Another request for a recommendation!

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Alex Veitch, Jun 4, 2003.

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  1. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> Heavy and sluggish
    >
    > Ah, the CTC mag's last issue actually extolled the virtues of a raodster in traffic in an answer
    > to one of Guy's epistles on the letters page, so you disagree with the editor of that as well as
    > me. Heavy is not actually necessarily the same as sluggish (ask my friends who go out for a day
    > with a guy on a bike weighing over 40 lbs).

    It is so very obvious to me that roadsters are much more sluggish than MTB's that I can't even be
    bothered to argue the point. Apart from other factors, weight is a real factor when accelerating
    and handling the bike in traffic. I don't subscribe to the CTC and am hardly encourged to any
    more so now.

    Regarding image again: Yes, it takes a while for new and unusual bikes (or anything) to gain a good
    public image, but if they're genuinely good for the people, they would soon become "cool".

    > > - especially up hills
    >
    > There's no shortage of good hills round here, one of the busier ones has a god 40m of ascent on it
    > on the OS map and I often see a chap who's well past 70 and looks like a textbook frail old geezer
    > headed up without any obvious trouble on his old roadster (with hub gears and chaincase).

    He's obviously not as frail as he looks. I've ridden these sort of bikes and know what they're like.

    > Since they're so conservative on the continent that must account for Germany and the NL being the
    > main centres of recumbent use.

    The majority of ordinary people there don't use bents.

    > Do you really think they're afraid of MTBs or they're not available there?

    Probably the former, and don't know about the latter. And they're happier to ride more sluggish
    bikes because they're in a nicer country! :)

    ~PB
     


  2. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Thu, 05 Jun 2003 20:42:33 GMT, "Tenex" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >James Hodson wrote:
    >> Evans cycles seem to have a reasonably good selection of "last years" bikes for reasonable
    >> prices. They do appear to stock bikes made by all the usual suspects.
    >
    >Very limited actually, a lot are womens only or only the smaller frames.
    >

    Tenex

    Having found an old (2001) Evans catalogue, I'd be inclined to agree with you.

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Dscf0632.jpg
     
  3. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

  4. "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]central.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > You can even put flat bars on a Galaxy and make it into a hybrid if you want. Oops! Flameproof
    > suit on...

    I did that in 1987. Still riding it.
     
  5. Tenex

    Tenex Guest

    James Hodson wrote:
    > Tenex
    >
    > Having found an old (2001) Evans catalogue, I'd be inclined to agree with you.
    >
    > James

    Yes, tried to find a couple and they were all the wrong size/gender. Not much around anywhere.
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > It is so very obvious to me that roadsters are much more sluggish than MTB's that I can't even be
    > bothered to argue the point.

    If you made a raodster with an aluminium frame and plastic chaincase it wouldn't be nearly as heavy,
    give it a Nexus 7 and your gear problems have gone, and still nobody here would ride it.

    In the new issue of VeloVision there's a piece on London cycling initiatives. In it TfL report a
    finding that in their research 38% of non-cyclists wouldn't cycle because they thought their friends
    would laugh at them (on *any* bike). This reinforces my opinion that as a nation the British have
    far too much of our attention on image and nothing approaching a utility cycling culture.

    > Regarding image again: Yes, it takes a while for new and unusual bikes (or anything) to gain a
    > good public image, but if they're genuinely good for the people, they would soon become "cool".

    Sorry, this is nonsense. To persuade me otherwise, tell me what's so genuinely good and useful about
    huge 4x4s as urban vehicles and flares for trousers. Both are popular, both are cool, neither are
    practical or sensible. As a finale, go on to tell me why we all need picture message mobile 'phones.

    > He's obviously not as frail as he looks. I've ridden these sort of bikes and know what
    > they're like.

    But as I said, you can lighten them quite a bit and improve the gearing and nobody much would ride
    them because they look "quaint". Looks really are important. If you don't think so, check out those
    38% of Londoners who think *any* bike will cause them to be laughed at.

    > The majority of ordinary people there don't use bents.

    No, but there's 20,000 on the roads already in the NL and sales and choice are increasing all the
    time. People here won't even consider them because they look too different (this statistic based on
    what lots of people asking about mine tell me). They're relatively unusual on the continent but
    where there's a cycling culture they're not laughed at.

