Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow saddle

I've got a few of these saddles for my wife and she likes them.
That's also all the maker can say about this saddle. According to the sales manager, it was really a lucky shot. The made and offered a lady saddle and it became a commercial success. But nobody at Selle Royal knows why it is so appreciated by women. Somehow the mixture of shape, hardness and materials works.
The Lady a typical product what saddle makers call a women's saddle: shorter, wider, softer. However, this doesn't mean that every short, wide and soft saddle is a popular or good saddle for women. On the contrary. Some women like long, hard and narrow saddles, like the original Flite. And many men, if they have the guts to try this, may like this Lady saddle, too.

Fi'zi:k Gobi saddle

This saddle with strong curved shaped was introduced by Fi'zi:k as a MTB saddle. In the beginning of this Millennium, the Italian company launched a new range of saddles with the so called Wing Flex technology. Some cuts in the shell of the saddle, near the inner thighs of the rider, should enable the saddle to flex in that area and allowing for more freedom/movement/comfort when pedalling and less pain.
To be honest, I never felt any problem or pain in that area with any other quality bike saddle and I didn't feel any extra benefit with the Twin Flex saddles of Fi'zi:k. But, I must say, that I really like the curved shape of the Gobi saddle in combination with the right amount and quality of padding and it's still on my No. 1 mountainbike.
Gobi's twin brother/sister for road bikes is Arione. It was introduced at the same time and it uses the same technology. However, the shape is totally different. Arione is very long and extremely flat.
I had the honour to attend the official bike manufacturers introduction of these saddles. A very nice test event was organized near Villajoyosa (close to Alicante, Benidorm), Spain, together with a couple of other companies (Hutchinson, Mavic, Manitou, Hayes, Motorex) and we had some good bike rides with nice people from the bike industry.

Selle Italia Flite TransAm saddle

There have been lots of discussions about this subject. Is it a benefit to have a "saddle with a hole". Or, as the saddle manufacturers call it: an anatomical cut-out.
Well, for me it doesn't work. At least not with a Flite TransAm. I've spent several years on this type of saddle and some rides were really long. Road, CX, MTB: I've tried it all with this saddle. But for me, it just doesn't feel right. Not so bad either, otherwise I wouldn't have kept it so long. But the one without hole was just more comfortable.
This TransAm, as Selle Italia used to call the model with the cut-out, is one of the many versions of the classic Selle Italia Flite. That saddle, from the early 1990s, was a break through. A very slim, lightweight, minimalist saddle. When it first came out, your balls already hurt by seeing the saddle. But to be honest, that classic Flite turned out to be quite comfy. I've had 1 like that and I used it on a cross bike and a hardtail MTB. Unfortunately, I've lost it during an MTB marathon race, after I broke my seat post. My most impressive saddle experience is the race I had to ride without a saddle. Or nearly 50 km, offroad.
As mentioned, the standard Flite was fine for me. The TransAm felt a bit weird at the edges of the cut-out. Some hard edges or areas of a saddle where it shouldn't be hard.
This particular Flite TransAm, in yellow and black, must have been from the Spanish ONCE road racing team, riding Giant bikes during the years I worked there. Either a team saddle or one of the team replica bikes. Similar saddles in black and red were used by the Giant Global MTB team.
Since saddles are the most personal item on a bike, I cannot speak for other riders. And not all the saddles with a hole will feel like this Flite.
So, I can't say if it's right or wrong. Everybody has to make his or her own decision.

Fi'zi:k Pavé High Performance saddle

A saddle offered by Fi'zi:k as a high end ladies saddle. I'm nor really sure if it was designed like that and sold as a ladies saddle from the beginning.
Anyway, it's a good looking saddle and has a big popularity in the womens' peloton.
It reminds me of my long time favourite, Fi'zi:k Pavé, but a bit wider and thicker padding.
Titanium rails and a Microtex cover.
Let the ladies tell how it rides.
Or the men, who rode this saddle for a longer time.

Look PP75 pedals

Just like on my Look PP65 pedals, also no production date, year or code on these. And no type indication either.
These pedals could be Look PP75 Touring from 1988, but I'm not really sure.
They look a bit more modern, because the design is less bulky, better finish and big Look logos on the back clips. The clips are a bit smaller and pivot around an axle / Allen key bolt, that can be removed. Also different from the PP65, these pedals have no preload adjustment.
The bearing system is the same, despite the different dust caps. The hexagon design of the PP65 caps/nuts has been replaced by a sleeker, flat and round shape. Instead of a bench vice, open end wrench or adjustable wrench, a special tool has to be used to remove and install the dimpled caps. Circlip or needle-nosed pliers work very well.

NOTE: I hope the type indication is correct, because I see some strange things on The Web. Please let me know if you think that this is right or wrong. Thanks a lot.

Reydel GTi saddle

Reydel is a well known name for cycling freaks. The french bike saddles are pretty rare, but mainly because the Reydel name was on the jersey of Sean Kelly and his teams (SEM, Skil), people may remember it.
The same goes for me. I've never owned a Reydel saddle, even haven't seen one, as far as I can remember. But as a real equipment lover, I'm familiar with the name since the 1980s and know that they supply the saddles to the teams.
Well, Sean Kelly is a cycling hero and thanks to the efforts of the marketing people at Reydel, his name is related to the saddle brand forever.
So, I just needed to buy a Reydel racing saddle. This GTi I found on Ebay is a nice saddle that reminds me of a Selle Italia Turbo. Searching on the web a bit more resulted into a small disappointment. Suddenly I saw a picture of a Reydel Pro and at that moment I realized that that was the model Kelly used.
The 1980s GTi is nice and a real Reydel, but a Pro will be a new target. I know that it will be very hard to find and get one, but isn't that the fun of it?

