Thursday, February 13, 2020

nice to know i'm not imagining things: disc brakes and more

JP Partland, a Rivendell rider and longtime bicycle industry guy, keeps a blog that offers some interesting insights into bicycle technology.
This post from 2015, which I was directed to by Grant P at Rivendell, is Partland's take on the whole disc brake thing. If you're super-geeky read the whole thing HERE.

If you just want to cut to the chase like me and other ADHD kids, here's the summation:

"Some think this conversion to disc brakes will be good for the bike industry. It will only be good if it ultimately results in more people riding more often.
If we end up with bikes that stop no better, need to be serviced more frequently, go into the shop more often, and cost more to buy and operate, we will have lost. If we’re doing this to be “modern” or to keep up to date seems misplaced at best: they’ve been putting motors on bicycles for years, and by choosing to ride a motor-free version, we’re deliberately limiting the technology at our disposal.
When looking at disc brakes on road and cyclocross bikes, it would be great to know that not only will performance be markedly better, but that the amount of time and effort it takes to keep the brakes going either doesn’t change or gets reduced.
But disc brakes can’t be stopped. Maybe they shouldn’t be, but it would be great to know there’s more than fatalism behind the change."


In other news, I'm getting ready to replace the tires on the All-Rounder. The Panaracer Tour has been a great tire (get some for your next city bike) and if I had the money I'd spring for another set. But I'm broke and have other priorities (like, you know, the gas bill); so I'm going through the pile of used parts and behold! A used pair of of Conti Top Touring 2000's that I forgot I'd had in the stack. They're probably close to 20 years old, but the sidewalls look great and feel supple and this might be the excuse I need to put a wider tire on the A-R (and by extension, swap in some wider fenders).
So today's bike love will be hurled at MY bike for a change.

Of course, the danger of taking the wheels off my bike simply to swap in new tires and fenders is that I'll discover something else that needs to be addressed -- sometimes the wheel is being held together by little more than being clamped into the dropouts, and once you open up the quick-release things begin to fall apart. But since I have another functional bike it's a risk I'm willing to take.
So after I do some rehearsal I'm gonna hang out in the Brain Trust a bit.

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