Very interesting post. Could you tell us more about the Ofmega Sintesi crank? I've seen Ofmega Mistral, CX, Mundial, Alpine, Campagnolo-clone Competezione and various unrevolutionary later types plus of course the Sintesi pedals (often branded as Avocet) which aren't uncommon but never a Sintesi crankset.
Kurt Sperry Bellingham, Washington USA
2009/2/12 Norris Lockley <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> The EDCO brand name derives from the name of the founder of the original co
> mpany DUBIED et Cie...a Swiss precision machining company, founded in 1867
> by Henri- Edouard Dubied, who at that time was an internationally known dis
> tiller of blue absinthe.
> Henri-Edouard then ventured into the manufacture of industrial knitting mac
> hines, founding a company that became internationally known as one of th
> e leading suppliers of V-bed and flat-bed knitting machines
> In the early 1900s it also manufactured among other things steel cycle hubs
> , being also known for producing a range of lathes.
> During the period 67 -72 the company's Jacquard system double-knitting mach
> ines were used world wide in the clothing industry, but when competition fr
> om other companies flooded the market and prices dropped Dubied's viabil
> ty began to be questioned. However it struggled on and invented a 3-dimensi
> onal circular knitting machine capable of knitting carbon-fibre marix mater
> ials for use in manufacturing carbon brake discs for aeroplanes. Unfortunat
> ely the company had financial problems in the late 80s and went into bankru
> ptcy in 1987. The manufacturing business was bought out by an English co
> mpany in 1988, but it seems that the original company remained in business
> selling and repairing knitting machines until its final liquidation in Janu
> ary 2008.
> A descendant of the original founder , and a very keen cyclist, started div
> ersifying into cycle parts in the 70s and 80s, and I had the pleasure of be
> ing introduced to him by Bruno Gourmand, the boss of MAVIC, at the Cologne
> Show in 1984. I remember him as a tall extremely elegant refined gentleman
> who got his kicks out of bikes and, as the market for high-end accessories
> developed, decided to produce parts that his factory had the skills and cap
> acity to make.
> Because of their capacity for precision turning, his first products were
> sophisticated cartridge bottom brackets and headsets, shortly to be follow
> ed by sets of hubs. His firm however had no capacity for casting or forging
> and so in eagerness tio produce a groupset he bought in from other manufac
> turers. I recall that both Simplex and Huret supplied him with gear sets, a
> nd I think Modolo made his brake sets for at least some while.
> It is interesting to note that not too far away from Dubied's factory site
> there was a company called Di Modolo..but whether this was connected to the
> Di- Modolo company in Piave, Italy, I do not know.
> The crank sets were mostly produced by the same firm who did the forging at
> that time for TA and MAVIC, a company that was based in Spain. Whether the
> re was a connection with ZEUS, I am not certain. There was also another Spa
> nish producer of cranks whose name escapes me but I think it begins with SE
> or SU. It has been suggested that some cranks were produced by either Nerv
> ar or Stronglight..but judging by the quality of the EDCO cranksets, and if
> there is any truth in the rumour, it is likely that Stronglight would have
> been the manufacturer, particularly as the design of the crank spider rese
> mbles a couple of sets produced in the Stronglight range, albeit with a low
> er standard of finish.
> Just for the record the revolutionary ( sorry about the pun) crankset calle
> d the OFMEGA Sintesi in the early 80s, the forgings were made in the UK by
> Sturmey-Archer of all companies, and the machining carried out in Italy
> Up to 1988 the firm was known as E. Dubied, but then became known as EDCO,
> after the failure of the parent company. I understand that the cycle parts
> division was bought out by management, and apparently the company is still
> trading today, specialising in turned components, particularly hubs and whe
> Norris Lockley...Settle UK..where no cranksets for either EDCO or OFMEGA ha
> ve ever been produced.