In memory of

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by cyclintom, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how many of you remember Jobst Brandt. Probably no one under 70. Jobst was a mechanical engineer who was apparently very good. He moved to the US from Germany and worked in the Silicon Valley area which is the South San Francisco Bay Area. Or at least that is what I seem to remember. I don't remember him having any accent but I do remember he worked for a time at Porche. Most of the time he worked for H-P I think.

    He was an active bicyclist on an old steel bike with downtube shifters and I think a 5 speed freewheel though he might have changed over to a 6 speed freewheel as an accession to modern bicycles. His cranks were the old Campy stuff with 52/48 rings

    http://pardo.net/bike/pic/jobst/Jobst_Brandt_on_Filbert_Street_SF.jpg

    Close examination of the sidewalk reveals steps. I tried this and made it about halfway before I had to get off and push. And I was in a 42-26.

    He was an absolute monster on the climbs using old professional type gearing. He would climb some of our local 10%+ climbs in a 48-19 gear. Well, I rode with him on several rides but finally gave up because if you can even turn a gear like that you are faster than most people. He was 2" taller than me and he rode a bike 2" taller than I did. And he would take the Jobst Ride over areas he was really familiar with so he could shoot off of the road onto slippery gravel roads without a thought to those following who luckily were generally smart enough to know not to follow Jobst on this sort of terrain at the speed he was going.

    But we retained intermittent contact on Sheldon Brown's bicycle groups and our relationship got perhaps less friendly than it could have been. Most of this was due to the fact that everyone would turn to him for advice and he would give them this horrible advice such as "If you can't climb in a 48-19 you might as well not climb at all. Maybe bicycling isn't for you."

    As a mechanical engineer making some of the most modern designs he would knock every single improvement especially such things as Brifters. If you couldn't bend over and use friction shifter on the downtube you were worthless.

    All of the people I rode with from the time I restarted riding always would bend over backwards to help any new cyclists. I knew every spot on Palomares where you could pull off the road after doing a short stint of 12%. So the sort of discouragement Jobst handed out as a matter of course began to grate on me.

    Now again, this was normally on the Shelton Brown's website. Jobst and Sheldon have both died but Shelton was such a great activist that if you want most information on bicycles even down to clearances and different thread sizes etc. you can still get it off of Sheldon's website. Harris Cyclery. https://sheldonbrown.com/harris/index.html

    About the only thing left of Jobst is his book, "The Bicycle Wheel" which I read before starting to build wheels. It must have stuck though. Several years ago as I was just recovering from my concussion I broke a rim on a rear wheel. I had another rim like it on an extra front wheel. I removed the rims and re-spoked it onto the broken back wheel in less than an hour. And these were the really thin and bending wheels with 32 spokes. Equalizing all of the spoke tensions were absolutely necessary to achieve success. Never had to straighten that wheel.

    Jobst died in 2015 at the approximate age of 80. Sheldon Brown died in 2008 at about the age of 64.

    I think we should remember these people because they were a large part of those who caused bicycling to increase in the USA. I had my own personal heroes who have since died as well and none of them from injuries incurred from racer-like riding techniques as apparently happened to Jobst. But when the occasion warrants I can ride pretty good and while doing it I remember Jobst and Sheldon.
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    My racing bike, which I still have, that I bought in 1985 came with 53/45 rings and I lived in mountainous area of Southern California, I never thought anything of cranking those gears...I do now!
     
  3. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Do you recommend them to new riders?
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    No
    No, but I wasn't a beginner rider when I started road racing and had a lot of mountain riding already under my belt. Not sure what I would recommend these days because this whole gearing thing change a lot since I raced, but I would think if a beginner rider had flat ground and climbs to make they would, or should, do good with 34 tooth inside ring and a 50 outside. But all of that will also depend on the rear, and for a beginner I would probably suggest 11-32 cassette for a beginner.

