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A lot of the recent "innovation" is a bad bargain for anyone not pushing a competitiv

Old 06-07-22, 04:31 PM
  #301  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I do remember moving to indexed shifting in the 80s and then brifters in the 90s. But neither of those things really changed how the bikes actually rode. I bought my first carbon frame in the mid-late 90s and it was very basic carbon tube bonded to alloy lugs. A bit harsh riding compared to a top-end steel frame of that era. It was just a novelty really at that point. I'm curious what big advances occurred in steel frame building between 1985-2000? I must have missed all that as I never bought another steel frame after the mid 80s.
Basically anything other than small round tubes.
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Old 06-07-22, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Basically anything other than small round tubes.
I thought steel frames were still pretty much made from small round tubes e.g.

https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-spirit-tube-set/
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Old 06-07-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I thought steel frames were still pretty much made from small round tubes e.g.

https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-spirit-tube-set/
Not so small anymore. And often, not so round, either.
https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-max-steel-tubes/

But for example, my 1996 Ritchey Road Logic already has considerably larger diameter tubing - though still round - than any of my steel bikes from the 80s. Bu they're small compared to my Battaglin's MAX tubes, which are generally only round for a bit between the ends, which are ovalised in opposite orientations.
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Old 06-07-22, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Not so small anymore. And often, not so round, either.
https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-max-steel-tubes/

But for example, my 1996 Ritchey Road Logic already has considerably larger diameter tubing - though still round - than any of my steel bikes from the 80s. Bu they're small compared to my Battaglin's MAX tubes, which are generally only round for a bit between the ends, which are ovalised in opposite orientations.
Okay thanks, I hadn't really noticed steel tube diameters getting larger. That makes sense.
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Old 06-07-22, 06:13 PM
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My first ten speed had steel cottered cranks. Couldnt wait to get rid of those weighty beasts. The cotterless alloy sets I had, TA and Campagnolo seemed to have a bit of flex to them but were a vast improvement. Then I experienced the Nervar Sport steel cotterless. Really like these and are elegant. Maybe thats the appeal of vintage bikes to me, they have an elegance.
I keep up with whatever group I jump into on the weekend. Riding skills arent determined by the bike you ride and I figure my skills far exceed the rest of the riders I encounter(50 years cycling in the legs). Love my Super Course. All the bike I need. In a few weeks and few more base miles I'll put on my vintage tubular wheels and I'll be stylin'.
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Old 06-08-22, 10:14 AM
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The problem is not innovation per se, but that it hasn't lead to lower prices. The first computer I bought in 1985 cost $1,600 and had two floppy drives. That $1,600 today would buy a much more sophisticated computer. You would imagine that by now manufacturing efficiencies in bikes would result in lower prices; instead, when I go into a bike shop I see a basic brand name carbon bike with a 105 group set costing upwards of $2,500. Are the bike innovations like indexed shifting, more aero, disk brakes, etc., so incredible as to justify the high price?
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Old 06-08-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Okay thanks, I hadn't really noticed steel tube diameters getting larger. That makes sense.

My custom track bike before paint -- the tubes are as big as an early Cannondale's.

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Old 06-08-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Not so small anymore. And often, not so round, either.
https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-max-steel-tubes/

But for example, my 1996 Ritchey Road Logic already has considerably larger diameter tubing - though still round - than any of my steel bikes from the 80s. Bu they're small compared to my Battaglin's MAX tubes, which are generally only round for a bit between the ends, which are ovalised in opposite orientations.

