A mate recently bought a new-old bike, a vintage Collage complete with Drillium chainrings. It started me thinking about the contrast in visible approach between then and now.
I mean, one black tube is much the same as another. OK you can admire the carbon layup where the manufacturer leaves the weave visible – and I have seen some pretty dreadful examples in the area of the seat tube to top tube joint and head tube integration – but that aside, how do you admire or even tell one tube from another?
Back in the day it was very different. Drillium was plain to see both in the quality of the workmanship down to the “how far dare you go”. Chainrings and brake levers were fair game and even rear mechs but I’ve also see seat posts drilled to a hairsbreadth from oblivion and also stems. Not sure I’d want to go that far!
All this ignores the question as to whether drilling holes in things makes them less aero anyway and so may actually have a negative impact. Whatever, many examples were and are works of art that we don’t really see with carbon.