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What's the deal with people looking down on old frames?

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What's the deal with people looking down on old frames?

Old 05-11-19, 12:10 PM
  #51  
turtledove
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Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
I'm going play devil's advocate here - yes, the many posts in this thread pointing out how silly it is that some cyclists look down on nice older bikes just because they're old are correct, and I agree that classic bikes are awesome, and indeed I do the vast majority of my riding on 'old' bikes.

HOWEVER, not all bikes are equally worthy of fixing. If I'm working in a shop and someone brings in a Walmart "full suspension" bike, or a rusted out Huffy, that bike is still going to be a mediocre ride after the tune-up. I really don't want to deal with a customer who's going to be unhappy with the service we provided after attempting to fix up something that the manufacturer intended to be discarded instead of repaired, and I'm absolutely not going to take the liability of touching something that I don't think will be safe to ride in any case. Plus, it just makes more business sense to steer a customer towards a different bike in some cases, not only because it generates more immediate income, but because shops want people to fall in love with cycling and if you don't enjoy the bike you just got tuned up then odds are that bike will just be hung up in the garage after two rides and the customer may give up on cycling altogether.

Then there are the bikes that fall into grey areas: old bikes where the shop is unsure they can find out-of-production parts, the risk of causing damage to someone's beloved old machine that cannot be replaced, and uncertainty of how many labor hours will need to be expended on a bike that might have been neglected for decades. For instance, when you wrench on old bikes at home as a hobby, it's not a big deal if you need to let a stuck seatpost soak in penetrating oil for hours or days - but a shop doesn't have that luxury and it's not a good business decision to take in repair projects that might last for weeks and prevent you from taking in other bikes that can be repaired and returned to their riders in a timely fashion. Sure, there are snobby bike shop mechanics - but there are also non-snobby mechanics who like old bikes but know that practically you have to selective about the projects you take on at any given time. I'm most definitely not a snob, but I've been in that position where I've had to discourage or refuse people from bringing in low-end bikes for service - not because I didn't think those bikes were beyond repair or not worthy of repair, but because my role in the context of a retail bike shop meant I wouldn't be looking out for the shop's interest if I took those projects on.
Yeah, think that's a completely reasonable angle for bike shops. The shops I've visited were normally very transparent in making clear that my older bikes would take a bit longer (takes about a week longer than normal to get around to working on my bike with their backlog), which I was completely happy with. I knew they primarily make their money from flat repairs with couple tune-ups from newer bikes throughout the week, and in the end both of us were happy.

The difference I think is though in the two or three bad experiences I've gotten from certain shops, is when they aren't really interested to hear that I'm willing to accomodate their work log best I can, and automatically assume that just because it's not an immediately recognizable older bike, it must be a Walmart junker and I don't have any interest in bikes. That does leave a sour taste in the mouth, although as you've said, it's understandable as to the bottomline why they do that.
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Old 05-11-19, 01:42 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by turtledove View Post
I got it powder coated and finished clear coating just a couple days ago, waiting for couple pieces to arrive in the mail, until I rebuild it. It's just a frame for now but here it is with the new transfer vinyls I ordered!


Nice color! Maybe I missed it, but plans to go silver components, or black?
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Old 05-11-19, 02:07 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Nice color! Maybe I missed it, but plans to go silver components, or black?
Gonna go with black components, but keep my silver crankarm. It's the last upgrade I'm doing on this thing, before I use it for full-on bikepacking
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Old 05-11-19, 02:12 PM
  #54  
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Gotcha.

