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Design Classics - a Cycling Plus magazine column

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Design Classics - a Cycling Plus magazine column

Old 03-20-22, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
If you need to know, you can't afford it.
I was a junior in high school then, so it was a given that I couldn't afford it. Besides, I was spending most of my bike lust on Raleighs back then!

I'm sure someone can provide the exact cost premium for the Campy sidepulls, but I think it was a bit over $100.

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Old 03-21-22, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I was a junior in high school then, so it was a given that I couldn't afford it. Besides, I was spending most of my bike lust on Raleighs back then!

I'm sure someone can provide the exact cost premium for the Campy sidepulls, but I think it was a bit over $100.

Steve in Peoria
The price of Campagnolo brakes was always high and a moving target, inflation was rampant, the 10% extra tariff in the Nixon Shock almost immediately raised prices even for parts already in the stores. Profit margin was king.
So, the price of Campagnolo brakes have to be tied to a date specific.
When I first saw them in 1972, about $60. (soon to go to $70.) in 1976, $129.
Campagnolo did not really start advertising them specifically until the 1980's prior they did not have to.

Comparing to brakes that arrived in 1989, is like comparing electronic fuel injection and engine management to carb's from engines of the 60's.
And fortunate for Shimano, the expiration of some patents.
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Old 03-24-22, 10:06 AM
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hobbyhorse
a look at the "running machine" of Karl von Drais, and the improvements by English coach builder Denis Johnson in 1818.




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Old 03-27-22, 10:20 AM
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The Holdsworth brand is a British classic that dates back to 1927. Their orange and blue frames were prominent when they sponsored a pro team in the 70's.



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Old 03-30-22, 11:01 AM
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Masi 3V
The Masi legend begins with Faliero Masi racing and later building frames at Gloria. With his own shop under the Vigorelli track in Milan, he went on to craft his own frames. His son, Alberto, came up with the idea for the 3V, which was to use investment cast lugs with thin gauge oversize tubing



and for fun, a shot of a Masi 3V that was displayed at one of the Classic Rendezvous gatherings....



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Old 04-06-22, 10:15 AM
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Mavic Mektronic
It was a brave early attempt at electronic shifting! What it lacked in technology and reliability, it made up for with French charm and style.




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Old 04-10-22, 01:14 PM
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Michaux Boneshaker
Were the Michaux brothers the first to add pedals to a hobby horse? Beats me, but the addition of pedals was a key change in the development of the bicycle that we know and love. The wood rims with steel bands must have made for a rough ride, as suggested by the spring suspension on the saddle. Having used a sprung Brooks B17, I imagine that this could launch the rider off the bike under the right conditions!




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Old 04-11-22, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
Masi 3V
The Masi legend begins with Faliero Masi racing and later building frames at Gloria. With his own shop under the Vigorelli track in Milan, he went on to craft his own frames. His son, Alberto, came up with the idea for the 3V, which was to use investment cast lugs with thin gauge oversize tubing



and for fun, a shot of a Masi 3V that was displayed at one of the Classic Rendezvous gatherings....



Steve in Peoria
the frames set in the article image was a very late unit- note the fork crown.
the light blue bike is more of the iconic
3V
I have two. One with the over the top "Barcelona" graphics. With the correct spelling of Los Angeles
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Old 04-11-22, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
the frames set in the article image was a very late unit- note the fork crown.
the light blue bike is more of the iconic
3V
I have two. One with the over the top "Barcelona" graphics. With the correct spelling of Los Angeles
I never knew much about the Masi models, but the reputation was always good. The idea of using investment cast lugs and oversize tubing seems like a good way to update a frame when steel frames were having a hard time competing with aluminum.
Still... the little rings where the lugs meet the tubes reminds me of the Raleigh Techniums, which is a bit unfortunate.
Those were definitely tough times for anyone trying to sell a premium steel frame!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-11-22, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I never knew much about the Masi models, but the reputation was always good. The idea of using investment cast lugs and oversize tubing seems like a good way to update a frame when steel frames were having a hard time competing with aluminum.
Still... the little rings where the lugs meet the tubes reminds me of the Raleigh Techniums, which is a bit unfortunate.
Those were definitely tough times for anyone trying to sell a premium steel frame!

