Re: [CR]weight-weenie French set up

(Example: Framebuilders:Bernard Carré)

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 07:38:09 -0700
From: "Rachel Valiensi" <>
To: Jan Heine <>
in-reply-to: <a06230985c4862266e468@[]>
references: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]weight-weenie French set up

Jan, That quoted weight was less tires, as the tradition was? I bought a carbon fiber Centaur derailler, only to find it was the same wei ght as the all alloy version it replaced. Plus to rub salt into the wound, Campy had cheapened-up the construction of the carbon fiber version. I'm looking forward to getting the latest issue of VBQ. Cheers! On Monday, June 23, 2008, at 09:13PM, "Jan Heine" <> w rote:
>At the Handmade Show, René Herse Bicycles showed
>a historic frame that was the lightest bike at
>the Paris bike show in 1973. I found an article
>in Le Cycle that lists the components used to
>build that bike back in the day.
>The frame was fillet-brazed from Reynolds 531
>"3/10 mm" tubing, which was a French exclusive.
>Parts included the Weinmann 500 brakes, CLB
>"Sulky" levers, Herse cranks, Jubilee
>derailleurs, Herse stem and TTT Superleggero
>bars, Campagnolo Super Record pedals with ti
>axles, Maillard 700 hubs, Super Champion Medaille
>d'Or rims (24 holes), Maillard 700 alloy
>freewheel, Dordoigne tubulars (170 g), a plastic
>Ideale saddle with ti rails, Simplex seatpost,
>The whole bike weighed 6.8 kg (just under 15
>lbs.). Considering that others tried hard to beat
>that record, you can assume that these parts were
>the lightest available at the time. Some of the
>parts, especially the Herse cranks, were
>significantly lightened. Not by drilling holes
>(which doesn't do much), but by shaving off
>The frame of the bike is seriously lightened in every conceivable way.
>Coincidentally, the next issue of Bicycle
>Quarterly looks at the weight of bicycles, and we
>compare a 1947 Alex Singer 650B bike with two
>modern bikes, component by component. There are
>some surprises, as modern carbon components often
>are not as light as one might think...
>Jan Heine
>Bicycle Quarterly
>140 Lakeside Ave #C
>Seattle WA 98122
>>CLB made several different light brakesets.
>>I've seen CLB "Compact" brakes offered at very
>>high prices, but never actually seen a set "in
>>the flesh". But I have some much less expensive
>>CLB sidepulls that are quite light. CLB also
>>made "self-energizing" (or some such) CP's which
>>are really cool, though not as light as the CP's.
>> Another option are Mafac superlight CP's.
>>These had thinner arms and a conventional CP
>>shoe attachment rather than the more complex and
>>heavier Mafac shoe attachment, which is like the
>>typical cantilever brakes. They also had
>>superlight brake levers, with plastic rather
>>than alloy bodies and no hoods. For seatposts,
>>Atax made some that I've seen described as
>>composite or carbon fibre, but I think maybe
>>they are just black plastic. I have at least
>>one, and it hasn't broken yet, but I haven't put
>>all that many miles on it. For cranks, the TA
>>Professional 3-arm crank might save a few grams
>>versus the 5-arm French cranks.
>> Regards,
>> Jerry Moos
>> Big Spring, Texas, USA
>> wrote:
>> George,
>>CLB made a set of super light sidepulls. I remember lusting after them in
>>the Palo Alto Catalog. Far more interesting than Weinmanns. You could
>>also add CLB aluminum brake cable to shave off a few more grams.
>>Yellow Jersey even seems to have them in stock
>>Sounds like a fun project
>>Best regards,
>>Marcus Helman
>>Detroit, MI
>>Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 13:05:42 -0500
>>From: "Earle Young"
>>To: ,
>>Subject: [CR]Vitus build
>>Message-ID: <003901c8d55b$c1dd86c0$0200a8c0@pcearle>
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>>Message: 7
>>George Hollander asked:
>>> I need help with a period "weight-weenie" project.
>>> I have a Vitus frameset ( mid 1980's), and would like to outfit it wit h
>>> the appropriate lightest weight French parts possible, from shifters, to
>>> rims, tires, etc.
>>> Can members provide me with this information, or make reference to
>>> catalogues?
>>George, Here's what I would use from that era to build an all-French,
>>weight-weenie Vitus (remember, some of this will seriously lack
>>and other parts will be phenominally expensive)
>>Bar & Stem: Bellri made a pretty light stem and bar set that was stock on
>>lot of nice French bikes of that era (besides, stem and bars is not a
>>to cut weight to the limit)
>>Headset: Nylfor nylon. Lighter than air, and I think Yellow Jersey has
>>cheap in French thread. Buy a couple.
>>Crankset: Stronglight 105 BIS ... factory drillium and classic French
>>Shift set: Huret Jubile. Lightest ever made, and the stuff actually works .
>>Wheels: Maillard 700 pro hubs with Maillard alloy freewheel, and MAVIC
>>rims (200 grams!?!), mounted with Clement black label Criterium Seta Extr a
>>(and some other superlative after that, which I forget now) 195-gram
>>Brakes: Weinmann 500 sidepulls with drillium levers. Or Mafac 2000. The
>>Weinmann's are lighter, but not strictly French.
>>Benotto tape
>>Simplex alloy seat post and the lightest saddle you are comfortable on.
>>You can probably build this out at under 15 pounds, but one good pothole
>>would destroy most of it. I really like the idea of a French weight-weeni e
>>bike because the French did make some ridiculously light stuff, rather
>>have medium weight stuff drilled, milled and shaved the way Italian stuff
>>Earle Young,
>>Madison, Wisc.
>>Offering expert wheelbuilding service for classic and modern bikes.