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

Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 10:52:57 -0800
Subject: Re: [CR]Will Aluminum bikes ever really be future classics?
From: Donald A Walter <>

I am sure that the new bikes will be collectible to some people in the future. I have thought at times about trying one, but the only appeal would be enhanced performance, surely not beauty. The front ends of the new bikes look kind of like Star Wars battle 'droids to me. They are a far cry from the graceful stems and bars of the Classic Era. But, I'm sure they have their appeal. There is an artistic beauty to steel frames with lugs, a certain sleekness that just can't be captured with the grossly oversized tubes of the frames made with the new materials. The new stuff may outperform and last just as long as the classic stuff if the owner is a good maintenance type, but the stuff is still ugly. The new bikes with tiny frames and seatposts a yard long just look like some kind of wierd insect. I think of that beautiful green bike that Brian B. made and posted pictures of not too long ago. That thing took my breath away. Lugs, steel. Beautiful. I doubt if there is an aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber frame that can look as lovingly crafted as a lugged steel frame can. Something that is so hand made gives off something that just can't be captured by the high performance techno machines. Sure, sure, bikes are to ride, I know that, but I'm on this list about the classic bikes because they have an appeal that goes a little beyond just riding. They are beautiful. Robo bikes are not. They don't have that graceful sleek look. Another point. Robo shifters work with razor sharp efficiency when in tune. Just click away. To me there's something cool about mastering the art of friction shifting. It's a skill to acquire, yet it seems the derailleur always gets the blame for the lack of said skill. I'm sure that there are riders that just don't want to be bothered with the archaic form of shifting and that's fine, but not all of us want to eliminate the need for a little finesse and skill to operate stuff. Some of us get enjoyment out of the mastery of synchronizing pedals, lever speed and lever travel to produce a perfect shift instead of having it done mechanically for us.(Kind of like banging gears in the old muscle car with the four speed instead of just putting your foot down and letting the 727 TorqueFlite do the work).
   Lastly, I do wonder this. If I could race a new 9 or 10 speed Trek OCLV whatever against me on my old classic mount 10 miles up Mt. Lemmon here in Tucson, how much faster would me on the OCLV complete the distance than me on the classic race Peugeot I have? How much improvement is really built into the new bike? I wonder. Well, no intent to bash new bikes. I might own one some day, but it will be like taking the medicine that is good for you but tastes terrible. All The Best, Don Walter Tucson, AZ