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What makes a bike proper?

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What makes a bike proper?

Old 06-12-14, 07:55 AM
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Panza
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What makes a bike proper?

Hi guys, I've been stalking the Post your SS/FG thread for quite some time now and I'm wondering what it is about a bike that makes it clean, fresh, proper, etc.

Is it a flawless paint job on a vintage bike and shining glimmering track oriented groupsets? Pedals, wheels? Whats your opinion?

I'm working on an ongoing project to turn my black FG Colnago Super from ordinary to respectable and just wanted to know the general consensus on opinions. After looking up Campagnolo vintage track cranks I realized my project would not be cheap ... so I might as well do it right if I'm going to give it a go.



vs Typical Google image of a clean bike


Last edited by Panza; 06-12-14 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 06-12-14, 08:12 AM
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Old 06-12-14, 08:16 AM
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It's different for everyone. Some want a flashy, color matching bike while others like a cleaner, more classic look. Neither is wrong, just a matter of preference.

Personally I like a nice, understated bike with clean lines. I love the way quill stems look with classic drop bars. I also prefer the way older steel tubing looks to aero tubing.
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Old 06-12-14, 08:22 AM
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So why didn't you post in the post your ssfg thread instead of starting a new one?
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Old 06-12-14, 08:22 AM
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I'd say in the examples you've shown, half the difference is in the photography.
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Old 06-12-14, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
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Old 06-12-14, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rmpmcdermott View Post
It's different for everyone. Some want a flashy, color matching bike while others like a cleaner, more classic look. Neither is wrong, just a matter of preference.

Personally I like a nice, understated bike with clean lines. I love the way quill stems look with classic drop bars. I also prefer the way older steel tubing looks to aero tubing.
+1

Rmpmcdermott, Nailed It!
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Old 06-12-14, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Steev View Post
I'd say in the examples you've shown, half the difference is in the photography.
You know sir, I think you might be right. A proper camera and setting can make all the difference.
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Old 06-12-14, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Panza View Post

This bike is pretty hardly "proper".
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Old 06-12-14, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
This bike is pretty hardly "proper".
See! I havent understood what makes a bike proper! I feel like a boy who hasn't hit puberty to appreciate a pretty girl that everyone else sees.
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Old 06-12-14, 09:31 AM
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You can also ignore what other people think about your bike and set it up whichever way feels the best to you. Then ride the crap out it and scartch the paint a little.
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Old 06-12-14, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Panza View Post
See! I havent understood what makes a bike proper! I feel like a boy who hasn't hit puberty to appreciate a pretty girl that everyone else sees.
A "Proper" bike is owned by the Rothschilds, ridden in the Hamptons on a sunny summer afternoon, where you can place your fixie unlocked, just outside the Almond Al Fresco Bistro. You can there have your server stand by your side, as he spreads Grey Poupon upon your Oscar Meyer Weiner!
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Old 06-12-14, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
You can also ignore what other people think about your bike and set it up whichever way feels the best to you. Then ride the crap out it and scartch the paint a little.
This.

A proper bike is the one you love to ride. Yeah, some bikes are prettier than other or look more classic than others. I, personally, don't like the second bike photo you posted at all, but that's my preference.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
A "Proper" bike is owned by the Rothschilds, ridden in the Hamptons on a sunny summer afternoon, where you can place your fixie unlocked, just outside the Almond Al Fresco Bistro. You can there have your server stand by your side, as he spreads Grey Poupon upon your Oscar Meyer Weiner!
Au contraire, a "proper" bike is one that is built and set up properly. See my PedalRoom for reference.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:15 AM
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A proper bike has:

- a steel frame with 28.6 mm main tubes
- a horizontal top tube
- a quill stem
- classic road handlebars with brake levers of your choice, preferably not Tektro/Cane Creek
- an understated crankset that is neither bulky nor "modern"
- aluminum rims that are box section or very slightly aero. no brand markings.
- no brand marking other than on the headtube crest and on the downtube, alternatively on the seattube
- a fluted seatpost
- a Brooks swallow or professional
- aluminum parts are the color of aluminum, polished or brushed

My fg bike fails most of these criteria, btw, because it was what I could afford to spend.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
Au contraire, a "proper" bike is one that is built and set up properly. See my PedalRoom for reference.
So clean so fresh. Lol I really like this site though. Didn't know it existed until now.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
Au contraire, a "proper" bike is one that is built and set up properly. See my PedalRoom for reference.
+1

Damn, Scrod!

That Pedal Room looks pretty freaking "Proper", I'd say!

...Looks like money...$$$
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Old 06-12-14, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
A proper bike has:

- a steel frame with 28.6 mm main tubes
- a horizontal top tube
- a quill stem
- classic road handlebars with brake levers of your choice, preferably not Tektro/Cane Creek
- an understated crankset that is neither bulky nor "modern"
- aluminum rims that are box section or very slightly aero. no brand markings.
- no brand marking other than on the headtube crest and on the downtube, alternatively on the seattube
- a fluted seatpost
- a Brooks swallow or professional
- aluminum parts are the color of aluminum, polished or brushed

My fg bike fails most of these criteria, btw, because it was what I could afford to spend.
This seems like the perfect criterion to follow. I was wanting anpost that had someone's crazy personal ideas on "proper", though I think the points listed are actually quite nice-- even down to the being too poor part. : )
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Old 06-12-14, 10:22 AM
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I'm kinda happy as long as I'm on a bike : ) I'd throw Snowboard/Skis on the happy-to-ride list but too impractical for daily commuting- even in winter.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:35 AM
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Any bike that I like and fits me good, is "proper" in my opinion. Doesn't matter if it's completely custom or right out of a box.

Last edited by Philasteve; 06-12-14 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
…with brake levers of your choice, preferably not Tektro/Cane Creek…
What's wrong with Tektro / Cane Creek ?
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Old 06-12-14, 10:51 AM
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I'd define a proper bike as one that perfectly suits its intended purpose. Aesthetically proper is another story, though they can overlap.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
What's wrong with Tektro / Cane Creek ?
I'm concerned that their design is clunky and inelegant, it feels strictly wrong for vintage bicycles (to me, but not to others). True confession, I have the Cane Creek gum/silver levers on my fg, because it was the best that I could do to get the look of a gum hood in an aero lever.

The TRP drilled levers have a nice extra bend to them, but they're pricey. Too rich for my builds.

It's all strictly one person's opinion, though. This may not apply to anyone else.
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Old 06-12-14, 11:58 AM
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Proper? IMO, proper is when a theme is chosen before the build, and adhered to all the way through to completion. I like ANY kind of bike when the build is executed "properly".
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Old 06-12-14, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I'm concerned that their design is clunky and inelegant, it feels strictly wrong for vintage bicycles (to me, but not to others). True confession, I have the Cane Creek gum/silver levers on my fg, because it was the best that I could do to get the look of a gum hood in an aero lever.

The TRP drilled levers have a nice extra bend to them, but they're pricey. Too rich for my builds.

It's all strictly one person's opinion, though. This may not apply to anyone else.
Different strokes, I guess. I find the TRP levers to be ugly. They look a bit like STis without shifters, and I find STis to be ugly too. I like 80s-style aero levers. I asked, btw, because I have SCR-5s on my Fuji and my Surly.
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