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View Poll Results: Which are you?
Conservation 25 78.13%
Restoration 7 21.88%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-20-09, 12:17 PM   #1
gtownviking
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Conservation v. Restoration

The classic debate....on which side do you fall?

1. Conservation
2. Restoration

Definitions.

Conservation: Fix any broken parts but generally do a thorough cleaning / polishing / waxing, etc... but nothing more....conserving the original finish (paint) and parts.

Restoration: Fix or replace any parts that need it. Strip bike down repaint and rebuild bike back to factory specs. (Or as close as possible)
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Old 08-20-09, 12:24 PM   #2
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most of the time, neither. I want bikes built to suit my needs and that is rarely a factory set up.
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Old 08-20-09, 12:43 PM   #3
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mostly conservation

when it comes to restoration I believe it can only be original once with all the replacement of parts
and repaint it's more like a reproduction.

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Old 08-20-09, 12:47 PM   #4
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I'm more of a functional fixer, probably closer to 1 than 2 but if the project goes that way then I'll lean a little more towards 2. Or I'll just get a project farther along and then let someone else finish it to fit their preferences. And sometimes I just don't care about either and will do whatever I want.
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Old 08-20-09, 12:55 PM   #5
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The answer to that question depends entirely on the bike and the condition it's in.
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Old 08-20-09, 01:04 PM   #6
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My answer to that question also depends on the bike and the condition it's in, but even more it depends what I want it to be. My Trek 720 is what some call a "Frankenbike" and to me it's not even a classic, since I bought it new. I have no interest in either conserving or restoring it; it's for riding.

On the other hand, my Normans are classics that I conserve, since no restoration was necessary. On my PX-10 I'm trying to find a happy middle ground between restoration and conservation.
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Old 08-20-09, 01:30 PM   #7
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If it doesn't look good I don't want to be seen on it. Doesn't have to be "as new", but should at least look "very well taken care of".

I would make exceptions for a bike w/ exceptional provenance - ie., was owned by Winston Churchill, ridden by Eddie Merckx in the '74 TDF, or a handmade Allez prototype.

So I would go on the restoration side. I also don't understand keeping poor performing components. Why do I want to pedal around with junk brakes just because "they're original" or never be sure of a shift because that RD is "my age"?

Just me I guess.
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Old 08-20-09, 01:32 PM   #8
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Certainly would choose Conservation where possible - although I will go with period / not always the original parts

Unfortunately most of mine have come to me in a state where Restoration was required. Period parts as well.
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Old 08-20-09, 01:41 PM   #9
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Concur with Bob Barker - conservation wherever possible.

I generally ignore anything that needs a restoration unless it is something particularly worthy.

-Kurt
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Old 08-20-09, 01:43 PM   #10
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There is a third category -- modification.

I tend towards modification. My 1985 Pinarello Record is my only bike that is completely stock. All of my other C&V bikes are modified (an ongoing process) to meet my needs and desires. For me, the first C&V parts to go are non aero brakes. As I see it, the only real stock item on almost any C&V bike is the frame. For the most part, then and now, the frame is the signature aspect of the bike. Everything else is outsourced components.
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Old 08-20-09, 02:31 PM   #11
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Conservation when possible, but restoration if need be.

For example, if a bicycle has already been painted on when I've gotten it, then I'll do my own fixing and touch up as needed on the finish. If the bicycle is a more valuable one that is original, I'll leave it alone and just do clean up.

