Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Philosophical Question: Is a near perfect bike a blessing or a curse?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Philosophical Question: Is a near perfect bike a blessing or a curse?

Old 01-03-15, 10:38 PM
  #1  
lenos
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Pedro CA
Posts: 74

Bikes: '39 Bianchi Saetta, '64 Bianchi Specialissima, '64(ish) Cinelli Model B, '72 Raleigh Professional, '72 Schwinn Paramount, '83 Colnago Super, '89 Merckx 7-11, 72 Raleigh International basket case

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Philosophical Question: Is a near perfect bike a blessing or a curse?

I have this 1972 Raleigh Professional that looks like it went into hibernation after being ridden about 200 miles. It still had the original tires on it when I got it. After complete disassembly, cleaning and polishing, new brake hoods, cable inners and tires it almost looks like it just came off of the showroom floor. The qualifier is that in its 200 mile life, it looks like it was dropped lightly or else fell over in the hanger where it was stored. The right side pedal is just slightly scratched, as is the derailleur hanger bolt. One of the toeclips were dragged a little, probably while trying to clip in, and the pump sat somewhere in conditions that didn't do it any good.

The effort to make this thing pretty much perfect involves throwing a little money at it, e.g. NOS pedals to the tune of $200 plus. That doesn't bother me so much as I pretty much have nothing into the bike at this point. The problem is that after all that it will almost be too nice to ride, and risk damaging it.

I know where I actually sit on this issue, but am wondering what other views might be.

Blessing or curse?
lenos is offline  
Old 01-03-15, 10:47 PM
  #2  
PedalTraveler
Senior Member
 
PedalTraveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan, USA
Posts: 310

Bikes: 1958 Schwinn Deluxe Spitfire, 2016 Surly Cross Check, 1971 BH Folder, 2016 Felt DD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Blessing. Bikes are for riding as far as I'm concerned, just take care of them, and only take special ones such as yours out for rides on nice days. Bikes are tools to get places and have fun doing it, so do with them whatever makes you smile. If someone truly prefers hanging one on a wall and that makes them happy that's fine too.
PedalTraveler is offline  
Old 01-03-15, 11:15 PM
  #3  
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Posts: 13,305

Bikes: 73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 87 Centurion Ironman Expert, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1179 Post(s)
Liked 230 Times in 122 Posts
Near perfect is a blessing. And the bike is for riding.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline  
Old 01-03-15, 11:25 PM
  #4  
acoffin 
Senior Member
 
acoffin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St Louis
Posts: 608

Bikes: 72 Lygie (SS conv), 87 Ironman Expert, 94 Allez Sport, 16 Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 4 Posts
Near perfect is ideal. It's the perfect ones that I don't feel comfortable with, in fact I would rather not have one. I want a bike that I can ride and not feel guilty about getting scratches on. Perfect bikes belong in museums, or they should go to people who would not feel as guilty as I.
acoffin is offline  
Old 01-03-15, 11:30 PM
  #5  
Essthreetee 
Senior Member
 
Essthreetee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Central California
Posts: 1,075

Bikes: 2001 LeMond Nevada City, 92 Merlin Titanium, '84 Torpado Super Strada, 84 Schwinn Tempo, '81 Bianchi Limites, '73 Raleigh Supercourse

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 33 Posts
It is both. A blessing to be enjoyed and taken care of. A curse if worrying will take away from that enjoyment. I don't have, and probably will never have a perfect bike. Mine are nice, but used. I still take care of them and do my best to not intentionally scratch them. But at the same time, I ride and enjoy...not thinking about what happened to them.
__________________
"They ain't following me, I'm just in front." - Rubber Duck

lol <---- does that look like someone drowning to anyone else?
Essthreetee is offline  
Old 01-03-15, 11:33 PM
  #6  
Henry III
is just a real cool dude
 
Henry III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Thumb, MI
Posts: 3,167
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 9 Posts
I enjoy looking as well as riding it. But if I can't ride it what's the use? It's like looking at a burger and not being able to eat it. Lol.
Henry III is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 12:07 AM
  #7  
Wildwood
Veteran, Pacifist
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 10,818

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 243 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2702 Post(s)
Liked 1,518 Times in 896 Posts
It's a bicycle - they can't bless you and seldom curse you.
They never curse you if they are Grail-ish. (ooops thread confusion)
Wildwood is online now  
Old 01-04-15, 01:38 AM
  #8  
Velocivixen
Senior Member
 
Velocivixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
Posts: 4,515
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 397 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 18 Posts
It's however you choose to perceive it.

