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Old 10-07-08, 01:38 AM   #1
Mike Mills
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Define "Classic" and "Vintage" For Me

What do you mean when you say, "classic" or "vintage"?

Does it refer to a bike that's X years old or older, perhaps 20 years old or older?

Does it refer to all things made before a certain generational change in bicycle and component design, such as pre-click shifters, or pre-eight speed cassette?

Does it refer to something that is now out of production, even if that's only a few years old?

What does it mean?

My first bicycle was a gold, ten speed "Rolls". My second bicycle was a maroon "Royce Union" ten speed. My third bicycle was a white "Rolls" that I loved so much, I bought it even though it was several inches too small for me (21" versus 24"). After that it was a Raleigh Grand Prix. This Raleigh frame fit me properly but was made in Belgium because the Carlton employees were all out on strike.

My current bicycle is a Bob Jackson frame purchased in the summer of 1975. I had it repainted many years ago and the DuPont Imron paint held up much longer than the original lacquer (or whatever it was). Honestly, it could use new paint and new decals but it has a certain "patina" that I like. I am currently cleaning it up and replacing the rusted, worn components with period-correct, lightly-used Campagnolo Nuovo Record components. Unlike many bikes from this era, mine has not been idle for decades. Things wear out with use. Wheels, tires, lever hoods, handlebar tape, and brake pads come to mind. The 1975 Brooks Pro saddle is as good (or bad) as it ever was.

Reynolds 531 Double Butted Tubes, Forks Stays and Blades, for the win!

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Old 10-07-08, 01:40 AM   #2
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Anything lugged steel more or less counts, anything with DT shifters more or less counts, anything older than the mid 90's more or less counts.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:56 AM   #3
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I added a story to set my frame of reference.

10 years old = classic and vintage?

Anyone else?

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Old 10-07-08, 04:20 AM   #4
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pictures pictures please?
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Old 10-07-08, 06:37 AM   #5
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Vintage = older bike (any brand)

Classic = older bike, good to great brand/model.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:02 AM   #6
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$3.50.

I started to type in a response, then it got wordy, then I started explaining myself, then I started explaining the explanations, then I just deleted the whole diatribe and decided to go with "$3.50".
Subjectivity should just be accepted, the definitions are subjective, so $3.50 is my answer.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:17 AM   #7
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I usually think of classics as the top quality bikes from the 70s/80s or earlier, although later lugged descendants of those earlier bikes are still worthy of much appreciation. I'm sure your Jackson is a classic.

Vintage is sort of a relative term. I think of it as any bike that's near the median age of those who post at the SS/FG forum (kidding, a little).
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Old 10-07-08, 08:28 AM   #8
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Classic: clas·sic

clas·sic [klássik]
adj
1. top quality: generally considered to be of the highest quality or lasting value, especially in the arts
2. definitive: authoritative and perfect as a standard of its kind
a classic example of mixed metaphor English

3. always fashionable: always fashionable and elegant, usually because of simplicity and restraint in style
the classic “little black dress”

4. generally accepted: conforming to generally accepted principles or methods
5. extremely and usually comically apropos: apropos to an extreme degree, usually with a comical or ironic twist (informal)


n (plural clas·sics)
1. work of the highest quality: something created or made, especially a work of art, music, or literature, that is generally considered to be of the highest quality and of enduring value
the novel has become a 20th-century classic

2. simple elegant garment: a piece of clothing of a simple and enduring style
3. top quality artist or writer: a creator of works of art or literature that have enduring excellence
As a children’s book illustrator she’s a classic.

4. major sporting event: a major sporting event, for example, a horserace or golf tournament
5. something comically apropos: something that is comically or ironically apropos (informal)


classic or classical?

There is some overlap in the meanings of these words, but essentially classic is a judgmental or evaluative word that describes the value or status of something (a classic example of Art Deco), whereas classical, although often implying a judgment of value or worth, is a more factual reference to the literature, art, and culture of the ancient world or to the high period of an art form (a classical education, classical music, classical ballet). A classic is something notable of its kind, and the classics are the study of the language and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Vintage: vin·tage

vin·tage [víntij]
n (plural vin·tag·es)
1. wine production year: the year in which the grapes used in making a particular wine were harvested
2. wine from a particular year: wine made from a particular harvest of grapes
3. grape harvesting: the harvesting of grapes for wine
4. wine: a wine, especially an excellent one
5. period: the period of time when something appeared or began, or when somebody was born or flourished
Depression-vintage furniture

6. group sharing characteristics: a group of people or things that are similar or belong to the same period of time (informal)


adj
1. good for wine: produced from or characterized by a good harvest of grapes for wine-making, so that the wine does not have to be improved by blending with wine from another harvest
2. of the best: representing what is best or most typical of somebody or something
3. classic: recognized as being of high quality and lasting appeal
4. out of date: no longer fashionable or modern


[14th century. Alteration (influenced by viniter “vintner”) of vendage , from Old French vendange , from Latin vindemia “grape-gathering,” from vinum “wine” + demere “to take away.”]
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Both words are fairly subjective as far as “Definition” is concerned… Myself, I think as far as Bike Forums is concerned, “Classic & Vintage” is just a euphemism for bicycles too old to talk about in any of the other forums… But, this is still my favorite forum to visit.

