Really, really newbie question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Joanne, Jun 11, 2003.

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  1. Joanne

    Joanne Guest

    Hi Folks, Ok, so I did the thing most people do and regret only I didn't regret doing it (yet).

    I bought an old 12 speed Miele bike to see if I would enjoy cycling and see if I would get into it.
    I suffered a stress fracture from running so it gave me the extra impetus to get it together to get
    a bike finally.

    I didn't have a lot of cash, I saw a bike at a used store and now I am the proud owner of this bike.
    The seller replaced the tubes and tires for me as well.

    It's a roadbike probably from the 80's which is about all I know about it. I got it because I
    loved how light the frame was and how smooth it was when test ridden. It has Shimano written
    everywhere (Tourneau and rd501) but I can't make ou any other model for the Shimano. I have really
    enjoyed it so far.

    I would like to upgrade the bike to more modern components and this is where I thought I had better
    stop and get some advice before doing anything as I might end up paying more for components that I
    would have just spending more on a more modern used bike in teh first place.

    Are there compents on the market that would improve the riding of the bike (components such as the
    cassette and sprockets etc). It is a freewheel with 6 speed cassette and makes quite a racket when
    in the lower gears.

    I am not sure what the options were for upgrading for a 12 speed bike and need some input.

    If the bike isn't worth doing much upgrading, I would hold onto it and keep it until the end of
    the season while saving up for another more modern road bike perhaps at one of the bike shows
    in the fall.

    Any assistance or if you could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.
    thanks joanne
     
    Tags:


  2. <snip> "> I bought an old 12 speed Miele bike ... I didn't have a lot of cash, I saw a bike at a
    used store ... .. The seller replaced the tubes and tires..... ..... I loved how light the frame
    was and how
    > smooth it was when test ridden. It has Shimano written everywhere (Tourneau and rd501) .....I
    > have really enjoyed it so far.> I would like to upgrade the bike to more modern components ....
    > Are there
    compents on the market that would improve the riding of the
    > bike (components such as the cassette and sprockets etc). It is a freewheel with 6 speed cassette
    > and makes quite a racket when in the lower gears.

    Sounds like a great bike, it might even be double butted steel frame. The "more modern" components
    may not be better for your purposes. I assume you are not a competitive bicycle racer. If you ride
    for exercise, enjoyment, transportation you might consider some things:
    1. Tires can really make a difference. What kind of riding do you do? What kind of tires
    do you have?
    2. Good wheels can make a difference, especially in terms of durability. What size wheels (tire
    size)? When your present wheels give out, you might do better with new ones. If current wheels
    are 27", you can get a better selection of tires with a 700C.
    3. Kool Stop Continental (salmon) brake pads can be a great and inexpensive upgrade (c $7 a pair).
    4. A new drive train (chain, freewheel, chainrings) might be a good idea if yours is worn. That way
    you could have more practical gearing then what comes on most bikes. Shimano cranks of that
    period may be 100BCD. This is a good thing, as it allows for good variety in chainring size.
    Consider gearing such as 46/34 chainrings (replacing the likely 52/42) and around a 12-32
    freewheel. Six speeds are fine.
    5. Good fit and good maintenance are very important. A good starter set of tools and a good repair
    guide go a long way. Your library has bike repair books. The book will help with fit, tool
    selection and maintenance. My current favorite is Zinn's *Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Repair*
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1884737706/qid=1055379428/sr=2-2/ref=
    sr_2_2/002-5917534-9422456

    There's lots of good bike information on the web. One place to look:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/articles.html

    Regards, Larry
     
  3. fid

    fid New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hello Joanne,

    I bought my old road bike at a garage sale for $10 and have since spent about $500 upgrading various bits. This has been great fun as I've been re-learning how to work on a bike and learning some totally new skills (wheel building etc etc) along the way.

    Many old steel road bike frames are definately worth breathing new life into. Someone working in a bike shop who is only interested in the next sale may not tell you this and really you have to decide if you like the frame you've got enough to put some work into it.

    Where to start? The best thing you can do to really get to know your bike is to clean it - degrease & wash with warm soapy water - dry. There are lots of useful sites that will give a you good step by step guide for this. It is really worth degreasing the rims of your wheels and degreasing the brakepads thoroughly... Why is this important? Because if you do it properly you will see things about your bike that you have never noticed before and you will find things that may help you decide where to start upgrading your bike.

