It's been a rough old day..so I thought that I would turn to good ld old Classicrendezvous to raise my spirits...and so it has transpired.
I have just read Kevin's contri requesting information, savvy etc about the possibility of corroded steel cranks giving rise to failure. Now there's a thought.! Yesterday I read a very interesting - to me, that is, -contribution placed on Peter Underwood's fine UK classiclightweights site - http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk - by a contemporary of mine from the 1950s, a doctor turned wine-importer (they are not stupid these doctors, are they), called Andrew Loughran.
It turns out that I am just about five years older than Andrew, but we both still lust after the road-track bikes of our teenage years - the same frames that were so much discussed on the CR List last week. Anyhow, Peter had asked me to reminisce about a frame-builder called Hilton Wrigley, the guy who inspired me to take up the torch and the file...and I had just been contacted by a young man who had inherited his grandfather's Hilton Wrigley.
Andrew has written a very evocative article for Peter's site and placed alongside it a wonderful photo of himself, full speed ahead in a time-trial, on his "original" Hilton Wrigley road-track bike. Between times Andrew and I have exchanged emails..wallowed in nostalgia - he also went to the same school as my wife and fancied her...but as she freely admits now - my Hilton Wrigleys had fancier lugs than Andrew's - and I always thought it was might intellect that she fancied..or at least my calf muscles!
In some of our emails - and Andrew alludes to the training sessions with Brian and Des Robinson in his article - we floated back to the bunch sprints disputed * **en masse** *at the boundaries of small villages that bordered our training circuit..the spirit abroad in those sprints being *he who dares wins..* and in those days cobbled road surfaces were very common around the industrial towns such as Huddersfield.
Andrew recounted one such sprint when his companion de chasse tried to beat him to the line in the descent into Keighley andindustrial town on the hillside just above Shipley and Ellis-Briggs (where the tea-break would be taken). Unfortunately for his companion his left-hand crank decided to detach itself from its axle...just as he reached optimum velocity.....
This account reminded me of the List's recent discussion about the virtues of one brake or two on a fixed-wheel bike. As is shown on the dynamic photo od Andrew...we only used to use a single brake on the front wheel...so Andrew's account of the sprint for the prime begs the question...of how his opponent, assuming that he did not actually crash..managed to stop his bike. For those Listers who own English road-track bikes of that period equipped with just one front brake..and that sole brake is one of those immensely long reach GB Hiduminium...just imagine the sheer raw terror of trying to pull to a stop...with only the one brake..and one crank.
Having just revisited Andrew's article I notice that he had had the sense to have his Wrigley built with slightly closer clearances, so that he could use a Weinmann 730 brake - these were the thinking cyclists choice in those days - linked to his Duprat hollow cottered cranks. Evidently even in those days medical students were paid over-the-odds grants by the government to help buy the necessities of their trade...Duprat scalpels, TA forceps...
So...my advice to Kevin is that if he intends to mount his replated Chater-Lea cranks to a road-track bike...and he still harbours any doubts he should think seriously about either having two caliper brakes ...but only using the back one unless there's an emergency .