    [MTBs on the continent]
    > Probably the former, and don't know about the latter.

    Not the former (afraid), not the latter (available).

    > And they're happier to ride more sluggish bikes because they're in a nicer country! :)

    And because they don't have to spend the time they've gained cleaning the transmission or putting
    twice as many locks on because their bike is a thief magnet.

    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > The roadster has a more limited number of applications and isn't good at what many UK users want
    > to do (including ride up hills), and is mainly regarded as uncool for those reasons.

    No, it's mainly regarded as uncool because, as Arthur said, it's seen as an "old man's bike". Just
    as with our Raleigh "racers" when I was a kid, having the Right Thing to be Seen With is what people
    want to do more than any riding considerations in a lot of cases.

    Bikes with the seat a foot too low are appalling to ride *anywhere* if you're not stood up, yet
    saddles a foot too low are what kids and teenagers are riding about on now because it makes them
    look like trick bikes (and even when they *are* trick bikes all it would take would be a QR seatpost
    bolt and they could ride around far more easily between jumping up and down steps).

    Cool has *very* little to do with functionality these days. The fact that cool is linked to the
    fashion business tells you everything you need to know that that statement is true.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  8. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    : It is so very obvious to me that roadsters are much more sluggish than MTB's that I can't even be
    : bothered to argue the point. Apart from other

    I very really disagree with you on technical points, but I'm going to differ here.

    The thing is we're not comparing a "nice" mtb to a roadster here. Look at what most people ride
    round town - it's a £99 - £199 MTB-like with full-suspension and (seemingly) made out of cast iron.

    There's a while bunch of people cycle to work in my building. I have to be careful how I lift some
    of their bikes! (ok, so that's an exageration, but not much). I'm amazed at how much these things
    way. Add in 2" knobbly tires underinflated and a roadster would be loads quicker.

    Of course, I rode the MTB in today :) But mine cost £800 and has semi-slicks on for commuting. Not
    what most people buy.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  9. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > The thing is we're not comparing a "nice" mtb to a roadster here. Look at what most people ride
    > round town - it's a =A399 - =A3199 MTB-like wi=
    th
    > full-suspension and (seemingly) made out of cast iron.

    And there's the converse case too. Just as there are nice MTBs in good=20 repair and appalling
    gaspipe clunkers with rusty chains the same will be =

    true for roadsters, and saying "I rode one and it was horrible" isn't=20 really good enough evidence
    to damn roadsters to the dustbin of history.

    And just because the basic *design* hasn't altered since the year dot=20 doesn't mean the
    implementation is always prehistoric as well. It's an=20 old design because, like "primitive"
    sharks, it simply works well enough =

    as it is.

    > Of course, I rode the MTB in today :) But mine cost =A3800 and has semi-slicks on for commuting.
    > Not what most people buy.

    and here we see the problem in part as the UK's non-culture of cycling=20 thinking that =A3800 is an
    insane quantity of money to pay for a "mere"=20 bike. c.f. other threads for how much people are
    quite willing to pay=20 on petrol in a year... And what money people do spend will often be on=20
    image-based stuff like disc brakes and full sus rather than something=20 simple yet well made (which
    could be a MTB, but it's now far harder to=20 find a simple, good rigid bike at a low price point
    because they've=20 almost all got "me too" cheaper-than-budget bouncy suspension forks with =

    loadsatravel :-(

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Pete Biggs wrote:
    >
    >> It is so very obvious to me that roadsters are much more sluggish than MTB's that I can't even be
    >> bothered to argue the point.
    >
    > If you made a raodster with an aluminium frame and plastic chaincase it wouldn't be nearly as
    > heavy, give it a Nexus 7 and your gear problems have gone, and still nobody here would ride it.

    I diagree. Bike still wouldn't be as good, IMO, but quite a few (more) would ride them. I see a fair
    number of roadsters in London along with reasonably sensibly setup mountain bikes.

    > In the new issue of VeloVision there's a piece on London cycling initiatives. In it TfL report a
    > finding that in their research 38% of non-cyclists wouldn't cycle because they thought their
    > friends would laugh at them (on *any* bike). This reinforces my opinion that as a nation the
    > British have far too much of our attention on image and nothing approaching a utility cycling
    > culture.

