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Old 12-29-06, 11:26 PM   #1
GeraldChan
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Why is it bad to use modern shifters on Vintage bikes but it's OK to use clinchers?

I'm still fairly new to the forum but I have noticed that there is a rabid hatred of new tech on our classic rides, such as brake lever shifters and splash tape, but most bikes pictured on this sub-forum are running clinchers (even the early 70's bikes which all came with tubulars).
I'm not trying to start a flame war but is this some kind of double standard? Someone please explain.
BTW, you probably already guessed that I am a fan of glued on tires but even I have a set of clincher wheels for each of my bikes to use in the winter months. Gerry
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Old 12-30-06, 12:21 AM   #2
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I dont like them because of the prices for new tires. I just cannot find any cheap tubulars. I have a old tubular disc, but I have not used it yet because I dont want to fork alot of money into that old thing, because it could self destruct.
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Old 12-30-06, 07:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeraldChan
I'm still fairly new to the forum but I have noticed that there is a rabid hatred of new tech on our classic rides, such as brake lever shifters and splash tape, but most bikes pictured on this sub-forum are running clinchers (even the early 70's bikes which all came with tubulars).
I'm not trying to start a flame war but is this some kind of double standard? Someone please explain.
BTW, you probably already guessed that I am a fan of glued on tires but even I have a set of clincher wheels for each of my bikes to use in the winter months. Gerry
I bought a 1972 Flandria off the show room floor which came equipped with Saminox alloy clinchers. I have a 1978 Paramount, completely stock original, that came equipped with Weinmann clinchers. An early 70's Azuki-clinchers; I could go on.......
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Old 12-30-06, 07:32 AM   #4
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So, it's not rabid hatred, just period correct.

Finding quality tubulars can be a problem. But in general it's not hard to find period correct derailleurs or brakes.

Just my opinion.

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Old 12-30-06, 07:45 AM   #5
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Ha! I ride tubulars on all my bikes that came with them. And a couple that didn't.
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Old 12-30-06, 08:02 AM   #6
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Just thinking back to the early 70's when I started riding road bikes. As I remember, the guys that I knew and rode with that toured, generally used clinchers. The racer boys trained on clinchers and used tubulars on race day. I rode clinchers as I didn't like fixing flats all the time. This has nothing to do with period correct, but is simply a matter of choice (then and now).
And to the OP, if you want to put brake shifters on that Serotta, go ahead, they really do work a lot better than that old lever stuff

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Old 12-30-06, 08:07 AM   #7
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Personally, I think it depends on the bike and what you want to do with it. I've got an '83 Schwinn le tour luxe I use as my everyday rider, and when the bike was in its original form, the frame was by far the strong point of the bike. It's now sporting a 3 x 9 drivetrain with bar-end shifters (indexed rear), 700c clinchers (originally 27" clinchers), and aero style brake levers. It's a much better bike now than it was originally, for my needs anyway. But the '72 Raleigh International I just received has a full Campy NR group, a truly classic drivetrain. No way am I going to change that, I think it's one of the strengths of the bike-
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Old 12-30-06, 08:18 AM   #8
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None of my bikes came with them, guess they weren't high dollar enough when they were new, lol.,,,,BD
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Old 12-30-06, 08:22 AM   #9
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I was going to mention that GC also is the proud owner of a Nishiki Pro!

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Old 12-30-06, 08:43 AM   #10
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"rabid hatred" might be a bit strong in my case; being a cheap Yankee I look with deep disdain on any component with a high price that is designed with a limited life and no possibility or repair, like Shimano brifters and carbon frames.
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(who might be wrong about the carbon frames, but I'm not getting one to find out.....)
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Old 12-30-06, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Hill
So, it's not rabid hatred, just period correct.

Finding quality tubulars can be a problem. But in general it's not hard to find period correct derailleurs or brakes.

Just my opinion.

East Hill
I don't understand the problem in finding quality tubulars, at least on line. Ebay often has pairs of decent tubies (I live on cheap tubulars, BTW!!) often for $30/pair. Gommitalia tires are fine twith proper installation, as are Continental Giro, Vittoria Rally, and Servizio Corse. If you think you need original Vittoria CGs or CX, or Clement Seta or Selle Main, you will have a problem.

As far as fragility, it's a myth IMHO. I weigh 185 and have ridden on our local POS roads at night, which means I blundered into a pothole or two at speed. The tires emerged unscathed, and the wheels just needed a touch with a spoke wrench. The wheels are NOT Clydesdale parts: suppsedly "fragile" Mavic GP3 rims 36 hole on 3x DT butted spokes, with Campy SR low-flange hubs. Lighweight, classic, original, strong, smooth and reliable.

