Independant Cycle Related Product Reviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The industry and the Industry "not so" standards

We find ourselves at a time in cycling where the technologies are evolving at a pace far greater than we could have thought of 5 years ago.

Evolving technologies have us now at a point where cycling has become  like the automotive racing world where, now you can buy a off the shelf bike which is the equivalent to a Formula 1 car. This level of specialization leaves us now with the industry "not so" standard.

5 years ago, excluding items like drop out and seat post sizes,   things were pretty much standard. For example most frames used a 1 1/8 steerer tube, a threaded bb, normal quick release drop outs, 26' and 700c wheels and international standard disc brake mounts. Now with the new shift towards high end technologies we find new terms and terms like the tapered steerer, pressfit bbs, bb 30, 15mm thru axle, wider rear hubs and post mount frames.

The above shift in my humble opinion is needed, nothing on high end race vehicles is considered standard why should it be different in the cycling industry where some bike literally are worth more than everyday vehicles (Pinarello Dogma, Scott Scale RC, Specialized S-works Epic 29er to name a few) considering this, it is only fair that the high end manufacturers use only the best available of all the new standards and technologies.

The above does however present us with a problem, the knowledge base of both the rider and mechanic must expand to be able to understand what the bike needs in terms of maintenance, correct installation procedures and to source the correct replacement parts. This entails that shops now have a responsibility to ensure correct training for the staff, owning the right tools for the job and educating the customer to what exactly he has bought.

However in South Africa this expansion is slow to take off with, many consumers shops and mechanics still being uninformed as to all the new standards and procedures. Which is unfortunate but does open up opportunities for specialist workshops to pick up the slack capitalize on the lack of knowledge around the new technologies.

In closing I can summaries as follows, yes there are many new confusing technologies and terms being thrown around, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the industry to first educate itself as to all the new standard and then educate the consumer,