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Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 16th 04, 02:03 AM
John Morgan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

(WAS: Time to build some new wheels - opinions sought)

The bottom bracket argument isn't much of anything, since bottom brackets
only cost around $30 anyway.


It's not about merely the BB. So, let's say tomorrow, I bust my XT
crank arm. *Right now*, I can probably find an XT Octalink crankarm
or crankset to replace it. In three years? In five years? I'll bet
that ISIS will still be going strong then. Not only do they have a
new crankset standard, but they have been carrying 3 *other* BB types:
V2 Octalink, V1 Octalink, and square taper. I'm going to pick up 4
extra Octalink BBs (two for each bike) and when they are done, the
cranks will be replaced with some non-Shimano stuff.

BTW, did you see the new Saint gruppo, and how the RD is attached?
Different standard...

Usually you decide what kind of cranks you
want and then buy the bottom bracket to match...


Yup, I have Octalink XTs on right now - both bikes. They are nice,
and were relatively inexpensive for their quality. In three years,
how many new Octalink XT cranksets do you think I might be able to
buy?

by using the new external
bearing setup, they save you the trouble of buying a bottom bracket
separately.


As you say, a $30 BB is not an issue. As I was shopping for hubs the
other day, I asked my not-so-LBS about XT ISO disk hubs. One of his
catalogs doesn't even have the M756s any more. Hmmmm. How long
before they stop production on Octalink BBs? (Thus rendering my
expensive XT cranksets useless upon BB failure.)

Shimano is doing it's best to make the old gear obsolete, such that if
you break one thing some time in the future, you'll be obligated to
buy a whole bunch of stuff to replace perfectly fucntional, but
now-obsolete, ancillary gear. I very much object to throwing away
(giving away, selling for some miniscule price) perfectly usable bike
gear. Standard ISO hubs, conventionally-return-sprung RDs, ISIS
BB/cranksets, separate brake and shifter controls. I hope bike
consumers also see what I see, so that they might choose their poison
with open eyes, whether that be poison dished out by the Big S, or
some other poison.


Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.
Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete. This is true
in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively. If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be very
little improvement.

You gave the perfect example of this. You enjoy the benefits Octalink has
over standard square taper. If I apply your sweeping judgment, Shimano
should have stuck with square taper because it is compatible with cranks
that have been made for decades. The splined bottom bracket is a superior
technology that is not compatible with anything previously made, but at
some point we must let go of our obsolete cranks and accept the new
standard. To do so bitterly would be a shame indeed.

That being said, I need you to explain further why the advancement of
technology upsets you. You state the case that replacement of one part may
require you to replace many other parts that are still functional. Again,
I submit to you that this is currently a reality and it always has been.
(Oh, you want to upgrade your fork? You'll need a threadless headset and
side-pull brakes! But my headset and center-pull brakes work fine! Sorry,
they aren't compatible.) Obsolete parts can still be found long after they
are replaced by newer technology, but they just aren't readily available in
your latest mail order catalogs. Just ask some of the retros on this group
who still use threaded headsets and thumb shifters.

What you're experiencing with Shimano's new lineup isn't new. Every new
generation of parts has had some kind of backlash with people who do not
want to change over. What happens to these people? Either they find a way
to keep fixing their old gear, or they upgrade and realize what they've
been missing.

And finally, I must say that unless you're really lucky, you will be
changing out parts on your bike for new ones long before they become
obsolete. You may even find yourself wanting that hot new item for your
bike before your old stuff wears out. If you're like me, chances are
you'll buy an entirely new bike before anything on it becomes hard to find.

John M
Ads
  #2  
Old June 16th 04, 02:48 AM
ZeeExSixAre
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.
Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete. This is
true in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively. If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be
very little improvement.


Not true. We still have freehubs that are largely compatible with each
other, especially with the use of spacers. Maybe this part didn't need
better engineering... I dunno.

