[CR]What happens to ride quality in old frames?

Example: Production Builders:Frejus

From: "Eaton, Mark" <MEaton@hineshort.com>
To: "'classicrendezvous@bikelist.org'" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 13:28:05 -0700
Subject: [CR]What happens to ride quality in old frames?

I have a 1973 Italvega in my garage that is in decent shape but needs a fair amount of work to be ridden again on a regular basis. It has a lot of sentimental value in that it was my first nice road bike, purchased for around $300 from Desimone's Cyclery in San Jose, CA back when a top-of-the-line Cinelli or DeRosa went for $550-$600. It was a great era in the Bay Area in those days when our local racing heroes like Mike Neel and George Mount would try their hand at Euro racing over the next few years. Some of the hot junior racers were the Boyer brothers, Jock and Winston and Tommy Ritchey (that's right, Tommy in those days). My younger brother raced as a junior for the Los Gatos club, led by Olympian Bob Tetzlaff with members like Fast Freddie Markham and Hank Tolhurst. A few years later the young phenom, Greg Lemond, appeared on the scene and took all of our collective breath away with his amazing talent.
      Anyway, just painting a little background of the era of this bike.
      Now I use newer bikes as my regular rides, but since the Italvega was my only bike for a long time and I can't really determine objectively what happens to an aging steel frame, does the ride characteristic become softer and more noodle-like, or harsher and brittle? Is some rust a determining factor in its characteristics? Does anyone have the scoop on what to expect with old frames? I'm not going for the original restoration but, sort of a hybrid thereof.