    I can well beleive that (and it is sad) but that still leaves an awful lot of people (including
    existing cyclists) to whom image is not a /massive/ factor when it comes to choosing a bike. I do
    agree that the image is part of it, but there are more subsatntial reasons behind why certain bikes
    and even cycling is not popular here. If cycling was easier/better in this countty now, then it
    would not be seen as so laughable.

    >> Regarding image again: Yes, it takes a while for new and unusual bikes (or anything) to gain a
    >> good public image, but if they're genuinely good for the people, they would soon become "cool".
    >
    > Sorry, this is nonsense.

    No it's not - except "soon" might have been putting it too strongly.

    > To persuade me otherwise, tell me what's so genuinely good and useful about huge 4x4s as urban
    > vehicles and flares for trousers. Both are popular, both are cool, neither are practical or
    > sensible.

    MTB's have been popular for too long to call them a fad - over 20 years. Longer than the current
    type of 4x4's and longer than each session of flares-wearing. In any case, (I don't like them but),
    we do have to admit that 4x4's have a certain amount of practicality.

    > As a finale, go on to tell me why we all need picture message mobile 'phones.

    If we don't need 'em, they won't last.

    >> The majority of ordinary people there don't use bents.
    >
    > No, but there's 20,000 on the roads already in the NL and sales and choice are increasing all the
    > time. People here won't even consider them because they look too different (this statistic based
    > on what lots of people asking about mine tell me). They're relatively unusual on the continent but
    > where there's a cycling culture they're not laughed at.

    There was, of course, a huge cycling culture in the UK before as well, in decades gone by. Things
    would have to change for it return - and I don't mean people's fashion attitudes. There are real
    reasons why British people don't cycle and we as a nation should try an work out what they are, not
    just dismiss the general public as being "daft" or too fashion concious. That's too easy and wrong.

    ~PB
     
  11. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> The roadster has a more limited number of applications and isn't good at what many UK users want
    >> to do (including ride up hills), and is mainly regarded as uncool for those reasons.
    >
    > No, it's mainly regarded as uncool because, as Arthur said, it's seen as an "old man's bike".

    That only the superficial level. Yes, it's seen as an old man's bike because newer technology as
    come along. On a deeper sub-consious level, the people _know_ they don't or won't ride as well.

    > Bikes with the seat a foot too low are appalling to ride *anywhere* if you're not stood up, yet
    > saddles a foot too low are what kids and teenagers are riding about on now because it makes them
    > look like trick bikes (and even when they *are* trick bikes all it would take would be a QR
    > seatpost bolt and they could ride around far more easily between jumping up and down steps).

    The people going around with saddle a foot too low I see ARE the kids hanging around and messing
    about - and they're fine like it. The vast majority of ordinary cyclists going from A to B have
    they're saddles at a reasonable height, and cycle perfectlly alright for the kind of distances and
    speeds they want to do.

    > Cool has *very* little to do with functionality these days. The fact that cool is linked to the
    > fashion business tells you everything you need to know that that statement is true.

    Silly fashions don't last long at all. Mountain bikes have been around for quite some time now.

    ~PB
     
  12. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > The thing is we're not comparing a "nice" mtb to a roadster here. Look at what most people
    > ride round town - it's a £99 - £199 MTB-like with full-suspension and (seemingly) made out of
    > cast iron.

    That's not what I see in London - where there are many thousands of cyclists using mountain bikes.
    Still the majority are rigid MTB's (many with reasonably sensible tyres, and some with mudguards and
    racks). Aluminium frames now make them a bit lighter. Admitedly, the newer ones tend to have sus
    forks, but I don't see all that many with full sus. Suspension will become more common - and my
    opinions may change then. Hopefully, though, the suspension technology will improve - even at the
    cheap end of the market - and it eventually won't be a real hindrance on the road.

    ~PB
     
  13. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > And there's the converse case too. Just as there are nice MTBs in good repair and appalling
    > gaspipe clunkers with rusty chains the same will be true for roadsters, and saying "I rode one and
    > it was horrible" isn't really good enough evidence to damn roadsters to the dustbin of history.

    I've ridden roadsters in a good state of repair and of reasonable quality (including modern ones)
    and they're still not as good as MTB's for the average current MTB user, IMO.

    Just because I've been so defensive about MTB's doesn't mean I completely condemn roadsters, nothing
    like it. I think they're fine bikes for a certain proportion of people (and I pursuaded my mum to
    get one!). They are AT LEAST good for those riding short distances on flat roads who don't like to
    manage derailleur gears or any maintenance.

    ~PB
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    >
    > I diagree. Bike still wouldn't be as good, IMO, but quite a few (more) would ride them. I see a
    > fair number of roadsters in London

    Then how come you say nobody rides them because they're no good and can't cope with Greater London
    because it isn't flat? You can't have it both ways! And why would a light frame roadster with a 7
    speed hub be inferior to a fair MTB? Because it doesn't have gears capable of winching it up a 1 in
    4 on marginal terrain? Because the riding position gives you a better view of the traffic and makes
    checking behind easier? Because the chain gets covered in crap more readily, and uses a gear system
    which accelerates wear?

    > I can well beleive that (and it is sad) but that still leaves an awful lot of people (including
    > existing cyclists) to whom image is not a /massive/ factor when it comes to choosing a bike. I do
    > agree that the image is part of it, but there are more subsatntial reasons behind why certain
    > bikes and even cycling is not popular here. If cycling was easier/better in this countty now, then
    > it would not be seen as so laughable.

    An obvious counter example to this is Micheal Mac. who pointed out he saw the Trek Navigator as
    "uncool". It has derailleurs, it's reasonably light with an Al frame but he says he wouldn't want to
    ride one because it's the sort of thing he'd expect an aged aunt to ride based on its looks. That's
    the sort of thing I mean.

    I think you're kidding yourself about the extent to which image is [not] a factor, to be honest.

    > MTB's have been popular for too long to call them a fad - over 20 years. Longer than the current
    > type of 4x4's and longer than each session of flares-wearing. In any case, (I don't like them
    > but), we do have to admit that 4x4's have a certain amount of practicality.

    Oh yes, and what would that be to your typical Londoner? I can't think of many reasons why you'd
    want an oversized machine with high insurance and an oversized engine to work crowded streets. I'd
    probably want one if I lived up a glen where the gritters didn't always get to, but not many people
    do. I'm not saying MTBs are fad that will pass, I'm saying they're the default choice based on image
    rather than practicality. If you don't like the examples so far, let's go to jeans. They were
    designed for cheap, low tech mining wear that could be assembled cheaply and easily (hence the
    rivets). Compared to alternatives today they are hopeless in wet weather (wet out fast, hold water,
    take ages to dry, are hideous when wet), relatively awkward to wash and dry, not very colour-fast
    and are thick and heavy enough to restrict movement to a fair degree. And practically everybody not
    only wears them but deludes themself they're the most comfortable thing they could wear. Though tear
    strength is good they don't actually wear very well in terms of long term abrasion. In short, we can
    not only do much better but we already have, but it hasn't dented the jeans market, because jeans
    are accepted as cool and as being great casual wear completely irrespective of their actual
    performance..

    > There was, of course, a huge cycling culture in the UK before as well, in decades gone by.
    > Things would have to change for it return - and I don't mean people's fashion attitudes. There
    > are real reasons why British people don't cycle and we as a nation should try an work out what
    > they are, not just dismiss the general public as being "daft" or too fashion concious. That's
    > too easy and wrong.

    It's because for years cycling has been seen as a 2nd rate alternative to cars. i.e., it has a bad
    image. Note that image and fashion are not interchangeable terms, though they are related. The same
    VV piece on London cycling has Ken saying that they'd have to chip away with small increases for
    quite a while yet for the social acceptance of cycling to reach a critical point. Sound like he's on
    the money to me. And frankly the general public is daft. And I say that as a member of the general
    public. I know full well a lot of my cycle choices have been based on image to a fair degree
    (including the "I don't buy into image, I'm only interested in performance" image, which is not only
    an image but an image that is actively exploited by quite a lot of marketing).

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    > Just because I've been so defensive about MTB's doesn't mean I completely condemn roadsters,
    > nothing like it. I think they're fine bikes for a certain proportion of people (and I pursuaded my
    > mum to get one!).

