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Vintage vs. Modern Video

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Vintage vs. Modern Video

Old 03-23-23, 10:51 AM
  #51  
Trakhak
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
RE SurferRosa : "Extreme reliability of modern tech"? My perfectly functioning bikes are 35-50 years old, all of them. How can they get "more reliable"?

Correct. The Extreme reliability of classic bikes has passed this test of decades as documented in the C&V threads. Cant claim this for new bikes and I dont think they will pass the same reliability and maintainability for 35-50 years.
A good proportion of the classic-era bikes were originally bought by people who rode quite a bit before, during, and after their college years but then cut way back on mileage or gave up riding altogether upon embarking on their careers. Thus, many of their bikes had maybe four to six years of frequent use before being relegated to the cellar. That doesn't really say much one way of the other about the reliability of those bikes.

Yes, a bike of decent quality, as long as the owner takes care of it, will last a long time. Some say that won't be true of current models as the years pass. I don't see why they wouldn't last at least as long as the survivors from the classic years, but we can't know, so it's pointless to speculate.

One point arguably in favor of modern threadless headsets---I've never encountered one with damaged races, so no more "indexing," it seems. Maybe people currently working in bike shops have seen some examples, though.

Modern wheels seem to last much longer, too. And, given the industry-wide move to offering mostly or only disc brake bikes, modern wheels may prove to last far, far longer than the previously standard rim brake wheels.

What strikes me about the C&V "Are you looking for one of these?" thread is the number of otherwise rideable bikes with bent forks. What were those people doing with their bikes?

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Old 03-23-23, 11:21 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
A good proportion of the classic-era bikes were originally bought by people who rode quite a bit before, during, and after their college years but then cut way back on mileage or gave up riding altogether upon embarking on their careers. Thus, many of their bikes had maybe four to six years of frequent use before being relegated to the cellar. That doesn't really say much one way of the other about the reliability of those bikes.

Yes, a bike of decent quality, as long as the owner takes care of it, will last a long time. Some say that won't be true of current models as the years pass. I don't see why they wouldn't last at least as long as the survivors from the classic years, but we can't know, so it's pointless to speculate.
This aspect reminds me of the situation in vintage watch collecting - with mechanical watches, pretty much any part can be fabricated by a well-trained watchmaker (not the guy at the mall who replaces batteries), but as soon as you run into the first battery powered watch, from 1957, you run into irreplaceable parts. That is, some of the parts of even the very first electric watch are beyond the skills of even the best watchmakers to replicate. Go much beyond that, and the divide only gets wider. The first LED digital watches - ungodly expensive as they were at the time - are unrepairable. You can only scavenge parts and hope.

Similarly, bikes with Di2 or other electronic systems, in 50 years will likely be unrepairable. The question is, how much does that matter? Will cyclists 50 years on be swooning over a Specialized Aethos with 12 speed, Di2 Dura Ace the way they do currently over an old Italian lugged steel frame hung with Campy's best. At the moment, there aren't all that many vintage bikes that command really high prices. Indeed, one thing I like about vintage bikes is that once you get past the first tier, they really are a bargain! But the reason for that is that there are more old bikes than there are vintage bike enthusiasts.
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Old 03-23-23, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
My perfectly functioning bikes are 35-50 years old, all of them. How can they get "more reliable"?
Here's the thing, C&Vers will scoff at modern tech because what they rode in their youth is perfectly fine. But those exact same C&Vers will scoff at tech older than their youth. Consider them as wall hangers. So why is it a constant surprise that someone not born in the era of your typical C&Vers to consider those bikes wall hangers?
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Old 03-23-23, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
... similar to automatic transmissions, blockbuster movies, light beer, Eagles, Harry Potter, etc...
Getting a bit off topic here, but I noticed a trend in food products....

American cheese = highly processed, barely recognizable as cheese
American bread = white bread
American sausage = hot dogs
American beer = Budweiser/Miller/Coors

I don't know if this is uniquely American, but we certainly have perfected the art of breaking things down into their lowest form. I love everything on the list above except the beer, but I wouldn't say I'm proud of that as my cultural heritage. I think we at least did OK with whiskey.
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Old 03-23-23, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Getting a bit off topic here, but I noticed a trend in food products....