San Marco Concor Junior saddle

I have 2 of these saddles in the "light" version, but to my surprise I could pick up a genuine "Junior" saddle in mint condition. That saddle is a real junior version of the Concor Supercorsa. And because I needed an extra kid saddle for the Giant track bike, I rushed to get this sample. One of the lights will go to the Giant and this junior will find a place on the Benotto 24" for the time being.
This saddle really looks like a vintage Concor Supercorsa with its soft, suede, velvet like cover and the yellow Concor sticker on the back. You know, the black and yellow sticker that always comes loose.
A quick rub with a suede brush will make the fingerprints disappear and make the saddle as new.

Shimano Dura Ace PD-7300 pedals

The first road bike I purchased was a second hand Batavus Professional team bike, equipped with Shimano Dura Ace.
Dura Ace was (and is) Shimano’s top end component group, but especially in the late 1970s, early 1980s, Campagnolo was considered to be the absolute No. 1.
Besides this subjective image thing, it was also what I experienced myself. Campagnolo Record had better surface quality, better bearings and sealing, higher quality hardware, better materials and design details like cast components instead of pressed sheet steel (e.g. brake lever brackets). So, it lasted longer, was easier to maintain, less rattling, better appearance.
So, bit by bit, I was replacing the Dura Ace components by Record.
When Shimano entered the pro road scene at the end of the 1970s, the company, the people around it and the teams using the stuff were not taken seriously. Flandria, IJsboerke and Cilo must have suffered from it.
With this background, it may be easy to understand why the market didn’t embrace the new AX series, when introduced it in 1980. The reputation of Shimano was not that good (“bad, cheap Japanese stuff”) and the difference with traditional bike components was too big. The traditional bike world was not ready to understand the benefits of new technologies. AX series offered many new things: one key release (everything with a 5mm Allen key), cassette hub, Uniglide, Dyna-Drive, aerodynamics and several others.
When it comes to Shimano AX parts, I cannot speak from my own experience. I understood what Shimano claimed and admitted that there could be some advantages, but didn’t believe that the differences were deciding. And soon, rumours were spread, that the new Shimano gruppos were having serious quality issues. Parapull brakes were not powerful enough, rear mechs weren’t working well or snapped and “there was also something with Dyna-Drive cranks and pedals.
I ‘m still not sure what the problems were, despite my 9 years experience at Shimano. Broken cranks, broken pedals, worn bearings: I don’t know.
A fact is, that especially tall people, thus heavy, were using DD pedals. One of the benefits was, that the base of the riders’ foot was level with the pedal axle and the saddle could be lowered by approx. 1.5 cm. Koga Miyata even changed the geometry of their road race frames by keeping the length and the angles, but lowering the top tube.
Anyway, Shimano AX series died soon and so did some of its features like Dyna-Drive and the whole aero thing. What remained were the brake cables with internal cable routing and freehub and cassette.
What were Shimano’s objectives with Dyna-Drive?
In the first place, by bringing the riders foot closer to the pedal axle, the biomechanics were improved. Less energy was wasted to keep the feet stable on the pedals. Like Shimano said, a bit like walking of flat shoes instead of high heels.
Besides that, the whole low profile design of pedal and crank fitted nicely in the total picture of aerodynamics of the AX series.
Because of the low centre of gravity, the pedals should always hang in the right position with the toe clips up and the pedals body down, so no hassle to get the foot into the clips.
Instead of an axle that supported the whole pedal body, Shimano used a very short axle with a very large diameter. The axle and bearings wear completely at the side of the pedal and partly in the crank arms. Instead of the standard 9/16” fitting, Shimano used 1” to offer enough strength, stiffness and bearing durability. But somewhere they failed…
In each pedal I counted 30 pcs 3/32” balls. I think the correct placement is 14 pcs on the inside and 16 pcs at the outside, near the pedal body. On one side the balls must be placed on the axle stubble and not in the bearing cup, otherwise it cannot be assembled.
The bearing cannot be countered in the normal way. There’s a screw for a 5 mm Allen key that can be reached from the side of the pedal body. That screw counters the bearing.
Shimano DD pedals are not the first with this “drop-spindle” design. Similar constructions were used in the 19th century and in the 1950s .

