Go Back  Bike Forums >
Reload this Page >

Bike Forums

Classic & Vintage

Rules of thumb for older bikes

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Rules of thumb for older bikes

Old 11-10-20, 07:38 AM
  #26  
JaccoW
Overdoing projects
 
JaccoW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, former republic of the Netherlands
Posts: 2,298

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist, Gazelle Lausanne, Gazelle Tandem, Koga-Miyata SilverAce, Koga-Miyata WorldTraveller

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 741 Post(s)
Liked 1,027 Times in 592 Posts
Originally Posted by bbpo8 View Post
Signs of an inexpensive model:
- Kickstand
- Shift levers on the stem


Like, I don't know man. Sounds like a limited view that only applies to American road bikes...
I'm joking of course but especially kickstands either mean a low-end bike or a high-end European tourer.

Chromoly is nice, double/triple butted is nicer but there are a number of really nice bikes with Hi-Manga tubing for example and some people would argue that a straight gauge frame is much better for commuting at a slight weight penalty.

JaccoW is offline  
Likes For JaccoW:
Old 11-10-20, 07:45 AM
  #27  
BFisher 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,326
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 762 Post(s)
Liked 1,870 Times in 880 Posts
I think Robbie nailed it. Calling them "rules of thumb" has a certain implication. It ruffles the feathers of some very experienced members.

I try not to take this stuff all that seriously. It's just bikes. Kurt has good points. There are loads of bikes out there made from less expensive steel with stamped dropouts and cottered cranks that can be an absolute joy to ride.

Also, the term quality gets thrown around here, but it is often applied incorrectly. Quality does not mean forged dropouts vs stamped. That's price point/features. A bike frame can be made to very high quality with stamped dropouts and plain tubing. It can also be made to poor quality with Columbus tubing and Campagnolo dropouts. Design matters. Construction matters. There is low quality steel out there, like some of the coils of 1/4" rod, #6 wire, and #10 wire we used to get from a Chinese supplier at a factory I worked in that was impossible to resistance weld consistently because of the impurities in the steel. The better stuff (still plain steel) was very easy to fabricate very high quality products with because it was very high quality. An electroforged Schwinn was a high quality product.

The only thing to remember about vintage bikes is that you will probably spend a lot more money on them than you planned, and than you will ever get back. But the smiles can't be priced.

Brian
BFisher is offline  
Likes For BFisher:
Old 11-10-20, 07:46 AM
  #28  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,781

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 172 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5601 Post(s)
Liked 2,640 Times in 1,681 Posts
Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Sigh... new to the hobby and already flexing the judgmental muscle.

How bout not trying to make a list of ways to look down on things and just enjoy your bike(s).
I don't think the OP was being judgmental, rather these are questions about how do you tell a bike worth owning and fixing up. By and large I suspect most of us buy and ride bikes at the upper end of a manufacturer's line but the bikes farther down the pecking order are fine bicycles as well. Heck one of my all time favorite bikes was my Peugeot UO 10 which has a hi tensile steel frame.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 11-10-20, 07:56 AM
  #29  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,781

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 172 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5601 Post(s)
Liked 2,640 Times in 1,681 Posts
Originally Posted by bbpo8 View Post
Thanks for the specific suggestion, SurferRosa. I added it to the original post.

I dunno, maybe people think that I'm claiming to be an expert. Of course I'm not.These are all ideas that I've taken from posts at Bike Forums (and elsewhere), maybe from some of you.

To make it clear: I'M NOT AN EXPERT! I'M ASKING FOR FEEDBACK ON RULES OF THUMB COLLECTED FROM EXPERTS.

If people want to make specific corrections or additions, that is wonderful. Can we stick to that topic?
I wouldn't sweat some of the negative posts. By and large the posters here have strong opinions about C&V bikes based on their experience, what they've read, etc. So you'll always get some pushback when you try to generalize like this. I disagree with some of the things you suggested (hi tensile steel works fine for example for most any use you can think of with a weight penalty compared to higher quality steels).

