Join Date: Jul 2000
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
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In the early 1970s Jack Disney, a respected southern California velodrome racer with quads, gastrocs, and glutes of steel, broke a Sugino crank and swore off Japanese components. My situation is particularly ironic because I weigh about 143 lbs / 65 kg and consider myself an endurance rider, with "slow twitch" muscles, rather than a power sprinter. My left quad group is 10-20% weaker than my right, the result of a couple of kneecap dislocations. However, I do a fair amount of out-of-saddle climbing, and I love hills.
The Agrati steel crank was on my first 1960 Capo, which was given to me in 1973 by a UCLA physics classmate, a powerful gent of Armenian descent. Lee may well have prestressed the crankset before I ever got hold of it. It did break at its most stressed, weakest point.
The 1970 Sugino Mighty Compe crank was a first-generation product on which I had put close to 40k mi / 65k km, including lots of hill work. I noticed that the next-generation Sugino cranks had an additional mm or two of metal around the pedal eye, so I suspect I was not the only one with a problem.
The real mystery is the Campagnolo Veloce crank, although my son thought he saw some crystallization in the crack, so it may have been a manufacturing defect. I did buy the crankset on eBay, but judging from the almost pristine profile on the chainrings, these cranks had been used very little before I got them. Since the right crank still looks great, I am tempted to look for a replacement left crank and to gamble on it.
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069