Good luck with the build and the travels!
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Old 05-11-19, 02:31 PM
  #55  
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I had my 96 Colnago (with 11-speed Chorus) in a LBS for some work. When I went to pick it up, I got a "oh, the steel one", and not in a tone of awe and respect. Had someone in another LBS put down my 95 Litespeed (also with 11-speed Chorus) and tell me I needed a new bike.
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Old 05-11-19, 02:47 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by turtledove View Post
I have a late 80s/early 90s chromaly rigid MTB that I've spent lots of love and care into. Whether in powdercoating, threadless stem conversion, tuning, etc. Over the time I've worked on this, couple of the experience I've dealt with, wondering if you can share similar experiences or takes on these:
  1. At first glance, they assume it's an old Walmart bike (which it surely is not) and pass judgement my way without giving it a closer look. I've had a bike shop mechanic do that and turn my bike away from service.
  2. Make passing jokes/comments at my expense. Like the time someone I met went into a full rant about how trash the biopace on my bike are, without warranting any such discussion. Yes, it's universally ridiculed, but it works for me and I haven't had any problems with it, thanks.
  3. I must be stupid for putting so much money into this, about $500 dollars in parts and service. Oh boy, if saving money was my priority. then I wouldn't be into mountain biking. It's about having fun, no idea why this is such a sticking point. If you want to do it and can afford it, do it, right? It's like telling the folks who like to supercharge their Honda Civics to save up for a Bugatti haha.
  4. "Don't do X or Y, you won't get the value out of it." This makes me smile, as if I'm some scrapper trying to refurbish bikes to resell.
  5. "Don't bother doing X, save up for another bike." I don't need the newest and shiniest carbon bike at the moment. This thing has lit a spark of joy in me for mountain biking and backpacking, and I'll buy the newest YT Jeffsy when I feel like my skills have progressed to deserve having one.
Even though I try not to let it get to me, I can't really avoid it when it comes up in the face-to-face interactions with certain bike shops, fellow riders, or random people on the Net. What do you guys think about it?
1- if a mechanic refused to work on your bike due to its perceived resale value, then don't shop there again and let the shop manager know you won't shop there again.
2- biopace is a long standing joke for cyclists, you mention knowing this, yet you are offended when a cyclist chooses that low hanging fruit? Come on now- just say 'it works well for me though' and move on. I fully agree that unsolicited negative comments are annoying, so just don't hang around that person.
3- this forum is famous for comments about not being able to get the money out of a frame/bike that you put in. Its good advice for situations where the user is in a tight budget or might sell the bike in the foreseeable future. But it isnt good advice for your situation. Just accept that such comments are given with good intent and move on.
4- see #3 comments.
5- again, it's advice with good intent. Again, don't take it personally, it's simply general advice that is often repeated with the intent to help keep people from blowing cash.
Just say that you enjoy what you ride and move on.


I have kept similar situations from happening by addressing the obvious impending comment before it happens.
'It isnt the lightest, but I wasn't wanting to have the lightest' or 'I wouldn't be able to sell it for what ive spent, but that just makes it like every modern bike'.

Pretty simple.
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Old 05-11-19, 02:49 PM
  #57  
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Me looking down on my own old frame...



Univega Via Carisma. Splattertastic.
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Old 05-11-19, 02:50 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
And on a serious note: How much bikes have changed over the past 40 years. Road bikes - nowhere near as much in real terms as mountain bikes. There is little a modern road bike can do that an older one cannot. Yes, they get there faster. Race speeds have climbed. But (except for time-trialing) not radically. I rode a race in 1977 that averaged 27.2 over 105 very hilly miles. Rider cadences have changed in part, in line with the new gear choices. But on flat ground, rider position, gear ratios, power, you name it, have changed very little in the past century.

By contrast, MTBs have gone from junkers welded together in garages in the '70s to front suspension, full suspension. Weights and tire and wheel weights have come down big time. (I raced tires and wheels on the road at weights folks would pay big money for now. But no, they were not aero. But now the fat bikes have wheels that are, in 1970s terms, unbelievably light.)

Still, a good bike is a good bike. If it fits you and has soul, what else counts unless you are being paid for the outcome?

Ben
Bikes have changed a lot in 40 years. Mass amounts.
There are recumbents, ebikes, disc brakes, STI indexed shifting, tubeless, and multiple readily available frame materials.
That isn't even getting into the changes in MTB.

