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Retro Grouch Must-Have's

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Retro Grouch Must-Have's

Old 03-03-07, 11:16 PM
  #1  
markwebb
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Retro Grouch Must-Have's

OK OK spent all day reading old Rivendell Readers. I feel inspired. Grant Petersen has a zen-like hold on me.

Anyway, I love steel bikes. Newer welded, and especially old or new lugged. I personally own 2: a 2000 IF Crown Jewel that was a show bike, complete with custom paint, and a 2005 lugged Mercian King of Mercia built with Reynolds 531.

Anyway, if you're of the same mindset as me and dream steel dreams, what do you think are the must-have components and parts for a newer fine steel ride. I'm not talking about Campy NR or SR to complete a vintage restoration. I'm talking new equipment to outfit a steel ride. Equipment that may be an improvement over it's vintage counterparts.

Here are my nominations:
  • Soma Oppy double gated toe clips. They hold your shoes in better than traditional single gated toe clips.
  • Soma leather toe straps. Black. These are like 18" long. I recently ordered a set of new Campy straps but they were only about 14" long - not nearly long enough to really grip and pull. If you look at some older racing pics you can see that most straps had 3"-4" extra length to them. The new Soma's at 1" long really rock !!!
  • MKS Toe clips. If you must have single gated. I like these because they come in extra large - you can get more of your foot onto the pedal. I personally never liked the feeling of having just a small portion of foot on the pedals - always felt like I had less power. But that's just me.
  • MKS leather toe straps. They come in red and are about an inch shorter than Soma. Harder leather and probably wear better than the Soma.
  • MKS pedals. Various styles. I like the mountain bike types/road bike non-quill. These kind have jagged edges and grip your feet better than quills.
  • Nitto Noodle handlebars 46cm size. Very comfortable with more useful riding positions. Drops are very comfortable.
  • Nitto extra long threaded stems. Lets you get bars up to height of seat. Warning : on bikes 55cm and smaller they may not fit well, because head tubes taper at bottom and the stems are so long they may hit taper and you may be unable to get them lower than minimum insertion mark.
  • Campagnolo toe clip strap end buttons. Needed to firmly grip and pull, and also keeps straps from getting pulled through buckle in reverse.
Now - what are your nominations?
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Old 03-04-07, 12:17 AM
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I ride steel (and others) and am 48 yrs old but these nominations must come from the Green Party.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:20 AM
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Huh??? I'm afraid I don't get your post, Vpiuva. I asked for other nominations. Do you have any?
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Old 03-04-07, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by markwebb
Huh??? I'm afraid I don't get your post, Vpiuva. I asked for other nominations. Do you have any?
Me, either.

And I have friends in the Green Party.

Lugged steel '84 Schwinn LeTour. A sweet ride, and a great 29-lb training bike.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by vpiuva
I ride steel (and others) and am 48 yrs old but these nominations must come from the Green Party.
I'm not sure how quill stems and toe clips equate with the "Green Party."

Tim
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Old 03-04-07, 05:15 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by VegaVixen
Me, either.

And I have friends in the Green Party.

Lugged steel '84 Schwinn LeTour. A sweet ride, and a great 29-lb training bike.
Wow...old Schwinn lightweights....about a year ago I parted a '78 Continental for a friend of mine that owns two Continentals. I know a collector who owns forty...as in 40...Schwinn Lightweights...all different models...from Supersport to Paramount in pristine condition. To me the old Paramounts were art and rode beautifully. The LeTour was a very popular frame....I owned one at one point....nice bike.

OP, you must add to your list the mainstay of all retro pieces...a Brooks B.17. There is no more enduring component on a bicycle that has better stood the test of time...none.

As to other pieces to adorn your retro-ride...would say a modern Centaur alloy groupset would go nicely.

