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  1. #1
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    C & V Median Age/Why are you here?

    I was just kinda wondering what the average age was of the guys/girls who are into the vintage stuff? Are they mostly older guys/girls who were around during the bike boom era? Younger people who just appreciate retro stuff? Geriatrics who like the bikes of their grandkids?

    If you are so inclined, post up your age, and maybe why you dig vintage so much.

    I'll start:

    I'm 31.

    I grew up with 80's schwinns, but I really dig the lugged frames and simplistic friction shifters of teh 70's. I also always would hear stories from my father abotu his english three speeds and italian roads bikes of the late 60's, early 70's, and it made me want one. I like them because I like working with my hands, and I like to tinker. I also like them because people throw them away and you can find them for free or cheap, and make really decent modes of transportation out of them, very utilitarian.

    I'm also into motorcycles and jeeps, but since I've purchased a house, I can really only afford to work on bicycles. Although I suppose 10+ bicycles could be as expensive as a motorcycle or two...

    What about you?

  2. #2
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Speaking only for myself, I am 42 and the main reason I ride an old bike is money (or lack thereof). I can't afford a new one. So I keep the old one going. It's 20+ years old and rides wonderfully. Pretty much everything on it is original (except the tires)....I recently had to get a new left crankarm as the old one cracked.

    But I expect you will get a variety of ages and answers.

    Doug
    1986 Alpine

  3. #3
    Ferrous wheel
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    I'm 34. First bike was a Schwinn Stingray. A friend of my older brother had a Fuji road bike, and I always thought it was amazingly fast and beautiful (and fantastically out of reach financially for a grade-schooler). I suppose I inherited my retro-grouchiness from my father, who still has his three-speed from college, who still has the MG-TD he bought in the early '60s, just to cite two examples.

    I enjoy all sorts of old things, especially those that can be tinkered with and fixed, rather than tossed out and replaced. Like -holiday76, I'm into motorcycle, although only the old ones. I don't do fuel injection.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  4. #4
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    I turn 31 (hex) a little later this year.

    I grew up in the 60's and 70's - with some regularity hanging out at my uncle's bicycle shop. Raleighs were his bread and butter. He didn't sell Schwinns - but I think that had almost as much to do with not wanting to step on the local Schwinn dealer's toes, as it did with preferring Raleighs (although I grew up thinking Raleighs were better - and during this time period, they certainly were much lighter). All the way through college I did not have a car, and did not drive. I would think nothing of hopping on my bicycle and riding 60-80 miles in a day (wish I had that fitness level still).

    It wasn't until I was in college, and was recovering from the latest in a maddening string of bicycle thefts that I rode my first "good" bicycle - a '77 Raleigh Super Course. Sadly, about a week before I joined the Navy in 1981, it was stolen. I even know whom by, but I couldn't prove it.

    Anyways, growing up during the bike boom, and spending all those hours in the shop and riding was something that not even 18 years of not riding could keep out of my blood. I started back 3 1/2 years ago trying to get my late uncle's old 3-speed on the road. Mountain bikes just don't cut it, the three speed doesn't fare so well with the hills around here, and I don't have the resources to buy one of the latest and greatest. Finding, tinkering with and riding club and boom era bicycles has been very satisfying.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  5. #5
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I am 51, and I tend to be into vintage bikes because it is fun and inexpensive.

    I like tinkering, and usually have too many projects going at any given time... bikes being part of that.

    I think part of my attraction is the expense of new bikes, plus the fact that to me the newer bikes (other than some of the REAL expensive ones) are UGLY!

    I think old Schwinn middleweights are sleeker looking than the road bikes that many people in the other forums slobber over. I do like modern technology, and have a new 105 STI group on one of my bikes, but the bike itself is a lugged Schwinn Voyageur. Also, my highest mileage bike is a modern one, a 2003 Giant Sedona.

    But my stable is predominantly old steel bikes...
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    26, first road bike was a Schwinn Traveler that was a year older than I was when I got it (only bout 3 years ago). Wanted to ride, was a poor college student who liked to tinker and figured he could learn as he went on an older bike.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Caferacernoc's Avatar
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    I am 39. I like old stuff and I like to tinker. I like the purity of design, craftsmanship, and the style of the older stuff. In many cases you also learn that there are real advantages to the way things used to be made. Performance and longetivity. I hate our disposable society. But back to bikes. I have always liked speedy mechanical devices and also rock music. I play guitar. I was in my formative early teens in the early eighties so everything that was cool to me was many times from the '70's or even '60's. My dad had a state of the art "hi-fi" from the sixties with tubes. A Schwinn Continental from about 1972 with a leather seat. Many cool cars from the '60's and '70's. There were all kinds of awesome motorcycles from the '70's back then. It stuck. I like caferacer style motorcycles. Hot rods. Sports cars. Tube guitar amps. Record players. Things made out of wood. Lean and mean looking steel lugged racing bicycles....... All the good stuff. I like to rebuild, customize it all too.
    This kind of "lifestyle" just suits me.
    1988 Waterford built Schwinn Paramount, 1985 Schwinn Peloton,
    1981 Schwinn Traveler, 1977 Schwinn Le Tour II,
    And for my wife: Green '70's Motobecane Mixte and a Gitane Mixte!

