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The Retrogrouch manifesto/function not bling

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The Retrogrouch manifesto/function not bling

Old 01-26-07, 02:53 PM
  #1  
SoreFeet
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The Retrogrouch manifesto/function not bling

I tried to get into cycling for recreation and fitness. All bike stores carried the same injection molded plastic bikes or aluminum/carbon cookie cutter garbage. All sizes of the bike were generic. No bike featured absurdly longish wheel bases. I'm talking about touring geometry! I bought a Schwinn Super Sport in top mechanical condition with a Shimano 600 Groupo and San Marco Leather covered saddle. It is a great bike made of low end Tenax tubing with a 4130 rear triangle. The bike has a long seat tube ans shortish top tube, great geometry for comfort and all day riding. It takes bigger tires than all the bike shops were selling. The vintage groupo shifted great. I once had an STI bike it was annoying. I didn't like knowing that the shifter could fail and would cost a lot to fix. It sickens me that modern bike shops will not support local brazers. The modern cycling industry is out to destroy the comfort of the average recreational cyclist. It's either a huge clunky hybrid comfort bike that is not at all very efficient or a bike that features uncomfortable race geometry. Having been experimenting with bikes some modern some vintage I have found that good bikes are often under appreciated. We can take the modern Rivendale cycles as an example. They are a complete rip off. A vintage Trek or other modest touring bike of the day can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost and do the same function. From a consumer perspective there is nothing more annoying than being told that the new technology is superior to the old. I am an avid fan of the mopar slant six engine. It is perhaps the best inline six ever made. What does that have to do with cycling? It is much like downtube or barcon shifters. They are old and primitive but tried tested and true. From a price point the consumer is getting screwed on all modern bikes because they are equipped with modern shifters. The tiny parts are not as cost effective to produce than barcons/or downtube shifters. All the features of a top racing bike are sold as needed to have an enjoyable cycling experience. The lack of comfortable road bike geometry today is an insult to the cyclists who want a practical recreational ride. What the consumer can have in modern bikes is either a racer or a dumbed down racer with generic components. The jerks at the bike shop are selling out to weight weenie culture. The bottom line is that I could have at least two vintage bikes in pristine working order for the price of one modern bike. Two bikes of different geometry and ride quality. When a friend inquires to you about bikes, take the time to educate them on the function and practicality of vintage bikes. Let them know that friction can offer a ton of gearing at the lowest possible price. Let them know that friction will not take them into clunky chainsuck like a finicky STI (yes I know STI/ERGO can be snappy and precise but when the go they really "F" up pretty bad. With a little patience a friction lever becomes a reliable companion. Let them know that there is a frame that can be built up with modern and vintage components at a fraction of the price. Let them know that a plastic saddle will not bring relief to the sits muscles. Let them know that you are their best friend and would be happy to help build a functional bike that will give reliable riding without discomfort. Most important let them know that they are a badass for riding on something that was not made in Asia. Hallelujah! The vintage revival must continue to discredit the snake oil salespeople of the modern bike shops. Support the recycling co-ops if you have them. Don't be ripped off by arrogant jerks who rely on marketers to tell them how a bike ought to be. And most important of all...forget the light fast bikes, slow down, enjoy the scenery, reduce the risk of heart disease and if your lucky find a beautiful companion who loves to ride. Oh and I forgot to mention that if they are tired of all the BS there is a fixed gear. Off I go on to 42/17 nirvana.
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Old 01-26-07, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SoreFeet
I tried to get into cycling for recreation and fitness. All bike stores carried the same injection molded plastic bikes or aluminum/carbon cookie cutter garbage. All sizes of the bike were generic. No bike featured absurdly longish wheel bases. I'm talking about touring geometry! I bought a Schwinn Super Sport in top mechanical condition with a Shimano 600 Groupo and San Marco Leather covered saddle. It is a great bike made of low end Tenax tubing with a 4130 rear triangle. The bike has a long seat tube ans shortish top tube, great geometry for comfort and all day riding. It takes bigger tires than all the bike shops were selling. The vintage groupo shifted great. I once had an STI bike it was annoying. I didn't like knowing that the shifter could fail and would cost a lot to fix. It sickens me that modern bike shops will not support local brazers. The modern cycling industry is out to destroy the comfort of the average recreational cyclist. It's either a huge clunky hybrid comfort bike that is not at all very efficient or a bike that features uncomfortable race geometry. Having been experimenting with bikes some modern some vintage I have found that good bikes are often under appreciated. We can take the modern Rivendale cycles as an example. They are a complete rip off. A vintage Trek or other modest touring bike of the day can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost and do the same function. From a consumer perspective there is nothing more annoying than being told that the new technology is superior to the old. I am an avid fan of the mopar slant six engine. It is perhaps the best inline six ever made. What does that have to do with cycling? It is much like downtube or barcon shifters. They are old and primitive but tried tested and true. From a price point the consumer is getting screwed on all modern bikes because they are equipped with modern shifters. The tiny parts are not as cost effective to produce than barcons/or downtube shifters. All the features of a top racing bike are sold as needed to have an enjoyable cycling experience. The lack of comfortable road bike geometry today is an insult to the cyclists who want a practical recreational ride. What the consumer can have in modern bikes is either a racer or a dumbed down racer with generic components. The jerks at the bike shop are selling out to weight weenie culture. The bottom line is that I could have at least two vintage bikes in pristine working order for the price of one modern bike. Two bikes of different geometry and ride quality. When a friend inquires to you about bikes, take the time to educate them on the function and practicality of vintage bikes. Let them know that friction can offer a ton of gearing at the lowest possible price. Let them know that friction will not take them into clunky chainsuck like a finicky STI (yes I know STI/ERGO can be snappy and precise but when the go they really "F" up pretty bad. With a little patience a friction lever becomes a reliable companion. Let them know that there is a frame that can be built up with modern and vintage components at a fraction of the price. Let them know that a plastic saddle will not bring relief to the sits muscles. Let them know that you are their best friend and would be happy to help build a functional bike that will give reliable riding without discomfort. Most important let them know that they are a badass for riding on something that was not made in Asia. Hallelujah! The vintage revival must continue to discredit the snake oil salespeople of the modern bike shops. Support the recycling co-ops if you have them. Don't be ripped off by arrogant jerks who rely on marketers to tell them how a bike ought to be. And most important of all...forget the light fast bikes, slow down, enjoy the scenery, reduce the risk of heart disease and if your lucky find a beautiful companion who loves to ride. Oh and I forgot to mention that if they are tired of all the BS there is a fixed gear. Off I go on to 42/17 nirvana.
If you are seeking a non race geometry in a road bike, try a Giant OCR or a Trek Pilot. BTW, are you sure that Super Sport of yours didn't come from Asia?
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Old 01-26-07, 03:08 PM
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Wow - that's quite a rant......

