back to article Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

Lots of techies ride bicycles and it is not hard to see why: both pursuits involve the creation of heavily customised and finely-tuned machines coaxed to peak performance after arcane preparations and exhaustive effort, often at odd hours of the day or night. The overlap looks even more likely of late, because bikes now pack …


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  1. Nya

    Missed a few bits!

    You forgot the KMC DLC (Diamond Like Coated) chain! Let alone brakes, come on, should be looking at maybe hydraulics on a fully twinked out techno bike.

    1. A Twig

      Re: Missed a few bits!

      DLC = Diamond Like Carbon :)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Missed a few bits!

      ...and disc brakes!!! You forgot them. All the best bike shops advertise disc brakes as the best option.

      Personally I thought all bikes had disc breaks. You know, those rubber blocks that grip the rim, ie "disc" of the wheel.

      1. Infernoz Bronze badge

        Re: Missed a few bits!


        No, disc brakes have a separate aerated metal disc attached to one side of disc compatible hubs of a disc brake specific wheel, and needs special frame/fork fittings near the axle mount with a stiffer frame/fork to stop the frame/fork bending from the high braking torque.

        Rim brakes are the older kind of brake and press in a flat surface either side of a rim brake compatible wheel rim. I have some of the V-brake kind on an MTB bike, but mine are the expensive Shimano XTR parallel push ones, and used on decent Mavic wheels which don't bend.

        Disc brakes tend to be better in dirty or wet conditions, or when you need to really slow down fast, but tend to be a lot more expensive to buy and maintain than any V-brake, and can disable the bike if you bend a disc somehow e.g. too much wear or a crash.

        Anyhow, this article is obviously biased to "Summer Cyclists" on big 700c wheel road bikes, which are often stupid expensive for something usable, even without rip-off bicycle electrics/electronics, and often have worse brakes, worse comfort, less stability/agility and less versatile tires than MTBs; just try riding a road bike in heavy rain, mud or sheet ice in winter, not good, but easy on an MTB with the right tires, which I have, including tool metal studded tires.

        As for most Hybrids, putting MTB parts on a road bike like frame; just dumb, because 700c wheels are too fracking big!

        Lastly if you buy a four figure bike the 10% you should spend on locks and an annual 10% on insurance soon make this look a costly hobby! Frankly I'd rather have savings, and spend more on computer gear and other useful/fun stuff.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Missed a few bits!

          "No, disc brakes have a ... metal disc

          Rim in a flat surface"

          Hmmm....yes. I suppose I really ought to have used the joke icon.

        2. John 62

          Re: Missed a few bits!

          Road bikes can do anything an MTB can do!

  2. frank ly

    All the way

    How about the pedals drive an alternator that charges a battery that drives a wheel axel motor, which is controlled by a twist-grip on the front-right handlebar? It would have regenerative braking of course.

  3. dan1980

    What a waste . . .

    I will never understand you people. Such an expensive and pointless hobby engaged in by grown men and women who play at being professional sportspeople.

    Now, if you bought a couple of guitars, hand-wired (scatter-wound, of course) pickups, vintage amps (with NOS Mullard and RCA valves) and boutique pedals* to play at home while the SO gives you a string of weary looks; that I can understand. But that is entirely different. Entirely.

    Indeed, all this talk of carbon fibre and titanium for a 5% improvement is nuts. Far better to put your money into silver solder and a 60's Celestion Blue or a set of Fanes.

    * - Mounted on a professional pedal board with custom-made patch cables and expensive buffering and switching equipment. Of course.

    1. unwarranted triumphalism

      Re: What a waste . . .

      Good to see that you're proud of your hypocrisy. Well done.

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: What a waste . . .

        I think he's being proud of his irony...

        1. dan1980

          Re: What a waste . . .

          @Anonymous Blowhard

          I was rather; thank-you for noticing. Though, considering irony is supposed to consist in the audience realising what is really happening, perhaps I should not have been so proud of it.

