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Old 10-24-07, 11:22 PM   #1
Kommisar89
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Some folks just don't have the bug...

Yeah, some folks just don't have the C&V bug. My friend at work is one. Drives me crazy. Like me he's a cycle enthusiast with a very similar stable of bikes: modern road bike, semi-vintage Japanese touring bike, mountain bike, and of course a vintage racing bike. He's a guy in his mid-50's and bought his Gitane Tour de France in early 70's I guess. Broke the frame racing in the mid-70's and Gitane sent a replacement. He replaced all the original components in the late 70's with full Nuovo Record. To me it has that history behind it, the provenace as they like to say on Antiques Road Show. It's in excellent condition with a beautiful 2 year old paint job and most of the NR parts and he rides it to work regularly. And yet...it looks so forlorn sitting out there on the bike rack in the company parking lot. It's NR shifters and read derailleur have been replace by some early 90's vintage Shimano 7-speed index stuff which isn't so bad. And the brakes are old Dia-Compe though he's never explained how that came to be. Still not atrocious. But...the beautiful blue metallic paint has no decals to adorn it. And the NR high flange hubs are laced to black aero-rims. And the old Turbo saddle I used to see on it has been replaced by the ugliest Specialized saddle in black with red trim. Arrrgghhh! There is nothing red on the bike! I've asked him about those things but he has no interest in it. It's just his fair weather commuter. It makes me want to give him a set of decals and my old Unica saddle for Christmas It's just painful to look at. Clearly he just isn't infected . If it weren't two sizes too big for me I probably would have made him an offer on it. Well, there is always hope.
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Old 10-25-07, 03:04 AM   #2
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Is perhaps "IT" a form of obsessive compulsive disorder or possibly just an excessive sense of aesthetics? My own bikes are not all accurate restorations nor are they necessarily even built up with period correct components. But, I do take some considerable care and often gradual tinkering and revising to build up a bike so that if not accurate or fitting to its era, it might still be seen by the untrained eye to look somehow simply "Right" - harmonious, and balanced in its components, and with everything working very smoothly.

A friend at a LBS, who has been in the business for too many years to excuse this, has both of his personal bikes just thrown together with scrap components which are ill chosen and simply do not even function well together. His customers bikes are a completely different story and he does take great care to see that they have everything both functioning and looking proper on their bikes. When questioned about his horrid bikes his only explanations are that they work well enough, most of the time, and he simply doesn't care so long as they get from point A to point B. Such a shame to see this. I really don't understand someone in the bike biz NOT caring - especially when they have every opportunity daily to be creative and no excuse not to. This is something which I just don't get. It's almost a reaction against something which I know he loves doing... for other people.

But maybe it's a quirk of our psyches. I remember so well, forty years ago, fine tuning, lubing and then finally polishing everything on my bike with the old "Brass-o" metal polish - right before Race Day, like a religious ritual, knowing full well that it would not make me any faster. Others would show up with last years dried on grease still coating their hubs and filthy torn bar tape or decomposing brake lever hoods. Maybe it is I who should be pitied and the people who don't feel the need to wash or wax their cars, or mow their lawns, or wear matching colored socks are really the fortunate ones after all.
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Old 10-25-07, 06:30 AM   #3
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I enjoy playing both the "keep it original" and "update/upgrade/hotrod it" games, which is why I bought the second Capo.
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Old 10-25-07, 06:36 AM   #4
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My bikes pretty much run the gamut. Some I try to keep as original as possible, others are modified to suit my needs. My 1972 Raleigh Superbe is very close to factory specs the only upgrades being brake pads and tires (but I still have the original brake pads ) My Giant Iguana has had many different parts changed out on it, eventually it may become Vintage, but I suspect never a classic To each their own...at least he is riding!

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Old 10-25-07, 07:08 AM   #5
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I was pretty heavy into the keep it original thing when I first started on road bikes. A carryover from the vintage Schwinn thing I guess. Lately, I realize there's a lot more fun to be had in updating an older bike into something ridable, as long as it looks as nice, or nicer than the original equipment. One of the first was a complete 105 group on my PGN 10. As for horribly mismatched components, and/or throwing something on just to fix a problem, I still can't bring myself to do it. The parts have to mesh into something that looks "right" for want of a better word. I still believe there are bikes that need to stay close to original, but those should be the "classics". Case in point my PX10. Taking off the Mafacs for a set of Weinmann centerpulls, nuh uh. Not going to happen. Replacing the Stronglight cranks, nope!,,,,BD
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Old 10-25-07, 07:46 AM   #6
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He's riding it, isn't he? I think that's all that really matters.

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Old 10-25-07, 07:57 AM   #7
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Yes, but taking a little pride in your ride never hurts?,,,,BD
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Old 10-25-07, 07:59 AM   #8
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+1 Az.

that said, for me it varies. with my RIH which I bought as a complete bike, it stays original.
if I bought just a frame (most of my meager collection) it's a crapshoot, whatever I happen to have laying around gets thrown on.
Of course I try to ensure it all works together, but that wasn't all that difficult back when this
vintage stuff was new.
I'm still trying to get comfortable with the Cyclone/Superbe stuff on my Zieleman knowing that
Ko Zieleman was rather xenophobic (to say the least).