Lastly, I like steel as well...best for the budget conscious for ride in particular and the most elegant to look at but for performance, nothing beats more modern frame material.
George
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Old 03-04-07, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by markwebb
Campagnolo toe clip strap end buttons. Needed to firmly grip and pull, and also keeps straps from getting pulled through buckle in reverse.
Please return your retro grouch membership card. Worrying about toe strap end buttons is a clear indication that you just don't get it.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:25 AM
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In lieu of a Brooks saddle, how about an Ideal saddle?
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Old 03-04-07, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rodrigaj
In lieu of a Brooks saddle, how about an Ideal saddle?
If you mean Ideale, I agree.

Other nominations:
  • Campy dropouts
  • Reynolds 531 steel
  • Nervex lugs
  • Shellacked cotton tape
  • Downtube friction shifters (or friction bar ends)
  • Of course no aero brake levers
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Old 03-04-07, 08:22 AM
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Retro is a style statement. As such, it means what you want it to mean, or you
are just an old version of all those guys riding fixies

Anyway... I ride steel, but not lugged. Leather, not Brooks. Gears, but brifters.

I go with what works, for me.
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Old 03-04-07, 08:24 AM
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I think many here are missing the point of the thread. This is about style and fashion. Also, if worrying about toe strap buttons is an issue then I'm out too.

I'll add:
Nitto front and rear racks
Honjo fenders

Last edited by jjvw; 03-04-07 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 03-04-07, 08:47 AM
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-Old style Selle Italia Flite saddles (I have two) with the thicker leather cover that have more resistence to bunching up. Not that the current offering is poor (it's great), but the originals were of higher quality.

-Mavic OP/w 36h or 32h (have both)
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Old 03-04-07, 09:07 AM
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Got :

1)MKS pedals,
2)toeclips(L) & straps
3)Nitto bars & stem (the taller stem helped reduce my seat-bar drop to 3 inches from 4)

You need to add :
1)Downtube shifters (on at least one bike, these have a special feel to them)
2)36h wheels with clean shiny SS spokes (Weinnman + Maillard hubs)
3)Tubulars
4)Aero brake levers for that really clean look.
5)Silca frame pump.
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Old 03-04-07, 02:19 PM
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I worried about strap end buttons because they are very functional. They are not about style. They make it easier to grab the strap and tighten or loosen.

And, for me, retro is not just style. I'll often take function over style. For me, toe clips work better than clipless, so I look for best performing clips and straps. Example: the Soma toe clips look less-stylish that single gates, but double gated works better. A steel bike - for me - rides better than aluminum and is more affordable than most Ti and carbon.

I'll add Brooks, although to each his own. Ya either love 'em or hate 'em.

I'll add barend shifters. Personally, I like brifters. STI to me is one of the single greatest inventions ever. I can be climbing a big hill and the shifters are right where my hands are - barcons and downtubes cause me to remove my hand from bar position, effectively losing some power instinctfully without doing it consciously.

I'll add Silca frame pumps. Actually both major brands of frame pumps will work equally well.

Cotton tape, too, although I do think Cinelli cork is better and I will never go back to cotton.

Hmm...Centaur was an interesting nomination !!!

My post may have been hard to intrepret. Think of it this way. You're going to open a new LBS. Plenty of wood and exposed bricks. Skylights. Visions of the Sierras near Grass Valley and Auburn, or Colordao Springs Rockies. Maybe a dash of the Pyrenees, Swiss Alps, or Italian vineyards. Or, an English ivy covered lane or perhaps a path through St Patricks green fields in Ireland. You are a retro grouch, so you stock steel lugged bikes or newer welded steel bikes - but just the good stuff. No junk. Bikes built for comfort not speed. You want your customers to be comfortable. Comfort more important than speed. You stock Bike-O-Vision DVDs not Carmichael or Spinervals.

So, function is very important. Parts that get seats even with bars. Etc. Visualize such a shoppe. STI is perfectly acceptable and so are Campy ergo because, well, they just work better than downtube friction.