For most rules of thumb there are important exceptions:

a) condition usu. matters but sometimes patina is great
(b) alloy rims/cranks are generally better except when they're not like with an old enough bike
(c) suntour made hands the best rear derailleur until its patent ran out except some people will tell you that campy or stronglight made the best RD back in the day and maybe they're right;
(d) some people love French bikes because they're quirky; some people hate French bikes because they're quirky.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 11-10-20, 08:20 AM
  #30  
Wildwood
Veteran, Pacifist
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 12,354

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 276 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3421 Post(s)
Liked 3,415 Times in 1,671 Posts
Too many folks disparage Hi-Tensile frames. 8.0 lb frame and fork.
With the right wheels & tires it rides much the same as any Columbus/Reynolds/Tange/etc lightweight.
This one, intended as an entry level racer, handles artistically on tough roads and fast descents.
Wildwood is online now  
Old 11-10-20, 08:27 AM
  #31  
bark_eater 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 1,856

Bikes: Road ready: 1993 Koga Miyata City Liner Touring Hybrid, 1989 Centurion Sport DLX, "I Blame GP" Bridgestone CB-1. Projects: Yea, I got a problem....

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
Liked 433 Times in 287 Posts
I think the tone is set on threads like this when the OP's cleverness hasnt risen above the threshold of an AI bot.
bark_eater is offline  
Likes For bark_eater:
Old 11-10-20, 08:34 AM
  #32  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 27,892

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2088 Post(s)
Liked 3,294 Times in 1,673 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I don't think the OP was being judgmental, rather these are questions about how do you tell a bike worth owning and fixing up.
In a way, I believe most of those who disagree with the OP understand this. (Even myself, despite my vitriol-ridden reply).

However, after you've been collecting bicycles for a while, you get sick of hearing the same old stereotypes of "what's worth collecting" rolled out. Especially when said stereotypes suggest your collection - and thus efforts - are a "waste of time" because of X, Y, or Z. Not that the OP did so, but many of the OP's assessments are based from that.

Sure, these are good guidelines to finding an Italian road bike, which I guess might be good Rules of Thumb for someone trying to play the Antiques Roadshow game - rather than for someone trying to find a bicycle they enjoy. Enjoyment is not dependent on tubing, kickstands, or snob appeal - if you like how it feels when you ride it, riding it however you like, wherever you like.

Want to find out what this snobbery feels like? Try to break into constructeur collecting (speaking of which, I bet a lot of ignorant bike snobs would call the imperfect, hand-built fittings made by some of these artisans as "junk" if they didn't know what it was on first glance).

Speaking of which, I also collect modern shared bicycles. If it wasn't for what I'm about to say, I guarantee you that someone here would try to say they're junk before this thread blows over. Is that a fair assessment? No. Not all shared bikes are worthy of that title, and the person who claims such has likely based it off a single experience with a single bicycle (if that). More often than not, that "junk" statement stems from a bias against weight. Weight, despite every know-it-all that claims it's the end-all metric for a good bicycle, is not the end-all metric. It depends on the bicycle. Thus, the statement is just baseless misinformation.



The information the OP has learned to find a high-end vintage lightweight is not far off from that. Yes, it's a valid list - for that purpose. On a general level, it's turned into a code of rules shared by vintage bike snobs, passed on so many times that many (like the OP) have come to believe that these rules have holistic, far-reaching merits within the bicycle collecting spectrum.

They don't. Grab some gaspipe and have fun.

-Kurt
__________________








Last edited by cudak888; 11-10-20 at 09:32 AM.
cudak888 is offline  
Likes For cudak888:
Old 11-10-20, 08:40 AM
  #33  
Wildwood
Veteran, Pacifist
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 12,354

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 276 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3421 Post(s)
Liked 3,415 Times in 1,671 Posts
When considering a bike purchase there is only one rule of thumb for me: Will I ride this bike?

When riding a quality vintage bike, for me, there are few rules of thumb.
1. Rubber Side Down
2. Avoid the metal beasts
3. Hang with the group (if there is one)
4. A clean drivetrain is worth more than good looks.
5. Enjoy your roll.

Practiced very regularly over a lifetime and all your bikes will have Special Quality..

Oh yeah - Purchasing rule of thumb - Original paint with or without patina is preferential over a respray. YMMV

Last edited by Wildwood; 11-10-20 at 08:48 AM.
Wildwood is online now  
Likes For Wildwood:
Old 11-10-20, 09:01 AM
  #34  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,200

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 148 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3244 Post(s)
Liked 2,643 Times in 1,535 Posts
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...again, this a broad generalization that does not always hold true. Here is a perfectly fine touring bike made from tubing drawn from Hi Ten. A touring bike has different requirements for frame weight.

