Re: [CR]We are truly out of the mainstream....a lament

(Example: Production Builders:LeJeune)

Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2007 10:08:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Re: [CR]We are truly out of the mainstream....a lament
To: Peter Jourdain <pjourdain@yahoo.com>, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
In-Reply-To: <876684.70389.qm@web32914.mail.mud.yahoo.com>


I mostly agree, but I don't think the problem is mostly that of carbon versus steel frames, but as you say, that of shops selling customers bikes that do not serve their needs. Even in the days when steel frames dominated, there were shops that would sell an overweight out-of-shape customer a high-dollar racing model with too small a frame, a stem with a too short quill and a too long extension, an uncomfotably narrow saddle, superlight tubular rims and tires, and 54-45 chainrings with a corncob FW.

I do agree that there seem to be a higher percentage of shops now driven by the Marketing Plan, rather than a love of bicycles. But those shops that really care to can still configure a new bike to a customer's needs. One of the biggest problems I see with modern bikes, believe it or not, is stems. Modern road stems seem difficult to find in short lengths, and the threadless steerers seldom allow for raising the bars much. Of course, I suppose the popularity of "compact" frames would allow one to get the bars higher by choosing a larger frame size to raise the bars, then lowering the seat, since these compact frames usually have a huge amount of exposed post. And maybe one point in favor of a 10-speed cassette is that even with an 11T small cog, the large one has to be at least 20T, so a shop can's sell a 13-18 FW to a customer who needs 15-34 as some did in the the old days.

Regards,

Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX

Peter Jourdain <pjourdain@yahoo.com> wrote: Greetings---

We get a lot of big city folk (Chicagoans) up here in the Kettle Moraines of Southern Wisconsin. Every day I'm apt to see hoards of riders in the wee town of Palmyra, riding the wonderfully undulating back roads.

In any event, yesterday was a particularly poignant example of the great disservice done by the weight weenies to most general recreational riders. Coming down flat Main Street in Palmyra was a substantial gal, I would say tipping the scales at 250lbs, riding a Trek Madone carbon frame, hunched over much farther than her body would reasonably allow, turning herself into a giant sweaty ball of aching misery. What she was doing was nothing akin to "fun" or even "exercise." It appeared to be some bizarre version of self-inflicted neo-gothic torture.

Why? Because she may have a Lance Armstrong fantasy fueled by the popular press and marketing whiz kids, and because some clown in a bike shop pushed a piece of plastic on her instead of speaking with her and assessing her real (as opposed to her professed) needs. At least when I was buying bikes back in the day the shop guy was ethical enough to steer me away from the flashy race bike I lusted after toward a less expensive sport-tourer built for what I needed a bike to do.

Aside from the clear discomfort this poor gal was laboring under, is the safety issue----torquing the carbon fork the way she was, you hit the wrong country pothole out here and your next "ride" will likely be an electric-powered wheelchair---made of vintage steel. It has happened, and way more than once. How much better off--and safer--would she have been by getting a steel frame with a Nitto Technomic stem and bars up where she didn't have to fold herself in half to reach them.

My point is, MOST riders are done a great disservice by the monopolistic message out there pushing plastic and would be way better off sourcing their bikes from a place like Velo Orange than via VeloNews. It's why Bicycing magazine (the version without the exclamation point) has migrated from the latrine to the recycling bin to now total banishment from the household. It doesn't speak to me, and, unfortunately, it speaks forked-tongued to many who would be better off killing that Buddah when they meet him by the side of the road instead of opening an ear to his sophist message.

Peter Jourdain Whitewater, Wisconsin US of A

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