/ Complacent bike manufacturers/ or the fault of the UCI?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Wee Davie - on 05 Aug 2013
It's 2013.

Disc braked road bikes are 'big news'. Yawn.

In other headlines- a German firm are developing prototypes of a sequential BB gear set up to supercede the derailleur. At last!

Why has it taken so long for bike companies to accept the failings of functional (but flawed) designs such as the rim brake and the rear mech?

Is it the Machiavellian influence of the UCI?



Timmd on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

MTB designers have similar grumbles.

Honda designed a way of fitting the rear derailleur above the rear axle to keep it out of harm's way, before abandoning their involvement in downhill/competition MTBing and scrapping their bikes.

It's easier to follow convention in some ways I guess.
Wee Davie - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to TimmD:

IMO bike technology is years behind where it should be.

My suspicions are heightened by the fact that disc brakes are still banned for road racing but they allow the ridiculous electronic derailleur...

WTF?
elsewhere on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
Conventional drive train is cheaper, lighter(?), lower power losses and gives bigger range of gear ratios than a hub gear so I wouldn't blame the UCI.
JLS on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

Just get a fixie and stop moaning...
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to elsewhere:

The conventional drive train (chain, cassette and derailleurs) is reasonably light but it's a very flawed design made to work surprisingly well. If the UCI hadn't been so restrictive in stipulating what a race bike should be over the years I'm pretty sure we'd all be riding disc braked, BB gearbox bikes that would be as light as the current top bikes.
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to JLS:

Cannae climb the Hailey Brae on a fixie man!
In reply to Wee Davie: On my road bike why do I need disc brakes? My rim brakes seem to work well and weigh less. Are they better on alpine length descents? Not to many of them around my way so never felt I was missing anything.
itsThere on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: Whats so flawed about the derailleur
Chris the Tall - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
Disc brakes are great for MTBs but I've heard several good reasons why they are not suitable for road races

1) The type of braking you do is quite different - on a road your going a high speed and just feathering your brakes, on a MTB it's lower speed but you need to stop!

2) On a long alpine descent it would be possible to boil away all your hydraulic fluid, whilst cables aren't very good.

3) Forces generated in braking would be far greater and could lead to fork failure. By the time you've strengthened the fork the weight factor comes in.

4) A crash in the peloton could lead to a pile of bodies with some very hot discs around
PeterM - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

It's not about the bike... :-)
a crap climber - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to PeterM:
May I direct you to rule no. 4:
http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#4
PeterM - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to a crap climber:
> (In reply to PeterM)
> May I direct you to rule no. 4:
> http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#4

Oh, I see. It turns out I'm a tw*twaffle...:-(
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to TobyA:

My issue with rim brakes are-
- performance. They're fine in the dry but braking performance decreases a lot in the wet.
-I also don't like how they wear rapidly in the wet, covering you and your bike in nasty break gunk.
- they require quite a lot of maintenance if used in wet conditions too.
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I was reading an interview with an engineer from Tektro brakes. They sell huge volumes of both rim brakes and discs (mostly for mtbs at this point). He was convinced that all types of bike will be disc equipped in the near future (not just mtb and road).According to this honcho guy- brake fade, heat and hydraulic boiling aren't really a problem with bike disc brakes.
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to itsThere:

>Whats so flawed about the derailleur

Rear mechs are so vulnerable to damage and the elements it really is time to move away from them. I've had to change a few wrecked mechs in my time and it's less than entertaining. A damaged or badly set up derailleur can ruin a ride.
Timmd on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Wee Davie) On my road bike why do I need disc brakes? My rim brakes seem to work well and weigh less. Are they better on alpine length descents? Not to many of them around my way so never felt I was missing anything.

Rims don't wear out with disc brakes, where they do eventually with rim brakes. Brake pads probably last longer too.
a crap climber - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

Non-derailleur bike have been around for quite a while. As well as internal hub gears, there have been all sorts of attempts to mount a gearbox in the frame. The fact that it's never really taken off might suggest something about how well it worls compared to a derailleur. Or maybe its just down to people being resistant to change...
Timmd on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
> Disc brakes are great for MTBs but I've heard several good reasons why they are not suitable for road races
>
> 1) The type of braking you do is quite different - on a road your going a high speed and just feathering your brakes, on a MTB it's lower speed but you need to stop!

On alpine descents if you feather your brakes you can have tyres burst due to the rims getting hotter and inflating the air within them.

> 2) On a long alpine descent it would be possible to boil away all your hydraulic fluid, whilst cables aren't very good.

