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Lost Designs & Ideas of the 1980's

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I really got into my cycling in the 1980's - back then bikes were pretty much the same and you had binary choices when it came to equipment e.g.:

  • Steel or Aluminium
  • Reynolds or Columbus
  • Campagnolo or Campagnolo

But even though it would be many years before manufacturing processes developed to make carbon fibre comercially available - that didn't stop some pioneers from trying to come up with something different when seeking marginal gaines. Some ideas were borerline genius / crazy and some were weird - but out of the ashes of failure come the roses of success as the saying goes - so here's a few things that I remember from the good old days:

Bottechia Mountain TT Bike:

This was specifically built for a Giro Mountain TT stage with 24" rear wheel to save weight and for better accelleration


PMP 'L' Shaped Cranks plus oval chainrings

The cranks were meant to help eliminate loss of momentum at 'Top Dead Centre' and the chainrings were shaped to spread power over a wider angle of delivery - you don't see cranks like this anymore but the chainring shape looks familiar


Cinelli BiValent Hubs

The beauty of these was that the cassette / freewheel & chain remained in the frame when the wheel dropped out - and front and rear wheels were interchangeable. At the time they were slower to change than normal QR wheels, so never caught on - but with modern materials / disc wheels - this could have been a glimpse of the future?

cin biv off.jpgCinelli-hub.jpg

Cinelli Spinaci Bars

So good, they were banned by the UCI for saftey - so now pros adopt the same position with far more risk!


Silk Tyres:

As well as being lighter than cotton, silk tyres were a lot more supple, could take higher pressures and so rolled like nothing else before or since


Intergrating bars into forks:


I'll add more stuff as I think of it! :)



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