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  1. #1
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    Why do you like riding vintage bikes?

    Is it a bike you've had for years, and you ride it for sentimental value?

    Is it a nostalgia thing?

    Is it a fashion thing?

    Do you just like the feel of the steel frame, or other parts?

    I'm somewhat new to cycling, so I don't know. But around my city, I see guys who look like pretty serious cyclists, wearing some nice gear, riding old school.



    I've got my eye on this Nishiki for my 2nd bike:






  2. #2
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    First, I like the way they look.

    Second (and probably most importantly), I can afford a good amount of them.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member fixed1313's Avatar
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    I will have to agree with mkeller.........love the look and what fun is haveing only one bike. I will have to add that I have ridden other newer bikes and I just like the way steel rides. The last new bike I bought was a Cross Check because it was steel (among other reasons). I will also add that I don't see the need for a large assortment of gears, 10 suits me just fine and if I have a few more that is a bonus but I certainly don't need 18, 20 or 21. Maybe nostalgia plays a small role too, these are the bikes that I thought were cool when I was a teenager just getting into cycling beyond what kids do as kids. I also look at it as recycling, it's a perfectly good bike, why not ride it........you don't need the latest and greatest to have fun riding a bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cale's Avatar
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    Riding a bike can be like a smell that evokes a particular memory or a color that has a strong association. I don't always want to live in the past but sometimes it's nice to ride something so familiar.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hammer_down's Avatar
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    classic bikes are like classic cars: there was craftsmanship back then and there's a beauty to them. now they just "stamp" out carbon frames, like new cars.
    also, i enjoy the way steel rides. I have an aluminum Felt, and there is just something different about my Fuji and Raleigh; it's hard to put my finger on it, they just feel better and more solid when riding on the "mean streets."

  6. #6
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    I'm with mkeller too. Being mechanically minded I dont care if something doesnt work if it is the right price. Vintage stuff is better quality in most cases and just plain fun to ride.

    That also goes for vintage motorcycle racing I have done over 30 years.

    -SP

  7. #7
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    they don't make bikes anymore like my '76 grand record with that beautiful campy nr hanging all over it. riding it feels nostalgic, yes, but also, it feels right.

    plus, zeppelin's presence came out that year.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    I think a lot has to do with the fact that for the most part only the top 10-20 percent bike best of the bikes from the 60's and 70's are still around in good working order of most of the bikes you see here on the C&V forums are in well in the top 5 percent. So it isn't realy fair to compair these bikes with just average bikes from then or now.

  9. #9
    MIKE is my name! puchfinnland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    for the most part only the top 10-20 percent bike best of the bikes from the 60's and 70's are still around...
    I wont agree with this..
    I think there were less high-end bikes built back then then today,

    people who fork over the dosh to buy them do remember that they were not cheap and odds are most of them are hidden in the attics and garages.

    its only when someone else wants to clean, and has no idea what it is- is when they get thrown out or garage sale.

    10 or so years ago I was working in Baltimore with my friend who sells/services/restores old vespas.
    We used to put adds in the newspapers in MD DEL PA wanting to buy vespas.
    every week we got a call or 2 which lead us to fantastic finds- at what WE were willing to pay for it.
    We found bikes with less then 100 miles on them, never more then 4000 miles.
    those days are gone- they grew in fashion again and people learned about ebay.
    point is americans file their toys away long before they leave their estates!


    As for me-

    bikes of the late 70's and early 80's were the ones I liked in my youth.
    I could not afford one then but Now I have the bike I always wanted.
    new go fast carbon passes me all the time...I hope I dont start consider going into fashion!

    mike
    Last edited by puchfinnland; 08-20-12 at 02:18 AM.
    My name is Michael, and I am a recovering bike addict, It has been 11 months since I purchased a bicycle for myself..
    (Im bound to fall off the wagon again, its just a matter of time)
    Lord help me!

    "Some cream crackers, a glue *** and a little imagination can turn any domestic cat into a fearsome Stegosaurus."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    I so wanted a top end (for me it was Italian and Campagnolo) bike back then and it's only now that I can actually realise my dreams.

  11. #11
    Senior Member VeloBrox's Avatar
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    I like practical bikes, commuters especially, and that market carried a lot of clout after the war.

