Rollin' Dirty

Defining Moments: Dust Caps

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I genuinely miss the eighties. Funny Bikes, which I say without thinking this though. Then again, time trial bikes today are basically road bikes with a position for  tuned for “more speed”. In other words, switching to your TT bike today is like switching from your road bike to a slightly less comfortable road bike, with your arms sticking out. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, switching to your TT bike was roughly the same as swapping out your warmblood for a dragon.

There are many more reasons I miss the 80’s, for the record. Black shorts, off the top of my tiny brain. Also the adorable electrical tape patterns mechanics made over the valve stem hole on disc wheels, for more speed, as generously modelled by little Andy H. Also those Lycra covers on the hairnets they used to wear, also for more speed.

I don’t have to tell you that the shades back then make my heart go pitter-patter. I still have a pair of Factory Pilots/Eye Shades; I also rushed out to the store to buy a pair of Jawbreakers last week, just because they look so old school. Also because they are orange and white and I am a sucker for orange and white.

Everyone has a “shades sponsor” these days, but if you lacked one back then, it was all-in on the sweatband sponsor. “Wow! You make a double-tall sweat-band? These ‘roids make me sweat ‘double-tall’ so…YES PLEASE.”

Then there were the gears and chainsets. The first version of a “compact” was introduced in the 80’s; it was a 52/39, downgraded from the usual 52/42. Which was a downgrade from a 44 which was the smallest chainwheel my 70’s-era Raleigh’s Wiesmann crankset accepted.

But my favorite thing about the 80’s was the missing dust caps on cranksets; Andy doesn’t have one here, and I didn’t have one either. The day I realized I could shed 0.0032 grams by pulling out the dust cap was the day I became a Velominatus.

Fuck Yeah Eighties. Fuck yeah.

// Accessories and Gear // Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus // Nostalgia

  1. Nate – ’84 Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon with a maroon-on-maroon color scheme. Considering I went to a $ private college, I was a top oddball. Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis…and a big old station wagon. We’d ride around campus 3 in the front seat, three in the middle, a few in the back.

    The sad part was when my parents finally got rid of it by donating it to Salvation Army. Every few months I’d see it go by on the road. Argh, seeing it still out there but it was not longer mine, so tough.

  2. @Ron

    Nate – ’84 Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon with a maroon-on-maroon color scheme. Considering I went to a $ private college, I was a top oddball. Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis…and a big old station wagon. We’d ride around campus 3 in the front seat, three in the middle, a few in the back.

    The sad part was when my parents finally got rid of it by donating it to Salvation Army. Every few months I’d see it go by on the road. Argh, seeing it still out there but it was not longer mine, so tough.

    Mine was metallic charcoal with burgundy interior.

    I was popular for having a very useful wagon. I was involved with the college radio station and I’d transport and set up the mobile DJ unit at the weekend parties — $75 bucks a pop, for a half hour of work.

    Also drove back and forth from the midwest to New England and other points many times. Never put any money in it other than gas and oil changes. It had a great carburated 3 liter V6 in it.

  3. No dust caps. F**k yeah!

  4. @Bruce Lee

    Hinault was such a bad-ass, dustcaps or not he was going to beat the living crap out of his 753 frame and anyone who dared to sit on his wheel. Moser, on the other had, knew that the only way to keep up with the Badger was to show up with a set of disc wheels, a swim cap, and drop the 42t chainring off the bike to save weight. Moser’s frame, outweighs Hinaults twice over with all the extra tubing. But both are running bitchin’ cool Campy aero brake levers, so with aerodynamics properly equalized the pair dealt out a drubbing to the rest of the Barrachi Trophy field.

    The 80’s ruled.

    Moser won the Baracchi Trophy twice – once with Hinault (1984),and once with Hans Henrik Orsted (1985). Both top-flight TT men. Even though this was a bit of a “superstars” type gig, the top names ALWAYS rode with someone of equal value. No-one wanted to be shamed by riding with a sub-par partner.

    As a lesser comparison, when I raced TTs in Scotland in the 80s we had a series of late season races called “Gentleman’s” Races. These involved a veteran rider (over 45 I think was the age limit) and a younger rider, racing two-up style over non-standard courses. The pairing got a time allowance based on how much older than 45 the rider was – so there were kinda two winners – actual time and compensated time.Theoretically, the young guy was supposed to pace the old guy around. Problem was, some of the “old” guys were super fast and fit and it was game on for a take-turns TT. Most of the old guys had been racing against each other for years and they always picked a fast young guy to ride with. A nice wee drubbing in a “gentleman’s race” was always good bragging over the winter. Good times indeed!

