Vintage vs. Classically modern builds
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  1. #1
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    Vintage vs. Classically modern builds

    This topic has come up here and there and kind of piques my interest. Say you have your classic lugged steel frame which you want to restore to ride on a regular basis. Which way do you restore?

    1. Build with period correct parts, ie. downtube shifters, sew-ups, classic saddle, threaded fork, quill stem, standard spoked handbuilt wheels, and skinwall tires, etc.

    or

    2. Build with modern grouppo, ie. STI/Ergo, 10sp, threadedless fork and ahead stem setup, maybe a boutique wheelset, clinchers with modern blackwall tires.

    With my ride, for now, I've chosen #2 with a little #1 thrown in, but I do understand the attraction and value in the #1 route.

    Let's here some opinions.

    brewster

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by brewster
    This topic has come up here and there and kind of piques my interest. Say you have your classic lugged steel frame which you want to restore to ride on a regular basis. Which way do you restore?

    1. Build with period correct parts, ie. downtube shifters, sew-ups, classic saddle, threaded fork, quill stem, standard spoked handbuilt wheels, and skinwall tires, etc.

    or

    2. Build with modern grouppo, ie. STI/Ergo, 10sp, threadedless fork and ahead stem setup, maybe a boutique wheelset, clinchers with modern blackwall tires.

    With my ride, for now, I've chosen #2 with a little #1 thrown in, but I do understand the attraction and value in the #1 route.

    Let's here some opinions.

    brewster


    One of each. :-D

  3. #3
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by knh555
    One of each. :-D
    Only one? - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  4. #4
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    I have an '83 Paramount with all original DA and I only ride it once a year on the Retro Ride. I hate down tube shifters. Everything else is built to ride - whatever that may be. I think you need to decide if you want to show it or ride it. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  5. #5
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    Another option:

    #3- new frame with classic components

    My new LOOK KG451. All 7400 Dura Ace parts. I sold off the brand new threadless LOOK HSC fork on ebay and used an older threaded straight blade LOOK fork...
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    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
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    I'd rather go with period correct parts. It's nicer, I think, to capture a moment in the past, say, for example (my dream bike), a nice early to mid-80's italian frame with full Campy SR, 6 speed freewheel, DT friction shifters... Sorry, I'm daydreaming here. Of course, the correct answer is either, since bikes were meant to be ridden, and not be converted to wall art. Get it built up and RIDE IT!!!
    With all due respect to Nietzsche, that which does not kill us makes us wish we were dead...

  7. #7
    n00bsauce
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    It depends on the vintage. Truly classic vintage bikes deserve an appropriate build for their era. This doesn't always mean sew ups or skinwall tires. It also can depend on the condition of the bike. If it's in really nice shape and just needs some sprucing up (like the Moulton in the thread below) it really deserves an honest effort to keep it original. On the other hand, I've got a late 80's Schwinn Circuit. Not exactly a classic but it's in pristine condition and all original (including Shimano Sante group). I think it deserves to be kept original but will probably change the biopace chainrings, maybe go to an 8spd freehub and have S&S couplers installed. The couplers would definitely alter the bike in an irreversible fashion. Realistically it will never be a classic but it is a nice bike that deserves to be ridden.

    If the bike is in rough but restorable shape and would have to be repainted I would probably be inclined to use more modern parts. The paint job and new decals probably couldn't be duplicated in their original form so you've got leeway.

    There's a third catagory and that's an original classic that gets restored by the original builder. A buddy of mine damaged his Eisentraut by running into his garage with the bike on his rack. He sent it back to Eisentraut for repair and repainting. Obviously it came back as new and with "original" decals (I don't even know if they were decals, they may have been painted). His rig deserved to be "rebuilt" by it's builder.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

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  8. #8
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    Another option:

    #3- new frame with classic components

    My new LOOK KG451. All 7400 Dura Ace parts. I sold off the brand new threadless LOOK HSC fork on ebay and used an older threaded straight blade LOOK fork...
    I saw a really pretty '60s lugged Look at the time trial on Sunday. I'll try to get pics if he is there at the next one. - TF.
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  9. #9
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    I saw a really pretty '60s lugged Look at the time trial on Sunday. I'll try to get pics if he is there at the next one. - TF.
    I'd like to see the pictures
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Suffering
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    It depends on the vintage. Truly classic vintage bikes deserve an appropriate build for their era. This doesn't always mean sew ups or skinwall tires. It also can depend on the condition of the bike. If it's in really nice shape and just needs some sprucing up (like the Moulton in the thread below) it really deserves an honest effort to keep it original..
    I agree. I found this 1970's Falcon that had been collecting dust in a basement for over 30 years. In its pristine shape, with barley 100 miles on it, it would have been a shame to destroy its heritage by replacing parts with modern ones. I've only changed out the original Falcon tires and brake pads because the were dried out and hard as rocks. This and aside from pedals, its all original.

