I've always hated bikes because of a bad childhood experience and within the last year or so have had a change of heart. Because of this silly grudge I haven't been on a bike in 8 or so years. I'm an art student and have always loved the design of any bicylce and they've been the center of many pieces of mine. Because most of my college classes are about 15 minutes off campus driving, I decided a road bike would be the best form of transport. I'm not the kind of person who just buys something or does something without knowing what I'm doing. So here I am, trying to soak up as much information as possible. I want to know what does what and whats the best for my situation and what I can afford. I checked out some of the threads on vintage styles and may just be in love with some of those. But, then again. I know nothing about anything.
If you like the beauty of a vintage bike, then there is nothing that can match them. When the manufacturers try to, they so frequently muddle them up.
The thing with vintage bikes is that you won't get the modern technology, but what you will get is tried and true, and like a good suit, you can get years out of it. The only difference is with a suit it can be boring, and with a bike, it can be traditional, and still have some pop to it.
Hopefully you will join in to some conversations too, along with soaking it in.
Significant improvments in brake and gearshift operatiion came in the mid 90s. There were plenty of cheap ugly vintage 10 speed bikes in the 1970s, but you might be able to find one at a garage sale or charity shop with sculpted lugs at th frame joints and forged wheel drop-outs. So keep your eyes open