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Recessed brakes when??

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Recessed brakes when??

Old 05-14-18, 05:01 AM
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Recessed brakes when??

This must have been discussed a zillion times but what the heck. When were recessed brakes introduced and when did they become standard? Was it gradual across the industry, or did one company do it after Campy or Shimano made it available and everyone followed?
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Old 05-14-18, 06:55 AM
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1983-ish, based on bikes I've owned.
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Old 05-14-18, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
1983-ish, based on bikes I've owned.
Same for me. FWIW, Shimano brakes.

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Old 05-14-18, 07:18 AM
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The earliest commercial brake set with recessed bolts, that I'm aware of, was 1979 Shimano Dura-Ace EX. Campagnolo followed but there there appear to have been some Italian builders making frames for recessed bolts in possibly the very late 1970s. These frames appear to have utilized custom bolts or the aftermarket versions offered from companies like OMAS.

Edit: I think Zeus 2000 was first, in the mid-1970s.

Edit: I've confirmed that Zeus had recessed bolt as early as 1975 on their Zeus 2000 brakeset. Attached is a comment from a September 1975 review in Bicycling magazine. However, I still believe that mainstream popularity followed their use on Dura-Ace EX and Dura-Ace AX.





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Old 05-14-18, 08:12 AM
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Hmmmm.... I ask because I'm digging into the details of the Champion Mondial A-Frame I picked up from Chrome Molly.


According to this Champion Mondial website the serial number places it maybe a third of the way into 1977. It has features consistent with the '77 CM A-Frame, the butterfly rear brake bridge, DO eyelets, the heart-shaped cutouts on nice long-point lugs, wraparound stays, 120mm DO spacing. But then, those details didn't change much during that time and some like the DT bottle bosses (which this frame has) and TT brake housing eyelets (which frames does not have) were optional. The details are also consistent with the '77 catalog to the extent that I can see the pics and interpret the Dutch.

Both the rear brake bridge and fork require recessed brakes. (FWIW, the forks SN matches the frame's.)

Now, that website also says "late '70's to early 80's" the frame size and rear dropout spacing were stamped into the bridge, and frame size stamped under the bridge when they changed to the Cinelli style. (My '86 A-B Frame has the later style with size. Other details aren't totally consistent with the catalogs, but then they could have been custom-ordered too.) The bridge on the '77 is clean. Perhaps they were filed out prior to the repaint but there is no sign of it. So I assume it was made before the "late 70's" practice began. This wouldn't be significant except for the possibility that the brake holes had been drilled out by the previous-previous owner who'd also disguised it as a Colnago. If so, he did a nice job. But it sure looks as if it came from the factory with holes for recessed brakes.

(I happened to have a nice shiny set of single-pivot 105 brakes which mount perfectly and look good on it.)
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Old 05-14-18, 09:00 AM
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I know little about Gazelle but given that the top frames were designed around Campagnolo groups, I would expect it to have been designed for exposed brake nuts. Clearly the complete bicycles in both the 1977 & 1978 catalogues depict exposed brake nuts. While this doesn't rule out the possibility of a custom order, I strongly suspect the brake mounting holes were modified by the previous owner.
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Old 05-14-18, 09:57 AM
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This is off the top of my head, but I believe that in 1977, even on top-end frames, water-bottle bosses were rare.
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Old 05-14-18, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I know little about Gazelle but given that the top frames were designed around Campagnolo groups, I would expect it to have been designed for exposed brake nuts. Clearly the complete bicycles in both the 1977 & 1978 catalogues depict exposed brake nuts. While this doesn't rule out the possibility of a custom order, I strongly suspect the brake mounting holes were modified by the previous owner.
I do too. Fork crown holes for recessed nuts are usually counterbored at the factory. I don't see one in the photo. It's no big deal to drill the hole out to 8mm, but not many people have a 10mm piloted counterbore sitting around.
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Old 05-14-18, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by melmore02 View Post
This is off the top of my head, but I believe that in 1977, even on top-end frames, water-bottle bosses were rare.
When I bought my Scapin SL in 1974, it had bottle bosses. Ocana's Motobecane had them in the 1973 TdF. They were more widespread in 1974,including Merckx's bicycle. Still, depending on their personal philosophy, some manufacturers continued to resist brazed-on fittings for the the lighter gauge, centre sections of the tubes. Personally, I think that the big change was framebuilders accepting the benefits of using silver solder for small fittings on light gauge tubing.
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Old 05-14-18, 01:39 PM
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Thanks, guys. Most appreciated.

