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Original vs Restomod - Thoughts and Classic Bicycles Auburn registration seminar

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Original vs Restomod - Thoughts and Classic Bicycles Auburn registration seminar

Old 05-18-24, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
You're being completely unfair. The riding comfort is great.

Yeah I know

Or at least it can be made to be. But the ergos of modern bike stuff is worlds better than the old stuff. I've mainly just used a classic bend drop handlebar, you know, the old Cinelli 64 standby. I put a bar on the Huffy that has that weird shape on the drop, and the first time I used it, it was a 'wow' moment - way more comfortable. Here is how I sort of look at the two schools:

Older/classic: beautiful and uncomfortable

New/modern: ergonomic and ugly

Seeing the raised stems and upturned bars/levers 'round these parts speaks to that. I'm also painting with broad strokes. There are reasons why guys will take an old frame and put also sorts of modern stuff on it.

Now, with all that said, I still prefer the beauty of the older stuff and I'm comfortable operating in the envelope of the 'ergonomic-less' mindset that created the older stuff. And when I get older, if that becomes harder and harder I'll throw some north roads on
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Old 05-18-24, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I mentioned before that I kept most of the shiny clamp-on bits on my Stella. It felt like that's what the bike was telling me it wanted.



With my Pinarello, the original paint was nearly perfect, and it had all the braze-ons I would have wanted. So I just built in with my usual components and it came out fitting my aesthetic.


Ive commented on your Stella before, absolutely gorgeous. Love everything about it. Your Pinarello likewise is another amazing build. I built up my Pinarello that was originally 7-speed Dura-Ace, with 11-speed Campy. It now gets ridden in regular rotation with my other daily riders most of which are vintage frames with modern components.

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Old 05-19-24, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by iab
One other thing, I think certain frames are sacrosanct. Some things should never be restomods. In terms of "wrenching", I am attracted to those. I like the time and patience to find the right bits and bobs. If I'm dropping a modern drivetrain on a frame, I'll take it to the LBS so hopefully they stay in business. It's in their wheelhouse and they are a great local resource, I want them to stick around. Expecting them to know how to work on my janky old crap is unrealistic and entirely unfair.

As for what I consider sacrosanct. It is definitely low volume frames. Can be team bikes, but I have none of those. Real old bikes can fall into the category, not many around. And frames that may have a unique feature. That should be highlighted, not covered.
Here’s one of my bikes that I will never modernize. My mint 1987 Specialized Team Allez built by Dave Tesch. It not a terribly valuable bike but it is all original when I bought it. The only thing I have changed on it is the stem and seat. The original stem is a black anodized Specialized stem that I swapped out for a Dura-Ace, mainly because I was worried about getting that pristine stem scartached. I was probably overly worried and next time I am home will put the original back on. Same for the Turbo saddle, originally black but saddles came and went as the bikes were used but like the stem, the saddle will go back on it as well.



I rode the Allez one time when I was home and during that ride, I noticed its frame shares striking similarities with the Pinarello, both featuring SLX tubing and comparable geometry. Yet, it was the Pinarello that stood out, especially over longer distances. It's compact 11-speed Campagnolo setup, complete with integrated brake levers and shift controllers, delivered a ride that was not only more comfortable but also significantly more pleasurable, thanks in large part to its superior gearing. Riding either of these bikes is an exhilarating experience on generally flat terrain, offering a blend of top-notch performance and sheer enjoyment that makes every journey memorable. Yet, as the terrain shifts to undulating hills, one bicycle assures a smooth ascent, while the other tests my stamina. My preference leans towards comfort over struggle, reflecting a change in my willingness to endure the rigorous demands of a challenging climb. On certain days, the thrill of a challenge invigorates me; however, more often than not, I find solace in the ease of a less demanding ride.

