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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 05-13-24, 02:02 PM
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Original vs Restomod - Thoughts and Classic Bicycles Auburn registration seminar

Hi Folks,

It's a never-ending debate. Should a bike be kept original or should it be modified, and if so, to what extent? Braze-ons? Spreading rear triangles? Some of these topics will be explored at Classic Bicycles Auburn (Indiana) so please consider attending! But if you can't attend and you have thoughts on the topic, please share them on this thread and some of the thoughts will be shared at Auburn when the group comes together.

If you're attending only the big show and swap at Auburn Sunday June 9th, you simply pay for admission to the museum on Sunday when you arrive and that gets you into the bike show and swap. But if you want to attend the seminars and/or the banquet as well, regular registration ends May 17th. Information about Classic Bicycles Auburn is Here.

Below is some info tease you into joining the fun! So please attend, and if not let's get some chat going regarding original vs Resto-mod.

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It isn't too late - come to Classic Bicycles Auburn!

Airfare is looking good right now - even from LAX!



Regular Registration Period for Classic Bicycles Auburn ends May 17



Classic Bicycles Auburn is happening in less than 4 weeks. The bike display and swap spaces are mostly full (possibly some more swap space will open up, and outdoor space is limitless).



If you are traveling from far away, we just did a quick check of airfares flying into Fort Wayne (29min from the venue) or Indy and Detroit (each under 2 1/2 hours from the venue). It looks like prices may be lower than they were months ago! Lot's of options. And there are lots of hotels in the Auburn Indiana area - so come and join the fun!



To attend the big show on June 9th, you just show up at 9 am and pay admission to the spectacular Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum and that gets you into the show.



But - on Friday and Saturday June 8th and 9th there are the fantastic seminars and Saturday evening banquet. For those events, you need to pre-register.



Important - perhaps even more important than bikes - Food! The Friday and Saturday seminars will have lunches that are really top notch. Mike, lead organizer of Classic Bicycles Auburn likes food and want's to be sure that all attendees are very happy! And once again the Saturday night banquet is catered by the Italian Grill. And all meals have vegetarian options. And at meals, the museum operates a cash bar if alcohol is desired. But otherwise the meals include a choice of soft drinks. And on Sunday, there will be a food truck offering a great Mexican menu that attendees can make purchases from.



Click Here for Registration

Click Here for the Show Website



Friday

11:45 to 12:45 Lunch



12:45 to 1:15 Fun “warm up” – learn about the world of collectible bicycle racing trading cards. Presented by Ron Alexander



1:30 to 2:30 History of early Campagnolo derailleurs from Combio Corsa to early parallelogram. Presented by David Beck



2:45 to 3:45 Resto-mod bicycles – making vintage bicycles “user friendly”. Show and tell and discussion of original vs mod



4:00 to 5:00 Rich Gangl presents his Eddy Merckx Tribute bike collection. Discussion of the bike specifics and Merckx History



Saturday



12:45 to 1:15 Aligning bicycle forks – discussion and the process presented by Larry Black



1:30 to 2:30 A comparison of Italian, British, and French bicycles through the lens of history and parallels to the automotive world. Presented by David Cooper, internationally regarded automobile restorer, historian, and bicycle collector



2:45 to 3:45 Unsung Bicycle builders. A show and tell with notable presenters such as Doug Fattic



4:00 to 5:00 The rise of American framebuilding – cultural and historical context. Presented by the legendary Dale Brown!



Saturday Night Banquet



Introductions and acknowledgements



Keynote talk by Bob Williams – personal stories and recollections including post-war 6-day racing in Europe



An update from Doug Fattic on his work in Ukraine



A few words about the passion and the pursuit of performance by the Duesenberg brothers



Sunday - the Big Show and Swap



Set up 7-9 am

Doors open at 9am

Show goes until about 3PM



Remember - Classic Bicycles Auburn claims to be about the bikes, but it's really about spending time with wonderful people



See you in Auburn



Mike Kone

Writing from Boulder Colorado USA

Lead organizer - Classic Bicycles Auburn
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Old 05-13-24, 04:24 PM
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Okay, here's one man's opinion, and it's worth exactly what you are paying for it.

