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the tide is turning .....(13 posts)

the tide is turning .....Spirito
Jul 25, 2002 12:45 PM
... I dont discount that modern bikes are brilliant in terms of execution and performance but none of that really matters to me as i ride for joy and pleasure. I am discerning enough to realise the advancements in design, components and materials but for 95% of my riding i beleive it makes little difference.

Im not a luddite per se just "visually sensitive". Ive never been a fan of billboard frames and supercillious paintwork - the beauty is in the lack of. Perhaps we have all "grown to like" them as thats what we are offered. Im not a pro-cyclist and i dont play one on TV either - my dalliance with pro-style bikes was enjoyable but did it make love to ride more - no! .... it just made me more of a neurotic consumer and driven not by crisp mornings and an attachment to my steed but made me a catalogue whore with an incredulant gullibility that spending was porportional to enjoyment.

I think that modern bici have lost a lot of elegance and purity of line and the appearance of the bicycle is important. I also think that the amounts that are being spent on them is crazy in terms of how much life they will have when recreational riders are now upgrading frames every 2 years. When newbies post here asking for advice on a new bike for $2k they plan to use for 3 years before upgrading/replacing then i am drawn to turn my back on expensive obscelecence. Are we all about to get boob jobs, new teeth and move to hollywood?

You can now have your cake and eat it too - classic frames and components (getting rare) are being offered for piners of yesteryear. Tradition is alive and growing. I really think that all the big names (colnago, deRosa et al) will come out with frames that reflect the styles that made them big in the first place. I would think that perhaps they are more expensive to manufacture as sourcing materials and the time involved is higher (lots of hand finishing) so in that sense i dont think they are profitable ventures but a limited series of classic bici would easily be absorbed by an eager market and would definately have a place in any big manufacturers market profile.

The neo primato is close, but the MXL is still with the saudi royal family paintwork. Cant wait for pinarello and bianchi to look back at their grass roots as well. Its one thing to design a new mini cooper, beetle or s-type jaguar but an even purer thing to make an a replica as was de riguer.

I would expect the owners of the above bici to be riding and enjoying them in 20 or 30 years time. Were they to be fitted with modern components i would think they would fare exceedingly well in terms of excecution and function in comparison to current styles. We probably will never see them taking a win atop mount ventoux but just how many of us really ride those conditions?

Some may call it boutique or niche building - i dont care as it just looks beautiful and would consider it art that you can use and keep for many years.

Before you flame just ask yourself if you really wouldn't like to have one of these bikes "brand new" and whether you think them as not appealing.

Having seen the quality and finish of components by both big palyers drop considerably in the last 15 years i wish they would make them to last. Yes i would pay more than $1200 for a groupset if i could see that it was built to last 10 years but i pick parts up and they no longer look like finely crafted jewels - yes they work well but they neither look pretty or like lasting 10 years of riding and most are so easily marred by the slightest of scrapes or knocks. In fact i feel well ripped off. Both big players are selling us short.

Who stole the soul? Given a choice of spending $3k every 3 years or $5k every 10 or 15 years i know which id rather.

Old bikes were ridden, enjoyed and then sold, repainted, freshened up and ridden again. n
part deuxSpirito
Jul 25, 2002 12:46 PM
Old bikes were ridden, enjoyed and then sold, repainted, freshened up and ridden again. new bikes are ridden and then tossed after such a short life. We are spending more and getting less.

I agree totally.....stacker
Jul 25, 2002 1:37 PM
I have a classic Pinarello that is in remarkable shape. Although by todays "standards" it is sub-par because of it's 22.5lb weight and lack of CAD designed frame. But what it lacks in gee haws it more than makes up for in beautiful lugs and resilient Italian steel ride. Although I may upgrade to sti shifting after a minor mishap while reaching for the shift lever(ouch!) I feel no other need to upgrade from it's "current" full Dura Ace set up. I have the financial wherewithall to purchase a new bike but have fallen in love with my "old" bike and will hold onto it for my son when/if he choses to ride.
romanticism vs. wanderlustStarliner
Jul 26, 2002 10:13 PM
Spirito you are an old romantic which I find appealing on this board where sometimes we find ourselves masturbating over useless trivialities such as aero seatposts and the like. Romantics like you who step up and throw in their 2 cents help bring things back to a grounded level which is good.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder however, and our encounters with beauty are stored within ourselves as pictures which we can recall at any time. A romantic will tend to hold on to such pictures perhaps beyond their shelf life, and build a shrine around such pictures so that they can live on and not be forgotten.

There is another pull that many of us succumb to, and that is a desire to move on. To those of us who are like this, we have filed away our pictures of beauty, not as a rejection of them, but because of an overwhelming urge to keep moving on; to explore places which haven't yet been explored, to experience experiences which haven't yet been experienced; to try new things which haven;t been tried.

Are we better off to do this? Not necessarily. Yet, neither are we for the worse.

One can lament over what seems lost from the past, but change is a fact of life, and therefore we might as well get used to it, and the sooner we accept that, then the sooner we can realize the opportunities that change creates. Such as preservation of the best of the past. Selling classic parts on ebay. Combining old, proven methods with new technologies.