What about Octalink V1? Obviously a big failure. Doesn't follow
"Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete." at all.

You gave the perfect example of this. You enjoy the benefits
Octalink has over standard square taper. If I apply your sweeping
judgment, Shimano should have stuck with square taper because it is
compatible with cranks that have been made for decades. The splined
bottom bracket is a superior technology that is not compatible with
anything previously made, but at some point we must let go of our
obsolete cranks and accept the new standard. To do so bitterly would
be a shame indeed.


It's such a new "technology" that needing to upgrade a whole drivetrain just
because a smaller component failed is backwards and wasteful.

What you're experiencing with Shimano's new lineup isn't new. Every
new generation of parts has had some kind of backlash with people who
do not want to change over. What happens to these people? Either
they find a way to keep fixing their old gear, or they upgrade and
realize what they've been missing.


But this is a sudden change of many things... "Standard ISO hubs,
conventionally-return-sprung RDs, ISIS BB/cranksets, separate brake and
shifter controls." Most of these work fine and are so much cheaper than the
new stuff.

And finally, I must say that unless you're really lucky, you will be
changing out parts on your bike for new ones long before they become
obsolete. You may even find yourself wanting that hot new item for
your bike before your old stuff wears out. If you're like me,
chances are you'll buy an entirely new bike before anything on it
becomes hard to find.



You would be ****ed if you bent your disc rotor and were subsequently
required to replace your wheel. Hmm... a $30 item (Hayes 6" rotor) versus a
$330 item (front Shimano centerlock wheel plus a new Shimano rotor)... a
1000% higher cost! (prices estimated from Cambria)

I don't see how anybody would be so willing to throw your money out on a
proprietary system that nobody else supports at a cost that is significantly
higher than the prices of competitors that have products of similar quality.
If you enjoy doing that, then have fun wasting your money. I'd rather spend
my money on, say, food, or water.

Imagine buying a new nice car... Let's say a Nissan Maxima. You spend
$30,000 on it. You drive it for a year, and the axle, or some other
critical support breaks. You go to your dealer, and you say, "I need a new
axle installed." His reply: "I'm sorry sir - that was last year's model.
We've made advancements since then, so your only recourse is to buy our new
model year Maxima."

Sounds pretty ****ty to me.

--
Phil, Squid-in-Training



  #3  
Old June 16th 04, 04:05 AM
p e t e f a g e r l i n
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement


"John Morgan" wrote in message
news:5_Mzc.72304$My6.32711@fed1read05...
Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.
Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete. This is true
in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively. If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be very
little improvement.


The new Shimano **** is lightyears ahead of the old stuff.

To poopoo it simply because it's new is to be a retrogrouch lemming.


  #4  
Old June 16th 04, 04:14 AM
Slacker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

John Morgan wrote:

And finally, I must say that unless you're really lucky, you will be
changing out parts on your bike for new ones long before they become
obsolete. You may even find yourself wanting that hot new item for your
bike before your old stuff wears out. If you're like me, chances are
you'll buy an entirely new bike before anything on it becomes hard to find.

John M


And speaking of new technologies
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=30039

I can't believe that company actually made a good looking bike. The
future looks very promising.

--
Slacker
  #5  
Old June 16th 04, 04:18 AM
G.T.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

John Morgan wrote:
(WAS: Time to build some new wheels - opinions sought)


The bottom bracket argument isn't much of anything, since bottom brackets
only cost around $30 anyway.


It's not about merely the BB. So, let's say tomorrow, I bust my XT
crank arm. *Right now*, I can probably find an XT Octalink crankarm
or crankset to replace it. In three years? In five years? I'll bet
that ISIS will still be going strong then. Not only do they have a
new crankset standard, but they have been carrying 3 *other* BB types:
V2 Octalink, V1 Octalink, and square taper. I'm going to pick up 4
extra Octalink BBs (two for each bike) and when they are done, the
cranks will be replaced with some non-Shimano stuff.

BTW, did you see the new Saint gruppo, and how the RD is attached?
Different standard...


Usually you decide what kind of cranks you
want and then buy the bottom bracket to match...


Yup, I have Octalink XTs on right now - both bikes. They are nice,
and were relatively inexpensive for their quality. In three years,
how many new Octalink XT cranksets do you think I might be able to
buy?


by using the new external
bearing setup, they save you the trouble of buying a bottom bracket
separately.


As you say, a $30 BB is not an issue. As I was shopping for hubs the
other day, I asked my not-so-LBS about XT ISO disk hubs. One of his
catalogs doesn't even have the M756s any more. Hmmmm. How long
before they stop production on Octalink BBs? (Thus rendering my
expensive XT cranksets useless upon BB failure.)

Shimano is doing it's best to make the old gear obsolete, such that if
you break one thing some time in the future, you'll be obligated to
buy a whole bunch of stuff to replace perfectly fucntional, but
now-obsolete, ancillary gear. I very much object to throwing away
(giving away, selling for some miniscule price) perfectly usable bike
gear. Standard ISO hubs, conventionally-return-sprung RDs, ISIS
BB/cranksets, separate brake and shifter controls. I hope bike
consumers also see what I see, so that they might choose their poison
with open eyes, whether that be poison dished out by the Big S, or
some other poison.



Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.
Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete. This is true
in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively. If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be very
little improvement.

You gave the perfect example of this. You enjoy the benefits Octalink has
over standard square taper. If I apply your sweeping judgment, Shimano
should have stuck with square taper because it is compatible with cranks
that have been made for decades. The splined bottom bracket is a superior
technology that is not compatible with anything previously made, but at
some point we must let go of our obsolete cranks and accept the new
standard. To do so bitterly would be a shame indeed.


For every splined bottom bracket there are 5 Shimano "innovations" that
were profit advances rather than technological advances.

Greg

--
Destroy your safe and happy lives
Before it is too late
The battles we fought were long and hard
Just not to be consumed by rock'n'roll
  #6  
Old June 16th 04, 07:13 PM
Jonesy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

John Morgan wrote in message news:5_Mzc.72304$My6.32711@fed1read05...
(WAS: Time to build some new wheels - opinions sought)

[snip]

Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.


No, I don't think I am. I'm looking at it from the angle of a
consumer of purely luxury goods. A consumer with a self-imposed
limited budget.

Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete.


Indeed. But forced obsolesense, with very little gain in
functionality - this is what I see from Shimano. Yes, there is some
improvement, but not (in my mind) cost-justified.

This is true
in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively.


Like computers, right? Except when advances are made, it's "faster,
better, cheaper." For the most part. I don't necessarily see Shimano
as being "better and cheaper," but rather, "different and more
expensive."

If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be very
little improvement.


Like wheels? Or the parallelogram RD? Or chain-drive? The bicycle
is a mature technology. Has been for quite some time. Square-taper
BB/cranksets are still quite functional, and will be for the vast
majority of bicycle owners.

You gave the perfect example of this. You enjoy the benefits Octalink has
over standard square taper.


Uhhh, no. I bought an XT crankset because of value/dollar. $120 for
the crankset, $20 for the BB - hard to beat. It just happened to be
Octalink-only. I do not plan on being a gear whore and buying the
latest and greatest crankset in two years time. I want this thing to
last a while.


If I apply your sweeping judgment, Shimano
should have stuck with square taper because it is compatible with cranks
that have been made for decades.


1.) Does it work?
2.) Does the new technology work appreciably better?
3.) Will the new tech become a new standard, or just another failed
experiment?

Does anyone remember VESA local bus? No? MCA?

"New" doesn't always mean "better."

The splined bottom bracket is a superior
technology


In some respects. And ISIS is going to be around a while. Octalink
will just flat disappear - a failed experiment, or a cynical marketing
tactic.

that is not compatible with anything previously made, but at
some point we must let go of our obsolete cranks and accept the new
standard.


