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  1. #1
    ninja2
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    poll - the most significant inventions in the last 15-20 year in biking

    I wonder if there's been a thread on this topic, hope it belongs here.
    If not recently (or not at all) done, here is what my bike bodies and I think
    1. STI shifters
    2. improvement in wheels
    3. new frame materials

    as this is simply an opinion, no need to justify or explain why this or that....

  2. #2
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    1.STI/Ergo brifters and the index shifting that makes them possible.
    2. Freehubs
    3. Clipless pedals

  3. #3
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    no doubt, Brifter for me

  4. #4
    cab horn
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    Speed
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  5. #5
    Rat Bastard mcoomer's Avatar
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    For my money it's brifters and the extensive development and use of alloys and synthetic materials.
    It's better to burn out than fade away...or slip out of your pedal and face plant on the side of the road!!!

    '06 Cannondale Prophet
    '08 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper
    '09 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL2

  6. #6
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    Index Shifting - no more shimm'ing, precise shifting even if not expert, no fear of loosing a shift on a tough uphill (where is the fun wo explanation?)

  7. #7
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    1.STI/Ergo brifters and the index shifting that makes them possible.

    Index yes, brifters no. The rest is just window dressing.
    Freehubs are good too, but both index shifting and freehubs predate the 20-year window.
    Top
    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
    Index Shifting - no more shimm'ing, precise shifting even if not expert, no fear of loosing a shift on a tough uphill (where is the fun wo explanation?)
    Lose is spelt with one o
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
    Enjoy
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    New frame materials that make bikes lighter

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Lose is spelt with one o
    Says who SPELLED it wrong!

    Two o-o's is funnier than one o. When done on purpose is literary art.

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The super light stuff is fine if you have deep pockets or a sponsor but most folks aren't looking for a 17 pound road bike or 24 pound mountain bike so the biggest improvements seem to be for recreational and utilitarian cyclists...

    Indexed shifters and disc brakes have been around for a long time although indexed systems have only been in the mainstream since the eighties when Shimano was finally able to use the technology when Suntour's patents expired.

    I am still a fan of well made friction shifters since they are a far simnpler and less problematic system than most, if not all indexed systems.

    Disc brakes are wonderful things that have really come of age and are now appearing on more and more entry level bikes rather than just high end mountain bikes...

    The improved internal gear hubs we are seeing now could very well render derailer gears as being all but obsolete...

    Kevlar... one of the best thigs for tyres ever.

    My perfect bike would have brifters that were friction only, disc brakes, puncture proof tyres, and an internal gear hub with a wide range and off road capability.


  12. #12
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    15-20 years don't seem that long ago. I used to ride with a guy who had a Frejus and it literally looked like a plumber put the thing together with a welding torch. But let's see, 15-20 years ago, I would say the best thing that ever happened....BRIFTERS and CLIPLESS. Frame material come and go but those 2 things defintely made cycling so much better.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    In no particular order...

    Indexed shifting
    STI shifters
    Clipless pedals
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  14. #14
    Year-round cyclist
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    Freehubs : the axle is much sturdier and they don't tighten by themselves : useful for touring

    Better derailleurs : Indexed shifting is nice, but what I find really interesting is how much more precise derailleurs are. In 1972, you were "about" there, in 1981, the rear derailleur was OK but the front was iffy. In 2000, both are precise, even in friction mode.

    Hub generators (Schmidt and Shimano)

    ...

    The internet. Some of the nice stuff might have been available 20 years ago, but unless people were connected, it was impossible to hear about things like very low gearing, sturdy racks, good panniers...
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
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    Integrated headsets
    Ergo handlebars
    wheel reflectors that fit 16 spoke wheels

    But seriously...

    Attempting to be different, I'll say:

    good, cheap MTB suspension forks
    Topeak Morph series pumps
    Powerlinks for chains

  16. #16
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Freehubs have been popularized and have really taken over in the last 20 years, but they were around before then. My 1979 Schwinn Super LeTour had a freehub.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by top506 View Post
    Index yes, brifters no. The rest is just window dressing.
    Freehubs are good too, but both index shifting and freehubs predate the 20-year window.
    Top
    If you ride in a flat or gently rolling area, brifters aren't that important. If you live in a hilly area they are a blessing.

    Indexing and freehubs do predate the 20 year window but they only got to the mainstream within that time frame. Brifters certainly reached commercial distribution within the 20 year period.

    For that matter, clipless pedals fall outside the 20 year window too but they only got into wide distribution more recently.

    As long as we're nit-picking dates, Aluminum frames have been around for over 100 years and Ti since the '70's.

  18. #18
    Randomhead
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    Cinelli had clipless pedals 30 years ago -- I really wanted some but they were too expensive for my budget as a teenager. Shimano started inflicting indexed shifters on us back in the late '70s IIRC. There were Ti, aluminum and carbon frames back in the early '70s.

  19. #19
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    Yay! My old Trek is "modern" - indexed, clipless, aluminum...

    Side note - when did 53/39 become the standard? Why? More rear gears to choose from?
    - Pat

    '89 Trek 1400
    '95 Cannondale Killer V
    '07 Felt Z70
    '10 Giant Suede

  20. #20
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    Rohloff hub

  21. #21
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    threadless headsets

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by notenoughdaylig View Post
    threadless headsets
    Let u finish installing 200/day and time left for a movie doesn't it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Cinelli had clipless pedals 30 years ago -- I really wanted some but they were too expensive for my budget as a teenager. Shimano started inflicting indexed shifters on us back in the late '70s IIRC. There were Ti, aluminum and carbon frames back in the early '70s.
    If there was, it hadta be experimental. Clipless didn't appear in-mass until mid-80s, aluminums late 80s, CF sometimes in the 90s.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Lose is spelt with one o
    . . . lol, and spelled is spelled thusly. You remind me of the printing on a 3" x 5" x 1/2" giant eraser my aunt gave me for my birthday one year. On it was stenciled the following:

    "I never make big misteaks!"

    LOL

  25. #25
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    Clipless pedals - over 20 years ago, even the kind that clip out "easily", i.e. Look pedals.
    Index shifting - same pre-20 year window
    Freehubs - same pre-20 year window

    53/39 was Shimano's response to Campy's standard 144mm bolt circle diameter. Shimano had a non-compatible 130 mm BCD and it was hell trying to buy rings for their cranks. Campy users "in the know" used a 41T chainring, but Shimano pointed out a 39T ring would save you two teeth on a large cog, i.e. you could use a 19 vs 21, or 21 vs 23. In that day and age 6 or 7 spd was max, with a 12T min, so not having to sacrifice a mid-cog for an end cog was considered a good thing. I think Bicycling magazine was partly responsible because they had a gear head guy who would calculate the best gears for a bike (based on usage), and the wide spread chainrings were very helpful with getting a nice gear spread with small jumps.

    My votes would be:

    - Everyday rideable aero wheels (20 years ago an Araya ADX-4 was considered "dangerous" to ride on a windy day, and it's only about 20 mm tall)
    - Proper use of exotic materials in bikes - frames, rims, components, forks, etc.
    - Use of LED and other light technology to enable long distance night riding

    Of course I'm only 1/2 into my first cup of coffee but those are the first things that pop into mind.

    cdr
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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