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European vs American: Different Philosophies re. cycling?(9 posts)

European vs American: Different Philosophies re. cycling?Slipstream
Mar 8, 2002 5:31 AM
I recall a statement that when you are in America all you see are new bikes (nothing over 2-3 years old), whereas in Europe you will see bikes in great condition that are 10, 15, even 20 years old.

It seems the emphasis in Europe is to get a good frame and keep updating the components. (Which is what a lot of post on this board also recommend.) Someone on this board stated they would never buy a used frame.

I feel that there is great value in finding a good used frame and building it up as well as updating components over time. What are your thoughts? experiences?

JOKE: Describing the difference b/European & American.

An American is on a bus in Paris and a Ferrari pulls along side. The American closes his eyes and thinks, "Someday I will be driving one of those."

Sitting in the seat in front, a European frowns and thinks, "Someday that driver will be sitting next to me on the bus."
re: not reallycyclopathic
Mar 8, 2002 5:57 AM
it depends on age category/type of riding. Some (like HH) still ride Schwinn crusers from early 70s ;)

Americans in general get things use them and then get rid of them. If you ever go to yardsale (which every Am is fond of) you'd see some of the things had never been unwrapped.

Eros on other hand living in cramped apartments tend to get fewer more durable things and keep them up.

back in 60s and 70s the joke was that you get rid of the car when ashtray fills up.
re: European vs American: Different Philosophies re. cycling?MJ
Mar 8, 2002 6:40 AM
a hypothesis to add a bit of frisson to the aesthietics discussion -

America is a more materialistic, consumer driven, disposable, acquisitive society. In part it's cultural, in part it's the recent US economy. The latest greatest is where it's at...

Europeans do not feel the need to get the latest greatest widget. But rather buy quality the first time - quality defined as something that can be used for a very long time.

a bike, like a puppy, isn't just for Christmas

having stated the above gross generalisation, which will certainly annoy some, most cycling devotees (with the exception of serious racers) share the quality/function/longevity aesthetic with 'Europeans' - even if they do drive SUV's
Mostly truegrandemamou
Mar 8, 2002 10:53 AM
I lived in Spain for 3 years and found that in general your statements are true. You bought the frame first then built it up. The only exception to this was bargain basement bikes. It was very common to find very old stock on display in bike shops. It was also common for bikes to be built up with both old and new components.

Does it make some profound statement about our cultures? I don't know. It quite possibly could. But IMO it has alot to do with disposable income. Americans have lots, many Europeans do not.
Euro apt renters move kitchen cabinets *with* themkenyee
Mar 8, 2002 12:42 PM
Can't remember which home improvement magazine I read that from. I can't imagine that, but it shows you how interesting different cultures are...
speaking of differencescyclopathic
Mar 8, 2002 4:17 PM
I've asked my brit friend to give me a lift to the store (which was ~1.25mi away) he was going out on his car and he thought I was kidding. 1.25mi? you walk.
I'm from the Uk and.........DannyBoy
Mar 9, 2002 3:31 PM
I'm not sure if this answers your question, but when I got my new bike last may I went out to one of our best frame builders and had a custom steel frame built, not as expensive as you'd think, but still not a giveaway.

The logic behind the custom build being that it'd fit like a glove and I'd be less likely to upgrade in a few years, steel basically because it's durable and compliant and with care shouldn't fatige and will last a lifetime. I WILL be riding this bike in 10 years time!

In fact I was riding a 10 year old Alan carbon fibre bike with 1987 Ultegra on it before I got this puppy, now that's getting max value and use!!!

I still have a old steel Raleigh frameset in my ma's garage back home that's 20 years old, just incase I wanna build it up into a fixed winter hack or something......

Whadda you think of it....
I really like steel (although I just got a carbon)Slipstream
Mar 9, 2002 4:39 PM
At one time Raleigh was considered a pretty decent frame. What kind of steel is yours? I am thinking about repainting my 531 w/a stars & stripes theme. Maybe adding on a carbon fork (like someone is looking to do in another post).

It seems that most people on this board buy a good frame and keep it for a while. It also seems that serious riders in the US might have MORE bikes on average. I just can't get over the number of NEW bikes I see out there. What happens to the old ones? Maybe stored in garages all over.

btw, let me know if you fix for your ergobrain problem and what you finally had to do.
In answer....DannyBoy
Mar 9, 2002 9:38 PM
The Roberts is made up of Columbus Nivacrom with a Carve carbon fork. I love it. Just pulled 40 miles in the rain on it, great fun, took ages to clean the thing after.

As for the Ergobrain, god knows what happened, after looking at all contacts etc I just re formatted it and it's fine???

My old Raleigh is 531c. Nice frame.