For the riding I've had available, only ever needed two bikes, one with fenders, 28mm tires and a 28t freewheel, for commuting and bad weather, the other the DeRosa "race bike." Aside from the one time I caught a coat hanger in the derailleur and bent the derailleur boss, I've always made it home after a crash.

    Ah, clipless pedals! I can ride rat traps, clips, and straps, with cleated cycling shoes or tennis shoes, no problem. My feet don't come off the pedals but I can pull out in a second and put my foot on the ground, no twisting the foot disrupting balance. Keirin trackies and Greg LeMond still used toe clips and straps after clipless became the fashion, finding they provided a stiffer platform when racing hard.

    Then there's threaded cup and cone BBs and wheel bearings, entirely serviceable; they don't loosen up, and last forever. I would have trouble finding a new bike with all the features of my old steel bikes from the '80s. Gravel bikes come closest. Who woulda known? What goes around comes around.

    That $1400 was the best investment I've ever made. Campy Super Record, too, top of the line. Then again, no reason to be snotty. Some riders like to stick with what suits them. Others like to experiment with the latest trick stuff. I could never afford it and sure can't now. I wouldn't want to ride an 18 year old carbon bike, that's for sure and would have to win the lottery to afford a spiffy new Pinarello. So forget it.

    It's not the bike. It's the legs. I have no handicap except advanced age. Quality steel and cup and cone bearings make up for it.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Well, the old man has some great points.

    10 speeds is nuts, 11, 12 even more insane.
    Bwahahahahaha
    Good job throwing the old man under the bus! The old many you're attempting to apologize for rides a 10 speed. Too F'n funny.

    This whole "x" number of gears in enough argument is just stupid. Why do you need 6 speeds? 5 was enough. What do you need 3 speeds? 1 was enough when they started the Tour de France.
    So unless you're riding a single speed, you should just STFU and HTFU because you're guilty of your own hypocrisy.

    And long cage derailleurs that bend up about twice as fast as short cage derailleurs.
    You're just making stuff up. I've never had a derailleur 'bend up". Long or short.

    The thin chains separate more readily and you have to use a special link, the one that always breaks, instead of just popping in normal links with a chain tool.
    Been using 'special' links since 8 speed. Never has one break. (and I reuse them too )

    Who needs 10-11-12 gears in back? 6 or 7 will do it, 8 speeds a luxury. Hardly ever see riders on their big inner cogs. They're riding those sub 17# carbon wonders out on the middle cogs, the 17, 16, 15, 14, on those wimpy 36 tooth chain rings. The difference in shifting is, like he said, let the legs adjust cadence.
    Who needs 6 or 7? You should be riding a single speed. 6 or 7 is a luxury.
    I have a riding buddy who's 68yro. He rides a fixie. Last week he did a ride on it with 70ft/mi. You must be a pu$$y with those 6 gears.



    It's not the bike. It's the legs. I have no handicap except advanced age.
    Which is utter bull$#it proven by the fact that you don't ride a single speed. Or a 3 speed. Apparently your legs aren't enough.
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  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Bwahahahahaha
    Good job throwing the old man under the bus! The old many you're attempting to apologize for rides a 10 speed. Too F'n funny.

    This whole "x" number of gears in enough argument is just stupid. Why do you need 6 speeds? 5 was enough. What do you need 3 speeds? 1 was enough when they started the Tour de France.
    So unless you're riding a single speed, you should just STFU and HTFU because you're guilty of your own hypocrisy.

    You're just making stuff up. I've never had a derailleur 'bend up". Long or short.

    Been using 'special' links since 8 speed. Never has one break. (and I reuse them too )

    Who needs 6 or 7? You should be riding a single speed. 6 or 7 is a luxury.
    I have a riding buddy who's 68yro. He rides a fixie. Last week he did a ride on it with 70ft/mi. You must be a pu$$y with those 6 gears.



    Which is utter bull$#it proven by the fact that you don't ride a single speed. Or a 3 speed. Apparently your legs aren't enough.
    Who needs gears? And for that matter, who needs safety bikes, penny farthings were good enough! No chains, cassettes or cranksets to wear out!
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  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Who needs gears? And for that matter, who needs safety bikes, penny farthings were good enough! No chains, cassettes or cranksets to wear out!
    Who even needs a bike? Just walk, ya pantywaist!
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Bwahahahahaha
    Good job throwing the old man under the bus! The old many you're attempting to apologize for rides a 10 speed. Too F'n funny.

