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Old 04-09-08, 12:48 PM   #1
Velo Fellow
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Racing the TdF on a sport tourer.

When I look at grainy photos from the 20's to 40's of TdF racers, their bikes appear to have laid back head and seat tube angles, and slow steering trail. Almost like a relaxed, sport touring bike. Any comments?

BTW, I've been lurking for a long time and just started posting. BF50 seems an informative, intelligent, and friendly forum. Just returned to cycling after several years away. I'm re-learning base miles and spinning low gears from the perspective of a 61 year old with 61 year old, over-used knees. Looking forward to where I'll be next fall.

Anyway, Hello all, and glad to be here.
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Old 04-09-08, 01:07 PM   #2
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Welcome, Velo Fellow. Well into the 1960s, the TdF was run largely on cobblestones, which required forgiving frames. There is quite a contrast between my ca. 1960 Capos and my ca. 1980 Bianchi, all of which were built to essentially the TdF geometries of their respective eras. Today's TdF bikes, designed for even better roads, make my Bianchi look a bit slack. Take one model, such as the Peugeot PX-10, and see how much its geometry tightened from 1970 to 1980.

With proper pedaling technique and generous use of the lower gears, a flexible frame does not have to reduce the rider's efficiency very much.
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Old 04-09-08, 01:19 PM   #3
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Going onto the TDF- The roads they run on are pretty good. There are a few spots where Cobbles will be ridden on but not many. In the UK last year- The route of the TDF was resurfaced but there one Town where the manholes and drains were proud of the surface and they nearly changed the route.

Bike geometry has changed over the years and in general- the race bikes are set up with aggressive head tube angles for the smooth surfaces they run on. BUT- Mountain bikes used to have head tube angles of 70 or 71 degrees. With Suspension this has now changed to a relaxed 69 but there are still the odd retro's that ride with the 71. Makes for a fast handling bike- but does require a modicum of skill to get the best out of.
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Old 04-09-08, 06:12 PM   #4
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I don't know nothin' about the topic, just wanted to say "welcome" from one 61 year old (in a week) to another. However, my initials are TDF.
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Old 04-09-08, 06:20 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Velo Fellow. I don't know as much about the fames from the past as Mojo Slim. Glad to have you here.
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Old 04-09-08, 06:30 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard. Check out the relaxed geometry of Eddy's famous TDF DeRosa. The rear wheel is a long, long way from the seat tube--almost like a true touring bike.

http://www.vintagevelos.com/merckx73.html
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Old 04-09-08, 06:35 PM   #7
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if y go back even further, the bikes were all fixed gears... often with 2 sprockets--one on each side, where the cyclist would flip the wheel at the top of a hill to get the higher gear for going down... no coasting-

train safe-
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Old 04-09-08, 06:39 PM   #8
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if y go back even further, the bikes were all fixed gears... often with 2 sprockets--one on each side, where the cyclist would flip the wheel at the top of a hill to get the higher gear for going down... no coasting-

train safe-
True that. I didn't read the original post carefully enough. If you go back to the 40s or earlier, you're talking about something that would most certainly predate even a "sport-tourer." No coasting or easy gear shifting, indeed.
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Old 04-09-08, 09:35 PM   #9
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BF50 seems an informative, intelligent, and friendly forum.
Welcome! If you continue to exercise that kind of poor judgment on a consistent basis, you are definitely in the right place!
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Old 04-10-08, 08:37 AM   #10
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Welcome! If you continue to exercise that kind of poor judgment on a consistent basis, you are definitely in the right place!
I would never want to participate in any forum which would admit me as a member.
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Old 04-10-08, 08:39 AM   #11
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True that. I didn't read the original post carefully enough. If you go back to the 40s or earlier, you're talking about something that would most certainly predate even a "sport-tourer." No coasting or easy gear shifting, indeed.
Here is an early 1960s racing photo I have posted elsewhere in BF. The bikes are Capo Siegers from Otto Cap Fahrrad und Metallwerk, Vienna (capo.at) -- note the long fork rakes and the low seat heights. The ensuing 20 years saw great improvements in road surfaces and a steady tightening of frameset geometries.
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Old 04-10-08, 10:07 AM   #12
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Here is an early 1960s racing photo I have posted elsewhere in BF. The bikes are Capo Siegers from Otto Cap Fahrrad und Metallwerk, Vienna (capo.at) -- note the long fork rakes and the low seat heights. The ensuing 20 years saw great improvements in road surfaces and a steady tightening of frameset geometries.
Thanks for posting - that's a really interesting photo. The riders' bodies look different, too.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:25 PM   #13
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Thanks to all who've posted. I also note in the pic, altho' angles can be deceiving, the seat height to bar height....looks similar to what I find comfortable these days and not particularly "racer" as we recognize it today.



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Here is an early 1960s racing photo I have posted elsewhere in BF. The bikes are Capo Siegers from Otto Cap Fahrrad und Metallwerk, Vienna (capo.at) -- note the long fork rakes and the low seat heights. The ensuing 20 years saw great improvements in road surfaces and a steady tightening of frameset geometries.
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