RE: [CR]Blackburn vs. Jim Blackburn and carrying capacity.

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Avocet)

From: "R.S. Broderick" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: [CR]Blackburn vs. Jim Blackburn and carrying capacity.
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 16:57:30 -0500
thread-index: Aci3lctdsixdpGgaTUq0VnhGFw3fFwACfKtQ
In-Reply-To: <>


First of all, at the risk of coming off like some anal retentive control freak, I would like to KINDLY point out that the CR List rules require that everyone include their full name, city, state, and country at the bottom of each and every post made (...see example below). Some might not be so diplomatic in pointing this peculiarity out to you, and in fact, failure to abide this convention is subject to having oneself summarily dismissed at the hands of listmeister Dale who makes the rule. So, please consider yourself forewarned....

As for those Blackburn racks, there are certain individuals who seek to retain all vintage era correct parts and pieces on their various bikes, and therefore, these are considered to be reasonably collectible to some. Of course, Jim Blackburn Designs are still in business as a company and their cycling accessories product line has proliferated greatly since late 1975 when their wares first hit the national market.

As a trip down memory lane for some who monitor this forum, I offer for your consideration the following excerpt from the first full color Specialized catalog published back in 1982:

"In 1975, things really began to happen. Mike ( in Michael Sinyard, founder of Specialized) met Jim Blackburn who, at the time, was doing his master's thesis on the Windfoiler which he eventually came to produce. Blackburn also felt that the racks which were being imported from Europe at the time were inadequate for the needs of tourists and claimed he could design and produce racks that were superior by far. Mike said, 'Great, I'll buy the first hundred.' And so began the Sinyard/Blackburn collaboration. Blackburn had a van, Sinyard had the connections. Together, they drove from shop to shop selling Windfoilers, Blackburn racks, and Cinelli bars and stems. At the end of the year, they were able to move their operation out of the van and into a small warehouse."

"Throughout 1976, Sinyard and Blackburn shared a warehouse. Sinyard selling Blackburn racks faster than Blackburn could weld them up. SPECIALIZED expanded its product line and carried more and more quality Italian cycling components. At the end of the year, Michael bought a car."

"By 1977, business had developed to a point that a single facility wasn't sufficient for both operations. It was easier for SPECIALIZED to move, so Michael did. Again, the product line was expanded and distribution increased."

"In 1978 SPECIALIZED began to look very good. All indications pointed to a success. It was a company on the move. Campagnolo agreed to distribute their components through SPECIALIZED, and by 1979 SPECIALIZED had become the largest distributor of Campagnolo equipment in the United States, a distinction that SPECIALIZED has repeated in 1980, 1981, and (we anticipate) 1982."

As it so happens, I have digitized much of the early Blackburn advertising copy which appeared in Bicycling and Bike World such that one can follow the evolution of his various designs. Inasmuch as the CR List server will strip any information sent along in the form of an attachment, I will forward copies of a few of these advertising pieces along to you separately and "OFF LIST".

Robert "Rack Attack" Broderick ..the "Frozen Flatlands" of South Dakota Sioux Falls, USA

-----Original Message----- From: [] On Behalf Of andrew bushaw Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 3:45 PM To: Subject: [CR]Blackburn vs. Jim Blackburn and carrying capacity.

I work in a Community Bike shop where we are seeing a number of items (mainly racks and bottle cages) with the "Jim Blackburn" marque. Mainly these are on older touring bikes such as an early 80's trek 620 or an old fuji. Are these items "special" or are they just an old rack? I can't seem to find any other identifying marks on them, nor can I find anything online about them. I am thinking about putting one of these on my cross-check for doing some cargo-hauling and light touring this summer but don't have a clue what sort of weight they are rated for. I know that modern "Blackburn" racks have ratings and am curious if they are similar. The one in particular is alloy, three stays on each side, open top rather than a platform and a single stay which I presume mounts to the brake hole on the rear brake bridge. The tubing does not look particularly beefy, but must have been used for touring at some point because the bike we took it off of had sizable panniers on it. Thanks, Andrew