Author Topic: Best bicycle component you ever bought?  (Read 3957 times)

Danneaux

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2020, 04:42:56 PM »
Okay, let's try this again.  :)

What is the best bicycle component you ever bought?

Everyone has their own favorites; it is nice to find out what and why.

Hard to narrow down to just one for me, but in terms of sheer lifespan, I have to say "SunTour Cyclone MkII derailleurs". Purchased mostly in 1983, mine are still going strong on a number of my bikes. Friction-shifted, these things have managed the seemingly impossible: Being light and jewel-like while tough as nails and lasting a long, long time in service. 173g for a long-cage GT model is crazy-light! 32,000+ miles on one of my bikes, 28,000+ on another with nary a problem. Swapped in some Bullseye derailleur pulleys with sealed cartridge bearings and never looked back.

For more, see: http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/SunTour_Cyclone_Mark-II_GT_derailleur_3700.html

Best,

Dan. (...who likes the "modern classics").
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 04:44:40 PM by Danneaux »

Bill C

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2020, 05:48:41 PM »
supernova e3 triple for me, i used to only ride at night if i had to,
now i prefer night riding, totally transformed my cycling, no one else out usually less windy and much safer as cars know i'm there even on single lane roads with high hedges, a petzl in case of punctures helps

https://supernova-lights.com/en/e3-triple-2/
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 06:05:09 PM by Bill C »

martinf

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2020, 08:56:51 PM »
Hard to narrow down to just one for me, but in terms of sheer lifespan, I have to say "SunTour Cyclone MkII derailleurs"

If it's on lifespan, my Woodrup frameset (OK, perhaps not strictly speaking a component).

This was the first new bike frame I bought myself, in 1977. Still going after 76,000 kms, though I don't think anything apart from the frame and forks is original. And only occasionally used now, as I now have a relatively lightweight Rohloff bike that I use for the same role of lightly-loaded day rides.

Apart from the frameset, my longest lifespan components, which are still serving on my old 650B tyre utility bike, all after decades of use and from 50,000 to 65,000 kms so far are:
- a Brooks B66 Champion saddle,
- 1980's Deore XT 4 finger brake levers,
- one of my Sturmey-Archer S5/2 hubs
- a high quality steel handlebar (Tange).

A pair of Mikashima quill pedals with steel cages come close, I got these second hand over 40 years ago and they are still going after at least 47,000 kms, currently fitted to my "new" utility bike. Judging by the condition of the finish, they had already had significant use before I got them. 

A couple of other components reached the 50,000 km mark, a GB Randonneur alloy handlebar that I pre-emptively scrapped a few years ago after about 3 decades of use (concern about possible fatigue failure of alloy), and a set of 170 mm Stronglight 49D cranks that I retired when I solved knee problems by changing over to using 150 mm cranks. 

As far as influence on my cycling is concerned, I reckon the three most important were :

- wide range derailleur gearing. Not a single component, but a combination of TA chainset with a huge difference between small 28T and large 48T chainrings, freewheel (14 to 28T, which was wide range for the time) and wide range front and rear derailleurs (Shimano Crane, this was just before SunTour was widely available in the UK). This made cycle-camping in hilly areas possible without having to get off and push.

- Brooks saddles. They don't work for everyone, but for me a Brooks B17 (or B66 Champion) made it possible to spend whole days riding for several days on end.

- Sturmey-Archer S5/2 hubs. I discovered these about 40 years ago and still have 5, of which 3 are in service and the other two kept as spares. They showed me that hub gears could be a reliable and low-maintenance alternative for utility riding and even some touring, as long as it wasn't in mountainous areas, and led to me changing over almost exclusively to hub gears later on when Shimano 8 and Rohloff 14 became available.

Never managed huge distances with rear derailleurs, on the kinds of roads and tracks I used there was generally a piece of wire or other debris lurking in wait to terminate these before they completely wore out. And the Shimano Deore RD-M592-SGS I used on my last big tour with a deralleur bike is fairly worn after less than 5000 km, perhaps because of several hundred kms use on wet sandy tracks.

Matt2matt2002

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2020, 08:59:43 PM »
Chainglider for me.
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

martinf

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2020, 08:24:20 AM »
Chainglider for me.

I am also a Chainglider convert, but to me it is the icing on the cake that makes a reliable hub gear even more low maintenance.

Andre Jute

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2020, 06:27:37 PM »
Never managed huge distances with rear derailleurs, on the kinds of roads and tracks I used there was generally a piece of wire or other debris lurking in wait to terminate these before they completely wore out.

