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:
    > Pete Biggs wrote:
    >
    >> The point wasn't about their use for cycling or for particularly poor outdoor conditions in
    >> general - just that are very good for what most people use them for and things that have been
    >> around that long must be more than about fashion.
    >
    > And my counter-point is that they're *adequate* rather than good, but because it's a default
    > buying decision people don't think about it much and buy the default. Because people buy it it's
    > the default, and because it's the default people buy it. And so on. "Everyone uses it so it must
    > be good so I'll get it too" is entirely normal, and indeed very understandable thinking.

    Defaults don't happen by random. Products become default because they are available to, and
    genuinely good for, the average user. I concede that they may not always be the very best. I just
    happen to think MTBs are the best bikes for what we've been discussing *despite* them being the
    default choice.

    Products naturally evolve and new defaults eventually emerge. The new developments take a while to
    catch-on (need to gain publicity and lower in cost, etc). There may well /now/ be better fabrics but
    for a long time, denim has been more than adequate for what it was used for.

    By the way, "twill" denim is more comfortable than the traditional stiff sort and this is popular
    now for many ordinary jeans.

    ~PB
     


  2. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Wed, 11 Jun 2003 17:49:19 +0100, "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    >By the way, "twill" denim is more comfortable than the traditional stiff sort and this is popular
    >now for many ordinary jeans.
    >

    Hi both "Petes"

    I cannot recall which one of you is pro-jean and which is anti-denim - or vice versa - or not.
    However, there are two reasons why I, myself, do not like wearing jeans when cycling.

    1} "Manly" legs lead to the inner thigh rubbing against the saddle. 2} The need for cycle clips
    or similar.

    ... and the third of my two reasons :-/ ...

    3} Heavy when wet.

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Dscf0632.jpg
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    James Hodson wrote:

    > Hi both "Petes"
    >
    > I cannot recall which one of you is pro-jean and which is anti-denim - or vice versa - or not.
    > However, there are two reasons why I, myself, do not like wearing jeans when cycling.
    /snip

    Hi James, Neither of us is pro jeans for cycling - although I do wear them for going down the local
    shops (and they're ok for that), which I do on my bike of course. The argument was about products in
    general being long-time-popular for good reasons, etc, etc.

    cheers ~Pete
     
  4. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 00:07:13 +0100, "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    >Hi James, Neither of us is pro jeans for cycling - although I do wear them for going down the local
    >shops (and they're ok for that), which I do on my bike of course. The argument was about products
    >in general being long-time-popular for good reasons, etc, etc.
    >

    Hi Pete B

    I'm sort of the opposite in that I always clothe myself in cycling trews even when going down to the
    shops. Whatsmore, I also put on a pair of cycling gloves, simply 'cos I get cramp in my hands if I
    don't do so.

    Having said all of that: I wear M&S jeans and not Levis 501s as I'm far too "bulky" for those. When
    I was a slim lad, I used to wear <has to think for a momnent> FUS jeans, which were marvellous for
    slimmies! Ah, memories!!

    These days, on my bikes, I wear either MTB-style shorts or cycling leggings. Suit me, sir. ;-)

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Dscf0632.jpg
     
  5. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > Defaults don't happen by random. Products become default because they are available to, and
    > genuinely good for, the average user.

    But "best" means fitting cultural norms to a far greater extent than it means being entirely
    practical for.

    If you still don't believe me, try to come up with a convincing argument for why a significant
    proportion of high level financial, political and medical decisions in this country are taken by men
    wearing a fashion accessory that actually limits their ability to breathe properly? (i.e., the
    necktie, and if you can manage that then the rest of the business suit should be easy).

    I actually had to face down a threat of disciplinary action to wear clothes that make it easier to
    do my job by virtue of being comfortable (and I still wear button-down shirts and never wear jeans,
    tracksters etc.). How practical is that?