My personal sweet spot for riding is classic lugged steel with a Campy 10sp triple drivetrain. I love the look of the classics from the 1960s through the 1980s decked out in their period-correct finery. That stuff is absolutely eye-candy laced with crack to me. But I like to play with my toys, and for where I live and for my decreasing flexibility, a bike set up with Campy NR drivetrain with a 42x23 low gear and downtube shifters simply is not going to get it done. I have a couple of bikes that are Eroica CA- and Cino-compliant, but decidedly not period correct - friction shifting, but with Suntour barcons, long-cage slant pantograph RDs, and aero brake levers (for the mechanical advantage so I can brake from the hoods).

I consider myself very much a part of the C&V tribe, but my bikes, beyond the frames, are not C&V. Part of the reason I am so fond of Campy 10sp, beside the fact that it works great, is that it still retains a great deal of the classic look of the era the frames are from (which ranges from 1965ish to 1982ish). I think my bikes are great, but they are riders and do not belong in a concours and would be of little to no interest to a collector.

As you might guess, I have zero problems with resto-mods, within reason. Repaint? I've had at least five repainted, so I'm okay with it, although I would like to see resprays done with at least a nod to the original livery. (Day-glo green with purple splash on a classic Rene Herse? Uh, no. It might be okay on a Zunow, though.) Spread the rear triangle? I've had that done that with most of mine. Add braze-ons? I've gone both ways on that, although I now tend not to for no particular reason. I don't think that these modifications belong on a show bike, but I have no problem with them if that's what it takes to get the bike on the road doing what it was intended to do.

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Old 05-14-24, 07:42 PM
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I think many folks are the same page as you. I know many really like the Campy 10sp. So your comments are very much appreciated.

On my own bikes, I always use clipless pedals (easy to remove for shows) and I'm lucky that I can get comfortable on bikes with a rather "classic" amount of saddle to bar drop.

I do like modifying gearing to suit the hills of Colorado. But I can often do that with a vintage drivetrain. A vintage Stronglight or TA crank allows for "modern" gear ratios. And if need be, I use Campy Rally (or SOMA) cage plates for more gearing options.

But there are so many ways to make a vintage bike user friendly. I just find I'm very happy with a limited number of gears as long as the extremes are available.

Other thoughts from folks?

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Lead Organizer Classic Bicycles Auburn
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Old 05-14-24, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mikekone

Should a bike be kept original or should it be modified, and if so, to what extent?
Modified. To such an extreme extent that people worry about you.








Then again, I'm just trying to normalize my eccentricity!



(also, didn't know you are in Boulder, CO. Hello from Centennial!)
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Old 05-14-24, 09:28 PM
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I’m looking forward to reports on what promises to be a fun weekend. Here are my thoughts on Resto-modding.

For some reason, I have always read the “mod” of “resto-mod” as modernize which I find distasteful. But “mod” as modify—as in frame modification—I can celebrate and plan to do some of my own brazing soon. I have a 73 Raleigh Competition rescue to practice brazing cable guides, bottle and shifter bosses. All the original parts will go back on. Reasonable success with the Raleigh will be followed by doing the same on a 74 Motobecane Le Champion. There was no saving the paint on either of these two frames. A third frame in the queue is a 73 Peugeot PA-10E with OK paint but, never the less, I have selected it to become the vintage CX bike that I could never find. It’s getting canti bosses as is rumored to have been a common practice on road bikes back in the day.
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Old 05-15-24, 01:43 AM
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Just another opinion from a minority of one and for which a full refund of the purchase price is payable on demand…

To me whatever it takes to keep classic and vintage bicycles on the road is just fine. I’d far sooner see a 1975 Masi Gran Criterium with a 13-32 cassette hub out in the great outdoors at any speed than hanging in forever a garage with its original 14-24 five speed block. Not that there’s anything wrong with the latter, it’s just to me not what it’s for.

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). When used as the maker intended the rear changer was changed after a second-season crash, the rims as soon as the brake tracks were worn through, and the saddle just because. These were machines prized by their owners (I know mine were) for years, and retro-modded just as soon as one could afford to and as often as needed.

I know all this has been said before. One closing thought - to me a classic/vintage bicycle is either original or retro-modded, with no half measures. If one’s otherwise completely original Colnago/De Rosa/Tesch/Raleigh/whatever now has clipless pedals, or modern clincher rims where once were tubulars, or a carbon fork to replace bent-back steel, then to me it’s already a retro-mod.

YMMV
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Old 05-15-24, 03:10 AM
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To begin I'm not a huge "Brifter" fan. I think they needlessly complicate a bike. I also believe it leads to less cyclist being comfortable enough to take their hands off the bars so they can wave back to you.

