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Why do people pay so much for old Italian and French Components?

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Why do people pay so much for old Italian and French Components?

Old 10-28-11, 07:42 PM
  #1  
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Why do people pay so much for old Italian and French Components?

Not so much a question about the specific value of something but a general one. I just got done listing some components that I consider basically junk on e-bay. A old Campagnolo Record derailleur not even complete that someone paid nearly $40 for and couple of 6speed freewheels a Regina and Sachs that someone paid $20 for. I would like some insight into why people are willing to pay these kind of prices for old French and Italian components that are basically junk. It just doesn't make a lot of since to me and I was hoping for some insight before I sell some of the other stuff in my junk bin.
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Old 10-28-11, 08:45 PM
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This post makes me sad.

Why do people pay $$$ for new plastic bikes? Why do they pay $$$ to eat in fancy restaurants? Why do they buy sports cars, or leather jackets?

Because it makes them happy and they want to.
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Old 10-28-11, 08:58 PM
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Most people need the parts to complete their bikes and usually will need the original components that were on the original bike that might of been swaped out, some are pretty good,
I only issue that I had were the front plastic and metal Simplex derailleurs.
I must of replaced 3 so far they tend to snap on the plastic .
I guess it was cheaper to produce the plastic part rather than in metal.
The mafac center pull brakes were pretty decent for it`s day.
I found the Huret derailleurs are pretty smooth and worry free as well.
Campaognolo no complaints so far
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Old 10-28-11, 10:05 PM
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Older Campy and Huret derailleurs where OK but I have tried them on a couple of builds and they often just can't find the 13-14 on the small side or the bigger 24-31 sprockets on the other side. While the Suntour Vx I run on the bike I ride most of the time can find every gear from 12 to 35 running 5,6,7 speeds of different make freewheels.
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Old 10-28-11, 10:29 PM
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The Suntour you describe is an improvement in shift quality, but you never saw one on a TdF winning bike. The Campag NR is a good derailleur for the job it is designed for, a close ratio racing derailleur. Campag NR is not designed to shift the range you describe.
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Old 10-29-11, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Why do people pay $$$ for new plastic bikes?

Because it makes them happy and they want to.
+1

I know if I won the lottery I'd be first in line for a new plastic bike. Old derailer components? Ehh.. Not so much. Maybe just one old race bike with vintage Campy would be cool. Beyond that any old bike I acquire either gets single-speeded or modernized with indexed shifting.

I know plenty of non-cyclists that think spending a grand on any bike is insane.
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Old 10-29-11, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
This post makes me sad.

Why do people pay $$$ for new plastic bikes? Why do they pay $$$ to eat in fancy restaurants? Why do they buy sports cars, or leather jackets?

Because it makes them happy and they want to.
+1 Because they want to, and apparently they can afford it (and they want it NOW...)

I see a lot of the want it NOW factor. If you are patient, and look aggressively, you can find just about anything at an attractive price: cars, homes, bicycles, you name it. But if you want it now, and it is no longer in production, then you click the buy it now button, or enter a high snipe bid.
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Old 10-29-11, 09:54 AM
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Why pay so much for older stuff, vintage stuff, classic stuff, antique stuff? Simple - Supply & Demand.

As the demand for old bikes goes up, and it has been going up at a pretty good pace for the past ten years, at least, the price goes up accordingly, simply because the supply is finite.

Put another way, there will be more and more people interested in finding a vintage bicycle, thus demand is increasing. But, each year, thousands and thousands of nice old road bikes, roadsters and antiques are pitched away at the Dump, crushed by the D9 and sold off a scrap metal. I, personally, collect about three hundred, by myself, from the local landfill sites, each year.

Finally, if you think prices are high today, consider the prospects of tomorrow. Today's NR derailleur goes for $40 in "so so" condition. Tomorrow that same one will be double, triple or who knows what the imbalanced supply and demand model will, well, demand.

Just an opinion.
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Old 10-29-11, 11:49 AM
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If I won the lottery I would not be the first in line for a plastic bike that's for sure! I may be first in line for a top of the line Lynskey Ti bike custom built for my specifics though!! I would also be in line for buying a couple of Italian vintage bikes too, but at current going prices and current financial common sense tells me not to waste my money. I have more important things to do with my money then to buy expensive Italian bikes. Besides I have 4 vintage Japanese bikes and 2 American vintage bikes all from the 80's, I good with those. But alas I don't play the lottery so I have zero chance of winning...which is the same chance of winning if I played the lottery!! The lottery is just a poor mans tax.

