[CR]NOW: Drillium WAS: Constructeurs/technical trials/drillium

(Example: Framebuilding:Brazing Technique)

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 00:01:01 -0700
From: "Chuck Schmidt" <chuckschmidt@earthlink.net>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
References: <a05010407bb0269824438@[]>
Subject: [CR]NOW: Drillium WAS: Constructeurs/technical trials/drillium

Jan Heine wrote in response to Ken Denny:
> (cut)
> I used the term "drillium" because that had been used in previous CR
> threads. Obviously, this is not an area where I am knowledgeable.

Kenny Denny wrote: (cut)
> >Regarding the popular fad of drilling out components. The over used
> >california-ism "Drillium" is a term that is way over used, and was
> >applied in an article that Frank Spivey wrote many years after the
> >trend was started by Masi and Cinelli in the mid 60's.
> >Faliero Masi once rationalized that it was not about "lightening"
> >)when asked why he drilled out Eddy Merckx's brake calipers), but
> >about cooling. In any case, I believe it is simple aesthetic
> >enhancement, with no redeeming lightening rationale, a real
> >machinist aesthetic if there ever was one.


Jan, the previous CR threads about "drillium" were mainly mine.

Ken refers to it as an "over used california-ism"? I had heard that he was irritated by my Peter Johnson bike with the Frank Spivey drillium parts winning Best of Show at last month's Le Cirque. Funny.

The practice of drilling parts actually dates back to at least the mid-1930s and undoubtedly predates that. The parts on Eddy Merckx's bike in the late 60s (not the mid-60s) were Frank Spivey's inspiration for the parts he started doing in the late 1960s.

Masi said the holes in Eddy's brake calipers were for cooling and not lightness according to Ken? Possibly something has been lost in the translation?

As I mentioned before, drillium (as practiced in California) was actually more about an obsession with one's bike and customizing the parts than it was about making the bike lighter.

Spivey never wrote any articles but he was among a group of people (including Peter Johnson) featured in a May '90 Bicycle Guide article by John Derven on the drilling phenomenon in the late 60s and early 1970s.

Here's the article from Mark Bulgier's web site/archive (great site HIGHLY RECOMMENDED): As Light As Air by John Derven: http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/MagazineArticles/AsLightAsAir_1.jpg http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/MagazineArticles/AsLightAsAir_2.jpg http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/MagazineArticles/AsLightAsAir_3.jpg http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/MagazineArticles/AsLightAsAir_4.jpg

Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, Southern California http://www.velo-retro.com (Drillium pictures on site)