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  • Brooks B17 saddle
    does not appear to become established in the range before the 1920s Another much more specialised saddle the Sprinter 4 3 8in wide was introduced in the late 1920s as the name implies this was intended for short distance track events A further two new models were introduced for 1936 the Flyer and the Swallow left The Flyer was intermediate in width 5 1 4in between the Sprinter and Narrow The Swallow was the same width as the Narrow but had cutaway sides in order it was claimed to allow for more rider leg movement A year later the B17 Flyweight Champion was introduced Earlier in the 30s Brooks had made several racing saddles with aluminium sideplates in order to effect a weight saving The Flyweight used conventional steel wires but had an aluminium cantleplate and the leather significantly trimmed it was the same width as a Flyer and 5ozs lighter A year later it was renamed the Flyweight Flyer and a Flyweight version of the Narrow was introduced World War II saw a drastic reduction in the range to the basic models and it was not until 1949 that a wider range of models was offered A new range of lightweight models with aluminium cantleplates and stainless steel rails was launched On the standard range of B17 saddles chrome plated rails were also offered as an option for the first time They were numbered differently B27 Standard B37 Narrow B47 Sprinter and B57 Swallow In late 1952 though previously available on the continent a new B17 model the B17F was introduced this was essentially a modified version of the Narrow with keyhole slots in the top and a more rounded cantleplate with the leather trimmed away This was similar to how many riders were already modifying their saddles This model later evolved into the Special before disappearing from the catalogues just before the announcement of the B17 Competition at the November 1954 London Cycle Show The Competition was slightly wider initially than the Narrow 6 in and was intended strictly for the racing market In 1959 a special version the B17 Competition Campagnolo was introduced with longer rails set closer together offering more back and forth adjustment in conjunction with a special seatpin from Campagnolo This saddle was not a great success some riders complained that it was not stiff enough laterally This was the last introduction to use the name B17 But the Professional introduced in 1963 and the Pro Select were based on the B17 Competition but with larger rivets The Sprinter Flyer and Swallow were all dropped in the late 1960s but in the 1980s Brooks reintroduced new versions of the B17 Swallow these were not of the same quality as the originals But this year they relaunched a limited edition of the Swallow made in virtually the same way as the original The B17 Standard and Narrow still remain in production And some B17 Standards have recently been offered with titanium rails Detail Changes The

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/brooks-hs.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Campagnolo Record Hubs
    fasten the wheel to the frame On February 8th 1930 he patents the Campagnolo quick release fitting with cam fastening By 1933 he has started Campagnolo SRL and production of the quick release was started He engaged another Italian company to make the hubs FB with the necessary hollow axle By 1935 these are being imported into England by Tabucci an English importer of Italian cycle parts After WWII production continued and in 1951 Campagnolo gets FB to make complete hubs with the Campagnolo name stamped on them They are named Gran Sport by Campagnolo and are very similar to FB s own branded hubs with small aluminium flanges pressed onto a chromed steel barrel with integral bearing surfaces Two years later a large flange version is introduced In the early 1950s there was little competition to the Campagnolo hubs with quick release many riders in Britain were still using wingnuts Simplex offered a cam operated quick release hub which presuambly either got around the Campag patent or licensed it but was no better and Gnutti in Italy also had a cam operated QR but it was Campag hubs which most of the pro riders used even if they did not use Campag gears The hubs themselves were as good as any other of the period but not better it was the quick release that attracted the riders In the 1950s the amount of research and development work at Campag must have been staggering we will look at the development of the Gran Sport rear derailleur in another Design Classic but in 1956 headset micro adjust seatpin and pedals were launched cotterless chainset in 1958 together with the Record hubs with most being manufactured in house All these parts were light years ahead of the competition The Record hubs featured one piece forged aluminium hub shells either with small or large flanges with pressed in bearing cups which could be replaced and dustcaps and of course fitted with the hollow axle with the patent quick release Oil clips were fitted to the centre barrel though the hubs generally relied on grease lubrication rather than oil The road hubs featured a single threading for the multiple speed freewheel whilst the track hubs had just threading for fixed sprocket and lockring on just one side of the hub What set these hubs apart from the competition was the quality of the materials used and the standard of construction Like the earlier Gran Sport hubs the pro peleton soon adopted the Campagnolo hubs as standard These are a pair of the early Record large flange hubs with no Record engraving and straight quick releases Changes were few during production early hubs until the middle late 1960s were not engraved Record but simply Campagnolo A longer axle enabling the use of six speed freewheels was offered by the late 60s and in 1971 a Super Record version was announced with titanium spindles but was very quickly dropped The biggest changes were made in 1978

