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Things that have changed in the last 20 years

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

Things that have changed in the last 20 years

Old 05-02-07, 07:42 AM
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eskimo85
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Things that have changed in the last 20 years

One thing that always lets me guess a time period is the helmets. You can add tangable items or something else. What have you noticed that has changed?
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Old 05-02-07, 07:45 AM
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helmets, gloves, shorts, jerseys, rain gear,tires, wheels, shifting, frames, shoes, pedals, cranksets, headsets, stems, forks, stays, pumps, cassettes, computers, did I miss anything?

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Old 05-02-07, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
... did I miss anything?
Sunglasses! Energy bars, gels, drinks! Bottle cages!

Matt
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Old 05-02-07, 08:17 AM
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The coffee drinks.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:17 AM
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saddles, handlebars, QR's...
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Old 05-02-07, 08:17 AM
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biggest change for me from the old days is shoes and pedals. going from toe clips and soft soled shoes to clipless pedals and carbon soles have been a huge step forward. For better or worse comparing my STI shifters to my Bar-ends are also a huge difference. I am not sure if that change has been a pro or a con.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:17 AM
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Drugs.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:26 AM
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Almost everything related to cycling. 20 years ago the pros would kill for a $1500 bike today.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:28 AM
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The internet....you can now buy components dirt cheap online making high end stuff available to regular folk.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:33 AM
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I was really hoping this thread would have pictures.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:04 AM
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What I have noticed the most is the difference in the people who participate. I got into cycling in th 70's after going to Roger DeCoster's MX school, being Belgian he strongly advocated cycling for training for motocross. At the time, a bike was just something to get around on since I wasn't old enough to drive, I had _no_ idea of the "sport" or any of the events... Back then you didn't see hardly any 'cyclists' on the roads and I think most felt that cycling was at least two standard deviations away from normal, and we were all OK with that...

After LeMond won the TdF, everybody figured out what those wierdo's were doing out on the road on their bikes... A lot of people came to cycling that probably wouldn't have otherwise, but still, no non-cyclist had _any_ understanding...

Triathlon... Funny, but this 'sport' came on the scene at about the same time 'yuppies' were discovered... Coincidence? Without going into all of the cliche's, these people changed cycling... Every training minute was to be maximized, analyzed, catagorized, and it seemed that no price was to great to pay for equipment that might take a couple of seconds off your PR...

Lance... No one person has done more to lift cycling in the US to a place of non-obscurity than Lance. I sort of think that Lance imposed the(his) triathlon mentality on cycling... For better or worse... For everything that Lance has done for cycling I think that most will agree that the people who came to cycling as a result of the 'Lance Effect' are a different sort of person... Lance made cycling cool in the US, and people who do things because they are 'cool'... well, I wouldn't know, I've never been cool...

Just the observations of an old guy... that still rides tubulars... on 32 spoke wheels...
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Old 05-02-07, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Yoshi
Drugs.
only the names of, not the use of.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:16 AM
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I am a road rider that started in the late 1970's and the biggest change is the attitude of drivers in the US. As bad as it is now, it was orders of magnitude worse back then. Now getting yelled at by a driver is extremely uncommon (at least for me). Back then it happened daily and you were much more likely to get "buzzed" or have garbage thrown at you.

Another change is the demographics of the riders. Back then there were very few riders aged 40 or older and if you found one it was likely that they had a foriegn accent. Now there are huge numbers of them.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:17 AM
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I'm significantly larger than I was 20 years ago. I was 10 at the time.

But from what I can gather, I'd have to say that the amount of technology that's available to the amateur athlete for a semi-affordable price. I mean, HRM's and power meters were super-high-dollar items not too long ago, and now here we are posting pretty graphs of power, HR, cadence, speed, etc. of our rides, stuff that pro coaches didn't even have access to 10 years ago. It's pretty incredible.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:19 AM
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Power meter, training regimens.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:26 AM
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Brakes, you left out brakes. I went from coaster brakes, to side pulls, that never stayed evenly spaced on the rim, to center pulls, and then back to side pulls that work. Started riding in the 1960's.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:31 AM
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^^^^^
I don't know that brakes have improved that much. I still have the brake calipers from a 1980's Dura Ace group on one bike. It stops just as well as the bike with D/A calipers from the current 10 speed group. The new one's are perhaps slightly easier to modulate.

In the time frame set by the OP, we're talking 1987. Not exactly ancient. Clipless pedals were reasonably common, Shimano had a well functioning indexed shifting system, and there were even CF frames.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Yoshi
I was really hoping this thread would have pictures.

You are already looking at a picture of the internet.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
You are already looking at a picture of the internet.

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Old 05-02-07, 09:40 AM
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For me it never used to be about the bike. Now I tinker tinker tinker....

Can't ride as well as I used to
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Old 05-02-07, 09:41 AM
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+1 wraparounds
-1 aviators
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Old 05-02-07, 09:42 AM
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For me, the biggest change are clipless and brifters. Everything else don't seem like a fantastic leap. I think, the third biggest change for me are helmets. If you've never had to race with a hairnet, you are too young. (and of course, thank goodness they got rid of wool shorts and real chamois)
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Old 05-02-07, 09:48 AM
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I would think the biggest change would have to be materials used for fabrication. As well as manufacturing techniques.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:50 AM
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While I certainly appreciate all the technology advances (esp improved wheelsets, index shifting, carbon), my favorite changes have been:
  • on-bike nutrition strategy and options (instead of never eating anything during a ride)
  • bibs (instead of shorts)
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Old 05-02-07, 09:50 AM
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Everything has changed since technology continually advances but the few things that stand out for me:

Clipless pedals: No more numb feet after spending a few hours in toe clips on a long ride. No more saving that one pair of shoes that had the best soles in them.

Suspension forks: I have only had a hardtail mountain bike in the past but getting a Rock Shox made a vast improvement in the pleasure of riding off pavement.

Dual Control lever: Going from friction 5 speed levers on an old 70's road bike to 7 speed indexed down tube levers on my first nice bike, '92 Trek 2100 was a step up. However converting to an 8 speed Ultegra STI on my next bike, '94 2300 was the biggest single change of improvement. Able to shift standing and more often to keep the legs fresh was such a radical departure from what I had to do before.
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