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when did recessing brake bolts become a thing? and more...

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when did recessing brake bolts become a thing? and more...

Old 11-28-23, 12:08 PM
  #1  
Robvolz 
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when did recessing brake bolts become a thing? and more...

It's helpful to know certain things when trying to date a bike.

Like:
what year did bolt on front derailleurs begin?
when did top tube cable guides begin?
When did braze-on shift bosses begin?
When did cables go from on-top the BB to below?
and
when did recessed bolts for brakes begin??

Thanks
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Old 11-28-23, 12:15 PM
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From what I have seen it will all be a range of years varying by region, manufacturer, and whether builder was in good mood or not that day
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Old 11-28-23, 12:50 PM
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Old 11-28-23, 01:55 PM
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none of those catalogs actually list recessed brake bolt

Which is really my main question

Last edited by Robvolz; 11-28-23 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:08 PM
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1983 is when I see recessed brake bolts appearing. its around there anyway. i suspect it spans some years.

probably the "higher end" models got them first as they were getting the newest brake tech.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:43 PM
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My 1978 Eisentraut has neither recessed brake bolts nor brazed-on rear brake cable guides. My 1982ish Ron Cooper has both. I'm certain about the date of the Eisentraut (his serial numbers are date-certain), less so the Cooper, but I'm pretty sure I'm not off by more than a year one year or the other.

Hardly a definitive answer, but a couple data points for you.

One more data point: I just went back through an old "Show you Ron Cooper" thread and found a link to Flickr album showing off a 1982 Cooper (definite on the date) that also had cable guides and recessed brake bolts. So there you go.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:49 PM
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Um, isn't it the nut that's recessed/exposed?

Definitely a function of both time and quality level of bike. Earliest bike I have with recessed nuts (both) is an '82 Trek 730. My '82 412 has both exposed. My mid-'80s mid-level bikes have a mix, recessed front and exposed rear. By the late '80s, they seem to have moved to recessed front and rear. I'm sure there are exceptions.
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Old 11-28-23, 03:07 PM
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It was a transition.

I have found a 1975 Carlsbad Masi with recessed attachments- serial number points to Mid Summer of that year, for the End of year show season, frame was originally just clear coated.
it would be years before Masi would make them production.
Even the two bikes Mario built for the couple who designed his USA graphics did not get that feature.

The Confente USA bikes came with recessed brake attachment from the get go, later 1976, Mario got the fasteners out of Italy.

Aside from a probable 1973 Ritchey I have examined that had the fork so set up, not the rear bridge, it would take a few years.

Masi took another five years to show up on series bikes and not till 1984 (give or take a year - think product on the shelf ) for Campagnolo to make it an attachment option.
prior to that, it was up to the mechanic to swap the pivot bolts and add threads to what would become the rear brake bolt.

we tore up a lot of tapping dies, I could extend the die life by taking a belt sander to the chrome prior to running the die.

for a while frame sets out of Italy in the early 80’s came with the recessed nuts to fit- they were not a standalone parts stock.
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Old 11-28-23, 03:21 PM
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Recessed mounting had definitely trickled down to mid-range bikes by the mid-1980s. Like just about everything else, there’s probably an example from 100 years ago.
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Old 11-28-23, 04:24 PM
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I remember seeing a rear recessed brake attaching bolt on a brake bridge for the 1st time in August of 1976 on a Mario Confente frame. I had a cousin that owned Raincross Cyclery in Riverside, CA and he brought some pro rider's (I forget who he was) Confent to me to see if I could do the same thing on frames I made. I'm not where I can check on my build sheets to see when I started putting recessed brake bridges on my own frames. I believe I first did it in 1978. I didn't do any of the machining of the rear brake bridge myself, I bought them from framebuilder suppliers. Silva or a similar company made them in 2 parts, the bridge itself and a barrel shaped cross piece that held the brake bolt. These 2 pieces had to be brazed together. Cinelli offered rear brake bridges for recessed bolts that also came in 2 parts but the 2nd part was a kind of brass washer that pressed into the bridge. A brake's star washer went against this brass piece. These could be a problem because the brass piece could get lost.

Here is a picture of a frame I know I finished in early 1979 but probably started in late 1978. I can see I brazed the Cinelli recessed rear brake bridge on it. Recessing the fork is just a matter of machining it with my vertical mill. These pictures were taken about 2 years ago when this frame was gifted back to me so I could repaint and resell it to use the proceeds for our Ukraine Bicycle Project. This was just at the start of the Russian invasion so the money went to Ukraine for a worthy cause.

Recessed brake bolts would have coincided with Campy's introduction of its short reach brake. They changed from 47/57 to shorter 40/50? I don't remember precisely when this was and what was the new length. What I do remember is that I sometimes had to use the rear brake with its shorter bolt in front and then cut and thread the front brake to match the length of the recessed brake bridge in back.

Obviously when the parts to make these changes first became available and when custom frame builders and production companies started to use them could stretch over several years.


This frame I made with Henry James lugs and a Cinelli fork crown. I can see I recessed the fork crown to accept the front brake bolt.

I put it on my Ukrainian frame fixture to verify its dimensions.

