I have seen plenty bikes with the non-official bolts, but there was nothing wrong with the Campy bolts and no reason not to use them. The bolts that often were used in their place, such as those that came with Cristophes, were much longer than was needed, which left a lot of unused threads exposed behind the cage and took a few extra precious seconds of time to install. Also, you couldn't use the cool T-wrench. I suppose with the steel pedals the longer bolt would allow use of a nut, but that's not needed unless you've stripped the threads in the cage. On the alloy pedals the cage is built up around the hole, since the material is soft and would strip if the thread was only as deep as the rest of the cage is thick. Witness most other brands of alloy pedal, where the extra material isn't there and stripping is common. With the built up area on the back of the cage there is no good place for a nut to sit.
The bolts have come with the pedals since waaaaay back. I have an old set of SLs, NIB, probably from the early 70's based on the small logo. Yes, the older ones came in a waxy bag, and I believe there were a couple of logo styles. And yes, they have no real collector value.
The only variants on the bolts are: 1) the older ones had steel washers and the newer ones were alloy. 2) the steel pedals came with slightly shorter bolts (by maybe 2mm) because they engaged less material. The bolts on Ebay were the longer ones, had the alloy washers and the new plastic bag. To the extremely limited extent that a set of Campy toeclip bolts could be valuable (steel washers, short bolts) these bolts fall short. $27 for the "desireable" ones wouldn't surprise me if two of our friends in Japan wanted them for their $500 NOS Con Dentes, but $27 for those on Ebay is nutty. They are in many a junk box at your typical swap meet, and at such an event, I would consider $2.00 to be gouging. But you have to love E-bay.
BTW, the "official" Campy clips were not used "back in the day" becasue they didn't come out until about 1982. After that, people used them, but they were pricey. If you wanted "fancy" you could get Cinelli or Ale alloy for less... in colors! The steel Cristophes were a fraction of the price of the steel Campys, and essentially as good.
Tom Dalton Looking too closely in Bethlehem, PA
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