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Why Are There Pantographed Components?

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Why Are There Pantographed Components?

Old 11-11-20, 03:58 PM
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Why Are There Pantographed Components?

I've been trying to research the reasoning or the marketing scheme for pantographed components but having trouble doing so. I typically come across on my late night eBay searches components such as a lever that has 'Somec" engraved in it or a crank that has 'Ernesto Colnago' all over it. My real question is what were these components for. Were they sold individually at bike shops as an upgrade or were these special orders from customers who wanted a little "bling" for their bike. And lastly, does it devalue a bike if installed. Let's say you have a complete 80s Campagnolo Record group set on your De Rosa and you remove those Record brake levers to install pantographed De Rosa brake levers. Is there any devalue or increase in value in doing so??

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Old 11-11-20, 03:59 PM
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I think they were just that a extra touch of bling to make that top of the line bike stand out from the rest of the line.
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Old 11-11-20, 04:26 PM
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Because fools and their money are soon parted.
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Old 11-11-20, 04:32 PM
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Pantographed components and/or bike frame/fork sets are, as suggested, that little extra that makes a bike more special, in the aesthetic sense. The pantographed components do add value to the bicycle. Would adding one pantographed component to a bike increase the bike's value - yes, but would you actually get the increase when it came time to sell the bike.

A better way to optimize value would be to sell the bike, as it sits and sell the special pantographed items separately (unless there is a complete set).

In my mind, any pantographed component is worth installing. In the case of my Legnano, I have been collecting pantographed stuff, for the bike, for years...


This is the last piece that needs to be installed...


And then, after years and years of thinking about it, should I paint the old Italian road bike..?
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Old 11-11-20, 05:03 PM
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Craftsmen are often proud of their work, and want people to know who did the work. Buy some decent Italian furniture, and you will see that there is almost always a tag or signature somewhere displaying the brand name.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:11 PM
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A lot of the pantographed stuff you see on eBay these days is just industrious craftsmen trying to increase the value of the components they are selling, similar to all the gold-plated Campy stuff. That's still cool, I think. A few brands came with pantographed stuff on the salesroom floor. De Rosa and Gios chainrings were like that, though I'm certain there are replicas being made, probably more than you find original.

Personally, I can't bring myself to pay top dollar for the pantographed stuff, but I do think it's cool. I get poor man's versions, like the "branded" plastic handlebar plugs. I have a pantographed stem for my Serotta, but I had to swap it out to make the fit comfortable. Heart breaking.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:31 PM
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It’s all about the brand.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:47 PM
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It's cool. All there is to it. Raleigh had heron head chainwheels, and many of the other English brands had logo chainwheels as well. I've got handlebars with Puch stamped into them, and another set with the Motobecane M.

It can be subtle, or to the extreme. If it floats your personal boat then ride on. If not, well, ride on.

I don't always rock the panto, but when I do...
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Old 11-11-20, 05:56 PM
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Why pinstriping on a car? Why art work on a skateboard? Branding, ornamentation, elaboration, beautification, ???. It caught the eyes, increased attention, told people "this bike is special".

A lot (most?) came from the "factory" on top of the line or special order/edition bikes. It does increase value and the components themselves have good value assuming they are actually from the period.

Some collectors (like me) kind of focus on it. But obviously it does nothing for the ride of the bike.

By questioning you have forced me to unleash a torrent of pictures.













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Old 11-11-20, 06:14 PM
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my guess (and vague recollection from 40 years ago..) is that every high end bike had the same Campy components, frame tubing, etc. One of the few ways to make a bike stand out was to add some bling!

'fer instance.. my 1982 Olmo Competition. It has pantographed cranks, chainrings, shifters, brake calipers and levers, seatpost and stem.
The cranks were special too. Campy Record cranks with the Mexico treatment, where the arms are profiled and the spider arms have the flutes slotted.
Does it make a functional difference? Only if you count how your friends spend time looking at all of that cool pantographing!


the whole bike...



the cranks and chainrings



shift levers



brake calipers



brake levers, with some extra holes too...



stem



seatpost



the fork crown also had the Olmo logo cast into it, which is fun too....


so, pantographing was a great way to make a bike stand out and to really put the brand logo on display!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 11-11-20, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
Because fools and their money are soon parted.
Then I'm a fool all day - and like it that way!













Plus, pantographing is just another fancy way of marking (marketing?) components in the time-honored "Schwinn Approved" manner

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Old 11-11-20, 08:55 PM
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Im beginning to understand why now. These are absolutely gorgeous and does not help my wallet at all!

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Old 11-11-20, 09:22 PM
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Yeah, a few of the members here can quickly turn a thread like this into serious bike porn.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:46 PM
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I'm glad I don't have any.

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Old 11-11-20, 11:36 PM
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Every few years, I'd wind up acquiring something pantographed in a big lot of parts.

It was never for any marquee I've had a chance to own, with exception to Guerciotti. Every time, it was never enough parts to truly grace an entire bike anyway.



...boy, you guys are making that hurt!

