[CR]Bike details, to add or not

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 17:44:05 -0700
From: "Dennis Young" <mail@woodworkingboy.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
In-Reply-To: <CATFOODb5JAJ6VSnMxI000005df@catfood.nt.phred.org>
Subject: [CR]Bike details, to add or not

I tend to agree with Steve, but admitedly from a emotional perspective. After I receive a new/old bike and clean it up, my mind starts looking for ways to enhance it. Painting the cutouts in the lugs, or buffing up parts to make them shinier than new, adding my own cable stops or cable ends, things like this. Minor details, but it seems to bring the bike closer to me, and I believe that 'enriching' these small points is something that the original maker might have liked to be able to do, but didn't have the time to attend to it. If making bikes is a business, and financial return for your time is a concern, you usually have to stop somewhere, and I do credit the perspective of some people who see the function of a bicycle as more utilitarian than artistic. Keeping the new details within the spirit of the original maker's overall design concept, that is my intention, but adding a little aesthetic enterprise, it's my fun.

Dennis Young Hotaka, Japan

> I liked the treatment done too the saddle rivets as well, but this thread
> begs a question. When do we consider it ok to alter a product and when is
> it not ok? Do we base it on age, historical significance, number of
> surviving examples? Personally, I adhere to the philosophy that, if you own
> it, it is yours to do with as you will. Still, I cringe whenever I see a
> classic car that has been hotrodded, or a classic bike that is parted out in
> an attempt to bring a larger financial return to its current owner.
> But what about a product that is of current manufacture? Many people see
> marketed products as simply being in one phase of manufacture, ready for
> further alteration and re-engineering. A person who has a new bike, or one
> that has been ridden a few years, custom painted, or who swaps out the
> saddle or some other part for one that suits them better is continuing the
> manufacturing process, as is the person who drills out a part or adds
> brazeons to the frame. Does anyone really care of someone buys a brand new
> 2003 Raleigh Pro and makes changes in it? If not, then wouldn't it be
> inappropriate for someone 40 years from now to comment that it is a shame
> that the change was made?
> So, if the person who bought that saddle chose to customize it, how can we
> criticize that decision now? On what basis does one bemoan the modification
> of a frame that came equipped with an awkward shifting system to take
> advantage of new technologies current to the service life of the machine?
> That's just the historical record, as evidenced on the product. I think you
> can argue that it would be inappropriate for someone to modify an old Cambia
> a Bacchetta bike to accept 130 mm click-shift components today, but the best
> way to keep this from happening is for the bike to be worth enough that the
> owner recognizes loss of investment that such a change would incur. It also
> doesn't hurt to try to make people aware of the historical value of such
> pieces. This awareness often accompanies knowledge of financial value.
> Steve Barner, who rides all his bikes and therefore changes them constantly,
> Bolton, Vermont