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Everyone Loves Standards! That's why we have so many

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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

Everyone Loves Standards! That's why we have so many

Old 12-29-20, 09:27 PM
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VinceInSeattle
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Everyone Loves Standards! That's why we have so many

Question: which of these recent standards do you think will catch on for road bikes in the next few years? I'll define "catch on" as being used on mid-price nice road bikes and groupsets - Shimano 105/SRAM Rival - and available at various price points from 3rd-party aftermarket manufacturers.

Micro Spline
XDr
DUB
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Old 12-29-20, 11:50 PM
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All 3. SRAM has their foot in the door so any respectable wheel manufacturer will have to support XDR for AXS. This is pretty easy if you have a modular freehub system like DT Swiss.

Shimano is Shimano. Assuming their 12 speed road uses MS (highly likely), obviously everyone will do their best to sell MS freehubs. Shimano is scummy for charging for MS licenses but what can you do (besides buy SRAM)?

MS/12 speed trickled down extremely quickly (2 years from XTR to Deore) on the MTB side. I won't be surprised if we see a 12 speed 105 within 2-3 years of the Dura Ace debut. Only sticking point here is that Shimano had a lot more pressure on the MTB side than it currently has on the road side. 0 pressure at the mid range. So they might develop then delay 12 speed 105 until SRAM makes a move.

DUB cranks are compatible with pretty much every BB shell standard out there right now (besides BB90, which is mostly defunct). I wouldn't recommend using DUB cranks in BB86 shells due to the thin bearings required but they seem to work fine for most people.

Last edited by smashndash; 12-29-20 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 12-30-20, 12:37 AM
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Good observations, thanks! I wonder about DUB. Even SRAM doesn't make much variety of cranksets for it. Their DUB road cranks are carbon and very expensive - $420 list for the Force and the Red is even more expensive. They make only a couple reasonably priced aluminum mountain cranks. AFAIK, no one else makes a DUB crank. Also compatible XDR wheels for older bikes seem to be hard to find - they seem to be premium-priced, 135 mm+, disc brake, thru axle rather than the basic 130 mm quick release.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:02 AM
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Perhaps you could look at it another way. Very few industries have had the interchangeability that cycling has. Cars and motorcycles for example are a vast majority of propriety parts.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:51 AM
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From a bottom bracket standpoint, I really hope the Chris King T47 standard helps to basically end the Bottom Bracket confusion, and most frame manufacturers switch to it (Trek ditched its BB90 proprietary standard).
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Old 12-30-20, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post
Good observations, thanks! I wonder about DUB. Even SRAM doesn't make much variety of cranksets for it. Their DUB road cranks are carbon and very expensive - $420 list for the Force and the Red is even more expensive. They make only a couple reasonably priced aluminum mountain cranks. AFAIK, no one else makes a DUB crank. Also compatible XDR wheels for older bikes seem to be hard to find - they seem to be premium-priced, 135 mm+, disc brake, thru axle rather than the basic 130 mm quick release.
XDR and DUB imply you are using Force or Red eTap AXS. Those groups run for $1800+. If you're spending that kind of money, you probably don't have an older bike with 135mm QR or even rim brakes. If you really want to be able to use AXS with an older bike, you can get a wheelset with a swappable freehub like DT Swiss.

Keep in mind that SRAM has not even touched any of their road groupsets below the Force AXS level in a long, long time. They don't care about the mid-range road segment.

I don't see why you would want to buy a DUB crank in isolation. Bottom brackets are quite cheap. Regardless of what crank you buy, you can probably find a ~$30 bottom bracket to fit it to your frame. I wouldn't worry about what standard my crank is as long as it fits in my frame.
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Old 12-30-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
XDR and DUB imply you are using Force or Red eTap AXS. Those groups run for $1800+. If you're spending that kind of money, you probably don't have an older bike with 135mm QR or even rim brakes. If you really want to be able to use AXS with an older bike, you can get a wheelset with a swappable freehub like DT Swiss.

Keep in mind that SRAM has not even touched any of their road groupsets below the Force AXS level in a long, long time. They don't care about the mid-range road segment.

