Re: [CR]One man's pinnacle is another man's pothole

(Example: Production Builders:Pogliaghi)

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 09:48:51 -0800 (PST)
From: "Tom Dalton" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]One man's pinnacle is another man's pothole
In-Reply-To: <000001c0b643$37b75640$333efea9@oemcomputer>

Well, it sounds like I'd better clarify my position on this weighty matter. I don't consider early C-record to be the pinnacle of the "classic era" In fact, I feel it was a sign of Campy's impending downfall. And yes, had Tullio been alive, it probably would have gone the same way. The point that I was making was that early C-record was functionally so similar to SR that to label it as revolutionary and the beginning of a new era is to mischaracterize its significance. The real significance arises from the fact that it was so damn similar to SR that it offered no benefits other than more comfy brake levers, and better (though less durable) shifters. And on the down side it was much less durable overall than SR-reduced. All this while Shimano had just introduced the 7400 Dura Ace with six speed (soon to be 7) indexing and casette hubs. Beyond those two truly important innovations, the 7400 group was based on SR/NR and more-or-less matched it in quality and durability. By the time Campy sorted out the breaking cranks, spoke-eater hubs and undersized bearings, Shimano was adding another (USEFUL) cog and prototyping STI. When a truly new C group was introduced in 1990, complete with indexing, slant parallelgram rear and casette (6-yrs after 7400) it had begun its ongoing quest to copy everything Shimano, and to do it in a way that doesn't allow for any degree of interchangability. The intro. of Ergo was a response, a few years late, to STI. A few years later still, it was a workable system. EXA is a glaring ripoff of HG/SGX, right down to the floating pulley. Someone should have been sued. I don't know how 10-speed is working out, but it seems like a pathetic attempt by Campy to be the first at something, no matter how questionable the utility.

For those who say that the Japanese are the world's great imitators, I point to Dura Ace 7400 and the Honda V-tec F-1 engines of the early post-turbo era.

Tom Dalton

--- KCTOMMY wrote:

