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4 More Bits Of Weird And Wonderful Retro Cycling Tech

4 More Bits Of Weird And Wonderful Retro Cycling Tech


– You certainly seemed to enjoy our last retro tech video, and we’ve listened to what you’ve said. So, we’ve had a bit of a rummage in our respective attics to see what we could find. – That’s right. We’ve battled through the cobwebs, and we’ve come up with four more cool bits of retro tech that you’re gonna love. Just feast your eyes on these Matt. The quite stunning
Campagnolo Delta brakes. An absolute design classic, originally made back in
1984 by the Italian brand. As a challenge to Shimano, who at the time were making
some quite technological steps in the groupset market. – Yeah, and although they
were absolutely beautiful, gorgeous to look at, they
did have a few problems. Firstly, they were notoriously
difficult to adjust. And secondly, and more importantly, they weren’t particularly
good at slowing you down, which of course was a big problem. Resulting, in fact, in
five different iterations of the Delta brake. The final version having
five internal pivot points, as opposed to three in
the first iteration. – Now the first iteration of these was actually withdrawn from sale, after reports of some failures. And then sadly they were
discontinued back in 1994. They have however though been known to fetch a fair price by
some collectors worldwide. These are the second edition model. – Yeah funnily enough
I was looking on Ebay just the other day, and I
saw a pair of Delta brakes for three and a half thousand dollars, although they were original prototypes. But yeah, as you said,
they’re highly collectible. Now I was fortunate enough
to ride Delta brakes in the 1992 Olympic games, and I had a limited edition set of brakes. They were anodized in
a cool stealthy black, what Campagnolo called the century finish. John, this is your bike, isn’t it? – Yeah? – Why on earth have
you got Shimano levers, and Campo brakes? That’s basically heresy. – Yeah. – Carnac was founded as
a small shoe company, in the rural town of Geste,
in northwest France, in 1949. Now first they made normal everyday shoes, before then specialising in cycling shoes that were handmade and non-mass produced, which really came to the
fore in the late 1980s. – Yeah, and it was in
the mid-1980s actually when clipless pedals
really became popular, and Carnac took the initiative, decided to use a different way of mating clips to the sole of a shoe, and that was via an insert system. Then, in 1989, they
actually patented that, as the UCS interchangeable insert system. – Now when three times
Tour de France winner, and tech trailblazer Greg LeMond started to wear their shoes in 1991 and 1992, this model in particular,
the Legend Kevlar, Carnac saw their popularity soar. Now, Carnac didn’t actually sponsor that many professional riders. It was just the pros wanted
to wear Carnac shoes. They were that good. And, let’s face it, they
look pretty cool as well. – Yeah. Both Matt and I wore
different versions of Carnacs throughout the 90s. This model, in fact this
actual pair of shoes, Matt rode to victory in the
National Road Race Championships back in 1998. And do you know what? They were stiff, they were comfortable, they were simply, they
were the shoe of choice, weren’t they back in the day? – They were, but, shoes have come a long way since then, haven’t they? – Leaps and bounds. – I mean, shoes are far stiffer, they use different retention systems rather than velcro straps, and let’s face it, shoes
now are loads lighter. You know what we’re coming to, don’t you? Let’s weigh these puppies. Alright then John, the time has come. Let’s weigh in my 19 year old shoes against a modern pair. Okay, so let’s put these on the scales. Whoa. – [John] Okay. – 929 grammes. Basically, it’s a kilo. – Yeah, it’s a kilo
– It’s a kilo shoe, now that’s including
the shoe plates, okay, so 929 we’ve got to beat. Now, these are pretty much
a state of the art shoe. They’re the brand new Fizik Infinito R1s. Super comfortable, super light. Let’s weigh a pair of these John, what do you reckon? Have a guess. – [John] I don’t, I don’t. – 611. So that’s nearly a
third of a kilo lighter, just for a pair of shoes. The Cinelli Aerolite helmet, or the pea pod, to give it its
rather unflattering nickname, although you can see why,
because of the shape, was actually made by the
Italian company in 1985 with obviously aerodynamics
and going fast in mind. And it was actually worn by
the legendary Bernard Hinault who scorched to victory in the Prologue, and in the Stage Eight time trial at that year’s Tour de France en route to his fifth
Tour de France victory. – As you can see, the Aerolite is devoid of any vents whatsoever. No padding, no retention system. Basically it’s just secured
with a bit of velcro underneath your chin. It essentially started the
aerodynamic helmet craze which is still going on to this day. – John, did you actually wear that helmet? – No, but I had one very, very similar, back in about 1997. I sprayed it silver. I ended up looking like
a martian or a robot. The guy holding me up at the time trial, he laughed his head off. I never wore it again. – You sprayed it silver? – Yeah. – Oh my God. Well, I’d never really owned one of those. I was envious of all my mates who had it. But, they did lend me a helmet for a few individual time trials the backend of the 1980s. But, although you do look
reasonably fast in it John, and relatively cool, it was
Bernard Hinault if you ask me, who rocked it the best mate, so. – Thanks mate. – Yeah, sorry mate.
– Cheers mate. I think I look alright.
– Take it off, take it off. – Now we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that electronic gear
shifting was a new thing. I mean, with Shimano’s wired Di2 system came out as recently as 2009. And then SRAM’s wireless
eTAP system in 2015. – But, you’d be wrong. French company Mavic, more
famed for their wheels, launched electronic shifting a quarter of a century ago in 1992, with their wired system called Zap, which was followed a few
years later in 1999 by this. The world’s first ever
wireless shifting groupset, called Mektronic. – So gear changing was transformed, for a while anyway. Mavic created a system which didn’t use the parallelogram system. The chain powered the
mech across the cassette. Quite something. As opposed to the motors
in the modern day systems. – Pressing a button on
the the brake levers, or at the end of the TT bars, or the satellite shifter
near the head unit, would send a signal to the mech, which would engage with a tooth shaft, turned by the jockey wheel. That, depending on the gear selection, either up or down, would wind the jockey inwards or outwards, changing sprockets in the process. – So the Mektronic was
beset with glitches, and mechanical problems. There was a painfully slow
lag between button press and the shift of the rear mech. When you went close to
a radio mast, TV mast, it would just pack up. Just didn’t work. – That’s not good is it. – So, with all of these put together, it led to the rather
rapid demise and decline of the Mektronic groupset. It never caught on, and it was discontinued
shortly afterwards. – Now ultimately, although it was a trailblazing idea by Mavic, it was Zap for Mektronic. (sigh) See what I did there, mate. – I’ll tell you what. I’m gonna take these home. I’m gonna give them a blast, and I’ll let you know how I get on. – No, no, no, no it’s my turn. Because it set this up, and I actually got these
off one of me mates, so I’m gonna ride it home. Look how aero
– It’s always you, – I can get as well.
– it’s always you who gets the good stuff. – No but look, you can
get get really on this. That’s like,
– Alright, alright. – if Batman had a kind of bike groupset, it would be this one, wouldn’t it? – Yeah.
– Look at that. – The Batwing-tronic. – Well we really do hope that you enjoyed this little ride down retro tech avenue. Have you got any of this stuff? And, what do you think deserves to be on our next video? – Yeah and let us know in
the comments down below what you’d like to see. Now do remember to like
and share this video with your friends, and to subscribe to the Global Cycling Network, click on the logo, which is just here. And for four more cool bits of retro tech, click just down here. – Yeah, and for another retro video, where I rode an Orbea
Orca in Euskaltel colours in the Pyrenees at the Tour de France, how about clicking just down here? You can stick naughty’s leg back now mate. – Oh, you could do that. – Kind of us to lend us
his leg now, wasn’t it? – Yeah.

