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How many "forever" bikes do you have?

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How many "forever" bikes do you have?

Old 10-24-23, 03:13 PM
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All of them.
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Old 10-24-23, 03:36 PM
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I reached a major milestone this year sadly realizing this will most likely be my last decade of riding. I only have four bikes and these are the two I won't sell. Looking on the bright side, I'll be riding these two for another 10 years, maybe .
I do hope my grandson does not leave them out in the rain.




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Old 10-24-23, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
blah blah blah

I figured you would be the person to ask about rider experience on all three of the early Trek sport touring frames! And I am taking your words to mean the 510 has the flexiest frame?

I think if I had a 25.5" 82 720 (or 83, or 84, or 85) it would be a forever bike as well. Is that too much overlap to have a 710 and a 720? I hope not. As far as "museum showpiece," that's what I prefer to ride anyway. So a 720 for rain, dark, winter and the promise of fully loaded touring someday ("when I get around to it!" he says) and the 710 for daylit, sunny skies, more spirited rides... I might be able to get away with just two bikes. Call me basic, but the early Treks really hit the nail on the head for me.
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Old 10-24-23, 08:08 PM
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My Forever Bike

I've had this one about 4 years now and find it's just perfect for riding the trails here in Florida. It's a 1989 Trek 970. Pic was taken in Kentucky.
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Old 10-25-23, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jPrichard10
I figured you would be the person to ask about rider experience on all three of the early Trek sport touring frames! And I am taking your words to mean the 510 has the flexiest frame?

I think if I had a 25.5" 82 720 (or 83, or 84, or 85) it would be a forever bike as well. Is that too much overlap to have a 710 and a 720? I hope not. As far as "museum showpiece," that's what I prefer to ride anyway. So a 720 for rain, dark, winter and the promise of fully loaded touring someday ("when I get around to it!" he says) and the 710 for daylit, sunny skies, more spirited rides... I might be able to get away with just two bikes. Call me basic, but the early Treks really hit the nail on the head for me.
I am chuckling at the "blah blah blah" part of my quoting/reply. Well played.

I don't know if I'd call the 510 flexy when out of the saddle, but there is a lack of preference to do my said requested activity. I wouldn't say it feels dead at all, but it is no Columbus-tubed bike. My chestnut brown 510, when built with many of the parts that are on my 720, was amazingly efficient feeling in the saddle and one summer day (the day I actually did my longest ride ever at 70 miles) I absolutely flew for the first 40 miles. The bike was a really big part of that, and I don't think I would have been any faster on the 720. Who knows though... I'd say that a 510, at 25.5" certainly, has a character and a set of *riding preferences--as far as Venn diagram overlapping circles go, and thus far in my 510 journey--do not overlap as much as I want to.

A 710 and a 720 will definitely be two different bikes. A 710 and an '82 720 will overlap a lot more as they are both caliper brake bikes that offer similar (but different!) wheelbases and geometries. I'd say consider the 620 for loaded touring as well. A beefier frame with that Trek + DB 531 feel would take a touring load really well. 720, as reviewed years ago, does have more flex when loaded, and that makes sense. A 720 is a superb bicycle on its own, unloaded, which is why I ride it as such and will never put panniers on it. It's too good to weigh it down!

********************

* Ok, some in the weeds "blah blah blah" (lol) talk here regarding getting the 510 & Me Venn diagram: In the man-and-machine relationship, and certainly with my physiology, biomechanics, and sensitivities, plus preferences; in my experience, certain bikes are more accepting of a wide range of component setups, certainly with regard to "cockpit" setups. Bar width, headset-to-brake-hood reach, brake hood height in relation to the ground (in addition to coordinating its height or elevation from the saddle's elevation), stem length vs bar reach in total subsystem flexibility, brake lever type (are one's hands on the hoods like with brifters or to the outsides like with '80s and earlier levers). This matters in the saddle for sure, but I think it's a much bigger deal ***if one cares to find out because "something isn't quiiiite right"*** for out of saddle symbiosis between bike and rider.

How this relates to myself and the 510 is that wider bars (that generally provide more leverage) will allow me/a rider, at this size of frame, to yank the bike around in an manner that is out of sync with the rest of the frame. The front end goes first, and quickly (and easily), but the back end is a step behind and must catch up. Long crank arms for a given rider and/or frame can also do this. Too much leverage too easily (and thus quickly) applied and it doesn't feel right. Ghost peppers on salmon--there's too large a gap between input (peppers) and the subject (salmon) for it to be a complementary relationship. Fast bike parts on an old Schwinn cruiser, same thing.

