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  • Issue 154: Tech That Should Have Stuck Around
  • Ben_Haworth
    Full Member

    Benji dons possibly rose-tinted spectacles and brings us the technology that he thinks has fallen undeservedly out of fashion. Inverted forks Kicking …

    By ben_haworth

    Get the full story here:

    Issue 154: Tech That Should Have Stuck Around

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Wonder if the SAFE Scott Allen Fife Engineering hydraulic shifter conversion kit features in there. That was ahead of its time and should have had more love.

    avdave2
    Full Member

    I loved my flexstem. Really made a difference on a 1986 rigid rockhopper with it’s 1.5″ tyres and handlebars that had the weight and stiffness of scaffold tube.

    I was 19 back then and would feel totally beaten up after being out all day. Today approaching 59 I can ride my rigid whippet all day long and feel fine. So much has changed that it’s easy to look back at the flexstem and wonder why anyone ever thought they were a good idea on a mountain bike.

    I thought I might see grease guard hubs and bottom brackets on the list. Always seemed like a good idea back when everything had loose bearings and would still seem like a good idea for that bike you keep for 50 years.

    One thing on the list I’m happy to see the back of is the quill stem or rather the faff of trying to get the preload right and then tighten the lock ring without messing everything up.

    And the only full suspension bike I’ve ever ridden had a single pivot design and if I ever did buy another then I’d be very happy with the simplicity of it and it would give me everything I need for the way I ride

    edd
    Full Member

    Quill stems? Really?

    Fun article otherwise (although I also never want a URT in my life, but then I don’t want to go gravel riding either).

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I’ve said it before: Rapid Rise rear mechs. But not the flappy shifters.

    sanername
    Full Member

    Jank is shonky, surely?

    mrchrist
    Full Member

    Brought a new gx mech last week and was Good to see cog hogs been integrated into mech design.

    I have little stubby bar ends in my xc bike. Great for getting your hand comfortable on long rides.

    Funny that you mention normal clothes as I saw an article on the guardian about insta folk wearing crisp shirt to ski and run in too.

    I defo don’t miss spending more time getting than riding though.

     

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    This is the mountain biking equivalent of some chair-bound old giffer reminiscing about the 1960/70s Stuff you just can’t get any more like black and white televisions, Kodak Instamatic film cameras, mini-skirts – using less fabric has to be good for the planet right  – massive bell-bottom flares and platform soles, cheap and nutritious Spam, and the Beatles, massively superior to modern music in every way… oh, and don’t forget eight-track car stereo units and Austin Allegros.

    Modern life truly is rubbish.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Plus 1 on quill stems really?

    I read it in the mag yesterday and questioned if it was just clickbait. They have so few benefits, and have you ever actually mtb’d with a threaded headset??? Always shaking  loose at inopportune moments and need a huge pair of spanners to adjust rather than a hex key. Awful things.

    Wraith Bicycle have made some interesting URTs so maybe there is a little mileage in that one. https://www.facebook.com/wraithbicycles

    TheGingerOne
    Full Member

    The Kona Impact headset sorted out the quill headset spanner issue from memory, adjusted by Allen key.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Adjusted with one small easily rounded prone to seizing bolt 🙂. I don’t need to use memory as we have one in the attic. You can also see how nicely the adjusted area of a quill stem rusts 🙂

    IMG_20240413_090925_009

    explorerboy
    Full Member

    Riding in normal clothes reminds me of spotting a guy wearing a linen shirt and JEANs under his leathers at a track day years back.

    kimbers
    Full Member

    Presta valves are stupid, schraeder makes so much more sense, especially in a tubeless world.

     

    Push-on grips can push off though, the advantage to lock ons isn’t that they can be removed easily, its that they don’t spin around on a soaking wet ride

    sargey2003
    Full Member

    Another comment on the insanity of thinking quill stems were ever a good option – they were crap.

    They also made moving a fork between different bikes pretty much impossible unless your head-tube was exactly the same length.

    Just no.

    Bruce
    Full Member

    Aren’t upside down forks great? No not when you half way into a 50 mile ride and they piss the entire oil contents all over your disc brake. So 25 miles with duff forks and no front brake, thankyou Maverick.

    FOG
    Full Member

    I really miss barends, in fact I still add them to as many bikes as will take them. I do have a specific reason . As my ex used to say , my hands are on backwards meaning a normal, straight, flattish bar is very uncomfortable. I have tried swept back bars but nothing is as comfortable as barends. I have no problem with road bars because hoods give a similar position to barends

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    If upside down forks were the industry standard, everyone would be clamouring for right way up forks just because ‘they look super rad’. People just want the other thing, whatever it is.

    I use push on grips on 4 bikes. There’s something about modern rubber and shot peened bars that means they just never move. Slide them on with GT85 and it’s party time until you crash and get mud under them. Then they’ll need a good clean out.

    Lock on grips were a God send at the time though. Every brake and shifter had a single pinch bolt and old grips used to get wet and start spinning instantly. Those dual compound ones in the picture were a prime example of a grip that wouldn’t stay put anywhere near slight moisture.

    Also I think I heard a story about Myles Rockwell threatening to quite racing if Cannondale made him ride that bike because it was so dangerous. Can anyone at Sea Otter go digging for confirmation?

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    If upside down forks were the industry standard, everyone would be clamouring for right way up forks just because ‘they look super rad’. People just want the other thing, whatever it is.

    Nah, upside down makes more sense and everyone would associate anything else as being for vintage motorcycles.  What we wouldn’t have is 15mm axles, 20mm would rule or maybe we’d have gone the other way and have lovely stiff 25mm keeping everything in line

    zomg
    Full Member

    No mention of front mechs? 1x means huge gear gaps and a stupid extra-heavy extra-costly cassette hanging off the rear axle making the bike more ponderous and less fun.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Front mechs are deservedly extinct and I would never consider a bike that needed one.

    dreednya
    Full Member

    20mm bolt-thru forks?

    spoonmeister
    Free Member

    @zomg Surely a Hammerschmidt, DH mech and a tightly spaced cassette covers that?

    BB
    Full Member

    Nothing more to add other than: quill stems can stay in the sea.

     

    Hateful things.

    MrPottatoHead
    Full Member

    I just came here to give the crud claw some nostalgic love. So simple but so good.

    Push on grips-cheap hairspray over GT-85. Can still remember the smells of the workshop when I worked Saturdays 25yrs ago.

    keithb
    Full Member

    IS mount frames with post mount calipers.  Having your threads that hold your brakes in place in your very expensive frame, that is basically scrap if you cross thread or over tighten the bolts is insane, especially when compared with having them in an easily replaceable £5 bracket….

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Aheadsets don’t loosen 3 times per ride. They have potentially more stem height adjustability than quill stems, they’re lighter, the stems don’t rock around inside the steerer. The stems are easy to tighten sufficiently that they don’t rotate – unlike some quill stems. They also don’t seize in place like some quill stems.

    The steerers internal diameter can vary to support the varying loads they experience at different points in their length as they don’t need to accept a stem

     

    Quill stems are best forgotten.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    The problem with upside down forks as posited in the article is one too many legs. The Lefty is the way to go on this, with the later ones being  quite a bit better engineered than the earlier ones and less prone to air-pressure loss.

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