Stars and Watercarriers - Cyclingnews Forum

Go Back   Cyclingnews Forum > Road > Professional road racing

Professional road racing A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-30-12, 03:51
richwagmn richwagmn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,799
Default Stars and Watercarriers

Watched Stars and Watercarriers for the first time and several things stand out (or seem to).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0pU...ature=youtu.be

* They pedaled at much lower cadences (as least up climbs). It almost looks painful up climbs. Lots of rocking the saddle. Gearing? Style of the day?
* Less leg extension than today. They all look like their saddles are too low (compared to today). True?
* Far lower seat posts than today. The riders could set get down in a decent position, but it's so different from today's positions.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-30-12, 04:19
For The World's Avatar
For The World For The World is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 366
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richwagmn View Post
Watched Stars and Watercarriers for the first time and several things stand out (or seem to).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0pU...ature=youtu.be

* They pedaled at much lower cadences (as least up climbs). It almost looks painful up climbs. Lots of rocking the saddle. Gearing? Style of the day?
* Less leg extension than today. They all look like their saddles are too low (compared to today). True?
* Far lower seat posts than today. The riders could set get down in a decent position, but it's so different from today's positions.
The gearing was different. Even up to the early 90s (according to Robert Millar in an issue of Cycle Sport when he was editor), climbs were tackled with a 42x17 or 42x19, with the 21 or the 23 as the "bail out" gear. This invariably means they were powering up climbs, rather than using higher revs.

There is less leg extension, but with that they also had longer, flatter positions back then. This negated that dreadful hump that I think was popularised by Big Mig, Ullrich and Armstrong. Chris Boardman was the last rider (I recall) of the 90s who had a really flat, stretched out position (and not the superman position invented by Obree).
__________________
Mama mia, dove sono i farmacia!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-30-12, 12:18
happytramp's Avatar
happytramp happytramp is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 602
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by For The World View Post
climbs were tackled with a 42x17 or 42x19, with the 21 or the 23 as the "bail out" gear.
Yeah I remember reading somewhere that the various team mechanics would argue with each other, often bragging that the 20's on their riders bikes were still clean (un-used) after stages.

Look at the way they lurched over the bars to reach the hoods too, it's very uncomfortable.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-30-12, 15:39
richwagmn richwagmn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by For The World View Post
The gearing was different. Even up to the early 90s (according to Robert Millar in an issue of Cycle Sport when he was editor), climbs were tackled with a 42x17 or 42x19, with the 21 or the 23 as the "bail out" gear. This invariably means they were powering up climbs, rather than using higher revs.

There is less leg extension, but with that they also had longer, flatter positions back then. This negated that dreadful hump that I think was popularised by Big Mig, Ullrich and Armstrong. Chris Boardman was the last rider (I recall) of the 90s who had a really flat, stretched out position (and not the superman position invented by Obree).
Can you imagine climbing a 20% hill on a 42x19??? Amazing.

So was it the advent of more gears that had riders start to use easier gears up climbs or just a change in what was most effective?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-31-12, 02:36
DirtyWorks's Avatar
DirtyWorks DirtyWorks is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,965
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richwagmn View Post
So was it the advent of more gears that had riders start to use easier gears up climbs
There's two things going on with the progress in bike transmissions
-more cogs and indexed shifters
. Imho, you need both. Friction shifting 9 cogs would be fiddly.
-wider gear ranges using relatively short cages.

The difficulty of accomplishing both advances is enormous.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-31-12, 02:45
DirtyWorks's Avatar
DirtyWorks DirtyWorks is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,965
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richwagmn View Post
* Far lower seat posts than today. The riders could set get down in a decent position, but it's so different from today's positions.
The seatpost is a relative thing. Pro frames were sold in 2cm increments. Giant and carbon molded frames hadn't yet forced the industry into 3 sizes.

I have a big problem with modern bars because I'm used to what you see in the video. Those big hooks give you many more choices.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-31-12, 08:39
CobbleStoner's Avatar
CobbleStoner CobbleStoner is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 439
Default

it was an intimidation thing too, everybody rode corn cobs, if you looked down and saw a 21 or 23, you knew the guy was a Fred (and afraid)
__________________
long live Zesdaagse!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-31-12, 12:02
hiero2's Avatar
hiero2 hiero2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: In Descartes' reality
Posts: 2,629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richwagmn View Post
Can you imagine climbing a 20% hill on a 42x19??? Amazing.

