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  1. #1
    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    What Makes Your Bike "Fun" To Ride?

    I have 6 bikes, one modern one & the other's span from the mid-1970's to the early 1990's. All different geometries, different wheel sizes (27", 700c, 26"). Also all different types of tires. So yesterday I was riding my 1992 Hardrock Ultra around (I replaced the bottom bracket with a new Shimano UN55 and installed my, new to me, Shimano BC124 crankset, and adjusted the front dereilleur). I intended to just ride it around to test the shifting. When I was "done" I'd pull up to the house, slow down, then go for another loop. After I was sure I was done, pull up to the house, slow down then think "Just a little more". I kept riding and riding - not far but around the park and the neighborhood. I finally realized that riding this particular bike is FUN! It wasn't fun for any particular reason - it didn't bring back any particular memories of having fun on this specific bike (I've never owned one of these before), it wasn't the weather, it wasn't my pre-existing mood. It was just simply fun.

    I know many of you have multiple bikes, and that many serve particular duties (touring, commuting, etc). So....What makes riding your bike(s) Fun? Is there a particular one that is more fun? What makes it fun?

  2. #2
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
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    I ride three bikes and I love them all, the all put a grin on my face....but here is my synopsis

    89 Miyata 1400.....upgraded to 9 spd sti. This is my go out and ride fast bike, 99% of the time with full bike clothes (no team kit, but work related jersey Artix, Kintex, zynq) great handling goes as fast as i can (not very )

    Nisihki converted to upright commuter/utlity bike. water who cares I have fenders, Smooth, sitting up straight just cruising, lots of carrying capacity. Big smile of the chlll sort.....

    but the one that puts the big excrement eating grin on my face is:

    84 torpado, with Postino bars and a wald front basket. Don't know what it is the simplicty (down tube campy shifters, but I treat it more like a single speed, flat pedals, no fenders, no cyclometer, no kickstand), the irreverant use of a front basket, the italian soul, but this bike is just fun, it is agile, and just getting on it makes me feel like a kid.
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

  3. #3
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    '72 Motobecane Le Champion(totaled), '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '94 Burley Duet, '88 Pinarello Tre Cime, '88 Masi Gran Corsa, '91 Pinarello Montello, '97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster
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    I have two and half bikes I ride with a third on the way. The Colnago I save for the special fast rides with distance. I don't ride it often but when I do it feels really special. I get nervous at times because it is special to me as it replaced my 72 Moto LC which was destroyed in an auto accident. I think there is a residual feeling about being an a nimble fast bike and crashing that hasn't gone away yet. BTW the Colnago is a much more fun ride.

    The second is a Specialized RockHopper that is my commuter. I bought it as a way to get off road. Haven't really done that but it is my "truck" that I use most often. I still have to get the gearing right before I feel at home on it, but it is comfortable.

    The half bike is a new experience for me, a tandem. This is a lot of fun! It is great for the two of us to ride togther. I never have to worry about her in any way and she is always right behind me. Yeah there is a little back seat driving but that is going away. We are getting stronger and more stable as a team and enjoying the riding more.

    Bottom line, it depends on the purpose. The Colnago is great for single hard rides, the Rockhopper is good for commuting using the 2.3 inch tires as suspension and the Tandem is a great couple ride.

    The one in the works is a Trek 610 intended for more relaxed rides than the Colnago. It is less aggressive geometry and I see it as being more of a sport tour bike. It will also be a platform for trying different drive trains and components. It is getting the parts off the Moto LC to begin with.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dailycommute's Avatar
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    I find old bikes fun b/c often you have fixed them up to a useful purpose again after languishing. Commuting day after day on bicycle can become a grind but mostly I try to have "fun" by enjoying the scenery, listening to the sound of tires humming down the road, looking down at 30 year old lugs and wondering if the person who brazed it is still alive, etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    @ dailycommute - I totally get that & find it true. I've purchased 5 of my bikes off CL. The cheapest was $40 (Sekai Bigfoot - early-mid '80's) and the Hardrock was $45. I go over then head to toe, grease, repack, replace, adjust, etc. and it's very satisfying for me to take an "ugly duckling" and make it into a swan (well almost). But for some reason this bike feels "just right". It's fun so I'm gonna keep riding it a lot.

  6. #6
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    That's a hard question to answer, and hard to separate from the different questions of what each bike might be good for or what might be good about each. Fun is a state of mind. Riding my UO8 is fun because of our long history together and the knowledge that it is a classic that is becoming rarer, and rarer still because no "serious" cyclist would ride one. Riding it is a way of thumbing my nose at the establishment! Riding the Raleigh is fun because it rides so well and is, well, oldish and gets compliments at bike shops. The Centurion and Bertin are fun because of the paint, purple/yellow, and orange. The Bianchi is fun because it is bad-black and so very competent. The Masi and Motobecane just like to fly, no doubt about it, plus they are good lookers too and often generate comments. They are all fun to ride. But the ideal choice of bike depends on the ride.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    With great bikes comes great responsibility.
    jimmuller

  7. #7
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.. ......

