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Is it an old boy's club?

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Is it an old boy's club?

Old 05-18-14, 03:44 PM
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uncle uncle
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Is it an old boy's club?

I live in a metro area (population 380,000) yet there are only a handful of people I know who are interested in or collect old bikes (I'm talking road or mountain, not cruisers). Almost all are 50+ years in age. In fact, I know only one guy, who is in his early 30's (I think), that has more than one vintage bike (he has two, a road and a mtb). If you have 3 or more bikes (aka a collection of bikes) and are at least a half century in age, do you know younger people interested in the hobby? If you're younger, what brought you into the hobby? Share your story.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:10 PM
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yes, I'm significantly younger. What brought me in was a desire to keep fit and ride more, but balking at the price of new road bikes. I bought a few old ones and started wrenching on them, and as a noob, was swamped with questions. Found a helpful crowd here. What kept me in and on the forums is a general love for old gunk and pretty objects. I got quite a few friends wo like to bike, most on nice steel bikes, even a couple that seem to attract an ever growing pile of bikes, like me I do think gathering around a few greasy vehicles and a bunch of tools with beer is a thing humans of all ages can like a lot.

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Old 05-18-14, 04:11 PM
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I think most people - especially men - tend to gravitate towards the stuff they admired when they were young. I see the same thing with classic cars: they often are of the same age as their owners.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:16 PM
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We have quite a few youngsters in C&V. I'm one of them, and I'm only 65. Some are much younger.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:16 PM
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I always wanted cars that were older than me (I was born in the 1960's, learn to drive in the early 80's). Think sixties and seventies muscle cars. I always wonder if part of the fixie crowd decided to put the derailleurs back on their bikes.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:19 PM
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I think it's safe to say that most of us are getting on in years. I base that on the crowds I see at the shows and swap meets. Bear in mind, highly unscientific methodology used.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
….- especially men - tend to gravitate towards the stuff they admired when they were young.
I could add a picture here, but the last time I did that it started a morality kerfuffle.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
I always wonder if part of the fixie crowd decided to put the derailleurs back on their bikes.
Nothing to wonder about.
They moved on to the "next thing", and won't be molesting old road bikes as they turn into the fat complacent folk their parents are but with graying ironic chin-beards, stretching tattoos and far less income.

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Old 05-18-14, 05:00 PM
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Is it an old boy's club?

The groups I join in with on Sundays are mostly older riders. Unusual to see anyone under 30. Most are over 50. Lots of grey hair. And almost all on new modern bikes. And dang these guys can ride fast! I'm the goofball on the 1970's French bike with sew-ups, and a wool jersey.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
I always wonder if part of the fixie crowd decided to put the derailleurs back on their bikes.
They will, and frame builders who do braze on repairs and refinishers will benefit.
Give them a bit of time. They might keep a fixed gear bike, but they will get a derailleur equipped machine.
Or they will all beat a path to Rivendell and buy Quickbeams.
Or, to present "steam punk" someone will reissue the Campagnolo Cambio Corsas style gearing and those will be the hot ticket.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
I think it's safe to say that most of us are getting on in years. I base that on the crowds I see at the shows and swap meets. Bear in mind, highly unscientific methodology used.
I was into classic and vintage bikes when I was young, my taste just stayed constant.

Although, Campagnolo has some prototypes running at this addition of the Giro'. Looks interesting… I could be persuaded.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:06 PM
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These just happen to be the bikes I've owned over the years. I thought they were cool when I bought them; now they're C&V bikes. I ride mainly modern steel bikes though; I just never seem to get rid of my old ones.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:08 PM
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I'll be <30 for some time still. But I am a boy.

It started out as a commuting then. And then became a year-round, need-a-second-bike-for-winter thing. Decided I needed a break from grad school and went on a tour for a few months. Bikes accumulated, bikes disappeared when I moved. Right now I'm at 4, I've been up to 7. Now I appear to have less bikes because I'm creating a few for the SO.

Why C&V? It started for sheer value ratio and wanting to do my own bike work. C&V made that accessible. Now that I have a real income the tastes that built up when I was living on a small stipend have stuck. I have an antiquarian streak in general. This frugal-nostalgia mashup that brings me to C&V affects my clothing--why buy a brand new wardrobe from J.Crew or Banana Republic when I could hound thrift shops for the real deal--Brooks Brothers, Turnball and Asher, J Press, Allen Edmunds? Same with my fountain pen collection.

Modern bikes are cool too. I still flinch at the price--not quite seeing the point for my non-competitive kinds of riding.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:17 PM
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I'm 34 and for some reason I keep accumulating bikes from the 80s and 90s. I tend to be towards the younger end of the vintage crowd in Chicago but I do enjoy learning from guys with more experience. I feel like I have made educated decisions thanks to the advice of other forum members.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:28 PM
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I'm 60+. I bought my oldest two bikes new, back then. I bought the other two recently, in like new, ready-to-ride condition because I wanted them and because I could. I also have three mountain bikes my kids outgrew that I can't get rid of.