      2. dan1980

        Re: What a waste . . .

        @unwarranted triumphalism

        Mate, I realise my humour isn't for everyone but you obviously have the most dismal view of your fellow posters if you saw my post and jumped to 'hypocrisy' rather than the alternative.

        Personally, I usually try to give people at least the benefit of the doubt - especially when I don't know them. Go back and re-read my post and tell me if 'hypocrisy' is really the interpretation you're going with. If that's what you're sticking with, well, I'll accept that I'm funnier in my head than in writing but to be honest I think it says more about your uncharitable nature than my apparently unamusing writing style

        Though, to be fair we do have something in common - our chosen handles do describe us each aptly. (My name is Dan and I'm thirty-four years old. It's not a good username but I never intended to hang around here.)

        1. unwarranted triumphalism

          Re: What a waste . . .

          'Go back and re-read...'

          No, we're done here.

          1. dan1980

            Re: What a waste . . .

            It takes a big man to admit he's wrong.

            I guess you're the other kind.

            Of course, we could just refer to some of your posts for insight into this topic:

            "That reminds me...of the time I fired someone for riding a bike to work. News just in: your childish hobby is not a protected class." (link.)

            Followed by:

            "I tried to be reasonable. I told him I'd hire him back if he bought a car like a normal person." (link.)

            1. unwarranted triumphalism

              Re: What a waste . . .

              What topic? Explain what you mean.

    2. Snarkster

      Re: What a waste . . .

      I see what you did there..

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a waste . . .

      My bike gets me from my place of residence to my workplace just fine. It may not be glamorous, but it's fine as a mode of transport, and I need to earn a quid somehow.

      Sure, I'm starting to fiddle around with a software drum kit… contemplating wiring up some piezo elements to a microcontroller to making up a crude USB MIDI drum kit both as a learning exercise and to give me something better than a keyboard to do the drumming on.

      But right now, with my skill set, the likes of Rick Allen would outperform me one handed. So I best not give up my day job just yet!

      1. dan1980

        Re: What a waste . . .

        @Stuart Longland

        Volca. Beats.

        The end.

    4. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: What a waste . . .

      Surprised to see that several people really didn't undertand Dan1980's comment.

      This is for those that dont quite grasp anything below the first degree.....----------->>>>>>>

      1. dan1980

        Re: What a waste . . .


        Thanks mate . . .

        I was going to put a joke icon but I just felt it would be condescending. I guess I gave everyone on this site the compliment of assuming they were intelligent and worldly enough to at least understand when someone has their tongue firmly in their cheek. I was wrong but I'm an optimist, damn it; I'll keep giving people here the benefit of the doubt.

        For those who need it spelled out explicitly, I was agreeing with my countryman on the techie obsession with spending what, to many of our partners seems exorbitant quantities of money and then adding and swapping and tweaking away happily until we've got things just the way we want them, then adding and swapping and tweaking some more.

        In other words, while our specific hobbies might differ - Simon with his bike, me with my guitars and others with their hifis or gaming PC rigs or RC helicopters and planes - us techies share a common bond. Even though I don't share Simon's passion for his hobby, I understand it and my partner would, upon sitting down with Simon's partner, very quickly recognise that we are of the same stripe.

        So, to be explicit once again, I salute you Simon and your passion to strive for the incremental improvements that many dismiss as not worth the effort but us techies pursue with undiminished enthusiasm.

        And it seems to me that you're equal third, not fourth!

    5. Elmer Phud

      Re: What a waste . . .

      "Indeed, all this talk of carbon fibre and titanium for a 5% improvement is nuts. Far better to put your money into silver solder and a 60's Celestion Blue or a set of Fanes."

      Absolute rubbish!

      A decent ride cymbal that cuts like a guillotine through the rest of the noise that guitarists make is what you need!

      1. dan1980

        Re: What a waste . . .

        @Elmer Phud

        Boom tish!!

