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Bike trends have officially entered the ugly era

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Bike trends have officially entered the ugly era

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Old 07-10-18, 06:47 AM
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The last time I looked at bikes in my bike shop all I came away with is, can logos get any bigger and why did the classically beautiful five spoke crank need to change?
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Old 07-10-18, 07:20 AM
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Most brand new bikes look odd because they were designed by computer programs and built by robots. Human art and design is no longer desired. Beauty is gone. Bicycles now resemble something that insects could operate.
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Old 07-10-18, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gear64 View Post
A lot of aspects just seem to look cheap to me, like chain rings. Maybe they are light and high performance to justify cost, but just look fragile and blah to me.
I'm pretty sure they are in fact cheap and fragile.
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Old 07-10-18, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Most brand new bikes look odd because they were designed by computer programs and built by robots. Human art and design is no longer desired. Beauty is gone. Bicycles now resemble something that insects could operate.
You guys crack me up.

We are truly in a golden era of new builders in the US of A.

Just look around. There is incredible design and beauty out there.

DSC_0526 by RuthWorks SF, on Flickr
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Old 07-10-18, 07:49 AM
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Old 07-10-18, 08:20 AM
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I think you are wrong about new bikes. Some are indeed fugly. Others, however, are quite beautiful and classy.

IMHO my two Colnago CF bikes are as beautiful as my classic steel bikes.




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Old 07-10-18, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
Steve,
I thought that the "new" was unique and a great idea...what's old is new again. I wonder what the reason was that it never caught on?
Innovation, testing and change are always good IMHO.
Best, Ben
If you are referring to shaft drive, it is an idea that must have a lot of appeal, because people keep re-inventing it. The apparent lower maintenance, minimal exposed parts (especially *lubed* parts), and perhaps the visual minimalism are the main virtues. The downsides are the relative complexity of removing the rear wheel (moreso for designs that enclose the rear bevel gear) and the relatively lower mechanical efficiency of bevel gears vs. chain & sprockets. The difficulty in changing gear ratios might be an issue for some.

If it is a question of why roller gears never caught on... I can only speculate. Maybe it's not rugged/reliable enough? Too expensive to manufacture?
The fact that you don't see them in use on other applications might indicate that they have some significant shortcoming. By comparison, roller chains and bevel gears are widely used in power transmissions for machinery in general.

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Old 07-10-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Most brand new bikes look odd because they were designed by computer programs and built by robots. Human art and design is no longer desired. Beauty is gone. Bicycles now resemble something that insects could operate.
while rarely going a full minute not referencing their power meter.
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Old 07-10-18, 08:47 AM
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Bikes with black spokes and black paint are not allowed on my property.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:01 AM
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Old 07-10-18, 09:24 AM
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I dislike the appearance of at least three modern things: 1) sloping top tubes; 2) wheels with low spoke counts; and 3) 4-spoke crank spiders, particularly thick, ungainly ones.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:37 AM
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I actually comment to the rider of these types of bikes....."Hey, nice looking ride... is that your mom's bike?"
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Old 07-10-18, 10:00 AM
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I miss the era where each of the major manufacturers had a unique, specific look. You could take all the decals off the bike, and still it was easy to spot a Fuji, a Trek, a Cannondale, or whatever.

Now, if you take the decals off, I can't tell the difference between those brands and bikes direct. They really have succumbed to the lowest common denominator, make it as cheap as possible. Read one of the old Trek catalogs, they had.a certain pride in their product.

My 1988 Cimarron, with its fillet brazed head tube, and the rest of the bike lugged steel, is something different than what their competitors offered. Even the Japanese manufacturers that I love had a drop off in uniqueness. Thus I believe my 1987 Schwinn Prologue has much higher quality and detail work than my 1992 Paramount Series 7. Both high end models, both made by Panasonic, and just a few years apart.

Imagine someone posting a frame in the future, stripped of all paint and graphics, and asking: "Can you ID this frameset?"