If I were to find another Tesch Team Allez but frame only, I’d have no problem with hanging a modern groupset on it, rather than go down the rabbit hole of finding period-correct components. Actually, I have a couple of DA 7400 groupsets in my parts, most almost new. Makes me wonder why I hang onto these parts…

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Old 05-19-24, 08:53 AM
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The way the bars on the Allez are positioned would make it beyond uncomfortable for me. OTOH the Pinarello is just the way that would make me happy.
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Old 05-19-24, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie
The way the bars on the Allez are positioned would make it beyond uncomfortable for me. OTOH the Pinarello is just the way that would make me happy.
They are both correctly set up.
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Old 05-19-24, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
...it depends on the bike, the rider, and how the rider wants to use the bike...
Yep... I no longer have a truly restored Bike. And because I dont ride it the one I have with the least modifications is just a 70s Wall Hanger for the most part. The three bikes I do use are fairly old coming from the 70s and 80s and very much Modified.

Come to think about it just about everything I use around me are most likely modified too. My tools, mowers, cars, boats, doors, windows, septic system... Yikes... I got nutting original!

When ya see a fully original, meticulously restored, most likely "Wall Hanger" its a gem to be admired. Ridden or not...
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Old 05-19-24, 10:12 AM
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Modified 1946 Holdsworth

I tend to do bike projects that have historic importance, some technical detail that changed the development of the bicycle. Epitomize the best bicycle from a point in the past. To me this means that each bike I restore could end up being in a museum. Modern component updates are to be avoided. However, almost all the bikes I own are my size and are perfectly functional.

The exception to the above comment:

This Holdsworth frame ended in my hands as a mistake, I bought it sight unseen thinking it was different frame I had seen before. It didn't cost much, so I just put it aside for a few years. The paint was hideous, the frame number was covered so I couldn't determine the year it was built. I needed either sell it or make it into a bike, so I took the fork out and found the frame number. It was built in 1946, the year of my birth! So, I had to make it into a bike for me. Unfortunately, the frame was 21" and I ride a 24". The frame had issues as well. 1946 was the first year that bike production started in England after WWII. Very few bikes were made as parts were difficult to obtain. Almost zero parts from this era are available in the USA. So, I made a decision to put new tubes into this frame and make most of the parts from scratch. There are skilled fabricators in this world who could make a bicycle from scratch, but not many are this crazy! This frame used lugs and other fittings from pre WWII, including a Chater Lea type integrated headset. I machined the old tubes out of the frame fittings, pulling the tubes using heat would be very dangerous for the dainty lugs. As this bike was something I wanted to actually ride, I slightly modified items to be functional. Modern drop in sealed headset bearings, which required slight modification to the head lugs. The original frame was built for tubular wheels, pretty unusual for an English bike from this period. The geometry was quite modern, so I more or less kept it the same. I used the original fork blades and rear chain stays, all other tubes are NOS Renyolds 531. The components are not exactly period correct. It was common for riders to change parts as new items came out, for instance a Gran Sport rear derailleur was not available in 1946. But I wanted this bike to be useful for my riding, which means a low gear of 27/36. I also wanted pristine blue Airlite hubs suitable for a 5 speed FW. Finding these parts requires looking around England for rusty beat-up expensive junk, instead I made these parts either from scratch or highly modified period correct items. The resultant bike looks sort of correct, how many people are old enough to catch the inconsistencies? It's sort of heavy but rides great, shifts the useful gear range perfectly and has brakes that actually work. It took me 6 months of more or less full-time work. This makes no sense money wise. Doing things like this helps keep me out of trouble!

Photo set here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VvF8QpewU6MkQ37E9

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Old 05-19-24, 10:40 AM
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That's a real nice bike Portlandjim Had not seen the final pinstriping.

I think the object of restoration or modification, be it bike (or car, or whatever) should be an expression of the owner's preferences.

the degree to which that restoration follows the guidelines of "originality" is entirely up to you. If you make modifications in the interest of rideability, so much the better.

/markp
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Old 05-19-24, 10:13 PM
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I came across this video a while back and thought it relevant to this discussion regarding original versus modified bikes.

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Old 05-20-24, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by botty kayer
All very nice, i wouldn't consider the Masi blasphemy at all, looks great. I think destroying good condition original paint is blasphemy. Others may consider it an improvement but I would consider it a serious crime for example to put any extra bosses and destroy the original paint on my Matio Martini painted Somec.


As this bike is so typical of Italian cycling excess I've kept all the panto'd parts including the Delta brakes, but again have insisted on sti shifters and 28c tyres that just about fit and I've got improved Kool Stop brake pads to improve performance.