This crap about Suntour never winning a TDF and only Campy did in the 80's, left out one important fact...neither did Shimano until 1999!!! Why? Because European racers and a lot of American racers snubbed Japanese equipment. I use to race, not pro just cat 3, in the early to mid 80s, and I raced on Japanese stuff (I was in the minority of Japanese users), and I got the backlash from the elitists that raced on nothing but Italian bikes and components. It was all about the snob appeal which is why Suntour AND Shimano didn't win and were rarely found being used in the TDF until the 90's but by then Suntour was gone. The same can be said about SRAM, but this last TDF race SRAM had 9 teams running on SRAM components, next year there will be a lot more which means they stand a greater chance of winning the TDF then even Shimano does next year!

Shimano did have stage victories starting as early as 1973 in TDF's which upsetted many a European, but the TDF win didn't come until 1999 due to the shear number of teams using Shimano vs a very limited number of teams using the stuff back the 70's. Raleigh had race teams in the TDF using Suntour stuff by the way, and if memory serves me I think Schwinn had a some Suntour stuff in TDF races.

But all this component group brand winning a race is nonsense, it isn't the component who wins, it's the rider who makes the win.
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Old 10-29-11, 01:53 PM
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If French stuff was so good why did the French bicycle industry basically go bankrupt in the early 80's.
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Old 10-29-11, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
If French stuff was so good why did the French bicycle industry basically go bankrupt in the early 80's.
An interesting question. The way it is poised, well, reads anyway as narrow minded. Nevertheless, some background:
There were a number of things happening in the 80's, in the United States the Mountain bike was ascending, fast, the road bike was dying. There was no indexing basically prior to 1985. The very first production mtb's, such as the Specialized Stumpjumper DID use some French components, cranks and brakes specifically. The Japanese moved fast to acknowledge the potential market. Others did not. In addition, Shimano began a trend of demanding mfg's buy a whole suite of parts for a bike, in the USA that would be restraint of trade, but remember this was not happening in the USA, most bikes were being built offshore. Some visible spec items although minor had higher perceived value, anodizing and chrome instead of polished raw material and cadnium plating. Prior to 1985, Suntour still had the patent to the slant parallelogram derailleur.

The Spidel Group from France attempted to create a "national" ensemble, it was too late from a marketing perspective and the way Shimano was pushing their weight around.
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Old 10-29-11, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
Older Campy and Huret derailleurs where OK but I have tried them on a couple of builds and they often just can't find the 13-14 on the small side or the bigger 24-31 sprockets on the other side. While the Suntour Vx I run on the bike I ride most of the time can find every gear from 12 to 35 running 5,6,7 speeds of different make freewheels.
As CV-6 stated, the design was not good for a wide wide range. Suntour had THE design for great shifting, and a solid Patent. Campagnolo, if one looks at their patent applications in the 80's was Desperate to find an alternative. They did not. They were not used to needing to buy a design, they usually came up with the patented design others wished they had.
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Old 10-29-11, 06:28 PM
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It is supply and demand, especially as regards French threaded stuff (BB's, cranks, pedals, etc.).
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Old 10-29-11, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
If French stuff was so good why did the French bicycle industry basically go bankrupt in the early 80's.
That's a silly question. Some of the French stuff was junk, but some of it was very good, they just got out marketed and out sold by giants in the industry. Same thing with Suntour, except Suntour 98% of what they made was superior to anything on the market, but they couldn't keep up with the Giant Shimano, and when the index shifting came along Suntour was left gasping, their slant parallelogram patient expired and Shimano jumped on it and made a hybrid derailleur combining that design along with a French dual spring load pivot design who's patient also expired and came out with the first reliable index shifter. Suntour, not having the money Shimano had for R & D threw a version of index out but it wasn't as good. Add to that the revaluation of the Yen and Suntour suffered major financial losses.

What's weird is that Suntour in 1990 actually made the first electronic shifting system, but it was to little and too late and fear of not being able to sell it sealed it's fate, so Suntour fell back to regroup, but it was too late. Even today, Suntour's Cyclone Mark II is still lighter then Dura Ace! And the Superbe Pro has been regarded as the best racing friction derailleur ever made, but none of that helped Suntour.

Huret had a couple of the best derailleurs for touring bikes in the world with their New Success and the Duopar Eco were the best touring derailluers made at the time...and some argue it's still the best even today! Their Jubilee derailleur still holds the record for the lightest production derailleur ever made at 145 grams without the use of plastic, carbon fiber, or titanium. But alas Huret too could not keep up with the onslaught of Japanese big Shimano, and the French economy took a dump and so did Huret.

