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Is there a brand pecking order?

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Is there a brand pecking order?

Old 07-05-18, 12:14 PM
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carlos danger
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Is there a brand pecking order?

With some things. like watches for example there is distinct and clear pecking order of the top brands. Everybody in the hobby knows which the "best" brands are.
1 Patek Philippe
2 Vacheron Constantin
2 Audemars Piguet
2 A. Lange & Söhne
3 Jaeger LeCoultre
And then we have the rest of them far far behind.

So now I wonder if there is a similar known ranking of the classic brands with bikes? I keep reading a lot about Schwinn Paramounts, Cinellis, Colnagos, Tommasinis, De Rosas, Pinarellos and so on.
Are these regarded as the "best" brands?

What about smaller less known brands like Basso, Bianchi (ok not so unknown..), Battaglin, Bottechia, Ciöcc, Chesini, F Moser, Gios, Merckx, Gazelle, Bob Jackson, Mercian, Olmo, Rossin, Legnano, Viner, Wilier and so on? Are these just as good as the other ones? Maybe just not marketed as hard?

Whats your take on this guys?
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Old 07-05-18, 12:22 PM
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The racing bicycle industry was nowhere near as transparent as the watch industry, so no.

Quality and brand are often different things.
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Old 07-05-18, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
With some things. like watches for example there is distinct and clear pecking order of the top brands. Everybody in the hobby knows which the "best" brands are.
1 Patek Philippe
2 Vacheron Constantin
2 Audemars Piguet
2 A. Lange & Söhne
3 Jaeger LeCoultre
And then we have the rest of them far far behind.

So now I wonder if there is a similar known ranking of the classic brands with bikes?
Among collectors, yes, some brands are seen as more desirable. This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how good they are or how much they cost originally.

BITD at the clubhouse, sure, every geek had an opinion.

BITD on the tough ride, among those who were knowledgeable, frankly no. The top end racing bikes were all basically equivalent. It's not about the bike. One Reynolds 531 or Columbus frame, one Campagnolo NR/SR gruppo, some sew ups, and you got yerself a bike. For that matter a nice pro Miyata with a Dura Ace group would have been seen as pretty much just as good by most.
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Old 07-05-18, 01:48 PM
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This comes up often and yes there are some as you mentioned that are more well known or regarded, but there never really seems to be a consensus. There are tons of them and old bikes are loved from low to high end so it seems difficult to get many to agree.

There is a bike collector here that also collects higher end watches, .someone here can tag him. I can't remember his name but he may be able compare the two in a way you relate to.
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Old 07-05-18, 01:57 PM
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Uhmmmm.... we all know what De Rosa and Colnago owners will think.....
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Old 07-05-18, 02:02 PM
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I almost never wear my bicycle on my wrist.
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Old 07-05-18, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
With some things. like watches for example there is distinct and clear pecking order of the top brands. Everybody in the hobby knows which the "best" brands are.
1 Patek Philippe
2 Vacheron Constantin
2 Audemars Piguet
2 A. Lange & Söhne
3 Jaeger LeCoultre
And then we have the rest of them far far behind.

So now I wonder if there is a similar known ranking of the classic brands with bikes? I keep reading a lot about Schwinn Paramounts, Cinellis, Colnagos, Tommasinis, De Rosas, Pinarellos and so on.
Are these regarded as the "best" brands?

What about smaller less known brands like Basso, Bianchi (ok not so unknown..), Battaglin, Bottechia, Ciöcc, Chesini, F Moser, Gios, Merckx, Gazelle, Bob Jackson, Mercian, Olmo, Rossin, Legnano, Viner, Wilier and so on? Are these just as good as the other ones? Maybe just not marketed as hard?

Whats your take on this guys?
I have been Into the watch collectors hobby for many years now, owning 65-70 watches of better renown, and I do not agree with your list. "Everybody in the hobby knows...etc." is just...

As for bicycles - putting down a list is as futile a task as for watches.
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Old 07-05-18, 02:54 PM
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Where's the popcorn?

I used to have a Timex. It was best.
!!! Could Take a Lickin' and Keep on Tickin' !!!!

edit: and there used to be a Timex Museum in Waterbury CT USA to boot.
Now a TimeExpo: Timex Group :: Timexpo Museum

re-edit: Not sure where it falls in the Pecking Order, but more people would ride on 'it might sprinkle on me days' if they owned an Ugly Betty - Hilda model. Flask holder included for when you realize the sprinkle is now hail and you have at least 10 minutes (under shelter) to let the worst pass. And you need the fortitude/inspiration to Carry ON. Note: This frameset unidentified and may be The Best.

