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What constitutes a Classic or Vintage bicycle?

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What constitutes a Classic or Vintage bicycle?

Old 02-12-22, 11:50 AM
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I think we need a sticky to discuss, “What qualifies as a sticky?”
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Old 02-13-22, 09:15 AM
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A C&V bike gets double takes on the popular routes. All it takes is a corn cob cluster and non integrated levers. Pretty soon -- anything with rim brakes.
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Old 02-14-22, 04:27 PM
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What is the proper way to “restore” a C&V bicycle?

I am thinking about what to do with my 1973 Italian bike. Should I strip and repaint like I have seen in some beautiful photos posted by BF members?

Is it better to just clean it up and leave the old chipped and scratched paint and rust? Is that more authentic?

Is it Ok to touch up the paint to prevent more rust and make it look better without repainting?

I would like the opinions of the C&V Subforum. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 02-14-22, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturuss
I am thinking about what to do with my 1973 Italian bike. Should I strip and repaint like I have seen in some beautiful photos posted by BF members?

Is it better to just clean it up and leave the old chipped and scratched paint and rust? Is that more authentic?

Is it Ok to touch up the paint to prevent more rust and make it look better without repainting?

I would like the opinions of the C&V Subforum. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Firstly; it's your bike so you can do whatever you want with it.

Having said that, the C&V enthusiasts tend to value original paint and patina over flash new paint jobs. The mantra is 'it's only original once'.

There's obviously a point where the original finish isn't doing it's job of preventing rust, so you may decide to give it a new coat if touching up is too extensive.
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Old 02-14-22, 08:09 PM
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[MENTION=550063]Sturuss[/MENTION] -
sometimes one strips and paints/powdercoats and restores to original
sometimes one preserves by stopping all rust, waxing and re-building; or touch-up and re-decal
sometimes one reassembles with original or era appropriate parts, or modern components
most times some combination of the above.


There is no right or wrong - there are no ethics in vintage bike building. You just have to know the exceptions. What '73 Italian?
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Old 02-14-22, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
[MENTION=550063]Sturuss[/MENTION] -
sometimes one strips and paints/powdercoats and restores to original
sometimes one preserves by stopping all rust, waxing and re-building; or touch-up and re-decal
sometimes one reassembles with original or era appropriate parts, or modern components
most times some combination of the above.


There is no right or wrong - there are no ethics in vintage bike building. You just have to know the exceptions. What '73 Italian?
Atala Competizione. Bought it new when I was young and crazy. Still is my favorite ride. All the original Campy components. Mavic sewup rims with Campy hubs. New tires.

I am leaning towards a cleanup and touch up paint. New decals. What do you think?
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Old 02-14-22, 11:09 PM
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2 more posts, then pictures will get best answer.
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Old 02-15-22, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
2 more posts, then pictures will get best answer.
Ok. I will send pictures after this.
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Old 02-20-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I think we need a sticky to discuss, “What qualifies as a sticky?”
I think we need a forum just for stickies so they don't clutter up the regular forums.
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Old 02-20-22, 04:45 PM
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1973 Atala Competizione - is this Classic or Vintage?

Originally Posted by Wildwood
2 more posts, then pictures will get best answer.
Bought this bike new in early 1974. Serial number indicates 1973 manufacture. I have been working on cleanup and de-rusting. Touch up paint is next, followed by new reproduction decals. I will post new photos when done.

Original Campy components. Will be restoring the tubular wheels.

Cinelli stem and bars. New bar tape.

Does anyone else have a bike like this?
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Old 02-20-22, 05:51 PM
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I would call it Classic.
Italian, chrome lugs & socks, forged drop-outs with adjusters, tubulars, Campagnolo components, AND Italian frame with Reynolds tubing, even some thinning of the top head lug
But low-end classic = crimped stay-end attachment, guessing straight gauge tubing (what is seatpost diameter?), lesser Campagnolo

Nothing Atala for me.
My 70's Italian is Bottecchia Giro 'd Italia from '72. Size 58cm.
Chrome lugs & socks, forged drops w/ adjusters and eyelets, tubulars, Campy.
Frame is Columbus - SP


Really all that matters is - does it fit? does it work properly? does it fill a need/desire?
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Last edited by Wildwood; 02-20-22 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 03-04-22, 08:31 AM
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Having to listen back to your friction derailleur as you change gears.
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Old 03-18-22, 09:45 PM
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Anybody have a suggestion about how best to restore this head badge?

Do I need to remove it? If so, how? It’s riveted on.


Circa 1973
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Old 03-19-22, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturuss
Anybody have a suggestion about how best to restore this head badge?

