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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

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Old 12-29-18, 11:16 PM
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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

If you look carefully you can buy a pristine vintage Japanese Miyata or Centurion for for $200-$300 dollars but yet I see these classic Italian bikes selling for thousands of dollars. Are they really that much better or is it a prestige deal having more to do with snob appeal owning a certain brand or something thats more of a collector item?
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Old 12-29-18, 11:21 PM
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Get the $300 Japanese bike and put Campy on it. Win-win.
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Old 12-29-18, 11:24 PM
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Point and shoot?, or digital SLR? They both take pictures.
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Old 12-29-18, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Point and shoot?, or digital SLR? They both take pictures.
Looks to me you may be a bit biased lol
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Old 12-29-18, 11:59 PM
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Oh, it's definitely snob appeal

DD
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Old 12-30-18, 12:04 AM
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Not necessarily tangible. Individual craftsmanship. Or association with a racing heritage. Or both.
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Old 12-30-18, 12:30 AM
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It seems like you are comparing apples and oranges. Compare 3 Rensho or similar to the high end, hand built Italian bikes, instead of Miyata and Centurion.
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Old 12-30-18, 12:34 AM
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I canít really speak on the OPís question as for my general lack of experience with enough bikes. I also canít claim to understand what inspires or motivates others in a bike.

What I can say is that I have had a couple of upper mid-level Miyatas in double, and triple butted cro-mo. Iíve had a couple of upper mid-level Peugeot as well, in both Carbolite, and Vitus 181. Then there was the American made Trek with 501 Reynolds. Each was a great bike in its own right, and they all rode nicely.

Iíve also had one Italian bike that was unfortunately too small to qualify for review, though itís craftsmanship was certainly attractively interesting. Benotto 3000.

But my American made frame custom built with Columbus SL is the finest riding bike of them all. I realize that has much to do with the builders, design, and skill. And yet I also believe the Italian steel might have something to do with it as well. All the reason I need to justify putting a Super Record group on it.

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Old 12-30-18, 12:36 AM
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If you have to ask...
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Old 12-30-18, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by deux jambes View Post
I canít really speak on the OPís question as for my general lack of experience with enough bikes. I also canít claim to understand what inspires or motivates others in a bike.

What I can say is that I have had a couple of upper mid-level Miyatas in double, and triple butted cro-mo. Iíve had a couple of upper mid-level Peugeot as well, in both Carbolite, and Vitus 181. Then there was the American made Trek with 501 Reynolds. Each was a great bike in its own right, and they all rode nicely.

Iíve also had one Italian bike that was unfortunately too small to qualify for review, though itís craftsmanship was certainly attractively interesting. Benotto 3000.

But my American made frame custom built with Columbus SL is the finest riding bike of them all. I realize that has much to do with the builders, design, and skill. And yet I also believe the Italian steel might have something to do with it as well. All the reason I need to justify putting a Super Record group on it.
Totally agree with your assessment on the bikes from different countries. Also agree with you very much about Americsn custom frames.
The Davidson (Also built with Columbus SL) I just added to my stable is turning out to be the best riding bike I have, so far!


I cannot stop grinning when I ride it!
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Old 12-30-18, 01:42 AM
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I asked a similar question a while back here it is.
How does an Ironman stack up?
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Old 12-30-18, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
If you have to ask...
This
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Old 12-30-18, 03:26 AM
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I have a 1982 Miyata LeMans, stored carelessly, and a circa-1990 Cinelli Mens Sana, stored carefully. I love them both. I don't know how they were painted but the results are that the paintwork on the Miyata is excellent and that on the Cinelli is crap.
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Old 12-30-18, 04:31 AM
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Comparing Italian bikes to say, French bikes is an apples to oranges comparison based on my experience with my French and Italian bikes.
My French bikes excel in climbs, because of their lightness and straight line fast motoring in the flats where their very stable and neutral handling makes them less exhausting to ride as the bikes basically go on auto pilot for you. Just super stable and quiet and smooth.
My Italian bikes on the other hand are super handlers. You almost just have to think to make them turn, very quick, but very secure. I have the highest confidence with the front ends of my Italian bikes, something that I don't have as much with the French bikes in my stable, maybe except for the Peugeot PY10FC, which seem to fall very close to the Italian bikes, in terms of handling. Riding French and Italian Vitus Carbone, back to back with my Alan Carbonio really gives me the opposite sides of the spectrum.
There was a time I almost swore off ever owning an Italian bike, but I think that was more because of the higher cost of owning and building up one than anything else, but when I finally did get my ALAN Carbonio,, about 5-6 years ago, I finally found out there is something different with Italian bikes. Not necessarily better than my French bikes, but just different in a lot of good ways, as I described above. Same thing was true with my Pinarello and Bottecchia that I acquired later.
These bikes are different I think, because different regions/counties have different "schools" of design that they follow, so the same ride qualities are carried over between builders and manufacturers from the same regions/countries.
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Old 12-30-18, 06:44 AM
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The thing I've never understood is why there's so much snob appeal for Campagnolo Nuovo Record and Super Record. Campy's parts may be durable and pretty, but the shift quality is HORRIBLE in comparison to Suntour Superbe/Cyclone/Sprint.
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Old 12-30-18, 06:50 AM
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Do you really think it is about the Country of origin or the craftsman that built the Bike?
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Old 12-30-18, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
The thing I've never understood is why there's so much snob appeal for Campagnolo Nuovo Record and Super Record. Campy's parts may be durable and pretty, but the shift quality is HORRIBLE in comparison to Suntour Superbe/Cyclone/Sprint.
Snob appeal transcends understanding. It has intrinsic value on its own without rationalization.

