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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 05-23-24, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
Yep. Case in point is my California Masi, seen here with the previous owner and a guy who may have had a hand in building it.
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When I got this bike I saw it as a work of art and did little more than put on fresh bar tape and tires, clipless pedals, and a stem to make it fit.
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I rode it like that a few times. It was nice but didn't stand out to me as obviously better riding than any other vintage bike. It was basically a novelty item for days when I wanted to get the full vintage experience, except I really hadn't committed to the "full" experience. I can't abide toe clips.

After a year or so of neglecting this bike I thought about the fact that it had already been repainted and modified a bit, and I decided what the heck!

Since then I have ridden it a lot, including taking it on a couple of credit card tours. In its present configuration, it really does feel like it has a special ride quality. That "quality" may be proper fit a ergonomics, but whatever it is it feels great.

Yep, Kool-Aid, vinyl record like soul, dark art wizardry, etc.

What ever it is that is this tangible in such a big way when it strikes you can be amazing and often hard to come by.

Our ability to tease out or simply light off this with these is nothing short of amazing IMO and such a good thing going forward, whatever that may be.
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Old 05-23-24, 02:36 PM
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For me, I tend to draw my line in the sand where cranks got ugly. Same with weirdly shaped frame tubes* and non-horizontal top-tubes.

I'm less concerned with chronology than beauty, and every modern bike I've seen is a serious eye-sore. Also, not all bikes worshiped as vintage were that nice; there were more than a few with only minimally refined lugs and indifferent brazing. I celebrate craftspersonship rather than calendar year, and I feel that's a better way to think.

* I know someone out there will ding me for Gilco tubing.
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Old 05-23-24, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
Yep. Case in point is my California Masi, seen here with the previous owner and a guy who may have had a hand in building it
The inestimable R. Brian Baylis. That he and E Richie got an earful when they strayed slightly from topic is one of the reasons I left the CR mailing list. I thought their stories were entertaining and far more interesting than arguments over period correctness. I do wonder if Doug Fattic will ever put out that book he threatened to about the west and east coast traditions in US frame building and the players in that game. As one who started riding road back when the Badger was winning the TdF, I think it would be nice to get all those stories in one place while most of the guys are still alive.
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Old 05-23-24, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
And don't get me wrong, when an old frame is done right with the original components, there is no question it is a fantastic bike but many IME suffer greatly with the "best of the time" that simply did not inspire or do them justice at the time.
I think that's why such preservation should be done only for bicycles of significant provenance. Some (Confente) have that just by their rarity. Some, say a Colnago Mexico, really don't stand out historically unless a particular specimen was ridden by someone of note. There's a profound difference between a Gios in general and a Gios ridden by Roger DeVlaeminck. The first is just a likely cobalt blue bike, the other is a piece of professional racing history worthy of special attention.
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Old 05-23-24, 02:57 PM
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Cases in point, a tale of three Merz's,

JM027, Ultegra 9 speed with DA crank modified by Jim, rides amazing and is perfect with the modern "upgrade".


TW189, all original build, also rides amazing and would never change a thing, its truly incredible how nice this rides built like this.



And RR150 also came to me modernized and being a bigger correct size is another level better for combining both those.




Then it was made analog for Eroica last year and is amazing like this as well.



Moral of the story is that a fantastic bike/frame is that but can be that in more ways than one.
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Old 05-23-24, 03:21 PM
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Somebody asked for more pics, so here are some more pics, although you've all seen them before.

Here's a mid-1960s Cinelli framed resto-mod piece of heresy. The frame is almost 60 years old. The fork is less than one year old - Ed Litton built me a new one after the old one tried to kill me, and while the old one was a Cinelli fork, it was not original to the frame and dated to ~1960. It has been repainted, also by Ed Litton. The chrome was not redone for reasons largely having to do with Covid. Campy 10sp triple drivetrain (as approved by Andy_K) and dual pivot brakes. It does have a classic Campy 2-bolt seat post because I like them. The only original thing on it is the seat post bolt (maybe - I have an original and an reproduction, and I can't remember which one is on this bike and which one is on the other Cinelli below). I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is the best riding bike I have ever owned.



