Pre-CPSC, Post-CPSC - Vintage Bike Jargon Explained...

Pre-CPSC, Post-CPSC - Vintage Bike Jargon Explained...

by Pedal Pedlar September 24, 2021

You may see certain parts on our website, and others, described as ‘pre-CPSC’ and ‘post-CPSC’ – but what exactly does this mean?

CPSC stands for Consumer Product Safety Commission, and is a US government agency introduced in 1972 with the express purpose of reducing ‘unreasonable risks’ to consumers through setting standards, and instigating recalls and research. It affected a number of cycle manufacturers and led to a change in the way parts were designed and made, with some products changing design purely to satisfy the new requirements.

Any bicycle or parts maker wishing to sell their products into the huge and expanding US market at the time had to make sure their products reached the CPSC requirements. Amongst others, Campagnolo had to make a number of changes to their components in 1978 due to CPSC rules, and although rather costly for them at the time, it's a great help when trying to determine the age of some components!

Any parts that have the pre-CPSC design features we can safely say were made either in 1978 or earlier. The post-CPSC products were rolled out from 1978 onwards, so if you're building up a lovely 1979 Colnago Super, and you want it to be period correct you'll need the latter.

Here are a few examples of the changes in design Campagnolo made in 1978...

'Post-CPSC' 1980s Campagnolo Nuovo Record Front Mech - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling
'Pre-CPSC' 1970s Campagnolo Nuovo Record Front Mech - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling
In 1978 a small lip was added to the front derailleur outer plate as seen in the 2nd photo, prior to this the plate was flat (see above).
 

'Pre-CPSC' 1970s Campagnolo Nuovo/Super Record Brake Calipers - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling'Post-CPSC' 1980s Campagnolo Nuovo Record Brake Calipers - Pedal Pedlar Vintage CyclingThe quick release lever on Campag brake calipers had a flat profile in the early days, but the CPSC deemed this an injury hazard so the design changed to a rounded profile as seen in the 2nd photo.

'Pre-CPSC' 1970s Campagnolo Nuovo/Super Record Straight Lever Quick Release Skewers - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling'Post-CPSC' 1980s Campagnolo Nuovo/Super Record Curved Lever Quick Release Skewers - Pedal Pedlar Vintage CyclingHub quick release skewers got the same treatment. The pre-CPSC ones were straight until they were changed to a subtly curved lever.

'Pre-CPSC' 1970s Campagnolo Nuovo/Super Record Quick Release Skewer End Nut - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling'Post-CPSC' 1980s Campagnolo Nuovo/Super Record Quick Release Skewer End Nut - Pedal Pedlar Vintage CyclingThe end nuts also had a revamp. Pointy pyramids were so 1977!

Interestingly Campy also decided to change their crank dust caps in 1978, changing the wording from 'PATENT CAMPAGNOLO' to 'BREV CAMPAGNOLO'. Obviously the CPSC didn't subscribe to the 'sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me' theory... 😂

Early Campagnolo 'Patent' Chainset Dust Caps - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling
1980s Campagnolo 'Brev' Crank Dust Caps - Pedal Pedlar Vintage Cycling.jpg



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