Defining Moments: Dust Caps

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.

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81 Replies to “Defining Moments: Dust Caps”

  1. Also, #32 violation by the blue capped spectator, hopefully he rode to the race on a MB

  2. If I’d thought it through, I wouldn’t have this beauty. A funny bike freaks the hell out of everyone, citizens and cyclists alike.

  3. @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?

    I don’t care if BRR’s take isn’t true, it’s what I believe was happening.

    BERNARD PREFERRED TO SCORN FANCY ITALIAN TECHNOLOGY AND JUST OPEN A CAN OF FUCKING WHOOPASS ON THE WORLD.

    Source

  4. @asyax

    Indeed.  Huffy sponsored the 7-11 team for several years(maybe others as well).  Fortunately, the only thing on that bike that was actually made by Huffy was the decal… I had a chance to pick up one of those for 150 USD–still kicking myself for not making the drive to San Francisco.

  5. @asyax

    A fucking Huffy?

    Were they once a “serious” bike?

    I was so stoked to hear about the 7-11 team when they were announced and equally horrified they were riding “Huffys.”  I believe the team bikes were Serottas.

    @Fred

    the only thing on that bike that was actually made by Huffy was the decal…

    According to Rule #57 the Huffy label would be a “sticker” possibly unless you are on a team issue rig.

  6. @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.

  7. @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.

    You nailed it..sadly the Baracchi Trophy is one of those gems we no longer have.

  8. Here’s from the ’86 edition of the race, Moser paired with his teammate Dietrich Thurau…still no dust caps!

  9. @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.

    Of course they fucking won. Look at them. Amazing.

  10. @Nate

    No thread about American cycling in the 80s is complete without this.

    What a hoot. The cat’s wearing clogs ffs… My grandfather had a Buick wagon like this minus the stripes we’d load up with hunting and fishing gear and head off to really cool places. Cheers

  11. 80’s! Yeah!

    As a kid doing paper rounds at $15 per week, saved hard to get these Stronglight cranks ~1985 that came with dustcaps, so leaving on! BTW, they were Shiny Bits!

    As a Juvenile, we were restricted to 86″ rollout, so said crankset 52/42, with a 16/20 cluster.

  12. @Oli

    Baracchi is the name of the Condor frame at the top of my n+1 list. I believe it is actually made by Sarto.

    great concept for a race.

  13. @wilburrox

    @Nate

    No thread about American cycling in the 80s is complete without this.

    What a hoot. The cat’s wearing clogs ffs… My grandfather had a Buick wagon like this minus the stripes we’d load up with hunting and fishing gear and head off to really cool places. Cheers

    Was that shortly after America stopped making that sort of car out of wood?

  14. @Chris

    @wilburrox

    @Nate

    No thread about American cycling in the 80s is complete without this.

    What a hoot. The cat’s wearing clogs ffs… My grandfather had a Buick wagon like this minus the stripes we’d load up with hunting and fishing gear and head off to really cool places. Cheers

    Was that shortly after America stopped making that sort of car out of wood?

  15. Andy looks damn good on a bike! I miss the 80s too, but mainly because I don’t get to anticipate the new Guns ‘n’ Roses album, or the new Public Enemy album, or the Beastie Boys album. And Friday nights aren’t the same without putting up with a week of school for the reward of Crockett and Tubbs.

    Frank – ahh, the Jawbreakers. Did you go with the Prizm lenses? Curious to see if they can up the awesomeness of their already excellent lens optics. Can’t decide which model I’ll go with next, intrigued by the M2’s and also the Radars are just so damn incredible, hard to move away from them.

  16. @wilburrox

    @Nate

    No thread about American cycling in the 80s is complete without this.

    What a hoot. The cat’s wearing clogs ffs… My grandfather had a Buick wagon like this minus the stripes we’d load up with hunting and fishing gear and head off to really cool places. Cheers

    Not only is Cheech Marin wearing clogs but Tommy Chong is looking furtive in the back.

  17. @Nate

    @asyax

    A fucking Huffy?

    Were they once a “serious” bike?

    I was so stoked to hear about the 7-11 team when they were announced and equally horrified they were riding “Huffys.”  I believe the team bikes were Serottas.

    @Fred

    the only thing on that bike that was actually made by Huffy was the decal…

    According to Rule #57 the Huffy label would be a “sticker” possibly unless you are on a team issue rig.

    I might be mistaken, but my faulty memory says that Serotta made the bikes and Huffy printed stickers.

  18. @Ron

    Andy looks damn good on a bike! I miss the 80s too, but mainly because I don’t get to anticipate the new Guns ‘n’ Roses album, or the new Public Enemy album, or the Beastie Boys album. And Friday nights aren’t the same without putting up with a week of school for the reward of Crockett and Tubbs.

    Frank – ahh, the Jawbreakers. Did you go with the Prizm lenses? Curious to see if they can up the awesomeness of their already excellent lens optics. Can’t decide which model I’ll go with next, intrigued by the M2’s and also the Radars are just so damn incredible, hard to move away from though

    Andy just WAS cool on a bike, 80’s David Millar. Beasty Boys, Public Enemy AND Guns ‘n Roses @Ron, that is some seriously eclectic musical taste you have there.

  19. @Chris

    @wilburrox

    @Nate

    No thread about American cycling in the 80s is complete without this.

    What a hoot. The cat’s wearing clogs ffs… My grandfather had a Buick wagon like this minus the stripes we’d load up with hunting and fishing gear and head off to really cool places. Cheers

    Was that shortly after America stopped making that sort of car out of wood?

    I had an ’85 Buick wagon in college. Lots of plastic “wood” trim inside. It had been my moms car; I was always disappointed that she didn’t get the Estate trim option, with vinyl “wood” on the sides. ’85 was quite possibly the last model year that trim option was available.

    It it was a great car, I drove the snot out of it.

  20. The batshit awesomeness that exudes from all these photos is beyond measure. I couldn’t craft 1000 words for each of these that would do any of them justice. Lo Sceriffo and Le Patron laying down so much V I think my screen is going to melt.

    @Ron

    … Friday nights aren’t the same without putting up with a week of school for the reward of Crockett and Tubbs.

    This. I can hear the theme in my head even now. This.

  21. The dust cap thing went well into the 1990s.  My first season as a real road rider was as an American living in Austria in 1994.  Helping me put my Specialized Allez (lugged steel frame, a back to the future classic) together after shipping it across the ocean the proprietor of Fahrrad Franz (a former pro mechanic) pried the dust cap off and threw it away (Weg dammit!  Gewicht, gewicht!).  I did not question.  He proceeded to readjust brakes, derailleurs, cables in a flurry that took about 2 minutes and had my bike (previously maintained by me) running like never before.  He was the real deal.

    That bike still sits in my basement — collecting dust around the crank bolts.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. @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.

  25. @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!

  26. @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?

  27. @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.

  28. @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.

  29. 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.

  30. @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.

  31. @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).

  32. @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!

  33. 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.

  34. @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

  35. @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.

  36. @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.

  37. @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.

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