I have had a tubular blow out, but only after the sidewall had been nicked in a hamfisted repair effort, my first tubular repair in 25 years.

If you use Lennard Zinn's intructions for installing and aligning a tubular tire, I don't think you can go wrong.

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Old 12-30-06, 10:42 AM   #12
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In Germany in the '60s, my commuter bike (Raleigh 3spd, can't remember the model, if it had a model) had clinchers. I thought tubulars stopped being de rigeur for bikes about the same time cars stopped using them in the teens or twenties.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:44 AM   #13
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Model-T's didn't come with air conditioners, so collectors don't add them now.

The older classic bikes have more character than most of the new ones you see in shops. When one wants a classic look on an older bike, more often than not they will try to make it like it was when originally marketed. Splash tape and brifters aren't popular around here because you didn't see those on the C&V bikes when they were new.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:48 AM   #14
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Only high-zoot road racers used them even in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Clinchers were always an option, and if you use them now, the bike looks much the same. If you use brifters, it changes the look. That said, I just do what I like with my bikes, rather than worry what other people think, and I'd suggest everyone do the same. If I wanted a set of brifters, you can bet your bottom I'd have them, and not be in the least interested if people got upset!
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Old 12-30-06, 11:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlankCrows
When one wants a classic look on an older bike, more often than not they will try to make it like it was when originally marketed. Splash tape and brifters aren't popular around here because you didn't see those on the C&V bikes when they were new.
Good point. We like the classic look. We like steel bikes. It's not that we don't have brifters and whatnot on the newer bikes, but the classic bikes didn't come with brifters. As sammyboy said, though, clinchers don't change the look of the bike. Brifters do.

But it's your bike.

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Old 12-30-06, 11:13 AM   #16
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I reserve my "rabid" hatred for that rare occasion that I am in a Target and/or Wally World and see bikes there labeled Schwinn. That is just wrong!!

I'm pretty tolerant as to what others equip their bikes with. If ya want brifters, then go for it!
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Old 12-30-06, 12:40 PM   #17
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In the 1970s when I was training for the double century and racking up the miles, I had two sets of wheels for my Nishiki: OEM Araya clincher rims and Sunshine high-flange hubs with 27x1-1/8" 85PSI skinwalls, and cotton Clement tubulars with Fiamme yellow label rims and Campag. low-flange hubs. I gave up tubulars when I moved to San Diego in 1981, because of the goathead thorns along Coast Highway 101, and because the best high-performance clinchers had become so good. I am seriously debating whether to try tubulars again when I rebuild Capo #2, for which I have the original tubular rims (which perhaps I should not trust anymore!).

As for gear controls, I am so accustomed to friction that I have no desire to change, and I have yet to find an indexed front shifter which works to my satisfaction, i.e., which permits adequate trimming of the cage position. For commuting in traffic, I admit that taking a hand off the bars can be a challenge, but that's what barcons are for.
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Old 12-30-06, 01:10 PM   #18
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I wasn't aware there was a standard.
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Old 12-30-06, 02:26 PM   #19
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Not-so-High-Zoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
Only high-zoot road racers used them even in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Clinchers were always an option, and if you use them now, the bike looks much the same. If you use brifters, it changes the look. That said, I just do what I like with my bikes, rather than worry what other people think, and I'd suggest everyone do the same. If I wanted a set of brifters, you can bet your bottom I'd have them, and not be in the least interested if people got upset!
That's not really true. I got into riding lightweights in the early '70s and at that time clinchers were for touring and sewups were for fast riding. There were some people who used clinchers on club rides, but not many. Most of the people who showed up for fast rides were not racers, and certainly not "high-zoot racers," but their Crescents, Peugeots Gitanes, Paramounts and Raleigh Pros came with sewups and that's what they rode. I think this had as much to do with the tire construction masterials as with the tire geometry and method of attachment. Certainly the wire beads added weight, but until the skinwall tires started appearing in the mid-70s, promoted by Schwinn and, later, Specialized, there was a significant difference between the weight and performance of the lightest clinchers and all but the heaviest tubulars. Sewups tended to have lighter tubes than those available for clinchers, as well; often even latex tubes were used.