There are plenty of modern, comfortable bikes around. The Giant OCR and Trek Pilot have already been mentioned, and there are others.
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Old 01-26-07, 05:24 PM
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I like the part about how you can buy two bike for the price of a modern weight weenie bike....I hate to disappoint anyone...but I probably bought 4 or 5 vintage bikes for what one modern CF bike costs I can appreciate the modern technology, but much prefer the older stuff. My absolute newest ride is a 2003 Staiger City Bike. My favorite ride is a 1972 Raleigh Superbe.

Aaron
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Old 01-26-07, 05:33 PM
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Have you tried the Bianchi Eros?
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Old 01-26-07, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
I like the part about how you can buy two bike for the price of a modern weight weenie bike....I hate to disappoint anyone...but I probably bought 4 or 5 vintage bikes for what one modern CF bike costs I can appreciate the modern technology, but much prefer the older stuff. My absolute newest ride is a 2003 Staiger City Bike. My favorite ride is a 1972 Raleigh Superbe.

Aaron
I'm right there with you on that!

My "newest" ride is an '04 Greenspeed GTX (a recumbent trike) Retails for about $7,500.
Bought it with 82 miles on the odometer for $2,000.
My "newest" diamond frame ride is an '84 Colnago w/Super Record. And my favorite DF ride is a '69 Clive Stuart. At least until I get the Merlin Racing Cycles frame built up!

Let's see;
$450 Ross Mount Hood traded for the Colnago.
$600 for Rock Lobster #13 (ALL Campy SR!)
$175 for the Clive
$200 for a very early Ritchey road bike w/Nuovo Record
$600 for the Merlin (estimate for the frame & build)
$2025 TOTAL

What kind of cheesy carbon bike could I get for 2 grand? Maybe a frame, and certainly not Campy equipped!