-Kurt
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Old 11-12-20, 04:54 AM
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Pantographed components are over priced and do nothing to enhance the enjoyment of cycling...



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Old 11-12-20, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
Pantographed components are over priced and do nothing to enhance the enjoyment of cycling...



That isn't pantographing...that is art.
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Old 11-12-20, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
It's cool. All there is to it. Raleigh had heron head chainwheels, and many of the other English brands had logo chainwheels as well. I've got handlebars with Puch stamped into them, and another set with the Motobecane M.

It can be subtle, or to the extreme. If it floats your personal boat then ride on. If not, well, ride on.

I don't always rock the panto, but when I do...
i wonder if those ornate chainwheels date back to when advertising wasn’t allowed on racing machines.
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Old 11-12-20, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
i wonder if those ornate chainwheels date back to when advertising wasn’t allowed on racing machines.
Lost on me. I know nothing of the history.
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Old 11-12-20, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Pantographed components and/or bike frame/fork sets are, as suggested, that little extra that makes a bike more special, in the aesthetic sense. The pantographed components do add value to the bicycle. Would adding one pantographed component to a bike increase the bike's value - yes, but would you actually get the increase when it came time to sell the bike.

A better way to optimize value would be to sell the bike, as it sits and sell the special pantographed items separately (unless there is a complete set).

In my mind, any pantographed component is worth installing. In the case of my Legnano, I have been collecting pantographed stuff, for the bike, for years...


This is the last piece that needs to be installed...
I differentiate between pantographed components and the rebranded components as shown. In the latter case, a contract is placed with a component manufacturer who labels the product with the contractee's brand in place of his own. In the case of pantographing, the branding typically doesn't replace the component manufacturer's brand but is becomes a second brand on the component. Also, the pantographing is typically performed by the bicycle manufacturer while rebranding is performed by the component manufacturer. Pantographing is typically done a small volume basis, while rebranding is mass volume.
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Old 11-12-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I differentiate between pantographed components and the rebranded components as shown. In the latter case, a contract is placed with a component manufacturer who labels the product with the contractee's brand in place of his own. In the case of pantographing, the branding typically doesn't replace the component manufacturer's brand but is becomes a second brand on the component. Also, the pantographing is typically performed by the bicycle manufacturer while rebranding is performed by the component manufacturer. Pantographing is typically done a small volume basis, while rebranding is mass volume.
+1.

Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
That isn't pantographing...that is art.
Yes, it is pantographing. And yes, it is art. Bad art, in my opinion, but that is beside the point.

A pantograph is simply a device for mechanically reproducing a design at a scale different from the original. It is in this case used to control a router to engrave designs on aluminum. You can engrave anything you want on anything you want, but you wouldn't do this to any material other than aluminum.

Proper OEM components, ordered from the supplier by the bike manufacturer, are another matter.

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Old 11-12-20, 11:27 AM
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The marketing scheme was similar to how it now is.

You buy a Kona, you (a buyer with no concern or knowledge of the realities of manufacturing not of the elite-tier componentry made by the same companies making the OEM parts) expect that Kona to have Kona stem, Kona seatpost, and so on.

Same went for DeRosa as well as Schwinn.


The difference between silkscreened/painted components and panto’d components is the majority of people shopping on price instead of quality. Every company has to cut “I don’t need that fancy stuff” corners to hit price points and move units.
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Old 11-12-20, 12:07 PM
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My comment was just a matter of fawning over the Somec engraving which in my opinion is beautiful (even though I hate when they pantograph right over the brand name). The Somec is engraved deeply and the red swirls are really cool. I would have preferred they did it around the Cinelli oval on the top however. And I am aware of the process of pantograph-ing, and the difference between that and engraving, which often is more "artistic".

I really LOVE that viking head chainring though. That is too cool. Was it a Viking product rebrand?

The Peugeot/Raleigh/Motobecane rebranded engraved cranks never did anything for me, but to each their own.

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
+1.
Yes, it is pantographing. And yes, it is art. Bad art, in my opinion, but that is beside the point.

A pantograph is simply a device for mechanically reproducing a design at a scale different from the original. It is in this case used to control a router to engrave designs on aluminum. You can engrave anything you want on anything you want, but you wouldn't do this to any material other than aluminum.

Proper OEM components, ordered from the supplier by the bike manufacturer, are another matter.

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Old 11-12-20, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
My comment was just a matter of fawning over the Somec engraving which in my opinion is beautiful...
Oh, I know. I was just being snarky. Art is really a very personal thing, and I appreciate it whether I like it or not. "Bad art" is an oxymoron, though of course there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
.
Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post

I really LOVE that viking head chainring though. That is too cool. Was it a Viking product rebrand?

.
That's a Norman chainring, made by Williams for Norman, early 50's. I used to have a Norman Rapide that would have looked great with that chainring, but I was never able to lay my mitts on one. That bike had Brittons fenders, literally branded Norman:
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Old 11-12-20, 12:55 PM
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I actually appreciate the Heron/Williams/Higgins/Magistroni shaped chainrings. That Norman one is awesome.
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