  5. @chuckp

    No dust caps. F**k yeah!

    What’s the story with the left shifter/lever?

  6. @Teocalli

    Non-indexed go faster leaver for the big ring was easier to trim, lighter and used so rarely it didn’t need to be cluttering up the brake lever?

  7. @wiscot

    @Bruce Lee

    Hinault was such a bad-ass, dustcaps or not he was going to beat the living crap out of his 753 frame and anyone who dared to sit on his wheel. Moser, on the other had, knew that the only way to keep up with the Badger was to show up with a set of disc wheels, a swim cap, and drop the 42t chainring off the bike to save weight. Moser’s frame, outweighs Hinaults twice over with all the extra tubing. But both are running bitchin’ cool Campy aero brake levers, so with aerodynamics properly equalized the pair dealt out a drubbing to the rest of the Barrachi Trophy field.

    The 80’s ruled.

    Moser won the Baracchi Trophy twice – once with Hinault (1984),and once with Hans Henrik Orsted (1985). Both top-flight TT men. Even though this was a bit of a “superstars” type gig, the top names ALWAYS rode with someone of equal value. No-one wanted to be shamed by riding with a sub-par partner.

    As a lesser comparison, when I raced TTs in Scotland in the 80s we had a series of late season races called “Gentleman’s” Races. These involved a veteran rider (over 45 I think was the age limit) and a younger rider, racing two-up style over non-standard courses. The pairing got a time allowance based on how much older than 45 the rider was – so there were kinda two winners – actual time and compensated time.Theoretically, the young guy was supposed to pace the old guy around. Problem was, some of the “old” guys were super fast and fit and it was game on for a take-turns TT. Most of the old guys had been racing against each other for years and they always picked a fast young guy to ride with. A nice wee drubbing in a “gentleman’s race” was always good bragging over the winter. Good times indeed!

    By all accounts it was an “exciting” race. Skip to the last paragraph.

    A great read btw.

  8. @Chris

    @gilly

    Le Dandy was a thing of the ’90s

    @Chris, while not wanting to turn this into pedants corner, his first pro team was Mengoni in 1985, followedby La Vie Claire in 86. I’ll give you that his best years were in the 90’s.

  9. I know why I stopped with the dust caps. They were screwed in with a small allen wrench. The dust caps were aluminum or sometimes plastic and stripping the allen key hole was easy to do. Then once you did find a screw extractor or some other barbarian tool, and unscrewed the cap, it was f’ed, and binned. Surely the TT people would have left in the cap for aero sake if they weren’t such a headache for general maintenance.

  10. @gilly

    Certainly wouldn’t want to turn it into pedant’s corner (note the apostrophe), but who the fuck are we talking about? David Millar (Le Dandy) debuted with Cofidis in 97.

    Mengoni in ’85. Millar would have been eight.

  11. @Chris

    @Teocalli

    Non-indexed go faster leaver for the big ring was easier to trim, lighter and used so rarely it didn’t need to be cluttering up the brake lever?

    Yeah and the trouble with friction levers is that from the photo they slip………….(refrains from an emoticon).

  12. @Chris

    @gilly

    Certainly wouldn’t want to turn it into pedant’s corner (note the apostrophe), but who the fuck are we talking about? David Millar (Le Dandy) debuted with Cofidis in 97.

    Mengoni in ’85. Millar would have been eight.

    Hampsten of course, hence “80’s David Millar.” Nice apostrophe though!

  13. Alas I was too clueless to know how much faster I’d have been up the hills had only I’d removed ’em… and yes, that’s a metal up your A** Metallica sticker on the seat tube. Operation Ivy on the down tube.

  14. @wilburrox

    Operation Ivy….now there was some music to go do some crimes to.

    Had an old Orange Schwinn Varsity that I saved up for probably a year throwing papers that I am sure still had a dust cap left on there and hope it stripped off or caused a wreck of some horrible kind for the thieves that stole it later that summer.

    But on the other side of that coin, that bike was the gateway drug to the point of my life where I happily find myself here.

    ride safe everyone….dustcaps or not

    Dean

  15. @pistard. If memory serves Hampsten’s Giro winning “Huffy” was a Landshark frame built by John Slawta.

