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People Love Old Bikes But New….Meh

Old 12-15-21, 01:20 AM
  #1  
rsbob 
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People Love Old Bikes But New….Meh

I have two Bianchi’s - one is vintage 1988 (Trofeo del Mundo) and a 2020 Infinito carbon. Always find it interesting that whenever I ride the old Columbus frame someone appears and wants to talk bikes - especially vintage bikes (ones they have, are working on, have had….). The new bike only might get a quick nod by someone on a new carbon bike. I found the same is true with old classic cars versus new. Drag out the 71 and people at the gas station, Home Depot, wherever want to talk about owning one, building one, etc. Drive a new car and….meh.

Nostalgia seems to draw people like crazy. New seems to draw either sneers or nada. Interesting observation.

What about you?
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Old 12-15-21, 02:10 AM
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new stuff has no or low memories attached. now if you drag out a new, retro-styled product that is largely unknown to the general public...
got 'em by the short and curlies (with apologies to the glimmer twins).

there's a reason why the c & v forum drives this forums bus...
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Old 12-15-21, 05:55 AM
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TBH, I find most CF frames ugly, and I don't think I'm unusual in that regard. I'm pretty sure most cyclists have never ridden one, so they don't really relate to anything but the external esthetics, and it's hard to feel a lot of affection for something that looks like it was designed by an Imperial armorer on Star Wars.

BTW, this also isn't like pulling up on a fancy sports car because no one's hoping you'll give them a ride.

Nostalgia is only part of it. Nice old bicycles just look better and friendlier.

Note: I'm not saying cf bikes are inferior, but aerodynamics and efficient production are often in conflict with esthetics.
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Old 12-15-21, 06:11 AM
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I'm sure this thread will pull out all the "offended" members, but I agree.
I look at a vintage hand made bike with Columbus tubing, Cinelli lugs and some even have the signature of the craftsman who made the frame. That is art and class. (No, I did not forget the Japanese or french). Maybe it was young passion and dreams of one day owning one
Today's CFs are made in an anonymous factory, for less than a living wage.
I no longer race or need to earn money from biking, so shaving seconds off my time with modern tech is not needed. Looking good on a classy bike is
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Old 12-15-21, 06:32 AM
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I think what you say is true, although new bikes made in the classic style also get quite a bit of love, whether they are handmade by the builder (think Weigle, Bishop, Sachs, Chapman, etc.), or built in Taiwan (Rivendell, Crust, etc.).

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Old 12-15-21, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Looking good on a classy bike is
That's my motto. Classy or not, if you can't be good, at least look good! Not that I actually achieve this...
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Old 12-15-21, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
I think what you say is true, although new bikes made in the classic style also get quite a bit of love, whether they are handmade by the builder (think Weigle, Bishop, Sachs, Chapman, etc.), or built in Taiwan (Rivendell, etc.).

Steel imposes a certain design minimalism that is aesthetically appealing. The frames look smaller and less intimidating, and details like lugs break up the monolithic look that I think people find off-putting.

BTW, I'm far more likely to want to talk to another cyclist if they DON'T have the buzzy Chris King hubs. I do what I can to get away from that noise just because I find it extremely annoying. It's a real fingernails on chalkboard reaction.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:04 AM
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Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.
You see a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 cruising down the street, and everyone gawks and thinks "Now, that's when muscle cars were real!" Yup, 13.8 seconds at 98.5 MPH in the 1/4 mile (stock.)
Then you see a modern import (2016 Subaru STi) and yawn. 13.39 seconds in the quarter mile at 101.65 MPH - stock.

My old racing bike, a Raleigh with Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing, gorgeous lugs, a beautiful pearl blue paint job with gold accents and Dura Ace group set with braze on downtube shifters was truly a good looking bike (and in a way, I wish I still had it.) However, I'm certain that if I had my current carbon fiber, Di2 equipped bike back then, I would have been a lot faster - even though some would think it's nowhere near as good looking as the Raleigh.

I guess it's all about what you enjoy - looks or performance.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:04 AM
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I have a couple classic steel bikes left but they don't get ridden much compared to my modern bikes. I don't care about aesthetics, why else would all my modern bikes be sporting old fashioned leather saddles.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:17 AM
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OK, so the thread topic is which kind of bike attracts conversations and why. I'm going to just say that the conversational appeal of a vehicle is not the same thing as its technical merits. People like to talk about old cars in part because they can actually do most of the work on them by themselves. Really something more to talk about beyond "nice car".

I'm not knocking people for choosing performance over aesthetics, just saying that choice is relevant to the topic of the thread.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:18 AM
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Hmm. I think CF frames can be very pleasing to the eye and I aspire to build one in the future.

But I love these lugged frame steelies from my own Golden Era, just I like I love Miles Davis and Raquel Welch.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.
You see a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 cruising down the street, and everyone gawks and thinks "Now, that's when muscle cars were real!" Yup, 13.8 seconds at 98.5 MPH in the 1/4 mile (stock.)
Then you see a modern import (2016 Subaru STi) and yawn. 13.39 seconds in the quarter mile at 101.65 MPH - stock.

My old racing bike, a Raleigh with Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing, gorgeous lugs, a beautiful pearl blue paint job with gold accents and Dura Ace group set with braze on downtube shifters was truly a good looking bike (and in a way, I wish I still had it.) However, I'm certain that if I had my current carbon fiber, Di2 equipped bike back then, I would have been a lot faster - even though some would think it's nowhere near as good looking as the Raleigh.

