A page featuring some unusual cycle parts.

Sexy stem

The photo shows the ultimate in seductive bike componentry. It is a 3T Aheadset stem in the image of "Super" Mario Chippolini and his former Aqua Sipone cycle team. Darwin might have deemed that the Zebra was there before Mario, but that, like most things, did not bother him much. It comes with a fabric bag which could double as a "warmer" of part of the anatomy which Mario claims he uses quite often. For 40 GBP this aphrodisiac bike part could be yours. A whole lot of excitement could stem from this purchase.

Do you know what it is yet? 1 (solution)

I asked "What is the purpose of the device shown to the left?"
I have had two correct replies. It is called the Hiteright. It is clamped on the frame, near to the seat tube. The eye you can see is fixed to the saddle. The idea is used by mountain bikers to raise and lower the saddle during a race / journey. The seat tube must have a quick-release lever. The saddle can be raised (under spring tension) or lowered (by sitting one the seat) after the quick release lever is eased off. I am told that a racing cyclist used it but got it wrong, the saddle being launched skywards and the cyclist having a painful experience when resuming a seated position.

Do you know what it is yet? 2

What is this? What does it do? It is a torch of sorts. A slight change in the rules. The most amusing response will win the prize! This competition will not be like the BBC's when the winner is known before the entries come in. In this case there will be no winner nor prize!!!

Box of Tricks

Apart from a light and a reflector what else does the unit, fixed to the mudguard, do?
Click here to find out

Not much to say about this

Suitable for a person whose nether regions are in inverse proportions to their taste.

What's the point. 1 & 2 Email answer by end of August.

1. This large chainring has 64 teeth.
For what type of cycling would this monster be used?

2. Is this an example of swan-uppmanship?
Has it been ridden in searing heat?
Whould it be benefit from Viagra sponsorship?

What was it used for and what purpose the shape? Andrew Flintoff connection (cryptic clue for those taking time-out from their crossword)


Martin Beech of Radcliffe, Notts has provided the answer. It is called the Merkans after the German cyclist who used this stem as a sort of signature. No more info but I will add a short article soon.
The stem is certainly pre-war - what would it get on Ebay? (if I was a capitalist sod)

Failed ideas 1 & 2.

1. Shimano Positron rear changer

First modern gear indexing on the rear mechanism rather than the lever.
Likely to be the last for a while.
Stiff to change and needed two cables. A wonderfully crafted naff notion or a great idea badly implemented? Who knows? Failure? Certainly

The Maillard Helico matic rear hub.

Reported snags
Made of aluminium, cogs of steel, shallow splines which deformed & stripped.
Utterly non-standard and needed special blocks.
Lockring easy to cross-thread. Look at photo (below) to see why.
The lockring sticks out - restricting gap between cogs and frame.
The bearings consisted of 13 small balls rather than 9 larger ones. They crumbled.
Apart from that it was a good idea!?

The lockring remover encorporated a bottle opener. What French genius!

A blast from the past

"Old stagers", road racers & time trialists would probably have used one.
It has been replaced by the motor car (so to speak)
You would need two. Nice alluminium. What does it do? Email your theories

Mystery MAFAC brake levers.

Made of steel with very thick layer of what passed for plastic ages ago. I am puzzled by the curvature. Though they presumably matched a bar of a certain shape, what type of bar?
I have seen similar on Edwardian-era bikes but surely plastic wasn't around then.
Any ideas? If so please email them to me.

Contributions welcomed :- for fun, thought provoking - or just to find out.

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