Tange "Champion" tubes are all seamless chrome-moly (says CroMo right on the decal), not "Hi Ten." Hi Ten was a separate Tange product line.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
tange-catalog.pdf (4.82 MB, 2 views)
JohnDThompson is offline  
Likes For JohnDThompson:
Old 11-10-20, 09:36 AM
  #35  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 27,892

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2088 Post(s)
Liked 3,294 Times in 1,673 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Tange "Champion" tubes are all seamless chrome-moly (says CroMo right on the decal), not "Hi Ten." Hi Ten was a separate Tange product line.
But look at the horrible seat lug shorelines! It must be junk!



-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Old 11-10-20, 09:44 AM
  #36  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Left Coast, Canada
Posts: 5,126
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2235 Post(s)
Liked 1,312 Times in 706 Posts
I have no idea if the OP is trying to cleverly troll or sincere but coming on new to a board and immediately trying to list the "rules" of what is worth or not worth collecting is a pretty bone headed move. That saying: you don't know what you don't know comes to mind.

Practically speaking, very few bikes are worth collecting. One would be better off investing in some secure stocks rather than the fickle exotic bicycle market.
Realistically speaking, most people collect bikes for a wide variety of reasons. They like certain genres, product lines, have sentimental attachments, enjoy restoring, like a time period etc... no "list" is going to capture the spirit of that and only really serves to segregate and denigrate some of those members who are outside the popular box.

Example: Hi Ten not desirable? Tell that to people who own or want a Hi Ten Maldea frameset. He has an almost cult following and if you want one, join the waiting list. Those frames, from the moment they are born, have become collectible.

There was a fellow who joined the touring sub forum a couple of years ago (now banned) and right off the hop started putting down low quality touring bikes, including one of the most widely used models in the world. Turned out he did not even own a touring bicycle and got all his knowledge from experts on the internet. He managed to insult quite a few forum members with that behavior before he was banned. He had zero experience about the things he was saying but could parrot all the talking points of others (who of course, were just parroting the talking points of others).

Thinking you are collecting data from experts here is patently false as a premise unless you go into detail about why they personally prefer what they collect. All you are doing is gathering comments from those who are more vocal about their preferences. Most people like what they own or lust after best (selection bias). Some will sing from the roof tops how that preference is superior while others (more circumspect) will understand it is only better for them.

Bicycles are made to be ridden and enjoyed. Some people really get into them. If they are older or historically noteworthy in some way they are vintage or classic. Making a list means you are only collecting from a checklist and not your heart. You don''t know why you want it other than someone produced a list that said that's what you should want. No soul.

How about sticking around for a while and deciding what it is you personally like about bikes and then sharing that with others instead of immediately trying to share knowledge you don't have in a definitive way.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-10-20 at 09:49 AM.
Happy Feet is offline  
Likes For Happy Feet:
Old 11-10-20, 09:55 AM
  #37  
Oldairhead 
RUSA #3100
 
Oldairhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oregon City
Posts: 794

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Liked 414 Times in 155 Posts
Originally Posted by bbpo8 View Post
What a weird place!
Well, it is the internet!

When you learn what you like, then other peoples rules don't really matter. We are all "wasting our time" here, on the internet, working on old bikes, drinking beer etc. It doesn't really matter though if you personally are enjoying it.
__________________
https://utahrandonneur.wordpress.com
Oldairhead is offline  
Old 11-10-20, 10:07 AM
  #38  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 27,892

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2088 Post(s)
Liked 3,294 Times in 1,673 Posts
In the 15+ years I've been tinkering with bikes, I've had the opportunity to have owned some of the best and most exclusive vintage lightweights around, and have also flipped some pretty terrible crap.

Here's an interesting story based on my experiences and ownership of two polar opposite bicycles:

This is a 1979/80 Peugeot PY10. It was a one-off made for the New York International Bike Show - no other PY10 shares the features of this one. It has some of the most desirable gold anodized French components that you'll ever find hung on it.



This is some sort of mid-1980's Free Spirit that came out of a trash pile or a yard sale. Don't remember, don't care. It's basically a ladies' version of their "Brittany" 3-speed, only this one simply had a coasterbrake. They made millions of them - even Raleigh Sports enthusiasts generally fart in their general direction. I threw drops and some tape I had salvaged off another bike on it as I wanted to flip it. This is what I had around in lieu of some North Roads, and so it got drops, whether it liked it or not.

It was as ugly, the tires were crap, but it was ridable as you see it (the chain was sorted out after the pic). A $30 bike at best, and probably what I sold it for.



