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The Retrogrouch manifesto/function not bling

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The Retrogrouch manifesto/function not bling

Old 01-27-07, 10:07 AM
  #26  
Dr.Deltron
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
Gee, I always thought bling was was a non-functional feature - pure eye candy.
That's been my specialty for the past couple of decades!

Maybe I should advertise my services as "Pure Bling!"

Very expensive with no real function, except to be..."Eye Candy"!

But it's the only bike accessory that you can custom design yourself, and works with all components on any type of bike.

You want "bling"? PM me!
 
Old 01-27-07, 10:52 AM
  #27  
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Retrogrouch did state that this was a manifesto.
Is not a manafesto a 3rd world,political tirade,where the sentences all seem to run together?
I think Retro is exercising his right to creative expression to portray his point and should be excused from grammar protocal.
He,s correct,current road bikes generally are designed for the intense race rand manufacturers have lost sight of reality in design and pricing.
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Old 01-27-07, 10:54 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by John E
You have two Paramounts and a Raleigh Pro. Why would you ever want to change bikes?
You never know, just keeping the options open. One thing is for sure, as long as I am drawing breath, that chrome Paramount is MINE!

I would like a P-10 Paramount and I'd replace my painted one, a P-13 that has had braze ons added to it if one ever came my way. Maybe....
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Old 01-27-07, 01:58 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by spry
I think Retro .......should be excused from grammar protocal......
So then - are we to stand idly by and watch civilization crumble?
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Old 01-27-07, 04:12 PM
  #30  
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That post gave me a headache. It was a run-on hard to read rant that was full of contradictions.
Other than that it was great..........................
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Old 01-27-07, 08:53 PM
  #31  
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Here's the truth (with paragraphs)

The following essey is titled "The Golden Age", and is written by Maynard Hershon.

You hear guys claim they remember “better
days” in road cycling. There were no better
days. Today is the best day.

We never had the choices we have, several
fine alternatives for every consumer decision,
whether products or services. We’ve never had
the convenience we have now.

Examples? Back in the ’70s you could buy a
titanium frame. You still can. But the worst Ti
frame you can buy today is worlds better than
anything you could have bought then. No
comparison.

And although the ’70s were the so-called
heyday of lugged steel frames, you can buy a
better lugged steel frame now than you could’ve
then. Frames from many of today’s builders are
finer, more fussed-over and better finished than
anything Cinelli, Hetchins, Singer or Confente
ever produced.

Today you can also buy aluminum or carbon
fiber frames. You can buy aluminum frames with
carbon stays. You can buy composite aluminum
frames that won’t behave the way aluminum
frames are reputed to behave.

No doors are closed. If you still believe steel is
real, buy steel. Buy whatever you want, go for a
ride, then explain to me why the “old days” were
superior.

You say you miss the oneness you used to
feel with your bike when friction held your bike in
gear? Buy an old parts group, new in the box.
Buy used parts. Or buy a 9- or 10-speed group
or Mavic’s electronic Mektronic shifting. You’ve
never had so many options.

In the ’70s, you leaned over a sink and hand-
washed your wool cycling clothing. That stuff
took hours to dry, hanging on a line. It shrank
anyway. Shorts rode up, arm and leg warmers
fell down. There was no woman-specific
clothing.

No bike clothing had style. Style was inauthen-
tic; no one wanted it. Did Fausto Coppi’s
clothing have style? Hell no.

Today, all bicycle clothing is easy to wash.
Almost all of it can be machine dried without
shortening the life of the garment. You can buy
jerseys and shorts made to fit women. You can
buy comfortable, stylish, long-wearing clothing
at a wide range of price levels.

If you still want to wear what you wore in the
’70s, embroidered wool jerseys with front
(chicken-leg) pockets, you can do so. Niche
clothing marketers will cater to your every wooly
whim.

Seventies shoes were pointy-toed Italian
things that fit only this one guy in Venice who’d
already quit riding. Unless you had cheap,
crummy Detto Pietros or expensive Sidis, you
paid an impatient shoe repairman to nail cleats
to your shoe soles, then re-nail them and RE-re-
nail them, glaring at you all the while.

There was as much to know about shoes then
as there is to know about Windows today — but
no one would pay you to learn it. Knowing it
didn’t guarantee you foot comfort, either. You
suffered anyway.

Crummy, inaccurate cyclometers clicked every
time the front wheel revolved. You couldn’t
mount some tires onto some rims without brute
force. Or the tires went on easily, then blew off
the rims when you parked your bike in direct
sunlight.

