Re: [CR] Merckx hour record bike(s)

Example: Humor:John Pergolizzi

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Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 12:11:06 -0800
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Merckx hour record bike(s)

>Jan Heine wrote:
>> Note that later hour record bikes, especially Rominger's, were
>> considerably heavier - with no apparent ill effects on the time
>> achieved.
>Who could say? So are you saying that extra weight doesn't matter?
>Lighter weight is a bad thing?
>Was Rominger's new record the result of riding a heavier bike?
>Please explain...
>Chuck Schmidt
>South Pasadena, Southern California

I believe that Merckx would have gone as fast in the hour on a heavier Colnago as on his superlight one. I believe that Rominger would not have gone any faster on a superlight Colnago than he did on his relatively heavy one. It appears that either Mr. Colnago changed his opinion on the usefulness of light weight in an hour record attempt - after all, he made very different bikes for each - or that he did not give Rominger as much support as he did Merckx.

I suspect - and this is pure speculation - that Colnago (and perhaps Merckx) knew all along that a superlight bike would not make a huge difference, but this was a great way of putting Colnago's skills (and Campagnolos upcoming superlight parts) into the spotlight. The hour record bike is a great achievement from a craftsmanship perspective, and whether it was necessary to achieve the record or not does not detract from that.

However, if you believe that a lightweight bike would have allowed Merckx to accelerate faster to his final speed - and considering that it took him two laps to get to that very high speed, this could be an important factor - then I am willing to accept that. -- Jan Heine, Seattle Editor/Publisher Vintage Bicycle Quarterly c/o Il Vecchio Bicycles 140 Lakeside Ave, Ste. C Seattle WA 98122