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Bike Shop Rip Van Winkle

Old 11-13-18, 02:54 PM
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The same thing happened to me. I was heavily involved in bikes and cycling from the time I was 14 (in 1975) until 1993 or so. I kept riding, but there were some years when I didn't ride much. I participated in the Usenet rec.bicycles groups, which kept me abreast of the industry. Then I stopped paying attention, so I know more about today's stuff than about stuff from around 2000, but I'm slowly filling in the holes in my knowledge.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:28 AM
  #27  
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So much change just for change's sake.

Yet still don't see all eBikes make an effort to integrate front & rear lights onto frame & neatly plumbed into main power.
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Old 11-14-18, 11:14 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Rip van Winkle, not Rumpelstiltskin.
Maybe both. Simplicity, straw, being spun into high end bikes.
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Old 11-14-18, 12:00 PM
  #29  
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For those of you stuck in the '80's, don't feel bad. I'm right there with you. I'm still riding the '84 Pug PH10 that I bought new. Like you, the modern technology is beyond me. I'll stick to the past.
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Old 11-14-18, 12:08 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Tamiya View Post
So much change just for change's sake.

Yet still don't see all eBikes make an effort to integrate front & rear lights onto frame & neatly plumbed into main power.
? Actually most of the name brand e-bike models have integrated lights.
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Old 11-14-18, 08:46 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Any idea how to change a thread title?
Thread title changed per OP's request.
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Old 11-14-18, 09:32 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Thread title changed per OP's request.
Huzzah!!!
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Old 11-14-18, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Arse Technica just had an article on this. (It is very basic and not written for a bike audience.)

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018...-wheeled-tech/

For road bikes, the biggest changes I personally noticed between my latest (2014) purchase and my previous one (1987):

1. Frame materials (although I stuck with steel).
2. Disc brakes.
3. Drive train (especially the transition from freewheel to feehub and much wider gear range).
4. Shifters (I went from downtube friction to Di2).

I got the distinct impression that several of the advances (disk brakes, stems, etc.) originated with mountain bikes.
No mention of clipless pedals in the article.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
No mention of clipless pedals in the article.
I think look and Shimano had them 25 years ago. (That is when I got them, IIRC.) SPD 2-bolt cleats appeared almost 28 years ago, and the 3-bolt cleats predated them.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:46 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I think look and Shimano had them 25 years ago. (That is when I got them, IIRC.) SPD 2-bolt cleats appeared almost 28 years ago, and the 3-bolt cleats predated them.
My mountain bike had 2-bolt SPD clipless pedals in 1992, and I don’t think I was an early adopter. Look had three bolt road pedals. We even had Speedplay and Eggbeaters in the shop at some point before ‘96.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:49 PM
  #36  
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Wikipedia has 1990 as the introductory year of Shimano SPD pedals.

Probably right around the time a satirical newspaper in Madison, WI called The Onion gave us T. Herman Zweibel.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:50 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Wikipedia has 1990 as the introductory year of Shimano SPD pedals.
That make sense. I got some 25th anniversary ones in 2015.
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Old 11-14-18, 11:43 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Other changes that confounded me:

Disk brakes
Hydraulics brake lines
Electronic shifting
Hollowtech II and other external bearing bottom brackets/cranksets
Through-axle
Steerers tapered or larger than 1-1/8"
"Dropper" seat posts
Multiple-click "trim" on a front shifting brifter
Straight-pull spokes
It's certainly been an interesting evolution over the last three decades. Though to be fair, that's THIRTY YEARS! Lots of time for things to go crazy. As others have noted. Inflation seems to have bikes costing about the same then as now, and $1800 does get you quite a capable race bike (Trek Emonda for one). One very interesting thing is the Shimano Claris and Sora groupsets are incredibly cheap yet have the benefit of employing very proven components that are ergonomic (the shifters) and capable (RD and cassette maximums) and on the whole, look pretty good. Great for updating a worthy C&V bike (assuming the style of paint/graphics plays with modern stuff) for a surprisingly cheap sum. As one born in the '80s and who has learned a tremendous amount about vintage and modern offerings, I enjoy much of the advancements. Some are frustrating and annoying as components and frames are evolutionary dead ends, but hey, someone tried.