Likewise the green on my 753 Merckx is so dreamy it melts everyones heart it seems, so i couldnt add any brazing to this and ruin the green. I've been told this is a rare beast too in that there's not many in this green, but also because it's a reynolds 753 with a fully chromed rear end, which is apparently not something Reynolds advised and must have been a special order. Mr Merckx seemingly had no issue with doing it, and 37 years after it was made its still in great condition.

Those 2 are probably my most period correct bikes, but like you I've had my way with them and made them a bit more 21st century. While the green Merckx has an old screw on freewheel, i've got a.modern one with a 29 tooth and with wider tyres its easier going than the olden days. And the wheels, while the hubs were original NOS Croc d'aune, I had them built up with modern wider Pacenti Brevet rims. Also as this is Reynolds 753 and apparently not to be respaced it rules out the more.modern groupsets anyway, so I'm happy to keep the down tube shifters and 7 speed on this.
I don't know how I missed seeing your Somec, what an awesome paint job! That paint scheme captures an interstellar ballet, where stars and nebulae dance in the grand cosmic arena. Far out!

Your Merckx is gorgeous as well. That green is very reminiscent of the green of an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT cabriolet my neighbor owned growing up. 2 big
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Old 05-20-24, 08:51 AM
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This 1962 Paramount (P12, I think) came to me with a mix of original & non-original parts.

I didn’t want to cold-set it and wanted to be able to ride it regularly, so I built it with mix of new & old parts that worked for “real world riding”.

It has some dents on the non-drive side, so it is no museum piece.

I did a 15 mile shakedown ride on it yesterday. Super smooth and fun but the braking was not so great.

Even with new pads, toe in etc. there is squeal from the front brake and the old center-pulls are "meh" at best ,if having to stop with any moisture on the road.









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Old 05-20-24, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
It's a copout, but it depends on the bike, the rider, and how the rider wants to use the bike. Personally, I won't own a bike I don't want to ride, so no "Garage Queens" for me. Any bike I have has to be one I'm willing to take out and flog to the best of my ability.
I echo this sentiment. Whatever keeps a bike relevant to its owner is all that matters. Whether it means restoring a classic to its showroom condition, or overhauling it to make it rideable, the pride of ownership is essential.
Originally Posted by seagrade
To me whatever it takes to keep classic and vintage bicycles on the road is just fine... Many of the classic racing, sport and touring bicycles of the 70s, 80s and 90s were sold as framesets, not as complete bicycles, so generic period correct may be completely incorrect for any particular frame set (although still a representative tribute to the era.). YMMV
I am of a similar mindset: the joy of a bicycle is derived primarily from its function rather than its form. A frameset does not lose its character with a different drivetrain. Until recently, I had been riding my mid 90's Concorde Prestige in its (mostly) original form. While completely adequate for riding flat terrain, any significant ascent was daunting with the traditional gearing. I was fortunate enough to chance upon some parts to modernize its components. The bike handles exactly the same but drivetrain is so much more efficient. The bike that has already given me so much pleasure has become an even greater delight to ride!
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Old 05-20-24, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Yeah I know

Or at least it can be made to be. But the ergos of modern bike stuff is worlds better than the old stuff. I've mainly just used a classic bend drop handlebar, you know, the old Cinelli 64 standby. I put a bar on the Huffy that has that weird shape on the drop, and the first time I used it, it was a 'wow' moment - way more comfortable. Here is how I sort of look at the two schools:

Older/classic: beautiful and uncomfortable

New/modern: ergonomic and ugly

Seeing the raised stems and upturned bars/levers 'round these parts speaks to that. I'm also painting with broad strokes. There are reasons why guys will take an old frame and put also sorts of modern stuff on it.
Ok, I have to grant you this point too. The bike I rode yesterday was my 1969 Raleigh Competition. I have swapped out almost every component on this bike even though it came to me with all of its original components except the saddle. The one component I kept was the Simplex shifters. There's something about them I like.

I have ridden this bike at Eroica California and even in its current configuration (with a pedal swap) it conforms to the letter of the Eroica rules, if not the spirit. When I first built it for riding, I used center pull brakes and vintage brake levers.



