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Originality vs Accuracy

Old 11-03-16, 07:05 AM
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cloozoe
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Originality vs Accuracy

Picked up a bike of very modest monetary value, but which was like a window onto 1981. It was in flawless condition, having been sitting in a heated basement for 20 years after being ridden very minimally prior to that. Everything, and I mean everything stock/original/complete. Guy even still had the owners manual. The bloody tires were original, albeit decomposing.

The tubing decal, however, is in error; right manufacturer but wrong tube designation. There is absolutely no question that the frame is not made of the tubing designated on the sticker, nor were any of it's model-mates ever made of it; there is also no question that the bike came from the shop with that decal on it; either the factory did it, or the bike shop.

Preamble out of the way, here's the question: Would you keep the sticker on, as it is doubtless original but wrong, like an upside down Jenny stamp, or would you replace it with a reproduction, making it accurate but unoriginal.

I realize what a trivial issue this is, but thought it was an interesting philosophical question. Of course, I'm easily amused.
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Old 11-03-16, 07:08 AM
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I'd leave it on for the story, but in the telling get rid of the "or the bike shop" - it was from the factory
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Old 11-03-16, 07:16 AM
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I believe anomalies should be left alone. I understand the temptation to normalize things, to make the evidence of the past consistent with what we understand it to have been. But history often shows the past to have been more interesting than what we'd expect. So... I don't know why your bike has this sticker, but I'd leave it. It's only an issue when selling the bike, and then I'd make my opinion clear ("it has a Reynolds 531 decal, but I don't believe it...").
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Old 11-03-16, 07:28 AM
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Yeah, if you change that decal, you lose the interesting narrative. Don't do it.
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Old 11-03-16, 07:56 AM
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"The tubing decal, however, is in error; right manufacturer but wrong tube designation. There is absolutely no question that the frame is not made of the tubing designated on the sticker, nor were any of it's model-mates ever made of it; there is also no question that the bike came from the shop with that decal on it; either the factory did it, or the bike shop."

And you know this for certain because........?
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Old 11-03-16, 08:18 AM
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Scrape it off. Tubing decals are way over-rated....
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Old 11-03-16, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
"The tubing decal, however, is in error; right manufacturer but wrong tube designation. There is absolutely no question that the frame is not made of the tubing designated on the sticker, nor were any of it's model-mates ever made of it; there is also no question that the bike came from the shop with that decal on it; either the factory did it, or the bike shop."

And you know this for certain because........?
Doesn't matter, but if I bothered to outline the specifics you'd agree it was indisputable. Or even if you didn't, indisputable to my satisfaction. In the words of a great contemporary American statesman, "Believe me"
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Old 11-03-16, 08:30 AM
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Please do bother. If you deign to. There are many here who might benefit from your indisputable knowledge.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:32 AM
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I'd like to know more about this.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:33 AM
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This reminds me of my 1982 Trek, which I bought new from a Trek dealer as a bare frame with only headset and bottom bracket installed. It wasn't until years later I realized the BB was Italian threaded. How did this happen? I don't know. I can speculate. You can speculate. Doesn't change anything, doesn't answer anything. Unless we track down the person who tapped the BB out to Italian and ask him/her why, we aren't going to know.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:40 AM
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I don't know how often it happens but my 2008 Globe Carmel was mislabeled. The decal shows its a Carmel 3 but it isn't. It's a lower spec Carmel 1. Same frame, possibly labeled before the fork and components were added.

Years ago I inspected several custom manufacturing facilities and saw significant differences in organization and quality control that could account for variations between nominal and actual products.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Please do bother. If you deign to. There are many here who might benefit from your indisputable knowledge.
I was all set to start laboriously typing after your first sentence and lay it all out, then I got to your snarky 2nd and 3rd sentences and thought "why would I want to indulge this unpleasant person?"
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Old 11-03-16, 08:50 AM
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Factories mess things up all the time. My dad had a car he bought new with deluxe trim on one side and standard on the other and he did not notice until someone pointed it out to him.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:52 AM
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I can think of a couple of concrete examples in which the tubing decal would be mostly correct, but someone examining the bike would think otherwise.