    Tequila
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  11. #11
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    Cool I've always thought that those Falcons deserved better

    cranksets (wouldn't a Stronglight look good?) than the one's Ernie C. specified. Just my opinion.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewster
    With my ride, for now, I've chosen #2 with a little #1 thrown in, but I do understand the attraction and value in the #1 route.
    Well said.... vintage is cool but mixing it up is fun too.

  13. #13

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    Old frames with new parts are the shinett! As soon as I find a proper sized older steel frame that suits my purpose Im gonna swap all the parts from my R2000si over and look into a carbon fork that fits.

  14. #14

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    I'm w/Turbo: Build it to ride, whatever works.

    I'm assuming you're not looking for a restoration, but a bike you can use and enjoy. In that case I'd probably build it up pretty much the way I did my Atlantis: Eight-speed stuff (the transition to nine was just beginning when I got the frame, so eight was cheap, and I don't NEED nine speeds), bar-con shifters (for the friction option if I bend something; I still don't quite trust indexing) and a B-17 saddle. It's a mix of parts I had in the bin and stuff Rivendell recommended: Triple crank with a 26t granny, 50cm bars (made for a tandem stoker; I'm a big guy) with cotton bar tape, everything set up to work and fit me, without regard to label or whether it's cool (Riv's advice was always good, BTW). The bike looks HUGE--it's a 64, and those wide bars just loom over everything. But I'm always comfortable on it.

  15. #15
    jd3
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    I just can't do it

    This is my 1975 Raleigh Super Course MK II, which I have owned since new. I've put about 1000 miles on it since I started ridding again last summer. I just built up a new Colnago Classic with Campy 10 speed. The new bike is so much easier to ride. My mileage and average speed has taken a great leap forward. My thinking was that the Raleigh was not going to get much use now that I have modern gear. I had thought about modernizing the Raleigh, but I just canít bring myself to do. It is basically as it was when new, just a few period upgrades. I think Iíll keep it like that. Maybe, as I build strength and ability, Iíll go back to it and enjoy my retro rides.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd3
    This is my 1975 Raleigh Super Course MK II, which I have owned since new. I've put about 1000 miles on it since I started ridding again last summer. I just built up a new Colnago Classic with Campy 10 speed. The new bike is so much easier to ride. My mileage and average speed has taken a great leap forward. My thinking was that the Raleigh was not going to get much use now that I have modern gear. I had thought about modernizing the Raleigh, but I just canít bring myself to do. It is basically as it was when new, just a few period upgrades. I think Iíll keep it like that. Maybe, as I build strength and ability, Iíll go back to it and enjoy my retro rides.
    Nice! I remember the Raliegh Super Course. As a teen, one of my riding partner's older brother handed one down it him. Your bike looks like it is in pretty good shape.

    I have a modern bike with the latest technology but I also love to ride my classic bike too. It gives me a greater appreciation of the technoogy of my modern bike and more importantly, everytime I ride it, it reminds me of 20 + years ago when I was zipping all over the place on my first Falcon. (I wish I still had that one, it was stolen). My current Falcon is used for commuting and to zip over to the store. In the city, it would be crazy to leave a $3000 + bike for any period of time even if its locked. A local bike club holds an annual classics/retro bike ride which my Falcon recieves great compliments for its originality and condition.

    Tequila

  17. #17
    Dropout
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    Your Super Course probably suffers from slower tires, more weight, and a more upright riding position. You could lower the stem but don't do it at the expense of comfort. I'm don't know what's on there, but lighter rims and tires might help. If it has the original tires and rims, you could lose 1/2 to 1 pound of rotating weight. If it matters.

    I worked at a Raleigh shop in the mid-70's--Super Course and up were the good bikes, and the Mk II was a lot nicer than the previous version that had Simplex and cottered cranks. My best friend still has a red one like yours.Hang onto that bike, so you have a practical ride as an alternative to your Colnago. I'd put fenders and a rack on it for commuting, rain, etc.

  18. #18
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    I think that all depends on how much you intend to ride the bike, I am in the process of doing both:
    I have just sent my 1981 De Rosa frame for a complete restoration, once I get it back I intend to build it up replacing all of the super record drive train with Chorus/Record 10 spd. This is going to be one of my main riding bike.

    I have also another project bike, a late '80~early '90 Haral, I am going to build it up with more period correct parts and only intend to ride it once every so often. The main concern here is that quality parts (7spd) are getting more difficult to find and I would hate to look for a 7spd freewheel or bottom bracket that would fit.

    Bike collection is an addiction, you can't just stop at one. Once you go down this path I think you will eventually owning several examples of both like most of us here.

    Mike

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