Don’t get me started about saddles. If you
want a ’70s seat for some perverse reason, you
can still buy one. Or you can choose from 100s
of current designs.

In the old days, we were encouraged to
dismantle our bikes frequently for maintenance,
sometimes at ludicrous, compulsive-obsessive
intervals.

We used to have to remove inner brake
cables once a year and smear grease on them
to keep them from rusting inside the housings.
Now we have nylon-lined housing and rust-proof
cables. No fuss.

Back then, you had to maintain top-level parts
nearly as often as cheap ones. Cheap parts
were dramatically inferior to today’s cheap
pieces, some of which work as well and last
nearly as long as today’s best stuff.

You can still fuss if you want, dismantling,
grease-packing and hand-washing, but you
don’t have to. We’re free at last.

Today you can take organized, professional
cycling tours all over the world. You can pick
and choose your tour company; there are
dozens. You can choose from dozens of cycling
training camps all over the world: Florida,
Majorca, Tuscany, Colorado, California...

You can read hundreds of books about
cycling. You can watch hundreds of videos. You
can learn about cycling on-line. You can read
dozens of cycling periodicals, many of them
free.

You can learn more in an hour than you
could’ve reading 12 issues of Bicycling Maga-
zine or Bike World in 1978.

Cycling is no longer a cult of true believers
and freaks. There’s no initiation, no hazing. You
don’t have to be a mechanic or wear geeky
clothes. You don’t have to speak French or be
an expert in the care and preservation of wool
and leather.

Cycling today does not demand a life
commitment. It’s fun for nearly everyone.
I’m not saying everything about road cycling is
fun. Sharing the road with cars is not fun; not
often anyway, but it never was.

Dealing with self-absorbed bike shop
employees is not fun, but you can choose
among shops or buy mail-order or on-line from
some pretty cool outfits. You have alternatives.
In the ’70s, if you were lucky you had one
good local shop. If they liked you, meaning if
you passed their mysterious coolness tests, you
were in. If, for whatever reason, you did not
pass - you were out in the cold. Not fun.

It surely wouldn’t have been fun if you were a
woman, and not a racer. There was no Olympic
road race for women until 1984, remember.
Many old school cyclists and coaches failed to
appreciate females who rode.

Shops today are used to women customers.
The employees aren’t all adept at helping them
but at least they aren’t blown away when a
woman walks into the store...or a guy whose
legs aren’t shaved or who asks uninformed
questions.

The retail environment isn’t perfect, but it’s not
the old boys’ club it was.

Bike clubs are better. The racer/tourist splits in
many clubs have healed. As the average age of
club cyclists rises, perhaps fewer are as hard-
core as they were. Clubs have graded rides and
clubs-within-clubs.

The ’70s are gone, but you can act as if they
aren’t. You can wear wool shorts or a leather
hairnet-style “helmet.” You can hang out with
guys who know part numbers for Campag pump
hangers.

You can learn French and read L’Equipe. You
can choose clips ‘n straps and spoked, handbuilt
wheels. You can shift clicklessly and let your
brake cables wave in the wind.

Unlike the ’70s, you don’t have to if you don’t
want to.

Most significantly, you can’t go for a ride in the
’70s. You CAN go for a ride today. Today’s the
best day.
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Old 01-27-07, 09:38 PM
  #32  
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Dealing with self-absorbed bike shop
employees is not fun, but you can choose
among shops or buy mail-order or on-line from
some pretty cool outfits.
I have to agree with this one!

Don’t get me started about saddles. If you
want a ’70s seat for some perverse reason, you
can still buy one. Or you can choose from 100s
of current designs.
None of which are as comfortable as a Brooks, IMHO.

Some good points there, some so-so. Did make me think a bit.
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Old 01-27-07, 10:33 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Otis
The following essey is titled "The Golden Age", and is written by Maynard Hershon....
Maynard either suffers from selective memory, or wasn't a cyclist in the 70's. He does have some valid points, but he is definitely exaggerating the downsides of cycling in the 70's. It's a shame that his exaggeration damages his credibility.
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Old 01-27-07, 10:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
Maynard either suffers from selective memory, or wasn't a cyclist in the 70's. He does have some valid points, but he is definitely exaggerating the downsides of cycling in the 70's. It's a shame that his exaggeration damages his credibility.
You might not know who he is, but he's got lots of credibility in the two-wheeled world (human powered and motorized) and was there. Regardless, the point he is making is "CHOICE". To me it's the end all to the carping about all this old vs. new BS. I guess not everybody can get a handle on that though.
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Old 01-28-07, 05:55 AM
  #35  
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Choice is there....

