Author Topic: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?  (Read 1556 times)

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Offline pedaler

Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« on: May 18, 2013, 03:19:55 pm »
I know it's a bit late in the day, but I've finally realised that my numerous 9speed set-ups will become obsolete (at least the quality stuff) in due course. I get the feeling that its the manufacturers who are forcing this upon us.

Am I alone with this view? What can be done to retain good-old 9 speed, if indeed that's what we want? I was content with 8 speed at one time and in my youth, aspired to 10 speed, but that was 2*5.

Are there cyclists out there who have actually requested this change? Plenty are embracing it but is it because of a perceived improvement, the reduction in choice or just owning the latest stuff?

Let's see where this gets to. If I'm classed a stick-in-the-mud then so be it, but at lest I'll know I'm in the minority. But if I'm not a minority case, what are we to do - who's the customer? Manufacturers should always be asking themselves this except in this case, the main 3 are trying to outwit each other at our expense and my irritation.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 04:20:03 pm »
You've hit the nail on the head.  The manufacturers are driving the change, and it's the marketers driving the manufacturers.  I don't know if there's anything consumers can do, unfortunately.

It goes like this.  Component manufacturers (Shimano, Campangolo, and SRAM) sell the overwhelming majority of their output to bike makers.  Bike makers want to sell lots of bikes, naturally; it's how they make money.  And most of the people they sell these bikes to don't know what they need, so they buy the bling ads and bike magazines tell them to buy.  Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant?  Buy that one (never mind it's impossible)!  Eight speed?  No good, there's a 9 speed next to it.  And look!  10 speeds!  Even better, 11 speeds!  Best of all, 11 speeds with electronic shifting!  Who cares if it covers the same gearing range as the outdated 9 speed (or even 7), more is better!  It might not shift because the battery's dead?  No problem, I'll only ever ride 100 miles in a day, in 5 hours.  (5 hours 'cause I know I'm slow!)  Who says so?  Buycycling magazine and its ilk, which exist to (you guessed it!) sell magazine ads, and oh, maybe some subscriptions too, so they can sell more ads.

Any bike manufacturer who tries to fight the "more is better" mantra is going to lose sales.  Likewise any bike shop.  So they'll keep selling 9-speeds this year as "cheap" bicycles, but you know you really ought to "upgrade" to 11 if you can afford it.

Pretty soon there's no demand for 9 speeds (like there wasn't any demand for 8 speeds a few years ago).  The manufacturers used to make 9 speeds in the top of the line, then it was the bottom of the line, pretty soon it'll be out of production, period, and you'll have to troll for used parts on Ebay to keep that group going.  Or better yet, buy the a new bike with the new 14 speed group that will be announced in Next Month's Buycycling magazine!

Buy what you want, buy the spare parts to keep going as long as you can afford to; as I wrote above, I don't see any way to beat down the rampant stupidity.  Sit down with a mechanical engineer who's been around a while and ask him about some of the claims -- he'll get a good laugh out of them.

Offline DaveB

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 04:53:49 pm »
Yes, the "performance" and racing market is driving the ever increasing cog count and ever lighter component market but, "obsolete" components are available lon after they have become obsolete.  You can still buy 7-speed cassettes (or even 5 and 6-speed freewheels) in a fair range of gearing and 8 and 9-speed will be supported for years and years to come.  Of all the major manufacturers, Shimano has been the best at supporting older groups and providing useful touring components.  Campy is strictly focused on the racing and performance market and SRAM isn't much better.   

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 12:11:51 pm »
I run 8 speed on two of my 4 bikes, and I think that really good 8 speed is no longer available in cassettes.  I can still buy 8 speed cassettes, just not really nice stuff (XT/XTR).  Low end stuff is still available, and I would have to look and see about the middling stuff.