    "That's easy - the universal rule - the number of bikes you need is N + 1 where N is the number you own now."

  8. #8
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    I'm 44 (1st bike was a schwinn lemon peeler).

    I ride vintage bikes, as I don't want to go out and buy new tools.

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I was born in 1965 and am not 65 as some people think and that makes me...let me count on my fingers and toes, and my dogs toes... 42.

    I always had a bike when I was a kid and my parents, who didn't have tons of money, always made sure I got an upgrade about every two years and my step father expected that I would be able to do the work that was needed to keep my bike running smoothly and safely.

    Then as now, I could often be found spending a lot of time in the bike shop looking over every new bike, the new parts, and learning everything I could.

    I have always enjoyed working on bikes nearly as much as I like riding them and seem to be pulled toward those classic steel bikes I grew up with.. I like their style and the fact they usually require some tinkering to make them right.

    My first real bike was a Nishiki Professional, in blue... I never rode in the winter in those days as my work was close enough to walk to but I did ride that bike in excess of 8000 miles every year until it was stolen.

    there have been few chapters in my life when I have not owned a bike of some kind and it was three or four years ago I started to move away from being a recreational cyclist and full time driver and am now a full time rider and a recreational driver.

    My garage is now full of mostly older bikes and love being able to bring so many nice old bikes back from the brink of being turned into scrap.

    I hate this disposable society we live in and I think that this too is part of the appeal.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    P.S.

    The prices of new bikes doesn't shock me as really good bikes have always cost more and as I could not afford a shiny new bike, it also seemed practical to rebuild old ones for much less money.

    Also, the people who ride vintage bikes also tend to be pretty interesting folks.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pdxpeugeot's Avatar
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    Couda2K beat me by two years!

    I'm 28 and me first experience with what I always used to call "ramhorn" bikes was a horrible one. I was a kid and I tried to ride a cousin's bike that was way too tall...and I kept falling off.

    My re-discovery of vintage ten speeds was brought on by a natural aversion to trendiness so when I moved to Portland and wanted to get back into bicycling, I started working on improving my existing mountain-type bike and looking for a ten speed. I was lucky enough to find one and get it running again. Through all this, I found that wrenching on these old contraptions is easy for me, which is a good way to keep me interested (the garage is my favorite room in the house).

    I also feel the same way many others do: hating disposable society, and loving the simple, beautiful, economy and grace of a lugged vintage frame.

    Not being brought up with a particular brand, I feel a strong pull towards European classics, and of course you can now by some of them at a very affordable price!
    1981 Peugeot PFN10

  12. #12
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    37.

    I loved BMX and road bikes as a kid. Went off to college and began many unhealthy years of drinking and smoking. I rediscovered my love of bikes a few years ago and naturally gravitated to old lugged steel bikes as they remind me of my youth and, at least initially, because they were cheaper than buying a new bike.

    I rode and smoked for a couple years, and then finally quit smoking this past June 1st. Ten months! I can safely say that getting back into riding made quitting much, much easier.

    I rode to work up until mid December but took a break because moving, weather, and being out of the country (my other love is traveling) for almost a month. I'm up to my neck in home renovations at the moment but plan on getting back on the road in the next few weeks. Riding to work wakes me up and invigorates me, and riding home relaxes me and entitles me to a cold beer. Of course, the new house is 13miles from work instead of the 3 miles from the old place.

    The sooner that we get our kitchen finished and the rest of the house painted, the sooner that I can build a bike workshop in the basement! I've digressed enough.
    I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Old enough that when I was playing with my small children at a local playground another father came up to me and asked if my kids were from the "second time around". I did not know what to say.

    Why here? Information.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
    I turn 31 (hex) a little later this year.

    I grew up in the 60's and 70's
    Did you get your age wrong? something is wrong here.

    I'm 27. I like steel. I like lugged steel better than welded steel. old racers are simple and beautiful, and new ones sometimes look like they belong in a science fiction movie. Older, quality bikes seem more reliable to me, than quality bikes of today. When aluminum (or Carbon fiber) is damaged its diffucult to tell. as a hobby mechanic, I don't have to "tip-toe" as much when working with good steel. Whenever I work on an aluminum frame I have to be more delicate. final word: there are plenty of quality frames out there from decades past, and these bikes need to be on the road. Lets pace down bike consumerism, and pace up affordable riding and giving our resources (raw materials and energy) a break.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  15. #15
    Who cares, just ride it!
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    I'm 31, and I like older and used bikes for the following reasons:

    1) I like to recycle things
    2) I love tinkering, reworking, remodelling
    3) I don't like the styling of new bikes
    4) There are far too many great bicycles sitting abandoned in garages, basements, barns and op. shops that are dying slow deaths
    5) Our disposable culture and notions of planned obsolescence often make me queasy
    6) I love to use bicycles as transport where possible, as opposed to driving a car
    7) Steel frames are nice
    8) So are lugs
    N-1 is my long-term goal

  16. #16
    Who cares, just ride it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradtimbo View Post
    Did you get your age wrong? something is wrong here.

