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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:14 pm 
retrobike rider
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Marque, that's the word, I think you hit it there DA-EVO.

I do agree that British frames and bikes do tend to be very practical and business like. I think of my whole stable of mtb's the only really stylish frame is the Rourke. All the rest have a certain engineering charm and are certainly more than capable, but they don't necessarily have style.

I would like to get myself a good French frame sometime, I have seen a few that looked extremely elegant.

Hmmm, fascinating stuff.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:49 pm 
retrobike rider
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The Italians have design flair combined with graceful style and they are very good engineers.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:59 pm
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Location: Chez Vegas, Derbyshire
Maybe it's because Colnago and Pinarello sound far more exotic and escapist than a Grubb or Hetchins. Plus it's what our 'hero's' from our youth all rode.

(I'll stop before I get too deep and start trying to talk psychology and the whole mindset behind liking nostalgia).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:27 pm 
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As far as componentry goes, it is telling that sometime in the '80s, French manufacturers abandoned their own aesthetic and caved in to the ubiquitous Campagnolo standard... In the mid to late '70s, a Mafac/Stronglight/Simplex equipped French bike had it's own vibe, a refreshing alternative to Campag. Then suddenly Mafacs became sidepulls, the beautiful Stronglight 105 spider dissappeared, to be replaced by something almost indistinguishable from Super Record, and the only alternative variety of component form that had remained in the peloton was gone...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Johnsqual wrote:
I don't think it's possible to answer this question with one single explanation,
but I think the following have a role:

1) The nature of Italian cycling culture and the way it fits into Italian consumer culture in general. Italians seem willing to pay a lot for high quality stuff, even beyond what they can actually afford.

So true, in my Alfa club days Italian guys in Alfasuds would have tool kits worth more than my car! :-o


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:06 pm 
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vivelesalpes wrote:
Maybe it's because Colnago and Pinarello sound far more exotic and escapist than a Grubb or Hetchins. Plus it's what our 'hero's' from our youth all rode.

(I'll stop before I get too deep and start trying to talk psychology and the whole mindset behind liking nostalgia).

i think the cosmopolitan culture transition during 60s and 70s started a shift; the jazz cool of Miles Davis and co switched from Ivy League to sharp cut Italian Tonik suits along with most of the Motown artistes and London mods followed the trend; when I used to shop at Holdsworths where my uncle John was manager, the London frame builders had huge kudos, but Campagnolo componentry was the mutts nuts if you wanted a showstopping bike.

With the spread of Italian ( and French ) fashion came the fascination for all things Italian in design, fashion, furniture and I guess bikes...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:24 am 
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Johnsqual wrote:
The components problem plays a role too. While there is good stuff like Mavic and Stronglisht, many people's first experience of retro French bits is
the dreaded Simplex Prestige, or maybe some steel Huret house-brick. That probably contributes to a negative impression of French stuff. Campagnolo was simply better at maintaining an image of quality.


I had my fair share of Huret Eco and cheapo Simplex rear mechs on bikes as a kid, then again I also recall drooling over a Stronglight road chainset in the bike shop near my Nan's house....never did get round to buying it though. Lemond-era Mavic stuff looked cool, although actually riding it in later years showed up its Achilles heels (chiefly Ergal dropout mounting bolts for rear mechs - I've trashed 2 840s that way) and it cost an absolute bomb brand new. The real eye-opener for me was in the mid 90s when the final incarnations of Sachs New Success came out; it didn't just look good, it acted the part too, especially the hubset. Currently have NS parts (plus some from the Quarz gruppo, its MTB-themed cousin) of both of my 'best' bikes, pleased as punch with them. :)
On a not-so-retro note, the Stronglight Speedlight chainset of more recent vintage is an equally brilliant triumph of form & function, let down a wee bit by the accompanying BB unit being not so reliable. :(

David


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:35 pm 
retrobike rider
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I'm still a bit puzzled why certain Italian frames sell for so much more than comparable British frames. Surely either could be finished with the same Campag running gear.

There are exceptions of course, but in general terms a Colnago, CIOCC or Tomassini (sp?) will out value a Jackson, Rourke or Mercian all day.

Is it just down to perceived style?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:47 pm 
retrobike rider
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It's probably down to hype. Colnago and Tomassini seem to fetch good money for no apparent reason.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:19 pm
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Location: Maastricht
Watching Ebay a lot (and having a certain interest in British audax frames) I have the impression that British frames are relatively high in the price range. Especially when compared with French frames on the French Ebay.

Personally I don't have that many Italian frames, usually they don't suit my riding style. Current projects consist of 2 Dutch, 1 British, 1 German and 1 Swiss frame.


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