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Vol. 2, Issue 39 – May / June 2012

Posted: Sunday 13th May 2012

Author: Peter Underwood

Apologies for a slightly shorter Lightweight News in this edition, produced while suffering the effects of Shingles, which are now hopefully receding.

In Lightweight News 38 we had a piece on feeding in the Tour which recalled the consumption of rice pudding for nutritional purposes. Here in the UK we used to add currants to sweet rice pudding and then boil it until it was almost solid. The resultant cake-like product was cut up into pieces, carried in jersey pockets and handed up at feeding stations on the longer events.

In the image the Derny rider is sitting up and backing off a little whilst his rider tucks into the rice pudding.
In the image the Derny rider is sitting up and backing off a little whilst his rider tucks into the rice pudding.

What amused me was an image in Coureur (Summer 1956) taken during the 55th Bordeaux-Paris Race which was paced by Derny machines over its distance of 551kms and won at an average speed of 42.658 kph by Bernard Gauthier, who is shown below scooping a handful of rice pudding out of a saucepan held out of the window of his service vehicle.

Either the French considered it would be blasphemous to boil a pudding solid in such a way or maybe they knew a thing or two we didn’t.

Maybe the pudding was freshly cooked in the back of the van making it easier to digest whilst riding along at speed behind a Derny.

Feeding has changed so much now as the following write-up for a book on food and nutrition for cyclists demonstrates but, oddly enough, we may have been right back then about the value of rice:

“When Dr. Allen Lim left the lab to work with pro cyclists like Levi Leipheimer and Christian Van de Velde he found a peloton weary of food. For years the sport’s elite athletes had been underperforming on bland fare and processed bars and gels. Science held few easy answers for nutrition in the real world, where hungry athletes must find the time to shop for healthy ingredients; prepare meals; and eat before, during, and after each workout, day after day.

So Lim set out to make eating delicious and practical. His journey began with his mother, took him inside the kitchens of the Tour de France, and delivered him to a dinner party where he met celebrated chef Biju Thomas. Chef Biju and Dr. Lim vetted countless meals with the world’s best endurance athletes during the world’s most demanding races. Now, in The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, Lim and Thomas share their energy-packed, nutritious recipes to make meals easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and better for performance.

The Feed Zone Cookbook provides 150 recipes that even the busiest athletes can prepare in less time than it takes to warm up for a workout. With simple recipes requiring just a handful of ingredients, Biju and Lim show how easy it is for athletes to prepare their own food, whether at home or on the go.”

It is interesting, giving the decades which have passed how many of the recipes contain varaints of savoury and sweet rice

Allen Lim, PhD, over his career as a sports physiologist, has worked closely with the Team RadioShack and Team Garmin-Transitions professional cycling teams. He has helped develop innovative training and nutrition programs for top U.S. cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde, and David Zabriskie.

For copies please contact Dave Trendler, VeloPress, The Feed Zone Cookbook retails in the U.K. for £17.95.

Patricia and I both have our own 1948 Paris Tour de France machines and have always had an interest in the builder. Several years ago the V-CC Marque Enthusiast, Neville Ireland, lived not too far from us and we were able to keep in touch with all that was going regarding the history of Rensch and Paris. Sadly Neville passed away suddenly and after a respectable time we organised the first Paris Ride here at Cambridge which was attended by some thirty plus lightweight enthusiasts. At the time we were so pleased that we did this as his family joined us for lunch at the Ickleton Lion and felt afterwards that they now understood better what it was which had had been a large part of his life. Also at the ride was Alvin Smith who took over the stewardship as Marque Enthusiast and since then he continued Neville’s research and added many, many hours of his own work to it. Alvin has also organised several Paris Rides in the ensuing years.

Finally the sum of Alvin’s work has resulted in the publishing through the Veteran-Cycle Club of his monogram entitled, Marque Album No. 3 Rensch and Paris Cycles from research by Alvin Smith, Neville Ireland and Frank Hernandez.

The book is in A5, perfect bound format and encompasses some 214 pages. From my very small input into Alvin’s work, I know the enormous amount of meticulous (Alvin does nothing else!) work which has gone into this publication and can assure any Paris Enthusiast that it well worth every penny spent on acquiring it. I doubt if you will ever have to ask any more questions on the subject.

It can be purchased direct from Alvin for £10 plus £2 postage and he can be contacted by email at alvin.smith(at)   (Phone number 01568 770327)  After I June 2012 it will also be available from V-CC Club Sales in the normal way.