    > Products naturally evolve and new defaults eventually emerge. The new developments take a while to
    > catch-on (need to gain publicity and lower in cost, etc). There may well /now/ be better fabrics
    > but for a long time, denim has been more than adequate for what it was used for.

    It still is adequate for what it's used for. There have been better fabrics for a *long* time. Given
    that availability in California needn't be an issue and you wouldn't necessarily be gold prospecting
    or mining in them for a week at a time, there were probably better fabrics for casual wear back in
    the 1870s.

    > By the way, "twill" denim is more comfortable than the traditional stiff sort and this is popular
    > now for many ordinary jeans.

    But people still think rivetting them together must be a Really Good Idea... This sort of thing
    evolves in cultural rather than practical ways.

    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/
     
  6. Alex Veitch

    Alex Veitch Guest

    On 11 Jun 2003 07:05:33 -0700, [email protected] (David E. Belcher) wrote:

    >"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:<[email protected]>...
    >> "Andrew Sweetman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> > 6-speed bar ends do exist (I've one on my work bike), but will be
    >> difficult
    >> > to find
    >>
    >> I would send an email to St John Street Cycles (http://www.sjscycles.com). They have a habit of
    >> keeping mountains of old stock, which they sometimes sell at irritatingly high prices but that's
    >> better than not being able to get the part.
    >>
    >
    >There's also a firm based in the Netherlands called Renaissance Cycles, who I have to admit I've
    >never used, but they do specialise in retro stuff and discontinued lines, and have a useful website
    >(www.renaissance-cycles.com). Prices are in $US, but a quick currency conversion into £ reveals
    >that they're actually pretty good value for money.

    The revival of the bike is taking shape - it should be ready for me tonight, although it will retain
    the original friction shifters for the time being. I shall just learn how to use them like everyone
    else. I'm pleased to be able to get the bike back on the road though.

    Cheers Alex
    --
    Alex Veitch
     
  7. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > The riding position that the different frame provides clearly seems to aid power delivery and
    > efficiency to me, even when seated. It's been discussed on rec.bicycles.tech - I'll do some
    > reading up and come back with some details if I can. Frame responsiveness and stiffness may also
    > be factors.

    Perhaps, but not within the performance envelope of an urban bike. Removing the mudguards will
    improve the efficiency of a bike by reducing drag and weight, but I'm not going to do that

    > Although not strictly essential, getting out of saddle does help a lot sometimes - for brief bouts
    > of acceleration or getting up little steep hills/ramps.

    I used to do that a lot, riding a 'bent taught me to use gears better and I now use gears better,
    even when I've only got 3.

    > Most people on MTBs I see now use the gears well enough (could be better but usually not using far
    > too high gears). In the event of stopping in a high gear (and one can change down in advance to
    > avoid this), standing up on the pedals for a couple of revs will get the bike up to speed quickly
    > - just as fast or faster than using a low gear to start off. (See Jobst Brandt's technical posts
    > on this subject).

    If this is the case then how come I get away faster than people doing just that? (including myself,
    when I'm stuck on a derailleur upright in the wrong gear.) I'm less impressed with technical posts
    from Jobst Brandt than what I find empirically true.

    > The geometry and position makes it easier to steer more precisely and assuredly - which is most
    > useful for getting through gaps in the traffic.

    The precision and geometry only make it easier to steer well at high speed, which is nothing much
    to do with gaps in traffic. If you really want to do *that* then small wheels, not a crouch, are
    of far more use. Especially small wheels made easier to turn by not having very high friction
    knobbly tyres.

    > But you have been arguing about the differences between the bikes as they are typically supplied.

    But my point is that roadsters are not typically supplied at all: they're not even investigated by
    the majority, and still wouldn't be with lower default gearing. And still wouldn't be with a
    lightweight Al frame (as is now appearing more and more in continental markets, btw). Because they
    are not culturally acceptable to many people under the age of God.

