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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:41 pm 
The Guv'nor
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The recent spat of inter forum banter got me thinking about the differences between the three big retro forums (don't think I'm being presumptuous counting retrobike in this number :wink: ). Ultimately we're all into the same things - old bikes basically.

Each forum and user base seems to have it own 'style' almost. Retrobike users tend to favour early 90s stuff spandangled with anodized trick bits (as personified by Jezza). MTBR VRC has some of the sweetest restoration jobs ever but generally favours slightly older rides (maybe reflecting the sport taking off sooner in the US) done out more or less as original. Mtb-news classic seems again to favour early 90s stuff, this time done out immaculately with all period correct and functional parts.

Off course these are sweeping generalisation and just my perception. Maybe I'm talking crap. What are your thoughts?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:56 am 
BoTY Winner
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Thats pretty accurate I think. Great question. 8)


My take on the big three.

Retro-Bike -
Seems to me most of the bikes lean towards mid 90's. I see more suspension forks than not. Builds range from anodized/cnc to 'resto-mods' (older frame mixed with modern parts). Seems like you guys are really good about large gatherings, which I wish there were more of here in the States. BOTM is a cool thing to have too. I'm guessing that the bikes you guys favor were the ones available on your side of the pond back in the day?

MTBR -
More mid to late 80's bikes, dipping into early 90's. Lots of Marin/California talent. More full rigid and all period correct builds, but not always NOS. The core posters are amazingly knowledgeable. We've had a few historic mtb personalities post. Seems MTBR also gets a lot of newer/rookie collectors or those looking for info only or whats it worth. We're spread out, so gatherings are few and far between. MTBR parent company ComsumerReview.com restricts the 'for sale' and market type posts (which is just peachy for me :roll: )


MTB-news.de -
Hard to speak on their personality and how they get along there, but the restorations are meticulous. NOS heavy, no detail left untouched from cable crimps to color coordination. Lots of titanium bikes and Kleins. Seems to be early to mid 90's.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:33 am 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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If nothing else, it's great that there's so much interest out there for old skool MTB's, heer's to the future eh! 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:37 am 
Concours Judge
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Maybe it is just me, but at mtb-news.de I see a larger portion of bikes photographed inside.

Of course the French have their own forum too and it looks pretty serious:

http://www.sk1design-forum.com/viewforum.php?f=5

I don't understand a single word of it, but sometimes I watch pics at them.

No forum in Holland. Too small maybe and the vintage thing only recently takes a bit off. Moreover many Dutch simply speak English or German pretty well.

I think for a site like oldschoolmtb.com it is very important to investigate what would be the right position in the market. They 'compete' with both Retrobike, MTBR VRC and maybe a bit mtb-new.de. If I were them I would probably try to cover several specific segment, next to general discussion.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:17 pm 
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I'm guessing that most of the members on here are about the same age, the retro bikes lusted after are the ones few were lucky enough to have the money for back then, but now with more disposable income available and ebay, people are buying the bikes they always wanted.

For me bike from this era were/are far more exciting, what with corperate buy outs over the years, all but a few of the small innovators have gone.

Maybe it's me, but i don't think you have as good a choice these days. Marin, Specialized, Trek and Kona seem to have it sown up.

If you look at MBA from the early ninties the choice was far greater.

Perhaps it's just rose tinted glasses :D


Sorry John, forgot, Retrobikes the best :D


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:46 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
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We are letting digital democracy define - the sum of our parts. If a national forum is defined by its users and their rides - why not create a database that one can readily access... such as in Discogs. Although the current UK users gallery appears to do much the same, in Discogs you can access an Excell spreadsheet that is continually updated with your music (substitute frames and parts/include 'wants'). Then an outsider can see a spread of the 'currency' in which we trade.

It's interesting to note that other forums don't have representations of their membership as in our galleries or BOTM (increasingly admired it seems!). Perhaps there is a greater collective sense at Retrobike - being a smaller island and our regional MTB scene having a shorter history - we as a group have more nostalgia in common. As an aside, I think we were lucky to have such progressive importers back in the early 90s - we seem to have more of the US cottage brands and components to talk about than in mainland Europe.

Tis a shame though, that forums are so likely to flame up over interpretation of the printed word - there's always a minority that love to spit from the safety of their PCs, threatening the free speech aspect. Guys, don't type after too many beers! One of the charming traits about Retrobikers is their innate ability to meander away from tedious 'controversy' with whimsical nonsense that confuses the agitator(s) into submission! I give you 'WAFFLES!'...

More anon.

Neil

PS. Still waiting for the internationally agreed definitions of 'vintage', 'retro' and 'old school'....


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:46 pm 
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mrkawasaki, keep a look out. I'm working on exactly the type of user maintained database you mentioned. I hope to have it up by the end of the year or the beginning of next. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:24 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:43 am
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mrkawasaki wrote:
If a national forum is defined by its users and their rides - why not create a database that one can readily access... such as in Discogs. Although the current UK users gallery appears to do much the same, in Discogs you can access an Excell spreadsheet that is continually updated with your music (substitute frames and parts/include 'wants'). Then an outsider can see a spread of the 'currency' in which we trade.




hmm, the forum software is already running on one of the best, easily accessible databases in mysql, i'm not a fan of phpBB and prefer vbulletin which has some very neat ad ons which could give a lot of what you are looking for. maybe phpbb can be extended to do this ?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:35 pm 
The Guv'nor
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rumpfy wrote:
Thats pretty accurate I think. Great question. 8)


Glad it wasn't just me :D

Poor form forgetting the sk1forum. Seems like a popular site, just went with those three since these are (some) of the sites I frequent. Be interested to hear what other retro sites people visit.....


As for the discogs style database of parts sure it's something we could look at here on retrobike. If someone has an idea how to work it (Mr Zero? MrK?) give me a shout....Always open to new ideas here, generally find time to be the constraining factor :(


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