    Just to give you and idea here are the things I replaced / changed on my bike pretty much in the order it happened:

    1. New tyres (rubbish cheap tyres - cause I didn't know any better) and inner tubes
    2. New brake blocks - Shimano Ultegra - really really nice
    3. New pedals (basic flats then later I put on SPD clipless pedals - much better)
    4. Replaced a bent crank arm
    5. Discovered handlebars came in different widths - put on nice 44" wide bars
    New handlebar tape - cork very nice
    6. Added a basic $20 computer more useful than you might think
    7. Replaced saddle with a good firm narrow saddle - which counter intuitively is much much more comfortable than some of the lounge chairs passing for saddles.
    8. New rear wheel - which I later rebuilt with DT Swiss Alpine 3's when the spokes kept breaking - new cluster & chain
    9. Replaced bottom bracket with sealed unit - good choice and inexpensive
    10. Replaced front wheel bearings
    11. Put more new tyres on - much better 27" 1 1/4 Specialized Turbos - very nice
    12. Added bidon cages and compact pump
    13. Added saddle bag complete with spare inner tube and glueless patch kit etc. - and it leaves room for jelly beans - highly recomended
    14. Added some safety LED lights
    15. Repalced every cable on the bike as it broke
    16. And pretty soon I'm going to take the whole thing appart again and have the frame powder coated because the paint is badly chipped. Once that is done I'm going to put better brake leavers (Shimano 105 - NOS no STI) and teflon lined cable housings and maybe a better headset and whatever else inspires me at the time.)

    So there you go. You can do a little or in my case a lot - but I now have a bike that I am really really happy with and I learnt heaps of stuff about bikes on the way and had great fun working on my bike. I got lots of help from the parktool.com web site and sheldonbrown.com web site plus others.

    If this sounds like your idea of fun then go for it you will end up with a bike that may still lead you to buy a new bike at some point but if that happens you can be sure you will have a good understanding of what you are buying and why.

    I hope you find this helpful.

    Best Regards
    Rob.
     
  4. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (joanne) wrote:

    > I would like to upgrade the bike to more modern components and this is where I thought I had
    > better stop and get some advice before doing anything as I might end up paying more for components
    > that I would have just spending more on a more modern used bike in teh first place.

    This is a distinct possibility, as upgrading can be rather costly. Of course, if you keep the old
    parts, you can move your upgraded parts to a different bike at some point in the future and put the
    old parts back on this one. Of course, it's hard to give you specific advice without seeing the bike
    in person.

    If I were in your shoes, the first thing I would do is have a good mechanic look at the bike and
    give it a thorough tune-up. It sounds like it needs some adjustment so that the gears aren't
    noisy. For most people, a bike like this will be able to do everything they want to do on it for
    many years.

    I would leave the stuff that's mechanically sound alone. I'd upgrade things like pedals, saddle,
    handlebars/stem/tape/brake levers to make the bike more comfortable and to make it fit me better.

    Enjoy your bike!
     
  5. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "joanne" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi Folks, Ok, so I did the thing most people do and regret only I didn't regret doing it (yet).
    >
    > I bought an old 12 speed Miele bike to see if I would enjoy cycling and see if I would get into
    > it. I suffered a stress fracture from running so it gave me the extra impetus to get it together
    > to get a bike finally.
    >
    > I didn't have a lot of cash, I saw a bike at a used store and now I am the proud owner of this
    > bike. The seller replaced the tubes and tires for me as well.
    >
    > It's a roadbike probably from the 80's which is about all I know about it. I got it because I
    > loved how light the frame was and how smooth it was when test ridden. It has Shimano written
    > everywhere (Tourneau and rd501) but I can't make ou any other model for the Shimano. I have
    > really enjoyed it so far.
    >
    > I would like to upgrade the bike to more modern components and this is where I thought I had
    > better stop and get some advice before doing anything as I might end up paying more for components
    > that I would have just spending more on a more modern used bike in teh first place.
    >
    >
    > Are there compents on the market that would improve the riding of the bike (components such as the
    > cassette and sprockets etc). It is a freewheel with 6 speed cassette and makes quite a racket when
    > in the lower gears.
    >
    > I am not sure what the options were for upgrading for a 12 speed bike and need some input.
    >
    > If the bike isn't worth doing much upgrading, I would hold onto it and keep it until the end of
    > the season while saving up for another more modern road bike perhaps at one of the bike shows in
    > the fall.
    >
    > Any assistance or if you could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

    Mieles I've seen were well-made frames and quite rideable. If you can find an honest competent LBS
    in your area, a review of the bike and a few minutes' time and attention should either put it right
    or let you know what's needed.