Originality? Who's to say. MOst of the bikes we love and dream to have came as frame only and then buy built it how they wanted it. SO if my '72 Colnago Mexico is all Gali and Modolo as opposed to your all SUper Record '72 Mexico that's just how it is.

Of the two "off the shelf" bikes I own my '86 Volpe has been heavily modified with Campagnolo RD n cranks, shimano 7spd cassette wheels and 6oo FD. Would it be worth more in original condition or how it's improved? Who's to say but it works better for me as it is now and that's what's important.
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Old 05-15-24, 03:35 AM
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While downtube shifters aren’t my preference these days, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia for them. Growing up in the early 80s, they were all I knew until brake lever shifters revolutionized the cycling experience. I embraced this innovation eagerly as an early adopter and haven’t looked back, except through a nostalgic lens. Nevertheless, I still appreciate downtube shifters on more than a few of my period-correct vintage bikes, ranging from 6-speed to 10-speed. These bikes are my go-to for casual and relaxed weekday rides in my area. For more intense cycling, I opt for my bikes that are equipped with modern shifters, which are all mounted on vintage frames - my personal blend of retro and modern, known as retro-mods or resto-mods. This combination offers the best of both worlds: the efficiency of contemporary components paired with the timeless craftsmanship of a steel frame.
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Old 05-15-24, 06:11 AM
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I love non-index shifting and use either downtube levers or barcons on my road bikes. I am also a big fan of old-fashioned toeclips and straps, which I use exclusively.

Above all else, I like the look of a traditional lugged steel frame with a horizontal top tube
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Old 05-15-24, 08:38 AM
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The majority of my road bikes are going to be restomoded with Dura Ace 7800 and I resto modded a lot of my MTBs with XT 780 T. I have one road bike that I am going to update with 8 speed Campy C Record but I am more a Shimano guy to be honest . Three of my road bikes have down tube indexed speed shifters, the rest will get Dura Ace ST 7800 brifters. As for pedals, I stick with old look delta pedals.
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Old 05-15-24, 11:00 AM
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All my bikes are restomod. But I draw a very firm line at any irreversible hacks like spreading the frame. The other thing I won't ever do is threadless adapters. I think the quill stem is a defining characteristic of a C&V bike. A threadless stem just looks bulky and clumsy. I am also allergic to black components.
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Old 05-15-24, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
All my bikes are restomod. But I draw a very firm line at any irreversible hacks like spreading the frame. The other thing I won't ever do is threadless adapters. I think the quill stem is a defining characteristic of a C&V bike. A threadless stem just looks bulky and clumsy. I am also allergic to black components.
I will both agree and respectfully disagree with the bolded sentence. I agree with the "nothing irreversible" sentiment, although probably not to the point that you mean. On a pristine Confente, for example, no new bottle cage or cable guide braze ons. On a well-used bike of which there are many examples - a standard issue Colnago, for example - I'm more flexible. And with very few exceptions, I have no problem with spreading the rear triangle, especially since doing so is not irreversible. I wouldn't go back and forth willy-nilly, but but spreading it once and then unspreading it once should not be a problem. Having said that, I can understand why someone would be a bit squeamish about doing so.

To be clear, I 100% agree with your sentiment; hacksawing off a RD hanger should be a hanging offense. Where we would disagree is in details, and we could probably go for a ride and have a beer together afterwards without any fisticuffs breaking out.
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Old 05-15-24, 02:26 PM
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My stock 2001 Lemond is on the edge of the C&V category - but in a few years will be a full on qualifier.

I bounce back and forth about upgrading it.

The frame is incredible - smooth and stiff, long/low (stack) and fast...

The handlebars are uncomfortable. The brake hoods are small and uncomfortable. The 3x9 Ultegra drivetrain is great in terms shifting, but MEH in terms of gear ratios and actual numbers of usable gears. The wheels are heavy and slow - and the bike is fairly heavy overall.

I feel the quality of the frame is wasted on the older/heavy parts. A 2x11 drive train - compact front with a 36 in the rear, CF wheelset, CF seatpost/bars - the bike would be in the mid 17# range, more comfortable and even faster.