The PY10 was one of the most disappointing 531 bikes I'd ever ridden. Dead as a doornail. Not lively at all.

The Free Spirit was a complete riot - ridiculous coaster brake and all. I wished most high-end frames felt as lively as this to ride. This comes from someone who generally despises coaster brakes too.

I sold both long ago. I've thought about the Free Spirit a lot more than the PY10. If that doesn't convince you that snob appeal, tubing quality, and internet lore is not a measure of a bike, then there's no convincing you otherwise.

-Kurt
__________________








Last edited by cudak888; 11-10-20 at 10:13 AM.
cudak888 is offline  
Likes For cudak888:
Old 11-10-20, 10:12 AM
  #39  
majmt 
Full Member
 
majmt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tropical Montana
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 934 Times in 280 Posts
If you mispronounce itís name, itís gotta be a pretty good bike.
__________________
Montana, where men are men and sheep are lying little tramps.
majmt is offline  
Likes For majmt:
Old 11-10-20, 10:14 AM
  #40  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 27,892

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2088 Post(s)
Liked 3,294 Times in 1,673 Posts
Originally Posted by majmt View Post
If you mispronounce it’s name, it’s gotta be a pretty good bike.
Frah Speri?

-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Likes For cudak888:
Old 11-10-20, 10:19 AM
  #41  
markk900
Senior Member
 
markk900's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,482
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 406 Post(s)
Liked 438 Times in 234 Posts
I remember having some of the OP's list's biases quite strongly BITD when I first started getting serious about bicycles (around 1970 or so I think it was). So much so that a recent thread on Iversons took me right back to the schoolyard arguments on whether an Iverson was as good as a Peugeot for blah-de-blah reasons (BTW the one in that thread was identical to the one my friend and I argued about, and I still have my Peugeot from that time).

I guess the other question is: what purpose does such a list serve? If its for the benefit of the OP, then I guess its as good a list as any as long as the OP recognizes the push back from "the experts" suggests there is more to it than meets the eye. If the list is intended for others, who exactly?

I suspect the list was a misguided attempt to "introduce" oneself to the community which seems to have backfired somewhat. I think the OP will quite enjoy his hobby as long as he can start to recognize what is *important* (enjoyment of your own bikes and appreciation of others') vs what is not (the list!).

Oh - and BTW as I recall a lot of these biases came from the very distinguished writings of the "heros" of bicycling! magazine....Frank Berto and Dick Swann etc.... and that was 50 years ago.
markk900 is offline  
Likes For markk900:
Old 11-10-20, 10:19 AM
  #42  
3alarmer 
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 21,569

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 300 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24536 Post(s)
Liked 8,267 Times in 5,782 Posts
Originally Posted by bbpo8 View Post
Can someone explain to me the personal insults? Why does this list provoke such a reaction?
It's just some guidelines that I've collected. It's not about me. I'm asking if knowledgeable people can correct or add to them.
Weird. Is this typical behavior?
...it's the beginning of the bad weather in much of the US, people are crabby from being locked down, and in general, this place has always served as an outlet for venting on any number of topics. If you want to see it at its worst, start a thread on chain lube, Yesterday, I actually saw (in a quote from some guy long on my ignore list), someone call a guy dumber than a bag of hammers.

You just gotta roll with it, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on...would be my advice. Sometimes, people just vent in your direction. Resistance is futile. Just pick and choose and try to use the place to your best advantage in terms of acquisition of knowledge. Cultivate your ignore list. Enjoy the pretty pictures. Curate your Biek Forooms experience like a personal art exhibition. It's too early for you to abandon the place entirely, but I feel your pain.
3alarmer is online now  
Likes For 3alarmer:
Old 11-10-20, 10:25 AM
  #43  
3alarmer 
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 21,569

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 300 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24536 Post(s)
Liked 8,267 Times in 5,782 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post



This is some sort of mid-1980's Free Spirit that came out of a trash pile or a yard sale. Don't remember, don't care. It's basically a ladies' version of their "Brittany" 3-speed, only this one simply had a coasterbrake. They made millions of them - even Raleigh Sports enthusiasts generally fart in their general direction. I threw drops and some tape I had salvaged off another bike on it as I wanted to flip it. This is what I had around in lieu of some North Roads, and so it got drops, whether it liked it or not.

It was as ugly, the tires were crap, but it was ridable as you see it (the chain was sorted out after the pic). A $30 bike at best, and probably what I sold it for.