Disk brakes - A great development for a lot of reasons, especially wet/much related. Mountain bikes have led the way with disc, then hydro disc, "shadow type" RD geometry (less "out there in the wind" and prone to snagging on things). Considering the terrain MTBs traverse, and perhaps the mindset of that rider (push the limits type), I can see how tech got pushed as far and as fast as it did. MTBs are immensely capable now, and for the better, largely. They can tackle insane terrain about as "safe" as possible. Man, the stuff they do. MTBs to me look like freaking motocross bikes without the motor! Truly the form is the function. They're beasts, and while I very much respect that, none are beautiful or attractive to me.

Hydro disc brakes - These are great. Much less squeezing to get the same or better stopping power. Great for people that have smaller or weaker hands or have nervous system issues that disallow use of normal cable brakes. This gets them back in the saddle. I have built up a 2015 Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc (think Black Lightning Part II) Disc and it had half a dozen new things on it (internal routing!) that I had to research, learn, and implement correctly the first time. .............I sent the bike to a shop to hook up and bleed the hydro lines. I know my limits!

Electronic shifting - Still really want to try this out. Wish Shimano was wireless as that would be an open and shut case for upgrading a C&V bike. SRAM is wireless but SRAM has...kinda ugly stuff. :/ The Shimano Di2 hoods on the last two generations of Dura-Ace and Ultegra just feel so good. If you would like to feel most of that for much cheaper, just buy a set of 7800 or 6600 shifters.

Hollowtech II et al - Thank God Shimano did external stuff first (in a mass-market sense) as they did it right IMO. FSA has a million BBs (grrrr) and Campagnolo managed to make something simple complicated (patent avoidance in this case?). Stiff, light, and stupid easy to set up. Sure, many of the cranks don't work with vintage stuff aesthetically, but some do. And honestly, have you seen how a BB9000 (Dura-Ace) bottom bracket lines up perfectly in diameter/surface transition to a traditional steel bottom bracket shell? Hot.

Click-trim for front shifters - I think Shimano had this right with their 7700 and 7800 era shifters. 7700s had 4-5 detentes for trimming and 7800 has 3 or so. Soft, easy, quiet lever action. 11-speed Ultegra (6800 generation) is weird. It's like, guys, stop trying to reinvent things. It was fine before! Of course, Campagnolo has had this figured out the whole time, which many of us appreciate.

Straight pull spokes make for a less-pretty wheel I think, but they are part of the aero and carbon wheel trend, and I like me some deep section carbon wheels...to look at, not to buy. They're still massively expensive.
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Old 11-15-18, 07:37 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I think look and Shimano had them 25 years ago. (That is when I got them, IIRC.) SPD 2-bolt cleats appeared almost 28 years ago, and the 3-bolt cleats predated them.
Didn't the Look pedal and binding appear competitively in '86?
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Old 11-15-18, 07:54 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Didn't the Look pedal and binding appear competitively in '86?
Yes, around 85/86. They were in the market for the public to buy, almost immediately. I jumped right in to the clipless pedals as I found that clipless pedals really made sense, because they related to the downhill ski bindings I was already used to. Only thing was, unless you bought proprietary cycling shoes, the cycling shoes available back then did not have the three threaded bolt holes for the Look cleats on their soles (I do remember drilling holes on my mesh Diadoras and installing hat shaped threaded inserts that IIRC, Look included with their early pedals) and the uppers weren't up to the stresses that came with clipless pedaling and they tended to fall apart after a shirt time.
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Old 11-15-18, 08:28 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
It's certainly been an interesting evolution over the last three decades. Though to be fair, that's THIRTY YEARS! Lots of time for things to go crazy.

I'm not a curmudgeon (at least not much of one unless you walk on my lawn), so I do see that many of the new things introduced since the 90's are indeed the result of incremental improvements. It's just a bit disorienting, feeling like you were at the top of the bike tech game, being frozen in bike shop suspended animation for 25 years, and re-emerging in 2018. Why didn't I venture in to more shops in that time? Maybe it made me feel old to see the Gen-X'ers like me replaced by younger millennials at the repair stand. Also, the shop I worked in transferred ownership and then closed down, so I lost that home base. Additionally, if anything I owned needed repairs, I did them myself, eliminating another reason to go to a bike shop.


