weather or not

met office forecast

not that i generally watch the tv news programmes, but i believe those who do, tend to have their favourites. my mother almost religiously watches bbc news broadcasts, while others may prefer stv (in scotland) or itv in other parts of the nation. within those preferences is the implicit statement that each viewer has faith that the information being provided is independent, but most assuredly, free from any bias. whether that's the case or not, is the subject of subjectivity; how can neutrality be either perceived or guaranteed?

that's a situation that is not replicated in the printed press, where certain titles are regarded as having nailed their flag to a particular political mast. i enjoy a daily and weekend read of the guardian, traditionally reckoned to be left of centre in its affiliation, but given my distaste for any political views, i purchase my daily copy because i enjoy reading what i consider to be quality writing. however, its historical associations came into play during a discussion with an argyll & bute councillor, who defined my apparent lack of sympathy for his own views, based entirely on which newspaper i read.

it may be, however, that those domiciled on the mainland are less specific in their choice of weather forecast. possibly a highly subjective and erroneous assumption to make, but i don't believe that non-islanders are affected by the weather quite so much as are those of us who live off scotland's west coast. leaving the ferry problems to one side for a moment, the principal affecter (is that a word?) of daily life on the outer edge is the weather. by this, i do not claim that a wet island walk to work in the morning is any different to that experienced by city and urban dwellers, but should the wind speeds exceed 55 - 60 kph, it's more than likely that the ferries will not sail.

but to dive straight to the nitty gritty of velocipedinal life, a sturdy headwind, augmented with driving rain is quite likely to diminish the size of the velo club sunday morning peloton. this depends, of course, on the direction of that wind, but given the nature of island life, at some point or other, those winds are going to blow at right angles to the direction of travel. that's when it can be regarded as dangerous, though generally anything below 70kph is eminently doable. that's not, however, to imply that riding in such winds might be considered to be fun.

but, aside from apparently implying that those of us on the outer edge are possibly made of sturdier stuff (which i seriously doubt), it's quite likely that we - rightly or wrongly - are more likely to depend on a daily weather forecast than are our mainland peers. the problem arises when the aforementioned forecasts prove quite incorrect.

you would like to think that, with ever more sophisticated technology, and interconnected weather satellites, there would be an infinitesimal chance that errors could be made. sadly, not the case. it's possible that this is due to the small areas for which they are required to forecast, but it does result in (probably) all island pelotons acquring an impressive level of versatility.

last sunday, the minimal peloton of two had resigned itself to rain and wind, yet experienced a thoroughly enjoyable morning in wall to wall warm sunshine. and to a certain extent, the same happened yesterday, when happily the peloton was a tad larger. this followed a saturday when the only village on the island that experienced rain, was port ellen in the south (unfortunately on the very day chosen for the annual sports day), despite the forecast having defined that rain to have been island-wide.

i should point out that my highly localised definition of versatile extends solely to slathering on the sunscreen prior to the grand départ, but carrying a waterproof in one of those three jersey pockets. the latter is mandatory 52 weeks of the year. despite the plethora of weather forecasts available (met office, xc weather, accuweather to name but a few and between which there is often widely varying meteorological prognorstications), it's been proved better, as far as possible, simply to cover all bases.

of course, it's always nice when their wrongness is in our favour.

monday 24 july 2023

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nothing is ever forgotten

gino bartali and fausto coppi

on friday afternoon, the office received a visit from the engineer who maintains the colour printers used to print the paper every fortnight, and who is available to offer technical advice when things look like they're about to go wrong. as it transpired, the parts needed to correct the imaging problem that has arisen on one of those machines, have had to be back ordered and there was, in fact, nothing he could do during the visit.

however, in a short conversation held prior to his departure, i was informing him that, on the older of the two machines, the mono printing preset that i'd setup when new, included a relatively low line-screen setting in order to retain the midtones when reproducing images, while the opposite was true of the newer machine, which prints a few degrees lighter and, under the same line-screen settings, resulted in certain aspects of each image being 'bleached'. therefore when using that particular model, i was apt to employ the machine's standard line screen for better reproduction.

our discussion centred around just what a line-screen actually was, given that it is a machine setting controlled by the printer driver software that forms a part of the layout programme.

