[CR] Brake Location on Harry Havnoonian, and other HH miscellany


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To: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: AdventureCORPS <adventurecorps@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:36:29 -0800
Subject: [CR] Brake Location on Harry Havnoonian, and other HH miscellany


Hello friends:

I knew Harry Havnoonian pretty well back in the late 80s and early 90s. I visited his shop a few times, a close friend of mine worked there for many years, and I had Harry build custom frames for my then girlfriend and a client I was coaching. (Back then Harry was also the primary, or perhaps exclusive, official warranty repair shop for all the glued together aluminimun / carbon bikes from overseas, so I also sent him a Japanese-made Vitus-clone which needed its head tube re- glued.)

Back in that era, rims were commonly "aero-shaped" and Harry told me that he mounted the rear brake facing forward so that, as it flexed a bit under braking, it would flex "up" the rim into the wider part of the rim, which provided superior braking in his view.

BTW, his website is now pretty useless and I get the impression that he's not in the frame-building business anymore. Any Philly locals can perhaps tell us more.

Oh, also: Some of you must remember the "head to head" bike test in one of the glossy bike magazines which compared steel to various other frame materials. ALL the frames were made by Harry with the same geometry. I believe it was steel vs aluminimum vs carbon, but maybe ti was in the mix, too. The steel frame was brazed but the non- ferrous frames were all the glued together type. It would be neat to see that article again, if somebody has it posted somewhere, or maybe Bicycle Quarterly could reprint it, and then do a modern version of that test.

Yours in sport, Chris Kostman La Jolla, CA

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