The Free Spirit was a complete riot - ridiculous coaster brake and all. I wished most high-end frames felt as lively as this to ride. This comes from someone who generally despises coaster brakes too.

I sold both long ago. I've thought about the Free Spirit a lot more than the PY10. If that doesn't convince you that snob appeal, tubing quality, and internet lore is not a measure of a bike, then there's no convincing you otherwise.

-Kurt
...I commuted to work and to the community college after work in Merced, in the 80's, on a Schwinn ladies step through like that with a three speed Sturmy Archer hub. It was a beautiful shade of Schwinn purple. One day someone stole all the bikes from the rack in back of the office, cutting the chains and locks. But they left the Schwinn. That was a great bicycle.
3alarmer is online now  
Likes For 3alarmer:
Old 11-10-20, 10:34 AM
  #44  
3alarmer 
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 21,569

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 300 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24536 Post(s)
Liked 8,267 Times in 5,782 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Tange "Champion" tubes are all seamless chrome-moly (says CroMo right on the decal), not "Hi Ten." Hi Ten was a separate Tange product line.

...thank you. I always wondered about that bicycle. I guess I was confused by the old Champion chart on the internet. At the bottom it mentions Champion 101 and 102 tube sets, which I presume were quite early in their production history.
3alarmer is online now  
Old 11-10-20, 10:35 AM
  #45  
majmt 
Full Member
 
majmt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tropical Montana
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 934 Times in 280 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Frah Speri?

-Kurt
Not too proud to admit that ya got me on that one. Not much help from Google.


__________________
Montana, where men are men and sheep are lying little tramps.
majmt is offline  
Likes For majmt:
Old 11-10-20, 10:45 AM
  #46  
J.Higgins 
2-Wheeled Fool
 
J.Higgins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,486

Bikes: Surly Ogre, Brompton

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1385 Post(s)
Liked 672 Times in 455 Posts
Originally Posted by bbpo8 View Post
I've gotten into old bicycles the last few months. From reading in Bike Forums and elsewhere, I developed some Rules of Thumb for identifying and assessing vintage bikes. Please correct these and add any others you can think of.

Signs of an earlier (pre-1987) bike:
- Quill stem
- Shifters on the down tube
- Non-aero brake levers (the brake cables go over the handlebars)
(Based on the Eroica guidelines)

Signs of an inexpensive model:
- Kickstand
- Shift levers on the stem
- Plastic handles on the shift levers (not always the case*)
-Safety brake levers*
-Stamped dropouts*
-Steel rims*
-Cottered crank* (some good quality bikes into the 60s had cottered cranks** )
( * = from Markeologist , ** = from 3alarmer)

Steel bikes with Chromoly, Reynolds 531 tubing or better are recommended for long rides and serious cyclists.
Bikes with lesser quality tubing (high tensile steel) are fine for less intense riding, like around town. Some quality touring bikes are made with tubing like that drawn from Hi Ten**)

Bikes advertised with minimal description: stolen or have owners who aren't knowledgeable. "Red bike. Rides like a dream."

Bikes advertised with a long list of specifications belong to fanatics. Extra points for a history of the bike. More points when you can tell it pains the owner to part with the bike.

Bikes offered at a very low price: stolen bike, bike with a broken or dented frame, a spouse selling the bike of an ex-.

Bikes advertised without mentioning their size: Aggh!

Fat tubes = carbon or aluminum frame

Bike with the seat way higher than the handlebars: racing bike. For the young and athletic only.

Relaxed geometrry, endurance bikes: for the vast majority of cyclists.

Upright posture, hybrids: for the vast majority of the population

Bike with a rack. Uncool but useful.

Vintage bike: 1) Old and interesting 2) Old and overpriced

Someone who talks about his "stable of bikes", his "Bike mancave", or "N+1" = hoarder

SurferRosa: "A nicely painted and fully lugged chromoly (or better) road bike in my size might be worth a second look. My eyes immediately go to the presence of forged dropouts, an on-frame rear derailleur hanger, and then toward the details."

ADDED: These are general rules of thumb compiled from posters at Bikeforum and elsewhere.There are always exceptions. The most important rule is go with what makes sense for you.

Have I missed anything? Thanks.
These are less rules of thumb, and more like generalizations, many of which do not entirely fit everywhere. The world of bikes is wide and diverse and not everyone looks at a bike - ANY BIKE - in the same way. Nothing comes easy in this world, and that applies to the world of classic and vintage bikes. No set of hard fast rules are going to replace years of immersion and study. You can't judge any bike by its livery.