See also: Speedplay Bicycle Pedal History Museum

Look PP65 pedals

I've got to be honest. I've never used a pair of Look pedals. And now, all of a sudden, I have 2 pairs of earlier (?) PP65 and 1 pair of another type.
Already at young(er) age I was a lover of classic components and a late adept.
Around 1984, when Look introduced their clipless bike pedals, I though it was a gimmick and an unnecessary, funny item. They looked bulky too. I had no urge to try a pair. How wrong I was. These pedals caused a real revolution in bicycle development. Look was certainly not the first company that made clipless pedals, but technically it was okay and marketing wise, they made a brilliant move. First, Bernard Hinault and later, Greg Lemond used and promoted Look clipless pedals and due to their enormous successes in the Tour de France and other races, it became a commercial hit.
When I joined Shimano in 1990, I got my 1st pair of "Look patent" pedals, a set of Shimano 105 pedals PD-1056, assembled by Look in Nevers, France. These pedals were better than the SGR and Systeme 3 pedals I had tried and rejected before.
The Look pedals were the 1st commercially successful pedals and racers performed well with them. As mentioned earlier, they looked bulky and from what I heard from other riders, there were some quality issues, too (noise, wear, bearing quality, cleat quality), but overall, it turned out to be a pedals system that was going to stay for a long, long time.
These early Look PP65 pedals have an adjustable preload (just a few turns). The bearings are kept in place by the dust caps. Needle bearing on the inside and (industrial) ball bearing at the outside.

NOTE: I hope the type indication is correct, because I see some strange things on The Web. Please let me know if you think that this is right or wrong. Thanks a lot.

Selle Bassano Vuelta saddles

My long time favourite: Selle Bassano Vuelta. I have used this type of saddle far many year. I absolutely loved them. Gazelle sold these with their own logo.
The saddles tended to weaken and showed deformation, a more curved shape. Despite that, it was still pleasant to ride. Maybe because the shape became curvy, a bit like Concor saddles.
I don't think that the first series had it, but at a certain point, the Vualta saddles came with Reynolds 531 manganese tubular steel rails. Not that someone noticed the difference, but still.
I've worn down a reasonable quantity of these saddle, so, for my collection I certainly needed one. I got 2 pieces at the same time from the same Ebay seller, both with Reynolds rails. One with yellow plastic parts and a glued leather cover, the other cheaper variant (?) with orange and a fabric (?), stapled cover.
Too bad. The later Bassano saddles were all terrible. And so are the current ones.

Chain ring Campagnolo 48 teeth, BCD 144 mm, 3/32"

Bargain of the week: a brand new chain ring for my Campagnolo equipped track bikes.
This extends my collection a bit.
I need at least an extra Campagnolo 50T and 52T, as well as a rare Campagnolo BCD 151 mm BCD ring.
Note that the price on the tag is not what I paid for it.
Good news: some extra pieces still available!

Selle Italia Turbo Special

A less successful spin-off of the Turbo saddle. Following the big hit of the early 1980s, San Marco's Rolls, it got some brass pieces at the nose and the backside of the saddle to make it stand out from the standard Turbo. Nothing more, nothing less. A nice "facelift" of the genuine Turbo saddle with some added "bling bling". I never had one till last week. So, I can't tell (yet) how it rides, but I'm pretty sure that it's exactly the same as the normal Turbo.
Besides that, it doesn't help you if you know if it suits my bum, yes or no. Every person is different and saddles are personal.

Selle Italia Turbo "Bernard Hinault"

A real classic saddle: Selle Italia's Turbo.
I wasn't an early adept and I haven't used it for a long time either.
But it used to be a very fine saddle in the beginning and still lots of people (bike lovers and pro riders) like it. The first generation of Turbo was just good and perhaps all later generations failed to make improvements on the original design.
This was one of the products that became famous/popular, because it was the choice of Bernard Hinault. Of course, he was paid to use this saddle. But throughout the years he hardly changed his equipment and for sure he wouldn't have used a certain saddle that long if he didn't really like it.
Well, Hinault won the Tour de France 5 times and lots of other races, too, so the saddle became an icon.
Still some work to be done to let it shine "as new" again.
The pictures below show the saddle how I got it, second hand.
The Turbo saddle was introduced in 1990 and I got my first a couple of years later. I bought it when I got my first Colnago Super frame and it looked lovely on that bike. Until that moment, I used San Marco Concor. After a while, when I joined Gazelle, so it must have been around 1984 or 1985, I switched to the newly introduced San Marco Rolls. Gazelle had better ties with San Marco than with Selle Italia.
Much later, first half of the 1990s, I rode a Turbo Matic 2 for a while. That may have been another successful type of Turbo. Less iconic than the genuine Turbo though.

M7x1 bolts for 3ttt seat post

Got some irregular size bolts today.
10 pcs M7x1 30mm and 10 pcs M7x1 40mm.
I ordered some 25 mm bolts, but apparently these were not on stock and thus replaced by the 30 mm ones.

The hex heads of the original bolts of my 1980s 3ttt seat post are almost round and the 11 mm open end wrench slips.

Tip for people with the same kind of problem / also looking for M7 bolts: it's a common size on Citroën 2CV cars. There are lots of small webshops for 2CV parts. At least in The Netherlands and Germany, for sure in France, too.
I ordered mine here, 20 bolts for 10 euro incl P&P.
Ordered yesterday, received today.

Adidas Systeme 3 pedals, shoes STi

A very rare set of racing pedals. Technically and commercially a disaster, so these pedals disappeared from the market very quickly.
First, only 1 set of shoes fit these pedals and vice versa. No compatibility at all.
Next to that, there is no safety release function like "Look" clipless pedals (and clones) have.
The pedals have small levers, which have to be operated by hand.