    I don't know how it works, just does.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    @ jimmuller - I know it's a hard question to answer. What makes one bike fun might likely be different than what makes a different bike fun. It's a state of mind for sure. I'm trying to figure out what made riding the Hardrock fun - maybe geometry? maybe the wild color scheme (fuchsia to purple fade)? I've had "fun" fixing it up. But I'm not sure.
    @ Velognome - yes....exactly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member seedsbelize's Avatar
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    I have two regularly ridden road bikes (with two more in process) and a dedicated city bike. The 92 Paramount is just plain fast. Quick. No frame flex that I can discern. When I step on the gas, that bike goes! Right now. It's so much fun to be able to accelerate on a dime simply by deciding to do it.
    The 87 Prelude is the gentler cousin. It takes the less than perfect surfaces which are so prevalent around here and makes them enjoyable, if not completely smooth. When I'm on one of them, I wonder if I will ever again ride the other.

  10. #10
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.. ......

    I don't know how it works, just does.
    Pretty much sums it up.
    They are bikes, and bikes are fun, especially when you ride them.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    My bikes seem, these days, to want to go faster than me. That's probably a remnant from my younger days when I rode faster than I do now. They seem lively and almost like they're wanting to leap out from under me. That's what makes them fun for me.

  12. #12
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    My most fun bike over all is my MAX Marnati. It rides like it was made for me...and it was. It's just a bit more comfy and feels more responsive. I love the components - ergo 11 - and I love the zippy Veloflex tires.

  13. #13
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    The Cannondale Criterium Series I just finished really cranks me up. First, it fits me perfectly. It isnt one of those bikes I had to get used to or have it "grow on me". The features and characteristics that define this bike are what I love. Fast, very light, stiff and it has the personality I imagined it would have during the winter build.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

  14. #14
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    if even one little thing is out of adjustment or squeaky, i worry.

    usually, everything is quiet and perfectly adjusted, and my mind is at perfect ease, like in a zen state.

    only traffic and weather can interrupt that, but only if i let it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
    What makes riding your bike(s) Fun?

    Me, that's what.

    I'm basically a fun guy!

    Or maybe just a fungi.
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo "Legnano" ● 1982 Bianchi Limited ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1986 DeRosa Professional ● 1986 Merckx Super Corsa ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1990 Cannondale ST600 ●1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  16. #16
    bicycle snobs stay away. casio04330's Avatar
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    Fenders... Everything is better with fenders...
    From now on i will add anyone who tries to troll me to my ignore list without replys

  17. #17
    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    @ Laxcauxcaveman - I vote fungi! Lol. Don't worry, I've got moss growing on the north side of my nose. (That's from an "Oregon" joke).

  18. #18
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    The wheels. When my bicycles dont have wheels, it takes all the fun out of riding them. Same goes for the saddle.
    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com
    Jack Taylor Super Tourist, Jack Taylor Super Tourer Tandem, Jack Taylor Tour of Britain, Px-10, Carlton Flyer,Fuji The Finest, Bianchi Squadra,Salsa Fargo, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Cetma Largo, Riv Betty Foy (wife's), Gitane 500A Mini Racer (sons).

  19. #19
    rhm
    rhm is offline
    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
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    Nothing beats a good tail wind.

  20. #20
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    It fits.

  21. #21
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    I feel secure in the knowledge that children are learning a good lesson when their parents point to me saying, "See that man riding that old 10-speed bike? That will happen to you if you don't listen to your parents/teachers!"
    - Auchen

  22. #22
    Senior Member CroMo Mike's Avatar
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    Every bike is the sum of its parts. The result is responsiveness, sure-footedness, reasonable comfort, and a quality feel. Add to that some aesthetic appeal, heritage, and unique character. Not a cookie-cutter bike. Others can admire it but they can't "have" it.
    Campagnolo - where rich people send their kids for the summer.

  23. #23
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
    I feel secure in the knowledge that children are learning a good lesson when their parents point to me saying, "See that man riding that old 10-speed bike? That will happen to you if you don't listen to your parents/teachers!"


    In Detroit, they would be lucky to have a 10 speed. Most of the beaters ridden without lights in the cloak of darkness appear to be guys on women's MTBs, Huffy/Next/Mongoose.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2016 Additions: 1981 Miyata 1000, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 chrome, Schwinn Paramount 50th Anniversary, Dawes Galaxy, Raleigh International

  24. #24
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    '72 Motobecane Le Champion(totaled), '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '94 Burley Duet, '88 Pinarello Tre Cime, '88 Masi Gran Corsa, '91 Pinarello Montello, '97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    My bikes seem, these days, to want to go faster than me. That's probably a remnant from my younger days when I rode faster than I do now. They seem lively and almost like they're wanting to leap out from under me. That's what makes them fun for me.
    I resemble that remark WRT my Colnago. The last ride was impressive because it wanted to accelerate UP the hill! I was forced to try to catch up and felt like being dragged up the hill by it. Only problem was there were too many people on the MUP at the time.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    My 1990 Team Miyata with DA is fast and stiff and fits well. It's a joy to push.
    My '87 Miyata 310 reminds me of the Trek 660 I had in the early to mid '80s. It's not as fast as the Team and it's a more plush ride.
    My 1991 Schwinn PDG Series 70 fits me perfectly and handles well the rather tame off road stuff I ride.
    My 1990 Stumpjumper dropbar conversion is the perfect communter/all around. More upright, solid, but still responsive.
    My 1986 Miyata 610 is maybe my favorite. It feels like no other bike I've ever ridden. It's Plush+. Trying to find a trading partner for a better fit (it's a 58, so if you need that size and have a 56 let's talk!).
    Don't complain about the weather and cower in fear. It's all good weather. Just different.

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