in the days long before the concept of desktop printing existed, all artwork and imagery required for print reproduction had to be captured by a process camera, using a physical line screen that recorded the image as a series of tiny dots. prior to the advent of the laser printer, when all print reproduction involved liquid ink on paper stock, these tiny dots, which you can probably see with the naked eye if you look closely, created the illusion of several shades of grey. for instance, the cover of yesterday's guardian newspaper featured a mono image of tony bennett who passed away at the end of the week, and it is possible to view those tiny dots that make up the greyscale image.

this led onto a discussion of other printing terms that many modern-day practitioners, either misprounce (eg 'leading', as in led zeppelin and not 'leading down the garden path'. it originally referred to thin strips of lead which separated each line of text). terms such as 'tracking' and kerning' for instance; anyone who understands the latter would well know why the typing practice of double-spacing after a full stop is redundant in the computer age. is it possible, therefore, that the contemporary cyclist under a certain age, might also be guilty of employing certain terminology, the origin of which is as much a mystery to them, as the term gutter is to the modern-day page designer?

when shimano first introduced 'indexed' gear shifting, it arrived with a 'friction' option, on the off-chance that the derailleur suffered damage and would no longer automatically shift into each successive sprocket at the flick of a lever. after a year or so of successful 'indexed', shifting, the option simply evaporated. so does anyone nowadays either refer to, or comprehend the concept of either term, given that there are bound to be younger individuals who have never used mechaincal gear shifting?

and what of my beloved square-taper bottom bracket; still to be found on budget priced bicycles, but does anyone nowadays know why it was called a square-taper? than there's those of us who talk about shifting up or down the block, an ancient reference to the cassette's predecessor, the freewheel. the term may still be in use, for all i know, but do those who do so understand from whence it came? it probably won't be too long before the concept of a quick-release skewer enters the annals of history, given the modern prevalence of the thru-axle in deference to hydraulic disc brakes.

and what of 'riding on the rivet'?

and then there's the bicycle frame which, very much at the behest of the uci, has remained pretty much unchanged since the dawn of time. we still refer to its component parts as tubes, despite the majority of carbon frames being manufactured as monocoques; effectively one-piece fabrications. is it correct therefore, to talk about the top tube or down tube, given that they're not, strictly speaking, tubes in the first place? does anyone remember the term crossbar and which part of the bicycle to which it referred? colnago's c series of frames, commencing with the famous c-40 has, until recently consisted of real carbon tubes conjoined by carbon lugs. however, on the current model, the c68, the lug that joins the downtube to the head tube has been dispensed with, and these are now a single, monocoque, construction.

it's not that i fear the terminology surrounding the bicycle will change in any meaningful manner over the next few decades, but just like printing terminology, such as baseline-shift or widows and orphans, how many will comprehend from whence such nomenclature originated? such usage is just as much a part of cycling's rich heritage as is anquetil's habit of pocketing his water bottle to save weight on the bike, or the 1950s rivalry between fausto coppi and gino bartali. it would be a shame if the comprehension of its origins were to fade from view.

sunday 23 july 2023

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if it ain't broke, fix it anyway

carbon matting

on friday evening, i supplied my rudimentary percussive skills in one of the island's princpal hostelries, along with two fellow musicians with whom i have been playing regularly for well over a decade. in all that time, we have yet to have a defined practice; invariably, if there are new numbers to be learned, either they advise in advance, or we have a quick run-through following the late afternoon setup.

though it's a practice i have adhered to all these years, i tend to follow the statement of king crimson drummer, pat mastelotto who, in the recently released band documentary, stated to camera "you can trust a dog, you can trust a horse, but you can't trust a f****ing guitarist." for that very reason, i setup my drumset in the morning prior to their arrival, so that i can apportion the amount of space required to play without undue hindrance. leave it till later, and they'll nick most of my space.

as the pa system was assembled ahead of last night's performance, one of the speakers, atop a tall stand, succumbed to gravitational pull and topped over onto the floor of the bar, fortunately hitting no-one in the process. we can be thankful that pa speakers intended for such purposes are highly robust, for it would have been an involved procedure to dismantle the outer casing and check. once plugged into the mixing desk and switched on, it exhibited no untoward signs of damage.

a fortunate state of affairs.

bicycles, by and large, tend to be somewhat more fragile. had one dropped from a height comparable to that of the pa speaker, a bike shop visit would almost cetainly have ensued. however, the problem in both cases may well have been unseen damage, of which the user is unaware at the time. from the point of view of the speaker cabinet, simply switching it on and talking into a microphone elicited the desired response, but how do you check a carbon fibre bicycle frame?

