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From a wrench's perspective what’s your biggest gripe about bicycle component design

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From a wrench's perspective what’s your biggest gripe about bicycle component design

Old 07-31-07, 11:12 AM
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From a wrench's perspective what’s your biggest gripe about bicycle component design

Like anything else bicycle parts have evolved over time to become better and better [or so we hope]. What can you guys and galls think of that hasn't changed or should have changed in component design. I'll start out with a pet peeve: chainring bolts. Why are the rear halfs not indexed to the crank arm eliminating the need for a special tool.
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Old 07-31-07, 11:30 AM
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I've always hated the brake centering screws. Nicer V-brakes have a 2.5mm allen bolt you can tighten and loosen with ease. Every other bike has the phillips head screw that strip out easily.
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Old 07-31-07, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Re-Cycle View Post
Like anything else bicycle parts have evolved over time to become better and better [or so we hope]. What can you guys and galls think of that hasn't changed or should have changed in component design. I'll start out with a pet peeve: chainring bolts. Why are the rear halfs not indexed to the crank arm eliminating the need for a special tool.
Actually, some chainring nuts have a serrated surface for this purpose. However, I've never found this to be a problem if the bolt threads are properly lubricated before installation.

As to new stuff, I miss good quick release mechanisms built into the brake lever. Campagnolo and the Tektro/Cane Creek copies still have that feature for drop bars, nobody has it for upright bars.

You shouldn't need to disable your brakes to remove the wheels.

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Old 07-31-07, 11:44 AM
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Internal nipples. Internal cable routing. Certain mountain 4-arm chainrings won't mount to certain cranksets, even though BCD is correct.

Integrated headsets aren't too bad. Like most new stuff if you have the right parts and tools, you're OK. Still, I'd be a lot easier if headsets were all one standard. Same goes for bottom brackets, stems and bar diameters, cassette spacing, shifter cable pull ratio, seatpost diameter, front derailleur clamp diameter, derailleur hangers, brake pads (disc and rim), chains, spoke lengths, and basically every part of a bicycle.
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Old 07-31-07, 02:26 PM
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Anything that needs a tool that only fits this thing: freewheel tools, weird cassette rings, 389234 different bb cup tools, non-drive side Shimano cranks that needs the little plastic round tool to unscrew rather than a simple Allen wrench, etc. You'd swear some of these companies own Park Tool shares, and relish the release of new tools.

Internal nipples. True the wheel? No sweat, take off the tyre, take off the rim strip, and go for it. With a bit of luck, you'll need to replace a drive-side spoke at the same time, so take off the cassette as well - damn, I don't have the tool for *that* cassette.
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Old 07-31-07, 02:38 PM
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derailers and chains should have gone bye bye by now. Also crown races, there has to be a better way than to 'press' em on.
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Old 07-31-07, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by unrooted View Post
derailers and chains should have gone bye bye by now.
To be replaced by?... Belt, fluid drive, driveshaft, plasma-drive? Anti-matter drive? Rope and pulley?
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Old 07-31-07, 03:12 PM
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Lol
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Old 07-31-07, 03:29 PM
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Come to think about it bicycles have evolved and improved for well over 100 years. They are by far the most efficient human powered vehicle. I don't like sloping top tubes but that's about aesthetics not mechanics or efficiency. I'm looking forward to electric shifting that is reliable, light, with long lasting rechargable batteries, and reasonably priced. It will happen.

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Old 07-31-07, 03:30 PM
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Why did I have to spend $40.00 for two tools to install a Phil Wood BB? I really like the BB, though. bk
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Old 07-31-07, 09:20 PM
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The Shimano chain pin system. It is @#$%#$%#$% !
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Old 07-31-07, 09:38 PM
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Planned Obscelescence in bike components. Then and again i'm a luddite who stopped buying bike parts in 1990 and who still rides the same 1990 Deore XT topmount shifters, with a 20 y/o Sach freewheel that has been rebuilt once. Everything else is old skool singlespeed. k.i.s.s. there is far too much crap on bikes these days.
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Old 07-31-07, 09:49 PM
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I'd agree with internal nipples being a WTF! Just before we were going to go for a ride, buddy noticed he had a bit of brake rub - his wheel was out of true. Pulled out a spoke wrench only to notice his spokes were buried under and additional 10 minutes of work. What should have been a 30 second tweak turned into a whole song and dance routine!

Cable routing on most Tri-bikes. What a pain.

Tiny little allen keys used to hold a hub assembly tight. You can tell THAT was designed by someone who never, ever worked on a bike.

