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Young C&Vers

Old 11-12-15, 07:33 PM
  #1  
bmthom.gis
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Young C&Vers

I was wondering how many other younguns there are out there. By young, I mean not around for or too young to remember the bike boom.
Nostalgia can be a big reason for loving C&V, but I know for me it isn't. I never knew anything but a Wal Mart bike growing up, and it let me bomb the hill that my childhood crush lived on, trying desperately to get her attention (it never did work, as far as I know...). I didn't know what good bikes were out, I didn't know the names of any of the pros. A bike was something to get me around the neighborhood and the occasional Boy Scout trip. I used it a few times in high school my freshman year to get to cross country practice, but as soon as I made friends who could drive, away the bike went for the next decade. Gasoline and perfume led me to other quests.

It wasn't until I was 26 that I got a bike and started riding again. Two more years passed until I started getting interested in C&V. I'll be 30 next year, and my favorite bikes are all older than I am. I love their aesthetics, the way they ride, the history behind bike companies, things that don't exist so much anymore. Lugs, chromed sleeves, drive trains that just don't quit, frames that outlive their previous owners.

I have just been finding I have a liking for older things I n general. Stuff that people disregard as obselete. I wish I had the bank account to persue vintage cars and motorcycles.
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Old 11-12-15, 08:05 PM
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Just keep going after what you like. You're in the right place for C&V bikes.
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Old 11-12-15, 08:08 PM
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There are lots of us on this forum with similar stories. I am 34.

For me cycling was a passion from early on. My brother is a year older than me and it was clear I was more into bicycles than he was when we were kids. I was doing the bigger jumps on my BMX (i mean plywood ramps, not actual bmx'ing). I rode no hands around the block and he was in awe. Anyway, it was always more about getting around but when I was about 12 I started to get into mountain biking. Just getting out on the trails. This lasted till I was about 15 or 16. I had a subscription to mountain bike for about 3 years. Then I got into dirt bikes and raced motocross. My Dad rides Harleys so two wheel passions are in the family. Then girls and a car got all my attention and I went to university. I started commuting a bit during that time and the odd trail ride on a 1990s rigid. That was the Lance era and suddenly I was attracted to the history and mystique of the tour. I got an old Japanese bianchi from the recyclers and tuned it up and rode 60kms from my house to my parents and realized it was too small. I moved across the country to a large city and started to rely on commuting daily in a serious way and that is when I got interested in road bikes and then C&V. About 2005, 10 years ago. I have had an on again off again relationship with serious mountain biking and while I like road biking, MTB is my first love and primary riding. I have a few gems hanging in the basement, and a nice C&V commuter/trainer but primarily ride modern. I'm working on a retro MTb restoration atm from when I was about 12.
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Old 11-12-15, 08:08 PM
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I feel "young", am very healthy, curious, energetic and spunky. I've known some chronologically young people whose eyes were dead and who were tired of life.
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Old 11-12-15, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
I feel "young", am very healthy, curious, energetic and spunky. I've known some chronologically young people whose eyes were dead and who were tired of life.
+1 there are many definitions of young!
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Old 11-12-15, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
I'll be 30 next year, and my favorite bikes are all older than I am. I love their aesthetics, the way they ride, the history behind bike companies, things that don't exist so much anymore. Lugs, chromed sleeves, drive trains that just don't quit, frames that outlive their previous owners.
Looking at your fleet listed under your avatar, that leaves your 1972 Schwinn Suburban and the 1979 Raleigh Comp, certainly and odd pairing.

Just guestimating, but probably half of the bikes I refurbish and remarket are older than the rider buying them.

More than a few C&V enthusiasts turn a few bikes to support their acquisition addiction. You can probably start your motorcycle passion on an incremental basis the same way.
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Old 11-12-15, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
I feel "young", am very healthy, curious, energetic and spunky. I've known some chronologically young people whose eyes were dead and who were tired of life.
I don't think they are tired of life. They just don't know how to communicate 1 on 1. The Cell Phone and texting has become the norm, no one really communicates anymore. How do you show any emotion in a text message??
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Old 11-12-15, 08:58 PM
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My body just makes the CR cutoff date. What does that mean?
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Old 11-12-15, 09:00 PM
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I only have 2 bikes in my house younger than I am (my 87 Centurions).