On the other hand, my 30-y.o. son is also a vintage bike fan and has just one bike - a 1985 road bike running sew-ups.

I do know a few other 30-y.o. vintage bike fans. Kids younger than that don't seem to be interested in bikes or anything else that requires physical exertion.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I could add a picture here, but the last time I did that it started a morality kerfuffle.
Yeah.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:48 PM
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I'm 16, and, from what I've heard from my friends, they like the look of old bikes, but prefer the convenience of modern bikes (you have to reach down there to shift?!). Personally, I've always preferred old things, whether it's bikes, cars, architecture, etc. Old stuff is just more interesting. Also, cost is a huge factor. I can get what was a top of the line touring bike (in need of work, though, which is a turn-off for many), for less than a new Walmart bike.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:57 PM
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There is hope for bikekind. Re: TheTeaHermit. Also, I rode a 75-miler today, the Storming of Thunder Ridge in Lynchburg, VA. rccardr, seypat and I were there with other folks, and of course, very few steel bikes (I counted 5 total, of 542 riders).... However, one of those five was a guy on a Surly commuter with mustache bars, bar end shifters, and canti brakes. He was rockin' that Surly, as well (blew by us, and on a 30mph downhill, took off his helmet, removed his cap, and put the helmet back on). I managed to catch him for a chat, and we saw each other off/on through the ride. He more than held his own on the 13-mile climb to the mountain top.

After the ride, I had a piece of pizza with him while we waited for our gear to come back from the 63-mile rest stop. 23 years old, recent college grad, and a bike commuter in DC. His other bike is also steel, and his glimpses at a certain pair of mid-80's Merckx frames has got him pretty interested in the genre. I asked him what he would remember from today's ride, and without hesitation, he said, "Me and two older guys rode steel, and we put it on those other guys; acquitted ourselves well."

It is very hard to find like-minded folks here, and I'm about 1 for 5 in conversion attempts. I did take heart today, when a couple of young guys made it a point to come over and say, "dude, you guys deserve credit for the vintage bikes and kit, very cool." That's nice to hear when surrounded by Madones.

Then again, I've heard us described as retro-grouches, as well. I'm looking to make sure I'm not one of those. A pretty young thing asked me after the ride "have you tried the 11-speed stuff yet?" I said "ma'am, I'm just getting to 9 speeds, but I sure could have used an 11th cog today, bigger than what I had."
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Old 05-18-14, 06:04 PM
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Cheap quality. And I don't really care about 'pristine restoration', just something I can depend on to work. But I'm old too, and never really cared about having the latest-greatest anyway.
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Old 05-18-14, 06:04 PM
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I'm 35, and I just think 80s road bikes look "right". I want a top tube you can put a level on, and the aluminum bikes are to fat. Old steel DD frames are what a bike is "supposed" to look like. I ride motorcycles, and I wouldn't want an automatic, nor do I want brifters. Bar end shifters maybe, I'm no Luddite.
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Old 05-18-14, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by elguicho View Post
I'm 34 and for some reason I keep accumulating bikes from the 80s and 90s. I tend to be towards the younger end of the vintage crowd in Chicago but I do enjoy learning from guys with more experience. I feel like I have made educated decisions thanks to the advice of other forum members.
Just a youngster, but, like Chr0m0ly and rdlange, a practical person.
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Old 05-18-14, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I could add a picture here, but the last time I did that it started a morality kerfuffle.
Don't go there.

On topic, there was a poll back in '09. . . Said a lot of us were codgers then.
- But there were some youngsters too.
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Old 05-18-14, 06:27 PM
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I'm 30, and have been here in C&V for almost 6 years. I like things that are pretty, well designed and well built. I prefer to obtain them for a bargin price. I like to work on things, I've been messing with bikes as long as I can remember. There were some periods when I lost interest for a bit, but I always came back.
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Old 05-18-14, 06:43 PM
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I don't consider myself old...but I guess I'm not young. Just turned 41...I got OBO it because I LOVE to tinker with stuff. Have all my life. Been through 4x4's, motorcycles, boats, bass guitars...and all of it was old stuff. I just discovered that I also really like riding...so old bikes are a no brainer.

Now my problem is controlling myself.
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Old 05-18-14, 07:19 PM
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I'm getting one year closer to the here-after in a few days (66)... I've not had a current bike since 1980, and I can't imagine spending $3k now for something 'equivalent'. Besides I've got some back-up stuff, LOL.
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