My Avid BB7 cable disc front brake with an 180mm rotor is definitely powerful enough for road riding, I have a road bike too, and it wouldn't boil away.

> 3) Forces generated in braking would be far greater and could lead to fork failure. By the time you've strengthened the fork the weight factor comes in.

Rims could be lighter without the braking surface on them which rim brakes need though, which would make acceleration easier, and maintaining speeds too, arguably.

> 4) A crash in the peloton could lead to a pile of bodies with some very hot discs around

Very good point.
biped - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Timmd:

Honda also developed a downhill mtb with a bottom bracket mounted 'gearbox' much like a Rohloff hub, which the mag testers rated highly.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Enty - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

Davie, I have to say after 10k km this year already I've experienced non of the problems you're highlighting.
I think I've tweaked my rear mech half a dozen times in that period, I ride carbon rims 50% of the time with cork brake pads. The braking is fine and I've had my fair share of wet rides this year as the weather here has been a bit crap too - especially in spring.
I'd hate a bike with internal gears (which I probably couldn't repair myself)
Same for the electronic gears which I've gone right off after more than a couple of failures amongst our guests this year.

Keep it simple I say and we can all afford bikes like the pros. Something that makes the sport special.

E
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to biped:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> Honda also developed a downhill mtb with a bottom bracket mounted 'gearbox' much like a Rohloff hub, which the mag testers rated highly.

... for downhill pro-level MTB where weight, cost and gear range are less of an issue. Doesn't necessarily make it a good solution for the other 99% of the cycling market.
a crap climber - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to biped:

Is that the one they used in the world cup a few years ago? That was actually just a derailleur in a box. (of course maybe they've developed something else).

Nicolai make bikes with the internals of a rohloff mounted above the bb. They are probably the leaders in gearboxes on bikes, but thats not saying a whole lot
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to a crap climber:

The fact it's never taken off is because the UCI keep banning any real development in cycle racing. The Honda gearbox DH bike was banned back by them. Essentially, modern TDF roadbikes are the same as bike from 100 years ago- the designs have just been slowly refined.
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
>
> Is it the Machiavellian influence of the UCI?

No, it's the Machiavellian influence of the market. For 90% of road cyclist, the current derailleur and rim brake technology seems to provide the best compromise of weight, affordability, gear-range/spacing and reliability/maintainability. Derailleur and rim brakes score reasonably well on all four counts. Other solutions have been tried and generally seem to provide some improvement in one area at the expense of significantly larger worsening in others.
rallymania - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Timmd:

(some "out loud" musings)

yep in addition, rims are over engineered to accommadte a % of lost wall thickness to wear. (although i imagine this won't be an issue for proriders, they'll just replace their rims more often)

the post about fork strength i think is a red herring (sorry) i'd have thought the tyre would loose traction first?. or the back wheel lift
perhaps the forks snapping during an impact whilst they are flexed under brake load might be a factor though? i mean i can do a stopie on a road bike without the forks failing and i'm no Nairo Quintana pint sized pocket rocket

BB or hub gears vs derailleurs is an interesting one though

as well as weight (which we think engineers might be able to resolve) how about gear flexibility for the rider / mechanic? it's pretty easy (and cheap) to swop a cassette over in a few minutes to massively adjust the gearing. although i assume you could do something similar with the chain ring and rear cog on an internal gear drive?. you'd still probably need a chain tensioner though otherwise you'd be adjusting the geometry of the bike every time you adjust the chain. internal could also lead to less dishing in the read wheel which would improve strengh / ride comfort?

interesting debate :-)
MikeSP - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
I think the main reason for the lack of gearbox road bikes is efficiency. Downhill mountain bikes have been playing with the idea for years, there is an increase in friction in a gearbox compared to a correctly set up deralier. This isn't so much of an issue for a 4 min sprint as an average road ride.
Also one of the reason for gearboxes is removing the spring tensioner from the system, so when you hammering it over a rock garden there is no slap in the chain, never an issue on road bikes.
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
If the UCI are the real limiting factor on boke design, why aren't tri bikes much different than road racers? Why aren't commuter bikes much different? The UCI only controls the design of bikes used in UCI sanctioned races. I think that accounts for a pretty small proportion of bikes sold.
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Enty:

>Keep it simple I say and we can all afford bikes like the pros. Something that makes the sport special.