Steve in Peoria
The Volumetrica was in production in 1981 and shown prior. Aluminum was around, but not dominant.
They sold really well, problem was Masi USA did not have access, and Masi Italy did not work out a distribution deal with Masi USA untill 1983
Took many more years to work out an expanded deal that allowed Masi USA to manufacture them.
It did become a challenge later, the Team 3V was a USA model, that reduced the mfg costs a bit, think fastback seat stays.
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Old 04-11-22, 04:19 PM
  #61  
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I wrote a bit about it here:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...ica-twist.html

"Many of you probably know that the Italian Masi was not supposed to be sold in the US because of the whole thing with Faliero selling the US rights to the Masi brand name. Things are a little more complicated than that. There are two famous models that are Alberto’s own “babies” – the Prestige and the 3Volumetrica. For a while in the mid 80ies there was collaboration between the Italian Masi and the US Masi - and the Italian 3Volumetrica, during this period, came to the US thru “official” channels. In 1988-9 though this stopped for some reason and US Masi started to produce their own 3V (and these were made both in the US and by a subcontractor in Italy). Alberto, who still wanted access to the US market, got around this by selling them under the brand name “Milano” - thru Greg Honn of Milano Sport, Greenwich, CT, starting in 1989."


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Old 04-11-22, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
I wrote a bit about it here:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...ica-twist.html

"Many of you probably know that the Italian Masi was not supposed to be sold in the US because of the whole thing with Faliero selling the US rights to the Masi brand name. Things are a little more complicated than that. There are two famous models that are Alberto’s own “babies” – the Prestige and the 3Volumetrica. For a while in the mid 80ies there was collaboration between the Italian Masi and the US Masi - and the Italian 3Volumetrica, during this period, came to the US thru “official” channels. In 1988-9 though this stopped for some reason and US Masi started to produce their own 3V (and these were made both in the US and by a subcontractor in Italy). Alberto, who still wanted access to the US market, got around this by selling them under the brand name “Milano” - thru Greg Honn of Milano Sport, Greenwich, CT, starting in 1989."


Falerio was still receiving royalties in the 90's so a reasonable guess that had something to do with it also.
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Old 04-12-22, 11:21 AM
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Steve in Peoria,
Thank you for scanning and posting these columns. They are a fantastic read! I'll be spending some time with this.
- Steve in Chelmsford
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Old 04-13-22, 11:07 AM
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Moorson Super Twin Tube
The 1938 British rule against putting the name of the bike builder, or the model, on the bike caused some interesting side effects. One of these were the unique frame configurations that allowed the bike to be identified in a photo. The Moorson could be identified by the dual tubes that replaced the usual single top and down tubes. While there wasn't any performance advantage, that hasn't stopped other manufacturers from picking up the idea from time to time. One that comes to mind is the Colnago Bi-titan



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Old 04-14-22, 07:43 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
Moorson Super Twin Tube
The 1938 British rule against putting the name of the bike builder, or the model, on the bike caused some interesting side effects. One of these were the unique frame configurations that allowed the bike to be identified in a photo. The Moorson could be identified by the dual tubes that replaced the usual single top and down tubes. While there wasn't any performance advantage, that hasn't stopped other manufacturers from picking up the idea from time to time. One that comes to mind is the Colnago Bi-titan



Steve in Peoria
the magic was all in that lower horizontal tube near the bottom bracket
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Old 04-14-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
the magic was all in that lower horizontal tube near the bottom bracket
Is this the key to providing lateral stiffness and vertical compliance?
Certainly, it's not as if someone can prove otherwise!

to be honest, when I saw that little horizontal tube, I assumed it was to make it easier to carry the bike up to a second story flat.

