Friday, December 18, 2009

1993's prices...

Ever wonder what the stuff you collect now cost back in the day? It's not too terribly difficult to find vendor catalog scans with a Google search, but finding catalogs from bike stores is a little harder.

Fortunately for us, Harry is a pack rat like no other, and gave me a 16 year old Colorado Cyclist catalog. Here are a couple of scans - 2 pages of Merckx bikes, and their Campagnolo Record, Suntour Superbe Pro, Shimano Dura Ace and Mavic component pages. I think its safe to say that the lamentation of "if I knew then what I know now, I would have bought 100 Mavic headsets" is bunk; very few of the items sell now for as much as they sold for then.

Campagnolo Record, Chorus, Athena, Veloce and Mavic

Shimano Dura Ace, Ultegra, 105 and Suntour Superbe

Merckx MX Leader and Century

Corsa Extra and Corsa

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Urban legends, and things I was right to believe in...

If you ever hear an urban legend about a kid who cut off his nose with garden shears, that is categorically true - I went to junior high with that kid. At the time I thought it was hilarious. Still sorta do...

And much like the garden shears kid, every once in a while something that people thought was an urban legend turns out to be true.

A month or so ago, I saw this on eBay:

It's a 571/2 hub...ED? I had previously seen hubs marked 571/2, and 571/2 HG - HG being, of course, hubs with Shimano's cassette splines, instead of the Mavic proprietary type. This particular hub has a serial indicating its from 1995.

Through a roundabout series of purchases and ultimately a trade with Harry, I ended up with the 571/2 ED. When I got it out of the box and took a look, though, I was dismayed to see the Mavic spline pattern on the cassette body.

It's worth noting that the Mavic proprietary cassette came in 2 flavors. With the 571 hub, the outermost cog was threaded, much like Shimano's Ultraglide (UG) cassette. With the 571/2, Mavic went to a lockring setup, like Hyperglide (HG). If you're ever looking for Mavic cassettes, be aware of the difference. The spline patterns are the same, however, so you can adapt a 571 cassette to work on a 571/2 if you can source a correct 8th cog and lockring

For a long time, I had believed that Mavic made an Exa Drive version of the 571/2. So once I saw the hub marked ED, I decided to consult my primary materials to see if it was true. Turns out, I couldn't find any evidence that it existed. Chuck Schmidt over at Velo-Retro sells a phenomenal collection of Mavic catalog reprints, and it wasn't in there. I checked magazines that had information about the 571/2. I read about ZMS. I read about Mektronic. They all mentioned that HG was available, but no mention of ED. Maybe the early Cosmic wheel set, that used the same cassette mechanism as the 571? No dice.

Moving right along. I thought I had captured my Moby Dick, but it turned out I had a normal Mavic splined 571/2 hub, with a weird ED marking on the model band. Facing facts, I came to the conclusion that I was wrong - no Exa Drive 571. Just what was this ED marking though? Electronic Drive, marking it as part of the Mektronic group? That didn't sit well with me, especially since Mektronic was designed to work with Shimano (and Mavic) cassette spacing.

So it stood. Until I spied something weird in an eBay listing from France.

The thing that piqued my curiosity was that, based on what I would see, the splines looked weird for Shimano. They had a trapezoidal quality to them, and based on wishful thinking, I counted 8 splines. Shimano HG has 9.

Sure enough, when I received it, my suspicions were proven correct. 8 splines, undercut a little. EXA DRIVE.

Seperated at birth?

The Mavic sponsored GAN team sometimes rode an odd combination of components in 1993 and 1994. Mavic brakes, cranks, front derailleurs and wheels, with Ergopower brifters and a Record rear derailleur. Were they using the 571 or 571/2 rear hub when they rode that setup? There are a few ways to pull that off - respacing a Mavic or Shimano cassette being the easiest other than just using a Record rear hub. Is it possible they were using an Exa-Drive body like the one I now have?

I can't say for sure this is de facto evidence that Mavic produced an Exa-Drive 571/2 for the public, and marked it as a 571/2 ED - though I certainly think they did. But if anyone tells you that either the pruning shears story OR the existence of a Campagnolo body for the 571/2 is total bullshit, send them my way.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Ergopower 1992 (in italiano)

Ergopower was introduced by Campagnolo in 1992. For the 2 prior years, Campagnolo was without an answer to the rising popularity of Shimano's STI. The benefits of being able to shift without removing your hands from your bars were undeniable.

People always talk about how poorly Campagnolo was executing in the late 80's and early 90's. Ergopower helped bring them in to the modern era, and really helped them get out of the funk they were in.