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hs-campag.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Carlton International
    Kevin and Gerald joined him later Gerald to become head honcho at Raleigh s specialist frame unit They continued with building frames with quality components at a price a little bit below that of the smaller builders Carlton were a bit bigger than most specialist builders with an output of 50 lightweight frames a week in 1939 Careful speccing and sourcing of componentry allowed them to put together a bike that would have plenty of credibility with the keen clubman but which was quite a bit cheaper than a Hetchins or Bates And this was perfectly demonstrated in the International model images top right and below introduced in 1953 The frame was quite modestly priced at 18 10s This became the International Clubman in late 1955 for the 1956 season with the frame price slashed to 12 15s 6d including chrome plating The lugs were as intricate as the Hetchins Magnum Opus and most were built from Reynolds 531 double butted tubing however some were actually built with 531 plain gauge tubing Of course there were not the extra touches that a Hetchins would display such as the stiffeners on the seatstay bridge but they were an exceptionally nice looking frame A complete International Clubman with chrome plating and 10 speed Simplex or Benelux gears cost 30 in 1957 which was about the price of a Hetchins Magnum Opus frame The head lugs were really intricate with long windows in the front and small windows each side Quite how the lugs were cut so well at what essentially was a cut price is not known Later Capella lugs which were a little bit fancy were made from pressings in Italy I believe Chrome plated head lugs and fork crown were a standard option and even flam paint was included in

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/carlton-hs.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Constrictor Conloy rims
    pedals toeclips and rims under the Conloy brand name and were awarded the CTC Plaque for the greatest improvement to cycling with their Conloy products The cranks and pedals were only listed for a couple of years or so but the solid section rims with a very similar crescent aero shape to the steel ones they already made were a great success Constrictor imported most of these aluminium components from France but in 1933 import duty was radically increased and Constrictor looked to source components in England Pedals and hubs were now made by BSA for Constrictor And by 1934 the rims began to be manufactured in house They were now of a hollow section still with the crescent aero shape made from an extruded tube reshaped and rolled into a spiral to be cut to the correct length before being joined with a steel plate Constrictor were now able to offer rims in any diameter and drilling but the vast majority were 26 x 1 in which was pretty much the standard wired on size for lightweight bikes in the 1920s and 30s Sometime during 1935 Constrictor introduced a new version of the hollow rim which was just a little narrower and a little lighter This was the classic Asp rim image right Now all Constrictor crescent shaped rims are often known as Asps but the name was reserved for the narrower section rims At about the same time Dunlop introduced a new wheel size the 27 x 1 in 630mm bead seat diameter which was not related to any other size Constrictor soon offered the Asp in Dunlop s new size as well as the two common 26s and what Constrictor called continental 27s what we know as 700C Constrictor Asp rims continued through the 1930s 40s and

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hs-conloy.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Fiamme double-eyeletted hollow section rims
    1933 two months before the patents were taken out Two images of a c1935 Fiamme wired rim showing the steel eyelets from each side of the rim In the 1930s aluminium alloy bicycle rims were still quite a rarity despite such rims rims being first manufactured in the Edwardian period for luxury roadsters such as Sunbeam and Lea Francis These bicycle makers were however far less concerned about weight than about appearance the aluminium did not need plating and kept its shiny appearance for longer In the late 20s and early 30s aluminium rims made a reappearance we have looked at Constrictor Conloy rims these were a pioneering rim using aluminium alloy initially in a solid section and later with a very slight hollow section These were quite reliable and light but not very stiff Mavic s version of the new design was soon tested in competition in conditions of great secrecy in the 1934 Tour de France by the French star Antonin Magne His rims were supposedly painted in wood colours to look like the wood rims used by the vast majority of the participants Wood rims seriously lack stiffness though are reasonably light and also offer a poor braking surface However they do insulate the tyre from the heat generated by braking on really long descents Mavic s new aluminium rims offered improved braking were very strong stiff and lighter than the wood ones Fiamme manufactured both wired on clincher and sprint rims for tubular tyres using the design The rims for wired on tyres were more of a Westwood section with only a very narrow surface for braking on in the first year And the eyelets joining the upper and lower walls of the rim were aluminium By 1935 a squarer section rim for wired on tyres

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hs-fiamme.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Selbach
    1923 and 1924 road record attempts Bastide flat section wood sprint rims together with Brooks B17 Champion saddle double sided rear hub with fixed cogs and Coventry Elite chain completed the spec with a weight of 21lb In 1925 he collaborated with another south London builder Granby to launch frames built from Reynolds taper tubing Exactly who did what is a little confused the patent was not in Selbach s name But very soon he was selling frames built with the main tubes tapered Both the down tube and seat tube became larger at the bottom bracket whilst the top tube could either be the standard one inch diameter or could be tapered either way Selbach also offered the option of cartridge bearing brackets Other little innovations that appeared later from 1930 onwards included a forward facing seat bolt that clamped the seatpin win with a split cotter Timken taper roller bearing bottom headset race Timken taper roller bottom bracket bearings and Timken taper roller bearing hubs Some of these appear quite frequently the Timken headset and special seat bolt but others have never been found on surviving machines Left Selbach Timken taper roller bearing bottom head race By 1930 over 3000 frames had been built and Selbach frames were definitely the frame to ride in the early 30s Under various top riders of the day Jack Rossiter the Wyld brothers Harry Grant and many others they notched up a huge number of championship wins both here and in South Africa where apparently they were also sold It s quite difficult to track down just who won what amateur status was very important at the time and whilst racing successes could be claimed no names were attached unless the riders were professional Such was their success that it was alleged