    This whole "x" number of gears in enough argument is just stupid. Why do you need 6 speeds? 5 was enough. What do you need 3 speeds? 1 was enough when they started the Tour de France.
    So unless you're riding a single speed, you should just STFU and HTFU because you're guilty of your own hypocrisy.

    You're just making stuff up. I've never had a derailleur 'bend up". Long or short.

    Been using 'special' links since 8 speed. Never has one break. (and I reuse them too )

    Who needs 6 or 7? You should be riding a single speed. 6 or 7 is a luxury.
    I have a riding buddy who's 68yro. He rides a fixie. Last week he did a ride on it with 70ft/mi. You must be a pu$$y with those 6 gears.



    Which is utter bull$#it proven by the fact that you don't ride a single speed. Or a 3 speed. Apparently your legs aren't enough.
    Hey, 42-22 may as well be single speed! I'm in it all the time! Yep, another 9 gears are like overdrive! When conditions are favorable.

    The thing about all these gears is style. You wanna pedal at the same leg speed all the time? Have short jumps between gears. You wanna vary leg speed, like your fixie buddy? Have larger jumps between gears. Single speed works great for perfecting spin and developing leg strength, consistent with my argument for fewer gears with bigger jumps.

    Riding 10 speed cassettes, I noticed immediately that using closely spaced low speed gears, 39/19 to 26, made me shift more than one cog over to pick up the cadence while simultaneously adapting to the changing grade. One gear wouldn't make enough difference. The grade would always be slightly too much. With 6 speeds, shifting once into the next cog, the jumps are just right and the legs pick up the cadence without strain.

    Why have a bunch of low and high gears you never use? I've never been able to pedal for any length of time in 52-13 solo without a tailwind or downgrade, but on a good day can handle 52-14. At 90 rpm, 52/14 is a great gear for building up a nice aerobic spin right below anaerobic threshold. Standard "fast touring" freewheels in the '70s were 14-28. !3s came along in the '80s, then 12s, then 11s, more gears outside the range most riders use at normal bicycling speeds, 6 to 25 mph. So manufacturers shrank the chainrings, "compact gearing" that mortals can actually handle.

    Approaching a climb, I drop the chain into the smaller chain ring first. The 52/42 ten tooth jump is just right. I can maintain speed without spinning out. 52-39 would be slighly too much, one freewheel cog in back too little. Lots of riders attack the hill in the large ring and then slow way down midway up, when they shift from the 52 or 50 to the 39 or 34. The ranges in gear inches don't overlap, like with 52-42, so there's a double shift in back to pick up cadence without losing speed.

    On the rolling flats in the midwest, close gearing may shine, but on hills you want gears tuned to the grades. Around DC most grades are doable in 42-19, 24, or 28 for the steepest. A reasonably fit rider wouldn't need anything lower. In the mountains out west, or in Pittsburg, PA, or SF, sure, nice to have some low speed climbing gears so you can "spin" up the grades.

    Found out after returning to the old climbs out of Rock Creek Park after a 15 year absence, they're slightly easier. The challenging climb up Morrow Drive from the creek to the amphitheater seems like no big deal, not the painful end of the ride it used to be. The cardio system is noticeably improved, largely from ability to slow twitch just at anaerobic threshold at 40-60 rpm your fixie buddy rides. When it hurts, the legs can handle it.

    Haven't ridden a century for years, so don't have the same endurance. But your 68 year old cycling mate proves my point. Climbing in 42-22 at 40-50 rpms builds up the legs really well, so I never felt the need to go fixie. But yeah, that's the way to go. Then riding up hills in 34-28 is ridiculously easy.

    Here's the thing with all these gears: have the gears you use. Get rid of the ones you don't use. Adapt gear selections to current fitness or terrain. 42-28 lowest and 52-14 highest is great around DC, so I want all the other gears to be in between or they're excess baggage. On a 10 or 11 speed, that would eliminate the 30 and 32 on the low end and the 11, 12, 13 on the high end. That leaves room for a 16t. cog, the one right in the middle of cycling speeds they always skip. On a 6 speed, 4 gears in between high and low provide a nice spread my legs can handle nicely, one tooth jumps up to the 17, then two, three and four tooth jumps on the climbs, speed adjusted to the grade and lactate threshold. IOW, one tooth jumps are significant at high speeds. At low speeds, 3 and 4 tooth jumps are about right.