    For reference: My Diamant 3-speed cost a month's wage in 1948. Since just assembling a bike cost so much, it generally didn't pay to do a half-assed job of it. Consequently it has hand-painted lining on the frame, fenders and rims, thick nickel-plating everywhere, hubs (most expensive part of the bike) made to last indefinitely...

    I just have to marvel about the fact that someone could put so much love into (and some other bloke could fork over so much cash for) an everyday workhorse.

    But I'm no uncritical nostalgic. I realize that I'm cherry-picking survivors. And I don't care much for unpractical fads, even old fads. Just as I think most urban people aren't best served with MTB's, I think the 10-speed racer got way to big a hegemony in the '70s. Suddenly people shopping for groceries felt they were best served with drop bars, tubulars and a twitchy fork.

    Now, for riding I can't really put my finger on why I like steel. I would probably enjoy a nice alu or carbon-fibre frame just as much. But while I can invest a 1948 month's wage in a bike I can't really invest a 2012 wage, so the really nice contemporaries are outside my reach. For longer rides I find that steel flexes more and smoothes out the road, but it also makes me realize why nobody uses steel in Tour de France anymore.
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    ...and a basement full of unrideable old stuff.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I am riding the same bike I was riding 35 years ago...what do you mean vintage? GET OF MY LAWN!

    I like my vintage bikes, they ride just fine for me, don't cost a fortune and aren't part of the current consumerist planned obsolescence. Besides I can still buy parts for 40+ year old Raleighs, but can't for a 10 year old bike?

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  13. #13
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    First, I like the way they look.

    Second (and probably most importantly), I can afford a good amount of them.
    Yup, this pretty much sums it up for me too. There is something about the look and ride of a classic steel frame that really gets to me - and not in a nostalgic way at all, but an appreciation for something that is well-crafted, that shows the care of a person's labor and thought and sweat. I could never have afforded many of the bikes I now own, or that have passed through the collection - not by a long sight: but I certainly have the opportunity now. And, well - I've heard it said that you only get to live once.
    The Early Morning Cyclist: marksbikes.wordpress.com
    Life's too dang short to ride ugly bikes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    It's because it's the bikes I rode in the 80's, when I was deep into the sport. I also consider the bikes from the 80's as the highest form of the bicycle as mechanical art with the most minimal of materials on it and it was when the racing bicycle was finally cleaned up of all the clamps and other added on items on the frame by the use of brazed on or bonded component lugs and fittings which gave them the cleanest of looks that had not been matched since, especially after the modern bicycles started srpouting more levers and cables to control indexed shifting systems....never mid the inherent ugliness of ergo bars, threadless stems, black wall tires, ugly humungous looking brifter levers, "alien blob" styled cranksets, "droop snoot" SMP saddles and the akward looking backward slope of top tubes on compact frames......No wonder young riders are now looking back to old bikes and retros to have something that looks good under them.....JMOs.....

    Chombi

  15. #15
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    the racing bicycle was finally cleaned up of all the clamps and other added on items on the frame by the use of brazed on or bonded component lugs and fittings which gave them the cleanest of looks that had not been matched since, especially after the modern bicycles started srpouting more levers and cables to control indexed shifting systems...
    Chombi
    Can I get an "Amen!" brother!
    The Early Morning Cyclist: marksbikes.wordpress.com
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  16. #16
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    I dig the cosmic vibe I get from riding a vintage bike. I'm of the Bike Boom generation. Back in the day my friends and I studied the Raleigh catalogs, went on bike hikes, and lived on our bikes. Riding a vintage bike from that era keeps me in righteous harmony and guides me to serendipity and good karma.

  17. #17
    iab
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    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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    They are different.

    A bike and its components from the 30s is different from a bike from the 50s which is different from a bike from the 70s which different than a modern bike.

    One isn't better than another. They are just different.

    Vive la différence!

  18. #18
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I just like them. A bike is an interesting piece of machinery.
    I find older bikes more interesting, and I can see and understand the technology in them.

    It's also the tribe I'm in. No one expects me to be fast.

    Is it a bike you've had for years, and you ride it for sentimental value?
    Nope, that would be a Free Spirit bicentennial edition...

    Is it a nostalgia thing?
    Nope, that would be a Raleigh Technium I totalled on a dog...

    Is it a fashion thing?
    Nope. Any hints I'm fashionable go out the window when you see my jerseys....

