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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:24 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:31 am
Posts: 585
Location: London
When I go to a bike shop nowadays, just to have a look around, I have absolutely no interest in the stuff I see.

I think I began to lose interest in current bikes when threadless started to appear on road bikes, then compact frames, oversized tubing etc. I've always carried on using the stuff I started cycling with: lugged steel frames, friction gears, screw-on freewheels, non-aero brake levers etc. The only modern part I use are SPD pedals.

So I've never used STI/Ergo, 8 speeds, dual-pivot brakes etc, but at least I had enough interest to read about them, at one time I even thought about getting some Ergo levers but the fact I would have needed to change so many parts put me off. I did try indexed downtube levers once but I didn't like the loud click you get with every gear change.

I'm sure current bikes are very nice, but I'll continue to ride my pre-1986 bikes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:56 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 5132
Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
Luddite :wink:

I know what you mean but in 20 years time they will be retro and you'll wish you'd bought some.

(Dual-pivot brakes work sooooo much better than 90% of retro brakes.)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:15 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 419
I don't really like the look of most modern bikes. This is down to both materials and styling.

Materials - aluminium and particularly carbon fibre need a fairly large cross section to be strong. That's fine, but when it's used as in a traditional 'tubed' design then you end up with oversized tubes which looks like it's been drawn using a fat crayon. Oversized tubes just don't look fast or sleek or elegant enough for me. As CF is a fairly new material I think it'll take a while before designs that explore the shapes that can be created by the material filter down into the mass market. A bike doesn't need to be made of tubes, and with CF you can make it almost any shape you want.

Think of it like this - when they made the first few bridges from iron girders, they were designed like wooden bridges - it took some advancement in materials and in realising how those materials can be used before engineers started using iron and steel 'properly' rather than just imitating what they had done with wood.

Styling - A lot of modern bikes suffer from what I call Power Ranger Syndrome. Loads of things suffer from this - bikes, motorbikes, most sports equipment, headphones, even razors! This is when the product ends up looking like it was designed by the same people who made the Power Ranger's suits - all aggressive swoopy lines, contrasting colours (i.e. pearlescent orange or lime green on matt black) and loads of stickers proclaiming how fast/powerful/macho the product is. Although this might not be a new thing - I suppose it's the modern equivalent of the super-curly lugs on 50s bikes... although that would be called Dashing Chap Syndrome instead.

There are a lot of thoroughly modern bikes that I really do like though.
Image
A simple colour scheme, not too flashy, and looks sleek rather than chunky

Image
First time I saw this I just stared at it for a good twenty minutes. I don't know when it was designed, but I'm guessing in the mid-1980s, but it doesn't look dated (well, some of the details do, but not as a whole). What I really like about it is that each 'tube' in the design is just a single curve - there's nothing that curves in an 'S' shape - and this gives it a great dynamicness. I also like the three huge empty spaces, combined with the incredibly spindly wheels, which make it look light. I may make a very similar looking frame out of CF, but with tri-spoke wheels and a BB forward of the rear wheel rather than inside it.

And yes, before you ask, I am a design (student). Doing vehicle design actually, so I've designed a few bicycles!

I think my dream traditional bike would be lugged with elegant but not ornate lugs, painted in a dark silver with chromed lugs and fork/rear triangle ends. Fixed gear with the old 1940s curvaceous track bars, dark brown leather saddle and bar tape. Components would be old Campagnolo, polished, obviously. This summer I'm going to practice making my own lugged frame - by brazing apart and old frame and putting it back together, then by making a frame from a cheap tubeset.





And who on earth decided that derailler gears were a good idea on commuter/hack bikes? Thankfully hub gears are coming back into fashion. Keep the deraillers on the racing bikes thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:35 am 
MacModerator
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:59 pm
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Location: Sol Kitts
Have you seen the new Charge Juicer? If they develop the range could tick alot of boxes for you guys. Thin steel prestige tubeset, would be ideal for a hub, would like to see it with campag though.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:41 am 
King of the DuckBoard
King of the DuckBoard

Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:30 pm
Posts: 21466
No way should a racing bike have 3 chain rings. (touring may be) Or a long cage rear mech :x


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:56 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2095
Location: Sheffield, top city
frinkmakesyouthink wrote:
Styling - A lot of modern bikes suffer from what I call Power Ranger Syndrome. Loads of things suffer from this - bikes, motorbikes, most sports equipment, headphones, even razors! This is when the product ends up looking like it was designed by the same people who made the Power Ranger's suits - all aggressive swoopy lines, contrasting colours (i.e. pearlescent orange or lime green on matt black) and loads of stickers proclaiming how fast/powerful/macho the product is. Although this might not be a new thing - I suppose it's the modern equivalent of the super-curly lugs on 50s bikes... although that would be called Dashing Chap Syndrome instead.

youve just put in great words what I'm continually trying to tell my mates, who constantly orgasm over modern bling. I'll probably end up quoting this sometime.


Quote:
And who on earth decided that derailler gears were a good idea on commuter/hack bikes? Thankfully hub gears are coming back into fashion. Keep the deraillers on the racing bikes thank you.

I know what you mean - gunge builds up on the gears, derailleurs stick and so on, but I'll continue to use derailleurs on my shopping hack. If I need to remove the wheels, theres no cables to undo and then readjust. If something breaks, I can see what it is and easy effect a repair. And donor deraillurs a ten-a-plenty from skips. The secret is in avoiding anything with more than 6 cogs where close tolerances make for constant cleaning and fettling.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:12 am 
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:13 pm
Posts: 6066
Location: Chester
Still some nice ones about, if you have the cash. I would swap the stickers for the old style one though.
I'm guessing for this sort of money though you can have a custom made steel lugged frame made.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:06 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8212
Location: New Forest, UK
Hmm, some things are worth having.

Threadless headsets are stronger and mean you can take a 5 or 6mm Allen key on tour instead of two huge spanners.
Freehubs instead of freewheels give stronger hubs and axles.

A lot of the rest is PR puff, but I have to admit I like my ergos. However the tourer keeps the bar-end shifters as they are as simple as a knife and fork.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:43 am
Posts: 126
Interesting topic-I think for 'serious' racing some modern materials/designs are a much better option, but having had alu frames with carbon stays etc I think that they wear a LOT quicker, feel flimsy and have the mass-produced aura that goes with the territory (unfortunately not the pricetag though ;( and that's what puts me off a lot of the time-all the top spec, innovative gear today costs a FORTUNE whereas the vintage top spec is relatively cheap by comparison, but for most riders needs still exceptionally high quality and just as interesting.

I've never had a full carbon get up but feedback from folks that do is that after a couple of seasons hard riding they are fit for the scrapheap-which again makes me cringe at the pricetag that goes with them! I think the whole 11/10 speed 'upgrade' is a bit of a myth too designed to simply sell more parts-the group quality that goes with the lower priced stuff is atrocious too. I do love ergos though...

And lets face it-hunting for vintage gear and tinkering with the set up is half of the pleasure-not to mention beautifully handcrafted steel frames look as good as they feel! I was bitten by the vintage bug a few years ago and its a disease... Maybe if I had a six-figure salary I'd pay more attention to the modern flashy gear though.

We just have to look at Mr Obree to see that all the high tech in the world doesn't make a substitute for a strong set of legs and a bit of heart!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:36 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 638
This is as lovely as it is expensive:

Image


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