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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 05-05-07, 01:02 PM   #1
Eco-warrior
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How vain are you? 1-10.

After a year of use, my LHT has gotten a rather impressive collection of scratches, mostly clear coat, and a bit of rust (just framed-saved it today, doh!) from this and that. At first I was a bit dismayed, then I got over it, man-ed (or wo-man-ed) up, and went for a long ride. I feel better now. Anyway, how vain are you when we're talking about your touring bike? How much do you baby it? Do cosmetic blemishes raise your heckles? Do you wax (the bike)? Give me a 1-10 on your vanity score. ^^

I'm probably a 7, they bother me at first but then I get over it. Gives 'er character.
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Old 05-05-07, 01:11 PM   #2
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I'm pretty careful so I don't get many scratches. I prefer to coat them, with nail polsih or crazy glue. Wax is excellent also, but it has the disadvantage of being a release agent for other possible coatings. If I use wax, I try to keep with simple waxes like beeswax, which is amazing. A lot of commercial products can have stuff in them that are a lot harder to remove like silicones.
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Old 05-05-07, 01:39 PM   #3
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I'm pretty vain in that way. 9. My Jack Taylor is so sad looking now (about 20 y.o. and local salt air did her in) that I only use it to tow the kayak or go to the beach. I keep my MC clean and plan to keep the Atlantis in perfect shape when the thing finally gets here.
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Old 05-05-07, 02:50 PM   #4
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One of the shames of owning a beautiful when delivered touring bike (mine is a deep blue Waterford) is that touring is tough on a bike. What's more, my bike has S&S couplers which allows for complete disassembly and packing into a suitcase. There is no way to prevent some metal on metal (especially after the security and baggage gorillas get finished) damage.

My bike is full of repainted (I got some touch-up paint from Waterford) areas that don't look bad unless you look closely. I, however, see every one.

That said, I'm not too vain about my ride. So few people know anything about touring bikes in general and Waterfords in particular that I only get a "nice bike" about twice a year. I'd say about 2 on the vain scale.

Ray
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Old 05-05-07, 03:04 PM   #5
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I quite like the bangs and scratches on mine. It's an old Coventry Eagle frame built up a bit like a Rivendell - Brooks saddle and situp and beg bars, and I think it suits a few nicks. Best thing is, I remember where I got most of them. I have a scrape down the toptube I got recently when I tried to lean my bike up agaist a bench after crossing the Rhine into Switzerland over a 15th century covered bridge. It was a beautiful evening, and it seems a shame to get rid of that.
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Old 05-05-07, 04:21 PM   #6
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when my LHT came in to my LBS,i took the frame home and waxed it two or three times a day for 4 days,it has really helped.while not anal (really) i do try and be a little careful with it.
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Old 05-05-07, 09:37 PM   #7
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I'm proud of the character marks on Machak ... each one has a story.

The long scratch on the top tube got there when the bicycle rack at Carhaix (on the Paris-Brest-Paris) fell on Machak. The scratches on my forks are from my rack, after I had to resort to using zip ties because the bolts fell out during my 3 month tour of Australia.

I use furniture polish and a bit of turtlewax on him a couple times a year (pre-season and post-season) but that's about it.
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Old 05-05-07, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotte
I quite like the bangs and scratches on mine. It's an old Coventry Eagle frame built up a bit like a Rivendell - Brooks saddle and situp and beg bars, and I think it suits a few nicks. Best thing is, I remember where I got most of them. I have a scrape down the toptube I got recently when I tried to lean my bike up agaist a bench after crossing the Rhine into Switzerland over a 15th century covered bridge. It was a beautiful evening, and it seems a shame to get rid of that.
I can only dream of having a scrape from a Medieval European bridge on my bike. As it is, I have a hard time being careless with my bikes, no matter what they are. I feel every scratch.
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Old 05-06-07, 08:19 AM   #9
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It turns out the shade of orange that I had my Trek powdercoated is exactly the same as Testor's "international orange" model paint.
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Old 05-06-07, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcm
I can only dream of having a scrape from a Medieval European bridge on my bike. As it is, I have a hard time being careless with my bikes, no matter what they are. I feel every scratch.