    Don't get sidetracked by the glitz of modern geegaws. Get your bike running properly, find someone
    to ride with and get familar with cycling a bit before dropping a lot of cash. Your plan of a
    summer's worth of riding before your major purchase is an excellent one. (Prices are generally lower
    in autumn, too.)

    Certainly new bikes are nice (We'll gladly sell you one!) but 27 gears are not twice as fun as
    twelve. You have enough bike to ride as well as anyone.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  6. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    joanne wrote:

    > Are there compents on the market that would improve the riding of the bike (components such as the
    > cassette and sprockets etc). It is a freewheel with 6 speed cassette and makes quite a racket when
    > in the lower gears.

    Nothing inherently wrong with 6-speed; Eddy Merckx won five Tours de France with 6-speed gear.

    > I am not sure what the options were for upgrading for a 12 speed bike and need some input.

    More important than upgrading is setting the bike up properly for your proportions and riding style.
    Assuming the frame is the right size for you, you need to adjust things like saddle height and
    fore/aft position, as well as handlebar height and stem length. This will make a greater improvement
    than having 9-speeds or STI shifting.

    > If the bike isn't worth doing much upgrading, I would hold onto it and keep it until the end of
    > the season while saving up for another more modern road bike perhaps at one of the bike shows in
    > the fall.

    Good idea. Take some time to determine what you like and dislike about this bike. You may decide not
    to buy a new bike, but rather replace a few components or get a tune up/overhaul. Or if you do go
    for a new bike, you'll have a better idea of what you want/need.

    If you're riding for fun and fitness, your current bike may be perfectly fine.

    Art Harris
     
  7. [email protected] (joanne) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I bought an old 12 speed Miele bike to see if I would enjoy cycling
    >

    > smooth it was when test ridden. It has Shimano written everywhere (Tourneau and rd501) but I can't
    > make ou any other model for the

    I believe that's Shimano Tourney.

    > Shimano. I have really enjoyed it so far.
    >

    Then you have invested well. People spend thousands to be disappointed. :-(

    > I would like to upgrade the bike to more modern components and this is

    Are you interested in learning about maintaining bicycles? It's an investment of time and energy
    as well as money for tools and parts.

    In general, unless the bike is something special, upgrading to modern components (e.g. STI levers
    and 9 speed cassette) is not cost effective.

    Decide what the problems are and then consider the cost of resolving them. Given the incidence
    of theft in this city, and the incliment weather much of the year, a winter/beater bike is
    worth having.

    Save the "Alfonzo-de-Credenza" for perfect sunny days when you aren't planning to leave the bike
    locked up anywhere.

    >
    > Are there compents on the market that would improve the riding of the

    What exactly is wrong?

    There may be low-cost ways to resolve certain issues.

    > freewheel with 6 speed cassette and makes quite a racket when in the lower gears.
    >

    It could be worn chain and/or cogs or derailleur, but is probably technique.

    www.sheldonbrown.com is one site with articles on shifting technique and adjusting derailleurs.

    I suspect this bike has friction rather than indexed shifting, so you have to develop proper
    technique even if the drivetrain is in perfect condition.

    I would recommend a spoke protector for $3 - a plastic "pie plate" which protects the spokes if
    the chain is shifted too far inwards and wedges between the large cog and the spokes. Cheaper
    than replacing all the damaged spokes or having a crash.

    >
    > If the bike isn't worth doing much upgrading, I would hold onto it and

    Define the question before spending money for an answer.

    > keep it until the end of the season while saving up for another more modern road bike perhaps at
    > one of the bike shows in the fall.
    >

    Sounds like a plan. A second "beater" bike is always handy, especially in the city.

    You can sometimes find last years' models for 30% off around February-March.

    > Any assistance or if you could point me in the right direction I would

    www.sheldonbrown.com and the faq. Read about shifting and adjusting derailleurs. Get a spoke
    protector if you don't have one (especially if the derailleur is damaged or not adjusted
    properly). That's the only specific problem you've mentioned.

