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Buying into the hype...

Old 05-08-20, 10:24 PM
  #26  
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I'm new to the touring segment -- having done one overnighter with my trailer -- and just recently picked up a '85 TREK 620. But I will add my perspective. I may have missed it, but 24 replies and not one bicycle touring poster has declared that they are done with their triple or double and have picked up a 1x for the upcoming season. New riders generally go for the new stuff because the new technology generally makes the riding less laborious either mentally or physically. If I built my daughter's Motobecane G.T. Mixte with a 1xN or Di2 instead of a that finely tuned friction triple with the Duopar in the rear, she would have liked it much better and we would still have it. My TREK has a half-step plus granny which is the bees knees according to my opinion and I plan to use it on my next weekender. My retro-grouchiness might pause if I ever do that trip to TX -- While I've only had one freewheel fail me, I heard that freehubs are more dependable.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:44 AM
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For touring, I like small jumps between gears, and I would rather have a lower top end gear to bring the ratios together with a 17-18gi low gear.
My new Salsa Journeyman build is most likely going to get my 3x10 Tiagra gearset, because it effectively gives me really small gear jumps while using the STI shifters
For my future Bomtrack Beyond+ for bikepacking, I'll stick with the 1x12 though ... cannot find a front mech that deals with 2.8" tires LOL
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Old 05-09-20, 03:49 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
In the bike industry, of which bicycle touring is an extremely small subset (though we wish it wasn't so), occasionally you do get an innovation that truly makes our lives better. But unfortunately IMO, we often get change almost for the sake of change itself, creating planned obsolescence. How else do you get the masses to buy new stuff ?
I guess there's an argument for saying you want whatever the bike shops where you're going are likely to have spares for in case you need them. So nothing too ancient or too cutting-edge.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:01 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
I guess there's an argument for saying you want whatever the bike shops where you're going are likely to have spares for in case you need them. So nothing too ancient or too cutting-edge.
There is something to be said for that argument.
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Old 05-09-20, 07:23 AM
  #30  
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No one is forcing you to buy modern equipment. And they also sell 2x12 if you really want a big jump when shifting.

The new Deore 12 speed are probably reasonably priced and durable.

But you also will be able to buy the lower tier 3x8 for the years to come.

Not sure why it matters what others are thinking.
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Old 05-09-20, 07:31 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker View Post
For touring, I like small jumps between gears, and I would rather have a lower top end gear to bring the ratios together with a 17-18gi low gear.
Same here. The smaller the jumps the better.
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Old 05-09-20, 08:40 AM
  #32  
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I actually think it's pretty cool the options we have now, and new technology is neat.
just gotta balance price performance longevity availability stuff
and as hopefully reasonably educated adults who don't have a gun pointed at our heads, we tourers tend to choose the stuff that works best for our needs and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

ill happily take a not new system ( ie lower price) , but works well for touring, and spend my other money on a plane ticket to France or get a new camp mat or rain jacket or whatever that makes my bike touring experience more enjoyable

As would most of you too.
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Old 05-09-20, 09:01 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Same here. The smaller the jumps the better.
It is a bigger deal for some folks than others. I don't really get too excited over it on a touring bike. In the lower gears I don't find a little bit bigger jumps to be a problem on any bike and in the mid and higher range when touring it is easy enough to just go a bit faster or slower if you really are not that flexible about your cadence. Personally I find it pleasant to vary my cadence quite a bit any way.

I remember on one tour realizing that I had never left the middle ring for the whole 800+ miles including one moderate mountain pass and a good bit of rolling hills. That was in the days before I was traveling ultralight (base gear weight was probably 30# plus consumables). That was with 48/36/24 rings and a 12-32 cluster if memory serves me correctly, but I never left the 36T ring so the other rings are irrelevant. I might not have been inclined to ride on only one ring if I had been riding with others and needed to match their paces.
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Old 05-09-20, 09:44 AM
  #34  
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I'm also not that fussy about small jumps. I ride a FG so am quite used to using what I have and frankly, coming out of the (for me) formative 2x5 era, find modern 1x systems provide enough range.

Others have touched on the concerns I have when considering new tech for a touring bike:

1. How easy is it to get parts on the road.
2. How easy is it for me to repair or adjust on the road.

Part of that equation depends on where you are going to tour too.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:16 AM
  #35  
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Marketing hype? Not so much. 3x9 drive train on rigid 10 yr old Karate Monkey, works great. Ride bike away from home, sleep in the woods, repeat as needed. return when needed.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:43 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
A Shimano 10-51 12spd. cassette paired with say a 1X with a 36 ring, gives a decent low range - 18-99 gear inches, as my triple system, 12-34 9spd., 26-36-46 rings, just has 3 fewer gears in the middle (and mine only goes to 20 inches). So it's never really been the range, its more that there are fewer gears on a 12 spd cassette system period. And it's not like there's a plethora of different 12 spd. cassettes available, the Shimano line has 2 and all are oriented towards 1X systems.....
I have never seen a cassette with a 51 tooth big sprocket, and until your post I was unaware they made one. I thought that the race for giant cassettes was still in the 40 something teeth range. Thanks for enlightening me.

