The Bro-Set Experience

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I suspect that whoever first put a set of downtube shifters on a bike immediately knew that while it was superior to having the shifter on the seat stay, it was a design that was going to be improved upon. Not only did it require being seated to shift, it also required taking your hands off the bars. Shimano got close with the introduction of the STI shifter in the early bit of the 90’s, although the decision to allow the brake lever to pivot laterally was a fundamental flaw.

I remember the first time I saw a set of STI levers in person; I was at County Cycles and they had a complete set of Dura Ace 7400 in the box. It was a truly beautiful groupset, and the metal details on the shifters were as stunning in my hands as they were glinting sunlight off the Pros as they crossed countless finish lines with their arms aloft. The price point was well out of reach, and so I dove headlong into various experiments to find a way to get my shifters on the bars.

Bar-end shifters didn’t look cool so they were out, full stop. I first tried Grip Shift, which was a complete disaster, partly because they didn’t shift well, and partly because they required twisting the bars and invariably introduced a terrifying wobble toward either traffic or the ditch. The low point of my experimentation involved mountain bike thumb shifters mounted near the brake levers, but I couldn’t get them positioned in a way that I could reach them. Cue more wobbling into traffic. Finally I got a set of Suntour Command Shifters, which were basically double-ended thumb shifters that were mounted at the brake lever. These might have worked well, except I couldn’t afford a Suntour rear mech, and the Command Shifters couldn’t get along with my Shimano 105 drivetrain. I had no alternative but to set those shifters to friction, which meant even more wobbling about as I tried to coax it from one gear to the next. But being unsuccessful didn’t mean it wasn’t fun, and when Shimano finally released a 105 STI version – which I could afford – I was that much happier to finally realize my dream of having functional handle-bar mounted shifters.

I’ve never liked the lateral pivot off the STI system, though, and once I could afford to, I moved to Campa and their superior design of incorporating a Go Button along with a paddle shifter. Campagnolo, for all its beauty and functional flawlessness, does require some coddling. It doesn’t particularly like being dirty, and I find myself tweaking the cable tension a few times a week – just a fraction of a turn – to keep it perfect. Because a perfectly tuned Campa drive train runs more perfectly and more silently than anything else – and the Principle of Silence holds sway over all else.

When it came time to building up my Graveur, I never seriously considered Campa because doing that on a bike intended for taking regular mud baths demands something less finicky. And I really don’t want my brake lever wobbling about as I’m trying to control a bouncing, bobbing machine on a twisting gravel or single track descent. Shimano was out, which left me with the choice between Command Shifters and SRAM. SRAM it is, then.

It took me an age to get used to how to adjust it, and how to shift. It requires a lot less cable tension than Shimano or Campa, a trick that took me a while to discover. Upshifts are totally awesome – tap, tap, tap and the chain just drops down along the cassette irrespective of mud or sticks or whatever is in there. I found half a tree trunk in my cassette after my ride this morning, and it didn’t adversely affect the shifting. The front shifting is absolutely blazingly fast, once you get the thing adjusted correctly. And the hoods themselves are very comfortable, possibly even more so than my 10spd Ergos.

But to this day, I still have to think about downshifting (push, *click*, push a bit more, *click*). And Merckx forbid I try shifting more than one gear at a time – I’ll invariably lose track of my clicks and wind up air-shifting between cogs. That’s going to inspire some new curses in a race situation, so there’s that to look forward to.

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163 Replies to “The Bro-Set Experience”

  1. @frank

    Babe indeed.

    Interesting to note the 0mm extension on that stem.  Would have been a fucker to steer that, I’d imagine.

  2. @frank

    I remember the first time I saw a set of STI levers in person;

    …my friends father bought him the 600 STI’s and he came over to show me these new fancy levers. I recall saying, “Pprrrrrrr, that’ll never catch on! You’d get a sore wrist changing and braking!”.

    @Marcus  @frank

    Kudos for pics of Twigg. I wanted to marry her when I was 14 years old! Never got round to asking her.