American cheese = highly processed, barely recognizable as cheese
American bread = white bread
American sausage = hot dogs
American beer = Budweiser/Miller/Coors

I don't know if this is uniquely American, but we certainly have perfected the art of breaking things down into their lowest form. I love everything on the list above except the beer, but I wouldn't say I'm proud of that as my cultural heritage. I think we at least did OK with whiskey.
Funny thing is, though, that because America is what America is, you can get great cheeses made here in the style of many other cultures, great bread made here in the style of many other cultures, great sausages made here in the style of many other cultures, and great beer made here in the style of many other cultures.
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Old 03-23-23, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Here's the thing, C&Vers will scoff at modern tech because what they rode in their youth is perfectly fine. But those exact same C&Vers will scoff at tech older than their youth. Consider them as wall hangers.
That's "the thing"? Are you talking as far back as penny farthing? Or merely cottered crank? Which one am I supposed to be "scoffing" about?

So why is it a constant surprise that someone not born in the era of your typical C&Vers to consider those bikes wall hangers?
"Constant surprise"? It's not that. It's more assumed ... predictable.
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Old 03-23-23, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Funny thing is, though, that because America is what America is, you can get great cheeses made here in the style of many other cultures, great bread made here in the style of many other cultures, great sausages made here in the style of many other cultures, and great beer made here in the style of many other cultures.
Absolutely! And trying to get back on topic, the American custom steel frame building scene right now is amazing.
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Old 03-23-23, 12:55 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Here's the thing, C&Vers will scoff at modern tech because what they rode in their youth is perfectly fine. But those exact same C&Vers will scoff at tech older than their youth. Consider them as wall hangers.
You over generalize. In my youth, the great bikes had DT friction shifters with the occasional odd bird running SunTour barcons. When I had Peter Mooney make my bikes, I spec'ed Ergopower controls. I was very happy to have a set of controls that never distracted me from what was in front of the bike and let me shift when standing on the pedals. Having had a Campag friction lever slip and dump me into a bad gear during a race, I had no particular nostalgia to stay with DTs.

The issue I have with modern tech is that it seems to complicate the bike and shove a very expensive purchase more in the direction of being a consumable. For instance, in younger days, I snapped a nine year old Galli crank. But the design of forged cranks got much better. The 1991 Athena that replaced it is finally giving up the ghost after a life of continual use and multiple chainrings. I expect my 2000 era Record cranks to outlast me. In contrast, I was just watching videos documenting failures of modern Ultegra and DuraAce cranks based on their construction. I watched another video showing bad design in the modern SuperRecord crank. When I was younger, we called such design Stupid Light as opposed to Super Light. There are places you should spend your grams if you expect your bike to last. Maybe it's OK when your bike gets changed out annually from sponsorship, but that's just not the case with the majority of riders.

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Old 03-23-23, 01:10 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Really so we are only allowed to participate in a one sided self congratulatory debate and accept complete denial of any alternative perspectives or reality in general.

That said this is C&V and its not really appropriate place to engage in an old versus new debate in my provocative tone. I leave leave this to everyone then.
Yes, this is C+V with and for good reason, we eschew the "modern is better" prattle by nature as you well know and are well aware of.

And no denial here, we are fully aware of our view as it is by choice and design, the way we want it on purpose by choice.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:16 PM
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I liked that video. Makes we wanna bring my newest and oldest bike to the local mountain and time two ascents.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:18 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Yes, this is C+V with and for good reason, we eschew the "modern is better" prattle by nature as you well know and are well aware of.

And no denial here, we are fully aware of our view as it is by choice and design, the way we want it on purpose by choice.
At the same time, a substantial proportion of us C&V folk appreciate both the state-of-the-art bikes of our youth and today's state-of-the-art bikes.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:22 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Getting a bit off topic here, but I noticed a trend in food products....

American cheese = highly processed, barely recognizable as cheese
American bread = white bread
American sausage = hot dogs
American beer = Budweiser/Miller/Coors

I don't know if this is uniquely American, but we certainly have perfected the art of breaking things down into their lowest form. I love everything on the list above except the beer, but I wouldn't say I'm proud of that as my cultural heritage. I think we at least did OK with whiskey.
Agree and dont forget that we (US) invented light "diet" beer.
From google ...
Light beer had its origins in the 1940s, when the Coors Brewing Company introduced a beer called Coors Light that was lighter in body and calories than the company's premium lager offering. This brand was discontinued at the start of World War II, only to be reintroduced in 1978.