Do I need to remove it? If so, how? It’s riveted on.

Circa 1973
Model paint and a steady hand.

You don’t have to remove it, but it would make it a lot easier.

Head badge rivets
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Old 03-31-22, 06:12 AM
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Vintage is just old. I'd say 25 years old or older. Classic IMO can be a bit younger, but has 'classic' attributes. For example the 2011 Masi Speciale Strada-new bike but built with classic lines and attributes.

As far as a true classic, I feel it had to have at least a following at one point. I would say any nicer bike without the new fangled brake levers from outer space that shift the derailleurs, odd blade shaped spokes, no plastic in the frames, no v profiled rims, no threadless stems, no cupless frames (meaning it must have bottom bracket & headset cups), no tubeless tires, no odd offset pivot bolt brake calipers, no disc brakes, and definitely no bluetooth or electronic shifting.
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Old 03-31-22, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturuss
Anybody have a suggestion about how best to restore this head badge?

Do I need to remove it? If so, how? It’s riveted on.
Removing it would make it easier to work on. Take the fork out of the frame, then knock off the ends of the rivets inside the head tube. You should be able to pop the badge off. Reattach with new rivets or brass screws.
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Old 03-31-22, 06:24 PM
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it is up to each of us to define classic and vintage. My definition is different than others. I don’t think it matters. If you consider your bike classic or vintage or both, great. Don’t let my definition get in the way.
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Old 04-23-22, 11:50 AM
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A Vintage bike has silver parts. That shapes the look.
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Old 04-23-22, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
As long as C&V keeps evolving, people will still want to talk about the stuff they had or wanted when they were young.
I like your definition. IF you no longer see yourself as young, C&V is what you had and/or wanted when you were young.
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Old 05-03-22, 10:55 AM
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That colour on the legnano one looks great.
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Old 05-03-22, 11:01 AM
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And when is something classic or vintage? A bike could be vintage but not classic and vice a versa. Vintage seems to me a time related thing while classic most of the time also is, but classic is also used to point out quality and rarity. Like when people say ‘that’s a new classic’. A bike from 5 years ago which is out of production could be a classic.

But like someone said, just post pictures. Someone will approve, someone will likely disapprove if it’s classic, vintage or otherwise 🙃
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Old 05-05-22, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
I would call it Classic.
Italian, chrome lugs & socks, forged drop-outs with adjusters, tubulars, Campagnolo components, AND Italian frame with Reynolds tubing, even some thinning of the top head lug
But low-end classic = crimped stay-end attachment, guessing straight gauge tubing (what is seatpost diameter?), lesser Campagnolo

Nothing Atala for me.
My 70's Italian is Bottecchia Giro 'd Italia from '72. Size 58cm.
Chrome lugs & socks, forged drops w/ adjusters and eyelets, tubulars, Campy.
Frame is Columbus - SP


Really all that matters is - does it fit? does it work properly? does it fill a need/desire?
Recently completed work on my 1973 Atala. I cleaned and restored the original campy hubs and Mavic wheels, and replaced the tubular tires. Cleaned and de-rusted the frame, touched up paint, replaced beat-up decals with reproduction decals, shined up the components, etc. Looks pretty good for a nearly 50 year old bike. This is no museum piece - I intend to ride it as soon as the rainy and 50-degree days stop in Chicago area.




The seat post diameter is about 2.5 cm as near as I can tell. This is a 25" frame, 63.5 cm from center of bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube.
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Old 05-08-22, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SDReames
What criteria is used to determine if a bicycle is Classic or Vintage?
It seems any bike made of steel tubing qualifies, as it is either a truly vintage bike or the design is a classic.

Add to that, the Klein and Cannondale aluminum bikes are now pretty old and qualify.

The early graphite tubing bikes now qualify.

Composite frame like the old Kestrel qualify.

So, basically ANYTHING and EVERYTING.

Agreed?
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Old 05-08-22, 03:42 PM
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I like the criteria that the Classic Rendezvous Forum uses: i.e. nothing newer than bikes/parts made in1983. Basically this would include bikes or components such as those using index shifting. Certain exceptions would include bikes or frames that are designated "keeper of the flame" (KOF) which include modern builders using steel tubing and lugs. Just my opinion and point of view.
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Old 05-09-22, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by lem321
I like the criteria that the Classic Rendezvous Forum uses: i.e. nothing newer than bikes/parts made in1983. Basically this would include bikes or components such as those using index shifting.
Since SIS debuted in 1985, won’t you be “excluding” bikes from that year forward?
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