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Old 10-25-07, 08:19 AM   #9
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Yes, but taking a little pride in your ride never hurts?,,,,BD
Pop quiz:

1. What's more interesting;

A. A classic bike that's perfectly restored/all orginal without a scratch hanging in some guy's garage with a cover over it.

B. A classic bike that has been well used and looks it. Complete with mismatched brakes, parts that don't belong, and really worn out tires.

C. Vegetables.

You have three minutes.

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Old 10-25-07, 08:24 AM   #10
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D) vegetables with mismatched brakes.

what do I win?
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Old 10-25-07, 08:36 AM   #11
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Sorry I was out on a ride,,,,BD

Answer: Depends on the vegetable.
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Old 10-25-07, 09:11 AM   #12
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Is perhaps "IT" a form of obsessive compulsive disorder or possibly just an excessive sense of aesthetics?
YES!

I am guilty on both counts.
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Old 10-25-07, 09:13 AM   #13
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I currently have a set of Crank Brothers pedals on my Hetchins. The Campy cages are in a box. This is because I ride it about 100 miles a week and my size 13 feet don't really get along with cages. It also has a set of Gatorskins. Does this mean I am going to be banished to C&V hell?

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Old 10-25-07, 09:25 AM   #14
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I currently have a st of Crank Brothers pedals on my Hetchins. The Campy cages are in a box. This is because I ride it about 100 miles a week and my size 13 feet don't really get along with cages. It also has a set of Gatorskins. Does this mean I am going to be banished to C&V hell?
No, since Mr. East Hill also has size 13 feet, I can well understand your reluctance to use cages.

However, we will need photos .

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Old 10-25-07, 09:34 AM   #15
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The guy has had the bike for over thirty years. He's seen the good and bad of it, and he's done what he's had to do to keep it on the road. I applaud him. He doesn't see it as a classic bike to be treated like a museum piece. He probably just sees it as "his old bike." Nothing wrong with that, IMO-
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Old 10-25-07, 09:42 AM   #16
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This is a meaty topic. Allow me to suggest a parallel?

A car collector is absolutely gaga over a certain production year Packard. He has purchased and lovingly restored examples of each model available that year, and loves driving and touring with them.

As a byproduct of the restorations, he has accumulated several extra bodies and a ton of
parts in less than stellar condition, pretty much unsaleable. And as he notices this, he thinks strange thoughts. Suppose Packard had made a two-seat convertible, like Ford's Thunderbird? Or a wood-sided station wagon? Or brought out their V8 engine a couple of years earlier, and built a "banker's hot rod" like Chrysler did with their C-300?

Of course, the collector succumbs and builds these flights of fancy. Some old car buffs get what he is doing, but there's a lot of grumbling in the Packard Club. The collector enjoys his "original" cars as much as ever, but has indulged his need to create by building the variations.

