Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Or That

<====Lets see, replaceable rings that are reasonably priced, solid construction, cheaply priced, standardized BCD and interface. What's not to like?
Wednesday the inner-web was a twitter about the SRAM XX group. Okay, we all knew it was coming. 10 speed mtb stuff. Ugh! Okay, the good thing is they had the sense to do a lower gear rather than fill in a gap inbetween 11 and 34T. The ten speed cassette goes to 36T. Okay, that part is smart, but the rest is just waaaay out there and unnecessary. For instance, SRAM created a new BCD of 120/80 for the XX crankset. Wha?........ Why?? The crank I have pictured above is 104/64 BCD. We have been working with this standard for many years now. It would support SRAM's chain ring sizes. It would be stiff enough, so I ask you: "Why?" (I think you all can figure out two reasons, both starting with "m", ending with "y" and symbolized by "$" and "$") There isn't any other good reason for it. Period.
Then you have the fact it is the first. That always makes it tough on the "rule" breaker. So you have to wonder why they would want 10 speeds. What good is it?
Well, I suppose for racing it might be something that you could argue for. Racers want to have the jumps between gears be minimal. Or so we're told. I dunno.........I've seen guys smoke courses on 8 speeds, 7 speeds, heck..........single speeds! Whatever. 10 speeds? Really?
Then you have all 10 cogs jammed into the same space that we made available for 7 speeds back when it went from six to seven the 80's? how does that work exactly? Well, wheels were compromised and parts got thinner. Chains got narrower, cogs don't wear as long, breakage happens more. 10 speed? Guess what will happen? And those 10 speed parts cost what? Yeah, open the wallet, and open wide.
Don't worry though, more 10 speed stuff will be coming, and it will trickle down into lower end groups. Shimano will do it sooner than later. Then 9 speed will become the realm of Alivio, Acera, and Tourney. Folks will flock to e-bay to find and trade for ancient, retro 9 speed stuff.
Sheesh! I sure am glad I figured out single speeding!
But hopefully other companies will step in to fill the void. Maybe somebody like Origin 8, who are doing the 2 X 9 crank above. Sensible 29 X 44 tooth rings in the 104/ 64BCD, and all for a MSRP of $100.00. That's smart. While it isn't super light weight, or "blingy", it just works. Maybe more companies will see the madness, and step in to do more "sensible" components that work off tried and true standards. I figure the first company that does a spit polish, finely tuned, lightweight 8 speed group is going to have a hot seller on their hands. That's what I think.
This, or that............
I know which I'd rather have!

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