My answer is to just take really good care of what I have.  I replace chains early, as soon as they start to stretch.
Danno

Offline freightbike

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 05:54:27 pm »
This is not related to cog size but to the manufacturers driving choices. The basic bike computer really only needs to tell me what my total mileage and days mileage and time of day are. Not all the splits, cadences and heart rate etc. I found my Planet Bike computer going blank while on a rainy day ride the other day. I just want something rugged, reliable and simple. Any suggestions?
May the wind at your back always smell like home.
                  MORG

Offline DaveB

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 10:17:13 pm »
This is not related to cog size but to the manufacturers driving choices. The basic bike computer really only needs to tell me what my total mileage and days mileage and time of day are. Not all the splits, cadences and heart rate etc. I found my Planet Bike computer going blank while on a rainy day ride the other day. I just want something rugged, reliable and simple. Any suggestions?
Two words: Cat Eye.   They are as rugged and reliable and anything ever made.  Even on my rain bike, they never fail and battery life  on one CR-2032, (available everywhere) is years and years.  Find a Mity 8 or Enduro 8 wired Cat-Eye and never look back.  Yes, they will tell you more than you think you need to know but you can easily ignore the excess info. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 07:31:41 am »
I have done my recent tours on 7 speed cassettes, but I kind of like the trend toward 10 speed cassettes.  It is nice to have close-ish gaps with a wide total range on the cassette.  I think the range might be wide enough that I would be happy with a 1X10 mountain bike drive train to tour on.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 11:39:29 am »
This is not related to cog size but to the manufacturers driving choices. The basic bike computer really only needs to tell me what my total mileage and days mileage and time of day are. Not all the splits, cadences and heart rate etc. I found my Planet Bike computer going blank while on a rainy day ride the other day. I just want something rugged, reliable and simple. Any suggestions?

I will throw this in the mix in case it might be helpful to you in selecting a model...

When I shipped my bike to Missoula for the start of a tour I asked the shop to throw on a basic computer like the one you describe. They did. A Sigma. Cost me $25. Not long into the first day of ridin I noticed that the day mileage counter had reset to zero. It happened a few other times that day. It was driving me crazy. Thought the thing was defective. I finally realized what was going on. I put my left foot down when I stop temporarily for things like photos. The computer was mounted on the left side of the stem. The one button the computer has is located on the bottom edge, not on the face of the unit. The weight on the front of the bike often caused the bars to turn to the left, which caused the button to press against my leg for several seconds. Pressing the button for several seconds resets the day mileage counter unless the computer is in the time of day or odometer function. Not a very good design, especially since if you stop for an extended period the unit goes to sleep. When you wake it up by starting to ride, it automatically goes to day mileage function. You have to remember to change the function or risk having you mileage zeroed.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 01:40:25 pm »
I have owned a cycle computer from just about any company that has ever made one.  Pretty much they are all crap.  I personally only want cadence.  The weakest link is usually the wiring harness, where spending $0.03 more in manufacturing cost would result in a harness that would last a lifetime. 

These days I am using my GPS as a bicycle computer.  Yes it is bigger and bulkier, and does not do cadence, but besides speed I get a visual on terraine.  Sometimes knowing that you are almost to the top is a great motivator to keep riding and not chuck your cookies!
Danno

Offline newfydog

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 05:27:19 am »
I hate to say it,but the 10 speed set ups we have really do shift better than the 9.  I just rebuilt the bikes we keep at a friends place in Europe with new xtr or sram xo nine speed ( which is available online cheap), and sort or wish I'd done the ten speed.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 09:50:55 am by newfydog »

Offline DaveB

Re: Who's driving the increase in Cassette cog numbers?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 08:56:40 am »
I have owned a cycle computer from just about any company that has ever made one.  Pretty much they are all crap.  I personally only want cadence.  The weakest link is usually the wiring harness, where spending $0.03 more in manufacturing cost would result in a harness that would last a lifetime. 

These days I am using my GPS as a bicycle computer.  Yes it is bigger and bulkier, and does not do cadence, but besides speed I get a visual on terraine.  Sometimes knowing that you are almost to the top is a great motivator to keep riding and not chuck your cookies!
For the speed and distance functions taken off the front wheel, Cat Eye's Enduro line of cyclometers have a very rugged wiring harness.  I have two Enduro 8's, one on a bike with over 25,000 miles and another on a bike with over 23,000 miles and they both have been flawless. 

Wired cadence is a different story since the wiring run is much longer and in a vulnerable location.  That is one function where wireless might be better.