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Old 12-12-06, 03:43 PM   #1
thenomad
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Vintage cutoff date?

So what's the cutoff date for something to be considered vintage?

Is it the technology? A simple year reference? I know w bunch of folks swear by steel but there are old Alum frames too.

When I ride my 1990 Trek 1400 everyone in the group rides considers it "old". I'm the only one with 7 gears, down tube friction shifters, no carbon fiber, and no fancy cycling apparel for that matter.

Is there a 20-25 year old cutoff like with cars?

I had a Schwinn LeTour a la '87 or so but it was just too small for me and I sold it. I always liked my dad's '70's Raleigh, turd green paint and all.
I'm sort of tempted to scout out yardsales and such for an older bike, break it down, clean/grease/lube, repaint and put it all back together just for kicks.
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Old 12-12-06, 03:52 PM   #2
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Warning...you are opening the proverbial can of worms.

You will probably get several different answers and probably all of them will have their merits. The CR list that gets mentioned here has a cutoff date of 1983..or is it 84. Anyway that is about the time Tulio Campagnolo died and his son took over the operation. And that is not the only stipulation. Frame is to be lugged lightweight steel. No carbon, etc. But exceptions are made for both material (titanium) and for age (Keepers of the Flame, KOF) when the frame is newer and built in the traditional brazed lugged steel manner. No welding there. So it all gets blurred.

Here it's a bit looser.....
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Old 12-12-06, 04:05 PM   #3
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Lucky for us, there's no agreed upon definition. I go with at least 25 years personally, because todays new technology is tomorrow's vintage. But call it what you want and like.
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Old 12-12-06, 04:10 PM   #4
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My definition is pretty loose, I think that anything pre 1990 in the bike world is pretty much vintage. There is also the Keeper of The Flame (KOF) definitionn which is modern stuff built in the tradition of old so lugged steel frames etc... however I would consider a 1986 lugged frame vintage as opposed to KOF because it was likely built by a firm that has a long heritage of building lugged steel. Making any sense? Beside super record from 1987 is essentially the same as super record in 1977 (okay yes first gen. super record had more in common with nuovo and is worth extremely large sums of money)... but anyway, even C-record and first generation chorus is vintage in my personal definition so that means my cutoff is pretty much brifters and non-lugged steel and alluminum.
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Old 12-12-06, 04:17 PM   #5
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Pre-90 is what I'd consider it now. Late 80's saw the intro of indexed shifting (which one of my 'vintage' bikes uses), but 90's brought STI, 8speed, and the more or less death of lugged frames. I'm fairly flexable myself, but no carbon.
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Old 12-12-06, 04:38 PM   #6
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"I'm fairly flexable myself, but no carbon."

Give it a few years. If it all doesn't fall apart, it'll be vintage
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Old 12-12-06, 04:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cuda2k
Pre-90 is what I'd consider it now. Late 80's saw the intro of indexed shifting (which one of my 'vintage' bikes uses), but 90's brought STI, 8speed, and the more or less death of lugged frames. I'm fairly flexable myself, but no carbon.
What about early carbon like Graftek Exxon or ALAN? IMO, these are vintage so why discriminate based on material?
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Old 12-12-06, 04:42 PM   #8
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I'm only 27, and I presume to be quite young for this board. At this stage in my life I consider anything pre-1990 to be vintage, be it bikes, clothing, figurines... It won't be long before someone finds an early CF frame at a flea market for $50.
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Old 12-12-06, 04:51 PM   #9
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I'd have to say I'd base it on age. Older than 90 might be classic, older than 80 would be vintage. I would consider anything vintage styled or maybe something from the 90s that is particularly interesting, important or unique to be classic too. For example, a 90s Rockhopper is something I would consider to be classic because it is the quintessential 90s mountain bike to me.
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Old 12-12-06, 06:08 PM   #10
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I always thought a persons own age may come into play more than a simply choosing a specific year, but maybe not seeing some peoples answers here.

When I see a 1990 model car I dont consider it the least bit old. If I see a 16 year old person (Born in 1990, do you consider them old/vintage? I dont know about everyone else, but I certainly wouldn't. Needless to say if I see a 1990 bicycle it aint old to me. I myself was born in 1980, anything made around the same time period as me I dont really consider 'vintage' cause I grew up around it, and was never a 'rare sight'. So thats my answer.
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Old 12-12-06, 06:11 PM   #11
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...I myself was born in 1980, anything made around the same time period as me I dont really consider 'vintage' cause I grew up around it, and was never a 'rare sight'. So thats my answer.
Boy, when I was your age...

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Old 12-12-06, 06:17 PM   #12
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...iPods had B+W displays.

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Old 12-12-06, 06:37 PM   #13
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I'm 30 and grew up on steel bikes. I was all over LeMond and Hinault and Fignon.
I rode in a Systeme U jersey as a kid till it was too small.

