18 August, 2006

Things I Wish They (still) Made

There are some bike parts that should never have gone out of production. If we had the tooling to make them, I'll bet we could go right on selling them.

On top of my list is the old Herse cranks. Or how about these Sugino improved reproductions? I'm not sure that the Sugino "Pro-Dynamic" cranks were actually ever made, except as prototypes.

The second part on my list are Maxicar hubs. Those legendary French hubs that only need service about once every 60,000 miles. The tooling for those is easy to find; MaxiCar is still in business, but they say the hubs are too hard to make.

I'd love to see the Mafac "Kathy" or "Driver" brakes again.

And it would be very cool to be able to buy a Nivex derailleur today.

We definitely need the original TA handlebar bag brought back, but that is something we're working on right now.

Finally we need a source for 5mm leather washers so we can properly mount fenders, racks, and other accesories. Oh, wait a minute, Velo Orange is making those starting today. They'll be in the shop section of the store this afternoon.

What parts would you like to see made again?

25 comments:

John Price said...

I'm with you Chris on the crankset- be it an Herse or the Sugino pictured I'd love to see that brought back. Of course you'd have to have a supply of chainrings too. Seems to me there are some Japanese companies making these sorts of rings (three arm) that fit onto the more modern small spiders of some Shimano mtb crankarms. Maybe you could look into that as something to sell here.

A nice matching Rene Herse style stem (both in threadless and "standard") would be sweet too.

John

C said...

I'd say the Sugino Mighty Tour crank would be my first choice for two reasons:
1) Classic good looks
2) Fully compatible with the wide range of 110 rings on the market today.

I love the Herse 3 bolt cranks as well as the classic TA Cyclotouriste/Stronglight 49 but all of those cranks require chainrings that are no longer made. The cost of producing a crank isn't cheap but is manageable. The cost of getting a whole range of special chainrings made would probably be astronomical. Personally, I consider readily available chainrings in a variety of sizes to be more important than the style of the crank. If 3 bolt chainrings can be cheaply made then I'm all for them but otherwise I'd stick to a currently supported standard.

MaxiCar hubs are nice but I think cassette hubs have freewheels beat in so many ways that it's not worth the effort. Again, you're looking at bringing back two items: the hubs and the freewheels. A MaxiCar that used readily available and reliable Shimano cassette bodies would be really nice.

A nice silver stem would be great. Ideally, threadless since you can always convert a threadless stem into a quill stem.

Goofy as it may sound, I'd really like to see a rod activated front derailleur. There's something about them I've always liked.

A nice centerpull brake that used modern threaded post pads and recessed mounting bolts would also be nice. Yeah, the Paul falls into that category but it has that clunky CNC look to it. Maybe a modified Dia Compe?

Bringing back the long cage Jubilee derailleur would be nice. Maybe make the body a little longer to give it the sweep to handle more modern 7/8/9 drivetrains? Pretty sure that would be astronomically expensive.

david_nj said...

Guys, just for the record: more or less as the Paul centerpull brakes are like modern Mafacs, if you want a moderne version of a Herse stem (for 1" threadless at least), get yourself a Cinelli Alter, which is a paean to CNC machining. It's got garish graphics, but just spray it silver and life will be good. (NB do not powdercoat an alloy stem; the heat may weaken it significantly.) They aren't expensive because few racers run 1" threadless any more.

If you just do a Google search for a picture of it, you'll see what I mean.

Additionally, an Alter has a mysterious hole right in the middle, which is essentially perfect for hanging one of CK's decaleur mounts. One must of needs figure out a way to make a 90 degree bend right near the end of the tang, then it'll woik great.

Just a heads-up.

Dan Goldenberg said...

Hi Chris,

Here is something less fancy and probably highly specialized, but maybe easy to make:

I believe Phil Wood used to make a tiny bottle cage that was sized to fit their tenacious oil bottle. I think it only needed one bottle braze on to mount. Something like this would be ideal for mounting on touring bikes that have bottle mounting points under the downtube.

I saw a webpage before where someone made one using a stainless spoke that was silver brazed. It looked like a miniature nitto bottle cage. A really cool little accessory and very practical for carrying some lube on your bike.

Cheers

Jerry Somdahl said...

Guidonnet brake levers. I have a set, use them, love them and have thought about having a new set made. Great levers for relaxed comfortable riding.
Jerry

Kris Green said...

I'd like to see the classic steel TA bottle cages of the 1970s (which were available into the mid-1990s), with the petite white top...

...the suede, box-shaped bags made by Zeus or Cinelli (I think), which featured an open end, and were used to carry a single spare sewup. These fit perfectly into the rare, square Nitto cages that are also intended to carry spare sewups...

...Lyotard Berthoud platform pedals. These were made for something like 60 years, and sold for $12 or $15 into the early 80s. Now the supply has dried up. I use them (sans clips or straps) on my Colnago city bike and love them. A new iteration would have to be more resistant to breakage, and feature better bearings...

...Mafac tool kits, perhaps with some modest updates to cater to modern-ish tourists and randonneurs...

...steel Campy pump heads for frame-mounted Silcas...

...close ratio, aluminum-shelled three speed hubs by Sturmey Archer, made to their pre-TI standards. Let's bring back the three-speed fixed hub and the wide ratio four speed while we're at it...

...box section, highly polished 32 hole rims with double eyelets, like the Mavic Module E...

...the early version of the Campy Super Record seatpost, featuring the NR two-bolt cradle but having the decorative swages (that's not the right word) in the post, in a longer version...

