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A classic from Cooper

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A classic from Cooper

Old 11-08-11, 04:52 PM
  #51  
Sixty Fiver
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That podcast is wonderful... love it when he said "I could do an hour under 25, that wasn't that hard and anyone could do it" and that "back in those days there was a frame builder on every corner."

And, "no file marks and no vice jaw marks".

I also understand the "having the bug"...

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Old 11-08-11, 04:59 PM
  #52  
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And before Cooper... Gillot


https://www.classicrendezvous.com/Bri...Gillot_PN.html
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Old 11-08-11, 11:44 PM
  #53  
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More images from the article, Rouleur website:


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Old 11-12-11, 04:24 AM
  #54  
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And some historical and modern eye candy, from the world of fastback seat stays:

Early Carlton 'Victor' seat cluster, with seat stays attached behind, instead of on the two sides of seat tube. This cluster was introduced around 1965, used on Carlton B.M.B Racing Team bikes, and available on consumer frames in late 60s Carlton catalogs.


The drool worthy fastback connection on the 1970s Raleigh Professional (1976 catalog):


Ron Cooper's monostay seat connection (1997 frame):


Fastback connection on a Formilgi custom steel frame:
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Old 11-13-11, 10:42 PM
  #55  
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One more update after a bit more saddle time.

First, the Italia Flite saddle itself had to go. It looked great on the bike, and was well made and lightweight with titanium rails. However, it turned out to be too narrow for my own sit bones. I mounted up a classic Brooks B17 this weekend, a model I know works for my own anatomy. The bike promptly gained about 2/3 of a pound, but also became even more comfortable. (Original weight of the Cooper with Flite saddle and Campy Record components: about 21 pounds).

The relatively shallow seat tube angle of the Cooper frame positions the saddle further back than on my other bikes. I have now adjusted the bike for "knee over pedal spindle" position. No problem reaching this position, but it did require moving the Flite or Brooks saddle as far forward on the saddle rails as possible (instead of as far back as possible as sometimes occurs on other bikes).

This is first time I have had a bike equipped with Ergo integrated brake shifters, dual pivot side pull brakes, and nine-speed cassettes instead of 6 or 7 speed freewheels. I'm amazed at how much more powerful the brakes feel than the old Dia Compe side pulls on my 1983 Raleigh, or the Campagnolo Chorus monoplanar side pull brakes on my 1988 Bianchi. The ease and convenience of shifting has also been something of a revelation. I have always been perfectly happy with downtube friction or indexed shifters, and didn't particularly care for the Shimano integrated brake/shifters I have tried on other bikes. However, I now find myself shifting more often and more comfortably with the Ergo set up on the Ron Cooper, and better able to dial in just the right cadence because of the extra gears. I love my older bikes, and am almost sad to see what a difference the more modern gear makes. However, I am rapidly getting spoiled by the improvements that have come with the more powerful brakes, the more finely spaced gears, and the Ergo setup that make it possible to shift one or multiple gears at a time from either the hood or drop position on the handlebars.

And finally, some combination of the bike, the geometry, my position on the Cooper, or the nice tires and components, are making a pretty obvious improvement in my riding. While riding the Cooper this weekend, I included one particular 14 mile route that I've ridden over 90 times in the last 3 years (different route than the one last week). I've got GPS data from all those rides, and my very first ride on the Cooper was again faster than any of the 90 previous rides on the same route on other bikes. Of course, this could still be the irrational exuberance of new bike ownership. However, it's clearly not explainable by just being in better shape now than anytime in the last three years. In fact, I happened to do exactly the same route on both the 1983 Raleigh and the 1988 Bianchi within the last seven days. Average speed over 14 miles with about 800 feet of climbing:

1983 Raleigh Grand Prix: 16.4 mph
1988 Bianchi Super Leggera: 17.8 mph
1997 Ron Cooper: 19.2 mph.

I know it's mostly about the engine. But I am REALLY enjoying this Ron Cooper, and I'm finding that it's also at least partly about the bike!
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Old 08-26-13, 12:02 AM
  #56  
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Hello, nice to read about Cooper bikes here! Last year, I was came across a posting on Craigslist...a Ron Cooper frame built up as a fixie. I responded right away since I had heard how good his bikes were (I been to Tony's shop, a bicycle odyssey, many times and have seen his frames there regularly). We meet up and he tells me he is the original owner and ordered it from Tony in the mid 90s. he didn't have the fork, but I walk away with the bike!

