downtube->STI (several questions)



Originally Posted by oldbobcat

I like modern bikes, but I'd say the most important technological developments since 1984 have to be
  • clip-in pedals and shoes that fit
  • 130 mm freehubs (and 9-, 10-, and 11-speed cassettes)
  • the slant-parallelogram rear derailleur

And despite the complexity, modern mechanical shifting systems are pretty darned reliable, if not exactly maintainable.
Actually the slant parallelogram rear derailleur was invented in 1964!

Also toe clips were not bad at all if the person had the right shoes with the right cleats they worked as well as clip-in just a bit more finicky getting into the pedals, but for years after clip-in came out track bikes used nothing but toe clips because they were stronger and the track racers would pull off of clip-in, it still happens today, I saw that in a video of last years TDF where one rider pulled out of his. I use both systems and I do like clip-in but only because ease of entry is so much faster and less fumbling around, otherwise they're virtually the same.

All those extra gears is ok, it does keep you closer to your ideal cadence but it does shorten the life of the components, thinner gears and chains now last no more than about a third as long as the older wider gears and chains, innovation? maybe, but at a cost.

I think the greatest innovation in components was SIS shifting, it shifts far faster than STI or Ergo. I have in my small stable friction, SIS, STI, and Ergo, and SIS has them all beat; dare I say, I find that my Suntour Superbe shifts just as fast as STI or Ergo, only difference is there is a greater degree of missing a gear with friction then with STI or Ergo, but if you know how to use friction real well that degree is fairly limited.

Of course all the above is just my opinion...except the invention of the slant parallelogram, that is fact, and it was invented by Suntour; and gears and chains today don't last anywhere near as long as the early 80's stuff, more facts.
 
Yeah, regarding the slant parallelogram derailleur, I remember these by SunTour and Shimano in the '70s. And it wouldn't surprise me that the design was a decade older than that.

In my opinion, having more gears is far more important than the drop in chain and cassette durability. The gaps that a 7-speed 13-28 freewheel on a road bike would be daunting.
 
Originally Posted by oldbobcat
Yeah, regarding the slant parallelogram derailleur, I remember these by SunTour and Shimano in the '70s. And it wouldn't surprise me that the design was a decade older than that.

In my opinion, having more gears is far more important than the drop in chain and cassette durability. The gaps that a 7-speed 13-28 freewheel on a road bike would be daunting.
Actually Shimano did not use the slant parallelogram design until 1984 due to Suntour had patents on it that didn't run out until 1984 so Shimano pounced on the design fast and introduced the first SIS system with the Suntours slant parallelogram design in 84.

There is pros and cons to the faster gear and chain wear, I for some reason could care less, I rode for years with 5, 6, and 7 speeds and never had an issue but that's just me. I'm the type of guy who would rather see durability with less technology than technology with a lot less durability. Again that's just my opinion which I'm sure it's not shared by many especially the younger crowd that was never around when things lasted a very long time. I was alive when a simple fan would last 25 years, today a fan is lucky to make it 5 years; or washers and dryers that lasted 40 years, today the average life expectancy according to Consumer Reports is 12 years; and the list goes on and on, but that all falls on deaf ears of the younger people who never experienced that sort of durability. I also tend to lean toward greater durability is less demanding of natural resources because you only have to build something once every 25 years of so instead of once every 5 years or so; and those older appliances, even fans and toasters, could be fixed but not today, not only did fixing something save natural resources but provided jobs.

Sorry, I know I sound weird about that stuff.
 
Originally Posted by Froze
Actually Shimano did not use the slant parallelogram design until 1984 due to Suntour had patents on it that didn't run out until 1984 so Shimano pounced on the design fast and introduced the first SIS system with the Suntours slant parallelogram design in 84.
Ah, as a Campagnolo-only guy in the '70s, I wasn't paying that much attention. I do remember the SunTour Cyclone as being one helluva unit, though.

Some of us old guys like 10- and 11-speed cassettes, too, because they allow us to climb the hills we used to be able to handle with a 13-22 7-speed and a 53-42 chainset. Without 2- and 3-tooth gaps instead of single-step on the fast side. Diff'rent strokes for all of us, of course.
 