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Old 03-23-23, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
At the same time, a substantial proportion of us C&V folk appreciate both the state-of-the-art bikes of our youth and today's state-of-the-art bikes.
True enough but I/we don't deserve to have it shoved on us, we know what we want and what we're doing so this is not the place for stern discussion opposing the premise of C+V that we come here for.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:25 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
That's "the thing"? Are you talking as far back as penny farthing? Or merely cottered crank? Which one am I supposed to be "scoffing" about?
Not even close. A 1978 Cinelli equipped with Super Record versus a 1958 Cinelli equipped with Gran Sport. The 78 is "awesome", you can't ride the 58, it is a wall hanger.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Funny thing is, though, that because America is what America is, you can get great cheeses made here in the style of many other cultures, great bread made here in the style of many other cultures, great sausages made here in the style of many other cultures, and great beer made here in the style of many other cultures.
Right on, we (US) dont just copy or reverse engineer, like some countries, we process and material improve.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke View Post
You over generalize. In my youth, the great bikes had DT friction shifters with the occasional odd bird running SunTour barcons. When I had Peter Mooney make my bikes, I spec'ed Ergopower controls. I was very happy to have a set of controls that never distracted me from what was in front of the bike and let me shift when standing on the pedals. Having had a Campag friction lever slip and dump me into a bad gear during a race, I had no particular nostalgia to stay with DTs.

The issue I have with modern tech is that it seems to complicate the bike and shove a very expensive purchase more in the direction of being a consumable. For instance, in younger days, I snapped a nine year old Galli crank. But the design of forged cranks got much better. The 1991 Athena that replaced it is finally giving up the ghost after a life of continual use and multiple chainrings. I expect my 2000 era Record cranks to outlast me. In contrast, I was just watching videos documenting failures of modern Ultegra and DuraAce cranks based on their construction. I watched another video showing bad design in the modern SuperRecord crank. When I was younger, we called such design Stupid Light as opposed to Super Light. There are places you should spend your grams if you expect your bike to last. Maybe it's OK when your bike gets changed out annually from sponsorship, but that's just not the case with the majority of riders.
Sure. But toady you can get alternatives from the same companies that aren't stupid light. And then there is the veracity of those videos. My SDR is just fine after 12 years of use.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
At the same time, a substantial proportion of us C&V folk appreciate both the state-of-the-art bikes of our youth and today's state-of-the-art bikes.
For me, oddly enough, it's the state-of-the-art bikes, not of my youth, but rather from a time when I paid not the slightest attention to cycling - the 80s - hence 2 1982s, a 1985 and a 1989. I really don't find myself interested in the state-of-the-art bikes from when I DID ride as a youth. I don't know why this is, because I have learned it's pointless to question my particular muse.
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Old 03-23-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
Right on, we (US) dont just copy or reverse engineer, like some countries, we process and material improve.
Sort of like the English language: "We dont just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
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Old 03-23-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Absolutely! And trying to get back on topic, the American custom steel frame building scene right now is amazing.
Agreed, and it hasn't not been since at least the 70's, especially here in PDX.
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Old 03-23-23, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Agreed, and it hasn't not been since at least the 70's, especially here in PDX.
My favorite bike, and 2 of my 4 favorite bikes are American, though only one of the two is steel.
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Old 03-23-23, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
A 1978 Cinelli equipped with Super Record versus a 1958 Cinelli equipped with Gran Sport. The '78 is "awesome." You can't ride the '58. It's a wall hanger.
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Old 03-23-23, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Similarly, bikes with Di2 or other electronic systems, in 50 years will likely be unrepairable.
Eben Weiss (aka BikeSnobNYC) had a great line when Di2 first came out -- "Electronic shifting will completely change the way you think about bicycles--assuming, of course, that you previously thought of them as being relatively inexpensive and easily serviceable."

I have to admit that Di2 has proven to be much more reliable than many of us skeptics initially expected, but as with nearly all modern electronics the "repair" mode is "replace the failed component" and as it becomes obsolete (which these days means, what, two years?) the replacement component won't be available.

