I finally got my UMAX working with Windows 7 (x64) and took her for a test run by finally scanning this old Suntour catalog.A There are some interesting tidbits in this one, but one big problem; the catalog is almost entirely in Japanese.AA If anyone is brave enough to attempt translating, please let me know.A Gratitude is all you will receive.A
Remember the early days of BMX?A Anodizing!A Blue, red, and gold.A Suntour has some early examples of that in this catalog.A The "Hole Shot" two speed set up of BMX is in this as well.A I vaguely remember one or two kids using it, but it never caught on at the track.A Also of note, the "Mighty Click" system.A I don’t recall seeing this on any bikes here in the US, but from what it looks like, it is an early version of indexing.AA Ultra-6 chains and Ultra freewheels show up in here as well.A I remember them well when I was in college.A Broke not onlyAa bunch of chains, but several freewheel cogs as well.A It was at this point that I decided that Suntour was too "lightweight" and began migrating over to Shimano.A But in hindsight, the Superbe is, well, superb!
Always check your SQL version before an upgrade!A Locked myself out when I upped to WP 2.9.2 and because I’m on a shared server, my provider would not upgrade the SQL to work.A C’est la vie.A At last I figured out how to downgrade so I could access my posts.A And delete all the spam.A Amazing.A Almost 200 comments.A Only one was valid.A Hello, Hello, anyone home?
In any event, while I have not added any new content to the Bicycle Info Project, I have (as in past years), put up my photographs of the TD Bank/International Cycling Championship.A You can view the 2010 race here.A Or you can view previous years here.
It’s hard to believe that the race is 26 years old.A I’ve been to all of them.A (I even saw a lap or two in 1999 when my oldest was in the hospital at CHOP.)A When I first started back in the eighties, three or four of us would head down with the Sunday paper, some lawn chairs, and a cooler full of beer and hang out at The Wall.A No guard rails and you could walk easily up and down the street.A Now, I only go for the first lap as it has turned into the annual block party for Manayunk.A As the years went by, I began to ride down with people from the shop I worked at.A Always took pictures, but got more serious about it around 2000.A I then started to post the shots on the web and sent out blurbs to Velonews, and others to try and hawk one or two for publication.A Nada.A In all the years I have shot and displayed, I managed to sell one shot.A Robbie Ventura bought an image of himself coming into the corner in 2001(?) and used it on his coaching site.A Nice guy.A Shot on film as well.A Even had an interneg made so he could get a couple of prints for his folks.A Hope it is still hanging somewhere in the den.A I also got a nice note from a dad of one of the racers who could not make it who was thrilled to see a great shot of his kid.A Sent him a full size gratis.A You gotta love a proud parent.
The Wolber brochure is mostly tires but does have the Super Champion rim line as well.A Perhaps the most interesting item that merits the "what the hell is that for?" prize is the Mixte rim.A This rim could accommodate both clinchers AND tubulars.A Sounded pretty neat when launched but after thinking about it a while, what purpose did it serve?A For all the time and effort it takes to mount a tubular, it’s not worth it to use as a combo race/training rim.A Granted, if you destroy a tire in Outer Godknowswhere, and only have access to one kind of tire, you’ll be thankful for it.A But how often does that happen?
On the other hand, the Sugino Tension Disc was pretty cool.A I only saw one in my bike shop life.A Aero for wheels make some sense if you are time trialing/racing.A This was a little bit more economical than a full disc from Mavic or HED, but Athere were nylon covers at the time that did the same thing (‘tho not UCI legal).A So the Tension Disc kinda fell in the middle.A AI do wonder how hard it was to have built up into a full wheel and how durable it was.A Did it go out of true a lot?A I don’t know, maybe someone who had/has one will chime in.
From the eighties, I believe.
The introduction of SIS.A Shimano Indexing System.A It had been done before, by Suntour a few years prior, but Shimano really made it their own.A I remember the complaints I heard from back then. My favorite?A "The clicks will tell your competitor what you are doing."A Didn’t bother me.A I never raced.A This is the gruppo that I feel really brought the Dura-Ace line together.A It was cohesive and attractive, without the "sqeezed in the vice" look of AX, the nuttiness of EX, or the copycat qualities of the earliest Dura-Ace/Titlist.A I’ll admit it;A I’m an unabashed fan of DA and still ride a bike with the first eight speed group.A And with prices the way they are, I’ll probably be riding it for quite a while into the future.