Credits go to another long standing BF member.

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-05-18 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 07-05-18, 03:07 PM
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Of course there is!!

1. Brand of bike I own.
2. Brand of bike you own.

I kid! I kid!
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Old 07-05-18, 03:47 PM
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Not really. There are some brands that only made high end bikes, and some that only made junk, but most brands offered bikes in the whole range of quality. Like anything, what something is worth is a product of scarcity vs demand. Imbalances in either can result in something being "valuable", or not. There are some extremely nice, world class bikes made by small, or relatively unknown makers that are worth no more, or even less than the sum of their components. In other cases, bikes with just ho-hum components or build quality can be fairly valuable. (Peugeot PX-10)

The most valuable brands only made very high end stuff, and were widely known for it (and desired then, and now.) Rene Herse, Richard Sachs, San Rensho, and many others command premiums today, because they only made desirable bikes. Most other brands, like those on your list, made some really nice ones, and some that were just decent. What they might be worth is usually only casually related to their quality or ride characteristics.

None of this is static either. Brands that were well respected and valuable in the 50s and 60's may be virtually unknown now, and may not be worth much of a premium. (Umberto Dei) Other brands may become more valuable as people wax poetically about certain models on the internet. (ahem... Centurion Semi Pros and Iron Mans)

Then you get to the Japanese bikes, which in many cases are even better built and finished imitations of Italian bikes. Some are beginning to become sought after, but most are just considered quality bikes.

All in all, it really comes down to the specific bike, it's condition, and any mystique surrounding the brand. Rankings and listings are just for fun discussions while you are snowed in over the winter.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Not really. There are some brands that only made high end bikes, and some that only made junk, but most brands offered bikes in the whole range of quality. Like anything, what something is worth is a product of scarcity vs demand. Imbalances in either can result in something being "valuable", or not. There are some extremely nice, world class bikes made by small, or relatively unknown makers that are worth no more, or even less than the sum of their components. In other cases, bikes with just ho-hum components or build quality can be fairly valuable. (Peugeot PX-10)

The most valuable brands only made very high end stuff, and were widely known for it (and desired then, and now.) Rene Herse, Richard Sachs, San Rensho, and many others command premiums today, because they only made desirable bikes. Most other brands, like those on your list, made some really nice ones, and some that were just decent. What they might be worth is usually only casually related to their quality or ride characteristics.

None of this is static either. Brands that were well respected and valuable in the 50s and 60's may be virtually unknown now, and may not be worth much of a premium. (Umberto Dei) Other brands may become more valuable as people wax poetically about certain models on the internet. (ahem... Centurion Semi Pros and Iron Mans)

Then you get to the Japanese bikes, which in many cases are even better built and finished imitations of Italian bikes. Some are beginning to become sought after, but most are just considered quality bikes.

All in all, it really comes down to the specific bike, it's condition, and any mystique surrounding the brand. Rankings and listings are just for fun discussions while you are snowed in over the winter.
Thank you for your answer.
So its basically down to mystique

I'm looking for NOS frames on different sites and trying to figure out whats good and whats not. Or basically whats worth considering. At least half of the brands i encounter i have never heard anything about except that i know they exist.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
I have been Into the watch collectors hobby for many years now, owning 65-70 watches of better renown, and I do not agree with your list. "Everybody in the hobby knows...etc." is just...

As for bicycles - putting down a list is as futile a task as for watches.
Never heard of the holy trinity?
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/wh...-the-big-three
https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/ap-...al-679107.html

I collect watches too. I own 2 watches.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:42 PM
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As a long time watch geek I have to say that I don't necessarily agree with those 5 either. Yes, all make highly regarded watches but the "best" is a bit more subjective.

Back to the subject at hand, FWIW these were supposedly Tullio Campagnolo's pick of the top 5 Italian framebuilders....

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Old 07-05-18, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
So its basically down to mystique
I'm looking for NOS frames on different sites and trying to figure out whats good and whats not. Or basically whats worth considering. At least half of the brands i encounter i have never heard anything about except that i know they exist.
Not mystique, just not well defined and varying based on personal criteria.
Nor learned through a fast search.
Maybe finding the best is a personal lifelong pursuit. Or maybe it changes over time.
That's why many of us have collections of great variety.
I chose one from each of the major cycling countries of Europe/UK.

