What’s Old Is Old Again

Further to Friday’s post, I read a CyclingTips review of the new wireless shifty stuff from SRAM which reaffirmed my suspicion that I am not part of the target market:

If you want to use the so-called “mullet” drivetrain setup that’s becoming increasingly popular in the gravel market, the procedure to pair the Rival AXS road levers with a SRAM AXS mountain bike rear derailleur is no different from usual, and it indexes perfectly with a SRAM mountain bike cassette. SRAM even just recently debuted a lower-cost GX Eagle AXS rear derailleur that sort of comes close to the standard price of a Rival AXS rear derailleur, too. Oh, but you want to add a dropper post to the mix, too? Just fire up the AXS mobile app and configure the double button press to activate a RockShox Reverb AXS seatpost. Done.

I realize all that stuff excites people and I agree the “universal remote” aspect of wireless shifting is quite nifty, but at the same time I don’t know what half that stuff means and the other half just scares me–especially the last part about the “Reverb AXS seatpost,” which just conjures up images of some sort of pushbutton ass-pummelings. And please note this is not about me being above it all and too awesome a rider to rely on tech; rather, this is all about me being a pokey-slow rider who’s old and out of it.

In fact, I’m so old and out of it I’m not just fixated on some bygone technological heyday from my own cycling past; I’m actually fleeing back in time at an alarming rate, and it probably won’t be long before I’m riding a pennyfarthing. This is purely escapist behavior on my part. I mean, you can’t be nostalgic for a bike you didn’t even know existed in the first place:

When the RockCombo was new my BMX days were mostly behind me, my Fred days still lay ahead, and my anaerobic activity mostly took place in mosh pits. So I suppose by riding old bikes I’m filling in what I missed during those “lost years” instead of trying to keep up with stuff like this:

Speaking of the app, it’ll provide all the analytics and customization features with Rival AXS as it does for SRAM’s other AXS groupsets, such as time spent in each gear, battery life, and component usage. Or if you don’t want to bother, that’s also fine, but it’s nice to know the information is there if you want it. Firmware updates are also done wirelessly.

Do you really need to know how much time you spend in each gear? It’s amazing how much tech exists purely in service to itself, and does nothing more than look up its own ass. They should really be careful though, because if your components tell you how much time you spend in each gear you might figure out how many of them you don’t need, and next thing you know you’re riding around on an old mountain bike with seven speeds and friction shifting.

Anyway, while I may be riding a bike I missed out on the first time around, my son is riding one that’s more than 20 years older than him:

I assure you that I am not forcing this lifestyle upon him; he has two (2) other bikes with all the modern conveniences (well, not electronic shifting, but you know what I mean), yet this is the one he chooses. And while I realize there are few things more tedious than listening to someone boast about their kid, I must say he’s quite adept at shifting that triple-ring friction drivetrain, which is an art lost even to most adults–though I still subject him to the indignity of that gigantic pie plate:

If you put that thing on a turntable it would probably play “Wild, Wild West” by The Escape Club.

Wait a minute…

“Wild, Wild West” video…

SRAM Rival eTap marketing materials…

There’s something weird going on here, but I can’t quite put my disembodied finger on it.

Anyway, so as not to lose perspective entirely, today I rode a modern bicycle that’s barely more than a year old:

Pretty good, but needs a dropper post.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