Never managed not to wreck a derailleur transmission or achieve any total distance over a thousand miles, so it was a constant nuisance and pain in the pocket, not to mention that I hate getting my hands dirty. I have such a history with derailleurs, it is doubtful whether I can even make a fair comparison with hub gears. My Shimano Nexus hub gears never made more than 3200km before they too were wrecked, but I still speak well of them because, by comparison to derailleurs, they were brilliant. And of course the Rohloff is on a different level altogether. But the chain on it is from the Blacksmith Age of Bicycles, and the Gates belt drive alternative is simply another level of nuisance, expense and tiresomeness for café tourers.

I would thus, now that Dan and Martin have added longevity into the judgement of a component, add operating modes made possible by any component into the judgemental mix. If that is permitted, I'd say that my brilliant* idea of running the chain for life on the factory lube, an idea developed from a throwaway remark by Sheldon Brown, would feature in my top five, represented by the temporal physicality of the Chainglider which made such a very convenient operating mode possible. Others may put a different valuation on convenience and clean hands and more time to ride rather than fiddling with the bike, but I agree with Matt: the Chainglider, by rights of the possibilities it opens up, features strongly in his list and mine.

* I can't tell a lie just to appear humble.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 10:52:46 PM by Andre Jute »

Bill C

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2020, 07:43:29 PM »
Never managed huge distances with rear derailleurs, on the kinds of roads and tracks I used there was generally a piece of wire or other debris lurking in wait to terminate these before they completely wore out.

Never managed not to wreck a derailleur transmission or achieve any total distance over a thousand miles

back to slagging derailleurs so soon after the thread was locked?
the topic is Best bicycle component you ever bought? not have a pop at something you don't like

brummie

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2020, 08:29:38 PM »
Fixed sprocket! - Controversial?  Love riding fixed wheel.
 

Bill C

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2020, 08:58:35 PM »
Fixed sprocket! - Controversial?  Love riding fixed wheel.

don't tell me let me guess
you used to use a rear derailleur as a chain tensioner but they kept breaking  ;)

Andre Jute

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2020, 11:12:08 PM »
Never managed huge distances with rear derailleurs, on the kinds of roads and tracks I used there was generally a piece of wire or other debris lurking in wait to terminate these before they completely wore out.

Never managed not to wreck a derailleur transmission or achieve any total distance over a thousand miles

back to slagging derailleurs so soon after the thread was locked?
the topic is Best bicycle component you ever bought? not have a pop at something you don't like.

It's a public thread so, moderator permitting, any contributor can decide what it is about -- until the next contributor posts!

In any event, I wasn't slagging off derailleurs, merely explaining that derailleurs declined to get along with me, so I moved on to sounder engineering. But, since you tempt me, I'll add this: derailleurs failed to serve me as I was entitled to expect because they were, conceptually and in manufacture, rubbish engineering that should have been stifled at birth. The reason for this condemnation is obvious: they were made overly light and therefore failed, and will forever fail under anyone who isn't a ninety-pound weakling.

That derailleurs failed to serve Bernd and Barbara Rohloff -- on their honeymoon! -- as they were entitled to expect led directly to the creation of the Rohloff HGB, so I'm travelling in very tasty company here.

Danneaux

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2020, 11:25:24 PM »
Quote
It's a public thread so, moderator permitting, any contributor can decide what it is about -- until the next contributor posts!
Correct.

...And a reminder to all to follow the rules and community spirit to keep interaction to the high standard we have long enjoyed. Andre and I (starting with USENET in 1980) have been through the newsgroup wars and know firsthand the low levels discourse can quickly fall to in the complete absence of moderation. It won't happen here.

Recent restrictions and events have us all on edge. Be good and nice to each other, as some of us won't get through these perilous and sobering times.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 01:01:21 AM by Danneaux »

