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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-16-06, 07:58 AM   #1
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What is a Retro Grouch?

I've heard the term mentioned from time to time.

Is a Retro Grouch a guy/gal who only ride old bikes with old components or someone who likes the classics and will buy new stuff with the old look? Just Curious.
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Old 07-16-06, 08:38 AM   #2
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What is a Retro Grouch?
a luddite
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Old 07-16-06, 09:23 AM   #3
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A retro grouch has a steel frame bike with a Brooks saddle and friction shifters and thinks anything newer is garbage.
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Old 07-16-06, 09:26 AM   #4
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I think this Here is an example of a Retro Grouch(s)
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Old 07-16-06, 01:05 PM   #5
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Funny this subject has come up. I got up early this morning to take a ride and the front tire of my Lemond was flat. I didn't want to mess with it so I put on the front wheel from my commuter and away I went. When I got home I was looking at the Mavic Open Pro on the Lemond and thought how nice the silver rims and silver spokes looked on that bike. I guess I am one of those folks that like the classic look on bikes.

So now I'm thinking of switching from the Bontrager Race Lights to a 32 spoke silver wheelset. Probably go with an Open Pro with Dura-Ace hub or maybe go with Mike Garcia Velocity AeroHead. Technically I'm not a Retro Grouch but I do like the look of the classics. Yes, I already have a Brooks saddle on the bike.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:08 PM   #6
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Its a catch-phrase/marketing gimmick tied to the Bridgstone/Rivendell thing.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:12 PM   #7
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Its a catch-phrase/marketing gimmick tied to the Bridgstone/Rivendell thing.
I'm not sure THEY would agree with you. I, however, think you make a fair point.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:16 PM   #8
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I'm not sure THEY would agree with you. I, however, think you make a fair point.
Right. But then again, a gimmick can be used to market a perfectly valid product.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:23 PM   #9
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Retro Grouch, noun

1. A bicycle enthusiast who allows other riders to work the bugs out of new component ideas before committing money to buy them for his own bike.

2. An unusually intelligent, good-looking, and humble internet poster.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:27 PM   #10
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Perhaps not so humble.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:32 PM   #11
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Retro Grouch, noun

1. A bicycle enthusiast who allows other riders to work the bugs out of new component ideas before committing money to buy them for his own bike.

2. An unusually intelligent, good-looking, and humble internet poster.
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Perhaps not so humble.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:43 PM   #12
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Cycling's full of marketing gimmicks, planned obsolescences and weight weenyism, all manufactured to make your wallet as light as possible. A retro grouch is a super hero with the power to see through bull****:
Q: Do you want to spend an extra $5000 to save 2 grams?
A:No.
Luddite!
Q: Do you want a bike that the sun, vibration and crashes will ruin in five years, or a slightly heavier steel bike that will last a liftime?
A:I'll take the steel frame, thanks.
Philistine!
Q: Do you want a road bike with a fugly threadless stem that looks like a mountain bike?
A:No thanks, I prefer the lines of classic road bikes, quill stems, thin tubes, horizontal top tubes, no catastrophic failures-you know, a practical bike.
Arrogance!

This'll turn into another "I feel inordinately threatened by the fact that Rivendell controls %.000000001 of the bicycle market"-thread. Ought to be entertaining.

Last edited by KrisPistofferson; 07-16-06 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-16-06, 02:21 PM   #13
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Qo you want to spend an extra $5000 to save 2 grams?
i am not a number. i am a free man!



Be seeing you!
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Old 07-16-06, 03:17 PM   #14
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The evidence suggests that "retro grouchery" is not derived from good looks or intelligence, and certainly not from being humble, a super hero, or a labeler (Though it does seem to help if you're a know-it-all and have the internet to hide behind). Rather it is an affliction rooted in the notion that most things, including bikes, were best when the person was young. Of course youth is short lived and over-rated, but the aging person trudges painfully along, barely able to deal with the changing world, clinging to his yester-year stuff (I use "his" because it seems this is mostly a "male" malady).

