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I find it amazing what advertising can condition people to accept

Old 08-19-20, 09:48 AM
  #1  
rydabent
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I find it amazing what advertising can condition people to accept

I you read any of the famous cycling books from the 80s and before, they call any bike frame butt welded low class junk. But in the nearly 40 years since then advertising has conditioned cyclist to accept butt welded frames instead of beautiful lugged and low temp brazed frames. The simple reason for that is that now computers run robot welding machines, and frame mfg can make more money that way. Robots can churn out butt welded frames 24 hours a day. It is the same with CF frames. Again frame mfg in china can have some poor chinese woman lay up CF frames for 40 cents an hour. Then advertising has conditioned cyclist to be in awe of CF (plastic frames) and have have cyclist pay thousand of dollars for them.

Another example of how mfg advertising influence people was with the "need" for ever increasing number of gears on the rear sprocket. Cyclist JUST HAD to have the latest and largest number of gears, or they would be just old fashion Freds!!! Then all of a sudden WHIP LASH mfg now want you to buy the "new" one by gear trains.

As I say it is amazing how advertising can lead so many around by the nose.

Last edited by rydabent; 08-19-20 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 08-19-20, 09:56 AM
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I'm not an expert or even a semi-expert but "butt welded" implies high temp arc welding with low quality steel. On steel frames say Reynolds 531 low temperature brazing preserves the metal and lugs are essential to keeping the pieces together.

Of course one could surmise that alum frames are different from classic steel of high quality.
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Old 08-19-20, 09:57 AM
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Old 08-19-20, 10:08 AM
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Careful on that slippery slope! If it's not bespoke and handbuilt, it must be terrible.
But then again, where did that builder source his materials? Better get to building a forge and start stretching tubes.
Don't forget to ethically source your iron, preferably by digging it up with your handmade bronze shovel.

Or more concisely...
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Old 08-19-20, 10:11 AM
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Some people don't adjust well to changing technology, especially when their favorite technology gets left behind.
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Old 08-19-20, 10:19 AM
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I could be wrong, but my understanding is that lugs aimed to provide some frame integrity even if the brazing wasn't top notch. I love my lugged 531 frame, but the real opportunity for connecting strength, craftsmanship, and art came from lugless fillet brazing. Lugs look 'right' to me, and there were a lot of beautiful lugs. I just don't know which lugs hid bad brazes. Reynolds 631 an 853 have truly ugly labels, and the welds aren't beautiful, but if they brought higher strength and lower cost to more people, I'm OK with it.
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Old 08-19-20, 10:39 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I you read any of the famous cycling books from the 80s and before, they call any bike frame butt welded low class junk. But in the nearly 40 years since then advertising has conditioned cyclist to accept butt welded frames instead of beautiful lugged and low temp brazed frames. The simple reason for that is that now computers run robot welding machines, and frame mfg can make more money that way. Robots can churn out butt welded frames 24 hours a day. It is the same with CF frames. Again frame mfg in china can have some poor chinese woman lay up CF frames for 40 cents an hour. Then advertising has conditioned cyclist to be in awe of CF (plastic frames) and have have cyclist pay thousand of dollars for them.

Another example of how mfg advertising influence people was with the "need" for ever increasing number of gears on the rear sprocket. Cyclist JUST HAD to have the latest and largest number of gears, or they would be just old fashion Freds!!! Then all of a sudden WHIP LASH mfg now want you to buy the "new" one by gear trains.

As I say it is amazing how advertising can lead so many around by the nose.
Let's see:
  • claiming older technology is better than anything new
  • claiming "no point" to new tech, while remaining completely ignorant to how new tech was created
  • completely ignorant of why there is demand for new tech
  • included mandatory xenophobic rant about "Chinese" manufacturing (while typing on a device that no doubt contains components made in China)
  • included mandatory derision towards "advertising"
  • implies self-superiority (because surely OP hasn't been "led by the nose" by those insidious "advertisers" right?)

okay, that's it. I scored a BOOMER BINGO!

where do I redeem my card?
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Old 08-19-20, 10:40 AM
  #8  
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The people "accepting crap" today are probably pretty much the same people that were "accepting crap" before. I'm not sure that shrewd advertising mad men necessarily pulled the wool over all the discerning buyers/riders in either generation. "I want a bike that costs no more than 30x minimum hourly wage." There will always be a product for that buyer. Is it the same product today that it was in 1980? Well, in 1980 we did not have widespread installation of TIG/GTAW welding machines, so the aluminum category has indeed improved quite a bit relative to the price. "fast,light,cheap: pick any two"
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Old 08-19-20, 10:47 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
L
okay, that's it. I scored a BOOMER BINGO!
You seem to think everyone who has a different opinion is a baby boomer. The OP has listed his age in other posts -- he is not a baby boomer.
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Old 08-19-20, 10:49 AM
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That explains why there are so many more weld failures than there were 40 years ago and why bikes are so much heavier than they were 40 years ago.

Speaking of crap....
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Old 08-19-20, 10:51 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
okay, that's it. I scored a BOOMER BINGO!

where do I redeem my card?