I totally agree bikes should be affordable and tbh I'll never spend more than a grand on a bike.
Formula 1 has produced a lot of developments that eventually filter down to everyday motors over the years.
What the UCI has been doing is suppressing development. I'm not saying rim brakes are useless, nor are derailleurs, it's just that bike firms are capable of pushing bike technology further than it has been- I reckon.
I did a season of bike couriering in Glasgow in about 1995. I remember changing a set of pads a week and watching my rims develop deep wear in wet conditions. Couriering is much more extreme use than most bikes get but it fairly got on my moobs having to keep fixing and adjusting them.

If the UCI hadn't been stamping on any real variation from the hundred plus year old classic roadbike design we'd already be using light and cheap mechanical BB gearboxes at affordable prices.

Timmd on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
>
> Davie, I have to say after 10k km this year already I've experienced non of the problems you're highlighting.
> I think I've tweaked my rear mech half a dozen times in that period, I ride carbon rims 50% of the time with cork brake pads. The braking is fine and I've had my fair share of wet rides this year as the weather here has been a bit crap too - especially in spring.
> I'd hate a bike with internal gears (which I probably couldn't repair myself)
> Same for the electronic gears which I've gone right off after more than a couple of failures amongst our guests this year.
>
> Keep it simple I say and we can all afford bikes like the pros. Something that makes the sport special.
>
> E

Hurrah, you've gone back to greener cable gears. (:-))

woolsack - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to a crap climber)
>
> The fact it's never taken off is because the UCI keep banning any real development in cycle racing. The Honda gearbox DH bike was banned back by them. Essentially, modern TDF roadbikes are the same as bike from 100 years ago- the designs have just been slowly refined.

Why shouldn't it be much more about the rider? Why not allow electric bikes in on that basis?

Saddest sight for me recently, half an hour before the start of a road race, is one rider rushing round asking if anyone has a spare battery for his Di2 as he'd left his at home on charge. No battery, no race.
Timmd on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to Enty)

> I did a season of bike couriering in Glasgow in about 1995. I remember changing a set of pads a week and watching my rims develop deep wear in wet conditions. Couriering is much more extreme use than most bikes get but it fairly got on my moobs having to keep fixing and adjusting them.

My oldest bro did couriering in London in the late eighties, and again in the mid nineties. He used to blow his nose and find he had black snot from the dirty air fumes.

> If the UCI hadn't been stamping on any real variation from the hundred plus year old classic roadbike design we'd already be using light and cheap mechanical BB gearboxes at affordable prices.

I think I agree, or at least, I think technology might have progressed further than it has done.
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:

The UCI demand a derailleur design and the public want a TDF lookalike bike. It's chicken and egg stuff. What alternatives do the public have?

The serious cyclist is not going to fit a heavy, unreliable gear hub and Shimano/ Sram are meanwhile dissuaded from developing cutting edge revolutionary design by this restrictive governing body.

Imagine the FIA telling Ferrari their F1 cars have to use carburettors?
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to woolsack:

I really don't want electronic gears on my bike either. It's such a backward step- why take a human powered efficient vehicle and add in a dependance on electronics? It's a load of sh1te.

Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to rallymania:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> (some "out loud" musings)
>
> yep in addition, rims are over engineered to accommadte a % of lost wall thickness to wear. (although i imagine this won't be an issue for proriders, they'll just replace their rims more often)
>
> the post about fork strength i think is a red herring (sorry) i'd have thought the tyre would loose traction first?. or the back wheel lift
> perhaps the forks snapping during an impact whilst they are flexed under brake load might be a factor though? i mean i can do a stopie on a road bike without the forks failing and i'm no Nairo Quintana pint sized pocket rocket

The difference is that with disk brakes you get much higher torsional streeses around the end of the fork, the hub and the spokes. Yes, a ligher rim, but overall a heavier wheel/fork, and that's without the extra weight of the break system itself. OK, weight may not be much of an issue, but what problem are you trying to solve? Braking performance is fine with rim brakes - even in the wet with decent pads. Overheating rims? Perhaps on alpine descents, but is that a real problem for 99% of the market?


>
> BB or hub gears vs derailleurs is an interesting one though
>
> as well as weight (which we think engineers might be able to resolve) how about gear flexibility for the rider / mechanic? it's pretty easy (and cheap) to swop a cassette over in a few minutes to massively adjust the gearing. although i assume you could do something similar with the chain ring and rear cog on an internal gear drive?. you'd still probably need a chain tensioner though otherwise you'd be adjusting the geometry of the bike every time you adjust the chain. internal could also lead to less dishing in the read wheel which would improve strengh / ride comfort?

