Sunday, December 04, 2005

Deja Vu 120/125/145

( The UCI would hold on a much bigger say, and has been very resistant to any such change, so the possible change is much more speculative. JSH 12/25/2005 )

If Shimano is going to go ahead with a 150mm Standard for Road and Mountain - 145 is going to start looking pretty silly on NEW tandems, regardless of the anecdotal support. And Shimano isn't stupid; if they have research showing good reason support and market a 150 standard (and offer free neutral support), they will quickly convince the industry to follow suit; they are the dog, not the tail. And the industry will, because that is how you sell next years model.

This is not intended to belittle the current state of the art, or anecdotal/empirical support of older standards (or start a flame war). But the art advances - it is not static; in fact when the art is not advancing, it is dying. All things being said, I am glad my state of the art `85 Sovereign is "obsolete" - Linda and I will look that much better when finally do upgrade! (Old Age, Treachery and New Technology trumps youth and skill.)

One of the advantages of being an almost old fart (AOF) -with 30 years of tandeming - is having seen this all before. During the 70's, single (and tandem) hub spacing went through all sorts of permutations and wheel reliability (yes, on singles!) problems as we pushed from Regina spaced 5-speeds to SunTour and Shimano 6-7s, and mixing up Campy, Japanese and other hub standards, combined with 170+ lbs Americans riding (and touring) on bikes intended for 140lb Euro racers. We didn't have the net, so people argued at bike shops, club meetings, rides and rallies. "I don't want a ### spaced tandem, cause I can't use my road wheels" . . . . "You don't need ###, you just need a good wheel builder." Same arguments, just not sitting at a keyboard in pajamas. Along the way hubs got wider (since we weren't riding 2-speed Cyclos any more) and the materials improved. (I think I have a couple of Record axles for 120mm spacing, if you are looking to really retro, but no more Regina 5 speeds.)

So after a season or two of 150mm on high end singles . . .

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