I don't see why you would want to buy a DUB crank in isolation. Bottom brackets are quite cheap. Regardless of what crank you buy, you can probably find a ~$30 bottom bracket to fit it to your frame. I wouldn't worry about what standard my crank is as long as it fits in my frame.
Unlike people on this forum, most people do not even consider the components on their bikes they buy from the LBS. And that is the bulk of the market, and is a commodity that is driven by the cheapest bike manufacturers can get for determining how to spec out their builds.

I think SRAM realizes that investing in those group-sets is not really beneficial financially, and to maximize their time and energy on the higher-end race oriented road categories where, people actually care about the components, and bike manufacturers will pay more of a premium to stock their bikes with components that will be part of the buyers' buying decision.

Campagnolo learned that the hard way with their Potenza line, as they could not sell those at a cheap enough price point to convince manufacturers to spec their mid/low range, since the consumers for those bike ranges have no clue what Campagnolo even is.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
Unlike people on this forum, most people do not even consider the components on their bikes they buy from the LBS. And that is the bulk of the market, and is a commodity that is driven by the cheapest bike manufacturers can get for determining how to spec out their builds.

I think SRAM realizes that investing in those group-sets is not really beneficial financially, and to maximize their time and energy on the higher-end race oriented road categories where, people actually care about the components, and bike manufacturers will pay more of a premium to stock their bikes with components that will be part of the buyers' buying decision.

Campagnolo learned that the hard way with their Potenza line, as they could not sell those at a cheap enough price point to convince manufacturers to spec their mid/low range, since the consumers for those bike ranges have no clue what Campagnolo even is.
This is a fantastic point. But also, Shimano at the Claris-105 level has name recognition among non-enthusiasts that SRAM/Campy can only dream of. Even $150 walmart bikes will plaster "Shimano" all over the frame.

So I wouldn't necessarily claim that it's a matter of consumers at that level not caring what's on their bike. It's just that, the lower the price point, the less likely the consumer is to evaluate the components beyond "Shimano = good". Which means that SRAM would have to absolutely stomp Shimano on a technical level at the mid-range to get their foot into the OE door. And we all know that isn't possible without SRAM taking a massive loss.

I also wonder how many companies will continue to spec AXS at the top end once Shimano goes wireless 12 speed.

Last edited by smashndash; 12-30-20 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
This is a fantastic point. But also, Shimano at the Claris-105 level has name recognition among non-enthusiasts that SRAM/Campy can only dream of. Even $150 walmart bikes will plaster "Shimano" all over the frame.

So I wouldn't necessarily claim that it's a matter of consumers at that level not caring what's on their bike. It's just that, the lower the price point, the less likely the consumer is to evaluate the components beyond "Shimano = good". Which means that SRAM would have to absolutely stomp Shimano on a technical level at the mid-range to get their foot into the OE door. And we all know that isn't possible without SRAM taking a massive loss.

I also wonder how many companies will continue to spec AXS at the top end once Shimano goes wireless 12 speed.
I suppose. I just wonder if I were to ask my parents (as an example, who purchased bikes to ride around their retirement community) whether they know what Shimano is (well - may dad may know from their fishing equipment, ha. ). I think they just know "Specialized" and from that, assume it is spec'd at a level that is above cheap Wal-Mark bike components.

Electric shifting on a mountain bike is silly to me, but hey, a lot of people will buy whatever the industry tells them is the latest and greatest.

I must be in the minority, but for me, the beauty of the bike is its complete mechanical nature, and that the entire functioning of it is human power driven. As we continue to make them more complex, and more dependent on power outside of human driven power, the spirit if what a bike is supposed to be gets lost.

-
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Old 12-31-20, 10:38 PM
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[QUOTE=smashndash;21855277]XDR and DUB imply you are using Force or Red eTap AXS. Those groups run for $1800+. If you're spending that kind of money, you probably don't have an older bike with 135mm QR or even rim brakes. /QUOTE]

As a matter of fact, I have a late 1980s Trek aluminum that sat in the garage for decades, but came out this summer when one of my friends took up cycling due to a running injury. Had a lot of fun on it! But it came with a 128 mm rear hub, 6 speed freewheel, Shimano 105 parts, downtube shifters, single pivot brakes, square taper cranks. It was a hell of a bike for 1989, but obsolete in many ways today. I'd like to upgrade this bike because it has sentimental value and because I just can't see myself spending $5000 for a modern super bike with carbon frame, Di2, disc brakes, etc. Last summer I did get a new rear wheel, 11 speed freehub but just an 8 speed cassette and derailleur and didn't change the shifters - I run them by friction.