...fat Clement Seta silk sewups with latex tubes...

...Simplex retrofriction levers, with a barrel sized to have a lot more cable wrap...

...and I could go on forever. That said, I think we're living in the golden age right now. It's astounding to me what's become available in the last four years, old and new, thanks to ebay, online groups like Classic Rendezous, the Japanese keepers of the faith, Rivendell, Pacenti's lugs, and Jan Heine's shining light. Add to that modern marvels like titanium, lighting, helmets, tire compounds and--yes--computers...it's amazing. I'm one happy cyclist.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Kris,

I've never used the Lyotard Berthoud platform pedals, but are the modern MKS equivelants a fairs substitute? I can sell those cheaply and they seem very nice.

Regarding the rims, am I the only one who thinks CR18s are today's classic polished rim. I actually think they would sell better if they were more expensive. Folks assume that a rim that cheap can't be good. It's not--it's great.

C, I'll get to the repro Herse style stem one day. I just need one to copy.

Chris

crawley said...

Chris, I agree about the Sugino Pro-Dynamic cranks. Actually the PD's that I have seen are the predecessor to the PX(but much cooler looking). I have seen similar ones to the ones in your picture, but they have a slightly larger bcd. Check out this link for a page from a '78 Sugino catalog: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~uc6y-ssk/special_00.html&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~uc6y-ssk/special_00.html%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DG
The ones in your picture actually look identical to some old Sakae cranks I've seen around.

david_nj said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david_nj said...

Chris, on the Speedplay site they have a so-so picture of the old Lyotard Marcel Berthet pedal -- the friggin' things were produced starting in the 1930s! They're steel but truly a brilliant design and extremely light. And I do mean brilliant -- I've never seen any other pedals like 'em. They're incredibly easy to get in and out of -- pretty much the only toe clip pedals I can think of that you could use on a fixed gear. But they hold your foot really well.

The MKS ones are OK, but a little too small unless you're an Oompah-Loompah. Plus the flip thing breaks off and when that happens they ain't easy to get into. The platform is about the size of a Speedplay :-( ... well, ok, a little bigger but still.

Andrew Karre said...

Easy one. Simplex Retrofriction shifters. The ones with the cutout. They are a perfect marriage of form and function. Every other dt shifter pales in comparison.

Mafac cantis seem to me to be more than adequately duplicated by Paul (the Neo Retros are worth every penny) and by IRD (I'm looking forward to trying the Cafams). But I don't mind CNC . . .

AK

Joe B. said...

Hey Dan G., all:

I searched for many months trying to locate where I'd seen that handmade clip/holder, and finally located it - so, am happy to share for the record that it's located here.

=- Joe
Pittsburgh

Barrett said...

What everyone said (especially Simplex Retrofriction levers). I would add what might seem an oddball item into this: the Sachs/Huret Multronic. Mounted mid-way along the fork blade, it's out-of-the-way enough not to obsess over, but convenient enough to take a quick peek of your speed if you just have to know, and all the other vital stats are duly recorded. No wires, easy to attach and remove, sufficiently shock/weather-resistant, and just gives you the straight skinny (speed, trip and cumluative distance). About the closest I've seen to a non-neurotic electronic cyclocomputer. Never should've got rid of mine (although I still have the Cat Eye Solar setup that preceded it – go figure). If it was cool enough for Greg LeMond to use in at least one TdF...


- Barrett

C said...

Barrett:

Check out the Cateye Strada. It's a pretty non-neurotic computer.

Alf said...

I'd like a new version of the Nitto-Dura Ace stem, the one with the hidden bolts, but taller, like the Technomic Deluxe.

I'm with you on the Maxicars, any chance it'll ever be made again?

buck-fitty said...

Decent, inexpensive thumbshifters. I know Paul makes the mounts, but a set of mounts + shifters= way too expensive, and those crappy falcons that riv sells just don't cut it...

buck-fitty said...

One more thing- I don't know if something like this has ever been made, but what about a bag support for the frontof the bike in the style of the rivendell silver hoop- easy to install, easy to take off, it might be just the thing for those of us for whom a decalleur is kinda overkill...

neil m berg said...

LED lights that are classic in appearance. I suspect the LED lights will make generator driven lights obsolete.

Anonymous said...

There is a pair of maxi-car hubs on eBay right now. $602 and still going up.

Aaron said...

The TA front rack that bolts to Mafac calipers-- I've been looking high and low for one.

Anonymous said...

Pino Moroni high drive side low other side rear hub, with Maxicar quality bearings- with flanges adjusted for
zero dish and easy spoke replacement.

Huret cyclometer - a simple odometer for people who have reached the age or state of grace where they don't need to know how fast they are going, just how far they've gone.

ga_mueller said...

I just realized TODAY that my 20+ year-old Davidson has Simplex retrofriction downtube shifters. These shifters are head-and-shoulders above the Suntour Cyclone shifters on my other bike.

Anonymous said...

The MKS platform pedals are awfully narrow. If someone hyper pronates-i.e rolls their foot while pedaling that someone's foot will fall off the MKS platforms. There is nothing on the market right now that can accomodate a wide American size foot. I think something could be made by bending sheet metal to fit inside the MKS Touring pedal to create a platform.

Anonymous said...

Cibie bike lights.

Daan from Holland said...

I still own a Sachs Huret Multronic cyclocomputer (fitted to my vintage Vitus 979). The other day, after I changed the battery, it reverted back to factory default settings. Does anyone know how to set up the front wheel size use the single button? Please mail akkermand AT hotmail.com Thank you!