Now -what would you nominate?
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Old 03-04-07, 05:41 PM
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My Green Party comment was about relevance - and to troll.
OP - I am glad to see that you prefer STI and I agree with your reasons. Pedals - I switched to clipless with SPD-SLs about 3 years ago and can't imagine going back - the only reason for clips is if you are on and off and need to walk/run - i.e a messenger. Function w/clipless is so clearly superior to clips otherwise.
H1449-6 Non-aero brake levers? One of the big functional improvements for aeros was the increased mechanical advantage. Try panic stopping w/non-aeros from the hoods. I'll take aero. Non-aero function? - maybe you need to carry a bagette home from the bakery across the hoods.
Hubs - sorry, got to go with sealed bearing for function. easy to adjust and much less rolling resistance, even though I love my old record hubs.

(still fishin')
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Old 03-04-07, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by markwebb
OK OK spent all day reading old Rivendell Readers. I feel inspired. Grant Petersen has a zen-like hold on me.

Now - what are your nominations?
The last "Reader" I read did the same thing to me!

So my nomination...and a question I ask myself regularly...

Where is the wood on your bike??

"It's good to add wood to your bike!" Rivendell Reader #?
 
Old 03-04-07, 07:11 PM
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Quill stem for sure Cinelli XA(?) or older (R1?)
Cinelli 64 bars
Go for Campy Record Grouppo (nothing else will do)
Brooks Team Pro or Swift Ti
32 holed 3X laced to Mavic Reflex tubular rims with Veloflex Criterium tires glued on
Black old school tubular tire bag with the red zipper pulls
Clipless pedals (personal choice)
Silca frame pump mounted vertically on the seat tube with 2 prong metal Campy head
Gerry
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Old 03-04-07, 07:21 PM
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I don't buy into the Grant Petersen way of bicycling. Well, I partially do, but the toe clips, canvas bags, and wool shirts are a bit much.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:24 PM
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Simply because of my love of shiney things and if I were building a new classic inspired road bike I would go for the new Campy Veloce group. From what I can tell everthing above that has the "new and aggressive shiny black finish" or CF pieces. I personally haven't used anything better than Shimano 105, so it would still be an improvment.

Last edited by jjvw; 03-04-07 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 03-04-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GeraldChan
Quill stem for sure Cinelli XA(?) or older (R1?)
Cinelli 64 bars
Go for Campy Record Grouppo (nothing else will do)
Brooks Team Pro or Swift Ti
32 holed 3X laced to Mavic Reflex tubular rims with Veloflex Criterium tires glued on
Black old school tubular tire bag with the red zipper pulls
Clipless pedals (personal choice)
Silca frame pump mounted vertically on the seat tube with 2 prong metal Campy head
Gerry
+1,
plus:
Cleated Sidis
And a fetish object -
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Old 03-04-07, 09:32 PM
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Bennotto handle bar tape...
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Old 03-07-07, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jjvw
Simply because of my love of shiney things and if I were building a new classic inspired road bike I would go for the new Campy Veloce group. From what I can tell everthing above that has the "new and aggressive shiny black finish" or CF pieces. I personally haven't used anything better than Shimano 105, so it would still be an improvment.
I have Daytona 10 sp on my current ride. It was the nicest all alloy group Campy made at the time. Chorus and Record had too much plastic, excuse me Carbon Fiber.

Veloce has always been a very good deal for the money. Too bad you can't get down tube shifters anymore. Brandord bike used to have a conversion for Campy barcons to make them into down tube shifters. Problem is the the kit plus the shifters is as expensive as brifters. Not too financially sound.

Tim
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Old 03-07-07, 04:26 AM
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I nominate Richard Sachs.
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Old 03-07-07, 04:36 AM
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I should add that the 29# includes my seatbag. (mmkay, I'm a weight-wienie, worryin' about every POUND)

Everything else is strictly OEM parts. Just love me my beautifully-lugged frame.
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Old 03-07-07, 04:59 AM
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- retro? bah! fatuous jibberjabber...

- my vote is for a B-17 and clipped Wellgos w/nylon straps...
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