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a lot of the recent "innovation" is a bad bargain for anyone not pushing a competitiv

Old 06-29-21, 06:54 AM
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CheGiantForLife
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a lot of the recent "innovation" is a bad bargain for anyone not pushing a competitiv

Is a consumer better off riding a 1978 steel road bike that's maintainable with simple tools I bought 40 years ago? Is much of the recent "innovation" is a bad bargain for anyone not pushing a competitive racing edge. Eg, Is carbon anything as an anti-feature.​ ?

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Old 06-29-21, 07:01 AM
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Very interesting post.

I mean, we've never discussed this question around here.
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Old 06-29-21, 07:16 AM
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The guy rides unicycles.
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Old 06-29-21, 07:24 AM
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If your goal is exercise and trying to get in shape, why do you want to make your training equipment easier to use?
However, a lot of cyclists enjoy the "gadget" aspect of cycling (including me), and there is noting wrong with that. It's fun to tinker with your gear. And if it leads to motivation to actually ride, then it works.
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Old 06-29-21, 08:07 AM
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Hard to make significant improvements with new tech to things that aren't used by performance crazed individuals.

However when you look, there are plenty of new low priced bikes out there. But of course, they have dated technology just like the old vintage bikes.

Of course you have to turn a blind eye to the lack of inventory due to COVID supply chain disruptions.
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Old 06-29-21, 08:13 AM
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E-bikes destroy your point that innovation is for those who are competitive.

John
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Old 06-29-21, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
E-bikes destroy your point that innovation is for those who are competitive.

John
I'm not sure about that. People have been putting motors on bicycles ever since there were bicycles. The only innovation I see for e-bikes with the passing years is how much they try to disguise the fact they are e-bikes.

While I'm being snide in the remark, I also see the use for them. I've tried to talk my wife into getting an e-bike hoping maybe she'd enjoy riding the rolling terrain around us.
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Old 06-29-21, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Is a consumer better off riding a 1978 steel road bike that's maintainable with simple tools I bought 40 years ago? Is much of the recent "innovation" is a bad bargain for anyone not pushing a competitive racing edge. Eg, Is carbon anything as an anti-feature.​ ?
These types of posts crack me up. Does *anyone* actually *need* a bike? No. Walking or running work fine. We *could* all be riding single speed beach cruisers! I think the average consumer is pretty smart at determining their need, and assessing the value of different features/materials/technologies.

And all my bicycle tools are pretty simple. Now I'm wondering what complicated tools I might be missing...and if they're available in a high-performance lightweight carbon version that cost more!
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Old 06-29-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
These types of posts crack me up. Does *anyone* actually *need* a bike? No. Walking or running work fine. We *could* all be riding single speed beach cruisers! I think the average consumer is pretty smart at determining their need, and assessing the value of different features/materials/technologies.

And all my bicycle tools are pretty simple. Now I'm wondering what complicated tools I might be missing...and if they're available in a high-performance lightweight carbon version that cost more!
Right? By the logic of these types of threads we should all be content with our 16" screen B&W Zenith televisions and AM mono car radios.
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Old 06-29-21, 08:50 AM
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Many of the features on that 1978 steel road bike were once "innovations" designed for a "competitive edge," and there was some skeptic waxing nostalgic about how his 1935 ballooner was just as good.

And so it shall always be.
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Old 06-29-21, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
And all my bicycle tools are pretty simple. Now I'm wondering what complicated tools I might be missing...
I heard those newfangled "metric" wrenches and hex sockets are pretty complicated. After all, they build airplanes and rockets with them!
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Old 06-29-21, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Right? By the logic of these types of threads we should all be content with our 16" screen B&W Zenith televisions and AM mono car radios.
The difference in usability between a small CRT and say a 21-24 inch modern flatscreen is immediately apparent, nevermind the more serious issue of energy usage and the never quite settled x-ray concern that put several pounds of lead in the glass of each.

What aspect of an older steel frame bike comes close to that for an ordinary user? And if you do find something, what prevented that specific aspect from being addressed in isolation?

A lot of the features being pushed are more like the "smart TV" idea - which sounds great, but doesn't necessarily enhance most users experience over a chosen stand alone streaming box, creates vendor/provider lock in, makes you a data source, precludes maintainability, and creates many new often seen failure modes leading to embarrassingly short service life for the whole purchased product.

​​​​​One of the main thing to realize with the smart TV trend is that manufacturers do it as a distraction and to have something to "differentiate" when the process of showing pixels on glass is fairly consistent across brands within a given size and price tier. There may be differences a buyer should be paying attention to, but the smart features are a big dog-and-pony show distraction to keep attention away from matters of substance.
​​​​
So with a bike, what people should be asking is if it fits, has the gearing and can take the tires for their desired riding, then durability, parts standardization, if they're going to be able to self maintain or what that's going to cost. When was the last time feature-driven marketing wasn't designed specifically to conceal or even intentionally frustrate those last points?

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Old 06-29-21, 09:23 AM
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There will be new stuff coming & going in the market & it's a matter of preference if you like it or not, have a personal want/need for it, see the benefit in having it, the list goes on.

Biggest issue with "new" bicycle tech [innovation] is when it replaces something that is very similar to it predecessor [should it happen] . If a 11 speed E-shifting system took away entirely or made it severely hard to get the 11 speed cable shifting system, then there will be "war" .
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Old 06-29-21, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I'm not sure about that. People have been putting motors on bicycles ever since there were bicycles. The only innovation I see for e-bikes with the passing years is how much they try to disguise the fact they are e-bikes.

