Re: [CR]concerning flutes--on seat-stay caps, that is

(Example: History:Norris Lockley)

Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 17:07:27 -0800
From: "Brian Baylis" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]concerning flutes--on seat-stay caps, that is
References: <>


Regarding fluted seat stay caps; you may be correct. Colnago may have been the first major Italian maker to routinely use fluted seat stay caps. There are two ways to do them. One method is the cast or machined "plug", which Colnago used in conjunction with the "double taper" seat stays. I prefer double taper stays and use them on most of my bikes. The smaller diameter produces a more graceful stay cap which also fits better on the seat lug. There are many ways to do them, from short like the older Colnagos up to a full or semi-wrap around stay; even while fluted. The other method of making a fluted stay cap is by cutting the proper miter on the end of the tube and then brazing on a stamped curved plate on it. Then it must be filed to the finished shape, which can be dangerous and is time consuming for sure. The curved plates were probably made by Cinelli, and I will explain why I think this. Cinelli also made the "plug" style ends to fit all diameters of stays; I think shortly after comming up with the plates.

Having wondered many times over the years about who came up with the first fluted stay cap, I used to think it was Masi. That was before I got my unpainted Montelatici frame last year. Since it came unpainted, I got to see what was there. I noticed that it was built using the exact same plates that are found on Masi GC's beginning in very late 1969. The Montelatici is probably from around 1972 or so and was built by Cinelli for Monte. Since Cinelli was already the maker of many bike related braze-ons and stamped parts, I suspect it was actually Cinelli who made the plates available and Masi was one of the first and few to use them. I heard at one time that Mario Confente (there's that name again) claimed to have "invented" the concave stay while working for Masi in Italy. I tend to disagree, but it is possible I suppose. Ordinarily when Masi had something made for himself, the deal was that the maker of the parts was forbidden to sell them to anyone else. Masi had that deal with Nervex regarding the cutout that appears in the DuBois lugs they used. The twin plate fork crown was made (by fischer) exclusivly for Masi because Masi was pissed that others, like DeRosa, were using simular crowns. Seems it was a sensitive issue with Faliero. So, I would be curious to know how far back the Colnagos had fluted caps. I hear a 1968 Colnago is lurking about somewhere in the US and when it surfaces, I want to check it out REAL good.

My favorite fluted cap is the one Chuck mentioned that some Hetchins have. I LOVE those. They are cast or machined plugs; I have two pairs in my stash. Would LOVE to have a few more. May make some someday to fit double taper stays; might be the ultimate cool stay treatment.

Fastback stays often leave me cold. Again, there are numerous ways to go about it. Many are not good, just saw one a few minutes ago at another painters' place that broke where it shouldn't have. Builders MUST be very careful to design fastbacks properly and not just for style or looks, because seat stays should never break or come off. There's so little stress there that if it brakes something was most assuredly wrong with the design, execution, or both. Seen it on many amature built frames, sorry to say. Probably one of the most common types of failiers on builders' early frames. Think longevity, people.

So who was first with the flutes? My vote is Colnago, but maybe someone else predates that. I want to know how far back Colnago frames go. Anyone know the beginnings and history of Colnago? I'm interested to know more. I'm just about saturated with Masi, although it will always remain dear to my heart.

Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA More rain. And I can't find my waterwings anywhere!

> This little thread about seat-stay caps got me thinking. Tell me another major italian frame in the 1960s that had the same delicate flutes in the seat-stay caps that Colnago Supers had. Did Ernesto start doing this before Masi did? Granted, Ernesto's caps were narrow, so the flutes are narrow, but quite pretty in their way. The earliest ones are quite short, and very pretty.
> Charles Andrews
> Los Angeles
> PS--apropos of this thread, someone once proposed that the fast-back seat-stays on later Pogliaghis were characteristic of the breed. I countered that, in fact, Pogliaghis had simple flat track-frame-style caps for most of the shop's existence, and it was only at the end the Sante started doing fast-back stays...maybe as a special order? Or as some kind of homage to Cinelli?