Hello, I just got in from a 50 mile ride, and wanted to write this. Last January I joined this list to ask about rehabbing my early '70s German-made Kent, and now (although I have all the parts necessary) it stands neglected in the workshop. Since last January, I have acquired a Raleigh, two Bianchis, and two Richard Sachs -- a late '70s and an Anniversary model. I like all these bikes very much, including the Kent, but when I go for a nice ride (we try to do at least one 35-50 miler every weekend) I want to ride the Anniversary Sachs.
Two weekends ago, I pedaled the Anniversary Sachs 105 miles up and down the river side and over several of the Inland Waterway bridges (our pretension to hills around here). The bike is beautiful and rides wonderfully. It has a nine-cog cluster on the rear, and twelve-spoke Shamals, but the rest of it is very classic: non-aero brake levers and cables, downtube shifters, toeclip and strap pedals, and a Brooks saddle. I love the way I feel at the end of a ride.
The late '70s Sachs looks like it came out of a time machine: not a mark or chip on the paint, and no wear on the drive train or brake pads. It came with an eclectic mix of Nuovo Record, Super Record, and what must be very early C-Record parts. It had gone back to e-richie in January of 1980 for braze-ons and was built up sometime after that and then hardly ever ridden. Wheelsmith-built wheels were very true, and the Vittoria sew-ups held air for three days, so I decided to take it out for a spin and compare Sach vs. Sachs. The glue, however, was so dried out that the tires started to squirm and roll on the rims (lots of base tape showing) and I had to cut short the test ride. A more complete comparison of the two generations is still in the plans.
The two bikes look different (old RS logo vs. new, as well as different lugs, top tube diameter and cable routing, seat tube angles, wheels, and saddles), but standing next to each other they share a look and a bond across the decades that reflects their craftsmanship and elegance. Sometimes at night, I will just look at them, and they are beautiful to look at: function forcing form.
So I am looking forward to more years just like this past one. But to mark my first year on this list, I just wanted to say Thank You to each of you for information and inspiration, for off-list help, or answers, or parts, and even for asking each other questions that had nothing to do with me, but resulted in answers that sent me spinning in new directions. And especially Thank You to Dale for providing the forum for this community.