When you say "So it's never really been the range, ...", how many years has that wide a range cassette been available?
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Old 05-09-20, 11:05 AM
  #37  
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Re jumps ,percentage wise I'm fine touring with the percentage jumps on my 11-34 nine speed cassette, which while I don't have the chart in front of me, has maximum jumps of 15% I think, which is fine for touring.

However my wife's ten speed 11-36 has slightly smaller percentage jumps, which is great, why not take smaller jumps now that ten speed is old, reliable and available?

for me the 17,18,20% jumps are a pain in the arse.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:09 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I

When you say "So it's never really been the range, ...", how many years has that wide a range cassette been available?
Shimino WiKi says 2018 for 12 spd., I thought SRAM was earlier. Shimano 11spd offered an 11-46 in 2014.

I guess I should adjust my comment to it's "no longer about the range as you can get touring range from current ring and cog combo's".
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Old 05-09-20, 12:05 PM
  #39  
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While not having the charts in front of me, I betcha a 11 speed 11-42 has the same good reasonable jumps as the ten speed 11-36 on my wife's bike.

Still wonder about chain life, more cross chaining and maybe even chain strength...? And costs of course!
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Old 05-09-20, 12:31 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
3x9 drive train on rigid 10 yr old Karate Monkey.
Thats posh. 3x7 on rigid 25 years young bike will do.
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Old 05-09-20, 01:14 PM
  #41  
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A 1X12 system with a 12 sped 10-51 cassette would have a range of 510 percent. And the average step would be about 16 percent.

My 3X8 derailleur touring bikes have a 46/42/24 triple (half step plus granny) and I use a Sram 850 11/32 cassette. I am using bar end shifters, front friction and rear indexed. The user experience between my 3X8 system (or any 3X8 or 3X9 or 3X10 system) is quite different than the 1X12 system, the 3X8 has an extra shifter and each chainring has its own gear range. When you shift, you have to think about which shifter to engage.

For my 3X8 system, total range is 558 percent. With half step, the upper two thirds of the gears are quite nicely closely spaced and then I have a few bailout gears for the steep hills using the granny gear. Since I am rarely on my granny gear for very long, I am quite pleased with wide steps between the lowest gears and very close steps between the middle and highest gears. I did not start out with a half step setup, but changed to that about a decade after I built up my first touring bike after studying gear charts.

For my 3X8 system, the chain at Amazon is between $12 and $15 USD for a KMC X series chain, Sram 850 cassette about $20 to $25 USD. A quick google search tells me that the 1X12 cassette is roughly five times as expensive and the chain is about three times as much.

***

The reason that I am comparing the 1X12 with a Rohloff is that a Rohloff while mechanically is completely different than a derailleur bike, I would assume that riding the two bikes would give a very similar user experience. Both have one shifter from bottom up to top. The 1X12 is 12 speed and the Rohloff is 14 speed. As you are riding, when you want to change gears you reach to the shifter and you shift accordingly.

When I first bought my Rohloff, my primary complaints were the range was only 526 percent and the average step size was 13.6 percent. On both of those topics, the Rohloff wins over the 1X12, meaning that what I complained about with the Rohloff, my complaints would have been louder on the 1X12 system. The initial cost of the Rohloff is much more and the Rohloff is heavier, those are obvious disadvantages.

That 1X12 system probably has higher maintenance costs than the Rohloff, as that would not be a cheap cassette to replace. Rohloff, the maintenance costs are pretty low, but i should clarify that I bought the 250 ml oil change bottles about half a decade ago, so I have another half decade of oil on the shelf waiting to be used, the individual oil change kits are more expensive if you buy a new one each year. I probably have 3 or 4 more years left on my rear sprocket, not sure what the price is for a Rohloff sprocket but I suspect it is comparable to my 8 speed cassette in cost. Rohloff uses an inexpensive 8 speed chain and since there is no cross chaining it lasts longer than a derailleur chain.

