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How many of you question the cost of upgrading?

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How many of you question the cost of upgrading?

Old 09-29-23, 05:30 AM
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On the subject of parts bins, they rarely save me money. Those hubs I grab from the parts bin cost something at some point. I track the income and expense of my little pastime and roll it into a balance sheet. The parts bin is essentially an inventory.

When I bought a complete Circuit, I parted out the Sante group and rebuilt with DA7400 from the parts bin. I used the proceeds from the Sante group to write down the cost of the Circuit to $0 and partially offset the cost of the Ambrosio wheelset I built for it. The DA7400 group in the parts bin was cobbled together over time and was not cheap. Even after netting out the sale of the original components, the booked price of all the parts from the bin plus the wheel build added up to considerably more than the price I originally paid for the complete bike. In the end, I have a pricey Circuit with very nice upgrades that I love to put miles on.

Forcing myself to track all of this does limit the occasional spontaneous decision but also stops me from crossing the line into hoarder-dom.
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Old 09-29-23, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
Unless you get somebody like Shepard Fairey to paint your bike there is nothing artistic about what we do. Creative? Sure. Artisanal? Not by the definition of the word. Heck most art is in fact walking hand by hand with money :-\

I see myself as a craftsman, making functional objects.
And I see myself as an artist.

When I take something like this, which is a piece of art by Giovanni Losa:



And turn it into this:



Using details like these:






It's 100% art!!

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Old 09-29-23, 06:00 AM
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How many of you question the cost of upgrading?
I did. But, compared to a new bike that would be more expensive, for the "right" frame+fork I prefer a refurb/upgraded classic bike.

Refurbished a Trek 970 MTB. Triple-butted steel, hard tail, the right size, and got it cheap. Then, installed a Shimano Deore XT 2x11spd drive train, Deore XT brakes, Chris King BB, custom-built Velocity CliffHanger 26" 36H on White Industries MI5 hubs, Cirrus Kinekt suspension seat post, Brooks B67 saddle, SKS P65 Chromoplastic fenders, PitLock bolts, good lighting. Decent ride, fairly light and fast for an upright city/commuter.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 09-29-23 at 11:54 AM. Reason: spelling, clarity
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Old 09-29-23, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak
It's 100% art!!
Indeed it is.
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Old 09-29-23, 06:39 AM
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"but then as I see it having a comfortable ride that fits you at this quality level for around 1,000.00 including the bike is not all that bad, and it will look better than most modern ones as well."

...and ride better, too. I think your components are well-chosen. Those hammered fenders should look nice and extend the usability of the bike. The way I look at it is this, forget the price. Do you deserve the good performance and good looks that fresh components will give? Upgrading also gives us a chance to inspect the bike closely, which is no small consideration, if the bike is pre-owned. You have obviously spent some money, but the longer you own the bike, and the more you ride it, the cheaper the upgrade will get. $100.00 for the next ten years is not bad at all. Nice bike!
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Old 09-29-23, 07:57 AM
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As much as I would like to "break even," I don't track expenditures/income. It is a bit difficult when you get bags of parts for a given price and they are probably worth more than what was paid..

The last acquisition is a 65ish Frejus that is in really bad shape with a stuck seat post 8" into the ST. It has been sitting under the work bench with a solution of ATF and Acetone in the upside-down seat tube for over a month. The probability of extraction is really low without using Lye. But part of the $60 included several other parts like Nuovo Record pedals.

I thought I was getting a bargain when I purchased a 2010 Langster missing the wheels, cockpit and pedals with a bonus of a stuck seat post. Lye was the answer to 12" of stuck seat post . I had the cockpit and brake levers. Ended up buying the wheel set for ~$100, then needed to replace the BB for another $30, freewheel and track sprocket for the flip/flop hub. Decided the Ring should be replaced too. So I think I am into it for about $250. Don't' know what someone would pay for it , but it is a blast to ride.
2010 Langster Steel 61cm on Flickr

Then there is the DeRosa which was on the desirable list. F/F acquisition that is now plastered through a lot of threads. I believe it is a 1988/89 vintage. I didn't know how to approach it until I found a wheel set with Record hubs, Ambrosia Nemesis rims and included a 10 speed cassette. for $130. That drove the build. I do have over $1000 into it but it is one of my favorite rides. I usually gets a number of likes here and on the road.

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Nearly every bike in the stable is like these in some form or other.