Neil Foddering comments on Steve Griffith’s piece on mismatched components:

In the 1952 Holdsworth catalogue, Sandy Holdsworth details his ideal specification for equipping a “Whirlwind” frame.  At the end of the specification he states, “The two brakes GB Coureur with ‘MAFAC’ levers”.  The use of mis-matched components in this case would be, I assume, to provide more comfortable hooded levers, with rubber half-hoods, in place of the early GB levers.  In fact, the “Aids” catalogue of that year offers only lists levers in respect of MAFAC, and no other brake parts of this make.

In the last edition of Lightweight News I pondered the chances of disc brakes being used on road bikes (other than cyclo-cross-specific) frames. Sure enough, Colnago have taken a bold step towards the future of road bike evolution with the introduction of the C59 Disc. Featuring fully hydraulic front and rear disc brakes it is set to bring a whole new level of performance and safety to the Colnago road bike line. The frame and fork are fully compatible with standard PM calipers too.

With twin 140mm diameter discs the frame and fork have also been redesigned in the key areas where the brakes are mounted. The fork is completely new, whilst at the rear of the main frame the chainstays and the seatstays are also new, to cope with the increased loading that the disc brakes generate at their mounting points. The C59 Disc is compatible with both electronic and mechanical groupsets.

In the early days of frame construction, when building with lugs was the norm, the options for the builder were very limited as he had to incorporate the angles and tube diameters to match the available lugs. This limited the frame options no end. Strangely enough, builders used virtually the same dimensions even if welding/brazing a frame without lugs. The only noticeable change would be in top-tube diameter where the frame looked neater with all tubes 1.125″ diameter rather than with a top tube of 1″ which was the norm with lugs, where the difference in tube diameter would be absorbed within the lug so didn’t look so odd.

Post WWII there was a complete shortage of materials for frame building but some builders had stocks of old pre-war lugs in boxes under the workshop bench. However, frame design had moved on in this immediate pre/post war spell and the frame angles had become steeper, especially for the track/time trialling-road racing fraternity. What happened in some cases where a pre-war builder had a box of old lugs under the workbench was known as lug bending. Strong tubes were inserted into the lugs (without brazing of course), the lugs heated to soften the metal and the tubes were used as levers to force a change in the angles. Some post-war builders (Carpenter for example) proudly announced in their advertising that they never did this.

The builders who tried to sell brazed/welded frames used to announce results of independent tests proving that their frames were stronger than lugged frames. This was an uphill battle as virtually all racers, time-triallists especially considered fancy lugs to be the sign of a superior frame. Strangely, the builders never took advantage of the flexibility of frame design available to them as a selling point and these frames were built to the same geometry as lugged ones.

The exception to this was of course in tandem and trike construction where they were able to fit reinforcing tubes to any format they fancied, sometimes using larger diameter tubes and sometimes twin, small-diameter tubes.

If we jump forward 25 – 30 years, the new breed of builders took full advantage of this freedom when building small frames with sloping top tubes for extra stand-over clearance for example – something never done in the 50s. They also embarked onto designs for lo-pro frames with downward sloping top tubes both straight and curved as well as using curved or twin seat tubes for a short-wheelbase figure.

Now that the top end frames are mainly constructed from carbon the world is the designer’s oyster as ‘tubes’ can be made in any shape or combination of shapes and the junctions such as the bottom bracket can be sculpted in to give massive rigidity at the point taking most of the drive force.

My knowledge of carbon is mainly when it is used in an artisan way and I cannot imagine how the far-eastern mass-producing companies turn out the number of frames and components they do. I do know that there are many levels of construction available which accounts for the fact that some frames cost hundreds of frames whereas others cost thousands.

One construction factor is known as pre-lam and in this the resin soaked sheet is run through rollers to remove excess resin before going into the mould /armature, hence making it much lighter for the same strength. Obviously there is a fine limit for this to ensure maximum lightness and strength at the same time. The second option for a difference in torsion resistance or strength is in multi directional lay-up. On the cheaper frames the matting is shaped to fit the mould and then is impregnated with resin and layered into the mould.

For your extra money, with multi-directional layering the matting or filament strands are shaped around a certain area in the mould. An example would be at the head area where the mould, representing a steel frame cut open Damien Hurst style, would have what, on an ordinary steel frame, would be a section of the top tube, head tube and down tube. Here additional layers of matting/filaments can be moulded along the top tube, round the head and into the down tube to stiffen up this area as needed.

I must confess that this ‘expertise’ is purely theoretical, projected from a small knowledge of early carbon use in the marine industry.