***

Bottom line, I am happy with what I have, I have no desire to run out and buy a 1X12 system. I am fortunate that I can choose between a Rohloff bike and 3X8 derailleur bikes when i go on a bike tour, each has different characteristics and for some trips I pick one and other trips the other. My tour last summer was with the Rohloff bike, my planned (and now canceled) tour for this year was going to be on a derailleur bike.
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Old 05-09-20, 02:25 PM
  #42  
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Regarding how this thread is titled... hype.... let's be honest, the 3x and 2x systems also can be called hype. Look at all the bikes advertised as having 21, 24, 27 speeds just based on multiplying the chainring with the cassette cogs. Obvious this is marketing BS. First, some gears are duplicated, some are near duplicates, and some are cross-chained. So the 27-speed bike only ends up with maybe 15 gears. Advertising 27, while only offering 15 - I call that BS marketing hype. Some manufacturers even go through the effort of putting permanent "21-speed" labels on the frame.

You can think about 1x drivetrains what you want. but you get what is advertised. 1x11 means 11 distinctive gears.... no BS promise of more than that.

I also bet 99% of riders (even touring) that don't do road racing are well served with the range offered by 1x12. And that has multiple range options (with different step sizes) for many people's taste. 11-50, 10-50/51, and 10-45. sure, some racer, roadie or some other people may be served better by 2x11 or 2x12, but that is a small number that really NEED the small steps.

What you choose is practically more determined by what spare parts are available where you tour. If you tour Africa, sure, 1x12 may be hard to come by. Compromises have to me made.
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Old 05-09-20, 04:58 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I get being critical of the hype, biking always has had hype, and I figure touring stuff tends to follow that balance of functionality vs cost/value thing, hence the deore standard of stuff that works great, good price, lasts a long time and can be replaced in any city in the world.

BUT I'm open to new stuff.
my first bike with outboard bottom bracket , hollow tech 2 , has shown me that even with me stripping the used bike I bought for my Latin American trips and reinstalling the bb myself, it has worked flawlessly for three trips, plus other riding, and still spins wonderfully smoothly and with less friction than my other bikes, all square taper. And this bb must have 8000kms on it.
Same with disc brakes, like we've discussed on other threads Chris, I'm fine using rim brakes, but am impressed with mechanical discs and how long pads last for me.

but I'm certainly not buying into 1x stuff, not for touring. Off road maybe but I don't do enough of it seriously.
djb...I see what you're saying and I will agree. Having a new spin on an old system does have it's advantages. I guess I'm disliking the upgrade for the sake of upgrading that seems to drive the industry. Looking back to a lot of suspension ideas I saw that many of the 'new' ideas were from suspension that was tried out at the beginning of the 20th century. There are also new standards that take some time to sort out in the industry before other companies can adopt them...look at mountain biking front hubs over the years. I agree that outboard bearings on cranks is a step up and that they can be better than what was previously good. I remember there being a slew of newer wheels that came out with rethunk spokes and hubs. Mechanics had to learn and relearn all sorts of newer ways to keep up with technology. I'm a retro grouch to an extent and from necessity. A big draw for me now is to connect to people that have been using equipment for decades and have a broader view of where bikes have been in the past. When you see bigger companies competing with the number of cogs on the back of a bike I kind of tune out. Now that I know to look for Gear Inches I can compare things now whereas before it was all hype. Fads come and go and planned obsolescence is the way of doing business for major manufacturers.

The older I get the more I understand Grant Peterson and Rivendell bikes.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:13 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Regarding how this thread is titled... hype.... let's be honest, the 3x and 2x systems also can be called hype. Look at all the bikes advertised as having 21, 24, 27 speeds just based on multiplying the chainring with the cassette cogs. Obvious this is marketing BS. First, some gears are duplicated, some are near duplicates, and some are cross-chained. So the 27-speed bike only ends up with maybe 15 gears. Advertising 27, while only offering 15 - I call that BS marketing hype. Some manufacturers even go through the effort of putting permanent "21-speed" labels on the frame.

You can think about 1x drivetrains what you want. but you get what is advertised. 1x11 means 11 distinctive gears.... no BS promise of more than that.

I also bet 99% of riders (even touring) that don't do road racing are well served with the range offered by 1x12. And that has multiple range options (with different step sizes) for many people's taste. 11-50, 10-50/51, and 10-45. sure, some racer, roadie or some other people may be served better by 2x11 or 2x12, but that is a small number that really NEED the small steps.