Excuse my french but I just put up a 1988 LOOK catalog.AA Remember the Mondrian years?AA Ah, mais oui.AA It’s a big glossy book, great printing.AA Those must have been some good years for LOOK.AA It has the usual lineup of pedals and shoes, and two carbon frames (a road and a mountain).AA Was this the first year they offered carbon fibre?AA I doubt it, but it’s the oldest reference material that I have from them.AA Also inside the front cover is a big splash about a carbon crankset.AA I don’t think it ever was produced, but again, I did not have a lot of customers that used their equipment.AA( The cycling industry has a history of vaporware just like the software industry.AA My favorite is the Shimano Dura-Ace TENAAroad group which I will discuss at some future time.)
I, like many other ugly americans, have a bad habit of railing against French design and engineering.AA Citroen, Eclair; great stuff that breaks.AA A lot.AA Yet I have to give a big french kiss to LOOK.AA I have about six pairs of their pedals from many different years and all of them work.AA Never had one fail on me.AA I’ve used cleats that you could see through and could still click in and out with ease.AA Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a broken one.AA And they have not changed the design!AA I can still get cleats.AAAA C’est miracle!
You know; it’s either feast or famine around here.A And right now it’s a feast.A I put up two early 80’s brochures from the British frame component manufacturer, Haden.A I never built with any of their lugs or crowns so don’t have a real clue as to what the level of quality was.A I doubt that they are still in business.A But please let me know if I’m wrong.A Happy Ho, Ho.
As I’m sure many of you have noticed, the Bicycle Info Site contains a wealth of knowledge about steel tubing.AA One of the reasons for this is that I once thought of becoming a framebuilder.AA I built about a dozen frames and some stems from around 1985 til about 1995.AA The name I used was Equus Cycle Frames.AA Equus is Latin for horse and I felt that horses, like bikes, came in several different versions.AA Thus the Thoroughbred was the race frame, the Appaloosa was the all round frame, The Percheron was the touring frame, and the Mule was the off road frame.AA I made racing, touring, and off road, both lugged and lugless in Columbus, Reynolds, True Temper; and even a frame made from Carpenter’s Aermet (the grandpa of all the new air hardened steels).AA I never had the tenacity or capital to make it a full time gig.AA In the beginning, I offered people a frame for $300.AA (This is after I had built a couple for myself.)AA I had one taker.AA Over the years I built a couple of more for myself and got a few commissions (also for dirt cheap), but never had people screaming for a custom frame.AAAA I never quite figured it out.AA I thought that a lot of folks would be willing to try someone new out for such a low price.AA I would.AA But it never happened.AA I know that one reason is location.AAAA Philly has a lot of cyclists, and all of them ride cheap bikes.AA Not necessarily garbage, but old is good, used is good,AA and a closeout is something very special to cherish forever.AA After seeing cyclists and talking to shop rats in other parts of the country, I realize that this area is always going to be low to middle end.AA Heck, even the homeless people in Boulder ride a Trek.AA
Still, I’m glad I did it.AA Now that I’m older and have more room and time, I think about trying again, but my wife is not keen on the idea.AA She works for an insurance company.AA I still ride the second frame I ever made (a touring frame named Leah that clocks in at over seven pounds without the fork and has 19 inch chainstays) and my first "go fast" frame.AA While I have not built any frames recently, I kept all my tooling.AA Hopefully my daughter wants one.AA I’ll give her a great deal.
. . . is finally up on the site at http://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/truetemper/index.html.AA It dates from around ’87 judging by the order form I found inside.AA For the bean counters out there, the most expensive tube set was the ATX and it cost a whopping $66.25 back then.AA I have not priced any of the newer steels recently, but I feel pretty confident that they will cost a bit more.
I get a lot of email about my site, most of it looking for some more specific information.AA Every once in while, though,AAa request comes along that I have no idea how to answer.AA I received one the other day from a Mr. Pratt in New Zealand asking about the Fiorelli brand name.AA He was wondering if the nameAAmight be available for him to use on his own brand of bikes.AA I’m clueless and curious.AA If the bike has not been in production for a certain amount of time, can one claim the name and use it?AA Does the name have to be copyrighted (or the equivalent in other countries) and if it is not, can someone else use it?AA In any event, he wrote me a nice email and seems a decent enough fellow that I told him I’d post it up here and see if any of my readers might have a clue.AA Particularly those in Italy who might be able to direct Mr. Pratt to the correct agency to find out.AA If you find something and don’t want to make it public, just send me an email and I will forward it to him.AA Grazia.