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Old 05-30-19, 09:18 AM
A Roadie Forever
79pmooney's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,190

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

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A minor observation. The bicycle of my username celebrated 40 years and 50,000 miles last week. It has been crashed several times, once hard (36 years ago - the fork was re-bent and replaced a year later). Had tools dropped on it. Seen less than stellar handling from movers. Rode it on gravel yesterday in prop for a crazy 5 days of grave in 3 weeks. THe bike is still very real. Had carbon fiber been around 40 years ago, could one that has seen what my bike has seen claim the same?

That frame has seen the services of several framebuilders. Ed Litton re-bent the fork (then painted the new fork and re-painted the frame) in 1983. Mark Noble and Dave Levy have both touched up the seat tube/lug reaming, many years apart. (I used an undersized post and shim for decades and un-did Mark's work doing that. 2-bolt posts were a if-you-see-it-buy-it item for about 15 years.) A shop in Seattle (Greenlake I recall) spread it from 120 to 126. It is due for another paint job and I will have Dave Levy add under the DT bottle bosses, move the RD cable housing guide (I hit it with my Pedro's fix gear wrench flipping the wheel) and perhaps I will have seatstay rack mounts added since racks for brake bolt attachment are getting hard to find (but are brain-dead easy to install on cantilevered bikes). All of this work was done by local framebuilders with little wait and at low cost. 4 different cities. The moving of the housing guide is because the bike now has a function that I never really dreamed I would do when I ordered it - serve primarily as a fix gear bike. (I did spec horizontal dropouts specifically so I could. But at the time I didn't even know about double-sided fix gear hubs and the Pedros wrenches were decades from existing.)

So, in the very long haul, steel is a joy to own because it can be modified/repaired so easily and as needs change. And conservative steel, ie the skinny tubed stuff of non-radically strong alloys like 531 is so forgiving for damage, both crash and impact (bike falling over and hitting something and from tools). Real damage is nearly always visible (like the dropouts being 6" from where they belonged after my '83 crash). Even then, that fork was perfectly safe to ride another year while the replacement was on order.

Then there is the ride. I still love it and I've had plenty of time to get tired of it. Haven't yet had a carbon fiber bike and won't (for other reasons) but have two ti bikes. I love them too. Both are much more "purpose built" and do what they do better. The 79pmooney is an all-arounder in the true sense. But it is also an elegant roadster in the long English tradition of road bikes. A fine ride. Sweet steering. Comfortable. Plenty stiff. Good on any road surface. A keeper. I won't do another 40 years and 50,000 miles on it but that won't be the bike's fault. It is ready. Maybe it will under someone else's legs.

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