Is an older steel frame road bike built up with modern components the "best of both worlds"? I recently built up a vintage steel frame (can be seen in the "Retro Roadie" and "Show Your Late 1980's Schwinn" threads), and it was my first bike with a modern groupset (11-speed Shimano 105 5800). The crankset is a bit ugly, but it works so nicely. No creaks, solid, stiff, and disappears under pedal pressure. It's also my first bike with "brifters", and so far I am actually loving those (my other road bikes have all been down tube shifting). The caliper brakes work significantly better than the older ones. I have "compressionless" Jagwire cables on it. So far, I love it.

I probably have a bit too much money sunk in to a mediocre steel frame, but it still cost me less than buying, say, a brand new Surly or Soma, and I got to pick the components. And it's much lighter than a Surly, and I would argue a nicer bike. And it was fun to do.


Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
As others have noted. Inflation seems to have bikes costing about the same then as now, and $1800 does get you quite a capable race bike (Trek Emonda for one).

The price points are available, but it seems to me that bike shops have a lot more inventory in the higher price bracket than they did before. It does depend on the brand and location of the shop.


My old shop was not in a wealthy area, and we sold LOT of bikes around $350 (today that would be about $575) in, say, 1995. If you went "off brand", you could get a bike for $280. The shop had dozens of them in this price range out on the sales floor. You can find a bike at this price range in a shop, but sales floors are crammed full of more expensive models than before. I think this is adding to the perception that bike prices have gotten out of control.
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Old 11-15-18, 09:04 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Wikipedia has 1990 as the introductory year of Shimano SPD pedals.

Probably right around the time a satirical newspaper in Madison, WI called The Onion gave us T. Herman Zweibel.
I recall he wrote a column decrying SPD as a "passing fad". He predicted a return to balloon tires and rod brakes, and rumble seats in cars.....
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Old 11-15-18, 09:16 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I think look and Shimano had them 25 years ago. (That is when I got them, IIRC.) SPD 2-bolt cleats appeared almost 28 years ago, and the 3-bolt cleats predated them.
Look clipless pedals came on the market around 1985, about the same time Shimano brought SIS indexed shifting on the market. Mass-produced aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium frames in the early 80s, as well as freehubs.
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Old 11-15-18, 09:47 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
My old shop was not in a wealthy area, and we sold LOT of bikes around $350 (today that would be about $575) in, say, 1995. If you went "off brand", you could get a bike for $280. The shop had dozens of them in this price range out on the sales floor. You can find a bike at this price range in a shop, but sales floors are crammed full of more expensive models than before. I think this is adding to the perception that bike prices have gotten out of control.
Maybe it has more to do with buying habits in general, or perhaps consumers have become price-desensitized from what’s happened in other categories. During the same period, consider what’s happened to cars, real estate, and higher education.
Also, I take the number of middle schoolers with smart phones as a sign that “making do” is a dying art. Now who’s the curmudgeon?

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Old 11-15-18, 09:56 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post

Probably right around the time a satirical newspaper in Madison, WI called The Onion gave us T. Herman Zweibel.
And what a gift to the fulminating mass of ignominious poltroons that con-stitute humanity it was!
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Old 11-15-18, 10:00 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
I recall he wrote a column decrying SPD as a "passing fad". He predicted a return to balloon tires and rod brakes, and rumble seats in cars.....
With Compass Tires, the first of these pre-scient pre-dictions is finally manifesting itself. T. Hermann (you can always identify the truly in-sightful by that initial initial) was simply too far ahead of his time.

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Old 11-15-18, 10:25 AM
  #47  
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I was working in shops at least part time into the beginnings of both STI and threadless aheadsets, though the latter were MTB only at the time. The weirdest thing for me is the prebuilt wheelsets. I kinda remember ZIP and some others pushing that concept in the early 90s, but it took a while to catch on. Oh, and everyone (ok not everyone) slams their stems but rides on the tops all the time to make up for it. That's kind of funny.

