[CR]RE: fenders, brakes, etc

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Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 15:17:05 -0700
From: "Richard G. Elmendorf" <Elmendor@uwyo.edu>
To: "'classicrendezvous@bikelist.org'" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]RE: fenders, brakes, etc


I have been lurking here for a while, and this discussion about old racing bikes with clearance for fat tires and fenders, along with having long-reach brakes and eyelets has me questioning my age and recollections.

I first got into bikes in 1970, and I wasn't exposed to a wealth of racing bikes. But there were Raleigh Pros, Paramounts, Motobecanes, Gitanes, Louison Bobets around. I don't recall any of those racing models that had much clearance, none were had fender eyelets. In fact at that time, all racing bikes had tubular tires because the only clinchers were heavy 27 in. jobs. There weren't even many, if any, lightweight alloy clincher rims.

My first good bike was a Raleigh Pro, bought NOS in 1977. It was grey and black and had fastback seatstays. I think it was about 1974 vintage. This bike had clearance for wide tires, but didn't have any eyelets. I bought the Blackburn gizmos that fit in the rear dropout in order to use a rack. It was a good bike, but fitting fenders would have been a chore, if possible. A couple years after I bought it, it developed rust on the bottom of the downtube. I took it to a frame builder (Greg ?Hartranft, in Boston. I'm not sure of his first name). He said I should send the frame back because it was someething called filoform? corrosion. I did, and Raleigh gave me a new frame. This was the light blue 1977 frame. I'm still riding this bike. At any rate, this 1977 frame is nicer that the older one in that it has more brazeons, but not as good in that it has no tire clearance, especially in the rear. The brake bridge is too low. It also doesn't have any eyelets.

So, I guess that my point is that some older bikes did have room for larger tires, and had longer reach brakes. But I have never seen one set up to mount fenders on. Furthermore, using tubulars with fenders is an invitation to flats because you can't wipe off the tires. I also think that Grant Petersen's recollection of the old days as being full of versatile racing bikes with wide-range gearing and great shifting is a little off the mark. Sort of like saying that you can break in a Brooks Pro in 100 miles :).

Dick Elmendorf