100 comments on “4 More Bits Of Weird And Wonderful Retro Cycling Tech

  1. I once had a Viscount Bike with the death forks – After the forks were changed it was awesome with a mild sporty frame that was really soft for long rides.

  2. Great show. I still have my old Carnac shoes as well. I even still ride with them occasionally, just to feel young again!

  3. I really hate the way you compare retro gear sometimes, like this shoe weight comparison. It seems you're not so much comparing shoes as you're comparing retro metal/brass cleats to modern lightweight reinforced plastic cleats. I'm guessing just the shoes will have much less of a difference. Here's an idea…take retro gear like these shoes and use them on a modern bike and groupset. Tell us the difference in power, feel and speed vs modern shoes. How about building a bike with a retro Steel or Aluminum frame/fork with all modern components (bars, stem, saddle, post, groupset, tires and wheels) compared to a modern bike with exactly the same components. Give all the weights, geo, stats, power outputs and times then tell us about the ride quality, handling and feel.

  4. Original Time pedal/shoe combo. The white shoes with red lettering and red velcro straps. An Avocet computer, Oakley Factory Pilots.

  5. Haha. 1:47 I run Campy groupset but have Ultegra 6800 brake calipers (because they're so much better than the Campy ones)

  6. I'd really like to see them do some actual test of some of these products. Especially those Mavic Mektronic shifters. They look pretty cool, kinda wish they had have been continued and refined into something more useable.

  7. You mentioned Greg Lemond's handle bars in your first video. Maybe you could mention that crazy looking bike he rode in Paris Roubaix? I think it was 1991, it had shocks on it.
    I love these retro tech videos, I have a lovely retro Peugeot that I use to commute. It has the down tube shifters and it's like driving a classic car.

  8. i'd love to see the old suicide brake levers again , I used to have a falcon racer with them on it back in the 80's , they where just a bent bar that attached to the brake lever that ran around the front and you could brake with your hands in any position ( loved um )

  9. Aerolite helmet? Aerolite pedals! Apparently they're still being produced. And I'm still riding on a Turbo saddle, so that can't be retro.

  10. Keep up the weird and wonderful, Jon and Matt, love it. And don't be afraid to show us a Raleigh Chopper, too. That's some cool old school.

  11. Two more great retro-tech items:
    Duegi 101 wood soled cycling shoes
    Cinelli track pedals.

    I still have my Duegi 101's. Great shoes!
    The Cinelli track pedals were an early version of clipless pedals. You had to unclip bt pulling on a lever on the pedal.

