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Which is the odd one out of the 1980's -cars, bikes or vcrs?(19 posts)

Which is the odd one out of the 1980's -cars, bikes or vcrs?Nigey
Oct 29, 2002 11:04 AM
I can't complain; I'm riding a bike that I got for free from my brother-in-law. Granted it's an early 1980s model Fuji something-or-other, and I have to put up with 6-speed friction shifting on a double chainring. Plus it's heavy as heck -must be at least 28-30 lbs in weight. Oh yes, did I mention it was the wrong size for me? I think it's a 60cm when I take a size 53cm. Fortunately I already have children. It's night and day in comparison to my MTB with SRAM 9.0 drivechain.

You do learn to appreciate what you have -and this bike has given me loads of enjoyment. I've cycled down many country roads and enjoyed the breeze, and it's given me some really good exercise. I just get out and ride -and smile. On a good day I can average just below 18 mph on a 25 mile slightly hilly course.

But heck, I don't know how people used to cycle so happily in the 1980s -this thing seems to need constant attention. Invariably one of the lower or higher gears needs adjusting (it's really a five speed bike with a six cog freewheel, you know!). Anyway, yesterday on my usual ride, I broke a washer on the friction shift which prevents the shifter from loosening up. Result: my friction shift is now forever loosening up and changing down a gear at inopportune times.

Now all this made me think:- "Which is the odd one out from the 1980s: cars, bicycles or vcrs?" Answer: None, they're pretty much all the same. Generally Old, clunky, poor performance and unreliable. Just don't believe a person when they come out with the old chestnut of "boy, they don't make xxxx like they used to". It's a load of claptrap. I'd much rather have the cheapest bicycle today with Sora components than what I've got already. And the same goes for cars and vcrs (or perhaps more appropriately now, dvd players). Oh yes, those retro grouches who like friction shift? Can you say S-A-D-I-S-T-S out loud?

Wonder what people will think about the Ultegra and DuraAce groups in 20 years time?
I wonder ifSteve_0
Oct 29, 2002 11:14 AM
todays Ult and DA components will last 20 years.

And How can you refer to those techno-geeks who use those fancy gear-changers as retro-grouches?
No, people who like friction shift are retro-grouches! (nm)Nigey
Oct 29, 2002 11:23 AM
How so?Steve_0
Oct 29, 2002 11:45 AM
I can hardly consider someone who uses them fancy geared-bikes as 'retro'.
Automatic transmissions for bycicles??Snyder
Oct 29, 2002 12:26 PM
They exist, but ...Humma Hah
Oct 29, 2002 4:59 PM
... I've never seen anyone take 'em seriously. I saw one written up a few years back, but have never actually seen one on the road. It don't take a rocket scientist to learn to shift a der. Most rocket scientists, however, would be unable to service an internal-gear automatic hub, and you could buy a nice bike for the price of one, if I recall correctly.
Bah, confounded new-fangled downtube shifters ...Humma Hah
Oct 29, 2002 4:56 PM
... no fixie pilot would EVER believe any bike with a derailleur really qualifies as retro. On my Paramount, you can see the faint marks where the downtube shifters were REMOVED.

Of course, if you're REALLY retro, you think any bike with a chain and two wheels the same size is modern.
Oct 30, 2002 4:04 AM
(sometimes the direct route is best, i guess)
I was going to answer, but then I saw...Shad
Oct 29, 2002 11:52 AM
that your question was rhetorical.

That said, I started riding on an early 80's friction shift bike myself. I agree that the "auto-shifting" feature really wasn't too welcome when trying to hammer up a climb. Kind of like an invisible Italian from team Cinzano is there yanking the right shift lever up. However, I've also had a nicer downtube shifter setup on a slightly newer, but still 80's bike that worked well. So maybe it's just that your old stuff was crappy then and crappy now. I would guess that a "Shimano Approved" shifter from 2002 would compare to today's Dura Ace as well it it did then.
Wow! After 20 years a washer breaks and shiftingscottfree
Oct 29, 2002 12:05 PM
gets sketchy! What junk that old stuff is! I bet a million bucks no Dura Ace STI shifter will have a problem after only 20 years!

Seriously, the longevity and reliability of the old (bike)stuff (which is a function of its utter simplicity)is one of its greatest charms. If you're having problems, it's because something's wrong, and the odds are that 'something' can be fixed easily, probably by you, for a very few bucks (if that).