    Note. One big selling point was the "step-through" frame with a very, very low top tube. Most
    cyclists don't require this.

    ~PB
     
  16. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> I diagree. Bike still wouldn't be as good, IMO, but quite a few (more) would ride them. I see a
    >> fair number of roadsters in London
    >
    > Then how come you say nobody rides them because they're no good

    I did not say nobody rides them. I did not say they are no good.

    > and can't cope with Greater London because it isn't flat?

    Central London and parts of greater London are flat or don't have steep hills.

    > You can't have it both ways!

    Come off it, you're not that simple. Each type of bike has pros & cons. My point was that the cons
    outweigh the pros for the majority of current UK MTB users.

    > And why would a light frame roadster with a 7 speed hub be inferior to a fair MTB? Because it
    > doesn't have gears capable of winching it up a 1 in 4 on marginal terrain?

    The bottom gear on a typical bike with 7sp Nexus is not low enough to comfortably climb many hills
    in Greater London. I know because I've tried.

    MTB's are also easier to accelerate and handle, IME.

    > Because the riding position gives you a better view of the traffic and makes checking behind
    > easier? Because the chain gets covered in crap more readily, and uses a gear system which
    > accelerates wear?

    You have to wonder why couriers use the bikes they do. And it's not because of the image.

    >> I can well beleive that (and it is sad) but that still leaves an awful lot of people (including
    >> existing cyclists) to whom image is not a /massive/ factor when it comes to choosing a bike. I do
    >> agree that the image is part of it, but there are more subsatntial reasons behind why certain
    >> bikes and even cycling is not popular here. If cycling was easier/better in this countty now,
    >> then it would not be seen as so laughable.
    >
    > An obvious counter example to this is Micheal Mac. who pointed out he saw the Trek Navigator as
    > "uncool". It has derailleurs, it's reasonably light with an Al frame but he says he wouldn't want
    > to ride one because it's the sort of thing he'd expect an aged aunt to ride based on its looks.
    > That's the sort of thing I mean.
    >
    > I think you're kidding yourself about the extent to which image is [not] a factor, to be honest.

    I think you are being too far cynical and bitter and not thinking deeply enough why things have the
    "image" they do.

    re: jeans: They're very comfortable after worn-in, very hard wearing and cheap, pros outweigh
    the cons. A mega highly practical trouser! Next, you'll be telling me sandals are good in the
    winter! :)

    /snip
    > And frankly the general public is daft.

    That's where we disagree.

    ~PB
     
  17. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > That only the superficial level. Yes, it's seen as an old man's bike because newer technology as
    > come along. On a deeper sub-consious level, the people _know_ they don't or won't ride as well.

    Then they're wrong. A roadster may typically have a Brooks saddle on, which when compared to the
    squidgy gel "comfort" saddles that are the default now on most cheap bikes, are *far* more
    comfortable. What % of people buying their new cheap MTBs would take a Brooks as even a no-cost
    option against a vanilla gel saddle for urban riding if you'd offered it to them today, do you
    think? I'd guess at around 0%, because these days enthusiastic advocates of new technology *know*
    that gel must be better than unpadded leather with a big pair of back-to-the-ark coild springs,
    right? Given the basic similarity of diamond frame bikes the difference between an MTB and a
    roadster, assuming each is a decent specimen, is a chaincase, a hub rather than a derailleur, a
    single chainwheel rather than 3, and a more upright position with a sprung saddle. And that's
    it. What is it about that that makes up for "won't or don't ride as well", especially in an
    urban context?

    > The people going around with saddle a foot too low I see ARE the kids hanging around and messing
    > about - and they're fine like it.

    They're fine when they're messing about. I also see them riding to and from the messing about where
    it isn't helpful at all, but they're still more into looking the look than making their life easier.
    Because looking the look is primarily what the bike is about for them.

    > Silly fashions don't last long at all. Mountain bikes have been around for quite some time now.

    Like jeans, they're used for utility purposes. Like jeans, that doesn't mean they're the best things
    for the job, just that they will do it okay.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  18. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > The bottom gear on a typical bike with 7sp Nexus is not low enough to comfortably climb many hills
    > in Greater London. I know because I've tried.

