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Old 02-05-12, 05:29 PM   #1
Bikedued
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Is there already a term for that "certain" type of bike?

The type of bike I am talking about is vintage road bikes that go over the top to look classy. You know, Honjo fenders, shellac cloth wrap drop bars, brass bells, upright bars with reverse levers, etc.. I LOVE this type of bike, but do they need a name? I love the look, but I always want to connect a name with that certain style, but I seem to draw a blank.,,,,BD

Are they already called something? Besides really cool bikes?
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Old 02-05-12, 05:58 PM   #2
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The bikes you describe seem to pay homage to the fashion of vintage Rene Herse /Singer's "constructeur" bikes. I don't know if that's technically correct when applied to a modded production bike.
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Old 02-05-12, 06:10 PM   #3
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Postructeurs?
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Old 02-05-12, 06:11 PM   #4
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Postructeurs?
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Old 02-05-12, 06:17 PM   #5
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When used with upright bars & reverse levers, a "townie".
With drop bars, racks, and 700c or 650b, it's a "randonneur" bike. not the same as a "touring" bike though, which will generally have a more relaxed geometry and be designed to carry more gear.
If it's got a huge flat rack up front (like a Paul, Cetma, or VO), it's a "porteur" which is essentially a dressed up cargo / delivery bike.

i'm not entirely sure what sets a randonneur bike apart from a constructeur.

a catch-all term would be "Rivendell"
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Old 02-05-12, 06:27 PM   #6
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well pardon me, but I think that most american bikes from the portland/riv/velo orange set have about as much class as this :

Don't get me wrong, I like the cycling revival in the US and I like that there's a lot of love for old bikes, but many of the new bikes and parts just miss the elegance of the french originals. All the tubes are just a little too fat, the alloy parts lack elegant lines and logo's are way too " thought out". It's all too clean in general. Look for instance at old stronglight cranks: very elegant, very french and instantly recognizable as such, but the logo's a squigly mess. Also, the colours on these modern builds are just a little too bright. It all just misses the dirty french edge!

I acknowledge my utter failure to describe the "je ne sais quoi" though
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Old 02-05-12, 06:31 PM   #7
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That almost looks like it should be in a Fellini movie.
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Old 02-05-12, 06:47 PM   #8
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"Boutique"?
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Old 02-05-12, 06:59 PM   #9
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There's a fine line between homage and excess. Excessive use of brown leather is a deal killer for me, and I always think "a bit twee" to myself when I see it. This is, of course, doubled when the rider is a participant in a tweed ride

In all seriousness, we sometimes, in general, try too hard to make things look "old tymey." Cars and architecture are two prime examples of where we stupidly choose to purse a cheap simulacrum of what used to be, instead of either doing something timeless and new, or with just a slight touch of the past in it.

A wink and a nod is generally preferential to a wholehearted but wooden embrace. A cardboard McMansion designed to look like something from the past is still cardboard.

When it comes to bikes, I'm definitely not referring to the gorgeous "KOF" builders that we all know and love. But, the modern, tig welded beasts that are trying to be "classic" by using faux leather grips/wrap, saddle, and saddle bag are just sad.
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Old 02-05-12, 07:16 PM   #10
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I saw a bike like that last year, it was a raleigh touring bike dressed out with every VO part imaginable. Honjo fenders, brooks saddle, VO front and rear racks and bags, etc. It was like a showroom display bike and it didn't look like it had seen many miles. I could see how a non-bike savvy observer would be impressed but I thought it was a bit over the top.
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Old 02-05-12, 07:33 PM   #11
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Come on people, this thread needs pictures! Show us the goods
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Old 02-05-12, 07:50 PM   #12
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At my place I call it the Hetchins

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Old 02-05-12, 08:04 PM   #13
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There's a fine line between homage and excess. Excessive use of brown leather is a deal killer for me, and I always think "a bit twee" to myself when I see it. This is, of course, doubled when the rider is a participant in a tweed ride

In all seriousness, we sometimes, in general, try too hard to make things look "old tymey." Cars and architecture are two prime examples of where we stupidly choose to purse a cheap simulacrum of what used to be, instead of either doing something timeless and new, or with just a slight touch of the past in it.