Anyway, I'm tired and shall get off my soapbox now. Bonne nuit mon chef.
different strokesDougSloan
Jul 25, 2002 1:50 PM
You can find any kind of bike you want these days. Some may want a lifetime bike, others may want whatever gets them up the next hill a few seconds faster. What a great world we live in.

vive le differance is cool ......Spirito
Jul 25, 2002 3:09 PM
.... but all the focus and drive towards frames and parts to shave seconds is a little onesided and blatantly playing into the hands of big business as consumers are paying relatively the same amount for less longevity.

that the big industry players may perhaps be building bikes that perhaps aren't as fast but will probably last longer is a positive thing. small pockets of independant framebuilders aren't exactly growing or multyplying and their art will rarely be passed on and appreciated for future generations.

am i wrong in thinking that its unreasonable to want a quality groupset that is well made and meant to last. i really think that both campy and shimano are making stuff built >down< to a price and that longevity and finish are the first things that have been scrimped on. we are paying relatively less and have forgone the option of being able to buy something that is made to last.

i just feel that its important to be able to buy bicycles to be ridden for as long as we can ride them - if i look a current cataloque or go to my LBS i see little offered in terms of that built to last ethic. this isnt healthy or balanced and nor do i see cycling as something that should be affected and moulded into a disposable realm.

were i to be a motoring enthusiast i would be offended if all that was offered was boring commuters (cheap bikes) and fast sportscars (high end OCLV's, C40's and not to the wishes of my usage). cycling is a dear and valued part of my life and a bicycle is a friend that i would wish to spend many a year with - am i foolish to want a quality bicycle (mercedes benz, bentley etc) perhaps not the fastest but something that will be around for quite sometime.

its too one sided.
I enjoyed reading your postGregJ
Jul 25, 2002 5:03 PM
I would like to point out a couple of things. First, do you have any statistics to back up your assertion that componants are currently not built to last? I will grant you that STI and ERGO levers are more complex than friction shifters and hence more prone to failure, but beyond that, I am not so sure this is even true. Are the lighter frames of today more prone to failure?(I am sure some types are, but not in general.) Do you have statistics to back that up? Lugged steel frames can also crack and fatigue if ridden hard enough. Second, the wonderful bikes of the 70's and 80's were at one time cutting edge. They were the result of years of evolution and innovation. It seems to me you are kind of stuck in an arbitrary era, as the bikes you claim to love are superior to those that preceded them. Also, the nice Pinarello's and Colnago's of days gone by were elite and expensive bikes in their time. Would you be waxing poetic about a 200 dollar Sekai sport tourer(my first bike)?
I think bikes today are as tough and durable as ever. The fact that a new rider wants to buy a C-40 with plans to upgrade in a couple of years, well that says more about the new rider than about the bike.
I would tend to agree, but I am waiting for....rwbadley
Jul 25, 2002 8:02 PM
That newbie Colnago rider to get tired of his bike and throw it away in MY direction!

Just think, in a couple years, the bike that sold today for 3,000 may be available lightly used for 1200. Not a bad deal. If it were to actually happen. It seems the new bikes, some of them anyway, are holding value fairly well. While others are worth very little. It really is like anything else...

Quality is always desirable.

It's not about the bike...carpediem
Jul 25, 2002 9:58 PM
Have you ever heard this before. As long as you ride it who cares? A lot of it is nice, and great for you if you don't already have a bike or have too much money, but most of it is just marketing. Hey, it keeps the economy going. Get over it. Just ride.
It's not about the bike...carpediem
Jul 25, 2002 9:59 PM
Have you ever heard this before? As long as you ride it who cares? A lot of it is nice, and great for you if you don't already have a bike or have too much money, but most of it is just marketing. Hey, it keeps the economy going. Get over it. Just ride.
The thing about "retro" steelWalter
Jul 26, 2002 4:57 AM
Is that you can have your cake and eat it too and for pretty reasonable $.

If you have a hankering for lugged steel (I'm not interested in debating material here so if you don't, disregard) you can pick up one of the classics for pretty reasonable money. Unless it's French and has been sighted by a Japanese collector but that's another issue.

Masi, Cinelli,highline Bianchi and many others can be had for alot less than current new prices. You get beautiful lug work and the feeling of riding something of a true vintage and tradition. Can't get into d/t friction? Not a problem. That old Campy stuff from your Masi will sell on eBay and get you started towards a new gruppo. A truly good LBS can reset the rear triangle to 130mm and away you go.

There're are alot of custom steel builders out there who do great work but a "real" Masi with a modern Campy 10 (I won't say Ultegra or DA but obviously it's possible) would be hard to match and quite abit cheaper.

I feel as if I've given away some secrets here.
very subjective argumenttz
Jul 26, 2002 7:01 AM
Style, appearance, being a "classic" are such subjective concepts. Old re-painted bikes do not please me aesthetically. Even if they were built by Mr. Colnago himself. When he was a kid.
There are plenty of penny-farthing enthusiasts, plenty of people who frown at multiple gears, people who don't recognize STI.
And finally, speaking of quality, you can't argue that modern bicycles aren't durable, just because people change them every 3 years. Let us just see how well my Sora-equipped Motobecane will ride in 15 years, and then make conclusions... :)
re: the tide is turning .....mapei boy
Jul 26, 2002 4:49 PM
I rode a Somec Columbus SL frame for fifteen years, using Early '70's Campy Nuovo Record equipment that I salvaged from my previous frame. It had gorgeous lugs. Cut-outs galore. My wife rode a Pogliaghi SL frame for fifteen years, equipped with Super Record. Said to have been one of the last frames handmade by Signore Sante Pogliaghi himself, in his Milano workshop. Its lug-work was simpler than that on my Somec, but perhaps even more fantastically beautiful.

At any rate, I'll cut to the chase. In 2000, we bought a pair of Colnago Dreams with Campy 10 speed gruppos. Bicycles made of Aluminum, the material that is said to lack any semblance of soul. From the first moment we clipped into the pedals of our new bikes, those beloved old steelies became nothing more than quaint memories. Except for the aesthetics, the new bikes are superior in every way. They're faster. They handle better. And yes, they ride a whole lot more comfortably. Most importantly, they put bigger smiles on our faces than those old bikes ever did.