Re: [CR] Rene Herse Ligtweight Record Bike


Example: Events

Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 14:38:07 -0800
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net>
To: Edward Albert <ealbert01@gmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <c6ff64470902091249n1de2dd5dxd76556bcef8d4d3e@mail.gmail.com>
Cc: fred_rednor@yahoo.com, Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: Re: [CR] Rene Herse Ligtweight Record Bike


I think you missed my point as well. I don't think the guys who ride steel touring or commuting or city bikes are resisting innovation, but rather most of the innovations since WWII has been focused on racing bikes, and relatively little offered for tourist/commuters. I'm told that when Cannondale first started making bikes, right about at the date of the CR cutoff, they actually offered some fully equipped and maybe even "integrated" touring bikes, so there have been some aluminum touring bikes made, both before and after the CR cutoff, and both before and after WWII. Kind of makes sense Cannondale would make a touring bike, since I believe their first products were bike bags, in fact I have some Cannondale bags from In The Day before they started making bikes. But, other than the one Jan Heine tested a couple of issues ago, I don't think I've ever seen what I'd call a touring or commuter bike made of carbon fibre or of Ti. So while some guys may ride steel touring bikes out of nostalga, they also do so because there aren't a lot of good non-steel tourers available. And interesting as I found Jan's review of the carbon randonneur, at over $10,000 for the complete bike, I don't think it's going to become popular for hauling the groceries home from the supermarket. Maybe it is the case that lugged steel is just the perfect construction for bicycles used as actual transportation, but I don't think we've yet seen enough non-steel bikes like that to know.

The problem with your comparison is that the racers, after many years of delay, did finally adopt derailleurs and alloy cotterless cranks, and more powerful brakes, and alloy bars and stems and and a whole long list of components adopted by tourists decades earlier, and these components did quite clearly improve racing bike performance. But tight frame clearance and the short reach brakes and skinny tires that accompany it on modern racing bikes simply don't and can't work on touring bikes. And lack of fittings for mudguards, racks etc. sure makes a tourer less optimum. And even brifters offer very little advantage to the tourist compared to ratcheted Suntour barcons with separate brake levers, and the brifters increase cost and complexity and reduce choice. So unlike the the pre-WWII racers who clearly resisted innovations they could easily have used, today's tourists simply aren't seeing much in the racing bike innovations that is of any use to them.

Regards,

Jerry Moos\Big Spring, Texas, USA


--- On Mon, 2/9/09, Edward Albert wrote:


> From: Edward Albert <ealbert01@gmail.com>

\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Rene Herse Ligtweight Record Bike

\r?\n> To: jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net

\r?\n> Cc: fred_rednor@yahoo.com, "Mitch Harris" <mitch.harris@gmail.com>, Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

\r?\n> Date: Monday, February 9, 2009, 2:49 PM

\r?\n> Jerry you missed my point. I will try to be more clear.

\r?\n> You say it was the

\r?\n> racers back than and Degrange who opposed innovation. It

\r?\n> seems to me it is

\r?\n> the "Steel is real" or die contingent who, today,

\r?\n> are the ones refusing to

\r?\n> even entertain the possibility of innovation. See the*

\r?\n> irony*? (pun

\r?\n> intended)

\r?\n> Sorry to be so blunt.

\r?\n> Edward Albert

\r?\n> Chappaqua, New York, U.S.A.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 3:23 PM, Jerome & Elizabeth Moos

\r?\n> <

\r?\n> jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

\r?\n>

\r?\n> > Well, I thought I was clear, "the racers"

\r?\n> then and now are those who

\r?\n> > participate in bicycle races for money, so

\r?\n> professional racers to be more

\r?\n> > precise. But if your point is that it wasn't so

\r?\n> much the racers themselves

\r?\n> > who were opposed to innovations, but more the

\r?\n> organizers and sanctioning

\r?\n> > bodies, headed by Degrange and his associates, then I

\r?\n> agree with that point.