Bill C

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2020, 01:29:27 AM »
Hi Dan
I'm not trying to be a PIA i explained by pm that the constant moaning and point scoring was ruining my enjoyment of the forum
I'm here because i like thorn bikes, not because of rohloffs
 the forum says Thorn at the top  of the page so why the constant sniping about the derailleur Thorn bikes that made Thorn famous and the firm that it is now?
they were sold back in the day as the most reliable expedition bikes available, now because a few people have bought into rohloff all of a sudden a derailleur isn't even capable of getting you to the end of the street? you know as well as i do that is BS,
my 2 xtc's aren't crap, my Kevin sayles built commutour isn't crap. my nomad isn't/won't be crap nor is my Sherpa or my ventura and if i buy the audax i have my eye on i doubt that will be crap either none have rohloffs
am i to take it photo's and posts of the builds/refurbs are not welcome as they don't conform to the herds taste in thorns because they don't have a rohloff,
will i have to put up with people denigrating my hard work because i didn't chose a hub gear?
I'm pretty sure if i or others kept repeating negative comments about rohloffs there would be uproar, so why the double standards when it comes to derailleurs?
as i said i'm not out to cause hassle or offend any ones sensibilities so why are people who ride derailleur bikes expected to keep having to put up with the negativism and constant snide remarks
it doesn't make for a fun place to be when you are constantly being fed a load of bull about rohloffs being the be all and end all, they are a niche product a few old boys have embraced they have weaknesses and strengths as do derailleur bikes
i genuinely think the forum will suffer with the overt bias that is being displayed toward any Thorn/bike that hasn't got a rohloff

that said I'm off to order paint stripper, paint, wet and dry, thinners and decals as i have several things i could be (re)doing rather than getting wound up over other peoples opinions about the type of bikes i choose to buy,ride,restore and collect
atb Bill

Danneaux

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2020, 02:53:44 AM »
Well, Bill...

It does indeed say "Thorn Cycling Forum" at the top of the page and that is because Thorn (the bike maker) hosts the Forum...and sells bicycles equipped with derailleurs, Rohloff hubs, occasionally Shimano Alfines or the choice of either on one bike (new Nomad Mk3) for the greatest versatility.

Currently, Thorn offer the Audax, Club Tour and Sherpa with derailleur drivetrains. The Raven, Nomad, Mercury and a Tandem are equipped with Rohloff drivetrains. That's a pretty even split, indicating there are buyers for both drivetrains and Thorn caters to both markets.

Thorn was one of the first manufacturers to work with Rohloff and they are among the most experienced in servicing them. Thorn's feedback helped shape some of the ongoing innovations and enhancements to the hub. Andy Blance distilled his personal and professional knowledge into his Living with a Rohloff publication. By extension, the Thorn Cycling Forum has become a leading resource for those with questions about them. This comes from the Thorn workshop and via peer support (owner-users helping each other) to answer questions. Thorn has also excelled at combining Shimano's derailleur offerings from their racing and MTB lines into smooth-shifting, versatile touring drivetrains, not so easy now that drivetrains have become more specialized by use.

As a maker, Thorn has evolved with the times and still offers the latest reliable and practically versatile derailleur drivetrains on some of their bicycles and reliable Rohloff drivetrains on others. After careful research and monitoring, they have come to offer options such a split frame for Gates belts, through-axle forks and disc brakes front and rear, keeping the whole product line at the forefront of current trends and innovations, needed to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Derailleur and Rohloff drivetrains are just two means among many to propel a bicycle. Of my 15 bicycles, 14 have derailleurs, my Nomad Mk2 has a Rohloff and I have a spare used Rohloff. I've never had problems with either, despite putting in really high mileage on both. They all work fine for me.

Cycling is a personalized pursuit and we each go about things in our own way as we prefer because no single approach suits everyone.

Maybe we can all be pleased with what we have, happy for others in their choices and live and let live and/or learn about other things that also work. If you don't like Rohloff drivetrains and are happier with/prefer derailleurs, then be happy; you've got what you want. Experience is a remarkable shaper of opinion and not everyone has had the same good luck with one approach or the other.

Quote
i have several things i could be (re)doing rather than getting wound up over other peoples opinions about the type of bikes i choose to buy,ride,restore and collect

Agreed. Back on-topic.

Best,

Dan.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 04:36:13 AM by Danneaux »

leftpoole

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2020, 11:38:02 AM »
Hello,
Whilst the Rohloff is indeed a fabulous hub, I have a real love of the S5/2 Sturmey Archer hub.
Although not such a range the S5/2 is a really remarkable gear unit. I used to ride with one some years ago and the Dorset hills were a real test.
Pity these are no longer available.
Best regards to all,
John

martinf

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Re: Best bicycle component you ever bought?
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2020, 06:23:48 PM »
Never managed huge distances with rear derailleurs, on the kinds of roads and tracks I used there was generally a piece of wire or other debris lurking in wait to terminate these before they completely wore out.

Never managed not to wreck a derailleur transmission or achieve any total distance over a thousand miles

back to slagging derailleurs so soon after the thread was locked?
the topic is Best bicycle component you ever bought? not have a pop at something you don't like

I don't think putting "wide range derailleur gearing" as one of the three things that have most influenced my cycling should be considered as slagging derailleurs.