Thus the possible combinations of solutions are a long quill stem (on the bike right now), with narrower-than-42 or 44cm bars as a longer reach slows out of saddle efforts and adds flex, while narrower bars decrease leverage and thus speed for rocking a bike side to side. I do know that heavier wheels and 23-25mm tires are not an ideal combination. Swap to 30-32mm tires on those same wheels and it's a lot better. Unfortunately, the lack of springiness/slower response becomes evident. The goal, in my mind, is to match components to the character of the bike so that in anything I do, it feels cohesive. And hopefully I can do that and get the bike's character to pair well with what I like to do. Some bikes are stiff, so let's turn everything up and jam out some hard miles. A 510 is on the other side of that spectrum. The interactions are more sinuous, not digital or high volume like a carbon race bike. Thus I will tailor the component set to pair well with the frame.
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Old 10-25-23, 12:22 AM
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Though I have had my Legnano for a long time, I think that I got my forever bike yesterday. Offered to me by a recently widowed lady, I agonized all summer as to buy or don't buy. Finally, the window to purchase was about to close, so I paid more for this bike than I have for any other. My guess is that it will, indeed, be a keeper until the end. Then one of my kids, or grand kids or great grand kids will sell it for $50 at a yard sale. Or worse yet, feed it to the dump. My recently acquired "forever" bike that I paid more for than any other vintage bike I have ever bought...
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Old 10-25-23, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
Fast bike parts on an old Schwinn cruiser, same thing.
Ahem.

Before I bought my more recent bikes, I was remarkably happy with nice parts on a Chicago-forged Schwinn cantilever cruiser frame, as the bike fit me so well. I even did a multi-day fully loaded self-contained tour on it. As I obtained other bicycles, that bike was reassigned as a neighborhood cruiser, but it doesn't erase the way I once had it as a heavy-frame performance touring machine.
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Old 10-25-23, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
Ahem.

Before I bought my more recent bikes, I was remarkably happy with nice parts on a Chicago-forged Schwinn cantilever cruiser frame, as the bike fit me so well. I even did a multi-day fully loaded self-contained tour on it. As I obtained other bicycles, that bike was reassigned as a neighborhood cruiser, but it doesn't erase the way I once had it as a heavy-frame performance touring machine.
But if you put a bunch of 11-speed Dura-Ace and carbon bars/wheels/whatever, it would be bizarre as it would be two very different worlds clashing and not complementing, right? That was what I was stating in my previous post.
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Old 10-25-23, 08:26 AM
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The Jack needs some time on the stand, but the others function These two just perform

To the grave with the Nishiki

I do have others, the Trek 710 and the 970 probably won't be going anywhere soon

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Old 10-25-23, 08:29 AM
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I have 3 bikes, none of which will be mine forever if an adult offspring or adult grandson/daughter wants one.
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Old 10-25-23, 11:28 AM
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This is an interesting thread. It goes two ways; the mechanical, and the philosophical. It is fun to read both takes. I think a lot of the C&V posters are between 50-70, so the views are informative. Us folks later in that age group tend to look more towards the joyful memories of our cycling life versus the machine that mechanically was at the pinnacle at some point in our life.
Indeed, what once was tops may not be really suitable today. That first bike to bring that emotional joy however sticks in the mind for certain personality types. I sold an 85 Ironman, and know that I won’t tour on my Miyata 1000. They won’t be my forever bike. My first real adult bike may be, although it has been modified over the years and currently does everything I could ask for my current riding even though I have nicer bikes.



1973 Super Sport

This is far from stock. A couple years ago however, I built up another 73 Super Sport to very near the way my original bike was when I bought it. Riding that one instantly takes me back 50 years. I think it has something to do with the feel of the crankset and the frame. Hard to explain, but I am back in 1975 instantly. So I guess I would keep these two until the end.



1973 very close to stock

Taking the other mechanical viewpoint, my 72 Fuji Newest just ticks all the boxes for me. I think it even edges out my full 531 Trek 700. This of course is for a slow guy in the flatlands.



1972 Fuji Newest

Interesting thread with the many different personal views.
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Old 10-25-23, 12:20 PM
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First ones that comes to mind are the two I've had the longest. Both 1982 Trek 930s.

This one is mine, the other is my wife's; same colorway, no photos. The only bikes I've had since before they were C&V. It's not my fastest, or my lightest, or my best fitting, or my most fun to ride. But one bike I'll never sell. Well, two. My wife bought me the frameset in 1987-ish when we were both students in Detroit. I spent that year or so building it up, mostly 600 EX just as SIS was dawning. Shortly after, I found the same bike, in her size, built with entry-level Campag. Many rides together BITD. Brought "back home" to WI when we moved here 30 years ago, but shelved them for many years, for more "practical" rides. She's in Heaven now, and I've dusted mine off and take it on "tribute" / memorial rides now and then.

