Schlagwort-Archive: 600AX

Mob’s big box of small wonders

I have started to buy, repair, restore and sell old bicycles just a few month ago, mainly as a hobby to spend the long cold winter days in Bremen doing something meaningful. But even in a few months quite an assortment of interesting bike parts has gathered.

Shimano’s Golden Arrow series, the predecessor from the Eighties of today’s 105 series is one of my favourites. So is the Shimano 600 Arabesque series, which is slightly older and influenced by arabic design elements, something not that much in vogue today. Generally I prefer Shimano over Camapgnolo: Less model changes, cheaper and easier to get and better functionality. „Cheap“ is important, as I repair the components and assemble them on my frames, making a lot of mistakes. So if something goes wrong, I don’t loose a lot of money on the spot. Today, for example, I learned that a 1“ cone for a headset that is mounted directly on the fork can be different depending on the type of fork. There goes another headset.

I bought also some components from lesser know brands. My Lyotard pedals are a good example, my Maillard and Normandy high flange hubs, a Modolo Stem (with the Mosburger Logo) and a very nice ITM stem.

Before I repair, adjust and clean all of this stuff, I keep it in a box which is the big box of small wonders.

Now one of my recent purchases has been a complete set of Shimano 600 AX components.
Shimano launched the 600AX group in 1981 in response to the aerodynamic craze in cycling. In many respects I feel it is the equivalent to the Japanese bubble economy era: Bold, gaudy, baroque in design, expensive looking and not really useful. Take a look at the bottle cage for example: This one is designed for a special aerodynamic bottle that is much higher than wide (not a circular section) so that it offers less wind resistance.

(By the way, if you own such a bottle, please let me know).

Nice. But basically useless. And of course Shimano wasn’t able to set a new standard. The same is true for the crank set. Shimano tried to set a new standard for a new, bigger pedal thread. They failed to convince the world. Today it is extremely difficult to find matching pedals.

In theory this would allow me to completely retrofit a frame with Shimano 600 AX with the exception of head set, bottom bracket and chain, as there were no 600AX parts developed in their cases. Theoretically, as some of the components are in bad shape (rubber hoods of the shifters for example) or not that practical. Take for example the brakes. These are probably one of the most beautiful bicycle brakes ever designed. Some people say this about the Campagnolo Delta brakes but I would disagree, they look comparatively bulky.

Both, Shimano AX and Campa Delta brakes have two things in common: They are incredibly difficult to mount and to adjust and, even worse, they tend not to brake too much.

Here are some more nice components. Some of them I will use to built up two Olmo frames I have purchased recently. These are replacements for the Moser Leader AX evolution frame I wanted to work on some month ago but that turned out to be too small for me. Yes, Olmo is the brand of choice for the time being.

But today the weather is beautiful an daylight until 9 PM allows me to go riding after work and early dinner.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bits&Pieces, Mob

The love for new things old and old things new

During the dark and cold winter months in Bremen I developed a love for old bicycle parts. The magic letters are N.O.S.  the abbreviation for „New, old stock“. 

It seems that people or history tends to forget small things.. And that suddenly, these small and insignificant things from the past turn up in the present and now they have become significant for some of us. Well, perhaps not to the same scale as we would welcome the return of the original amber room from the palace in Petersburg that went missing in 1944 or 1945. And our previous girlfriends (3 or 4 in my case) will not return in their original shape and age. Luckily. 
However, there are batches of batches of old cycling parts somewhere out there  and it is rather tempting to buy them like pieces from an old puzzle and hunt for the remaining puzzle pieces. And finally one will be able to see the complete picture.

Here are some examples from recent purchases.

Lyotard pedales. Not sure which type or year.

Lyotard was one of these French companies. They invented a special pedal (Marcel Berthier) in the twenties and basically continued to produce the same designs well into the eighties until they went belly up. This will be a nice addition to any of my old steel frame commuting bikes.

An older Olmo stem from 3ttt with the Italian flag engraved in the upper side. Italian brands are my favourite. Not Pinarello or Colnago, but smaller steel frame builders such as Botecchia, Chesini, Ciocc, Somec and many others. I still have an old Moser frame in area 51 and wonder what I should do with it. The handle bar clap on this stem can be completely opened, so one doesn’t need to fiddle the bare handlebar through the hole. This allows also for different handles with premounted brake levers to be assembled on the same bike. I love this piece so much that I am going to assemble a bike around this stem. 

A Shimano 600 AX series front wheel hub. This is a piece from the first aerodynamic craze in the Eighties. It is set that the arrangement of spokeholes which determinates which spoke has to be on the inside and which on the outside is made in such way with the wave shaped rim, to allow for minimum air resistance. What nonsenses, but it surely looks good.
In addition to the hub which I am thinking to use to built up some extreme aero wheels, I have purchased a complete Shimano 600AX group set last week.

And last but not least one of my favourite, a clamp type shifter from the Shimano Golden Arrow groupset the predecessor of the 10-5 series.

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Eingeordnet unter Bits&Pieces, Mob