Re: [CR]Old post of Galmozzi and Van Bares recollections...

Example: Framebuilders:Rene Herse

To: (Classic Rendezvous)
Subject: Re: [CR]Old post of Galmozzi and Van Bares recollections...
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 00:36:19 +0000

Fioravante Bares wrote
> > With all respect and love that I have for Campagnolo
> > products, this was the invention of a lunatic

to which Hugh Thornton responded:
> What a wondeful thing to say about Campagnolo's Cambio Corsa! It is of
> course an absolutely ridiculous gearchanger and it is hard to imagine that
> anyone
> would have bought one, but for the top racers who used them. Now of course,
> they are reasonably rare (most must have ended up on the scrapheap when the Gran
> Sport came out) and so quirky that people want them (I would too, if the
> right bike came along with one).

I feel that you have to look at everything in its own period. If you look at the CC gear knowing what is now available, it does appear a rather quaint system. However, when compared with what was available in the 30's and 40's, the cambio corsa was not at all bad and I dare say one of the better racing systems of theday. It is about as indestructible as you can find (unlike Simplex, Super Champion, Nivex...), it does not slip (like Sturmey Archer), the whole wheel can be changed/removed quickly while racing (unlike S-A) and the gear ratio can be switched while riding (unlike a fixed gear or flipflop hub). I have ridden many thousands of miles with my various CC and PR geared bikes and must say that it is a singularly enjoyable experience. Like on a fix gear there is no chain jumping around when you go over bumps. It also shifts easier than most owners would want to make you believe. I have had many neophytes try to shift on my bikes and the most common reaction was one of surprise at how simple it actually is to shift. As far as CC bikes being scapped, I believe their salvage rate to actually be far greater than virtually any other major gear mechanism of its time. This mainly because of sheer durability, rather than by design.

While I wouldn't classify these bikes as rare, it is true that the better CC and PR bikes are however becoming less readily available and I have noticed a rather steep climb in prices in Italy (the opposite of what is apparently happening here in the US). Bikes like the Legnano presently being offered on ebay by list member Scott Davis represent, in my eyes, very good deals:

In much the same way as what happens when most keen cyclists take a fixed gear bike for a first ride, if you don't want to get hooked on CC or PR bikes, don't take one for a spin.

Steven Maasland
Moorestown, NJ