> Greg Parker wrote:
> > (cut)There is a huge
> > difference between a high-quality, carefully thought out and masterfully
> > crafted piece of functional art, and something that was zapped together
> > powder-coated in half a day.
As Jack Taylor and Chuck said before me, I believe your comparison is lacking. If you're going to compare joining techniques, feel free to do so, if you want to compare craftsmanship, then you need to compare like with like. Do you really expect a $150 Taiwanese frame to share the investment of time and reflect the craftsmanship and care of a $3000 Sachs? That is my interpretation of your comparison. I also find your comment, "As an Engineer, I can't appreciate today's high-end bike frames, because I'm aware of how they are manufactured, and IMO they have no soul.", very interesting. In fact, I find it pretty unbelievable coming from an Engineer if you're stating a professional view point. Soul? Are you sure you're not an Architect? As an Engineer, I would think you could appreciate today's high end bike frames simply because of the way they are manufactured: efficiently, accurately, at lower costs, more efficient use of materials, and in most cases, better designed and engineered. Does any of that take away from the value, performance, or allure of a classic bike or modern lugged steel bikes? Absolutely not.
In my opinion, there is no gap to bridge between yesterday's bikes and today's. What was important then is still important today. The industry and it's participants still pursue lighter weight, performance advantages, and anything else that may make a difference in making the most efficient use of the meager power a cyclist can develop just as they have for over 100 years. As far as what a bike is worth, a well made bike today will, and does, retain its value as well as its well made predecessor and that value will be based in large part on its scarcity or uniqueness, not necessarily it's performance, just like classics we collect today.
Cheers! Don Ferris Littleton, Colorado
You must be very busy riding all of those bikes every day!
As an Engineer, I can't appreciate today's high-end bike frames, because I'm aware of how they are manufactured, and IMO they have no soul.
And just how many of the frames that you mention above are lugged steel construction?
I thought so....
And what will these bikes be worth in ten years? Twenty percent of their original selling price perhaps? I've already seen folks dumping stuff that's several years old like that for cheap on eBay (or asking a lot and getting no takers). New bikes are getting to be like notebook computers: a two- or three-year useful lifespan, then throw it out and spend another $3000. It's part of a vicious cycle that the Bicycle Industry has encouraged
However, on a more positive note, I am once again humbled by your abundant expertise and pierced by your razor wit! I am truly not worthy, oh sire! ;-)
Just for everyone's edification & grins, after my first post on this issue, I received one negative response (Brandon's), which interestingly was on-list. All of the other reponses that I received were to one degree or another in agreement with what I said, which I still stand behind, but were sent to me only. E-mail me off-list if you'd like more details.
Greg Parker A2 MI USA
Where I'm starting a discussion group for those interested in classically-constructed fillet-brazed and lugged-steel bicycles from roughly the beginning of the 20th century to the early 1980s or so....! No exotic "alphabet soup" space-shuttle nose-cone-type material allowed neither! So there!