the big problem with the latter, as i understand it, is the layering nature of the composite. as with many a drum shell, carbon fibre frequently sports a cosmetic laminate outer layer, while those that provide structural integrity remain hidden below. and it is frequently those that suffer damage in a crash or a fall. were the frame to be manfactured with steel, aluminium or titanium, any physical damage would be manifestly apparent, making damage assessment relatively simple.

fortunately, this aspect of carbon fibre construction is well known and there are already firms specialising in non-destructive testing of carbon components to ensure safety for the owner or rider. cycle inspect a leading australian provider of such services has recently announced a collaboration with two professors at the university of south wales' aviation transport and road safety research centre 'to explore the prevalence and impact of structural damage in carbon fibre bicycles currently in use', predominantly those used by you and i, rather than the frequently replaced team-issue carbon that forms a sector of far less concern.

their expertise in this area has been gained partially from aerospace concerns; it's one thing for a bicycle to fall over, a far less comforting thought that an aeroplane might fall out of the sky due to unseen fractures in the wing roots. currently, the prevalence and impact of carbon structural issues is presently not well understood. the joint research project, which began last month, aims to assess the extent of the issue, examining experiences of those who may have suffered carbon equipment failure. it is expected that the first steps will provide crucial insights on which to base subsequent research by cycle inspect into the condition of carbon fibre bicycles in 'real-world' scenarios.

recent cycle races, including the tour de france, have seen visible breakages of carbon fibre components and frames, which thankfully, did not result in injury. however, professional cyclists are, to a certain extent, well paid to ride cutting edge componentry, often in its prototypical state, and there are few economic downsides to replacing the broken black stuff. however, i recently was made aware of anecdotal evidence concerning the drastic breakage of carbon fork legs while the owner was descending a french mountain at reasonably high speed. fortunately, serious injury was avoided, but did result in a high volume warranty claim.

as more and more bits of bicycles are hewn from composites, the potential for unheralded damage increases. so until the technology for non-destructive testing is perfected and available in the majority of bike shops across the world, if you have an accident or fall, in which a carbon frame or component is involved, don't ride it until you've confirmed, one way or another, that there is no underlying damage.

saturday 22 july 2023

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drive by

road arrows at black rock

if i am as well-informed as i like to think i am, schools south of the border are about to take their summer break. scottish schools have been on holiday since the end of june, resulting in an influx of families to the centre of the known universe in recent weeks, though local word on the street would suggest that numbers are a tad lower than expected predominantly at the behest of the continuing calmac ferry crisis.

to better qualify that last statement, islay's larger ferry, the mv finlaggan has been out of drydock following its annual refit for a matter of two weeks, yet has already suffered from bow door problems, a fault with the speed sensor, recurring difficulties with the starter on the starboard main engine, turbo charger failure (on the same engine) and a major engine oil leak. this has resulted in several days of cancelled sailings, more than likely culminating in many intending visitors deciding to go somewhere that doesn't depend on a ferry to get there.

however, the potential of more southerly visitors, according to the results of a survey by insurance comparison website, quotezone, ought possibly to promise succour to the downtrodden. aside from motoring visitors from foreign parts, for whom there are large white direction arrows painted on the roads to highlight on which side they ought to be driving, i can but assume that many of the vehicles on islay's roads are of scottish origin. that being the case, it may well explain the derisory standard of driving to be observed on our often decrepit roads network.

i feel safe in making such a statement having had it pointed out to me that scotland's drivers are the least advanced in the whole of the uk, ranking ninth out of a dozen. scotland apparently harbours the lowest number of iam road smart members and very few who have any aspirations to develop better road skills by passing the advanced driving course. you will perhaps concur when i say that this knowldege explains rather a lot.

i have perambulated the island's roads for well over thirty years, bestowing upon me a level of expertise when it comes to appraising the standard of driving to be found upon their occasionally tarmac'd surfaces. in the past few years, that standard has taken a veritable nosedive. i have no doubt that fellow scottish cyclists riding on the mainland, will be happy to concur. there is, quite literally, not a week goes by without my being overtaken more than once, on a blind corner or summit. add to that the number of oncoming vehicles encountered on the wrong side of the centreline, and it's plain that either the level of driving required to pass a test has dipped considerably, or an increasing number of drivers simply don't give a shit.