I traded two wheels for four and a motor but after a long break I'm now riding again.
I grabbed my bro's '90 bike he never got rid of. I kinda like the nostalgia of it, like an old friend... and it just doesn't seem that old.

I guess as I get older I appreciate the stuff that was around when I was growing up since you never see it anymore. I think that's why there's a fascination with the older bikes too. They are "different" and "unique" now that everything else has advanced into the composit and plastic age of disposable everything
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Old 12-12-06, 06:44 PM   #14
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Classic... any timeless bike... usualy lugged steel, but filet brazed or almost any traditional steel frame could fit the bill for me.

I see classic as a style not an age.

Vintage... technically I wouldn't argue too hard with anyone who said anything older than whatever is current, but I tend to think that anything pre-brifter is vintage... the last significant technology change besides frame materials.
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Old 12-12-06, 07:02 PM   #15
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I see a classic as an inspired, rare, or masterfully executed design. (A Calfee Bamboo bike is a classic to me).

These are almost never carbon or aluminum, but sometimes filet-brazed and mostly lugged steel.

Vintage I see as anything pre-1983.
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Old 12-12-06, 07:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vxpro
What about early carbon like Graftek Exxon or ALAN? IMO, these are vintage so why discriminate based on material?
I even conside the lugged carbon trek frames to be sort of classic. WHen I was getting into road bikes I wanted to buy one at a used sporting goods store, but it was clearly too small for me (a 58cm). I have one bike that is older than me and soon will have another, I even bought NOS shoes made before I was born so I could ride it in style. It will be truely vintage. The sad part is most of the people my age, even those who are somewhat aware of the whole classic and vintage attraction don't really get as excited about it as I do. Guess that is why I have always been more of a gearhead than a fierce competitor.
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Old 12-12-06, 07:50 PM   #17
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Since bicyles are "new" like automobiles, I'll go with 25 years is vintage, 50 years is antique, regardless of material or build technique, that just makes them more desirable or less desirable. Other collectibles, e.g. furniture, art, glassware, etc., are twice the age, 50 years is vintage, 100 years is antique.
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Old 12-12-06, 07:53 PM   #18
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October 29, 1972!
Seriously though, vintage or classic or antique -- take your pick!
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Old 12-12-06, 08:08 PM   #19
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25 years is a standard benchmark bandied about for automobiles, perhaps bkes as well?

On the other end of the vintage scale, and one that's been bugging me lately...


At what age does a 'vintage' bicycle become a 'collectible' and cease to be a regularily ridden bike? In other words, when do you hang a vintage bike up for a restoration? 40,50,60 years?

The reason I as is I have a mid 1950's Schwinn World, and its a lot of fun to ride. but I'm worried about beating into the ground if I ride it a lot. the stem is pretty delicate. Also, a 1960's Corvette that needs to be built back up.

Do I restore them, or keep them in good shape and ride them till they snap?
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Old 12-12-06, 08:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
The reason I as is I have a mid 1950's Schwinn World, and its a lot of fun to ride. but I'm worried about beating into the ground if I ride it a lot. the stem is pretty delicate. Also, a 1960's Corvette that needs to be built back up.

Do I restore them, or keep them in good shape and ride them till they snap?
What I am doing with my 1955 Corvette is getting it into riding condition. So I would vote to ride them.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:30 PM   #21
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my rule of thumb... if you have to ask if it is, its not.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
At what age does a 'vintage' bicycle become a 'collectible' and cease to be a regularily ridden bike? In other words, when do you hang a vintage bike up for a restoration? 40,50,60 years?

Do I restore them, or keep them in good shape and ride them till they snap?
To me, a truly collectible bike is one in rideable condition. After all, they still fit into the 'transportation' or 'sports and recreation' categories.

Unless it's signed by Ted Willams, an old glove is an old glove, until you go out and play catch with it.

Then it becomes a Classic & Vintage glove.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:39 PM   #23
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I'm waiting for Cap'n Lotek to weigh in on the matter.

Also, I have a '87 lugged steel Bianchi I just built up with modern 9 speed Veloce. I figured it would be OT here, so I have not posted.
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Old 12-12-06, 09:38 PM   #24
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I think if it is that old you shouldn't ride it regularily or in foul weather. Like a classic car you take it out when the weather is good and you can let 'er ripe for a bit to make sure she is still all there but you maintain it ever so meticulously including cleaning after every ride so that corrosion and dirt can't even begin get a finger hold.
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Old 12-12-06, 09:49 PM   #25
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I think if it is that old you shouldn't ride it regularily or in foul weather. Like a classic car you take it out when the weather is good and you can let 'er ripe for a bit to make sure she is still all there but you maintain it ever so meticulously including cleaning after every ride so that corrosion and dirt can even begin get a finger hold.
Agreed. After all, you wouldn't want to leave your favourite glove out in the rain, now would you?
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