\r?\n> > There was in the first decade of the 20th century an

\r?\n> ongoing debate between

\r?\n> > Velocio writing in Le Cyclist and Desgrange in

\r?\n> L'Auto and/or L'Equipe in

\r?\n> > which Veloico advocated multiple gearing, and

\r?\n> Desgrange derided it as for

\r?\n> > "those over forty-five". But prominent

\r?\n> racers were also quoted saying that

\r?\n> > derailleurs would take too much energy to pedal,

\r?\n> presumably because of the

\r?\n> > more complicated chain path. So while they may not

\r?\n> have been opposed to

\r?\n> > technical assistance, many racers evidently did not

\r?\n> believe technical

\r?\n> > innovations would actually be an advantage. Rather

\r?\n> strange, as Velocio and

\r?\n> > the

\r?\n> > tourists had pretty clearly proven the advantages of

\r?\n> derailleurs by, among

\r?\n> > other things, trouncing the professional times for

\r?\n> climbing several

\r?\n> > prominant cols used regularly in the TdF. But maybe

\r?\n> the racers of that era

\r?\n> > were not the most literate lot, and so perhaps they

\r?\n> hadn't followed the

\r?\n> > reports on the Technical Trials in Le Cyclist.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Regards,

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Jerry Moos

\r?\n> > Big Spring, Texas, USA

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > --- On Mon, 2/9/09, Edward Albert

\r?\n> <ealbert01@gmail.com> wrote:

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > > From: Edward Albert <ealbert01@gmail.com>

\r?\n> > > Subject: Re: [CR] Rene Herse Ligtweight Record

\r?\n> Bike

\r?\n> > > To: jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net

\r?\n> > > Cc: fred_rednor@yahoo.com, "Mitch

\r?\n> Harris" <mitch.harris@gmail.com>,

\r?\n> > Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

\r?\n> > > Date: Monday, February 9, 2009, 1:34 PM

\r?\n> > > Jerry,

\r?\n> > > I find your last sentence or your recent post

\r?\n> most

\r?\n> > > informative. You say

\r?\n> > > "as the racers and those

\r?\n> controlling the

\r?\n> > > events, including

\r?\n> > > Desgrange, were much less willing to accept

\r?\n> innovation, as

\r?\n> > > they thought

\r?\n> > > technical innovations degraded the raw athletic

\r?\n> ability

\r?\n> > > required."

\r?\n> > >

\r?\n> > > I guess this is a bit obvious but.......this

\r?\n> whole

\r?\n> > > discussion from what do

\r?\n> > > you ride to this trials discussion revolves

\r?\n> around that

\r?\n> > > very thing, doesn't

\r?\n> > > it? I love steel bikes, have too many, and even

\r?\n> ride a few

\r?\n> > > of them or I

\r?\n> > > would not be on this list. However, one can't

\r?\n> help but

\r?\n> > > ask, given the recent

\r?\n> > > discussions, just what group today fits the

\r?\n> description you

\r?\n> > > give of

\r?\n> > > Desgrange and "the racers."?

\r?\n> > >

\r?\n> > > Edward Albert

\r?\n> > > Chappaqua, New York, U.S.A.

\r?\n> > >

\r?\n> > > On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 2:24 PM, Jerome &

\r?\n> Elizabeth Moos

\r?\n> > > <

\r?\n> > > jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

\r?\n> > >

\r?\n> > > > It's hard to prove a particular

\r?\n> component was the

\r?\n> > > direct result of the

\r?\n> > > > Technical Trials. But the Technical Trials

\r?\n> were part

\r?\n> > > of a broader

\r?\n> > > > cycletouring environment originating to a

\r?\n> large extent

\r?\n> > > with Velicio. There

\r?\n> > > > was a dedicated group of cyclotourists, as

\r?\n> keen on

\r?\n> > > their cycling as the

\r?\n> > > > racers were on theirs, except the

\r?\n> cyclotourists

\r?\n> > > weren't being paid. These

\r?\n> > > > cyclotourists were organized in a network of

\r?\n> clubs who

\r?\n> > > organized club rides

\r?\n> > > > and other events, including the Technical

\r?\n> Trials and

\r?\n> > > similar competitions.

