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Old 09-13-06, 05:55 PM   #1
you
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no gods no masters! no countries no borders!

I was wondering what characteristics make a bike an italian, an english, a japanese, an american or a french bike. Other than who made it where. It seems like reynolds and wrap-around stays for the english bikes. ****ty paint and ISO threading for italian bikes. Proprietory sizing and nervex lugs for frenchies. What makes a Keirin bike very japanese? What makes you say "looks italian," or "looks french" when we come across a bike on the street missing its decals. Why do people call California Masi's very Italian? Fork Crowns: Sloping? Flat? Twin Plate? Triple Plate? Internally Integrated Fastback Seatstay Binders? Long Point Lugs, stamped dropouts, where do these all fall on the globe of bicycle styles by nation.
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Old 09-13-06, 06:26 PM   #2
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Well for American bikes it's very simple, it's those stamped dropouts and those lugless frames - the schwinn's with their forged forks and smoothed frame joints - columbias with their weird U chainstays, American bikes are very distinctive.

The old Japanese bikes generally seem to be small, and the really old ones remind of british bikes because the nipponese, like the brits loved wacky kickstands and rod actuated brakes. The Japanese bikes of the 50's and 60's I think are probably some of the coolest out there.
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Old 09-13-06, 10:38 PM   #3
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The Japanese copied the Italion's so everything is now good.
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Old 09-13-06, 11:17 PM   #4
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Even though your questions fit in a very small paragraph, it would take a book to answer them. And a long time to read it. But you are on the right track, just at the very start of that track is all. Watch and learn, grasshopper, you will teach yourself.
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Old 09-14-06, 12:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
Even though your questions fit in a very small paragraph, it would take a book to answer them. And a long time to read it. But you are on the right track, just at the very start of that track is all. Watch and learn, grasshopper, you will teach yourself.
It has to do more with an accumulation of knowledge than anything else. If I spoke of a "63 Split Window " many would know exactly what I'm talking about, probably more wouldn't. If I spoke of a "'53-'57 Oval", same thing. Sometimes my 11 year old daughter asks how do you know that's a '57 and not a '56 or '58? It goes back to my first sentence. It's a lifetime of accumulated knowledge. I know he three examples are very vague, that's my point, you have to be in the know. All three are cars. Two are American, one is German. Still clueless? "63 Split window = Corvette, only year split window. Fifty-seven = Chevrolet Bel-Air. '56-' 57 were different. '53 '57= The window on the VW Beetle after the initial split window was a "small Oval" all the way through '57. Thereafter it was the larger window until production ceased.

If I show you a picture of a huge hole in the ground over two hundred miles long and a mile deep with a red river at the bottom and I say that it is Japanese you'll think I'm stupid and say that's the Grand Canyon. Why? You recognize it. It looks American. If I show you a tall, perpetually snow capped mountain-looking image, you know it's Mt. Fuji in Japan. Why? You recognize it, you know it's a volcano. You know it's Japanese. It's an accumulation of knowledge.

If you watch the move "The Bicycle Thief", turn down the volume and only watch, you would be dumb not to figure out that it is Italian. Easiest tip off, to me anyway, (I haven't seen the movie in years) are the cars. They look Italian. I could go on and on and on.

In essence you ask What makes a person Italian or German or American other than their language, place of birth and heritage. THAT IS what makes them such.

Then you generalize too much.
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It seems like reynolds and wrap-around stays for the english bikes. ****ty paint and ISO threading for italian bikes.[sic]
Not only are you mistaken. Every builder has their manner of building, certain characteristics. Just like a person, everyone is different. Sure some frames look a certain way. I've seen fake Colnagos even though they had clover cutouts, but the geometry was all wrong. Forks were... argh disgusting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
reynolds and wrap-around stays for the english bikes.[sic]
Many weren't .

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
****ty paint and ISO threading for italian bikes.[sic]
I've seen 25 year paint in great condition. My Mexico is an excellent example and they are not ISO threaded. They are Italian threaded.
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Old 09-14-06, 07:06 AM   #6
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so when were semaphors last used on a beetle? and what
year had both semaphors and bulb indicators?
ah yes the '63 the only real stingray ever produced everything else
was well, just a 'vette.

couldn't agree with you more.
Gross generalizations get one into much trouble.
To the OP I could show you a dozen bikes with wrap around seat stays and
reynolds tubes and not one of them would be English.
I could show you poor, flaking lacquer paint on dutch frames.

I'd suggest read some old mags (Bicycle Guide comes to mind,
if you find any let me know!) to see what the bikes looked
like new, get a feel for the build styles.

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