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Old August 7th 19, 11:30 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Tom Kunich[_5_]
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Default Components

My brother Bob fell down and scraped himself up. He has never fallen down. So he intends to sell his bicycles and just "go to the gym" since he does that anyway.

In order to sell the Look he wants to repair the damage to the levers. His bike has polished 11 speed Ultegra shifters. I can't even find a listing to polished 11 speed levers though I vaguely remember seeing them advertised. Furthermore JUST a replacement lever from a dealer is about the cost of buying a black shifter set.

In any case, that got me to thinking. Perhaps I should upgrade to 11 speeds since it is getting difficult to find 10 speed parts.

So I went out to look at groups and SURPRISE - they are NOW changing over to 12 speeds.

This is a bridge too far. When they had eight speeds that was about correct.. The gaps between gears were sufficient so that you could shift one gear at a time. Lance Armstrong wanted another gear so that he could carry a climbing gear and had Shimano make it.

Suddenly the component manufacturers discovered that if they made
non-interchangeable changes that everyone would buy "up".

At this point 10 speeds is stupid. I have to shift two of even three times to achieve the correct gear and the only time the super-close ratios are any good are the rare occasions when you are in a fast moving peloton and I for one do not like that anymore.

11 speeds was BARELY acceptable to attain more easy repair parts. But plainly they are not improving anything any longer but making changes so that people will "buy up".

I have tried disk brakes and they are a pain in the butt to install, you have to have a frame and fork built especially for them and you no longer can make a rapid wheel change. The racers HATE them. You can't get a new wheel in the breakaway from the Mavic car. Rim brakes are far more aero and most of the TT bikes use them. Of course BY CONTRACT some of the slower TT riders use them.

There is a good reason for tubeless - the same reason why every other vehicle has gone to them. This does take a special rim. But once you have changed over you're good for the life of your wheel. You could theorize that using a disk brake would increase the life of your expensive carbon tubeless rims but there are so many negatives attached to disks that talking about it is silly.

So what happens if you change to 12 speeds? At the present rate of upgrading you will be obsolete in three years. 13 or 14 will replace it. 1 x 14's are presently available but they have a bad chainline problem. Not to mention that the rear derailleur is a bad problem without a solution. Shifting from an 11 to a 42 means that you must design the derailleur to the cogset.

Furthermore - wouldn't a 14 speed internal hub be a more logical improvement? No more chain problems. No more derailleurs. Mo gear jumping. In an oil bath the rear hub wouldn't even wear.

12 speeds indeed!


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