Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Cold War and Campagnolo: Yes, There's a Connection

One of our readers, Dave, wrote in to add to the knowledge base about classic Campy:

Hello, I read your explanation about Campy Super Record rear derailleurs from the late 1970s that actually had aluminum alloy bolts, instead of the much more common standard titanium version.  

You said you didn't know why they used aluminum instead, and the reason is that during the late 1970s the only titanium was being mined in the USSR, and the US was basically in the cold war with them at the time. 

Remember the US boycotted the 1980 Olympics, etc?  Well, we couldn't get any titanium from the Soviets, and neither could the Italians at Campagnolo.  

So Campagnolo tried to make their titanium supply on-hand last as long as possible, which was over a year and a half, but finally it ran out and they were forced to start manufacturing test bolts out of aluminum and some of them actually made it into circulation, but very few. 

I have one mint condition derailleur with those bolts in my collection, by the way. I have been wanting to take some very high resolution photos of it and post them online for all people to see, since hardly anyone has seen one. 

You have a nice website. I have several other things to contribute, since I'm a big Campy collector too, like you. 

Thanks for sending this in, Dave!

No comments:

Post a Comment