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What is the "least" you'd be happy with

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What is the "least" you'd be happy with

Old 03-19-17, 09:54 PM
  #1  
higgins617
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What is the "least" you'd be happy with

We're obviously all here because we love riding, and especially the machines we do it on. And most of us here have absolutely amazing top quality bikes.

But what do you think would be the "lowest quality" type of CV bike that would still give you the smiles per mile that make riding classic rides as fun as it is.

What drove me to think about it is thinking about a Peugeot Corbier I had pass through my hands recently. Carbolite frame, stem shifters, Sachs-Huret stamped rear mech, and riveted crank. By all accounts nothing noteworthy at all, but it rode like a dream after a tune up and tires. Really made me enjoy the ride and think about what I have in the stable
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Old 03-19-17, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by higgins617 View Post
.... What drove me to think about it is thinking about a Peugeot Corbier I had pass through my hands recently. Carbolite frame, stem shifters, Sachs-Huret stamped rear mech, and riveted crank. By all accounts nothing noteworthy at all, but it rode like a dream after a tune up and tires. Really made me enjoy the ride and think about what I have in the stable
I restored a similar Peugeot a few years ago. Polished up the old chrome and hung it on a wall (in the man-cave) for a while. It also rode great.

Your post is very thought provoking. I am an older (retired) cyclists. There may be a day when I need to reduce the number of bikes I have. If I had to reduce my stable to one bike.... I can't honesty say I know for sure which bike would be the one I'd keep. Which means... I might even keep a modern bike.

But if I was stuck with limited selection or choice of bicycles. I think I would continue to find joy in riding any decent fitting, mechanically sound, road bike. Good tires, true wheels, brakes that work, and shifters that shift. I'd be good!
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Old 03-19-17, 10:33 PM
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Pretty much any bike is fun, everything else is a matter of refinement.
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Old 03-19-17, 10:44 PM
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I don't like rattles or squeaks. I like everything to work properly, and I like a frame that tracks and steers well, is comfortable for several hours, and doesn't suck away what little power I have. And decent tires. That means basically anything mid-range or better.
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Old 03-19-17, 11:38 PM
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Hard to say, very subjective question. Here in PDX it would be very labor intensive to maintain a serious C+V example for a do it all. While not impossible, it would be tough for me to dedicate one of the Merz's for rain duty on any kind of regular basis as it can really accelerate wear and tear and general deterioration even with say monthly or more overhauls. Like it or not and I don't necessarily, new bikes with better cables, housing, sealed bearings and so forth seem to be better up to the task especially with less maintenance. Sad but true imho.
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Old 03-20-17, 12:14 AM
  #6  
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What is the "least" you'd be happy with

For a little over 20 very pleasant miles, I was riding it today:



The photo is pretty deceiving. Up close, this bike is kind of a joke. My Velo-Cheapo entry from a couple years ago. Cheap, hi-ten Apollo frame. D.I.Y. paintjob that I never got around to clearcoating because I meant to re-do the clunky red striping. Those relatively fragile, skinny Rigida blue label rims (holding up so far! Knock on wood!) Utterly crappy plastic Fake-I-Canitor saddle that came on my first 10-speed bike in 1973, cracking apart with rusty rails, but still intact and disappears underneath me in about 50 yards riding. Downmarket Nuovo Gran Sport shifty bits. Downmarket (but light) swagged crank from an old Peugeot.

Objectively, this is the least of my bikes, but has some kinda magic going on here, I've never had a bad ride on this bike. Never even a flat tire. I keep thinking I'm going to re-do the paint (much better this time) but I'm a little afraid to jinx this deal. Definitely my best 'bad' bike ever. Tons of room to add fenders, if I ever decided I need them.
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Old 03-20-17, 12:22 AM
  #7  
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I'm not picky. I was satisfied years ago with my hi-ten frame Motobecane. And now I'm happy with my middling '92 Univega Via Carisma -- it's mountain bikish, but not really set up for serious bombing. More of a hybrid before anyone called them hybrids.

I kinda like the design quirks of the early '90s Univegas and would like to try a road bike with their bi-axial oval frame and splattertastic paint, just for laughs. My Via Carisma makes me smile because it's so kitschy looking and fun to ride, and didn't cost much. Heck, I might even look for a Rover or other lower end model, those pop up for well under $100 occasionally.
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Old 03-20-17, 02:04 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Sir_Name View Post
Pretty much any bike is fun, everything else is a matter of refinement.
Hear Hear
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Old 03-20-17, 04:16 AM
  #9  
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Any bike is better than no bike at all!
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Old 03-20-17, 06:06 AM
  #10  
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A mid 80's Fuji with Valite tubing. Or, maybe a mid 80's Schwinn World. Both very humble rides.
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Old 03-20-17, 06:15 AM
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One with true, decent spinning wheels, working derailleurs and safe brakes. Oh, and tires holding air also. Level of components and the lack of exotic steel alloys wouldn't be a factor for me, some Hi-ten, or even gas pipe will pass muster. Pretty much describes my 1972 Bottecchia Special that was my gateway drug for road bikes and riding. Randyjawa's blue Special on his "My Ten Speeds" website, only in white.