Below is the Italian version of the 1992 Ergopower catalog. I've added the english catalog's text below each of the pages, so those of us who can't read italian can follow along.

Indexed control levers for front and 8-speed rear derailleur, interfaced with the brake levers.

Maximum safety system for total control of the bike without removing the hands from the handlebar.

Ergonomically designed down to the smallest details, with extremely comfortable lever grip.

Total absence of over shift to obtain fast and precise shifting in every gear position.

Possibility to shift down 8 gears in succession in a single movement or to shift up one or two speeds.

Very reduced weight.

Complete freedom of movement due to the internal passage of cables, considerably enhancing appearance as well.

The front derailleur levers can be shifted one position at a time so as to align the front derailleur cage with the chain.

Optimum braking system with incorporated quick release opening system.

Adjusting barrel on frame boss allows fine tuning while riding the bicycle.

Maximum protection of internal mechanism so that operation is unaffected by blows or falls.

Absolute reliability due to the use of high-quality materials developed through new technologies for heat and surface treatments

The Ergopower System is set up for the use of triple cranksets.

Maximum ease of installation and adjustment.

ERGOPOWER TSC: Total Shifting Control
These revolutionary integrated controls for the braking and derailleur systems provide the ideal ergonomic and functional solution for meeting every individual requirement in any field, athletic or amateur.

Maximum reliability of the ERGOPOWER TSC system is obtained thanks to the perfect symbiosis of the multi-functional transmission systems which Campagnolo has developed thanks to scrupulous technological research.

Ergopower TSC has been designed to work with all Campagnolo 8-speed rear derailleurs, whether for the road or off-road. THe articulated parallelograms of Campagnolo rear derailleurs both with pulleys using adjustable bearings and pulleys using bushings, permit fast precise shifting in every situation. Along with the traditional front derailleurs in Campagnolo's road range, Ergopower TSC can also be used with triple crankset versions.

All Campagnolo cranksets can be used with Ergopower TSC, including the Compact sports version for off-road.
The maximum precision in machining the chainrings ensures perfect engagement with the chain for fast precise derailleur operation.

The new cassette hub for 8 speed freewheel is ideal for sports uses. The appropriately dimensioned axle moving on 4 bearings ensures superior performance in all circumstances.

The 8 sprockets with triple-profile teeth make shifting easy, even under stress, without any margin of error.

All of this is obtained with unequalled lightness thanks to the new Contax chain, the narrowest available today, and to the high precision of the Ergopower TSC control levers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sachs New Success WTF?

The Bicycle Guide that provided last week's Mavic article also provided this gem:

Sach's New Success group was built from parts they sourced from various other companies - Modolo did the brakes for this group, and Campagnolo would later produce cranks, derailleurs and a Sachs model of Ergopower for them. Sachs provided the hubs for the group. Nice looking stuff, and something a little different.

This advertisement for the group from 1990 has something a little odd in it. Spot it yet?

In the upper right hand corner of the group picture is this beauty. A 6 speed freewheel + internally geared hub? Definitely a 'WTF' moment.

Anyone know if these actually existed? If you have any info, let me know!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bicycle Guide on 1990's Mavic Group

1989 saw massive changes to the Mavic component lineup. Gone were the Campy knockoff cranks, old-style Modolo brakes, Simplex shifters and erector-set style derailleurs. In their place were the sleek lines of the 631 "starfish" crank, the crisp indexed shifting of the 840/841 derailleur and 821 shift levers, and the aero stylings of the 440 brake. Sticking around, for the time being, were the venerable 501 hubs and 860/862 front derailleurs. Not the lightest group around by any stretch, but solid, dependable, and like all things Mavic, rebuildable. It might not retain the quirky personality of earlier Mavic goods, but it still shows off the designed-to-last mentality Mavic was known for.

Here's what Bicycle Guide had to say about it in August of 1990. Enjoy!

Friday, November 06, 2009

1993 Shimano Ultegra 600

A few of you left comments of dropped me emails indicating you'd like to see the Ultegra 600 portions of the '93 Shimano catalog. So here ya go.

Parts on a bike...

1993's complete 600 product line (except for the aero post...)

Brifters (ST-6400), shifters (SL-6401 and SL-BS64) and rear derailleur (RD-6401).

Front derailleurs (FD-6401), cranks (FC-6400), bottom bracket (BB-UN71), Look licensed (PD-6402) and aero clip pedals (PD-6400)

Brake calipers(BR-6403), levers (BL-6402), cassette hub (FH-6402) and front hub (HB-6400).