It depends on the rarity and value of the bike along with whether the previous owner has already modified it. I try to run as many original parts and as much original finish as I can though. But if need be on my riders (of which only one is rare/high value) I will clean them up and touch up the finish as needed with matching paint. Most of these bikes had already been painted on before I got them (e.g., someone did "house paint" touch up on the Columbia's back fender tip).
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Old 08-20-09, 02:50 PM   #12
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I do not like to be 'labeled' *giggle* but at the risk of being called a conservative I would say I am a riding conservationist. I only buy bikes I want to clean, fix, and ride. OH and removing shimano bits and adding Campi like the brakes and cranks on the Proto I got a few months ago. they were sold mostly as frame sets so I did not feel guilty about changing it.
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Old 08-20-09, 03:15 PM   #13
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I agree with Bob and Kurt,I like to see a bike original if poss if not ,at least period correct,whats the point of having a classic bike with "New" parts on it ?(like having a "GPS" in a model "T" ) might as well just have a new one, just my opinion tho, no offense meant !
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Old 08-20-09, 06:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozneddy View Post
whats the point of having a classic bike with "New" parts on it ?
Well, I'm not adverse to it, though I generally go the brifter route on a frame that is nice enough to build up, but not nice enough to put minty components on.

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Old 08-20-09, 06:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I agree with Bob and Kurt,I like to see a bike original if poss if not ,at least period correct,whats the point of having a classic bike with "New" parts on it ?(like having a "GPS" in a model "T" ) might as well just have a new one, just my opinion tho, no offense meant !
I don't quite see it that way, at least not regarding my Gazelle Champion Mondial. It was designed and built as a high performance machine and there's no crime in putting modern components on it. Not so much like a GPS in a Model T, but more like updating the avionics in an F-16.
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Old 08-20-09, 07:10 PM   #16
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Well, if I had another '68 Camaro, and it was very close to OEM, I'd keep it that way.

But, I've got no problems replacing the seats, wheels, brakes, cables, steering wheel, shifter, pedals, and tires. And maybe I'd put in a GPS....

Just depends.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gridplan View Post
The answer to that question depends entirely on the bike and the condition it's in.

I'll agree to that. If its mostly original and can be cleaned up to look its age, do that. The only bikes I repaint are those that have already lost their identity. Even then, I like back to stock.
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Old 08-20-09, 09:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozneddy View Post
I agree with Bob and Kurt,I like to see a bike original if poss if not ,at least period correct,whats the point of having a classic bike with "New" parts on it ?(like having a "GPS" in a model "T" ) might as well just have a new one, just my opinion tho, no offense meant !
Because some of us believe that classic steel frames with modern componentry is the ultimate in function and rideability. I'm one of 'em.

I looooove ogling somebody's 100% period-correct Masi, or De Rosa, or Eisentraut, or . . . . (the list is pretty long), and I am thrilled that these gems are out there and loved. I can, and do, spend way too much time in Classic Rendezvous, gazing at some of the unbelieveably wonderful stuff in there.

But there is no way I can actually ride something like that any more. Not because I can't deal with downtube friction shifting, or non-aero levers, or what-have-you, but because a 42 x anything is simply not going to get me up any hill anywhere I ride. And, frankly, modern components, for the most part, work better than the period-correct stuff. (In this case, "better" for most components means less effort to ride the same distance at the same speed, and for brakes it means more raw stopping power and better modulation). It is easier to shift with a Campy 10-speed Ergo set-up than it is to shift NR or first-generation Dura Ace. And, I'm sorry, clipless pedals are simply more foot-friendly than any clip-and-strap combination I ever experienced.

But I still love the look and feel of classic steel frames. It's what I fell in love with 35 years ago, and it still makes my heart skip a beat.

So why not enjoy both old frames and modern components?


Oh, and no offense meant here, either. This truly is meant as a serious answer to a valid question.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:28 AM   #19
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Because some of us believe that classic steel frames with modern componentry is the ultimate in function and rideability. I'm one of 'em.

I looooove ogling somebody's 100% period-correct Masi, or De Rosa, or Eisentraut, or . . . . (the list is pretty long), and I am thrilled that these gems are out there and loved. I can, and do, spend way too much time in Classic Rendezvous, gazing at some of the unbelieveably wonderful stuff in there.

