A few thoughts:
1. Half the people in the world are below average.
2. The technology-for-the-sake-of-technology is not just happening in the bike world. If you want to buy a car with crank windows and a manual transmission your options are very limited. I cannot bring a camera to my workplace for security reasons... which means I can't bring a modern cellphone, either.
3. The primary 'victims' of the needless upgrading of bikes are not the enthusiasts on BF, but the average Joe that goes to X-Mart to get a bike to ride to work... the ideal bike for him would be a rigid hybrid with a 2X7, 3X7, or IGH drivetrain, but just about all he can find are crappy front-suspension equipped 3X8 rigs with terrible cable-operated disk brakes. How many times have you seen some poor schmoe riding a $189 full suspension mountain bike down the road on his way to work, probably wondering why he is working so hard while little old ladies on 'skinny tire' bikes are blowing past him without breaking a sweat... even though his bike has all the features money can buy!
This would only be relevant if there werenít several levels of components. SRAM, Campy And Shimano make inexpensive entry level parts and ďanyoneĒ absolutely ďanyoneĒ can buy them. Trek, Giant, Jamis and several other still make touring bikes and several other people do as well and once again, ďanyoneĒ can buy them if they want them. I like straight pull 24 spoke wheels with flat bladed spokes and was more than willing to replace my stock 32-36 spoke wheels for a lighter stiffer wheel. The thing is people buying CF bikes and SRAM Red or Dura Ace derailleurs do it because they want them. If not why spend the extra money? It is the same reason someone might buy a Corvette rather than a Mini Van or a Harley rather than a Vespa. It doesnít have to be a conspiracy.
Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.
To simply state that one preference for one automobile over another is irrelated to a "conspiracy", means that one needs further clarification. "Conspiracy", simply means that parties have joined together in harmony for the purpose of obtaining a common end. Well that's exactly what most business meetings are all about. How to undermine the competition and how to make ones product more desirous, or attractive. Therefore, as clandestine, as it may appear to be, the word "conspiracy" is quite appropriate and particularly applicable with respect automobile manufacturers. Bicycle manufacturers are small potatoes when compared to Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota, but they fit this profile, too!It doesn’t have to be a conspiracy
The marketing departments of the big auto manufacturers, spend millions of dollars on advertising. They must spend top advertising dollars on the perfect actors, announcers, computer software specialists, computer artists, writers, sound specialists, directors, and other media specialists, just to get individual consumers to select the Civic over the Focus, and the Taurus over the Camry.
They hold meetings where they "conspire" to have their vehicle eclipse the vehicles of fellow competitors. These meetings are secluded, not open to the public, and never without destructive intent towards the competition. I'd call that conspiratorial....Wouldn't you?
I can assure you, bicycle manufacturers wish the same upon their competition, as well. Of course, there would be an exception when it comes to Schwinn and Cannondale, because they're fraternal twins.
Last edited by SlimRider; 11-02-11 at 09:30 PM.
What sells is what is advertised. 90 percent of the US population only drives to get from point A to Point B and that 90 percent drives automatics. The 10 percent that do not believe the manual is a better option. However it doesnít matter what the 10 percent believe they canít convince the 90 otherwise. The 10 percent may feel the 90 is brainwashed by advertising but just step back and imagine what the 90 percent think of the 10 percent? Strange, backward, old fashioned, obsessive about the past? It is exactly the same with bicycles. The option of a Steel or Aluminum upright touring bike with basic components is available and there is no advertising against them. In fact anyone can easily walk into any LBS and buy or order a bike with high spoke count wheels and Sora or even now Micro Shift. They can still get down tube shifters. But people vote with their wallets and their wallets say they like what they are buying. And to a great degree they donít want a heavy, bike with down tube shifters and heavy wheels. Not all people but a majority. And no matter how long and loud the ďletís get back to the good old days,Ē Luddites shout it is ignored in the market place. That is how it works and it will never change. In fact there are many in these forums championing their cause at the drop of a hat. And still people are buying road bikes with low spoke count wheels and upgraded components. Even Mountain bikes are turning to ten speed cassettes and CF frames. Not because they are easier to make but because the ďcustomerí wants them.
Face it if these new bikes didnít sell they wouldnít make them. But they do sell and we live in a society that wants more than basic. Or they will settle for basic as long as they have N+1. And N+1 has become the mantra even here. The real question should be, if the majority doesnít care about what the minority rides why does the minority care what the majority buys?
Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.
Pffff!! It's a free-market capitalism (well not exactly). Innovation and technological advances didn't just become available to the mass for nothing. At one time, your MTB 3X7 setup and V-brake were the state of the art too.