While I'm being snide in the remark, I also see the use for them. I've tried to talk my wife into getting an e-bike hoping maybe she'd enjoy riding the rolling terrain around us.
One could argue the advances in electric motors, but lithium ion batteries for consumer use is the real innovation. From iPhones to Teslas, Li-ion batteries have changed the world.

The only except might be professional cycling.

John
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Old 06-29-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Is a consumer better off riding a 1978 steel road bike that's maintainable with simple tools I bought 40 years ago? Is much of the recent "innovation" is a bad bargain for anyone not pushing a competitive racing edge. Eg, Is carbon anything as an anti-feature.​ ?
Define "better off".

Also, why do people keep talking about going faster as something you only need/want to do if you're racing?
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Old 06-29-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Also, why do people keep talking about going faster as something you only need/want to do if you're racing?
Most of going faster is training, next having a bike style suited to the riding (eg, if you want to go fast on roads a road bike not a hybrid)

This is theoretically 1% faster than that stuff is just pointless for the average person.

If it also makes total cost of ownership more expensive, it's a bad deal.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-29-21 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:42 AM
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The innovation that has really benefitted the average rider is index shifting, especially being able to shift while keeping your hands on the handlebar. Partnered with shifting aids, it takes the lowest level of skill to operate.

I remember when Shimano came out with SIS. One of the negative aspects for professional riders was the loud click of the DA 7400 shifters. I had a set of 7401 shifters and they were so loud on a quiet route you could probably hear the click for an eighth of a mile. No sneaking up with those.

But my younger self did enjoy those times of trying catching up to someone knowing those shift clicks were heard coming up… lol.

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Old 06-29-21, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Most of going faster is training, next having a bike style suited to the riding.

This is theoretically 1% faster than that stuff is just pointless for the average person.

If it also makes total cost of ownership more expensive, it's a bad deal.
I've posted on other threads about my 25.5 mile midweek route, which I've ridden with 7 different bikes now. There's 4 minutes difference in best time between my newest bike (2020) and my oldest (1982). Same route, same rider, similar effort (based solely on HR, since they don't make power meters for Dura Ace 7200 cranks). Basically a 5% difference.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:49 AM
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I suspect each of us thinks that forty years of innovation and who knows what expense yielding a 4-minute difference after 25 miles rather makes their point.

That's what, bad timing luck at two traffic lights?
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Old 06-29-21, 09:58 AM
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Some of the innovation may have inspired folks to go to a modern road bicycle whereas they might have not done so if the styling didn't change. Looks can go a long way for gaining new interest imo. How many actually prefer the newer look of threadless stems vs the legacy stuff?
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Old 06-29-21, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
The innovation that has really benefitted the average rider is index shifting, especially being able to shift while keeping your hands on the handlebar. Partnered with shifting aids, it takes the lowest level of skill to operate.
Moving the shifting mechanisms from the downtube to the bars is the kind of simple, low consequence thing that could be done in isolation.

Index shifting on the other hand - it might lower rider skill needs a tiny bit, but it's also another dimension that now needs to be kept in adjustment sending the bike to the shop. Most consumers wouldn't dare touch those screws.

But even if it's on your worthwhile list, it's again an inexpensive to initially implement, isolated change.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I suspect each of us thinks that forty years of innovation and who knows what expense yielding a 4-minute difference after 25 miles rather makes their point.

That's what, bad timing luck at two traffic lights?
If there were lights on the route, which there aren't.

Basically the older bike is not as fast as the newer bike. It's also a bit less comfortable, doesn't brake as well, and requires more tweaking. AND with friction shifters, more fiddling while riding. Now, clearly since they're BOTH my own bikes, I like them both, and enjoy riding both. But one of them is faster and more capable in more situations. I would not take the 1982 bike up a big climb or down a technical descent, for example - not enough gears for the former, not enough brakes for the latter.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:02 AM
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One more thing about index shifting. In 1986 my wife and I got new road bikes. I found a shop that happened to have the 600 SIS 6 speed index system and had it installed on her new Univega. Even though she had used friction in the past, index shifting was so much better for her.

As for myself, 2015 was the year I retired my retro-friction shifters for the 7401 index shifters. While nothing is better than a perfectly seamless friction shift, knowing a downshift without pedal pressure was correct when coming up from an underpass was more than worth it.

If 1978 is the dividing line. There is a whole bunch of stuff that is being used by average riders.

Don’t even start on the impact of suspension on the sport of mountain biking.

John

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Old 06-29-21, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Right? By the logic of these types of threads we should all be content with our 16" screen B&W Zenith televisions and AM mono car radios.
We could still be using flint lock pistols and blunderbusses, too, but that's not the point of his question. I think it's more the line of; is what was out there good enough? Why the constant need of improving, or "improving"? At what point has it just gotten too much, there are refridgerators out there you could probably play Skyrim or Runescape on.A fridge has one, maybe two jobs, and it really only needs to do one; keep things cold, not despense water or hop on Facebook.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:08 AM
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Having ridden bikes since the mid 70s, I prefer how modern bikes ride even if they are a little less "simple". You don't need to be a racer to benefit from lighter, stiffer frames etc. You just need to choose the right type of bike for your needs and there's a lot more variety these days. For me a modern endurance road bike is the best option for most of my road riding. Of all the road bike developments I've seen since the 70s, tyres are probably the most significant upgrade, but pretty much everything else is better too. I certainly wouldn't call 1978 the pinnacle of bicycle development. It would also be a bit odd to limit development around the use of a 40 year old tool set! The only things I'm not 100% sold on are fully integrated cable routing and press-fit BBs.
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