    I am guessing that he means 31 in hexadecimal base.
    N-1 is my long-term goal

  17. #17
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Age: 57 (39 hexadecimal)

    Bicycling experience: started at age 12, serious transportation and recreation since 1968, 100k miles / 160k km cumulative experience on the road.

    I, too, hate the throwaway society. I am a sincere environmentalist who literally walks the walk as well as talking the talk. I love the look and feel of a classic lugged steel frame, and I relish being able to tinker freely, changing gear ratios or even gear counts at will, without fretting over compatibility issues. The stereotypes are true -- my Scots genes impel me to seek value (quality per unit price) in everything I buy and to take care of my possessions so that they last a very long time. I generally keep my cars 15 to 20 years and my bikes much longer than that.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  18. #18
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antipodes View Post
    I am guessing that he means 31 in hexadecimal base.
    What the heck is hexadecimal base?
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  19. #19
    Senior Member 04jtb's Avatar
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    14

    and I ride a 1984 Dawes Galaxy, it started because it was the only roadish bike available to me at the time (last year).
    I also ride a 2006 Al framed bike with STI etc... but prefer the ride and simplicity of the Dawes, and the fact I restored it myself makes it much more sentimental to me, and I love to ride it.
    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    i jam my thumbs up and back into the tubes. this way i can point my fingers straight out in front to split the wind and attain an even more aero profile, and the usual fixed gear - zen - connectedness feeling through the drivetrain is multiplied ten fold because my thumbs become one with the tubing.
    A group for all Dawes Galaxy owners to give and recieve information about them
    http://flickr.com/groups/dawes_galaxy/

  20. #20
    Newbie bcjames's Avatar
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    Im 20. I ride an old BSA fixed gear. Aside it being quite cheap and a lot of fun for commuting, I think the older bike offers such a distinctive change from my racing stuff that I have a more casual riding style on it. The geo isnt hugely different, so im guessing it just brings about a different state of mind

  21. #21
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antipodes View Post
    I am guessing that he means 31 in hexadecimal base.
    exactly. It helps me to not feel like I'm getting so old.

    tradtimbo - I'm guessing you're not a math or engineering major at MIT.

    Hexadecimal: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 20, etc...
    The search for inner peace continues...

  22. #22
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I'm 40.

    I love the elegance and timelessness of vintage bikes. I love the fact that a person of middleclass means could restore a bike that's identical to Eddy Merckx's. (A middleclass person couldn't build up a Jackie Stewart F-1 car or AJ Foyt Indy car, for example.)

    And I enjoy tinkering and wrenching. It's very therapeutic for me.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  23. #23
    Super Moderator
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    40

    Came here because East Hill said that I should check it out when I first joined BF. Pshawed the suggestion, then checked it out one day, it's a regular stop now for me (Bike Mechanics and Road Cycling are the others). Cut my teeth on bikes in the early 80s so I know pretty much from there on forward. Worked in shops from 83-97 so know that stuff the best. And it seems that there are fewer people than I thought who knows the 80s era of road bikes, and since I tinkered at the time, I sometimes know about some of the questions people ask.

    Although I'll be "restoring" at least one of my old bikes, I don't really ride C&V. Never was into steel. So although I might contribute to C&V, I don't drink the KoolAid

    cdr

  24. #24
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Although I'll be "restoring" at least one of my old bikes, I don't really ride C&V. Never was into steel. So although I might contribute to C&V, I don't drink the KoolAid
    If you don't drink the koolaid, there are other methods to convert you!

    As you have surely found, this forum is open to anyone... just stand by for ribbing if you call a 1998 bike vintage.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  25. #25
    peddling fool phillyrider's Avatar
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    You'll get a mix - but my guess is that average age on C&V is over 40.

    I'm also 42, a got into older bikes, as a cross-over commuter. I found that I could save $1200/year by not paying septa (regional rail), then pay myself to exercise and subsidize for a swanky gym membership. Life's too short to deal with crappy, expensive public transit.

    Three neighbors around me bike commute, so I joined the bandwagon. I first rode an old, low-end panasonic that I had sitting around, until it got stolen. Out of the four of us, three had bikes stolen within a year.

    Bottom line is that vintage bikes are a good value for commuters. In an urban area - bikes have many lives. I'm one of the cross-over commuters, where entry-level - even bike boom can be of interest. I can keep a modest fleet and learn. After all, I now have a $1200 a year spending account to go towards gym membership, gear, and replacement bikes. With vintage bikes - I think that there's a thrill in the chase. If I have to replace a bike, I get less upset with the loss because I get a new buying excuse. Maybe like some others with young kids - I'm not a 25 mile weekend tour rider. More of a get-me-there, daily rider, who likes more interesting, vintage options. I like to stealth older, bikes with a lower price point with vintage parts.

    I thought that maybe this was an interesting perspective...

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