I'm looking to build my own bicycle. The main thing I care about is compatibility. I've been researching around and have found various gold nuggets along the way:
- YouTube - How To Build A Bike From Scratch
- insight: There are a lot of different bicycle standards and parts.
- YouTube - Bottom Bracket Standards Explained
- insight: Threaded bottom brackets do not require special tools.
- Nomad Trails Blog Post
- insight: Friction shifters are compatible with more cassettes.
- Shimano Wikipedia Article
- insight: Shimano has a huge market share. Does Shimano set the standard?
- Shimano vs SRAM Blog Post
- insight: Shimano and SRAM are the two dominant parts manufacturers.
- International Organization for Standardization ISO 4210
- insight: There is a collection of standards for bicycles but you have to pay hundreds of some kind of currency to read it.
It seems like building your own bicycle with reliable interchangeable parts is a trade secret with tiny insights hidden in places across the internet. I've found people who care about things being light or new. The main thing I care about is compatibility because I want to build my own bicycle, maintain it, and swap out parts. I haven't found reliable coherent source that cares about that.
Intuitively I'd rather figure out what the most reliable standards are and then buy parts that follow the standard instead of only by parts from one manufacturer. I want reliable parts that are maintainable with regular tools instead of a high performance special things that require special tools. I'm not sure how to describe what I'm looking for bicycle parts.
To use an analogy: I'm looking for a ThinkPad not a MacBook. There are a bunch of well defined standards that different Original Equipment Manufacturers can follow to make various components of a ThinkPad. If I want to swap out the DVD drive and stick a Hard Drive Caddy in there I can because the measurements for that slot are clearly defined. Further, I can buy the Hard Drive Caddy from dozens of manufacturers. The same goes for the battery. Also, if I want to change the thermal paste I only need a Phillips screwdriver to open up the ThinkPad. The MacBook on the other hand requires special tools and the battery is a proprietary technology that is glued into the machine because it's thinner or for some other performance reason. When measured by some performance metric the MacBook might be better but from the standpoint of compatibility the ThinkPad is better. So when talking about brands it's better to go with IBM Lenovo if you care about compatibility. I want to develop a similar intuition with bicycles but I'm not finding a coherent source of information.
- What are good sources of information to learn about bicycle compatibility ideas?
- If there aren't any brands that care about compatibility and standards is the idea to just use Shimano parts because they have the biggest market share?
- What guidelines do you follow if you care about compatibility and maintainability?