About 5 years ago, she also bought me this 1982 Trek 412, as a hat-tip my '82 613 (my first "non-BSO" bike) that was stolen while on loan to my brother, ca 1990:

Again, not a great ride, but great meaning.

I have probably a half-dozen others that are associated with rides we had together, that I don't forsee selling. And a handful that are my "go-to" bikes for whatever purpose.
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Old 10-25-23, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
When you almost never sell a bike, does anything count as a "forever" bike?
Still, I've got two that were built by small local builders and have accumulated a ton of miles. They are probably my best candidates...

The first was built by Gordon Borthwick in Marshalltown, Iowa back in 1989. I was looking for a replacement for my Raleigh Gran Sport, and a shop in Ames, Iowa pointed me towards Gordon. Gordon was building a lot of tandems at that time, so he was routinely using fillet brazing. At that time, lugs were the standard, so this seemed pretty exotic and fun! The geometry largely copied the Gran Sport, but stretching the top tube a bit. The downtube was 1 1/4" diameter, to bump up the torsional stiffness, which also seemed pretty exotic back then. I had been having some shimmy issues with the Gran Sport, so this was great! The bike has accumulated over 60,000 miles and been used for commuting, winter riding, etc. It's been updated with some new paint and spreading the rear end to 130mm, but no other significant changes.



While the Borthwick was good, it wasn't set up well for commuting. I wanted something that had room for larger tires (28mm), fittings for racks and lights, cantilever brakes, mountain bike rear hub with 135mm OLD, and even S&S couplers for travel. At the same time, I wanted to run some old parts and keep a classic appearance. I think it was the year 2000 when I ended up going to Rich Powers in the Chicago area, and it worked out great! Again, most dimensions were based on the Borthwick, but with longer chainstays. It has spent a lot of time being used for commuting and utility riding, as well as some travel. I think it has around 55,000 miles now.



Steve in Peoria
Beautiful bikes, beautiful photos.
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Old 10-25-23, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
First ones that comes to mind are the two I've had the longest. Both 1982 Trek 930s.

This one is mine, the other is my wife's; same colorway, no photos. The only bikes I've had since before they were C&V. It's not my fastest, or my lightest, or my best fitting, or my most fun to ride. But one bike I'll never sell. Well, two. My wife bought me the frameset in 1987-ish when we were both students in Detroit. I spent that year or so building it up, mostly 600 EX just as SIS was dawning. Shortly after, I found the same bike, in her size, built with entry-level Campag. Many rides together BITD. Brought "back home" to WI when we moved here 30 years ago, but shelved them for many years, for more "practical" rides. She's in Heaven now, and I've dusted mine off and take it on "tribute" / memorial rides now and then.

About 5 years ago, she also bought me this 1982 Trek 412, as a hat-tip my '82 613 (my first "non-BSO" bike) that was stolen while on loan to my brother, ca 1990:

Again, not a great ride, but great meaning.

I have probably a half-dozen others that are associated with rides we had together, that I don't forsee selling. And a handful that are my "go-to" bikes for whatever purpose.
Making me cry. The best reason to hold onto a bike: not the ride or the rarity, but the memories.
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Old 10-25-23, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jPrichard10
My Trek 910 is "a" forever bike. Came to me original, one owner for its life except for the estate saler who nabbed it from his widow and sold it to me. It's my hard-to-find size (25.5") and my favorite bicycle color: Imron Ice Blue metallic. It has the original sticker from the Bike Gallery, which is still in business here in Portland. For some reason, that local bike shop sticker is a huge part of why I never want to get rid of it.



​​​
​​​​
Nice. I must say, there are a lot of early Trek 900 series bikes in this thread.
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Old 10-25-23, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jPrichard10
It has the original sticker from the Bike Gallery, which is still in business here in Portland. For some reason, that local bike shop sticker is a huge part of why I never want to get rid of it.​​​​
Sort of, but not quite.

https://bikeportland.org/2021/03/16/...-stores-328719
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Old 10-25-23, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Oof, yeah. Sort of.
​​​​​​
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Old 10-25-23, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jPrichard10
Oof, yeah. Sort of.
​​​​​​
Yeah, I get it, though really not a fan from way back and really not sure now but ultimately glad they are still here.

They still list the DT store as a BG but it is slated to close, so....
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Old 10-26-23, 12:37 PM
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I think about forever bikes a lot these days as I am trying to winnow the flock down to manageable size when I move later this year.