    When I ran the 53/45 I had a couple of different gear clusters I used, depending on the race, I used either a 13-24 or a 12-18 (known as the corncob), both were 7 speed freewheels. As far as the rear gears go, I'm trying to remember those ratios but it's been a very long time ago, but I think those ratios are right or at the very least darn close.
     
  5. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Well, your Compact recommendations are pretty much what I would suggest as well. And at the time I was riding a 53/39 and had a 25 tooth 7 speed freewheel. I would not hop a berm onto a dirt track at speed and I didn't tell beginners that they should practice it to be "real men" or whatever.

    CampyBob at his worst is probably kind and generous to beginners. Besides, he's a lot of fun to tweek.
     
  6. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Jobst and Sheldon were really night-and-day different personalities. In my online interactions with them, Jobst was cold, stern, joyless and very much a curmudgeon. He would pointlessly argue semantics and terminology that he didn't agree with and blast people for minor mistakes or misunderstandings. While I greatly respected his engineering knowledge and learned a lot from him and his book, he could really be a dick at times. I never met him in person and I can't say that I really wanted to.

    Sheldon was irreverent to the core and loved to have a good time, which is quite evident from his web content. He was incredibly knowledgeable, but never took himself too seriously. He was always encouraging, polite and generally pleasant, a great ambassador for the sport. I'm really glad that I stopped into Harris Cyclery one day and asked to see him, just so I could thank him for everything he's done for riders and the industry. I really miss his zany antics online and it's a shame that he's not around to add to his copious online technical library.

    FWIW, my first good bike, a '74 Peugeot PX-10 came with 52/45 chainrings and a 14-23 5-speed freewheel. Since I was going to use it for touring, I converted the Stronglight crank to a 38/48/52 triple ("half-step plus granny") and switched to a 14-28 freewheel. I still have a notebook full of obsessive gearing charts I made at the time.

    When I started racing in '76, the Raleigh Pro I bought came with 53/42 chainrings and 6-speed freewheel that I think was a 13-23. Most of the time, I used a 13-21 freewheel for training and road races, and a 13-18 "straight block" for criteriums. I thought nothing of climbing 10% grades in a 42/18 or19 and even climbed one local mountain summit road that's 21% for about a mile in a 42/21. These days, 10% grades will typically find me in a 34/23 or 26. It's mildly depressing when I think back to what I used to be able to do.

    I'm glad to see that more and more bikes are coming with compact cranks, as it's ridiculous to put a 53/39 with an 11 in the back on anything other than race-quality bikes. Even back when I was racing, I had no need for a 12 tooth cog except for downhill sprint finishes. The march to higher and higher gearing on bikes meant for the general public was crazy and stupid. It's good to see some sanity returning to the market. If only Shimano and SRAM would start making cassettes that start with 12 and 13 tooth cogs, we'd have some useful choices in gearing (Campy does make them).
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Fuck you, you lying sack of shit.
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree. He was one of the biggest assholes ever to ride a bicycle.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Nice! My first 'good' bike was a '73 PY-10 that I bought in Canada. 53-47 up front and 14-21 in the back. My next bike was a '74 Paramount P-13-9 with 49-52 and 14-26. Sold the Peugeot because it has the death wobble. Still have the Paramount, seen below in this pic:

    067.jpg
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    First races for me were in 1972 and I really got my ass kicked hard that first year. At 65 years old I'm still going over everything Ohio can throw at me in a 39 x 25. I credit training with the young guys and Zwift for keeping my conditioning as high as I can get it.

    I also remember those steep walls in a 42 x 21. Really slow RPM's and you had to really force the gear to keep it turning over. Breathing and breath control was a mind game in and of itself and cramping took on a completely different meaning than it has for me today.
     
  11. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Yeah, my PX-10 had horrible high-speed wobble and you could watch the bottom bracket dance back and forth when climbing out of the saddle. Mine was a 25" frame and my riding partner's was a 23". His didn't have the problems, but regardless the PX-10 was basically a "flexible flyer".

