Author Topic: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?  (Read 1361 times)

PH

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Re: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2022, 12:09:52 PM »
Wow, that was nicely stated, PH!
Thanks Dan, when writing a long post I'm never sure if anyone will read past the second line, that's OK the pleasure is often in sorting my own thoughts out.

PH

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Re: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2022, 12:20:08 PM »
Itís like when you go for an eye test and they put a lens in and everything looks crystal clear, then they put another in and it looks even better, then another and another, till thereís nothing left that can improve it.
Except that the ideal bike for one task isn't ideal for everything unless you can find the bike equivalent of a varifocal lens which is good for both distance and reading and everything in between (and, for those who haven't been there, there are different varifocal lens configurations to try to meet different user needs). This leads to the discussion about if you are only allowed one bike then which would it be?
I wonder if in an alternative universe there's an opticians forum where someone is arguing that glasses are not like bicycles?
For the record I have:
varifocal everyday glasses
Office glasses optimised for computer use
Bi-focal cycling glasses
Single vision transition sunglasses
 ;)

JohnR

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Re: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2022, 09:32:13 PM »
I wonder if in an alternative universe there's an opticians forum where someone is arguing that glasses are not like bicycles?
For the record I have:
varifocal everyday glasses
Office glasses optimised for computer use
Bi-focal cycling glasses
Single vision transition sunglasses
 ;)
In comparison I've got a pair of varifocals which covers all my needs including a lot of looking at computer screens. I've got a backup pair that are identical except for a slight tint at the top which I've found good for my summer cycling - cuts out some of the bright sunlight while still letting me see potholes lurking in the shade. The cycling equivalent would be two identical bikes except that one has an added feature such as a rack or dynamo.

Danneaux

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Re: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2022, 10:13:29 PM »
Quote
...when writing a long post I'm never sure if anyone will read past the second line...
I read completely through every Forum post on every topic, so there'll always be an audience of at least one. :)

Quote
I wonder if in an alternative universe there's an opticians forum where someone is arguing that glasses are not like bicycles? For the record I have...
Relatable!

I wear a single contact lens to correct my distance vision while my native myopia trending toward presbyopia with age takes care of near. My brain does the processing, choosing the clearest image at the moment to be dominant. Happily, the two focal lengths overlap somewhere in the middle close to where it is useful to have binocular vision. My eyeglass-mounted rearview mirror adds excitement.

Otherwise, it is varifocal eyeglasses and cycling glasses with one stick-on static cling bifocal or a plain lens to use with the monovision contact lens.

Due to a long history of traumatic facial injuries and a shattered eye socket, one of my eyes is slightly skewed so when my brain is tired I see like the attached photo, with diagonally offset double vision. :o  The solution is to close one eye or pick one image and stick to it.

The good news? When tired, I see twice as many lovely bicycles in my collection! ;D I'd call that "special". ;)

Best,

Dan.

Danneaux

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Re: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2022, 10:40:58 PM »
Looking at my list of bikes, I realize how many would be considered "obsolete" by current riders. All are steel -- either lugged, fillet brazed or TiG welded. All have rim brakes, not a disc in the lot. All Bowden cables, no hydraulics. Only four of the derailleur bikes have indexed shifting and it is optional on all but one of those. While I prefer replaceable sealed cartridge bearings, several have cup-and-cones with loose balls in hubs and bottom brackets. There's 2.5 IGH bikes (the traditional U-frame Folder's Sturmey-Archer 3-sp and the Nomad's Rohloff; the factory prototype Folder has a Sachs 3-sp IGH with 7 cogs). Three frames date from 1970. The 1938 bike inherited from my late father has a coaster-brake.

The rest of the derailleur bikes have non-indexed "manual" shifting. Those are all 5-, 6-, or 7-speed cogsets. Four use my preferred half-step and granny gear scheme.

Taken as a whole, I prefer my bikes as I do my motorcars -- manually operated. I'm not a Luddite! Rather, I like the involvement, the requirements that I need skills to operate them smoothly and the reward structure built into acquiring those skills and that translates into long service life. I typically get a lot more use out of my older drivetrains but can easily burn through a crossover 9-sp chain, chainring and cassette in a summer. On cars, I typically manage close to 300,000kms on a clutch and original synchros in a true manual transmission. At present, I'm driving a car with 177,000kms on a dual-clutch, dual-gearset manu-matic and it is laid-up awaiting a rebuilt Transmission Control Module.

It doesn't hurt that are all my derailleur bikes' drivetrains are long-lived and easily repairable to keep going (I reprofile the thick cog teeth and retemper/quench when they become hooked, easy enough since they are non-indexed). One of the major appeals of the Rohloff for me was the long service life.

So...how important is "rider involvement" to you? Do you prefer it as I do, it do you like the bike to be as unintrusive and uninvolving as possible? I know I love my Fixie, but that cuts both ways. It is at once incredibly involving (when not pedaling, the bike pedals me) and also as simple as it gets.

Best,

Dan.

PH

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Re: What makes a bike feel/ride "special" to you?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2022, 09:07:31 PM »
Looking at my list of bikes, I realize how many would be considered "obsolete" by current riders.
I consider obsolescence one of those things that can only be decided by the rider, disagreement being pointless, whichever direction you're disagreeing in.
I ride in a group where the variety of bikes has shaped many of my opinions, from those who bought a bike 30+ years ago and see no reason to change, to those who have an idea their bike is tired and in need of replacement every couple of years.  I fall somewhere in the middle, sometimes it's nice to have a change just for the sake of it, though it can turn out to be either an advantage or a mistake depending in part on how clear the objectives are.  One thing for sure, any idea I had that the bike makes the rider, disappeared many years ago, I frequently ride with someone with a pre Rohloff Nomad, they had it when I met them over twenty years ago, apart from a re-paint they've just changed worn out stuff - Club rides, Audax, Challenge rides, a few tours - I've never got to the top of any hill before them :-\
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 09:11:45 PM by PH »