My favorite bike had been hanging in a garage for 12 years by the time I came on the scene.
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Old 11-12-15, 09:16 PM
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At 40, I might be on the younger side for the C&V crowd. My 11-year-old daughter has me beat, though. Her road bike is an '81 Fuji, so she rides C&V, too.
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Old 11-12-15, 09:51 PM
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Ill be 24 in a few months.
For me c&v wasnt really a choice.
When i started college i needed transportation and i was just healing from a skateboarding accident so i was hesitant to skate to school.
My friends dad had a garage full of c&v bikes and thats just all i knew so it when it came time to buy a bike i just bought what i knew.

II found what i really like about c&v is working on bikes.
Taking them apart and back together keeps me busy and when i ride them i have a sense of pride.

Another thing i like is the looks of c&v bikes.
Lugs look so elegant to me. Even the simplest lugs.
I recently picked up an early stumpjumper sport and the lugs though nothing special look great and that fork is something else. I wish more road bikes had bi plane forks.

Modern bikes looks like robots. Im not against modern bikes but no modern bike has ever been attractive to me
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Old 11-12-15, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
..... More than a few C&V enthusiasts turn a few bikes to support their acquisition addiction. You can probably start your motorcycle passion on an incremental basis the same way.
+1 When I bought my 1st old bike to refurbish as winter project... simply as a way to entertain myself (during the off season). Someone posted that I might be able to make a portion of my cycling hobby pay for itself... with well thought out fixing and reselling. Heck... it might have even been YOU.

There is a dollar or two to be made with very little effort. Actually if you enjoy the wrenching... it's all fun.

I don't do much (or many) bicycle restorations. And I don't mind taking my time, rounding up parts, and wrenching on cold or rainy days. I don't even mind loosing money... if I get enough enjoyment from the project. I generally keep, ride, and enjoy the bikes until the fickle wears off and then sell them. And yet... I can honestly say my bicycle addiction costs me nothing out-of-pocket even as my herd has grown nicely.

I have considered doing something similar with older motorcycles, English sports cars, small boats, or mini campers. All are trendy... at least at the moment.
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Old 11-12-15, 10:55 PM
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I am 24, though I helped start a bicycle collective 4 years ago in Utah so I have been working on and selling old bikes since 20. I love C&V, but just barely started riding C&V in the last six months. My wife is 23 and both of her bikes I have built have been C&V by choice. She loves old steel. So, do we qualify as young?
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Old 11-12-15, 11:11 PM
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C&V keeps us all young.
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Old 11-13-15, 12:13 AM
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I'm 28, and got into C&V about 2 or so years ago while I was in grad school. I've always been kind of "behind the times" so to speak (for example, I still prefer to have to blow into the cartridges before I play my video games), so C&V just fits my lifestyle. I've rode quite a few newer bikes, but imo, they just don't have the soul that older bikes do. I've had about 12 different rides in the last 2 years and each one of them is different. From a no-complaints Trek, to a tank of a Fuji that could take all comers, all the way up to my current Carlton Raleigh that's as finicky as can be. They've all got a personality to contend with--a life before me, and if I treat them right, a life after me when they move on to the next rider. Plus there's all the history, not just of the makers and marques, but of the sport itself. For someone like me, who can spend hours with his nose in a book, C&V is perfect--you can just get lost in it in the best possible way.
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Old 11-13-15, 01:12 AM
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Who you callin' olde?

Couple words of advice... read my tag at the end of this message...

There's a lot of urban myths surrounding the C&V era. Google is your friend! Do your own research and look for people who were there (then believe only half of what they write).

You can trust me because I'm always right and I never lie!

Good luck.

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Old 11-13-15, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
I feel "young", am very healthy, curious, energetic and spunky. I've known some chronologically young people whose eyes were dead and who were tired of life.
I've met them. 3 generations removed from the Great Depression, we have a society of expectancy and entitlement on so many levels, and except at the extreme ends of each, neither will be met.

As far as young C&V folks, met plenty, liked them all. They seemed to lack the Road Forum DNA, but they were fast.
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Old 11-13-15, 05:22 AM
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Great to hear from everyone! @oddjob2, you can add my 78 Raleigh Sports and 1970-something Royal Regina to that list as well. I'm older than my commuter by a year, I had an 86 Fuji (my birth year) and my 89 Schwinn Prelude was almost as old as me. Sold that one to pick up my Comp GS. My stable rotates fairly frequently, as the wife starts to get a little bit annoyed when more than 10 bikes take up space in the garage. Hopefully this spring I'll be able to build a bigger shed.