  4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Grumpy old git

    Is it me, or does most of this just sound gimmicky, designed for those with more money than sense?

    I can't see that any of these "toys" are going to make you a better/faster/safer cyclist. About the only useful gadget is a cycle computer for monitoring basics like distance, speed, climbs, etc.

    Bah humbug.

    1. EddieD

      Re: Grumpy old git

      Yep, you're quite correct...

      However, just as you can do 99% of what a Galaxy S5 can do with a 100 pound landfill Android, the SG5 is more sparkly, more nifty, more posey...

      Every hobby has the niche upper end - you can pay a grand for trainers, several grand for a lens, a couple of grand for a tent and so on - 99% of hobbyists won't need it, and won't want it.

      Those that do, can, and good luck to them. If it's your dosh, spend it how you wish.

      That said, you pay increasing numbers of grands for each pound lighter the bike is (law of diminishing returns applies). Alternatively, a few less pies each week, and you save money, and probably scythe more weight off the bike. But, unfortunately, I like pies. A lot.

    2. Nya

      Re: Grumpy old git

      Usually it's the second tier kit that gives the best bang for the buck. And yes most of the cost is sold via reducing weight mostly (except for the electronic gears etc which are simply far more flexible and accurate than cable) which all means better acceleration and easier climbing hills due to the weight being dragged along.

      Once you try a system like Di2 sheesh, you wonder how you suffered the clattering and chain rubbing of cable systems.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Grumpy old git

      On a race bike there is always a strict tradeoff between technical advantage and weight. Particularly on hills there is a desire to spare every gram possible. It was not unusual for people to file or drill things that they thought they could do without. There are even those who consider something like a computer as too much extra weight.

      Recently, however, carbon fibre frames have put a floor under the practical weight of a bike - much lighter and they won't really be ridable. You still won't find most of the gimmicks on a race bike but electronic gearing might be nice on a hill as that's the place that you're likely to have problems changing gears. I can also imagine some of the hard core preferring indicators over hand signals so they don't have to take their hands off the bars.

      In real life there is usually more weight to be saved on the rider than on the bike so there is more room for creature comforts. Hub dynamos are down to around 450g and can easily provide enough power to charge a phone - handy if you're planning an extended camping trip.

      1. Slow Joe Crow

        Re: Grumpy old git

        Actually the "floor" for road racing bikes is the UCI minimum weight of 7.5 Kg or around 15 pounds. Since the average pro level road bike is in the 13-14 pound range this puts the pros in the slightly ludicrous situation of having to add ballast to their bikes to keep them legal. Trek just announced a 10 1/2 pound production bike with a semi reasonable 200lb maximum rider weight.

        Of course in the real world, away from the weight weenies the real gain is in rider weight reduction through diet and exercise as you call out in your last paragraph.

  5. James 51

    Nokia had a phone charger for bikes a few years ago. Unfortunately I think they sold it only in India.

    No mention of electrically powered bikes?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed some

    What cyclists need is a big sign on their bike that simply says "RED MEANS STOP - EVEN FOR YOU!"

    Oh yeah, and a bell with a proximity detector so it sounds *BEFORE* the cyclist rides up your backside; the rider is too stupid/selfish to sound it in advance.

    1. Nya

      Re: Missed some

      Same goes for cars who decide red at a traffic light doesn't apply to them also. Red light jumping asses come with any number of wheels attached.

      An airhorn doesn't shift some numpties who utterly ignore bells. Trust me, I've tried!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missed some

        > Same goes for cars who decide red at a traffic light doesn't apply to them also. Red light jumping asses come with any number of wheels attached.

        We have red light cameras and cars have license plates. Errant car drivers are dealt with. Arrogant (probably uninsured as well) cyclists do not.

        1. DF118

          Re: Missed some

          > Errant car drivers are dealt with. Arrogant (probably uninsured as well) cyclists do not.