Like the choice of having to buy a frame that's significantly too small, because everyone and their mistress is riding with their handlebars eight inches below the saddle and "that's what everyone rides these days".

"Oh, you're not a racer, sir...then you'll be after a hybrid", um....no, I'm after a bicycle that's as comfortable going fast as it is slow, that wouldn't make a fine substitute for an anchor on a seagoing vessel, perhaps with the capability of fitting full size mudguards and slightly bigger tyres, if need be. Now what did they used to be called, lightweights, perhaps?.

"Sorry, sir, we only sell poorly fitting bicycles for sunny weather and the odd boat anchor".

Choice, indeed.
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Old 01-28-07, 07:09 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by highlyselassie
Choice is there....

Like the choice of having to buy a frame that's significantly too small, because everyone and their mistress is riding with their handlebars eight inches below the saddle and "that's what everyone rides these days".

"Oh, you're not a racer, sir...then you'll be after a hybrid", um....no, I'm after a bicycle that's as comfortable going fast as it is slow, that wouldn't make a fine substitute for an anchor on a seagoing vessel, perhaps with the capability of fitting full size mudguards and slightly bigger tyres, if need be. Now what did they used to be called, lightweights, perhaps?.

"Sorry, sir, we only sell poorly fitting bicycles for sunny weather and the odd boat anchor".

Choice, indeed.
Why would you "have to buy a frame too small for you? Bike manufactureres make their product in a multitude of sizes and geometries. You are not looking very hard at all.
You have many more choices in sizing than you had back in the day. If others ride bikes to small for them, doesn't mean you have to.
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Old 01-28-07, 07:11 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Otis
The following essey is titled "The Golden Age", and is written by Maynard Hershon.

You hear guys claim they remember “better
days” in road cycling. There were no better
days. Today is the best day.

Cycling is no longer a cult of true believers
and freaks. There’s no initiation, no hazing.

It surely wouldn’t have been fun if you were a
woman, and not a racer. There was no Olympic
road race for women until 1984, remember.
Many old school cyclists and coaches failed to
appreciate females who rode.

Shops today are used to women customers.
The employees aren’t all adept at helping them
but at least they aren’t blown away when a
woman walks into the store...or a guy whose
legs aren’t shaved or who asks uninformed
questions.

The retail environment isn’t perfect, but it’s not
the old boys’ club it was.

You CAN go for a ride today. Today’s the best day.
Don't kid yourself.

Today is still not that pleasant for a woman who wants to go cycling. There is hazing of women, and disrespect for women. All you need to do is look at some of the threads in other forums, right here at BF.

Or, for a different perspective:

https://www.cyclingforums.com/t350478.html

Women are still treated as if they are sex objects, existing only to sell cycling equipment to men.

This forum is one of the few places where I have not been treated shabbily just because I am a woman. It's inescapable even in the 50+ forum.

Having said that, it's still better than it was. There's still a long way to go. But today is still the best day to go for a ride.

East Hill
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Old 01-28-07, 07:33 AM
  #38  
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I like sorefeetz rant !
The unwarranted grammar critisisms are sort of a
huge metaphysical exclamation point to his point!!!!


I agree with almost everything he says too.......
With no apologies I hate anything that clicks, 'brifters' ( Did I see some topical cream
in Rite Aid made to cure this ??), plastic bikes, NASCAR paint jobs, etc......
I wouldnt even try to waste time defending my ignorant predjudices either !
After a nite of wrenching(? ) on my commuter bike, installing a huge lowrider
mirror, a softer leopard print seat cover and fine tuning and cleaning up the '85 era
junque Schwinn MTB bars I put on, then reading a 5 page thread over in the Roadie
forum discussing whether a CF bike that FELL OVER, NOT MOVING and got damaged
should be warranteed, only reinforces my state of happy, self-induced myopia.
Rant on Sore Feet, I feel yer pain !!
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Old 01-28-07, 08:08 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by crazyb
Why would you "have to buy a frame too small for you? Bike manufactureres make their product in a multitude of sizes and geometries. You are not looking very hard at all.
You have many more choices in sizing than you had back in the day. If others ride bikes to small for them, doesn't mean you have to.
That's quite a presumptious response, finding a 25 inch frame is quite hard enough, thank you very much. Then getting a salesperson that'll not try sell you a 22" once you've found that elusive 25" is a battle in itself.