Here's another mid-1960s Cinelli, this one somewhat less heretical. It is Eroica CA and Cino-compliant (when I swap out the SPDs) but is no way period correct. (The crappy Universal 51 sidepulls have been replaced by the much better but still not as good as modern dual pivots Universal 61 centerpulls.) I got this as a frame and fork and built it up to be, well, Eroica CA and Cino-compliant, although it does have aero brake levers. Great frame, but not as much fun to ride as the silver Cinelli because, to me at least, modern parts work better and enhance my riding experience. I am willing to forego the click shifting and clipless pedals for special events, like (say it with me) Eroica CA and Cino, but otherwise I am reaching for the silver Cinelli the vast majority of the time. When the roads are wet, I reach for my 1978 Eisentraut, which is set up very much like the silver Cinelli but with fenders.

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Old 05-23-24, 03:40 PM
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After going through all this it seems to me that C&V is a less than appropriate title for this forum. For the truth in advertising aspect I suggest, "Mostly Steel Bikes".
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Old 05-23-24, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie
After going through all this it seems to me that C&V is a less than appropriate title for this forum. For the truth in advertising aspect I suggest, "Mostly Steel Bikes".
THe description can be "Old guys complaining a lot, reminiscing, and sharing lots of pictures, some of which are pictures of bicycles."
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Old 05-23-24, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
There's a profound difference between a Gios in general and a Gios ridden by Roger DeVlaeminck. The first is just a likely cobalt blue bike, the other is a piece of professional racing history worthy of special attention.
That's an interesting perspective, and I think I agree. As it happens, one of the few bikes in my garage that I haven't fitted with a 3x10 drivetrain is 1983 Gios Professional that I bought as a frameset from another member of this forum. It doesn't show well in pictures, but one of the things I love about this bike is that it has genuine patina -- not a bunch of rust and scratches but an actual build-up of age-related grime. You can see the yellowing of the panels. Imagine that level of shading on the blue parts and you'll have an idea what it looks like in person.

​​​​​​

Shortly after I got it I was trying to wipe some fresh grease off of the headtube and ended up with a vivid bright blue spot, which I spent more time than I like to remember blending back with the rest.

I built this up with similarly worn components and it has a very vintage vibe to it. It's a fun bike to ride, but it presents a dilemma. I was originally looking for a Gios because I saw one at Eroica California and was mesmerized by that vivid cobalt blue. Mine would have that if I polished it, but it would lose the patina.

There are days when I think about stripping it down, polishing it, and throwing my beloved Campy 3x10 components on there. What stops me is the thought that if I like the parina as much as I do, there's probably someone out there who would love it even more, and once polished it will be gone forever -- or at least for 40 years.

Maybe that's a sales angle I can use -- by this bike from me or it gets the Ergo treatment!
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Old 05-23-24, 09:50 PM
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This thread is having a radicalizing effect on me. Today, I got—not angry but —annoyed while riding my 82 Medici with a wheelset built on 7900 hubs. I’m commuting on these wheels to get the Gatorskin tubulars down to the threads so I can toss them. This bike frame was built to take advantage of the very best components available and it can not and will not ride better with modern bits and pieces. When it was my only bike, I spread the dropouts, replaced the headset with a Chris King and rode 9 speeds with 7700. Later it was 10 speed 6700. Ok. Fine. But it wasn’t better. It’s better with its original Super Record.

As intended: Record hubs and GL330s.
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Old 05-24-24, 01:21 AM
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From the below video: "It doesn't matter what era your bike comes from, riding hard is still riding hard".

