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Old 05-15-13, 04:13 PM   #1
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Bike shop recommendations, am I crazy??

First, a little history, I used to ride when I was younger, mostly in the late 80's and early 90's. Had a nice Ciocc racing bike and a Bridgestone mountain bike. Sold the racing bike and swapped for a more comfortable ride in the mid 90's. A Mercian Vincitore touring frame which I have outfitted with a Campy Nuovo Record groupo with high-flange hubs. Of course its older 126mm spacing in the rear, 6 speed, but I think I could upgrade to 7. Anyway, I bought a comfort bike since I am overweight and want to lose weight. I can ride it until I hit a better weight, and then I might want to use the Mercian for touring/randonneuring and/or buy a custom bike.

So I go into this new shop that does repairs and sells replacement parts. They will also order frames and build up bikes. He was recommending a custom frame when I lose the weight and want a new bike, which I still am not sure I need. Anyway we talked, and when it came to the Mercian, I talked about keeping it the same, but that I wanted fatter tires. I have an extra set of Nuovo Record hubs, so I wanted to get them build up with rims that can take a 35-38mm tire. He says he can do it, then just to get an idea of cost, I say I would need 36-hole rims, he says, he would go with 32 and that 36 holes are harder to get, but he could get them. I said, well the hubs are 36-hole, so I would need a 36-hole rim. Then he says, the Nuovo Record stuff sells for a good price on Ebay, I would just sell it all and upgrade.

So my first question, is that really necessary? Is there a reason I should not ride with my vintage gear? is the old Campy crap and the new stuff so much better?

Then also I said I would like to get a triple crank in front, and know places like Rivendell, Compass and Velo Orange sell and recommend these. He says, nobody does triples any more, instead they do a compact double with a 10-11 speed cassette. Now can't I try to come close by adding a triple and using a 7-speed freewheel in the back? They guys at Rivendell are not stupid and they say the triple is their biggest seller.

Finally, he talked about different component manufactures and he said doing a new bike, he would go with Shimano as he feels it is better than Sram and Campy, but did qualify that it is personal preference. And he said he really believes their shifters (brifters) are the best. Then I said that doesn't matter because I want my shifters on the down tube or bar ends anyway. Which he completely poo pooed without much real explanation, other than they are just much better and you don't have to take your hands of the bars. Again, I am not a racer and want to do touring and shorter brevets as my long-term goal. I see most (or many anyway) using bar end shifters. So the final question, is there a problem with using bar end shifters that I am not aware of? Or are the brifters just all that? Seems more complicated, so more places for failure and more potential for damage in a crash. Am I wrong?

I know the bike shop is entitled to have his own opinions, which come from experience, and I am not trying to criticize him. I know I don't seem like a rider being overweight now and trying to get back into shape via riding. I had my own ideas based on research, but he kind of threw a wrench in it. I just want to know if I am the one who should be thinking differently? Or should I just go my own way?

Thanks - Chris
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Old 05-15-13, 04:33 PM   #2
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Never return to that bike shop ever again!

Once the guy said that, "Nobody does triples anymore!", that should have ended it right there, because that's just a lie!

Last edited by Cfiber; 05-15-13 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 05-15-13, 04:48 PM   #3
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Opinions are sharply divided on Grant Peterson. You sound like a Rivendell kind of person. Your bike shop guy sounds like he isn't. That doesn't mean either one of you is incompetent, it just means you aren't a good match.
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Old 05-15-13, 05:40 PM   #4
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Yeah, it's just a mismatch of priorities.

There really is no legitimate reason to run vintage stuff, other than just being dog-headed, so there's nothing much to discuss here; do what you want. Nobody is going to convince you that you have more options, more gears, lighter weight, and easier servicing-- and that those are good things-- with modern parts, so just stay the course until you get priced out of the vintage game.

It's a win/lose/win...and 2 out of 3 ain't bad, as Meatloaf said, but you're going to have a hell of a hard time finding an LBS that wants to sing that song with you.

