I found this article absolutely fascinating regarding the plethora of frame, tire and gearing (the newly allowed derailleur) choices for the 1939 Tour based on riders strengths, terrain, quality of roads, and the chances that the rider was willing to take. Reminded me a bit of the original MTB scene where development was going in all directions for several years. I appreciated the comment that the derailleur may have reduced mistakes in gear choices (for a flip flop single cog arrangement), but as a result competition got much fiercer because the playing field was much more level. There was no time for the break to change gears, or perhaps catch up on a later stage. "Today (1939) the construction of bicycles and the making of road surfaces have improved to such an extent that the riders are obliged to "go" on each and every stage." A good demonstration of how the bike racer's life may be tougher than those hero's of yore.
Dan Artley in Parkton, Maryland
Archive-URL: http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp?Filename=classicrendez vous.10802.0026.eml From: "Dr. Paul Williams" <castell5(AT)sympatico.ca> Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 13:41:12 -0500 Subject: [CR]Equipment used in the 1939 T de F (Cycling 1945); ( http://sea rch.bikelist.org/query.asp?SearchString=%22Equipment+used+in+the+1939+T+d e+F+%28Cycling+1945%29%3B%22&SearchPrefix=%40msgsubject&SortBy= MsgDate%5Ba%5D ) Folks, Scanned and uploaded to Wooljersey - a fascinating discussion of equipment changes in the pre-War years (from Cycling 13 June 1945 - translated from the French by Sgt. H. Aspden) . Complete with pics of Bartali, Camusso, Vietto, Vissers, Sylvere Maes and Vanoverberghe. Well worth the read for those restoring and rebuilding bikes of this period. http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/castell5/39+tour/ Paul Williams, Ottawa, ON, Canada