That CM website lists the various features and options model by model and year by year if you click on the timeline graphs. Apparently bottle bosses were an option for the '77 A-Frame. TT cable eyelets were too but this frame doesn't have them. I'll have to look at the other recessed-brake frames I have to see the details of the recessed holes. I confess I never paid them much attention before.

This is shaping up to be a very interesting exercise. My other Gazelle is so nice. But for some years at least the frame dimension were different between the A, A-A, and A-B frames. I'm curious to see how they compare.
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Old 05-14-18, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
When I bought my Scapin SL in 1974, it had bottle bosses. Ocana's Motobecane had them in the 1973 TdF. They were more widespread in 1974,including Merckx's bicycle. Still, depending on their personal philosophy, some manufacturers continued to resist brazed-on fittings for the the lighter gauge, centre sections of the tubes. Personally, I think that the big change was framebuilders accepting the benefits of using silver solder for small fittings on light gauge tubing.
Thanks for the clarification. I've been wracking my brain all day trying to remember when I first saw water bottle cage bosses on a frame, some time in high school (late '70s).
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Old 05-14-18, 07:39 PM
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This new software is buggy.

Masi Carlsbad made a show bike in 1975 with recessed brake mounting, Rydjor bike shop last had it and may still do.
Mario Confente used recessed brake fixing on all his USA built bikes, those started in 1976.
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Old 05-15-18, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by melmore02 View Post
Thanks for the clarification. I've been wracking my brain all day trying to remember when I first saw water bottle cage bosses on a frame, some time in high school (late '70s).
This could vary, depending on the brands and models to which you were exposed. While many of the smaller, high end manufacturers instituted bottle bosses in the mid-1970s, many of the large, mass volume manufacturers did not implement the feature until the very late 1970s. For instance, the Raleigh Professional didn't receive bottle bosses until circa 1977. Similarly, the Peugeot PX10 didn't get bosses until circa 1979. Finally, while Ocana's 1973 TdF bicycle sported them (see pic), it was a re-branded Gemini built by Henri Depieere. The commericial equivalent, the Motobecane Team Champion, was not fitted with this feature until circa 1978.

I can only speculate as to why the mass market oriented brands were slower to implement bottle bosses. It was more expensive and they may have been waiting to see if it was just a short lived fad. Also, the early bosses were threaded studs brazed to a frame (see pic). These were ugly without a cage and bottle in place, which was another
added cost.


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Old 05-15-18, 08:37 AM
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My 86 Trek 400 Elance came with a recessed fork and a nutted rear.
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Old 05-16-18, 02:13 AM
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On my italian (Verona) Masi Gran Criterium (1973/74?)
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Old 05-16-18, 02:58 AM
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I've owned a'n '84 CM. IIRC, the front brake wasnt recessed, so my 1988-ish DA brakes didnt fit. So I sold it on... :-/ Still kinda regret that.

I've recently aquiered a 1984 (I think) Tour de L'Avenir. I plan to keep this one (going to make it a randonneur/commuter).


Beatiful frame though. love the colour! Very Dutch :-)
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Old 05-16-18, 05:16 AM
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An other Masi Gran Criterium from Verona supposed of 1972 and for sale on eBay in 2014.



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Old 05-16-18, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
... Also, the early bosses were threaded studs brazed to a frame ...
This is what I've got on my ~1973 De Rosa.

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