The worst part of this is many of us become retro grouches, representing the golden ages of whatever. Even worse is that we seldom suffer in silence!? One disturbing trend is the emergence of a few young retro grouches, with short attention spans, who think the halcyon days were last month?
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Old 07-16-06, 03:17 PM   #15
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Thanks KrisPistofferson, you said it beautifully.

This young retro-grouch salutes you.

Last edited by AGuinness; 07-16-06 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-16-06, 03:20 PM   #16
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I prefer my peanutbutter in glass jars.
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Old 07-16-06, 03:32 PM   #17
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A Retro Grouch is a old hippie that used to ride their bike from one Dead concert to the next, trading weed for tire patches, usually has granola stuck in 2 foot long beard.

They usually oppose anything "new" made for a bike in the last 30 years, only ride Brooks saddles (and these only because they can't find a town cobbler to make teir our for them). You can spot them easily because they will be the really fast old guys who pass you (riding your beautiful carbon bike) while riding some "great" old steel touring bike with 20 ft3 canvas saddle bag, DT or bar end shifters, cantilever brakes, and clips. If they are a young retro grouch they may have adopted clipless pedals, but will never use anything other than SPDs (usually with sandals).

Moustache handles and handlebar moustaches are often common calling cards. The phrase "Sturmey Archer" is their mating call, and respond readily with "..is real" whenever anyone mentions the name of that iron alloy that contains some carbon...yeah carbon....

They are usually well read, have played an instrument or two, participate in local theatre, and have a secret desire to chuck everything to learn how to be a blacksmith. When not riding a bike they can be found inside the oldest/smallest bike shops in the area, teaching physics at a local school or university, or recycling cans.

They can be lured with the promise of showing them any folding bike design at least 30 years old.

...I can go on....
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Old 07-16-06, 03:43 PM   #18
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Speaking from personal experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psimet2001
A Retro Grouch is a old hippie that used to ride their bike from one Dead concert to the next, trading weed for tire patches, usually has granola stuck in 2 foot long beard.

They usually oppose anything "new" made for a bike in the last 30 years, only ride Brooks saddles (and these only because they can't find a town cobbler to make teir our for them). You can spot them easily because they will be the really fast old guys who pass you (riding your beautiful carbon bike) while riding some "great" old steel touring bike with 20 ft3 canvas saddle bag, DT or bar end shifters, cantilever brakes, and clips. If they are a young retro grouch they may have adopted clipless pedals, but will never use anything other than SPDs (usually with sandals).

Moustache handles and handlebar moustaches are often common calling cards. The phrase "Sturmey Archer" is their mating call, and respond readily with "..is real" whenever anyone mentions the name of that iron alloy that contains some carbon...yeah carbon....

They are usually well read, have played an instrument or two, participate in local theatre, and have a secret desire to chuck everything to learn how to be a blacksmith. When not riding a bike they can be found inside the oldest/smallest bike shops in the area, teaching physics at a local school or university, or recycling cans.

They can be lured with the promise of showing them any folding bike design at least 30 years old.

...I can go on....
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Old 07-16-06, 03:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001
A Retro Grouch is a old hippie that used to ride their bike from one Dead concert to the next, trading weed for tire patches, usually has granola stuck in 2 foot long beard.

They usually oppose anything "new" made for a bike in the last 30 years, only ride Brooks saddles (and these only because they can't find a town cobbler to make teir our for them). You can spot them easily because they will be the really fast old guys who pass you (riding your beautiful carbon bike) while riding some "great" old steel touring bike with 20 ft3 canvas saddle bag, DT or bar end shifters, cantilever brakes, and clips. If they are a young retro grouch they may have adopted clipless pedals, but will never use anything other than SPDs (usually with sandals).

Moustache handles and handlebar moustaches are often common calling cards. The phrase "Sturmey Archer" is their mating call, and respond readily with "..is real" whenever anyone mentions the name of that iron alloy that contains some carbon...yeah carbon....

They are usually well read, have played an instrument or two, participate in local theatre, and have a secret desire to chuck everything to learn how to be a blacksmith. When not riding a bike they can be found inside the oldest/smallest bike shops in the area, teaching physics at a local school or university, or recycling cans.