    The Raleigh got bent in a couple of racing crashes and only lasted a year. I move the components to an Exxon-Graftek frameset, which was almost as bad as the Peugeot. A couple of years later, I bought a '79 Klein Team Super and finally learned what a stiff bike felt like. I still have that one.
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My PY-10 was also a 25". Seamed/rolled/welded fork blades were extremely flexible. I remember bracing my knees against the top tube and praying until the head tube stopped shaking and the steering returned.

    Your Graftek is quite the collectible! In all the years I've ridden I have only spotted a couple of them on the road. Rare bird!

    Those early Kleins were BEYOND stiff! More like bone-shaking solid! It was always a toss up to see if the Cannondale or Klein guys were going to be the first to whine about how crappy the road surface was.
     
  13. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    My Graftek is currently hanging in the collection at First Flight Bikes in Statesville, SC. Mine was especially rare because it was the first one sold to a consumer (s/n 019); the first 18 were all team bikes. John Howard was the person who sold it to me at the New York show in '77.

    I liked the Klein, but back then I was young and wasn't as bothered by road conditions as I am these days. ;)
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Cool story to go with the Graftek!

    Howard just coached that female rider to the new 184 MPH speed record, so he's still at it.

    The early Kleins and C-Dales were brutal. I rode a friend's C-Dale for maybe 20 miles and thought maybe his wheels were way stiffer than mine. Swapped mine for his and still just a very harsh ride. They were great crit frames with the only fault being the lack of a replaceable D-hanger. Lots of those ended up at the local weld repair shops and ultimately no worse for the welding.
     
  15. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Bob - I suggest you get Joe Friel's latest book, "Fast After 50". I don't exactly agree with a lot of things he talks about - I do not believe you need "intervals" if you do a lot of climbing because the changes in pitch give you max levels of output though not in his highly regulated manner.

    But I'm pretty slow up hills and all of the people in the groups I ride with are all having heart attacks and lung and gut issues. I try to explain to these people, the oldest of whom is 5 years younger than me, that ALL of your training has to be designed with the knowledge that the human body has limitations and if you exceed these you break it.

    But so far I haven't seen them believing much of that. And now one of them who rides fast every single day has a pacemaker, another has had three feet of bowels removed and others are going to doctors to have their lungs tested which usually means that they are about to have heart issues.

    But in general Joe's book is pretty helpful with training patterns and nutrition of the older performance cyclist. And that means you.
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    <sigh> I've had the book since 2016. Dumbass.

    Read Friel's "Power Meter Handbook". Oh wait. You would have to have a power meter to get anything out of it.

    Beat it, Mister "I can hold 600 Watts for an hour" Dipshit. GTFO of here.
     
  17. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Why do you continue to offer stupidity in place of thinking. Before he moved back to Phoenix a group of us would ride with a retired NCIS agent who had raced Cat 1. So we were all expected to try to keep up. One of the group started at 250 lbs and came down to 230. On a long hard climb he could keep up. So you suppose he wasn't putting out a great deal of power? You really don't seem to have any comprehension of the difference between power and power-to-weight ratios.
     
  18. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    C'mon, moron. Tell us all again how you can hold 600 Watts for an hour. We're all ears...liar.

    And tell us all about your group of 250 pound fat ass power houses that could climb like Gazelles! LMFAO!

    Admit it. You're just a jerk and you're still lying with every word that you type.
     
  19. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Firstly; I corrected that to 300 a long time ago.
    Secondly; I would like to know why you are so proud of finishing 2 in a 3 man race and being beaten by a man so much heavier than you that he could make two of you?
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    600...800...300!!! LMFAO!

    You're not making even 300 Watts. Not for an hour. Not for 20 minutes!

    "Corrected"! You fucking lying sack of shit! You defended that 600 number over and over and over. Even going so far as to say the average master could make 800 Watts for an hour!

    You dumb fuck! You have no clue what any of those figures mean.

    Go eat your shit sandwich, moron.

    You lost the only thing a man has in life: his reputation.

    All you have now is the title of the Worst Liar On The Web.
     
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