    It is if the basic gearing of chainwheel and sprocket is done right. But these systems tend to
    default to the middle gear being "right" for flat use where "right" implies the traditional cadence
    of once ever half hour. If 5th or 6th was made right for the flat with a reasonable cadence you'd
    get up anything you're likely to find in 1st (with luggage) and still have some overdrive. You won't
    break the land speed record but you'll have acceleration and hill climbing and only spin out
    downhill with the wind behind you. As I've pointed out several times, I can get up 70m hills round
    here without needing to stand up with a Sachs 3 because the basic gearing is right (though it's 18%
    down on the "standard".

    > MTB's are also easier to accelerate and handle, IME.

    Again, the only thing that need weigh more on a roadster is the chaincase with a little extra for
    hub and seat. These will be non-issues for accelerating in real circumstances.

    > You have to wonder why couriers use the bikes they do. And it's not because of the image.

    I don't think a typical courier is a typical urban rider and it's foolish to assume they'll
    want/need the same things. I think they put far more emphasis on toughness and speed combinations. I
    note that from the reliability front a lot of couriers use fixers, but I don't think anyone should
    infer that's a general solution. Also the case that a lot of couriers are Hip Young Guns and will
    use the bikes they have as Hip Young Guns, and that's MTBs. I also note that EBC's courier-inspired
    urban bike is basically an MTB but with a single chainwheel, making it lighter and simpler than an
    MTB. Mountain bike gearing is not sensible for city use. EBC can do this, so van anyone else, but
    "more is better" is still the cry for gears.

    > I think you are being too far cynical and bitter and not thinking deeply enough why things have
    > the "image" they do.

    And I say you're not cynical enough. I've been there with products I posessed *purely* because you
    Had to Have Them.

    > re: jeans: They're very comfortable after worn-in, very hard wearing and cheap, pros outweigh
    > the cons.

    They have to be worn in while alternatives don't, and unlike a Brooks they're not any more
    comfortable than the alternatives when they are, because the fabric is still heavy with poor drape
    and relatively inflexible. They have excellent tear strength, but I can go through the knees of a
    pair of jeans *far* quicker than the knees on a pair of thinner, lighter, more comfortable pair of
    trousers in something like high weave density polyamide, so they're not actually as hard wearing as
    you might like to think. They can be cheap, but people prefer "premium" brands like Levis, dare I
    say because of the image.

    > you'll be telling me sandals are good in the winter! :)

    Well, I wear them all year round as long as the ambients are over freezing and there isn't snow
    down. And my feet are tougher, better smelling, more cold resistant and less prone to
    over-pronation since I stopped wearing trainers all the time. But they do have an image problem
    with a lot of people...

    >>And frankly the general public is daft.
    >
    > That's where we disagree.

    That must be all the "common sense" they have then. Sorry if that's being cynical again, but common
    sense isn't. This is the same non-daft GP 38% of whom won't cycle because their *friends* will
    probably laugh at them (same friends who are, of course, the GP), right?

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  19. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> That only the superficial level. Yes, it's seen as an old man's bike because newer technology as
    >> come along. On a deeper sub-consious level, the people _know_ they don't or won't ride as well.
    >
    > Then they're wrong. A roadster may typically have a Brooks saddle on, which when compared to the
    > squidgy gel "comfort" saddles that are the default now on most cheap bikes, are *far* more
    > comfortable.

    (They're not common on new "city" bikes). I've so far failed to find a Brooks saddle (sprung or not)
    which I find to be comfortable (although I haven't given up yet) - BUT I accept that they may be
    better for some/many people. I bet quite a lot of people *would* indeed be willing to try them if
    offered despite the old-fasioned looks - especially after returing to bike shop looking for a
    replacement saddle after finding the original one uncomfortable. They may yet make a comeback (if
    new owners of Brooks get their act together). In any case, having a comfy saddle is not enough if
    the bike is still a pig to ride for other reasons.

    > What % of people buying their new cheap MTBs would take a Brooks as even a no-cost option against
    > a vanilla gel saddle for urban riding if you'd offered it to them today, do you think? I'd guess
    > at around 0%, because these days enthusiastic advocates of new technology *know* that gel must be
    > better than unpadded leather with a big pair of back-to-the-ark coild springs, right?

