Peter Kohler wrote:
Again, so much of Euro cycle sports is about the riders and personalities,
it's sometimes hard to find out about the bikes. There must be four gorgeous
books out recently on the Tour de France. Not a single one, not one, has
anything to say about the machines. For
>example, how many tours were won with Simplex components? How many with
Daniel Rebour chronicled in Le Cycle what the riders rode in the Tour every year. The next issue of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly will cover the 1963 Tour, with the bikes of the winner Anquetil, the King of the Mountains Bahamontes and the green jersey winner van Looy. An ad says that 90-something of the riders rode (read: were sponsored by) Campagnolo. The Simplex and Stronglight ads strain to find something they won, like "best French regional team rider" and stuff like that.
The year before (1962), it was the opposite, with Campy only on a few winning bikes, and Stronglight and the other French out in force.
Also, VBQ Vol. 2, No. 2 shows Koblet's 1951 Tour-winning bike in detail. And more is planned for the future.
One of the reasons VBQ exists is that this info isn't presented
elsewhere. As you say, we get glossy stories of human exploits, some
more accurate than others, but the bikes are forgotten.
>Whilst on the subject, who was the first to introduce a popular and
>successful alloy chainset? The British seemed loathe to do so, preferring
>to shave off steel ones to such close tolerances as to be fracture-prone or
>at least the RRA ones were.
>Washington DC USA
Check the archives - when we talked about when the square taper cranks were developed. Stronglight introduced their 49D cranks in 1932, and I would argue that most modern cranks descend from that. It was a popular model, so popular that other makers of alloy cranks (Herse, then Campagnolo, then TA, with probably a few others in between) adopted the same or at least a very similar taper. But alloy cranks probably existed before. And cottered alloy cranks also existed in the 1940s, plus the rather peculiar first TA model with the pear-shaped (sort of) axle. -- Jan Heine, Seattle Editor/Publisher Vintage Bicycle Quarterly http://www.mindspring.com/~heine/bikesite/bikesite/