I was thinking about Force etap, maybe even 1X. Simple, clean, fewer wires, and smart shifting. You can get the 1X groupset for $850 to $1050. But then I need a new wheel and probably new crankset and bottom bracket, and if I went Force all the way, I'd be looking at $1800 for sure. I don't want to go Di2 - either external wires or drilling the frame. Now I'm thinking that I'll ride what I have through the winter and early spring, and overhaul the entire thing when the weather is bad. I bet the bottom bracket grease is dry after 30 years! Then see what's in the market for the spring season. My guess is Shimano will introduce 12 speed Micro Spline and wireless for Dura Ace, but that will also be prohibitively expensive. I don't know if SRAM will ever bring etap to 11 speed on a "normal" freehub with "normal" BB and $150 cranks, but probably not. So I will probably be looking at a new 105 or SRAM Rival groupset later in the spring. Not sure but I think I'd like the SRAM shift mechanism better than Shimano. SRAM Rival is from 2014 though, seems long in the tooth.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post

I was thinking about Force etap, maybe even 1X. Simple, clean, fewer wires, and smart shifting. You can get the 1X groupset for $850 to $1050. But then I need a new wheel and probably new crankset and bottom bracket, and if I went Force all the way, I'd be looking at $1800 for sure. I don't want to go Di2 - either external wires or drilling the frame. Now I'm thinking that I'll ride what I have through the winter and early spring, and overhaul the entire thing when the weather is bad. I bet the bottom bracket grease is dry after 30 years! Then see what's in the market for the spring season. My guess is Shimano will introduce 12 speed Micro Spline and wireless for Dura Ace, but that will also be prohibitively expensive. I don't know if SRAM will ever bring etap to 11 speed on a "normal" freehub with "normal" BB and $150 cranks, but probably not. So I will probably be looking at a new 105 or SRAM Rival groupset later in the spring. Not sure but I think I'd like the SRAM shift mechanism better than Shimano. SRAM Rival is from 2014 though, seems long in the tooth.
$850 to $1050? For 12 speed? What does that include? I assume you're still going to use rim brakes, so shifters, crank, bb, rd, and cassette? Do you have a link?

I would highly recommend testing out the 105 R7000 groupset. Functionally, it is almost on-par with mechanical dura ace, just heavier and not as "nice". The shift mechanism is obviously personal preference, though.

Also, you could go with a Rival 1 groupset and just use a GRX 1x crankset which uses the ubiquitous Hollowtech II.
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Old 01-01-21, 07:39 PM
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$850 to $1050 on ebay for new Force 1X: rear derailleur, two rim brake/shifter levers, battery and charger. The cassette, bottom bracket, crankset, brakes not included. Even so, I would bite if I could just buy the shifters, RD, and cassette w/o changing the wheel too.

I wonder if the movement of SRAMs rear derailleur is mechanically determined, or software programmable. Could they adjust the RD in software to move any amount? I.e. to move for 8 speed spacing, 9 speed, anything? Idle speculation, I guess. They probably wouldn't want to, even if they could. How are they going to sell XDr freehubs and licenses if anyone could just use put it on their existing bikes?

How do you like using Shimano style brifters? I've only used down tube shifters. Do you like having a brake lever that moves?
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Old 01-02-21, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
From a bottom bracket standpoint, I really hope the Chris King T47 standard helps to basically end the Bottom Bracket confusion, and most frame manufacturers switch to it (Trek ditched its BB90 proprietary standard).
Just go back to good ole BSA. Absolutely nothing wrong with it to begin with.

That one of the newest, most expensive, cutting-edge, lightweight bike frames (Specialized Aethos) has BSA is proof positive of that.
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Old 01-02-21, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Just go back to good ole BSA. Absolutely nothing wrong with it to begin with.