I guess it's all about what you enjoy - looks or performance.
It takes time, money, and care to restore an old muscle car, I can go to a car lot and get an STi, that's the difference. No car guy thinks a 70 Chevelle with a stock BB is fast, 300-400 carbureted horsepower hasn't been much in a long time.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:30 AM
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Whether a classic steel bike garners more attention than a Pinarello F12 would depend on who you hang with.

Not many riders would know a Singer from a Herse but in certain crowds, either would result in puddles of drool. Same with the F12.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:31 AM
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I don’t own a modern bike but a couple of weeks ago I rode with a few guys from my neighborhood . They all have modern carbon bikes but my 1975 Colnago got a lot of attention. I dunno , I think it is about the memories of a time gone by. Most times when I’m out and I stop for a refreshment I get someone that had a similar bike when they were young or they always wanted one. Quite often it is a happier more care free time.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Whether a classic steel bike garners more attention than a Pinarello F12 would depend on who you hang with.

Not many riders would know a Singer from a Herse but in certain crowds, either would result in puddles of drool. Same with the F12.

Absolutely, but I think the topic is what is more likely to attract a conversation "on the street", so to speak.
I do think there may also be another dynamic here--people who know the Pinarello might not want to show that they like your bike better than they like their own. Paradoxically, your bike not being commented on to your face might be the side effect of its value as a status symbol.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
I don’t own a modern bike but a couple of weeks ago I rode with a few guys from my neighborhood . They all have modern carbon bikes but my 1975 Colnago got a lot of attention. I dunno , I think it is about the memories of a time gone by. Most times when I’m out and I stop for a refreshment I get someone that had a similar bike when they were young or they always wanted one. Quite often it is a happier more care free time.

There's an interesting dynamic here, nostalgia for a bike of that era is an old person thing, obviously. On the other hand, the people I see riding the "state of the art" CF bikes are disproportionately old compared to the average riders that I see (I am not claiming this is scientific sampling, just my impression).
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Old 12-15-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Hmm. I think CF frames can be very pleasing to the eye and I aspire to build one in the future.

But I love these lugged frame steelies from my own Golden Era, just I like I love Miles Davis and Raquel Welch.

Can you post an example of a CF frame you think is pleasing to the eye? Not going to argue with it, but just curious.

Besides just the "eye appeal", I think one of the conversational appeals of a steel frame is that they just look less intimidating than a CF frame with its larger tubes and unfamiliar-looking geometry. Maybe some of what's going on here is that people are thinking the guy on the steel frame is less likely to give them a "can't talk, working on my intervals" rebuff.
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Old 12-15-21, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
It takes time, money, and care to restore an old muscle car, I can go to a car lot and get an STi, that's the difference. No car guy thinks a 70 Chevelle with a stock BB is fast, 300-400 carbureted horsepower hasn't been much in a long time.
For me, while modern bikes/cars are better by almost every objective performance measure, old bikes/cars are more interesting - they’re rarer, and they have a history. My ‘72 TR6 is almost the worst car I have ever owned in terms of speed, safety, noise, comfort, but I rebuilt it from the wheels up, it’s such a blast to drive, and people come out of the woodwork to talk cars whenever they see it. There’s a rusty ‘76 Porsche 912E in my neighborhood. To many eyes a scabrous POS, but it’s a pretty rare car, and to me at least, vastly more interesting than any faster, more capable modern 911. Anyone with the requisite credit rating can turn up at their local Porsche dealership and drive off in the latest and greatest, but a 912E is a find. I pass it on the way home from my Saturday morning group ride, and I can’t take my eyes off it- it’s simply magnificent.

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Old 12-15-21, 08:18 AM
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I think my CF road bike looks dashing, myself.


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Old 12-15-21, 08:25 AM
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My 2016 Engin has been turning heads ever since I rode it home from the builders. Got at least one more compliment the last time I rode it, which was back in September.
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Old 12-15-21, 08:31 AM
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I have old steel bikes and a (relatively) new carbon bike. No one pays much attention to any of them. Of course, the old bikes aren't "classics" and the new(er) one is low end.
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Old 12-15-21, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post

I think my CF road bike looks dashing, myself.


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But is it any more dashing than this one? If so, why?



Or this one?


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Old 12-15-21, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Absolutely, but I think the topic is what is more likely to attract a conversation "on the street", so to speak.
I do think there may also be another dynamic here--people who know the Pinarello might not want to show that they like your bike better than they like their own. Paradoxically, your bike not being commented on to your face might be the side effect of its value as a status symbol.
on the street with non-cyclists? Not the old bike. Carbon for sure will get the attention. If you really want attention pull up to a bunch of kids or harley riders with a carbon velomobile or recumbent, you'll be a rockstar instantly
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Old 12-15-21, 08:36 AM
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Carbon frame, but almost old enough to be considered vintage
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Old 12-15-21, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
on the street with non-cyclists? Not the old bike. Carbon for sure will get the attention. If you really want attention pull up to a bunch of kids or harley riders with a carbon velomobile or recumbent, you'll be a rockstar instantly
Bonus points for lots of flashy colors and decals. The current trend of matte black carbon bikes won't attract much attention from non-cyclists; think of something like the Eurobike instead.
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