I liked everything about it except for the brake levers. Trying to use them with a modern compact bar was a bit silly, but even with a proper vintage bar the ergonomics just don't work. So I swapped in Ergo-clone brake levers and dual pivot brakes. Now I have a comfortable bike that makes your point.
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Old 05-20-24, 01:58 PM
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It's been mentioned several times on this thread that people consider cold-setting an irreversible change. That's true-ish but I wouldn't consider it a hard line. I wouldn't do it for something truly rare, but for even very nice but common bikes I think it's in a very different category than something like hacking off a derailleur hanger or brazing on cable guides. It's true that cold setting has an effect on the steel, but you can go back and forth a few times before that becomes a serious issue.

​I don't always bother with cold setting for frames that came 126, and for frames that are 120, going to 126 seems like a reasonable choice. I know I have gotten a lot of frames that seem to old to have been 126 but were spaced that way when I got them.

Opinions?
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Old 05-20-24, 02:49 PM
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My fanciest bike (as far as lugs and finish go) is my ‘61 Hetchins Experto Crede. I bought it as frame and fork from a friend, who bought it from Hilary Stone in the UK, I believe, and the had Mercian make some frame mods and repaint. Here it is as a frameset:



When I got around to building it up, I had the dilemma that I really wanted to ride this one, as is true for my whole herd, but the period correct mechs in the early 1960s kinda sucked. I figured a discerning owner would have opted for an upgrade in the 1970s once SunTour was doing its thing, so I went with early SunTour Superbe mechs and barcons, and a Stronglight 49D crankset. As built:



In the wild!
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Old 05-20-24, 02:51 PM
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One to rule them all.

Lugged steel from 2 of the best in the business, classic as we could get it.

This was built with all that we are talking about here, intent, parts, pieces, aesthetic, etc, etc, on and on.

It was a horrendous amount of $$$$$$ and worth every cent.

Rides like a dream and checks every box in spades for me.

Here it is again.


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Old 05-20-24, 02:59 PM
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And here's a good example of the potential struggle as I see it.

Classic DiNucci era Strawberry that was a grungy mess.

Had all mostly close enough correct parts and is a bit small so no brainer, leave as is, scrub, clean and shine, leave as is.




I have a bigger frame that will get retro modded if I ever get it sorted, painted, etc.

May paint or powdercoat it the same color as the other new one.
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Old 05-20-24, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
One to rule them all.

Lugged steel from 2 of the best in the business, classic as we could get it.

This was built with all that we are talking about here, intent, parts, pieces, aesthetic, etc, etc, on and on.

It was a horrendous amount of $$$$$$ and worth every cent.

Rides like a dream and checks every box in spades for me.

Here it is again.


Classic and modern, best of both worlds and brilliantly executed. I see you are using a derailleur extender. Is that also a mid-cage derailleur? What’s the large cassette tooth count?
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Old 05-20-24, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
My fanciest bike (as far as lugs and finish go) is my ‘61 Hetchins Experto Crede. I bought it as frame and fork from a friend, who bought it from Hilary Stone in the UK, I believe, and the had Mercian make some frame mods and repaint. Here it is as a frameset:



When I got around to building it up, I had the dilemma that I really wanted to ride this one, as is true for my whole herd, but the period correct mechs in the early 1960s kinda sucked. I figured a discerning owner would have opted for an upgrade in the 1970s once SunTour was doing its thing, so I went with early SunTour Superbe mechs and barcons, and a Stronglight 49D crankset. As built:
This really exemplifies the dilemma for me, such a cool old frame, so nice, needs/has to be ridden but how to do that so the experience is commensurate with the vibe and station of such a gem.

Retromod is the only answer it seems, now it can be ridden and truly enjoyed for what it is, a fantastic frame with a much better lease on life.
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Old 05-20-24, 03:14 PM
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Honestly, I'm indifferent to whether you keep a bike all original or do some sort of resto-mod. My favorite builds use 3 x 7 friction shifting but that's because I like to keep it friction and that gives me all the gearing I need even for serious climbing. That said, what's not to like about modern gearing, modern brakes, etc.?

