The Good, the Bad and the Superficial

The Good. 

Some things really made the world of cycling a better place.

Here are my picks (in alphabetical order)…

  • The Aheadset.   Goodbye and good riddance to headset spanners, quill stems and indexed steering!
  • Camelbak bidons.

  • Cassette freehubs (though the original notion of being able to build your own cassettes never really materialised)
  • Clipless pedals
  • Compact bars
  • Double pivot brakes
  • Flippable stems
  • Front loading stems
  • Gatorskin tyres
  • Hollowtech 2
  • Index shifting
  • LED lights
  • Noseless saddles (for bikes with aerobars)
  • Sealed bottom brackets
  • Spd.  Even more world changing than Look pedals
  • Standard seatpost sizes (almost,  27.2 fits nearly every frame…)
  • Sti

  • And these.  I don’t know what they’re are called but they are, without doubt, the best gear adjustors.  I don’t miss down-tube shifters but I do miss the bosses on the frame as, without them, there’s nowhere to put these.



The Bad. 

The cycling world would be a better place without these.  They add nothing but inconvenience, discomfort, weight, weakness, risk, obsolescence or expense.

  • 1 1/4” steerers
  • Anatomic handlebars.  Was a name ever less appropriate?
  • Brakes under the bottom bracket
  • Direct fit bearings
  • Drop-in handlebars.  What was Greg Lemond thinking?

  • Four bolt spiders
  • Frame-specific seat posts
  • Head tube cable stops

Compare these worse-than-useless adjustors with the beauties above.

  • Integrated handlebars and stems
  • Internal cables
  • ISP
  • ‘Lawyer’s lips’
  • Mini pumps
  • Non-adjustable aerobars
  • Non-flippable stems
  • Pedals without flats for a pedal spanner
  • Raceblade 2 mudguards
  • Seat post wedges
  • Spinacci

  • Star-fangled nuts.  Fortunately not essential for Aheadsets!
  • Torx bolts


The Superficial.

I can’t see the point of them, but if you don’t have anything better to do with your money…

  • Carbon bottle cages
  • Carbon cranks
  • Carbon handlebars
  • Carbon tubes in titanium frames
  • Curved down tubes and top tubes

  • Disc brakes on road bikes
  • Electronic gears
  • Oval chainrings
  • Saddle cutouts
  • White handlebar tape


There are seat posts and saddles that I could put into all three categories.

What does your list look like?



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close