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Old 03-22-18, 09:04 AM
Road Fan
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
So Ultra 6 was more of a bandaid for the old 120mm standard to make those bikes competitive with the standard 6 speed bikes? That makes sense.

How were 6 speeds used in the '60s before 126? Just too much dish and lots of broken spokes?
I think Ultra-6 was a way to sell the 6-speed innovation to owners of 120 mm bikes as the lowest cost upgrade - no cold-setting or axle replacements, just change the cluster and chain, which were seen as wear items, anyway.

As a side benefit it let SunTour lead the way in getting field experience with narrower chains and narrower rear pitch.

Sorry, no experience with 6's specifically in the '60s. What I will say, is that the racing community was very conservative, because broken bicycles don't finish races, and one cannot win a race that one does not finish. So the racing world was not the agent for change across the board. I doubt that axles and spokes were weaker by much than what we have now - stainless was an available as a material, as was CrMo for axles. So upgrades to stronger spokes and axles were available to the industry. Perhaps dishing was an issue before the pitch of a 6 was reduced to fit the total width of a 5, but I really don't know.
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