Bon chance!
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Old 05-15-13, 06:58 PM   #5
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crandress:

Haul your bike over to the Seattle area and stop by either Recycled Cycles or JRA Bikes. Either of those shops will be more than happy to work with what you have, help you with ideas, and teach you some of the tech stuff if you want to DIY. I recently had some issues with a few LBS's when I was wanting to (get ready to turn your nose up ) 1. build my own bike, 2. out of a steel frame 3. keep it a 3x8 drivetrain, and 4. continue using my Sora shifters.

Glad I kept to my guns. I have a great riding bike that I am very happy with. I did more research on here and the Rivendell site as well.
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Old 05-15-13, 08:14 PM   #6
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crandress:

Haul your bike over to the Seattle area and stop by either Recycled Cycles or JRA Bikes. Either of those shops will be more than happy to work with what you have, help you with ideas, and teach you some of the tech stuff if you want to DIY. I recently had some issues with a few LBS's when I was wanting to (get ready to turn your nose up ) 1. build my own bike, 2. out of a steel frame 3. keep it a 3x8 drivetrain, and 4. continue using my Sora shifters.

Glad I kept to my guns. I have a great riding bike that I am very happy with. I did more research on here and the Rivendell site as well.
Thanks! Yeah I had already planned to go over to recycled cycles tomorrow to check it out! I actually built the Mercian up myself in the 90's, all except the wheels, which I don't do, and is really the only thing I wanted a shop to do. I don't however know how to do anything that is indexed, but will reference my books and get more if needed. The new bike will be my reward for getting to my weight goal, but half way to may goal I want to ride the Mercian, so I wanted to fit bigger tires which requires wider rims. I am sure someone would be willing to take my money to build some rims the way I want... Steal is where its at. When I was younger, I tried aluminum and carbon fiber and did not like either, though I understand they have improved greatly. Never tried titanium though...
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Old 05-15-13, 08:22 PM   #7
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Right on. The willingness to tinker is invaluable. Don't be too intimidated by indexed stuff. Set the high & low points then its just cable tension from there.

What width rims are on your bike right now? It seems even some of the more narrow, older rims will still fit a 32mm ire?
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Old 05-15-13, 08:52 PM   #8
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Right on. The willingness to tinker is invaluable. Don't be too intimidated by indexed stuff. Set the high & low points then its just cable tension from there.

What width rims are on your bike right now? It seems even some of the more narrow, older rims will still fit a 32mm ire?
I am not sure, but they are narrow. They are Campy Lambda Strada V Polished aero rims. According to the old campy catalog, they fit 19-25mm tires. I would really like 35-38mm tires.

Was looking at these, but don't know how good they are, they look nice...
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...700c-rims.html
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Old 05-16-13, 04:28 AM   #9
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I am not sure, but they are narrow. They are Campy Lambda Strada V Polished aero rims. According to the old campy catalog, they fit 9-25mm tires. I would really like 35-38mm tires.

Was looking at these, but don't know how good they are, they look nice...
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...700c-rims.html
VO rims are nice, my go to rims are the Sun CR-18 (they do come in silver) I typically pay about $35 a rim. I buy from different sources. I have them in a variety of sizes ranging from 406 through 700.

I think you need to find a different LBS, there is nothing wrong with using vintage stuff of reasonable quality. I get jumped on every now and again by the consumerists for riding a 25 year old Giant MTB with the original Suntour XCM group on it. It rides just fine and works for me. I also would avoid going over an 8 speed cluster in the rear, the 10/11 stuff is really hard on chains due to the angles, they don't last nearly as long as the 1-8 speed chains. Also triple cranks will give you a wider overall range than most compact doubles. I have set more than one triple up with a very small inner crank ring for a bail out gear.

Aaron
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Old 05-16-13, 11:18 AM   #10
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I'm a triple guy and a compact double guy. If you want a triple, prefer the shift patterns, or need the gearing, there's absolutely no reason on god's green earth not to do it. Compacts - no matter what anyone says - are not easier to shift or keep running smoothly, and are not as versitile as triples. They have huge shifting gaps (tend to rougher front shifting), require larger cassettes with bigger gaps, require a lot more front shifting/double shifting and don't give you as broad a gear range.

