Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"She Builds" ... In a Lace-Trimmed Tank Top

Here's some soft-core bike-building that's (ostensibly) aimed at women but will likely appeal more to guys:


She Builds from Jon Chew on Vimeo.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments, right down there below this post.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Campy Only Reviews "Goggles and Dust: Images from Cycling's Glory Days"

Ask many Americans who won the World Series in 1969, and they'll know that '69 was the year that "Miracle Mets" overcame the favored Baltimore Orioles. And the same could be said for most major sports. Baseball, of course, is the ultimate American sport when it comes to history and stats, but the same could be said of most mainstream sports. Winner of Super Bowl I? Easy. Number of times the Lakers have won the NBA championship? C'mon, give me a harder one.

Given the American penchant for sports history, it's surprising to see how little we know of the history of one of the nation's biggest participant sports: Cycling. While many Americans can expound at length on the infield lineups of professional baseball teams from the 1940s, their knowledge of professional cycling is likely limited to the fact that Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France. Push them, and they may know that he won it seven times, until his admission of doping stripped him of those titles.

Even American cyclists generally have a limited knowledge of the rich history of the sport. Focused on the winner of last year's Tour, or the latest carbon fiber wheelset, American cyclists by and large have no awareness of the sport's storied past ... for instance, that professional cycling was once the premiere sports attraction in the US, with six-day races attracting packed crowds and handing out huge salaries and cash prizes that only decades later would be matched by the then-upstart, Baseball.

Velo Press' new release, Goggles and Dust: Images from Cycling's Glory Days, is the latest in a series of books from Velo Press and others that seek to fill this knowledge void, and it's well worth the time you will want to spend poring over the 100-plus photos of professional cycling in Europe in the 1920s and 30s.

The photos, carefully curated from the more than 350,000 images in the storied Horton Collection, tell a story that's seldom heard nowadays. Flip through the photos, and you'll see sweat-soaked men laboring to propel their bicycles over the same mountain passes that are still climbed in the Tour de France of today--but the bicycles were fixed gears, the roads were unpaved and choked with rocks, and the riders carried their own spares tires on their backs. These were the days when Tour stages approached 300 miles in length and lasted well into the night.

The photos in Goggles and Dust are amazing in their quality and clarity, and in the stories they tell. Here is René Vietto, climbing the Col du Galibier in stage 15 of the 1938 Tour de France. Even in the high mountains, spectators were on hand to cheer him up the slopes. It's likely that many of them walked up, since this was Depression-era Europe. Look closely, and you'll see that Vietto's front wheel is turned slightly to the right--was he traversing up the steep slope? Fatigued to the point of not being able to ride straight? Who can say, but the race officials in the open car behind him were there to closely watch it all.

Photo credit: The Horton Collection

And this photo, one of many showing Tour rides struggling against time and fatigue to fix their own machines (in this case, Maurice De Waele) in the 1929 Tour de France. Try to imagine today's Tour riders having to deal with their own mechanical issues, and you'll see how far the sport has come from these rough, bare-knuckled beginnings.

Photo credit: The Horton Collection

Easily flipped through in a short time, Goggles and Dust rewards a deeper examination with hundreds  of details: The look in the eyes of a young boy seeing his hero at the start of a stage, the strain of legs cresting a pass in the Alps, the wing nuts that held wheels on before the quick release. This is a book every cyclist should read, if only to realize the strength of the shoulders upon which modern racing stands. Highly recommended.

In addition Velo Press was kind enough to release several additional photos from Goggles and Dust, which we will be posting here in the coming days. Check back for more amazing images from cycling's glory days.

Photos republished with permission of VeloPress from Goggles & Dust: Images of Cycling's Glory Days courtesy of The Horton Collection. Preview the book at www.velopress.com/goggles

Monday, October 20, 2014

Readers' Bikes: Mark's Scott

Great Scott! Or, in this case, a NOS (new old stock) Scott CR-1 that Mark G built up (also NOS) 2008 Record 10-speed.


To see your bike here, send photos (high res preferred) to: enorris [at] campyonly [dot] com

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Eyes on the Prize: PBP 2015

Even the coffee on today's ride brought a reminder of Paris-Brest-Paris, which starts just over 300 days from today ...
Follow me on Twitter for regular updates on the road to PBP. I am @campyonlyguy, or look for the hashtag #PBP2015
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Paris Brest Paris PBP 2011: The Movie

Yes, it's time to start thinking about Paris Brest Paris again! PBP 2015 starts on August 16, so we all have 328 days to get ourselves and our bikes in shape and to the starting line in St. Quentin en Yvelines.

To get you motivated, here's my video of PBP 2011. The first few minutes tell the story of getting to France; jump to 7:15 to get to the start of the actual ride.