  3. i have all 4 systems, sram, shimano, campag 11, and campag dt with the pulled out cap to make it friction.  im not sure where you guys are all finding problems with the modern shifters…

    stone me for saying it, but sram is what i prefer, motion wise.  not that i ever need it, but it upshifts like a banshee, and getting into a low gear to climb is just as easy.

    the campag 11 system despite its sexiness, is the one i cant stand.  that effing thumb shift is not natural at all, for me…it is the one and only time i ever need to think through where i want my hands depending on the road…

    shimano works well enough, stays in adjustment forever and is damn quiet, and cassettes dont cost 5 million dollars like campag ones..

    the dt shifters like to upshift on their own at the slightest incline.  ive tightened and tightened but still slips.  i shift on this system more than i do any of the others, simply for the fact i want to hear the chain hop up or down, rattle a bit, then go dead quiet.  i reckon it’s the same high surgeons have after a successful transplant

  4. If we’re going to start talking “back in the day” this was the optimal setup: (and that’s a photo of me ~93-94)

    @Frank: your response to @eightzero made me blow IPA out my nose. You owe me a beer.

  5. @scaler911

    Wow!

    That’s all kinds of awesome.  I remember seeing those cross brace things.  Was it to stiffen up the bars?

    Also, those are pretty fucking deep aero profile rims you’re sporting there for ’93-94.

    I remeber getting my Mavic Mach 2 CD2’s around 1990 and thinking they were ‘pretty aero’.

  6. @frank

    @eightzero

    I’ll invariably lose track of my clicks and wind up air-shifting between cogs. That’s going to inspire some new curses in a race situation, so there’s that to look forward to.

    Why are you downshifting in a race? Why would you want to slow down?

    +1 badge to you, matey. Excellent question, to which there is only one answer. Well, two, I guess. One is Rule #5, the other is “hand out a +1 Badge in order to deflect what a giant pussy you are.”

    Evie likes this.

  7. @frank

    @AndroidG

    Very amusing story, and I have to say, there is no substitute for touch. This also explains why all of our drivetrains’s performance diminishes after a visit from the man with the hammer.

    I agree completely that using one lever to do two things is counter-intuitive and too complicated. I also agree that given that, its much more intuitive than is logically acceptable.

    @eightzero

    I am intrigued by the electric systems, but again, one has to weight the value. That’s a lotta quid to blow on a toy, the necessity of which can be debated. “Need” is a dangerous word in the shadow of Mt. Velomis.

    As I’ve said before, I spoiled my desire to run electric on Mektronic. Put a wire between me and my shifter, and I’m at the mercy of one’s and zeros. Put a cable there, and I’ll get that fucker on the cog I want it on one way or another.

    That said, it is looking like Di2 is actually pretty great in bad weather, and it is the only Shimano system with a fixed brake lever. Campa’s group has some work to do, but it also has promise.

    I can see riding that stuff on CX at some point, just to focus on the other element of harmony associated with those disciplines.

    On the road bike, I’m just not feeling it. I like the connection I have through a cable.

    @EricW

    I get a lot of comments from people when they see the Bro-Nago and the Gruppo equipped Lemond. I guess I’m all about the Anglo-Italian mixes (which also, coincidentally, explains my VMH).

    I’m sure she’s less amused by this than I am, but its a glorious statement worthy of an article in itself: How My Fucked Up, Rule Violating Abomination of a Bike Led To a Happy Marriage.

    Funny enough, her DA equipped Giant is far more rule compliant than my bikes.  I’m half tempted to swap the Gruppo from the Lemond to her bike just so we have a whole pack of mutts.

  8. Red ‘cos it’s faster.

    You should never be in your “bail out gear”, so if you’re grasping for an easier gear it’s only right you get slapped with something harder.

    My Red Bro-Set rocks! I run Flemish compact and 11-27, I never allow myself the 27, occasionally the 26 if I’m really toasted as one way or another I have to climb 140m to get home.

    I like to measure my fitness as to what gear I’m climbing in, the more “spare gears” I’ve got the better. Just can’t get my head round high cadence climbing on the road, very effective a la Froome, but all kinds of wrong.

  9. The Giant is an older Cadex CFR1.  Looking closely, I realized that the bike runs a mix of Ultegra (derailleurs), 105 (crank), and Dura-Ace (shifters).  I had only remembered the model of the shifters. Sorry for the mixup, as the bike (and the VMH) are currently living across the country while she finishes up her degree.