And nothing anywhere neeear as special as any ONE of the above mentioned bikes!

VINTAGE BIKES RULE!!!!
 
Old 01-26-07, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
I like the part about how you can buy two bike for the price of a modern weight weenie bike....I hate to disappoint anyone...but I probably bought 4 or 5 vintage bikes for what one modern CF bike costs
Heck, all the bikes I own cost less combined than one modern weight weenie bike.
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Old 01-26-07, 06:39 PM
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I don't disagree with what you're saying, but there are some "modern" bikes that
fit the bill in terms of Geometry, check the Lemonds they have longer top tubes.
I'm not such a retrogrouch that I don't appreciate brifters (hell I can even use the
term without cringing)
one other point, paragraphs are your friend, makes it a bit easier to read.

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Old 01-26-07, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lotek
one other point, paragraphs are your friend, makes it a bit easier to read.
I didn't want to say anything, but readnig that run-on hurt my eyes.
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Old 01-26-07, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lotek
one other point, paragraphs are your friend, makes it a bit easier to read.
+1. You lost me at the second sentence. Also, if you want retro-bling, look at the hubs I picked up from Sammyboy .
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Old 01-26-07, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
I like the part about how you can buy two bike for the price of a modern weight weenie bike....I hate to disappoint anyone...but I probably bought 4 or 5 vintage bikes for what one modern CF bike costs I can appreciate the modern technology, but much prefer the older stuff. My absolute newest ride is a 2003 Staiger City Bike. My favorite ride is a 1972 Raleigh Superbe.

Aaron
Hmmn, you got me thinking on that:

'69 Magneet Sprint: Free, plus the parts that originally appeared on the '64 Raleigh Gran Sport, $100.00
'71 Gitane Tour de France: $75.00 purchase, $35.00 afterwards, total $110.00
'86 Raleigh Seneca: $10.00 purchase, $80.00 chain, tyres, cyclometer, rack, total $90.00
'88 Rossin RL: free, $250.00 in upgrades, going to all 7400 Dura Ace, total $250.00
'03 Fuji Finest: frame cost $75.00, spent about $400.00 on 9-speed Ultegra, sew up wheels, total $475.00
'04 Schwinn mtb (kept at work, lunch time runner): free, $8.00 chain, total $8.00

Grand total: $1033.00

New, that'll buy me a bike that's about one and a half steps from the bottom, aluminum frame, Shimano 105 derailleurs, Truvative crankset, and nothing exciting at all. I figure, for six bikes, I've spent 2/3rds what I'd consider acceptable if I insisted on going new. Note: this calculation only figures on the two tyres each bike rides on (spare sew-ups are a separate cost center) and if I already had wheels, etc. available on the shelf, that's considered free (my spare parts collection is figured in with the spare tyres).

Viva vintage bikes!

And yeah, when you're going to do a long rant, break it into paragraphs and put a line in between each paragraph. A long run-on like that is REAL hard to read.
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Old 01-26-07, 07:55 PM
  #12  
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Today I built:

Fixie mtb based on an original model Schwinn mesa runner (back in the way back, even MTBs had horizontals). Total cost.... $6 for tape. I even had ritchieslick 1.4" tires lying around.

Lotus 2000R converted to 3 speed coaster brake- I live in flatland and an old 33c hub makes things fast and fun and simple. It's got second hand mustache bars and the total cost is.... $0

My wife's interim road tourer- a '77 Sekai Sprint 1000. All done up with parts from our bike co op (shere I volunteer for pickins). MY wife's first roadie, first friction, and she loves it. Cost.... nada. (okay, I spent most of a 4 hour shift working on the parts.)

I've got some others, total spent on bikes in the past year is under $200, and all of that is tape, chains, tires, and bearings.

I've tested all the $400-$800 bikes at the bikes shops, and a few of the $1500 ones. My KHS tourer is smoother than all but this one fuji. My 3 speed bombers are snappier than all the city bikes, period.