it may, of course, be the result of modern-day car construction, which seems acutely designed to separate the occupants from any impressing sense of reality. the increasingly complex and allegedly informative dashboard displays, conjoined with a high level of sonic insulation, has conspired to disconnect the driver from those travelling outside of the body shell. there also seems frequently to be a distinct lack of concern not only for cyclists, but often for other motorists, possibly on the basis that their metal box, outfitted as it is with a copious number of airbags, warning sensors and increased solidity has isolated them from their responsibilities. in other words, hitting a proximitous cyclist is unlikely to result in any harm to the vehicle's occupants.

according to the data acquired by the above mentioned survey, drivers in the south-east of england have displayed a higher level of motoring skills than those of the north-west and those of london. yet all reputedly own greater trained abilities than their scottish counterparts. though drumming necessities will prevent any cycling taking place this saturday, i eagerly look forward to relaxing my sense of self-preservation come sunday monring. (that is, of course, another small example of hebridean humour; there is no way on this earth i will ever rely on the driving skills of others to keep me safe, no matter their purported location).

i'll let you know how that works out.

friday 21 july 2023

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heath robinson is alive and well

keep it stable technology

william heath robinson was an english cartoonist, illustrator and artist not only renowned for his drawings of humorously sophisticated contraptions designed to achieve the simplest of objectives, but perhaps more lastingly known for having gifted the world with the term, 'heath robinson contraption', a phrase that has been in common usage since 1912. it entered popular usage during the first world war, describing any apparently unnecessarily complex and implausible device contrived by the military to achieve either a totally pointless result, or one a great deal simpler than the machinery designed to provide it.

heath robinson's inventions included the 'wart chair' for removing a wart from the top of the head and the multi-movement tabby silencer that automatically doused serenading cats with water. in 1935, the great western railway commissioned him to produce a range of cartoons, re-imagining the history of the railway for the amusement of its customers. in modern-day parlance, any make-do repair or hastily conceived and loosely constructed device is likely to be described as of 'heath robinson' origin. in my years as a cycle repairer, i saw many a 'heath robinson' temporary repair, and one not so temporary.

apparently grandpa failed to recognise that the left pedal featured a left-hand thread, failed to get it to fit, so welded it into place. unfortunately, his welding skills were very far from plumb-level straight.

there have been a few examples of velocipedinal technology that would indicate that heath robinson's legacy is alive and well and living in bicycle frames across the nation. i surely can't be the only one to recall those auxiliary brake levers that arrived with budget road bikes. these sat parallel to the handlebars and were intended to offer leverage to the brakes without the rider having to move their hands from the bar tops. those were positively lethal in the wet (and in the dry). it's also possible that those little coloured plastic balls that slide up and down the spokes could be referred to as such, though i confess that i've no idea what those were designed to achieve.

contemporary cycle technology has, for the most part, moved well past any comparison with mr robinson's erstwhile inventions, possibly at the behest of a society that has become increasingly litigious in recent times. and ultimately because playing with electricity is hardly considered to be the sort of technology that lends itself to eccentricity in the hands of the potentially inept. but thankfully, it seems, all is not lost.

though i am undoubtedly late to the heath robinson party, i feel sure you will excuse such absence on learning that possibly the perfect example of robinson principles is currently featured on offroad bicycles originating from mathieu van der poel's bike sponsor. yes, nine months ago, canyon debuted their keep it stable technology (it's always important to append the latter word in order to inspire confidence in the modern equivalent of a rubber band). it now seems that no-one thought to shame them into having second thoughts, for the keep it stable technology has resurfaced on the spectral cf8 cllctv k.i.s. in a mullet setup.

(nope, me neither).

it transpires that the system was originally invented by a gent at syntace, taking a new perspective on bicycle steering dynamics. in all the years i have been cycling, i can confirm that this particular subject has never once been the subject of conversation, nor of any particular concern. it seems that the gent from syntace combined the idea of self-centreing steering with a mechanism that extends that behaviour all the way through the left to right motion.

according to canyon, they have employed custom-made springs of pre-determined resilience attached to polymer fibre bands inside the top tube which attach to a precisely shaped ring on the steerer tube, delivering "...a trail experience unlike any steering damper or stabiliser seen before." you mean someone has looked at this non-existent problem on a previous occasion?

looking at the cutaway diagram shown at the top of this article, effectively canyon have attached a rubber band to a couple of springs fixed to the inside top of the top tube, apparently designed to pull the steerer back to a central position without undue exertion from the hapless rider.

the only problem i recall experiencing in this particular department, is centreing the bars on the front wheel following any headset maintenance. the heath robinson working at ceramic-speed has already produced an app for that particular problem.