    If you do want to learn about maintenance, some of the "adult education" courses offered by the
    School Boards or colleges (Seneca, George Brown, etc.) include bicycle maintenance. ARC on Queen
    Street west of Bathurst rents an equipped workshop by the hour(?) and I believe has a mechanic
    who will lend a hand for an additional fee.

    Cycling. It's not just a way to get around. It's and ADVENTURE !!!

    > greatly appreciate it. thanks joanne
     
  8. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "joanne" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi Folks, Ok, so I did the thing most people do and regret only I didn't regret doing it (yet).
    >
    > I bought an old 12 speed Miele bike to see if I would enjoy cycling and see if I would get
    > into it.
    >
    > If the bike isn't worth doing much upgrading, I would hold onto it and keep it until the end of
    > the season while saving up for another more modern road bike perhaps at one of the bike shows in
    > the fall.

    Good question.

    Modern bikes are very much better in almost every regard than bikes from that era. Significant
    upgrading of that bike would very likely cost as much as a new bike, and perhaps still involve some
    compromises. Ride it for now, then keep it for a beater/errand bike when you get something better.
    It is a smart thing to try cycling before you invest a lot, but remember that a better bike can be
    more fun to ride.
     
  9. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "Art Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > joanne wrote:
    >
    >
    > > Are there compents on the market that would improve the riding of
    the
    > > bike (components such as the cassette and sprockets etc). It is a freewheel with 6 speed
    > > cassette and makes quite a racket when in the lower gears.
    >
    > Nothing inherently wrong with 6-speed; Eddy Merckx won five Tours de France with 6-speed gear.

    And God knows how many races on 5-speed -- but then that was Eddy.

    I think Andrew has some six speed cassettes. I would simply replace the cassettes and a chain and
    the usual wear items such as bar tape, cables, break blocks, tires, etc. Get the bike back to its
    original functioning condition; ride the bike until it is old and ugly and then set it up as a fixed
    gear commuter. I would only "upgrade" if you were in love with bike or if you really need more gears
    (although in that case, you can just buy a cheap-o triple crank).

    > > I am not sure what the options were for upgrading for a 12 speed
    bike
    > > and need some input.
    >
    > More important than upgrading is setting the bike up properly for your proportions and riding
    > style. Assuming the frame is the right size for you, you need to adjust things like saddle height
    > and fore/aft position, as well as handlebar height and stem length. This will make a greater
    > improvement than having 9-speeds or STI shifting.

    This is good advice. You may also need a new saddle to fit your butt and you will need a "pedal
    system" -- which used to be just pedals, but now they comprise a system. This is progress.

    > > If the bike isn't worth doing much upgrading, I would hold onto it
    and
    > > keep it until the end of the season while saving up for another more modern road bike perhaps at
    > > one of the bike shows in the fall.

    A mid-fi "modern" bike will not get you much more except STI and 3 or 4 more cogs. These are nice
    things. I upgraded my 80s bikes to 9 speed STI because I still compete (mostly in my head while
    commuting), and I like to have the exactly right gear and the ability to shift while climbing out of
    the saddle. But, lots of gears and STI are not things that you must have, and others lead happy and
    productive lives without them. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  10. Ant

    Ant Guest

    [email protected] (joanne) wrote in message
    > I bought an old 12 speed Miele bike to see if I would enjoy cycling and see if I would get
    > into it.
    >
    > Any assistance or if you could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

    Hi. i like your project. i have a similar bike of my own which ushered me into my current cycling
    madness. it went through countless changes, upgrades (and downgrades), and phases in its time with
    me, and despite spending a hell of a lot more $$ on my other machines, its had the most cumulative
    riding time hands down.

    that said, in retrospect, the best upgrades (in terms of bang for the buck, enjoyability of riding,
    etc) IMHO, in rough priority

    1. bar tape. costs five bucks if you play your cards right, and you get a brand new looking bike.
    functional difference depends on waht you replaced.

    2. do you have steel rims? if so, i think you would notice the difference between your current bike
    and the same with aluminum rims on the wheels. i once got a wheelset, with tubes, skewers, and
    tires, used on rec.bicycles.marketplace for 30 bucks, shipped. and theyre in great condition. i
    dont know if everyone will find a deal like this, but it worked for me.

    3. brake pads. the kool stop ones are really nice. if youre on the cheap, you could get the little
    bitty ones which are reminiscent of the pads of olden days. personally, i use the all-red BMX
    style ones, which ive used on all kinds of brake calipers, and they are a powerful upgrade for
    something like 12 bucks.

