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Post an example of an UNuseless bike invention...(Chindogu in Japanese)

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Post an example of an UNuseless bike invention...(Chindogu in Japanese)

Old 02-28-20, 11:24 AM
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Post an example of an UNuseless bike invention...(Chindogu in Japanese)

Bicycle Chindogu...Chindogu is sometimes translated as having it's basis in being a prank or gag, but that's not correct.

To qualify,​​​​​ the original intent must have been to create something useful. (maybe even something that addresses a problem that few saw as needing a solution), but in retrospect somehow goes a step too far, and is thus "Unuseless".I just came across this, as I was pirating some brake cables to use on my new Ron Cooper.

2nd photo is of cables aero-routed before the advent of dimpled bars, and without drilling the bars to run them inside. The stock Campy SR lever had been previously modified, as retro-fit aero-routing; BTW, it decreases the original braking efficiency significantly.

(I have a another set of levers, with roller pulleys in place of the Campy barrel mounts, a very early machine shop engineered version SR aero levers. - and definitely not Chindogu.


Insert...


Without the insert.
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Old 02-28-20, 01:18 PM
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need more coffee is the prank hacking non aero levers to be aero?
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Old 02-28-20, 05:41 PM
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It's late afternoon and I've had my coffee - but I still don't get it

The cable cozy (that's what I call them) is absolutely useful and designed to be so. It doesn't even look like it could be confused with being a prank/gag. And if the point of the post is to point out how useful the item is, well, aren't 99.9% of bike parts useful?

DD
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Old 02-29-20, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
...cable cozy...
I like that better than what Shimano calls them, "outer casing guide". Don't think that was the chindogu being referred to but agree having installed a couple sets of SL-BS77s I found the "cozy" useful.
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Old 02-29-20, 08:38 AM
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Sorry, maybe too much coffee... (is there such a thing?)


1) No prank involved.

2) Chindogu = "Unuseless Invention" - See original post

3) Those plastic "cable guides" were my submission of a Chindogu that I came across yesterday.

4) Photos submitted to back up the claim of the plastic guides as being true "Chindogu" One showing Unuseless invention installed, the other, showing bars with brake cable wrapped without the use of the guide. Thus proving guide to be "Chindogu"


In case the idea of the thread has become obscured again, by this explanation, the idea was for folks to post "unuseless" inventions (relating to bikes) they had come across over the years...

One might for instance go with PMP cranks,,, as a solution to the TDC pedaling "problem"...

Best regards to all, Eric
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Old 02-29-20, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
It's late afternoon and I've had my coffee - but I still don't get it

The cable cozy (that's what I call them) is absolutely useful and designed to be so. It doesn't even look like it could be confused with being a prank/gag. And if the point of the post is to point out how useful the item is, well, aren't 99.9% of bike parts useful?

DD
Not supposed to look like a gag in any way. I was pointing out an earnest attempt to invent something to a solve a problem that the inventor believes exists. I understand that others, such as yourself, feel the same way.

I'm not on board with it being terribly useful
To me it seems like a very clever but unnecessary (and as such an UNuseless) invention, itself being taped into place over the cable, thus holding the cable fixed in place, and smoothing the contour under the tape.
.
Send to me the fact that the item needed designing, machine tooling to fabricate it, sales and advertising, shipping, counter space, blah, blah, blah... When as shown in 2nd photo, there is a minimal difference in result.

I agree most bike parts are useful... I was suggesting it might be interesting to have a thread that focused on the .1%

You did notice the PMP cranks, right?
Cheers, Eric
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Old 02-29-20, 06:04 PM
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Unuseless in this sense means not useless but also not useful, so a pointless less invention that actually does something, just not anything useful. The PMP cranks are actually useless as an invention, since they don't actually work or do anything. Chindogu need to actually do the thing they're supposed to do, but make you think the solution is stupid, so cumbersome or awkward as to not have any utility, or make you wonder why anyone would need to do the thing the invention does.

If you took a CPSC screw on a NR RD, but said it was invented to prevent you from not getting stabbed with the screw instead of meeting regulatory requirements, then that would be unuseless. It technically does the thing it is supposed to do, but is for all intents and purposes, useless.
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Old 02-29-20, 10:02 PM
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I understand the premise of Chindogu. PMP crank is perfect example - but, doh, that photo was not in the thread when I made my initial post!

My point is I disagree that a cable cozy is an example of an unuseless invention. I've ridden bikes with concealed cables of all sorts, and the worst ones are those like in your second photo. I have had low-grade arthritis in my hands since my late 20s, and if there's not some sort of smooth transition on the bars my hands know it pretty quickly. They complain loudly about it, too! Bars with creases help, and so do cable-cozys - so for this guy at least.

DD
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Old 02-29-20, 11:18 PM
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A dog doesn't have a chin, you know?

Is electronic shifting chindogu? What about Biopace?
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Old 02-29-20, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
I understand the premise of Chindogu. PMP crank is perfect example
Calling PMP cranks chindogu is missing the point. The invention actually has to work and do the thing it was designed to do. It doesn't mean invention that doesn't work. It means an invention that technically works but is pointless for some other reason. PMP cranks fail on that count, they don't actually work in defeating top dead center, they only work as cranks, but being a crank isn't the invention.

Think Rube Goldberg machine, and not perpetual motion machine.
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Old 02-29-20, 11:42 PM
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Okay, guys, I said I didn't get it. Apparently nobody does because two of you are saying the opposite thing. Or I'm just totally confused. To be honest, the more I read this thread the more it gives me a headache. I don't care now. Seriously. I am sorry I even responded.

DD
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Old 02-29-20, 11:50 PM
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Those Shimano outer cable housing covers are extremely useful if you ever want to change your cable housings without having to unwrap yopur perhaps expensive handlebar tape/wrap.

