Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday News And Views


Image courtesy of Retroshift
Bike Geek Alert! Okay, I'm kicking off today's post with a bit of bike gear geekery. So if esoteric discussion of bike componentry are not your thing, then you may want to skip over this part. (But then again, you probably do not read this blog!)

There is this new-old shifter technology out now called "Retroshift" which utilizes Tektro levers and a down tube/bar end mount which is "pasted" on to the front. With the addition of user supplied down tube or bar end shifters, a shift lever mounted off the end of the lever at the hood can be had.

This has become a fashionable thing to have on cross bikes of late. Retroshift claims that with riders abusing the typically used "brifter" in situations they never were intended for, (e.g. cross racing in mud, rain, and snow), the ubiquitous down tube shifter or bar end shifter works better, and is more robust, resisting damage in crashes, as an example.

I have been in some pretty heinous conditions on gravel, and I could see where maybe this makes sense as a component for gravel racing, or for an adventure/touring set up where the ultimate reliability is desired. Am I nuts? Anyone see what I am seeing? I will say that they look really odd. Almost as if you had non-aero levers on your bike.

Okay, so I was wrong! It looks as though we just may have our terrain looking like what I have shown here again. At least for awhile.

A big storm is brewing in the high plains today and the word was as of yesterday that we may be in on some significant snow. This means that By-Tor and the Snow Dog will be getting more "game time" in the coming days.

Of course, I have to get my son out sledding again. He's already called out some time for that! Hopefully I can find a decent sled before it gets too nasty out there! The ones we have just are not cutting it for us. But anyway, the snow biking facet of my fat bikes will be getting more play. That's good. I thought this winter was pretty much a bust so far for that part of riding these fatties.

Of course, looking at our forecast, the snow would appear to be of the heavy, wetter variety this go round, with temperatures at or slightly above freezing. So, I don't know how good this would get, unless the weather guys are wrong, and know that never happens!

Update On Project Fat Road: Okay, the rims are in! Now I have to cut out the old hubs, measure up everything, and see if any spokes are available at the shop to get the job done. If not, I'll order some, of course.

The bike itself is all stripped down and ready for a final clean and re-assembly. So, once the wheels get put together, and new tires are chosen, I will be "going back the other way", as we used to say when I was a car mechanic and we were putting things back together. It should all be pretty straight forward. The main thing will be how picky I get about cleaning everything up. You know what? I ain't doin' no restoration to museum quality here. This is a bike that will be gettin' dirty/dusty, so I won't sweat the little pits, nics, oxidization, and the like. That said, it should turn out pretty nicely. It was in pretty great shape to start with.

Okay, that's a wrap for today! Have a safe, warm, and fun weekend!


Guitar Ted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guitar Ted said...

Bikelaw has left a new comment on your post "Friday News And Views":

Your comments about snowfall in your neck of the woods leave me no choice but to despise you and your seasonally-appropriate weather. Illinois has barren ground and freezing fog.

Guitar Ted said...

Max has left a new comment on your post "Friday News And Views":

I like the Retroshifters. I could still see them getting damaged if you go OTB, but they look pretty comfortable and obviously more convenient than bar ends. Seems like a good idea.

Guitar Ted said...

Jon has left a new comment on your post "Friday News And Views":

We have gotten a foot of snow, in the past 12 hours, here in Denver, and it is currently snowing at 3 inches per hour.

Maybe this storm will move your way and you will get some more snow biking in.

Wish me luck on flying out of Denver International, this afternoon!

Guitar Ted said...

Guitar Ted has left a new comment on your post "Friday News And Views":

@Antisthénis: I can see where that may be the case where the shifter is in the vertical position, but that would be rare, since you would not be riding in that gear all that often.

If you look at Retroshifts site, it seems apparent that the brakes can be activated from the hoods easily, and of course, in the case of descents, you should be in the drops, where this shifter is a non-issue.

That said, I'll be finding out for myself soon. stay tuned.....

Guitar Ted said...

Ἀντισθένης has left a new comment on your post "Friday News And Views":

People have said on other threads those shifters are going to make putting your fingers on the brakes from the hoods slower, and I tend to agree - though I'd need to ride them to know. I cycle in traffic. I don't need the worry.

Posted by Ἀντισθένης to Guitar Ted Productions at 1:44 AM

Guitar Ted said...

@All: Sorry! I had a glitch and lost everything - this post and all of your comments, but through a couple of "fail-safes" I was able to retrieve all of it, so while your comments do not appear as you made them under your avatar/screen names, they are here.

Thanks for understanding!

Doug said...

I use Tektro v-brake levers and barends. It's nice to know what gear you're in just by feeling the angle of the shift lever. I cut a bit off the bar before mounting the barends to avoid the knee banger syndrome. I get Dura-Ace quality at 1/4 the price of brifters, and they're MUCH more durable.