Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

When were safety levers introduced?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

When were safety levers introduced?

Old 04-25-21, 06:53 AM
  #1  
Chuck M 
Well Oiled
Thread Starter
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 401

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 284 Times in 143 Posts
When were safety levers introduced?

There is a Peugeot being advertised locally as a 1968. The seller has one poor non drive side picture of what looks to me to be a late '70s entry level bike which I'm fine with. Cottered crank, Cat-Eye reflectors and of course safety levers. I like bike boom bikes and this looks to be in nice survivor condition if the saddle has a gel cover instead of a gel seat. Long story short, before I insult the guy offering him quite a bit less that the $100 he is asking, I think the safety levers are the best thing to try to date the bike by from his picture. I was thinking safety levers were a late '70s early '80s thing but on the slim to none chance they were around in the late '60s, I thought I'd ask here first.
__________________
Chuck M is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 07:09 AM
  #2  
Mr. 66
Senior Member
 
Mr. 66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,784
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 551 Post(s)
Liked 438 Times in 299 Posts
What's a bike safety lever?
Mr. 66 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 07:10 AM
  #3  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 7,912

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400, 2013 Novara Randonee, 1990 Trek 970

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1702 Post(s)
Liked 1,344 Times in 868 Posts
Show up in the 1969 Schwinn catalog.
​​​​​​https://bikehistory.org/catalogs/1969.html
dedhed is online now  
Likes For dedhed:
Old 04-25-21, 07:14 AM
  #4  
thinktubes 
weapons-grade bolognium
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 5,620

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 726 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 460 Posts
I recall seeing them appear in the early 70's
thinktubes is online now  
Likes For thinktubes:
Old 04-25-21, 07:28 AM
  #5  
Chuck M 
Well Oiled
Thread Starter
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 401

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 284 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Show up in the 1969 Schwinn catalog.
​​​​​​https://bikehistory.org/catalogs/1969.html
Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
I recall seeing them appear in the early 70's
Hmmm. Makes sense that they would have been around before becoming prevalent in the later '70s.

While the reflectors still seem to date the bike later rather than earlier, I may have to arrange to look at the bike. I've overpaid for a bike boom survivor before. Thanks
__________________
Chuck M is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 07:33 AM
  #6  
Mr. 66
Senior Member
 
Mr. 66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,784
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 551 Post(s)
Liked 438 Times in 299 Posts
I called those suicide as kid, if you are talking dual pull brake levers.
Mr. 66 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 07:37 AM
  #7  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 26,620

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1569 Post(s)
Liked 1,822 Times in 1,051 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
What's a bike safety lever?
These things, also known as turkey wings. They bend heavily when used and barely work.

The brake manufacturers probably came up with this first, but the acceptance of the term "safety lever" is just (another) boondoggle from safety nannies busying themselves with bicycle-related matters they don't understand and shouldn't have screwed with.



The only safe alternative to this came about when the cyclocross interrupter lever was invented.

-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 07:46 AM
  #8  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 16,107
Mentioned: 109 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1959 Post(s)
Liked 798 Times in 618 Posts
Yep, 1969 as I recall admiring bikes at the Schwinn Shop, might have been a 1970 model thing. One could reference the Schwinn consumer catalogs... with prices as Schwinn was “fair traded”

Peugeot was late to make them standard. Like 1977. And their solution had less slop in the system. Prior to that while working at a bike shop in the 70’s, bike retailers loved to be able to add them on as an accessory- there were a few different suppliers of custom pivot pins that accepted Weinmann or Dia-Compe “comfort” levers, we never called them safety levers.

we could make the exchange really quick two drift punches, two hammers, one to buck up the lever from twisting- required a second mechanic for all of a minute. The new pivot was retained with a belvel spring clip.
xtra profit at the time of sale... kickstand, lock, saddle bag... if lucky, shorty fenders and a generator light! The lights and racks were popular during the second gas crisis in Spring 1979.
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 04-25-21, 08:05 AM
  #9  
big chainring 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmette, IL
Posts: 7,032
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Liked 402 Times in 210 Posts
I think after the Consumer Safety regulations came into effect 1974? I think, most entry level bikes had the "safety levers' along with a whole slew of reflectors. Thats generally my cutoff date for bikes that I ride. Chaingaurds on the chainwheels, pie plates, turkey levers, reflectors, etc. YUCK!
big chainring is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 08:59 AM
  #10  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 4,550
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1197 Post(s)
Liked 640 Times in 413 Posts
My 1972 Peugeot UO8 did not have "safety levers". However, many people did add them afterward
alcjphil is online now  
Old 04-25-21, 09:23 AM
  #11  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 26,620

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1569 Post(s)
Liked 1,822 Times in 1,051 Posts
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I think after the Consumer Safety regulations came into effect 1974? I think, most entry level bikes had the "safety levers' along with a whole slew of reflectors. Thats generally my cutoff date for bikes that I ride. Chaingaurds on the chainwheels, pie plates, turkey levers, reflectors, etc. YUCK!
Not if a 1969 Schwinn catalog has them - which, currently, is the earliest example provided yet.

