23 April 2011

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.

1 comment:

David L. said...

The 3T stem is beautiful. Same for all the "Golden Arrow" components ... though stylistically I would not want to see them on the same bicycle.