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Seven most elegant bicycle components

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Seven most elegant bicycle components

Old 02-06-20, 10:15 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Locomotief View Post
And about everything mafac made has a +1 for me.
I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
Make sure to rig this brake correctly (edited version of your photo):


That will put you under a semi if you're unlucky.

-mb
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Old 02-07-20, 12:24 AM
  #52  
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Do handlebars count as components!?!

My introduction to vintage bikes was saving a (late 50's/early 60's) Dawes Red Feather from the dump. It was these handlebars that stopped me just turning it into a generic fixie and actually researching more about the bike.

They would be on my list of elegant components.


Not my picture. Source https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...bars-292281771
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Old 02-07-20, 01:11 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I think Art could have added a narrow amount beyond the stamping area and kept the elegance and added strength. But it is an elegant part.
I bought a set of his front dropouts long long ago- pretty clever design.

that seat lug is also Styling.

the Shimano 600 arabesque has grown on me but when it was introduced I felt a poor mimic of Nuovo Record style achievement.
the Golden Arrow? I think was more authentic.

The Aero Gran Compe side pull calipers that were quite minimalist with eccentric pad adjustment should be acknowledged. Only small cross section tires apply though.


I believe these do deserve a mention.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:25 AM
  #54  
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Zeus 2000 alloy freewheel:



Flite Evolution Carbon saddle on Campy Record titanium post:



Barelli Supreme pedals:



SunTour Cyclone:



Curved Campy gear levers:



Drillium Campy Record calipers:



First generation 8-speed Campy Ergopower lever bodies:



Most Honorable Mention: NR/SR derailleur pin setting tools courtesy of @rootboy



Less Honorable Mention: Hozan spoke wrench (because tools are elegant, too)



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Old 02-07-20, 01:34 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Make sure to rig this brake correctly (edited version of your photo):


That will put you under a semi if you're unlucky.

-mb
I was changing the brake lever. But thanks for the warning anyway
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Old 02-07-20, 05:02 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
maybe not exactly what the OP was looking for, but I'll nominate anything modified by the late Jon Williams....



Steve in Peoria
Beautiful!
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Old 02-07-20, 08:59 AM
  #57  
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Zeus 2000 dropouts:



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Old 02-07-20, 09:05 AM
  #58  
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This is a very nice thread. It is interesting that people have such different likes and interests.
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Old 02-07-20, 09:41 AM
  #59  
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Wow. IIRC, the only two 543's I've ever seen in person are the two I have; one is missing the cover and one has it but the name is just stamped on the cover. That blue/gold logo is lovely!

Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Too rich for me to own, but one that always stands out is the JUY 543.

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Old 02-07-20, 11:18 AM
  #60  
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Not much metal left...

Perty

Campy with a small flair...

Flawless lines.
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Old 02-07-20, 11:37 AM
  #61  
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The number one most elegant bicycle component is the ball bearing.

Photo taken while overhauling a hub this morning. Purity of form, perfection of function, lasts for decades with regular servicing, and a finish at least two orders of magnitude finer than anything else on a bike. My favorite are the 1/4" bearings in a classic bottom bracket, they make the others seem undersize.

The runner-up in this category, the humble and utilitarian bushing, gets points for simplicity but is a distant second in every other way.

My second favorite component are these old Sun Ringle peace-sign cable hangers.

(Imagine I trimmed my cable a millimeter shorter and wasn't missing one set screw.)

Simple, functional, beautiful, and playful. The arms follow the cable runs, the circle holds it all together, and the whole thing is a peace symbol! And it's purple! These cable hangers are also a great example of the affordances of CNC manufacturing, they would be absurdly difficult to make with manual machine tools. Shout out to tri-align style cantilever brakes too, mine are a tektro knockoff of the avid design, I love them.

Third favorite component is cotton bar tape.

To me, all other bar tape feels terrible, and only gets worse as it degrades. Cotton tape feels great immediately, and ages and weathers beautifully. The harlequin wrap above is a mix of Zefal and Newbaums (my LBS stocks Newbaums in many colors, but not black, and Zefal only in black ) but my favorite is the thick Velo-Orange stuff.

Possibly this preference has something to do with climate, the heat and humidity in New Orleans make foam rubber and vinyl often unpleasant to touch, and does leather no favors.

I'll have to think more about the next four!
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Old 02-07-20, 01:00 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
For me, my favorite bike part of all time for functional elegance, will always and forever be the Sturmey Archer 3 speed. The fact that the first operating model was made in 1902 is mindblowing. The semiautomatic nature of upshifts, the virtual complete absence of any maintenance. The absurdly long life span. The shiny chrome. The little indicator chain that shifts the gears. The bar mounted indexed shifting 7+ decades (?) before anyone else had it figured out. The fact that nowadays everyone thinks you're riding a single speed LOL. The tick tick tick in 2nd and 3rd gears....
I thought about putting one in, but I'm a lifetime derailleur user so I figured I'd leave it to a real devotee.

