I've come to this late and and am therefore resurrecting the thread!
I've got to say there is some absolute guff being spouted about ugly modern bikes and OTT decals / colour schemes (meant in a joking / friendly none derogatory tone).
There were some hideously loud paint jobs...some Yo Eddy's for example, splatter jobs, neon bits etc. Modern bikes are going through a colour resurrection at the moment. It wasn't that long ago when stealth was the order of the day.
There have been some awful looking old bikes...early Orange full sus bikes were grim as were some of the early 'Dale versions. There have also been some lovely ones...just as there are some lovely looking modern bikes as well as some ugly ones.
The thing that really got me was 'modern' companies being about making money. I think that's always been the case. I'm sure when the first Spesh MTB was issued it wasn't for fun or out of he goodness of their heart but to exploit a niche that they spotted. Same as Pace, Kona etc.
As for the way things work, modern things do do certain things better. I have an early nineties Beast of the East which is a good looking bike but the angles mean that it is twitchy, the bars are too narrow, the canti and original Hope disc brake suck as do the RC35's. However I still love it for sentimental reasons but my more modern bikes do do modern riding much better. I also think that they're good looking in their own right.
As for mechanicals, I have far less breakages than I used to but then again I started riding in '96 which was when DH, jumping and mucking about started to boom and the kit at the time just wasn't suitable. Trails have changed, they are rougher so bikes have changed. I couldn't imagine riding some of the tracks in Wharncliffe on my old 'Dale.
The other thing is who cares if someone has a nice car and a expensive bike? It's their money, they can spend it on what they want. Not only that, it's a good thing for those of us who buy a lot of stuff second hand! That attitude is just as judgemental as those who look down on people riding older bikes.
There's room for both, and I get that this is retro bike but it does seem that people have blanked out some of the god awful bikes that were produced....and the mental paint jobs and purple anodising!
Anyway, enough from me. Just enjoy riding bikes.
I have to say agree with the above....I enjoy a retro ride...its diffferent, nostalgic and simple. But for comfort and ease and everyday ridability my modern rides are better. There was a lot of ugly stuff BITD and the same is true of modern bikes of today....but one day (in my opinion) these modern bikes will be retro bikes of the future. We are all used to ABS and traction control in modern cars today and whilst its fun to drive a sports car with neither...we all appreciate the mod cons that a modern car provides...can the same not be true of bikes?
We all wanted the innovations in the bike world back then in pre 97 land why would we be stupid enough to deny ourselves of developments that have happened since then? Yeah sure some bikes have become style over content, but to consign every bike post 1997 to be over engineered and ugly and not fit for purpose is naive to say the least. I love old bikes but I love new bikes with equal measure...they are very different machines and should be treated as such and not compared like for like.
There is a danger in the retro world to dismiss anything "new" this to me is a luddite mentality and tantamount to a fear of progression...a rage against the machine! Can we not appreciate the past and the roots of our love of Mountain bikes whilst appreciating the advances and benefits that have been evolved over time?
Just my imput!!!