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Old 07-10-18, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I think you are wrong about new bikes. Some are indeed fugly. Others, however, are quite beautiful and classy.

IMHO my two Colnago CF bikes are as beautiful as my classic steel bikes.




Sweet bikes!

I tend to agree with you.

A friend has a C59 and it is an amazing bike.
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Old 07-10-18, 10:13 AM
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People said the same thing about parts and bikes that you consider beautiful when they came out. You can bet that the new tech in the 70s was derided by enthusiasts who grew up in the 40s, and same for every era. "Who needs a water bottle DIRECTLY mounted to the frame?? These idiots are drilling holes in the frame tubes nowadays. Buncha junk that will break in a couple years!" "I don't trust these square taper cranks. Pressed on? No thanks!"

The quicker C&V enthusiasts realize that their aesthetic and technological tastes are purely dictated by when they grew up and not by objective standards of beauty or by actual problems with the new tech, the less griping there will be.

While I personally can't stand the aesthetics of modern racing frames and parts, I do like the newish trend of bikepacking, gravel, and off road touring bikes. The focus is on function and the bikes acquire their own aesthetic appeal through this function. People forgot that all new types of parts started as functional yet ugly. Through years of use and appreciation they gain their own aesthetic appeal.

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Old 07-10-18, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Heck, the reality of disc brakes now finally eclipsing caliper brakes on race and sport road bikes are just starting to hit me..... That change is now making me feel quite.......OLD......
I kinda find myself staring at those modern bikes in shops these days with their disc brakes speechless......
Even my brother is starting to buy and ride more modern bikes than C&V bikes!
If he rides frames of your size, then he should just give the c&v to you
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Old 07-10-18, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I think you are wrong about new bikes. Some are indeed fugly. Others, however, are quite beautiful and classy.

IMHO my two Colnago CF bikes are as beautiful as my classic steel bikes.




very nice, but in a very specific bit of curmudgenous..... I don't like straight forks, on vintage or modern but all really beautiful bikes even with straight forks
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Old 07-10-18, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I dislike the appearance of at least three modern things: 1) sloping top tubes; 2) wheels with low spoke counts; and 3) 4-spoke crank spiders, particularly thick, ungainly ones.
Agree on all counts.. I'd add straight-blade forks and increasingly kludgy-looking rear derailleurs.

Note I am not talking about function here - I have no doubt these things work great. And I am not anti-everything after 1973 - I run Campy 10sp triple stuff on my old, lugged steel frames. But I do think that the items on John E's list, with my additions, look awful. When it comes to bikes I want to own and ride, looks matter. Also, I am old and not fast and am getting older and not-faster all the time. Thus the ugly-looks factor outweighs whatever performance advantage this new-fangled stuff has, at lest for me. The key words are "for me." Ride what you like, the way you like. I may think it is ugly as hell, but if it gets you out on the road or trail, that's really what matters.

Now get off my lawn.
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Old 07-10-18, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I miss the era where each of the major manufacturers had a unique, specific look. You could take all the decals off the bike, and still it was easy to spot a Fuji, a Trek, a Cannondale, or whatever.

Now, if you take the decals off, I can't tell the difference between those brands and bikes direct. They really have succumbed to the lowest common denominator, make it as cheap as possible. Read one of the old Trek catalogs, they had.a certain pride in their product.

My 1988 Cimarron, with its fillet brazed head tube, and the rest of the bike lugged steel, is something different than what their competitors offered. Even the Japanese manufacturers that I love had a drop off in uniqueness. Thus I believe my 1987 Schwinn Prologue has much higher quality and detail work than my 1992 Paramount Series 7. Both high end models, both made by Panasonic, and just a few years apart.

Imagine someone posting a frame in the future, stripped of all paint and graphics, and asking: "Can you ID this frameset?"
A lot of folks would say the exact opposite.