    4. saddle you like, instead of the saddle the person who last owned the bike liked.

    those are my top four. i would add that if your chain is ever skipping, replace it and the cassette,
    and you will be a much happier camper. if you decide to go the upgrade route, consider used parts.
    rec.bicycles.marketplace is a goldmine for that.

    -cheers! (heres my own love- http://tinyurl.com/e6rm)
     
  11. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Modern bikes are very much better in almost every regard than bikes from that era.

    Mmm, flamebait! ;-)
     
  12. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
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    If memory serves me, Miele was a sort of high-end Univega. Univega at one time had a big share of the bike market but mostly at the lower to mid range in price and quality. Miele was sort of a Lexus/Toyota thing allowing higher sales prices and they gave it an Italian name (it means "honey") but they were comparable only to the lowest of entry-level Italian racing bikes in terms of features. They were nice looking frames with good paint jobs and didn't have any low-end models. They weren't around for long though and Univega seemed to disappear shortly afterwards - this was probably 1987/8. Bikes from 15 years ago are still pretty easy to get stuff for but it's no longer the standard stuff.

    The advice here is good, but remember that all of these folks have been doing this for a long time and have the tools and resources to take on a project like this. Restoration/upgrade projects are fun but they get expensive pretty quickly.
     
  13. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "Peter Cole"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Modern bikes are very much better in almost every regard than bikes from that era.
    >
    > Mmm, flamebait! ;-)

    Perhaps, but true. Additionally, bikes and bike components are much cheaper. I still have a circa
    1970 bike, what I paid for it then in today's $$ is shocking for such junk. I'm very tall, so
    vintage bikes are a source of cheap (relative to custom) frames for me. I've upgraded several. Even
    scrounging around for bargain parts and doing all the work yourself, it's hard to break even against
    a new bike. If you pay full price plus labor, relatively minor upgrades start approaching the price
    of new bikes.

    Old bikes often have steel rims. These should be illegal for their performance in the rain. Even
    those with aluminum rims frequently can't be trued because the non-stainless spokes have corroded.

    Indexed shifting is something that most riders want, but that means a major upgrade, and the typical
    integration of brake lever and shifter means that even entry-level sets are very expensive.

    A new set of wheels, cassette, rear derailer, chain and brifters gets you most of the improvements
    of a modern bike. Price that out at a bike shop, then price out a brand new bike at the same shop.
     
  14. On Fri, 13 Jun 2003 13:16:14 GMT, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Old bikes often have steel rims. These should be illegal for their performance in the rain. Even
    >those with aluminum rims frequently can't be trued because the non-stainless spokes have corroded.

    Steel rims aren't a problem unless you brake on them, which of course most people do.

    >Indexed shifting is something that most riders want, but that means a major upgrade, and the
    >typical integration of brake lever and shifter means that even entry-level sets are very expensive.

    It's not that hard to find non-brifter type shifters, as far as I can tell.

    Jasper
     
  15. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    > Brifters are arguably superior for criterium racers. For everyone else, it's really a matter
    > of taste.

    Please explain to me why having instant gear changes without having to move your hands isn't a good
    thing. I can maybe see full-on touring cyclists using bar-cons, but for everyone else, brifters are
    definitely a godsend.

    Mike
     
  16. Eric Murray

    Eric Murray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Tim McNamara
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well, you're presuming that indexing and brifters are necessarily better than their predecessors-
    >friction and downtube or bar-end shifters, for example. I think that's very arguable from a number
    >of perspectives, although I won't argue that it's much easier to market those modern products
    >because they do have appeal.
    >
    >Brifters are arguably superior for criterium racers. For everyone else, it's really a matter
    >of taste.

    Actually in flat crits one doesn't shift much.

    I started serious riding and racing in the pre-index-shifting days. No fscing way would I go back!

    Brifters are a godsend whenever one wants to shift and doesn't want to take a hand off the bars.. in
    a racing peleton or on a road with poor surface or a narrow shoulder.

    It's trendy on Usenet to be a retro-grouch but if you want to ignore trends and just ride, indexing
    and brifters are worlds better than the old stuff.

