Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday News And Views

5 Retro-tastic Ideas That Should Never Go Away, Or Should Come Back: 
  1. Quick release rear wheels on hard tail mountain bikes: The industry is going whole hog for 142mm X 12mm  rear through axles on hard tail mountain bikes. Really? Does anyone truly believe their current hard tail is laterally flexy to the point that a through axle rear wheel will help fix that on their next bike? I get the idea for a full suspension rig, but this hard tail, through axle idea is dumb. We do not need it.
  2. Square Tapered Crank Sets That Are Not For Rando Bikes: In the world of cycling, there hasn't been a component much better than the cartridge square tapered bottom bracket. (I have several 1990's era Shimano BB's that are still spinning strong) You can still buy nice UN series cartridge BB's from Shimano to this very day. However; there aren't any really nice crank sets to go with them. How about someone out there getting the old original XTR crank dies and making them again? Tell me you wouldn't look real hard at a Race Face Turbine LP with a square tapered interface if they were to make those again. And even the roadies could stand some of those old Record and Dura Ace beauties that were so classy.
  3. European Bottom Brackets: While we're on the subject of cranks and bottom bracket cartridges, how about those good old threaded Euro bottom brackets? PF-30? BB-Whatchamacallit? Whatever! Keep yer mitts offa the bottom bracket stuff and stop enginerding something that works just fine, thank you very much.
  4. Really Nice Steel Frames: While we are blessed to still have some choices, (especially custom, or small mass produced run options), there is a distinct lack of really freakin' rad TIG welded steel frames out there these days. I was reminded of such as I worked on a mid-90's mid-range Univega Alpina 500 at the shop the other day. It had double butted tubes, bi-axially squished joints in key spots, and a cool chain stay set up for maximum mud clearances. It even had a chain hangar. Yeah.....we've got steel frames, but the same ol' boring, round tubed fare, and heavier than sin, most often than not. (Yeah...CEN standards, blah,blah,blah....  These 90's frames are still kickin' around, ya know?)
  5. Skin Wall MTB Tires: Okay- this is a personal favorite of mine, but I loved the look of old skool mtb tires. I miss skin walls. I see some Onza, and maybe WTB tires, but they are rare as hen's teeth. Maybe I'm an odd one out here, but give me some good lookin' high end skinwall tires on dark colored frames, (TIG welded steel, of course.) Man! That's a good look right there. (And while we're at it, how about some re-issue Endomorphs with skin walls, eh?)
And that's a wrap for today. Hey! The 3GR will be happening Saturday at 8:30am starting at the Gateway Park lot in Cedar Falls. Hope to see some folks there. It'll be a good, warm one!

Otherwise have a safe, fun, and bicycle filled Labor Day Weekend!

12 comments:

Joe said...

I installed the BB in my fixie in 1999 and it still spins freely.

Doug Mayer said...

here here for square taper!

I'm sure there are some who would add a sixth item to your list: 26" wheels ;-)

Mauricio Babilonia said...

You're making me miss my MB-3 :-(

1234567890 said...

Hey Ted,

I asked Ian at Chromag about 142 rear ends when I ordered my Surface 29er. His take was it posed no significant benefit and had been developed to stiffen full suspension designs. A lot of Chromag hardtails get ridden super hard so if there was any benefit I'm sure they'd use it.

Surface is also some sweet modern steel!

I like the idea of a nice cartridge BB but I am more worried about the tapers holding and the stiffness of the axle. At least with the modern oversize-axle designs the bearings are easily serviced or replaced.

Regards,
Anthony

Matt Maxwell said...

Hear! Hear!

Okay, except for the skinwalls, but Shimano's UN series are the best parts out there hands down.

bicycletorch said...

You had be right up till the tan sidewalls. I love em on my road/gravel machines, but I could never appreciate them on the ATB side.

Keep preaching it, brother!

coastkid said...

A nice square taper crank set?

How about Middleburn RS7s?

Matched to a polished finish Phil Wood square taper BB is probably one of the nicest looking , lightest, strongest cranksets out there...

Available with a 4 or 5 xc spider,
The chain ring options cover about everything...

Evan Baird said...

I've got some skinwall MTB and CX tires on order from Panaracer. Keep an eye out on the Soma Blog.

Guitar Ted said...

@coastkid: True! hard to come by here though. (And more competition would be good!)

@Evan Baird: I'll be on the lookout....

galaxysearchlights said...

Count 1 vote for through axle on hardtails ,, only because they do slip due to cheap or ultra light skewers. Flex is not the problem.
Internal cam skewers seem to help especially on my single speed mtb.
I 2nd the steel frame idea! (I live in waterford wisconsin not far from waterford cycles).

Denny Yunk said...

Well said. I'm all for improving the way a bike performs (and looks), but some recent "innovations" aren't improvements - they're just changes for change's sake. Or worse, they're cost-saving measures that are presented as improvements.

My retro-tastic list would include BRASS nipples and conventional J-bend spokes, frame pumps and pump pegs, and fender mounts. Nice to see a few manufacturers incorporating hidden fender mounts on their "gran fondo" bikes.

Leslie said...

The pic I posted down in the 27.5 thread, it's steel (lugged, not tig'd tho'); I used a SKF square-taper BB with a Sugino XD2 48/36/24 triple; I used LX hubs w/ QR, w/ Synergy 650b rims.

My roadbike has skin-walls (a RuffyTuffy up front, a Pasela in back); I'd like it if there were skin-wall knobbies, but, given it's a 650b, I'm just glad I'm getting more tires at all...