My favourite recent(-ish, 1927) bike development is the quick release skewers. So simple but damn useful. Invented by Tullio Campagnolo in 1927 after having difficulty while changing gears, which in ’27 involved removing the rear wheel and flipping it around to the the other gear on the other side. The wheels were held on by wing nuts and due to bad weather Tullio found it difficult to use the wing nuts, he lost time and his place in the race. I assume this greatly frustrated him, it would me, so he racked his mind and came up with a quick way of swapping wheels, the quick release skewers, it relies on the properties of cams. So now the invention has been used ever since, making wheel removal and installation much easier. Thank you Mr. Campagnolo for your invention, and also the parallelogram dérailleur, that’s pretty cool too.
On vintage bicycles, and some modern, you will find a lot of steel, chrome, aluminium etc. in need of polishing. It may be a light polish just to bring it back to a shine or you maybe restoring components with years of tarnish and oxidation. I have often struggled to get a good shine that doesn’t take hour to complete. I came across Peek when I bought my crankset for my Giant bike. It was aluminium and had about 20 years of oxidation and grime on it. A clean didn’t bring back the shine so I tried my only polish I had at that time, which was Brasso, I could get it shiny but it would take a long time to get it all shiny. In search of a better polish I went to my local hardware shop and bought their only polish available; Peek. It cost me £5.49 for a 100g tube, I thought this was a bit expensive for some polish. I got to the crankset and applied a bit onto and old t-shirt and started rubbing it, the effect was immediate the polish turned black with the oxidation it removed and the crankset became very shiny. I am very impressed with the polish and for £5.49 I feel it is a great deal because of how effective it is and how little you need to use. The crankset cost me £2.50 from a bicycle coop and with a bit of polish I saved my self a lot of money on buying a new or lightly used crankset. So a bit of effort and polish is a good option of you are restoring on a budget.
Cost – ✰✰✰✰✰- for the amount you receive and the amount it will save you on parts I feel it is a great value product.
Effectiveness -✰✰✰✰✰- Best polish I have ever come across.
Uses -✰✰✰✰✰- not only does it polish metal it also leaves a film over it to protect from further oxidation, it can also polish plastic, fibreglass and ceramics.
Overall -✰✰✰✰✰- A must need when working with vintage bikes, I don’t think I will change polishes again.
Peek is available on amazon.co.uk for £4.20 – Amazon Peek
There will be more exams just got in the way. Anyway till the future enjoy this picture of the first ever electric dérailleur.
After getting my first road bike I was really concious about where I took it. I wouldn’t take it anywhere apart from roads, I’d avoid potholes religiously and I would never dream of hoping a kerb, but why. Every one has taken the mountain bike on the road at one point so why not take the road bike off road. I’m not talking about very sticky mud down hill trails but a bit of cycle paths or off road coastal paths shouldn’t hurt it. ‘Aw but my wheelset couldn’t handle it’ Probably not if your running 500g 12 spoked wheels but most road bikes are on alloy rims with 20 to 40 spokes, and carbon wheels will handle lots of jumps, if you haven’t seen Bike Party you need to, those wheel handle a battering and they are the same ones Wiggins used in the TDF. ‘So your wheels my wheels can handle it but my tires are skinny’ Yup so are mine but they have been through mud, puddles, loose gravel, grass and anything you’ll find on un-kept cycle paths. Even 23c tire will handle quite a lot of muck of course they are not going to have they same grip as tread riddled mountain bike tires, but you will be surprised. ‘Well yeah even so, my brakes have no clearance’ They don’t need clearance, the off road I’m talking about involves minimal sticky mud and even then they still do have some clearance. ‘My carbon frame will snap’ Yeah it probably will, It’s not that I distrust carbon, it’s just I don’t trust it. So I would keep your carbon race bike off road, I’m sure they will handle it I’m just carbon-sceptical. So if you have a steel, aluminium or titanium your all set. My steel bike has been off road a lot, it was supposed to end up a cyclocross but it is still on 25c tires on my road bikes wheels (32 spoked) . I have had no problem on moderately off road conditions, maybe some wheels spin when on a gravel hill but that’s it. I’m not saying take your road bike off road all the time, just don’t be scared to take it off ‘the road’ once in a while, it ain’t gonna hurt it. And if your lucky enough to have a cyclocross bike, then darn you, jammy.
Lovely piece of Swiss engineering, one of the few carbon frames I’d love to own.