FWIW, the Campy NR derailleurs on my Masi look really nice. It is true the RD doesn't shift as well as a Cyclone but I have never lost a race because of it.
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Old 12-30-18, 06:57 AM
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What’s so special about a Stradivarius?

It’s just a wood box with strings.

That being said, my Ironman is a great all-day rider, even though it was mass-produced, like many Miyatas and other Japanese brands. Quality and value are separate items to consider, in bikes and other things.
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Old 12-30-18, 07:15 AM
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I'll pretend I didn't just read that title!
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Old 12-30-18, 07:27 AM
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I think statistically Italians don't spend a lot on bikes themselves so I guess it's an industry export driven. I've always thought of italian bikes as weak bikes. I seem to remember Campagnolo components having low weight limits and when an italian very lightweight steel frame was tested for strength it was very weak, the weakest frame on test. Also many modern Italian bikes are coming out of the same Asian factories as many other brands but their prices seem excessively high compared to many other brands importing the same frames. I wouldn't consider a new Italian bike today as they are a long way from reasonable value.

I couldn't help noticing while watching a youtube channel called 'two wheel cruise' that visited some Japanese cycle shops how Italian brand bikes are quite common as their high end choices. I guess they make more sense to the Japanese who like the heritage of Italian brands and will have no issues with their low weight limits.

I've ridden a few italian bikes in my time but never noticed anything particularly good or bad about them but I'm not a competitive cyclist who perhaps would notice those subtle differences and they weren't high end models. I remember when Raleigh stopped making their Raleigh Twenty model and started using a U folder design which was cheaper to make and copied the italian design and then later I think they imported italian frames they were complete rubbish compared to the Raleigh Twenty in ride quality, strength etc with only lower manufacturing costs really being the benefit.
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Old 12-30-18, 07:52 AM
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Why buy original art when a quality print or lithograph is nearly indistinguishable from a few yards away?

Many C&V'ers know and quote the names of the guys who built these frames in shops across Italy so what you're buying is a piece of history. I wouldn't call it snobbery to want to own handmade objects. We like authenticity and we want to be as close to the creator as possible. Cino Cinelli made a few hundred bikes a year while I suspect the nameless/faceless Miyata production line could easily pop out those out in a day or a week. It's not just Italian bikes . Venerable French, Belgian, English (European) marques all carry a premium. It's not about the bike.
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Old 12-30-18, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Snob appeal transcends understanding. It has intrinsic value on its own without rationalization.
Truth.
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Old 12-30-18, 08:03 AM
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Sorry, I can't help. Fortunately we all vary in what we hold in high regard, or the World would be a boring place. I can't nail down exactly what I think is special. Sense retiring I have gone through dozens of nice bikes and struggling to keep the fleet around 18. Some Italians have moved on, some my kids will have to dispose of when I am gone. There are 4 American customs, 2 built for me, a Trek and a Specialized, a Vitus 979, a Zurich, an Ironman Master, and Italians.
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Old 12-30-18, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
I couldn't help noticing while watching a youtube channel called 'two wheel cruise' that visited some Japanese cycle shops how Italian brand bikes are quite common as their high end choices. I guess they make more sense to the Japanese who like the heritage of Italian brands and will have no issues with their low weight limits.
Hello from Tokyo. Yes, try
to view expensive wall art. I'm sure that the video is well intended by all concerned but I find it pretty funny. The shop (Corsa Corsa) is on an arterial road named Komazawa-dōri; on the same side of Komazawa-dōri but a little farther out from the centre is another bike shop (Tempra) that has affordable used, Japanese, handmade keirin frames designed for actual riding.
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Old 12-30-18, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
If you look carefully you can buy a pristine vintage Japanese Miyata or Centurion for for $200-$300 dollars but yet I see these classic Italian bikes selling for thousands of dollars. Are they really that much better or is it a prestige deal having more to do with snob appeal owning a certain brand or something thats more of a collector item?
Quite simply, they're nice - to look at, and to ride.

That doesn't mean lots of other bikes are less nice, or that all Italian bikes are nice just because they're Italian. But it's a good start, and hard to go too far wrong if that's your only criteria. Italian manufa's have been making nice bikes for a long time.

I don't think it is "snob appeal" to feel good when someone notices and compliments your nice bike, especially when you put a fair amount of effort into making it nice.
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