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The Impact of Repo on the Vintage Bicycle..?

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The Impact of Repo on the Vintage Bicycle..?

Old 06-26-17, 01:11 PM
  #26  
leicanthrope
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Ultimately, they're not making any more of the original stuff. That's all fine and well if someone is just intending to leave the bike on display, but no so much for people that intend to actually use the bikes as intended. Bring on the reproduction brake pads that fit original pad holders, reproduction hoods, and the like. As far as the concern that these items might allow for a bit of fraud down the road, it would be easy enough to work in just enough "inaccuracy" that it would look the part from any reasonable distance, but reveal itself as a repro upon close examination. (Maybe a different logo, etc.?)
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Old 06-26-17, 01:30 PM
  #27  
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I think there are a few sellers selling new production items as NOS.

I bought a frame recently that the seller said came with a NOS bottle cage and bottle. I decided not to use the bottle, but left the cage on the frame.

The thing was loose and wobbly, and held together with about 4 spot welds. And, lasted less than 500 miles before disintegrating mid-ride.

Anyway, I have no problem with retro-styled parts, as long as they are quality made.

That thin chrome steel cage was replaced with a well built tubular stainless cage
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Old 06-26-17, 02:31 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by nashvillebill View Post
...I thought "repo" was what happens if you don't make your car payment, whereas a new duplicate of an old part was a "repro".
I'm with you. Repo ≠ repro. Two different things entirely. Although this doesn't bother me as much as someone who repaints and modernizes an old bike, changing everything it's possible to change, and says he's "restored" it.
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Old 06-26-17, 02:59 PM
  #29  
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My '64 Legnano is mostly original except for brake hoods, pads, cables, bar tape and the Brooks B17. I did change the stem to Nitto, from the origimal Ambrosio. Back in the day there was more bike and less me, than there is now. Got it new as a junior racer, and have kept it up as near as I can to the way it was born in jolly old Italy. Oh yeah, tires, wheels, and SPD pedals, too. I have the original tubular rims hanging on the garage wall, replaced by clincher rims and Gatorskin 28s. Like I said "mostly" original. I dug the old pedals and toe straps out for last year's Eroica, then put them back in the box where they belong.
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Old 06-26-17, 04:44 PM
  #30  
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Some interesting thoughts offered and I can't help but agree with them all. When I consider myself, my quest for the best riding bicycle I can find is over - I believe I have found it and it is the one I ride regularly, when not in healing mode. As for the others, they are wall hangers, for the most part.

I do take them out once or twice a year, but only for short rides. The gearing does match the potential of my old legs. For me, the repro (how did I mess that up) stuff is just fine, but I seek the challenge of getting an old bike the way it was. Sure, I might have to compromise, and that is OK also. But each compromise, in such a quest for originality, comes wrapped with hope, and that is a big part of the fun. You never know when that special part will surface, and sometimes for next to nothing...

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Old 06-26-17, 05:40 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
It's another thing, then, when someone wants a saddle that is no longer made, and we don't have an original to restore. This gets us into the realm of a reproduction. So, how close should a reproduction be?

I recently did such a thing for a forum member who's restoring a bike from the 1930's. I'll let him out himself if he chooses. The original saddle, according to an old catalog, was a "Kaydex K5" which was a low end Brooks offering. Here's an entry from the Brooks catalog for 1935:


Having only that image to work with, and no frame, we decided the best thing to do was to simply restore a Wrights W3N, changing nothing but the stamp on the side; so I used a Wrights frame (which is a Brooks frame, but easily distinguished from a 1930's one), leaving the bag loops in the frame as typical of a Wrights saddle, rather than putting them through the leather as the Kaydex illustration shows. And, of course, I don't really know what the fine print on that Kaydex stamp says! I kinda had to wing it....



I, obviously, don't see any harm in it. But I'm interested in other people's thoughts on the matter.
So I'll out myself, though I actually haven't seen the saddle yet as its still en route (though it is *in* Canada!). When Rudi and I were talking about this, we had a couple of decision points....one of which is neither of us had seen or could find an original saddle on which to model the above. But certainly installed on the 1938 CCM Road Racer it will be a nice nod to originality, it won't be another "regular Brooks" (not that there's anything wrong with that!), and to be sure no one now or in future thinks this is going to be passed of as some ultra rare find, I made sure Rudi put his personal stamp on the tail so there'd never be confusion.....so we all win (and for any of you wanting to work with Rudi on a saddle of your own - do it - he's a gentleman and a (leather) scholar!).
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Old 06-26-17, 05:47 PM
  #32  
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On a bike that gets ridden, I see no point in fretting over consumables and regular wear items that are not original. Absolutely keep it looking correct, but mostly keep it safe. For a museum piece, those should probably be "all original". I guess there's an in between in there somewhere, but I have hard time finding an argument for it.
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Old 06-27-17, 05:31 AM
  #33  
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Slightly OT, but the Kaydex saddle mentioned above arrived this morning - will post pictures on the bike later when I get back from work.....
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Old 06-27-17, 06:27 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
I'm with you. Repo ≠ repro. Two different things entirely. Although this doesn't bother me as much as someone who repaints and modernizes an old bike, changing everything it's possible to change, and says he's "restored" it.
Would you place a higher aesthetic and functional value on the first bike seen below, or the second?







What bothers me most about the alter of originality is it's potentially negative impact on business and craftsmen who provide reproduction parts and services that keep older bikes from the landfill.

Most people who dedicate themselves to the supply of reproduction parts or who repair and do repainting work on older frames can be described as starving artist. If the community that collects older bikes continues to dismiss the products and services of the very few craftsmen who service the hobby, more bikes will be broken up and more frames will be scrapped.

The seller of this De Rosa had multiple inquiries from "hobbyists" who were interested in the bike for it's parts. These people do more harm than good.