If anything, they pre-date any FDA or CPSC decision. The CPSC reflector safety theater in 1977 was partially influenced by the BMA/6. Pedal reflectors pre-dated that, but I can't pinpoint a date; seems to have happened around 1969/70.

-Kurt
__________________








Last edited by cudak888; 04-25-21 at 09:31 AM.
cudak888 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 10:09 AM
  #12  
big chainring 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmette, IL
Posts: 7,032
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Liked 402 Times in 210 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Not if a 1969 Schwinn catalog has them - which, currently, is the earliest example provided yet.

If anything, they pre-date any FDA or CPSC decision. The CPSC reflector safety theater in 1977 was partially influenced by the BMA/6. Pedal reflectors pre-dated that, but I can't pinpoint a date; seems to have happened around 1969/70.

-Kurt
Yes Schwinn had safety levers early on. Imported bikes did not. By '74 most entry level bikes domestic and import had them.

An example would be the Raleigh Grand Prix US spec bikes. '73 - no safety levers or pedal reflectors and then in '74 safety levers and pedal reflectors.
big chainring is offline  
Likes For big chainring:
Old 04-25-21, 10:58 AM
  #13  
non-fixie 
Shifting is fun!
 
non-fixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 9,704

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 243 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1707 Post(s)
Liked 1,729 Times in 844 Posts
They were introduced in Europe in the late sixties, I believe, on touring bikes. They add the benefits of the Guidonnet levers, which were popular in France, to the traditional drop bar levers. They appeared here on pretty much all demi-course machines in the early seventies.

The Weinmann version, and with that the Dia Compe and early Shimano copies, would flex a lot, which kind of ruined an otherwise good concept. The CLB versions, which used a secondary lever with a T-profile, flexed less and were nicer. Shimano and Altenburger later made versions with secondary levers made from steel plate, which - finally - worked the way they should.

However, like the others, they still rely on the right handlebar shape and being mounted at the correct angle. I spent a lot of time last year trying out various levers, bars and mounting positions, but I did come up with a combination that works really well.

WIN "Winpista" handlebars with Shimano DEL-80 levers. I say they work even better from the tops than from the drops:

__________________
The Upsetter is gone ... too late to check him out








non-fixie is offline  
Likes For non-fixie:
Old 04-25-21, 12:32 PM
  #14  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,917
Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2291 Post(s)
Liked 1,498 Times in 683 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Pedal reflectors pre-dated that, but I can't pinpoint a date; seems to have happened around 1969/70.

-Kurt
I have some mid-late 50s Wippermann pedals with reflectors.
iab is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 12:55 PM
  #15  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 16,107
Mentioned: 109 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1959 Post(s)
Liked 798 Times in 618 Posts
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I think after the Consumer Safety regulations came into effect 1974? I think, most entry level bikes had the "safety levers' along with a whole slew of reflectors. Thats generally my cutoff date for bikes that I ride. Chaingaurds on the chainwheels, pie plates, turkey levers, reflectors, etc. YUCK!
CPSC announced in 1974, did not get solidified till 1975, implemented in 1976.
Comfort levers were NOT part of the CPSC regs.
But the ball end to them was.
repechage is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 01:49 PM
  #16  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,617
Mentioned: 569 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4033 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,581 Times in 1,136 Posts
Nubuo Ozaki, assignor to Yoshigai Kikai Kinzoku (Dia-Compe) filed the USA patent application for their brake safety level in October 1966 and it was granted in October 1968. The patent may have been filed slightly earlier in Japan.
T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 04-25-21, 02:56 PM
  #17  
nlerner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 14,645
Mentioned: 361 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2381 Post(s)
Liked 2,225 Times in 1,101 Posts
I’d guess some engineer had a guidonnet lever in one hand and a drop bar lever in the other, and said, “Why not?”
nlerner is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 02:57 PM
  #18  
non-fixie 
Shifting is fun!
 
