The Most Influential & Revolutionary Groupset Ever Made…? | GCN Tech Show Ep.96

November 7, 2019

– Welcome to the GCN Tech Show. It’s just me this week
(sniffs) because Jon is away. He’s been at the British National
Hill Climb Championships, gettin’ some hot lightweight tech videos. Exciting stuff is coming. Stay tuned. But this week, we’ve got your upgrades, the Bike Vault, hot new tire techs, some new lightweight wheels and the winner of our Shimano
GRX groupset giveaway. Let’s do it. (techno music) (whooshing) (ball thudding) Sorry about that. I was just momentarily distracted by our awesome new GCN app. Yeah, download it if you haven’t already. Jon mentioned it on last week’s show and it’s completely free to download and it will allow you
guys to much more easily submit your Bike Vault
and upgrade submissions and it will be easier for us to go through all the submissions, as well. Plus, if you disagree with our ratings of nice or super nice, don’t worry, ’cause you
can vote nice or super nice in the app. Now, it’s fully functioning on Apple, but, there is a full
Android version on the way. At the moment, Android’s just in Beta mode or Beta if you’re from America. Anyhow, first up this week, we’re going to talk about the winner of our amazing Shimano GRX
Di2 full groupset giveaway. And the winner is, drum roll,
(hands imitating drum roll) (cymbal crashes)
Joshua O’Neill (cheering)
from the United States. Well done, Joshua, and congratulations on
winning a fantastic prize. I’m a bit jealous, to be honest. But, GRX, if you’re unfamiliar, is quite a revolutionary groupset in that it’s the first
groupset that’s specifically been designed for mixed surface riding so, road and tarmac. And this got me thinking about what is the most revolutionary
groupset of all time. What has had the biggest impact on everything else that’s followed it? The first thing that popped into my head was back in 1990, which was Shimano’s STI levers. And the first groupset that
came out with those was a Dura-Ace groupset and the STI lever stood for
Shimano Total Integration and this moved the gears from those cumbersome
retro down tube shifters into the brake levers, something which was completely
revolutionary at the time and, well, pretty much every single groupset that’s followed it has had gear changing in the brake levers, suggesting it was a true innovation. Interesting fact, that
first Dura-Ace STI groupset was eight speed. And it’s, well, fascinating to think now, we moved up to 11 speed but I love the look and the
aesthetic of those old bits. I still think they look
brilliant to this day. But this thing got me thinking, well, we can go further back than that. What about the first rear derailleurs? The first gears on bikes? That was a landmark moment. The problem comes in that
there are several companies, some of which don’t exist today, that lay claim to creating
the first rear derailleurs. And so, it’s difficult to actually pin it on one particular company or person. But, rear derailleurs were
commonly found on bikes in the 1930s and they actually predate the first groupset and my
original thinking was about what is the most revolutionary groupset? So to that accolade, we can look to 1959 and Campagnolo, as they marketed
the first complete groupset once they’d devised
their complete chain set to go with all the other
bits that they were making. But Tullio Campagnolo is said
to have come up with the idea of selling the collective
components together as a set and as a groupset, something
which just seems like it’s always happened, nowadays. But it hasn’t and in that sense, that idea was truly a game-changer. But what about more modern things like electronic shifting and wireless shifting? So, Di2 and eTap are
certainly and continue to be game changers, but they weren’t the first electronic groupsets or even the first wireless electronic groupset. Back in 1992, Mavic had a
wireless electronic groupset, Mavic Zap. It didn’t take off and that’s why many people haven’t heard of it today. It was limited by the battery
technology of the 1990s and that meant it couldn’t
use the little servo motors that we find in modern
day electronic groupsets. Instead, it used solenoids, which wound the rear derailleur
in and wound it out in order to move it across to change gear. Now, because it was so
far ahead of its time, it had a few niggles. And Tony Romagna actually used it in the 1993 Tour de France in a time trial and he got stuck in the 54 12 gear. – Oh my God!
