Re: brave new world...
- From: Ryan Cousineau <rcousine@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 04:03:31 GMT
In article <2aub94prpt01nnh9a56vn3a3ngi70vsql7@xxxxxxx>,
On Sun, 03 Aug 2008 18:00:30 GMT, Ryan Cousineau <rcousine@xxxxxxxxx>
In article <g74bck$1pt1$2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Zog The Undeniable <hrothgar19@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Crescentius Vespasianus wrote:
We are entering a brave new world in cycling, where all that came before
can now be forgotten. Electronic shifting, and Looks new BB50 shell
are just the tip of the iceberg. Massive cranks, with spindles as wide
as baseball bats, integrated bb's with bearings the size of marbles. And
all of this is controlled by electronic shifters, guided by integrated
GPS units. Not that long ago, innovation was defined by how many spokes
you could remove from the wheel, without the wheel collapsing.
Remember Sheldon Brown's one spoke wheel, in his spoof of the
engineering of that day. Forget the mistakes of the past, now that the
price point is up, real engineers are now designing how we will ride in
the future. Are you ready to face this brave new world?
No. There wasn't anything wrong with the old stuff, except maybe quill
stems. I'm sure there was a point (about 1980) when we actually had
standards and virtually everything was interchangeable - now it's a
bugger's muddle, as they say in the north of England.
Someone's going to correct me, but here are what I think would have been
the standards that were alive in 1980. Note that I've also listed bits
that might have already been obsolescent, but were closer to being alive
than they are today:
-Italian, Raleigh and ISO BBs. French or Swiss?
-Japanese, French, and ISO forks and headsets
-25.4, 26.0. and 31.8 handlebars
-wheels: 27", 700C, 26", plus about a dozen different standards used on
city bikes around the world, plus another dozen small-wheel standards
for kids bikes and such.
-two semi-compatible square-taper spindle standards, plus whatever was
left of cottered cranks
I'd say the BB situation today is arguably better. Italian is a small
part of the market, Raleigh, French, and Swiss are dead. Cannondale has
made its BB30 standard openly available, and Trek and Look are,
admittedly, offering proprietary BBs, but only on their very high-end
bikes. Pinarello MOst died on the vine; don't be fooled by MOst XC or
whatever they're selling now, it's just an Italian BB again.
I'd say the headset situation is both better and worse. Japanese and
French are gone, but integrated headsets are standards-crazy.
Handlebars? Probably better. Both road and MTB bikes are moving to the
31.0 standard, with all others looking to become obsolete.
As for spindles, the complete integration of crank and spindle has
(depending on your viewpoint) either made this situation much better or
Three additions rather than corrections.
Axles and cones.
This will never be good, but the choice now seems to be Shimano, Campy,
or a bunch of readily available (from SKF-type bearing vendors)
cartridge bearing sizes.
Seat post diameters.
I can't decide if seat post diameters have gotten better, worse, or
about the same. It seems like there is a bit more standardization, but
not so anyone would notice.
It's hard to mount a clincher tire on a tubular rim, and vice-versa.
Again, I doubt the situation is much different. It used to be that
racers would run tubulars, with most other riders running clinchers.
I suspect fewer low-category racers are riding tubies, and virtually no
"casual" riders do so today (unless they got into the sport a long time
ago), but the small weight advantage of tubulars persists, and so do
their use, and if anything, the rise of cyclocross in North America has
meant a resurgence of interest in tubulars.
Meanwhile, tubeless tires are becoming quite popular with the XC
mountain bike racing crowd, and one of these days Shimano may end up
convincing the world to use them on the road, too. At least the current
tubular rims can all be retrofit to normal clinchers.
So I'd say that while clinchers are an easy choice today, tubies are
here for a while longer.
Compared to mountain bikers, though, roadies are pikers when it comes to
making up new standards to fit their new problems. There are at least
three competing standards for front and rear axles (through-axles at the
front, various innovations at the rear to make the wheel stronger or
accomodate a suspension pivot centred on the rear axle), a 1.5" headset
standard, the E-type derailer mount, the ISCG mount, and on top of that,
they seem to have inherited most of the worst road-bike neo-standards.
At least the MTBers seem to genuinely standardize on a lot of this stuff
rather than invent three different solutions.
Oh yeah, and they've seen both V-brakes, which obsoleted old brake
levers, and disc brakes, which now feature two competing brake mounts
and two competing disc mounts (4-bolt Formula having been consigned to
the dustbin of history).
I'd love to envision an eventual period of fallout and stasis at which
point most key bike dimensions will be standardized for a reasonable
amount of time, but I think the only part of me that believes in such a
possibility is very naive. Even if, say, BB30 decisively wins the war to
be the new BB standard, how long before some company decides that BB60
will let them make a slightly lighter bike with a slightly stiffer
Interestingly, there's one place that seems to be "under-renewed,"
standards-wise: the pedal interface. Shimano AX was a big bust. Jobst
has proposed the conical interface for years without creating any
obvious interest. And Look seems to have invented a pedal-crank
interface that is for them and them alone.
So how long can crank and pedal makers resist the siren call of a
revised interface? The obvious design goal would be to make the
interface big and secure enough to make a Ti spindle a viable choice, or
(even more daring!) aluminum.
Ryan Cousineau rcousine@xxxxxxxxx http://www.wiredcola.com/
"In other newsgroups, they killfile trolls."
"In rec.bicycles.racing, we coach them."
- Re: brave new world...
- From: A Muzi
- Re: brave new world...
- Prev by Date: Re: Disc brakes on tandem - warped!
- Next by Date: Re: Source for eccentric bb that fits English-threaded frame?
- Previous by thread: Re: brave new world...
- Next by thread: Re: brave new world...