Tag Archive for components

Bar End Shifters

When I was drafting up the specifications for my dream tourer I had pretty set ideas for just about everything I wanted on it – a threaded quill stem, a square-taper bottom bracket, quill pedals, a decaleur to help support a boxy French randonneuring handlebar bag, in short all the usual accoutrements one would expect…

When Less is More

I see in the news where Italian components maker Tiso has come up with prototypes of a 12-speed drivetrain with wireless electronic shifting. I would almost have thought the news release was some kind of gag, but there was no April First dateline and although the accompanying video was rather crude, as was the prototype…

Leather Bar Tape

Bar tape (for those of us on drop bars) is another of those idiosyncratic components on a bicycle, with everyone having their own preferences for look, colour and style, comfort and feel. Handlebars are a contact point and, as with saddles and pedals, we know what we like and what works for us – or…

Pie Plates in the Mountains

Encouraging news for those of us who like triples and more generously geared rear sprockets on our bicycles: it seems Alberto Contador the winner of this year’s Vuelta rode much of the course with an 11-28 rear cassette on his bicycle and even used an 11-32 cassette on one of the steeper mountain stages of…

Electronic Shifting?

E.B. White wrote many a brilliant essay, but one of my favourites of his was called Farewell My Lovely,about the passing of the venerable Ford Model-T which had formed so much a part of his, and the 20thcentury’s, youth. The essay appeared in The New Yorker, in May 1936, but has been republished a number of times…

A Round Three Dozen

There was a time, and not all that many years ago either, when your standard bicycle wheel had thirty-six spokes laced in the time-honoured three-cross pattern – the main exception being here in Great Britain where bicycles used for touring typically had forty spokes on the rear wheel and thirty-six up front. Even amongst racers,…

Lugged Stems

Whenever I take my Pegoretti out for a spin two thoughts always go through my head: a.) how incredibly lucky I am to possess such a bicycle and b.) the notion that I am pedalling down the street on a work of Italian fine art; a kinetic sculpture in Columbus Spirit tubing, a lovely lightweight steel drawn in Milan, joined with ornate lugwork, then brazed with silver in Dario Pegoretti’s workshop in Caldonazzo.

It really is a beautiful bicycle, and beautifully finished too, but of all the exquisite detailing on it, the thing that delights me most when I am spinning along the lanes is this lugged stem.

Three’s The Charm

Henri Desgrange, the stubborn, dictatorial founder of the Tour de France, was famously scornful of variable gears on bicycles, seeing them as a sign of weakness in body and character and for many years – as long as he was in charge of the event – he forbade the use of derailleurs in the Tour.…