The design of gears is limited by the materials available. There's only so much stress you can put on affordable materials (steel and aluminium alloys). I think before we see lighter and/or wider range hub gears your going to need something like a 10x improvement on the strength and hardness of the materials with no increase in cost or manufactureability. I'm not holding my breath.

>
> interesting debate :-)

Chris the Tall - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to rallymania:
Re fork failure and brake fade

I'm not trying to score any points here, as I'm merely going on what I've heard on Velocast Tech 5 shows. As an MTBer looking at getting a road bike my first thought would be that I'd want discs as they have made such a difference. But from what I've heard/read it does seem like this is industry lead (and in response to MTBs), but not such a great idea.

Just done a google and here's a report of fork failure
http://cozybeehive.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/braking-induced-fork-failure.html

And heres one of brake fade:
http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/02/14/road-bike-disc-brakes-are-coming-but-will-they-work/

Have been into several shops in the last week looking a road bikes, and always get steered towards the cyclocross bikes with disc brakes - I'm not entirely convinced they are doing this because its the right bike for me.
Timmd on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to woolsack)
>
> I really don't want electronic gears on my bike either. It's such a backward step- why take a human powered efficient vehicle and add in a dependance on electronics? It's a load of sh1te.

+1 It adds something extra to fail into the mix.
Chris the Tall - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to woolsack)
>
> I really don't want electronic gears on my bike either. It's such a backward step- why take a human powered efficient vehicle and add in a dependance on electronics? It's a load of sh1te.

I agree with you entirely on that - it's totally against the spirit of cycling
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
> (In reply to Marek)
>
> The UCI demand a derailleur design and the public want a TDF lookalike bike. It's chicken and egg stuff. What alternatives do the public have?
>
I don't think most people who ride bikes care that much about who ride what in the TdF or never mind any other pro race. They just want soemthing that is cheap and works reasonably well.


> The serious cyclist is not going to fit a heavy, unreliable gear hub and Shimano/ Sram are meanwhile dissuaded from developing cutting edge revolutionary design by this restrictive governing body.

You've hit the nail on the head: "heavy, unreliable... ". That's why they are unpopular (and you forgot 'expensive'), not because some pro doesn't ride with one.

>
> Imagine the FIA telling Ferrari their F1 cars have to use carburettors?

You'll find there are plenty of rules in F1 about what you can and can't do in car design! Far more than in you UCI/bike case. And guess what? My car doesn't look like an F1 car and isn't constrained by F1 rules. Different constraint, different solutions. So the fact that TdF bikes and road bike are quite similar probably points to something other than 'rules' being the limitation.

Enty - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
> [...]
>
> I agree with you entirely on that - it's totally against the spirit of cycling

Me too. Going to go traditional on my new build. I can actually afford Di2 but going to give it a swerve. Wouldn't like to be 100km away from home in the Drome valley somewhere and the front or rear mech packs in.

E
ads.ukclimbing.com
Enty - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
> [...]
> I don't think most people who ride bikes care that much about who ride what in the TdF or never mind any other pro race. They just want soemthing that is cheap and works reasonably well.
>
>
>

You've just ruled out thousands of MAMILs.
Most people I know will look at the pros bikes, see what they are using and buy the nearest thing they can afford.

E
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
> Me too. Going to go traditional on my new build. I can actually afford Di2 but going to give it a swerve. Wouldn't like to be 100km away from home in the Drome valley somewhere and the front or rear mech packs in.
>
> E

That was my knee-jerk reaction, but then when I thought about it I came to the conclusion that a Di2 failure is still no worse than a bent rear derailleur. You can still take the chain directly round the a sprocket and potter home. Still not going electronic anyway. It's just wrong. To me the current road bike design is the epitome for good engineering. It shouldn't work, but it does. Just. Nothing superfluous. Nothing that doesn't contribute to getting the job done. Apart from some nice paintwork. As someone once said "Perfection is not when there's nothing more to add, it's when there's nothing more to take away". A road bike.
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Marek)
> [...]
>
> You've just ruled out thousands of MAMILs.
> Most people I know will look at the pros bikes, see what they are using and buy the nearest thing they can afford.
>
> E

No numbers, but gut feel suggests that globally, MAMILs still don't dominate the bike market for someone like Shimano. If there was a better drivetrain/brake solution for a general purpose bike it would be out there.

Question: If there was a better drivetrain - ie., you could afford it and it gave you a material competitive advantage over your mates, was legal, but not approved by the UCI for use in pro races, would you use it?
krikoman - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: Don't you think that the vast number of bikes and riders aren't that bothered about what Wiggi and his mates are doing. Nor do they want to emulate them. I for one ride for pleasure, or used to ride to save money (commuting).