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Old 09-29-23, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
As both an artist and a craftsman, I think I know of what I speak. Are you either?
...I ran an "artist blacksmith" shop in Wisconsin for a while, and I spent several years pursuing hot glass (furnace blowing) as an alternative (in an academic setting).
I did a dual degree in studio arts and physical sciences as an undergrad. Much later, did about a year and a half in landscape architecture and design here, at Davis.

I don't know what that makes me, because I treasure retirement. As far as which hat I wear, it's mostly baseball caps.
.
.
Pretty sure I know the definition of "artisanal", though.
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Old 09-29-23, 11:40 AM
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Folks, artistry and craftmanship are not in competition and in fact they walk hand in hand. Nobody can question the master craftmanship of Raffaelo Monti


By the way the eyes, nose, and mouth are not carved into the marble, the illusion of them being there is done through manipulating the texture on the flat surface of the veil.

He would have not been offended to be called a master craftsman, and yet folks here seem to get all twisted up if they are not called artists. Yes, there is a lot of artistry that can go into a craft, and it is not an insult to call a functional object the work of a master craftsman rather than the work of an artist. Honestly on functional objects "master craftsman" is a much more elevated title; they have such a fundamental understanding of what the object is supposed to do that it becomes a canvas for their artistry.

But if you think that your work is not good enough to be that of a master craftsman by all means it can be the work of an artist. The bar is not as high. Just like all the craftmanship in the world not being able by itself to create a masterful work of art.
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Old 09-29-23, 12:19 PM
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I think to make it worthwhile some combination of the following will have to apply:
1) You feel certain old parts are your friends. For me, for example it's my SunTour hubs and my Shimano XT derailleurs, both ca. 1990.
2) You are using the bike as a test mule to check out some hunches about fit/parts/setup. Then you get an old bike that may not be cheaper than a new bike, but it's been through several iterations for the same price that the new bike is just starting out at.
3) If you built it, you can fix it.
4) You want to build it, but you’re not familiar with all the modern parts & what you have to watch out for fitting them together, but you know your way round the old stuff.
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Old 09-29-23, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
Folks, artistry and craftmanship are not in competition and in fact they walk hand in hand. Nobody can question the master craftmanship of Raffaelo Monti

....which hat was he wearing at the time ? Anyway, I don't care what you call me. I paint because I like to paint.
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Old 09-29-23, 12:44 PM
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This is my model historically

Get a vison for a build
find a frame that fits the vision (these 2 are interchangable)
promise my self I will do this cheap and from parts bin as much as possible
start that way, buy a couple of things the "work"
look at think not quite right
buy want a really wanted
overthink some more and at little "polishing" bits

end up with nice bike, spending more than I would have in just getting the right stuff, and having more in the parts bin

an this may start.... A friend told me there is a blue torpado at a local coop...... if it is a super light in my size I am at N+1
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Old 09-29-23, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
....which hat was he wearing at the time ? Anyway, I don't care what you call me. I paint because I like to paint.
Well that was a world class piece of art so he was wearing his artist hat, empowered by monster size master craftsman skills.

If you just want to be an artist that's great. You could also be much more. Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the world's greatest artists, was also a master craftsman, mathematician, physiologist, engineer, theorist, inventor, and architect. As you can see being an artist doesn't negate you being able to flex something else.

Some of the greatest craftsman were instructed in the classic arts, look at just about all of the masters of the art noveau and arts & crafts movement. Most of the best artists have to develop and hone master craftsman skills. It is not a competition.
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Old 09-29-23, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
Well that was a world class piece of art so he was wearing his artist hat, empowered by monster size master craftsman skills.

If you just want to be an artist that's great. You could also be much more. Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the world's greatest artists, was also a master craftsman, mathematician, physiologist, engineer, theorist, inventor, and architect. As you can see being an artist doesn't negate you being able to flex something else.

Some of the greatest craftsman were instructed in the classic arts, look at just about all of the masters of the art noveau and arts & crafts movement. Most of the best artists have to develop and hone master craftsman skills. It is not a competition.
....I already gave you my background. Why do you feel I require further edification ? It sounds like maybe you're just refining your original, simplistic statements about art vs craft. Which is fine. Again, you are entitled to your own take on all of this. The whole conversation arose because you objected to my characterization of what I do as "art", versus "craft". BTW, I notice you have a thread you started on "painting". If you're interested in learning the craft angles, you would do well to find a local community college that teaches automotive classes in body repair and painting. The art angles are a little more subtle, and are more related to something like my experiences in creating multi-layered glass works, and transparency/translucency. Although you could pick that up in painting and watercolor as well. Good luck with it.
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Old 09-29-23, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
....I already gave you my background. Why do you feel I require further edification ?
Because you asked a question, and I didn't think you would be so prickly about it.
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Old 09-29-23, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
Because you asked a question, and I didn't think you would be so prickly about it.