On the other hand, my Sram compact double really works excellent and I enjoy riding it. I dont' have the gearing that my triple gave me, and I have to shift the front a lot more, but not a big deal. In fact, the tendency toward compact doubles probably is just fine for a large portion of the road bike riders. And the whole thing is not a big deal to me until anyone tries to spout the line about "nobody does triples" or "there's no reason for a triple" or "real men don't ride triples". (what's a compact double for except to try to do the same thing a triple does but with two rings?). That's just silly and ignorant.

I'm not really a "vintage" guy, although I'm messing around with building up an 80s Italian frame right now and have gone back to friction shifters (for now) for the first time in about 20 years. Kind of like it! I think there's a lot to be said about modern components, especially "brifters" (don't like the word). I'll probably move toward a 'retro-modern' thing though with integrated shifters just because I happen to prefer them.

Now bar end shifters - anyone who scoffs at them is just dumb. They are simple, cheap, work extremely well, and are a good, safe, less skilled alternative for someone who doesn't like downtube shifters or doesn't want to get into integrated shifters for whatever reason (cost, style, whatever). And indexed bar end shifters are even better in those factors.

But you should know that the integrated shift /brake levers are really a nice development in bike technology. I'd say, maybe the only truly significant development in 50 years. All other developments in components, shifting, etc., were just tweaks and small incremental improvements of the technology found on racing bikes back when I was a kid.

But like I said, I'm kind of enjoying the downtube friction shifters again and if you really like them and want to keep the bike authentic / vintage, why not?

(you should try some integrated shifters though, just because ... you might like them).

FWIW - on the steel frames, it's dead simple to spread the rear triangle to accommodate a "modern" 130mm rear hub, so that should not be considered a factor at all. You can definitely use downtube shifters on a "modern" 8/9/10 speed hub if that makes your life easier.

As for the 36h hubs.... I can't imagine any reason for anyone to try to talk you out of that. I mean, really??

All of the above is my way of saying, what you're thinking is not flakey at all, and you should just follow your heart. Modern stuff is really nice, and you really should give it a try just because, why not? Go ride some bikes to see what it's like.

What you need is at least two bikes. A really nice vintage, or vintage-ish Mercian with a good triple, and a brand new, lightweight, "brifter" equipped carbon fiber relaxed, but high performance road bike (with a compact even!). I have both types and both are really, really fun to ride! (along with my aluminum frame, fat tired, fender'd commuter that has a mix of road and mountain bike drive train parts to haul my sorry a$$ up the steep hills to my house at the end of a long day).

Last edited by Camilo; 05-16-13 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 05-16-13, 11:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I'm a triple guy and a compact double guy. If you want a triple, prefer the shift patterns, or need the gearing, there's absolutely no reason on god's green earth not to do it. Compacts - no matter what anyone says - are not easier to shift or keep running smoothly, and are not as versitile as triples. They have huge shifting gaps (tend to rougher front shifting), require larger cassettes with bigger gaps, require a lot more front shifting/double shifting and don't give you as broad a gear range.

On the other hand, my Sram compact double really works excellent and I enjoy riding it. I dont' have the gearing that my triple gave me, and I have to shift the front a lot more, but not a big deal. In fact, the tendency toward compact doubles probably is just fine for a large portion of the road bike riders. And the whole thing is not a big deal to me until anyone tries to spout the line about "nobody does triples" or "there's no reason for a triple" or "real men don't ride triples". (what's a compact double for except to try to do the same thing a triple does but with two rings?). That's just silly and ignorant.
Can we have this as an automatic response every time the topic comes up?

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Old 05-16-13, 12:15 PM   #12
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VO rims are nice, my go to rims are the Sun CR-18 (they do come in silver) I typically pay about $35 a rim. I buy from different sources. I have them in a variety of sizes ranging from 406 through 700.

I think you need to find a different LBS, there is nothing wrong with using vintage stuff of reasonable quality. I get jumped on every now and again by the consumerists for riding a 25 year old Giant MTB with the original Suntour XCM group on it. It rides just fine and works for me. I also would avoid going over an 8 speed cluster in the rear, the 10/11 stuff is really hard on chains due to the angles, they don't last nearly as long as the 1-8 speed chains. Also triple cranks will give you a wider overall range than most compact doubles. I have set more than one triple up with a very small inner crank ring for a bail out gear.