This is after a fresh repaint. The recessed brake bridge is visible in this picture.
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Old 11-28-23, 04:47 PM
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I like the non-rescessed look better myself.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:30 PM
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The piccolo brake calipers started in 1974 by what I saw, adjuster barrel was not to be seen again till years later on the G.S. Series calipers, it is the one with the cone top and perimeter knurling. Now you know the why of the little black bumper on the front caliper arm.

to buy them one had to buy a complete DeRosa.

stuff like this happened later too, I saw a Cinelli frame set in the window of a shop, the bike shipped with Ergo 9 speed- a well heeled customer bought the Cinelli just for the group.
the rich are not like you and me.
frame set was then on consignment.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:36 PM
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Another data point, 1980 Merz, 753 tubing, with recessed brakes. Recall claims that Peter Johnson, master craft low volume builder in the SF Bay Peninsula, was one of the first to make frames with recessed brake bolts. I don't recall the year claimed, perhaps someone knows or has a reference.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by VRJAKE
Another data point, 1980 Merz, 753 tubing, with recessed brakes. Recall claims that Peter Johnson, master craft low volume builder in the SF Bay Peninsula, was one of the first to make frames with recessed brake bolts. I don't recall the year claimed, perhaps someone knows or has a reference.
As Peter knew Tom Ritchey- who knows who was first. Creative guys.

prior to this a few Italian makers were brazing pivot bolts into frames and forks. Blacksmith centering required of the spring. A special customer or special team bike thing.
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Old 11-28-23, 06:00 PM
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I would have put it a little later- from my uninformed guesswork- I'd have figured it kind of tied together with the "aero" trend @1981 or so...
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Old 11-28-23, 06:05 PM
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A quick look at my Merz build sheets shows May 1977 as the first mention of recessed brake bolts. The comment is "Zues bolt for brakes". I remember that Zues had these recessed brake nuts first, in the USA anyway. Jim Merz
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Old 11-28-23, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
what year did bolt on front derailleurs begin?
Don't know, but, the 1979 Pinarello Catalog shows the Prestige model with a bolt on front derailleur. No tab, just bolted to the seat tube like you would bolt on a bottle cage.

There's a better picture somewhere, but here's one: https://velo67.ch/products/pinarello

Velobase lists the 1052 Super Record as the first Campy FD for braze-on tab in 1979...although the model was available through to 1987, so not sure when the braze-on was introduced: https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...m=113&AbsPos=6

Velobase lists the Shimano EA-200 Dura-Ace EX FD with a braze-on option: https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...=113&AbsPos=50 and the FD-7210 Dura-Ace EX as braze-on only: https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...=113&AbsPos=53 both introduced in 1978.

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Old 11-28-23, 07:51 PM
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79-80 on higher end stuff 84-85 on cheaper stuff.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:59 PM
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Mid level observation. 1984 Raleigh Gran Prix and 1987 Trek 400 both nutted rear, recessed front. 91 Trek 400 both recessed.
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Old 11-28-23, 08:02 PM
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Proof that these nuts were around before 1977

Originally Posted by zukahn1
79-80 on higher end stuff 84-85 on cheaper stuff.
Did you even look at my post with my build sheet? Zues was selling the resessed brake nuts before 1977, when I built this bike.
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Old 11-28-23, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20
There's a better picture somewhere, but here's one: https://velo67.ch/products/pinarello
Better pictures - looks like a variant of the Record 1052/NT:





From here: https://vintagevelore-cycling.com/pi...e-columbus-kl/

This 1979 Marco Marastoni is interesting:

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Old 11-28-23, 08:50 PM
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Interesting points on quality of frame mentioned by madpogue on his 82 trek 736 having recessed. My year later 700 also in full 531 is nutted Superbe brakes. Same year 760 also in full 531 however is in recessed in Superbe Pro. Perhaps it is also as Doug Fattic mentioned with the early Campy stuff, and also when the components were available. Chicken vs egg thing along with builder preference. On my nutted 83 700, perhaps the mid reach Superbe brakes were only nutted at that time.
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Old 11-28-23, 10:53 PM
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It’d be interesting to see examples of recessed front/nutted rear brakes at the catalogue. I suspect this mismatch more often arises from a replacement fork over the ensuing 40 years than original spec.

Not completely unrelated to this thread is that in the late 60s and/or early 70s Bianchi built several frames for Felice Gimondi, and no doubt others, with integrated brake centre bolts, so neither recessed nor exposed brake nuts visible on the off side of the crown or brake bridge.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Portlandjim

A quick look at my Merz build sheets shows May 1977 as the first mention of recessed brake bolts. The comment is "Zues bolt for brakes". I remember that Zues had these recessed brake nuts first, in the USA anyway. Jim Merz
Zeus importation and distribution was just so haphazard, little product marketing, Joe Kossack obtained a sponsorship for the QRBC, and I think had a hand in the distribution, the new club was aptly named as the initial riders were recruited from other SoCal clubs in 1975 for 1976 onward. Back then a club had to exist for a year before it could have a sponsor. A bit of creative bookkeeping and paying of fees, a
“paper” club got things done. Ever wonder how the East Coast clubs dominated the board of the sanctioning body? Back then voting weight for the Board was based on total club membership, pay the rider fees, get more votes.
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Old 11-29-23, 01:48 AM
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This sounded so wrong that I had to go out to the garage to double check, but my 1973 Raleigh Professional has recessed brakes front and rear.





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