It's a material posession. It can be easy to become too ​focused.
Velocivixen is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 02:03 AM
  #9  
eschlwc
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: on the beach
Posts: 4,859

Bikes: '73 falcon sr, '76 grand record, '84 davidson

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
buy a metal file at the hardware store (and maybe some 600 grade 3m sandpaper and mother's from the auto parts store), polish the road rash, save the $200, and ride a perfect bike.

philosophically, though, the bike is neither a blessing nor curse. it just is.
eschlwc is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:24 AM
  #10  
redscampi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"Ride it like you stole it."

I wouldn't really, but you need to decide what type of person you are. Are you a collector of bicycles or a cyclist, or somewhere in between?
Hint #1 : There is no wrong answer.
Hint #2 : Jay Leno drives all his stuff.
redscampi is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:25 AM
  #11  
TiHabanero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,353
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1195 Post(s)
Liked 493 Times in 266 Posts
I say it depends upon the objective you had when acquired. If it was acquired with riding in mind, then ride it. If it was acquired with preserving history as the goal, restore and enjoy the art that it is. I have a bike like that. It will never be ridden as it was never ridden when new, and is near perfect. It is a piece of art that adorns the walls of my shop. The amazing thing is my wife completely understands! She sees it as a piece of art, just as if it were a Monet.
TiHabanero is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:38 AM
  #12  
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Posts: 7,576

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
lenos, A cosmetically perfect bike that doesn't fit is a curse. Any bike that's rode suffers the possibility of some sort of damage.

Three years ago I rebuilt a touring bike just as I wanted it. I had it propped against my car after it's second or third outing, the wind shifted and down it went on the drive side. Scratched the brake lever and RHS pedal and frankly I was glad to have the 'first scratch' over and done with.

Brad
bradtx is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:43 AM
  #13  
jjames1452 
Senior Member
 
jjames1452's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 1,353

Bikes: Trek 720, Trek 620, Trek 520, Steel Schwinns, AD Puch, Kona, Nishiki Pro, All City Disc Spacehorse, Waterford

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 34 Posts
Agree with PedalTraveler. Blessing. Perfect or near perfect bikes are a blessing. Ride them thought! Ride them only on sunny days if you must, but ride them. I am trying to get rid of all bikes I don't ride. I want to condition my thought process to sell a perfect or near perfect bike if I do not ride it. Bikes are built for enjoying in the great outdoors. Let someone else enjoy it if I am not!

I sold a near perfect chrome Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 to a gentleman in Texas who planned on riding it. The bike fit me. I just knew that every time I chose to ride a Voyageur, it would be my slightly customized '85. Let someone else enjoy the chrome beauty.
jjames1452 is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:46 AM
  #14  
jjames1452 
Senior Member
 
jjames1452's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 1,353

Bikes: Trek 720, Trek 620, Trek 520, Steel Schwinns, AD Puch, Kona, Nishiki Pro, All City Disc Spacehorse, Waterford

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
buy a metal file at the hardware store (and maybe some 600 grade 3m sandpaper and mother's from the auto parts store), polish the road rash, save the $200, and ride a perfect bike.

philosophically, though, the bike is neither a blessing nor curse. it just is.
How can we know that a bike just is............perhaps we Kant know...........
jjames1452 is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:47 AM
  #15  
Prowler 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Near Pottstown, PA: 30 miles NW of Philadelphia
Posts: 1,715

Bikes: 2 Trek Mtn, Cannondale R600 road, 6 vintage road bikes

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 307 Post(s)
Liked 261 Times in 155 Posts
My DL-180 is a 1976 with a curious history so it may never have matched the Raleigh stock description. I thought about all this a lot last winter when I did the complete renovation: should I just build it back up and ride it or should I source the proper Campy NR crankset, and hubs, the proper stem and handlebar and the proper pedals and get professional help with the paint and get all the proper decals. Lot of money on a pension budget.