I love the ones I have. Btw, the local bike shop mechanics didn't know what those were or what they were for. I guess that shows how long ago they were used.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-20, 05:12 AM
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The perfect example in this thread of the phenomenon that the OP is trying (and failing) to describe is the coinage of the word "unuseless" itself; matter how much the OP stresses the "UN" in "unuseless," it will always be an awkward but exact synonym for "useful."

Sheldon Brown, as usual, trod this path before.
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Old 03-01-20, 06:49 AM
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I found the concept of Chindogu amusing when I came across it twenty years ago. I was reminded of it when I came across the plastic cable covers yesterday.

My intent was to start a thread that took a light hearted look at some bicycle design inventions/innovations.

I had no intention of causing anyone frustration, or the criticism that followed.

Un-worth it. Best regards to all, Eric
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Old 03-01-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
A dog doesn't have a chin, you know?

Is electronic shifting chindogu? What about Biopace?
Electronic shifting is for sure. Then again, it solves the problem of cable breakage in brifters, which IMO are themselves chindogu. (ducking and running.. )

Biopace - I think so. I'm also going to vote for aerobars, unless you are a competitive triathlete or time trialer.
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Old 03-01-20, 12:04 PM
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How about any of those front-wheel Quick Release "safety" measures that mostly negate the Quick Release feature? [In fairness, the type Schwinn used with the springy clips on shouldered lock nuts were better. Your fork blades needed to be tapped and screws installed for it to work].
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Old 03-01-20, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuromori View Post
Calling PMP cranks chindogu is missing the point. The invention actually has to work and do the thing it was designed to do. It doesn't mean invention that doesn't work. It means an invention that technically works but is pointless for some other reason. PMP cranks fail on that count, they don't actually work in defeating top dead center, they only work as cranks, but being a crank isn't the invention.
Well, okay, you are right. And I agree 100% about those cranks. But, that said, I wonder if you're missing something as well. There are reports, aren't there, of racers who claimed the PMP cranks helped them spin more effectively? They are mistaken, of course, but that's beside the point. So what I mean to ask is: if the problem is real, and the improvement is all in your head, then is the solution bogus or real?

Back in the early 80's I fiddled with ways to get a shifter onto my brake lever. I almost got it working by putting a down tube style shifter on the boss that holds the turkey levers on Weinmann/dia-compe brake levers. I never got a satisfactory setup but I was sure it would be a great thing. Well Sure enough Shimano invented brifters and now everyone has them. But I find they don't actually make riding a better experience. They are overly complicated, expensive, and they kill my hands on long rides. I don't use them any more. I know they're popular, but I think chindogu for sure.
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Old 03-01-20, 12:48 PM
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I was enjoying the frustrated discussion about what the concept of chindogu meant (first time I heard about the concept), and I also enjoy a good debate over semantics. I hope to see some more chindogu entries. I think valve stem caps may be chindogu (though the valve stem nuts are not, IMHO), as are the centering springs on skewers?
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Old 03-01-20, 01:17 PM
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Old 03-01-20, 01:25 PM
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Waterbottle mounts on a Track frame? That does seem useless.......

Last edited by Ironfish653; 03-01-20 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-01-20, 02:01 PM
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I'm a bit confused as well of this thread but more so after reviewing the idea of these un-proven pedals.

Made by a Norwegian named Rune Angeltun back in 1995. They were marketed to add leverage to the pedal stroke and assist at the 6/12 o'clock position by way of using a one way roller clutch. One way only ;"/

Let me add, the secondary market sellers of these pedals are dreamers. One pair on eBay is asking a princely sum of $150.00 BUT I've come across another NOS at a LBS, also based their price upon looking them up and finding on ebay. The box was actually dusty as I discovered them in the back at that store. Told the owner, "don't sell or you might have a suit against". "Best to toss in the dumpster". Lol
Prime stuff for the forum BOC.

Part II: A seller last week at the Chicago bike swap had the same... you guessed... NOS and in the box. THAT SELLER GAVE ME THE SAME SALE PITCH AND PRICE!
Goodnight---




Part III:
A review / comment on the interwebs

The pedals do have some sort of record for being the product distributed in the United States by Trek for the shortest period of time....they lasted exactly 15 days. No idea why, seemed weird, heavy and not needed.

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Old 03-01-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Electronic shifting is for sure. Then again, it solves the problem of cable breakage in brifters, which IMO are themselves chindogu. (ducking and running.. )

Biopace - I think so. I'm also going to vote for aerobars, unless you are a competitive triathlete or time trialer.
There should be a Japanese word for products that were brilliantly designed and effective for the intended user (in the case of Biopace rings, the sport touring rider who maintains a cadence of 80 rpm or below) and were initially overpraised and subsequently vilified.

Rotor rings and the other elliptical rings currently sold, on the other hand, arguably take the wrong approach for solving a problem that might not even exist for competitive cyclists. As they say, if it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is.

And aero bars work perfectly for anyone who (i) isn't paid to race (although those paid to race usually use aero bars whenever they're allowed to do so), (ii) does long-distance rides, touring or otherwise, and seldom or never uses the bottom portion of his or her drop bars. or (iii) has a history of carpal nerve or (in my case) ulnar nerve trauma.
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Old 03-01-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Waterbottle mounts on a Track frame? That does seem useless.......
You'll see them only on track bikes designed for street use (a.k.a. "fixies"), not on the comparatively small number of bikes that are genuinely designed for velodrome racing.
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Old 03-01-20, 03:13 PM
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Is any frame material other than steel chindogu?
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Old 03-01-20, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Is any frame material other than steel chindogu?
No; as you imply, only steel is chindogu.
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