There were a lot of great component company's around, Zeus is another that comes to mind, but they too were too small and fragile to keep up with Japan along with Ofmega
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Old 10-30-11, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
This crap about Suntour never winning a TDF and only Campy did in the 80's, left out one important fact...neither did Shimano until 1999!!! Why? Because European racers and a lot of American racers snubbed Japanese equipment. I use to race, not pro just cat 3, in the early to mid 80s, and I raced on Japanese stuff (I was in the minority of Japanese users), and I got the backlash from the elitists that raced on nothing but Italian bikes and components. It was all about the snob appeal which is why Suntour AND Shimano didn't win and were rarely found being used in the TDF until the 90's but by then Suntour was gone.
Bit more to it than "snob appeal," though this is a quick and easy explanation to toss out there. Campagnolo had earned the loyalty of pro racers going back to the 1950's. They did this first of all by being reliable. Campagnolo stuff held up well under the considerable rigors of European racing - which were far different from the "rigors" of your average US criterium race, where Suntour might function just fine. Racers gained a comfort level with the way Campagnolo components functioned, so there wasn't much incentive to try something new and untested. Shimano discovered when it entered the pro peloton just how demanding pro racers were and the beating equipment took at races like Flanders, Roubaix, etc. There was a steep learning curve, and Shimano quickly realized that derailleurs that shift precisely in a hermetic laboratory don't necessarily do so while caked with mud and bouncing over cobbles. Suntour acknowledged the disconnect between "functionality" defined as crisp shifting and light weight and "functionality" defined by inclement racing conditions when it created it's Superbe gruppo and made the rear derailleur distinctly more robust - and heavier - than its Cyclone sibling.
Also, Campagnolo, in addition to having the weight of history behind it, was based in Italy, where many top pro racers, teams, races, and bike builders were located. This made it much easier for them to create, debut, develop, and refine products in close association with those other environmental factors, and in close discussion with framebuilders and racers - no small advantage.
Yes, "snob appeal" may have been a factor, but it was far from the only or determining one. And I'm a big fan of both Shimano and Suntour, BTW.
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Old 10-30-11, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Huret had a couple of the best derailleurs for touring bikes in the world with their New Success and the Duopar Eco were the best touring derailluers made at the time...and some argue it's still the best even today!
No, the part-titanium "Duopar" was the best touring derailleur of its day; the "Duopar Eco" was the cheaper steel copy. Both shifted well, but the lighter "Duopar" was the clear winner.
Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
There were a lot of great component company's around, Zeus is another that comes to mind, but they too were too small and fragile to keep up with Japan along with Ofmega
Zeus pretty much made its money copying Campagnolo.
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Old 10-30-11, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
Bit more to it than "snob appeal," though this is a quick and easy explanation to toss out there. Campagnolo had earned the loyalty of pro racers going back to the 1950's. They did this first of all by being reliable. Campagnolo stuff held up well under the considerable rigors of European racing - which were far different from the "rigors" of your average US criterium race, where Suntour might function just fine. Racers gained a comfort level with the way Campagnolo components functioned, so there wasn't much incentive to try something new and untested. Shimano discovered when it entered the pro peloton just how demanding pro racers were and the beating equipment took at races like Flanders, Roubaix, etc. There was a steep learning curve, and Shimano quickly realized that derailleurs that shift precisely in a hermetic laboratory don't necessarily do so while caked with mud and bouncing over cobbles. Suntour acknowledged the disconnect between "functionality" defined as crisp shifting and light weight and "functionality" defined by inclement racing conditions when it created it's Superbe gruppo and made the rear derailleur distinctly more robust - and heavier - than its Cyclone sibling.
Also, Campagnolo, in addition to having the weight of history behind it, was based in Italy, where many top pro racers, teams, races, and bike builders were located. This made it much easier for them to create, debut, develop, and refine products in close association with those other environmental factors, and in close discussion with framebuilders and racers - no small advantage.
Yes, "snob appeal" may have been a factor, but it was far from the only or determining one. And I'm a big fan of both Shimano and Suntour, BTW.
Problem is with all that you said, Suntour reigned supreme in the durability and quick positive shifts in the friction age, and this fact is very well known; so again Campy wasn't in the league with either Cyclone or Superbe Pro. There were other factors at play here.