All that has been largely erased in the intervening years. If you can find silver rims and non-blackwall tires, it can be hard to notice the visual difference between clinchers and sewups; especially when in motion. On the other hand, index shifting totally changes the look of the bike with different derailleurs, brake levers and shifters. There are not that many options for indexing on 126mm rear triangle spacing and virtually nothing for 120mm. Modern indexing requires cassette sprockets, requiring the swap out of freewheel hubs. It all begs the question that, if you are going to change out that much of the original componentry, why not just go with a modern bike?

There are some workable solutions for 6-speed frames involving Suntour Accushift and early Shimano, Campy and others. With the proliferation of stripped frames as a result of eBay profiteering, I can certainly understand someone fitting a '70s or early '80s classic frameset with index shifting, even if this requires respacing from 126mm to 130mm (though I generally like to stay away from spreading a frame). But, if you've got an original, complete bike with 120mm spacing, I promote "Just say NO" to index conversions.

I'm a bit more shocked when I hear of someone tossing good original componentry for "fixie conversions." I would hope that anyone who does this has a labeled box with the original components, but I really doubt it. Most people who are hawking these converted bikes sound like real hacks and yahoos from the ads I've seen. I love riding track bikes, even on the road, but I think some people making these conversions are doing so because they are not mechanics and just don't understand bicycle gearing systems.
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Old 12-30-06, 03:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sbarner
I'm a bit more shocked when I hear of someone tossing good original componentry for "fixie conversions." I would hope that anyone who does this has a labeled box with the original components, but I really doubt it. Most people who are hawking these converted bikes sound like real hacks and yahoos from the ads I've seen. I love riding track bikes, even on the road, but I think some people making these conversions are doing so because they are not mechanics and just don't understand bicycle gearing systems.
Rest assured that there are some people who understand bicycle gearing systems, enjoy riding their fixed converted road bikes, and keep the original componentry in its own box.
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Old 12-30-06, 04:14 PM   #21
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All my NR Campy parts are in a zip-lock bag and labelled in a box in my basement. I am using most of the grouppo except for the downtube shifters and derailleurs obviously. I could reconvert back to a period correct bike in an hour.
My post was not to say that I would put modern shifters on a classic bike but rather why is it OK to use non-period correct tires and esp. rims on a classic when everything else is correct. Granted, I would not trust a pair of Fiamme Yellow or Red labels hoops laced to my straight skewer Campy hubs but some modern rims appear correct.
I submit to you that in order to really feel what your steel steed was designed for, tubulars is a significant part of that feel. There really is a difference! Just my personal opinion folk-not trying to start a flame war.
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Old 12-30-06, 05:52 PM   #22
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I don't know why you say you wouldn't trust your fiamme Red labels, I could see
not being comfortable on yellow labels due to weight limits (I'm not the 135 I was back
in the day). Did the metal break down? Has being stored for 25plus years caused the metal
to fatigue to the point of failure?
I ride Gel330s, GP4s, Super Champion Aspins all of similiar vintage to your fiammes and
I have no fear that they are going to fail.
As for your original post, all of my bikes are riders, none are show bikes in concours condition.
I have brifters on my Serotta (a few years older than yours) and speedplay clipless pedals, and
the bike is shod with Mavic GP4 rims.
The only thing I get really grouchy about is nomenclature, call them tubulars, call them
sewups, or singles or whatever the regional name is, but for gods' sake don't call them tubies.
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Old 12-30-06, 06:38 PM   #23
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Lotek: I agree, the term tubies makes my flesh crawl. I don't have anymore Red labels that are round as I am 25 lbs over my ideal riding weight. Gerry
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Old 12-30-06, 06:54 PM   #24
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All this talk about weight and yellow label Fiamme rims kind of "clinches" (corny pun intended ) my decision to put the yellow label rims aside on the Raleigh International. Let's just say I'm much closer to 200 than 150 lbs. What do you all think about lacing those vintage '72 Record hubs that are currently laced to the Fiammes to some new Mavic clinchers? Not in terms of "correctness", obviously, but for functionality?
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Old 12-30-06, 07:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Personally, I think it depends on the bike and what you want to do with it.
Bingo. In some cases it also depend on what came with the be when you got it. In my case, my 1967 Paramount came to me as frame-and-fork, and I wanted it to be a rider, not a wall hanging. I also did not have the time or resources to make it period correct. That meant using what I had, with some judicious purchases. I love riding and looking at the result. I like to think that the frame is now doing what it was meant to be doing - getting out on the road and giving someone a lot of pleasure.

Personally, I'm with the group that says hang the stuff you like on a frame. Unless it's a '60's Cinelli or Masi and you try to hang Japanese stuff on it - that's just wrong.
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