What you choose is practically more determined by what spare parts are available where you tour. If you tour Africa, sure, 1x12 may be hard to come by. Compromises have to me made.
HerrKaLeun...I guess as I get older I want to be less influenced by hype and have more information on what is. You bring up a good point about getting what you get when it comes to a 1x system. As a consumer of components since my teen years I've always been a sucker for marketing; not just in cycling but in everything. I like to think now I put more effort into finding something by asking more and more questions. I'm searching for a place to learn about what cycling now has to offer but I want to be picky about my sources. If I walk into a bike shop I feel I will be sold something that hasn't been tested as thoroughly as it should be. I try not to buy things that are the tip of the spear. I'm content to wait and see how other people fare and learn from them. Most places around here have nothing but this years bikes on offer. I will attempt to learn about them if possible and hopefully make an informed decision based on experience an through trusted sources.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:20 PM
  #45  
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One thing for certain as time goes by, we go from greater standardization and compatibility to less. Entropy at play.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
HerrKaLeun...I guess as I get older I want to be less influenced by hype and have more information on what is. You bring up a good point about getting what you get when it comes to a 1x system. As a consumer of components since my teen years I've always been a sucker for marketing; not just in cycling but in everything. I like to think now I put more effort into finding something by asking more and more questions. I'm searching for a place to learn about what cycling now has to offer but I want to be picky about my sources. If I walk into a bike shop I feel I will be sold something that hasn't been tested as thoroughly as it should be. I try not to buy things that are the tip of the spear. I'm content to wait and see how other people fare and learn from them. Most places around here have nothing but this years bikes on offer. I will attempt to learn about them if possible and hopefully make an informed decision based on experience an through trusted sources.
If you buy from a good manufacturer, it is tested properly for the intended use. If there is a defect, they will warranty it.
Obviously if you buy from a bad manufacturer, that product will be bad when newly released, or at the end of the model year. SRAM NX still sucks, even some years after it was released. To the contrary, they made it even worse and called it SX. lol.

If an LBS has many old model year bikes, I would see that as a sign they are too expensive and therefore stuck with old inventory. but the 2018 bike, for example, still has the same components. Those components didn't get more mature or designed better from being in the LBS for 2 years.
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Old 05-10-20, 04:57 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
The older I get the more I understand Grant Peterson and Rivendell bikes.
I haven't followed what they are up to in years, but I doubt I'll ever "get" him/them. I figure they are the very definition of hype, just a retro flavor of it. I remember the whole you don't need to wear a uniform to ride deal, followed immediately with "buy our uniform". I think they were hawking $$$ seersucker shirts and $$$ Musa pants and shorts. These "regular clothes" they proposed seemed to me as if they'd stick out as being out of place and weird on a bike tour most places I tour too, they just wouldn't be identified as bike clothes. So to me it seems like you'd looks like a weirdo for no apparent reason vs looking like a cyclist which might make you look like a weirdo to a lot of non cyclists. Personally I find bike clothes more comfortable, but that is debatable I guess.

Weren't they also the ones hawking some $150 hand axes for touring? To me that is the height of ridiculous. I am sure they are nice hand axes, but in what universe does it make any sense to carry one on tour? And in that universe do you really need to carry a $150 one? I am guessing it is intended to process firewood, but maybe it is more about dreaming about campcraft and days long gone by. Obviously we shouldn't be engaged in campcraft while touring or probably anytime, but a lot of this stuff is more about remembering the "good old days" than it is about doing stuff for a big segment of their customer base.

I am sure they sell a quality product, but it always seemed to me as if their big claim to fame was more about rejecting "all that newfangled stuff" than anything else. Grant's pitches on most things were and probably still are (haven't looked in years) like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I am about to hit my 69th birthday, so pretty old now and that hasn't changed.
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Old 05-10-20, 05:40 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I haven't followed what they are up to in years, but I doubt I'll ever "get" him/them. I figure they are the very definition of hype, just a retro flavor of it. I remember the whole you don't need to wear a uniform to ride deal, followed immediately with "buy our uniform". I think they were hawking $$$ seersucker shirts and $$$ Musa pants and shorts. These "regular clothes" they proposed seemed to me as if they'd stick out as being out of place and weird on a bike tour most places I tour too, they just wouldn't be identified as bike clothes. So to me it seems like you'd looks like a weirdo for no apparent reason vs looking like a cyclist which might make you look like a weirdo to a lot of non cyclists. Personally I find bike clothes more comfortable, but that is debatable I guess.

Weren't they also the ones hawking some $150 hand axes for touring? To me that is the height of ridiculous. I am sure they are nice hand axes, but in what universe does it make any sense to carry one on tour? And in that universe do you really need to carry a $150 one? I am guessing it is intended to process firewood, but maybe it is more about dreaming about campcraft and days long gone by. Obviously we shouldn't be engaged in campcraft while touring or probably anytime, but a lot of this stuff is more about remembering the "good old days" than it is about doing stuff for a big segment of their customer base.