  12. Unlike a lot of “experts” out there that will tell you Delta brakes were no good, I’ve owned 6 Delta brake sets and logged tens of thousands of miles on them since 1989, and still have 2 mint Italian steel rides with them and I can say the 5 pivot models are actually great brakes when setup properly.

    I’ve always had them with the full C-Record group so seeing them on that beautiful Eddy with a Shimano group kinda hurt my heart… lol

  13. It would be good to explain the shimano 600 groupset with the first oval chainring.
    It got bad reviews (I believe people just repeated that opinion without real experience).
    For me it was perfect and gave very smooth pedaling.

  14. My favorite shoe Vittoria wooden soled shoe. I wore them in the 80's et road et track. Loved the soft leather tops, and the feel of the fit. We'd buy these shoes one size smaller than we wore, break them in with water, soap and shoe oil. I still lovingly wish I had a pair.

  15. The 7-speed Suntour drivetrain that came on my late 80s Bianchi Trofeo. Downtube indexed shifters, quite precise and reliable.

  16. Admittedly…I've owned 3 of the 4 items featured in this video. I am either admitting my age or my ability to be an "early-adopter" before it was cool to be one. I'd never owned Carnac Shoes but wanted to. I did own, Campy C-Record Delta Brakes, The Cinelli Aerolite AND the Mektronic Group. The brakes were nice once set up…however too much maintenance to keep them working well. The Aerolite was a fun helmet and I used it on the velodrome mostly. I was even the guy who owned the Bell Stratos in the late 80's. I really did enjoy using the Mavic Mektronic and had good success with it. Battery life was an issue along with recalibrating it about every 5th ride, but having 3 places to shift the rear derailleur from was a nice feature.

    Okay – my walk down memory lane is done. Thanks for making a great show…I really appreciate what you guys are doing. Keep up the good work.

    Roger N.

  17. Used to tape a baseball card to my seat stays with part of it sticking into the wheel spokes. Cheapest "old school" turbo boost ever.

  18. I love Jon's resto-modded Merckx! Does he ride it often? I did something similar with a Pinarello Montello. I'd love a set of Campy Delta's to go with my polished 11 Speed Athena drivetrain.

  19. #torqueback
    Could you pleas also do a piece on the Campa C record derailleur, like late ‘70s design?
    Also please a piece on frame geometry: classic vs new, espacially the implications on body position and general fitting, since there is quite a substantial difference (nit between Penny and 70’s designs but between 80’s and current 😉 )

    Many thanks in advance,

  20. Hi Jon and Mat. I would like to hear your retro take on the Allsop Softride technology on performance, aesthetic and practical perspectives. Cheers from Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada.

  21. That Mavic Mektronic groupset was state of the art for 1999. We were at the beginning of the cellphone era at that time and come out with that piece of equipment was a bold move from Mavic. Thinking on the amount of research put in etap and DI2 we can easily understand the failure of Mektronic. Great video guys, keep with it.

  22. ahhhh happy days, pouring over cycling weekly back pages drooling and counting how many years it would take to save my paper round money to own those campag brakes…..the days when campag was cool!

  23. Those shoes… Is that lightweight..?

    My old leather lace-ups with stiff resin sole and cleats fitted are 260g for the pair. But for proper retro, you lads ought to have a look around my bike shed – there are some machines (still in regular use) that are older than Matt himself.

  24. Can we see the full retro bike accessories (the shoes, bars ecc.. shown in retrotech) from let say 1980-85, 85-90, maybe 60's-70's and so on against the modern tech to see differences in TT, uphill, downhill ecc..? Even the tech which is not allowed in the modern peloton. That would be a good episode

  25. To combine Campagnolo Delta brakes with Shimano brake levers is as much a herery as pronouncing Campagnolo “Cum-puk-nolo“ and Sram “shram“. For the 10,000th time – It‘s Cum-pun-yolo and Sssram!

  26. There is an old boy here in Devon who rides around wearing a 'peapod' helmet, on a old 3 speed frame along with regular trousers and clips.

  27. I had Shimano levers with Campagnolo calipers back in the mid 80's, because I wanted aero levers and all that I could find were Shimano models at that time.

  28. Retro is really awesome, reminds of when I was 9 riding with my dad!
    Would anyone have a decent set of Time cleats identical to the ones on Matt's Carnac's, I've tried everywhere but no one seems to have!

  29. If you had an electronic group set, and were riding beside someone else with an electronic group set, how did you make sure only you could change your gears? Likewise, how do you make sure you only change yours?

  30. I still buy wired speedometers before wireless purely because its one battery than several and there is so much more confidence that it works and is not being interfered with (and cannot really desync)

  31. The Cinelli Danish cycling helmet. I wore it proudly up until Fabio passed in the TDF and the next year
    hard-shells were mand. in France.

  32. Haven't seen anyone mention the Merck podio pedals. Not that they were a huge succes…I think. Also the shark fin saddle (or bucket seat or whatever) by selle italia was cool. Used by Thierry Marie and other riders from Castorama…but also got banned.

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