I agree with both OBC AND Froze.

While I just hate tossing $50 Campy chains in the trash every month or so and screwing on a new $150 cassette stack every 5000-7500 miles, I sure enjoy having close ratios on an 11-25.

Bicycles have become throw-away items. Some of that is due to the pace of new product development and the integration of technologies such as electronic shifting and some is due to the materials used (does anyone believe carbon fiber will age like chromium steel?).

I know I could go out to the shop and repack the bearings on any of my old 1970's bikes and ride it until they chuck my dead carcass into a hole in the dirt. My latest carbon fiber wonder-bike? I'm not so young any more, but I'd bet $20 I'll out last that Chicom frame and most of the drive line.

Quote by OBC:
"...we used to be able to handle with a 13-22 7-speed and a 53-42 chainset."

47-53 and a 14-21 5-speed. In hilly terrain! Sometimes I leave my bike in the 53x21 just to remember how hills felt and see if I can still boot stomp my way up those hills I used to sail over as a kid.
 
Originally Posted by CAMPYBOB
I agree with both OBC AND Froze.


Bicycles have become throw-away items. Some of that is due to the pace of new product development and the integration of technologies such as electronic shifting and some is due to the materials used (does anyone believe carbon fiber will age like chromium steel?).

I know I could go out to the shop and repack the bearings on any of my old 1970's bikes and ride it until they chuck my dead carcass into a hole in the dirt. My latest carbon fiber wonder-bike? I'm not so young any more, but I'd bet $20 I'll out last that Chicom frame and most of the drive line.

Quote by OBC:
"...we used to be able to handle with a 13-22 7-speed and a 53-42 chainset."

47-53 and a 14-21 5-speed. In hilly terrain! Sometimes I leave my bike in the 53x21 just to remember how hills felt and see if I can still boot stomp my way up those hills I used to sail over as a kid.
That's why I bought a titanium bike, I may have to replace the components on it but the frame - never!

This gear stuff I'm still not up on it yet, yes I'm not young anymore by a long shot, but when climbing steep grades with gears there is no difference between 1st gear (or the last gear) in a 5, 6 or 7 speed vs 1st gear in a 10 or 11 speed, they still have the same number of teeth if comparing apples to apples. The difference is you now have 4 to 6 more gears between 1st and last gear to choose from, so all those gears do is allow you to shift more trying to keep the cadence at a certain rpm range. Of course in the process of shifting more you put more demands on the RDs, gears, chains, and levers which also equates to shorter life expectancy.

Maybe that's why the racers of old were stronger? when you consider all the new technology that goes into bikes and training and yet from 1963 till 2013 the average speed of the TDF is only up by 1.3 mph over the entire race something is not right, maybe those fewer gears and heavier bikes and wheels made the riders stronger? I wish there were odd things we could do to see what the outcome would be, but imagine if the winner of the 1963 TDF(Jacques Antquetil) could race in his prime and be given a modern bike to race on for the first time go up against the 2013 winner Christopher Froome what the outcome might be, I have a sneaky feeling Antquetil would destroy Froome, but obviously this all conjecture with no way to prove that result would happen..
 
Originally Posted by Froze
I wish there were odd things we could do to see what the outcome would be, but imagine if the winner of the 1963 TDF(Jacques Antquetil) could race in his prime and be given a modern bike to race on for the first time go up against the 2013 winner Christopher Froome what the outcome might be, I have a sneaky feeling Antquetil would destroy Froome, but obviously this all conjecture with no way to prove that result would happen..
Back in the day the top riders were certainly a lot more versatile. Tour winners also won classics, cobbled and hilly. When did the last Tour winner win Paris-Roubaix, 1981? The sport has changed, but it's not fair to blame it on the riders.
 
Originally Posted by oldbobcat
Back in the day the top riders were certainly a lot more versatile. Tour winners also won classics, cobbled and hilly. When did the last Tour winner win Paris-Roubaix, 1981? The sport has changed, but it's not fair to blame it on the riders.
It could be the new way teams do things so you may be right we can't blame the riders, however you made the point though that riders of ages gone past were indeed better than todays regardless that the sport has changed, they were simply better riders than todays.
 
