Re: [CR]New evidence on aluminum cranks and tread for friendly discussion


Example: Racing:Jacques Boyer
In-Reply-To: <a0623098fc25dc5b56fdb@[192.168.1.33]>
References:
From: "Chuck Schmidt" <chuckschmidt@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [CR]New evidence on aluminum cranks and tread for friendly discussion
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 12:44:43 -0700
To: CR Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>


Jan Heine wrote:
> After obtaining our list-master Dale's permission, I'd like to post
> this as a contribution to our understanding of the old bicycles we
> love. I do not want to open old wounds, but I believe that new
> evidence benefits us all. As a scientist, I do not care whether the
> earth is flat or spherical, but I do want to know which it is. I
> hope that any future discussion will be civil and pleasant.
>
> Last night, while researching the history of TA components, I came
> across the following interesting article in Le Cycliste 9/1950, p.
> 190 - reprinted from Le Cycle. It was written by Daniel Rebour, one
> of the foremost observers of bicycle technology in France and
> elsewhere from 1945 until the 1970s.
>
> Under the title "Noticed at the French Championships," Rebour wrote
> on the new technology used by the French professional racers. His
> first paragraph reads as follows (translated from French):
>
> "First, the number of aluminum cranks is growing (about 50%). At
> first, they were despised because they necessitated the use of a
> longer bottom bracket spindle, thus requiring racers to "pedal like
> a duck." However, racers have been forced to adopt aluminum cranks
> because they offer significant improvements in weight and rigidity.
> At the same time, aluminum cranks provide complete reliability,
> which has been proven in many events, including the Poly de
> Chanteloup [hillclimb race] with its 16 steep, out-of-the saddle
> climbs."
>
> So in 1950, Rebour reported that French professionals finally were
> adopting aluminum cranks, after they had been resistant because the
> tread (Q factor) was larger. He also wrote that the strength of
> aluminum cranks was not in doubt.
>
> Of course, the situation in Italy or elsewhere may have been
> different - the French championships presumably were open only to
> French racers.
>
> Jan Heine
> Seattle, WA

Great post Jan!

I've never been able to read Rebour's words since my understanding of the French language is non existent, so it's a treat to be able to finally read some of his Le Cycliste article for an example of his writing style.

Reading,

"First, the number of aluminum cranks is growing (about 50%). At first, they were despised because they necessitated the use of a longer bottom bracket spindle, thus requiring racers to "pedal like a duck." However, racers have been forced to adopt aluminum cranks because they offer significant improvements in weight and rigidity. At the same time, aluminum cranks provide complete reliability, which has been proven in many events, including the Poly de Chanteloup [hillclimb race] with its 16 steep, out-of-the saddle climbs."

I'm struck by how his writing in Le Cycliste reads like the kind of hyperbole written in Bicycling magazine today! As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same?!

Chuck Schmidt
South Pasadena, CA