I like splined. Easy, and hard to screw up (unlike square taper.)
Maybe in ten years, everyone will be using the XTR/XT-style BB. Or,
maybe some new, as-yet-unseen tech will emerge. By then, I'm sure I
will have gotten new cranks. Mostly because my Octalink BB supply
will have disappeared. Or I will have broken a crank, and cant get a
replacement arm in Octalink style.

To do so bitterly would be a shame indeed.


If the standard changes every three years, to very little real benefit
for the end user, I become somewhat cynical.

That being said, I need you to explain further why the advancement of
technology upsets you.


What does Dual Control do for me? The new crank and BB style?
Centerlock hubs and disks? Low-normal vs. high-normal? 1.5 headtube
diameter?

See, tech advances don't upset me at all, if I can see a clear benefit
*worth the additional outlay to acquire it.* Disk brakes.
Suspension. Tubless [sic] tires. Stable-platform valving in
suspension. Butted tubing and spokes. Lightweight alloys. All of
these things are good. But Shimano's direction seems to be change for
change's sake. Is the new crank style so much better as to make a
$300 difference? That's a big percentage of most consumer bikes'
total cost. What does Centerlock bring to the consumer? Slightly
less weight (important for weight weenies, of course) and
installation/removal is easier. Not much of a leap to justify
changing out two hubs and two rotors, for a total cost of what - $250?

You state the case that replacement of one part may
require you to replace many other parts that are still functional. Again,
I submit to you that this is currently a reality and it always has been.


The time span between standard changes has not been so short. And
some changes are well worth the replacement of other gear. The move
from rigid to front suspension cost me fork, headset and stem. The
headset and stem were very small incremental cost increases, AND the
removal of the old stuff saved a bunch of weight. The move from Vs to
disk cost me hubs, rotors and calipers. But the benefits were very
large compared to the cost. It's not as cut-and-dried as you would
believe.

Obsolete parts can still be found long after they
are replaced by newer technology, but they just aren't readily available in
your latest mail order catalogs. Just ask some of the retros on this group
who still use threaded headsets and thumb shifters.


Some can. And some can't. Finding a decent 1" stem in anything but
5-degree/120mm is not that easy a task. Heck, even finding a 1"
steerer suspension fork can cause some consternation. I happen to
know where to look, but they are not widely available. And there are
plenty of MTB frames out there that are perfectly functional, yet have
that obsolete 1" head tube. How long was the 1" headtube good enough?

What you're experiencing with Shimano's new lineup isn't new. Every new
generation of parts has had some kind of backlash with people who do not
want to change over.


If I saw the actual benefit/cost as being there, I'd be all over it.
See my comments above on disk brakes and front suspension. Add to
that clipless pedals. And FS. I like 'em.

What happens to these people? Either they find a way
to keep fixing their old gear, or they upgrade and realize what they've
been missing.


Somehow, I don't see Centerlock or the new crankset as being so
functionally different as to be that noticeable. Dual Control?
Low-normal?

And finally, I must say that unless you're really lucky, you will be
changing out parts on your bike for new ones long before they become
obsolete.


And that may be at the crux of the problem. I am easy on gear, and
can make the stuff last a long damn time. Like hubs - I dunno if my
Shimano stuff will ever wear out. I maintain it religiously, and am
easy on it when riding. When it finally gives up, I have no idea what
the rotor attachment standard will be. But if stuff is changed around
merely for change's sake, or because there is some miniscule
improvement in design and functionality, then I object on the grounds
that for all but the most demanding consumers, current tech really is
very good. Even the tech of three years ago is pretty damn good, for
most folks. I guess my test of whether or not the change is good or
bad is this: what question does it answer, what problem does it
solve? If it answers an unasked question, or solves a very minor
problem, then the tech, to me, is more *marketing*-driven than
*market*-driven. And Shimano, by it's very dominance of the market,
can jam any standard it wants down our throats, because they can. And
it doesn't really matter if that standard has any real benefit to
anyone, other than to the stockholders in Shimano, Inc.