          Ha! Pull the other one mate. I've lost count of the number of times this has been wheeled out by the anti-cyclist brigade... "oh vehicles have reg plates and insurance and their drivers are highly trained individuals so they don't get away with anything". Utter bull.

          Sure we (as in drivers) get caught by speed cameras but whose fault is that exactly? Certainly haven't heard of anyone being prosecuted for sailing through a red light, and I see other motorists doing it dozens of times every day. To illustrate the attitude that exists amongst some motorists I actually got grief from some woman behind me the other day when I stopped at a light that had just turned red. She was screaming and shouting that "there was plenty time you f*ckin wanker". What part of red=stop is so difficult for some people to understand? Sure cyclists do it, and it's annoying and when I'm on my bike I will have a go at other cyclists for thinking they're above the law but don't even TRY and tell us cyclists get away with more because that's just nonsense.

          Arseholes are arseholes no matter what mode of transport they choose.

          1. Naughtyhorse

            Re: Missed some

            Haven't seen anyone prosecuted for running a red?

            than I suggest you look a bit harder, it happens all the time. what do you think those enforcement cameras are for?

            so spake the man who carried 3 points for running the lights in bilarickay about 10 years ago.

            (yes I know, I would have thought being in bilarickay was punishment enough too!)

        2. unwarranted triumphalism

          Re: Missed some


          Third party insurance for riding a bike comes for free with household insurance policies.

          I have additional third party cover from my British Cycling membership.

          Try again.

      2. John 110

        Re: Missed some

        "...An airhorn doesn't shift some numpties who utterly ignore bells. Trust me, I've tried!..."

        Doesn't the old sail-before-steam adage apply here? As a pedestrian (often pushing a wheelchair, but not always), I know that I don't have the reaction time to hear a bell, think "oh, that was a bike bell", turn round to see where it came from and attempt to leap to safety before I'm run down by some speed king on a bike.

        Surely it's up to the cyclists to watch out for pedestrians in a mixed bike/pedestrian environment?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missed some

          > Surely it's up to the cyclists to watch out for pedestrians in a mixed bike/pedestrian environment?

          It is. The bell is a help and they should sound it, but the typical cyclist has a holier-than-thou attitude to all other road/path users.

        2. Naughtyhorse

          Re: callow youth!

          In a pedestrian/cyclist situation the cyclist _clearly_ takes priority. They are bigger, stronger, harder and faster than you! so you'd better look out.

          Now in a car/cyclist situation, the cyclist _clearly_ takes priority. They are smaller, weaker, softer and slower so that car driver has to take care.

          At least that's how it works on planet trick-cyclist

        3. Terry Cloth

          The only safe bicycle environment is the road

          At least on the road, everyone knows the rules, and if they play nice (which the vast majority do) everything's fine.

          Anecdote: I was going for a ride with a friend who'd just got a spiffy new bike with V-brakes. I suggested he might want to try a few stops to take their measure, but he wouldn't hear of it. He wanted to ride a dual-use path. I pointed out that it was safer on the road, but he'd have none of it. So we drove over to the trail.

          So there we are, tootling along, and came up behind a family of four, one of whom was a three-year-old on a tricycle. We slowed down to a walk, checked that they seemed to be just going along the path, and pulled out to pass. Just as my friend came abreast of them, the tricycler hung a hard turn right across his bow. He hit the brakes and went over the handle bars. (No one was hurt.)

      3. Elmer Phud

        Re: Missed some

        "An airhorn doesn't shift some numpties who utterly ignore bells. Trust me, I've tried!"

        Yup, even the fully-pumped wide-open Air Zounds is somehow 'ignored' at times.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missed some

      Oh yeah, and a bell with a proximity detector so it sounds *BEFORE* the cyclist rides up your backside; the rider is too stupid/selfish to sound it in advance.

      My solution thus far: two pairs of LED motorcycle indicators, a 12V 85dB waterproof piezo buzzer, some switches, 4 1N4004s, a NE555, an IRF540N and some resistors and capacitors, wired up to the 12V bus on the bike.