By the way, I have the entire Suntour Superbe group on one of my bikes and those components have over 150,000 miles with the only problem being the front derailleur band snapped, but fortunately I had bought a new replacement at the time of original purchase of the group, along with a rear derailleur and pedals still unopened in their boxes...except I just put the pedals on another bike last week to replace a set of pedals I didn't like. I also found another exactly the same front derailleur that was new at a LBS about 10 years or so ago and bought it just in case.
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Old 10-30-11, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
.... I have more important things to do with my money then to buy expensive Italian bikes. Besides I have 4 vintage Japanese bikes and 2 American vintage bikes all from the 80's, I good with those. ...

This crap about Suntour never winning a TDF and only Campy did in the 80's, left out one important fact...neither did Shimano until 1999!!! Why? Because European racers and a lot of American racers snubbed Japanese equipment. I use to race, not pro just cat 3, in the early to mid 80s, and I raced on Japanese stuff (I was in the minority of Japanese users), and I got the backlash from the elitists that raced on nothing but Italian bikes and components. It was all about the snob appeal which is why Suntour AND Shimano didn't win and were rarely found being used in the TDF until the 90's but by then Suntour was gone. ...

Shimano did have stage victories starting as early as 1973 in TDF's which upsetted many a European, but the TDF win didn't come until 1999 due to the shear number of teams using Shimano vs a very limited number of teams using the stuff back the 70's. Raleigh had race teams in the TDF using Suntour stuff by the way, and if memory serves me I think Schwinn had a some Suntour stuff in TDF races.

But all this component group brand winning a race is nonsense, it isn't the component who wins, it's the rider who makes the win.
Italian bike prejudice. So it goes.
There was an interesting evolution of equipment suppliers to the pro ranks over time.
In the 60's for the eara I was initially aware, pro bikes often had a National bias as to equipment derived by the Teams "nationality" based often on sponsorship. An interesting example would be Simpson on a Masi painted as a Peugeot, using a French ensemble (save for the hubs, which were seen as Campagnolo from time to time) The rider was often able to supply the frame, but not the decoration. Merckx was unique almost at that time, (Coppi or Anquetil might have also been able to ride bikes with their name on them as part of their agreements earlier near the end of their careers) Merckx was able to ride bikes of his own name, before there was a Merckx factory, pretty good planning.
Every once in a while an equipment revolution would loosen up the mfgs. who supplied, Look pedals had a stranglehold on the peloton for a time, little deference to the parts suppliers.
Later with more money in the sport, the suppliers had to buy a place often on a team.
It is an interesting dynamic, not all based on utility, nor money or nationality.
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Old 10-30-11, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Italian bike prejudice. So it goes.
There was an interesting evolution of equipment suppliers to the pro ranks over time.
In the 60's for the eara I was initially aware, pro bikes often had a National bias as to equipment derived by the Teams "nationality" based often on sponsorship. An interesting example would be Simpson on a Masi painted as a Peugeot, using a French ensemble (save for the hubs, which were seen as Campagnolo from time to time) The rider was often able to supply the frame, but not the decoration. Merckx was unique almost at that time, (Coppi or Anquetil might have also been able to ride bikes with their name on them as part of their agreements earlier near the end of their careers) Merckx was able to ride bikes of his own name, before there was a Merckx factory, pretty good planning.
Every once in a while an equipment revolution would loosen up the mfgs. who supplied, Look pedals had a stranglehold on the peloton for a time, little deference to the parts suppliers.
Later with more money in the sport, the suppliers had to buy a place often on a team.
It is an interesting dynamic, not all based on utility, nor money or nationality.
I'm not prejudice against Italian bikes, there are quite a few vintage ones I would love to own, I just can't justify spending the money that these things go for. If I was a multi-millionaire I would buy one or two or maybe more to collect, but I'm not, so I have to be careful and not be spending for things I don't need, just as I'm no longer buying additional cars unless a fantastic deal came along...but the same would be true for a Italian bike. If I found a Italian bike in a used store or garage sale for $20 bucks or so then yup I'd buy it-I ain't stupid!!
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Old 10-30-11, 06:05 PM
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I'd love a classic friction shifting Campy equipped bike, but my problem with them recently is backwards compatibility. The freehubs changed so many times, and none of the stuff is interchangeable with anything else. 8 speed cassettes are impossible to find compared to Shimano. I will not buy a bike with old indexed Campy because the entire drivetrain would have to be replaced once the cassette wears out including the rear wheel, brifters, etc. I'd also avoid a new bike with Campy (assuming I had the money) because how long would I be able to use it before parts become impossible to find? Shimano 7,8,9 speed cassettes are still readily available. The Freehub spline pattern hasn't changed since the introduction of Hyperglide around 1990 (excluding some Dura Ace oddities.)