    > Just because you, the CTC and John Franklin disagree with me, doesn't mean I'm automatically and
    > completely wrong. I'm satisfied with posting my point of view here and I don't care if it's
    > regarded as "alternative" if I so strongly believe in it myself.

    When I say "take it up with John Franklin", I don't mean "he's obviously right, you are obviously
    wrong", I mean quite literally, "take it up with John Franklin". I'm not saying it makes you
    automatically wrong, but that putting your reasoned points to people with a far more national voice
    than either of us has may actually have a more useful effect in propagating your strongly held view.
    JF has a website with a contact address: write to him and ask him why he thinks MTBs are sluggish in
    "Cyclecraft", and thus may be putting people off what might be a genuinely good choice for them. Do
    a convincing job and it may change in the next edition (btw, IIRC he says Roadsters are too, and if
    they weigh more than the Forth Bridge they will be, but the design doesn't require "heavy" is my
    feeling). The CTC have a contact address, write to them and ask why they don't say more positive
    things about the urban utility of MTBs, and what you think they should say. Far more likely to get
    considered and maybe changed than a bijou-flamewarette here, surely?

    I think you're wrong because I've got a reasonable-ish MTB in the shed and when I ride it through
    town on the way to some offroad there is never anything about the ride that convinces me I want to
    do it for any other reason in preference to the Brompton, a bike primarily designed to fold up
    small rather than be the Ultimate Traffic Machine. I ride a heavy bike and find it's not that much
    of an issue keeping up with traffic, I ride a hub bike and get up hills. My objections are
    empirical, but OTOH so are more of yours so maybe we should just agree to disagree at this point.
    And though I believe in evolution in selection as much as you do, I really think that cultural
    factors play at *least* as significant a part as "merely" practical ones for this sort of thing.
    c.f. business suits etc.

    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. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > They go out of fashion from time to time, jeans don't. Anyway, high heels

    I've never noticed them to disappear completely. When did they ever do

    which cultural factors play a very important role in something as mundane as what you walk from A to
    B in (even more fundamentally practical than a bike).

    There are plenty of other footwear fashions that have been remarkably long lived but still aren't
    too clever. It took centuries for the Chinese and Japanese to get over breaking girls' feet with
    bandaging to

    but then people weaken their ankles by using ankle support they don't need, make work for themselves
    wearing heavy workboots or walking boots for just around town or even inside (I've been down those
    routes, I'm prone to idiocy in the name of fashion too).

    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/
     
  9. "The Knight Who Says ....... Ni!" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> 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.

    Didn't Cycling Plus have an article on adapting bikes on a budget for different types of riding some
    time ago? They mentioned that a tweaked Galaxy made a good beginner's 'cross machine, if a little
    beefier than a purpose-built machine.

    David E. Belcher

    Dept. of Chemistry, University of York
     
  10. Mark South

    Mark South Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Peter Clinch wrote:
    > > Pete Biggs wrote:
    ...ad infinitum...

    > Defaults don't happen by random. Products become default because they
    are
    > available to, and genuinely good for, the average user. I concede
    that
    > they may not always be the very best. I just happen to think MTBs are
    the
    > best bikes for what we've been discussing *despite* them being the
    default
    > choice.

    "Genuinely good" here seems to equate to "low cost and high availability". This applies to jeans and
    MTBs equally.

    Sometimes "very cheap" and "adequately functional" is a good choice criterion.

    > Products naturally evolve and new defaults eventually emerge. The new developments take a while to
    > catch-on (need to gain publicity and
    lower in
    > cost, etc). There may well /now/ be better fabrics but for a long
    time,
    > denim has been more than adequate for what it was used for.

    There are more nourishing foods than wheat, but what does most of the world eat? etcetcetc

    This argument seems to have reached the fossilised stage, where neither of you are going to
    budge an inch.