Funny that you ask the question then rattle off a few of many significant changes that dont help your point.
Frame geometry, suspension front and rear, thru axle disc, and tire width would be the 4 biggest differences I see in MTB between now and the 70s.
Pretty significant.
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Old 05-11-19, 03:17 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
People are dumb. People spend more money on a new bike that is inferior in every way to a "vintage" bike that can be purchased used for less. Some of our frames may look "old" to others, but we know that they are simply better than most modern stuff.
Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Sorry if my statement wasn't specific enough for you. I'm talking about someone spending, say, a thousand dollars on a new bike and thinking it is better than a quality vintage bike that costs less (maybe even a few hundred less). Someone thinking that new is always better than used, no matter what the price point. Someone that doesn't know what they are looking at, and so maybe they see non-aero brake levers and fewer than 10 speeds (in the rear), and think something isn't as good as a new bike. Isn't that the point of this thread?

Condescension from a place of ignorance has reached truly epidemic proportions in our modern society, and that same ignorance makes it nearly impossible to correct. My apologies if this is a touchy subject for some people.
Your second point doesnt really help make the first any better.

Calling people who prefer new bikes dumb is, to me, just as annoying as c&v people being viewed as dumb for wanting old bikes.

And while some older frames may be better than new frames, it would be tough for me to agree with "we know that they are simply better than most modern stuff"because that isnt accurate.
Not saying modern frames are better either.

There were great frames, mediocre frames, and cheap frames back in the day.
Same goes for now.
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Old 05-11-19, 03:24 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- if a mechanic refused to work on your bike due to its perceived resale value, then don't shop there again and let the shop manager know you won't shop there again.
2- biopace is a long standing joke for cyclists, you mention knowing this, yet you are offended when a cyclist chooses that low hanging fruit? Come on now- just say 'it works well for me though' and move on. I fully agree that unsolicited negative comments are annoying, so just don't hang around that person.
3- this forum is famous for comments about not being able to get the money out of a frame/bike that you put in. Its good advice for situations where the user is in a tight budget or might sell the bike in the foreseeable future. But it isnt good advice for your situation. Just accept that such comments are given with good intent and move on.
4- see #3 comments.
5- again, it's advice with good intent. Again, don't take it personally, it's simply general advice that is often repeated with the intent to help keep people from blowing cash.
Just say that you enjoy what you ride and move on.


I have kept similar situations from happening by addressing the obvious impending comment before it happens.
'It isnt the lightest, but I wasn't wanting to have the lightest' or 'I wouldn't be able to sell it for what ive spent, but that just makes it like every modern bike'.

Pretty simple.
I see what you mean. While it's not exactly easy to brush off and "just let go" the negative comments given how much we all love our old bikes, I'll try to see past it. As for points 3-5, that's a healthy way of seeing it, thanks. The good intent is there when people say that

Haha I love that preemptive comment strategy, I've found myself saying similar things along the lines of "its not the fastest thing in the world but it works"
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Old 05-11-19, 03:40 PM
  #61  
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My perspective is the opposite: I'm annoyed old bikes have become so popular they're no longer cheap. When the ever-changing concept of what's cool bumps into my life, it's usually expensive.

I'll be happy when they fall back out of favor.
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Old 05-11-19, 03:48 PM
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I have never gotten anything but Ooooos and Cooooolss on my Crest Cannondale (they are rare!), and my "new" 1987 lovingly rebuilt Basso Gap. Chrome and Crest stickers will do that.

My childhood touring bike was a Bianchi Randonneur. From ages 13-17, I probably put on 15-20K. Loved it. Wish I still had it.



I have not ridden anything new of late, but steel vintage that is well made has an aura, and a feel that is unduplicated.
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Old 05-11-19, 03:48 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
My perspective is the opposite: I'm annoyed old bikes have become so popular they're no longer cheap. When the ever-changing concept of what's cool bumps into my life, it's usually expensive.

I'll be happy when they fall back out of favor.
Agreed. Especially in my search for the right Ciocc!
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Old 05-11-19, 03:52 PM
  #64  
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I'm lucky to have a nearby LBS that's one of the oldest in the area, still owned by the same guy for 30+ years. While they'll happily sell new Treks, the owner and manager will equally happily chatter about older bikes.

