> An odd sentiment to express on this list !
I don't see why. This list encompasses bikes built as recently as 15 years ago. If I buy a bike very five years (I wish!) I might own three bikes that don't qualify for discussion on the list at this point, but if I keep them period-correct, they will each become classics in due time. By putting each bike into semi-retirement at five years, I can ensure that they are still in decent shape and that I won't need to scour the planet for replacement parts as I would if I continued to use them frequently. To my mind, a limited production, up-to-the minute, top-end bike has far more potential to be an interesting collectable than a new bike purchased today as a nostalgia piece. In other words, twenty years from now Colnago C40 with 9-speed Dura Ace will be a lot more interesting than a Rivendell with a bunch of retro Bobish bits. That type of bike is not representative of current technology, what the top athletes are riding , or even what the contemporary industry is pushing on us, yet it is these things that will make the Colnago intersting to look back on.
In the interest of full disclosure, the newest bike I
own is ten years old. I'm ready for a new one and it
will be modern. The five year cycle is what I would
follow if I could afford it and if I ever get back to
riding more than a few hours each week.
> experience has shown me that
> some 25+ year old bikes are in many respects BETTER
> than any bike I can
> currently purchase new.
Other than a dramatic reduction in compatibilty among components, and perhaps a reduction in the durability of certain parts (with an increase in others), bikes have steadily improved over the years that I have been riding (since 1978). Moreover, these compatibility/durability sacrifices are more or less necessary to achieve the current level of performance. The only way universal interchangeability could be maintained is if Campy, Shimano, etc joined forces to keep the world safe for future compatibility at which point they may as well both offer exactly the same products... and aren't they similar enough as it is? No, I like bikes too much to reject all this interesting new stuff. Some of it is junk, all of it is ultimately unnecessary, but watching the products evolve, keeping what works, trashing what doesn't is too important a process to ignore. There is nothing magic about bikes made before 1985, there was no real revolution that year, and I will continue to enjoy watching the latest developments as well as looking back on yesterday's best offerings.
> I ride both new and older bikes, and I really prefer
> my early '70s Raleigh
> Competition to my Ti-mobile.
I can certainly understand that. I've never owned a Ti bike and I've only briefly ridden a couple, but good riders who I know have mixed reviews on Ti. I think it is well worth noting that during the reign of Titanium as the "ultimate" frame material in the eyes of well-to-do US consumers, thin-walled (often tigged) steel dominated the pro peloton. Perhaps it wasn't possible to sell these improved steel bikes to consumers since, in the minds of many, they were still "just steel". Now the pros all ride superlight Al and/or carbon and this time those same consumers may be going along with the peloton's tastes.
Also, I fully expect
> my Ti-bike to last longer
> than 5 years and still be just as good as new.
> would it change ? Do you
> thing it will "fatigue" or wear through or something
> like that ? The decals
> are getting shredded, but I think that's actually a
> Good Thing, considering
> the vendor.
The fatigue life and corrosion resistance of Ti are phenomenal, so you can ride those things for a very long time, if not forever. In addition the yield strength is huge, so loss of the frame in a crash is unlikely too. Those things just won't die.
I'm just afraid that if/when its carbon
> fiber fork fails, from
> wear or a crash or the epoxy unbinding or whatever,
> that I won't be able to
> buy a functional replacement.
Why not? Something functionally the same should be available for a the quite some time. However, if you want to keep the bike all original you may run into problems (hence my argument for retiring the bike after it's seen some serious use). In any case I would keep a very close eye on the fork, particularly once it has a few years on it.
It sounds like we just enjoying old bikes for different reasons. You seem to like them for what they are today, while I like them for what they represented when they were new (particularly if they are bikes that I have spent years riding).