The system works similar to Cinelli M71, but it has a different lock and release system. Besides that, there are no cleats to be mounted under the shoes, but the proprietary shoes have grooves at both sides of the soles and some kind of square hole in the centre.
The shoes slide into the "rails" at the sides of the pedals. A spring loaded cam in each pedal finds its way into the square hole and locks the shoe.

The pedals can be set into 3 different positions by moving the small lever in the (1) backward position, (2) middle position or (3) upward position.
Position 1 (lever backward) lets you slide the shoes into and out off the pedals. The cam is completely sunken into the pedal surface and doesn't lock the shoe. So, nice for doing a small ride, e.g. from the dressing room towards the start.
Position 3 (lever upward) is the "race" mode. The cams protrude from the pedal surfaces, but can be pushed back in. So, you can slide the shoes into the pedals and your feet are really locked. Even when you crash, you pedals (as well as the rest of the bike) remain attached to your feet. Not good for you ankles and other body parts.
By moving the levers into the backward position, you can take your feet from the pedals safely.
Position 2 is an intermediate position. It's very tight, but if you twist you feet (with high force), you may be able to click out off the pedals. I did a few in-house tests. I managed to release my feet, but I needed serious force. I will try to find out how that works under race conditions.

Since no cleats have to be attached to the soles of the shoes, there must be another adjustment system. The upper platforms of the pedals have been attached to the pedals bodies with 3 screws on each pedal. So, instead of adjusting the cleats, the angle and forward/backward positions of the pedal platforms can be adjusted.

Successor of this shoe and pedals system, but no success either: Podio.
These pedals from the same inventor (Mr. Lilian Christol) as the Adidas Systeme 3 pedals work with cleats that basically can be mounted to each pair of racing shoes, but the unique bolt pattern prevents that.

Dura Ace track chain ring 50T

I'm getting weaker. I need this chain ring, because 52x16 is getting too large for a relaxed evening on the track.
Larger sprockets are rare, so the only option is to switch to smaller chain rings.
50 x 17 must be enough for the near future.
Bargain from "Marktplaats", so I couldn't let it go.

Rossin Pista 50 cm

Perhaps you felt this coming up. Yes, there's going to be a Rossin Pista project. Or better, the project runs for a long time already, but just now it's clear, which bike brand it's going to be.
Earlier blogs mentioned that I made good progress. But I've been looking for a proper frame set for a long time and about 2 weeks ago I found this.
The guy who sold it reacted positively on my interest and we came to a deal. Andrea, the seller, seems to be a very nice chap from Milano, Italy. He wrapped the frame, fork, Rossin pantographed Cinelli stem, OMAS head set, Gipiemme bottom bracket set and Rossin bar plugs very well and last Thursday the parcel finally arrived.
It's a red Rossin track frame, centre to top 50 cm, with a top tube of 51 cm centre to centre. The paint on frame and fork has several damages and scratches, but not unusual for an Italian frame of approx. 30 years old, well used on velodromes.
Maybe I'm just going to clean it and polish the paint with "Commandant", but if I'm not satisfied and if I can find a good painted, I may consider to do some "spot repair" to restore the paint work. In the end, it has to become a beautiful track bike.
About the frame size: no I'm not able to ride it. But small bikes look so pretty and I have plenty bikes to choose from when I'm going to ride. Maybe one of our kids can ride this Rossin within a couple of years. Would be great.

History of Rossin bikes

The origin. The Rossin bicycle brand enjoys widespread consideration and appeal. The history of Rossin bicycles is relatively short, but at the same time glorious. Rossin was born to win and astonish thanks to exclusive aesthetics and functional features. The year was 1973, the promising Gibi Baronchelli of the Iclas Sports Group won the Giro d’Italia baby and Tour de France amateurs. Iclas and Itla are the teams of the munificent patron Vittorio Ghezzi. Using bicycles provided by Ernesto Colnago, a popular manufacturer. Ghezzi and Domenico Garbelli, sports director and manager of Itla, wanted to create a team of professionals, above all to promote Baronchelli and other home-made talents into the higher category. The idea was to continue working with Colnago. But the Milan manufacturer was also the supplier of Scic, a team operating at professional level since ’69. And instead of favouring the birth of Ghezzi’s new professional team with the most promising athletes of the Itla nursery, Colnago facilitated Baronchelli’s move to Scic. This occurrence made patron Ghezzi, Alberto Inzaghi, Garbelli and the other members of the Itla staff really mad. Competitive 1973 had not yet come to a close. Despite this, Ghezzi and Garbelli changed their cyclists’ bikes. “We’ll finish the season with Bianchi. And the team will also be riding Bianchis in 1974”, says Ghezzi. In fact, the creative Inzaghi and Ghezzi wanted to pull something new out of the hat. Domenico Garbelli, always full of ideas, gave them the input: “Instead of promoting Colnago athletes, already well placed on the market, why don’t we start making top-quality bicycles and frames? We must be the strongly advancing new players. We have the skills and the means to make it“. Ghezzi approved the project: “Colnago is clever. No doubt about it. Let’s show it that we’re also clever in the field. Let’s set up a company and manufacture highly competitive bikes”. Technically speaking, Garbelli’s ideas were very clear: “I have just the man we need to organise frame production - Mario Rossin – currently free. He worked for years in the Colnago welding department. He knows all the secrets of tubes and welding. He’s a wizard at measuring the athletes and making individually tailored frames”. Mario Rossin, from Cavenago in Brianza, with Verona origins, was immediately involved in the project. And on 14 September, 1974, Rossin officially saw the light in Cavenago. 5 partners were involved in the project: Vittorio Ghezzi and his son Giuseppe, then Inzaghi, Garbelli and Rossin. “The bikes will be called Rossin”, agree Inzaghi, the Ghezzis, father and son, and Domenico.

