A random collection of thoughts associated with the sport of cycling, as relayed by one hopelessly devoid of too many competing interests. It's a one track blog I'm afraid. But hey, if you like bikes you might enjoy it. So keep reading and the worst that'll happen is it might rot your brain..

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Future Was Yesterday, Again.

The more I ride the glow in the dark gnar gnar machine that is the Rip 9 the more I realize that the best parts on it are the shifters. 7 speed XT thumb shifters to be exact. While the Niner does sport honest to goodness "new technology", it also happens to be paired with stellar shifters. Who cares about 4.5 inches of travel, CNC rocker arms, Pro Pedal and all that phooey? I'm here to talk about the 20 year old shifty bits, so listen up!

The best part about friction shifting is how, much like single speeding, it requires low brain power (this suits me well!). At the same time it's a whole lot easier than riding fixed. This fact alone makes these shifters the ultimate in must have technology that no one uses anymore. It fits all the basic bike dork criteria for coolness by being A. Old B. Functional and C. Fairly Rare. Best of all though the shifters can't kill you if you use them in a completely inappropriate manner. Like, say, riding a converted Jetter fixie brakeless down Cyprus with a 10 year old rusted chain. Yep, mark my words; thumbshifters are going to be hotter than drop bar 29ers, touring bikes, chain wallets, ball bearings and brooks saddles in two years time.

My amazing powers of prognostication tell me that soon all multispeed trail bikes will utilize this ancient technology. Of course, it'll be repackaged and spun as a new development that will immediately devalue that 9 speed SIS/SRAM clunker you ride now. I'm thinking the "new" name will be something like "Thumb Glide" or "Friction Force". Whatever it's called it will cost an exorbitant amount of money, and of course it will only be available to Pros at first (I hear Adam "Apple Cobbler" St Germain already has his).

This alone will generate enough buzz to cause throngs of cyclists to ditch their Swobo fixies, Long Haul Truckers and NJS approved track bikes on the side of the road in short order. They'll become so cool that people will start scouring yardsales, and garbage dumps, for "vintage" thumb shifters so they can tell everyone how much longer than you they've been at it.

I can't wait. Craig Mello can't either, he's got a box of these things he'd love to sell you...



Blogger team sam said...

Wait! I've got a set! Maybe,I CAN aford to send my kids to college! Sweet! Ive got a Kona project two fork, and .......

7:54 AM

Blogger gewilli said...

You can have 9speed thumbshifters ya know... (and you can switch em to friction mode at your whim)


those 7 speed ones have the phantom click and actually IIRC work passably well with 8speed index stuff...

10:49 AM

Blogger Brendan said...

Yeah, but nine speed is for the weak.. ;)

11:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, after them there shifties become as ubiquitous as 29er SS, make way for the re-introduction of XRAY twisties...with the bass worm of course. 1:1 = Peeeummp'n.

9:24 PM

Blogger Aa said...

What are you goings talking about?

I'm already running 10 speed in the woods.
Get with the program!

Oh, and thanks for the bevvies.

6:53 PM


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