If there was a new way for brakes or gears that worked and was cheap, I don't think that fact they can't use them in races would make a particular difference. The majority of bikes aren't sold for racing afterall!!
Chris the Tall - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:
More on the disc brake issue - this ones pretty positive

http://road.cc/content/feature/72743-disc-brake-revolution-coming-industry-insider-comment

Anyone out there got a road or cross bike with discs ?
Or has everyone who's bought one crashed and died ?
RankAmateur on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I've got a cross with disks. Love the braking power, hate the fiddling trying to get the wheel trued if I've changed the tyres. The additional weight is negligible compared to my 15st wobblebottom.
Marek - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
> More on the disc brake issue - this ones pretty positive
>
> http://road.cc/content/feature/72743-disc-brake-revolution-coming-industry-insider-comment
>
> Anyone out there got a road or cross bike with discs ?
> Or has everyone who's bought one crashed and died ?

Perhaps I'm too cynical, but 'insiders' have a vested interest in change (profit). As long as changes are demand driven this isn't an issue, but if the industry becomes sufficiently organised and monolithic to start telling customer what they want (and getting away with it), you have a very distorted market which is less likely to serve the real needs of the customer. I worry the bike industry is going that way (650b wheels anyone?). Even worse if they are big enough to affect legislation (see car industry).

Oh, just for some context, I'm considering buying a CX bike with discs. I know, I know...
nufkin - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:

> Perhaps I'm too cynical, but 'insiders' have a vested interest in change (profit). As long as changes are demand driven this isn't an issue, but if the industry becomes sufficiently organised and monolithic to start telling customer what they want (and getting away with it), you have a very distorted market which is less likely to serve the real needs of the customer.

Quite a lot of people involved in the bike industry would also be users of bikes, though, surely?
The exchange of influence between consumers and producers must be a mix of what people need/want balanced with what is possible/economic to produce, not just bike makers saying 'now buy this' without some reason for assuming people are going to.

And to add something else to the mix, how do we feel about belt-driven bikes? No oiling and cleaning is quite appealing
Indy - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
> Anyone out there got a road or cross bike with discs ?

Yes, got a cross with BB7 disc brakes and hell will freeze over before I go back to traditional rim brakes.

Interesting thread BTW!


gethin_allen on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to rallymania:
"internal could also lead to less dishing in the read wheel which would improve strengh / ride comfort"

A good point about dishing of wheels in relation to strength. This would be a downside of having disks, so you'd need a heavier rim to allow for tighter spokes and less dish.
krikoman - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: I've got a XC / mountain bike with hydraulic disks, I found them a huge fart on at first. The adjusters aren't enough to adjust between summer 30C and winter -5C say. Necessitating topping up (winter) or bleeding (summer) to deal with expansion.

I think I've got is sussed now but we'll see this winter.

Would I go back, definitely not. I don't think there is any loss of "feel" in bleeding off some speed and the only time I've had trouble was when my son helping out inadvertently got grease on the disks.

Lord of Starkness - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

There seems to be an increasing amount of pressure from manufacturers who want to sell bikes with more and more expensive 'bling' on them. I imagine the profit margins on disc equipped bikes are higher than on bikes with conventional rim brakes.

Whilst I think disc brakes are fine, and certainly have their place on touring bikes, MTB's and cyclocross machines however I understand the UCI's main objection to them in competitive mass start road events is a safety issue.

I can imagine a crash in a disc equipped peloton would lead to some pretty horrific cuts caused by bare arms and legs coming in to contact with exposed disc rotors.

PS - best brakes I ever had on a road bike were my good old fashioned MAFAC 'Racer' centre pulls back in the '60's -- much better in the wet than my modern dual pivot brakes are nowadays.
Wee Davie - on 06 Aug 2013
In reply to Lord of Starkness:

>I can imagine a crash in a disc equipped peloton would lead to some pretty horrific cuts caused by bare arms and legs coming in to contact with exposed disc rotors.

Absolutely. Imagine their poor bare fingers plunged into fast spinning discs. It'll be like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre........... ; )
In reply to krikoman:
> The adjusters aren't enough to adjust between summer 30C and winter -5C say.

That's weird, on my old felt commuter I had basic shimano hydraulics (Deore I think) and used them year round in Helsinki so from I guess a bit under 30 in summer to about -20 ish mid winter. The brakes were superb. I bled them once or twice in about five years and about 10k kms.

