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Things we do that don't really have a practical purpose

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Things we do that don't really have a practical purpose

Old 12-19-21, 02:27 PM
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Things we do that don't really have a practical purpose

Over at the Classic Rendevous site I sometimes read what a "proper" bike should be like. Sometimes they just strike me as stylish with no real useful purpose other than to set one apart from the "unknowing". I'll start:
  • Building a wheel so that when you look down the valve hole, the hub logo is centered - typically done when building on vintage Campy hubs. "It shows that the wheel builder cares." What if I really cared that I build the wheel to last a long time, but didn't center the logo?
  • Perfectly horizontal top tubes. "They look right". They look right because that's what we all grew up seeing on vintage bikes...I get this one often when doing a 650b conversion and rerake the fork for lower trail. It typically drops the front end by a few mm. Did that ruin the bike?
  • Lugged frames only, please. He Who Shall Not Be Named declared that lugged frames are stronger. Hmm, lots of fillet brazed frames from Jack Taylor, Ritchey, Jeff Lyons, and others aren't falling apart at the joints...not to mention the numerous TIG welded frames out there are holding up just fine. There's a bit of a tail wagging the dog here, where you're forced to design a frame around available lug angles.
Note that I build my wheels with the hub logo showing through the valve hole, I like the look of a horizontal top tube, and have built a couple of lugged frames myself. I don't kid myself into thinking they're technicallly superior, however.

Your thoughts?
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Old 12-19-21, 02:44 PM
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Lugged frames only for sure; it's an aesthetic question AFAIC. Tig welding or fillet brazing just doesn't pump my nads the way lugged construction does

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Old 12-19-21, 02:47 PM
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I'm with you on all three of those and I do them all as well. The biggest item that is not practical for me is building frames and forks. I'm 5' 10" and common proportions, don't really need anything built for me. An off the shelf 55-56 fits me well. That being said, I'm replacing most of my bikes with framesets that I build.
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Old 12-19-21, 03:01 PM
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One of the things I do that has no practical purpose is dig way in and adamantly defend myself for mounting the front skewer lever on the drive side.
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Old 12-19-21, 03:03 PM
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Yeah, those fixie hipsters and their sloping top tubes!
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Old 12-19-21, 03:11 PM
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Some folks replace cups and cones when there is some pitting. Pretty silly where big bottom bracket balls (BBBB) are concerned. And sometimes we just do what we're told-- Like with practically slick Continental GP#000s and the little rotation arrow--I remount them if I get it wrong the first time.
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Old 12-19-21, 03:14 PM
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I've built a ton of wheels and never even thought about the hub logo. I must not care. Good thing the folks I built them for don't know.
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Old 12-19-21, 03:17 PM
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Wearing white socks on a racing bike, beautiful but absolutely not practical.
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Old 12-19-21, 03:34 PM
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Old 12-19-21, 03:37 PM
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Large flange hubs - they do look sweet though
Wrapping bar tape a particular way.
Twisting toe straps
Photos of the drive side
Even brake cables
High brake cables
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Old 12-19-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Yeah, those fixie hipsters and their sloping top tubes!
Neal, I always suspected your knickers used to be white

Roger Musson insists on the hub label, valve hole trick and even though he comes across as a bit of a crank in his book, I do what Im told.

Quick release lever angles - Theres a friend of ours who tells the story of Francesco Moser demonstrating to him the proper angle, which is pointing aft parallel to the ground. I admit to trying this on some of my racier bikes and it feels right and maybe even I go a little faster.
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Old 12-19-21, 04:12 PM
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If I accidentally build a wheel without the logo visible through the valve hole, I won’t redo it, but I will make sure it doesn’t appear in pics I post here…

One thing I’ll admit to having done is trim my cable ends very short, but I won’t do that anymore, since I like to tinker too much. A piece of lingo I picked up when I made a couple of short films long ago was to shoot a few seconds on either end of the scene to facilitate splicing — “give me some handle.” I like to do this with my cables.

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Old 12-19-21, 04:17 PM
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the things you describe are little touches that show experience and attention to detail

nobody mentioned the tire label at the valve stem. Or proper orientation of the QR lever.

these things are done as a matter of habit, rather than an end in themselves

/markp
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Old 12-19-21, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
One of the things I do that has no practical purpose is dig way in and adamantly defend myself for mounting the front skewer lever on the drive side.
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Old 12-19-21, 05:02 PM
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The QR levers pointing rearward parallel to the ground is technical, safety, common sense, they are far less likely to be opened by debris, vegetation and errant contact.