That one of the newest, most expensive, cutting-edge, lightweight bike frames (Specialized Aethos) has BSA is proof positive of that.

I would be fine with both, as there are certain applications where a larger BB may be warranted (thinking cross and gravel bikes).
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Old 01-02-21, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post

I wonder if the movement of SRAMs rear derailleur is mechanically determined, or software programmable. Could they adjust the RD in software to move any amount? I.e. to move for 8 speed spacing, 9 speed, anything? Idle speculation, I guess. They probably wouldn't want to, even if they could. How are they going to sell XDr freehubs and licenses if anyone could just use put it on their existing bikes?

How do you like using Shimano style brifters? I've only used down tube shifters. Do you like having a brake lever that moves?
Are you looking at 11 speed or 12? I wonder if you could use a GRX cassette with an 11 speed etap setup.

XDR freehubs are open license. They don't make any money directly from 3rd party production of freehubs.

I like the Shimano style shifting a lot. The only thing that kinda sucks about it is that I can't shift into easy gears from the drops very easily. But I think the problem would actually be worse on SRAM.

The shimano shift logic also allows you to quickly click into easier gears one at a time. With the SRAM logic, you always have to push through the the initial upshift click before getting into downshift territory. I realize that both systems allow you to "scoop" multiple easier gears at once but I rarely use that.

When braking, there is rarely any lateral movement of the lever.

I can't comment about electronic shift logic.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Just go back to good ole BSA. Absolutely nothing wrong with it to begin with.

That one of the newest, most expensive, cutting-edge, lightweight bike frames (Specialized Aethos) has BSA is proof positive of that.
You could have used that exact same Aethos logic on the tarmac when it had BB30 or the Emonda when it had BB90 (which are two of the worst standards to ever exist). Weight is not the reason some BB shells are better than others. It's all about geometry.

BSA has 2 problems: 1 is that in order to accommodate 30mm spindles, the housing between the threading in the shell and the spindle must be quite thin, which reduces the stiffness of the BB unit. I can link a video that discusses that if necessary.

Second one is that BSA mandates a 68mm wide shell. Wider BB shells generally make it easier to make stiffer bikes. Hence BB90, BBright, BB386EVO, BB/PF30A, T47, BB86 etc.

T47 is just a superior standard if you know that 29-30mm spindles are going to be used and if you want maximum stiffness for minimum weight. We can acknowledge that maybe the cost of switching over isn't worth it while still acknowledging that T47 is technically superior and maybe we should have switched to it long ago.

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Old 01-02-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
You could have used that exact same Aethos logic on the tarmac when it had BB30 or the Emonda when it had BB90 (which are two of the worst standards to ever exist). Weight is not the reason some BB shells are better than others. It's all about geometry.

BSA has 2 problems: 1 is that in order to accommodate 30mm spindles, the housing between the threading in the shell and the spindle must be quite thin, which reduces the stiffness of the BB unit. I can link a video that discusses that if necessary.

Second one is that BSA mandates a 68mm wide shell. Wider BB shells generally make it easier to make stiffer bikes. Hence BB90, BBright, BB386EVO, BB/PF30A, T47, BB86 etc.

T47 is just a superior standard if you know that 29-30mm spindles are going to be used and if you want maximum stiffness for minimum weight. We can acknowledge that maybe the cost of switching over isn't worth it while still acknowledging that T47 is technically superior and maybe we should have switched to it long ago.
How could I have used that same logic? Who, in the history of the horror of BB90 ever said there was nothing wrong with it? BB30 didn't have near the issues, but again, whoever said there was nothing wrong with it? Creaks galore, bearings wearing out in 5 minutes, etc., etc.

Nothing to do with weight and everything to do with proper functionality.

BSA doesn't have two problems. People wanting to run silly oversized spindles may have problems, but seeing as how the number one brand (Shimano) doesn't, it's not a problem for me and us purists who recognize a superior product.
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Old 01-04-21, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
How could I have used that same logic? Who, in the history of the horror of BB90 ever said there was nothing wrong with it? BB30 didn't have near the issues, but again, whoever said there was nothing wrong with it? Creaks galore, bearings wearing out in 5 minutes, etc., etc.

