Classic Lightweights UK
Campagnolo twin-bolt seat pin
In 1956 Campagnolo introduced their first twin-bolt seat pin which gave infinite adjustment compared to the hit and miss positioning offered by the existing saddle clips that were cunningly designed to give a saddle position either too high at the front or too low depending on the way the clip settled into the grooves. This system, although fiddly to set up, locked the saddle firmly in any position. In the Aids to Happy Cycling detail shown below the pin is shown with an artist's impression of the cutaway saddle such as the Brooks Swallow. A certain licence has been used to open up the clear area needed to work the 10mm spanner. In reality the space is much more confined. Using a conventional saddle it did take an even longer time to set up as the spanner was only able to move a very small amount with each movement. Having said that, it was worth the once-only effort to secure the saddle at just the right level.
In Coureur for Autumn 1956, one of the first four produced by Jack Wadley, there is a long piece (27 pages) relating to Brian Robinson’s ride in the 1956 Tour de France, much of it in Brian's own words. He barely mentions his bikes apart from describing how the gear ratios were changed for different stages but he does describe this seat pin as "a boon to all racing men who have had to race over rough roads". The article goes on, by adjustment of two screws the Campag fitment assures a fine saddle adjustment with particular emphasis on the 'tilt' so important in fiinding the correct position.
A later advert states that the seatpin is available in sizes 3, 4 and 5. I guess this is length although there is no mention of diameter at all in these specifications. By 1959 they were offering the pin in alloy, "in the same sizes" (at extra cost). Paul Gittins has the answer for us: Size 3, 4 and 5 are the old style diameters roughly corresponding to 26.8, 27 and 27.2 - it seems there were no length options.
By 1960 two versions of the head were produced, the normal one was the 1044 as advertised above - 36mm between rails. The new 1045 (left) had narrower rails, 22mm spacing, for use with a special Competition Campagnolo Brooks saddle (with no saddlebag loops) weighing 1lb 3ozs made especially "for use with this pin".
Holdsworth states, "The two leading firms in the world in their own spheres have co-operated to produce an ensemble, without comparison, that allows twice the normal lateral adjustment, is lighter and neater!" The Competition saddle also had double the length of parallel rails, 120 instead of 60mm, giving twice the fore-and-aft adjustment.
Derek Brown points out for us that in the early 60s Campag themselves were listing ten diameter variants and two lengths, as shown below. Diameters: 25 - 25.8 - 26 - 26.2 - 26.4 - 26.6 - 26'8 - 27 - 27.2 - 27.4 and lengths 130 (standard) and 180 (long). They also listed two rail widths of 36 and 22.
French Ideale cut-away saddles with rectangular aluminium rails could be
fitted to the Campag pin only by using this Zeus attachment hardware
(Thanks to 'Flash' at Hetchins.org)
© 2012 Classic Lightweights