For decades, nearly all manufacturers built nearly all road frames through a similar process, with similar-diameter tubes that were cylindrical in mostly the same places and ovalized in mostly the same places and crimped in mostly the same places, connected at mostly the same places. Oftentimes the construction of two frames made by two manufacturers ten years apart can only be distinguished by the geometry or braze-ons of the day, or by a subtle difference in the shape of a few lugs when you look closely at the bike. You might wait 40 years, to find that the only difference that's obvious at a distance is that the bend of the fork has started a bit higher up the blades.

But today's manufacturing offers a ton more freedom in how tubes are profiled and where they're joined.
The thin stays of the Emonda that flow from the top tube. The chunkier and more squared-off forms of the Tarmac. The classic diamonds of the SuperSix EVO. These bikes are all direct competitors of the current generation, and you could instantly tell them apart from 100 feet away.
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Old 07-10-18, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post


Already thinking through how to retrofit this to my Ironman
Apparently 49% less friction. I imagine that could be a game changer.

Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
Certainly a unique solution, and they seem to be quite proud of it.....
“Advancements in drivetrain technology have been evolutionary since the 1920s. Driven is truly revolutionary given its unique rolling element power transfer and unmatched efficiency."

however, I'm not sure that it is really that original of an idea (although the multi-speed aspect seems to be new). Here's a brief article by Jim Langley on the 1899 Victor Spinroller, published in the August 1997 issue of Bicycling magazine....



I'm not sure how much drivetrains have evolved since the '20's, but this idea predates the 20's by another twenty years. I do have to give Ceramic Speed credit for using tiny ball bearings instead of the simpler bushings used in the Victor.

Steve in Peoria
I've seen shaft drive bikes come on the market or are found, they go for big $. The breakthrough would be multi gear. Intereresting to see if it goes anywhere.

I don't mind the new bikes, To each his own and they are very comfy. I still do believe the 60's-80's were a special age of cycling though.
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Old 07-10-18, 12:04 PM
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I find most new bikes to be "ugly", but boy do they perform!

I ride vintage for the enjoyment, but if I need to get serious (Strava PB etc.) then the high zoot new stuff is just incredible. Every single aspect is superior on the new stuff. Ugly, but functional.

The latest bike that I own that still looks fantastic to me is a 1991 Pinarello with Record 10- After those years, I had to compromise in the looks department.

The new SOMEC and Colnago top shelf framesets are one of the few exceptions in my opinion.
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Old 07-10-18, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
This will bring a whole new dimension to falling and landing on the cassette...... kinda like the spike on chariots in Ben-Hur
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Old 07-10-18, 12:10 PM
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Re the R-Sys wheels above. Had a friend who was totally enamored with those. Built her a set of semi-vintage wheels the old way. Semi-vintage because it had to be 130mm and cassette.
When she tried the handbuilt wheels there was no going back to Roumanian junk. Or to any modern wheels.

Some of the new stuff works well enough. Lots of it only works well enough to sell. All is set up so you have to dive all the way in and get unified systems. Vintage meant everything was compatible with everything, presuming you knew how it worked. No one is coming back to any current production bike when it becomes theoretically vintage after twenty or thirty years. New stuff has a shelf life and it is real short. Service parts are not available when the components are new and certainly won't be in future.
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Old 07-10-18, 12:28 PM
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I ride vintage for the enjoyment, but if I need to get serious (Strava PB etc.) then the high zoot new stuff is just incredible. Every single aspect is superior on the new stuff. Ugly, but functional.
Well said, but I don't, necessarily, agree that the new stuff is ugly. In fact, the new frame materials allow for a different kind of creativity. Personally, I am a sap for chrome lugs, fork socks and stays, but I can see pure beauty in some of the new stuff also. Might even give one a test ride some day (pic from Google search)...
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Old 07-10-18, 12:36 PM
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re: ceramicspeed shaft thingie -- anyone else notice that it's fixed? oops.
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