New bikes are great! i LOVE NEW BIKES. Every time someone buys one I get more free parts
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Old 01-26-07, 08:10 PM
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To me bling is a huge chrome pie plate on a 25 year old Schwinn road bike....
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Old 01-26-07, 08:11 PM
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I may have to go back and reprice my stable...might be more like 10 or 20 bikes for the price of a new one My biggest problem is that I have to buy most of my parts. Decent quality parts bikes do not exist where I live. A good score for me at the thrift shop is a complete Huffy 3 speed or a Taiwan built Schwinn Collegiate. It has been so long since I have seen anything other than a Next brand I am beginning to believe that Walmart has taken over the bicycling world....

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Old 01-26-07, 08:35 PM
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One nice thing about loving old bikes is that it is much easier to buy and sell them. Cheaper to buy, easier to sell with less (or no) depreciation. You can change bikes as often as you change, um, socks or underwear, depending on your personal habits.

Plus it is a lot more FUN!
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Old 01-26-07, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
One nice thing about loving old bikes is that it is much easier to buy and sell them. Cheaper to buy, easier to sell with less (or no) depreciation. You can change bikes as often as you change, um, socks or underwear, depending on your personal habits.

Plus it is a lot more FUN!
You have two Paramounts and a Raleigh Pro. Why would you ever want to change bikes?
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Old 01-26-07, 09:13 PM
  #17  
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They are called paragraphs

Learn how to use them.

Then maybe I could read your whole post.

Even though it seemed pretty misguided and boring from the first few sentences.

Anyway, the world is full of good used bicycles from all eras. And even though modern bicycles are actually a lot better and more economical there's no shortage of great old rides for everybody's taste. You just might have to look beyond your local bike store.

As "for function not bling". I love old bikes for the bling, love new bikes for the function.
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Old 01-26-07, 09:19 PM
  #18  
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Hey, man, try some Decaf. I agree with some of what you're saying, but new ultra-modern bikes have their place.

BTW, the main bike i'm riding tight now is a 85 schwinn world tourist, 10 bucks. Love it.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:10 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
One nice thing about loving old bikes is that it is much easier to buy and sell them. Cheaper to buy, easier to sell with less (or no) depreciation. You can change bikes as often as you change, um, socks or underwear, depending on your personal habits.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:39 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by dijos
I agree with some of what you're saying, but new ultra-modern bikes have their place.
Yep, under the butt of someone with more money than taste. My newest road bike is I beleive 85, or is it 86? How do you date a Maruishi? I love vintage bikes, the new stuff just seems so cookie cutter and antiseptic!,,,,BD
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Old 01-27-07, 01:27 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
My newest road bike is I beleive 85, or is it 86? How do you date a Maruishi?
Throw me a serial number, BD. I know mine is an '87, based on former component and dropout date codes.
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Old 01-27-07, 06:10 AM
  #22  
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Let me, too climb on the bandwagon, and beat the paragraphs drum!
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Old 01-27-07, 07:25 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Stacey
Let me, too climb on the bandwagon, and beat the paragraphs drum!
Paragraph breaks are fine, but that assumes someone has something to say. Let me put in a good word for conciseness!

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Old 01-27-07, 09:06 AM
  #24  
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Gee, I always thought bling was was a non-functional feature - pure eye candy. If anything, the vintage steel bikes are the bling bicycles, with their fancy cut lugs and chrome lugs, forks and stays. And all that engraving on those highly desirable Camapgnolo Nuovo Record and Shimano 600 Arabesque derailleurs is pure bling. And then there are the fancy cutouts in lugs, stay caps, fork crowns and bottom brackets that the C&V crowd find so appealing.

I find that modern bicycles have less bling than the vintage models. The vast majority of those modern technological innovations add true value, in my opinion.

As for bicycles with a relaxed, touring geometry, there are literally dozens out there, you just have to look. Some other posters, have cited some excellent examples.

The bottom line is that there is a certain consumer that bling appeals to. It has always been there. Always will be. I can appreciate the appeal of both pure function and bling, whether it is modern or vintage. I guess I'm in the minority.
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Old 01-27-07, 09:09 AM
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Yeah "I hate new bikes mainly out of ignorance" would have been a much more concise way to say the same thing, and wouldn't have required any paragraph breaks.

As for the assertion that there are no modern bikes with touring geometry, there are plenty. They call them touring bikes. You might have to look in more than one bike shop. If you want a new bike, but hate STI, sell your STIs and put on barcons. You'll come out $ ahead.
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