currently, those of us in thrall to the road, can smugly snigger at our unfortunate canyon spectral cf8 cllctv k.i.s. in a mullet setup, owning offroad brethren. but bear in mind that canyon also make road bikes, the path to which may well come via their gravel offerings, so quite literally, we're not out of the woods yet. thankfully, for the present, road bikes are happily fitted with 'keep it real' technology, which like the above described invention, requires no maintenance whatsoever.

thursday 20 july 2023

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van moof fade

not to sound overly privileged, but i own a total of seven bicycles, though two of those are in the possession of my son, one is in dire need of new wheels, one (the previously mentioned colnago c40) needs a rear wheel and, embarrassingly enough, one hasn't been ridden for more years than i'd care to admit. i am not proud of myself.

currently my cycling demands, such as they are, have been satisfied by my steel ritchey logic and the carbon specialized crux, and assuming i don't suddenly acquire a competitive edge, or unbridled wanderlust, those will most likely be my bedfellows for the foreseeable future. the ritchey, despite an occasional and unidentified click, is in fine fettle, having recently been outfitted with a new chain, set of gear and brake cables and ritchey bar tape. a bit closer to the onset of winter, i will likely outfit its handbuilt wheels with a new set of challenge strada tyres.

based on saturday morning's outing to debbie's, i think it more than likely that the crux is in need of new disc pads, necessities which will be purchased sooner rather than later. other than that, to be quite honest, i think that particular bicycle is as good as it's ever been, though i may also replace its challenge grifo 'cross tyres in time for this year's 'cross season (even though i have no intention of racing 'cross).

this is an admittedly long-winded way of pointing out that, to all intent and purpose, barring any untoward frame disasters, it is a relatively simple matter to keep both bicycles in a ready state for each weekend's velocipedinal outings.

the very fact that there are online and retail outlets specialising in vintage bicycles, the majority of which look brighter and shinier than they have any right to be, and which are still in tip-top condition even after 40, 50 or even 60 years, always assuming the modern-day cyclist is happy to adjust or re-adjust to reaching to the downtube to change gear and to revel in the fact that the brake cables exit the tops of the levers. that such vintage outlets both exist and prosper, is probably a vote of confidence that such is the truth.

fourteen year-old netherlands e-bike manufacturer, van moof, has been officially declared bankrupt by an amsterdam court, though its non-dutch holdings are not the subject of insolvency proceedings. owners of van moof bicycles may now find themselves in somewhat of a quandary as the e-bikes are constructed from highly specialised parts, as well as requiring a unique digital key which connects to van moof's servers, to allow full functionality.

according to the insolvent company, the bikes will "will remain functional and rideable, as we aim to keep our app and servers online and aim to secure the ongoing services for the future." the problems might begin, however, if that subsequently proves not to be the case. but perhaps the question related to the bigger picture, is how a long-established e-bike manufacturer with a secure supply chain, finds itself broke in the midst of an almost exponentially growing market. according to analysts, the e-bike market was worth almost £25.5 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow to almost £70 billion by the end of the decade.

recent reports, which have been covered widely in the press, as well as in these very pixels, concerning e-bike fires have pointed the finger at non-standard batteries or chargers having been purchased by owners, possibly aghast at the price of the officialy sanctioned items. should the van moof experience be replicated elsewhere (and despite increasing e-bike sales, there's nothing to say this won't happen again), owners of disenfranchised e-bikes may have little option but to find the necessary parts from somewhere, or anywhere.

as i have pointed out in my opening paragraphs, acoustic bikes continue to be perfectly operable even after decades of the original manufacturer having disappeared from view. perhaps not always in the state wished for by the owner, but perfectly serviceable nonetheless. van moof may prove to be an isolated case, but as e-bikes become more reliant on computer technology, the hereditary path may become a tad more obscure. though perhaps an inept comparison, many of us have seen floppy disks, non-floppy, floppy disks, scitex drives, zip drives, firewire disks all disappear - the list of defunct media is a lengthy one. it would be a shame if the e-bike industry were to follow suit in one way or another.

according to one industry insider, the company may have spent too much on marketing, while neglecting their unit costs and, like the industry as a whole, over-ordered on stock following the covid pandemic. it also notably relied on a substantial amount of venture capital rather than healthy trading accounts. hopefully, despite my misgivings over the whole e-bike trend, it is a singular issue, rather than a presage of others to follow. it would be somewhat contentious to imply that acoustic bikes last forever, but the alliance between electrical power and nascent computer technology, given the latter's historically constant quest for change and upgrade, is not one that inspires confidence.

if you own a van moof e-bike, perhaps now is the time to think of selling before the word gets around.

wednesday 19 july 2023

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campagnolo record headset

there can be few of us nowadays who are not encumbered by the need to use a computer, whether that's by way of a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. unlike the dishwasher, cooker or fridge, the latter are all seemingly subject to a constant stream of updates, meaning that having spent months or years implementing a comfortable work pattern on any of the above, along comes an apparently necessary update (for security reasons, you understand) which either breaks a piece of software upon which you've become dependant, with no available upgrade, or alters the way in which a particular item now works.

the cure to all of the above, is simply not to upgrade at all, a strategy i have employed on my own macbook air, stuck as it is at mac osx 10.13 (high sierra), as apple moves toward releasing osx sonoma, having interspersed several versions in between. excluding the yet to be released sonoma, there are five versions of mac osx that i have effectively ignored, and i know for a fact that there are several items of software installed on that macbook air that will definitely not function under any of the above. that said, i can currently accomplish everything i need to accomplish with relative ease.

for instance, though i profess to be a black-belt in adobe photoshop, the version installed on said laptop originates from 2015, putting me at least eight years behind the curve. that said, the imac at work allows use of the very latest version of photoshop and other major relases from adobe. the system software is due for an upgrade, but quite frankly, who has the time these days?

the problem is, qute frankly, that of progress coupled to support. apple, for instance, moved from intel processors to their own a few years past, forcing the major software companies to update their programmes to allow functioning on both processors - for the time being. but at some point, in probably the very near future, adobe and its peers will decide to no longer support the intel versions of their software. for those stuck in their ways, like yours truly, that probably won't create too many problems, but for businesses or individuals that rely on manufacturer support and compatibility with partner industries, leaving all as is could be storing up future problems.

which brings me to the colnago c40 sitting forlorn and apparently unloved in thewashingmachinepost bikeshed. currently it is minus a rear wheel, for reasons that are too convoluted to repeat, but it remains outfitted with a ten-speed mixture of campagnolo record and chorus componentry, and a carbon chainset affixed to a square-taper bottom bracket. if we conveniently ignore the fact that the bottom bracket probably can't be easily removed (though it still spins with an impressive lack of friction and lateral play), that chainset, while perfectly functional, is entrenched in a disappearing past.

should that bb ever die, and should i prove successful in removing it from the frame, i don't believe campagnolo currently offer a square taper bottom bracket. and given the current crop of four-arm, carbon chainsets, for how much longer will it be possible to obtain five-bolt chainrings? it's still possible to acquire ten-speed, campagnolo pattern cassettes, but those are from the veloce range. if chorus or record are the apple of my eye, i'm likely to be disappointed. and with the untrammeled progress of both electronica and hydraulics, for how much longer can i expect to find mechanical, rim-brake compatible handle bar shifters? ought i to be stockpiling?

i'm already aware of friends who are doing precisely that. every time campagnolo release a new top level groupset, they grab what they can of its mechanical predecessors. and it's not solely campagnolo that's to blame; shimano and sram have all but dispensed with the services of steel gear and brake cables on their top-level groupsets. that might be a case of majority rule, but how many members of that majority are there because their choice of componentry put them there?

if i've read the lines correctly, press-fit bottom brackets are now the scourge of the earth, replaced by their myriad of differently-sized predecessors. does this ultimately mean that the chainset/bottom bracket that inhabits my specialized crux may evaporate like so many components before it? i'm presently unaware of any means of converting the unthreaded, press-fit bottom bracket shell into one that might accept a threaded version with outboard bearing cups.

as componentry is superseded, by definition, it becomes less popular, and there surely has to be a point below which the manufacturer, or third-party suppliers deem it no longer economically viable to continue providing spare parts. that colnago c40, along with its steel master counterpart, features a 1" steerer, for which no-one of whom i'm aware still manufactures a 1" ahead stem. for the time being at least, chris king continue to produce a 1" grip-nut headset for threaded steerers, but for how much longer? typing the word 'headset' into the search field on campagnolo's website simply returns a 'no results found' response. maybe, unlike yours truly, the majority are happy to purchase a brand new, up-to-date carbon bicycle every few years.

maybe some of us need bigger bike sheds with defined component sections. however, if the bicycle industry were to stop now...

tuesday 18 july 2023

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