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2012年6月 2日 (土)

Why the 1950's? (Part 8)

次回、この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

As mentioned in the Part 6, in the second half of this series we will focus on the practical aspects of why bicycles from the 1950's are truly exceptional.  With automobiles out of reach for the vast majority of households, the emphasis on bicycles was that they be good reliable transportation. Not flashy, not lightweight, not super fast, not high-tech, just simple solid dependable transportation. Thus, bicycles from the 1950s were rugged, practical, easy to maintain, comfortable and when viewed up close crafted works of art. 

Let's take a look at the third item:  Easy to Maintain

Chaincase:  Fully protected drive train
The crank wheel, chain and freewheel are all enclosed and protected from sand, dirt, water, rain, etc. A fully protected drive train means it will last longer and needs less attention.
Img_9235
Many chaincases even had an oil cap located on the rear of the chaincase just above where it covers the freewheel to make oiling the chain a breeze.Img_7253 

Cable-free
No front or rear brake cables, instead of cables these bicycles utilize rod linkage. Cables are finicky, they stretch and can snap, but not rod linkage!  The photo below is from a rare model of rod brake handlebars whereby the rod is self-contained inside the handlebar.
Img_9332

BE Tire
BE tires completely envelope the tube keeping it fully protected. Be1

I have ridden over 20,000 kilometers with only one flat.  In addition it is possible to remove and refit BE tires to the rim without tools. Less flats means more time spent riding.  Another interesting thing is that many tires had their brand or the bicycle brand molded into the tread as shown below.

"THE DUNLOP TYRE" (Even has Mr Dunlop's profile on the sidewall")
P1000432a

"THE MARUKA TYRE"
Img_0129 

Grease Nipples
The front and rear hubs and some bottom brackets were equipped with grease nipples to allow quick and easy lubrication.  Some of the older ones had oil caps as can be seen in the photo below.

P1000272

In the next post we will look at "Comfortable".

   

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« なぜ昭和20年代後半~30年代前半の自転車が良いのか(第7回) | トップページ | なぜ昭和20年代後半~30年代前半が良いのか(第8回) »