    > Given the basic similarity of diamond frame bikes the difference between an MTB and a roadster,
    > assuming each is a decent specimen, is a chaincase, a hub rather than a derailleur, a single
    > chainwheel rather than 3, and a more upright position with a sprung saddle. And that's
    > it. What is it about that that makes up for "won't or don't ride as well", especially in an urban
    > context?

    Won't so well get up the hills* or accelerate so well (even on the flat). The more urban the
    streets, the more frequent the accelation required. As well as any total weight difference, the
    riding position makes an MTB faster and more sprightly, IME. The fatter tyres provide more comfort
    and protection over the potholes - and more choice of tyres as well. Easier to maintain and modify.
    And for the fastest riders (a sizeable minority), the particular ratios and rapid-fire nature of the
    derailleur gears makes them quicker to accelerate in practice as well.
    * Even many of the cyclists in central London ride from/to areas with some nasty hills.

    I also don't mean that EVERY person on a mountain bike would not be ok on a roadster. There is
    obviously an overlap - but I don't think it matters if the MTB can do more than required - eg.
    bottom gear doesn't get used. Much better that way round than the other.

    >> The people going around with saddle a foot too low I see ARE the kids hanging around and messing
    >> about - and they're fine like it.
    >
    > They're fine when they're messing about. I also see them riding to and from the messing about
    > where it isn't helpful at all, but they're still more into looking the look than making their life
    > easier. Because looking the look is primarily what the bike is about for them.

    Who cares? They're having a good time and don't want to cycle any great distance. Quite a different
    bunch from the people cycling to work/college/shops, etc.

    ~PB
     
  20. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> The bottom gear on a typical bike with 7sp Nexus is not low enough to comfortably climb many
    >> hills in Greater London. I know because I've tried.
    >
    > It is if the basic gearing of chainwheel and sprocket is done right.

    They're not supplied "right", and it's not easy for the average user to change the sprocket. MTB
    gears, although OTT for urban riding, at least *include* all the gears you need without
    modification.

    >> MTB's are also easier to accelerate and handle, IME.
    >
    > Again, the only thing that need weigh more on a roadster is the chaincase with a little extra for
    > hub and seat. These will be non-issues for accelerating in real circumstances.

    Typical roadsters are quite a bit heavier than rigid MTB's and MTB's are clearly more sprightly to
    ride and handle, IME, for various reasons (see below & previous replies).

    >> You have to wonder why couriers use the bikes they do. And it's not because of the image.
    >
    > I don't think a typical courier is a typical urban rider and it's foolish to assume they'll
    > want/need the same things.

    No, but it proves that MTB's CAN be great for pure urban riding - particularly regarding the riding
    position when it comes to handling the traffic.

    > I also note that EBC's courier-inspired urban bike is basically an MTB but with a single
    > chainwheel, making it lighter and simpler than an MTB.

    I would like to see more of that type of thing on the market (which would be great for those
    purely cycling on flat streets and those who find triples a handful) - but there aren't too many
    around, sadly.

    > Mountain bike gearing is not sensible for city use.

    It is ideal from the middle chainring for most users. Admittedly, middle and outer rings tend to be
    a bit small for faster riders but that's a minor point.

    >> re: jeans: They're very comfortable after worn-in, very hard wearing and cheap, pros outweigh
    >> the cons.
    >
    > They have to be worn in while alternatives don't, and unlike a Brooks they're not any more
    > comfortable than the alternatives when they are,

    I (and many people) find them genuinely more comfortable than a lot of alternatives - because of
    their cut and material. I like a fair bit of tough material between my legs and the outside world
    when it's too cold/impractical for shorts!

    >> you'll be telling me sandals are good in the winter! :)
    >
    > Well, I wear them all year round as long as the ambients are over freezing and there isn't snow
    > down. And my feet are tougher, better smelling, more cold resistant and less prone to
    > over-pronation since I stopped wearing trainers all the time. But they do have an image problem
    > with a lot of people...

    It's not just the image, and again, there are good reasons for the image anyway. People don't like
    to have cold feet, and I don't beleive feet acclimatise (I try to put off wearing the overshoes
    every year for as long as poss); body heat is lost at the extremities anyway. As for cycling in them
    (on upright bikes)....windchill!!!!! I'm quite sure you must have funny feet :)

    ~PB
     
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