That was just one rationale. Another might be the mindset of a willful "form follows function" advocate, who would mix components without any thought to aesthetics and perform an equipment update on any bicycle, no matter how inappropriate. I've seen bicycles and cars built by the latter; they are not beautiful, but are often interesting.
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Old 10-25-07, 09:42 AM   #17
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It's a Gitane Tour de France. I think there just might be another one out there that can serve as the time-warp sample. If we're going to restore every boomer to catalog spec, we'd really better get cracking.
As Freud said: Sometimes an old bike is just an old bike.
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Old 10-25-07, 09:45 AM   #18
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The guy has had the bike for over thirty years. He's seen the good and bad of it, and he's done what he's had to do to keep it on the road. I applaud him. He doesn't see it as a classic bike to be treated like a museum piece. He probably just sees it as "his old bike." Nothing wrong with that, IMO-
+1 . Now someone who doesn't look after his/her vintage bike and lets it turn into an unrecognizable rust bucket; that's a completely different matter.
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Old 10-25-07, 09:52 AM   #19
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Your buddy might also be engaging in something which I can understand: dressing down a bike if it's going to be in a rack all day. Eugene is the bike theft capital of the U.S. (really) and if I didn't have an office which I could put my bike in on those days when I ride in, and instead had to lock it outside all day, I'd be tempted to go with the "stealth bike" approach. If you were to park a full-dress NR-equipped TdF in a rack next to a TdF with an incognito rattlecan paint job and a mix of more modern, but eminently rideable, components ... which one do you think the guy with the boltcutters would go for? With either bike, you'd be riding one of the all-time great frames to work, and the crappy one would still be around for tomorrow's ride.
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Old 10-25-07, 10:03 AM   #20
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Yes, IT is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder I think. And I have it. It's like straightening the fringe on a carpet or lining up pencils But I'm not at all into the whole matching numbers, original air in the tires thing. And I love that "what if they had made this" scenario. And my Bottecchia is not 100% original - it's sporting period Rigida clincher rims, and a NR rear derailleur, and a smooth shifting Shimano freewheel among other things. And lets not forget the Look pedals. But it looks correct to all but the purist. I like to say "if I had owned this bike back then, how would I have modified it to suit my needs and taste given the parts that were available around that time?" And of course I make exceptions for really significant advances like clipless pedals. It's all in good fun. My friend keeps his bike well maintained (and he's an old bike mechanic anyway) and rides it regularly. He just doesn't have the obsessive-compulsive need to make it look "correct". I'll just avert my eyes when I pass the bike rack.
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Old 10-25-07, 10:07 AM   #21
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Your buddy might also be engaging in something which I can understand: dressing down a bike if it's going to be in a rack all day. Eugene is the bike theft capital of the U.S. (really) and if I didn't have an office which I could put my bike in on those days when I ride in, and instead had to lock it outside all day, I'd be tempted to go with the "stealth bike" approach. If you were to park a full-dress NR-equipped TdF in a rack next to a TdF with an incognito rattlecan paint job and a mix of more modern, but eminently rideable, components ... which one do you think the guy with the boltcutters would go for? With either bike, you'd be riding one of the all-time great frames to work, and the crappy one would still be around for tomorrow's ride.
Yeah, he probably considers that. It was his primary commuter until another guy we work with gave him an 80's Miyata touring bike. I bring my Bottecchia in the building and park it in my cube. I don't leave it outside. Funny 'cause I leave the Bianchi outside all the time and it's certianly worth more than the Bottecchia. But it just kind of blends in with the other newer bikes though.
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Old 10-25-07, 10:34 AM   #22
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He's riding it, and that's all that matters. Hell, almost all my bikes started out as interesting frames put together with whatever I had laying around when I got the frame. Some of them progress toward a theme, some remain all about function. Only rule I have is that every bike gets at least one Campy part. I think for the Schwinn Cimarron that's an NR headset locknut, and for the Homegrown it's a set of Campy BMX pedals (previously on the Cimarron). A little easier on the skinny tire bikes.
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Old 10-25-07, 12:06 PM   #23
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My favorite bike currently has mismatched wheels, the crank is campy, the FD suntour, the RD shimano 105. THe rear hub is a Dura Ace 6 speed cassette hub with a Dura Ace 8 speed cassette body, and Ultegra 9 speed cassette. 105 RD, and the rear shifter is a 9 speed DA downtube shifter, the right is a DA friction shifter left over from the old 6 speed drive train. the front wheel is Ofmega laced to a grey anodized Mavic GP4, while the rear is laced to a high polished Mavic Speciale Sport rim. The brake levers are diacompe, and I replaced the mismatched calipers (Diacompe front Campy rear) with matching dual pivot 105 calipers. All this is bolted to an 80s vintage Razesa racing frame with a Brooks Professional on a DA post, and Cinnelli stem and bars with flourescent orange tape. and SPD pedals. the tires at least are a matched set.

Overall this thing is a terrible mongrel with parts ranging from the 70s like the crank and front wheel up through brand new stuff like the brakes and cassette. Nothing matches, but everything works together marvelously. It's a responsive bike with a comfortable frame, great brakes, modern shifting, and it weighs maybe 21 pounds. It may look like a mutt to you, but it is absolutely my favorite bike to ride.

I love vintage bikes, and yes I appreciate a lovingly restored ones, or period correct ones. I also like taking great old columbus and reynolds frames and giving them the benefit of modern shifting and braking. 9 speed Hyperglide shifts SO much better than 6 speed Uniglide, and dual pivot brakes beat the snot out of anything available in 1982. This would still be a great bike if it were bone stock and in mint condition, but it's way more fun to ride in it's beat-to-snot mongrel condition.

I DO have the bug Kommisar, but apparently I have a different bug than you do. that's OK, we both really love bikes, and that's what counts.
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Old 10-25-07, 12:17 PM   #24
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As a byproduct of the restorations, he has accumulated several extra bodies and a ton of parts in less than stellar condition, pretty much unsaleable. And as he notices this, he thinks strange thoughts. Suppose Packard had made a two-seat convertible, like Ford's Thunderbird? Or a wood-sided station wagon? Or brought out their V8 engine a couple of years earlier, and built a "banker's hot rod" like Chrysler did with their C-300?
I think this was a good quick way to describe my attitude towards old bikes. Much of the appeal to me (other than the fun and health of riding, duh) is that it is much easier and cheaper to make a hot rod out of a Fuji than a Packard.

I will admit that I do have bikes that I do not have the heart to mess around with. But fortunately, most of what I get my hands on is pretty ordinary stuff. I don't think the Ford Tempo collectors' society will soon send me a letter of complaint.

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Old 10-25-07, 02:07 PM   #25
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I think what he's done is great. Remember, even though we're talking about a vintage bike, that's not what he bought. He bought it to race and when he no longer had needed for that purpose, he adapted it to suit his needs as a commuter.

To me a commuter is one of the most noble uses for a bike and one where function far outweighs form. A comfortable seat is more important than one that matches.

I commute with an 80's bike that is almost all original. But if somebody gave me a good set of brifters, a decent wheelset to go with them, and their only condition was that I also use their ugly but serviceable seat, I'd have no qualms about taking them up on it.
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