Ever read a book, and when you read a word that you are uncertain of the meaning or origin, and you look it up? I do that a lot still. Bikes are a lot like that, especially as you begin to look at increasingly more-elite bikes by certain makers. Knowing the history of these makers and the bikes they produced is what true C&V bike nuts cherish.
J.Higgins is offline  
Likes For J.Higgins:
Old 11-10-20, 10:55 AM
  #47  
tricky 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Upper Left, USA
Posts: 1,953
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 441 Times in 296 Posts
Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
Or "hoarder".
and/or "bikeforums member"
tricky is offline  
Old 11-10-20, 11:03 AM
  #48  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Left Coast, Canada
Posts: 5,126
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2235 Post(s)
Liked 1,312 Times in 706 Posts
Part of my push back is due to experiences such as noted in my post above about the fake snob in the touring sub forum. It was annoying coming to a forum of kindred spirits just to have ones choices put down by someone who didn't even have any skin ion the game.

Another part is how much I appreciate the breadth and depth of knowledge we have in the C&V forum. No matter how obscure or non mainstream the bike seems to be there is usually someone around who can help or point an enthusiast in the right direction.

What I like about this hobby is finding a bike and delving into it's background and details while actually working on it and then riding it. It's somewhat akin to transcending history. One bike I really want to own is a Raleigh Clubman just because I want to experience what those riders experienced in that period. While grail bikes may be fine to collect, they also cost a lot, allow less opportunity to work on (due to scarcity or cost of parts and the limitations of maintaining period correctness). Basically, they are more expensive and allow less opportunity to wrench. A while ago I rebuilt a bike boom plain gauge 1969 Gitane that is not collectible at all, in a snob sense, but allowed me to do a complete restoration and single speed conversion including my first handle bar Harlequin wrap. It was very enjoyable as a winter project and to learn as I went along about French bikes and bar treatments. Plus I can easily crank out 50km's for a bucolic Sunday country jaunt. I'm at work now but will post a pic later on.
Happy Feet is offline  
Likes For Happy Feet:
Old 11-10-20, 11:04 AM
  #49  
3alarmer 
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 21,569

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 300 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24536 Post(s)
Liked 8,267 Times in 5,782 Posts
.
...I had meant to mention this earlier, but to the OP, if you are still reading your thread, you are positioned in Palo Alto in one of the best spots in the country for nice older classic bicycles. Norther California, in general, because of the combination of economic well being and a very long, year round riding season, has always been the mythical Elephant Graveyard for classic bikes.

Anywhere in the Bay Area is pretty good. Palo Alto might be even better, because of the general population's educational level, interests, and income, situated in a very nice place to ride.

I have, myself, purchased at least two swell bikes from there, one a Woodrup, and one an old Palo Alto Cycles BMZ made Italian frame.


So if you are patient, and don't make the mistake of buying up too many bikes that fill up all your space too quickly, you ought to be positioned to enjoy this as a hobby. And you won't need to compete with me any more, because I have too many bikes for the space available already, and don't much drive to the Bay Area any more in times of pandemic.
3alarmer is online now  
Likes For 3alarmer:
Old 11-10-20, 01:48 PM
  #50  
daka
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 409

Bikes: Raleigh Super Course x2, Raleigh International, Raleigh Gran Sport

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 214 Post(s)
Liked 244 Times in 151 Posts
I think my earlier post fell into the OP's category of "off on a tangent", which it kind of was, and didn't make much of an impression. My basic point was/is that some significant C&V criteria just don't work in any type of "rule of thumb" list format. Independent of their materials and construction details, some bikes just seem to play your song and you have no choice but to get up and dance.

But the photo and the personal details in my post are part of my story that I have been meaning to share here for a while and it seemed as good an opportunity as any other to post it. I'd also like some help from the collective wisdom here to learn a little more about my father's bike - I know that it had a very small "Reynolds 531" sticker on the seat tube, that it was a kind of olive green color and I suspect it had 26 x 1 1/4 (EA 1) tires since my brother, who rode it later, complained about how hard it was to find tires for it. Virtually all of the componentry was chrome plated steel (bars, stem, seat post, brakes, etc.)

I'm also glad I didn't sling any daggers at the the OP. Although I didn't notice until @3alarmer's post above, the OP lives in the same town as I do and may very well be one of my neighbors .

Dave
daka is offline  
Likes For daka:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.