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Vintage Road Bicycles - What Do You Like About Them..?

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Vintage Road Bicycles - What Do You Like About Them..?

Old 09-13-14, 01:52 PM
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Vintage Road Bicycles - What Do You Like About Them..?

I have owned a few vintage road bicycles, and a few upgraded vintage road bicycles. I have learned that, for me, the upgraded stuff is much easier and more rewarding to ride. With this in mind, it occurs to me that I might prefer newer bikes as opposed to the vintage iron, I have been used to. So...

Why do you find, collect, ride, build or otherwise engage vintage bicycling? For me, I guess, these days, it is the aesthetic appeal that gets me every time...

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Old 09-13-14, 02:09 PM
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Different riding experience.

I'm in the why own a bike if you don't ride it camp. I also like something that is different. I "only" have 5 bikes and each one has its own pleasures that are distinct from the others.

As the French say, viva la différence.
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Old 09-13-14, 02:37 PM
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I like their aesthetics, they offer the most bang for the buck, and they re-create my happy riding experiences from 30 to 40 years ago.
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Old 09-13-14, 02:48 PM
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Largely it's because I'm a cheapskate and I don't like buying new bikes and prefer used bikes. Stupidly, I've built bikes for myself inexpensive piece by inexpensive piece, whereas I could have spent less if I had bought complete bikes. But part of the appeal of older bikes is that they are modular and a bit of a puzzle to build, which makes them a fun intellectual exercise.
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Old 09-13-14, 02:56 PM
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Mostly aesthetics, I find them to be a work of art that I can ride. The Lugs get me everytime, that said the newer components are easier to ride long imho.
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Old 09-13-14, 03:11 PM
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I've loved old machines ever since I was a young machine.
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Old 09-13-14, 03:11 PM
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I purchased a really nice new bike this year and have been riding it a lot. I sold all of my rideable vintage stuff this summer because the opportunity was there and demand was high.
But.... now I am working at getting the 76 Excalibur ready for the road. I miss all the shiny stuff and friction shifting of the oldies. In my eyes they are technology elevated to art. I guess my TR7 fits that description as well.
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Old 09-13-14, 03:12 PM
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They look good, they feel good, and they're good for you. Hard to beat that.
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Old 09-13-14, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Vonruden View Post
Mostly aesthetics, I find them to be a work of art that I can ride. The Lugs get me everytime, that said the newer components are easier to ride long imho.
Agreed.

Speaking of lugs, a good friend bought a beautiful Peter Mooney today. Now, those lugs on the PM are really special.

Fwiw I rode my Fargo for three hours today and my old Miyata mtb for 25 minutes to run to the lbs and pick up inner tubes. I run in cycles, but I am riding my new bicycles 90% or better. The old ones are sure fun to look at though.
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Old 09-13-14, 04:32 PM
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I wasn't into bicycles or bicycling when I was younger. I had a bike when I was a kid, I had a 10 speed when I was an older kid. When I got out of the Army in 91, I bought a "Mountain Bike." It was a Schwinn High Sierra- I used it a little bit, but for the most part it sat in my parents' garage for the better part of 20 years.

When I did decide to take up bicycling, the elements of that bike were what were cool to me.

The chrome, the fillet brazing, the level top tube, the gazillions of braze ons, the "business" of it, the gracefulness of it.

So many of those elements of that mountain bike are what touring bikes are. It's graceful crossed with "business." It's graceful without being gracile. If that makes any sense...

To me, this is my prettiest bike- it's a 1986 Trek 400 Elance. The frame is 531 in the main tubes, Tange CrMo fork and stays with magically metallic blue paint with metallic silver head tube and accents. Brown Avocet Touring saddle, Blackburn rack, Suntour Command Shifters, and XC Pro and XC Comp derailleurs, Sanshin/Araya wheels, TriColor 600 brakes and levers.





I don't know modern bikes- so what's modern to me is the height of bicycle technology in 1993.
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Old 09-13-14, 04:43 PM
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I think new bikes are ugly. I love the look of the old steel. I was in the "friction is all I need " camp for a while until my friend did me the misfortune of letting me ride a bike with modern shifting. So I have bypassed indexed downtube and went right with brifters on my old steel. The Superbe Pro looked so beautiful on my bike, now I have Tri Color and funny looking brake levers, but I love the more modern shifting. I will never pay $3000 for a bike made in China when for a few hundred, I can put those same kind of components on my old steel frame. Well maybe if I win the lottery and money means nothing to me.