      Buzzer starts sounding when the indicators start flashing, it's quite loud up close and the indicators give the pedestrian a clue which side you're going to pass them on.

      Sadly, no good with cars, and you still get the odd selectively-deaf pedestrian, so I see a trip to the wreckers to get an old car/motorcycle horn some day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missed some

        > you still get the odd selectively-deaf pedestrian

        Epic fail is epic. It's not up to the pedestrian to get out of your way, it is *YOUR* responsibility as the ride to get out of the pedestrian's way. Vehicles yield to pedestrians (unless signs state otherwise).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missed some

          Epic fail is epic. It's not up to the pedestrian to get out of your way, it is *YOUR* responsibility as the ride to get out of the pedestrian's way.

          It depends on where the pedestrian is and the situation in question.

          If it's on a shared cycleway/footpath or standard footpath, yes, I agree with you. My preference here is to just throttle back and coast, and wait for a suitable moment to pass safely. Usually an opportunity avails itself in a minute or two and I'm not in that much of a hurry.

          If it's a dedicated cycleway with clear signage that says "bicycles only": you better have a guide dog or a walking cane in your hand as an excuse as I won't accept much else. Again, I'll avoid collision, but don't be surprised if I comment on the strange bike you're riding. Disagree with this? Try walking down the middle of a main road and see how far that gets you.

          Of course, that particular remark was made to one particular variety of pedestrian: they are in the extreme minority thankfully, but they're the sort that deliberately place themselves in the path of an oncoming cyclist, ignore the alarms then claim (over the top of the aforementioned buzzer) "I don't hear a bell!" whilst continuing to unnecessarily obstruct the path.

          Hence my remark selectively deaf. The rules are to share the path. I do my bit, you do yours.

        2. Why Not?

          Re: Missed some

          I think you will find he is talking about the pedestrian and their friends walking 4 abreast on the shared cyclepath. The picture of the bicycle on the pavement is a bit of a clue.

          Or the pedestrian or car that sees you coming and pulls / walks out in front of you.

          I love the cars that overtake you then turn left. I really enjoy tapping the rear screen and watch them panic.

          of course as we don't pay for the roads etc!

          I like decent dynamo lights with stand time and a USB charger for my phone / GPS.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Missed some

            Here's the thing: there is a certain percentage of humans who are arrogant and inconsiderate. Some of them drive cars, some of them ride bikes, some of them walk; most of them do at least two, if not all three.

            While (thankfully) these people are not in a majority, cyclists will complain LOUDLY about the small percentage of drivers who are dicks and drivers will complain LOUDLY about the small percentage of cyclists who are dicks. Pedestrians will mutter under their breath about both.

            Whichever way you split it, the simple but unfortunate truth is that there are people in this world who seem to feel better the pettier and more vindictive they are.

        3. John 62

          Re: Missed some

          Not to mention that the Highway Code is very explicit, which means the majority of cyclist/pedestrian incidents shouldn't be happening in the first place.


          You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

          Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129

          Though I have seen people ride past police on the footpath with no incident and I've seen police cyclists on footpaths and using Pelican crossings while mounted (bit like police cars and motorbikes cruising down the motorway at 75mph, grumble, grumble).

          Sadly even when there are urban cycle routes, they mostly follow the one-way system designed for cars. Then the mixed pedestrian/cyclist areas are often designed in braindead ways to frustrate both cyclist and pedestrian.

          Finally, though, I have seen photo evidence of a selfie of a cyclist and a policeman where the policeman was ticking off the cyclist for going through a red light.

      2. Infernoz Bronze badge

        Re: Missed some

        An Airzound Bicycle Air Horn is much louder than any buzzer; it can be as loud as 120dB at full volume, so I have the pressure regulator reduced to car horn volume. I have to occasionally use a horn with stubborn idiot dog walkers, 'drunk' cyclists, 'deaf' pedestrians, and when I need to warn people many car lengths away.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missed some

          when I need to warn people many car lengths away.

