Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-16-12, 08:24 AM   #1
GrandaddyBiker
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
GrandaddyBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Carolina
Bikes:
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bikes of the first TdF and today's fixie

I came across this picture of Maurice Garin, the first Tour de France, and winner in 1903. His bike is what got my attention. It looks to be a fixed gear no brake bike, just like fixie bikes of today. Not much change in almost 110 years. Compare the bike Garin rode in the tdf with the one Eddy Merckx rode seventy years later in 1973. I see very little difference, both fixed gear no brakes. Why anyone would want to come down the side of a mountain with no brakes is beyond me. I seen a picture of a 1903 bike with brakes, so it was not that they had not been invented yet and they certainly had high quality brakes by 1973, when Merckx rode.

I don’t really have a point here, just wanted to share some thoughts. If I had a point it would be that be that if you have a good design to start with it is hard to improve much on it.


maurice-garin (1) by Tomas Poblete, on Flickr
Mautice Garin 1903


Joop Zoetemelk en Eddy Merckx schudden elkaar de hand/ Joop Zoetemelk en Eddy Merckx shaking hands by Nationaal Archief, on Flickr
Eddy Mercky 1973
GrandaddyBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-12, 08:39 AM   #2
telebianchi
Senior Member
 
telebianchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 2003 Fuji Cross, 2010 Giant Trance, 2006 K2 Mod 4.0, 2010 Schwinn Madison
Posts: 1,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Talk about a slack head tube angle on Garin's bike. But more to your point, I'm guessing that bike would still make for a great ride today although the steering might take a little getting used to.

I'm guessing that Eddy's bike in that picture was only used at the velodrome for track racing. You can see that the bike leaning against the wall has brakes and gearing.

PS: someone should have told Eddy and Joop that you always take pictures of your bike from the drive train side. Amateurs.
telebianchi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-12, 08:39 AM   #3
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Merckx is standing by a track bike. Track bikes, by definition, are fixed and brakeless. Eddy used gears, and brakes, on the road.

There were no derailleurs when Garin was riding the TdF. To change gear for the mountains they stopped, removed their rear wheel and turned it round to use the larger sprocket on the other side. Long after derailleurs had been invented, Henri Desgrange, founder of le Tour, refused to allow their use, so TdF contenders rode fixed right into the 1930s.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-12, 11:16 AM   #4
canam73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Haunchyville
Bikes:
Posts: 6,373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
PS: someone should have told Eddy and Joop that you always take pictures of your bike from the drive train side. Amateurs.
Look at Eddy's face. I think the photog just told him to turn his bike around and Eddy is telling him to go **** himself.
canam73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-12, 11:40 AM   #5
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
There are quite a few differences between the fixed gear bicycle of 1903 which is a path / road bicycle and the track bicycles Merckx used on the track, where brakes are not allowed.

The turn of the century bicycle has extremely slack angles, a relatively low single gearing to allow for climbing and descending, and wider higher volume tyres to handle what were atrocious road conditions... the early TdF was also a solo event and the total distance and many stages of the race were longer than they are in the modern day. There was no team support and penalties were imposed on riders that cheated by getting outside help or teamed up.

It was not long after this that the early TdF bicycle had spoon brakes and a flip flop hub that had a single speed freewheel to allow for faster descending. If you have ever ridden a bicycle with these very slack frame angles and higher volume tyres you would see how they ride and handle differently and how well they handle extremely bad terrain.

I built up a replica of these classic fixed gear bicycles... practicality and safety dictated that I run a front brake.



Fixed gear road bicycles remained popular among club riders into the 1950's as derailleur gearing was expensive and the most popular alternative was the internal gear hubs as the mass produced and affordable rear derailleur has only been with us for the last 60 years.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-12, 02:19 PM   #6
Ken Brown
cycling fanatic
 
Ken Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: Cannondale T800
Posts: 1,129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In the early days riders would often stop for a beer and cigarette along the way. Sorry, but I don't have a date for these photos.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tour de France 7L.jpg (76.2 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg Tour de France 9L.jpg (92.1 KB, 88 views)
Ken Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-12, 07:33 PM   #7
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Keep in mind that in Garin's day, the roads were terrible by modern standards. They weren't paved, they were dirt roads, and poorly maintained; Garin's average was less than 16 mph, so aerodynamics weren't exactly the biggest issue. Bikes needed the long wheelbase and upright position to survive those surfaces.

Also, Desgrange was notorious for dragging his feet on advancements. E.g. he kept derailleurs and gearing out of the race for years.

This might give you an idea of what they had to put up with....

Bacciagalupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-12, 01:55 AM   #8
Wizel603
Senior Member
 
Wizel603's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NH
Bikes: 85 univega supra sport
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Brown View Post
In the early days riders would often stop for a beer and cigarette along the way. Sorry, but I don't have a date for these photos.

Nice photos.

Downing that much beer is sure to give those guys a spare tire around the gut. In fact, after a closer look it appears that it's already too late for them.