I share these feelings too. Despite the challenges, I value the tough rides that come with the day’s end. However, as I’ve grown older, my tolerance for discomfort has lessened, particularly when it comes to the inherent limitations of ‘vintage’ bike components. I have a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship of classic ‘vintage’ frames, which were typically handcrafted with pride and care at a tradesman level, as opposed to being mass-produced in factories—Miyata being a notable exception for me.

While I am confident that a sense of corporate pride is invested in every modern frame constructed, whether it’s made of steel, aluminum, or carbon, I remain skeptical about whether this sentiment is shared equally by the average factory worker—I am open to the possibility that I might be mistaken.

It is for these reasons that I prefer the mix of old and new - old vintage frames with modern components. I have the means to acquire a modern, bespoke frame crafted in the classic style by numerous builders, be they American or European. Nonetheless, the thrill of seeking out a frame from a builder to whom I have a personal tie brings me immense satisfaction. This could be a frame I’ve cherished riding in years past or one I’ve long admired. I’m also fully aware of the time and dedication I invest in refurbishing these frames, hoping that someone else will value them and uphold their legacy after my turn of stewardship. I hold no expectations of recouping my investment when I sell the bike; to me, it’s simply part of the joy that spans various aspects—tracking down the frame, strategizing its restoration, selecting the components for assembly, appreciating the completed work, and ultimately, the experience of riding it.


I feel for the upcoming cyclists who may miss out on the distinct joy that comes with riding a top-tier steel bike—a sentiment that sparked my own cycling journey. While carbon frames are common and reliable, they seem to lack the ‘essence’—akin to the spirit imbued in the creation of a handcrafted mechanical watch, which is absent in digital watches. Nevertheless, I am well aware that future generations will cherish their own experiences, be it with bikes or watches, as their pinnacle of excellence, and thus the cycle continues for the next wave of enthusiasts.

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Old 05-24-24, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Ya. You can do what you want with your bike. So what. Modern components cannot diminish the "quality" of the frame but they certainly diminish the Vintage Aesthetic. The level of harm varies depending on the alteration. Imagine swapping the components of a 1975 Specialissima with a 2024 Specialissima. Or putting a 1X13 on your Colnago Super with a clutch rear derailleur and a 42 big cog. That is extreme but to preserve the Vintage "essence" we should not stray very far from original. BUT OF COURSE ANYONE CAN RIDE ANYTHING THEY WANT.
Once more, George Carlin's famous quote proves universally applicable:

"Anyone who rides a bike modded more than mine is an idiot; anyone who rides one less modded than mine is a maniac."
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Old 05-25-24, 06:18 PM
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Too much Mod...


Not enough Resto...


Just right (for me)...

"I am the sole authority on the correctness of my bicycle."
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Old 05-25-24, 07:45 PM
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Almost all of my bikes have some sort of upgrade or mod.
The one with the least came to me as a frameset.
My 72 Geoffry Butler. has Shimano Arabesque 600


The rest are either flat bar Ultegra or drop bar Dura-Ace
My 81 Pro-Tour and my 74 International have 3x10 mix of ultegra and 105. The Pro-tour is Half Step + granny. and the international is a 3x with a 14-25 10 speed block.




My 72 Witcomb is half step with 12-36 9 speed with barcons Dura-Ace and Mafac racers.



I have 2 IGH bikes, an 85 Gazelle crusier with SA 5 speed and drum brakes, kind of a upgrade period and a 74's Grandier Sportier with a 8 speed IGH, not sure these are resto or just good upgrades.



The rest are single speeds or a hybrid
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Old 05-26-24, 12:20 AM
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I was out today riding my 1984 Pinarello with 3x10 Campy drivetrain, and some guy on a new-ish gravel bike rode by and said, "Nice old Pinarello." Case closed, right?

Of course my components are themselves 20 years old so I guess even if he assumed the frame dated to the same period as the components it would still be an "old Pinarello."