The brand. The new bike needs a brand. “While looking at the label on a bottle of Royal Cola – reveals Garbelli – I had a first inspiration. The other came to me looking at the wording on Rossignol skis. The “R” of the Rossin logo is a winning mix, with enhanced graphics”. The R is inserted in a pentagon. “Rossin has 5 founder fathers. That is why, as surrounding polygon, the pentagon was chosen”, continues Domenico.

Itla beats Rossin. Naturally, the first spokesmen of the new bicycle brand were the athletes of the Itla team. All amateurs about to become professionals; in the 1975 season, they raced and won on Rossin bikes. And in November 1975, the Rossin bike made its debut at the Milan Cycle Fair. Garbelli, who was becoming an increasing more clever business strategist, and then production manager, exhibited above all Rossin models – 1976 Montreal Olympics. Success was immediate: the Rossin stand was always full. “These frames – exclaimed the experts passionately – are real gems”. 
From amateurs to professionals. In the 1976 season, young Vittorio Algeri of Itla won the Italian Championship “first and second series” and the Settimana Lombarda (then for amateurs). All Itla was ready for the big jump into professional sport. And, only just 2 years after being established, Rossin of Cavenago was ready to equip the “pros”. Ghezzi, Inzaghi and Garbelli signed an agreement with GBC of Jacopo Castelfranchi. “The new team of professionals, set up in January 1977 – announced Ghezzi – will be called GBC Itla”. And on the white jersey with red-blue band also appeared the Rossin pentagon-logo. Rossin bikes made their debut in the Laigueglia Trophy in February ’77. The Algeri brothers, Roberto Ceruti, Gabriele Landoni, Walter Polini and the other GBC Itla boys obtained results in the major category riding fantastic bikes in the early months of ’77. 
Research and development. The late Seventies and early Eighties was a real golden age, probably unrepeatable, for Italian manufacturers. Rossin too was proudly Made in Italy. And from the 3 employees engaged in a Cavenago courtyard in September ’74, the company grew to 5, 9, 11. The escalation was general: including the desire to astonish, not only with results. And the production of an upmarket bicycle manufacturer need not only be restricted to road and track models. “After careful studies on the materials used in America and excursions, above all to the USA – recounts Garbelli – in the late Seventies, at Cavenago, the first experimental Italian mountain bike saw the light. The odd historical Italian manufacturer expressed scepticism on seeing this model with wide rims and tyres, sturdy forks, triple gears: “ La me par la bici d’un prestinée”. Translation for non-Lombards: “It looks like a baker’s bike”. Instead, it is a type of bicycle that in the following years will revolutionise the market. 
Computer. The duo, Garbelli-Mario Rossin, was the first to install a computer on a bicycle. The guinea-pig spokesman was Alessandro Paganessi, in 1980 leader of the Novartiplast amateur team, naturally riding Rossin bikes. In April, 1980 Paganessi had a computer that looked like a transistor radio on the black bike he used for the mountain time trial of the Settimana Lombarda at San Fermo. And Paganessi came in second. In front of him only the great Polish rider, Cezlaw Lang, 5 years older than him and therefore more powerful and experienced. Later on, bike computers were to undergo numerous technological improvements and become increasingly smaller. Nevertheless, the first was used on a Rossin bike. 1980 was not only the year of the computer for the Brianza company. Considering the quality of its frames, the Soviet track squad decided to opt for Rossin bikes. Victor Kapitanov, head of the Russian technicians, had numerous responsibilities in view of the Moscow Olympic Games staged in July ‘80. In the “home” Games, the Soviet team won gold medals riding Rossin bikes. Kapitanov’s choice proved a winning one. 
Champions and revolutionary frames. In 1981, Rossin became sponsor and supplier of Daf Trucks, a Belgian professional team with an outstanding, classic-hunting captain: Roger De Vlaeminck. Studies and tests continued: “After seeing the bikes used by the East-German team in the pursuit race – continues Garbelli – I got the idea of creating a more Made-in-Italy version, with better geometries and top-quality finishes”. Bikes with “horned” handlebars. And the horizontal frame tube is in fact sloping downwards. After the 1981 Milan Fair (a big success for Rossin) and the first races of the 1982 season, the Novartiplast amateurs tried out the new bikes on the Dalmine tracks and in Turin. “In the time trials – announced the experts – at least one second per kilometre can be cut using the “space” bikes with sloping tube”. The Belgians, Nico Edmonds and Rudy Rogiers use the Rossin “space” bikes to win major amateur time trial events throughout Europe. 
"Disc wheel? Our idea". In 1983, besides successfully equipping Splendor and Jacki Aernaudt, professional Benelux squads in which Eric Vanderaerden played a lead role, Garbelli also invented the disc wheels. “I tested them for the first time on Rossin bikes. They had a honeycomb structure. In summer 1983, the International Cycling Union wanted to reject them. Later on they were liberalised. In fact, in January, 1984, after the “rossinian” tests of 1983, Moser used them to twice set the hour record in Mexico. Disc wheels first appeared thanks to Rossin”. The use of disc wheels at high speed, with fly-wheel effect and no braking effect produced by the air, provides other advantages for time-trial athletes. In the summer of 1983 Rossin bikes were used both by the Russian national track team and by that of the USA. “Rossin brings together Russians and Americans” became a slogan used beyond the boundaries of cycling. 