You may even find yourself wanting that hot new item for your
bike before your old stuff wears out. If you're like me, chances are
you'll buy an entirely new bike before anything on it becomes hard to find.


I'm not like you. I run my gear a long time, because it's not about
the gear, but the ride, and because I'm pretty easy on it. Stuff that
complicates my life and keeps me from riding annoys me. I don't lust
after the latest and greatest. New does not always mean better.
--
Jonesy
  #7  
Old June 16th 04, 07:48 PM
Jonesy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

"ZeeExSixAre" wrote in message ...


You would be ****ed if you bent your disc rotor and were subsequently
required to replace your wheel. Hmm... a $30 item (Hayes 6" rotor) versus a
$330 item (front Shimano centerlock wheel plus a new Shimano rotor)... a
1000% higher cost! (prices estimated from Cambria)


I'd call the cost more on the order of: new front hub, new rotor,
labor to lace the wheel (in the case you couldn't DIY.)

Less than $300, but certainly more than a $20 Avid rotor.

I don't see how anybody would be so willing to throw your money out on a
proprietary system that nobody else supports at a cost that is significantly
higher than the prices of competitors that have products of similar quality.


And there is really the issue: similar quality. Is the RaceFace
stuff so much inferior to the XT/XTR crankset? Is the difference even
measurable, saying nothing of noticeable?

If you enjoy doing that, then have fun wasting your money. I'd rather spend
my money on, say, food, or water.


How about gas to drive to a really cool MTBing vacation? Or a bike
for your kid? Etc, etc.

Imagine buying a new nice car... Let's say a Nissan Maxima. You spend
$30,000 on it. You drive it for a year, and the axle, or some other
critical support breaks. You go to your dealer, and you say, "I need a new
axle installed." His reply: "I'm sorry sir - that was last year's model.
We've made advancements since then, so your only recourse is to buy our new
model year Maxima."


I think a closer analogy would be, "I'm sorry sir, that part of the
drivetrain is obsolete. We will be happy to sell you a new transaxle
and related components." Of course, it would set you back $2500 or
more, instead of the $200 or so for a broken axle.

I like new tech that makes real improvement. Incremental, small,
performance-neutral tech that costs a lot of dough and obsoletes my
existing, perfectly-functional gear is what bothers me.
--
Jonesy
  #8  
Old June 16th 04, 10:00 PM
Jonesy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

"p e t e f a g e r l i n" wrote in message .com...
"John Morgan" wrote in message
news:5_Mzc.72304$My6.32711@fed1read05...
Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.
Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete. This is true
in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively. If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be very
little improvement.


The new Shimano **** is lightyears ahead of the old stuff.


Your opinion, not necessarily shared by everyone.

To poopoo it simply because it's new is to be a retrogrouch lemming.


Good thing nobody is doing that.
--
Jonesy
  #9  
Old June 16th 04, 10:21 PM
Stephen Baker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

Jonesy says:

To poopoo it simply because it's new is to be a retrogrouch lemming.


Good thing nobody is doing that.


Oh, what the heck - someone has to do it:

I hereby poopoo the new ****mano stuff. Simply because it IS new ;-)

Steve "Luddite"
  #10  
Old June 16th 04, 11:49 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thoughts on bike gear technology advancement

Yah, right technological advancements. Like the high tech improvement
of moving from 7 speed cassettes to 9 speed cassettes over the last
ten years. I still have the original drive train on my old 7 gear
cassette but have changed drive trains on my 8 speed once a year.

And those thinner chains what high tech wonders, if you don't break
them on your first ride up a really steep hill.

