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the graveyard for failed or obsolete bike design



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,221 ✭✭✭darragh o meara

    Anyone remember these?

    Allsop Powercurve. I remember somebody telling me there was a design connection with Ireland, not sure if it was true but I do remember seeing a few knocking around the South East in the day and one up until a few years ago.

    Revolutionary design at the time but they didnt get the nickname "The Ejector Seat" for no reason...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,221 ✭✭✭darragh o meara

    Or these:

    Trek Y Five 0 Hawaii.

    Back in the day I dreamed of owning one of these.. this was my ferrari posted on my bedroom wall. Thinking about it now, Trek really put a lot of faith in their carbon fibre frame production back then. I can only imagine how many of these frames survived as there looks to be a few spots on it that would be prone to snapping under heavy loads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,152 ✭✭✭johnnykilo

    Yep, the had a factory in Waterford for about 30 years until finally closing down about 10 years ago, I worked there for about 5/6 years. The company is from Washington State and they're still going, but the Irish/European plant is gone. They used to make/sell all sorts of stuff, Office equipment, Audio/Visual equipment, garden stuff, etc...

    I think the company started originally as the one of the Allsop's invented the spring loaded ski pole, patented it and then started making it. I think the bike frame in your post was probably an extension of that idea. I remember hearing the story of it one day from one of the guys who worked there, but I can't quite remember all of the details. I think it would have been developed in the late 80's, Prime Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly era, and I think Sean Kelly was involved in some of the prototyping if I recall correctly.

    The bikes themselves were quite innovative, and were very expensive at the time, but I think they had a weak point in the frame which kept cracking, which is why they never really took off. I think they're collector items now, there used to be a couple of them left in the warehouse when I was out there, but I think at the time the issue was discovered they sold most of them off cheaply to cycling clubs in the South East.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,166 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    there's a guy i've seen a couple of times out westmantstown/lucan direction riding a softride.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell

    De Rosa Tango. Like it had been left on a radiator too long.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭8valve

    Here's another one consigned to history; the KIRK Magnesium. Made from a cubic metre of seawater, apparently. The brainchild of the man whose previous claim to fame was that he designed the bumpers for the original jellymould Ford Sierra...jesus I'm such an anorak when it comes to bikes, aren't I?!

    Fell foul of the urban myth that they would spontaneously combust into an unextinguishable fireball if you fell off and scraped the frame along the ground, producing friction. Utter and complete b0ll0cks. They were too flexi under load, especially around the BB area...and also prone to stress fractures. Not even Phil Anderson trialling one in the late eighties could save them.

    Road and MTB were basically the same frame, with different forks/fittings etc for either use.

    This particular abomination is an MTB version that I turned into a gravel bike, for the hell of it, complete with graffiti rattlecan paintjob. Now resides somewhere in the Dublin area.

  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭8valve

    Allsop still have a premises on the industrial estate here in Waterford, although it might just be offices and warehousing these days.

    Their claim to fame back then was vhs head cleaning tapes and audio head cleaning tapes....and assembling softride bikes here, to avoid customs duties, I assume.

    This is one that eventually found its way into a local cycling club, as previously mentioned.

    We blaas have a soft spot for them, as they were assembled here, and some were sold through local shops.

    They were banned for competition use eventually but are strangely still popular in the US, among the triathlon crowd. Parts, especially the composite beam, are ridiculously hard to find, nowadays.

    I had searched for years for one with no success...then stumbled upon this frame hanging in a neighbour's shed! FFS! Literally a stone's throw from my house!

    I'm stripping it again and fitting an age-appropriate 7spd Dura Ace group with standard drop bars to make it usable; the current set-up was just for display at the Old Velos event.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,152 ✭✭✭johnnykilo

  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭8valve

    Feck, I assumed there was some activity still there, due to cars outside and the signage still up.

    I'd better get the bike done quick, so; it would be nice to have a pic of it with the Allsop sign still up on the building, in the background.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,152 ✭✭✭johnnykilo

    Now maybe you could be right! I worked there for a number of years as I said, and it was almost like 2 businesses. The majority of the stuff they sold got bought in from abroad and then just sent out from the warehouse, and then there was the other side of the plant which actually manufactured stuff both for Allsop and outsourced to other companies.