...the C+V is where irony goes to die.
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Old 09-29-23, 10:34 PM
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It's all about the collection of skills acquired, the ability to imagine, the desire to create, the tallent to execute, and the drive to complete, all else is personal preference.

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Old 09-29-23, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I go into every bike project with reasonable expectations about what I'm going to spend. What I'm going to spend isn't reasonable, but my expectations are.
Ok, this is classic AndyK. Clear-eyed, funny and brutally honest.

This is more my attitude these days, now that I'm making decent money even though I haven't the time to actually ride my bikes, much less buy parts to build them. I keep hoping that will change, but not holding my breath. In the meantime, I'll very occasionally browse the ads here and there, spending a couple hundred now and again, picking up aspirational tidbits that may or may not someday end up on one or more of the worthy frames I've gathered around me.

And God help me if I acquire any more frames.
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Old 09-30-23, 12:44 PM
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If it is a bike or frame you really like, then cost is not an issue, up to a point.

If itís more of a meh riding bike, then Iíll be more selective on what I spend.

I find upgrading from 6 speed to 7, 8, 9 speed higher end older components can be a lot of fun. Especially building custom cassettes.

Personally, Iíd probably be hesitant to upgrade an older bike with the latest drivetrains over getting a new(er) bike that will most likely be better, just for the sake of a C&V frame. There are some technology improvements that wonít install on an old frame.

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Old 09-30-23, 01:15 PM
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Honestly the emotional attachment is a big factor. I'm spending a lot of time on a mid tier Fuji Grand Tourer mixte frame just so I can get rid of it... Besides the time to strip the bike and clean everything the quill stem was stuck beyond belief, so I ended up having to cut it and now I'll spend more time and money dissolving it in sodium hydroxide. Hours upon hours of effort just so I can put it up for sale for an amount that will probably just cover my packaging efforts. Why? Because I don't want the bike to die.

Well that and because I like working on bikes.
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Old 10-04-23, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
For lack of a better title - basically when one purchases a vintage bike for a reasonable or bargain price perhaps even free and then proceed to lavish larger sums on parts etc. I bought a 1985 Norco Magnum GT recently because I have always liked the idea of owning one that had canti brakes and 700C wheels,something earlier touring bikes often lacked. Also helps that they are a Canadian company, even if the frame was made in Japan ( a positive actually ). Mid to late '80's touring bikes are harder to find regardless and I see very few for sale here. A Nitto Noodle 48 cm handlebar set me back 160.00 along with a pair of Rene Herse Barlow Pass 38mm ultralight tires at 291.00, including shipping. Fortunately the tires were available from a online source in Eastern Canada as our dollar has lost value, about 30% against U.S. currency which makes a bit of dent.

Initially I also ordered a pair of MKS Sylvan Touring pedals and a Nitto 60cm Technomic stem ( replacing a 90 cm ) for 130.00 combined - all of this with the aim of making the Norco more comfortable. I have used the Rene Herse tires on a 650b Rawland Stag ( 42mm ) and like them a lot so despite the cost feel they are worth it. I still might get a pair of Origin8 Classic brake levers and possibly a front rack from V.O. at some point. I should be able to also fit the V.O. 45mm hammered fenders if I go that route, initially I had hoped to go with 44mm Snoqualmie Pass tires but possible clearance issues at the chain stays had me choosing the 38mm. At lest the Magnum GT has quite decent clearance for a vintage frame.

Anyone know what I should expect compared to the 28mm tires on it presently in regard to general handling? I believe the wider handlebars and tires will make it feel more stable and a bit " slower " in response - as it is the bike is definitely lighter and quick at the front end, especially with narrow 38 cm handlebars. I do like the 48 cm VO randonneur handlebars on the Stag so do prefer a similar width. I think this bike will handle a front rack mounted bag and still be responsive enough. Might just spring for a leather saddle, most likely an Ideale 80 but will give the Vetta it currently has a chance.

