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BQ 15 (Spring 2006)


Vol. 4, No. 3

1930 Tour de France

André Leducq won the 1930 Tour de France, and we bring his first-person account of that epic race. Follow Leducq as he takes on the yellow jersey early, but loses it in a disastrous crash on the descent from the Galibier, before regaining it in an incredible chase. Read how the racers moved the chain by hand when they had to shift, and how some stages were started in total darkness, with no lights on the bikes…

To complement this extraordinary period document, we look at racing bikes from the past and make sense of the changing trends that guided their design. For example, in the 1930s, only the weight of the rear wheel was considered important, since it was the powered wheel. Racers worried most about the mechanical resistance of the drivetrain, insisting on running the chain as straight as possible. Preoccupations changed to better shifting, lighter weight, aerodynamics… and the bikes changed accordingly. To illustrate these changes, we feature beautiful Daniel Rebour drawings, as well as photos of three racing bikes: a 1903 Rochet, a 1939 Oscar Egg and a mid-1940s Bianchi.

In the Builders Speak article, Jamie Swan explains how you can ensure that your frame is aligned properly, while the first installment of the “Randonneuring Basics” series talks about how to plan your brevet and what to pack for the long rides.


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Vol. 4, No. 3

1930 Tour de France

    André Leducq on how he won the 1930 Tour
    Making sense of racing bikes from the past
    1903 Rochet, 1939 Oscar Egg, 1940s Bianchi
    Jamie Swan on frame alignment
    Ranonneuring basics: planning and packing