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How my views in bikes have changed over the years ...

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How my views in bikes have changed over the years ...

Old 06-03-14, 11:31 AM
Dave Horne
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How my views on bikes have changed over the years ...

I moved to the Netherlands 20 years ago and bought my first Dutch bike. This was a second hand three speed Gazelle, a well known Dutch brand.

Instead of the typical bike cables for the brakes and the hub, the bike used metal rods which traveled parallel to the frame and the handlebar. I thought that was really cool; looking back now, a sort of retro look.

My next bike was a new Batavus equipped with a derailleur and instead of those metal rods it came with the bike cables that we know and love. For me, at that time though, those cables seemed like a cheap solution to a great metal rod system. (I wasn't concerned about weight back then.)

It took me a while before I appreciated those light weight and flexible bike cables.

Has anyone here ever seen those metal rods before they were replaced with cables? Just curious.

Last edited by Dave Horne; 06-04-14 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 06-03-14, 12:46 PM
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Campagnolo Cambio Corsa?

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Old 06-03-14, 01:05 PM
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A succession of bikes

Your views have not changed as much as mine did.

My first bike was a second-hand Schwinn one speed tank with the Bendix coaster brakes. It weighed far more than any bike I own today. It was the best my family could afford for that Christmas but I took it on long rides anyway - up to 50 miles. Eventually I began to earn my own money and as a teenager bought a Schwinn Traveler. Three speeds with rim brakes and fenders. Not light but way better than the 1-speed. At 17 I got a driver's license and gave up bicycling. That was for kids! Fast forward to grad school and the need to get from an apartment to the campus. I came across a 29 pound Fiorelli 10 speed "racing bike" with all entry level Campignolo components. Some rich kid had to sell it to buy a new toy. His parents said he had too much stuff so it became mine. It was so much fun to ride that I got hooked on cycling again and never quit. Subsequent bikes got even better, a Nishiki Semi-Pro, a 1973 Motobecane Le Champion road bike, later a Specialized Rockhopper and the Balance 450 MTB listed at the left. The big change came as I got older (maybe just OLD) and those bikes became instruments of torture on long rides. I found out about recumbent bikes in 2000 and then recumbent trikes in 2003. I've gone through a couple of them and now ride far more than I ever rode when I was much younger. Damn the expense and who cares what they look like. It is a real change in attitude if there ever was one.
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Old 06-03-14, 11:00 PM
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A friend of mine owns an old Japanese bike from WW2 with rods linking the brake levers and brakes. It looks pretty chaotic. He said the reason for the rods was wartime material shortages making cables unavailable to bike builders.
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Old 06-04-14, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Campagnolo Cambio Corsa?
I think he's referring to rod actuated brakes, such as Raleigh has used since time immemorial:

And since Gazelle has been a Raleigh subsidiary for many decades, it wouldn't surprise me if Mr Horne's bike were a clone of a Raleigh design.
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Old 06-04-14, 11:33 AM
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Yea, Probably Those .. the brake pads pull UP into the inside of the rim. India has Lots of them too ..

Rod brake linkages were probably used on bikes before WW1. not due to a cable shortage.
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