  16. @wiscot

    @Bruce Lee

    Hinault was such a bad-ass, dustcaps or not he was going to beat the living crap out of his 753 frame and anyone who dared to sit on his wheel. Moser, on the other had, knew that the only way to keep up with the Badger was to show up with a set of disc wheels, a swim cap, and drop the 42t chainring off the bike to save weight. Moser’s frame, outweighs Hinaults twice over with all the extra tubing. But both are running bitchin’ cool Campy aero brake levers, so with aerodynamics properly equalized the pair dealt out a drubbing to the rest of the Barrachi Trophy field.

    The 80’s ruled.

    Moser won the Baracchi Trophy twice – once with Hinault (1984),and once with Hans Henrik Orsted (1985). Both top-flight TT men. Even though this was a bit of a “superstars” type gig, the top names ALWAYS rode with someone of equal value. No-one wanted to be shamed by riding with a sub-par partner.

    Moser actually won the Baracchi five times, holding the record for most victories; 1974 with Roy Shuiten, ’75 with Gibi Baronchelli, ’79 with his arch-nemesis Giuseppe Saronni (!?), this ’84 win with Hinault and his final win with Hans-Henrik Oersted in ’85.

  17. @asyax

    No, that’s a Landshark painted over to appear “sponsor correct.”

  18. @frank

    In other words, switching to your TT bike today is like switching from your road bike to a slightly less comfortable road bike, with your arms sticking out. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, switching to your TT bike was roughly the same as swapping out your warmblood for a dragon.

    Dunno. I’ve ridden an ’80s funny bike (complete with Campag disc) and it didn’t feel that different from a road-bike of a similar period, just with stupid-low bars. Modern TT bikes place you pretty much over the front wheel and tuck you where you can’t steer properly. It’s improved in the last few years – more relaxed steering, longer wheelbases make for calmer bikes – but a ’00s-era TT bike is a rodeo bull to ride, and unlike the ’80s, you don’t have a bar to grip.

    Now, ’80s track funny bikes? That’s some insane shit.

  19. @Oli

    @wiscot

    @Bruce Lee

    Hinault was such a bad-ass, dustcaps or not he was going to beat the living crap out of his 753 frame and anyone who dared to sit on his wheel.

    This. Don’t know what it is about Hinault, I’ve only really seen him on the bike in pictures but I find something compelling and terrifying about him. Guess he’s a true badass in a way few are.

  20. He’s terrifying!

  21. Sorry, that was meant to read: He’s terrifying alright!

  22. Nah… Not pulling dust caps to shed gramms, pull them out because you had to. Not being able to ride when they’re still there. That’s being a velominatus.

  23. @Gianni

    I know why I stopped with the dust caps. They were screwed in with a small allen wrench. The dust caps were aluminum or sometimes plastic and stripping the allen key hole was easy to do. Then once you did find a screw extractor or some other barbarian tool, and unscrewed the cap, it was f’ed, and binned. Surely the TT people would have left in the cap for aero sake if they weren’t such a headache for general maintenance.

    Campy pedal dustcaps required a special tool for removal/installation, not a whimpy allen wrench. As such no decent 80’s mechanics tool box was complete without the tool, not to mention a few other job specific Campy wrenches.

  24. @McMaster

    @pistard. If memory serves Hampsten’s Giro winning “Huffy” was a Landshark frame built by John Slawta.

    Yeah, apparently he broke a Serotta-built one earlier in the the season and had a replacement built by Slawta.

  25. @frank

    Barrachi Trophy 1984 I think? Spent the whole TT trying to drop each other and then had a sprint I beat the other at the line.

  26. @Oli

    @wiscot

    @Bruce Lee

    Hinault was such a bad-ass, dustcaps or not he was going to beat the living crap out of his 753 frame and anyone who dared to sit on his wheel. Moser, on the other had, knew that the only way to keep up with the Badger was to show up with a set of disc wheels, a swim cap, and drop the 42t chainring off the bike to save weight. Moser’s frame, outweighs Hinaults twice over with all the extra tubing. But both are running bitchin’ cool Campy aero brake levers, so with aerodynamics properly equalized the pair dealt out a drubbing to the rest of the Barrachi Trophy field.

    The 80’s ruled.

    Moser won the Baracchi Trophy twice – once with Hinault (1984),and once with Hans Henrik Orsted (1985). Both top-flight TT men. Even though this was a bit of a “superstars” type gig, the top names ALWAYS rode with someone of equal value. No-one wanted to be shamed by riding with a sub-par partner.

