Author Topic: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind  (Read 7869 times)

Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« on: October 11, 2008, 10:27:43 am »
Any bike features or parts that you miss, which have fallen by the wayside (or are about to) in the name of technological progress?

I'll list mine:

- Horizontal top tubes on road bikes
- Decent MTB thumbshifters (XT, DX)
- Shiny handlebar tape which comes in all colours and can be cleaned
- Amberwall tyres (really make the bike look lighter)
- Chains that don't need special joining links
Never tell me the odds.

Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2008, 10:55:54 am »
Any bike features or parts that you miss, which have fallen by the wayside (or are about to) in the name of technological progress?

I'll list mine:

- Horizontal top tubes on road bikes
- Decent MTB thumbshifters (XT, DX)
- Shiny handlebar tape which comes in all colours and can be cleaned
- Amberwall tyres (really make the bike look lighter)
- Chains that don't need special joining links

Compact frames - a way for manufacturers to get away with making few frame sizes and persuade people that it's a good thing. Although, on the upside a cheap large compact frame is probably stiffer than a cheap large traditional frame.  My 25.5 inch Bob Jackson is incredibly stiff, but it's made of 753.

I refuse to buy or use any chain that needs a special joining link. If I can have a ten speed chain that can be split and rejoined without any special tools, why the hell would I want a campag chain or a shimano (that needs pliers to break the special joining pins)? Remember manufacturer, I'm the customer, the one paying you for it. If I can get a product that's easier to use (and probably cheaper) elsewhere why would I bother with yours?
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

LEE

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2008, 11:14:33 am »
Stick-shift and proper double saddle on the Chopper.

It's political correctness gone mental.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2008, 11:17:24 am »
Stick-shift and proper double saddle on the Chopper.

It's political correctness gone mental.

Good one!  I flirted with the idea of buying a new Chopper (which has a better frame and wheels) and retro-fitting the right bits to it, but there doesn't seem to be a way to fit the stick shift and saddle.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2008, 12:13:27 pm »
Non indexed 'friction' gear shifters - no problem with the few adjustments they need and if you need a complex mechanism to enable you to shift one gear at a time up or down you need to get back in touch with your bike - get out more!


Toe clips and straps - an ingenious method of attaching feet to pedals where the release effort and float could be varied from 'almost no point in having them' smoothly through to 'now you're attached you'll need someone else to free you'.

Cycling shoes that don't come with large holes prefitted in the sole or where the cleat covers don't fall off after a few weeks wear >:(
“There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.”
― Douglas Adams

LEE

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2008, 01:23:05 pm »
Stick-shift and proper double saddle on the Chopper.

It's political correctness gone mental.

Good one!  I flirted with the idea of buying a new Chopper (which has a better frame and wheels) and retro-fitting the right bits to it, but there doesn't seem to be a way to fit the stick shift and saddle.

I constantly flirt with the idea of buying a Chopper (never had one as a child you see.  I've spent the last 32 years feeling somewhat deprived)

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2008, 05:40:42 pm »
They're back now, but normal curved bars. A few years ago, all bars were "anatomic", which gave one decent hand position whilst ruling out several others. Luckily though, some pros insisted on sticking with curved bars during these lean years, which means I can now buy them again  :thumbsup:

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2008, 05:53:03 pm »
Still use toe clips and straps on the tourer and the tandem.

Always fancied having an adult size chopper frame built.   It's a project on the burner...

Quill stems:   Made bar height adjustment easy.   Lift them up for a days pootle, drop them lower for a race. 

Clearance for guards:   Came on most frames, even race ones as I recall...

Centrepull brakes:  Always seemed to work very well and so easy to adjust.

531 tubing:   Simply the best.

Really Ancien

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2008, 06:00:04 pm »
52/42 Chainsets, even a 53/39 is all wrong for attacking a rise and as for a compact.

Damon.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2008, 06:04:45 pm »
Oh, and those gizmos for carrying spare wheels...

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2008, 06:06:37 pm »
Ah...the black alpaca days  ;D
Never tell me the odds.

