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What were some of the common 'trick' modifications to road bikes back in the 70s/80s?

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What were some of the common 'trick' modifications to road bikes back in the 70s/80s?

Old 12-23-23, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
*quietly removes dust caps from Campy crank on the Huffy*
.
You could do that. But remember, the Huffy is your superpower. If you ever find yourself transported back to the start line of a junior race in about 1978, you leave the dust caps in place. You make sure that you are wearing a Bell Biker and a plain cotton jersey.You’re playing a long game here. The bike alone will make sure that people will avoid you in any tight spots and the jersey and helmet will let you suck wheels at will, because a ( insert favorite insult here) could never be strong enough to do a decent pull. Then when you end up in the breakaway, you can wait for the sprint, because we all know Huffys are too heavy for a sprint.
Victory is yours!
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Old 12-23-23, 03:44 PM
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In the 1970s I do remember allot of teens would tilt drop bars up and back on their Ten Speeds... Ha

It was common and oddly I can't seem ta find a picture.
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Old 12-23-23, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
In the 1970s I do remember allot of teens would tilt drop bars up and back on their Ten Speeds... Ha
For a good while in the oughts, seemed like the riders on the streets who appeared as bums (who perhaps still had to get to the bars after a dwi) were all on bikes set up that way.

But I haven't seen many handlebars set that way in recent years, perhaps because the over-supply of old road bikes pouring into thrift stores has dried up a bit since 2002.
Or perhaps because of lax enforcement out on the roads, they're still driving?
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Old 12-23-23, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
It started in the mid '70s and was out of favor by '88 or so. Bike Ribbon padded tape became big around then.
Maybe, but I remember a significant amount of the stuff at a local crit that likely happened not too far from '88. I will freely admit that I much prefer sponge cork whether in a garish design or not. Benotto is just wonderful for transmitting road buzz right into one's wrists. Yucko!
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Old 12-23-23, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd
For a good while in the oughts, seemed like the riders on the streets who appeared as bums (who perhaps still had to get to the bars after a dwi) were all on bikes set up that way.

But I haven't seen many handlebars set that way in recent years, perhaps because the over-supply of old road bikes pouring into thrift stores has dried up a bit since 2002.
Or perhaps because of lax enforcement out on the roads, they're still driving?
Darwin collected all the tweakers.
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Old 12-23-23, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nemosengineer
Schwinn had one like that but a segment of a nickel plated Varsity, Huret mfg derailleurs, small rotating handle on the drive side to impart the demo movement. Was useful to help show cross chaining that was high wear and drag. That one had to keep pedaling to shift. A problem was a few of the Japanese front mechs were forward to move to the big ring, not back. Could confuse some.
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Old 12-23-23, 08:24 PM
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Some people made and drilled up their own parts:

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Old 12-23-23, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
Maybe, but I remember a significant amount of the stuff at a local crit that likely happened not too far from '88. I will freely admit that I much prefer sponge cork whether in a garish design or not. Benotto is just wonderful for transmitting road buzz right into one's wrists. Yucko!
If one wanted actual shock absorption, one installed Grab-Ons, which I did on my touring bike. Benotto is about as shock-absorbing (and grippy) as cellophane (which it seemed to resemble.) But Benotto users could look down their snobby noses at those lost souls who had (gasp) Hunt-Wilde tape on their bars. Even though they both were remarkably similar, only the Hunt-Wilde bar plugs were vastly superior.

But I knew if I had Grab-Ons on my racer in competition, that would be a bit too much for those who would forgive my use of non-Superbe Suntour componentry. "Real" racers Just Didn't Do That back then.

Knowing what I know now, I 'd probably install half-Grab-Ons under cloth tape, and them devise some convincingly-conveyed story such as "you mean you haven't heard this is the new thing they're using in the Spring Classics?" Still probably wouldn't get away with it, but at least I'd have handlebar cushiness.
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Old 12-23-23, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
If one wanted actual shock absorption, one installed Grab-Ons, which I did on my touring bike. Benotto is about as shock-absorbing (and grippy) as cellophane (which it seemed to resemble.) But Benotto users could look down their snobby noses at those lost souls who had (gasp) Hunt-Wilde tape on their bars. Even though they both were remarkably similar, only the Hunt-Wilde bar plugs were vastly superior.

But I knew if I had Grab-Ons on my racer in competition, that would be a bit too much for those who would forgive my use of non-Superbe Suntour componentry. "Real" racers Just Didn't Do That back then.

Knowing what I know now, I 'd probably install half-Grab-Ons under cloth tape, and them devise some convincingly-conveyed story such as "you mean you haven't heard this is the new thing they're using in the Spring Classics?" Still probably wouldn't get away with it, but at least I'd have handlebar cushiness.
Hunt-Wilde plugs were OEM on Masi Carlsbad bikes. By order omission they had to scramble to get them in. None came from Italy in the materials “kit”. White only.

