Jan Heine wrote:
> Rebour reports that he examined the "Superlight" chainrings, which he
> initially had reported (in an earlier issue) to be made from
> aluminum. He found that they were in fact made from titanium. I doubt
> he would have published that correction if he wasn't pretty sure of
> this, or at least was told this by Campagnolo! He also reported that
> titanium became black through "treatment," which was the cause for
> all the black parts.
> The titanium pedal cages were mentioned several times, first with
> Merckx' hour record bike, which supposedly had titanium pedal cages.
> Does anybody know when the "SL" (steel spindle) or "Super Record" (ti
> spindle) pedals with aluminum cages became available?
> Somehow, I had assumed they had been available by 1972, when Merckx
> set his record - the Campy timeline lists it in the 1971 Catalog # 16
> If this is the case, then it casts doubt on Rebour's report - after
> all, it makes little sense that they'd make special, heavier ti cages
> for Merckx' pedals (and the 1973 bike show in Paris), when lighter
> aluminum ones were available.
> The ti headset was mentioned with Merckx' hour record bike again.
> That headset certainly was black, but I have no idea about the
> material used.
> Which is why I asked whether anybody ever had seen the uncommon ti
> parts (beyond pedal and BB spindles and derailleur bolts).
Hard to prove that the titanium Campagnolo Super Record chainrings never existed, but I see nothing to show that they did. I know of only one titanium part that was eliminated shortly after its introduction and that would be the titanium axles substituted for the steel axles in the Record hubs. I also don't know of any Campagnolo part whose material was changed from aluminum to titanium. Over the years the material of some of Campagnolo's parts was changed from steel to aluminum for weight savings or from steel to titanium for weight savings, but (my belief here) never from aluminum to titanium (added weight penalty). Campagnolo's titanium parts were made by O.M.A.S. by the way.
The black parts shown when Super Record was introduced at the trade shows in 1973/4 were black anodized aluminum (pedal cages, chainrings, headset, seat post cradles, ends of rear derailleur body). The black anodized finish on the aluminum was not carried forward to production on some of the parts: chainrings, headset and seat post cradles. I've got bikes with these never released black anodized aluminum parts, but I've had them done myself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1974 - Special Catalog is printed by Olympic Resources, Inc., Houston, Texas. Note that the illustrations for the Super Record chainrings, headset and seat post saddle cradles show the black anodized versions that were never released. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The technical editor of Bike World magazine, Joe Kossak, wrote in his 1973/4 trade show report at the time that the black Super Record chainrings were made of a special alloy that was black all the way through. Turns out Kossak wasn't anymore credible than Rebour!
Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, Southern California