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Do you always build bikes with complete originality?

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Do you always build bikes with complete originality?

Old 01-10-22, 11:13 PM
  #1  
Shp4man
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Do you always build bikes with complete originality?

I've built one that was, as best as I could make it, completely original, as it was in 1977. Sold it for decent bucks, too. But most of my builds are a combination of lighter or more attractive parts, or actually what I have in the stash, while trying to keep in the same general era as the original bike. I also enjoy building cruisers with a '60s cool factor, but always gravitate back to lightweights.
You?
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Old 01-10-22, 11:25 PM
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Hats off to those who can actually "Restore" a vintage bicycle. Some of the restorations I have seen here are absolutely FANTASTIC! And they are well appreciated. I have to admit that all my builds have ended up as Franken Bikes one way or another...
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Old 01-10-22, 11:40 PM
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I try to keep groupsets intact. And there are three things I will never put on my classic bikes : threadless stems, black groupsets, and black spokes.
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Old 01-11-22, 12:28 AM
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I've only had a couple of bikes that were/are kept "as built from the era. Those were purchased pretty much in 'original' condition. I only made handlebar or saddle changes, for comfort.

Most of the others, I'll substitute a part if it doesn't fit with the rest of the group, but not too worried about keeping everything from the same year.

And for the framesets that I've bought, they're pretty much mutts. I try to use whatever I have on hand to get em rolling.

A picture of my 'original' 1979 Michael Johnson(swapped out handlebars for wider Nittos)


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Old 01-11-22, 12:37 AM
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I would say the desire is there, and I've done it before. If I'm feeling nostalgic or 'romantic' towards the era, then yeah. Otherwise, it's straight to modernization to get the most and best out of a frame, and to survive steep hills and crazy traffic (aka indexed gearing and dual pivot brakes).
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Old 01-11-22, 01:23 AM
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Mostly, yes. But I've upgraded to modern-ish, machined-sidewall rims (Mavic Open Pro, 4CD, and MA3) for improved braking performance and longevity. Vintage rims tended to be of softer alloys which seemed to go out of true fairly easily and the "brake tracks" were pretty rudimentary. Everything else (Campy NR and SR gruppos, Cinelli bars and stems, 3ttt or Concor saddles) generally matches the age range of my rides: 1973 to 1985.

This is the only bike completely built with original components - and it only became that way very recently when I finally decided to give tubulars a go again after a long hiatus:



Braking feel is pretty wishy-washy, but no matter. I don't do much high-speed descending on it because the current freewheel doesn't allow for much in the way of climbing!

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Old 01-11-22, 04:06 AM
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Old 01-11-22, 04:29 AM
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If I buy a bike that is all original and it functions well, I leave it alone. Years ago I bought a 1973 Super Mondia Special and those bikes came with Campy Bar end shifters. I really don’t care for them but they work so when I reassembled the bike I left them. I have others that I have upgraded to my personal taste but keep the original components aside.
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Old 01-11-22, 05:09 AM
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No.

Every bike in my fleet is a rider and has improvements to the pedals, saddle, bars, stems and gearing. I'm not 28 years old any more.
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Old 01-11-22, 05:37 AM
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I only have two display bikes left and they are all original with one exception. Tires on one of them are not original as the originals rotted to the point of ugliness. The vintage riders are set up to my preference as it is the ride quality of the frame that I am after.
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Old 01-11-22, 06:12 AM
  #11  
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If a bike has all of its original parts and you just clean and lube and replace consumables, it is original.

if you source parts to look like itís original state with those parts, itís not original since the parts were sourced elsewhere...it is ďrestored and era cognizant...Ē.