My DeRosa feels racy fast. The Merckx silky smooth. The AD = total dialed as a fast sports tourer. The Zeus is French tour-ey in a Spanish racy way. The English Harding/Holdsworth is all round capable. The Carabela is a slug but with chromed headlugs. The Mondia is the lightest and makes me want to sprint a lot. Whose best? - all I can say is = NOT the Carabela !!!

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-05-18 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Uhmmmm.... we all know what De Rosa and Colnago owners will think.....
This thread made me consider two collectors, one is deceased and while others had the same brand, his example was always better and the other who is in jail for bank robbery who also seemed to have a better, more exclusive example of any brand he owned.

I have owned a few DeRosas and have sold them off, still own the Colnagos, and have bikes that are better than both.
So it goes.
If you want oooh and Aaaah points at the coffee house, buy the "big names". Otherwise buy an number of them and develop your own hierarchy.
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Old 07-05-18, 05:02 PM
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Have you tried?:
Altho not mostly NOS.
www.steel-vintage.com

They post a short history of each brand for sale.

There is always Classic Rendezvous as a reference:
Lightweight Classic Vintage bicycles

Share pics of the models you are interested in and many folks here may give you riding impressions of the specific model.
What size roadie do you ride?
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Old 07-05-18, 05:12 PM
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The best: Peugeot UO-8 Trophee de France. The most expensive (in terms of percentage of my net worth) bike I ever owned. Freedom before I ever owned a car. A transport of delight. I rode it with my little Campagnolo cap (helmets weren’t de rigeur back then) for miles in all directions, dreaming that I was Eddy Merckx in the maillot jaune.

When I was away in the service, my younger brothers cannibalized it for parts. (Big families don’t have well-defined senses of mine and thine. “You weren’t using it!”)

Every bike since then has been just a vain attempt to recapture the glory of that one blue Peugeot.


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Old 07-05-18, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Choke View Post
As a long time watch geek I have to say that I don't necessarily agree with those 5 either. Yes, all make highly regarded watches but the "best" is a bit more subjective.

Back to the subject at hand, FWIW these were supposedly Tullio Campagnolo's pick of the top 5 Italian framebuilders....

Lots of associated brands, not so many builders, but sorted last to first.
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Old 07-05-18, 05:32 PM
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The finest bikes in the world:

1. Huffy
2. Ikea
3. Ming
4. AMC
5. Murray

These are worth fortunes... to the right people. And you know the right people.

-
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Old 07-05-18, 05:36 PM
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That shirt is missing the master. The one who trained them all.

Francesco Galmozzi
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Old 07-05-18, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
Lots of associated brands, not so many builders, but sorted last to first.
Agreed.
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Old 07-05-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
Never heard of the holy trinity?
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/wh...-the-big-three
https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/ap-...al-679107.html

I collect watches too. I own 2 watches.
We are fellow watch collectors then. It is a wonderful hobby. 1, 2 or a 100 watches - it does not matter - it is the watch interest that counts. No matter what brand, "quality", status or monetary value.

Hodinkee is - sometimes interesting - but as with everything these day you have to consider "the Agenda". Hodinkee is obvious payola blogging, part of and player of "the (watch) Market".
WUS... is... let us not go there. Or maybe we should. And view it for what it is - part freak show, part troll show and a small minority that tries to be somewhat, or at least seem, normal. Being banned from WUS - proves you are a good guy. A very strange place. Like FOX News.
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Old 07-05-18, 07:19 PM
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OP is encouraged to Search C&V for the word Grail, it may point a spotlight of inspiration, or just shine with observations such as he seeks in post #1 .

Grail = an elusive pursuit when pursued over time.
N+1 taken to the collector level is likely a more satisfying journey.
It's only a matter of your financial commitment to the hobby.
Sorta like watches, IMHO.

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Old 07-06-18, 04:21 AM
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Is there a brand pecking order? No

But collectors do have an understanding of Vintage Bicycle Quality and it is the quality that helps to determine a "pecking order", if one does exist. Learn how to recognize what it takes to be a high quality bicycle, or a highly collectible bicycle and you will come to realize that pecking order is nonexistent. If there were a pecking order, I doubt that my Rabeneick 120d would have been on it, yet the Rab is one incredible bicycle...
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Old 07-06-18, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
Never heard of the holy trinity?
Sure, Colnago, Bianchi and Pinarello.
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