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Old 01-13-08, 09:48 AM   #1
cccorlew
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Un-improvements rant (AKA good 'ol days)

Contribute your rant about how something used to be better. (AKA good 'ol days)

Thanks to Solveg and Retro Grouch for their inspiration in another thread.
  • Stems: In the old days, highly adjustable. Now, "improved" threadless to need a hack saw and not be adjustable
  • Cameras: 4x5 film, to 2 1/4 film to 35mm film, each holding less detail. Then to digital, still less, and now cell phone cameras with bad lenses and no resolution.
  • Recordings: Records replaced by 8 tracks and cassettes, eventually by MP3s with even less fidelity
  • Drive trains: My 5 speed cluster and chain lasted forever. My pricey 10 speed chain lasts 3000 miles. I hear my cassette can be expected to go 2 or 3 chains at most....

Grumble with me! What's the fun of getting older if we can complain about this stuff?
Bonus points for bike related rants. Extra bonus if it's so amuing or true I'm compelled to read it aloud to my wife.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:08 AM   #2
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Grumble with me! What's the fun of getting older if we can complain about this stuff?
Bonus points for bike related rants. Extra bonus if it's so amuing or true I'm compelled to read it aloud to my wife.
Part of the penalty of growing older is that you remember how much things used to cost. For example, I can remember once filling my gas tank for 18 cents per gallon.

You were talking about how long chains and freewheels used to last you. How about hub overhauls? I used to do mine every 2 or 3 months or after every ride in a major rain. Today, it's seldom to never.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:15 AM   #3
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Part of the penalty of growing older is that you remember how much things used to cost. For example, I can remember once filling my gas tank for 18 cents per gallon.

You were talking about how long chains and freewheels used to last you. How about hub overhauls? I used to do mine every 2 or 3 months or after every ride in a major rain. Today, it's seldom to never.
Plus points for price story (most of the time take you childhood price and add a zero, you'll be close)
Minus points for pointing out an improvement. This is a cranky pants thread.

Last edited by cccorlew; 01-13-08 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:29 AM   #4
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Back in the good ol' days I had a 31-inch waist--and that's just for starters.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:34 AM   #5
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Back in the old days, the TV screen showed the program, and just the program. There was no channel logo in one corner, and there was no little people popping up from some other show to advertise the other show. And when the news came on, there was no crawl across the bottom of the screen. And the theme music for the news wasn't like something from a horror movie.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:35 AM   #6
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Car Windows.

It used to be there was a nice little triangular vent window in the front. It was great for keeping you awake on long drives without letting rain in. A perfect, functional little window.

It cost the manufacturers $7 to put this window in, and everyone decided it wasn't worth the money. I know it was $7, because this irritated me so much, I investigated it!

And bench seats. I loved bench seats. Good for snuggling at drive-ins, good for family trips when you could keep the irritating kid away from the others and under the watchful eyes of his parents.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:38 AM   #7
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I remember when you could go to the store, buy something, and open the package with your bare hands!
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Old 01-13-08, 10:39 AM   #8
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I've got an '88 Caprice with a V-8 that gets 23 mpg highway.....
downsizing to a 4 cyl Camry only gains me about 7mpg ?!?!

Used to be able to get my boots re-soled (sp?)....
try to find boot repair now!!!!

How come we have allowed them to charge us for air for our tires?....
What's next, coin operated drinking fountains?
Oooooo Oooooo I've got a great idea how to make money...coin
operated drinking fountains.

Try to find a phone booth anymore....

I used to be able to drink all night....
now...oops, that's another thread.

O.K., I was in a good mood!
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Old 01-13-08, 10:39 AM   #9
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Speaking of TV, I don't like the way shows start any more. 1 minute after the hour, what's with that???? And the show just *starts*. There's no lengthy themesong (think Gilligan's Island or All in the Family) folowed by commercials where you could quick get your munchies.

It was best for putting kids to bed, because they got to finish the show they were watching, you could scoot them off to bed AND have time to tuck them in nice and leisurely before the show actually started!

People used to make phone calls during that time, too. You could count on everyone being up and available for 5 minutes between show breaks.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:42 AM   #10
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I remember when you could go to the store, buy something, and open the package with your bare hands!
I remember that too, but my friend after watching my daughters and my
bride tear into said packaging with their bare hands I believe it's you and
I who are becoming defective.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:43 AM   #11
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Used to be able to get my boots re-soled (sp?)....
try to find boot repair now!!!!

How come we have allowed them to charge us for air for our tires?....
What's next, coin operated drinking fountains?
Oooooo Oooooo I've got a great idea how to make money...coin
operated drinking fountains.

Try to find a phone booth anymore....
My friends think I'm crazy for going to rural Kansas for my seasonal home. BUT the little town I live in has a cobbler, free air at the gas station, AND a real phone booth. I was so impressed, I took a photo of it.

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Old 01-13-08, 10:47 AM   #12
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Going back to those stems- All you could do was adjust the height. And once you got it set- You never altered it. If you wanted a longer or shorter reach- you bought a new stem.

On the modern system- You adjust the height of the bars and the reach- by buying a new stem. No difference really. But there are generraly a couple of spacers there to be able to get the final adjustment.

