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"A Bridge Too Far" - Bike Innovations That Are Really a Step Back

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

"A Bridge Too Far" - Bike Innovations That Are Really a Step Back

Old 04-25-18, 04:06 PM
  #26  
tagaproject6
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Rubber tires, metal spokes, pedals and these new fangled cycling "kits"...bah!
Nothing wrong with these:
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Old 04-25-18, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Rubber tires, metal spokes, pedals and these new fangled cycling "kits"...bah!
Nothing wrong with these:
And they say that "entry-level" carbon rides like wood...
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Old 04-25-18, 05:27 PM
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The wheel.
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Old 04-25-18, 05:52 PM
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I'm actually in favor of progress. There, I said it.
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Old 04-25-18, 06:08 PM
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The circle.
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Old 04-25-18, 06:23 PM
  #31  
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Internal cable routing can **** right off.
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Old 04-25-18, 06:36 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I was riding my mostly-beloved BMC this morning when a certain sinking feeling set in. It wasn't the onset of depression. It was the BMC's integrated seatpost clamp system slipping and letting me sink slowly toward the bike. It was fresh off a dismantling, cleaning, and application of assembly paste. Properly torqued. And, since my bike was an early production 2018, I also had the recall on the seatpost clamp system cover.

The integrated clamp looks very nice. But for function? It's not so great. BMC got a lot right about this bike, but the seatpost clamp is a definite step backward.

What bike "innovations" do you see as more step backward than step forward? We may as well name names. Which manufacturers, bikes, and features have gone "a bridge too far" when it comes to innovation?
Another term for a bridge to too far is technical overreach for mere sake of exclusivity to carve a marketing niche to sell product. Can be actually a step backward. Many for example limit their exposure to so called 'technical improvements'. I don't feel a need for integrated seat posts...I try to avoid electric shifting, disk brakes, press fit bottom brackets and even carbon wheelsets. I like carbon framesets and handlebars...prefer a 2 bolt saddle rail clamp and round seat post, lightest Al wheels, compact crank, endurance geometry. My bike is honestly dead reliable because it has these qualities. Saddle doesn't lose its tilt, never slips, mechanical Campy shifts perfectly, wheels stay in true and threaded BB is dead rock solid. I ride the **** out of my bike and it performs perfectly.
So if you choose carefully in this greedy age of bike company overreach to sell products that are different but not better and sometimes worse, you can have your cake and eat it to...a light, reliable bicycle that goes like the wind.
Caveat emptor.

Last edited by cb400bill; 04-26-18 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Please do not bypass the forum censor
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Old 04-25-18, 06:40 PM
  #33  
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Wood is good
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Old 04-25-18, 06:43 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
A bridge too far is exactly what you mentioned. Proprietary parts with questionable performance benefits and very real drawbacks in return.
^^^This
Pretty f-ed up if you think about it. Some truly great innovation but pick your choices carefully.
Lets take big bike brand Trek. Their bikes would be much more reliable with threaded BB and 2 bolt seat post whether they used the peculiar mast/cap seatpost design or not.
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Old 04-26-18, 05:10 AM
  #35  
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I am surprised no one has mentioned the biggest step backwards: Bikeforums.net
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Old 04-26-18, 05:46 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
Internal cable routing can **** right off.
Amen
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Old 04-26-18, 05:47 AM
  #37  
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There are a lot of carbons in that bike.

Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Rubber tires, metal spokes, pedals and these new fangled cycling "kits"...bah!
Nothing wrong with these:
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Old 04-26-18, 06:03 AM
  #38  
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Another vote for tubeless as a step backwards. smh
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Old 04-26-18, 06:12 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
For the sake of peace and tranquility, can we agree not to mention road tubeless and Future Shock? (Not that there's anything wrong with either of them.)
Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Another vote for tubeless as a step backwards. smh
Mods trying to stir it up, eh?
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Old 04-26-18, 06:16 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Any Garmin product except their watches, power meters, and radar.
Seriously.
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Old 04-26-18, 06:17 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
Internal cable routing can **** right off.

I don't know.

Many struggle with getting the cables to come out the other end but I've had nothing but positive experiences. It works well if done right.

On my new frame I shoved the brake cable inner into the hole at the front of the bike and it came out the other. There is clearly some sort of guide tube inside the frame. Niner is the same way - individual guides inside the frame for each cable/hose.




-Tim-
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Old 04-26-18, 06:18 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Ah, the good old days . . . when you nailed the cleat to the bottom of your shoe and prayed that you got the angle right so that your knees would live. Men were men and knees were expendable. Float? What's float?
Yep, luckily, I had several veteran cyclists in my area to hold my hand but I remember it being a huge leap of faith to do it.
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Old 04-26-18, 06:24 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Mods trying to stir it up, eh?
Well somebody had to mention it, there’s just no need to argue about it. So as my punishment, I’ll keep an eye on that.
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Old 04-26-18, 06:29 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Well somebody had to mention it
Personal experience?