Murella, Hitachi, Aernoudt, great team. At the 1983 Milan Fair, the well-know TV commentator, Fred De Bruyne congratulated Garbelli and Rossin for their technological breakthroughs and Rossin Cicli advertising ideas. Rossin decided to call the bike “with horns and sloped tube” Rossin Futura CX. Hence the advertising slogan: “Futura CX: the future begins with Rossin”. Up in the saddles of Rossin bikes in 1984 were Gibi Baronchelli and the entire Murella professional team, the Aernoudt squad and others. In the Giro d’Italia time trial, using disc wheels and the Rossin Futura CX, Baronchelli, a rider who had never thought time trials to be part of his repertoire, came close to winning. At the Los Angeles Olympic Games of 1984, the Russians went missing. Medals were taken by the Cavenago Brianza manufacturer thanks to the US squad. And US rider, Eric Heiden, an ice-skating champion converted to cycling, pushed his Rossin bike to the utmost. Exactly like Sheila Young, speed star and several times world champion. In the USA, there was also the Seven Eleven team, with young Andrew Hampsten putting up a great show on his Rossin. 
Rossin, fairs and ministers. In new premises at Cavenago, the Rossin employees had come close to producing 30 bikes. And Rossin took part in all World Fairs. In Germany, Japan, China, United States and Italy, Rossin stands and products were fast gaining in popularity. In January, 1985 at Bergamo, Minister Goria was presented with a Rossin mountain bike. Other models, including the Futura CX, received congratulations from Agostino Omini, president of the Italian Cycling Federation. In the mid-Eighties, the Dutch rider Hennie Kuiper gave Rossin victories in the Paris – Roubaix and in the Milan – Sanremo. Other Flemish and Dutch riders won the Belgian classics with and without cobblestones. The athletes won, but so did technology. Teams such as Spago and Hitachi (captain Claude Criquielion, winner of a World Championship and classic races) rode Rossin bikes. In 1986, in Tuscany, a new professional team was formed, nearly all making their debut in the major category. The name was Magniflex – Centroscarpa. One of the team members was Franco Ballerini. 
Ballerini's first. The date was 23 August 1987, and the Tre Valli Varesine was being run from Luino to Varese, 250 kilometres, most of which under driving rain. Ballerini won the sprint finish; riding a red Rossin bike, the “Ballero” obtained his first victory among the professionals. The Russian, Viatcheslav Ekimov riding a Rossin, broke the world indoor hour record by riding 49.672 kilometres. He was still an amateur. 
Exclusive location. Meanwhile Rossin moved its headquarters again. Its third “location” was in huge premises alongside the Milan – Venice motorway, always at Cavenago Brianza. The building was elegant and different from that of other manufacturers. There was even a fountain in the entrance hall. Rossin differed in details too. As regards building methods and new materials, Rossin had always been in pole position. After the race towards aerodynamics, came that towards materials. Aluminium, carbon and other materials were tested by R&D experts and subsequently used by the Rossin engineers. The whole world, especially at fairs in Asia, Europe and America, continued to admire Rossin bikes.
Argentin in pink. The Gis squad, captained by Johan van der Velde was another dream team equipped with Rossin bikes. Above all in the latter part of the Eighties and the early-Nineties, it reaped victories with Adriano Baffi and other foreigners. Changes took place in the Cicli Rossin company: the Ghezzi family left. In 1993, Rossin was the bike of the new Mecair professional team captained by Moreno Argentin. At the Giro d’Italia, Moreno won two stages, including the first at the Isle of Elba. For 9 days, Argentin and the Rossin bike donned the pink jersey. It took a great Miguel Indurain to take the pink jersey off Moreno’s back and away from the white bicycle with the “R” on the steering tube. Moreno also won another stage of the Giro 1993 and said thanks to Rossin and its world-beating technology. The switch was about to be made from aluminium to carbon for the frames, not only for track competitions and time trials, but also for road races. And much of the merit of the fact that Italian upmarket bike manufacturers maintained world leadership in the Nineties must go to Rossin. 
The new Rossin era. Today, almost twenty years after those legendary competitive accomplishments, by cherishing an inestimable heritage of knowhow, the Rossin brand, under the design impulse of the Bici Group, has polished up the shine of those years by re-presenting its historical bicycles on the market. By combining the know-how of the past with the cutting-edge innovations of bio-mechanics, the Rossin brand is once again synonymous with top-quality frames. Back in production is the Ghibli, a splendid bike that integrates the sturdiness of past experiences and the most modern technological solutions, both in terms of materials and aerodynamics. Lightweight and high performing, this Rossin gem is today a combination of top-class engineering solutions and appealing stylistic features; the ideal bike for those who, though projected into the future, love to pedal through history. Quality, experience and enthusiasm, a tribute to a glorious past – the new era of the Rossin brand has started. 