OP must really dislike swimming pools, snowboards, jet skis, hang gliders, or motorcycles ..etc, because they are all very expensive, not essential in a happy life, and increase your odds of ending up in emergency room (or death)!
My wifeís grandmother was a lot like the Op and some of the others. She didnít understand why so many people bought microwaves. She never had a cell phone. In fact she would never have had a cordless phone if we didnít buy her one for Christmas. She never got a VCR/Disk player because she thought they were too complicated and who would buy or rent a movie when sooner or later they would come on TV for free. We could understand he concerns with technology but I donít think it slowed down cell phone sales or microwaves.
And I donít think corporate America conspired to make her choices harder. At least not any more than bicycle manufacturers have tried to offer the buying public what they ask for. The fact that some of the cycling community wasnít looking for this new technology matters little because they already had what they were looking for and were not in the market for the newer product anyway.
Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.
I find it pretty ironic that someone would be called a Luddite and compared to a technophobic grandmother who refuses to buy a microwave on internet discussion forum. Some of the replies appear to be retaliatory defense reactions intended more to strike back at an attacker. Let me make clear that I am in no way trying to attack or even make fun of the Lycia-clad minionsÖ Iím one of you; my decision to do or not do a load of laundry is based on how many clean bibs I have left, I own 5 bikes, one of which is a carbon road racing bike and another is a full suspension mountain bike, I have a subscription to Bicycling magazine and I belong to a cycling club. This isnít about hating technology or swearing off any innovations made after world war two.
The nature of the cycling, however, is such that the industry is able to steer itself toward greater profit without necessarily providing much more to consumers. The reason why I say this is because such a large portion of the consumer base is comprised of enthusiasts. The average American might own 3 or 4 bikes throughout their life that cost 2 or 3 hundred Dollars each. A bike geek like myself spends several times as much every year on bikes and accessories. One can see why the market forces are driven much more by enthusiasts than buy the guy who just wants to commute to work sometimes when the weather is nice, and ride to the park with his kids.
You would think that having educated consumers would be a good thing, but it depends on where the education comes from. Cyclists get most of their education, or indoctrination as the case may be, either from magazines like Cycling, Mountain Bike Action and a few other publications, or from other cyclists who get information from the aforementioned sources. Of course Bicycling magazine isnít going to publish a bad review about, for instance, a specialized bike when they are dependent on Specialized ad revenue to stay in business.
Letís take computing devices for example; there was a time when only the hard-core geek actually knew all the DOS commands in order to use a computer. As point & click operating systems were developed, more and more of the general public began using computers, but manufacturers were still listening to the enthusiasts who were originally driving the market. The reason why Apple and Google have had so much success in recent years is not because they made products that were fast and powerful, but because they recognized that the capabilities of the kind of computer that fits into a tower had outgrown the needs of most consumers who donít spend their time reading computer magazines and all their money on upgrading their hard drives. Instead, they focused on more practical usefulness to the people who just want surf the internet, stream some shows, or listen to music and left the Microsoft and Dell to service the niche markets of gamers and graphic designers.
Iím sure Apple would have loved it if everyone who bought Ipods and Ipads had instead purchased $3000 desktop systems, but they didnít have the sway over the non-enthusiast market to convince then to pay $1000 extra for computing power they didnít need. What Iím suggesting is that similarly, if cyclists behaved less like enthusiasts who are so easily influenced to want whatever is more expensive, we might be able to force technological progress in a direction of greater practicality rather than lower weights, more aero, and more gears at the expense of practicality.
From the list, my top gripe would be that certain bike companies are pushing the envelope on weight, with resulting problems in durability. They're driven by customer expectations and by direct competition from the other bike companies. I know one guy who special-ordered a fairly high-end carbon frame, then stiffed the bike shop and refused it because it weighed 100 grams more than the company claimed (evidently due to it having a silly thing called "paint").
Anyway yeah, the hype machine is quite a steamroller sometimes.
The speed average is almost the same since then. Only 3 km/h faster from 1960 to 2009. http://www.ciclismoafondo.es/cfjforu...list/2595.page
I believe that old bikes actually were better in some ways.
sorry my english.
Last edited by Rapidoyfurioso; 11-03-11 at 10:23 PM.
