Tuesday, September 26, 2023

And The Winner Is… – Motorbike Snob NYC


I’ve completed numerous Actually Large Issues in my lifestyles. I graduated highschool and faculty. I’ve put in combination more than one items of Ikea furnishings in one day. I’ve negotiated with cable corporations and cell phone suppliers and got slightly a hit results. But none of those feats opponents in problem and magnitude my execution of the Vintage Cycle twenty first Century Friction Shifter Shootout, the winner of which I will be able to formally announce lately.

You’ll see the entire derailleur contestants right here, and those are those I’ve effectively examined up to now:

And naturally the test-cycle began off with the common-or-garden Shimano 105 5700:

So that you could recap:

Then there used to be the Shimano 600, which used to be a DNS because of a mechanical factor:

In addition to the Deore XT “Deerhead,” which I DQed as it wouldn’t shift into the test-cycle’s absolute best equipment:

All of which brings us to our ultimate contestant, the Campagnolo Athena “11 pace:”

It’s modern-looking, however now not freakishly so in the best way just about all derailleurs at the moment are:

It’s additionally silver:

And with the exception of Potenza, which got here out a couple of years later, it’s secure to mention the gang of which it used to be section represents just about the remaining time we’ll see anything else remotely “basic”-looking out of Campagnolo:

…which in flip manner it’s the remaining time we’ll see anything else classic-looking out of anyone. (Or no less than the foremost part producers.)

This actual derailleur is the long-cage model, and it’s intended for a triple. You’d suppose that may make it heavy, however it’s lighter than each different derailleur within the check excluding the Dura Ace and the 600:

It’s additionally the latest derailleur within the check, and it required a type of bizarre Torx thingies with the intention to mount:

Against this, the Altus LT had an old school hex nut for a cable anchor, which means this check has borne witness to each the delivery and the demise of the Allen key technology:

I will be able to’t stay monitor of Campagnolo’s cable pull adjustments during the listed technology and I don’t know what’s appropriate with what. Will this additionally paintings with a 10-speed Ergo shifter, or a 9-speed? I dunno. However it is a friction transferring check so we don’t wish to care. Right here’s the shifter place when in low equipment, in addition to each the huge cog/small chainring and big cog/massive chainring eventualities:

Clearly you’d need extra chain for those who had been going to trip it within the massive/massive, which isn’t unexpected, because it’s a long-cage derailleur made for a triple–additionally one of the most remaining we’ll ever see from Campagnolo:

Once I put the Veloce at the test-cycle (at all times watch out when hanging derailleurs on or close to your test-cycles) my rapid response used to be, “Wow, absolute best.” I had the similar response to the Athena:

Clean, actual…absolute best:

It in reality is astounding how decadent a couple of Silver shifters feels on a contemporary drivetrain, and the extra I take into accounts it the extra I imagine it’s a nice factor that the business has deserted friction transferring, as a result of another way they’d be charging us a fortune for it:

As an alternative, all it takes to place a perfect one in combination is a smattering of respectable mid-range portions. Actually, it’s onerous to believe a street motorbike drivetrain feeling any higher than this. AND IT DOESN’T EVEN NEED BATTERIES!!!

This isn’t simply true of the Athena, both; with the exception of the DNS and the DQ, they all yielded gorgeous transferring–even though I’m now not positive any of them had been quieter than the Athena, which I may slightly listen in any equipment aggregate:

I’m now not positive how a lot the oversized-and-rubberized pulleys need to do with that, however it most probably couldn’t harm:

Regardless of the reason why, whilst I were given good-to-great effects with they all, I knew in an instant that I needed to award the Athena first prize:

It’s gentle, it’s quiet, it’s actual, and in contrast to one of the vital different contestants it’s now not on the restrict of its adjustment fluctuate with the intention to get right of entry to all of the cassette. The similar may be true of the Veloce, however the Athena may be lighter, which in fact is completely meaningless, however on this case makes for a handy tiebreaker. Additionally, the long-cage Athena has the next chain-wrap capability (40) than the Veloce medium-cage (36)–additionally meaningless, for the reason that test-cycle doesn’t want it, however it does imply you’ve in the end were given wider gearing probabilities with the Athena, so it will get further issues for versatility. Certain, the similar is going for the SunTour, however the Athena is a bit more delicate, which in reality most effective issues slightly, however it is a contest and that’s how contests paintings.

In fact, because the curator of the shootout I am getting to select any such derailleurs to reside completely at the test-cycle, and clearly I went with…

…the Veloce?

Certain. It additionally labored completely, and it’s a greater are compatible with the chain I’ve were given at the motorbike now. Like, what? I’m gonna get a complete new chain simply to make use of a lighter derailleur? Please.

So there it’s. Sure, the latest section received, and for a friction shifter shootout that’s kinda lame. However the true lesson is that the 40-plus year-old Altus LT that got here on a Schwinn Voyageur used to be virtually as nice. And sure, simply since you’ve were given friction shifters to your motorbike, that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to use each unmarried derailleur in life, as we noticed with the “Deerhead.” However you’ll be able to use a fuckload of them, and simply so long as you pay an affordable quantity of consideration to stuff like max cog measurement, chain period, and naturally chain wrap capability, you most likely received’t be capable of inform a lot if any distinction between them.

Most significantly, after opening and shutting a quick-link chain no less than seven occasions in as many days, I will be able to let you know one of the best ways to do it with out purchasing a distinct device is to make use of a Channellock. Now not simply any pliers, however a Channellock. You’re welcome.


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