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Old 03-20-17, 06:17 AM
  #12  
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Humble, cheap, and plentiful but I enjoy riding my CrMoly World Sports.
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Old 03-20-17, 06:30 AM
  #13  
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Current languishing at the LBS on consignment - and I may very well have to go reclaim it and remove the stock stem and driveside crank and put it back this way and keep it. This 1975 Motobecane Grand Touring is plain ol' French gas pipe 1020 steel with pretty basic bike boom era parts that just happen to include some insanely smooth old Normandy Sport hubs and a smooth-shifting SunTour V-GT Luxe rear derailleur with ratcheting downtube shifters. The Weinmann centerpulls just work, period, and the Selle Italia GP saddle does, too - not something I expected. I bought this one for $45 and put it into running condition for the 2016 Clunker Challenge. Somewhere along the way I discovered that despite the plebian tubing, the angles not being just exactly what I would prefer, the non-descript parts, mismatched rims, cheap and heavy Chinese 27-in scavenged tires at 70 psi - it actually rode very nicely, and if I let it, it felt remarkably like the very spendy, very nice Rivendell I used to ride.
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Old 03-20-17, 06:49 AM
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I rather enjoy my low end Raleighs.




I rather like this no name, no known metal, fun toy.
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Old 03-20-17, 07:52 AM
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i have a 1975 Raleigh Grand Prix, They were pretty low end but they were always classy as hell. I customized mine to look like a portuer bike. Love riding it, even though it's heavy.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:00 AM
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I'm not sure what my "least" would be, exactly. But I know it's somewhere above Takara.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:13 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
But if I was stuck with limited selection or choice of bicycles. I think I would continue to find joy in riding any decent fitting, mechanically sound, road bike. Good tires, true wheels, brakes that work, and shifters that shift. I'd be good!

This!
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Old 03-20-17, 08:30 AM
  #18  
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Any British, 22 1/2" (mens or womens) bike that was built with a 3-speed Sturmey Archer internal rear hub. This is not-to-say that these bikes were (are) of low-quality: Far from it. It is just that they are not the most desired racing or training machines, presently. I'm sure I could well make-do with one that was in good repair.
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Old 03-20-17, 09:08 AM
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One of the great things about C&V bikes is you don't really have to settle. With patience you can get a top of the line bike from the 70s or 80s, fix it up, and be in for well under $500.
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Old 03-20-17, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
One of the great things about C&V bikes is you don't really have to settle. With patience you can get a top of the line bike from the 70s or 80s, fix it up, and be in for well under $500.
Exactly! An example of something under $500 that I am happy with, among others in the stable.
[IMG]P1020132, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 03-20-17, 10:41 AM
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My Peugeot UO-8:

1. Weighs less than 15kg.
2. Has at least 10 gears with nicely-spaced ratios.
3. Has QR wheels.
4. Fits me properly.
5. Has a recognizable classic look.
6. Has toeclips.
7. Has drop bars.
8. Has KoolStop brake pads.
9. Has aluminum rims.
10. Everything functions as designed.
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Old 03-20-17, 10:41 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Current languishing at the LBS on consignment - and I may very well have to go reclaim it and remove the stock stem and driveside crank and put it back this way and keep it. This 1975 Motobecane Grand Touring is plain ol' French gas pipe 1020 steel with pretty basic bike boom era parts that just happen to include some insanely smooth old Normandy Sport hubs and a smooth-shifting SunTour V-GT Luxe rear derailleur with ratcheting downtube shifters.
Sure it's a Grand Touring? If it's built with 1020, my guess would be that it's a Super Mirage.

I believe that all the Grand Touring bikes that we sold in the shop in 1975 were built with Vitus tubing: 888 or 172, I forget which.
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Old 03-20-17, 10:52 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Sure it's a Grand Touring? If it's built with 1020, my guess would be that it's a Super Mirage.

I believe that all the Grand Touring bikes that we sold in the shop in 1975 were built with Vitus tubing: 888 or 172, I forget which.
T'is indeed 1020 - as seen on the seat tube decal in this photo (and if you look closely you can see the very faint gold "Grand" of Grand Touring on the top tube at right) -



- but this was the last year they were built with 1020. According to the catalogs the next year's model was upgraded to butted Vitus 172, which yielded a surprisingly nice bike. A few years later the tubing was slightly downgraded from that to plain gauge Vitus 888, which was still pretty decent stuff, and better than the 1020. When they upgraded the bike in '76 they also went with nicer dropouts with an integral derailleur ear.

Trust me - if this was one of the Vitus 172 variety, it would NEVER have left my stable. It still may wind up coming back!

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Old 03-20-17, 11:17 AM
  #24  
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I've a UO8 and a PE41 (a European UO variant). They're among my favorite bikes, actually, and I own some serious stuff. I've played with both heavily, though-- neither one is original stock. The initial cost for both combined was 5$. The PE was free; it was leaning up against a tree in a dealer's yard, about to be sold for scrap.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:21 AM
  #25  
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I don't have much storage space and top of the line C&V bikes are relatively accessible so I've refocused my efforts on just a few high end bikes. I don't have time to maintain and equip dozens of bikes to my satisfaction so if I'm riding it may as well be the best bike of the era possible.
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