Pro teams on Rossin bikes

Year TeamCountry
1977G.B.C. - ItlaI
1977Zoppas - Fragel - RossinB
1982DAF TrucksB
1983Jacky Aernoudt Meubelen - Rossin - CampagnoloB
1983Zor - Gemeaz - CusinE
1984Coop - HoonvedF
1984Murella - RossinI
1985Murella - RossinI
1985Verandalux - DriesB
1986GIS GelatiI
1987Murella - RossinI
1987Western - RossinCOL
1989Alpha Print - CrownGBR
1989Crown Graphic - ChafesGBR
1990I.O.C. - TulipB
1990Isoglass - Garden WoodB
1990Tulip ComputersE
1992Spago - Nutra SweetUSA
1993Artiach - FilippinosE
1993Festina - LotusAND
1993Mecair - BallanI
1993Nutra Sweet - US ProUSA
1993Rossin - FirI
1993Spago - RossinUSA
1994Rossin - FirI
1996Porcelana Santa Clara - SamaraE
1999Mobilvetta Design - NorthwaveI
2000Mobilvetta Design - RossinI
2001Mobilvetta Design - Formaggi TrentiniI


Rossin, my first contact and experience

I really don’t remember when I heard of the bicycle brand Rossin for the first time. It must have been around 1982. The pro team DAF Trucks started using these bikes, after having ridden on Gazelle and Lejeune and Gazelle. Famous riders like Roger de Vlaeminck, Bert Oosterbosch, Adrie van der Poel, Hennie Kuiper, René Martens were all members of this team. This team was succeeded by Jacky Aernoudt Meubelen. In 1985, there was the Verandalux – Dries team with (again) Hennie Kuiper and Teun van Vliet. In the early 1980’s, the bicycle brand was distributed in the Netherlands. I guess it was the big bike store Math Salden in Limbricht, Limburg, who sold this brand. To support the sales and the exposure of the name, Rossin bikes were given to riders of amateur teams like Brouwers Machines (1982 with Henri Manders, Frits van Bindsbergen) and Rossin – Jonkergouw. Much later, it must have been 1992, I worked for Shimano and had to advise bike manufacturers on combining Shimano components with their frames. Issues of dropout dimensions and the usage of special Shimano derailleur cable guides had to be discussed and frame builder had to be forced to follow Shimano guidelines to ensure proper unction of “Shimano Total Integration” (STI). This was important for indexed shifting and Dual Control shifters. Because the pro team of Lotus / Festina had a deal with Rosin bikes and Shimano components, I had to speak to Mr. Domenico Garbelli at the EICMA fair in Milano. In those days, Mr. Garbelli was “Mr. Rossin”. I remember that Mr. Garbelli was friendly enough to take his time to speak to me, but he was certainly not happy with Shimano dictating the rules to frame builders. But the meeting had some result, because the Rossin bikes were in accordance with the Shimano guidelines that season. I don’t know if I have to be proud of that, because Rossin lost some uniqueness. That’s my personal experience with the Rossin company and my only acquaintance with Mr. Garbelli. Fact is, that since the 1st time I’ve heard of Rossin and seen pictures of their bikes (or seen the bikes in real), I’ve admired their beauty and construction details. To me, Rossin has always been one of those leading, attractive, famous and mysterious bike brands. Despite that, I never had the intention to buy a Rossin.

Edit 2022: Now I own 2: 1 for track, 1 for road. :-)

Alan Super Cross

One of my new projects: ALAN Super Cross.
57 x 57 cm (centre to centre) cyclocross frame set, March 1984.
I'm going to build it up with classic parts, like Campagnolo Record, Mafac, SunTour, Lyotard, Cinelli, etc.
Some parts I already have, most others I still have to look for.
This is how I'm got it. The parts have already been disassembled and found a new good home.

SOLD: Gazelle Champion Mondial Track

This week I bought this frame set. Yes, I was looking for a Gazelle frame set my size or something smaller. However a bit too small, I could do with this one. My 1st track bike ever was a 55 cm Gazelle with an enormous MTB style seat post and handlestem. Unfortunately, this one is a "too new" build, early to mid 1990s. I like to have one from the years I worked there, so, between 1985 and 1990 with the older decal style.
I bought it just to keep it out of the hands of people who buy all Gazelles and all track frames. I like to sell it to another track bike enthousiast or maybe swap. It would be perfect if I could trade it agaist a track frame of my dreams (edit 20110916: I sold it).

Gazelle Champion Mondial track frame and fork, 57 cm centre to top.
Top Tube approx. 56.5 cm centre to centre.
Full Reynolds 531c Double Butted tubing, seat post size 27.2mm, OLD 100/120mm.
Frame Number 3792196.
A real track frame with steep angles and tight clearances.
Beautiful logos in lower head lug, fork crown and seat stay caps.
No drillings for brakes front or rear.
In very good condition, no dents, no dings, just a few paint chips.

More pictures HERE.

