Re: [CR]Yesterday's equipment in modern races

Example: History

Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 11:31:32 -0500
Subject: Re: [CR]Yesterday's equipment in modern races
From: Todd Kuzma <>
To: "C.R. List" <>
In-Reply-To: <>

You can make a bike faster by making it lighter or more aerodynamic. Presumably, integrated shifters allow a quicker response to attacks but otherwise would seem to have a small effect on overall speed. Tires might have lower rolling resistance, but I haven't seen much data on how that has changed over the years.

Under current UCI rules, it will be hard for bikes to have a significant aero advantage over older bikes. The biggest area for improvement is in the wheels, but the rules prohibit anything too radical here. Of course, time trial bikes are permitted major aerodynamic improvements.

So, let's look at weight. If you've read Jan Heine's Vintage Bicycle Quarterly, you would have heard about racing bikes in the 13-pound range in the 1930s. Volume 1, Number 3 profiles a 1936 Barra cyclotouring bike complete with fenders, dynamo, front and rear lights, a rear rack, and a pump that weighed 17.51 pounds! Volume 2, Number 1 discusses the technical trials of the 40s that featured similarly equipped bikes in the 15-pound range.

Modern bikes generally have lighter stems, handlebars, seatposts, saddles, and cranks. However, modern derailleurs, shifters, rims, brakes, and brake levers are generally heavier.

Is there a difference between old and new? Sure, but I don't think that it is as large as some would imagine.

Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776