non-fixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 9,704

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 243 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1707 Post(s)
Liked 1,729 Times in 844 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Nubuo Ozaki, assignor to Yoshigai Kikai Kinzoku (Dia-Compe) filed the USA patent application for their brake safety level in October 1966 and it was granted in October 1968. The patent may have been filed slightly earlier in Japan.
Thank you! I thought it was a Weinmann design. Apparently it wasn't.
__________________
The Upsetter is gone ... too late to check him out








non-fixie is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 03:27 PM
  #19  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,617
Mentioned: 569 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4033 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,581 Times in 1,136 Posts
Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Thank you! I thought it was a Weinmann design. Apparently it wasn't.
It's always been my understanding that Weinmann wanted the safety lever and that it resulted in a reciprocal technology exchange between the two companies. However, I also thought this took place in 1963. There are reportedly 1964 Japanese catalogs with products labelled as Dia-Weinmann (see attached). So, maybe the levers date back slightly further in Japan or maybe they weren't the reason behind the relationship between the two companies.

T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 04-25-21, 05:44 PM
  #20  
Chuck M 
Well Oiled
Thread Starter
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 401

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 284 Times in 143 Posts
Someone I know messaged me about this bike this afternoon and he too was wondering how the seller determined the vintage. He has messaged the seller for more pictures of the brakes and derailleurs. I'm thinking if they are European and not Japanese, this may be a more interesting bike. If they are Japanese, less interesting but not enough to make me lose interest. However I hope he can get the bike before me, I'm beginning to agree with my wife that I don't need it. But we don't always agree on everything.
__________________
Chuck M is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 06:01 PM
  #21  
Chuck M 
Well Oiled
Thread Starter
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 401

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 284 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Chaingaurds on the chainwheels, pie plates, turkey levers, reflectors, etc. YUCK!
I think these are the things I like about survivor condition bikes. Things that got tossed frequently surviving on the bike for 40 years is kind of neat to me.

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
CPSC announced in 1974, did not get solidified till 1975, implemented in 1976.
Comfort levers were NOT part of the CPSC regs.
But the ball end to them was.
This makes sense to me. Many old catalogs I've seen have bikes with and without safety levers, I don't see how some bikes could be sold with them yet others not. However it is also in line with the feeling many have with the quality tier associated with them.

Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
I had one bike that had Shimano aluminum turkey wings, and they worked well.
The Weinmann, DiaCompe and SunTour didn't.
I have some Dia-Compe safety levers on one of my bikes and adjusted properly the work well enough. But the cheap ten speeds I had as a kid from the hardware and department stores had levers that pretty much flopped around like chickens with their heads cut off.
__________________
Chuck M is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 06:36 PM
  #22  
top506
Death fork? Naaaah!!
 
top506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: The other Maine, north of RT 2
Posts: 4,995

Bikes: Seriously downsizing.

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 213 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
I have some Dia-Compe safety levers on one of my bikes and adjusted properly the work well enough. But the cheap ten speeds I had as a kid from the hardware and department stores had levers that pretty much flopped around like chickens with their heads cut off.

This.
Set up they work fine.

Top
__________________
You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
top506 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 08:58 PM
  #23  
Feldman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
These things, also known as turkey wings. They bend heavily when used and barely work.

The brake manufacturers probably came up with this first, but the acceptance of the term "safety lever" is just (another) boondoggle from safety nannies busying themselves with bicycle-related matters they don't understand and shouldn't have screwed with.



The only safe alternative to this came about when the cyclocross interrupter lever was invented.

-Kurt
And the precursor--guidonnet levers.
Feldman is offline  
Old 04-26-21, 05:23 AM
  #24  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,617
Mentioned: 569 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4033 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,581 Times in 1,136 Posts
I've told this story numerous times before. The boom era Sekine came into our shop with factory wrapped handlebars and jig positioned brake levers. We loved this, as It saved a lot of time. However, more importantly, it optimized braking performance. As a result, Sekine had the best brake performance from the safety levers, out of all the brands that we carried.
T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 04-26-21, 09:10 AM
  #25  
genejockey 
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 6,729

Bikes: Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3398 Post(s)
Liked 3,609 Times in 1,821 Posts
I remember how proud I was when I put a pair of those safety levers on my Ten Speed back in 1973. That and stem-mounted shifter levers. IIRC, I even got a set of centerpull brakes!
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."
genejockey is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.