Personally, I'm a fan of this weird bit of British history and the side effects. I've got a Hetchins with "vibrant" stays (i.e. curly chain and seat stays). While I don't detect any extra flex, they do look kinda cool, and are great conversation starters. Oddly, Colnago has been prone to use weird frame design features, and they always struck me as gimmicky. I suppose I give the British brands more leeway because their claims to improved performance were made a long time ago?

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Old 04-14-22, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
Is this the key to providing lateral stiffness and vertical compliance?
Certainly, it's not as if someone can prove otherwise!

to be honest, when I saw that little horizontal tube, I assumed it was to make it easier to carry the bike up to a second story flat.

Personally, I'm a fan of this weird bit of British history and the side effects. I've got a Hetchins with "vibrant" stays (i.e. curly chain and seat stays). While I don't detect any extra flex, they do look kinda cool, and are great conversation starters. Oddly, Colnago has been prone to use weird frame design features, and they always struck me as gimmicky. I suppose I give the British brands more leeway because their claims to improved performance were made a long time ago?

Steve in Peoria
The British makers were attempting to market under a shroud of paint and no graphics, oh the Corinthians.
I agree that lower horizontal tube would be to have a easy hand hold.
Twin top tubes probably twist easier if an FEA program was use to evaluate, an argument could be made for the down tube(s) and seat tube(s)

Colnago was savvy for mfg cost reduction, stickers vs varnish fix transfers, Speed!, all chrome fork? no color matching of stock to size.
straight fork legs? better faster, cheaper and distinct. (but ugly).
Ernesto, smart showman with an eye to cost containment. I like by '73 Super, even that was simpler than the 1970 bikes.
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Old 04-17-22, 09:10 PM
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Pashley workbikes
Pashley, founded in 1927, is the last UK manufacturer of work bikes. This is a small part of the bike business, so there aren't a lot of incentives to design and sell a work bike. As a side note, Worksman is the last/only work bike manufacturer that I knew of in the USA. I've worked in two places that used Worksman bikes and trikes at their facility, which I thought was a nice way to get workers around the facility with heavy tools (usually) while being efficient and offering a bit of light exercise for the workers.




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Old 04-20-22, 03:00 PM
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The Raleigh Banana was part of the UK bike culture in the 80's, specific to the UK racing scene. The race bikes were made from Reynolds 753, built by the SBDU group. The replica Banana bikes that could be purchased by the public were made from 531C, though.




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Old 04-24-22, 09:15 PM
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Speedwell Titanium
The early days of titanium bikes makes most of us (in the USA) think of the Teledyne Titan, but in the UK, the Speedwell was exploring this new frontier.




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Old 04-25-22, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
Speedwell Titanium
The early days of titanium bikes makes most of us (in the USA) think of the Teledyne Titan, but in the UK, the Speedwell was exploring this new frontier.




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owner of the shop I worked for had one, via Bertin. Seat lug ear tore out. Finding a repair facility back then was slim and none. Bike was a flexible flyer. Lots of work to make that fork!

Teledyne for its part, added an external sleeve to the upper 3" of the seat tube- the seat stays were welded to that, a bit cleaner welds than the Speedwell. There was a German builder, speedbicycles.ch has an image set, that one had wild webs at the bottom bracket to help control flex.
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Old 04-26-22, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
owner of the shop I worked for had one, via Bertin. Seat lug ear tore out. Finding a repair facility back then was slim and none. Bike was a flexible flyer. Lots of work to make that fork!

Teledyne for its part, added an external sleeve to the upper 3" of the seat tube- the seat stays were welded to that, a bit cleaner welds than the Speedwell. There was a German builder, speedbicycles.ch has an image set, that one had wild webs at the bottom bracket to help control flex.
I didn't realize that any Speedwell frames made it to the US. A shame that the seat lug ear failed... did someone just throw a hose clamp over the top of the seat tube as a fix? Titanium forks are hard enough to make suitable stiff, especially when having to deal with dimensions that were developed for steel tubing. I can see the desire to market a fully ti frame and fork, though.