– But fortunately, Tony was super strong and the
time trial was really flat. So he won anyway. Now while eTap may not
have been the first, it’s still a game-changer
and it can’t be ignored and it’s a classic example
of you don’t need to be the first to come up with
a revolutionary idea. You just need to implement
it and do it better. And, well, there’s loads
of examples of this, not just in cycling, I mean,
you think of something like Facebook and MySpace. But, the eTap groupset has proven itself over several years used
in the propellant set to be a reliable and functional tool and it’s not just a novelty. The fact that you can very
easily fit and install components on very complicated frame sets without having to worry
about internal routing through complicated aero
shapes is a massive advantage. Now, while it’s easy to talk
about flagship, premium, top-of-the-range products, Shimano 105 really stands
out for me, as well. It’s the groupset of the people. It’s got performance
comparable to Dura-Ace but, it has a slight weight penalty and it’s much more
affordable in terms of price, something that we found
when we did a blindfold test of the shifting between 105 Dura-Ace. We’ve got video on it,
you can check it out. I genuinely couldn’t tell the difference. It’s really, really impressive. And in that regard, I think it’s a phenomenal groupset that has, well, brought
incredible quality shifting to a much wider audience. So there are my standouts, but this is by no means
a comprehensive list. I’m very self-aware that this
list is going to be skewed, and my picks will be skewed by the fact I wasn’t around first-hand to witness the evolution of groupsets
in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, so I want your comments
down below of what you think are the most important and
revolutionary groupsets that have happened, and
we’ll read the selections and comments out in next week’s show. (whooshing) Hot Tech now, beginning with
some hot new wheel tech. Now the extremely high-end
German wheel brand Lightweight has just released some new wheels that are tubeless-ready and
rated for gravel and cross use. The new range consists of
four disk brake wheel sets which make use of a new
construction technique involving high modulus CFRP fibers which are said to make the
wheels even stiffer than before. The rim width has been increased, too. Although the internal
rim width is still modest at 18.2 millimeters, compared
to some of the wheels that are out there on the market. Hot new tire tech now. Good Year has just launched two new tires, the Eagle F1 and the Eagle F1 SuperSport. Both are set to be
premium, high performance, road racing tires. Now, the Eagle F1 name
has long been associated with performance motor sport tires, but now, it’s quite exciting
’cause there’s a bike version. Now the Eagle Good Year tire that was launched for bikes last year was tubeless, but these
two new ones aren’t, and that’s owing to a lighter construction with a different carcass,
less rubber on there, and also a new rubber compound. The Eagle F1 and SuperSport
are designed to be optimized around a 17 millimeter internal rim width, whereas the previous
model, the tubeless Eagle was around a 19 millimeter rim. And the new compound features graphing, you guessed it, and also silica to lower rolling resistance, too. Shiny new helmet tech now. I want a helmet to be
aero, but I also want it to be vented on hot days. Unfortunately, aero and
vented don’t tend to come hand in hand, but researchers
at Deakin University in Australia may have solved the problem. Dynoro, as it’s being called, is a new shape-shifting helmet
that can adjust its vents and aerodynamics on the fly as you ride. Still a prototype at the moment, but the engineers at Deakin University say that it uses Bluetooth to connect to computers or
sensors inbuilt into the bike or on your smartphone to
detect what you’re doing in the environment or what kind of riding you’re doing so that it can
make adjustments on the fly. The theory is that the helmet
would be able to respond to changes in temperature,
humidity, speed, wind, things like that, so you would
hit a finish line sprint, and it would go into its most
aerodynamic shape possible to maximize your aero gains or perhaps if you were on a fast descent, and then if you came to a steep
climb and it was hot, it would open out so that you could get the maximum ventilation. Now, it’s still a prototype at this stage, but it’s a really interesting idea and I’ve not seen