Ben Serotta was using "Colorado Concept" tubes back in the 1980s, tapered tubes, some ovalized. I think he also invented the s-curve in the chain stays. My 1995 Serotta Atlanta is definitely the most fun bike I've ever ridden.
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Old 06-08-22, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramshackle View Post
The problem is not innovation per se, but that it hasn't lead to lower prices. The first computer I bought in 1985 cost $1,600 and had two floppy drives. That $1,600 today would buy a much more sophisticated computer. You would imagine that by now manufacturing efficiencies in bikes would result in lower prices; instead, when I go into a bike shop I see a basic brand name carbon bike with a 105 group set costing upwards of $2,500. Are the bike innovations like indexed shifting, more aero, disk brakes, etc., so incredible as to justify the high price?
Hmmmm. In 1997, I bought a Ritchey Road Logic with full Dura Ace that listed for $3000. It had 8 speeds, STI levers, 32 spoke wheels, and dual pivot brakes, all on a light steel frame. Weighed about 21lbs, which was pretty good for a 58cm steel bike back then. Two years ago, I bought a 2020 Canyon Endurace for $2400. It came with 105, disc brakes, 11 speeds, and weighs about 18 lbs. CPI inflation calculator says $3000 in 1997 = $4800 in 2020, so adjusted for inflation, the Canyon was half the price of the Ritchey, but with better brakes, wider gearing, more aerodynamic, and also lighter.

However, there are big problems with the comparison. Computers are constantly developing, getting faster, with more memory, etc as the technology advances. It's not really manufacturing efficiency that drives the economy, it's the advancing technology.

Bikes, OTOH, are a 19th century technology where the advances in technology are largely incremental. They're the same basic shape and work the same way they have for many decades. There's not the room for improvement there is with computers. Still, 3000 2022 dollars gets you a more capable bike than 3000 1997 dollars got you.
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Old 06-08-22, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Ben Serotta was using "Colorado Concept" tubes back in the 1980s, tapered tubes, some ovalized. I think he also invented the s-curve in the chain stays. My 1995 Serotta Atlanta is definitely the most fun bike I've ever ridden.
MAX was introduced in 1987, and Tange was making 'Aero' tubesets in the mid 1980s. My 1989 Schwinn Circuit uses Tange's ovalized "aero" seatstays.
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Old 06-08-22, 02:07 PM
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I'm always being passed on trails and bike lanes. Maybe it's because I'm 60yo and don't feel I need to race anymore or that my bike is 43 yo and doesn't have all the innovations since I bought it.

Or both.
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Old 06-08-22, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
MAX was introduced in 1987, and Tange was making 'Aero' tubesets in the mid 1980s. My 1989 Schwinn Circuit uses Tange's ovalized "aero" seatstays.
All at about the same time.

Serotta put the s bend in the chain stays for the 1984 Olympic team. Everybody made fun of it then copied it.
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Old 06-08-22, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
All at about the same time.

Serotta put the s bend in the chain stays for the 1984 Olympic team. Everybody made fun of it then copied it.
Yep. Mid-80s to about 2000 was a great time in cycling tech.
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Old 06-08-22, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Yep. Mid-80s to about 2000 was a great time in cycling tech.

I think many of the 1990s steel frames were innovative masterpieces, they just got overshadowed by the rise of the new materials.
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Old 06-08-22, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think many of the 1990s steel frames were innovative masterpieces, they just got overshadowed by the rise of the new materials.
Oh, definitely. Funny thing - I've had C&V riders been asked whether my MAX bike was Aluminum, the tubes are so much much bigger than they're used to.
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Old 06-08-22, 08:30 PM
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I haven't ridden a fancy new racing bike, so I can't comment on the performance differences. I can comment on the prices, however.

In the middle of the '70s, as a teenager, I built three SOTA, TOTL racing bikes, with money from my paper route.

Which teenagers have $45 grand today? Influencers?
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Old 06-08-22, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Hmmmm. In 1997, I bought a Ritchey Road Logic with full Dura Ace that listed for $3000. It had 8 speeds, STI levers, 32 spoke wheels, and dual pivot brakes, all on a light steel frame. Weighed about 21lbs, which was pretty good for a 58cm steel bike back then. Two years ago, I bought a 2020 Canyon Endurace for $2400. It came with 105, disc brakes, 11 speeds, and weighs about 18 lbs. CPI inflation calculator says $3000 in 1997 = $4800 in 2020, so adjusted for inflation, the Canyon was half the price of the Ritchey, but with better brakes, wider gearing, more aerodynamic, and also lighter.

