Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who's the boss?

Well not me it seems. I had expected small hiccups in the process of putting this bike together, but really I didn't expect them all to come at the end. I feel like I am at an evolutionary dead-end. The forks arrived this week, and yes they are all they were descrived to be. Certainly not the forks to sit on the machine forever, but good enough for some casual cross-country/downhill riding. They are also dual brake capable, that is you can fit disc brakes or the more low tech V-brakes (also known as side pull cantilevers). There is a snag. I could fit disc brakes to the forks, but the hubs I have are not designed to take the disc. I can't bolt on V-brakes straight away because the forks lack the brake bosses needed to fit the brake arms. This would not be a difficult proposition if there was a surfeit of brake bosses on sale. I think I might have found a kit for the forks, but it only mentions forks produced from 2007 onwards. This leads me to some concern as I am worried that my local bike shops will not stock the spare parts I require.

This is what leads me to feel at an evolutionary dead-end. The trend is towards disc brakes on sports mountain bikes, and although V-brakes are common on low end leisure bikes, no-one takes a high spec sports bike and puts V-brakes on it. A problem for all those retro-bike builders out there. Soon the spare forks will only be off leisure bikes, which are not capable handling the punishment or a more aggressive riding style, and we will no longer be able to ride some of these classic frames. The bikes will not be superceded because they were unable to compete in the environment, but they lack the input of the manufacturer's resources. The world has changed and moved on.

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