I ride retro because I love riding bikes, and having a retro bike is just the excuse I needed to put another in the stable
But seriosly... None of my bikes from the early nineties survived
If they had I would probably still be riding them.
Back in those days I rode XT components all the way because they worked. I tried a few trick bits and played with a few in the shop where I worked but I could never get on with the cost and the form over function aspect. I drooled after them but even when I could afford them I backed out... with XT you knew where you stood, it was the best functioning until XTR came out. The cottage trickery may have looked good but most of it just never worked as well. Drooling over it gave me (and many of us) an almost encyclopedic knowledge that is completely useless unless we build retro bikes or frequent sites like this
I got into the retro thing when I found this site after digging out my 1995 Kona Explosif and singlespeeding it. What a bike
When I retired the Explosif in 1998 I believed it was dead - but with hindsight only the Manitou Mach5's had died (they were rubbish anyway). With the original Project 2's back on this bike it simply rules. It flies along the trail and communicates with the rider in ways that my FS and hardtails with 100+mm of travel do not. Sure... most of the time I prefer my newer bikes especially for some of the more challenging terrain I tend to ride, but there are times when I just want to blast out on easier trails covering ground and "feeling" the bike and the terrain. I guess it takes me back to my roots - riding a singlespeed is a bit like learning to ride again, not being in quite the right gear and being forced to use your body more... it's just great. Or riding old school routes which have a lot of fireroad where a modern bike is wasted, but riding an old school steed makes it interesting again - it's a roots thing ma-an!
Riding the Explosif made me hanker for a new steel race steed - which there is no way I could afford. So I began looking at older stuff, but Fats and Salsa's are thin on the ground and expensive, and Bonty's never fitted me. Lucky me found and bought a Dave Lloyd CATS WISKAS which has been a really enjoyable project. I've ridden a few Lloyds BITD because a local shop sold them mostly to it's race team... so there was a connection.
For me it's all about the ride and not the trinkets - while I still drool after the trinkets I know that for riding they are not for me - I also know that while 1992 XT 7spd was good in 1992, 1996 8spd XT with suntour XC pro thumbies is ace, and V-brakes kick tha ass of canti's so there is no way I would run them. It's been a process of finding bits and trying them, or using a few bits that I have owned since 1992-6 but that have been languishing in a box since we all started fitting riser bars and running disk brakes. Even though I'm building a bike on a 1992 frame I'm not willing to compromise the ride for period authenticity.
I love what the collectors and builders on here do - I love seeing the garage queens - I love seeing the non top end bikes - I love seeing bikes because it's all my history and it's all my roots - it's great to see all this old stuff being looked after and used.
This is a great forum and I thank you all for showing me that I am not alone in my obsession
He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.
95 Kona Explosif Singlespeed/Fixie - 100% Thrashed since new and it's still very well loved (and it looks it).
Dave Lloyd C.A.T.S W.I.S.K.A.S - Built, ridden, loved, and sold.