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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Testing Testing 123 – Bike Snob NYC

Additional to Monday’s publish, I’ve now formally ridden the Official BSNYC Basic Cycle twenty first Century Friction Shifter Take a look at Take a look at-Cycle with the 1980-ish Shimano Altus LT derailleur mounted:

That is the primary unit within the take a look at, and whereas aesthetics clearly isn’t the first consideration right here, I’m not gonna fake prefer it isn’t vital, both. Issues of look are clearly subjective, however I feel the Altus LT seems fairly cool in an automotive type of approach, and it suits in fairly effectively with the remainder of the bike:

As I discussed on Monday, the Altus LT requires fairly a bit much less lever journey than the 5700 derailleur that I’ve been utilizing, and the very first thing I observed is that this makes for some fairly brief throws on a 10-speed cassette:

At first I questioned if that could be an issue, and if I’d discover myself continuously overshooting the meant gear, however the factor about friction shifting is your wrist calibrates itself fairly rapidly, and after a number of shifts you get a superb feeling for a way far the lever wants to maneuver to vary gears. After awhile I made a decision I favored the brief throws, and I appreciated that I not needed to deliver the lever fairly to this point again when going into my lowest gear on climbs. General, shifting was easy and exact, and if the dearth of a B screw or a slant parallelogram took something away I certain as hell couldn’t really feel it:

If something, my general impression was that the Altus LT felt higher than the 5700. In fact, there’s all types of potential causes for this:

  • It’s my creativeness
  • It’s the truth is barely totally different in a approach that doesn’t matter, however with bike stuff we regularly interpret “barely totally different” as higher, not less than till we get used to it, at which level we return to the outdated factor and resolve that’s higher
  • Regardless of being over 40 years outdated, this derailleur might effectively be in significantly better form than the 5700, which I’ve abused for years, and will simply be bent, and for all I do know I didn’t even put the pulleys in the correct place once I changed them
  • Perhaps the shorter throws make it really feel extra correct
  • Or possibly it’s objectively higher and it’s due to that “Centeron” function I discussed in Monday’s publish

With regard to that final one, you possibly can see the “Centeron” arm right here–it’s that factor that claims “Pat. Pending” on it:

The thought with the Centeron is it’s presupposed to be “self-centering,” although in concept it must be paired with the matching shifters. To check it, I deliberately tried to maneuver the derailleur in a chattery place, and it was very tough to do. Then once more, it’s fairly exhausting to make any fashionable HyperGlide (or equal) drivetrain chatter, and I’ve by no means intentionally tried to make the 5700 chatter, so who is aware of if any of that is because of the Centeron? However I’ll say that with the Altus LT the bike appeared to run extra quietly when within the small ring and transferring previous the center portion of the cassette in direction of the smaller cogs:

That’s to not say it was very noisy earlier than, and by the point you begin doing that it’s time to shift to the large ring anyway, however in any occasion the slight enchancment was one thing I observed.

In fact I have to be significantly cautious about attributing something to the Centeron function, since each retrogrouch fantasizes about discovering some long-abandoned know-how that, when paired with fashionable elements, makes all of it work higher. Simply as Grant Petersen has discovered that RapidRise derailleurs work fantastically with friction drivetrains, thereby reworking them right into a cult merchandise, I dream of singlehandedly making outdated Centeron derailleurs cool, and it’s very important that I don’t fall sufferer to my very own delusions when trying to find out whether or not it really does something or not. In the end, what I can say for certain after one experience with this relic is the next:

  • It could or is probably not higher than the 5700
  • It’s undoubtedly not worse
  • If I had no extra derailleurs to check I wouldn’t trouble placing the 5700 again on there and would maintain utilizing this one indefinitely

Actually, about the one dangerous factor you can say concerning the Altus LT is that it’s “heavy” at 260 grams. However as I discussed, that’s solely 28 grams heavier than the 5700, and a mere 15 grams heavier than a Campanolee Crotchy Doan:

What’s extra, in order for you a Campanolee Crotchy Doan, you’ll need to spend like $250 on eBay and sift by annoying adverts like this:

In the meantime, an Altus LT will price you simply a fraction of that, even at eBay costs:

In actual fact you may get the entire set for not far more:

Simply consider the bragging rights! Roll as much as the gravel race on a Crust with Centeron shifting, clarify that it’s the brand new RapidRise, and also you’ll be the toast of the thigh-tattoos-and-handlebar-bags set.

By the way, the advert mentions the Schwin Voyageur, so I checked out the 1980 catalogue:

The Voyageur 11.8 was the truth is outfitted with the Altus LT:

The bike offered for $349.95, or $399.95 in chrome. Based on a web based inflation calculator, that’s like $1,300 as we speak, or like $1,500 for the chrome.

As I’ve talked about, I had no concept what was occurring with geared bicycles in 1980. Nevertheless, going again to the 1979 catalog, I did discover my very own Schwinn:

It was the “SX 100” full with Skyway magazine wheels:

This was the bike–all 32 kilos of it!–that carried me by childhood and kindled my lifelong love of biking. I’m certain tens of millions of People can say the identical because of Schwinn, though the true key is a superb father; I doubt I had any concept what a BMX even was till mine gave this one to me, however by the point I’d outgrown it I used to be obsessed.

One other bike model you noticed quite a lot of in these days was Ross. My very own first bike was a Ross, and I’m fairly certain this is the bike my brother had again once I was driving that Schwinn:

I solely just lately discovered that till 1973 the Ross manufacturing unit was on Seashore 79th Avenue in Rockaway, not too removed from the place we lived on the time. I’m guessing my brother’s bike was made after their transfer to Allentown, however my very own was sufficiently old that it might very effectively have been made simply down the road. And they have been even doing “micromobility” earlier than it was cool:

So yeah, the derailleur works fairly good is what I’m saying.

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