Jerry Moos wrote:
I would say some of the most important items which led to the decline of classic bikes (in roughly the order of importance) were:
<snip> 2) Gary Klein. He demonstrated that an aluminum frame can be made stiff as well as light by using larger diameter tubes. He also dispensed with lugs and TIG welded the frames, leading to the current dominant design of TIG welded oversized tube aluminum frames.
This is only marginally on topic, so if you have better info, please send it off-list. I do not believe that Gary Klein, who makes beautiful bikes, should be credited with the "invention" of the fat tube aluminum frame. These were a "standard" MIT student shop project at one point. Indeed, I remember a student coming to me at Princeton, because he had mistakenly welded the wrong chain stay to the wrong side. I couldn't help him. Gary was awarded a patent. There was a fight over it later with Cannondale, and I believe they reached a settlement.
The Cannondale story, as I recall it, starts with Cannondale as a niche mfg. of "soft" products like panniers. A young engineer from the Electric Boat Company (submarines, New London (?), CT) dropped by one day, with sketches for what became the C'dale bike frameset. They hired him, and learned to manufacture it. And, to their credit, although they have made mistakes, they have plowed cash back into improved designs (tapered tubes) and better manufacturing processes. Early on, they even had an all-Campy (Super-Record, as I recall) model. Now, back to our program...