Big bike companies dictating how a store should look and what products it can sell. That one really gets me.
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Old 07-31-07, 10:10 PM
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I really don't have a gripe about buying tools and newer parts. I do have a certain fear that eventually the parts I like to ride will cease to be available. I still ride freewheel bikes and older things for around town and quality parts that don't cost a ton are getting harder to come by.
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Old 07-31-07, 10:12 PM
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The most moronic thing i've seen thus far is everything past the square taper BB stage.
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Old 07-31-07, 10:21 PM
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The lead time between when a product gets advertised to the hungry masses and it is actually possible to get that item from the manufacturer.
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Old 07-31-07, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
The lead time between when a product gets advertised to the hungry masses and it is actually possible to get that item from the manufacturer.
I forgot about that one! With the SRAM marketing guys ramping things up it seems like it is about to get even worse!

On the flip side I know we already have samples and article numbers for 2008 product (some of which is already available) but are afraid to order them because we are worried that we might kill sales of existing 2007 inventory that is sitting on our dealers walls.

I know, in North America, the season is really winding down and LBS are looking at their existing inventory and hoping to find it a home before they have to either blow it out or have to carry the inventory over to next year. Introducing new product now effectively kills this product.

You can thank Shimano for this one, BTW.
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Old 08-01-07, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Re-Cycle View Post
pet peeve: chainring bolts. Why are the rear halfs not indexed to the crank arm eliminating the need for a special tool.
I had to straighten a bent middle ring on one of our rental bikes today and saw two things:

-The four bolt pattern allows chainrings to bend much easier than the five.

-The chainring bolts had a 5mm hex recess on the front and a 6mm hex on the back. Nice design improvement, and it was on a $350 bike's crank.
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Old 08-01-07, 12:38 AM
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The modern incarnation of the step-through or women's frame, when paired with most linear pull brakes.

A certain Large company's cable routing is so poorly designed, that the only way to make the rear brake work well is to bypass the cable guides completely.

If people didn't ask for "girls' frame" bikes all the time, I would never order another one.
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Old 08-01-07, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
-The chainring bolts had a 5mm hex recess on the front and a 6mm hex on the back. ...
Sorry, are you complaining about this? It is probably to allow the use of non-duplicate tools.

If you are not complaining, never mind.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:14 AM
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I hate it when designers are not maintanance people and do not have a clue; designing parts that need special tools or odd tools and designing parts that are very difficult to maintain.

A case in point is the SRAM Gripshifter I am working on now (1990's vintage, of course). It requires an odd sized tiny Hex wrench than when you try to use the 2.5 mm (not 2 mm, not 3mm, = 2.5 mm exactly) hex wrench, gently, gently.... CLICK CLICK STRIP! and the head is stripped. Totally stupid design to use a 2.5 mm hex bolt with the factory suggested 15 lbs torque (new) You can get it on, but not off. naturally, the head is buried deep into the shifter housing, so now, I can either try to drill out the stripped head OR, shatter the damned thing with a hammer to get it into pieces so I can take it off and replace it.

I hate stupid impractical stuff like that designed by soft chair engineers who don't actually wrench and don't bother to talk with mechanics.

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Old 08-01-07, 08:31 AM
  #22  
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I could list dozens and dozens of things that are very poorly designed, and I haven't even touched any suspension stuff, which would probably otherwise add another dozen items to my list.

However, posting such a list would take too much time, and I have to go fix something on one of my bikes now.

To sum it up, however, I will say one thing:
STANDARDISE! I hate proprietary/oddball stuff, especially regarding fasteners.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gmason View Post
Sorry, are you complaining about this? It is probably to allow the use of non-duplicate tools.

If you are not complaining, never mind.
No, I thought it was genuinely a good design, and addressed the OP's pet peeve with chainring bolts. The 5mm/6mm bolts take standard tools, but only needed the 5mm as they didn't spin anyway. At least it'd be easy to deal with one that spun.
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Old 08-01-07, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
To sum it up, however, I will say one thing:
STANDARDISE! I hate proprietary/oddball stuff, especially regarding fasteners.
That will happen....right after they STANDARDIZE spelling too !
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Old 08-01-07, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmythefly View Post
Internal nipples. Internal cable routing. Certain mountain 4-arm chainrings won't mount to certain cranksets, even though BCD is correct.

Integrated headsets aren't too bad. Like most new stuff if you have the right parts and tools, you're OK. Still, I'd be a lot easier if headsets were all one standard. Same goes for bottom brackets, stems and bar diameters, cassette spacing, shifter cable pull ratio, seatpost diameter, front derailleur clamp diameter, derailleur hangers, brake pads (disc and rim), chains, spoke lengths, and basically every part of a bicycle.
+1 Ding! Ding! Ding!
That's one reason I'm a retro-grouch. A lot more standardization back in the day.

Last edited by rmikkelsen; 08-01-07 at 09:09 AM.
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