Additional Gearing Worth it?



Nate Knutson wrote:

> One really big advantage of modern stuff is that freehubs solved the
> problem of bent axles. The importance of this is again debatable. I
> wasn't around when freewheels were the norm and have no doubt that
> serious, smart cyclists can get along fine without bending axles
> regularly. They'll also be riding quality axles. However, for the most
> part, bent axles on common freewheel hubs is a huge, ubiquitous
> problem. And how exactly touring with weight or mountain biking on a
> non-Phil freewheel hub without trashing the axle is supposed to work is
> something I still haven't figured out.


Bending freewheel axles was a real problem. It still is, even quality
axles - I broke a Wheels Mfg axle a month ago. This was a 3-4 year old
replacement for an OE Shimano axle that, you guessed it, broke. On a
7 speed bike, nothing extraordinary. Axles bend and break from fatigue
from pedaling loads, not solely from impacts - I've broken axles on
commuter bikes, not on MTBs, because the commuters get more miles.
IME a 7 speed freewheel axle is at the margin of reliability for a
175 lb rider (I climb and stand a lot, which doesn't help). Serious
or smart cyclists are just as vulnerable, because quantity of ordinary
riding does the axle in, as much as or more than hucking.

I also like that cassettes are easier to remove from the hub than
freewheels.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 07:12:41 -0800, bill wrote:

> It is ridiculous overkill. And if you use the new equipment, you have
> to keep it in perfect adjustment or it does not work at all.


Nonsense. I haven't had to adjust anything in 2 years, and I ride 100-200
miles a week in rain, snow, salt, mud, and whatever else. All I do is
clean and relube as needed, and replace cable housings when they get
sticky. This is the only time anything shifting-related ever needs
"adjustment," unless something gets bumped or whacked.

Matt O.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 01:27:12 -0600, A Muzi wrote:

> John L. Lucci wrote:


>> I was wondering what the consensus was on the trend for bicycle and
>> component manufacturers to increase the number of gearing combinations
>> on today's new bikes. Is it worth it to have a 10 speed cassette on
>> the rear and triple chain wheels on the front? How does it stack up in
>> shift reliability compared to the classic 2 X 6 of the late 80s bikes?


> There's no magic to it. As a 2x6 guy myself, I like my 17 and an 18
> together. 15-17-19 didn't work for me.
>
> On a new bike with 30 selections, gearing gaps are just not a problem.
> Older riders report they like not having to plan a shift - there's
> always another available on a new machine.


Yes.

If you have a modern triple you can shift the front as easily as
the rear. Big shift front, little one back, as Shimano's designers
intended (I discussed this with one of them). Bikes work best when you
don't have to think about them. In fact this applies to all equipment.

> One might say that if you have the gears you need (my three speed does,
> for the riding I do with it), there's no need to carry more along.
>
> Negatives? There's not much downside on a new vehicle - it costs very
> little to add a few extra choices and the marketing guys know how to run
> with that concept. Sure skinny chain wears faster. But then again all
> modern chain wears faster, they are made differently now. That's a very
> very small point in this broad subject.
>
> New stuff works. Old stuff works. We build with new and we build with
> NOS vintage. But for most riders with typical riding habits, a modern
> 3x10 is reasonable, useful, available, affordable. Ride one and write
> back!


I'm with Andrew on this. For me 10s chains are still too expensive.
Otherwise why not. IMO 7 speeds was better than 6, but 8 wasn't really
any better than 7, and wheels got weaker with that. Other than that I
like my 9s Shimano bike just fine -- a lot better than the 6s Suntour
bike I had before it.

Bearings are much better sealed than they used to be, which cuts
maintenance tremendously. This is a good argument for a 9s mountain bike
hubs, for example, vs. the 7s ones which had lousy seals. The new stuff
is better in every other way. It happens to have more gears.

That isn't to say the old stuff didn't work fine too.

Matt O.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 02:50:39 -0800, Ron Ruff wrote:

> Freehubs didn't solve any problems that couldn't have been solved in
> other (better) ways.


Do you really want to go back to removing stuck freewheels? I can remove
my cassette and take my entire rear hub apart in a couple of minutes.

Matt O.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 13:49:56 +0000, Helmut Springer wrote:

> John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> wrote:


>> Is that more than a theoretical issue -- that is, in practice do
>> they ever break or bend? I've been using Shimano freehubs for 13
>> or 15 years with no problems.


I've had two fail on me, but not at the axle.

