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 - OLD SCHOOL vs. NEW?

Before proceeding, understand that it is absolutely unfair to compare the function of Old School components to new.  When it comes to quality in components, materials and workmanship are essential ingredients.  However, a third consideration presents itself, and must be included in any component evaluation.

That third consideration is "user friendliness".  We expect a derailleur to be capable of executing shifts.  But, the better it does so, the better the quality - in my mind.  If that same component is easy to install and tune, the better the quality - in my mind.  And, if that same component keeps on ticking, like the little pink bunny, the quality is better - in my mind.  With all of that in mind, "user friendliness" is the next and extremely important consideration when defining component quality.

Generally speaking, when discussing quality components, the newer a component is, the more "user friendly" it will be.  The newer indexed Ergo transmissions, like the ones fitted to my Proctor-Townsend, or my Marinoni Squadra, shift well and do not require that the rider remove his, or her hands, from the bars.  This, simply put, is more "user friendly", and much safer, in today's busy traffic world.  And, in the racing world, the system is a great deal faster shifting.

The Old School shifters, be they friction or indexed, demanded the rider reach down, for the shifters mounted on the bicycle's down tube.  Reaching down required, that one remove his, or her, hand from the handlebars.  Dangerous, to say the least.  The reach down, is then complicated with a choice of mentioned shift opportunities - friction or indexed, with the first often times requiring "trimming" to get the chain in the sweet spot.  This all worked fine, in days gone bye, but does not work worth beans, when compared to what else is available today.

However, both get the job, of shifting gears, done equally well, but the newer technology is just easier to use.  Similarly, the older center pull brake callipers are difficult to set-up and do not work as well as side pulls.  And, side pulls cannot hold a candle to disc brakes.  You see the point.  Old cannot be compared to new, when "user friendliness" is the issue.  And, "user friendliness" will always be an issue, when a bicycle's components come under the microscope.

The better braking system is an obvious improvement in a road bicycle's "user friendliness".  So, too, are modern tires.  Clinchers are, by far, easier to use, less expensive to use and just about as good as the Old School sew-up design.  Let me quality the just about as good statement.

Some people, me included, feel that the ride quality, offered by the tubular, or sew-up tire, is so superior to that of the newer clincher style, that using the tubular is warranted.  I feel this way, under two conditions.  First, for really old bicycles that would never have been issued with anything but sew-ups, get sew-ups when I build the bicycles.  Second, and this will never apply to me, the tubular is better for going fast.  In other words, I would run tubulars if I was planning on racing the bicycle in question.

Cushion handlebar tape is better than cloth.  Stainless steel cables are better that plated steel ones.  Indexed saddle posts are far better than steel and clamp models.  If one takes the time to look and consider the huge gap between Old School and New, then it becomes easy to see why newer is favoured, from a user's point of view.

Of course, and generally speaking, the older a component is, the more collectable it will be.  But, so long as we all agree to not compare Old School technology to new, we can begin to evaluate the differences between components, starting with who made it.

NEXT - WHAT IS BETTER - MANUFACTURED BY?

 

 

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