Re: RE: [CR]TA bike to? Let me Help --long

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From: <>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 15:21:26 EDT
Subject: Re: RE: [CR]TA bike to? Let me Help --long

To Phil and all,

Not to get to anal about a simple subject but some things of interest might be worth mentioning. Referencing Phil's comments below.

On Phil's 1A Cinelli stem that his TA bag closure loop slipped off of. I have used this stem many times with TA and Berthoud bags over the years with no problem though certainly anyone's personal results may vary. The actual position of the bag and it's mounting will certainly affect the security of the loop. Stems with bolts may help but a small bolt would be insecure for this application.

Proper tension of the elastic loop will be important as it will be used with different bag mounts and different length stems causing varying amounts of security. I have added a small shock cord (daisy chained) to mine on occasion and replaced the elastic with shorter and longer loops to keep tension on the flap manageable.

On the Pivo stem mentioned being a copy of a steel stem? I am not precisely sure which make model steel stem you are referencing but from a pure per spective on accuracy can you remember the French copying anybody on anything (grin, no comment please)?. Monsieur Pivo offered lots of stems over the years I feel and the one you might be referencing (?) from them is a unit with exposed expanded bolt on top and an open back that allowed viewing of the expander bolt. This model may be referenced as the PIVO Death Stem by members of this list (perhaps not?). I seem to remember a similar styled one offered by Fiamme or Ambrosio (in alloy) during the early or late 1970's but was it copy? I doubt it really and if it was who copied who, Fiamme or Pivo. Who cares, not me. The stem I referred to made by Pivo had a recessed Allen key fitting, no open back and seemed quite sturdy and well made (Cinelli was far more elegant and nicely finished of course) and very uncommon. A steel version of this design would be difficult to produce and unnecessarily heavy. I suspect this unit that you mention would not never be built. Perhaps there is a similar stem from Italy also, but this like many things Francais is somewhat shall I say; unique. Anyway I feel we where referencing two very different products so comparisons are not really possible.

<<Phil Wrote.....The Touring Cyclist Shop in Boulder, CO used to sell a support that slipped over the stem and the bag strapped to it. Worked very well but the red plastic coating wasn't to all tastes.>>

Hartley Alley's Touring Cyclists Shop was and institution and inspiration to me for many years and somewhat of a model for my own store in so far as emphasis. I was told the Front Handlebar Bag support and a similar styled Saddle Bag Support were made by Park Tool? I am not sure but the design is superb. I have some marketed by Schwinn NOS for the rear and some were offered with a Black coating as well as red vinyl dip. The rear support and front one have been sold in Europe in alloy and chromed steel versions but are very hard to locate. The Rear Saddle bag support also works poorly (unless you have a very small saddle bag) on smaller frames.

----On a more important subject (really) on bags supports. The French never explained this but they were way ahead on the curve of loading a bike properly. I feel this knowledge came from all the tourist Trial competitions held all over France (and Europe) following World War I. Innovators like Herse, Singer and many others developed a style and systems that later became consumer items over time.

The classic French style front handlebar bag (Like the TA style) was maligned in this country in books and magazine articles with the claim that it contributed to very poor handling. This is because they (the bags) were misinstalled here! American style handlebar bags all suffer this problem (Kirkland,Cannondale, Etc.) because they carry the weight of the load on the handlebar. This contributes to a sloshing effect when turning back and forth and a tail (head) wagging of the steering if the bag is heavily loaded. The Park/Schwinn/TCS support while simple and elegant certainly contributed to this as well.

The proper bag support (this is an ideal) is a sturdy brazed on three or four point rack made of tubular steel or alloy that is securely mounted to the fork crown and fork blades that is shaped like the bottom of the bag to be used. All weight is supported by the rack and an upright support from the rack also secures the bag for more stability. The handlebars simply hold a simple quick release mechanism and carry no real weight. No sloshing or tail (head) wagging will be noticed even with oversized loads. I have a large Berthoud front bag that routinely was filled with over 20 lbs (tools, liquids etc) and I found this could even stabilize the bike. The Rene Herse bike I am lucky enough to own can be ridden no hands with this arrangement (a little dicey going slow) and corners very well at high speed. Locating the load low, off the handlebars, and close in to the center of gravity makes great handling easy.

I think that French cyclists have enjoyed this arrangement for so long they don't realize how good they have it. Maps, tools, emergency clothing, baguettes and croissants are all within easy reach.

Highest regards to Phil and all,

Gilbert" Francophile in Training" Anderson Raleigh, NC

In a message dated 9/2/01 4:31:59 PM, writes:

<< In a message dated 9/2/01 7:56:33 AM, writes:

<< To expand upon this and other messages about TA bags and mounts.

The big elastic loop was designed (I feel) to loop over the back of the stem. Ancient and modern stems work fine with or without an exposed bolt as the 72-73 angle of classic stems tends to keep the loop taut and secure and with any tension at all on the strap prevents articles and bits from flying out of the top off the bag. The hook on the rear of the bag will secure the top flap down (by elastic loop) when the bag is removed from the bike for transport.

My elastic always slipped on my Cinelli 1A stem.

On a related subject a fellow brought by a 1971-1972 Gitane TDF bike Friday and it had a very nice (really) Pivo stem on this machine that had some heft to it. I had forgotten on this model the quill/extention juncture was oversized and bulged and would secure a TA bag elastic loop very well indeed. I wondered if the design was so intended?

Don't think so. The Pivo is an aluminium copy of a steel stem.

TA bags were the classic even when I started serious cycling as a young teen in the early 1970's. Any fellow with a TA bag (rack or sans rack) was generally known as a fellow who knew the ropes in this bike game and could a patch a sewup on the side of the road if need be. No cell phones in the old days.

Besides the TA support rack, many French small builders made excellent racks to support a TA or similar bag. My Rene Herse was set up for Randonnee's and has a Flashlight mounted to the rack on the right side below bag level and a generator front lamp mounted on the left side with the wires cleverly routed through the rack tubing and hidden under the mudguard. Mike Barry at Bicycle Specialties in Toronto does high quality work of this type as well.

The Touring Cyclist Shop in Boulder, CO used to sell a support that slipped over the stem and the bag strapped to it. Worked very well but the red plastic coating wasn't to all tastes.

Phil Brown
In a hot and humid Southern California