    Do you just like the feel of the steel frame, or other parts?
    Nope. I just like seeing a top tube that looks like a bike....
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 08-20-12 at 11:24 AM.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    Perhaps you didn't really hear what you thought I said...
    ...or maybe you did, and that's why you're so mad.


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  19. #19
    Senior Member ijsbrand's Avatar
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    I simply hate the look of most contemporary bikes that are sold in the shops. All those huge logos everywhere on the road bikes. Or their far too thick carbon forks. And let's just remain silent about the bikes that pass for ordinary Dutch bikes nowadays -- with their fat aluminium tubes, their ridiculous high weight, their impractical carriers, and their adjustable stems with built-in leeway.

    Whereas I just have to look at my green 33 year old Koga Miyata Gent's Racer - S, and see something I really like. A bike that is an invitation for a ride.




  20. #20
    Senior Member DsmBerg's Avatar
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    Looks. Design. Generally cool machines with high attention to detail. Easy to repair, but typically don't need much attention other than general maintenance.

  21. #21
    Senior Member peazweag's Avatar
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    I liked back in the day and I still like them.
    1980 MIYATA 610

  22. #22
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I couldn't afford a really nice bike when I was first getting into cycling in the late 1970s and early 80s. Now I can afford it, and prefer nice old bikes to most of the bikes being sold in shops these day. Most carbon and aluminum frames do nothing for me, with garish styling and billboard decals. They all seem to be painted in the same boring black, red and white color schemes. The new bikes that I do like are mostly steel or ti custom or boutique brands that are also too expensive for me, so I have a collection of older and more current bikes that I mostly bought used for reasonable prices.

  23. #23
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    I'm not trying to win any races or be the fastest in a club. 10 or 15(triple crank) gears are more than enough for me. I like friction shifting. I like the ride of steel. The new bikes with the bulky looking frames and heavy application of logos are just plain fugly! Those deep V rims with the writing on the side are hideous! Plus most of the old bikes are a lot more functional than most of the new ones. How are you supposed to pack a lunch/picnic on a modern roadie? Don't tell me you put it all in the pockets of your jersey. Plus, the old bikes are fun and easier to work on.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
    I so wanted a top end (for me it was Italian and Campagnolo) bike back then and it's only now that I can actually realise my dreams.
    +1

    I like to dabble with vintage racing bikes and ride them occasionally.

    Really interesting for me.

    In reality though, I am far more passionate about US custom builders, especially local/regional builders.

    It's just so hard for me to say no when beauties like my 1990 Tommasini Super Prestige pop up.

    At incredible low prices!!

    The charm and craftsmanship in that Tommasini are certainly top shelf and the ride qualities are first class as well.

  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    First, I like the way they look.

    Second (and probably most importantly), I can afford a good amount of them.
    +10 Its still amazing the value you get for the money on used or vintage bikes. I could either get an entry level LBS hybrid, or a high end vintage bike with beautiful detail work. My self imposed limit used to be no bike for more than what an entry level road bike sells for new ($800). I have been lowering that limit, as a lot of really nice stuff goes for about half that. Want STI? No problem, some nice bikes from the early 1990s with 8 speed 600 or DA components, lugged higher end steel frame, etc., can all be found at reasonable prices. I've been migrating my STI bikes to one of those two, as the 8 speed stuff is rebuildable, and I just like the aesthetics of those two versions.

    +10 Most of the new bikes, particularly the lower level ones, all look the same to me. Separated by "bold new graphics". Boring. All have similar generic aluminum frames, SORA or below components. I think the various brands have screwed up by eliminating most of the differentiation between brands. If you are going to look generic, might as well save some cash and go to bikesdirect.

    +10 Unfortunately, a lot of vintage bikes, particularly from the 1970s, were really basic. Bike companies could sell just about anything, so entry level was really bottom end. And they sold a lot more of the entry level bikes, than the higher end stuff.

    +10 Compare bottom end LBS bike today with bottom end LBS from the 1970s, and the new stuff wins hands down. Consider the features of that entry bike from back then: steel seat post, steel handlebars, high ten steel frame, cottered crank, steel rims, nutted axle, many times plastic derailleurs, list goes on and on. Compare my close to 38 pound Schwinn Continental (which actually was a couple of steps UP the Schwinn product line), to entry level today. Wow.
    Last edited by wrk101; 08-20-12 at 09:58 AM.
    See some of my bikes on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BillsVintageSteelBikes

    Or visit my finished bikes flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billssteelbikes/

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