Friday, March 28, 2014

Royale with Cheese

Cheesy brifters, that is.
The bike is an SE Royale 16. The parts on it are almost humorously generic.  The brifters say Shimano. The rear derailleur anounces it is a Sora.
The rims, crank, brakes and hubs say nothing. Even the tires have no eye catching labels.

The components seem pretty solid.  You could replace the cheap steel chainrings with aftermarket alloy. Put on real brake levers and some barcon shifters and you'd have a decent basic bike. But of course the bike industry assumes you cheap folks would rather have a crappy knock off of higher end shifters than something simpler and more reliable. The bike industry's secret fear is that consumers will be perfectly happy to buy reliable,  durable products that they can enjoy for many years.

I will confess I do not miss my downtube shifters. If I was racing I would want a precise and convenient shifting system.  When everyone had downtube shifters skills made the difference. Now that expensive technology has removed that particular aspect of competition, you need to buy into it. Then, thanks to industrial ADD and no small measure of avarice, you have to keep buying in even if your current gear still technically functions.  You don't take an old single action Colt revolver out to face a bunch of adversaries toting automatic weapons. In the movie you might win, but it would be a special occasion nonetheless.

Actually this whole post was an excuse to use the phrase, "Royale with cheese." Cultural mildew being what it is,  I always supply the words "with cheese" when I see or hear royale anyway.  It just cracks me up for some reason.


Steve A said...

Don't cheap steel chain rings last longer than their alloy cousins?

cafiend said...

Theoretically yes, but these are painted to look like alloy and already show a touch of rust just from their sojourn in the warehouse. Based on the dusty box they may have waited a long time.