Nothing to do with weight and everything to do with proper functionality.

BSA doesn't have two problems. People wanting to run silly oversized spindles may have problems, but seeing as how the number one brand (Shimano) doesn't, it's not a problem for me and us purists who recognize a superior product.
  • BB90 clearly, while perhaps in a lab, made sense for carbon fiber bikes, made no real sense in the real world because eventually, requiring that level of precision meant lots of failures in installation.
  • BB30 - at the very least, unless (like me) you have the shorter spindle crankset, in theory, you could thread the BB and convert to a T47. But from what I can tell, Press Fit, was actually worse than BB30 for creaks, even if easier due to lower manufacturing tolerances.

I think the entire emphasis on BB stiffness is a solution looking for a problem. The vast majority of cyclists are not going to be able to flex a fram such that BB stiffness is an issue. However, that being said, if there is no ultimate harm in switching to T47 (basically, a larger BSA), and it does allow for increased stiffness for those who actually benefit from it (track sprinters, crit racers, really tall/heavy riders), then no big deal going down that path.

It would be interesting into finding out the origin of the Cannandale BB30 endeavor in the late 1990's. I always surmised it was in part to deal with the competition from carbon fiber, and trying to create a comparative advantage....yet, they made it open source (which I always assumed was because without FSA and others willing to jump on board with the standard, people would balk at proprietary,

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Old 01-05-21, 08:35 AM
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Just a couple things about Dub.
Sram didn't do this as a favor.
Last year I built a new bike with Force axs. Not a lot of the prior components can be reused. I had expected to transfer my red 22 crankset to the new bike...Nope!
To run axs 12 obviously you need the new cassette. Well that cassette needs the tooth profile for the new chain, which runs larger rollers in it. Which means the front rings will need the new tooth profile to mesh with that chain, thats only available on the new axs rings, which only fit on axs crankset, which only use Dub...
I love my Sram components. But after this experience I feel a bit used by Sram. This whole proprietary scheme has a kind of scammy, bait and switch feel to it. The escalating cost of the build due to the proprietary components left me feeling like I needed a shower after finishing the build , rather than after the first ride.
When I first switched over to Sram in '13, I bought my first exogram 10 speed setup. 0 regrets. Loved it. I've been a Sram guy ever since. But I think this build cured me.
Bb30 sucks, its a crap design. But pf 30 takes that crap design to an entire nother level. And dub just resizes a crap design into a proprietary crap design.
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Old 01-28-21, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
I think the entire emphasis on BB stiffness is a solution looking for a problem. The vast majority of cyclists are not going to be able to flex a fram such that BB stiffness is an issue.

It would be interesting into finding out the origin of the Cannandale BB30 endeavor in the late 1990's. I always surmised it was in part to deal with the competition from carbon fiber, and trying to create a comparative advantage....yet, they made it open source (which I always assumed was because without FSA and others willing to jump on board with the standard, people would balk at proprietary,
The two are related, and the fact that Cannondale was early out of the chute on the whole 57-varieties-of-bottom-brackets thing shows how:

There was no major bicycle manufacturer more invested in the idea that flexing bicycle parts waste pedalling energy. Their entire business model was based on it. By the late 90s / early 2000s, they'd pretty much milked the frame stiffness / weight ratio cow dry, so they had to come up with a new sales pitch, and, because they were Cannondale, more stiffer therefore more better was the only pitch they knew how to make.

So... a new, stiffer bottom bracket was an obvious way to go. They had to open-source it... Cannondale didn't make cranksets or bottom brackets, and didn't have the market power to make a proprietary interface happen on their say-so. Nor did they have the cash to pay for all of the tooling and R&D costs on their own.

And, since almost the entire rest of the industry believed, or said that they believed, that flexing bicycle parts waste pedalling energy, everybody else jumped on board, and we got 38 different mutually-incompatible solutions to a non-existent problem. The really interesting question is why nobody else in the industry tried to fight back with the obvious counter-strategy: acknowledging the fact that flexing bicycle parts do not waste pedalling energy, and therefore there's no need to buy more stiffness.

The Myth of Stiffness explains many pathologies in the bicycle industry.

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Old 01-29-21, 01:43 PM
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