In the hopes of advancing the dialogue on dating the Stronglight 49D crank through it's unparalleled history I've uploaded a collection of photos that will hopefully illustrate most if not all of the general variants that can be seen and perhaps referenced to provide examples useful to this end.
The 49D is to me the ultimate single component spanning the on-topic era of the CR list. In terms of longevity, performance and utility, I can think of nothing that comes even remotely close. First built in the 1930s and still almost fully competitive with the most advanced current gear. If you told the people that built the first example that their design wouldn't be significantly bettered in the following 70 years, I wonder what they'd have thought?
If anyone has any photos showing variations I've missed, I'd be thrilled to add them to the collection I posted.
Kurt Sperry Bellingham, Washington USA
2009/5/11 coel canth <email@example.com>:
> i'm sure jan will chime in but i believe it's a combination of
> dustcaps, logo stampings, and the style of fluting and finish of the
> crankarms that distinguishes them as early..
> andrei padlowski
> new york, new york
>> So it's hard to generalize. However, when you look at prices for early Campy
>> Gran Sport derailleurs, perhaps Eddie paid for the cranks alone, and got a
>> free frame in the bargain.
> Jan, you commented in an earlier post on this same beautiful bike
> about the prewar Stronglight crankset on the Caminargent. Now I have
> no idea whatever how to tell a prewar 49D from a postwar example of
> this cycling icon, I've seen those style dust caps on bikes that might
> be prewar or slightly postwar, but the arms themselves look
> essentially the same (with slight and seemingly temporally
> inconsistent variations) to my untrained eye. I think the logo
> stamping lost its "MARQUE" for a period in the '50s and certain
> dustcap variations seem to roughly correspond to various eras, but how
> do you come to the conclusion from those small photos that this is a
> presumably rarer and more valuable pre-war version? You could frankly
> probably take a '70s iteration, patinate it with oxidation, screw in
> the '40s-style dustcaps and fool me completely.
> Kurt Sperry
> Bellingham, Washington