Grab On later had a thin version, approx 3mm, maybe 2.5mm thick. Looked less bloated.
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Old 12-23-23, 10:31 PM
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“Lightweight” rim strips

In the 1980’s some of us used packing tape in place of the rubber rim strips or Velox cloth tape to save a few grams of rotating weight. I have since switched to the thin plastic strips that are much better, but I don’t think those were widely available in the early 80s
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Old 12-24-23, 12:22 AM
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Drillum, yes, Eddy Merckx started at 1969 Tour de France.

I don't know who milled and polished this seat post.

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Old 12-24-23, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
Schwinn had one like that but a segment of a nickel plated Varsity, Huret mfg derailleurs, small rotating handle on the drive side to impart the demo movement. Was useful to help show cross chaining that was high wear and drag. That one had to keep pedaling to shift. A problem was a few of the Japanese front mechs were forward to move to the big ring, not back. Could confuse some.
A local shop used to be a Schwinn shop back in the day, and still keeps that shifting trainer on display behind the counter. Maybe they still pull it down to help out new customers?? It was a great way to introduce folks to the mysteries of derailleurs in the 70's. I do like the carry handle with the handlebar grip on it.
I do wonder if Jon Williams was intentionally emulating the appearance of it when he created his drillium version.



Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-24-23, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
For some reason, that just looks sooo wrong to me.....
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Old 12-24-23, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
For some reason, that just looks sooo wrong to me.....
Yeah, it was being scrapped so I grabbed it.

Story goes it was ridden many miles but.........

don't think I ever would.

It was pretty rough and actually cleaned up well, I have considered adding an internal sleeve, but again.........
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Old 12-24-23, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Story goes it was ridden many miles but.........
don't think I ever would.
An ex-teammate of mine was badly injured when his seatpost shaft broke, and the remaining shard "ripped him a new one". I wasn't there but heard about it. He was off the bike for a long time and even quit cycling for a while (can't blame him), though I heard more recently he's back to riding.
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Old 12-24-23, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie
An ex-teammate of mine was badly injured when his seatpost shaft broke, and the remaining shard "ripped him a new one". I wasn't there but heard about it. He was off the bike for a long time and even quit cycling for a while (can't blame him), though I heard more recently he's back to riding.
Was it a drillium part? Any confirmation on the post brand/material?
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Old 12-24-23, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Was it a drillium part? Any confirmation on the post brand/material?
It was cabron, not drilled
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Old 12-25-23, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cegerer
Titanium components from Pino Morroni. I had his quick-release skewers on my Assenmacher late 70s. Interesting article here: TheRetroGrouch - Pino











What year Porsche, early 70's?
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Old 12-25-23, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1
What year Porsche, early 70's?
Best, Ben
Good eye 1971 911, sold a few years back. Saved one of the keys.

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Old 12-25-23, 10:01 AM
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Sometimes they'd go too far perhaps. The other brake lever snapped on this bike:

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Old 12-25-23, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cegerer
Good eye 1971 911, sold a few years back. Saved one of the keys.
Yes , know them well................71E

Still have it................
Best, Ben
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Old 12-25-23, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cheffyjay
Sometimes they'd go too far perhaps. The other brake lever snapped on this bike
Yeah I got a Frank Spivey drilled Mafac brake lever set for pennies because one side broke in a crash. I'll probably never use it on a bike but I like having this little bit of interesting bike history.

Frank Spivey was never famous exactly but maybe well-known in some circles. He made drilling jigs that allowed him to quickly and precisely drill a series of hole in graduated sizes in things like brake levers, front derailer cages etc.



I started to write "I hate..." but that's too strong, for how I feel about amateur drillium where the holes aren't equally spaced or in a straight line. Not hate, but it ruins the part or even the whole bike, for me.
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Old 12-25-23, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie

I started to write "I hate..." but that's too strong, for how I feel about amateur drillium where the holes aren't equally spaced or in a straight line. Not hate, but it ruins the part or even the whole bike, for me.
I agree, but there are exceptions, some of the 1960’s pro’s bikes had drilling that was eyeballed, no rotary table, a certain charm that can very quickly drift to careless.
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Old 12-25-23, 04:13 PM
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here's a treasure trove of Frank Spivey parts and drilling jig pictures, on Chuck Schmidt's Velo Retro site:
Velo-Retro: Peter Johnson
Of course the Peter Johnson frame is to die for also.
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Old 12-25-23, 04:28 PM
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Suntour Winner Ultra-7 freewheel with Aluminum body.
Fiamme Yellow label Ergal rims. I was "heavy" at 170 lbs so I only raced them on the front wheel. Most weight weenie stuff seemed too risky or expensive for little or no benefit.
Weyless Hubs. I still use the front wheel. Rear is 120 mm freewheel
Modolo plastic shifters (snapped in half)
Campy Titanium BB spindle (broke on a group ride). I never would have bought it, but it came on a bike with a damaged frame I bought to use for parts,
Aluminum toe clips (snapped off)
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