There's this Puch Royal X, which really WAS the bike of my youth, sold, stolen, sought-for and miraculously relocated a few years back. I ride it on sunny days when I am just chilling and relaxing, sometimes on leisurely group rides with recent cyclists -


Then there's the Mercian Vincitore custom road fixed-gear I ordered in 2002. Had I known then what I know now, I would have spec'ed it for 32 mm tires with mudguards and forward-opening rear dropouts instead of track ends. I have flirted with the idea of selling it - but I've ridden this bike probably more miles than any other, and after nearly 21 years I think it's here for the duration.



Then there's the OTHER Mercian, a 1982 Colorado built as a team-issue bike for the Harvest/The Spoke/Mercian team. Dog's breakfast of parts, scars, dents, and sadly it has been years since I rode it - but it was the first bike I threw a leg over after my heart attack and bypass surgery, and it's the bike I was riding the year I was strongest and fastest and rode the most miles. I don't think I can bring myself to let go of it, either -



Then there's the favorite beater that turned out to be possibly the smoothest running bike I own - Maitres Jacques the '71 Gitane TdF fixed-gear conversion, festooned with parts I have acquired over a couple of decades. I initially built it to be my ride for family beach week vacations, then discovered it was an awesome grab-n-go bike for early morning rides before anyone else in the family arose. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts with this one, and I have a lot of happy memories linked to it -



But that's not the ONLY beater - there's De Selby, the mad scientist project involving a Surly Dingle 17/19T fixed cog, a White Industries Dos Eno 20/22T freewheel, and 42/44T chainrings, all on a seriously neglected '73 Raleigh Competition frameset. I built it to be an all-roads fixed/ss beast and it delivers, I just need more time to ride it. And it's just too cool to part with lightly ...



And finally there is the newest bike, with the fewest miles - yet. After carting this frame around for a while I finally built it up this year and fell in love with this Lighthouse from maybe the late 70s or early 80s. Yeah, it's fillet-brazed and lugless, very simple almost Shaker-esque look, built up with a mix of serviceable used parts - but honestly, it rides and handles the way I had hoped my Rivendell would. It just makes me happy to ride this bike, and I really think Tim Neenan ate his Wheaties the day he built it. This one is absolutely a keeper ...



So maybe I am there, and that's it for me. I still have a battered Cannondale I will probably sell cheaply, and a too-small Bianchi Eros that donated its parts to the Lighthouse to dispose of, but maybe, just maybe I can maintain N as a stable stasis.

But there's a bike someone reached out to me about this week, and honestly, who am I kidding?
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Old 10-26-23, 01:42 PM
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All but maybe 2. I could let the folder go and maybe the Colnago if I could find an equal or better larger frame.
Otherwise, I don't think I have them all yet.
I have the same problem of what to keep and what to let go with parts. I might need/want the very thing I let go, just like the Masi /FI sold and regret.
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Old 10-26-23, 01:46 PM
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It's a good bike and all, but it may become my forever bike because I've not been able to sell it! Neither old enough nor new enough, I suspect.


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Old 10-26-23, 01:54 PM
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These two: the ‘79 Miyata 912 and ‘87 Marinoni.

A “forever” bike takes on a different meaning as the decades accumulate (I’m 74). These two have been with me respectively: 4.5 decades - yup, I bought the Miyata 912 new; and almost exactly one decade - the Marinoni. Thanks to the years and my steep local terrain, an e-bike may be the next and “final” bike purchase. BTW, these replaced what I was sure was going to be the forever bike - a Rivendell Rambouillet, a bike that was very nice, but failed to generate that “Love It” feeling despite ten years, which these two do extremely well.

The Miyata is in its 4th major configuration. It’s now the dedicated fender bike, as well as a very capable errand bike and credit card tourer thanks to @gugie’s magic having only the fork to work on. Works very nicely with 700x28’s under the fenders - a benefit of having started with 27” wheels. The brakes - rear dual pivot and front brazed-post center pull, both with KS Salmons - feel wonderful and identical.



The Marinoni Sports Tourer (Mrs. Marinoni’s description when I asked with the S/N) gets more of the miles lately, It can be either 700x32, or 650Bx38’s that can accommodate fenders very nicely, as it did while the Miyata was undergoing its transformation. I’ve been sticking with the 650B’s for the last year since getting my old, stiff, artificially hipped leg over is easier! Here it is in fender-less 650B form. BTW, I’d leave the fenders on, but for the complications transporting it in cars, which happens several times during the year with my avid cycling wife.



With fenders and the change to 170mm Sugino ST cranks that are easier on these old knees, just in case you were wondering:


Last edited by Dfrost; 10-26-23 at 02:01 PM.
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