|Back when "fat" was still in|
I am using this old Lejeune to prove a point. It's from the 70's, probably early 70's, back when the traditional road racing bike still could fit quite a large tire. Even with Campagnolo Record brake calipers. How do I know this? Well, I tried a fatter tire on this old example of road racing technology.
My co-worker, Jonathan, has a bike with 32mm Panaracer Pasela tires fitted to it. I grabbed one of his wheels, (with his permission, of course!), and checked the front and rear for tire clearances. It would work with not much room to spare. But this is with tires nearly 10mm bigger than what passes for a racing bike today. You know, I think I could mount 28's with mud guards. Try that with your carbon bike.
|Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles|
The rims are wide-ish, have a fantastic brake track, and should look the part for this old rig. These are on the way to me now, and once I get them laced up to the high flange Campagnolo hubs, I'll have a choice of a couple of tire models to put on it, but trust me, nothing under 28mm is going on this bike.
I'll have to go through the hubs, bottom bracket, and head set to replace the old, dried up grease, and then it will be adjusted back up and readied to ride. Where? Well, I plan on doing the unthinkable to prove the point. I will use this bike on gravel roads.
That's right folks. A vintage road bike equipped with a full Campagnolo period correct gruppo will be used on gravel roads. I might throw on some protection for the paint on the down tube, but otherwise, this bike is going to get used.
You see, I think a "fat road" bike, (and this one certainly qualifies as such), should be able to go on "any road- any time" , (phrase used with full acknowledgement to the Rough Riders), so you know, a gravel road shouldn't be a big deal at all. I plan on finding out.
The implications for civilian cycling should be self evident, but mainly what will get shown here is that the road bike as we have it now are all wrong for most people. Stay tuned......