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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Hawkwood wrote:
Merckx 1972 - Eddy Merckx (actually a Colnago), 9.6 kg


Interesting! Merckx's 1974 "Merckx", shown in Heine, is clearly De Rosa (with the cloverleaf etched in the bottom bracket) and is listed @ 11.0 kg. The geometry was all Merckx, though. I believe Heine, the editor of Bicycling Quarterly (which I may well subscribe to after reading this book) used modern weighings of all of the bikes, not relying on contemporary claims, as there are also a consistent listing of frame geometry including pedal stance, something not normally easily determined from photos, for example.

That '74 Merckx is a very nice looking bike. It's hard to find any significant improvement in LeMond's Gitane from 7 years later. John Marino's "Huffy" from 1982 (Mike Melton) had Suntour's slant parallelogram rear derailleur, Shimano Dura-Ace AX components, shaped tubes, and Shimano's "aero" pedal design which was a lot slicker than the old quill design.

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Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:50 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:33 pm 
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DJ - It may be De Rosa on his 74 bike. When EM retired he went to De Rosa to learn about framebuilding. 72 would tie-in with Colnago; the latter built EM's frames for the Hour Record that year.

Janssen's 68 bike must have been a TT bike with extra light wheels because I don't recall anyone from that era riding anything as low weight as that in road races. And Janssen wan't a small guy like Van Impe.

I know that Ocana used ALAN frames and I think Speedwell titanium for his 73 bikes (that TdF was one of the most mountainous on record). Again, for normal riding, that weight seems too low.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:50 pm 
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Yes -- Heine also says Merckx's Hour bike was built by Colnago. The book also details Rominger's Hour bike, another Colnago, from 1994. Rominger rode his round-tube frame, with bulbed-out disk wheels and aero bars, 55.291 km: absolutely incredible, especially considering he'd done no prior track racing before that, and had to learn to ride the turns in the days before his record ride.

That bike was 7.5 kg.

Being @ altitude, likely with a hematocrit well on the wrong side of 50%, didn't hurt.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:28 pm 
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djconnel wrote:
It's hard to find any significant improvement in LeMond's Gitane from 7 years later.
That Gitane had a front derailleur which was way too high. It was on display at (the old) Cupertino Bike Shop back in '84.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:52 pm 
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This is really fascinating, thanks!
Given that most pros are not weightweenies, with notable exceptions of course, are all pro bikes pretty much at the 6.8kg limit these days? Obviously their bikes could be lighter, so are they all sitting at the limit so as not to give up any competitive advantage?

btw, I always thought Merckx's hour record bike weighed 16lbs, but perhaps that was just wishful thinking on my part. I have no evidence it was.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:58 pm 
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gandini wrote:
Obviously their bikes could be lighter, so are they all sitting at the limit so as not to give up any competitive advantage?


They are more interested in comfort over multi day stage races and providing the maximum amount of go per pedal stroke, so no, they don't sit on the weight limit, some (many?) are quite a way over. Especially sprinters/classics riders.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:05 pm 
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The book has a relatively standard Delangle track bike from 1939, built with Reynolds 531 steel and 36-spoke wheels, which was 8.1 kg/17.8 lb.

According to this reference Merckx's hour bike was 5.5 kg. That's confirmed in this nice article.

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:44 am 
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KB wrote:
Janssen's 68 bike must have been a TT bike with extra light wheels because I don't recall anyone from that era riding anything as low weight as that in road races. And Janssen wan't a small guy like Van Impe.

I know that Ocana used ALAN frames and I think Speedwell titanium for his 73 bikes (that TdF was one of the most mountainous on record). Again, for normal riding, that weight seems too low.


