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. 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.

  2. @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.

  3. @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.

  4. @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.

  5. @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.

  6. @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.

  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.

    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!

  8. @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.

  9. @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.

  10. @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.

  11. @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.

  12. 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.

  13. @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.

  14. @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.

  15. @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.”

  16. @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.

  17. @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…

  18. @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!

  19. @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!

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