Jack Watts wrote:
An older internal 3-speed is woefully inferior, in almost every way (complexity, limited gear ratios, cost), but some folks, even now, will pay a premium for less performance because of its retro cache
I won't, by the way. This was what I actually had, not my ideal choice. That would be around a 6-speed and external is fine by me. I can think of two advantages of the internal design though, one the chain won't come off accidentally during shifting and two, I don't remember it being as fiddly to switch gears when it's perhaps not perfectly adjusted. My current bike tends to skip over gears at times and the 3-way front gear switch is best avoided for all the use it has (I don't need that many gears) and it's tendency to drop off the chain. By the way, it's a Dawes Kalahari. It says the gears are a Shimano M system.
A clip-on, rechargeable light can put out literally 20 times the amount of the brightest generator light and last >20 hours.
That's funny, my dynamo-based lights lasted forever and didn't need batteries (yeah, yeah, dynamos and bulbs were more prone to breaking, but you get the idea). Also they were fixed to the bike and nobody wanted to steal them. And these days I could also use the additional excercise.
I guess I must look for better lights though. I did go to the shop recently and while some LED lights seemed brighter, they seemed as directional as ever. In my youth I would sometimes cycle in the pitch black, on moonless nights, along the outskirts of the city (my girlfriend lived that way). That's when you really needed a good spread of light to see, not just to be seen.
If you could point me to a good model of front / rear lights, that would be helpful. Based in Ireland (Europe). CatEye seems a popular brand here. Last I was in a brightly lit shop, it was difficult to judge.
Also, as an even more unrelated aside those skinny, complex valves do have their advantages!
Oh? What are they? With mine you unscrew the cap, then you unscrew and loosen another bit that sticks out of the valve on a thin stalk. Then you press that down and let a bit of air out to make sure it'll move, then you screw on the pump. I swear it takes half a minute before you're ready to pump some air in. Or it feels like it.
The valves that I remember from the 70s were the opposite extreme. You unscrewed the cap and then you had to press the pump against the valve. The pump outlet would face sideways and it typically involved getting your hands dirty, because you had to brace the pump with your hand and press against tire from the other side. I fully agree that those old valves had disadvantages. It was dirtier to work with them and there was a knack to it. But they were faster and less fiddly to use, once you got the hang of it. By the 80s I had a bike with a screw on pump that wasn't as fiddly as this new one. Probably my ideal compromise.
I'm 50 and enthusiasm for new technology just wanes. In the 90s I was excited about laptops, but I also think there were more tangible advances back then. Screens started out small and really crappy. Dual-scan anyone? Keyboards were at the front before everyone moved them to the back, which gave us palm rests. Processor clock speed increased 5 fold in 3 years between two of my laptops. These days the action is perhaps elsewhere, but I don't get tablets, so I don't know where exactly.