Different oil type or something?
Minneconjou Sioux - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

From memory, a chain is a much more efficient transferer of power to the back wheel than any gear box design. This is why motorbikes still have chains despite the availability of shaft drives.

On another note, motorbike manufacturers have, for years, recognised that the system of front fork suspension is fundamentally flawed as the geometry of the bike changes when you brake. The problem is solved by using a front swinging arm.......except this then causes so many other issues that no one wants to go there.

So I'm not so sure that the UCI would prevent development over more practical issues.
krikoman - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to TobyA: No Idea, but I can just about have year round non faff braking with the adjusters wound to their extremes, but the bite point changes. Nothing serious but it would be nice to be easiliy adjust to keep things constant.
parsot - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

It's a mistake to look at a highly refined design and assume that there isn't any innovation. Modern bikes, like internal combustion engines, may look similar to original designs but are a world away in terms of sophistication and performance.

In fact derailleurs are incredibly efficient and the latest designs give fast, slick changes. Hub gears, especially large capacity ones, cannot get closer to the efficiency of derailleurs.

Now rim brakes maybe haven't advanced so much but on a road bike they are still the best solution in most cases. The grip levels/mass just cannot justify discs. Of course that's different on a fat tyred mountain bike.

Now on to innovation in bikes in general
- have you looked at a modern ALU frame? Just look at the sophisticated tube profiles and hydro forming
- suspension design
- carbon components
- maxles, hollow BB, tubeless tyres, 10 speed blocks, combined brake/gear levers, dropper posts, disc brakes, etc, etc
- let's not even get into suspension wheels and folding wheels, or electric gear change and adaptive damping, or matrix alloys, clipless pedals,carbon chain rings,etc
Arms Cliff - on 07 Aug 2013
balmybaldwin - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

A few innovations I recall from my biking past (both of these were meant to be the next big thing, but failed to take hold - because they were sh*t)

http://www.barthworks.com/cars/forneycycles/1993legacyexh519_1.htm

http://www.dynamicbicycles.com/
Mike Highbury - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
>
> A few innovations I recall from my biking past (both of these were meant to be the next big thing, but failed to take hold - because they were sh*t)

Always my favourite

http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/PMP_crk_ad.htm

Quite extraordinary that people really did race with these
ads.ukclimbing.com
Mike Highbury - on 07 Aug 2013
Timmd on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to parsot:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
>

> Now rim brakes maybe haven't advanced so much but on a road bike they are still the best solution in most cases. The grip levels/mass just cannot justify discs. Of course that's different on a fat tyred mountain bike.

I think discs can be justified personally. If a wheel gets knocked out of true it doesn't affect braking, if the weather goes wet it doesn't affect brake power, baring some kind of mishap the rims would probably last indefinitely, and the brake pads last longer too.

So they'd be greener in not getting through rims, braking would be more consistent (as well as more powerful), and less maintaining would be required. Decent cable discs like BB7s rule imho.

Cyclo cross bikes are now disc legal for racing on professionally, thinking about it.


Wee Davie - on 07 Aug 2013
In reply to the last handful of posters:

To the poster who used the jpeg of the vintage TDF bike- the modern TDF machine is essentially the same design (it's just highly refined). Gasp with horror at such heresy, but the modern bike with all its extra gears and carbon bits is still a two triangle frame with derailleur gearing and rim brakes.

I'm not saying the modern roadbike is crap. I'm just frustrated that I can clearly remember swapping out a broken rear mech on a mtb in the early 90's and thinking 'surely they'll design something better soon?'
20+ years later the UCI are still demanding race bikes are engineered to be much like the vintage TDF bike. I'm sure the big component manufacturers would be ditching the derailleur relatively quickly if they were allowed to.

okkeroz - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: whit, Largonians have nae puff shocker!!
Martin W on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

> To the poster who used the jpeg of the vintage TDF bike- the modern TDF machine is essentially the same design ... the modern bike with all its extra gears and carbon bits is still a two triangle frame with derailleur gearing and rim brakes.

The 1913 bike doesn't seem to have a derailleur (Wikipedia says derailleurs weren't allowed in the TdF until 1937).

> I'm sure the big component manufacturers would be ditching the derailleur relatively quickly if they were allowed to.

They are "allowed to".