    So maybe the warehouse/distribution part is still active. I just remember when that announcement happened I still knew quite a lot of people who worked there across both parts and they all seemed to be losing their jobs from what I heard from them.

    It is strange though if there's cars in the car park and the sign is still up that there's not still some activity there!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,176 ✭✭✭Junior

    The Irish Team rode the Softride for the 92 Olympics if memory serves me. It might have been for the TT Only.

    We had 3 of them here at one stage. Terry Dolan was making the frames at one point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭07Lapierre

    Does this belong here? (I think it does...worst bike ever!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,855 ✭✭✭cletus

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,688 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Bolton cycles had a softride in it's window for years

  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭8valve

    Would you believe it's just a Burner frame with plastic **** bolted on!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,881 ✭✭✭Dr Turk Turkelton

    GTFO,I bought one needing a bit of work only last week!

    I've wanted one of these since 1985 but had already got a Raleigh Burner for Christmas so that was a hard no.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,855 ✭✭✭cletus

    I'm surprised at a connoisseur like yourself, 8valve.

    It's the plastic **** that makes the bike

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,400 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    My partner still goes on about her friend gettingone as kids and she didn't. Like visceral bitterness. She isn't even that into bikes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,881 ✭✭✭Dr Turk Turkelton

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭saccades


    That's in 24 hour race set up, so bar ends.

    designed by bergwerk with input from Merida, has a very low shock leverage ratio (1:1), so the shock lasts forever without servicing, plus supposed to be "Bob" free, bitd before platform shocks. There were concerns the position would lead to premature wear on the shock barrel/shaft due to mud on tyres rubbing but never happened on mine.

    First full suss to win a round of the world cup xc races (actually 4) with the Merida team.

    Specialized epic licenced the position (and Merida bought 49% of specialized) adding a valve "brain" to lock/unlock the shock. That's probably the final version (certainly the last in carbon), above by Merida and branded centurion, but very 2010 geometry and too prone to cracking as they cut 200g trying to keep up (down) in weight wars. Also have a "long travel" (130mm), version with shotgun hydroformed (silly hot oil) downtube.

    Completely superceded by modern long, low & slack geometry, not retro enough to be sexy.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,166 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    the idea behind the GT triple triangle is something that never actually really went away fully, is it?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Lapierre would agree for sure.

    EDIT: I think that is 2022 Groupama FDJ frame, but they have been similar in the last few years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Idleater

    I have (in so far as it exists) the specialized variant. It worked well, and would do again but there is no longer any (economically viable) support that I can find.

  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭8valve

    I think it's an iconic design/quirk; I have a 1994 GT Force aluminium road bike in the restoration queue, for my 'keep forever' stash.

    It was mid-level, but I think a carbon fork and some sexy period correct Dura Ace, with a nice, garish no-taste-whatsover 90's paintjob could suit it very well. They provided neutral service bikes for Mavic in the mid-90s in the Tour DuPont/Tour De Trump era and I briefly planned to build it as a replica of these, but there is literally no pics of them online, not even among GT fanatics.

    Back when I was doing a good bit of mountain biking in the early 90s, I thought the GT's were the coolest yokes out there; too many spectacular (and feckin painful) crashes off the bike in the woods dampened my interest in them...I once cycled the 8 miles home with one leg dangling, after tearing ligaments in my groin, having kneed myself in the face and giving myself a bloody nose and black eye lol. That's a day I'll never forget.

    I only discovered that GT did the triple triangle on road bikes years later and that renewed my interest...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,740 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    It was around long before GT. Thanet were doing it on their Silverlight frames nearly 80 years ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭saccades

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Idleater

    The brain shock eventually failed.

    Shame that the bike is a write off because of it. Economic write off that is. I've had a conversation with the guy who (has now) built my new bike, and it would be a great leaving cert/college project to engineer a replacement shock.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,576 ✭✭✭Trekker09

    I have a GT frame hanging up in my shed for a few years now. Would love to start on it as a one off build. I have a link to a stunning restoration on my laptop at home. I'll send on the link later

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭saccades

    A good place to look would be retrobike in the uk for old parts, put up a wanted add. Prices are generally reasonable for that kind of stuff, what's the shock length, an LRS is 320mm I think, could be a potential swap (look on for them as well).

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