That's not to say I haven't been through one and appreciated its internal elegance, though! I think I've overhauled three in the past year, for various friends. I'm forever amazed. All of them Sturmey AWs were at least 40 years old and ticking along fine after some cleaning and a proper oil. I also autopsied a SRAM i-Motion 3, which had "grenaded" after four years of use. Proves that you just can't make a better 3-speed than the old Sturmey Archer.
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Old 02-07-20, 01:50 PM
  #63  
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Love this thread

All time favorite = C Record cranks




Flite Saddle with C Record post


Delta Brakes


C Record RD



Super Record RD




Avid Ultimate Levers


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Old 02-07-20, 01:56 PM
  #64  
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I like all the other objects, but I think I'd call those "Deathwish Campy Record calipers! Those are truly frightening.

Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Drillium Campy Record calipers:


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Old 02-07-20, 02:16 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I thought about putting one in, but I'm a lifetime derailleur user so I figured I'd leave it to a real devotee.
The majority of the centuries I have ridden have been with a Sturmey Archer drivetrain!

My love of steep hills means Sturmeys aren't the right choice for all my rides, but I'm fine on anything up to %7 on an AW equipped bike with 53/24 gearing, that still gives me good top speed performance too.

Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
That's not to say I haven't been through one and appreciated its internal elegance, though! I think I've overhauled three in the past year, for various friends. I'm forever amazed. All of them Sturmey AWs were at least 40 years old and ticking along fine after some cleaning and a proper oil. I also autopsied a SRAM i-Motion 3, which had "grenaded" after four years of use. Proves that you just can't make a better 3-speed than the old Sturmey Archer.
I have a Sachs super 7, and it used to run pretty well, then it didn't, I opened cleaned and regreased it, and it ran well again, now it doesn't, needs to be opened up again I suppose, considering that it doesn't really get that many miles on it, it sure requires a lot of attention :-/ I've thought of unlacing the wheel so I can drill and tap the hub for an oil port, I'm %99 sure that a teaspoon of 20 weight in there would have it running like new...
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Old 02-07-20, 02:16 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I like all the other objects, but I think I'd call those "Deathwish Campy Record calipers! Those are truly frightening.
*Just for decoration*
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Old 02-07-20, 02:45 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I like all the other objects, but I think I'd call those "Deathwish Campy Record calipers! Those are truly frightening.
Yeah, I think that might violate the warranty.
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Old 02-07-20, 02:45 PM
  #68  
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I don't keep score, and many nice parts have already been posted. I do, however, tend to buy stuff just because I fall in love with it. Whether I need it or not. A few examples:

ALE bottle cage:



Unidentified brake levers:



Unidentified touring chainring set:




Pump clamps:



More unidentified brake levers:



Two Sprinter 70 front track hubs:



Butchered Brooks saddle:




Cottered aluminum crankset:


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Old 02-07-20, 03:23 PM
  #69  
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A few of my favorites "elegant" components over the years:

Nitto "Crystem" stem


Brooks "Cambium" and a Suntour "Superbe" seat post


Suntour "Superbe Pro" brake calipers.


1st. generation Campagnolo "Super Record"


Italian water bottle.


SR "Royal' seat post
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Old 02-07-20, 06:04 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I like all the other objects, but I think I'd call those "Deathwish Campy Record calipers! Those are truly frightening.
For context, that pair was a commission job for a weight-weenie themed wall-hanger. An Exxon Graftek build, to be specific. Nothing to be scared of

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Old 02-07-20, 06:43 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
For context, that pair was a commission job for a weight-weenie themed wall-hanger. An Exxon Graftek build, to be specific. Nothing to be scared of

DD
The context is readily apparent and awesome at the same time, pure eye candy, plain and simple.
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Old 02-07-20, 07:32 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Well, we don't often ask engineers to define the meaning of "elegant," just like we don't ask an artist to calculate stress vectors* or some such

(*I have no idea if a 'stress vector' is an actual thing or not)
Understood about why you don't ask us (engineers,)but I adopted the terminology I first heard back in the mid-seventies regarding what touched many of us as a standard for deciding these things.

Simple Elegance", design, engineering and execution that isn't excessive in any aspect. Probably what has so attracted me to C&V cycling and the multitude of beautiful components out there.

OP, that is going to be the crankset for my current build, '72 Schwinn Super Sport.

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Old 02-07-20, 09:31 PM
  #73  
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non-fixie I love those butchered saddles too - as much for their minimalism and panache as for the rough authenticity they exude. Some guy made those things, with a hammer and a knife, in a poorly-lit, dirty shop somewhere in Europe, and by some miracle they have found their way to us. I've never seen one for sale, the only reason I even found mine is because it came on an old French frame I bought.
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Old 02-07-20, 10:02 PM
  #74  
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Tanks
Gothic fenders with triangular tips and striping
Delta Rocket Ray and Rocket horn
Schwinn handlebar grips, teardrop and script or glitter grips
Colson chainguard
later Trek frames
Peugeots in general
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Old 02-08-20, 07:17 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
Don't know if skewers can be elegant, but these Simplex skewers are sort of neat and not all that common, as far as I can tell. They have little booties to slide over the lever arms.
Ditto for a handlebar bolt, but they don't get much more cool than this:


Off a I-beam Nitto stem that was badly oxidized when I got it. I sanded off the blemishes with emery cloth, painted black and re-sanded. I'm thinking about using it with this "beausage" worn look if I don't repaint to all black.
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