Look at the Netherlands: the largest proportion of bicycle users as primary means of transport in western Europe (source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23587916 ) and most people ride utility or "granny" bikes - and the UCI can do nothing whatsoever about it. It's only in affluent countries like the UK where, like it or not, cycling is still a leisure activity/lifestyle choice rather a primary means of transport for a significant part of the population, that professional competition is a key influencing factor in the bikes people choose to ride and thus that the manufacturers choose to sell.
Arms Cliff - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: What is your beef with derailleurs anyway? I can understand if you have an off in mountain biking and it breaks off that's quite annoying. But in road biking they have so many advantages over hub gears in terms of being maintainable, adjustable and easily changeable (as someone above talked about with changing cassettes for the mountains.

I'm not sure there's some UCI and industrial conspiracy, I think you're seeing a problem where most don't!
LastBoyScout on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

I'm not sure how you can blame the UCI - they only directly sanction a subset of races and there are plenty of races that run outside their rules.

I think the thing is that no-one has come up with anything that is as affordable, reliable, efficient, light or maintainable as the current solutions, hence they're releasing incremental developments based on the current platforms (Di2, roadie discs, etc).

Otherwise, Shimano or SRAM would have done it by now - don't think it's really Campag's style.

Bike technology has been on a plateau for some time and it'll take something spectacular to change that. Anyone fancy some fairing development?
gear boy - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: UCI did approve hydraulic rim brakes as Cav used them in the tour, SRAM are supposed to be releasing them soon

didnt know if that had been discussed,

Magura hydraulic rim brakes on MTB have been around for years
davidjglover - on 09 Aug 2013
is this UK Climbing or have I logged on to UK Cycling by mistake.
The New NickB - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
> is this UK Climbing or have I logged on to UK Cycling by mistake.

It is the UK Climbing Cycling forum, turn it off if you don't want to cycling discussion.
auldscotal - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

Another great idea? http://www.m-gineering.nl/retrog.htm saw a similar bike at the Tour of Britain in Carlisle last year.
Wee Davie - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to auldscotal:

That IS pretty damn cool!
Wee Davie - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Bugger aff.
Wee Davie - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to gear boy:

Sorry to resurrect this dead thread again but after my 1st ever wet roadbike blast today I have to say I found my (cable) rim brakes frighteningly poor. It's a basic 2nd hand Specialized Allez I've got (so the brakes are unbranded) but, still, the lack of stopping ability with wet rims was scary. I was missing my cable disc mtb brakes at a few corners and junctions. Had a blast though, going for it round a 25 miler.

Next roadbike I buy- I will definitely be looking at discs!
itsThere on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: I though the UCI set a min weight for road bikes so the added weight of disks would not be a problem. The problem is the UCI
Marek - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to itsThere:
> (In reply to Wee Davie) I though the UCI set a min weight for road bikes so the added weight of disks would not be a problem. The problem is the UCI

So here's a question: In CX, where disk are legal and generally believed to have more value than on the road, how many of the top 10 World Cup racer use disks? Clue: It's less than one.

So what's the problem again?

IainRUK - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
>
> Davie, I have to say after 10k km this year already I've experienced non of the problems you're highlighting.
> I think I've tweaked my rear mech half a dozen times in that period, I ride carbon rims 50% of the time with cork brake pads. The braking is fine and I've had my fair share of wet rides this year as the weather here has been a bit crap too - especially in spring.
> I'd hate a bike with internal gears (which I probably couldn't repair myself)
> Same for the electronic gears which I've gone right off after more than a couple of failures amongst our guests this year.
>
> Keep it simple I say and we can all afford bikes like the pros. Something that makes the sport special.
>
> E

totally agree.. like button would be nice.

neuromancer - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:

That's a straw man - strength / weight priorities and bike weight limits are different in CX. Moreover, it begs the question; CX isn't a braking discipline like pro road can be and mtb is. Furthermore, the main reason CX hasn't embraced discs is because cable discs don't offer the modulation that the discipline would need. Finally, CX as a scene is hugely traditionalist - look at interviews with top CXers - what do they say? "Oh, well, I'm used to these so I use them". There isn't the same intense performance analysis as it's still very much a developing sport.

To those saying "lose weight on wheels, gain it on fork, no difference", look up rotational mass.

To those saying "people will die cut on brake discs", take a reality check - how many people are hurt in mtb cx disciplines by brake discs - nobody worries about the spiky chainrings or cassettes - you hit the ground.

To those saying rim brakes are sufficient - it is not an argument about "is x sufficient", it is "is y better than x", or maybe even "could y be better than x if the UCI weren't so draconian".

To those saying "I want cycling to remain affordable" - prices in the bike world are set by demand, not by R&D. Have a look into how much it costs trek to put together even its top bikes. This isn't the pharma industry - markups are obscene. It is a consumer led business, not a tech led business. Having lightweight BB orientated gearing introduced will not suddenly make cycling too expensive, prices will just reorientate. Tomorrows XTR is the day after's XT.