Form over function is the question.
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Old 05-15-24, 02:36 PM
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Much like others, I have a variety of configurations. The older ones tend to be more period correct like the 1983ish Colnago Superissimo. The modification is using a 7 speed IRD in the back which the frame could accommodate without modification.
The 1971 Bianchi is nearly period correct but I opted to modify using new rims because they were hanging in the garage then laced to HF hubs. The stem and HB are also not period correct, In addition, it is dressed with NR and not GS parts.
The 1972 Bottechia is period correct because most of the parts came from a bent up Le Champion from 1971.
The 1983 Trek 760 is built with Superbe Pro which was close to the way it was sold (Superbe)
The 1991 Pinarello Montello was stripped of its original DT 740x 8 speed parts and replaced with a slight mix of Campagnolo parts including Racing T to get the triple. This bike is used to get back into shape or address routes with significant hills.
The 1988 De Roisa Professional is not at all period correct. It has a mix of, again, Campagnolo parts mostly Record 10 speed. This is the only bike with a number of black parts because of the wheels that drove the 10-speed configuration due to their outrageous cost of $130 for complete wheels with 10 speed cassette (Campy) and Nemisis rims on Record hubs with black spokes except the red ones on either side of the valve.
The last two have Ergos that I rebuilt.
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Old 05-15-24, 03:07 PM
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Should a bike be kept original or should it be modified, and if so, to what extent?
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'm also not made of money, so I'm not chasing ultra-rare and valuable bikes. This means any bike I have is one of many of that model that were made, so I'm not painting over the Sistine Chapel if I diverge from ultimate originality.

So, I have bikes that are close to original, with only things like a longer seatpost and different saddle, so I can ride them, but otherwise only the disposables (chains, cables and housing, bar tape, tires) replaced, because that's what I want that bike to be. And I have bikes that are completely different from the way they came from the manufacturer, because THAT is what I want THAT bike to be. I even built up one bike just like the bike I lusted after back in 1995 when the frame was new, but then rebuilt it with modern components after a few months, because I didn't want the limitations the 1995 kit imposed on it. And now I'm going to use that same 1995 kit to build up a frame from 1997 which never came with that groupset, because I want to use it to build a period-appropriate if non-authentic bike.
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Old 05-15-24, 05:17 PM
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Same sentiment as most have opined. There might be a bike out there I would make original (I have one that is all original...Nishiki TriA...but that is only because I bought it as such and cleaned it up for the lounger challenge and just left it as is.), but mostly, I use what I have collected and have fun pulling my hair out until it works. Some are upgraded, some are downgraded, some are updated and some the original parts were unknown anyhow.

If I ride it and like it, it’s perfect!

Some are limited (spacing, brake attachment, wheel size), but whatever is fun to the owner, that’s what is right!
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Old 05-16-24, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
...plan to do some of my own brazing soon. I have a 73 Raleigh Competition rescue to practice brazing cable guides, bottle and shifter bosses.
Go for it. It's easier and cheaper than I expected. The silver solder costs a bit, but the MAPP torch and braze-on bits were cheap. The torch came with a 4' hose, 6' would be better.

Re: Resto-Mod, my 1971-ish Crescent 318 with a full Vitus 971 frame is getting a modern wheelset and Ultegra 2x11 mech/rim brake drivetrain. Moving the chainstay cable stop to the bottom side today. So, yeah.

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Old 05-16-24, 07:59 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'm also not made of money, so I'm not chasing ultra-rare and valuable bikes. This means any bike I have is one of many of that model that were made, so I'm not painting over the Sistine Chapel if I diverge from ultimate originality.

So, I have bikes that are close to original, with only things like a longer seatpost and different saddle, so I can ride them, but otherwise only the disposables (chains, cables and housing, bar tape, tires) replaced, because that's what I want that bike to be. And I have bikes that are completely different from the way they came from the manufacturer, because THAT is what I want THAT bike to be. I even built up one bike just like the bike I lusted after back in 1995 when the frame was new, but then rebuilt it with modern components after a few months, because I didn't want the limitations the 1995 kit imposed on it. And now I'm going to use that same 1995 kit to build up a frame from 1997 which never came with that groupset, because I want to use it to build a period-appropriate if non-authentic bike.
+1 ! ! I'm not preserving anything for future generations. The cosmos in truth doesn't GAF what I do with my bikes. Give a thought to the absolute bicycle abominations that you have seen and realize that to some degree anything can be viewed the same way. I may be repulsed by what some people do but I really don't have the time to care.
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Old 05-16-24, 08:59 AM
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Popcorn chomper topic and someone could turn this discussion into a philosophy doctoral thesis.

IMO - once you start hanging modern components on a vintage frame, it’s no longer vintage. Nothing wrong with it and I have seen many that are astonishing but the mojo is gone. Get a new frameset that is made like an old one (i.e. lugged) but designed for modern components since that seems to be what is desired.