    I also still assert big rings last longer than small rings and are easier to pedal. Francesco Moser broke the hour record in 55-17, besting Merckx's record in 52-14, about the same gear inches. Moser claimed he could get better leverage on the larger hoops. So give me 52-14, forget 50-12, about the same gear inches.

    Chains: When I can use any chain link to tie it together, I don't need a funky special link lying around. I like it simple. The marketers want to make it complicated so they can sell you their solutions. Some of us old farts ain't buying the hype.

    I've found working shops in the '90s and '00s, if a chain broke, it was half the time the "master" link ham-handedly assembled on the chain. Pressing in a normal link pin on these skinny chains must be so precise, they provide this special link.

    I also noticed rear derailleur cages start to bend inwards after miles and miles and laying the bike down in cars, et. al. I'll concede they've gotten much better now that the slightest misalignment causes havoc on 10 speed shifting.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 6 Days Ago at 05:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    I also noticed rear derailleur cages start to bend inwards after miles and miles and laying the bike down in cars, et. al. I'll concede they've gotten much better now that the slightest misalignment causes havoc on 10 speed shifting.
    Ummm, if you lay the bike down derailleur side up, this won't happen.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Well, the old man has some great points. Steel is real. Carbon is plastic. The whole reason behind gravel bikes is to retrieve a market for strong bikes that reliably go the distance, hold up to abuse, and don't split apart in a crash and leave rider stranded in the middle of nowhere.


    Its telling, gravel bikes are the thing. They're a return to practical bikes most riders want, and won't cost as much as a late model used car.
    Then there's threaded cup and cone BBs and wheel bearings, entirely serviceable; they don't loosen up, and last forever. I would have trouble finding a new bike with all the features of my old steel bikes from the '80s. Gravel bikes come closest. Who woulda known? What goes around comes around.

    Yes, and thank goodness for gravel bikes. But they've only been around for a few years. Without them, cycling would be the disaster he was ranting against in the OP.

    The thing for the average cyclist to remember is simply this...lower cost components and frames will last longer than higher cost components and frames. So there is a 'sweet spot' as to what anyone should spend on a bike based upon their needs. It's not just about cost effectiveness, or diminishing returns, its about truly get less of a bike if you spend too much.

    A Dura Ace cassette won't last as long as an Ultegra, which in turn won't last as long as a Tiagra. The extra weight/material provides longevity. The same can be said for aluminum bike frames, and carbon frames, assuming the same reliable name brand manufacturer.

    Most bike models have a whole host of 'versions' and a wide price range. What unites them as a single entity is merely that the geometry stays the same...but the construction and materials differ across the price range. So, if you are going to 'upgrade' to the lightest, most professional version of a particular bike, well you are also to going to have the shortest lifespan.

    You can always shave weight with a wheel upgrade. But a little extra weight on the frames and forks is a good thing.

    Resist the urge to 'buy the best', because there is no best; everything is a trade-off.

    With that in mind there is really no need to spend big money on a modern, fully equipped gravel bike.

    So yeah, For me gravel bikes have saved the day, and have revived my interest in the sport...even though I still do most of my riding on the road.

  21. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Haven't ridden a century for years, so don't have the same endurance. But your 68 year old cycling mate proves my point. .
    Uh no. It doesn't.
    He started 8min ahead of the group. I caught him before half way. And finished 10-15 min ahead of him. Maybe more, I didn't stick around.

    It proves you don't need all those gears, but having them makes you faster.


    I also noticed rear derailleur cages start to bend inwards after miles and miles and laying the bike down in cars, et. al.
    Wow.. who woulda thunk that.

    If you lay your bike on the derailleur, you deserve to have it bent.

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    Who in their right mind would lay their bike on the RD, seriously .... who said they did that?

    You read his posts? OMG!

    The only REAL frame material is BAMBOO!
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Who in their right mind would lay their bike on the RD, seriously .... who said they did that?

    You read his posts? OMG!
    His posts here are nothing compared to the vile sewage he posts over in P.O.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kunich View Post
    Most of the newest top end bikes are carbon fiber and the latest trends are for lighter and ever lighter bikes. This causes manufacturers to make lighter and lighter frames.