However, there are big problems with the comparison. Computers are constantly developing, getting faster, with more memory, etc as the technology advances. It's not really manufacturing efficiency that drives the economy, it's the advancing technology.

Bikes, OTOH, are a 19th century technology where the advances in technology are largely incremental. They're the same basic shape and work the same way they have for many decades. There's not the room for improvement there is with computers. Still, 3000 2022 dollars gets you a more capable bike than 3000 1997 dollars got you.


a hand built Ritchey with Dura Ace vs a direct to consumer Canyon with 105 is not a valid comparison

yes - itís a better bike because time marches on, but your early steed is an artisan build more in line to compare to a new Dura Ace S Works or Litespeed ó or Ritchey - I think they are still cranking out bikes

Ost up pics of the Ritchey !!
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Old 06-08-22, 08:46 PM
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My MAX. It is steel, not titanium...

John
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Old 06-08-22, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
My MAX. It is steel, not titanium...

John
Niiiiiice!
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Old 06-08-22, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
a hand built Ritchey with Dura Ace vs a direct to consumer Canyon with 105 is not a valid comparison

yes - itís a better bike because time marches on, but your early steed is an artisan build more in line to compare to a new Dura Ace S Works or Litespeed ó or Ritchey - I think they are still cranking out bikes

Ost up pics of the Ritchey !!
The Road Logic of the 1990s was, I believe, TIG welded offshore, finished up on the Peninsula, and then painted by D&D over in San Leandro. And purchased by me in Palo Alto.


The Ritchey after I updated the STIs and RD to 7800 so I wouldn't be limited to 39x25.

Oh, and speaking of Litespeed......


This is during its second iteration, which it wore from February to mid-May. Now R8000 Ultegra - same reason as the update to the Ritchey.
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Old 06-08-22, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
My MAX. It is steel, not titanium...

John
Mine. Also not Titanium.

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Old 06-09-22, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
a hand built Ritchey with Dura Ace vs a direct to consumer Canyon with 105 is not a valid comparison

yes - itís a better bike because time marches on, but your early steed is an artisan build more in line to compare to a new Dura Ace S Works or Litespeed ó or Ritchey - I think they are still cranking out bikes

Ost up pics of the Ritchey !!
So basically modern tech gives you a better bike for less money or an even better bike for more money. Top end bikes have always been relatively expensive. When I was a kid in the 70s/80s I was lusting after bikes from the TDF peloton and they were way out of my league - silly prices for the time as I recall.
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Old 06-09-22, 01:22 PM
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Have to admit that CheGuevaraForLife is a skilled troll. With almost every thread he starts, he does the opening post and maybe one or two more, and the rest of us are good for at least 5 or 6 pages of snapping at the bait.
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Old 06-09-22, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
So basically modern tech gives you a better bike for less money or an even better bike for more money. Top end bikes have always been relatively expensive. When I was a kid in the 70s/80s I was lusting after bikes from the TDF peloton and they were way out of my league - silly prices for the time as I recall.
for the equivalent of 750 mid 70s dollars, today you could get a 19lb carbon bike with electronic shifting, 35mm tire clearance, hydraulic disk brakes, and a 4.9x spread between lowest and highest gear.

iím curious what $750 would have gotten you in the mid 70s.
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Old 06-09-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
for the equivalent of 750 mid 70s dollars, today you could get a 19lb carbon bike with electronic shifting, 35mm tire clearance, hydraulic disk brakes, and a 4.9x spread between lowest and highest gear.

iím curious what $750 would have gotten you in the mid 70s.
Italian made Columbus SL frame, Campy NR equiped bike....maybe $800.
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