RE: [CR]using classic bicycles, well?

Example: Racing:Beryl Burton

Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 10:07:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tom Dalton <>
Subject: RE: [CR]using classic bicycles, well?
In-Reply-To: <>

Mark wrote: Though there is that pesky psychological factor - if you think your bike is slow, then it will be. If you think you need an 18 cog and all you've got is 17 or 19, then your legs start hurting, where they wouldn't if you *thought* you had a straight block. Affects some people more than others, but probably nobody is completely immune.

Mark, while I enjoyed your post, I do have a couple of comments.

Bar ends used to be a good option if you wanted to shift while standing, but they operated the maginal NR/SR ear rear der's even more vaguely than downtube levers. With skill, which I'm sure you had, they could be used to benefit. STI and Ergo on the other hand allow shifting while standing without really having to modulate pedal pressure or exhibit any skill in the use of the lever. They are pretty foolproof, which, no matter how skilled you are, is really nice in a high pressure situation. Now, if you like the challenge of using the old stuff, I can relate. It can be fun, but not in a race or fast group ride, not for me anyway. I'll hold off on the syncromesh / crash box analogy since I think it was you who expressed an understandable distaste for cars.

As to the presence of that 18 tooth being a benefit only in one's mind, I take issue. The mechanics of gearing are real, of course. One of the nicest things about the modern drivetrains is that they allow you to be in the "right" gear more of the time. Wider range, closer spacing, or a combination of the two enhances my riding experience, particularly when I'm out of shape (always). I like having that 21 tooth and still having close spacing in the mid and high range. I guess it's because my body's torque curve is not only lower but also more narrow when I'm out of shape. Cost and compatability aside, the only drawback is the added dish, which thus far hasn't been a problem. I also like not having to switch cogs around for different terrain, since it's all pretty much there already.

Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA

Mark Bulgier
Seattle, Wa