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Old 09-13-14, 05:00 PM
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The LBS has nothing like them.
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Old 09-13-14, 05:13 PM
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I'm old and vintage bikes are old. We both make strange noises while being operated. Nobody expects much out of us....need I continue?
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Old 09-13-14, 05:15 PM
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The women. Definitely the women. Nothing attracts women like a bald middle aged guy on a 40 year old bike.
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Old 09-13-14, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw View Post
I purchased a really nice new bike this year and have been riding it a lot. I sold all of my rideable vintage stuff this summer because the opportunity was there and demand was high.
But.... now I am working at getting the 76 Excalibur ready for the road. I miss all the shiny stuff and friction shifting of the oldies. In my eyes they are technology elevated to art. I guess my TR7 fits that description as well.
I find myself wrestling with that too. I want a new bike but I need to sell some vintage rides to finance it.
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Old 09-13-14, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
The women. Definitely the women. Nothing attracts women like a bald middle aged guy on a 40 year old bike.
Speaking of women, my wife has totally fallen for our 1983 Stumpjumper.

I've offered numerous times to get her something fancier, but she'll have none of it.

She did let me talk her into the Replacements concert tonight though.
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Old 09-13-14, 05:41 PM
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I find a good looking classic to be in the same as a good looking piece of art work. Only you can reach out and have fun with it. I don't see the same in CF bikes. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:01 PM
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A picture can explain it way better than words........



Modern bikes are what you get when you let computers dictate the product. Old steel is what you get when artists design bikes.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
A picture can explain it way better than words........
Looks wicked.

We'll see what my wife wants to ride for tri's next year, but she'd look great on that.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Looks wicked.

We'll see what my wife wants to ride for tri's next year, but she'd look great on that.
Oh, your into modern art. To each his own. To me that looks ugly. I guess if I was going to race, I could wear a face mask while riding it and race as John Doe.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Largely it's because I'm a cheapskate and I don't like buying new bikes and prefer used bikes. Stupidly, I've built bikes for myself inexpensive piece by inexpensive piece, whereas I could have spent less if I had bought complete bikes. But part of the appeal of older bikes is that they are modular and a bit of a puzzle to build, which makes them a fun intellectual exercise.
Yes, those stems, seatposts and other components can nickel and dime you before you realize how much you've spent. Bikes are a puzzle for me, too and I haven't even thought about working on a French or Italian bike.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:21 PM
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Three reasons:
1. Aesthetics. The old bikes just look better. Better lines, classier paint schemes. Most newer road bikes look like the bastard offspring of a stealth bomber and a roadside billboard.
2. Dollars. There's just no way I can throw a grand at a bike. The kids like to eat.
3. Individuality. I like knowing my bike will be the only one like it wherever I happen to be.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Vonruden View Post
Mostly aesthetics, I find them to be a work of art that I can ride. The Lugs get me everytime, that said the newer components are easier to ride long imho.
What other machines used for transportation are hand made by artisans? Not many.
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Old 09-13-14, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I've loved old machines ever since I was a young machine.
Originally Posted by Whit51 View Post
I like their aesthetics, they offer the most bang for the buck, and they re-create my happy riding experiences from 30 to 40 years ago.
^
All this.



Even the kind of stuff I could afford to put on layaway at the LBS was cool.
(not mine but same-same)
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Old 09-13-14, 06:29 PM
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They look like bikes.
They act like bikes.
They have shiny stuff on them.
They go great with T-shirts.
No helmets match them.
A wheel looks like a wheel.
Quill stems.
Round seatposts not much bigger than the round seat tubes.
Seat stay caps.
Lugs which are actually functional.
Quieter when passing younger riders on modern bikes.
No Carbon Echo.o.o.o.o.
Snob factor.
I look less ridiculous.
People ignore them.
Hipsters give me street cred.
Shops don't try to sell me anything.
They look cheap and old to my wife.
Cable routing.

On a C&V bike, the builder is having a glass of wine at lunch, and thinking about Sophia. Vinny chose the color because it reminds him of bullfights. Vito chose the font because he saw it on a book cover. Hans chose the lugs because he has just the right files. Jack chose the saddle because he's thinking about Sharon's. Passion.

On a modern bike, the layup guy is texting on his smart phone while double-checking the statistical process control. The graphic design guy is looking over focus group data, trying to figure out what it will look like on TV, in motion. A wind tunnel chose the shape. No ass in the world chose that saddle.


Originally Posted by gomango View Post
.... she'd look great on that.
It's probably not the bike.

Face it, Grady, you married up.



Originally Posted by J.Oxley View Post
2. There's just no way I can throw a grand at a bike. The kids like to eat.
Notice, he said "like." My kinda guy.

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