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Old 06-27-17, 07:59 AM
  #35  
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By the way, have you guys seen the IRD "CAFAM" cantilever brakes? They appear to be nicely made, slightly updated MAFAC clones, with the IRD logo on one side and CAFAM on the other. Looks to me like a nice pseudo vintage component option.


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Old 06-27-17, 09:40 AM
  #36  
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The big problem is that when the recessions of the 2000's hit, especially the 2007-8 recession, everyone and their mother was hit hard economically and selling anything or parting out wholes into parts became a way to generate or supplement income. This was helped immensely by eBay and Craiglist, the use of smartphone for data and price checking, as well as being rarely taxed.

This has persisted through today and you'll find all kinds of flippers and parters who buy whole things (bikes, stereo gear, speakers of certain vintages or makes, cars, etc.) where the parts are worth more than the whole, or the skeleton (frame). Now for many of us, those parts represent pieces which can help us complete a build, or provide whole gruppos for frames and builds. But it's difficult for some of us to consider parting out a perfectly good fully equipped bike just to make money, but I'm not in the economic distress that some are in, or I just don't like to do that often.

So IMO that is the primary source of additional vintage and original parts on the used market and is the easier way to find parts on the global marketplace that is Ebay or CL, or even here at BF. Of course there are the personal stashes, née hoards, of parts that many of us have created too and are periodically shared.
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Old 06-27-17, 10:00 AM
  #37  
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I'm a big fan of good, quality, well thought out reproduction parts. At heart I want everything as original as it can be, but I don't like the idea of a bike sitting for weeks or months waiting for a rare part to pop up at a price I can accept on eBay. If there was a quality 3D printed part that looks the business I'll take it. For people that know I'm sure something like that would be a fun conversation starter, especially if you printed it yourself.

I've got too many side projects, but I've mused to myself how fun it would be to setup a Shapeways account (where you can 3D print in much higher resolution, even with metals) and upload files with small bobs and ends for anyone to print, have mailed to themselves, just setting the price at whatever Shapeways charges on their end with maybe 1 dollar tacked on for the effort =) I'd like to know bikes are out there being ridden and finally off the build stand. Things like brake bolt caps, plastic through tube cable guides, curiously shaped ferrules, etc. With some calipers and a 3D program of your choosing it shouldn't be too hard. I wonder how resilient their printed stainless steel is though. Is it better than old French stem metallurgy? I'd settle for that
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Old 06-27-17, 10:20 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Would you place a higher aesthetic and functional value on the first bike seen below, or the second?
I think you mistake my meaning. I'm thinking more along the lines of someone who takes, say, a well-worn and patinated LeTour and "restores" it by spraybombing it green, adding deep vee rims to match and doing a flop n' chop. I'm not saying this is a terrible thing to do to a LeTour, I'm just saying the word "restore" is misapplied. What the owner has done is modify his bike. He's changed it into something completely different, which is the opposite of restoring something.

I'm not one to worship at the Altar of Originality. Pretty obvious if you've seen any of my builds.
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Old 06-27-17, 10:21 AM
  #39  
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To echo another earlier post...most bikes are really not that special, nor are most parts really that hard to find. If you're parting out a 70s campy NR gruppo...frankly...so what. You can ALWAYS find a NR derailleur. With a minimum of patience within a couple of years of how you want it. For every bike that has been parted out, there's another that is now back and moving...where the owner just needed that one part. Compared to most hobbies, things are also still pretty cheap.

It's different if we're talking about a Cinelli headset...that is special...but there is so much 531 around, and so much campy NR. The stuff that truly is rare...the 50s bike with an engraved, obscure part...holds value as a whole, so part outs are also just less attractive. The number of bikes that are really significant enough to get offended by a part out, or parts changes, is extremely small, at least to me.

When people gripe about this stuff what they really mean a lot of the time is "I wish it were at throw away junk yard pricing, like it was before ebay." I know I won't hesitate for a moment if a donor bike candidate is around and I want the bits and bobs. Few of us would.
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Old 06-27-17, 11:00 AM
  #40  
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Personally, I see no difficulty with repro parts. In fact, I wonder how many bikes from "back in the day" were kept 100% original by the original owner, with the possible exclusion of consumables. Even "back in the day" it was not unusual for someone to upgrade or change the components when they wore out or something more effective became available.
For example, the brakes. (How many bikes that were built with rod and/or spoon brakes were not upgraded to a cable operated side pull or center pull? or single pivot side pull to center pull and center pull to (dual pivot) side pull, or even cantilever to Linier/"V" Brakes, for that matter? To say nothing of the improvements in the brake pad compounds over the years ...)
Gearing changes were no doubt common. I recall even the pro's using different freewheels during the course of the Tour de France, back when a "10 speed" had 5 in back and two in front. The "corn cob" freewheels used in the flat sections were unsuitable for the Alpine sections, so they used a freewheel in the mountains that had a 24 to 28 tooth big gear in the back, instead of the 17 or 18 tooth big gear of the "corn cobs".

I suspect even the bikes touted as "All Original" sitting in a museum somewhere (again, with the possible exception of things that are normally replaced during maintenance) truly are. No doubt they are all "period correct", but lets face it; parts can be damaged beyond use, wear out and break. Unless the bike went directly from the factory on the day it was built to the museum, chances are better than 99.9% at least one of the components is not the part that came from the factory.
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Old 06-27-17, 01:45 PM
  #41  
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I'm all for modern repro stuff. If they allow bikes to stay on the road, that can only be a good thing, right?

Randy, I used to like the "thrill of the chase", too, so I totally get that angle. Given the choice, today I'd rather go with something that will allow me to use the bike sooner rather than later.

Repros may also lower the entries in threads like this: http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...-projects.html

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