[CR]Ann's pictures, and the Blue Bilenky's stem

Example: Framebuilders:Alberto Masi

Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 07:17:29 -0400
From: HM & SS Sachs <sachs@erols.com>
To: aphillips9@mindspring.com, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Ann's pictures, and the Blue Bilenky's stem

Thanks, Ann, for the wonderful pix (and your left-handed compliment at the end).

But, being even more a contrarian than a funkmeister, I want to comment on the Blue Bilenky's lovely stem, which Ann so nicely highlighted.

I've known Steve Bilenky for maybe 20 years, and have the utmost respect for his work - and the great lengths he's gone to to meet the special needs of some riders (like the Opus series of hand-pedaled tandems).

It doesn't matter in this case, but I'd like to suggest that this stem, with its four parallel pencil tubes, is perhaps a triumph of craftsmanship over efficient design.

1) Stems "feel" enormous twisting loads, particularly when you are climbing out of the saddle. A large diameter tube is the very best design for resisting these loads. Compared to that, this one uses much more material, requires much more work to make, and will be much "softer."

2) Yes, in normal riding, some vertical compliance of the stem is nice, for absorbing shocks, and this one will work fine for that. Just a heavier solution. One alternative that would compromise twisting stiffness somewhat less, while giving vertical compliance, would be an elliptical cross section single tube, with the long axis parallel to the handlebar.

To me, part of the beauty of the bike is that the solutions are worked out within a discipline of optimum function. So, I crabbily find myself a bit put off by design solutions that add complexity and don't improve function -- including the famed Hetchins curved stays. To me, the real elegance of a Richard Sachs or a classic Italian bike is how the work shines through, because of this discipline.

But, your mileage may vary.

harvey sachs mcLean va

Cirque weekend pics are at:


A list member at the show at Cirque was concerned that I'd photographed his bicycle without his permission, to post with my other Cirque pictures. Obviously, I didn't put those up on my site and deleted them from my camera and my hard drive.

If any of you aren't happy about your bikes being on my picture site or would like to attach your name to any of these pics, or would like them removed or have additional info or corrections please email me. I'll certainly honor all requests Except maybe Charles Andrews who has the most marvelous Cinelli.

I didn't take near as many pics as I thought I would. I was just having too much fun.

Ann Phillips, Decatur GA who is still waiting for the listmeister to have a funk category, except Harvey would always win