The manager used to sell Univegas and really likes my splatter-paint Via Carisma. One day recently while we were chattering he retrieved a cable cutter/crimper and cable end caps from the shop and trimmed and capped my bike's bare cables, without missing a beat in the conversation, then used a little polish (some wax based liquid, I think) on the frame. I'd just installed new cables and housings and forgot to finish the trimming and end caps. No charge, he just seemed happy to see a good example of the bikes he used to sell at another shop.

And last week the owner and I chattered about my new-to-me Trek 5900. He's pretty sure it's a 1993 or '94, but it's hard to tell from photos because the purple paint is often rendered as blue in online jpegs, making it confusing between the Ice Blue and purple Abyss colors from back then. And he pointed out the variations in specific components, forks, etc., over the years.

And they've done little maintenance chores for me, such as removing a stuck pedal axle after I disassembled it down to just the crank arm and axle/spindle. No charge. Wouldn't even accept a tip.

That's why I never leave that shop without buying something, if only another tube that I don't actually need.

But there aren't many bike shops like that. Even back in the 1970s there weren't many like that. Some shops were ultra-snooty back then.
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Old 05-11-19, 03:59 PM
  #65  
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I'm fortunate enough to have found a shop like that as well, it's great to support a great local business
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Old 05-11-19, 08:44 PM
  #66  
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I just like what I like. If someone else digs it- cool. When I was a kid, I was into old guitars and old amps- they're just what was cool to me. So while all my friends were into Kramers and Floyd Roses and Mesa Boogie- I had my old Les Pauls and plugged them into a late 70s Marshall... I've also taken a great interest in old 1970s stereo gear- While I would love a few things that I used to want when I was a kid- I decided on the stuff I liked based on what I thought would work for me.

I got in to bike riding because I wanted a physical activity to do while/after I quit smoking so I wouldn't put on weight. I had my old "mountain bike" that I got when I got out of the Army- so that was my bike. As I got more into bikes, I appreciated what I appreciated about my bike- and looked into "more" and "better" versions of my bike-

I don't hang out with cyclists, I've never done a group ride and have no interest in doing so.

Although the closest local bike shop closed up- they understood I dug the old stuff- a few of the kids at the shop took the opportunity to learn some of that old stuff.
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Old 05-12-19, 03:26 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by turtledove View Post
I have a late 80s/early 90s chromaly rigid MTB that I've spent lots of love and care into. Whether in powdercoating, threadless stem conversion, tuning, etc. Over the time I've worked on this, couple of the experience I've dealt with, wondering if you can share similar experiences or takes on these:
  1. At first glance, they assume it's an old Walmart bike (which it surely is not) and pass judgement my way without giving it a closer look. I've had a bike shop mechanic do that and turn my bike away from service.
  2. Make passing jokes/comments at my expense. Like the time someone I met went into a full rant about how trash the biopace on my bike are, without warranting any such discussion. Yes, it's universally ridiculed, but it works for me and I haven't had any problems with it, thanks.
  3. I must be stupid for putting so much money into this, about $500 dollars in parts and service. Oh boy, if saving money was my priority. then I wouldn't be into mountain biking. It's about having fun, no idea why this is such a sticking point. If you want to do it and can afford it, do it, right? It's like telling the folks who like to supercharge their Honda Civics to save up for a Bugatti haha.
  4. "Don't do X or Y, you won't get the value out of it." This makes me smile, as if I'm some scrapper trying to refurbish bikes to resell.
  5. "Don't bother doing X, save up for another bike." I don't need the newest and shiniest carbon bike at the moment. This thing has lit a spark of joy in me for mountain biking and backpacking, and I'll buy the newest YT Jeffsy when I feel like my skills have progressed to deserve having one.
Even though I try not to let it get to me, I can't really avoid it when it comes up in the face-to-face interactions with certain bike shops, fellow riders, or random people on the Net. What do you guys think about it?
What do I think about someone feeling insecure about their possessions/hobbies?
And about human nature in general?
The Dude abides
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Old 05-12-19, 04:05 PM
  #68  
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Tall