Bryan Clarke has the following for sale:
1979 Rondinella T T bike, Reynolds 753 tubing, drilled BB and Campag ends, 39 ½” wheeelbase, Arc en Ciel sprints on Campag sf Record hubs, Record BB, Campag Victory aero seatpin with period buffalo hide saddle, Campag 4 hole front mech, Super Record rear mech, Cinelli bars and stem, black Modolo drilled levers with black Weinmann 500 calipers, Ofmega CX cranks (very light) with drilled outer ring, Gipiemme aero pedals. Frame original paint, excellent condition. Very reluctant sale £500.
Youngs mid-1980s 23 ¼” touring frame, 40 ½”WB, Weinmann cantilevers, needs refurb but transfers included £95; including a Blackburn rack.

Sam Stephens is restoring a 1953 Leach Marathon  SWB Tandem and needs to replace the rear Chater Lea bottom bracket spindle (stamped 1240-1 [126.5mm] for over sized cups).

Three forthcoming events listed below.

Cycle Jumble- North London Section
We are pleased to announce that we are holding our 1st Cycle Jumble on : Saturday 10th November 2012.
This is both an exciting and slightly worrying venture. We anticipate either being completely deluged with stalls and visitors or – there will be nobody there ! We would prefer the former so please support us.

The Location is The Tewin Memorial Hall, 11 Lower Green, Tewin, Herts. AL6 0JX.
For Buyers : opens at 10am and closes 12.30pm. Admission 50p. Stall and Pitch Holders: available from 9am and everybody out by 1pm. Only CLEAN jumble inside please where a single table will be provided. Outside pitches in car park. All bookings, with money £5, by 30th October, to :
Paul Lohr 3 Churchfield Road, Tewin Herts AL6 0J

Small Sales : If you only have a few small bits to sell, we are allocating two tables inside for the free use of V-CC members. Label items clearly with your name and price required.
Refreshments : will be available.
Tewin is a small village to the west of Hertford. It has pleasant lanes surrounding so make a cycling day of it. There are two pubs to retire to when the buying and selling becomes too much. Railway stations in Hertford (5miles) : Hertford North – Kings Cross/Stevenage line, Hertford East – Liverpool Street line.
Parking – Free : Some parking available to rear of Hall. If parking in village be considerate please as we wish to come back next year.Any Questions ? :

Forth Coming Auction to be held on the 9th of JUNE 2012 The next cycle auction is to be held in Wales at the National Cycle Museum. The Auction, run by TCA, is being arranged for the sale of surplus machines in order to raise some funds for the operation of the museum and to reduce the level of stock currently in store.

A number of surplus machines and parts will be auctioned . The selection should prove attractive and affordable to all. Details of the contents of the auction will be advertised on the National Cycle Museums website a little closer to the event. ( We have also made provisional arrangements for a short ride, suitable for most machines, on Sunday 10th June for anyone wishing to make a weekend of it, subject to sufficient interest Sign up for this ride on the Saturday at the Auction.

Bike Bath is a weekend long cycling festival taking place in the beautiful city of Bath from 22nd to 24th June. The three days will feature a wide range of cycling activities which we anticipate will attract cyclists of all abilities and their families to the city for the weekend.

With Bath being a World Heritage Site and having extensive Roman links there will be awards for Bath Gladiators who ride both 100 mile routes and the Bath Legionnaire award for the largest team entries.

To further build on the heritage theme owners of classic, retro and handbuilt bikes are encouraged to enter the event on Sunday and to aim to start between 8.00 and 9.00. Riders of these bikes can take advantage of a 10% discount on their entry by using the code CLAS10 in the coupon code field when entering.

The Event

The event starts on Friday 22nd June with an evening of speakers and cycling films and a pasta supper cooked by Michelin starred chef Rob Clayton. We are currently working on the programme of speakers but have confirmed Rob Penn, journalist, presenter and author of “It’s All About the Bike: the Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels”, and Ben Rockett, an endurance cyclist who holds the record for cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats and back in 5 days and 21 hours. We will additionally be showing film footage from the Tour Of Britain.

On Saturday riders will head out from the centre of Bath into the Mendips on marked routes of 30, 60 or 100 miles, which will have regular feed stations and mechanical and medical support. On their return to Bath they will be able to re-fuel with another option from Rob’s pasta menu and enjoy the cycling related activities taking place in the start/finish area. Saturday evening will see various levels of round the park racing for the riders and their friends and families to enjoy.

There will again be 30, 60 and 100 miles routes out of Bath on Sunday, this time heading for the Cotswolds, with another chance to sample Rob’s cooking before riders head for home.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Sunday 13th May 2012

Author: Peter Underwood

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