\r?\n> > > > And there were national publications

\r?\n> aligned with the

\r?\n> > > touring clubs, just

\r?\n> > > > as L'Auto and similar publications

\r?\n> cataloged the

\r?\n> > > racing side of the sport.

\r?\n> > > > There were reportedly raging debates in the

\r?\n> press

\r?\n> > > between Degrange, writing

\r?\n> > > > in L'Auto or L'Equipe, and Velocio

\r?\n> writing in

\r?\n> > > Le Cyclist about the best

\r?\n> > > > direction for the bicycle and the sport of

\r?\n> cycling.

\r?\n> > > And after WWI the

\r?\n> > > > cyclotourists found an ally in the alumimum

\r?\n> > > manufacturers, whose trade

\r?\n> > > > association

\r?\n> > > > began to sponsor the Technical Trials as a

\r?\n> way to

\r?\n> > > promote the expansion of

\r?\n> > > > their high tech material beyond its early

\r?\n> use in

\r?\n> > > aircraft.

\r?\n> > > >

\r?\n> > > > So the whole atmosphere in France from the

\r?\n> end of the

\r?\n> > > 19th century to

\r?\n> > > > shortly after WWII was one that fostered

\r?\n> innovation in

\r?\n> > > the design and

\r?\n> > > > manufacture of bicycles. And most of this

\r?\n> innovation

\r?\n> > > was in touring bikes,

\r?\n> > > > rather than racing bikes, as the racers and

\r?\n> those

\r?\n> > > controlling the events,

\r?\n> > > > including Desgrange, were much less willing

\r?\n> to accept

\r?\n> > > innovation, as they

\r?\n> > > > thought technical innovations degraded the

\r?\n> raw

\r?\n> > > athletic ability required.

\r?\n> > > >

\r?\n> > > > Regards,

\r?\n> > > >

\r?\n> > > > Jerry Moos

\r?\n> > > > Big Spring, Texas, USA

\r?\n> > > >

\r?\n> > > > --- On Mon, 2/9/09, Mitch Harris

\r?\n> > > <mitch.harris@gmail.com> wrote:

\r?\n> > > >

\r?\n> > > > > From: Mitch Harris

\r?\n> <mitch.harris@gmail.com>

\r?\n> > > > > Subject: Re: [CR] Rene Herse Ligtweight

\r?\n> Record

\r?\n> > > Bike

\r?\n> > > > > To: fred_rednor@yahoo.com

\r?\n> > > > > Cc: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

\r?\n> > > > > Date: Monday, February 9, 2009, 9:47 AM

\r?\n> > > > > On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 7:37 AM, Fred

\r?\n> Rednor

\r?\n> > > > > <fred_rednor@yahoo.com> wrote:

\r?\n> > > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > > > Yep. At the time the

\r?\n> trials

\r?\n> > > were held it

\r?\n> > > > > appears they were

\r?\n> > > > > > > extremely influential,

\r?\n> at least

\r?\n> > > within the

\r?\n> > > > > French industry...

\r?\n> > > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > > Please don't forget those

\r?\n> darned

\r?\n> > > derailleurs...

\r?\n> > > > > > Au revoir,

\r?\n> > > > > >

\r?\n> > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > So derailleurs were developed as a

\r?\n> result of

\r?\n> > > these Trials

\r?\n> > > > > too?

\r?\n> > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > My question has to do with where all

\r?\n> those cool

\r?\n> > > things that

\r?\n> > > > > were

\r?\n> > > > > developed for the Trials went. Like R.

