I am list-member David Faulkner, in Sacramento California. I joined the list about two months ago and have just been lurking, picking up on what the more knowledgeable than me have to say. My interest in classic bicycles comes out of my college years in Davis, when I used a bike for damn near everything around town. My main bike (for years my only bike) is a Peugeot PX-10 that I bought new from Bill and Helen Poole at B&L Bikes in Davis in 1969 or 1970. At various times, I have used it, abused it, cared for it diligently, neglected it, maintained it and even came close to discarding it, but mostly I've ridden it. It's now on its second re-paint. It hasn't a single original component left. They've all been changed out over the years, some for reasons of function or performance (real or imagined), some because the originals were in some way shot, some swapped out simply for something of a higher cool factor (something like mojo). Most of the replacements are OT, but still not Ergo/STI or any of that strange stuff. Its only fault is the #@$&* French-thread steering tube requiring a nearly unavailable headset and an even harder-to-find 22.0mm-stem quill. I can scarcely imagine a sweeter riding bike. It's a real tribute to the value of the steel frame and the old way of building bikes. The last component to fail was the Brooks Pro saddle, which broke a rail after 29 years and who knows how many thousands of miles. I thought it was finally getting broken in!
This recurring, occasionally vitriolic discussion of "Who is the real Hetchins?" puts me in mind of the official of the Martin guitar company talking about phony Martin guitars, who said words to the effect: If you're good enough to pass your work off as a Martin (read Hetchins here), your should be proud to put your own name on the guitar (read bike). What's with these guys that they don't put their own names on their bikes? Everyone knows these things aren't "real" Hetchins. That should be enough. Those who want the old, real Hetchins will not be fooled by the new, unrelated bikes with Hetchins decals. If the new bikes had the maker's own name on them, they would stand (or not) on their own merits. A tip of my hat (I'll have to get one) to e-Richie, Curt Goodrich and the many other listmember/frame-builders whose bikes carry the builder's name proudly.
Now, let's talk bikes!
Thanks for your forbearance.
David Faulkner in Sacramento, where the plum trees are blooming fragrantly.