anything like this before so we’ll be keeping an eye on it to see how it progresses. Although, under current UCI rules, it would be highly illegal. However, there are
plenty of non-UCI events where you could use it. UCI. Stopping the fun. Again. (exhales loudly) More Hot Tech next week. (rapid techno music) So just after I finished
filming The Tech Show, I flew to Belgium, and
while I was flying there some Hot Tech news dropped which is why I’m currently
doing this Hot Tech news flash from my Ghent hotel room
complete with Jeremy Powers on the bed over there. Proper glamorous, this. Anyhow, Lotus, in collaboration with Hope has just launched a brand new
track bike for the GB Squad that’s going to be used in
the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It’s seriously radical. Check this out. Many of you will be familiar
with the classic Lotus 108 track bike which was famously
used by Chris Boardman to win gold at the Barcelona Olympics. Jon Cannings has done an
excellent video on it, as well. The new bike, which will be named the HBT is said to be a nod to that. Now, the wheels which have
been developed by Hope, they’re disk wheels, and
Hope claims that there’s a new manufacturing process
that’s revolutionary and has enabled them to
make the wheels lighter but without removing any
stiffness in those wheels and they’re also designed to be homogeneous with the Lotus frame. So the wheels and the
frame have been designed to work as a single package
that’s aerodynamically optimized through extensive wind tunnel testing both through the bike and own its own and also with the bike and a rider. The wide forks and stays on this bike are certainly very distinctive, and with the winning margins
being so small on the track, it’ll be intriguing to see if
this bike makes a difference to the the GB riders, and
especially when you consider that Olympics track cycling has been such a technological arms
race over the last few years, GB have often been at the forefront and does this bike mean that
they’re going to continue to be? Let us know in the comments down below. All right, I’m going to go and film some cyclocross videos with Powers now. He’s in his pants on the bed (laughs). Back to the studio, back
to me in the studio. Weird.
(drill buzzing) – Cha-ching.
– It’s now time for Screw Riding upgrades by Upgrades, where you submit evidence of the upgrades that you’ve made to
your bikes or equipment to win the ultimate prize
and we’ve got a new prize. You will now win a GCN cap or casquette if you’re French or if you’re not French,
but just pretentious. – Even a casquette like me. Okay, so this week, whadda we got? That’s my rubbish Al Pacino impression. We’ve got Jeff, who’s
from Detroit, Michigan, in the United States and he’s got his Canyon Endurace 7. Now, purchased it in 2019 (mellow jazz music)
and he went for a black on black frame with black decals or “deculls” and upon getting it, he
thought it was too black, I mean, how much more black could it be?
(heavy metal music) And the answer is, “none.” None more black.
(vinyl record scratch) So he decided to paint
the top tube gloss white and also purchased some
bright red, vinyl decals, or “deculls”. And he also changed some components, too. So he got a Zip service core stem, FSA power touch gel tape in bright red to go with those new deculls. He changed the bottom
brackets with Acer racing, and also the jockey wheels, too, silver chain, ’cause he
thought that looked better on this frame than a gold one. Fair enough, fair play. And he got an 11 30 cassette, nice little finishin’
details like a red anodized seat post clamp, and a Selle
Italia SLR Flow saddle. And also, continuing with that red theme, some Bontrager Elite
plastic water bottle cages. So this is what he started with and look at that, it’s
even strippin’ it down, look at the result of that. That is brilliant! Do you know what? I think that’s a definite
improvement over the original non more black frame. I think that’s really smart. And I love how you’ve thought
about the little red details on there and you’ve matched
it with the frame and the tape and the seat post column. That’s a really tidy job. It’s going to be tough for
whoever’s up against Jeff from Detroit, and that is Nick from Glossop in “Darbe”, well, Derbyshire. That’s how they say it over there. Well, anyway. After getting back into cycling after a few years off the bike, Nick decided to get
himself a carbon road bike. Good choice, but not
wanting to invest too much, he bought an old Boardman
frame off one of his mates. Now, the frame was in