Now as to overhauling the modern aheadset, nothing could be easier. We all have 5mm allen keys to take the stem off- and as DG found out many moons ago- It literraly comes apart. Under the old system- it was two special sized spanners and if you had 2 bikes- you could guaranty that it was two sets of different spanners.

Give me modern improved bikes any day

Except- I still wish that hubs had the hole to be able to inject Oil or thin grease to lubricate the bearings. Taking the hubs apart every year or so does take a bit of time.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:49 AM   #13
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I remember, as a kid, going out to play and my parents would just say, "Be home for dinner." And they'd let me know when dinner was, if I wasn't home, by ringing a large bell in the backyard. Everyone had one. We didn't have a lot of adult supervision except that every adult kept an eye on everyone's kids. We knew if we did something stupid, our parents would hear about it. Otherwise, we just came and went as we pleased. Everybody had a bike, which was how you got to your friend's house.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:57 AM   #14
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I believe it's you and I who are becoming defective.
Oh hush now. That's just crazy talk!
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Old 01-13-08, 11:10 AM   #15
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How come we have allowed them to charge us for air for our tires?....
What's next, coin operated drinking fountains?
Oooooo Oooooo I've got a great idea how to make money...coin
operated drinking fountains.
Wait, wait, I've got it - bottled tap water!

When I was a kid we used to project that sometime in the future you'd fill your car with water insted of gasoline and add a couple of "energy" pills. Today gasoline is $3.00 per gallon and bottled water, at the same convenience store, sells for around $8.00 per gallon.
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Old 01-13-08, 11:10 AM   #16
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I'm crazy for going to rural Kansas for my seasonal home
Conway Springs isn't Kansas. Anything south of Derby is Oklahoma.


Rock Chalk Jayhawk,

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Old 01-13-08, 11:10 AM   #17
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When my Grandparents set up housekeeping and purchased their Refridgerator
and Stove....the refridgerator lasted till retirement and the stove was in their
estate sale.....
What is todays life expectancy...15 yrs?

One good thing....my kids didn't have to walk 6 miles to school thru
three feet of snow, uphill ,without mittens.

Remember when we could repair and tune our own cars?

Remember the non-roar of bias ply tires?

Remember when teachers were allowed to discipline and control the classroom
and provide a quality learning environment.

OH THANKS! 13 DAYS. ONLY 13 DAYS AND I'M BECOMING ALL NEGATIVE.
THE ONLY NEW YEARS RESOLUTION IN DOZENS OF YEARS AND I'VE BLOWN IT!!!
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Old 01-13-08, 11:13 AM   #18
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I had to stop flying because I can never find a place to change clothes. I still enjoy X-ray vision though.
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Old 01-13-08, 11:13 AM   #19
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Back in the 70's and 80's I used to go to a gourmet shop and buy the world's best coffee for 7-9 bucks a pound.

Now, if you can find it (the Japanese buy much of the really good stuff) it's 40-80 bucks and more for a 6 or 8 ounce bag.

Sigh.
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Old 01-13-08, 11:19 AM   #20
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One good thing....my kids didn't have to walk 6 miles to school thru
three feet of snow, uphill ,without mittens. Remember the non-roar of bias ply tires?

Remember when teachers were allowed to discipline and control the classroom
and provide a quality learning environment.
Never had to walk uphill to school because, when I was a boy, the earth was still flat.

Tires are one thing that hasn't changed in price very much. I used to pay $20.00 per tire and they'd last about 20,000 miles. Now I pay $60 per tire and they last 60,000 miles.

When I was in high school one of the priests threw a piece of chalk at me that narrowly missed my eye and cut the bridge of my nose. I never told my parents because that would have resulted in my getting punished twice for the same thing.
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Old 01-13-08, 11:20 AM   #21
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Conway Springs isn't Kansas. Anything south of Derby is Oklahoma.


Rock Chalk Jayhawk,

BB
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Old 01-13-08, 11:31 AM   #22
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Grumble with me! What's the fun of getting older if we can complain about this stuff?
Bonus points for bike related rants. Extra bonus if it's so amuing or true I'm compelled to read it aloud to my wife.
That built-in obsolescense gets me every time- me "that little plastic spacer fell off!" Bike shop- "you need a whole new derailleur." Me "Can't you just glue it back on?" Bike shop "heeheeheehee...."

Specialty tools are out to get me too; tried to replace a 5 bolt chain ring with another size ring. 4 bolts were easy- then the 5th bolt just turned. I have to stop one side from turning to loosen it with a *gulp* specialty tool!

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Old 01-13-08, 11:41 AM   #23
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Used to be able to get my boots re-soled (sp?)....
try to find boot repair now!!!!
There aren't as many shoe repair places, but they're still around. I had a pair of $200 steel toed boots repaired a couple of years ago, after a large piece of sheet metal fell and hit my left boot, puncturing it (of course, the sheet metal hit 1/2 inch behind the steel, breaking my little toe).
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Old 01-13-08, 11:52 AM   #24
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Biggest complaint? I can remember when casual sex was enjoyable and safe - well, at least you didn't have to worry about dying from it.
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Old 01-13-08, 12:07 PM   #25
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Political Correctness practiced by the corrupt and stupid is dooming society. Give me the days where a score was settled in the back alley and a lesson was taught with a rubber hose in the same alley.

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