I suppose this might be old news here, spending more money on a bike then it is worth ( which is subjective anyway ) but then as I see it having a comfortable ride that fits you at this quality level for around 1,000.00 including the bike is not all that bad, and it will look better than most modern ones as well. I had not installed the stem or pedals yet in this image and just ordered the handlebars and tires. Initially going to put some light grey Velox cotton tape on the bars, should look alright. This particular Norco obviously saw little use over the years so I hope to remedy that. The only downside is how the handling suffered due to such narrow handlebars and some flat pedals would have been a better choice on a supposed touring bike though with 43cm chain stays I would consider this a sport tourer.

One other bonus of many vintage frames is a lack of toe overlap with the front tire. I remember trying out a Masi Randonneur a few years ago and it simply rode and felt terrible with a bad case of toe overlap. New is definitely not a case of better in that example.
A few things- First- your bike will be dominant. That's a beautiful bike and I like a lot of the changes you have planned.

Second- you might be surprised at the width of the 48cm Nitto B177 bar- Bars are generally measured at the ends, and because rando bars splay out so far- the ends are MUCH farther out than at the hoods. The B177 isn't really a rando bar- it does splay out, but only slightly- so while a 48 rando bar might put you at 44 between the hoods, a 48 B177 will put you much closer to 48. Hopefully you will dig it.

Third- be careful with your wheel size and tire and fender widths- I'm assuming this is a bike made for 27s- I'm guessing those are DC981 brakes, which *should* give you adjustment to 700C- but there's no real industry standard as to where those bosses will be mounted Additionally- I'm running Rene Herse 35s on two bikes with Fenders- one has 45mm SKS fenders and everything fits fine. However, it's REALLY tight with 45mm fluted Honjo fenders.

When I first got into bikes, I was much more "purist" about what should go on an old bike. The more I read, the more I rode and the more I realized old frames are really cool, a lot of old parts are sorta cool, some old parts are really cool and some modern parts are really cool. The whole thing, for me, really got started with not liking downtube or bar end shifters- and getting into Command Shifters... and then into Accushift... so then I found it was OK to build up a 1985 bike like someone upgraded it in 1990 or something. One thing led to another... and then I'm OK with 2002 parts going on a 1985 bike.... but I think there's an aesthetic line- and you can have a great performing bike, still have it look sorta vintage or like a dog's breakfast Frankenstein parts monster... but you're going to pay for it. At this point in my life, I'm OK with that. I'm definitely upside down financially on most every bike I own, and I'm pretty OK with that.
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Old 10-05-23, 12:25 AM
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The Magnum GT came with 700C wheels so that part has been simplified, I measured the area between the chain stays at the bridge and came away with dimensions that will allow the use of 38mm tires with fenders and although 50mm would be a bit wide 45mm will work well enough even if not giving the usual 10mm plus difference for clearance it will be sufficient from past experience.


I should hopefully receive the tires tomorrow and once mounted and the Nitto handlebars in place ( sometime later in October ) will take the bike to a shop in Vancouver that sells the V.O. hammered fenders - will need to ensure that they will fit properly of course before purchasing. I took a tape measure and compared 48 cm to the widest VO Rando bars they offered that I have on a Rawland Stag ( 48 cm - 44 at the hoods ) and the difference is not much, an extra 2 cm per side, barely an inch. Putting my arms out at each end of the tape gave me some idea and from all accounts they should be fine. I prefer to have a more relaxed setup and the slight backward bend and longer ramps will be a good start. If I go with the Origin8 Classic brake levers they offer even more room for one's hands which I find is more comfortable.







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Old 10-05-23, 05:36 PM
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"Financially upside down"

Not possible with bikes

Cars, the minute you turn on the key.

Golf, balls, greens fees, that's just the start.

Guns, ammo, etc, big $$$$$$ just breaking them in, never mind what comes after.

Most hobbies, obsessions, pursuits can be sinkholes of epic proportions, bikes pale in comparison to most of them.

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Old 10-05-23, 05:51 PM
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I never question the cost of upgrading. The cost of upgrading questions me.


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Old 10-05-23, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
I never question the cost of upgrading. The cost of upgrading questions me.


But the real question is what is the cost of downgrading...?
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Old 10-05-23, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
I never question the cost of upgrading. The cost of upgrading questions me.



and these are ribed for riding pleasures...
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