good structural condition, but the paint job was a bit iffy, and the protective coating had
left it off in a few places, like the laquer, so he fitted a brand new Shimano 105 groupset, something
which he says he learned to do by watching GCN, nice one. And, he started to think
of ways he could improve the look of the bike, so he
says, “I came up with the idea “of vinyl-wrapping the frame.” Oh yeah? Yeah, where did you where’d you come up that idea, then? (playful music tones) That’s all right, I’m only messin’. Uh, (chuckling) so he did it, and he said he worked it out okay, but it looked good at a
distance, but he was disappointed with how it looked when he got closer, so he decided after a while
I’m removin’ the wrap, did that, but it also
removed some of the paint when he took it off, where the clearcoat had previously failed. So, the thought enough was enough and he stripped the paint
off the entire frame and you can see it in it’s
sanded, primed state, there. And then he re-sprayed the entire thing which he says is his first effort in doing that kind of thing,
but for a first effort, I think you’ve done an awesome job, there. And he said his mate used
to call the bike “Collin,” a bit weird, goin’ for a ride on Collin. Weird. But as he felt it had undergone
fairly substantial surgery, a sex change was required. Even weird, this gets even weirder. So, he’s called it “Colina,” and he’s put Colina graphics on it. Whatever floats your boat, I mean, weird, but I think it looks brilliant. That is, you’ve done an incredible job and for a first job on painting it, dat, dat is mega. I mean, I’ve not had a go
at painting a bike yet, and we’ve all seen Jon’s first,
second and third attempts at painting bikes, and
yeah, that looks superb. I really like that. Uh, looks great. But it’s not down to me. It’s going to be close this week, I think. I think these are two
excellent submissions. So, you can vote following
the link down here. You can vote in the app. Use the app. (whooshing) It’s now time for my
favorite part of the show, the Bike Vault, where you submit pictures of your bikes using the
app, not the uploader. We won’t look at them if
they’re on the uploader. And we judge them, or
I judge them this week to be nice or super nice. If they’re nice, well that’s nice. If they’re super nice,
then we ring the bell and they go in the Bike
Vault for eternity. But unfortunately, (cow bell ringing) the bell’s gone missing. I’ve no idea where it’s gone, but it doesn’t appear to be here. So it looks like there’ll
be no super nices this week. (door knocking) Oh, appears to be a a knock at the door. (mysterious music)
Delivery? Oh! I like presents. Thanks. Wonder what this could be. – Just sign ‘ere. – Yep. There you go. – Cheers. – (cow bell tinkling) Let’s open this. (mysterious music) (cow bell clattering loudly) (tape ripping) It appears to be a bell. What’s in there? There’s a note with it, as well. (box thuds) Sorry I couldn’t be with
you this week, Ollie. The bell had gone missing,
so I took the liberty of ordering an new one and
sending it special delivery for you. Lots of love, Joh.
(fantasy wonder music) (beep) (beep)
(box thuds) Thanks, Jon. Right. (sighs) Let’s go.
(light jazz music) So, first this week into the Bike Vault, hoping to get in, we’ve got Aloysius. Uh, is that your real name? You have a BMC Road Machine, there. And you’re in Perth, Australia. Very nice looking bike. Do you know what? That is, I have to say, that’s textbook. I mean, you’ve got a beautiful background, the horizon is perfectly level with the fence. That’s brilliant. It’s like you’ve used a spirit level, or maybe even a tripod. You’ve been watching the
video of how to get in, that’s great, you’ve got everything right, you’ve taken your bottles
out, it’s all very neat, crank in the 3 o’clock
position just about, the valves in the tires,
perfectly lined up. I mean, textbook. It’s textbook. It’s (sighs) it’s a super nice. It’s a super nice, yeah. (cow bell ringing) Well done. Next up, we’ve got Jean-Luc
with his Trek Madone SL6 and he’s in Montreal, Canada. And look at that. I mean, that’s a stunner. Looks like it’s a project
one paint job, as well. I don’t think that’s a stock paint job, but I kind of like yellow, is it yellow? Is it slight green? Is it a fade? But on end, you’ve got a gloss
black and the matte black. That’s was like my old one had, that. That’s beautiful. You’ve lined up the wheels well, not quite perfect with that front wheel, but
I’m willing to let that slide. Crank’s pretty much in
the 3 o’clock position, Biggie Smalls (cluck), good work. Bottles out. I mean, it’s looking