I am 6'5" I look down on ALL my frames

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Old 05-12-19, 04:15 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by kc0yef View Post
I am 6'5" I look down on ALL my frames
A follow on to that - if you can't look down on your frame, it's probably too big.
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Old 05-12-19, 04:59 PM
  #70  
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I would never leave a bicycle at a store/shop for work unless I could trust they would treat it kindly. Too much stuff over the years damaged by people who do not value my things in the way I do and they should have not been trusted to do so. I do my own bicycle work. There is virtually nothing I cannot do and do better than a shop monkey who only sees my bicycle as old junk past its prime. They could be me I guess. As I have gotten older, I notice the same dismissive attitude towards me and when I notice it directed to me or my machines, that is a red flag to be gone from that place. I think prior generations had more respect for old(er).
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Old 05-12-19, 06:01 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I think prior generations had more respect for old(er).
Nah, that has been always been a gliding scale. At some point in your life it is not that you hate a certain generation,
that make it hard for you to understand the world.
The exact same complaints anyone can have about young people nowadays can be found being expressed by people your age when you were young.
Books, television, the internet and phones all ruined young people and the world at some point in history.

What you said ties in to why old 1980's mountainbikes are gone or expensive.
They all go through a cycle: New > Cool > common > outdated > old > vintage > classic > museumworthy.

Most of us around here would look at people riding around on penny-farthings as either cool for keeping a museumpiece alive or obnoxious hipsters.
Many will at the very least realize restoring them to their original state is not for the faint hearted. You're keeping something alive that is getting increasingly more difficult to find parts for.

And that last thing is exactly what your bike mechanic might see when he looks at your bike.
Take your business elsewhere. There is bound to be a place that does appreciate working on older bikes.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:13 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I think prior generations had more respect for old(er).
???

A good chunk of the forum members are obsessed with the bikes of their youth. Back then, they were the latest and greatest, not janky old crap.

I think the only difference today is that people actively look for conflict. This thread being a prime example. How many pages now?
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Old 05-12-19, 06:17 PM
  #73  
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Don't many folks look down through their old frames?

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Old 05-13-19, 04:36 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
???

A good chunk of the forum members are obsessed with the bikes of their youth. Back then, they were the latest and greatest, not janky old crap.

I think the only difference today is that people actively look for conflict. This thread being a prime example. How many pages now?
+1

People are people - warts and all. One thing that never changes is crapping on the next generation and romanticized nostalgia.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:51 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by turtledove View Post
What do you guys think about it?


Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Many will at the very least realize restoring them to their original state is not for the faint hearted. You're keeping something alive that is getting increasingly more difficult to find parts for.

And that last thing is exactly what your bike mechanic might see when he looks at your bike.
Take your business elsewhere. There is bound to be a place that does appreciate working on older bikes.
@JaccoW has a very good point. MTB tech has evolved a lot since the relatively simple bikes of the early 90's. There have also been a lot of evolutionary dead ends, and while the internet has made it a lot easier for the home mechanic, lots of that stuff isn't exactly easy to get through the typical retail/service parts stream.

Remember 1-1/4" steerers? Didn't think so.

I have a '96 Cannondale F1000, that was a pretty hot XC bike at the time. It has 7-speed XT, with canti's and a Headshok. If I was to, say, bring it in to replace a busted shifter, they'd probably try to sell me an Alivio, or maybe a Microshift; They could try to find an appropriate vintage XT shifter, but then there's no way they can guarantee what kind of shape it's going to be in.
Same goes for the Headshok. None of the Cannondale dealers in my area will touch it, other than to swap it with a conventional fork. Heck, there's only a handful of shops in the whole country that will work on one.

And this is on a bike that's got it's branding intact, and looks like a 'modern' MTB, albiet a 26'er.
If you roll up on a skinny-tube era bike, that's obviously a homebrew (repaint) unless it's a shop that does a lot of old bikes, they're going to be a little wary of it, simply because it's totally an unknown.
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