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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:20 pm 
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This has probably been discussed before, but is there a general consensus on what is retro or vintage and what is not? Is there a difference between these two terms anyway?

I have a carbon bike dating back to the year 2000, when carbon was not really mainstream. It has a 1" fork and 650c wheels. Would that be considered retro? If not yet, then when?
:?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:53 am 
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Very difficult to define really.

I'd say something like this:

Vintage = pre 1950's
Classic = 50's - 70's
Retro - 70's - 90's

But then you have modern'ish bikes built in the 00's that although may not be considered retro they capture the essence and beauty of the classes above.

This is not definitive just a rough guide created by myself, I'm sure others will disagree.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:53 am 
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I's say thats 10 year to modern.
However thats also mixing Retro with classic. The new term retro has to mean old styled not classic. So some of those modern but classic styled bikes would we called retro.
I have often thought this forum is mis named.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:18 am 
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Tel wrote:
Very difficult to define really.

I'd say something like this:

Vintage = pre 1950's
Classic = 50's - 70's
Retro - 70's - 90's

But then you have modern'ish bikes built in the 00's that although may not be considered retro they capture the essence and beauty of the classes above.

This is not definitive just a rough guide created by myself, I'm sure others will disagree.


Hi Tel, I don't agree.

Firstly I don't consider my SBDU (nor my LU Corsa) bought new a"Retro"bicycle, it is, if it has to inhabit a category, a"Classic".

A Retro bike in my opinion is a re-creation of something older, either a new bike with an older bike look (plenty of those being manufactured these days). Or an old bike (perhaps 70s or 80s) restored with newer components and maybe even losing it's original identity - or a"clone"- something looking like like something it is not.

I would consider a vintage bicycle as being something from the pre-war period.

Grey porridge bicycles...mmm, I'm not sure, but they create a great deal of interest on RB, and most are not"classic"by my definition.

Or perhaps we adopt the classic car definition? Most post war but pre 1970s cars are often referred to as Classics with cars from the 70s but particularly the 80s are referred to as Youngtimers (can't say I like the term though). The Mini and Fiat 500 are examples of retro cars.

I am a member of the V-CC, and have a problem with the club name as most of my bicycles (well you can see) aren't"Veterans". And as a committee member of the V-CC this I see as an issue, as we do need to to encourage a younger membership - and I'm not old: well, not that old!

So despite the length of this post my"classes"are two and simple -

Classic - all post war quality (defined as Reynolds/Columbus) steel tubed bicycles (a few carbon and aluminium exceptions - e.g Vitus/TVT).

Retro - new or re-creations.

Good debate though.

Roadking.

P.S agree with mattsccm's comment, as this has oft been a criticism of mine.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:20 am 
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Hello,

Some random thoughts, no idea if they will make things clear.
I think it would be helpful to distinguish between the following:

Classics: Machines that represent the pinnacle of bicycle technology
for a given era, including modern stuff. So a Pinarello Dogma2 could
be considered a (modern) classic. Though that is controversial in itself :roll:

Retro: Modern bikes that borrow from or copy from older styling and components, as suggested by the previous posts.

Nostalgia: Basically anything old that appeals to people, for whatever reason. I would say this is basically anything that is obsolete from the mainstream catalogues of manufacturers and retailers (except their self conscious retro offerings like that Raleigh TI issue)...

I like the fact that this site broadly deals with the nostalgia category as well as true classics. The 'best' bike in your LBS in the 1970's or 80's might not have been a classic but it will always have a certain nostalgia appeal that most people can relate to. But then nostalgiabike.co.uk sounds really lame :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:46 am 
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Well the reason I ask is that I'm getting a bit older, I had my 35th birthday about a month ago. And these past 5 years or so I find myself not following all the "latest and greatest" releases. I'm happy with what I own.

If I had to define a period that interests me personally, it would be the 1990's to the year 2000. Mainly because for me, this was the time I was an adolescent growing up. :wink:

It's the age when perhaps form was more important than function, as for the first time you had all these organic carbon creations which weren't possible before.

But not just bikes, I find I like a lot of cars & music from that era too. Example: F1 cars from the 1990's had an elegant simplicity about them compared to the ones of today (I think they're hideously ugly now).

Todays bikes although they are super-light, all seem to follow the same trends and fashion. And I haven't seen one that interests me on any significant level. It's hard to define, but I guess they all try to be more 'aero' whilst still falling within UCI guidelines. I'm not a fan of the UCI (more on that in another post) so that doesn't really interest me.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Its interesting trying to define 'Retro', I guess we all have our own opinions on what defines retro.

I'd say downtube shifters and a freewheel go part way to defining a 'retro' bike.

To me its not about age but style, although I think the style tends to come from pre 90's :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:30 pm 
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roadking wrote:
Hi Tel, I don't agree.


Knew you wouldn't :lol: :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:36 pm
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Location: dumfries
I think it's impossible to pin down exact definitions of "vintage", "classic" & "retro". I'm involved in the classic car scene as well having an interest in old bikes. The "classic " argument has raged for decades with owners of triumph dolomites and ford cortinas being frowned upon at shows for bringing "bangers", then it was the hot hatch gti brigade and now it's modified jap cars. I see the same thing with bikes. As one generation grows a little older and starts to hanker after the bike / car they always wanted when growing up and appreciating the less mainsteam machines. Does it matter what tag you give it? I don't think it does, I'm sure in the next 10 years there'll be loads more aluminium & carbon bikes coming to the scene. Just as the classic bike scene probably shuddered at the influx of bmx and mountain bikers 15/20 years ago. just a thought.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:56 am 
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I'm a 'wet behind the ears' newbie to the road scene, having been an mtb'er since the 80's, but it strikes me that the frame builders name is an aspect of this whole discussion too.

There are certain names I am seeing, who may have been producing bikes for decades, but who's products are still considered classics, Mercian would be just one example. Then there are the framebuilders, like Argos, Rourke, Yates and Roberts who have been building for many years, plus the new generation of frame builders, who are taking their inspiration from earlier times. A day at Bespoked in Bristol showed dozens of examples of builders like Shand in Scotland, who are producing brand new steel bikes that could be considered retro or classic.

I think vintage and veteran are easier terms to pin a timescale on, but retro... that's more difficult, especially as I consider my 13 year old Raleigh and all but one of my 15 to 20 year old mtb's 'retro'.


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