I think what we are saying is a straw man was built for a problem that doesn't exist. Old school bikes are still offered, made and bought by the people that are interested in old school bikes. What we have is a question of the chicken or the egg. I contend the demand came first and then the equipment was developed. The advertisement is simply to get us to buy the demanded equipment from manufacturer A rather than Manufacturer B. But no one has to buy light weight. 10 or 11 speed cassette, Compact cranked un-obtainium bikes if they didnít want one. They can get a steel lugged 9 speed triple from any number of companies in Oregon alone. 2200 gram 34 spoke wheels fall from the sky at almost any bike shop or online wheel building site. And the 32-36 spoke wheels are dirt cheap compared to the ultra-light 20 spoke wheels. To get light weight bikes wheels, cranks and cassettes the buyer has to go out of their way and pay extra to do so. Like I said the consumer has openly decided to buy what they buy and the manufacturers simply feed that desire. And that is how it is supposed to work even if the consumer hit their head on low door way and suddenly decided a 40 pound three speed was the perfect bike. Give the customer what they want and they will read your advertisement. Try to get the customer to buy what you want them to want and more than likely you will fail. Think how many times they have designed a car for the youth market only to see it fail and become a senior favorite. Think the Scion xA.
From my experience far more people are driven by what looks and feels good to them than they are about what is the most practical bike to buy. Cyclists are not that different from any other consumer of any other product sold.
[QUOTE=Looigi;13443021]It's kind of a democratic process. Everybody decides what's important and what they want and gets to vote with their money. QUOTE]
You got it. And one of the things that's important to me is money. I would love for either me or the bike (or both) to shed five pounds. Ain't happenin', and I'm okay with the compromise.
Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
I wish they could do practical blind study tests to compare bicycle components, or even whole bikes.
Then I want to see the look on the faces of the people who can't feel the difference between their $2000.00 wheels and a set of $100.00 wheels.
Unless you can ride with your eyes closed or in complete darkness there is no way to remove the perceived value of advertising or brand names from it's percieved performance gain. How much better is a $500 campy crank over any other alloy no-name clunker from the scrap pile. I bet 99 out of 100 people couldn't tell the difference actually riding the bike. (A professional rider can probably tell, and this doesn't apply to them, they are professionals.)
People spend money on their bikes because they like to spend money on their bikes. Good advertising and hype just lets them rationalize it.
You mentioned cars marketed the youth demographic. The reason this is hard to do is because aside from being young drivers, it’s hard pinpoint what they have in common and exploit it to use marketing to affect the culture in a way that behooves the manufacturer. It isn’t like the market for road bicycles where all a manufacture has to do is run an ad alongside a glowing review in bicycling magazine and suddenly every roadie and his mother wants a Pinarello Dogma.
There is a monstrous difference between getting a product that is just all you need and one that is what you want. That is why not many of us live like the Amish or the old Shakers.
I agree some people buy bike bling simply because they want bike bling. I have been guilty of that myself. But people that are really into their passion will often research for just the right upgrade to make their bicycle, in their mind, perfect. There are some people that simply donít care what they ride and will use duct tape to repair a saddle rather than spend $5.00 on a take-off from the LBS. But that is what makes for the differences in Cyclists.
My last big event was the Furnace Creek 508 , http://www.the508.com/ out of more than 220 riders there was everything from Fixies to recumbent, classic steel and CF TT bikes. What they all had in common was top grade components so I find it hard to believe that they were less robust than stock one piece cranks or stock wheels.
I donít disagree that it is not a simple answer but it isnít a board room full of suits trying to change the desire of the cycling community to give up what they like and buy a lesser product. Maybe a bigger driving force is peer pressure like Swatch or designer jeans. But no matter how long they have been advertising the Smart car it is still been in the red each and every year it has been produced. Maybe if it someday goes EV it will change but that is a different subject.
The thing is if the new and improved whatever it is didnít do some if not most of what the advertisers said they would do and if the old product was not only still being made but still being touted by advocates then the customer would simply go back to the old product. And yet in this case the customer is not only buying the new and improved they are buying them in numbers not seen since the mid 70s. I simply canít see where advertisers control this desire for a Dogma if people really wanted a 3 speed Schwinn. Face it they advertise snuggies everyday and still most of us can still use a blanket or a warm Sweater.
"I simply can’t see where advertisers control this desire for a Dogma if people really wanted a 3 speed Schwinn"
If you think this is what I'm getting at you need to reread my OP. I'm talking about the the needs of professionals vs the needs of amateur racers and people who like to hammer the local group rides. Of course nobody is going to convince someone who just wanted a 3-speed commuter to buy a carbon race bike. As I already pointed out, the non-enthusiast portion of the market is more difficult to influence because they aren't the ones reading the magazines and surfing discussion forums where unknowing shills push the ideas they read in marketing campaigns. The fact that they spend about 1/10 of what a club rider might spend on a bike makes them irrelevant in steering the direction of development.