I know what you mean. I still feel them when they happen, but like I said, if they tell a story, I don;t mind so much. It's the stupid ones I don;t like - the "it just fell over in garage" type. Luckily, I don;t have too many of those (yet).
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Old 05-06-07, 09:23 AM   #11
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I like Machka's answer. A great warrior should have battle scars.
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Old 05-06-07, 10:17 AM   #12
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I don't think it's vanity to look after your number one means of transport!!!!

The bike is what get you to all the places you want to visit, like a cowboy feeds and waters his horse before he looks after himself, so it is with me and Cat.

Respect not neglect. The better the bike is looked after, prevention is better than the cure, the longer they will last.

It took me a long long time to select my "perfect" touring bike, and I want to make sure she can carry me for many more years.

Vanity, no, definitely not!!!!!!!!!

george
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Old 05-06-07, 11:56 AM   #13
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I used to love seeing the bruised/battered city bikes in Italy. I hope my LHT looks like those one day after I have put billions of miles on it.
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Old 05-06-07, 12:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphatrider
when my LHT came in to my LBS,i took the frame home and waxed it two or three times a day for 4 days,.
What? I have an LHT that I've wiped down with a damp cloth several times. What's this about wax? What kind of wax? I think I'd be willing to try that if I knew what to use...

Minwax? What is the 'clear coat polish' that I see being described?

H*ll, I don't wash & wax my car but I have much more affection for my bike!
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Old 05-06-07, 06:39 PM   #15
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When it comes to my touring bike, I could care less. It's a folding bike with big bags attached; as long as it gets me from A to B in a reasonably efficient manner, scratches are utterly irrelevant.

When it comes to road bikes though, "this one goes up to 11."
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Old 05-06-07, 07:08 PM   #16
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The thread was about whether the scratches bother you, not about whether you maintain the bike.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cooker
The thread was about whether the scratches bother you, not about whether you maintain the bike.
If they maintain it, obviously the scratches bother them...
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Old 05-06-07, 08:12 PM   #18
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If I told you my father, an old school German craftsman, is the kind of guy who used to, and still does, wax his car engines, it would be no surprise to you to know that his son scores about a 9, but getting better. When I ordered my Thorn Nomad w/ BTCs, my wife wanted me get a custom paint job. I followed others advice and opted for the matt black powdercoat. If I can avoid a scratch when I pack it by placing a rag or pipe insulation here or there, I will do it. But for the most part, I can live w/ scratches but it doesn't mean I like it when it happens.
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Old 05-07-07, 10:12 AM   #19
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I kind of like the dings and scratches on my bike, proof of extreme use for thousands of miles. It still looks good, though; due to its great yellow paint and the big, black "Cannondale" letters on the diagonal. I keep the bike reasonably well maintenanced, but have never waxed it. As far as my vanity score, I'd give myself an "8" for maintance, and a "5" for the rest. I will tell you here and now, that my Cannondale C400 (mountain bike with so-called "comfort" stuff added) has served me so remarkedly well. The only major parts replacement in all those miles and several tours were the rear cluster and crank. It now runs and rides good as new.

David in FL
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Old 05-07-07, 06:36 PM   #20
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On the one hand I'm fine w/ electrical tape repair to bar tape, but on the other I'm weighing whether to put on a micro-adjust seat post that is black when all the other components on the bike are shiny metal. w/ the seat post in hand, maybe the saddle does look well-enough aligned after all on the shiny seat post it came with...
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Old 05-07-07, 06:54 PM   #21
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My 520 is still shiny new, so I'll admit to vanity of maybe a 7 right now. It's an all-around bike for me (commuter, charity rides, club rides, etc), so I do take pride in how the bike looks. But I'm aiming for a 3.

However, this question made me think more about my own progression as a cyclist, in terms of vanity about myself and how I look on the bike. I started as a 3 just trying to keep up on my hybrid, then caught "Lance wannabe" fever after I bought a used Trek road bike and started collecting charity ride jerseys, and crept up as high as a 7, and am coming back down the scale again as I discover my "inner tourist." Cargo shorts over spandex, carrying the trunk bag on club rides, etc. Aiming for a 3 there as well.

Ken
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Old 05-07-07, 11:04 PM   #22
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On one hand, I can ignore scratches, but then I keep thinking about them and brewing on it, so I touch it up with enamed paint.

I actually searched around to buy a bike pump with a clip that is located precisely on a dent in the top tube, now no-one knows, HAHA!

Bottom line is, I like my bike to be a perfectly spotless beauty, or a well-travelled beast with scratches all over. In-between doesn't do it for me.
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