Your Johnny One-Note card?
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Old 08-19-20, 10:52 AM
  #12  
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I second tomato coupe's comment. I've only seen a couple of your posts, Borax Kid, but I'd like to point two things out. First, if you're lucky, you too will become a person of vintage. And second, your prejudiced remarks are just as offensive as if they were any other identifiable demographic group. It's really not funny, OK? I'm sure you have intelligent things to say, and it would be nice to hear them rather than your shtick.
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Old 08-19-20, 10:59 AM
  #13  
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FYI, lugged construction was originally introduced as a cheap workaround, to cut down on the costs of accurate mitering of tubes and of training of skilled workers.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
FYI, lugged construction was originally introduced as a cheap workaround, to cut down on the costs of accurate mitering of tubes and of training of skilled workers.
The strength of a lugged frame does not come from the lugs, it comes from the mitering. Lugs are simply a sleeve to hold the tubes in place.
I have not heard that lugged construction was a cheap workaround. It is true that some frames were poorly mitered and the poor work was then hidden by the lugs, but the triangle main frame gets its strength from each tube connecting with the other.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:19 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I you read any of the famous cycling books from the 80s and before, they call any bike frame butt welded low class junk. But in the nearly 40 years since then advertising has conditioned cyclist to accept butt welded frames instead of beautiful lugged and low temp brazed frames. The simple reason for that is that now computers run robot welding machines, and frame mfg can make more money that way. Robots can churn out butt welded frames 24 hours a day. It is the same with CF frames. Again frame mfg in china can have some poor chinese woman lay up CF frames for 40 cents an hour. Then advertising has conditioned cyclist to be in awe of CF (plastic frames) and have have cyclist pay thousand of dollars for them.

Another example of how mfg advertising influence people was with the "need" for ever increasing number of gears on the rear sprocket. Cyclist JUST HAD to have the latest and largest number of gears, or they would be just old fashion Freds!!! Then all of a sudden WHIP LASH mfg now want you to buy the "new" one by gear trains.

As I say it is amazing how advertising can lead so many around by the nose.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Thats what all this comes down to.

What you like in a bicycle is different from what others like in a bicycle. I have many lugged frames and have lost count as to the number Ive owned, but I am able to see the inherent limitations in a lugged frame- its angles. Mountain bikes pushed lugless construction because the ideal geometries werent readily available in lugs and welding became more popular(as well as fillet brazing since Ritchey was the first for MTBs).
The removal of lugs has allowed for more than straight lines in frame construction. It has allowed for more than just circles in tube shapes.

Its ironic that someone named 'rydabent' is complaining that frames arent lugged anymore. The very style bike you named yourself after is built using welding.

As for carbon layup, Im not getting into your $.40/hour rant. Cite examples when it comes to pay and whatnot or dont get specific with numbers.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
As I say it is amazing how advertising can lead so many around by the nose.
You are surprised that advertising works?
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Old 08-19-20, 11:28 AM
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Have you ever seen the workmanship that goes into a Seven bicycle?

The welds are a work of art.

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Old 08-19-20, 11:30 AM
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No need to work on improving technology, folks. Everything was perfected in the 1970s!

I remember about 25 years ago, a now-defunct road bike magazine whose name I can't remember built a 15 lb. bike, just to see if they could do it. Every part was the lightest they could find, including Modolo's infamously fragile plastic downtube shift levers, crappy (but LIGHT!!) single-pivot brakes, and a Colnago Bititan frame. Even in 56cm, it was such a noodle that they said nobody over 150 lbs could ride it , which was fine because the wheels had been built up so skimpy. That was the limit of technology in the late 90s - a 15 lb bike required so many compromises that it rendered it a nearly unrideable curiosity.

Now, 15 lb bikes are - well, not really a dime a dozen, but definitely not unrideable curiosities. And you don't have to be a flyweight to ride them, either. And everything on them works, and works way better than 90s tech did.

So, yeah - we all just bought into the hype. We'd be just as happy on 22lb bikes with downtube shifters and maybe 8 speeds in back, maxing out at 25 cogs, but advertising has fooled us into thinking a light bike with good brakes and a wide range of gears that allow us to climb big hills without our knees exploding, and then descend safely with brakes that really work is somehow better.

We're so easily led. Like sheep, really.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:32 AM
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Modern air-hardened steels (e.g., Reynolds 853) actually gain strength when heated in the welding process, which results in very strong joins. So, even if lugs had been needed for structural integrity with older steel alloys, they are no longer needed with the more recent alloys. That means that a rider can get a very durable, top-quality frame for less money. That's progress.

Robots also allow some bike frames (and many other things) to be built more cheaply, freeing up labor to do other (often higher-valued) jobs. Robots also make fewer mistakes than humans. That's more progress.

I like my 11-cog cassette. It is definitely better than the super-advanced bike I bought back in '78 with a six-speed freewheel. That's even more progress.

The last example of progress that I'll offer is this: if you think people are earning $.40 per hour in China to fabricate carbon fiber bike frames, you really need to read some stats. The internet is full of info, and some of it is even accurate.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:51 AM
  #20  
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One thing the OP entirely misses is that "advertisers" (spawns of the devil) have convinced us that we don't need to ride 40-pound bikes. So they started making bikes out of Aluminum, can you believe it? And aluminum tubes, can be welded without lugs and have the same strength as a lugged steel frame of similar quality--while weighing less---like weight matters.

