If you'd been a member of the Bridgestone Owners Bunch or a subscriber to The Rivendell Reader, this phenomenon would be very familiar to you.
Grant Petersen of Rivendell had an article in one of his Rivendell Readers a while back that explained his version of the acceptance of short reach brakes as the standard, and reason that "normal" reach (57mm) nutted brakes were shunned by the major companies. According to Grant, there were folks racing crit bikes with track bike frame geometries in the late '70s and early '80s. These tight frames didn't have clearance for normal reach brakes, fenders or any other features found on "tourist" style bikes. Then, all the manufacturers started building crit style road bikes with short reach brakes. Whether anyone can identify specific examples that prove this theory I don't know, but it seems plausible.
Whatever the root cause, there are practically no production frames and damn few custom frames that allow both big tires and fenders with short reach brakes, and practically no one builds frames for normal reach brakes anymore, probably because the big S company and the big C company don't see a market demand sufficient to produce normal reach brakes. Vicious cycle here....
Personally, I think that the industry is too concerned in putting every cyclist into some neat little box, building high strung race bikes loaded with clicks and pops, heavy clunky hybrids, rad-dude mountain bikes, Supercross style kamikazee downhill sleds, and finally, a few mid-spec sport touring bikes. Okay, rant over.
It's pretty hard to beat the mindset that all of those advertising dollars cements into the heads of the buying public, so I doubt any of this is going to change anytime soon. So, stock up on the parts you want, normal reach brakes and all. We're not likely to see any new production of this kind of stuff.
I can't explain why you don't have fenders on any of your bikes, other than to say that fenders should be used, and if you do so, the bike will get dirty. You might need a bike that you don't care much about, one that fits normal reach brakes and fenders, and one that you'll ride in the rain and put away wet. Every rider needs a bike like this. The bike should fit well and be comfortable, none the less, because if you actually like the bike, you'll ride it.
> After a few days haunting eBay trying to find some spare stoppers for my
> flotilla, I was struck by how hard it is to find long reach nutted brakes
> and how many bikes I have that take them. Lets see: PX 10, Marinnoni,
> Raleigh Pro, Raleigh International, Trek 710, Cirrus 7 (rear only,
> replacement fork issues that I'm working on), 5.5 out of 8 bikes in the
> garage take long reach nutters, three of them originally with center pulls.
> So that makes my vintage brake nut factor 68.75 percent. I'm curious how
> the number runs for the group. Anyone with a higher percentage? No wonder
> I'm always scrounging for spare parts. And in this rainy season, why
> haven't I got a set of fenders on ONE of them?
> Is there any practical reason why short reach-recessed rules the world? The
> effects I know of are negative: no room for fenders and it's harder to
> mount a rear rack. Is there that much weight savings, or is there a
> functional difference? Or is it just style because short recessed is the
> "racer's edge"?
> Tom Adams, watching a set of Weinmanns in Kansas City