A wise fellow said "keep the Sakae Ringo pedals. If you had the proper Campy pedals ($200) you would take them off and keep them on a shelf rather than chance damage." Good advice so I've kept the SR pedals and they work great and look great. Pedal are sure out there looking for pavement strikes and for grounding when you gently lay the bike down (always on the left side).

I then decided to build it back up as is (nice stuff if not stocklist) and ride it. I'm now approaching 1000 miles on it since April and I have REALLY enjoyed the Raleigh Pro experience - the geometry, the 531 frame, the workmanship, the view looking down at the chrome, the handling on all sorts of roads and trails. I'm glad I'm riding mine rather than just thinking about riding mine. Fortunately mine is very nice "from five feet away" so I don't worry about a rub or a scratch or a bit of mud. I'm living the experience and glad of it.

Think on that possibility.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_0719.jpg (105.0 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_0718.jpg (104.7 KB, 21 views)
Prowler is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:47 AM
  #16  
rootboy 
Senior Member
 
rootboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wherever
Posts: 16,756
Mentioned: 88 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 549 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 115 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by lenos View Post

The effort to make this thing pretty much perfect involves throwing a little money at it, e.g. NOS pedals to the tune of $200 plus.
I know where I actually sit on this issue,
Two things. If you can find NOS Campagnolo Record pedals with the strap loop for around two hundred dollars, buy them. Buy all you can at that price.

Second, where DO you stand on this issue? Or sit?

Last edited by rootboy; 01-04-15 at 10:09 AM.
rootboy is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:49 AM
  #17  
rootboy 
Senior Member
 
rootboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wherever
Posts: 16,756
Mentioned: 88 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 549 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 115 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by jjames1452 View Post
How can we know that a bike just is............perhaps we Kant know...........
rootboy is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 06:55 AM
  #18  
LazyLegs
Senior Member
 
LazyLegs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Cork, Ireland
Posts: 129

Bikes: 1989 Moser Leader Pro, 1978? Flandria, Batavus Professional AMEV, Gios Compact Pro, 1968? Frejus Tour de France, 1972 Peugeot Touring?, 1976 Flandria Tour?, 2013 Kuota Kharma, 2010 BeOne Raw, 2013 Kenesis Pro6, 2009 GT Aggressor, 2011 Trek Fuel Ex8.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's a first world problem

The better condition the bike is in the more selective you will be about riding it. If it's pristine then you may have an issue as the only way to preserve it in that quality is never to ride it. If it's just in very good to near pristine condition then you can use it on special occasions, which is nice like having a good suit for special events. I have faced similar problems this year, I picked up a NOS frame and once built up I was reticent about even riding it, but decided that there was no point having it if I didn't get to enjoy it but knew I would only use it at certain occasions or on nice Sunny Days. Shortly after the bike was ready I committed to going on a vintage run to celebrate the Giro d'Italia coming to town for the first time. Turned out to be one of the dirtiest wettest days of the year and was stomach churning to put the bike out in it but once it was over I was more relaxed, the bike is still special to me and I will be selective about when I ride it but I feel ok with that balance.

Recently I was renovating a old school Flandria and the while I cleaned it up as best I could I was careful not to over restore it, so I could use it without fear of damaging it in some way. The aluminum parts have taken on a dull grey finish but apart from cleaning I haven't polished them up as I want to take this bike to L'Eroica with it dusty gravel roads and I like the used patina it has acquired - that proved not to be without its own problems tho as it turned out the seatpost was slightly too short and trying to find a longer period replacement that hadn't been too cleaned up or polished proved a little difficult.... so I ended up turning a mission to be relaxed and carefree about creating an everyday use renovation into getting caught up in the pickiness of fine detail again. The Mind Boggles!
LazyLegs is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 07:13 AM
  #19  
easyupbug 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,586

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 259 Post(s)
Liked 122 Times in 92 Posts
I understand and enjoy seeing wall hangers but they are not for me; I love seeing a fit for purpose bike in good condition with appropriate level of "patina".
easyupbug is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 07:29 AM
  #20  
Dave Cutter
Senior Member
 
Dave Cutter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: D'uh... I am a Cutter
Posts: 6,160

Bikes: '17 Access Old Turnpike Gravel bike, '14 Trek 1.1, '13 Cannondale CAAD 10, '98 CAD 2, R300

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1571 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by lenos View Post
I have this 1972 Raleigh Professional that looks...... like it was dropped lightly or else fell over in the hanger where it was stored. The right side pedal is just slightly scratched, as is the derailleur hanger bolt..... and the pump sat somewhere in conditions that didn't do it any good.
I call the damage that accumulates over the years (decades) of storage of these old classic bicycles as wear and tear due to "garage miles".

