Wayne Bingham says:
>3. How popular was colored housing in the 70's and early 80's on
>high-end built bikes? If Masis and Confentes and others were using the
>smaller guides, how were the owners building up the bikes? Was
>color-coordinated housing popular? I seem to remember black and then a
>wave of white in the early/mid 80's. Not counting all the white used on
>the 70's Raleighs and the like, more interested in the custom build-ups.
>Were a lot of colors being used?
There was a lot of it available, in a rainbow of colors as was cotton bar tape. My Trek 6XX (a reasonably high end, hand built roadbike), purchased new from Palo Alto bicycles in 1980, came with black, but got purple housing to go with the purple bar tape.
I remember PAB had pretty large variety of colored housing. Now admittedly, this was Palo Alto (home of the Grateful Dead!) in the late 70s, early 80s, but I remember buying other colors at other shops for other bikes in that time period too.
Just to substantiate that, the shop I work at now sold high end road bikes back then, and since we are The Shop That Throws Nothing Away, we have a box on the parts wall with a bunch of pieces of housing in orange, brown, two shades of red and pink, as well as other colors like yellow and a blue I've never seen before. I have no idea where these came from.
Still, you can check a supplier like QBP, which only carries stuff that sells pretty well, and find more common colors like red and yellow. You just have to buy a lot of it.
As for who was using colored housing, I remember it (where do you think I got the idea anyway?) on various high test bikes on Western Wheeler's rides in the late 70s/early 80s. I think that group of people, in that location, at that time, had a fairly high proportion of nicer, imported or one off bikes.
I cannot speak to diameter, never having anything quite that rare back then that didn't take the standard diameter housing that came from the bike shop, but I know for sure, that people used housing to customize the look of their bikes. And as we all know, people took stock bikes and made many changes to modify them to their liking.
I suspect aero levers ruined all of that anyway... sigh...
Ann Phillips, Decatur GA