    Eric
     
  17. Eric Murray

    Eric Murray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Jay Beattie <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >Really, though, think back to the old days and re-live the experience of shifting during a
    >criterium or a road race. Reaching down really was not that big of a deal from a safety standpoint
    >-- except on very rare occasions, like getting bumped while shifting.

    I remember just delaying my shift until it was safe. Both during races and on rides when in traffic
    or on bad pavement.

    But the great thing about brifters is that I dont have to do that, I can shift whenever.

    > IMO, the problem with DT friction shifters was having to feeling for the gear and having to sit
    > and shift while climbing or sprinting out of the saddle. I climb out of the saddle and used to
    > grind my way over short hills rather than sit down and shift.

    I still do. I'm so used to not being able to shift while standing that I don't do it unless I think
    about it and when I do I half-expect the entire gear train to explode. It's just so wrong! But I'm
    also so used to picking the right gear right before I need it that I don't need to shift while
    standing all that often.

    > STI ended up being a real energy saver. It let me shift on the fly, and when you are hacking up a
    > lung just to stay on a wheel, it is much easier to wag your brake lever than to sit down, shift
    > and hope you get the right gear. Way back when, a missed shift used to be the universal excuse
    > for getting dumped on a short hill.

    Oh yea, I'd forgotten that one. Indexing sure cut that down. But it still happens, I saw a bunch of
    it on the Cat's hill criterium year before last (it's got a very steep climb each lap).

    I can think of one feature of down-tube shifters that I do miss: being able to know which gear
    you're in by feel. If I still raced I'd probably also miss that your opponent's reaching down to
    shift would telegraph their intentions.

    > Now we have to search for new excuses like "I drank the wrong power beverage" or "my Flite Deck
    > exploded."

    Pretty soon it'll be "my Campy derailleur's batteries ran down". That's one new technology I think
    I'll skip.

    Eric
     
  18. Eric Murray

    Eric Murray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Jay Beattie <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...

    >You may like DT shifters, but if you did a market study, I can practically guaranty you that no
    >test audience would prefer DT shifters to a bar-based shifter like GripShift.

    Except in this newsfroup.

    >> On my brevet/travel bike, I use friction downtube shifting. It's utterly reliable and will work
    >> even if the derailleur hanger gets bent- which ain't the case with brifters. I can't easily break
    >> the shifters in a crash, which again ain't the case with brifters.

    Hmm, should I plan for my once-every-ten-years crash, or for shifting ten times a mile...

    >> It's faster and easier to replace cables and such on friction DT shifters.

    ....or my every-other-year cable replacement.

    >> They're quiet and don't make clicking noises

    I remember different. There's the ticka-ticka-ticka noise when the derailleur is a little too far
    over to the left, and the
    click... clic.... click noise when it's too far to the right. That one usually happens when you're
    standing and pushing hard up a hill 'cause the frame flex has pulled the lever just a bit even
    though you'd just snugged it up again.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I'd forgotten quite how far things have come since those days.

    Next we can talk about toes going numb from toe straps and having to nail your cleats into
    your shoes.

    Eric (who is thankful to have been a bit too late for the wool shorts era)
     
  19. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "Eric Murray" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Jay Beattie <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >Really, though, think back to the old days and re-live the experience
    of
    > >shifting during a criterium or a road race. Reaching down really was not that big of a deal from
    > >a safety standpoint -- except on very
    rare
    > >occasions, like getting bumped while shifting.
    >
    > I remember just delaying my shift until it was safe. Both during races and on rides when in
    > traffic or on bad pavement.
    >
    > But the great thing about brifters is that I dont have to do that, I can shift whenever.
    >
    > > IMO, the problem with DT friction shifters was having to feeling for the gear and having to
    sit
    > >and shift while climbing or sprinting out of the saddle. I climb out
    of
    > >the saddle and used to grind my way over short hills rather than sit down and shift.
    >
    > I still do. I'm so used to not being able to shift while standing
    that
    > I don't do it unless I think about it and when I do I half-expect the entire gear train to
    > explode. It's just so wrong! But I'm also so used to picking the right gear right before I need it
    > that I don't need to shift while standing all that often.
    >
    > > STI ended up being a real energy saver. It let me shift on the fly, and when you are hacking up
    > > a lung just to stay on
    a
    > >wheel, it is much easier to wag your brake lever than to sit down,
    shift
    > >and hope you get the right gear. Way back when, a missed shift used
    to
    > >be the universal excuse for getting dumped on a short hill.
    >
    > Oh yea, I'd forgotten that one. Indexing sure cut that down. But it still happens, I saw a bunch
    > of it on the Cat's hill criterium year before last (it's got a very steep climb each lap).

