First of all, take a look at an early-to-mid 80s Super Record rear derailleur. The contrast of the black and silver is, I think, really gorgeous. The derailleur is svelte and spartan. A real classic.
|Super Record, circa 1984. Somewhat angular, slightly industrial. Simple. But pretty.|
|2013 Super Record EPS.|
|2013 Super Record (sans electronics) -- Look ma, no tumors!|
|Super Record EPS front derailleur -- with a conjoined twin growing out of it.|
And the old Super Record crank is a slender, pretty, almost delicate-looking design. Unfortunately, however, the old crank apparently proved to be fairly delicate in use, as well, as stories of cracked ones are abundant. Oh well. Consistency is not a human trait.
One question I have to wonder is whether the new components truly save that much weight compared to the old. They are rendered in carbon instead of aluminum, but they're also in many cases much thicker or physically larger. And then there are the battery packs etc. to add into the mix. I'll have to look up the answers to that one -- but I'm not really that concerned about a few grams here and there, so I'm not in a big hurry.
I will say this in defense of the new. Particularly with the Campagnolo parts (perhaps not with the Shimano, which worked great by any standard) -- the newer Campy parts, even the traditional cable-operated ones, functionally work so much better than the old. I like the old stuff, and ride it regularly. But shifting performance of the old drop-parallelogram derailleurs is nowhere near as good as on the modern counterparts. The new brakes have a good, light feel to them and stop the bike with far less effort than the old ones. I'm not a total curmudgeon here, after all.
Next post -- do we really need electronic shifting? Is it really the improvement that it's supposed to be?