Cassette (CS-HG90), chain (CN-HG90), headset (HP-6400), seatposts (SP-6400) and stem (HS-6400).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shimano STI Tech 1-sheeter and compatibility chart (and shameless self-promotion)

More 1993 Shimano catalog goodness. This is the 1 page on STI brifter technology, along with an overly confusing compatibility chart.

In entirely unrelated news, I have some of the items you may have seen on this blog for sale up on eBay. Sometimes we have to let go of (parts from) the past in order to move forward (on new acquisitions).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Check this out...

Harry, who's pretty much provided all the content I've had in the last 6 months, is selling this incredibly beautiful Cimatti over on eBay. It's a little outside of the timeframe I know anything about (about 35 years or so), but I know a good looking bike when I see it.

Old Campy dogbone style quickreleases! Too cool. If you're in the market for a 1940's Cambio Corsa bike, this one looks like it could be a real steal.

Monday, October 19, 2009

1993 Shimano Catalog

Shimano was a fountain of innovation in the 80's and 90's. Reliable indexed shifting in the mid-80's. Dual pivot brakes and STI brake/shifter levers in the early 90's. While their competitors were either putting themselves out of business, or stubbornly clinging to their inferior hardware, Shimano was establishing itself as the #1 player in the components market.

This post will be the first of several focusing on the Shimano 1993 catalog. I'll be starting off with the Dura Ace component pages, followed by some of the cross-line technology sheets, and the tools and small hardware pages. The catalog covers their entire MTB and road range, so if you're interested in the Ultegra 600 or 105 lines, speak up!

"Embracing our world...closer to nature, closer to people." Sorry Shimano, but thats a little creepy. On with the component pics!

Road components on a bike.

The Shimano Dura Ace road line. This represents the "correct" component combination for 1993 Dura Ace.

ST-7400 brifter. SL-7402 downtube shifters. SL-BS50 bar end shifters. RD-7402 rear derailleur.

FD-7403 B and F clamp-on and braze-on derailleurs. FC-7402 SG crank. BB-UN91 bottom bracket. PD-7410 SPD pedal. PD-7401 Look pedal. PD-7400 traditional pedal.

BR-7403 dual pivot brake, BL-7402 aero brake lever, FH-7403-R rear cassette hub, FH-7463 disc wheel hub.

HB-7400-F front hub, CS-7401 8s cassette, CN-7401 chain, HP-7400 headset, SP-7400A (round) and SP-7400B (aero) seat posts, HS-7400 stem.

The Shimano Dura Ace track line, 1993

HB-7600 hubs. SS-7600 sprockets. FC-7600 cranks. BB-7600 bottom bracket. HP-7600 headset.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mavic 1992 Catalog

We're totally going in to catalog mode over here at tearsforgears hq. All courtesy of Harry. He gave me a pile of catalogs to scan. Originals are cool, but scanned means instead of just me getting to pour over all the cool pictures, you can too. And given that I'm pretty sure Harry had these in his bathroom at some point, you don't have to touch them. Just me.

You know the drill. Click any image for the larger version.

Quick comment on the last page. The 451 brake levers have the Mavic 'M' logo underneath the Mavic lettering. The sets I've owned and seen don't have the logo. Has anyone seen a set that does?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eddy Merckx 1992 Catalog Pages

My friend Harry broke his leg a few months ago. He's back on the bike now, but for a while he was stuck sitting around a whole lot. With all of the downtime he been dug up all sorts of cool catalogs. Here's another one.


These are the Merckx pages from the Gita Collezione 1992 catalog. Let's see what we have

First on the page is the Merckx Max. Max?! Yep, the Max. The Max was the predecessor to the MX Leader. It used a non-Merckx specific lugset, with a fairly chunky looking fork crown. Fastbacked seat stays. These were only offered in 1992, and were redesigned a bit for 1993, with some slightly different tubing specs, a new fork crown, and its new name - MX Leader. The catalog shows it in the Telekom color scheme. Others were surely available as well.

The Corsa, Corsa Extra and Pista are largely unchanged from how they were spec'd starting in 1985. The Corsa was offered in the 7-11 color scheme, even though they became Motorola for the 1991 season.

The Century was still available in 1992 as well. 4 colors shown in the catalog - Kelme's "later" color scheme, Motorola (note the Motorola Cycling decal near the head tube), the always hideous Tutti Frutti, and Blue Cobalto.

Also shown on this page is a Corsa from the previous page in Faema replica livery.

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