When, in the far distant future, maybe the year 2035, something goes wrong with someone's STI shifter (I know, it hasn't happened yet, but it will!) they'll spend $300 to replace the whole outfit because no repair is possible, check written to Shimano-Time-Warner.
Ahh, I didn't post all the story though.....Nigey
Oct 29, 2002 12:18 PM
Maybe my brother-in-law rode this bike for five minutes down to the corner store and back. I think less than a 10 miles were on it when I got my dirty little hands on it.

I've put maybe 1000-1200 miles on it -about 600 this year. In comparison to my mtbs that get rougher treatment and more miles, there isn't a comparison as far as I'm concerned!

Still, like I said I do enjoy using it, just that I do generally believe the bikes of today are alot better for less money.
Ahh, I didn't post all the story though.....xxl
Oct 29, 2002 1:13 PM
In all fairness to the downtube shifter, if it was off a mid-80's Fuji "something or other," was it really top-notch equipment? Even back then, when we geriatrics were dodging pteradactyl droppings on our rides, there were better, and worse, components on bicycles. I remember some truly unpredictable Simplex shifters that made each climb an adventure, but I also had some Superbe Pro shifters that consistently made me think indexing was for fools, they shifted so flawlessly. In fact, they're still in fine service today.

I do agree, though, that, as manufacturing technologies have improved, bike quality in general, and componentry in particular, have risen. I think that what hasn't always kept pace is the industry's marketing and design philosophy.
maybe your old fuji is a lemonSpirito
Oct 29, 2002 1:41 PM
you pointed out - "I do generally believe the bikes of today are alot better for less money."

tell that to my mate who bought a perfectly functioning and original Fuji for touring and commuting for only $100. it was always maintained well and kept clean and is over 20 years old. it serves him perfectly. to him its priceless and has more charm than any other new and far more expensive bike that he was considering.

after half a day shifting and getting used to it he has become well accustomed to its "style" and is more than happy about its robustness and his ablity to simply tinker with it and keep it running smooth. he loaded it up and set off with a few friends for a 5 day tour and all but his lowly specced and antiquated bike had mechanical problems.

im sure he would dissagree with your view of modern bikes being a lot better and for less money.

Damn near perfect... Great bike nmDave Hickey
Oct 29, 2002 6:09 PM
Give me an early 80's RX7 any day.SnowBlind
Oct 29, 2002 1:07 PM
Dear old Mom has 2 and won't sell me either one.
The '82 is just such a blast to drive, no power anything, no A/C, no electronics, just pure connection to the road and 2 seats.
The '89 is a pseudo luxury/sports car with power everything but is still fun to drive.
I had an '85 RIPms
Oct 29, 2002 2:06 PM
I drove my 1985 RX-7 for 13 years before the rotary engine bit the dust. When the car died, I did not feel that it was worth the cost of getting a new/rebuilt engine. However, I miss the car and regret my decision to donate it to charity (where is was cannabilzed for parts).
You call that Retro??laffeaux
Oct 29, 2002 2:48 PM
An '80's RX-7 retro? LOL My '71 240Z daily driver is just starting to be retro. It's from the days before the computer made it's way into the car.

I still prefer SIS to friction.
Cars in the 80's great, bikes declined IMHO ....Humma Hah
Oct 29, 2002 4:51 PM
The way singlespeed and fixed gear are regaining popularity, in 20 years people may think we're all a bunch of wimps with no quads.

My 1985.5 Reliant is the finest automobile ever built. Sucker runs like the day it was built, still looks good, none of the original sheet metal has any rust, and its the most reliable motor vehicle I've ever owned. Even beats my old 78 Toyota truck, which finally got too rusty to deal with. And '80's cars have the distinct advantage of not having explosive devices planted all around the driver and passengers (i.e. no air bags).

Bikes, OTOH, took a mighty downturn when Schwinn stopped building 'em in Chicago. My '71 has out-lasted all other vehicles I've owned, at least in years. Neither of my '70's Schwinns has any rust, both are quite solid.

VHS has survived, and probably still will for quite a while, as DVD is not the hot setup for home recording yet. But remember Beta? There's your loser, right behind 8-track.
Oct 29, 2002 7:14 PM
"I don't know how people used to cycle so happily in the 1980s" Easy. Campy Super Record on a hand built lugged frame from Eisentraut, Merckx, etc.