    While carbon fiber has higher strength to weight ratio than most other materials it also has its own problems - the thread length of a carbon fiber is short. This means that as the frame resin embrittles with age the frames can fail catastrophically.

    Exactly how much of a problem this seems to be is a question since Trek offers a lifetime limited warranty (they replace the frame only). I think that Specialized matches this but I haven't actually found it written anywhere. But Colnago who has more experience with the material than most other companies only offers a 3 year warranty and that only because it is the minimum by law in many states. They state, when asked, that they don't trust them beyond two years, Now I'm not sure I understand this since most of the Colnagos are constructed quite conservatively and not for minimum weights. Virtually all of the top end CF bikes are lighter than Colnago. And the Taiwanese versions (CLX etc.) pioneered the stress management techniques used in Aerospace industries. Is this only self protection? I don't know.

    Titanium frames have roughly the same weight as CF plus they are extremely resilient as long as they are welded properly. It is always possible though rare, for the helium envelope that the welding is accomplished under to allow some oxygen in and cause titanium oxide to form in or around a weld. This is a brittle material and generally if you don't find a crack within a month you're safe forever. This is a long lived material.

    Aluminum frames also CAN last forever but they began pressing the envelope of weight pretty rapidly so some frame cracks started appearing relatively early. And unlike titanium they can occur at any time over the life of the material. However, it must be noted that these failures are seldom catastrophic. Usually they will begin making odd noises and you will look and discover a broken tube while the others are fine.

    Steel bike frame are another matter. By the time they started making very high quality steel tubing at Columbus, Reynolds and others, it was long after WW II and steel had become a science. There was no guesswork in the double and triple butted tubes and only the very occasional manufacturing errors caused these frames to break. What's more, although they give away a small weight penalty, the frame and fork are only a part of the weight of a bicycle so this penalty is relatively small.

    At the moment that UCI has a weight restriction on bicycles of approximately 15 lbs and this isn't very far from the very top end steel bikes though even one ounce is now considered extreme on race tracks and in truth only those with a lot of climbing.

    So what we're presently seeing in cycling is probably a very bad trend - lightest weight possible which is similar to the latest trend in components which are the largest number of speeds possible. This will cause little more than headaches for the sports/recreational rider. Though some trends are good (tubeless tires) most of the others are not, More speeds means narrower cogs and rings, higher ratio differences with 11-32 cogsets for hard Tour stages and derailleurs now so weak that picking up a rock or wire into your rear derailleur can end your ride. It makes you yearn for the old days of 8 speeds when you could have a gear for every purpose without having to shift two or three times every time you are changing terrain. So maybe manufacturers should be building bikes more for the actual use of a rider rather than getting them to play at racing rather than buying a bike that actually serves a purpose. This is fine for kids but I have ridden in a lot of areas and what I'm seeing is that riders tend to be in the mid 30's and later. Racers are very few but people trying to keep up with them are far too plentiful. And here I am now in the higher age group and most of my riding buddies are dead or having extreme health problems.

    I have a good day when I do a metric and average 15 mph. And yet when I did a very large metric with about 2,000 riders in it when I crossed the line I was told that I was the 182nd finisher. And several hundred of the Century riders started an hour before me! Does this sound like people should be worried about maximum performance and only using the lightest and most expensive bikes made? You could get a high quality high quantity manufactured bike made of steel with top line components on it for $2,500 or less vs a $13,000 carbon fiber wonder. If you are in your mid to late 30's that $10,000 in your retirement account can made a huge difference to having a longer and more comfortable retirement on your original bike!
    +1.. I agree with this. Now that I'm in my mid 40's, I look back at the past 30 years of riding and racing. What you're saying is true. This is real world experience, not lab testing or marketing jarb. However, this is an industry and their job is to sell product. That's their livelihood. I know that most of the new tech is garbage or recycled stuff, but if this wasn't happening, less people would be on bikes and product wouldn't be selling as well as it has been. As for the steel to carbon comparison. That ride compliancy that everyone is looking for in aluminum and carbon fiber bikes, is inherent in steel bikes. Titanium is in another league all it's own. By the way, I'm not a luddite if anyone is wondering. All of my steeds are aluminum or carbon fiber( I love my Cannondales) . I am just giving credit where credit is due. My next steed will be a Colnago Masters, which is steel by the way.

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    What exactly is the thread length of CF in CF frames?
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