Follow Campy Only's PBP-related exploits here and on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Campyonlyguy I'll be using #PBP2015 and #PBPRUSA to help you find my posts.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Photos of the Campagnolo Booth at Eurobike 2014

Wonder what the Campagnolo booth at the world's largest bicycle trade show looks like? Wonder no more! Here are some photos from a friend who visited the show:














Monday, August 25, 2014

Total Babes at Total Cycling

Our sponsor, Total Cycling, has added some great product shots to their online portal, a www.totalcycling.com 


Definitely worth clicking over to ... and check out their extensive selection of the latest Campy equipment while you're there.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tweet from Today

Friday, July 25, 2014

Unofficial Video of the 2015 Campagnolo Super Record 11

Looks like somebody pointed their cell phone at a prototype of the new Super Record 11 gruppo and captured this video:







There's lots and lots of carbon fiber there ... and of course that ugly 4-arm crankset.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Campagnolo's New Wheels Get Faster By Getting ... Fatter

The folks at BikeRumor.com report that Campagnolo's new wheels are getting more aero in part by accommodating wider tires. Can it be that iconoclasts like Jan Heine had it right all along?

Fatties Fit Fine?


Read about it here: http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/07/18/campagnolo-bora-carbon-wheels-get-wider-lighter-plus-new-braking-surface-w-shamal-mille/

Friday, July 18, 2014

Torna il Giro 1963

Some great historical footage of interest to Campy fans in this video:







Tullio Campagnolo makes a brief appearance at about 0:30. The factory is at about 10:00. Piles and piles of pristine 1960s Campy parts--oh, to have a time machine!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tullio Campagnolo: Cycling's Steve Jobs?

Jan Heine has written an intriguing piece on Tullio Campagnolo and his impact on the technology of cycling in the latest edition of his magazine, Bicycle Quarterly.

Jan raises some issues which have been long discussed in the cycling community, including the whether Tullio invented new products or, like Steve Jobs some 40 to 50 years later, saw value in ideas  and made them successful. Fans of cycling history, for instance, still debate whether Campagnolo invented the modern derailleur, or whether he simply made minor changes to products that were already on the market.

Heine covers this ground and much else quite well in an exhaustively researched article that draws on numerous sources (including our own web site, www.campyonly.com).

More than just discussing technology, however, Heine adds an entirely new thread to the Tullio Campagnolo story, delving into the extent to which Tullio invented not just bicycle parts but his own history. Was Tullio actually inspired to invent the quick release during a race in the 1920s? Was he even in the race? Heine has pored over 90-year-old Italian newspaper accounts to provide the most comprehensive examination of these topics we have ever seen.

We'll be asking Bicycle Quarterly for permission to reproduce the article here. In the meantime, it's worth the trouble for an Campagnolo fan to find a copy.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer's Almost Here!

What kinds of adventures are you planning on your Campy-equipped bicycle?


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wouldn't You Like a Vehicle Like This?

Our friends and sponsors at CycleItalia.com have this great Campagnolo-themed support vehicle following the riders on their fully supported cycling tours in Italy. All of the bikes on top are Campy-equipped, of course.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Confirmed: This IS the Ugliest Campagnolo Gruppo Ever

Campagnolo has confirmed that next year's gruppo upgrade will feature what is possibly the ugliest crankset ... nay, the ugliest single part ... ever produced by Vicenza.

Here's a photo from the official press release.


Campagnolo calls this "fresh and cutting edge aesthetics." We call is the ShimaNO-ization of the once great design house in Vicenza.

Among the benefits of the new, ugly cranksets, according to Campagnolo, is the use of a single, 4-bolt pattern for all cranks in all lines (Super Record, Record, and Chorus). From the press release:

"The new bolt pattern allows for all 3 chainring standards 53/39, 52/36 and 50/34 to be built upon the same crankset. Changing between compact and standard is now as easy as changing 8 bolts and two chainrings."

That's a great idea--the bolt pattern on the current compact cranks is inexplicably different from everything else--but the benefit is predicated on buying ... all new cranksets. All of the millions of riders who currently have Campy cranksets will have to wait 'til theirs wear out (or the peer pressure on the weekend club ride becomes too much to bear).


"Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and with the seal of approval coming from the Campy Tech Lab as well as top professional athletes, these new groupsets are now worthy of bearing the Campagnolo name."

So says Campagnolo. What do you think? 
 

Davis Double Century Workers Ride 2014

Our latest video! Nine riders set out the week before the official Davis Double Century to ride the 200-mile course. Here's what we saw:



Monday, May 12, 2014

Newest Record Group the Ugliest Campagnolo Ever?

We here at Campy Only wonder if ShimaNO has infiltrated the design studio in Vicenza, with the obvious motive of creating perhaps the ugliest crankset to ever bear the Campagnolo name:


More info here from the folks at BikeRadar, who spotted this prototype.

What do you think of the new design? Let us know in the comments, right there below this post.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Do Cyclists Ride in the Middle of the Road?

In the midst of what seems to be a spate of cyclists-killed-by-car news comes this well-reasoned article from a motoring site in the UK.

http://www.motoring.co.uk/car-news/cyclists-why-do-they-ride-in-the-middle-of-the-road-_62617http://www.motoring.co.uk/car-news/cyclists-why-do-they-ride-in-the-middle-of-the-road-_62617

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cycling for a Great Cause

That's our good friend, Walter Dawes, riding the velodrome in Houston to raise money to help veterans suffering from PTSD: www.expeditionbalance.org

video

Way to go, Big Dog!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Today's Retro Blast: Tour of the 1930s

Great photo from back in the day, when men were men, bikes were steel (and fixed gear!), and beer was the libation of choice on those long, all-day stages. Cheers!