Obviously we need lugged steel frames---we NEED them. Nobody can safely ride a bike which doesn't have one. And all those people who have butt-welded Al frames which you have been riding for a decade or more---you have been FOOLED by Advertising. idiots!!

Oh, and the people riding custom steel which has been fillet-brazed, and is much lighter and stronger than almost all the mass-produced lugged frames which the OP so rightly thins are heaven-sent---you are idiots. Your lightweight high-performance frames with invisible joints are actually crap---Not the work of highly skilled craftsmen. Those people who can fillet-weld very thing steel tubes are real ROBOTS. Brazing thin-walled steel tubing so that the finished product is stronger and lighter than a comparable lugged frame is so easy even a robot could do it. it doesn't involve half a lifetime of learning.

Rydabent, you have tried twice with "11 speeds are better than 22" and now this. And you have succeeded masterfully. These are the subtlest h and most humorous posts I have read on Bikeforums. I am not surprised that everyone thought you were serious about these topics---your crafting is masterful, like unto a genius with a torch welding thin steel tubes. I bow down in honor of your talent.
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Old 08-19-20, 12:00 PM
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Advertising factors into all of it. Who really needs more than a single speed if just trying to go faster than walking or running for transportation? Maybe if you're weak you need a few gears to get up a hill. Lighter is for people with too much money in their pocket.
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Old 08-19-20, 12:07 PM
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Most mass produced lugged steel frames from Europe up to the 80s were pretty crap. I currently have a Fuji and Raleigh both made in the early 80s and the Raleigh looks like it was made by school children. I have also had older French bikes and seen Italian bikes that very much agree with this.

Furthermore, a study was conducted by Keith Bontrager at UCSC that indicated that TIG welding resulted in a stronger steel frame than brazing. The durability of old frames compared to new frames, in my experience, reflects this.
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Old 08-19-20, 12:09 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I you read any of the famous cycling books from the 80s and before, they call any bike frame butt welded low class junk. But in the nearly 40 years since then advertising has conditioned cyclist to accept butt welded frames instead of beautiful lugged and low temp brazed frames. The simple reason for that is that now computers run robot welding machines, and frame mfg can make more money that way. Robots can churn out butt welded frames 24 hours a day. It is the same with CF frames. Again frame mfg in china can have some poor chinese woman lay up CF frames for 40 cents an hour. Then advertising has conditioned cyclist to be in awe of CF (plastic frames) and have have cyclist pay thousand of dollars for them.

Another example of how mfg advertising influence people was with the "need" for ever increasing number of gears on the rear sprocket. Cyclist JUST HAD to have the latest and largest number of gears, or they would be just old fashion Freds!!! Then all of a sudden WHIP LASH mfg now want you to buy the "new" one by gear trains.

As I say it is amazing how advertising can lead so many around by the nose.


I understand the GEARS paragraph pretty well, but I don't understand the FRAMES paragraph well so I pose some questions below in the interest of clarity . . .

1 -- back in the day, butt-welded frames were junk and they were called out as junk -- ok . . .
but now, we've been conditioned to accept butt welded frames as quality rather than as junk? . . . what contemporary frame would serve as an example of butt welding, and what contemporary frame would be an example of a beautiful lugged low temp brazed frame? is it your contention that the poorly welded frames (of today, not in the past) is priced equally or higher than frames with better welding?

2 -- automation has made manufacture of both welded frames and carbon frames cheaper -- yeah, I agree it has . . .
is it your contention here that carbon frames offer no performance benefit over welded frames, but that people pay premium for carbon because of how it's marketed? How do you account for / explain the science detailing carbon's performance compared to that of welded frames (in strength-to-weight, aero qualities, and compliance / rigidity)? . . . do you refute those findings that say carbon outperforms welded frames , or are you claiming those things don't really matter to a typical cyclist and shouldn't be valued / priced as if they did matter?
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Old 08-19-20, 12:37 PM
  #24  
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He is arguing that he liked being young, and things have changed, so rather than accepting that he is old now, he has decided to attack everything which has changed since he was young and "happy."

Except that in my experience, people who aren't happy when they are old didn't appreciate life when they were younger, either.

I am pretty old---not Rydabent old, but pretty old. I have learned that life is a one-way trip that gets shorter every day, and the slope gets steeper every day as the mind and body get weaker.

I am learning that I need to accept this, and adapt. And I have learned that not taking most things quite so seriously is a good start. If I go out to ride and my bike has a flat, no problem. At least I am still continent and ambulatory. And when I am no longer ... I will wheel around in my Depends in my wheelchair and try to enjoy what i can on that day.

I think Rydabent must have learned all this long ago---which is why he posts these subtly ironic and very humorous posts about how "everything was better back in the old days .... "

Yeah ... there is no way a man of his wisdom and experience could take these poss seriously .....
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Old 08-19-20, 12:44 PM
  #25  
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the times, they're always changin'
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