          Probably the best reason for having a horn that loud: you can warn them when you're a good 30 seconds away so they've got plenty of time to react, see you, and take evasive action.

          It's basically "I'm coming, please make some room". 120dB sounds like it'd stand a chance against an iPod, something a bell never seems to manage.

    3. mark1978

      Re: Missed some

      You can trust that the comments section will have some moron mentioning red lights, DING you win a prize. Although not first prize as you didn't mention lycra.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Missed some

        " Although not first prize as you didn't mention lycra."

        Or pavements --- major fail

        gets facepalm icon

    4. Apdsmith

      Re: Missed some

      I regard myself as a fairly typical cyclist and I don't a) jump red lights - great, save 30 seconds. And get killed by a bus. Genius idea! b) race down pavements - while I do go on pavements (see "get killed by a bus!" - some of the junctions around here seem designed to eliminate the cycling population) if there's anybody in sight it's into first gear. Hitting people is most of the time as bad for the hitter as the hittee.

      Don't have a bell so I have to lock up the back wheel to get attention, which does, admittedly, work quite well but isn't terribly good for the bike. And no, I don't do that if you're just walking around, see "into first gear" - I don't have the speed to lock up the back wheel _unless_ you amble into the cycle path \ road.


    5. Terry Cloth

      We've got the motorists trained over here

      I was on a group ride last year when we got to a light going from yellow to red. We stopped. A driver on the side street (now with a green light) wouldn't budge, and waved us across. It took some seconds for us to make it clear that we were staying put before she would enter the intersection.


  7. Nya


    Was thinking on the frame...Titanium's a bit too commonplace, how about something exotic (ish) like 953 Steel. Ok, sounds old school, but makes Ti look easy to work with.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Frame

      How about magnesium?

      One of my mates races a couple of old RG 500s the engines are almost pure magnesium, not difficult to pick up single handed so very light but a total bitch to weld unless you are a magician

      (by my welding standards anyway) it is also prone to corrosion but I imagine some of the protective coatings available now would mitigate that.

      Personally I have a thing about Titanium, if I could afford a titanium bike I would buy one in a heartbeat.

      As for gears has anyone tried modernising the old Sturmey Archer system with an electronic changer, if you wanted to get really clever you could have the system 'cassetted' like GP bikes so that you simply pull out one set of ratios to be replaced with another to suit a given race route changing gear would need a relatively simple solenoid or possibly piezo system.

      If it has not been done I claim the idea for bicycles as my intellectual property!

      Where technology needs some real improvements though is on saddles, wearing a pair of gel filled shorts is not my thing and sitting for any time on a leather bound razor blade for any amount of time is not helpful for anyone hoping to add to the gene pool, my cycling nowadays is limited to casual and leisure trips so I use a gel cover on a slightly wider saddle but a few hours on that feels like a kick in the crutch by the time I get home.

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        @Chris G - Saddles, was Re: Frame

        Gel filled shorts? Urggh! The gel would migrate from the area of highest pressure anyway. A little padding is all that's required.

        The answer for most people is to get fit. Once you can pedal hard all the time, you'll find you're putting very little weight on the saddle. If you need to freewheel, up to a traffic light, down a mountain, etc., then lift your bum off the saddle.

        Mine's the one with the spare Selle Italia Flight in the pocket.

      2. jabuzz

        Re: Frame

        Take a look at the Shimano Nexus and Alfine range of hub gears available in 7 and 8 speed versions. They are aimed at commuter bikes however, their big selling point being the much lower maintenance and the possibility of using full chain guards to reduce chain maintenance. They introduced an electronic shifting model last year. There are also 8 speed Sunrace Sturmey Archer hubs these days.

