Is It Just Me ?

28/06/2012   |   Posted by jeremy


I’m not against improvements or advancements in engineering, but it does make me wonder when looking at bikes whether or not these fantastic ideas are worth the effort. I can see that some advancement in certain areas is indeed good. For instance, disc brakes on a mountain bike are a good idea.

I went to Wales a couple of times on my old stumpjumper and it had v brakes. Most of the weekend was wet and anyone who has been to Afan forest will know that come down some of the descents there with v brakes is about as good an idea as a chocolate teapot, completely rubbish. So when I went back the following year with my brand new Stumpjumper equipped with the discs, my oh my, what a difference.

 I don’t personally see the advantage of using discs on a road bike, I know they are coming and have already seen a few examples. But to me they look just plain weird. The chances are that if you try and stop that quickly with skinny tyres you’re going to hit the deck anyway. Next on my hit list is over gearing on cassettes.  Do we really need, ten eleven or even twelve on a cassette? If you’ve ever tried setting these up you will know what a pain it is, not for the rear derailleur but the front one. The chain isn’t really designed to take that much sideways movement, but the experts keep cramming more rings on.

 When I was a kid my racer was a ten speed, five on the rear, which was never a problem and I bet I could still get away with five on the rear if the ratios were right, and it would save weight. This brings me nicely on to my last point. Why does everything have to be soooo light, some people are obsessed with weight saving. In my opinion the best way they could save weight would be to drop a few pounds off themselves, lord knows I could. It would also save them a few quid by not spending it on Carbon goodies.

Now the thing is, I’m just as guilty as the next person of getting swept along by the latest, newest development and God help you if you are one of the so called early adopters because you really do pay the price.   Of course I can’t stop these advancements and why should I, but sometimes I think there is a lot of reinventing of the wheel going on and who is the winner in these situations, could it be the manufacturers ,  I wonder.