That said, you can keep groups together, update and upgrade, repaint, touch up, modernize...its what usually happened to bikes people owned over time anyhow. Replacing and upgrading.
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Old 01-11-22, 07:34 AM
  #12  
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Nope, especially on a repaint, always change something, sometimes as small as a decal, usually a lot more. I donít want anyone passing off one of my builds as an original, when my stewardship ends. I save the original components though.
Tim
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Old 01-11-22, 07:51 AM
  #13  
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I have an obsessive compulsive streak when it comes to components correctness, but I keep it under control with respect to budget and time. Certain bikes demand that treatment, others not so much.
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Old 01-11-22, 08:07 AM
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No, I’m not in the business of running a museum.
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Old 01-11-22, 08:18 AM
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I don't really look at these things in the same way that car collectors view cars with regard to "factory original." Wasn't it common practice to upgrade as you went back in the day?

I have some bikes here that came with ho-hum parts originally. They are much better machines with upgrades. Perhaps the best example of this is my '88 Schwinn Premis. Originally Suntour Accushift 2x6 with average wheels. Now it is a 3x9 Ultegra setup with DA downtube shifters and Mavic Open Pros laced to R7000 hubs. Such a blast.

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Old 01-11-22, 08:29 AM
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Nope. I usually start with a bare frame, and then aim for cheap and practical.



This is the only original part on the whole bike.

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Old 01-11-22, 08:31 AM
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I have custom-geared every bicycle I have owned, including changing most 2x5s to 2x6, 2x7, 3x5, 3x6, or 3x7. I am very particular about the top and bottom gear ratios I want and about maximum ratiometric progressions.

I always upgrade to KoolStop brake pads -- this is a no-brainer.

I like Brooks Pro saddles, whether they are original to a particular bicycle or not.

I need brake levers that fit my hands, which means Weinmann Vainqueur 999s, DiaCompes, or Shimanos. I can't execute a sudden emergency stop with long-reach levers, such as Mafacs, Modolos, or Campagnolos. To compensate for its mediocre Campag. sidepull calipers, the Bianchi has aero Shimano brake levers and KoolStop pads. Fortunately, Weinmann 999s were standard equipment on all three Capos and the Carlton, so no change needed there.

Since I built the UO-8 from a bare frame, I started with a blank canvas. As a result, it has a SunTour rear derailleur, Sugino alloy crankset, alloy rims, and of course DiaCompe brake levers. It also has SunTour ratchet barcons, my personal faves. Very non-French except for the Normandy Luxe Competition hubs, but it serves me well.
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Old 01-11-22, 09:14 AM
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I don't worry about keeping everything original, but I try to stay with the spirit of the era. It's not unusual for parts to be changed even before the bike leaves the shop for the first time, sometimes to fit the bike to the rider, sometimes to upgrade to a better performing part. Several people have shared their old receipts from their bike purchases BITD that had such changes listed. When rebuilding a bike, I look at it as if the owner had a mishap and needed a replacement part or was unhappy with the original part and installed a better version. I see that as part of the bikes history, just as much as the patina of the finish.

Accessories are part of the history, too. Sure, a racing bike looks good stripped to just the bare essentials, but most bikes a ridden by normal people who want to stay dry and be seen and who need to carry stuff.
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Old 01-11-22, 09:24 AM
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Only my 1973 Paramount approaches originality. I have restored a couple of MTBs to original like a 1983 Stumpjumper.

The bikes I ride are not original. Many times they have come to me with components in very poor condition. Other times I think originally they were under built. My chrome Katakura Silk originally came with Suntour LePree. No thanks. Its now Superbe Pro.

Back in the day upgrading bikes was the norm. And stuff does wear out. Chasing after original parts is an expensive option. And when you have bins full of better stuff, why bother?

And realize, many OEM parts decisions were based on cost, not best performance. So a top notch frame could have come with mediocre/average parts. Continuing this practice to just maintain originality makes the bike a poorer performer.