    The Cat's Hill is my favorite example of the benefits of STI. (fond memory time: I was raised on
    Glen Ridge Ave, the road at the top of the Nicholson hill and watched or raced in the Cat's Hill
    many years). Riding that race with friction shifters, I would shift-down and small-ring it to the
    foot of the hill (which is about 20+%) and try to carry as much speed around the corner as
    possible. I remember one year, I think around 1980 or 1981 (IIRC, Fred Markham won that year), Eric
    Heiden did the hill sitting down -- and he broke a chain warming up. That guy could put out the
    watts. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  20. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > In article <[email protected]>, "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > > > Brifters are arguably superior for criterium racers. For everyone else, it's really a matter
    > > > > of taste.
    > > >
    > > > Please explain to me why having instant gear changes without having to move your hands isn't a
    > > > good thing. I can maybe see full-on touring cyclists using bar-cons, but for everyone else,
    > > > brifters are definitely a godsend.
    > >
    > > Definitely a godsend in what way? It's not like downtube friction shifting- to take the retro
    > > example- is hard to do for people with normal motor function. It takes about 10 minutes of
    > > practice to master the basics.
    >
    > They are better, except in terms of cost and reliability. Really, moving a hand (or a finger) is
    > more efficient than moving an arm, shoulder, neck, etc. There is nothing better about DT shifting
    > from an ergonomics standpoint.

    And nothing much worse either, except in unusual situations like crits where 99.9% of bike riders
    will never go. Yes, it's easier to move one finger rather than an arm. But it's not like it's a
    while lot of work (for most people) to move an arm. I'm not denying that brifters are more
    convenient- they are. I disagree with the assessment that brifters are *superior.*

    Of course, this paranoia that one cannot possibly and safely remove one hand (God forbid two hands)
    from the bars is pervasive in marketing strategies. We have people carrying 5 lbs of water on their
    back to ride 5 miles rather than using a water bottle. We have these same people carrying 5 pounds
    of expensive electrolyte and sugar solutions for those same 5 miles, too, because you certainly
    wouldn't want to bonk or become dehydrated. So one *must* use a Camelbak because, after all, it's
    safer. Hydrate or die.

    I guess you can probably tell that I look at all this marketing hype with a pretty jaundiced eye.
    Bicycling is a simple, enjoyable pastime that has been schmucked up by sophisticated makeabuck
    artists, IMHO, and the schlockmeisters at Buycycling and its ilk.

    > You may like DT shifters, but if you did a market study, I can practically guaranty you that no
    > test audience would prefer DT shifters to a bar-based shifter like GripShift. That is why Schwinn
    > was selling stem shifters 30 years ago, and why SRAM shifters are on all the dinger upright bikes
    > including my son's Piccolo. People who ride upright bicycles want to remain upright.

    Well, I do like DT shifters. And I like bar end shifters of the normal and GripShift varieties. And
    I like Ergo. I don't like STI. Hmm, I like my single-speed coaster brake track bike, too.

    I agree that brifters and the throttle-like twist shifters are more popular and saleable. That's
    normal market dynamics- people want to not have to acquire new skills to do new activities (hence
    the development of the automatic transmission for cars- it is not superior in performance, cost or
    durability but it is far more popular. It allows some people to drive who otherwise could not, and
    lowers the learning curve and skillset needed for all drivers).

    > > Tomorrow I will be on a 375 mile bike ride- the bike had damned well better be utterly reliable
    > > because it's a *long* walk back if it breaks.
    >
    > Mileage dropper! Is this going to be all in one day? That's longer than my commute. -- Jay
    > Beattie.

    It's a 600K brevet- and I would *hope* that's longer than your commute! ;-) It turned out to be a
    great ride, we rode from Rochester MN to Elkader IA and back. We rode 400 km on Saturday, stayed
    overnight in Spillville IA and then rode the remaining 200K on Sunday. We had great weather,
    favorable winds, beautiful scenery, good quality roads (mostly), a pack of Rottweilers to outrun
    twice, and I developed a spot of Achilles tendonitis in the last 40 miles. Perhaps the 16,000 feet
    of climbing (according to some guy's altimeter) had something to do with that?
     
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