    I know the Giant has flat pedals, but she’s only just now transitioning to clipless.  That said, she’s been happily stomping around on flat roads at 29+ kph with sneakers.  I may have to up my game here once she gets used to pedaling clipped in.

    The Bro-Nago is different from the first picture to the second (different bar/stem, seatpost, and wheels), and the Lemond is in the third picture with the red white and blue (using the former bar/stem from the Bro-Nago).

    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/EricW/2013.08.22.07.01.24/1/”/]

  10. @mouse

    @frank

    Babe indeed.

    Interesting to note the 0mm extension on that stem. Would have been a fucker to steer that, I’d imagine.

    What, someone say extension ?   Oh, the bike, thats right!

    I had downtube shifters on my second racing bike, an overly grumpy shimano set up that never quite felt in gear and had a nasty habit of depositing me on the top tube if i got off the saddle too quickly without its approval, still got the old Dodson frame, now a “shop runner”

  11. @ToeOverlap I’ve only heard of shifter failures on Rival. I’m thinking (hoping) that the Red shifters are stronger. I’m starting to get better at feeling if I’m on the top cog when I touch the lever, and follow-up with a quick upshift (downshift? Crap, we need to get an official ruling on this @frank) when I stuff up.

    @piwakawaka Yeah, I’d like to shun the last biscuit in the tin, but when I’m climbing with a HR cresting 185 and cadence slower than an old timey LP, I’m onto it like Oprah on a pork steak.

  12. Only ever had Sram on MTBs, I had old X4 which was dog-shite and X9 which was brilliant.

    It has to be Gruppo for me every time. I have 10 spd Veloce on #2 and it works all the time, every time. I have 11 spd Chorus on #1 and that works awesome but does need a regular tweak as @frank says.

    My next experiment is a steel crosser with 10 spd Veloce and flat bar shifters. It will be my commuter come tourer come trail bike come everything. Will be interesting to see how they shift, anyone ever used Campa flat bar shifters?

  13. @frank

    @TBONE

    I think that we need to look to the past a bit when it comes to building up a ‘Graveur’. We’ll use John Tomac, Yeti, and Campagnolo as our ‘gold standard’ of how to build and ride a Campy equiped MTB. Furtado didn’t know how to finesse the Italian bits, claiming that they were inferior, but we all know that this is not the case. I’m thinking with a bit of eBay, scouring obscure shops, a fucking ill disk wheel, and a bit of mettle we could have a proper Campy equipped off road slaying machine

    Those disk wheels slay me. They were so cool. And, I think they were just spoked wheels with covers. Which basically amounted to just more weight.

    I’ve taken my brave pills this morning so I’ll take the risk of correcting @Frank…

    The Tioga disk drives weren’t just covers, they took an XT hub and a Mavic (IIRC) rim, bolted on some adapters to the spoke holes and then laced them and the disks together with a giant Kevlar shoelace. You couldn’t true them, they cost a fortune (back in the day) but were clearly cool as fuck ‘cos Johnny T rode them. The cheaper ones used black discs, the ‘Pro’ model was see-through. The accompanying rumbling noise was awesome too, loved hearing him come down the pipeline descent at Newmham Park XC in the mid nineties. Best example ever though was the Spain XC round a year or two before when he launched down a drop-in fully crossed up;

    rumblerumblerumble*silence, whistling of air past the bike*rumblerumblerumble*fucking huge cheers*

    Legend.

    On the original subject, I can’t get on with Bro-Set as my simian brain can’t process the movement required for downshifts past my stubborn muscle memory; up shifts and swearing every time. I’ll stick with Group-San until I can afford the change to Campagnolo.

  14. Nice to see that this hasn’t degraded into one of those holy war battles that component talk seems to lend itself to….I’m looking at you Tiagra shifters with the peepholes from a month or so ago.

    I ride Shimano, but really think SRAM and Campagnolo seem so much cooler. No real reason, just my emotion attached to it.  Problem is I’m waiting for some 105 bits to die before changing, thusly it may be awhile. There’s the rub isn’t it.  My group-san stuff just works, really well.

    But I really want some bro-set zero loss action or some grouppo sexiness. First world problems.