Having them both on the same (NDS) is aesthetic common sense, no brainer.

Many "rules", guidelines, traditions, etc. have some technical basis that was relevant at the time.

Some of those become irrelevant with time and advances, then they are tradition.
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Old 12-19-21, 05:04 PM
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Old 12-19-21, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
Without a doubt.
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Old 12-19-21, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
the things you describe are little touches that show experience and attention to detail

nobody mentioned the tire label at the valve stem. Or proper orientation of the QR lever.

these things are done as a matter of habit, rather than an end in themselves

/markp
Orientation of QR lever is a marginal safety issue, as it's (remotely) possible to inadvertently catch a QR and loosen it up.

Tire label orientation at the valve stem is very practical. Many a time I've had a flat tire and couldn't initially find the culprit. Finding where the hole is in the tube, and referencing the location on the tire relative to the tire label has allowed me to focus my attention and find the tiny bit of glass, or metal wire that caused the flat. Without that knowledge it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
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Old 12-19-21, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
Perfect example.
Except rule #12
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Old 12-19-21, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Yeah, those fixie hipsters and their sloping top tubes!
Wut, you didn't mention his sloppy sloped bag too? That's a bigger faux pas IMO. The frame is crazy short too.
In other news, I never used bar tape in my life, or drops for that matter.
Never used shoe binders either. Pfffft to those.
It's hard to tell which label or where on my hubs, they go all around. I mark the tire holes with the pen I always carry.
I sure won't leave rim advertising labels on. They ain't paying me. LOL.
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Old 12-19-21, 06:26 PM
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I still buy bikes I don't need because of my skewed, inferred value of them.
I still build or repair old (and some newer) bikes for people who don't appreciate it.
I still abhor modern frames even though they're often 'gateway bikes' to C&V
I still covet too many items on our sales thread.
I still drive my car too much in the winter.

The list tells me to ride more, if only to counterbalance whatever hellfire we receive in 2022. I'll go to the basement for my trainer shortly.
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Old 12-19-21, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I still buy bikes I don't need because of my skewed, inferred value of them.
I still build or repair old (and some newer) bikes for people who don't appreciate it.
I still abhor modern frames even though they're often 'gateway bikes' to C&V
I still covet too many items on our sales thread.
I still drive my car too much in the winter.

The list tells me to ride more, if only to counterbalance whatever hellfire we receive in 2022. I'll go to the basement for my trainer shortly.
So many valid truths here, where to start?

I still have to set up the trainer after I clear out the space that is being held up by a frame up build that is almost done but dragging on way too long for no good reason.

Then will be taken up by the present wrapping station.

I hate that effen trainer.
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Old 12-19-21, 06:42 PM
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45 years ago I built wheels for a fairly prestigious bike shop that sold a lot of high end bikes. I never knew about lining up the valve hole with the hub label, nor did it ever occur to me since I never attempted to examine my hub label through the valve hole. I never had a complaint about this from any of our customers, maybe because this was during the time when our "vintage" bikes were modern bikes and folks bought them to ride and to race. Now that these bikes have accrued some status as collectible items perhaps this attention to tiny aesthetic details is a bigger part of owning one of these bikes. No problem with that.

A few on the CR list have postulated that lining up the stem with the label shows some superior attention to detail on the part of the wheel builder. The problem with this reasoning is that anyone who has built a few wheels can easily perform this trick. It does nothing to differentiate the hack from the expert. I'm quite sure that I would have quickly adopted this non-functional detail if it would have labeled me as a superior wheel builder and allowed me to raise my rates. In hindsight I'm rather glad however that my wheel building reputation was based on the quality of my wheels not on my "attention to detail."
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Old 12-19-21, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
One of the things I do that has no practical purpose is dig way in and adamantly defend myself for mounting the front skewer lever on the drive side.
I never considered this until just now, but your method would let you consistently work the QR lever and nut with the same hands...
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Old 12-19-21, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Over at the Classic Rendevous site I sometimes read what a "proper" bike should be like. Sometimes they just strike me as stylish with no real useful purpose other than to set one apart from the "unknowing".....
My take has always been that some places had certain practices or traditions, and these practices never spread broadly. Naturally, folks like to preserve these traditional practices, but I don't recall any/many saying that other practices were inherently wrong.

As far as stylish with no real purpose... is that a bad thing? Sometimes it's just fun.



actually, it does add a bit of flair to a monochromatic fillet brazed bike.

Steve in Peoria
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