Re: [CR]Will Aluminum bikes ever really be future classics?

(Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2004)

From: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 18:00:22 EDT
Subject: Re: [CR]Will Aluminum bikes ever really be future classics?

In a message dated 7/23/01 4:59:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> Sure, as unlikely as that seems, a high quality modern Aluminum bike will be
> a future classic. The question is can you ride them for 15 or 20 or 25
> years, and reasonably expect that they will have functional frames for a
> future investor?

I guess that they will remain valuable to some folks as mementos of what they used to be ?
> Now we all know that the combination brake and shift controls have a life
> expectancy of (no kidding) six months of steady use.

My Shimano 8-speed STI stuff seems to hold up much better than the newer 9-speed stuff. Perhaps the 9-speed stuff shifts slightly better, at the cost of durability ? But, then, that's the goal - improved performance, right ? I get most of my 8-speed STI stuff from folks dumping it to go to the "improved" 9-speed stuff. To them the obsolete 8-speed stuff is pretty nearly completely worthless. My son races on it.

Those plastic seats will hold up in some fashion for a decade or two.

Not the Minkow Wedge (fart slot) Specialized Body Comp ones, at least. I got one when I purchased my used tandem, and since practically ANYONE can stand to ride one of these for at least a little while, it was left on as the captain's saddle (we ride different captains a lot. As we were out on the tandem yesterday painting the yellow arrows on the road for this year's Bike Fest 100 miler (Aug 11, Hillsborough, NC) I noticed that this saddle has developed flex and play where the rails enter the plastic of the upper saddle frame. It cannot be more than 3 years old, but it is already nearly worn out. Didn't even last five years, though never crashed.

My sons had both rebelled against the back one and forced me to replace it with a 20+ year old Brooks B17 Narrow I got cheap at the Cirque because someone had spilled paint on it. I suspect it will still be good for another 15 years at least.

> The rims will last a long time.

But will they be replacable once built spoked wheels with the braking surfaces on the sides are superceded by carbon fibre disk-only rims with integrated hubs and "spokes" ?

If the wheels must be replaced, will it be possible to find a rear wheel with a hub at the right width to fit the rear spacing on the old frame ? It is already getting tricky maintaining/upgrading 126mm-spaced Cannondale aluminum frames. Spreading aluminum and carbon fiber rear triangle is not an entirely safe idea. How long before 130mm frames are obsolete ? Five more years or less ?
> Problem two is more serious: The frame is disintegrating, and the bike
> really can only be used for display purposes.
> Does this sound like a future collectable to you? Garth Libre

Sure, as a wall hanger. I wouldn't buy it, because I don't hang bikes on walls, but others in the list might appreciate it for what it means as documentation of the history of our sport.

Almost time to head over to the Cycle Center dumpster again. They close at 7. Last week I found a lugged steel Univega touring frame with an SR Apex triple crankset, a rear rack and cantilever brakes. Too small for me, but maybe I could use the cranks. :-)

Glenn Jordan in Durham, NC