When I pulled the fixie parts off, I was surprised the frame weighed about 5 pounds! no clue as to the tubing. I've hung some old parts on it just to see how it rides on the road, downtube shifters and a nimble front wheel (yes I ride tubulars). The bike rides like a dream! The first thing I noticed was how smooth it rides, and the bike is responsive and stable. The bike just takes every bit of energy I put out and moves forward...it just begs for more! With the KCNC brakes, the bike comes in at a respectable 18 pounds. This is a great bike.
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Old 08-26-13, 12:31 AM
  #57  
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....a lot of older Ron Cooper bikes turn up in NorCal, especially in the SF Bay Area.

There is a bike shop in Sausalito that had some family connection with Mr Cooper, and
therefor imported and sold a lot of his bikes/frames. A Bicycle Odyssey

There's a seven or eight page thread on the marque at :The Ron Cooper Thread,
but yours is far and away the most exotic one I've ever seen.

Editoops, just noticed the zombie thread alert.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:26 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix View Post
. Average speed over 14 miles with about 800 feet of climbing:

1983 Raleigh Grand Prix: 16.4 mph
1988 Bianchi Super Leggera: 17.8 mph
1997 Ron Cooper: 19.2 mph.

I know it's mostly about the engine. But I am REALLY enjoying this Ron Cooper, and I'm finding that it's also at least partly about the bike!
Actually this proves nothing! I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but unless the weather conditions were exactly the same each time, your body was putting out the exact same watts every inch of the way each time, same tires/psi, etc, etc, this tells us nothing. I will tell you this, that since 1963 the average speed of the TDF has increased by only 3 mph...except one small thing, the TDF has shrunk by 500 miles since 63, so in reality we've gained nothing with all of our bike technology and training technology, so I seriously doubt you have realized a true 3 mph gain going from one bike to another.

Again, I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, although a lot people here seem to think I am, but one cannot really judge the speed of one bike vs another and neither of your other 2 bikes are dogs, if you were comparing it to a bone stock 70's Schwinn Varsity to the Ron Cooper then I could see that gain being realistic.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:44 AM
  #59  
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My Cooper compels me to go faster.

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Old 08-26-13, 03:02 PM
  #60  
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I thoroughly enjoyed the Ron Cooper PodCast. I was amused by his recollection of doing National Service in the RAF ... and they fly him to a race in a Lancaster bomber!

His London accent had me recalling my dear, late uncle who was an old school craftsman of a similar mold — apprenticed at 13 and later master piston-maker.

Great frame makers using steel will keep coming forward as long as there is a demand, but craftsmen like Mr Cooper belong to a culture and ethos that is rapidly passing into memory, but only among those who choose to revere the ephemeral connection between nature and the complexity that is the stamp of an iconic craftsman.
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Old 09-03-13, 11:14 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
....
There is a bike shop in Sausalito that had some family connection with Mr Cooper, and
therefor imported and sold a lot of his bikes/frames. A Bicycle Odyssey
I stopped in at Bicycle Odyssey on my Ron Cooper earlier this summer, during a 100K Populaire ride in the Bay Area. The owner is a big Ron Cooper fan. He said he currently has four Cooper bikes of his own. He had several other Cooper frames on display at the shop. He also said that Ron had shipped him a new frame just a day or two before he had died in 2012, probably the last Cooper frame ever built.


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Old 09-04-13, 04:20 AM
  #62  
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What a great thread! When I were a lad most of the Ron Cooper bikes I knew of (being in South East London, there were a few) were all quite similar; generally Columbus SL road bikes crafted ~late '70s and early '80s - plus the odd track bike. (My brother's might have been 531, I'm not sure.) So seeing these monostay bikes is great - he was obviously a very versatile craftsman. And whilst we're doing photos of Coopers parked outside relevant shops, the great man's old shop/workshop in Honor Oak that he moved out of over 20 years ago is now a deli.



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Old 09-04-13, 04:32 AM
  #63  
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Zombie thread or not, I'm glad this came back. Never saw it before.
I never thought I'd hear myself say this about a bike built in the 90's.
That frame is stunningly beautiful.
But, of course, it may have been built in the 90's, but is so far from a
90's" bike as I know them. Which aint much.
Fantastic.
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Old 09-04-13, 08:03 AM
  #64  
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^ Same here! Threads like this should be brought back anytime someone has something of relevance to add to it! I'll have to watch the podcast later.
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Old 09-04-13, 08:36 AM
  #65  
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just amazing
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