Originally Posted by Froze
It could be the new way teams do things so you may be right we can't blame the riders, however you made the point though that riders of ages gone past were indeed better than todays regardless that the sport has changed, they were simply better riders than todays.
Unlikely.

Well, maybe better at all-round riding, because that was what they trained for. Better at any one thing, don't think so.

It's about specialization.
As long as everybody raced cross-disciplinary, it was still an even playing field.
Any competitive edge you lost from traing for different kinds of events, well your opponents had lost it too, so no problem.
Then came the first guy who realized that ONE podium finish was better than being a constant runner-up, and tuned his training for that.
And that set the ball rolling.
After that, no one could afford to be a jack-of-all-trades any more.
A season of honourable mentions was nowhere near as interesting for a sponsor as ONE podium finish would be.

If you want to change this, approach UCI and try to interest them in a setup like used in Alpine skiing, where points in the individual disciplines is calculated to give an overall winner.
 
Originally Posted by dabac
Unlikely.

Well, maybe better at all-round riding, because that was what they trained for. Better at any one thing, don't think so.

It's about specialization.
As long as everybody raced cross-disciplinary, it was still an even playing field.
Any competitive edge you lost from traing for different kinds of events, well your opponents had lost it too, so no problem.
Then came the first guy who realized that ONE podium finish was better than being a constant runner-up, and tuned his training for that.
And that set the ball rolling.
After that, no one could afford to be a jack-of-all-trades any more.
A season of honourable mentions was nowhere near as interesting for a sponsor as ONE podium finish would be.

If you want to change this, approach UCI and try to interest them in a setup like used in Alpine skiing, where points in the individual disciplines is calculated to give an overall winner.
I understand what you're saying, problem is Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, and Bernard Hinault all won the TDF 5 times along with a whole bunch of races that a specialists like Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong did not win or even ride in. And whenever I see a list of the 10 greatest riders of all time 80% of them were not specialists in one area. And there are modern racers who are not specialists such as Alberto Contador, so being a specialist is not out of vogue. So while I understand what you're saying but just I don't see the proof of it working in the results...yet.
 
Originally Posted by Froze
I understand what you're saying, problem is Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, and Bernard Hinault all won the TDF 5 times along with a whole bunch of races that a specialists like Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong did not win or even ride in. And whenever I see a list of the 10 greatest riders of all time 80% of them were not specialists in one area. And there are modern racers who are not specialists such as Alberto Contador, so being a specialist is not out of vogue. So while I understand what you're saying but just I don't see the proof of it working in the results...yet.
That's the changes in sponsorship, coverage, training, public relations, and fans, not the bikes or the riders. They're also riding a longer season.

On the upside, careers now last longer. Merckx retired at age 33. Hinault retired at 31. Anquetil was dead at 53.
 
Originally Posted by oldbobcat

That's the changes in sponsorship, coverage, training, public relations, and fans, not the bikes or the riders. They're also riding a longer season.

On the upside, careers now last longer. Merckx retired at age 33. Hinault retired at 31. Anquetil was dead at 53.
In 1922 Firmin Lambot was the oldest winner of the TDF at a ripe old age of 36 years and 4 months. And the oldest winner in the Giro d'Italia was Fiorenzo Magni in 1955 who was 34 years and 180 days. So I think the age thing is about equal, without lining up ALL the UCI champions and ALL the championships ever race that would be a tough determination if the average current racers are older than they use to be 30 or more years ago. I look at like this, though I could be in error, a cyclist reaches their peak at age 32, thus if by chance there were fewer older racers 30 years ago or more as you suggest than today then that would tell me that racing has gotten easier over time.
 
Originally Posted by oldbobcat
That's the changes in sponsorship, coverage, training, public relations, and fans, not the bikes or the riders. They're also riding a longer season.

On the upside, careers now last longer. Merckx retired at age 33. Hinault retired at 31. Anquetil was dead at 53.
The badger could have won another 5 tours de france, what the hell was he thinking. I wouldn't consider 31 to be old now days, I wonder what has driven the change? safer drugs? more money?
 

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