Re: [CR]Lugged Steel


Example: Framebuilders:Tony Beek
To: siverson@garlic.com
Cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 10:40:10 -0800
Subject: Re: [CR]Lugged Steel
From: "Mark A. Perkins" <bicyclemark@juno.com>


Nice story Eric:

Not to be a know-it-all, but I was there, met Gary, and his partners at the time, Jim Williams and Brian Vandeworken (sp?). I've lost track of Brian, but I still talk with Gary and Jim on occasion. The place though, was San Martin, also near Gilroy and Morgan Hill. It was a farm on the east side of hwy. 101, Gary's family's farm, where the barn and tool shed were turned into a manufacturing facility as well as an apartment for Brian and Jim. It was all surrounded by crops most of the time. My late wife and I used to go visit them there. Oh yea, I did purchase a Klein Team Super in '77, still have it, and probably put over 500 miles on it during the past year. Once Gary let me take home the first frame that they had built, a track frame which they had just re-painted metallic purple, and outfit it with my own components so that I could ride it at the Hellyer Park Velodrome in San Jose. It weighed 14 1/2 lbs., and all one had to do was to think fast, and it went fast. Alas, it wasn't mine, and I gave it back to Gary and suggested he let some younger, more serious racers use it, so he loaned it to the San Jose Bicycle Club and I have pictures of Chris Springer (then nor-Cal Jr. sprint champ) racing on it, and winning every sprint.

That's my only fat-tubed aluminum bike though, and I have one of the Guerciotti labeled Alan's too, but my main ride though is a lugged frame, made from Columbus SL and 304 "quarter-hard" stainless steel tubing, with mostly Henry James investment cast lugs, cinelli MCA crown, and a beautiful set of G.P. Wilson stainless steel dropouts. The best part is that I built it myself, #3 of 5 (Borg designation?) that I've built so far, and I still own #1 (lugged Vitus chromoly - touring) & #5 (lugless Tange Prest. OS - MTB w/S-A drum brakes) too. Sorry about that folks, it just came out so nice that I sometimes feel like telling the world about it. Maybe sometime soon I will be able to build more frames, that is one of my goals in life.

Cheers, "Bicycle Mark" Perkins Fresno Cycling Club - Historian (got it right this time) Fresno, California, U.S.A.

On Sat, 26 Jan 2002 01:41:35 -0800 <siverson@garlic.com> writes:
> I usually keep my posts to the list brief, but this time, I wanted to
> contribute a few observations on the subject of the steel tubed road
> frames which are our passion:
>
> When I was a boy, my father bought my brother and I matching heavy-duty
> single speed Schwinns -- with springer forks. For a fifth-grader it
> was just about the ultimate bike. (The only thing sportier at the time
> would have been a sturmy-archer 3-speed English racer). As time passed
> we moved to a larger city, and I saw my first 10-speed bike with
> dropped bars! Believe me, I was hooked, and as soon as I could, I sold
> my Schwinn for pennys-on-the-dollar to raise money to by a Puch Clubman
> with Huret Alvit deraileurs. As time passed and funds became more
> available, I upgraded to higher quality framsets and components. In
> the 70's I saw my first "fat-tube" aluminum road frame. It was a
> Klein, and very expensive, and in it's own way appealing, but I already
> had a fine Bob Jackson road bike that examplified all I had ever wanted
> in a road bike! More important, I had by this time accumulated many
> components and accessories that would not fit on an oversize frame.
> So even though Gary Klein and his shop were only 5 miles away , and I had
> the money, I never placed an order. I made a concious decision to stick
> with steel bikes because I liked their craftsmanship,
> interchangeability of parts, and simple elegance.
>
> Observation: The popularity of the European-style road bike by the 70's
> supplanted the balloon tire Schwinn and drove it completely out of the
> market place. Now in the present day, "fat-tube" aluminum bikes from
> Specialized, Trek, and Cannondale have all but supplanted lugged steel
> frames in the retail marketplace.
>
> Conclusion: By the 90's Schwinn "springers" had been out of production
> for so long, that if you took one out on a ride, it would get more
> "looks" than a Colnago. Correspondingly, the value of fine examples of
> heavy-duty Schwinn craftsmanship -- like the Phantom models -- went
> through the roof. Now with mountain bikes being the most popular
> style, and "fat-tube" frames being the only readily available road
> alternative, our lugged steel road frames are beginning to look
> unusual, and if I might stretch the use the term -- antique -- and in
> the best sense of that word: rare and valuable.
>
> So, let Specialized, Trek, and Cannondale, crank-out as many "funny"
> bikes as they want. Go to it! I say, reinvent the bicycle frame!
> Make my lugged steel frame look as out-of-date to new bikes as my old
> Schwinn springer compared to the drop-bar 10-speeds of my childhood;
> because the more unusual and rare fine lugged steel begins to appear,
> the more valuable it will become.
>
> Erik Siverson
> Gilroy Cal.
> (. . .just down the road from former home of Klein, and now the home
> of
> Specialized -- Morgan Hill, CA.)