> I tend to agree, although I prefer the aesthetics of
> NR or
> Stronglight/Simplex to C Record. A matter of taste,
> and there wasn't a
> tremendous difference in performance. As I said
> before, for me the pinnacle
> was when we developed light reliable clincher wheels
> and derailers that
> would handle serious climbing gears. The bikes then
> would do everything it
> was reasonable to expect of them.
> I suppose the issue with componentry is where to
> mark the crucial point when
> the "advancements" extract too high a cost from the
> rider. 8 speed cogs
> with the concomitant 130 mm rear ends and indexed
> shifting mark the end of
> the golden years for me. New aero wheel designs are
> rapidly rising on my
> list, too.
> Now it pains me to admit it, but Ergo does have it's
> uses. Great on a
> tandem where letting go of the bars is risky. And
> does everyone agree that
> brake lever shifting is an advantage for the serious
> racer? I seem to
> recall Davis Phinney saying the ability to shift to
> a bigger gear half way
> through the sprint safely with Ergo was the most
> significant equipment
> change he experienced in his carreer. A person with
> friction shift DT
> levers would be at a disadvantage. And if you like
> to ride with the most
> modern gear, ain't nothing wrong with that (but what
> are you doing on this
> list?:>) But I resent having my choices restricted
> when I consider the new
> tech a step backwards.
> There is a cost in complexity, weight, expense and
> reliability to the new
> stuff. The last time I looked (and it's been a
> while since I saw DT
> shifters featured by a retailer or a catalog), there
> was almost a 200 gram
> penalty in the brake lever/shifter combos as
> compared to regular levers and
> shifters. And you had to spend more for the heavier
> gear! Who was the US
> road racer at the Sydney Olympics who dropped out
> because she flatted, and
> her replacement wheel wouldn't index? There was no
> friction option that
> would have kept her in the race. Unless you are a
> serious racer, I question
> whether the ergo-STI stuff is "better" considered as
> a whole. Not to mention
> the planned obsolescence. Tried to buy Shimano 8
> speed STI shifters lately?
> And how reliable will 20 spoke wheels be on long
> rides? If you potato chip
> a wheel, can you jump up and down on the rim to
> reflatten it, do a rough
> true, flip open the infinite quick release on your
> campy brakes and ride her
> home? Heck, with the mega spoke tension on those
> boys, how soon before some
> one gets skewered by a broken spoke?
> But I try to not be a reactionary retro grouch. If
> new tech improves the
> riding experience, then use it. Helmets are much
> better now than 20 years
> ago. Has anyone else noticed remarkably improved
> performance from bar end
> shifters when used with no-flex STI cable housings?
> I had abandoned bar
> cons years ago because of the mushy shifting with
> the spriral steel
> housings: now I'm planning to convert several of my
> classic bikes over after
> getting a set of Dia Tech pods from Rivendell and
> fitting my touring rig
> with "do it yerself" bar cons (and yes, my growing
> girth and sore back that
> makes it harder to bend down to the down tube
> shifters is a factor :>).
> And I'm sure there are more innovations out there
> after 1980 that improve
> riding w/o compromising the integrity/reliability of
> a bike. But it's the
> unnecessary complexity that I feel the "industry" is
> trying to force upon me
> that makes me even more adamant about riding my "old
> fashioned" bikes.
> Friction forever!
> Tom Adams, in Kansas City
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bingham, Wayne <>
> To: 'CR' <>
> Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 3:22 PM
> Subject: [CR]One man's pinnacle is another man's
> pothole
> > Man, of course, is used in the human context, not
> the gender context. :)
> >
> > I believe most on this list would probably agree
> that the pinnacle of the
> > vintage lightweight era frame-wise is the
> hand-crafted, lugged frame
> > (despite the fact that the nuances of that can
> also be debated, probably
> > forever). So that leaves the components. Of
> course, in this area, there
> > are probably a lot of opinions that are influenced
> more by individual
> bias,
> > preference and taste than other factors. That
> said, I have to agree with
> > Wes and Tom (sorry Chuck) that the original
> C-Record components are the
> > pinnacle (described by Webster as the highest
> point of development or
> > achievement) of the lightweight era,
> component-wise. I've always wondered
> > why so many discussions end with Super Record. Is
> it the Campy time-line
> > thing? Or the ethereal 1985 cut-off date (sorry
> Dale)? C-Record was the
> > evolution of Campy's then-current component
> development, just prior to
> what
> > might be described as the RE-development era,
> which sort of started the
> > process all over again with somewhat new and
> different directions
> (indexing
> > et al). Of course, Campy didn't really get
> serious about indexing until
> > they made the move to the slant-parallelogram
> derailleur design sometime
> > later. The C-Record "Doppler" shifters were
> definitely the pinnacle of
> > friction shifter development. The C-Record
> component group, as a whole,
> > with Cobalto brakes, those great shifters (were
> they a year later?), that
> > beautiful shield-engraved rear derailleur, aero or
> non-aero cable routing
> > and integrated crankarm/chainring mounting bolt,
> was simply the high
> point -
> > pinnacle - of that development phase. Yes, there
> were some flaws - I'm
> > talking about the group as a coordinated,
> functional entity. It was the
> > best all-around group of components (functionally,
> ergonomically,
> visually)
> > I had experienced at the time (and I don't think
> I'm alone). Indeed, I
> > played with Campy's indexing system, as well as
> Shimano's (theirs worked,
> > Campy's didn't, at least not to my satisfaction),
> and lots of other bits
> and
> > pieces (many small gems there too), but I
> primarily rode that early Campy
> > C-Record stuff through all that. Worked great,
> looked great, was easy to
> > service and was reliable, at least for me (and a
> lot of others, it seems).
> > Didn't really make any change until I finally
> tried Campy's Ergo system
> > (that's right, blasphemy, but I'm never going
> back, not on what I ride
> > everyday). Anyway, I have to go with the early
> C-Record-as-pinnacle flow,
> > and I'll try and bring something so-equipped to
> the Cirque for
> > contemplation.
> >
> > Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be
> wrong.
> >
> > I guess that's more then two cents worth.....
> >
> > Wayne Bingham
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Classicrendezvous mailing list
> >
> === message truncated ===

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