So was it the advent of more gears that had riders start to use easier gears up climbs or just a change in what was most effective?
It was both - but primarily it was the ruling thought about what was "proper" and efficient position. If you remember that the "Fit Kit" didn't enter the market until the 80's, and fitting wasn't prominent until years later, it becomes clearer. Before that, fitting and efficiency were arguments of logic and personal preference. If you happened to be a big name rider or frame builder, your personal preference got more street cred. Logic by itself is always subject to sophist arguments - which easily lead you to chasing your tail.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not against learning from experience. But when you have everybody claiming equal voice because of their experience, and that is all you go on, you're gonna be following a lot of bad judgement as well as good, and no way to know the difference. With the "Fit Kit", you started throwing science into the mix.

Also, if you were a racer, you were supposed to be a strong man, like cobblestoned said - and that corncob on the back was a source of pride. Triples and higher gears were available, although the derailleurs of the 50's and 60's, right into the '80's, for shifting those bigger gears were less "efficient" than the short throw derailleurs that the small cogs needed. Click-shifting started taking hold in the late 80's, and derailleur designs improved a good deal in that timeframe. The pros might have been using click-shifting on a broader basis earlier, but it wouldn't have been by much, and I don't think it happened that way. If anything, I think it was getting used more at the entry levels initially. Anybody can feel free to step in and correct me on that if you were there. I just remember the top local riders whom I rode against were somewhat scornful of click-shifting: "I don't want to tell everybody I'm shifting for a sprint!" etc etc yadayada.
__________________
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke

Last edited by hiero2; 10-31-12 at 12:05.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-31-12, 12:06
hiero2's Avatar
hiero2 hiero2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: In Descartes' reality
Posts: 2,629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richwagmn View Post
Watched Stars and Watercarriers for the first time and several things stand out (or seem to).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0pU...ature=youtu.be

* They pedaled at much lower cadences (as least up climbs). It almost looks painful up climbs. Lots of rocking the saddle. Gearing? Style of the day?
* Less leg extension than today. They all look like their saddles are too low (compared to today). True?
* Far lower seat posts than today. The riders could set get down in a decent position, but it's so different from today's positions.
BTW - cool film, isn't it? Glad you got to watch it!
__________________
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-31-12, 15:23
DirtyWorks's Avatar
DirtyWorks DirtyWorks is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,965
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
Triples and higher gears were available, although the derailleurs of the 50's and 60's, right into the '80's, for shifting those bigger gears were less "efficient" than the short throw derailleurs that the small cogs needed.
You are joining a few things together here that didn't really go together at the time.
At the time, there were 13-26 freewheels. The deal was that the shifting on such a wide block at the time was not great compared to a 13-24. Campag was the gold-medal standard in bike transmissions and Campag shifting wasn't very good at all. Trying to use a 26 only made matters worse.

Shifting just wasn't very good, so wide range gears were pretty much a non-starter in racing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
Click-shifting started taking hold in the late 80's, and derailleur designs improved a good deal in that timeframe.
Again, two things happened simultaneously.
1. Shimano figured out index shifting.
2. Shimano's rear mech meaningfully improved shifting under all conditions.

Shortly after Shimano's solution, there were other index shifting solutions but none as good as Shimano's because Shimano figured out a better rear mech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiero2 View Post
The pros might have been using click-shifting on a broader basis earlier, but it wouldn't have been by much.
Because the Pro Peloton was still riding French and Italian transmissions. Meanwhile Shimano was innovating, not a big player at all in Pro bicycle stuff and stuck on the low-end of bike culture/industry. Index shifting and the mountain bike group changed that. Sometime after, they had the budget to spend on outfitting a Pro Team.

I haven't seen that movie since VHS days, but I recall it being well done and felt like the movie itself held up pretty well over time. Well told story, good editing, etc.

Last edited by DirtyWorks; 10-31-12 at 15:31.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 21:02.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.