Aaron
Thanks, I will look at the Sun rims. I have a 22 year old Bridgestone mountain bike that works great as well, except that it needs a new rear rim as well. Better end equipment tends to last amazingly well.
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Old 05-16-13, 12:20 PM   #13
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I'm a triple guy and a compact double guy. If you want a triple, prefer the shift patterns, or need the gearing, there's absolutely no reason on god's green earth not to do it. Compacts - no matter what anyone says - are not easier to shift or keep running smoothly, and are not as versitile as triples. They have huge shifting gaps (tend to rougher front shifting), require larger cassettes with bigger gaps, require a lot more front shifting/double shifting and don't give you as broad a gear range.

On the other hand, my Sram compact double really works excellent and I enjoy riding it. I dont' have the gearing that my triple gave me, and I have to shift the front a lot more, but not a big deal. In fact, the tendency toward compact doubles probably is just fine for a large portion of the road bike riders. And the whole thing is not a big deal to me until anyone tries to spout the line about "nobody does triples" or "there's no reason for a triple" or "real men don't ride triples". (what's a compact double for except to try to do the same thing a triple does but with two rings?). That's just silly and ignorant.

All of the above is my way of saying, what you're thinking is not flakey at all, and you should just follow your heart. Modern stuff is really nice, and you really should give it a try just because, why not? Go ride some bikes to see what it's like.

What you need is at least two bikes. A really nice vintage, or vintage-ish Mercian with a good triple, and a brand new, lightweight, "brifter" equipped carbon fiber relaxed, but high performance road bike (with a compact even!). I have both types and both are really, really fun to ride! (along with my aluminum frame, fat tired, fender'd commuter that has a mix of road and mountain bike drive train parts to haul my sorry a$$ up the steep hills to my house at the end of a long day).
+1

Bravo, Camilo! Bravo!
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Old 05-16-13, 12:22 PM   #14
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@Camilo Thanks, I really appreciate that post. And I may try brifters at some point. I tend to dig in when people deal in absolutes...

Not targeted at any responses above: For what its worth, right or wrong, I do buy into Grant Petersen's/Rivendell's philosophies, but doesn't mean I would be unwilling to try something new if I think it can help. By the same token I am not willing to scrap something because it does not the current consensus. If it works, no point in fixing it.

Also, I found that I have a book on wheelbuilding I bought a long time ago, maybe I should give it a try....
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Old 05-16-13, 12:28 PM   #15
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i am a big fan of old bikes
as well as triples and bar end shifters

however
there are some real advantages to some modern parts

the advantage of a new set of hubs is not that you can fit 10 or 11 cogs on them
but that they have freeehubs instead of freewheels
and freehubs have support at both ends of the axle while freewheels have support at one end and in the middle
the difference in axle life is significant
especially if you are considering going to 7 speeds which would likely require respacing and having an even longer unsupported axle on the drive side

also regarding brifters
yes they really are that good that for most people there is no other real option
the ergonomics is far superior to bar end shifters and in a whole 'nother class compared to down tube

however they are much harder (or impossible) to service
and there is no option to switch to friction shifting

but almost all brifters last for years without any service
and indexed shifting is simple as pie to set up
only on a long tour would you be in a position to not be able to bring the shifting back to perfect before the next ride
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Old 05-16-13, 12:36 PM   #16
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My Mercian

Here are some pics of the Mercian, It has look pedals and actually Chorus crank and derailleurs, but I have all the Nuovo/Super record components to complete as well as a spare set of hubs.





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Old 05-16-13, 12:41 PM   #17
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i am a big fan of old bikes
as well as triples and bar end shifters

however
there are some real advantages to some modern parts

the advantage of a new set of hubs is not that you can fit 10 or 11 cogs on them
but that they have freeehubs instead of freewheels
and freehubs have support at both ends of the axle while freewheels have support at one end and in the middle
the difference in axle life is significant
especially if you are considering going to 7 speeds which would likely require respacing and having an even longer unsupported axle on the drive side

also regarding brifters
yes they really are that good that for most people there is no other real option
the ergonomics is far superior to bar end shifters and in a whole 'nother class compared to down tube