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Old 01-11-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Shp4man View Post
Do you always build bikes with complete originality?
Nope. I've seen the kind of sausage-making that goes into spec'ing bikes for market, and how parts availability can lead to component changes that don't get reflected in the catalogs. I'll use whatever I can get, as long as it works.
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Old 01-11-22, 10:17 AM
  #21  
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What is "complete originality"? My three nicest bikes (Cooper, Cinelli, Raleigh) came as bare framesets where you either built up yourself or specified all the parts that should be attached to them. I do keep these bikes equipped with period-correct parts, though modern lined brake cables and Koolstop pads are required replacements in order to provide reliable braking for the hilly roads around here. Also, the Cooper and Cinelli were originally equipped with sewups and when replacing the worn out rims I switched over to clinchers. Is this considered "complete originality" or "extreme modification"? My garage is a riding machine storage area, not a museum.
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Old 01-11-22, 10:19 AM
  #22  
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So far, never. I run what I like and what seems era-and-bike "appropriate". Modern 'upgrades' so far have been acceptable to me as long as it does not ruin the bike's aesthetic. Then again, all of my bikes are ones I've owned a long time and were a mish-mash when I first bought/built them, and I never intend to sell any bikes.
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Old 01-11-22, 10:40 AM
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After many years of just riding and little or no wrenching, I have two 'winter projects', a 1995 and a 2005 Trek 520. I don't think either qualifies as vintage but maybe classic. The 1995 was purchased complete with (reportedly) less than 200 miles on it and was completely original except for significant paint scratches from a year in the back of a Kia Soul. I tore it completely down and cleaned and lubed everything and it's going back together as original (Deore LX grippe. The 2005 was purchased as a frame and fork. This bike was cannabalized by the original owner when shipping a bike to Europe became a problem and the components were used for a "screw-together (?) frame. As some of you who replied to my posts, I agonized over rebuilding with the original parts but finally decided to go with new Alivio grippe and this bike will essentially have specs identical to a 2021Trek 520 specifications. I'm NOT a bike flipper. I just want to build a few bikes that people can enjoy for what they are....good day tourers. Just my $0.02....
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Old 01-11-22, 10:46 AM
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No. Two bikes come to mind that are close to original. The first is the Colnago which did not have all original parts so I replaced them with one or two exceptions, thanks to DD. Even the brake housing and cables are vintage correct but because it is ridden occasionally, it has Koolstops with the original pads in a ziplock. Many of the Colnagos were fame set sales so it is hard to say what is original but what can be said is what the preferrable parts were BITD. This bike conforms.
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The Bottecchia is labeled a Giro d'Italia. As it turns out, the Professional was the same frame with a different decal. Because it did not have the original parts and I did, it was outfitted as a professional. The year is about 1972/3. The parts came from my 1972 Motobecane Le Champion that was crashed. the head set and wheels are original. What isn't are the pedals, stem and handlebar. I have decals for the DT and ST.
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The 1988 De Rosa is definitely not period correct! I cannot bring myself to invest in C Record parts! When a 10v wheel set with tubies, record hubs, cassette, with black spokes (not a preference), showed up on CL for $130, the path was set. I ventured into black parts too.
P1050288 on Flickr

The Pinarello was purchased with all original parts and stayed that way for several years. Recently it was modified by replacing all the DA with Campy and now sport 3x9 mix of Triple T, Record and Chorus parts. I needed the gearing until I get back in shape.
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For those of you who are getting bored with my pics of the same set of bikes, I am trying to use different pics. Some are not the best, but the good ones can be found in so many different threads! I really don't care if you are rolling your eyes, I don't see it and I can't explain why I enjoy sharing them so much!
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Old 01-11-22, 11:06 AM
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For me it depends on the original bike, a Torpado Superlight gets slightly changed from Universal brakes to Campy. Austro Inter Ten, that frame got upgrades on every part. I do have a '77 SBDU Raleigh that one is getting close to original spec, and a Mercian that will get updates. A De Rosa gets original Campy a Romic gets coldset for newer Dura Ace.

I keep things original, unless I don't.
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