The only time I wouldn't change anything is when you get your hands on a time capsule and it would be a shame to modernize it. Like my 1960 Olmo gran sport which has all the original parts except for the saddle and I changed out the bar and stem to something more to my liking but I have the original bar and stem for the next owner. Those aren't the original wheels either but I do have the original tubulars stashed away. Yeah and the VO water bottle clamp slipped on me (2d pic).



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Old 05-20-24, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BMC_Kid
Classic and modern, best of both worlds and brilliantly executed. I see you are using a derailleur extender. Is that also a mid-cage derailleur? What’s the large cassette tooth count?
Tx, got lucky with much of it that came together and worked out, the frame was quite challenging but Dave Levy at TiCycles is a wizard, beyond that it only takes $$$$$$.

The cassette is 36t Centaur, I struggled with it and bought the matching RD but couldn't make it work well, tried the extender and still no go, put the Athena RD back on and was in business. not sure about mid, long cage, I think it changed and was a bit confusing

It's not perfect but works very well, especially when it matters uphill in traffic and flat out.

The extender was the tricky part, it ended up being furthest from where it was supposed to be like the RD's.

This setup eliminated the need for a triple, low gear is 39-36 and gets me up the few hills I ride like never before, the fit and ride of this are far above any of my others.

It is amazing.
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Old 05-20-24, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BMC_Kid
Classic and modern, best of both worlds and brilliantly executed. I see you are using a derailleur extender. Is that also a mid-cage derailleur? What’s the large cassette tooth count?
EDIT; the cassette is 32 big, guess I gotta give myself some more credit.

The matching Centaur RD is mid cage I think the Athena is long, probably could have got it to work after I sorted the extender but the Athena RD goes with the set aside from The SR crank that replaced the fugly Athena.
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Old 05-20-24, 05:22 PM
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Isn't that the Kelme team colors from 1988 on the Merckx? I had an SLX Corsa Extra with the same color.
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Old 05-20-24, 08:44 PM
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Bikes: 1987 Mercian Pro, 1985 Shogun 500, early '70s Falcon San Remo, 1972 Peugeot PX-10, 1972 Schwinn Paramount P13-9, 1971 Raleigh International, 1971 Peugeot PX-10, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mk1

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This is a great thread. I see it as a spectrum, ranging from pretty much period/catalog correct to doing whatever the hell you want. BITD we bought our bikes and swapped components for newer/better when money allowed. In 1973 I had a Zeus Pro that got a full Nuovo Record makeover after about 7 years, then that group went on the Mercian Pro frame I bought 7 years later. By 2007 or so I agonized over spreading the frame and putting a 10-speed Ultegra group on the Mercian...I did and haven't regretted it for a second. Now that I live in hill country, I swapped out the funky Shimano crankset for a Sun XCD with vintage style, modern tech.


I also put modern drivetrains on my International and Professional Mk I. They work so well, it was a while before I desired a vintage setups. My Falcon San Remo and Paramount P13 are 1969-1972 accurate, save for the gearing and wide tires.



My PX10 sits in the middle, with SLJ derailleurs replacing the Delrin Criteriums, a Red Clover triplizer, and SPD pedals. Kinda updated but still (retro)friction. I'm doing another gravel-ish restomod. This past week I put a 2x10 drivetrain on my Shogun. I'm building new wheels which will run 700x40-42 tires instead of the 30-somethings on the borrowed set. It's got XTR cantis (I think), super-wide rando bars and SPD/flat dual-sided pedals. Stronglight 49 arms with new VO rings with a vintage Suntour front working happily with the brifter, and a Microshift R10 rear. When it's done I suspect it'll be very similar to a Surly or Crust at a fraction of the cost.
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1987 Mercian Pro, 1985 Shogun 500, 197? Falcon San Remo, 1972 Peugeot PX-10, 1972 Schwinn Paramount P13-9, 1971 Peugeot PX-10, 1971 Raleigh International, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mark I
Curator/Team Mechanic: 2016 Dawes Streetfighter, 1984 Lotus Eclair, 1975 Motobecane Jubile Mixte, 1974 Raleigh Sports, 1973 Free Spirit Ted Williams, 1972 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Philips Sport





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Old 05-20-24, 11:41 PM
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Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

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@ascherer,

Great call, agree on the spectrum, sliding scale, many factors having varying degrees of relevance.
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