It's a fun hobby tracking down the right deal and bringing a bike back to life. I love the collective knowledge around here
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Old 11-13-15, 05:46 AM
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I was born when the wall fell, but love old stuff (MA in history) and too cheap/broke to buy new
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Old 11-13-15, 05:58 AM
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bmthom, you could double your age and add 10% but come Sunday I'd still be older than you! I don't feel old at all, thanks in large part to biking. I saw the bike boom. It brought to our attention the wonderful names and colorful frames of Europe, but once you got past it you realized there already had been and still were great bikes from all over the world. So I wouldn't say the b-b was solely responsible for current C&V-ness appreciation.
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Old 11-13-15, 06:58 AM
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I grew up in the '80s and early '90s riding BMX bikes with friends, playing manhunt and tag on them and riding to other neighborhoods to go exploring. Once I went to college in '96 I pretty much lost my interest in bikes and instead replaced it with girls, weights, running, the career search and other university-esque hobbies. Then three years ago I purchased a Cannondale hybrid and my then girlfriend also bought a hybrid so that we could exercise together in an enjoyable marrer and also just to cruise around NYC. We really enjoyed it.

Then early last year I picked up a beat up Peugeot U08 and decided to fix it up and ride it. At the time I did not realize that the frame was way too small for me but it was a great introduction to C&V. My now wife was pregnant with our daughter and I was looking for a I was always attracted to older things and the art of restoring them since my dad used to collect and restore American Motors automobiles and we fixed HO model trains and build old car and plane models together. I stripped the U08 completely and built it back up from scratch down to paint and decals. I LOVED the feeling of accomplishment and I much preferred the aesthetic of the components, the steel frame and the lugs to the look of modern bikes. I was hooked. On top of that it was French and I am a true Francophile. My maiden project has since moved on to an appreciative friend.

I am now 37 and we are a C&V family. I do still have my hybrid though for inclement weather. Many C&V bikes have passed through my hands and have been given to friends and family. Now they are all proud C&V riders. Others bikes have been worked on and sold to help me learn and fund my hobby a bit. I also have a stable of beautiful bikes that I love to ride and projects lined up for the winter.

Thank you to all of you experienced C&Vers who help me cultivate this wonderful pastime.

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Old 11-13-15, 07:16 AM
  #22  
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As a kid, my bike, and unfortunately for my teenage sensibilities, my clothes, were from Sears. I was in college in the late 80's and my buddy got me into this new sport of mountain biking. We'd share bikes and ride laps through the Duke Forest, a teal green Specialized Rockhopper.

My buddy was also a road racer and I remember his Colnago in what I now know as Saronni red. He reluctantly let me borrow it once for a video store run and I broke the toe clip. I have 3 bikes now that I would have ridden at that time, in the unlikely event I could afford them, but I didn't take up road riding until after I graduated college.
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Old 11-13-15, 07:29 AM
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@RobbieTunes - +1

When I say they have "dead eyes" I am referring to those who have, perhaps partied too hard, drugs/alcohol, etc. and "hard living" has tarnished their authentic, genuine selves and who are "lost". Those who have lost curiosity and the ability to see life through fresh perspective. In other words, they have lost their "joie de vivre". It can happen to people at any age. It's when you look into someone's eyes and no one is home.

Anyway, the bicycle I rode all through junior high, high school, and early college was a 1976 (I think) Schwinn Le Tour, which was new when I received it (bought it from my older sister). I don't recall having any bicycle tools, skills or knowledge. Didn't know anything about saddle height, fore/aft adjustment, tire pressure....I guess my body just adapted and that bike was my freedom, my transportation. Of course, it wasn't vintage at the time, but I think the love of that bike set the stage for future appreciation of C & V.
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Old 11-13-15, 07:36 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Sir_Name View Post
My body just makes the CR cutoff date. What does that mean?

It it means you can sell yourself at twice what you're worth on Craigslist!
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Old 11-13-15, 07:39 AM
  #25  
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27 here. A few years ago I moved out into a rough neighborhood and the next week my car died. I bought an old Bianchi Strada LX and started riding/bussing to work until I realized I was faster than the bus! 15 miles both ways for a few years and I was hooked. My preference for vintage started off as cheapness but as I grew to understand bicycles the aesthetics and qualities of vintage bikes more and more appealed to me. Plus the geometries on large vintage bikes works well with my proportions (looooong legs in relation to my torso)

Unrelated question: Are their any regional C&V meetups that happen regularly, or touring groups that come together via this forum? I'm usually a lurker and y'all old grouches are just the type I'd love to kick back a beer (or whiskey) with.
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