  15. Jeepers, can you believe Chava has signed for a Pro Continental Team for 2014 (they must have had a secret handshake from Prudhomme, coz I can imagine a Tour without Chava attacking constantly)

    Anyway, back on trail, how do you find our cross compatibilty with different shifter and brakes? I’m contemplating going Avid Ultimate Canti brakes on my cross bike, but it has 105 STIs

    I cannot understand the science behind the double tap Force shifters, though I like the idea of not changing gear when I toss the anchors, but would financially be happy to not have to change my shifters in one move

    Or should I just stay with my Cx50s, and stop looking at the bike to make up for my shortcomings….

  16. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Sans gloves in the photo. Do you always ride without gloves? Even on gravel/dirt?

    Have been, ever since switching to the padded fi’zi:k tape. Don’t stretch it when you wrap it, and it is some soft, comfy love right there. Also, the bare hands give better feel on rough roads – cue taken from my boy Tom.

     

    Might switch back to gloves for urban riding, though, as all the partying around town has led to lots of glass on the streets. Flatted an FMB Paris Roubaix last week on a ride that didn’t need them; I just felt like treating myself to a nice ride. Ouch.

    Good stuff.  Might have to get some new bar tape and try it.  Although it is nice to have gloves in case of crashing and all the palm roadrash.  That being said, I have not crashed in a long time (knock on wood, sacrifice chicken, etc).

    As for the FMB:  SHIT!  Is it repairable???

  17. @frank

    @Marcus

    Babe.

     

    Jesus!  We even have Frank posting pics of gorgeous women!  What is it?  The VMH on a long trip overseas or something??? 

    And how can we have a discussion of absolutely adolescent fantasy cycling women without Dede Demet???  How many dreams did I have of meeting her at a race and striking up a romance when I was a teeneager!

  18. Having all 3 main variants mentioned above across the bikes, one thing is certain IMHO; I’ve realised that I don’t have a particular preference. I’ve grown accustomed to each ones subtleties in difference and feel, the same as with the bikes they adorn.

    I’ll choose which to ride depending on how I feel, where and how far I’m going or racing or just because I haven’t shown enough love to one of the stable in recent times. All is fair and equitable in the medio household.

  19. @il ciclista medio

    Having all 3 main variants mentioned above across the bikes, one thing is certain IMHO; I’ve realised that I don’t have a particular preference. I’ve grown accustomed to each ones subtleties in difference and feel, the same as with the bikes they adorn.

    I’ll choose which to ride depending on how I feel, where and how far I’m going or racing or just because I haven’t shown enough love to one of the stable in recent times. All is fair and equitable in the medio household.

    So it’s kind of like a Mormon Groupset thing, eh?

  20. @mouse

    @scaler911

    Wow!

    That’s all kinds of awesome. I remember seeing those cross brace things. Was it to stiffen up the bars?

    Also, those are pretty fucking deep aero profile rims you’re sporting there for ’93-94.

    I remeber getting my Mavic Mach 2 CD2″²s around 1990 and thinking they were ‘pretty aero’.

    Right Ultegra STI on the right (because they were less $$ than DA, and actually a bit lighter), DT on the left for the big dog. Hampsten did it so I immediately followed suit. The brace I guess helped with the stiffness, but mostly was used as a place to put your hands when you were “getting aero” during a breakaway. Was kinda awkward though.

  21. @ten B

    @ten B  —  I’m starting to get better at feeling if I’m on the top cog when I touch the lever, and follow-up with a quick upshift (downshift? Crap, we need to get an official ruling on this @frank) when I stuff up.

    For my money, I find saying a shift is either in(ward) or out(ward) is unambiguous, so long as it’s clear if speaking about the front or rear mech (which is not a problem in use, as We who Ride with the V typically loc-tite our FD in situ so that it cannot be inadvertently dropped into the little ring, which is for pussies).

    Trying to make the terms up and down clear in usage will be a fruitless enterprise, any ruling from @frank notwithstanding, due to the following:

    If upshifting were moving to an inward cog — truly a downshift, w.r.t gear ratio –  the chain physically ‘climbs’ up the cassette to this ‘lower’ gear… meaning it should be a downshift… Reductio ad absurdum.

    Inward and outward stops all this nonsense.

  22. When I’m riding my non campag bike my thumbs get restless and start feeling around on the inside edge hoods for those magic buttons.