I don't think this is true of all "new" tech. For example, hydraulic disc brakes, while they may be intimidating if you haven't worked on them, are no more fundamentally advanced in terms of material and technology than mechanical rim brakes. Sure, I can't fabricate my own hydraulic brake lines, but I can't fabricate my own cables either. I have taken a hydraulic brake caliper apart, and while it's a very precisely machined piece of equipment, it is mechanically very simple.
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Old 03-23-23, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I spend decades on lugged steel racing bikes, but I have to admit that I admire the current shark-like speedy look of carbon and aluminum bikes. Spindly steel bikes such as that Merckx are starting to look a bit like antiques to me.
Opposite for me. They look like literal cardboard cut-outs cursed to a single use. Can't commute on it, can't do a beer run, can't be beaten up on at a ride or for traffic slashing.
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Old 03-23-23, 06:08 PM
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Watching the GCN video, I kept getting stuck on a few points that others have brought up here. The things that Si complained about with the Merckx-replica bike are things that could easily be changed. The same is true of a few things he didn't like about the cheap modern bike too. In part that's down to what it is he was trying to compare. He wanted to use the Merckx bike in the same state that Eddy would have ridden it.

The biggest thing missing from that part of the equation is that he hasn't trained the way riders from Eddy's era trained. I'll give him a pass on the fact that he isn't Eddy, but everyone from that era trained to use that equipment in basically the same way. So in a very real sense, he's applying modern training and performance techniques while riding the pseudo-vintage bike. If you've watched the earlier videos in this series, you probably noticed that Si is getting better at riding the vintage-style bike. It's quite merciful to not have to watch him try to use toe clips like he did in the earlier videos, but I'm pretty sure he's also getting better at using the downtube shifters. He's probably also getting better at using the brakes, but that wasn't as visible. However, he still talked a lot about mashing and cadence in a way that made it clear that he wanted to ride the vintage bike the same way he rides a modern bike. Another way this came through was his complaints about the shape of the hoods. I know exactly what he's talking about because I went through this myself. He wants to ride the vintage bike with his hands on the hoods exactly like he would ride a modern bike with brifters. But as you all know, vintage bikes weren't generally intended to be ridden that way. It's like complaining that the ridges on a screw make it harder to drive in with a hammer. True, but also irrelevant. (That said, I personally can't get past thinking that riding with my hands on the hoods makes the bike more comfortable.)

But the thing I realized today was that my biggest complaint is that he wasn't doing the comparison I wanted him to do. I also realized that I have the bikes to do the comparison myself. I want to see a comparison of three bikes: (1) a vintage bike with a more-or-less period correct build, but gearing that more closely matches modern expectations, (2) a vintage frame built with more-or-less modern components, and (3) a modern frame that's not a "super bike" but has minor improvements over the stock componentry of a cheap bike. Here are my three candidates:







The PX-10 has a 46-30 crankset and I think 14-26 freewheel, modern and supple clincher tires, and a few non-vintage accommodations to my fit preferences. It's not outfitted the way a PX-10 probably would have been in the late 60's, but it is still very much a bike of that era.

The Gran Criterium has a drivetrain from the early 2000's, new dual pivot brakes, a 52-42-30 crank with 12-29 cassette, and the same tires as the PX-10. The frame has vintage pedigree, but the build, while ~20 years old now, is relatively modern.

The Jake the Snake is my most modern bike. It has a 46-34 crank, 12-36 cassette, hydraulic disc brakes, carbon fork, aluminum frame, compact geometry, etc. I've got cyclocross tires on it in the picture above, but for purposes of comparison it could easily be outfitted with slicks. It's basically what the cheap modern bike could be with a few upgrades.

I wouldn't be interested in the kind of performance data that Si collected. I'm pretty sure that on any timed ride these would be within spitting distance of one another. They've all got about the same gearing range, and they're set up for equally bad aerodynamics. I can't see any reason to expect much difference there. As for the more subjective qualities, I genuinely love riding all three of these bikes. The Kona is easily my least favorite of the three, but it's the only one of the three I'd even consider for a gravel ride or cyclocross race. It's objectively the best of the three in terms of technology, but it lacks whatever intangible element gets me really excited about riding a bike. The PX-10 is super fun to ride, but I do like the conveniences and comfort of the Campy Ergo shifters so the Masi comes out as the clear winner in my test. I think for most riders the Masi built up like this would be a better choice than either bike in the GCN video or either of my other two.
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Old 03-23-23, 06:08 PM
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BT7274
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Getting a bit off topic here, but I noticed a trend in food products....

American cheese = highly processed, barely recognizable as cheese
American bread = white bread
American sausage = hot dogs
American beer = Budweiser/Miller/Coors

I don't know if this is uniquely American, but we certainly have perfected the art of breaking things down into their lowest form. I love everything on the list above except the beer, but I wouldn't say I'm proud of that as my cultural heritage. I think we at least did OK with whiskey.

What about IPA's?
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