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Old 10-07-08, 10:13 AM   #9
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It seems that there is among some on this forum that any piece of sh*t they pull out of a dumpster is a treasure and that everyone should agree. Objectively, the world is full of old bikes. Some are true high end classics, some are novel, interesting and entertaining, some are useful a commuters, kids bikes, etc, and some are junk not worth the time to save and restore.

For example, and I apologize to those who might be offended, I rode a Schwinn Continental throughout undergrad and law school. It was a very servicable bike, although it weighed about as much as a Volkswagen. I was thrilled the day I was able to trade it in on a new Univega and never had a desire to have it back. If I had one of these tanks today, it would sit in my garage unused and neglected and looking for a new owner or charitable organization. I suppose some might consider it to be C&V. But I consider it to be a pig.

Thus, the definition seems to be highly subjective.

I have found since I returned to road cycling that my definition of C&V tends to be much more discerning. Also, C&V is only one aspect of my bike habit. I'm into cycling for cycling. C&V is an interesting facet of that avocation. And, my C&V interest tends to follow my riding interests, which are fast, quick bikes. I recently culled my C&V collection and sold my 1) Miyata 1000, nice bike but I never rode and really didn't like riding it and 2) 1984 Bianchi Nuova Alloro, too small, among others. If I don't like riding them, I don't keep them.

But this is only my opinion.
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Old 10-07-08, 10:37 AM   #10
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OP, do you play bass in REM? If so you are now classic and vintage.....
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Old 10-07-08, 11:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by treebound View Post
$3.50.

I started to type in a response, then it got wordy, then I started explaining myself, then I started explaining the explanations, then I just deleted the whole diatribe and decided to go with "$3.50".
Subjectivity should just be accepted, the definitions are subjective, so $3.50 is my answer.
South Park?
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Old 10-07-08, 11:55 AM   #12
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This here is a big tent. If you consider something to be classic or vintage, go ahead and post about it. If what someone posts about isn't your cup of tea - no worries. Just don't micturate in their tea.

fwiw - I grew up turning my nose up at Schwinn's but have since found that some of them are quite good bicycles. The forum here has done a lot to broaden my horizons.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:02 PM   #13
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South Park?
More like a broken coffee machine in the morning and running on basic water.
Classic water as opposed to Vintage coffee.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:00 PM   #14
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This here is a big tent. If you consider something to be classic or vintage, go ahead and post about it. If what someone posts about isn't your cup of tea - no worries. Just don't micturate in their tea.

fwiw - I grew up turning my nose up at Schwinn's but have since found that some of them are quite good bicycles. The forum here has done a lot to broaden my horizons.
Very well said. I concur.

My post is a bit of fallout from our SS/FG discussion and how some get so bent out of shape when a mediocre old road bike that would otherwise sit in the garage or get chucked is turned into a SS/FG (yes, even with some grinding) and is actually ridden.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:06 PM   #15
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Regarding the posting of pics, it will have to wait a while. I knew as I typed the post a few pics would have been great to add.

Regarding the possibility of playing for REM, I'm just not talking.

$3.50 ???

"A big tent", okay, I have an open mind but it's not so open my brains fall out.


How about this, in the antique furniture world, any over 50 years old is an antique.

In the world of firearms collecting they use 50 years as the legal definition for something to be a "curio" or "relic".

Classic cars come from the 1950's and 1960's. Pre-WWII is antique.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:22 PM   #16
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"A big tent", okay, I have an open mind but it's not so open my brains fall out.

How about this, in the antique furniture world, any over 50 years old is an antique.

In the world of firearms collecting they use 50 years as the legal definition for something to be a "curio" or "relic".

Classic cars come from the 1950's and 1960's. Pre-WWII is antique.
In other words, as we do not have any fixed definition of "C&V" written in stone, you wish to help us define boundaries?

-Kurt
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Old 10-07-08, 03:02 PM   #17
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$3.50 ???
From the "how much is this bike worth" threads. In other words there is no easy answer so $3.50 just fills in the blank. Vintage and Classic are somewhat subjective and are defined at the time of need relative to a specific bike in question. Or something like that. At least that's how I see it.

ps, the coffee machine guy came and fixed the machine, but I'm now on water so I can get some sleep tonight. Classic sleep in a non-vintage bed.

edit to add:
Quote:
In the world of firearms collecting they use 50 years as the legal definition for something to be a "curio" or "relic".
I believe the BATFe and the legislature set the 50 year classifier on firearms, not the collecting community. The collectors might have had some say in it at the time however. I could be wrong since I don't consider a mid-1950's Remington 740 to be a curio and relic, although I do consider one to be a classic firearm of the time and type.

pps, to me an antique car would have mechanical brakes.