A wink and a nod is generally preferential to a wholehearted but wooden embrace. A cardboard McMansion designed to look like something from the past is still cardboard.

When it comes to bikes, I'm definitely not referring to the gorgeous "KOF" builders that we all know and love. But, the modern, tig welded beasts that are trying to be "classic" by using faux leather grips/wrap, saddle, and saddle bag are just sad.
You said "simulacrum."
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Old 02-05-12, 08:17 PM   #14
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At my place I call it the Hetchins

I love your bike.
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Old 02-05-12, 08:31 PM   #15
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Old 02-05-12, 08:32 PM   #16
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Sometimes I think "a bit twee" covers my opinions on it mostly... harmless fun I guess for most... sometimes I'm reminded of prince charles designing firehalls, especially looking back at a few bikes I put together
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Old 02-05-12, 09:16 PM   #17
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Sounds like a mish mash of the aesthetics of various eras and purposes. In architecture this kind of fit Historicism which was a pretty dreadful trend in the profession.

So, perhaps Historicist, without the dreadful part.
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Old 02-05-12, 09:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
The type of bike I am talking about is vintage road bikes that go over the top to look classy. You know, Honjo fenders, shellac cloth wrap drop bars, brass bells, upright bars with reverse levers, etc.. I LOVE this type of bike, but do they need a name? I love the look, but I always want to connect a name with that certain style, but I seem to draw a blank.,,,,BD

Are they already called something? Besides really cool bikes?
The French porteur bikes were reasonably classy looking and that's where the upright bars and reverse levers came from. They were working bikes though. According to "The Golden Age...," French bikes went through a really shiny period after WWII. Those would be the bikes that are generally considered to be a randonnuse, although they may never have been purchased for randonneuring.
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Old 02-05-12, 09:37 PM   #19
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Whoa whoa whoa. I never said anything about new bikes? I was talking old bikes that people give the full retro treatment to Like "vintage homage" maybe.,,,,BD
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Old 02-05-12, 09:38 PM   #20
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Full dressers.
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Old 02-05-12, 09:52 PM   #21
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I just found a link of the type I was talking about. Constructeur it is, I guess? Pretty yes, but I can imagine finding this type of bike parked outside a store somewhere, looking like it had been ridden for 50 years, but well taken care of. Patina laden, if you will,,,,BD


http://www.flickr.com/photos/ratrock...7622335870141/
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Old 02-05-12, 09:55 PM   #22
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Which leads me to another ponderous question. Did the art deco movement ever hit bikes hard? I know it hit hard on balloon tire bikes, like a bus hitting a wall, lol. But what about racing bikes?,,,,BD
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Old 02-05-12, 09:57 PM   #23
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Whoa whoa whoa. I never said anything about new bikes? I was talking old bikes that people give the full retro treatment to,,,,BD
You're right. But even with the old bikes, it can sometimes get out of hand. It sometimes seems that folks are wholly consumed with making a bike look "proper." At a certain point, anything can become a caricature of itself (and ultimately cheapened by the generic quality that comes with it).

Every bike is different. You just gotta throw the formula out the window and go with whatever is right for it...
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Old 02-05-12, 10:13 PM   #24
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At my place I call it the Hetchins

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Old 02-05-12, 10:14 PM   #25
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Yep, I agree. It's the reason I refused to put fenders on my Competition, though a few suggested I should. Likewise with my Grand Record, no fenders there either. In fact I just ordered some tubulars for a set of rims I recently acquired, that will be going on the GR. The Supercourse I recently got back on the road though, I may go this route. There is something about that period of bike that I really love.,,,,BD
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