Back then as always I had to do everything I could to get the edge. In Baltimore the tourist's nice bikes were PX-10's, which I had, the racers I hung out with and rode with at the shop mostly had Paramounts, which I couldn't afford.
My PX-10 got Wescon/Elephant housing and Mathauser pads. The Simplex derailleurs really were nice, but couldn't crunch those gears like Campy. Having heard of getting the DO tapped for a Campy derailleur, I took the bike to the local shop only to have them hack saw the hanger off for the black derailleur hook!!! That led me to get a job there so I could do my own work. Slowly the bike was continually modified until I felt the frame was the weak link. That was the beauty of standardized part interchangeabi lity.
I love the way you could select the best of each component, and experiment to find out which were my favorites. My bike shop salary went to my parts bin archives. But how about a Duopar rear, Mountech front, Campy barends w/ Teflon shot through the plastic lined housing ,shifting the Stronglight 49D crank w/ TA rings and a Suntour custom half step setup on an American Classic Ti sealed BB w/ Campy BB bolts and Campy low flange hubs, four cross light butted spokes and box section rims. Talk about a smooth drivetrain. So yes Tom, I agree with you, very few bikes stay stock. And the bike or two with Campy pads are because I've run out of the good ones!
Next, I figure Campy NR levers oughta' work well w/ long reach Universal sidepulls.
Dan Artley in Parkton, MD
Regarding the cable housing colors Jerry Moos wrote, "Well the difference is that the changeout of Campy bits improved performance rather undermining
it. Lined housings pull and return more easily, ball-bearing Bullseye
pulleys definitely have less friction, and Malthauser pads definitely stop
better than the originals. There were changeouts in the day that were
cosmetic, or which actually undermined performance, but most of the ones I
rememeber being common were definite improvements.
I agree exactly not only with such comments on cables, brake pads, etc.
to lots of other things that owners commonly put on their bikes back when
those bikes were relatively contemporary. Saddles, tires, wheels most
anything was fair game to upgrade or replace purely as a matter of taste.
I still do this with my own bikes. I am shameless in this. I have tried
period perfection on a couple of bikes and never found it to be as much
Yet, it is not uncommon to have folks treat these changes as "wrong"
somehow. I think one can be overly anal about having a bike just the way
came from the factory...or ...wait...could it be the bike shop or is it
builder? Yet so many were sold as frames either to the ultimate customer
the bike shop that to attribute rightness or wrongness to the stuff on a
bike unless it is way out of the time line is a bit superficial. Thank
goodness that folks sought to individualize their bikes...how deadly
if they did not!
Those who think they know exactly the only way a bike should be are sure
welcome to their beliefs and I love to see what they do. Now, let's hope
that they can stand the things that I do to my bikes or that earlier
did to them. When I get a newly acquired bike, I don't even like to have
folks see it until I get a chance to make the changes that I feel make it
own...I sometimes wonder if this is not all a bit strange...I guess we all
are a bit crazy one way or another...What fun!
Lansing, Mi USA