But there is no way I can actually ride something like that any more. Not because I can't deal with downtube friction shifting, or non-aero levers, or what-have-you, but because a 42 x anything is simply not going to get me up any hill anywhere I ride. And, frankly, modern components, for the most part, work better than the period-correct stuff. (In this case, "better" for most components means less effort to ride the same distance at the same speed, and for brakes it means more raw stopping power and better modulation). It is easier to shift with a Campy 10-speed Ergo set-up than it is to shift NR or first-generation Dura Ace. And, I'm sorry, clipless pedals are simply more foot-friendly than any clip-and-strap combination I ever experienced.

But I still love the look and feel of classic steel frames. It's what I fell in love with 35 years ago, and it still makes my heart skip a beat.

So why not enjoy both old frames and modern components?


Oh, and no offense meant here, either. This truly is meant as a serious answer to a valid question.
This is basically the camp I fall into. LOVE steel and like you, I like the new components that are available. Like I said in another post (about the new steel Allez) there is a reason why shifters went from DT to stem to "brifters"....it's easier, SAFER and not an inconvenience and just plain better....not having to take your hand off the bars to reach down and shift makes riding that much more enjoyable.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:31 AM   #20
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First choice: original.

Second choice: period correct.

Third choice: modern upgrade.

Depends on the bike as found (how much is original and overall condition of frame), also depends if it is common bike, versus something special. 99% of what I get are what I would call good vintage but common bikes.

I also let economics enter into the plan, in particular, resale value. I try not to overbuild a bike, even a "keeper". (I have tended to replace keepers as I find "better" keepers. The longest I have had any of my current keepers is one year.

+1 I commonly change chain rings to make the bike a better match for my motor. And I really prefer aero brake levers.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:12 AM   #21
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Well, I have a nice 2002 celeste colored, steel frame Bianchi with 9-speed Ergo and all the modern goodies. It's several pounds lighter than my C&V bikes and rides beautifully. Sometimes if I'm riding with someone on a modern bike and I know I need the slight advantage I get from the Bianchi I'll take it instead of one of the C&V bikes. But so far that's only been a couple of times this year so I guess that shows where I stand on that issue.

Anyway, as to the OP's question, like others have said, it depends. I would prefer a fairly original bike but that doesn't mean I would keep absolutely stock. My Bottecchia Gran Turismo has original paint and (mostly) original decals and components but I switched it to clinchers for convenience and put a long cage Campagnolo Rally RD with a 14-34 freewheel on to make it more practical to ride in Colorado. My general rule is, "What would I do if this were my bike and it were the 70's (or whatever year obviously depending on the bike)?" I would almost certainly change things like bar tape, saddles, pedals, and gearing so I see no reason not to do it now as long as I stick with something that doesn't look out of place. I want to ride the bike not hang it on the wall.

In general I probably would not acquire a bike that needed a full restoration anyway...ok, that's not true...I acquired my Bottecchia Professional as a frame only and it was already a repaint. And since it's the ONLY Bottecchia from that period that has so far turned up anywhere it will have to be restored. Or like my "Rosebud" project where I'm recreating my old bike one piece at a time - that will have to be given a new paint job and decals and all because I've never been able to find one in the right color/size combination.
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Old 08-21-09, 12:55 PM   #22
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What Kommisar said.

I guess my perspective in modernizing the Gazelle is that, while it isn't period-correct, it is spirit-correct, if you will. My understanding is that the Gazelle wasn't a highly sought-after boutique racer, but more of a high quality but blue-collar, get-it-done race bike that would frequently be fitted with a mix of parts to suit the needs of the racer. I have a mix of 10-speed Record, Chorus, and Centaur on it--my only regret is not looking harder for alloy levers rather than carbon
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Old 08-21-09, 01:14 PM   #23
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Both, but sometimes I look for the worst, most beat down old bike just to bring it back. My Trek 520 and Motobecane Super Touring were each about at the end of their rope. If I do upgrades, they are generally period correct.
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Old 08-21-09, 01:26 PM   #24
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This is why I bought the second Capo, which I am keeping as original as practicable, since the first one has a new paint job and moderately updated (ca. 1970 and 1980) components.
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