To those
garycrocker - on 17 Aug 2013
I totally disagree that the rear mech is a flawed design. It works incredibly well and, speaking as a mountain biker, is amazingly durable and reliable. It is light and simple and if you have a chain tensioner or an old toothpaste tube and some zip ties you can always get home if you break it out on the trail. Then when you get home you can pick up a new one from Chainreaction for next to no quids. Why would you want to burden your bike with an over-complicated, heavy and inefficient gearbox? Replace your gear cables regularly and set them up properly and a chain/derailleur system is great.
a lakeland climber on 17 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

I've a bike with an internal hub gear (IHG) - Shimano Alfine 11sp. I've had no problem with it over the 3000km or so that I've done on it so far.

When I got it I thought that the IHG would be great for cyclo-cross but then having watched the 3 peaks cyclo-cross race I realised that you'd need a spare rear wheel also with an IHG whereas with a normal derailleur setup you just need a spare wheel with a cassette. There's a big cost involved there, circa 350 for each hub.

The main problem with modern derailleur drivetrains is that they wear out very quickly. As an example SRAM now do a 1x10 setup for mountain bikes - the lifetime for the chain is just 500 miles, yet the 1x10 setup is meant to be a simpler maintenance free system. Road drivetrains are just as limited in their lifespan - I got just 2000km from a KMC chain on my road bike in generally dry conditions.

ALC
ads.ukclimbing.com
SI - profile removed on 17 Aug 2013
In reply to Wee Davie: Had a go on one last summer that some French dude built in his shed. Was pretty clunky but the potential's there. Would love a mountain bike with one. Wouldn't put one on a road bike though unless there was no weight gain, likewise with disks. Also I think the only ones ones on the market atm are two grand!
Chris the Tall - on 17 Aug 2013
In reply to neuromancer:

>
> To those saying "people will die cut on brake discs", take a reality check - how many people are hurt in mtb cx disciplines by brake discs - nobody worries about the spiky chainrings or cassettes - you hit the ground.
>
You do get plenty of crashes in CX and MTB, but i don't think you get the multi-body pile ups you get in road racing.

One of my friends has burnt her leg quite badly on her discs, but on the other hand I have two scars from chain rings - one from my own, one from someone else's.

Obviously it wouldn't be a problem if roadies could master the art of cycling a straight and flat bit of Tarmac without crashing. Can you imagine the fuss if someone tried this sort of overtaking move in a road race : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1yeDW3dHdw


itsThere on 17 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek: They use canti because it is faster to service, unlike a hydraulic disk brake, this isnt as much a problem for road bikers compared to cx (i think). Think of the advantage you would have if you could brake later in a corner on an alpine decent. I am an MBTer anyway, hydraulic disks are great, mechanical are not worth it with cheap hydraulic brakes about. I dont know how i could go non disk again.

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Pinion-Gearbox-First-Ride.html
neuromancer - on 17 Aug 2013
In reply to itsThere:

>faster to service

And as CX is still a largely privateer / cheapskate sport, even at UCI level compared to top end tour / xc / dh, hassle free makes a difference. It takes a lot of time and effort to set up discs perfectly - I'll agree there.
Wee Davie - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to itsThere:

That Pinion system is the future of all bike gearboxes after a load more R & D (and possibly- adoption by Shimano or Sram). I can't wait.
meehaja - on 22 Aug 2013
couple of reasons.. Bikes look like they do because the UCI say they have to. The limits are very strict. In road cycling gear box bikes are a long way off as gearboxes will be heavy if mounted to conventional style bikes. To compete with conventional bikes on weight there would have to be a complete design rethink. Now weight alone does not make a good bike, but professional racing is about selling bikes, and if you've got 2k to spend on a bike and one is 7kg and looks like what the pro's ride and one is 15kg and looks weird, the average punter wont buy the weird one.

The other issue with technical changes are knowledge and spares. I fancy an alfine hub on my mountain bike, but given I currently have a rear mech, an appropriate shifter, light weight wheels, heavier "hard hitting" wheels and the knowledge, skills and experience to fix all of that myself, buying into new technology with associated costs of maintenance puts me off. Its the same with Di2. I like the idea, but i also like being able to fix my bike when it breaks!

All of that said, I'd like to see each of the major bike manufacturers to cash in on the cycling boom by producing prototype sales of totally uci illegal crazy bikes, whether thats faired TT bikes, DH trikes or whatever else the imagination can create!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.