Iscaselle Giro d'Italia

This is one of the nicest bike saddles around, in my opinion. I remember that it came out (somewhere late 1980s), put it on my Gazelle road bike, but my bum didn't like it. I worked for a bike company, got most of my stuff for free, and could assemble another new saddle soon after.
The shape is extremely round. Perhaps some people like it, but I didn't. I've seen very few (or maybe nothing at all) in the pelotons meanwhile, so more riders had the same opinion. Another reason could be that Iscaselle was never one of the most popular saddle brands. And racers are extremely brand aware/sensitive.
I bought this saddle from Poland (!), pretty new and hardly used (if ever), so the condition is very nice. I wanted to dye the leather upper a bit more black, since is coloured a bit brown during the years. I had done this before with Rolls and Cinelli Unicanitor saddles, so I knew that it would be okay.
However, I spilled some leather dye on the metal pieces and especially on the back part it was hard to remove it. When I tried white spirit, Silvo silver polish and Belgom Alu, the "gold" colour started to come off, but the black paint remained.
Just a warning in case someone else is trying to do the same...

Shimano toeclips for PD-7400

Bargain of the week! After searching and bidding a couple of weeks, I "won" 2 pair of Shimano toeclips, steel, size L.
The best is, that it was for a very low mount and that I could pass the used set (of course) to a good friend and keep the new set for my own collection.
A perfect match with the PD-7400 Dura Ace pedals and the SM-PD64 cleats. The pedals I bought had M size toe clips included, but these are too small for my 42/43 (8/9) shoe size.

SOLD: Shimano PD-T100 pedals (another set)

Used, but in good condition.
Plastic plates and axle end caps included.
Very small scuff marks on dust caps (axle end caps, both caps are there).
Pretty rare Shimano platform pedals. Possible to use with plastic plates, e.g. for regular shoes or sneakers, but also without the plates for cycling shoes with slotted cleats. Originally marketed as Triathlon pedals, introduced in 1986.
Can be used with or without standard toeclips and straps.
More about this type of pedals here.
Toeclips included (Bierreci, BRC, steel, size L, made in Italy, steel, rusty, must be polished), reflectors included (easy to unscrew and disassemble), no toe straps!
Price EUR --- excl. postage.
More pictures here.

Fi'zi:k Pavé High Performance

Very nice and comfortable saddle with titanium rails from Selle Royal sub-brand Fi'zi:k. The original design was (partly?) done by helmet brand Giro. This has been my favourite saddle for several years. I've been riding it since 1999 or so and I still have some on my CX bikes.
I don't like the colours shown, because the two tones blue, Team Navigators USA (some years ago), are just off from my frame colours.
Anyway, in general, the saddle is fine as long as the colours are black or an exact match with the rest of the bike.
Oh, before I forget: the "comfort" version is terrible. Never, ever touch the CP / "Comfort Performance". Personal matter of course.

Selle Italia SLR C64 prototype "Jan Ullrich"

This prototype SLR C64 was specially made for Jan Ullrich. C64 is a special, light weight version of the SLR saddle. When it was develloped, the target weight was 64 g.
The actual weight of a "production" C64 is around 88 g. I never weighed this saddled with well calibrated scales, but the weight of this one off is around 75 g or so.
Special feature is the Kevlar reinforcement in the carbon fibre.
Nice souvenir from Selle Italia.

San Marco Concor Light Racing Team

This version was introduced much later than the Supercorsa model, but it has been used a lot longer. I've never used it in the olden days, but I got the possibility to buy a new, unused special Team edition for very little money from an ex professional. This is how I got back on a Concor and right now I have 2 Concor Light saddles in use.

San Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle

I never blogged about this saddle, but it's already on my bikes for a long time.
For more details, please see the blog about the Concor Junior.
I think it was 1990 when this sadlle came out and I was one of the 1st riders using it. I liked it very much (both looks and the feeling), but for unknown reasons, I switched over to other saddles, probably because I could get them for free at Gazelle.
At the moment I have a Supercorsa on a track bike, a Concor light on another track bike and another Light on my road bike.
Jonas also has an original Concor Junior and a Concor Lite Junior on his road bikes, so it's Concor all over again.

Shimano Dura Ace pedals PD-7400

These pedals may be the perfect bicycle pedals, at least as long as we're looking at "conventional" pedals. Fact is that Look introduced clipless pedals around the same time as Shimano produced these Dura Ace pedals and the revolutionary Look "click" system conquered the cycling world, with top rider Bernard Hinault and his La Vie Claire team in the lead. Result: these Dura Ace pedals were deemed to fail commercially, as nearly everyone who needed a new pair of pedals adopted the Look system or another clipless concept.
PD-7400 is a pedal of excellent quality. Never a single quality problem, top quality bearings, aerodynamic design, axle assembly from one side, so no issues with (missing or damaged) end caps, maximum cornering angle. And last, but not least: the nice additional binding feature of the special shoe cleat SM-PD64 in combination with the pedal and the triangle plate that comes on top of the toe clip. The front end of the cleats slips under the triangle plate and is more or less fixed between the pedal body and triangle plate on top of the toe clip. Besides that, the slot of the cleat goes onto the back plate of the pedal and the whole foot is secures with a toe strap. Accidental foot release seems to be impossible.
Because clipless pedals are not absolutely locked, they're not the favourite pedals of track sprinters or 1 km specialists. They opt for clipless pedals (e.g. SPD-R because they can be adjusted to a very hard setting) in combination with single or double toe straps or traditional pedals with toe clips and straps. For such an application, Shimano PD-7400 is the absolute No. 1, still.