[CR]re: some favorite parts.

Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 21:17:22 -0400
From: HM & SS Sachs <sachs@erols.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]re: some favorite parts.

First, I love elegance in cranks, where it can be found in abundance: --> the hollow, tapered, octagonal, DuPrat 5-pin steel cottered, which weighs just 3 gm more than the TA alloy version. --> The Magistroni and Stronglight cottered steel 3-pin, and especially the slender, steel Campy cotterless "Gran Sport" with alloy rings. --> The aluminum Stronglight type 63, with slender arms like 49d/57, but web and drilling like 93.

For derailleurs, the "steel" Campy Record and parallelogram front. The former was a real break from the Gran Sport of the 50s, with asymetrical cage hanger, and tremendously robust. The latter was sooo much better than the plunger Campy and Simplex, or even the parallelogram Huret. Easy to mount, easy to adjust...just didn't last very long until they beefed it up with the circlip etc.

As gruppos, there are two that I'm grateful to have: the preWar Paramount tops my list. Incredible 3-piece hubs, with cups machined into the barrels, tall flanges gracefully thin, and floating "vacuum-fit" cones on countersunk axles. The beefy 3-arm cranks, which had only 2 arms and the third chainring bolt attached to the crank arm. The other gruppo is one I had not ridden until 2 years ago, but have come to respect greatly: the first gen. Dura-Ace. Bought it at the same time as a near-matched bike with late Campy NR. Cranks are prettier (IMHO) and the brakes work much more nicely. The shifting is much more positive than Campy NR, and seems to have much less of an overshift requirement. We're not even talking about such weirdos as the AX aero hubs...

For on-topic pedals, I have to look beyond my sentimental favorites (Lyotard Berthet, for modest price and great design but poor durability; and Campy Record, for being such a workhorse) and grab great execution but imitative design: the superb Suntour Superbe Pro. Imitated the "Rochester" (whatever its name was) and the Weyless, but flawlessly executed, with interchangeable cages and sealed bearings, and a well-balanced design that could be easily flipped up to catch the toe clip.

Suntour, CycloPans, and even TDC freewheels whose spline-fit cogs freed you from the tyrrany of the Regina cog board with its infinite selection of 7 or more different threaded cog types (for only 5 gears!)? Maintainable, relatively inexpensive, well made, and even came with removers that weren't cleverly designed to both tear up the FW and sometimes fail. My, what a thought! (Keep an eye out for the rare Suntour ProCompe "T" with heavy-duty pawls for tandem service).

And my heart insists on including Phil Wood, for real innovation (at least in the USA), and for the dogged persistence to keep on meeting real neads of niche groups like tandem riders. 48 hole hubs, any width hubs and BBs, and the marvelous Rube Goldberg-like spoke thread roller. What a cigarette machine would look like if folks smoked steel...

And then there is what folks would expect of me: the in-your-face stuff that says, "Well, here's another way to get there." How about the much smaller, lighter Weinmann Delta brakes instead of the Campgranola Robustas? The Alternberger/Weinmann dual-pivot of the 1960s?

harvey sachs
mcLean va