[quote="NeilM"]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.quote]
Good point Neil.
I would suggest the"Bespoked"bikes you referred to would fairly be regarded as retro (now and in the near future), as building in steel is clearly"looking back"and taking inspiration from an earlier period - hence the term retro is properly applied to these machines.
The builders (e.g Chas Roberts) you mention are clearly classics in the true sense (they also have"history") and these framesets are built to order for a particular customer - or that is the core business of the builder.
It is difficult imagining aluminium or carbon bikes ever being classic as they are made in large volumes in a few"standard"sizes and not for individuals - also, for me, there's zero romance.
An exception to this would be"team bikes", meaning Bradley's TdF or Olympic TT machine.
Co-founder of a V-CC section, member South Eastern Road Club and owner of - 2005 Bianchi Reparto Corse (modern), 1985 Raleigh SBDU Pro Super, 1984 Raleigh LU Corsa, 1980 Allin Stan Butler Special, 1978 Ron Cooper, 1975 Bill Philbrook tourer, 2 x very early Roberts (mid/late 1960s), 1966 Raleigh Superbe Roadster, 1964 Allin Stan Butler Special Belgique, 1951 Hobbs of Barbican S/C, 1950 Hobbs of Barbican S/C, 1947 Hetchins Super Special, 1908 Centaur Featherweight. 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper.