March 7 roadini, grips, too many cogs and compatibility issues, hockey, pants-god

That's my first set of Albatross-like bars, in 1959. Creamish head tube, blue bike, fenders, combo tread. Bicycle imprinting, I think. And sister, Paige. My dad bought the house in 1954 for $12,000, sold it for $50K in 1968, and and last year it sold for $1.2 million. A few upgrades, but still. I'll never be able to buy it back, but it was a good house to grow up in. Dang.



Mark here keeps up on techy topics (we have to know) because it's less uncommon now for a customer to want a cool steel road bike with modern parts on it. He's had some challenges, surprises, and revelations in the past few months, and his online research turned up this, on, contributed by list member LSSMITH. The topic is current Shimano shifter-drivetrain compatibility, and it's a big topic because in the past few years, the arms race between Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo have created a battle that one of them may "win", but no actual bicycle rider will have anything to rejoice about.

1. Road 10 speed derailleurs and shifters are completely incompatible with mountain (dyna sys) 10 speed derailleurs and shifters. The cable pull by the shifters is different for both front and rear.

2. Nine speed rear derailleurs will not work with 10 speed mountain rear shifters. They will however work with road “flat bar” 10 speed rear shifters. Dyna speed shifters pull twice as much cable per shift as 9 speed shifters, so if you use a 9 speed derailleur it shifts two gears for every one push.

3. Dyna sys 10 speed rear derailleurs cannot be used with 9 speed shifters. Road 10 speed derailleurs can be used with 9 speed shifters.

4. Nine speed front derailleurs can be used with 10 speed front shifters, but do not work optimally if used with a 10 speed crankset. Nine speed front derailleurs and cranksets can be used with 10 speed chains and front shifters. A nine speed shifter can be used to shift a 10 speed dyna sys front derailleur.

5. 10 speed road chains are different from 10 speed mountain (dyna sys) chains. The dyna sys chain is a directional chain that is made to shift better with 10 speed mountain drivetrains.

6. 10 speed road cassettes and 10 speed mountain cassette use the same sprocket spacing.

You might wonder what's in it for Shimano & the others to create such narrow shifting environments and an ever increasing complexation of components with names from the past but no backward compatibility. There are something like five current Deore derailers, but little backward compatibility and almost no intercompatibility. Having BEEN a product manager before and knowing the challenges, I can't believe anybody spec'ing bikes for Trekalizediant is enjoying it. The parts makers do it because the bike market isn't growing, so they're searching for new and exciting things to get existing riders to trade up---as thogh going from 9 to 10 to 11 is "up." 

The days of bike riders shopping for new cranks or cassettes or shifters is mostly gone. Or at least, it's not like it used to be, by a mile. Bike shops are so desperate (for the most part) that they want their suppliers to drive customers to their stores with new exciting things every year.

But how exciting can a drive train be, really? Is it exciting to go from 8 to 9 speed? Does that affect any part of your ride? From 9 to 10 to 11?

Compatibility is about how much one click of the shifter moves the derailer, and whether or not it moves the exact same amount as the cog-to-cog difference. It has to, because indexing doesn't allow any fine-tuning.

Friction is all fine-tuning, but it's remarkably easy because the chains and cogs want to mesh. It's harder for deaf riders, because there's no clue-noise, but if you aren't deaf it's easy.  And, it's too much trouble for racers who in the heat of it all can't be bothered. Although the last pro race that was won with non-indexing levers was Greg Lemond's 8-second win starting with a 50-second deficit in the final time trial of the 1989-or-so BORAF (TdeF).

I'm not for tough shifting challenges, or even challenges worth of the name. I'm for mostly ease, but I'm also for a bicycle that lets you use a little skill to shift.


Grip Mods IV

It's one of our genuinely Dutch paddle grips, taped and twined.

The right way to rig 'em is with the edge horizontal or even pointed up a bit. That way you palm's heel-fat gets max support. Not that is needs that much. It works fine any way you do it.



It's close, but a month ago we got the same decals and said NO, the orange should be PMS 201C RED, and then today we got these, and it's the same orange. Anyway, the overal look is there and if we didn't have time to change them, which we do, then I'd say sheesh OK, but heavens to Betsy. As it is, we'll try for the red again. Italy colors, not Ireland.

Here's the alternative design, diff colors, and this one is correct. The color tube is the right one for the blue version of ROADINI, but it wasn't long enough for the LEO part of it there's just the ROADINI. I think the blue in this image is 10 percent better than the blue in real life. It's still a really nice, super fine-grained blue.

But either way, good looking decals. Leo = lion, and that's in the headbadge:

Kind of scary and slightly out of character for us, but I like it. Roman here did the lion's head. Roar - slash - bite!

We have a ROADINI one-sheet info sheet. There must be a way to put it up here, but -- I'm having a bad IT day. I'm trying to pay a freelancer via Upwork, and can't figure it out.


If you want to join the Roadini info list sign up here:

No need to email directly please. Use the link above to join/unsubscribe. Email me for any questions about the ROADINI or whatever...but use the link above to be on the ROADINI-curious list, which will give you an early shot at one of these bikes that we might not even do again.

Here's the link to the brochure.


Here's a card I got yesterday. It's the best card I've ever gotten--

It's because he likes the current Ralph Lauren-like details of the new MUSA pants.


I want to leave you with something you might not know. If you do, no need to tell me, but most of you I'm guessing don't know that when Wilbur Wright was 15 he was playing ice hockey and got whapped in the teeth by the stick of another 15-year old with the first name of Oliver and a middle name of Crooks.

Crooks himself was known for his rotting teeth, and went to the dentist and said doc hey please fix 'em. Doc said here, take these cocaine tooth drops, which Oliver did, and was soon hooked on the drug.

As this was happening, Wilbur didn't exactly recover from the hit. For three years he became a home-hermit, dutifully taking care of his sick mom, and not paying any attention to the life he had before. He said forget college. He got sick himself, He got some false teeth. His mom died.

Twenty-one years later Oliver Crooks was convicted of killing his parents and brother. By then Wilbur and Orville were big deals in the airplane world. But ow, what a tooth story.


















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