SPD isn't weird to me because I remember Shimano marketing it as a road bike an alternative to the Look system, when they still had to pay royalties to Look to use their patents.
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Old 11-15-18, 12:46 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I'm not a curmudgeon (at least not much of one unless you walk on my lawn), so I do see that many of the new things introduced since the 90's are indeed the result of incremental improvements. It's just a bit disorienting, feeling like you were at the top of the bike tech game, being frozen in bike shop suspended animation for 25 years, and re-emerging in 2018. Why didn't I venture in to more shops in that time? Maybe it made me feel old to see the Gen-X'ers like me replaced by younger millennials at the repair stand. Also, the shop I worked in transferred ownership and then closed down, so I lost that home base. Additionally, if anything I owned needed repairs, I did them myself, eliminating another reason to go to a bike shop.


Is an older steel frame road bike built up with modern components the "best of both worlds"? I recently built up a vintage steel frame (can be seen in the "Retro Roadie" and "Show Your Late 1980's Schwinn" threads), and it was my first bike with a modern groupset (11-speed Shimano 105 5800). The crankset is a bit ugly, but it works so nicely. No creaks, solid, stiff, and disappears under pedal pressure. It's also my first bike with "brifters", and so far I am actually loving those (my other road bikes have all been down tube shifting). The caliper brakes work significantly better than the older ones. I have "compressionless" Jagwire cables on it. So far, I love it.

I probably have a bit too much money sunk in to a mediocre steel frame, but it still cost me less than buying, say, a brand new Surly or Soma, and I got to pick the components. And it's much lighter than a Surly, and I would argue a nicer bike. And it was fun to do.





The price points are available, but it seems to me that bike shops have a lot more inventory in the higher price bracket than they did before. It does depend on the brand and location of the shop.


My old shop was not in a wealthy area, and we sold LOT of bikes around $350 (today that would be about $575) in, say, 1995. If you went "off brand", you could get a bike for $280. The shop had dozens of them in this price range out on the sales floor. You can find a bike at this price range in a shop, but sales floors are crammed full of more expensive models than before. I think this is adding to the perception that bike prices have gotten out of control.
Thinking about it a little more, around $500-550 gets one a decent, capable all around bike (think Kona Dew). Nothing fancy, flat bars, but good clearances and room for fenders and racks. It seems ~$1000 is the magic point for entry level road bikes, and I do see plenty of spendy bikes on sale. In one chunk, $1k is a lot to stare down. Maybe our build-it-yourself MO allows us to not feel the complete hit of that amount spent as we piece things together from parts that we already have (and have paid for) and pick up new (used) pieces individually. It also helps that if we purchase used components, that we're already getting them at depreciated prices, therefore the "deal" is very good and is "a whole lot less than that high end stuff when new!"

New mass production steel is often pretty heavy, unless it's Soma, whom I like. I can't stand Surly, as their stuff is Varsity-heavy and their geometry is rubbish--TT is disproportionally long for a given frame size plus the 10,000 spacers for the headset and stem. One pays a good amount for ugly and heavy with a Surly, and even more for a Soma, but at least a Soma looks good and rides well. All that grumbling to say that putting modern pieces (that you want) on a vintage frame of your choice is a lot of fun, as personalized as it can get, and is often cheaper than buying an outright new bike, especially for our cycling needs and our performance envelope.
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Old 11-15-18, 12:56 PM
  #49  
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Agreed, @RiddleOfSteel, and the purchase price is a big reason I don't buy bikes but build them instead. I'm savvy enough that I can wait for low prices and pounce on them, which makes it economical for me to build bikes. And yes, new stuff on old steel is, to many, the best of both worlds. Even Dave Moulton says so.
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Old 11-15-18, 03:33 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I'

I probably have a bit too much money sunk in to a mediocre steel frame, but it still cost me less than buying, say, a brand new Surly or Soma, and I got to pick the components. And it's much lighter than a Surly, and I would argue a nicer bike. And it was fun to do.





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Im not sure how much a Surly or Soma costs but I likely have the pricing beat too unless its a total bottom rung entry level model , -- this is my best "retro-mod" I have built to date --- DeRosa SLX frame, modernized compact bars and a super stiff (albeit ugly) stem, and a 10 speed Campagnolo drivetrain, mostly new components.
Per the style of the time, it only has room for 25c tires but the ride is heavenly. Comfortable, a bit stretched out but responsive at the same time. Ive been riding a new S-Works Di2 Tarmac for a few months now and was afraid it would spoil me but I took another ride on this beast a few days ago and it still has its magic !

I didn't save the receipts but my "all in" total is definitely less than a new alloy framed budget racer with 105 or something similar

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