The guy who is easy to convince is the cat-3/4 racer who knows he wants to spend a little more on his next bike to help put him over the edge for his next upgrade. The same guy who drops the 5k on 15-pound carbon Dura Ace bike he saw in the magazine might otherwise have spent 3k on a 18-pound bike with a custom frame from a local fabricator that would actually have made him faster because it fits him properly, leaving him less fatigued at the end of the race when 1st place is separated from 7th.
"The thing is if the new and improved whatever it is didn’t do some if not most of what the advertisers said they would do and if the old product was not only still being made but still being touted by advocates then the customer would simply go back to the old product."
Yes and no; sure, a 10-speed derailleur shifts through 10 speeds, but whether or not the rider believes that having slightly smaller increments between gears compared to a 9-speed actually makes him faster is probably more a matter of placebo effect than anything else.
I'm not against any advancement, or weight reduction. I'm against it when the complexity and fragility is more detrimental to dependability than it is beneficial to speed. As I pointed out, amateur racers don't have team cars following them with spare bikes, so the line between when a weight reduction or an additional cog on the cassette becomes more beneficial than detrimental is not in the same place.
One way that I think more speeds on the cassette are more beneficial is because they allow for larger ranges of gearing which makes 1x10 setups possible, eliminating the need for a front derailleur/shifter/cable, thus simultaneously reducing weight and simplifying the system. Shifting on only the cassette allows the rider to shift through the entire range more linearly so each shift represents a small step up or down as opposed to taking huge steps from one chain ring to another, and then shifting around on the cassette to find the gear you need. Also, you are far more likely to drop your chain while switching chain rings.
"it isn’t a board room full of suits trying to change the desire of the cycling community to give up what they like and buy a lesser product."
You don't think there are executives a Sram and Shimano analyzing which products facilitate the largest profit margins and choosing which products to push and how according that rather than functionality? Why do you don't see Scram marketing the Apex derailleur for use in a 1x10 road drive train (which it could be). Why do you think nobody bothers to mention that Shimano 9-speed mountain derailleurs work with Shimano 10-speed road shifters, Which would also make 1x10 road setups possible, and at lower cost? There is no money in making their own products (front derailleurs & shifters) obsolete.
Hopefully consumers will start figuring these things out... eventually
Last edited by Debusama; 11-04-11 at 05:06 PM.
Fixies make shiftless riding not only possible but easy. Or you could simply get a SS. So once again the consumer could do just as you suggest and yet they donít. So maybe the interest simply isnít there rather than believing Trek, Giant, Specialized have stayed up late at night worrying that someone wants a ten speed road bike and they have to stop the thought before it infects roadies all over the nation.
"The enthusiast is far more educated in their needs and wants and why they need or want that object than to non enthusiast in most cases."
Where does this education come from?... yeah, that is the problem. It isn't about non-enthusiasts knowing more, it is about a simpler set of needs and a price ranges that places them in a different market.
" And the reason SRAM or Shimano aren’t making single chainring road bikes is because they don’t make bikes they make components"
You don't say? They don't make bikes, but they market their components for certain uses, like this:http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...lmooZPHh6MzoDg
Single speed cross and MTB racing is growing quickly, races are adding single-speed categories, and Scram does make the necessary components but there no such marketing campaign for single-speed group-sets. It isn't that they are evil or anything like that, it is simply that there isn't enough money in flip-flop hubs and freewheels to make marketing then pay off.
"But no one has to buy a 10 speed cassette if they don't want one and an individual is a better judge of their needs than a someone that isn't living in their shoes."
The individual makes decisions based on the information he or she is given.
"I would be interested in one because I see little advantage to cutting my gear selection with so many mountain roads close to where I live. "
I assume you meant to say that you wouldn't be interested.
I highly suggest sitting down with a calculator and checking on the range of gearing ratios with a 49t single ring and a 11-34 mountain cassette. It's about the same as as a standard 55/39 x 12-26 setup.
"Fixies make shiftless riding not only possible but easy. Or you could simply get a SS. So once again the consumer could do just as you suggest and yet they don’t."
Either So cal and the Northwest have very different cycling cultures, or you are living under a rock. Fixies are everywhere around here, at the local cross and mountain bike races there are more SS bikes every year, and the local cross series added a SS category this year. That is neither her nor their, however, I'm talking about road bikes and to keep up in a group ride, depending on the terrain, certain gearing ranges are necessary. This is a need that can be met without a frond derailleur. You can't tell me people don't want lighter, more reliable bikes with essentially the same capabilities at no additional cost. People just don't know that it's possible, and there can't be a demand for something people don't know exists.
Last edited by Debusama; 11-05-11 at 12:04 AM.