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A nice surprise (engineering geek content)

rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
edited March 2013 in Commuting chat
I just received a nice order of some Veloflex Master open tubulars and a couple of cassettes from Ribble. One of the cassettes is a boggo Veloce 12-25 which will go on the Ribble for commuting. The other is the newly produced 12-27. I decided that as Campagnolo had taken so long to get round to making this fairly optimum Dales riding cassette, it would be rude not to try one out. Only trouble is, they don't do Veloce ones so I had to get Centaur - and that cost a pretty substantial £60 (with the Spring10 saving) which seemed a bit of a wack of cash (ie twice the cost of the Veloce) but never mind.

So this is how they look. Veloce on the right, Centaur on the left. Basic difference is the slightly rough looking shiny plating on the Veloce which doesn't take long to scruff up compared to the much smarter, titaniumish coloured Centaur cassette.

P1120705_zpsb611246b.jpg

And this is the Veloce from the back - which, finish aside, looks pretty much exactly the same as my 11-25 Centaur cassettes.

P1120707_zps34afa74a.jpg

And this is what the Centaur 12-27 looks like from behind!

P1120709_zps57ca8b47.jpg
P1120710_zps051c8462.jpg

Now, to me that is lovely. I'm never quite convinced by the excessively self conscious detailing on modern steel artisan frames. This, on the other hand, is a lovely piece of engineering flourish where nobody will ever see it! If it is absolutely neccessary to space the big three rings with those spiders then I won't believe it is neccessary to give them such lovely curves. Did the designer come up with the idea back in the 70s whilst using a spirograph and wait 40 years to use the design in a hidden part of a bicycle component? It suddenly seems so much better value than the Veloce cassette!

Sorry, I like it anyway :oops: :lol:
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Posts

  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    I'm with you. Form follows function, so maybe that is what an optimal design looks like, curves and all?
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  • No its not an optimal form, it would be nearer circular, however it looks like the guy who designed it cared as much about form as the function. A bit like the difference between say a 19th century sewage pumping station and a modern industrial unit.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,290
    No its not an optimal form, it would be nearer circular, however it looks like the guy who designed it cared as much about form as the function. A bit like the difference between say a 19th century sewage pumping station and a modern industrial unit.
    It might be related to some particular manufacturing constraint, but I think mainly it's someone wanting it to be a pleasing piece of metal.

    Form follows function doesn't necessarily mean a purely utilitarian approach, especially if part of the function is that the object has to be visually appealing to make people like us lust after it enough to buy it.
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  • squeelersqueeler Posts: 144
    I agree 100% with the OP. I love to see a bit of "craft" in functional items.
    I think that the designer of the part, the worker who manufactures it and the cyclist who appreciates it and puts it on his bike all have a slightly more satisfying life than those involved in the purely functional part.
  • pete_spete_s Posts: 213
    I like it from a visual perspective, but I hate it from a professional point of view.

    What a waste of money and effort for something that isn't going to be seen by the user and quickly forgotten about. Looks like a lot of over processing to me: more machining, more components and more assembly time than the one in the first picture.

    I'd still buy it though. :oops: :lol:
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    pete_s wrote:
    I like it from a visual perspective, but I hate it from a professional point of view.

    What a waste of money and effort for something that isn't going to be seen by the user and quickly forgotten about. Looks like a lot of over processing to me: more machining, more components and more assembly time than the one in the first picture.

    I'd still buy it though. :oops: :lol:

    But the nice thing is that it can't be seen! And it cost me twice as much so it bloody well better have more components and assembly time!!

    Anyway, FWIW, I weighed the two cassettes and the 12-27 is about 21g lighter when you'd expect it to be a fair bit heavier so the construction hasn't cost Centaur the weight advantage overall.

    Also interesting is that the 13-29 Veloce cassette I have has exactly the same construction as the 12-25 so it's not as though they needed to get complicated for the bigger sprockets.
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,846
    At what point did the "other half" start accepting the fact that your taking pictures of bike bits and posting them on the Interporn? :roll:
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  • Ian.BIan.B Posts: 732
    @Rolf

    Top post!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    It is so much more than just form, it is a mandala, it transforms your thoughts, it is an accurate map of the mind, all our strengths, our weaknesses, and our possibilities are contained within.

    Not bad for 60 quid too :D


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