So I just finished researching those mental 2400cc Anzani stayer bikes and Bam! as if the Gods of coincidence are throwing some fate at me I only go and stumble across a German Anzani-powered custom on the amazing corpsesfromhell blog. Laaav eeet!
Check out these crazy bikes, evolved (as the best looking do) through the specialised competition of pacing.
Popluar in the 1920s onwards this was sort of like the European version of board track racing. Teams consisting of a motorcycle and a bicycle (or 'Stayer' bikes) would race around a velodrome at up to 75mph. The bicycles keeping up with the motorbikes which provided an aerodynamic slipstream, often 'regulated' through the leather suits worn by the riders.
Both riders recieved medals though it wasn't unknown for the motorcyclists to fix the races. Crashes were painful and once a fuel tank exploded in Berlin killing nine spectators.
The motorcycles had a roller behind them to control how close the bicycle could get. They were also MASSIVE in both engine and size. They had to accelerate smoothly (for obvious reasons) and so scrapped gears or clutches and just chugged up to speed.
1928 Anzani 2400cc ioe (above). Next three are by Meyer and also 2400cc:
Recognise those forks
Cool cylinder fins
Three cylinders. Mad seat position and handlebars.
The bicycles were also specialised and designed to get the rider as far forwards as possible into the slipstream. Small front wheels and minimal rake helped and reversed forks gave extra trail for high-speed stability. Highly geared, no brakes. I also love the saddle and handlebar braces.
So ugly I want to *ahem* ride it.
Moser's stayer bike. He almost died during a pacing race. Didn't stop his career though.
Still one of the fastest ways through central London.
One-way streets, red lights, riding on the pavement, bus lanes... What they gonna do? Take your number plate down?
This is the fastest bike I have ever owned or ridden. Extremely rigid and light TT track frame. As track frames are de-raked compared with normal bike frames it's agile through traffic. And less leverage is needed so narrow bars give the best control. Carbon-fibre front wheel is aerodynamic and has a low moment of inertia. It also runs a tubular tyre which can hold about 200psi so there's almost no tyre rolling resistance (the main form of drag on bicycles). 48x15 gearing. Pedal cages. I run a rear brake only but combined with a fixed gear gives great braking feedback and sense of traction.
Got a £10 mudguard (Queen's English for fender) from Kempton. Then got trigger happy with a cut-off disc.
Contracted TB, pneumonia and a bit of cancer from the burning paint fumes. One small gas welding pleasure is you don't have to clean the area before hand.
Decided to up my sheet metal level from "tripped over and put a dent in it with his head" to "only got three fingers but still tries hard" by putting a wire edge around it. Used a hammer, pliers and some 3.2mm welding rod.
Under the outer black paint I found, cream, metallic blue, red, lots of green and some fiberglass filler. Hence the lung diseases.
"Yes mate that tank looks sick! Hmm should probs do something bout those welds they look a bit shit well they look raw no they look a bit shit. Scared of grinding through them and doing more damage than good oh man up you giant fanny. Grinding disc makes my ears ring. What? Ha ha Dad loves that one. Wow this flap disc is magic. Shiny metal is niiice little bit here bit more there and some round under there. Oh fuck gone too far oh fuck gone too far everywhere. Cracked there as well. And there. Better at welding ow hot oops blown a hole no worries just fill 'er up. Easy now flap disc me old bugger and and smooth manouevre just weld that bit up and see how she looks. What the that used to fit oh fuck that's bent oh fuck whole bloody thing has warped."
This was my thought train whilst fixing the tank. I've summarised, it was like this all day.
The wassell tank had four holes at the back on the bottom for mounting and attaching pepcock. One had a brass screw in which I measured at 3/8" and 28 t.p.i thread. This, as far as I can tell, is a unique thread not corresponding to anything. Powerless to my 25/64" drill though.