    Moser actually won the Baracchi five times, holding the record for most victories; 1974 with Roy Shuiten, ’75 with Gibi Baronchelli, ’79 with his arch-nemesis Giuseppe Saronni (!?), this ’84 win with Hinault and his final win with Hans-Henrik Oersted in ’85.

    Doh! (Hangs head in shame). That’s what happens when I try to be a smart arse and do a quick search at work. Will. Research. Better – repeat 1000 times.

  27. @Ullrich’s Buffet

    @frank

    Barrachi Trophy 1984 I think?

    Late invite?

  28. @Teocalli

    @chuckp

    No dust caps. F**k yeah!

    What’s the story with the left shifter/lever?

    What’s the story with the left shifter/lever? It’s only the coolest artifact of the 90’s and the move to STI! In an effort to cut weight down, riders often used a dt shifter on the left for the less-frequently used front chainring and used the STI for the rear when in the mountains.

    For Campa, they would often just gut the left ergo and the position on the hoods would be comfortable, but the Shimano setup looked cooler and had the benefit of being wildly awkward feeling because they were uneven.

    Massive Coolness Points to @chuckp for having that rig laying around.

  29. @Oli

    @frank

    @Haldy

    So…much….V…

    Wait…what is going on here? They are not Teammates, that is not a TTT. Is Moser training with Hinault for fun?

    It was an end of season two-up time trial called the Baracchi Trophy, which paired various celebrity cyclists up in aid of publicity over team sensibilities. This would have been the 1984 edition that Hinault and Moser won.

    Very cool; I was familiar with the race but it never dawned on me they allowed mixed teams like that. Fabian and Der Panzerwagon would be a force in that race today!

  30. @WarioCipollini and others

    @asyax

    No, that’s a Landshark painted over to appear “sponsor correct.”

    Nailed it; lots of the Huffys are reported to be Serottas but Andy’s was a Landshark.

  31. @Ron

    Nate – ’84 Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon with a maroon-on-maroon color scheme. Considering I went to a $ private college, I was a top oddball. Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis…and a big old station wagon. We’d ride around campus 3 in the front seat, three in the middle, a few in the back.

    The sad part was when my parents finally got rid of it by donating it to Salvation Army. Every few months I’d see it go by on the road. Argh, seeing it still out there but it was not longer mine, so tough.

    Mine was a 1980 Cutlass Cruiser I called “The Brownie”. Diesel. Sprayed starter fluid of some kind into what I thought was the carburetor (Diesels don’t have those) on cold days to get to ski practice. Could through bikes, skis, whatever into and I was off to the races.

    Like the dog in “Mr Bojangles”, it just up and died one day and I still mourn for it.

  32. @frank

    @Ron

    Nate – ’84 Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon with a maroon-on-maroon color scheme. Considering I went to a $ private college, I was a top oddball. Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis…and a big old station wagon. We’d ride around campus 3 in the front seat, three in the middle, a few in the back.

    The sad part was when my parents finally got rid of it by donating it to Salvation Army. Every few months I’d see it go by on the road. Argh, seeing it still out there but it was not longer mine, so tough.

    Mine was a 1980 Cutlass Cruiser I called “The Brownie”. Diesel. Sprayed starter fluid of some kind into what I thought was the carburetor (Diesels don’t have those) on cold days to get to ski practice. Could through bikes, skis, whatever into and I was off to the races.

    Like the dog in “Mr Bojangles”, it just up and died one day and I still mourn for it.

    Holy shit. I remember those diesel Oldsmobiles. We had a beige on beige ’80 or 81 Cutlass Cruiser wagon (3.8 L gas V6, not an oil burner) before we got the Buick. It had those cool pod shaped sport mirrors GM featured back in the late 70s-early 80s. Those were my favorite feature of that car.

  33. @Nate

    This, but hangover brown.

    Every care I’ve own since, barring the car I named the Jolly Green Giant, has been a station wagon or a Landy which is kind of like a station wagon but can go off road like a mutha.

  34. @frank

    @Nate

    This, but hangover brown.

    Every care I’ve own since, barring the car I named the Jolly Green Giant, has been a station wagon or a Landy which is kind of like a station wagon but can go off road like a mutha.

    Yup, that is like the one we had. Beige/beige with brown pinstripes. Sadly, neither of the 80s GM wagons that went thru our family had the faux wood paneling on the sides.

    Finally, those mirrors ARE the droids we are looking for. If you follow my meaning.

  35. On the subject of the badass Jawbreakers I picked up, I am loving them especially in the Witte jersey with a white helmet.