As for the bottle placement, I wonder if the weight made steering more difficult. Certainly seems like a convenient location though.
Wizel603 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-12, 06:44 AM   #9
GrandaddyBiker
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
GrandaddyBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Carolina
Bikes:
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bacciagalupe, that was an excellent video, thanks for sharing it. I watched it twice this morning and it almost made me late getting my grandson to school. One of my grandsons lives with me.
GrandaddyBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-12, 07:29 AM   #10
Ken Brown
cycling fanatic
 
Ken Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: Cannondale T800
Posts: 1,129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizel603 View Post
As for the bottle placement, I wonder if the weight made steering more difficult. Certainly seems like a convenient location though.
Riders had their water bottle holders on their handlebars until about 1960, then they went onto the downtube. I believe it was for aerodynamic reasons.
Ken Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-12, 09:48 AM   #11
Keith99
Senior Member
 
Keith99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
At one point early on a great advancement was brazing on 2 footpegs, like on a motorcycle. The rider who did this then took his feet off the pedals and usd the pegs when decending. Pre freewheel of course and it seems it was a significant advantage.
Keith99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 05:24 AM   #12
SouthFLpix
Senior Member
 
SouthFLpix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami, FL
Bikes: 2007 Giant Cypress DX, Windsor Tourist 2011
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There were no mountains in the early TDF routes. They were added later, I think in 1909 or 1911, I forget the exact date. That's why you didn't really need brakes. Those early TDF bikes were about 25lbs, btw, still lighter than my current touring bike.
SouthFLpix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 06:12 AM   #13
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
A bike like this might have been used in the '30s.

David Beck of Crystal Lake, Illinois rode his gently restored 1933 Frejus road bike in The Dairyland Dare this year. David and his bike completed 150Km.







__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 07:08 AM   #14
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
A bike like this might have been used in the '30s.

David Beck of Crystal Lake, Illinois rode his gently restored 1933 Frejus road bike in The Dairyland Dare this year. David and his bike completed 150Km.
I'm afraid it wouldn't have been allowed in 1933. I think 1937 was the first year in which multiple gears were allowed in the Tour.

Love the gear shifter, though.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 08:20 AM   #15
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post

Love the gear shifter, though.
As impressive as it looks, the device is only an adjustable idler. The shifting is done manually.

The cyclist needs to put slack in the chain by using the lever to lift the idler. The cyclist then pedals backwards (the hub has a free-wheel) and use his right hand to lift and derail the chain and shift it over to the cog he/she wants. The cyclist then re-tensions the chain with the lever attached to the idler.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 08:32 AM   #16
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
As impressive as it looks, the device is only an adjustable idler. The shifting is done manually.

The cyclist needs to put slack in the chain by using the lever to lift the idler. The cyclist then pedals backwards (the hub has a free-wheel) and use his right hand to lift and derail the chain and shift it over to the cog he/she wants. The cyclist then re-tensions the chain with the lever attached to the idler.
Good grief. I'd assumed it moved in a lateral arc to act as a derailleur.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 08:57 AM   #17
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,417
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Could the cyclist use his heel to move the chain if his hand was manipulating the idler?
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-12, 11:42 AM   #18
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Could the cyclist use his heel to move the chain if his hand was manipulating the idler?
Difficult to impossible.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-12, 07:24 PM   #19
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,781
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 214 Post(s)
Quote:
Could the cyclist use his heel to move the chain if his hand was manipulating the idler?
there is but 1 chainring, the back end there is more than 1 cog..

were there a spring tensioner, you can boot down to a smaller chainring..

but this is not the case..
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-12, 09:24 PM   #20
scotjonscot
Senior Member
 
scotjonscot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: middle north (Mpls)
Bikes: 1984 trek 610, 1989 panasonic dx-4000, 2001 schwinn panther, 1963-ish Sears 3spd, 2012 Soma Buena Vista(wife's, but I like to ride it)
Posts: 197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Pretty sure I saw this guy drinking a PBR last night. Hipsters.
scotjonscot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-12, 02:30 PM   #21
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 5,720
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
Keep in mind that in Garin's day, the roads were terrible by modern standards. They weren't paved, they were dirt roads, and poorly maintained; Garin's average was less than 16 mph, so aerodynamics weren't exactly the biggest issue. Bikes needed the long wheelbase and upright position to survive those surfaces.

Also, Desgrange was notorious for dragging his feet on advancements. E.g. he kept derailleurs and gearing out of the race for years.

This might give you an idea of what they had to put up with....

hey baccia, that was fun to watch

thanks or I guess I should say, grazie!
djb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-12, 06:39 PM   #22
Walter
SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07
 
Walter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SE Florida, USA aka the Treasure Coast
Bikes:
Posts: 5,389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Very cool video baccia.

When I got back into cycling in the 90s I did it by building up a Basso with vintage Super Record. I spend nearly all my time with Ti and ergo now but I'll still ride that bike and it is still a blast.

Alot of these guys were riding stuff that would make my late 70s early 80s vintage stuff look brand new and cutting edge.
__________________
“Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Walter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-12, 08:05 PM   #23
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
Posts: 3,273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Brown View Post
In the early days riders would often stop for a beer and cigarette along the way. Sorry, but I don't have a date for these photos.


I rode this from London to the North east of England a few years back. I stopped for beer along the way too, but no cigarettes as I don't smoke. To climb the steeper hills I also flipped the rear wheel to go from an 16t freewheel to a 22t one and used my finger to move the chain from the 40t to the 32t chain wheel. The horizontal drop outs allow for take up of chain slack



http://wheelsofchance.org/england-2009/
nun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-12, 11:58 AM   #24
spacemanz
Senior Member
 
spacemanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seattle
Bikes: Frejus/Bertin/Cannondale
Posts: 1,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Excellent video. I found it from a search for Frejus.
spacemanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:53 PM.