They can be lured with the promise of showing them any folding bike design at least 30 years old.

...I can go on....
hilarious--I love steel frames, brooks saddle, non-"anatomic" handlebars, quill stems and a few other things that retro grouches covet--but the full-on Rivendell-esque/beeswax/pine tar soap/birkenstocks routine goes a bit far imo


the "classic" stuff I like is out of sheer pragmatism, not a "lifestyle"

the superhero-costumed team jersey guys I see at the park crack me up too though

I can't see how you can laugh at the above (hilarious imo) post and not laugh at the weightweenie, carbon-everything guys as well, seems like different sides of the same coin--two extremes

I'm not racing or riding to "prove a point" so I guess that's why neither extreme interests me

I just like to ride a nice bike, have a good ride, have some fun
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Old 07-16-06, 04:11 PM   #20
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It should be pointed out to all the carbon fiber/lycra weenies that Riv sells and recommends a whole lot of new technology on their website, too.(Example, Grant P. finds the new "Rapid Rise" stuff by Shimano to be superior technology.) Of course, most of you critics have probably never even looked at the catalog or site, though. Have fun stuffing your strawmen!

(For the record, I own a few of both newfangled and oldfangled bikes. My current favorite ride has an Al frame with a sloping top tube. Grant P. has a lot of good insights on cycling, and doesn't get me all butt-hurt the way he does some of you roadies, though.)
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Old 07-16-06, 04:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson
It should be pointed out to all the carbon fiber/lycra weenies that Riv sells and recommends a whole lot of new technology on their website, too.(Example, Grant P. finds the new "Rapid Rise" stuff by Shimano to be superior technology.) Of course, most of you critics have probably never even looked at the catalog or site, though. Have fun stuffing your strawmen!

(For the record, I own a few of both newfangled and oldfangled bikes. My current favorite ride has an Al frame with a sloping top tube. Grant P. has a lot of good insights on cycling, and doesn't get me all butt-hurt the way he does some of you roadies, though.)
I used to fly fish, and owned a German Shepard too.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:27 PM   #22
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There are some humorous posts here - with elements of truth sprinkled in. I consider myself a neo-retro-grouch. I feel more comfortable using older shifting technology on steel frames because I know how to work on it myself, and I know that with a bit of care, it will still be rideable after my riding days are through (still 30-40 years out with any luck).

I do like riding swiftly though (well in relative terms for me at least). I like lightweight stuff (which doesn't rule out some of the older frames/equipment). On the other hand, if I had the cash to spare, the full carbon Scott at the LBS has some attraction on me (ok - I'd still be tempted to use bar-con shifters on it though). Maybe when they start discussing Orbea, Felt, Litespeed & Giant in the Classic and Vintage Forum, I'll be ready to make the big jump.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode
I used to fly fish, and owned a German Shepard too.
I just throw sticks of dynamite in the water, and I have a robot dog. Step into the 21st century, old-timer.

Last edited by KrisPistofferson; 07-16-06 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:36 PM   #24
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I just throw sticks of dynamite in the water, and I have a robot dog. Step into the 21st century, old-timer.
Okay, I just need to order two more spare Pearl stems and I'll be ready to go--no looking back, promise.
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Old 07-16-06, 05:20 PM   #25
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just because Grant is a "marketing genius", as others have said, doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile product--the two aren't mutually exclusive

he's not selling weight-loss pills on infomercials to the soap opera demographic, he's marketing to intelligent people who lead active lives and enjoy the outdoors--there's nothing wrong with that

I can't wait until DocRay (that guy is hilarious imo) comes and says Rivendell is a cult, while sporting a cervelo avatar, cervelo bike, defending Basso against doping allegations, all wrapped up in some maple leaf nationalism that he doesn't think is nationalism simply because he's not from alabama and isn't flying the stars and bars

seriously--when I saw this thread, first though "Dude, there's gonna be some hilarious DocRay/OCP crowd posts."

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