  23. There are many things in this article that pertain to my interests, @Frank.

    Let’s talk about SRAM.  I’ve always been a big Campagnolo fan but I guess there is just something pretty cool about a top of the line group that is lighter than and cost lots less than a top shelf grouppo or group-san and is made in Merika.  I’ve been using Red and Force for a couple of years now and I have no complaints other than how noisy the Red cassette was.  But I fixed that by running a DA cassette and chain and now everything is smoove like budda’.

    The plan for the next personal Deacon is a road frame made with True Temper tubes, ENVE everything (wheels, forks, stem, bars, seat pin), and a SRAM group.  The only thing on the bike not domestic will be tyres and contact points.  Hmmm, interesting.

    The next item of interest is the subject of a (hopefully soon posted) guest article about a recent acquisition of mine.  I won’t go into details but there are D/T shifters involved.  I’m thinking a revamp that would involve lots of carbon bits and a 10sp cassette in conjunction with a Simplex friction D/T shifters.  I’m pretty certain that there would be no wobbling toward traffic involved.

  24. I still remember the first time I really encountered Campagnolo shifting out in the wild. I was riding with a dude I’d met, much older and incredibly strong. I was on 105 9-speed stuff, which was wonderful to me at the time. I heard him double shift a few times at the top of climbs and had no damn clue what was going on. “What are all those noises?” I was too busy trying to hold his wheel to ask.

    I bumped into a guy last weekend out riding and we cruised together for a bit. When he saw my 2007 Centaur he actually said, “Man, it has been years since I’ve seen that stuff!” Must be nice to live in a fantasy world where everyone is on brand new stuff at all times. He does live in the location roadie heaven stomping grounds though.

  25. @mouse

    @frank

    Babe indeed.

    Interesting to note the 0mm extension on that stem. Would have been a fucker to steer that, I’d imagine.

    Those bars, if I recall correctly, came out from the headset at about 45 degrees to the frame, so her hands would have been over the wheel as usual and the handling should have been “normal”.

    @scaler911

    You didin’t put up the whole thing. STI right lever, std left, 1 dt shifter, broomstick. The only way that could have been cooler was if you’d had some spinazis on there.

  26. @frank

    @mouse

    @frank

    Babe indeed.

    Interesting to note the 0mm extension on that stem. Would have been a fucker to steer that, I’d imagine.

    Those bars, if I recall correctly, came out from the headset at about 45 degrees to the frame, so her hands would have been over the wheel as usual and the handling should have been “normal”.

    @scaler911

    You didin’t put up the whole thing. STI right lever, std left, 1 dt shifter, broomstick. The only way that could have been cooler was if you’d had some spinazis on there.

    I was Rule #37 complaint before The Rules even existed.

  27. @roger

    the dt shifters like to upshift on their own at the slightest incline. ive tightened and tightened but still slips. i shift on this system more than i do any of the others, simply for the fact i want to hear the chain hop up or down, rattle a bit, then go dead quiet. i reckon it’s the same high surgeons have after a successful transplant

    Take the shifters off and tighten the dt shifter bosses. They screw into each other from opposite ends. If they are not tight, they will do what you’re describing here.

    @piwakawaka

    I like to measure my fitness as to what gear I’m climbing in, the more “spare gears” I’ve got the better. Just can’t get my head round high cadence climbing on the road, very effective a la Froome, but all kinds of wrong.

    I do a bit of this myself, same effort but taller gear on a climb is usually good sign that I’m coming along on my form.

    And spinning uphill is for blood dopers; saves the muscles over a 3 week tour, but strains the cardio too much. Not so much a worry when you’re getting your blood changed out every several days.

  28. @EricW

    I don’t want to pick on your wife’s bike, but that looks like RSX, not DA. Great look bike, though, aside from the EPMS.

    And that ‘nago is a work of art.

    @ten B

    a quick upshift (downshift? Crap, we need to get an official ruling on this @frank) when I stuff up.

    Not a ruling so much as a definition. The convention is very well established and is a carry-over from motorized vehicles. A low gear is an easy gear, a high gear is a hard gear. You shift from a high gear down to a low year and from a low gear up to a high gear. Hence, downshift, upshift.

  29. @scaler911

    @frank

    @mouse

    @frank

    Babe indeed.

    Interesting to note the 0mm extension on that stem. Would have been a fucker to steer that, I’d imagine.