The Teledyne Titan was moderately successful, and as noted, did try to compensate for having to stick with standard dimensions. Bicycle Guide did a nice article on the development of the Teledyne frame. I'll post the first two pages. If there is interest, I'll post the remaining four pages.

Steve in Peoria



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Old 04-26-22, 09:42 AM
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Barry Harvey knew what was needed, (Harvey titanium was in Santa Monica) trouble was concern about market acceptance, a "welded" frame was looked down upon in the steel world.
If he had given himself the freedom of a straight leg fork, and under the bottom bracket cable routing, the only issue would have been with the shifter mounting.
Licked that and the downtube could have even been bigger.
But, was the market ready for such radical change in1974?
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Old 04-26-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Barry Harvey knew what was needed, (Harvey titanium was in Santa Monica) trouble was concern about market acceptance, a "welded" frame was looked down upon in the steel world.
If he had given himself the freedom of a straight leg fork, and under the bottom bracket cable routing, the only issue would have been with the shifter mounting.
Licked that and the downtube could have even been bigger.
But, was the market ready for such radical change in1974?
Were there braze-on brackets for front derailleurs back then?
I agree that the existing sense of aesthetics and conventions about what braze-ons were acceptable held back the design of titanium frames. I wonder how hard it would have been to get tubing that was a bit larger O.D.? I'll just assume that new tooling for drawing a different tubing size would have run into a fair bit of money.

On the subject of fat tube aesthetics, I'm reminded of the Klein ad in the January/February 1980 issue of Bicycling...



When I had scanned the magazine and put it onto Flickr, I shared it with the Classic Rendezvous crowd. Bob Freeman recognized the model..."Is that Jan Johnson in the Klein ad?", and Jim Merz replied with "Yes it is! Gary was still in San Martin when the photo shoot went down. The story I got was Gary wanted a large size frame in his ad so that the tubes looked more normal, and he wanted a female model. Jan fit the bill, what is she 6' 3" or so? "

Jan Johnson was the wife of the recently departed Peter Johnson, noted frame builder.

I was surprised that there was an intriguing back story behind such a mundane magazine advertisement!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-27-22, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
Were there braze-on brackets for front derailleurs back then?
I agree that the existing sense of aesthetics and conventions about what braze-ons were acceptable held back the design of titanium frames. I wonder how hard it would have been to get tubing that was a bit larger O.D.? I'll just assume that new tooling for drawing a different tubing size would have run into a fair bit of money.

On the subject of fat tube aesthetics, I'm reminded of the Klein ad in the January/February 1980 issue of Bicycling...



When I had scanned the magazine and put it onto Flickr, I shared it with the Classic Rendezvous crowd. Bob Freeman recognized the model..."Is that Jan Johnson in the Klein ad?", and Jim Merz replied with "Yes it is! Gary was still in San Martin when the photo shoot went down. The story I got was Gary wanted a large size frame in his ad so that the tubes looked more normal, and he wanted a female model. Jan fit the bill, what is she 6' 3" or so? "

Jan Johnson was the wife of the recently departed Peter Johnson, noted frame builder.

I was surprised that there was an intriguing back story behind such a mundane magazine advertisement!

Steve in Peoria
The Titan did have oversized top and downtubes. They were crimped down to 1 1/8" for typical parts, a compromise workaround.
Teledyne did a nice job of welding the seat lug ears, could/should have been possible to weld on shifter stops, However.
Teledyne got Shimano to tool up for the oversized top tube cable clips, they shipped with Shimano seat binder bolts and headsets, the launch advertising showed a Dura-Ace build, sans logos.
At the time the Dura-Ace shift levers used a unique connection, not Campagnolo standard, that alignment did not happen till the 7400 group.
Decisions were made.

The teledyne when the front brake was applied hard really changed fork rake, all the flex was above the curve. The forks were beefy, like 24mm diameter beefy at the top, but still flexed a significant amount.
I owned one, a bike that "planed" if one was at the right cadence going uphill.
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