    Unrelated but relevant, black and orange socks are for Fall, Winter, and Spring. Its summer, and its back to white.

  36. @frank

    Colour-matched Bonts! Too good.

  37. @Teocalli
    I recall seeing a set up like that on Bjarne Riis’s rig in the ’95 Tour. It seemed then that he must have liked the idea of shifter-hoods only so far. It only caught my attention when I saw him reach for his downtube shifter to drop the chain on the little ring on an ascent. I gather the convenience of shifter-hoods hadn’t outweighed the risk of accidental mis-shifts. I’d hate to accidentally put it on the plate as I’m creaky up the Galibier. I’d fall over.

  38. @Teocalli

    Andy Hampsten. Alpe d’Huez. 1992.

    @chuckp

    No dust caps. F**k yeah!

    What’s the story with the left shifter/lever?

  39. @Teocalli

    @Chris

    @Teocalli

    Non-indexed go faster leaver for the big ring was easier to trim, lighter and used so rarely it didn’t need to be cluttering up the brake lever?

    Yeah and the trouble with friction levers is that from the photo they slip………….(refrains from an emoticon).

    No problems with my front downtime shifter lever slipping. FWIW, I run full STI on my Felt FC carbon bike but still love being able to “manually” trim my front derailleur when I ride my Hollands.

  40. @chuckp

    Downtube not downtime. Damn spell autocorrect.

  41. @frank

    @Teocalli

    @chuckp

    No dust caps. F**k yeah!

    What’s the story with the left shifter/lever?

    What’s the story with the left shifter/lever? It’s only the coolest artifact of the 90’s and the move to STI! In an effort to cut weight down, riders often used a dt shifter on the left for the less-frequently used front chainring and used the STI for the rear when in the mountains.

    For Campa, they would often just gut the left ergo and the position on the hoods would be comfortable, but the Shimano setup looked cooler and had the benefit of being wildly awkward feeling because they were uneven.

    Massive Coolness Points to @chuckp for having that rig laying around.

    Thanks for the kind words. But … yeah … exactly. Since I built my Felt FC at the end of last season, I don’t ride my Hollands as much but actually love shifting the front “by hand.”

  42. Just like what Andy Hampsten rod eon Alpe d’Huez in 1992.

  43. @chuckp

    @Teocalli

    @Chris

    @Teocalli

    Non-indexed go faster leaver for the big ring was easier to trim, lighter and used so rarely it didn’t need to be cluttering up the brake lever?

    Yeah and the trouble with friction levers is that from the photo they slip………….(refrains from an emoticon).

    No problems with my front downtime shifter lever slipping. FWIW, I run full STI on my Felt FC carbon bike but still love being able to “manually” trim my front derailleur when I ride my Hollands.

    The “leg pull icon” did not come through. The photo was obviously on the Galibier. Stunning photos though.

  44. @frank

    On the subject of the badass Jawbreakers I picked up, I am loving them especially in the Witte jersey with a white helmet.

    Unrelated but relevant, black and orange socks are for Fall, Winter, and Spring. Its summer, and its back to white.

    Nice! I prefer the black/orange combo on the the original jawbones. Matching Northwave Speedster helmet optional…

  45. @chuckp

    Just like what Andy Hampsten rod eon Alpe d’Huez in 1992.

    LOVING the fact that the rear shifter has a braze point to hold the cable and the front does not. Some framebuilder at Holland loves that setup!

  46. @VeloJello

    Sorry, but I reckon Frank’s ensemble is cooler.

  47. @Oli

    @VeloJello

    Sorry, but I reckon Frank’s ensemble is cooler.

    Your welcome.

  48. @frank

    Thanks Frank. John Hollands (now retired) built the frame for me (Reynolds 653) circa 1990. Originally with downtube shifters. When I had it re-painted, I the thingie (I believe that is the correct technical term) for the rear STI cable brazed. Just a nice little custom touch on a custom frame. :-)

    @chuckp

    Just like what Andy Hampsten rod eon Alpe d’Huez in 1992.

    LOVING the fact that the rear shifter has a braze point to hold the cable and the front does not. Some framebuilder at Holland loves that setup!

  49. @chuckp

    That really is a gorgeous bike… and well photographed.

  50. @DeKerr

    @chuckp

    That really is a gorgeous bike… and well photographed.

    Thank you. More about it here http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/readersrigs/readers-rigs-5/#.VXBd40ZvJKg

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