    Those bars, if I recall correctly, came out from the headset at about 45 degrees to the frame, so her hands would have been over the wheel as usual and the handling should have been “normal”.

    @scaler911

    You didin’t put up the whole thing. STI right lever, std left, 1 dt shifter, broomstick. The only way that could have been cooler was if you’d had some spinazis on there.

    I was Rule #37 complaint before The Rules even existed.

    Point of clarification:  The Rules have always existed, it has just taken this long for the Keepers to discover and publish them.

  30. @ToeOverlap

    @ten B

    @ten B – I’m starting to get better at feeling if I’m on the top cog when I touch the lever, and follow-up with a quick upshift (downshift? Crap, we need to get an official ruling on this @frank) when I stuff up.

    For my money, I find saying a shift is either in(ward) or out(ward) is unambiguous, so long as it’s clear if speaking about the front or rear mech (which is not a problem in use, as We who Ride with The V typically loc-tite our FD in situ so that it cannot be inadvertently dropped into the little ring, which is for pussies).

    Trying to make the terms up and down clear in usage will be a fruitless enterprise, any ruling from @frank notwithstanding, due to the following:

    If upshifting were moving to an inward cog – truly a downshift, w.r.t gear ratio – the chain physically ‘climbs’ up the cassette to this ‘lower’ gear… meaning it should be a downshift… Reductio ad absurdum.

    Inward and outward stops all this nonsense.

    Or “V”ing up for moving Sur La Plaque or on the 11 and “anti-V” for anything else.

  31. @Fausto

    The Tioga disk drives weren’t just covers, they took an XT hub and a Mavic (IIRC) rim, bolted on some adapters to the spoke holes and then laced them and the disks together with a giant Kevlar shoelace. You couldn’t true them, they cost a fortune (back in the day) but were clearly cool as fuck ‘cos Johnny T rode them. The cheaper ones used black discs, the ‘Pro’ model was see-through. The accompanying rumbling noise was awesome too, loved hearing him come down the pipeline descent at Newmham Park XC in the mid nineties. Best example ever though was the Spain XC round a year or two before when he launched down a drop-in fully crossed up;

    rumblerumblerumble*silence, whistling of air past the bike*rumblerumblerumble*fucking huge cheers*

    Legend.

    Solid gold, all the way around. Didn’t know that about the wheels – so cool!

    @graham d.m.

    I ride Shimano, but really think SRAM and Campagnolo seem so much cooler. No real reason, just my emotion attached to it. Problem is I’m waiting for some 105 bits to die before changing, thusly it may be awhile. There’s the rub isn’t it. My Group-sanstuff just works, really well.

    Did I mention that all those 105 bits mentioned in the article are still around and kicking? That stuff never dies.

  32. @Dr C

    Anyway, back on trail, how do you find our cross compatibilty with different shifter and brakes? I’m contemplating going Avid Ultimate Canti brakes on my cross bike, but it has 105 STIs

    I cannot understand the science behind the double tap Force shifters, though I like the idea of not changing gear when I toss the anchors, but would financially be happy to not have to change my shifters in one move

    Or should I just stay with my Cx50s, and stop looking at the bike to make up for my shortcomings….

    If you fancy stopping at all, its TRP Mini-V’s or nothing. They make different models for Shimano and other brifters based on cable pull. Work great.

  33. @Buck Rogers

    As for the FMB: SHIT! Is it repairable???

    Not after I tried to use a PitStop to fix it.

    @Buck Rogers

    And how can we have a discussion of absolutely adolescent fantasy cycling women without Dede Demet??? How many dreams did I have of meeting her at a race and striking up a romance when I was a teeneager!

    How old are you? She’s my age…

  34. Ouch, that is one expensive flat, Frank. How’d you get home? Slow ride on it, anti-van Summeren style? And, I’m guessing you stopped for some post-ride recovery drinks to drown the sorrows.

  35. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    As for the FMB: SHIT! Is it repairable???

    Not after I tried to use a PitStop to fix it.

    @Buck Rogers

    And how can we have a discussion of absolutely adolescent fantasy cycling women without Dede Demet??? How many dreams did I have of meeting her at a race and striking up a romance when I was a teeneager!

    How old are you? She’s my age…

     

    Dede Demet … sob … Barry is 9 months and a day younger than I am.  She turns 41 in 6 weeks.  Yeah, serious stalker right here.

