Sunday, March 20, 2016

Minus Ten Review- 11

Ten years ago this week I had no pics on the blog. So here is one from last weekend!
Ten years ago this week I hit upon two subjects during the week that maybe still have some relevancy a decade later. The first one is about electric shifting groups for bikes, which was just about to become reality back in 2006.

I asked back then: "Where does it end? Couldn't the derailleurs be controlled by reading information from a riders heart rate and power output? Couldn't the system then shift to the best gear for that particular riders cadence, power output, and desired speed without the rider initiating anything? Adding to this the virtual coaching that every pro rider is getting in his ear via radio and what do we have? Who is winning the race? The rider or technology? "

While this hasn't happened yet, (that we know of), it seems more plausible than ever, given the proliferation of power meters and all the inter-connectivity between those units, computer heads, and the drive train being governed by electronic impulses. In fact, I would not be at all surprised to find out it is already happening. While we're all looking for motors in seat posts, a guy watching a data screen in a car is shifting the leader's bike into high gear. Crazy talk? Maybe, maybe not......

The other subject was the, then at least, never ending debate on "what wheel size is best?" question. That was something that was attempted to be answered a few times by "scientific means", but it was pretty clear, even early on, that the means to accomplish the test in an unbiased and fair manner was almost non-existent unless a lot of cash was thrown at the issue. I don't think the cycling industry was keen on finding that out back then either. What if a scientific, irrefutable study had come out saying one size or the other was "bad"? Well, you can imagine all the enthusiasts would have been ditching the one for the other, and sales would have been chaos on the one hand and grand on the other. It would have ruined some companies for sure. 

Interestingly, a study did come out last year and it touted the big wheels as winner. Mostly. Well......heck it doesn't matter anymore. Riders had gone and figured out what they wanted, companies were able to move with the market, and control it, while the results were argued over by some who still had pride to defend. Mostly, no one cared, or even noticed anymore. Big deal. 

Well, it would have been ten years ago, but maybe for different reasons than we might have thought about then or now. 

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