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hs-selbach.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Simplex plunger/push-rod derailleurs
    to persuade the management of the Alcyon racing team to fit his Le Simplex gear to their machines for the 1928 Paris Roubaix unfortunately the riders revolted and refused to use the new unproven gears This did not deter Lucien Juy too much and by the early 1930s many racers were using Le Simplex 100 races were won using the gear in 1931 and 200 in 1932 It was being produced in quantity Simplex claimed that they made 40 000 gears in 1933 Four diffferent national French championships were won that year on the Le Simplex gear which was now available in a 3 speed version too And a special fork end was available which the gear could be directly fitted to removing the necessity for the bracket Two years later this was developed into the Champion de France gear with much larger side plates to move the chain this gear was Simplex s main racing gear for the next 11 years though was not as popular with the racers as the Super Champion Osgear The Champion du Monde left the 1936 version was probably the world s first gear to be offered in a 5 speed version to be used in conjunction with a 5 speed freehub whose sprockets slid onto the freehub with an octagon fitting and was the first use of 3 32in chain Simplex also offered a range of gears for touring utility and city bikes these were enormously successful and completely dominated the market in most of Europe except for Britain But back to the racing gears the Champion du Monde right continued in production after WWII in both France and Italy The key moment in the development came with the substitution of a pulley for the two side plates This offered a much more precise change the first version was not entirely successful in having a back plate in two pieces but a year later it was modified with a single piece rear cage The sprung top pivot ensured that the top pulley was close to the freewheel sprockets and this resulted in a lightning fast shift action Almost immediately the Tour de France became the standard gear of the peloton The introduction of Campagnolo s Gran Sport gear in 1951 changed things a little initially and by the late 50s had almost completely taken over the pro peloton The plunger push rod rear Simplex gears shifted much better but were more prone to accident damage and were considerably less robust Additionally different versions were required for 3 4 or 5 speed freewheels making stock control harder for cycle shops Fitting and adjustment was also fiddly and more time consuming than for the Gran Sport In 1951 the Juy 51 images below was introduced which featured a second cable which automatically adjusted the chain tension with wide ratios This gear was developed into the 543 left for the 1955 season this was designed to rival the Gran Sport and could be adjusted for 3

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/simplex-hs.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Stronglight cotterless cranks
    end of the axle This was practically the only difference from modern cotterless square taper designs which use a bolt It is not quite certain whether they were available in quantity in 1937 as in the 1938 catalogue Constrictor writes We have had a few of these tested during the last year and they have all proved satisfactory In the 1938 catalogue a steel cotterless crank with three arms to take standard continental type chainrings was also offered They were certainly expensive costing 1 15s in 1938 compared to the top cranks from BSA which were always considered the best available which were priced at 14s 6d Only single chainwheels were available But they were the first reliable aluminium crank it is rare to find a broken 49D crank Cottered aluminium cranks which were made both in England and France suffered a large number of breakages After WWII Constrictor did not import the cranks again it was left to another British import company Fonteyns who started to bring them in by about 1950 Interestingly they referred to the single chainwheel version of the model we now know as the 49D as the 32 I do wonder whether Stronglight renumbered their models just a little later And even more curiously recommended only using a double chainwheel with the steel cranks which they did call 49A A for Acier steel Both the steel and aluminium cranks were now fastened to the bottom bracket axle by bolts rather than nuts A few years later certainly by 1955 the British importers had changed again to Evian and from then on the 49D designation was used Left Stronglight 49D crankset In 1957 Stronglight launched the type 57 Super Competition set This was designed from from the beginning to use double chainwheels with a large modern type 5 arm spider with 122mm bcd able to take chainrings down to 38T This was truly modern in concept and pre dated the Campagnolo Record chainset by a year And Campagnolo went ahead and copied Stronglight s square taper bottom bracket fitting only the extractor threads were different And the rest as they say is history the square taper design was gradually adopted during the 1960s by almost all chainset manufacturers and of course became the standard until Shimano broke the mould with their splined chainset fittings on MTB chainsets in the middle 1990s which later filtered down to the road sets Above Stronglight 57 cranks Tip Crank Extractor This uses a unique 23 2mm thread which is very similar to the TA But do not use a TA extractor it will strip the threads in a Stronglight crank The Stronglight extractor can be distingushed from a TA one by a shoulder at the base of the threads Dating Guide Early cranks have a shallower engraving and pre war ones sold in the UK are also stamped Conloy on the reverse side They were fitted with dust caps with two pin holes The two pin hole dustcaps remained until

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hs-stronglight.html (2016-02-09)
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