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Old 10-07-08, 03:06 PM   #18
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From the "how much is this bike worth" threads. In other words there is no easy answer so $3.50 just fills in the blank. Vintage and Classic are somewhat subjective and are defined at the time of need relative to a specific bike in question. Or something like that. At least that's how I see it.

ps, the coffee machine guy came and fixed the machine, but I'm now on water so I can get some sleep tonight. Classic sleep in a non-vintage bed.
BTW, I dig the Obama button. We have a few of those around.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:07 PM   #19
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On the REM mode:

Mumur - vintage
Reckoning - classic
Fables of the Reconstruction - maybe
Life's Rich Pageant - not yet
Document - not yet
Monster - not yet
Shiny Happy People - hopefully never
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Old 10-07-08, 03:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Vintage = older bike (any brand)

Classic = older bike, good to great brand/model.
I would go with this. A good example is my Worksman Front-Loading Tricycle. I recently discovered it's "vintage". It's not classic, though. It's not bad, just not an exceptional standout in the bike world, either.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:24 PM   #21
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Not to brag, but I believe I was the first to use the '$3.50' answer, and yes, it is a South Park reference.

As far as classic and vintage... this is a big tent, and folks do gush for pages about Schwinn Varsinentals and Peugeot UO8's, but to me, a classic bike (with a few exceptions...Vitus comes to mind) are lugged steel bikes from the 'Golden Age'...late 70's to mid 80's. They have down tube shifters and no more than a 7 speed cog on the rear wheel, not that I would kick a Merckx 7-11 with 8 speed Dura Ace STI out of the garage, but for definitions sake...

To me, a nice 80's Italian bike is about as good as it gets, and a great bargain.

I'm a rider, not a collector. I touch up my bikes as needed, and ride the snot out of them. I'm a cheapskate, and like to go as fast as I can, 80's Ital;ian (or Belgium) steel fits the bill nicely.

The official 'Classic Rendevous' site puts a date of 1982 or earlier, I believe. A member of that site can correct me, I'm too loose with rules and conventions to join up over there.
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Old 10-07-08, 04:01 PM   #22
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Not to brag, but I believe I was the first to use the '$3.50' answer, and yes, it is a South Park reference.

As far as classic and vintage... this is a big tent, and folks do gush for pages about Schwinn Varsinentals and Peugeot UO8's, but to me, a classic bike (with a few exceptions...Vitus comes to mind) are lugged steel bikes from the 'Golden Age'...late 70's to mid 80's. They have down tube shifters and no more than a 7 speed cog on the rear wheel, not that I would kick a Merckx 7-11 with 8 speed Dura Ace STI out of the garage, but for definitions sake...

To me, a nice 80's Italian bike is about as good as it gets, and a great bargain.

I'm a rider, not a collector. I touch up my bikes as needed, and ride the snot out of them. I'm a cheapskate, and like to go as fast as I can, 80's Ital;ian (or Belgium) steel fits the bill nicely.

The official 'Classic Rendevous' site puts a date of 1982 or earlier, I believe. A member of that site can correct me, I'm too loose with rules and conventions to join up over there.
John! You're back! I stand ignorant in your presence. Do you return reformed? Enlightened?
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Old 10-07-08, 04:08 PM   #23
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One more thread about trying to figure out where C&V draws exclusion dates, and I'm going to join OFG's group and take a couple months break - from know-it-all newbies with their own bright ideas as to reinventing the definition of C&V so it fits their tastes.

I friggn' hate cutoff dates and the CLUB mentality. It's nothing but an excuse to tell those who don't fit the bill to get stuffed.

It is the nonchalant "Classic & Vintage" flexibility that makes us the great community we are. Leave the "written-in-stone" cutoff dates for the CR list.

-Kurt
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Old 10-07-08, 04:16 PM   #24
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John! You're back! I stand ignorant in your presence. Do you return reformed? Enlightened?
Well Bob, I am back, fit and full of something and vinegar.

Had a great ride at the TdS, see the 'where did I ride today' thread, BBM's post.
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Old 10-07-08, 04:17 PM   #25
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One more thread about trying to figure out where C&V draws exclusion dates, and I'm going to join OFG's group and take a couple months break - from know-it-all newbies with their own bright ideas as to reinventing the definition of C&V so it fits their tastes.

I friggn' hate cutoff dates and the CLUB mentality. It's nothing but an excuse to tell those who don't fit the bill to get stuffed.

It is the nonchalant "Classic & Vintage" flexibility that makes us the great community we are. Leave the "written-in-stone" cutoff dates for the CR list.

-Kurt
Yep Kurt,

More riding always works great!
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