\r?\n> > > Herse's

\r?\n> > > > > wonderbike in 1948 that

\r?\n> > > > > was 14 lbs with lights and fenders--why

\r?\n> > > didn't he

\r?\n> > > > > continue to build

\r?\n> > > > > it, or something similar in weight? If

\r?\n> I've

\r?\n> > > understood

\r?\n> > > > > this

\r?\n> > > > > correctly, his bikes after the Trials

\r?\n> in the 50s

\r?\n> > > and 60s

\r?\n> > > > > were 20 to 22

\r?\n> > > > > lbs which was fairly typical for a race

\r?\n> bike even

\r?\n> > > if he did

\r?\n> > > > > manage

\r?\n> > > > > fenders, etc. at that weight. That

\r?\n> leaves the

\r?\n> > > question,

\r?\n> > > > > where is the

\r?\n> > > > > influence of that 14 lb bike?

\r?\n> > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > For example, the comparison we're

\r?\n> making to

\r?\n> > > > > contemporary superlight

\r?\n> > > > > race bikes results in similarly

\r?\n> superlight bikes

\r?\n> > > sold to

\r?\n> > > > > customers

\r?\n> > > > > shortly after those bikes are

\r?\n> introduced. Even

\r?\n> > > lighter

\r?\n> > > > > ones hit the

\r?\n> > > > > market, lighter than is allowed by UCI.

\r?\n> > > That's

\r?\n> > > > > influence. For most

\r?\n> > > > > periods of cycle development you see

\r?\n> that

\r?\n> > > startling

\r?\n> > > > > advances go into

\r?\n> > > > > the market pretty reliably.

\r?\n> > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > Did R. Herse find the absolute lower

\r?\n> limit for a

\r?\n> > > steel

\r?\n> > > > > frame at his

\r?\n> > > > > time? Did he retreat from that design

\r?\n> to

\r?\n> > > something

\r?\n> > > > > more...more what?

\r?\n> > > > > more durable? more affordable? more

\r?\n> "real

\r?\n> > > world"?

\r?\n> > > > > Just curious about

\r?\n> > > > > why it is that the Trials could produce

\r?\n> these

\r?\n> > > amazing

\r?\n> > > > > machines and

\r?\n> > > > > then the builders retreated from them.

\r?\n> I'm

\r?\n> > > sure there

\r?\n> > > > > are

\r?\n> > > > > reasons--like there was not a market

\r?\n> for those

\r?\n> > > machines?...

\r?\n> > > > > or they

\r?\n> > > > > were only meant to last for the

\r?\n> duration of the

\r?\n> > > Trials ride

\r?\n> > > > > and most

\r?\n> > > > > people didn't want a time limited

\r?\n> machine?...

\r?\n> > > or the

\r?\n> > > > > Trials would have

\r?\n> > > > > had huge influence but were just not

\r?\n> widely known

\r?\n> > > about?

\r?\n> > > > > In the usual

\r?\n> > > > > terms of influence, if R. Herse could

\r?\n> make that

\r?\n> > > 14 lb

\r?\n> > > > > machine in 1948,

\r?\n> > > > > we might expect he could improve on

\r?\n> that over

\r?\n> > > time. But

\r?\n> > > > > instead his

\r?\n> > > > > bike weight went sharply up.

\r?\n> > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > There are other simpler influence

\r?\n> questions, such

\r?\n> > > as why

\r?\n> > > > > did no one

\r?\n> > > > > copy his svelt cantilever design or

\r?\n> other his

\r?\n> > > other

\r?\n> > > > > component designs.

\r?\n> > > > > Maybe that's just French

\r?\n> industrial inertia,

\r?\n> > > Mafac,

\r?\n> > > > > blinders on, just

\r?\n> > > > > continued to make something that was

\r?\n> good enough

\r?\n> > > rather

\r?\n> > > > > than

\r?\n> > > > > copy/borrow/buy a superior idea (?).

\r?\n> > > > >

\r?\n> > > > > Thanks,

\r?\n> > > > > Mitch Harris

\r?\n> > > > > Little Rock Canyon