    I'm not going to mention walking poles either.
    --
    Mark South Citizen of the World, Denizen of the Net
     
  11. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Pete Biggs wrote:
    >
    >> Defaults don't happen by random. Products become default because they are available to, and
    >> genuinely good for, the average user.
    >
    > But "best" means fitting cultural norms to a far greater extent than it means being entirely
    > practical for.
    >
    > If you still don't believe me, try to come up with a convincing argument for why a significant
    > proportion of high level financial, political and medical decisions in this country are taken by
    > men wearing a fashion accessory that actually limits their ability to breathe properly? (i.e., the
    > necktie, and if you can manage that then the rest of the business suit should be easy).

    You got me there! :) The neck tie is an exception that proves the rule. It seems so odd (when you
    think about it) because it is!

    I would ague that the suit is quite practical - and that the jacket doesn't need to be worn all the
    time anyway.

    ~PB
     
  12. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> The riding position that the different frame provides clearly seems to aid power delivery and
    >> efficiency to me, even when seated.

    > Perhaps, but not within the performance envelope of an urban bike.

    I think that's too dismissive of what people do on urban roads.

    >> Although not strictly essential, getting out of saddle does help a lot sometimes - for brief
    >> bouts of acceleration or getting up little steep hills/ramps.
    >
    > I used to do that a lot, riding a 'bent taught me to use gears better and I now use gears better,
    > even when I've only got 3.
    >
    >> Most people on MTBs I see now use the gears well enough (could be better but usually not using
    >> far too high gears). In the event of stopping in a high gear (and one can change down in advance
    >> to avoid this), standing up on the pedals for a couple of revs will get the bike up to speed
    >> quickly - just as fast or faster than using a low gear to start off. (See Jobst Brandt's
    >> technical posts on this subject).

    > If this is the case then how come I get away faster than people doing just that? (including
    > myself, when I'm stuck on a derailleur upright in the wrong gear.)

    Well, I nearly always get away faster than every cyclist stopped infront of me no matter what
    technique I use - proves nothing. Standing up is quicker for me (now. I used to hardly ever stand
    and used low gears to start-off. A decent road bike proved to me that this is not necessary -
    although I still shift down a couple of gears). But for those it's not, they can nearly always
    change to a low gear in advance of stopping.

    >> The geometry and position makes it easier to steer more precisely and assuredly - which is most
    >> useful for getting through gaps in the traffic.
    >
    > The precision and geometry only make it easier to steer well at high speed,

    I disagree - helps at under 13mph as well, IME. Too upright, and I'm not so mentally connected with
    what the front wheel's doing, at all speeds. A bit more weight on the front seems to make steering
    more assured, too.

    Regarding the CTC and John Franklin, I may write to them one day, but I don't feel the urge right
    now. I'll defend my point of view within the groups I'm already in, but going out and evangalising
    further is not really my cup of tea. I'm happy enough "broadcasting" to the relatively small world
    of usenet! :) (Good) letter writing is much more difficult. I find it difficult to resist replying
    when questions (even rhetorical ones) are posted in response to my posts. I'm very happy for
    opposite points of view to be made, but when others try to *directly* rip *mine* apart, I'm not just
    going to let it go, especially when they misunderstand or misinterprate my points.

    > I think you're wrong because I've got a reasonable-ish MTB in the shed and when I ride it through
    > town on the way to some offroad there is never anything about the ride that convinces me I want to
    > do it for any other reason in preference to the Brompton, a bike primarily designed to fold up
    > small rather than be the Ultimate Traffic Machine.

    I think I'm right because average speed and general level of enjoyment is higher when I ride a
    mountain bike as opposed to a roadster around London, and most other users I know and see seem to be
    doing well on MTB's.

    > I ride a heavy bike and find it's not that much of an issue keeping up with traffic, I ride a hub
    > bike and get up hills. My objections are empirical, but OTOH so are more of yours

    That's true.

    > so maybe we should just agree to disagree at this point.

    Yes my objections empirical and I agree to disagree now.

    cheers ~PB
     
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