There's no reason why shimano can't continue to make parts for the
older bikes. The auto manufacturers stock and build parts for 20
years. Besides Campi manages to build higher tech stuff and still
supply parts for old stuff.

On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 18:03:21 -0700, John Morgan
wrote:

(WAS: Time to build some new wheels - opinions sought)

The bottom bracket argument isn't much of anything, since bottom brackets
only cost around $30 anyway.


It's not about merely the BB. So, let's say tomorrow, I bust my XT
crank arm. *Right now*, I can probably find an XT Octalink crankarm
or crankset to replace it. In three years? In five years? I'll bet
that ISIS will still be going strong then. Not only do they have a
new crankset standard, but they have been carrying 3 *other* BB types:
V2 Octalink, V1 Octalink, and square taper. I'm going to pick up 4
extra Octalink BBs (two for each bike) and when they are done, the
cranks will be replaced with some non-Shimano stuff.

BTW, did you see the new Saint gruppo, and how the RD is attached?
Different standard...

Usually you decide what kind of cranks you
want and then buy the bottom bracket to match...


Yup, I have Octalink XTs on right now - both bikes. They are nice,
and were relatively inexpensive for their quality. In three years,
how many new Octalink XT cranksets do you think I might be able to
buy?

by using the new external
bearing setup, they save you the trouble of buying a bottom bracket
separately.


As you say, a $30 BB is not an issue. As I was shopping for hubs the
other day, I asked my not-so-LBS about XT ISO disk hubs. One of his
catalogs doesn't even have the M756s any more. Hmmmm. How long
before they stop production on Octalink BBs? (Thus rendering my
expensive XT cranksets useless upon BB failure.)

Shimano is doing it's best to make the old gear obsolete, such that if
you break one thing some time in the future, you'll be obligated to
buy a whole bunch of stuff to replace perfectly fucntional, but
now-obsolete, ancillary gear. I very much object to throwing away
(giving away, selling for some miniscule price) perfectly usable bike
gear. Standard ISO hubs, conventionally-return-sprung RDs, ISIS
BB/cranksets, separate brake and shifter controls. I hope bike
consumers also see what I see, so that they might choose their poison
with open eyes, whether that be poison dished out by the Big S, or
some other poison.


Jonesy, I think you're looking at this problem from the wrong angle.
Technology always advances, leaving older products obsolete. This is true
in any industry, and shouldn't be viewed so negatively. If every
generation of gear was compatible with the previous, there would be very
little improvement.

You gave the perfect example of this. You enjoy the benefits Octalink has
over standard square taper. If I apply your sweeping judgment, Shimano
should have stuck with square taper because it is compatible with cranks
that have been made for decades. The splined bottom bracket is a superior
technology that is not compatible with anything previously made, but at
some point we must let go of our obsolete cranks and accept the new
standard. To do so bitterly would be a shame indeed.

That being said, I need you to explain further why the advancement of
technology upsets you. You state the case that replacement of one part may
require you to replace many other parts that are still functional. Again,
I submit to you that this is currently a reality and it always has been.
(Oh, you want to upgrade your fork? You'll need a threadless headset and
side-pull brakes! But my headset and center-pull brakes work fine! Sorry,
they aren't compatible.) Obsolete parts can still be found long after they
are replaced by newer technology, but they just aren't readily available in
your latest mail order catalogs. Just ask some of the retros on this group
who still use threaded headsets and thumb shifters.

What you're experiencing with Shimano's new lineup isn't new. Every new
generation of parts has had some kind of backlash with people who do not
want to change over. What happens to these people? Either they find a way
to keep fixing their old gear, or they upgrade and realize what they've
been missing.

And finally, I must say that unless you're really lucky, you will be
changing out parts on your bike for new ones long before they become
obsolete. You may even find yourself wanting that hot new item for your
bike before your old stuff wears out. If you're like me, chances are
you'll buy an entirely new bike before anything on it becomes hard to find.

John M


 




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