> Tandems kill standard freehubs easily with their high torque, the
> axle usually survives (for Huegi it migt bend sufficiently to let
> the ratched fail but still survives).


Do Hugi hubs have axle-bend problems? The axle is thickened to prevent
this, with normal diameter ends to fit in the dropouts.

Matt O.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 00:01:29 -0800, joseph.santaniello wrote:

> But in my opinion it is the brifters that make more of a difference
> between an old bike and a new one.


As someone else pointed out, modern brifters are a lot more
comfortable to hold onto than old brake levers were. And you don't have
to keep replacing those stupid gum rubber hoods.

I sure like being able to shift while standing, and to carry tall gears
before a hill then gear down at the last second.

As a seasoned mountain biker I shift more than most roadies, and I
take better advantage of small undulations in terrain. I can
actually beat some riders who are stronger than me because of this. A few
yards here and there can really add up. As I ride alongside other people
I'm often wondering why they don't shift.

I can't imagine trying to race without brifters these days, although I
know a few racers who do pretty well with barends. However one of them
keeps crashing in crits.

Matt O.
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:


[...]

> As a seasoned mountain biker I shift more than most roadies, and I
> take better advantage of small undulations in terrain. I can
> actually beat some riders who are stronger than me because of this. A few
> yards here and there can really add up. As I ride alongside other people
> I'm often wondering why they don't shift.


I carry many closely spaced gears, and use them; dialing
in exactly the right gear when desired.

The reason that I do _not_ shift is that shifting requires
effort to readjust my cadence. It is easier to stay in the
one gear until the grade changes so much that it is less
energy to change gears and readjust cadence. In a word, I
do not change gears because I am lazy.

--
Michael Press
 
H

Helmut Springer

Guest
Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 13:49:56 +0000, Helmut Springer wrote:
>> Tandems kill standard freehubs easily with their high torque, the
>> axle usually survives (for Huegi it migt bend sufficiently to let
>> the ratched fail but still survives).

>
> Do Hugi hubs have axle-bend problems? The axle is thickened to
> prevent this, with normal diameter ends to fit in the dropouts.


The Huegi tandem hub features a 10mm steel axle and the ratchet
freehub. Sufficiently strong tandem teams (resp. sufficiently low
gearing) manage to bend the axle far enough to have the ratchet
mechanism fail, we had several reports on the German tandem list.
At the time I asked Huegi why they were not using the oversized
aluminium axle they answered that it would not be stiffer than the
steel one. That was ~3 years ago, did they change it?

--
MfG/Best regards
helmut springer
 
H

Helmut Springer

Guest
Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
> As someone else pointed out, modern brifters are a lot more
> comfortable to hold onto than old brake levers were.


That calls for the comment that I prefer classical "aero" brake
levers, obviously YMMV 8)


> And you don't have to keep replacing those stupid gum rubber
> hoods.


Recent brake levers feature modern material hoods.

--
MfG/Best regards
helmut springer
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 00:57:07 -0500, Matt O'Toole
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 13:49:56 +0000, Helmut Springer wrote:
>
>> John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>>> Is that more than a theoretical issue -- that is, in practice do
>>> they ever break or bend? I've been using Shimano freehubs for 13
>>> or 15 years with no problems.

>
>I've had two fail on me, but not at the axle.


Yes, I meant problems with the axles, not other stuff.

JT

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J

Jeff Starr

Guest
On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 00:31:50 -0500, Matt O'Toole
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 07:12:41 -0800, bill wrote:
>
>> It is ridiculous overkill. And if you use the new equipment, you have
>> to keep it in perfect adjustment or it does not work at all.

>
>Nonsense. I haven't had to adjust anything in 2 years, and I ride 100-200
>miles a week in rain, snow, salt, mud, and whatever else. All I do is
>clean and relube as needed, and replace cable housings when they get
>sticky. This is the only time anything shifting-related ever needs
>"adjustment," unless something gets bumped or whacked.
>
>Matt O.
>


I agree, very easy to adjust and seldom needs any readjustment.

And usually if it does need any attention, it is cable related,
generally after a cable replacement. Once everything is seated
properly, it stays that way.

Of course the above is based on my somewhat limited experience with
Shimano9-speed components, both low end Tiagra and Dura-Ace.

Between Sheldon Brown, Park Tool, other online intel, and the info
instruction sheets that come with new components, anyone with basic
mechanical abilities, can maintain there own bike.


Life is Good!
Jeff
 

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