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Old 04-26-18, 06:45 AM
  #45  
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Indexed shifting is a step back over friction in my opinion. I realize it's importance in the competitive/MTB sector, but for everyday riding, a huge step back. With friction, I can access any gear I want with 1 movement of 1 shifter or 1 movement each total of both shifters. You can't do that with indexed. Not even electronic. Every time they add another cog in back in makes the problem worse. Over the course of a ride that is a heck of a lot more physically activating the shifter levers. Something as simple as hill repeats becomes all about exercising your shifting muscles unless you coast back to the bottom of the hill. I know you can dump gears with some of the Campy, newer Shimano and electronic systems, but still not as efficient as friction.

Now, get off my lawn and turn that crazy music down.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:09 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Indexed shifting is a step back over friction in my opinion. I realize it's importance in the competitive/MTB sector, but for everyday riding, a huge step back. With friction, I can access any gear I want with 1 movement of 1 shifter or 1 movement each total of both shifters. You can't do that with indexed. Not even electronic. Every time they add another cog in back in makes the problem worse. Over the course of a ride that is a heck of a lot more physically activating the shifter levers. Something as simple as hill repeats becomes all about exercising your shifting muscles unless you coast back to the bottom of the hill. I know you can dump gears with some of the Campy, newer Shimano and electronic systems, but still not as efficient as friction.

Now, get off my lawn and turn that crazy music down.
Are you talking about DT friction vs DT indexed or are you talking about DT friction vs modern shifting as a whole? Because I can't fathom how someone would think that removing their hands from the bars to shift would be superior.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Indexed shifting is a step back over friction in my opinion. I realize it's importance in the competitive/MTB sector, but for everyday riding, a huge step back. With friction, I can access any gear I want with 1 movement of 1 shifter or 1 movement each total of both shifters. You can't do that with indexed. Not even electronic. Every time they add another cog in back in makes the problem worse. Over the course of a ride that is a heck of a lot more physically activating the shifter levers. Something as simple as hill repeats becomes all about exercising your shifting muscles unless you coast back to the bottom of the hill. I know you can dump gears with some of the Campy, newer Shimano and electronic systems, but still not as efficient as friction.

Now, get off my lawn and turn that crazy music down.
Simplex Super LJ downtube shifters Simplex Super LJ Downtube Shifters: Silver - Retro-Friction (SLJ) - Bike Recyclery on my 1983 Paramount with everything Campy was a wonderfully efficient bicycle. The ride characteristics simply put.... OUTSTANDING!!! My 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL is also a wonderful bicycle with a completely different persona that I enjoy immensely, especially the INDEX SHIFTING and internally routed cables. I can now, a SOON TO BE 68yo OldTryGuy, shift down/up while standing without the worry of loss of control or momentum. My 2018 Specialized Roubaix Expert with FS and 8000 mechanical Ultegra is again a bike with yet another persona that allowed a comfortable yet disappointing 266 miles during February's Bike Sebring. Rode 106 miles on the 14th, 65 miles on the 17th and 146 miles last Saturday the on the Roubaix and again very much enjoyed the ride it offers up. Everybody is entitled to an opinion regarding improvement or not, so long as the bike is used and enjoyment achieved.

Constantly ringing the bell on my bikes and waving to others.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:34 AM
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Bike bell.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:45 AM
  #49  
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As for index shifting, I'll just say that it actually works really, really well.

I did two semesters at a campus bike shop. I don't think any bike I worked on there ever cost more than 200 bucks new. Provided that the cables, housing, and shifter were in good shape, it took only seconds to make any bike shift pretty flawlessly.

In the early, early days of index (or at least this is what I remember the guys in C&V telling me when I used to hang there) cheap bikes had index shifters along with crappy housing that made it impossible to dial in. As long as basic compressionless housing is used, it's no issue.

My first real bike was a steel frame 2x12 Specialized with downtube shifters. I could see the argument for friction shifting on the front, which it had. But even with the trim function on index front shifters, it works really well.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that with DT or bar end shifters, you can dump gears with indexed or friction setups.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Are you talking about DT friction vs DT indexed or are you talking about DT friction vs modern shifting as a whole? Because I can't fathom how someone would think that removing their hands from the bars to shift would be superior.
No, I don't care for DT shifters, or STIs for that matter. There are other shifting levers/mechanisms besides those 2. Barcon's for me whether friction or indexed. You can shift them with a pinky/palm. Simple flick of the wrist. Hands stay on the bar. Set your bars to ride in the drops. The drop riding position of yesteryear is about the same as the modern position of riding on the hoods/flats.
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