I'm normally content to simply lurk, laugh and learn from the list, but for some reason I want to jump in on the recent drillium and "Hype" "innovations".
The gentleman who mentored me (Cesar Moretti Jr.), back-in the 70's, a pro & six day racer from the 30's-40's, when he witnessed a fellow come in his shop with a lot of drillium, shook his head and said, "Even the very best athlete in the world could have a pound or two of excess body fat. That looks ridiculous."
Weight weanies please don't be offended, but I agree wholeheartedly. My humble opinion. Why anyone would take the risk going 45 mph on a descent and have a brake or lever snapping due to some grams of weight is beyond me. For you collectors it does properly represent what was going on, and I'll agree some of the better done stuff looks good but for practical every day riding it doesn't make too much sense. I'm going to guess you wouldn't find a pro from those days with a drilled out brake lever on his training steed.
Saddles, "On Topic" water buffalo hide covered Cinelli or cow leather Rolls for me. As I recall when they came out and I switched from all leather saddles it was more the fact it was easier to care for them, like after a rain soaked ride, as much as the savings in weight. As far as "hype", of course once we saw the pros riding anything we had to have it.
James Doolittle Spring, Texas, USA -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Steve Whitting Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:03 PM To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org Subject: [CR] Leather saddles vs leather covered
Why did many bicycle brands abandon Brooks-style all-leather saddles for Unicanitor-style (leather cover over a plastic shell)? Was it cost or weight? Let's face it - the whole 1970s fewer-spoke/drillium fad was all about shaving-off a few precious ounces (possibly important to a pro-cyclist in a long climb but otherwise magrinally benificial to the rest of us).
My personal opinion is that market "hype" is often a potent factor in many cycling "innovations". Some are truly worthwhile, but others you sometimes have to wonder about.
Steve Whitting Prairieville, Louisiana USA http://ciocc-cat.angelfire.com/