CHROME FORKS on COLNAGO Supers:
This must have started prior to 1980 because my copy of Bike World, Jan/Feb '80, has a picture of George Mount with a chrome-fork Colnago on P.40. It's not clear from the photo but it looks like the bike still has the familiar semi-sloping fork crown.
In 1982, the Colnago on which Saronni became World Champ had chrome forks and a chrome drive-side chainstay. It also had under-bb shift cable routing and a brazed-on front derailleur. It also had the newer fully-sloping crown with the cutout tangs on the outside. And the top-of-the-chainstay decals that say "Super" are replaced by "Colnago" stampings on the sides of the chainstays. It's not clear from my "Fabulous World of Cycling 1982" yearbook, but judging from Ebay Colnago pictures, the above-mentioned features are associated with the following additional features: cast chainstay and seatstay bridges, recessed brake attachments, engraved/fluted seatstay caps, and a less refined attachment of the rear dropouts (a straight seam which previously was filed into a graceful seamless curve).
The Rossin frames of the DAF team also had chrome forks and chainstays and braze-on front derailleurs in 1982, although it seems that for the most part the rest of the bikes in the peloton still had clamp-on front derailleurs and top-off-bb shift cable routing. Other bikes with chrome forks in 1982 included Splendor, Motebecane, Battaglin, Pinarello, and Peugeot.
The Peugeot "Super Competition" I think came out in 1980 and had chrome forks. The midnight-blue Motobecane Team Champ in 1981 had chrome forks, chainstays, and seatstays.
STARTING A RUMOR ABOUT CHROME FORKS?
A few years ago Brett Horton showed a De Rosa, raced by Freddy Maertens during the 70's, which included the aftermarket Tange chrome fork that Freddy had put on it to minimize his personal out-of-pocket expenses after crashing the bike. Just for fun I'd like to start a rumor that chrome forks became popular in 1980 because other riders wanted to have a cool Tange fork just like fast Freddy.
Brad Stockwell Palo Alto
Sheldon Brown <CaptBike@sheldonbrown.com> wrote:
>I dunno when they started, but in general, chrome disappeared in 1974
>due to the "energy crisis."
Carlo Carr demurred:
>I don't know Sheldon, that may have been true briefly but my
>recollection is that many Italian lightweights had chrome forks in
>the early 1980's. I'm sure that you're correct for the short term in
>73/74 but I had the notion that chrome made a come back during the
>C-Record days and perhaps a bit earlier. Can anyone raise either
>conjecture to a level of certitude?
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