Sometime in the early 1970s, after receiving customer complaints about oscillation, Nishiki switched to plain gauge CrMo on the seat tubes of its 25" Competition frames, the main top tubes and downtubes of which remained double-butted Ishiwata CrMo. They continued to use the same "guarantee double butted CrMo" decal after the change, despite the obvious need for a smaller-diameter seat post. Someone looking just at seat post diameter would conclude that these were plain gauge frames.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:57 AM
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The most interesting part of this post to me is how one might determine that the tubing type is incorrect. Cloozoe, I'm highly curious as to this, and puzzled as to why you're keeping us in the dark regarding the bike brand/model and details regarding the tubing (claimed type, actual type, and how you figured this out). Also note that the forum mantra is "without pictures, it never happened". This is even a worse crime than not presenting the details. Please enlighten us.
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Old 11-03-16, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cloozoe View Post
I was all set to start laboriously typing after your first sentence and lay it all out, then I got to your snarky 2nd and 3rd sentences and thought "why would I want to indulge this unpleasant person?"
yeah, sorry about the snark. But I thought your response to Oddjob was somewhat arrogant.
Just "believe me". So it goes.
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Old 11-03-16, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cloozoe View Post
I was all set to start laboriously typing after your first sentence and lay it all out, then I got to your snarky 2nd and 3rd sentences and thought "why would I want to indulge this unpleasant person?"
How to make friends and influence people:
Not this.

I'm sure it's brutally hard to type out "Schwinn Mesa Runner, Columbus SLX sticker." But it does wonders to satisfy the curiosity of those whose opinions you've sought, and is quite appropriate in a forum of this sort.

On the other hand, getting after knowledgable and well-liked persons who have been here much longer than you may have its merits too. I guess.

EDIT: In answer to the original question: Leave the decal on. It's interesting and quirky.
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Old 11-03-16, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
yeah, sorry about the snark. But I thought your response to Oddjob was somewhat arrogant.
Just "believe me". So it goes.
Future candidate for POTUS
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Old 11-03-16, 09:20 AM
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Didn't mean to be arrogant with the "believe me" - just funny; sorry if it came across that way. And not trying to be mysterious, but what I find interesting and wanted to discuss is the philosophical question of correcting errors at the expense of originality, not a debate about what tubing the frame is made out of, or whether or not I know whereof I speak, so let's rephrase:

If, hypothetically, you had an indisputably incorrect but original sticker on a completely original bike, would you replace it? So far the strong consensus is no.

Last edited by cloozoe; 11-03-16 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 11-03-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cloozoe View Post
If, hypothetically, you had an indisputably incorrect but original sticker on a completely original bike, would you replace it? So far the strong consensus is no.
Just my 2 cents, but I'm not sure how something can be "indisputably" anything without something to dispute. We're a curious bunch and even tiny factoids are somethings worth disputation. We like facts and we like checking out things that others say are inconsistencies, it's part of the learning curve for knowledge of vintage bikes.

Could you please let us know what the particular bike and the disputable frame material is. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-16, 10:15 AM
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I think it was your believe me(should have added another believe me) that started the snark. Or possibly the "great" part of statesman. Either way.

We're curious about the tubing, and rightly so as is the nature of bike forums, and also why you posted your question.
As to your question, im with the general consensus of leave it, unless you're selling, then leave it but tell next owner.
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Old 11-03-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Scrape it off. Tubing decals are way over-rated....
I don't know, there's something about a 531 decal that makes me warm and fuzzy. I'm absolutely sure it's from my childhood - this was a sought after quality on a bike.

I believe it's called "ingredient branding", Reynolds 531, and later Columbus SL/etc. are great examples. A more modern one is "Intel inside".

BTW, I know that this has nothing to do with actual performance of the bike. But if I were repainting a frame (and I have done this several times), and the frame were 531, I'd spend the $ to put the correct decal set back on. It's a nod to the past.
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Old 11-03-16, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cloozoe View Post
If, hypothetically, you had an indisputably incorrect but original sticker on a completely original bike, would you replace it? So far the strong consensus is no.

No because I am too lazy and it is a curiosity and it doesn't really matter because it didn't really happen (no pics)!


Respect goes a long way on this forum. Someone with nearly 16K posts wouldn't still be around if they didn't add value in some major ways. Mostly because offensive individuals typically get ignored to oblivion.
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Old 11-03-16, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I don't know, there's something about a 531 decal that makes me warm and fuzzy. I'm absolutely sure it's from my childhood - this was a sought after quality on a bike.

I believe it's called "ingredient branding", Reynolds 531, and later Columbus SL/etc. are great examples. A more modern one is "Intel inside".

BTW, I know that this has nothing to do with actual performance of the bike. But if I were repainting a frame (and I have done this several times), and the frame were 531, I'd spend the $ to put the correct decal set back on. It's a nod to the past.
When I rebuilt and re-painted my bike I bought the Fuji 331 decal for just that reason, even though it's a no-name tube set (maybe Ishiwata? I've heard rumours). I think tubing decals are just *right* for vintage bikes.
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Old 11-03-16, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
Just my 2 cents, but I'm not sure how something can be "indisputably" anything...
Well, I did say "hypothetically", which could mean that it's indisputable because God told me so, or I invented a time machine and watched it being built.

Last edited by cloozoe; 11-03-16 at 10:58 AM.
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