So that's my line in the sand. I'm totally against putting 12-speed electronic shifting and disc brakes on a vintage frame. Unless you can somehow make it look good.
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Old 05-27-24, 08:07 AM
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great info, keep this rolling!

Hi Folks,

This thread really took off - and I'm going to study what's been said and what future comments will be and give a bit of a "report" on peoples thoughts at Auburn. Thanks everyone and hopefully I'll see a bunch of you at the show!

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Old 05-27-24, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
The harder question to answer is which vintage bikes qualify as Classic.
I think this Kalkhoff is classic. All the components just look correct.

Where can I find cleats like that?
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Old 05-27-24, 10:40 AM
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That's a tall stem.
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Old 05-27-24, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Where can I find cleats like that?
Silly girl......
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Old 06-03-24, 11:17 PM
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So much awesome stuff in this thread! At Auburn, during the resto-mod discussion, we'll have one of the worlds leading car restorers on hand to chat a bit about what goes on in the vintage car world.

It occurs to me that in the vintage car world, very few restored cars can be as period correct as our bikes. Vintage hoses and belts just don't last that long! And major engine castings often are re-manufactured with upgraded alloys.

It will be an interesting conversation!

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Old 06-07-24, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
I can see how that might be disquieting in much the way I find it disturbing when I'm buying groceries and something off of Elvis Costello's Get Happy plays on the muzak. Some of my friends had fuschia mohawks when that came out.

Thus we are confronted directly with our aging and mortality.
My grocery store Muzak moment was hearing Jethro Tull’s “Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die” on an early morning shopping trip.
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Old 06-07-24, 09:19 AM
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I knew that the end was near when the Mercedes advert had Janis as the soundtrack

The abominations now are continuous

When they rolled me into the operating room for my last knee surgery the surgical team had Pink Floyd on the player. And that would have been tape haha I commented to the anesthesiologist that I would have preferred Sex Pistols.

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Old 06-07-24, 09:38 AM
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Here’s a restomod that probably won’t make sense to anyone except maybe Huffmeister, a bottom of the line Peugeot AO8 with upgraded period components. The plastic derailleurs had crumbled during its years in the original owners’ shed and I wanted to keep it as French as possible, so Huret was the choice. I destroyed the cottered cranks getting them off and thought Stronglights looked cool so on one went along with the most significant upgrade, a sealed bottom bracket from Velo Orange. Rides well.
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Old 06-07-24, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by katzenfinch
Here’s a restomod that probably won’t make sense to anyone except maybe Huffmeister, a bottom of the line Peugeot AO8 with upgraded period components. The plastic derailleurs had crumbled during its years in the original owners’ shed and I wanted to keep it as French as possible, so Huret was the choice. I destroyed the cottered cranks getting them off and thought Stronglights looked cool so on one went along with the most significant upgrade, a sealed bottom bracket from Velo Orange. Rides well.
Oh, there are a lot of folks here who appreciate those old Peugeots (and other French bikes of the time). Here's my AO-8 with mostly older parts. I added a modern dynamo hub and new Pacenti 650 B wheels, and the ride is just plush.

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Old 06-07-24, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by katzenfinch

Here’s a restomod that probably won’t make sense to anyone except maybe Huffmeister, a bottom of the line Peugeot AO8 with upgraded period components. The plastic derailleurs had crumbled during its years in the original owners’ shed and I wanted to keep it as French as possible, so Huret was the choice. I destroyed the cottered cranks getting them off and thought Stronglights looked cool so on one went along with the most significant upgrade, a sealed bottom bracket from Velo Orange. Rides well.
Peugeot put the same plastic derailleurs on the PX-10 as they did on the AO8. Your upgrade makes a lot more sense than their stock offering.

I wouldn't even see that as a resto-mod. I was looking at the picture, after reading just your first sentence, and thinking, "What's he talking about? That's fully vintage."

And let me tell you, French bikes have got nothing on Huffys when it comes to complications with replacing parts.
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