however they are much harder (or impossible) to service
and there is no option to switch to friction shifting

but almost all brifters last for years without any service
and indexed shifting is simple as pie to set up
only on a long tour would you be in a position to not be able to bring the shifting back to perfect before the next ride
Very fair points, with and actual explanation as to why a newer hub can be better. Those are points worth considering. And at this point, I am leaning more towards keeping this bike vintage, probably with much lower mileage and getting something with new components for new bike. They I will try out the brifters and other options and make an informed decision.
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Old 05-16-13, 01:17 PM   #18
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if i were you
i would fit a triple crank and compatible derailleur
and mate it to a set of friction bar end shifters
and use the orignial 5 or six speed freewheel
and ride forever with a smile on my face
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Old 05-16-13, 01:33 PM   #19
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Perhaps the Employee was showing his personal Bias .. Here we have the flow of Touring Cyclists
riding the Oregon Coast .. a different group of cyclists than the usual Ride around a while
and then hang out at starbucks, in your race garb set .

my personal choice resolve the freewheel axle weakness, of Campag's hubs
By buying a 'Wheels of Boulder' Replacement axle..
I am sensing given I have had no more issues with the axle,
is the <C> factory Tempered theirs too hard, so it is Brittle.

'Wheels ' made the steel heat treatment a little more ductile and so would bend a little without breaking
and rebound a bit more spring like ..

My Road bikes have bar end shifters , but older Rear derailleurs use less cable pull .

sun tours handle the Slant Panto RD , ala shimano, because the capstan the lever wraps the cable around is bigger.
than the old downtube levers , or the <C> bar end shifters of that era..

best freewheel hub reliability is Phil. they have such a strong axle
I took several Self contained summer long tours & never had an issue
and I was not going super-lightly packed.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:44 PM   #20
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Perhaps the Employee was showing his personal Bias .. Here we have the flow of Touring Cyclists
riding the Oregon Coast .. a different group of cyclists than the usual Ride around a while
and then hang out at starbucks, in your race garb set .
exaclty what i thought too

bike shops are conditioned to lust after all that is new and improved
even if it is only new

but if you ask about swapping a part here or a part there
to make the bike more modern
then the only practical solution is to bring everything up to date
or leave it all retro styled

let your legs do the talking
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Old 05-18-13, 04:26 AM   #21
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Hi,

I've got a 30mm on the rear and a 32mm front tyres on my so
called "aero" rims and TBH your rims look at least as wide as mine.

What size tyres are currently fitted ? Plenty of clearance for bigger ?

rgds, sreten.

(i'm guessing it will take 32mm or 35mm)

These are good for the price :

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=26232

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Old 05-18-13, 09:24 AM   #22
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the push comes from above Importing Distributor product managers and the component manufacturers..
then you have to sell what gets shipped..
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Old 05-18-13, 09:43 AM   #23
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[QUOTE=crandress;15629601
They guys at Rivendell are not stupid [/QUOTE]

Maybe not stupid. Outside the mainstream, thickheaded and weird though. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Old 05-18-13, 10:06 AM   #24
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Hi,

I've got a 30mm on the rear and a 32mm front tyres on my so
called "aero" rims and TBH your rims look at least as wide as mine.

What size tyres are currently fitted ? Plenty of clearance for bigger ?

rgds, sreten.

(i'm guessing it will take 32mm or 35mm)

These are good for the price :

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=26232
It currently has 23mm tires. The rim opening tip to tip is 13.5mm, sidewall to sidewall on the outside is 20mm. So, I am game to try, since I could use the tires on new rims if it does not work anyway. What will happen if I put them on and they don't work? Will they just not stay on or will they come off while I am riding? That's what worries me. So if the pump up to appropriate pressure and are on, am I good?

Oh, and unlike modern bikes, it has PLENTY of clearance. I was thinking of e 650b conversion, but looking at it, I think it can handle a 700c x 35 plus a fender, though I would have to measure to be sure.
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Old 05-18-13, 10:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
the push comes from above Importing Distributor product managers and the component manufacturers..
then you have to sell what gets shipped..
Not sure what you mean, do you mean that is why they recommend the only up to a 25mm?
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