very, very neat, there. That’s very good. And, you appear to have
applied some kind of filter to the photo, which, I mean that’s a good filter. I think that looks quite nice. It sells the bike quite well. I think, do you know what? I think I’m going to have to give that one a super nice, as well. I mean, your lawn does need
a bit of a trim (sighs) but I’m going to let that slide, seeing as Jon went to all the effort of special delivering me the bell. (cow bell rings) Super nice. Next up, Isadore, with his c1 CC5 and he’s in the Austrian Alps. Wowzas. Look at that! That’s absolutely spectacular. That reminds me of GCN Salbeck. Yeah, just unbelievably stunning terrain. It’s like a postcard
or, you know, Instagram in every direction. That is a stunning vista. But, do you know what? (sighs) The kind of (sighs), I tell ya, I’ve got issues with this. You know, I think that the bike on, not being on level ground is just a (sighs heavily). It’s just settin’ off all
kinds of like, O.C.D. alarms in my brain, right now. You’re not square onto the bike when you’re takin’ the picture, as well. I mean you’ve gone Biggie Smalls, I appreciate that. You’ve got a 3 o’clock position. It’s just (sighs), it’s nice. It’s a nice bike. Beautiful location, though. Right. Next up we’ve got Ian
with his Spar 759 steel and he’s on the Col du Lautaret. Beautiful part of the world and nice to see you riding when
the snows come in, as well. I love riding when the snow
up in the mountains like that, and that captures that well, but again, the jauntiness of it, the way that your front wheel is wonky, I mean ah, god, this is if the first example was textbook how to get in the Bike
Vault, this is textbook, I mean, oh, in the other direction, I mean, you’ve not taken your saddle bag off, you’re in Small Big, there’s just all sorts of wrong going on, here. I mean, the bike’s precariously
perched against that post, it could fall down at any
moment, critically scratching or damaging your bike, (sighing) it’s a nice, nice, okay. So next up we’ve got Oliver, good name, with his Ridley Finix SL in Switzerland. And, that’s up against a wall, quite– Oh, what have you done here? Right. Take heed. You’ve positioned your
bike on the non drive side, it is at a jaunty angle,
the horizon is not level with the framing of the photo, your saddle bag is still on, you’re not in Biggie Smalls, your crank arm, I mean
what, where is that? Where is, what is going on there? You’ve got a fantastic bike. I mean, you’ve got a
fantastic bike, Oliver, but you’re not selling
it in its best light. Your bike deserves more. It’s a nice. And finally this week, we’ve got Elias, who says he’s somewhere near Nice in the direction of the Col de le Madone. You’re actually not in the direction of the Col du la Madone,
that’s behind you right now. That’s looking down onto Pez village (Parisian waltz music) which is one of my favorite
places in the entire world. Absolutely beautiful
place on the cote d’Azur and pretty incredible place, actually. It’s recorded as far back as
2000 B.C. as being inhabited as a commune and is now famous for it’s jardin botanique
or botanical garden which is full of cacti if
you get the chance to visit. Now, the oldest buildings
there, right now, date back to 1306, and there
is archeological evidence to suggest that Polynesians
erected a temple to the goddess Isis back there, back then, the ancient Egyptian goddess, Isis. Also, Walt Disney spent a
significant about of time there, it’s such a beautiful place, and it bears a striking resemblance to the Walt Disney Castle. Absolutely phenomenal place. If you get a chance to visit Pez village, you really should. It’s got a nice restaurant right at the top, there,
that’s quite pricey. Anyway, yes fantastic place. More Bike Vault next week. That photo’s actually taken
from an old Napoleonic Fort that overlooks it, as well. I’ve been there, it’s good. Thank Garant Thomas up
there, upon one day. It’s a super nice place. (cow bell ringing) Right, that’s all for this week. Fortunately, it’s the end of the show. (cow bell sliding) I hope you’ve enjoyed it and
if you do enjoy our content and would like to support the channel, then you can do by subscribing and clicking the notification icon if you haven’t already. And if you’d like to get your hands on one of the greatest hoodies or T-shirts available to humanity, then you can do by heading over to the GCN Shop and Stop. Right. I’ll see you next week. Bye.

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