Re: [CR]Campy housing colors

(Example: Racing:Jean Robic)

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 09:21:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Tom Dalton" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Campy housing colors
To: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>,
In-Reply-To: <>

My memory is of myself as a 15 year old with a new set of SR brakes, being silly enough to care that my cables match my bike, and dumping the perfectly good, lined Campy housings for some cheesey Winnemann stuff that teh LBS promised was "just as good because it's also lined." Later, I decided to try the genuine article, and lo and behold it worked better. If one really wanted comparable performance AND color coordination, one could track down Cashiraghi stuff, but it was not widely available. The Clark's stuff was said to be good, though I recall it being spongy. Most of the rest fo the available options just weren't as good. I remember LOTS of "cool" guys using crappy-but-matchy housing. I guess that's what floated their boat. Once I realized that the Campy was as good as it gets, and once I realized that all the REALLY cool guys (da Pros) were using the stock Campy stuff, and once I realized that bike start to looks silly if excessively color-cooridnated, I stuck with the Campy stuff.

As for Bullseyes, I've never been conviced that they offered less friction. The bearings may have had less friction, but the alloy pulley on steel chain was at least noisier, if not more friction-y, than the nylon of a Campy pulley.

I always thought Campy pads struck a better balance between modualtion and grabbiness.

These days, on my nostalgia bikes, pretty much anything other than neutral colored stuff like Binda Extras, white Benotto finished with black electrical tape, black/grey/pearl housings, black saddles, and chrome toeclips, bottle cages, etc. seems in poor taste. In the day, my rider friends and I even had a term for displays of excess color-coordination: Matchy-watchy. I prefer to let the paint, decals and chrome of the frame be the focus, but I do remember going through a color-coordination phase, even painting in all the engraving on my components.

As for Bullseyes, I've never been conviced that they offered less friction. The bearings may have had less friction, but the alloy pulley on steel chain was at least noisier, if not more friction-y, than the nylon of a Campy pulley.

I always thought Campy pads struck a better balance between modualtion and grabbiness.

Overall, I think the whole assertion that it was cool to make these aftermarket mods is funny, because my memory is the opposite. All the fussing was the domain of juniors with lots of time on their hands, and the hotshot seniors seemed to go out of their way to downplay their concerns about the bike. It was a lot cooler to regard the bike as a tool and not an object to be adorned. Coolest of all was the guy who just used the suff he was given to use, changing only what he absolutely had to, and never voicing any worry about it. It was this way the entire time I was racing, though I found the attitude especially pronounced among the strong Seniors in Wisconsin. With them you weren't really even allowed to talk about bikes.

Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA, USA

Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <> wrote: Well the difference is that the changeout of Campy bits improved performance rather undermining it. Lined housings pull and return more easily, ball-bearing Bullseye pulleys definitely have less friction, and Malthauser pads definitely stop better than the originals. There were changeouts in the day that were cosmetic, or which actually undermined performance, but most of the ones I rememeber being common were definite improvements.


Jerry Moos

Tom Dalton <> wrote: That's good Jerry, and I've never undertood why people would mount Pep Boys tires an a Mercedes S-class.


Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <> wrote: I've never understood the concern with original cable housing. All the guys I rode with In The Day didn't think twice about changing cables and housings, whether because they wanted another color or because some other brand claimed to be better. It was common to change Campy brakes to lined housings when they became available, as well as to Kool Stop or Malthauser pads. Also, a lot of guys changed original Campy RD pulleys to Bullseye, usually the red ones.

I seldom stress over cables, housings, bar tape or even pulleys. There is a lot of stuff that may not be factory original, but is still typical of how bikes were really equipped In The Day. Like Dale says, it was almost uncool to have totally factory original stuff.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX wrote:

<< I have seen unlined black Campy housing, so I believe it goes back to the 1970's. >>

Tom, having sold that stuff from 1972 on, I could be wrong but I don't think there was anything but gray housing until the very late 1970s and possible even the early 1980s. I think some bike suppliers substituted other colors for their own reasons, either aesthetic or possibly even financial (as Campag housing was incrementally more expensive and they could save a nickel here, a dime there.)

Of course in the shops and ateliers, there was active housing color changing and customizing; in fact, it was almost uncool to use the supplied Campag stuff, even though it was often superior to aftermarket products...

Dale Brown cycles de ORO, Inc. 1410 Mill Street Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 USA 336.274.5959

-----Original Message----- From: Tom Dalton To: Cc: Classic Rendezvous Sent: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 10:05 am Subject: [CR]Campy housing colors

From: Mark Buswell wrote:

Hi all.

I recently picked up a set of Campagnolo brake cable housing in grey. Is the grey housing specific to Nuovo Record brake sets or did it also come with Super Record brake sets? What about white?

Mark, allow me to make this as confusing as possible...

The standard housing with Record and Super Record brakes was the grey housing from the time each brakeset was first offered (1968 and 1973, respectively, I think) until 1985 (late 84?), when the script logo calipers came out. The early housings were unlined and the lined housings came later. By the early 80's the linings were definitely present, though they may have come much earlier. (Anybody know???????)

When the C-record group was rolled out circa 1985, the housings were pearl white. This was the standard housing for the early (recalled) Deltas, and the stop-gap Cobaltos. At the tail end of SR production, the brakes were coming through with the "C-record" pearl white housings and the associated, thinner wires. The pearl white housing was standard for all Campy brakesets until 1992, if I recall correctly, then the standard became black.

While the black housing was standard in the off-topic 90's, Campy had been offereing it for a long, long time. I have seen unlined black Campy housing, so I believe it goes back to the 1970's. I have always associated it with Gran Sport brakes, becuase it was only on Gran Sport equipped bike that I normally saw it. As I said, that changed with the intro of the script logo brakes, circa 1985. (The funny thing about the very common script logo brakes is that the SR version was only top-of-the-line for one year before the Cobalto was rolled out. Looking back at the old pics, and speaking generally, the Euro pros used block logos in 1984, script logos in 1985, Cobaltos by mid 1986, and a mix of cobaltos and Deltas in 1987 and later. Also, for all the talk of script vs block, globe vs. shield, etc. on CR, all but the block logo caliper and globe logo hood are off-topic.)

Just to beat this to death, Victory and Triomphe came out around 1984 and included grey and black housing sets, respectively. Finally, the 1983 50th Anniversary brakes came with grey housings.

That's about it for housings... wanna talk cables? Hoods? Pulleys? Brake shoes? Keeping all the spare parts straight is a bit of a fools errand, and I'm the fool. Obviously, a normal Campy-equipped bike would make use of whatever spare parts were available, but I've taken some pains to figure out when changes were made to the service parts so that I can use the "correct" items when possible. That said, how many of the 1.8mm brake wires have you seen lately? They've gone the way of globe logo hoods.

Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA USA

--------------------------------- Got a little couch potato? Check out fun summer activities for kids.


________________________________________________________________________ AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at


--------------------------------- Ready for the edge of your seat? Check out tonight's top picks on Yahoo! TV.

Take the Internet to Go: Yahoo!Go puts the Internet in your pocket: mail, news, photos & more.