The great old bicycles with the elaborate detail are art... as well as functional machines. They weren't built by factory workers or assembly line technicians although those people also contributed. The classic old vintage steel bicycles were created by artisans and tradesmen. And the bicycles they created can be enjoyed and appreciated without ever straddling the bike. They are a blessing to all who take the time to pause and enjoy their beauty.

These old bikes are also a joy to ride. And they should be enjoyed. Nothing can be preserved forever. Sooner or later everything will perish. These bicycles should be enjoyed both for their art... and as the machines they were also meant to be.
Dave Cutter is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 07:55 AM
  #21  
auchencrow
Senior Member
 
auchencrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Posts: 10,327
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
A perfect bike is a curse.
Get a rasp, hammer, and heavy grit sandpaper and get busy "patina-izing" it, so you can really enjoy it without remorse.
__________________
- Auchen
auchencrow is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 08:04 AM
  #22  
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 15,355

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1237 Post(s)
Liked 212 Times in 180 Posts
Near-perfect is a blessing. Mechanical condition and function is essentially perfect, and the minor cosmetic blemishes say "Go and ride this, it is a bicycle made for use in real-world conditions."

Tell us about how great it rides and handles, and whether it is a bike you can NOT ride.

I'd also say, rebuilding is a virtue, but you have a time capsule there. Try to learn about how these masterpieces felt when new, and then look at modernization if you're dissatisfied.

I grew up with bikes like this, and I can say that used correctly they are fantastic rides. Modern is ultimately better, 'cep I'm not a believer for carbon and aluminum, but vintage bikes were excellent within their constraints. And I'm not sure I was ever a better rider on indexed Campy compared to Nuovo Record.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 08:10 AM
  #23  
Chrome Molly 
Senior Member
 
Chrome Molly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Forksbent, MN
Posts: 3,271

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 301 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
If you enjoy the "A" bike and want to have for a very long time, then top condition is better. This will have you carefully cleaning and inspecting more often. It requires you to fix small problems before they become large problems.

If you get caught in the rain with your "A" bike and then clean it up carefully, that's going to seem like a burden.
When your "B" rider gets to the point you need to do something, that usually involves parts, heavy touch up, OA baths, etc.

Given you want your A bike to last longer than your B bike, it's a welcome burden.
Chrome Molly is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 08:33 AM
  #24  
auldgeunquers
Senior Member
 
auldgeunquers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada
Posts: 494

Bikes: various strays, mongrels, and old junk.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by redscampi View Post

Hint #2 : Jay Leno drives all his stuff.
WWJLD?


But seriously - bike as wall art requires both SPECIAL bike and SPECIAL wall - I would ride it, but I could see a case for striking a deal, at least temporarily - for hanging it on the wall of an appropriate LBS a local bike themed watering or coffeeing hole if it is appropriatly SPECIAL.

If a bike is to be hung out to dust, it should at least be in the most public space that can be managed.
auldgeunquers is offline  
Old 01-04-15, 08:38 AM
  #25  
Ex Pres 
Cat 6
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 7,359
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 445 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 64 Posts
Ride it, but forego any $200 pedals.

Or, if you can't bring yourself to ride it, sell it for top dollar and buy 2 of the same bike in lesser condition and ride those.
__________________
72 Frejus, Holdsworth Record & special CNC / 74 Italvega NR / c80 ?French? / 82 Raleigh Intl MkII / 83 Trek 620 / 87 Centurion IM MV / 03 Casati Dardo / 08 BF IRO / 09 Dogma FPX / 10 Vassago Fisticuff

Ex Pres is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.