Point being that a large proportion of riders are on frames that are too small for them, due to the fallacy that every road bike is actually a racing bike.
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Old 01-28-07, 09:31 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by highlyselassie
That's quite a presumptious response, finding a 25 inch frame is quite hard enough, thank you very much. Then getting a salesperson that'll not try sell you a 22" once you've found that elusive 25" is a battle in itself.

Point being that a large proportion of riders are on frames that are too small for them, due to the fallacy that every road bike is actually a racing bike.
Just did a quick check on several bike company websites; Trek has 63cm (25") from entry level on up, Giant has an x-large frame which easily covers 63cm in a standard geometry, Lemond has 61cm (24"), Specalized has 61cm also. It may be that your LBS is trying to sell you what they stock, not what will fit your needs. If you want a 61 to 63 cm frame they are readily available from manufacturers, just maybe not what the store you have been going to wants to stock.
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Old 01-28-07, 10:07 AM
  #41  
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Prejudice is dumb. I love old bikes, but that doesn't make me myopic about new bikes.

If you can't find one to fit you, you aren't trying very hard. If you like your bars higher than is the current fashion, new framesets come with a mile of steerer. Order one from your LBS, and instruct them to cut the steerer nice and long, and/or use a positive rise stem in whatever length gives you the reach that you want. If in the end, having such a long steerer or a positive rise stem offends your fashion sensibilities, don't blame the entire cycling industry for your antiquated tastes. Just buy a retrogrouch bike from Rivendell, Kogswell, or any of a number of custom builders, or buy a used bike.

All throughout my life my tastes have deviated from the norm. It's always a little harder to find the stuff you like if your tastes are outside the status quo, but is sure as hell isn't that hard to find old bikes, they are coming out of the woodwork. If money is not an object, new bikes that look like old bikes (only better) are also easily obtained. If you want a brand new off-the-peg lugged frame with classic geometry? I'm sure the members of this forum could point you towards several choices. If you are interested in commissioning a custom frame, the sky is the limit, you can have whatever you want, but you will wait, and pay for it. If you want to walk into any random bike shop in the land, and buy a bike that looks like it came out of the 1974 Raleigh catalog, you are seriously deluded. Styles change. Retailers stock what sells. Deal with it.

Oh P.S. If you're finding bikes aren't as comfortable as they were 30 years ago, you might want to consider that it's not the bikes that have changed so much in the intervening years. Maybe it's easier to blame the bikes than to admit you're getting old.

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Old 01-28-07, 10:16 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by crazyb
Just did a quick check on several bike company websites; Trek has 63cm (25") from entry level on up, Giant has an x-large frame which easily covers 63cm in a standard geometry, Lemond has 61cm (24"), Specalized has 61cm also. It may be that your LBS is trying to sell you what they stock, not what will fit your needs. If you want a 61 to 63 cm frame they are readily available from manufacturers, just maybe not what the store you have been going to wants to stock.
Are they readily available from manufacturers? I think not, in many cases the larger frames are in very short supply. On more than one occasion I attempted to get a large frame bike only to be told they were all sold out for the season...try again next year. When a "manufacturer" decides to sell say a tour bike, they determine how many of each size they are going to order based on previous sales, market surveys and black magic Then they order their bikes for that year, if the big frame sizes happen to sell out early you are screwed. The REI Novara line is famous for this.

I know for a fact that they underestimated the popularity of the Redline 9.2.5 for 2006 and it was pretty much completely sold out by June 2006. On the flip side if you have a decent LBS, which I do, they will look out for you. Back in the early 90's I wanted a Giant Excursion but didn't really have the $990 to spend right then. About a year later my LBS asked if I still wanted one at a very deep discount. Seems that the wholesaler still had a couple left in the tall frame size and I got it for more than 50% off. Look at the scarcity of 23" sized Raleigh Sports and Superbes, they even made a 25" at one time and I have NEVER seen one.

Aaron
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Old 01-28-07, 10:40 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
Are they readily available from manufacturers? I think not, in many cases the larger frames are in very short supply. On more than one occasion I attempted to get a large frame bike only to be told they were all sold out for the season...try again next year. When a "manufacturer" decides to sell say a tour bike, they determine how many of each size they are going to order based on previous sales, market surveys and black magic Then they order their bikes for that year, if the big frame sizes happen to sell out early you are screwed. The REI Novara line is famous for this.

