MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

QUALITY - INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS BETTER?

OLD vs NEW

WHO MADE IT - ???

CAMPAGNOLO

SHIMANO

SUNTOUR

SIMPLEX

OTHER MANUFACTURERS

SEAT POSTS

PEDALS

SADDLES

RIMS & TIRES

HUBS, SPOKES , SKEWERS

HANDLEBARS & STEMS

BRAKE CALLIPERS

BRAKE LEVERS

DERAILLEURS

 

WHAT IS BETTER - BRAKE LEVERS?

Once again, moving forward in chronological order, vintage road bicycle levers come in a few varieties.  The oldest being the Non-Aero brake lever.  These levers have been around since the Earth's crust was soft, or so it seams.  The Non-Aero brake lever allows for the brake cable to exit through the top of the lever body.  The cable then loops its way over the handlebars, past the steering stem and into some sort of guide on the top tube.  There is certainly nothing aerodynamically sound with this configuration.  Of course, this Old School style had no name until its successor necessitated the need for one.

The Aero lever surfaced sometime in the mid eighties, as nearly as I can tell.  The Aero lever allows for the brake cable to exit at the bottom of the lever.  The brake cable, hidden mostly under the bar tape, then follows the contour of the handle bars before making a short loop, for lack of a better word, to the top tube cable guides.  This system looks much cleaner, almost aerodynamic in appearance, hence the name Aero.

The Aero system is of more modern design and can be associated with both, Side Pull and Light Action callipers.  In fact, the Campagnolo Aero lever pictured, can easily and with factory issued parts, be converted to the Non-Aero style.  An interesting feature to consider, when the new standards in brakes were sorting themselves out.

And finally, today's accepted standard is the "Ergo" lever and what a great "user friendly" standard it is.  These are very cleverly designed brake levers that also incorporate the shift levers for the transmission.  Certainly a "user friendly" feature if there ever was one.  Now, thanks to this forward thinking design, the rider can implement shifts and stops, without even moving his hands around on the handlebars.  This, in my mind, is a really great feature.  But one that does not fit well with the nature of vintage road bicycles.

The Ergo lever is so great to use, that it all but robs the rider of braking and shifting "feel".  A flick of the lever and the next gear is selected.  A light, effortless pull and the bike slows down.  Though I really like these components, and their associated systems, they absolutely rob a vintage road bicycle of the vintage feel.  Though I like using the modern stuff, I prefer the feel of vintage.  The same thing holds true when it comes to automobile transmissions.  I prefer standard to automatic.  But that is just me.

And since the topic of shifting has come up, what constitutes a better transmission.  Which derailleurs make for the best shifts?

 

NEXT - WHAT IS BETTER - DERAILLEURS?

 

 

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