I am sure they sell a quality product, but it always seemed to me as if their big claim to fame was more about rejecting "all that newfangled stuff" than anything else. Grant's pitches on most things were and probably still are (haven't looked in years) like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I am about to hit my 69th birthday, so pretty old now and that hasn't changed.
staehpj...I hadn't really thought about the hype from Rivendell before but you're right...it's just a different flavour. They do tout a different kind of hype but it all boils down to the same thing...buy my stuff. I have seen a few things on the Rivendell site that have caught my eye; they have a rear light that I would like to get and am working towards doing so. As for many of the other things there again you're correct; they have a look and a uniform that they attempt to define as their style. Got to admit that the anti hype hype that they have kind of snuck past my radar.

I do enjoy reading Grant Peterson's blog. He focuses on some pretty minute things...I think the last blog I read was him singing the praises of the simplicity of the front derailleur...Suntour I think. He's got a thing for made in Japan stuff that I like and appreciates a simpler time. Whether that translates into a sale from me remains to be seen but I dig what the sentiment is.

I think I have a different idea of what modern components are and the appeal of them. If I look back at the time when I was getting into cycling I'm sure there were people my age who were thinking along the lines of whether the new components were really worth the investment whereas it was all I knew about and could read about in the magazines. I hadn't gotten to a point where I was questioning things I would read as I hadn't the thoughts. Maybe everyone goes through stages in life and views change over time. I still like the idea of thumbshifters but realize that STI is a great bonus to racers and it made commutes in bad weather that much safer. There's room for both in my world and as stated before they both have their draws. Who knows what the next touring bike that I need to buy will look like. I'm sure my ideas will change and develop over the lifetime of my current touring bike and I'll look for what's appealing and available then.

Got to move with the times I suppose but with a bit of caution. R and D is still happening but it won't be on my dime unless I start a company.
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Old 05-10-20, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
Got to move with the times I suppose
Well maybe, but we do have a choice. We can keep using old stuff as long as we want or buy as new of a tech as we want. There are guys riding and even touring on penny farthings and guys touring on the very latest bleeding edge stuff. The good news is that we can choose to ride whatever we enjoy. I guess the only real drawback is that at either extreme it may be hard to find parts in the case of a breakdown.

I personally am a little nostalgic about the bikes I rode and still have from the peak of my riding career (my 1990-ish Cannondale bikes), but otherwise kind of like new tech. So I might be likely to be seen touring on a 1990 road race or mountain bike, but thinking of building up a 1x12 gravel grinder. Then again you might see me riding or touring on a bike from the years in between those extremes.

I don't tend to get nostalgic for the older bikes that were steel and lugged maybe because I couldn't afford as nice of a bike in those days. I may have lusted after a Schwinn Paramount back then, but certainly couldn't afford one in those days. I can appreciate the beauty of top of the line bikes of that vintage, but they aren't something that I ever rode.
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Old 05-10-20, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Well maybe, but we do have a choice. We can keep using old stuff as long as we want or buy as new of a tech as we want. There are guys riding and even touring on penny farthings and guys touring on the very latest bleeding edge stuff. The good news is that we can choose to ride whatever we enjoy. I guess the only real drawback is that at either extreme it may be hard to find parts in the case of a breakdown.

I personally am a little nostalgic about the bikes I rode and still have from the peak of my riding career (my 1990-ish Cannondale bikes), but otherwise kind of like new tech. So I might be likely to be seen touring on a 1990 road race or mountain bike, but thinking of building up a 1x12 gravel grinder. Then again you might see me riding or touring on a bike from the years in between those extremes.

I don't tend to get nostalgic for the older bikes that were steel and lugged maybe because I couldn't afford as nice of a bike in those days. I may have lusted after a Schwinn Paramount back then, but certainly couldn't afford one in those days. I can appreciate the beauty of top of the line bikes of that vintage, but they aren't something that I ever rode.
staehpj...I think I'm broadening my horizons as to newer bikes and styles. I have a pretty good idea of where I like to ride and what works for me...it's mostly light trails and city streets. I don't really ride for speeds sake; never really did. I enjoy going from point a to b. It's always a motivator to have a destination where I can have a coffee or a pastry or something delicious. Touring appeals to me on so many different levels and the more time I spend in this forum the more I see and experience.

I like many builders and companies from afar. I don't think buying more than one bike is the way to go anymore for various reasons, mainly because I don't have the room to store them. I'm trying to have only one bike to do everything on...when that no longer serves it's purpose I'll move on to the next bike. I'm in more of a car centric area of Canada so commutes are a little more difficult to make by bicycle. I'm debating whether to keep my car but that's a whole other thread...
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