As always, it’s your bike, do what you like.
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Old 05-16-24, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
Go for it. It's easier and cheaper than I expected. The silver solder costs a bit, but the MAPP torch and braze-on bits were cheap. The torch came with a 4' hose, 6' would be better.

Re: Resto-Mod, my 1971-ish Crescent 318 with a full Vitus 971 frame is getting a modern wheelset and Ultegra 2x11 mech/rim brake drivetrain. Moving the chainstay cable stop to the bottom side today. So, yeah.
Cool. I had 10s Ultegra on my 81 Medici when n=1. 11s must be even nicer. I’ve got a propane set up informed by Doug Fattic but with an oxygen tank that I have played with a little using bronze. You must be running cables under the BB and therefore moving the CS cable stop. I prefer the graceful curve from the top of the CS to the derailleur and have a some Campy BB guides and diver’s helmets.
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Old 05-16-24, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
You must be running cables under the BB and therefore moving the CS cable stop.
Yup.
I do like the Campy look, but it's not for this one.

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Old 05-16-24, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
The 1988 De Roisa Professional is not at all period correct. It has a mix of, again, Campagnolo parts mostly Record 10 speed. This is the only bike with a number of black parts because of the wheels that drove the 10-speed configuration due to their outrageous cost of $130 for complete wheels with 10 speed cassette (Campy) and Nemisis rims on Record hubs with black spokes except the red ones on either side of the valve.
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I love your De Rosa, gorgeous bike. I am thinking of adding one more bike to my stable either this year or next and a De Rosa is on my short list.
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Old 05-17-24, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames
Popcorn chomper topic and someone could turn this discussion into a philosophy doctoral thesis.

IMO - once you start hanging modern components on a vintage frame, it’s no longer vintage. Nothing wrong with it and I have seen many that are astonishing but the mojo is gone. Get a new frameset that is made like an old one (i.e. lugged) but designed for modern components since that seems to be what is desired.

As always, it’s your bike, do what you like.
Personal preferences aside, the idea that modern components diminish the vintage quality of a frame is baffling to me. The frame’s inherent character stays intact, regardless of the added components, enhancing the experience for those who value modern components with their added benefits.

Installing modern components on a vintage bicycle frame may alter your overall perception of the bike, yet its fundamental essence remains unchanged. If such alterations impact your enjoyment, then this approach might not suit you. However, it’s important to recognize that others may not share the same level of sensitivity in these matters.
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Old 05-17-24, 10:28 AM
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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.
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Old 05-17-24, 12:15 PM
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I've always been that "legacy" type person who finds the beauty and functionality in "vintage" stuff... When I first got into the "vintage" bike hobby- I didn't understand the concept of putting new components on an old bike. However, like novices and beginners- I didn't (and still don't) like having to take my hands off the bars to shift, and I think that was always a driving force in bicycle technology. That function overrode any stodgy purist sentiment regarding originality for me. I discovered Suntour Command Shifters- and they're the cat's pyjamas. Most of my bikes were from 1984-86 and I ended up doing them up as if someone "upgraded" them in like 1992 or something with Command Shifters and 6 speed Accushift. At some point I discovered the guy who machined indexing rings for Suntour shifters- and you could hack them to 10 speed SIS. That was the most amazing thing- 10 speed indexing Command Shifters. But I try to keep a "classic" aesthetic with any modern parts I'm using being polished silver- and try to refrain from any bulbous, swoopy, black or carbon parts. While it does sort of bother me when someone has a beautiful, quality vintage bike- and then they just plop on a modern Altus derailleur- at least the bike is getting ridden, and maybe they'll find something that suits the bike better. The one glaring exception has been Tektro RRL levers. Good golly I used to think those were ugly- I read someone describing the drilled RRLs as "a Millennial's idea of what a vintage brake lever looked like." But once you used them, you were hooked.

It's just me now, but I really no longer understand why someone would take a mass-produced bike that was built to meet a financial price point and spend far beyond the cost of the bike slavishly acquiring and putting the catalog stock components on it. Especially a "used" low/mid tier bike. I understand "the game" of it, but I guess the end goal is to make the best bike for you. Whether that means a marginally performing bike that's stock or an electrical swoopy bulbous carbon fiber billboard monstrosity that moves like the wind or anything in between.

Short story long... try to maintain the vintage aesthetic, use the good ****, don't modify the bike to the point where a screwdriver and wrench can't put it back to what it was.
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