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2008, 06:10:26 pm »
The total non-existence of helmets.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2008, 07:23:21 pm »
Proper Bluemels mudguards that didn't go all blotchy (it's the foil layer corroding) after a year on the road.  Still available NOS on eBay for silly money.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2008, 07:53:24 pm »
"Compact frames - a way for manufacturers to get away with making few frame sizes and persuade people that it's a good thing. Although, on the upside a cheap large compact frame is probably stiffer than a cheap large traditional frame.  My 25.5 inch Bob Jackson is incredibly stiff, but it's made of 753.
"

I agree - I own 1 compact framed bike and although it is good to ride I think it just looks wrong side-on, some of the compacts looked really squashed to me with TT's at steep angles. Horizontal framed bikes look so much better.

Other losses that come to mind:

-Proper headsets  - none of this integrated nonsense
-Mavic 501 & 531 Hubs - perfection IMHO & as tough as the cyclists who rode on them!
-LOOK S2 spd pedals - ultra supportive, in-destructable, quality bearings & axle


Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2008, 08:01:21 pm »
Proper-sized chainrings and sprockets on MTBs, and 5-bolt 110BCD cranks.  SunTour invented Microdrive, a silly way to save weight (since it just wears everything out quicker) and Shimano followed suit with compact drive.  4-bolt cranks were just to rub it in.

Now touring bikes all have a useless 11T sprocket and it's hard to find attractive cranks (i.e. something that doesn't look like it belongs on an MTB) without paying TA prices.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2008, 08:33:01 pm »
Downtube shifters
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2008, 08:56:39 pm »
Quote
Downtube levers
- check
Quote
52-42 chainset
- check
Quote
Old-fashioned chain
- check

+ threaded headset & quill stem (so much more elegant) - check

...

one day I'll be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century...
Let your mind unravel ... down that road you're travellin' ...

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2008, 09:09:08 pm »
I was going to say fixed gear, but everyone seems to be running one now, after "the 'Mericans invented it and the Loundoun crowd adopted it".  ::-)

 ;)
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2008, 10:00:15 pm »
52/42 Chainsets, even a 53/39 is all wrong for attacking a rise and as for a compact.

Damon.

TOTALLY AGREE  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Fortunately my triple has 52/42/30.
Never got on with 53/39 and compacts just seem an abomination in terms of shifting pattern.

Also with pneumant regarding Mavic 531 hubs, really fantastic.

I also support:
Proper curved bars (just bought some compact bars and they're ace!)
DT shifters.
Proper headsets
Toe-clips
531 tubing
(Is it 'cos I'm old????)

In addition I'd like to see the general return of large flange hubs... 'cos they look nice on a roadie.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2008, 10:26:25 pm »
Narrow Q chainsets (approx 130mm and under).

Proper low profile box section rims (not open pro type).

14 tooth top sprocket, or even 15.

"Amberwall tyres", agreed. All the other old stuff you can still get second hand or new old stock, but with tyres it's different as they're a consumable and have a limited shelf life.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2008, 11:21:41 pm »
Downtube shifters
Horizontal top tubes
Steel!
Latex inner tubes
Lycra covered saddles
Toeclips & straps
Threaded headsets & quill stem
Friction shifting
Randonneur bars
Getting there...

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2008, 08:28:06 am »
Bzzt!  Downtube shifters are still available, although you have to pay the Dura-Ace tax on them.
Never tell me the odds.

FatBloke

  • I come from a land up over!
Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2008, 08:29:24 am »
Chromed spring cable clips
This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional blood sport. It can happen to you. And it can happen again.

Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2008, 08:35:20 am »
I have three of them.  Bids?  :D
Never tell me the odds.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Good stuff that bike "progress" has left behind
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2008, 11:11:48 am »
Bzzt!  Downtube shifters are still available, although you have to pay the Dura-Ace tax on them.

Yes, so are steel frames with horizontal top tubes, toeclips and randonneur bars, but you'll have no joy if you ask in tha vast majority of bike shops, because things have been 'improved' to the point where we have buzzy Al frames with indexing that slips out of true and stops you carrying a bar bag, and 'anatomic' or 'ergonomic' bars that are uncomfortable for touring.
Getting there...