      3. The Onymous Coward

        Re: Frame

        "As for gears has anyone tried modernising the old Sturmey Archer system with an electronic changer" - Shimano have sort-of done this, have a look at Alfine Di2. An electronically-actuated internally-geared hub with 11 (count 'em) ratios.

      4. The Onymous Coward

        Re: Frame

        "Where technology needs some real improvements though is on saddles" - have a look at the Selle SMP range.

      5. Stefan 2

        Re: Frame

        Modernising the old Sturmey Archer? Shimano have done it.

        Their Alfine 8 and Alfine 11 internally geared hubs have Di2 variants. There are even production bikes available to purchase with the system already fitted:

      6. Elmer Phud

        Re: Frame

        "As for gears has anyone tried modernising the old Sturmey Archer system with an electronic changer"

        Shimano did a three speed auto jobbie some time back - saw it on a heavy-duty trade bike.

  8. The Onymous Coward

    Poor article

    This could at least have been checked for accuracy by someone vaguely familiar with high-end bikes. Ultegra Di2 for example is now down below the £1,000 price point for a complete groupset, or £750 for the gearset to upgrade an existing bike.

  9. Stefan 2

    Stem cap holds the forks on?

    If you think the stem cap holds your forks on, you're gonna have a bad time.

    The stemp cap and bolt are there to preload the headset bearings. The two bolts either side of your stem attached to the fork steerer is what keeps the forks from dropping out completely.

    Older style fork/steerer combos use a bolt in the same position as newer a-head arrangements to perform the necessary "link the bars to the forks" function, which is the source of confusion for some folk of a certain age.

  10. Stefan 2

    Electronic gearing a la Di2 or EPS is almost old-hat, these days. With Shimano having already trickled it down to the higher-end of the commuting market, it's practically affordable.

    Where is the discussion of electronically controlled rear suspension for mountain bikes? That's the new 'hot' topic and bleeding edge of development.

  11. Naughtyhorse

    when one is on the road it is ideal to bring a power source along for the ride.

    which is why, my dear organ donor, I take a car :-)

  12. Goliath

    Don't forget another bit of tech...

    Something like SpyLamp allows you to check your expensive bike is still where you think it is... GPS / GSM / LED - what more do you need from a tech. point of view..

  13. Terry Cloth

    Too late---here's the ultimate geek bicycle, from 1991

    Steve Roberts, an engineer who wanted to work from home (for a very broad definition of ``home'') built a series of three recumbent bicycles, culminating in BEHEMOTH (Big Electronic Human-Energized Machine ...Only Too Heavy). (The link is to a Youtube video showing a teaser.) For the gory details, see his specs page for all three bikes.

    Since then, he's moved from over-gadgeted bikes to similarly-equiped boats, but that's another story.

  14. John Tserkezis

    Thanks El Reg...

    ...For reminding me that bicycles will remain largely in my memory since my hips have worn out. I have a couple of years of grinding my natural one till it's replaced.

    Worst of all, you can't get hi-tech canes. The carbon fibre canes available now are merely cosmetic in nature, and not actually light at all. Yep, the zenith of walking cane development is wood. Sad really.

    Back on topic, I didn't bother with the fancy shifting, I felt it was a lot of money and weight for albiet nice shifting cabability. That said, I have a fair bit of tech attached my old bikes, most of it customised because it didn't exist off the shelf in the day... Oh well.

  15. Santonia

    USB Plug thing

    Surprised (not much) how quickly this thread turned into a cyclists are w@nkers debate but anyway, back onto the topic of the article.

    I ride every day and quite like the look of the USB plug adaptor. Obviously it'd take a bit of adaptation to get it working on most bikes but I wasn't quite prepared for the total:

    The Plug: €160

    Hub dynamo to power it: €190

    Build a wheel onto the hub: lets say another €150 including parts (rim, spokes) and labour.

    So a total of €500 so that you can charge your phone whilst out and about? I think not. Maybe just carry a spare battery charge thing, €20 all in.


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