    I thought you were like 34-35 or something?

  36. @Angling Saxon

    “Campa”? What is “Campa”?

    Surely you mean Campag or Campy?

    Americans mostly shorten it to “Campy”, “Campag” in the UK, “Campa” everywhere else. So there.

  37. @frank Thanks man I appreciate it.  Yeah honestly about the Giant, it’s a parts bin bike, and over time stuff has been slapped on it to keep it running.  One of the name plates from the shifter is broken off, and I don’t recall the RSX’s had removable nameplates.  I’ll have to check.  I swear at one point in its life I’ve remembered thinking “wow cool Dura-Ace!”

    I feel kind of embarrassed that I don’t know all the details on the thing.  Next time I see it, I’ll grab some some pictures.

    She’s moving out here soon, so I think a proper update on the group might be in order.

  38. @frank

    @frank

    @EricW

    I don’t want to pick on your wife’s bike, but that looks like RSX, not DA. Great look bike, though, aside from the EPMS.

    And that ‘nago is a work of art.

    @ten B

    a quick upshift (downshift? Crap, we need to get an official ruling on this @frank) when I stuff up.

    Not a ruling so much as a definition. The convention is very well established and is a carry-over from motorized vehicles. A low gear is an easy gear, a high gear is a hard gear. You shift from a high gear down to a low year and from a low gear up to a high gear. Hence, downshift, upshift.

    That’s where we differ Frank. It’s gears vs. sprocket and chain position. It’s Velominati and not Top Gear is it?

    I honestly understand your dilemma with shifting on a new Sram but soon you will get used to it and forget that it was ever a problem but when we are talking about bicycles we hardly ever refer to gears, like with cars, but to sprockets and the chain position. Most manuals, instructions refers to upper sprocket and lower sprocket and the chain position rather than gears.Check for example Ergos manual from Campagnolo and you will see what I mean.I don’t write this post or my earlier ones to call you out in a bad manner but it was hard to understand what you meant.

    http://www.campagnolo.com/repository/documenti/en/7225316-Ergopower_ESCAPE-0109.pdf

    And now for something completely different I must say that your Bianchi is absolutely gorgeous. What a stunner mate.Very well build and nicely finished.I love it.

    As far as FMB goes why did you use a pit stop? Did you carry a spare with you? Did you use Vittoria Pit Stop or something else from the can?

  39. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    As for the FMB: SHIT! Is it repairable???

    Not after I tried to use a PitStop to fix it.

    @Buck Rogers

    And how can we have a discussion of absolutely adolescent fantasy cycling women without Dede Demet??? How many dreams did I have of meeting her at a race and striking up a romance when I was a teeneager!

    How old are you? She’s my age…

    Is that Der Kaiser?

  40. @scaler911


    I did the left DT shifter/right STI back in the day too. Only ran across a couple of guys in the US with the broomstick. The Scott Drop-ins were fairly comfortable on the lower bend, didn’t spend much time in the actual drop-in straight part. A guy I knew had the 2nd generation ones with the strut to the fork like LeMan used at Roubaix in 92 or so and said getting into the low fwd section was mildly suicidal. I imagine the broomstick was equally unstable?

     I miss Suntour Superbe Pro. I remember many of the Belgians wanting to buy up any remaining Suntour stock as bad as the newly united Berliners wanting Levi’s 501’s. Some Lithuanians were winning regularly and making life difficult for everyone with outdated 7-spd bikes when I was over the moon to have the new 8-spd STI. Once I realized it was about going as fast as fuck in  53X12 and not so much how you got there, the racing was a little more straight forward.

  41. @Buck Rogers

    @il ciclista medio

    Having all 3 main variants mentioned above across the bikes, one thing is certain IMHO; I’ve realised that I don’t have a particular preference. I’ve grown accustomed to each ones subtleties in difference and feel, the same as with the bikes they adorn.

    I’ll choose which to ride depending on how I feel, where and how far I’m going or racing or just because I haven’t shown enough love to one of the stable in recent times. All is fair and equitable in the medio household.

    So it’s kind of like a Mormon Groupset thing, eh?

    I like to think of it more as always having the possibility of a threesome, but enjoying what pleasure one at a time can give me

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