The photos in the book show Janssen's bike as being equipped as follows:

Campag - chainset, pedals, seatpin, gears, gear levers, hubs (?)
Cinelli - leather covered plastic saddle, bars and stem (?)
Mafac - brakes and brake-levers

Were some components from that era fairly light as they weren't built to be particularly stiff, the chainset especially comes to mind? Though even if this is correct I'm not sure that Janssen's bike would have been as light as 8.7 kg.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:31 am 
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djconnel wrote:
Merckx's hour bike was 5.5 kg. That's confirmed in this nice article.

Image

How much would it weigh with pedals and tires? 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:52 am 
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This may be of interest, although not a TDF bike.

The 1939, Australian built Malvern star 5 star track bike

Image

Dodgy as historical currency conversions are, 18 australian pounds and 18 shillings is roughly equivalent to $1400 today - a lot of money for the depression! Especially considering that discretionary incomes were much lower at the time. For comparison, you could buy a good used car in Australia, in the 1930s, for 70 pounds or so. The weight of the single speed was 14lb 14oz, which is 6.74kg, or just under current UCI limits. 3 speed was an option but highly unreliable and quite heavy, so was not really used at the time. To a certain extent it was probably the equivalent of really sketchy Di2. These bikes were ridden by the Australian champions both on road and track. Riders typically had one bike both for road and track, with some riders fitting a freewheel for road especially on the flat. The bikes had lots of tyre clearance and wider tyres were fitted for grass track racing. 40 spoke wheels were quite standard.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Several folks have commented about these bikes not being stiff. While this is generally true a very stiff frame was considered an undesirable trait. It was not until the late 80's and 90's that stiff was considered good. I had a very early Cannondale that was only fairly stiff by today's standards. It was reviewed as being OK for short crits but unsuitable (painful) for anything over 40 miles. Even today many folks are questioning the real importance of an over stiff frame on performance.
Love this thread BTW. It would be of interest to have a historical WW showcase.

http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs.html

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:11 pm 
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Nice link!

I wonder what Tour Magazine would do with the old Stronglight crankset, a standard in top level racing for many years:

Image

When I see stuff like this, I am quite confident the 50% increase in compliance (from 1/∞ to 1.5/∞) from my Lightning crankset is probably not going to be too much of an issue @ 56 kg.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pm 
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From Peugeot's 1974 catalogue:

Peugeot PX 10 Le - Professional Competition Racer as used by their team

Frame and Forks - Reynolds 531
Headset - Stronglight Competition
Front derailleur - Simplex Super Competition
Rear derailleur - Simplex Criterium
Chainset - Stronglight no. 93, 52 x 45
Freewheel - Cyclo Competition, 14,15,17,19,21
Hubs - Maillard 700, forged dural (!!)
Tires - Peugeot Transalpino Competition
Rims - Mavic Monthlery Professional
Saddle - Ideale 2001
Seat post - Simplex Super Competition
Handlebars - Philippe dural
Brakes - Mafac Competition
Pedals - Lyotard 45 CA (£4.50 at the time!)
Weight - 21 lbs

In 1977 Alex Green of Birkenhead, my local bike shop at the time, had a team replica Peugeot to commemorate Thevenet's second win. From memory it was in 753 tubing, and the Mafac brakes had their rear plates removed and were attached straight on to braze-ons on the forks and rear stays. It seemed like a light bike for the time, my guess was 18-19 lbs.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:18 am 
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awesome thread, please keep us informed and curious!

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Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:18 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:12 am 
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In view of Hawkwood's comments, I would have to put a major question mark against Janssen's bike weight. At that time, this was pre 753, which brought weights down. Also interesting the Peugeot weights. When Merckx rode for them he would not use their bikes on the grounds of being awful to ride and heavy. I believe Merckx and Simpson in 1967 rode Masi frames. I remember also that when Merckx broke the Hour record, the weight bandied about by most people was 14 lb, which to me is more persuasive than the 12 lb mentioned on this thread.

As others have said, a fascinating and enjoyable thread. It's also clear that WW's are a skeptical lot when it comes to believing weights. :D


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