I know for a fact that they underestimated the popularity of the Redline 9.2.5 for 2006 and it was pretty much completely sold out by June 2006. On the flip side if you have a decent LBS, which I do, they will look out for you. Back in the early 90's I wanted a Giant Excursion but didn't really have the $990 to spend right then. About a year later my LBS asked if I still wanted one at a very deep discount. Seems that the wholesaler still had a couple left in the tall frame size and I got it for more than 50% off. Look at the scarcity of 23" sized Raleigh Sports and Superbes, they even made a 25" at one time and I have NEVER seen one.

Aaron
I'll agree with you that x-large or x-small frames are not as available as medium size frames, due to what is sold most, and it may be tough to find a particular make or color etc. But I would be highly surprized if a good LBS couldn't find a 60 to 63 cm frame. The one where I live stocks 60 cm. I would still believe that there is more available to the consumer in large sizes now than 25 years ago, even though the trend is towards smaller frames.
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Old 01-28-07, 10:53 AM
  #44  
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A bike shop might sit on an extra large frame for a long time, so from a business perspective they order fewer of them. It's a pain in the ass if you need that size, but the flipside is when you find one, it may very well be discounted because it's been sitting in stock for too long.
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Old 01-28-07, 10:54 AM
  #45  
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I don't disagree with a lot of what you wrote, rather the "my way is the only way" tone that you take. And since the sole purpose of this commentary is to inspire defensive reaction, I suggest you edit it to make it easier to read and toss it into the road forum - where you are sure to get the responses you seek.

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Old 01-28-07, 10:55 AM
  #46  
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I'm not aware of any time-period when really tall (>61cm) frames were readily available. I know when a tall good or better quality frame pops up on eBay they draw a handful of dedicated bidders.

Otis' reprint scores it's best point at the end. There is choice today. You can easily go full modern, full retro or (like many I suspect) find that happy equilibrium.

I for one will never sing the praises of old shoes and clips/straps. Yes the old "slipper" style shoe looked, still looks really, way cool but with wide feet I was condemned to a month or more of stretching leather to make them bearable, comfort was a never realized nirvana.

And, oh, the joy of tight straps and toe clips hitting the top of your already cramped foot.

So yes today ain't bad at all. I've got a '70s Motobecane to fulfill the desire from my teenage years and a modern, albeit steel, LeMond too. What's to knock?



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Old 01-28-07, 11:00 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Otis
You might not know who he is, but he's got lots of credibility in the two-wheeled world (human powered and motorized) and was there. Regardless, the point he is making is "CHOICE". To me it's the end all to the carping about all this old vs. new BS. I guess not everybody can get a handle on that though.
Whatever. If you'll look at other posts I've made in this forum over the past few days, I think you'll see I'm not a dogmatic Luddite. I just have a hard time taking anything at face value from someone who offers such a one-sided slant when comparing old to new. He makes it sound like anything made more than 20 years ago is crap - which simply isn't the case.
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Old 01-28-07, 11:05 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
I suggest you edit it to make it easier to read and toss it into the road forum - where you are sure to get the responses you seek.

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PLEASE !! There is 4" of new snow here....this would be a great way to resurect a
dismal day
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Old 01-28-07, 11:59 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
So then - are we to stand idly by and watch civilization crumble?
Yes! We must be grammarically correct.

(that's a joke, people--I know there's no such word as 'grammarically'...)

And GBPem in Pa needs something to do, he's got four inches of new snow .

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Old 01-28-07, 12:09 PM
  #50  
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My word, what a lot of whining! I don't specially like new bikes, but that's ok, I can just buy old ones, as can anyone who buys a bike. Markets are driven by what cyclists want to buy, end of story. I'd also take issue, however, with the idea that todays steel frames are worlds better than older ones. That's just crap. They're just as good, but the best new frames are not better, more finely crafted, or more fussed over than the best old ones. If they are, I'd like to see some sort of evidence presented.

In terms of cheap, well.....

Gazelle Trim Trophy - £25
Raleigh Royal - £22
Raleigh Gran Sport - £65, + £30 parts - £95
EG Bates track bike - £220
Chrome single speed - £80
HR Bates BAR - £150
Falcon Westminster - Free
Nigel Dean fixed gear - £70 for the complete build

Total, £672. Buys one respectable new bike, but nothing fancy. And, in reality, because of all the things I sold, I actually got all these for nothing, and made some profit too.

The truth of it is, for me, I like old things. I like the way the look, and the way they feel. I love classic cars, I write for a classic car mag, but I'm not going to pretend that a Maserati A6GCS is going to be better for my high mileage account management job than a Toyota that starts first touch every time, uses no oil, needs servicing only once a year etc etc etc. That'll never stop me loving Maseratis more than Toyotas, but lets not pretend things don't have their place!
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