Friday, January 22, 2010

Rock Shox Paris-Roubaix EXPLOSION!

No, no, no...not an explosion involving a Paris-Roubaix fork. A exploded assembly view for said fork!

BTI's 1995 catalog contains diagrams for just about every suspension fork on the market at the time, including the Paris-Roubaix. Back then, you could use the diagram to order replacement parts. Now, you can use the diagram to lament that fact that you can't order replacement parts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

GPM scans

Poor, unloved Gipiemme. One of a handful of unloved Italian component makers (along with Ofmega, Galli, Regina, and probably a few others), who just didn't have the appeal of Campagnolo. Was their stuff bad? Nah - some of it was sourced from other vendors, like Simplex, that made some parts that people love. In their zeal to set themselves apart, however, GPM managed to churn out some seriously ugly groups in the mid-to-late 80's.

Chronosprint Aero

Chronosprint Aero. Probably their high-end group, perhaps alongside WHITE LASER (queue laser sounds).

White Laser

White Laser. I can only assume its named that because you want to burn out your retinas after seeing it, and a laser would make a fine tool with which to do that. Obviously an answer to Shimano's Sante group.


Chronosprint Economy


Any GPM fans out there?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?

Trade the violin for a nice bike, and I'll agree to that. I may not NEED anything else to be happy, but there are definitely a couple of items I really really WANT, that'll make me just a little happier. If you find yourself with any of the following items, and think you might want to sell or trade them, please let me know. Email address is in the about me box on the upper right!

Mavic 631/2 crank: Did you know there are two versions of the 631 crank? It's true! In 1994, the 631 was redesigned. It was relieved on the backside, to lighten it. The arms are boxier, and it'll take a smaller chainring in the outermost position. AWesomeness, and I can't find one! Whatever size, I am not a picky man.

1994 Campagnolo Ergopower shifters: Record OR Chorus. 1992 and 1993 brifters have metal bodies. 1994 is the year they switched to a plastic "carbon" body. The brake levers have no cutouts, and the area directly above the lever is screened 'CARBON' on the Records. Chorus have no marking. Yes, in this case, I am being stupidly picky.

Those are the two more difficult items. I'm always on the lookout for more 571 hubs or parts - can't have enough spare pawls, and I have a little project that requires some 36h shells...a silver Cinelli 101 stem in 100mm would also be nice, as would a nice set of Criterium bars. A single Mavic 451 brake, front or rear too!

Thanks for reading!

Post title is an Einstein quote. Pretty sharp guy! ;)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Full suspension at Paris-Roubaix

The last couple of years have seen some vendors slowly introducing shock-absorbing materials in to road bikes available to the public. It seems like quite often, these bikes are first seen in public during Paris-Roubaix. A big deal was made of Hincapie's 2005 soft tail Trek, even though that bike design never was made available to the public. Far more successful are some of the dampening technologies, like Specialized's Zertz inserts, which are available in all sorts of bikes in their lineup. Every article that mentions these bikes, without fail, mentions the widespread adoption of Rock Shox forks by riders in Paris-Roubaix in the early 90's, and how Museeuw used a full suspension Bianchi in 1994.

There were actually a few others that were tried as well. An interview for France 2, with Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle and Greg Lemond gave us some interesting glimpses at a full suspension rig they both used for at least part of PR in 1994.

Full suspension Lemond front-end. Note the Grip Shift adjustment knob for the rear shock...

According to the information in the bottome part of the article here, these bikes were built by Clark-Kent, in Denver CO out of Titanium. The recollections in the article are, unfortunately, a little flawed - Duclos-Lassalle finished first in 1992 and 1993, and came in 7th in 1994.

Duclos-Lassalle was off this bike, and on to a Excell tubed Lemond within the first 1/3 of the race that day. Why, we don't know. I think its fair to assume something as simple as a flat that early in the race wouldn't necessitate a bike change - and given that watching 1994 footage closely suggests he changed bikes again in the latter half of the race, to another Excell tubed frame, makes it unlikely whatever went wrong was easily fixed.

Check out that crazy rear suspension system - reminds me of the Moots YBB soft tail.

This scanned clipping over at the Mombat site gives a closeup of a Lemond that looks very similar to the one shown in the interview - it doesn't appear to be the same frame, but its probably fairly similar. Air/Oil shock? Or maybe the white thing in the picture above is some sort of elastomer?

Requisite Rock Shox Paris-Roubaix. Mavic 451 brake.

Potential technical issues aside, looks like a very cool ride, and I'd certainly like to know where any of these ended up after the race.

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