[CR] When were brake lever extensions invented...

(Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor)

From: "Bob Hanson" <theonetrueBob@webtv.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 14:12:59 -0600
To: tsan7759142@sbcglobal.net
Subject: [CR] When were brake lever extensions invented...
cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

Tom Sanders wrote:

"I recently bought a '62 bike with them on...I have a picture of an identical model from the same year with only conventional brake levers. I am wondering if these on this bike could date from '62, were they a later add on or what? The bike in question is a Schwinn Superior. It seems incredibly original, but I do question those darn levers, and whether I should leave them on."

Tom Sanders Lansing, Mi USA

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I believe I saw a Rebour drawing of those fitted to one of Anquetil's early 1960s Tour de France Gitanes. Okay, I'm just kidding, sorry!

The first Schwinn listing I see them on is in 1969. Here's a page from Bob Hufford's wonderful Schwinn website which shows their "New" dual position levers:

http://www.geocities.com/sldbconsumer19/1969/69ccpg09b.jpg

I wonder if these levers were actually a Schwinn-proposed innovation. I have an early 70s Weinmann catalog which does not show these, but their 1980 catalog actually shows several different versions.
>From what I've noticed, it seems that European bikes built well into the '70s were all still more "purpose-built" - fitted with EITHER Guidonnnet or Ville style levers, or else just drop bar levers for "most" drop bar bikes..

I think most Americans were not yet used to the idea of having to brake from the drops - or even the hoods. But, with extension levers, heck, everyone could buy a race-influenced lighter weight bike and ride it with their hands firmly planted just about anywhere they felt secure. And, now anyone with legs could pedal around on a kool sorta-racing-looking adult bike - and not get laughed at. [Just my hypothesis.]

Bob Hanson, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA