|TIME FOR AN IMPROVEMENT?
Look at the motor trade and just see the advances made with the automobile.The aircraft industry is another area in which we have seen fantastic steps forward.
Like a lot of people I have a number of interests....one of these is photography and again in that area there have been many changes both to systems technique and style.
Now I have no argument with valid improvements, but over the years the frequency of the so called improvements seems to happen at a faster and faster rate. I can remember, say back in the early seventies when I could buy a camera and the model would not be 'updated' for about five plus years. Indeed one model of camera ran for thirteen years before it needed an update.
When the 'improved' model was introduced it actually had some real improvements that made a positive impact on the ease of use and quality of the photographs that I could produce.
One of my current cameras was only purchased about eighteen months ago and despite having all sorts of accolades lauded on it when it was first released - they are now on model 3.
Another of my cameras is on model 5 in just over two years.
Often the improvements are something questionable such as 'touchscreen control'. I say questionable because I really do dislike touchscreen control, as despite the manufacturers telling me it is quick and easy to use I personally find that it is none of these things.
I must say that I find the Electronics Industry is one of the worst for the speedy introduction of spurious or at least questionable so called improvements.
Well, could this now start to happen in the cycle industry?
One of the 'big' things to happen in the recent past was the introduction of electronic shifting to the enthusiast market place. The Shimano Di2 (the electronic version of DuraAce) and then at a slightly more affordable price we got the Shimano Ultegra Di2 system.
More recently we have seen Campagnolo introduce a Super Record electronic groupset.
Most people I speak to still seem to be quite sceptical when it comes to electronic shifting ....they are unsure of the value of electronic gear shifting in an activity which after all, is all about personal fitness and physical ability.
Apparently I can be fit enough to cycle back from Gibraltar (for instance) and strong enough to power my pedals up a 25% hill, but I am now led to believe that I need assistance to just click on a gear lever . Well I am sorry but I just don't buy it....and I won't ....not yet anyway. I will want to see these systems demonstrate more proven performance enhancing capabilities first.
You do have to question all this when you still see many ProTour- level professional riders choosing to use the mechanical version of DuraAce over the Di2 version.
Today I even read that a wireless brake system is now upon us. Apparently a University in Germany have come up with a system that replaces the brake cables with a radio signal sender and receiver. Would I want to ride without brake cables? I don't think so.
And going back to the electronic gear shifting....will we be seeing model 1-2-3-4-etc? Well it is electronic so I think we probably will. What do you think?