Thoughts? Is this all mindless rambling? If so I apologize.
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Old 10-30-11, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I'd love a classic friction shifting Campy equipped bike, but my problem with them recently is backwards compatibility. The freehubs changed so many times, and none of the stuff is interchangeable with anything else. 8 speed cassettes are impossible to find compared to Shimano. I will not buy a bike with old indexed Campy because the entire drivetrain would have to be replaced once the cassette wears out including the rear wheel, brifters, etc. I'd also avoid a new bike with Campy (assuming I had the money) because how long would I be able to use it before parts become impossible to find? Shimano 7,8,9 speed cassettes are still readily available. The Freehub spline pattern hasn't changed since the introduction of Hyperglide around 1990 (excluding some Dura Ace oddities.)

Thoughts? Is this all mindless rambling? If so I apologize.
You are getting a bit mixed here, 8 speed Campagnolo "freehub" was in the index era, at the tail end of Syncro and the beginning of Ergo shifting.
For friction shifting, Campagnolo was freewheels. You start your complaint about friction then meander into index issues.
Campagnolo did change the spline pattern in the Ergo era, the EXA has the deeper splines, this started with the ti cog set and 8 speed Ergo, I have never looked beyond that to see if the spline pattern was retained beyond. The locking rings have changed over time between 9 and 10 for example.
But in the friction era Campagnolo is very forgiving.
8 speed Ergo levers can be rebuilt to 9 and I think 10 speed too. Shimano never provided spares for their lever/shifters.
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Old 10-30-11, 07:23 PM
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FastJake
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Oops, that's what I meant. I'd like friction Campy because everything is forgiving. It's the indexing I have issue with.
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Old 10-30-11, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
Not so much a question about the specific value of something but a general one. I just got done listing some components that I consider basically junk on e-bay. A old Campagnolo Record derailleur not even complete that someone paid nearly $40 for and couple of 6speed freewheels a Regina and Sachs that someone paid $20 for. I would like some insight into why people are willing to pay these kind of prices for old French and Italian components that are basically junk. It just doesn't make a lot of since to me and I was hoping for some insight before I sell some of the other stuff in my junk bin.
You're complaining that buyers are paying too much for what you are selling? Hmmm....

$40 is not a lot for an old rear derailleur. $1,783 is a lot for an old rear derailleur. See: collectors (comma), knowledgeable Japanese. I've seen NOS front derailleurs sell for nearly $2K on eBay.
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Old 10-30-11, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Problem is with all that you said, Suntour reigned supreme in the durability and quick positive shifts in the friction age, and this fact is very well known; so again Campy wasn't in the league with either Cyclone or Superbe Pro. There were other factors at play here.

By the way, I have the entire Suntour Superbe group on one of my bikes and those components have over 150,000 miles with the only problem being the front derailleur band snapped, but fortunately I had bought a new replacement at the time of original purchase of the group, along with a rear derailleur and pedals still unopened in their boxes...except I just put the pedals on another bike last week to replace a set of pedals I didn't like. I also found another exactly the same front derailleur that was new at a LBS about 10 years or so ago and bought it just in case.
Incorrect, sorry. You couldn't rebuild a worn Japanese rear derailleur. You could rebuild/rebush a Nuovo or Super Record rear derailleur. Campy stuff didn't change every six months, either, rendering all spare parts obsolete overnight (like D-A did), so retailers actually stocked small parts for servicing Campagnolo NR/SR. You really aren't thinking whole-picture, I'm afraid.
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Old 10-30-11, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I'd love a classic friction shifting Campy equipped bike, but my problem with them recently is backwards compatibility. The freehubs changed so many times, and none of the stuff is interchangeable with anything else. 8 speed cassettes are impossible to find compared to Shimano. I will not buy a bike with old indexed Campy because the entire drivetrain would have to be replaced once the cassette wears out including the rear wheel, brifters, etc. I'd also avoid a new bike with Campy (assuming I had the money) because how long would I be able to use it before parts become impossible to find? Shimano 7,8,9 speed cassettes are still readily available. The Freehub spline pattern hasn't changed since the introduction of Hyperglide around 1990 (excluding some Dura Ace oddities.)

Thoughts? Is this all mindless rambling? If so I apologize.
You're talking stuff that is too new! Pre-indexing Campagnolo is the classic stuff, say, 1950s-1983ish, and it is supremely serviceable, flexible, durable, high-quality, and compatible with other parts....

Campagnolo struggled mightily for about a decade after the old man died (so, from 1983 to about 1993). With a few exceptions, I avoid Campagnolo parts from that era.
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