[CR]Brit v Italian bikes

Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor

From: "brucerobbins" <brucerobbins@supanet.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 10:17:18 +0100
Subject: [CR]Brit v Italian bikes

It's hardly a revelation but I'm with Walt and Peter Kohl on the side of British bikes. It's not because I think they are any better but they certainly are a lot more interesting. I like Italian bikes up until the late 1950s but after that they were all kind of glooped together into one big homegenous mass. If you take away the decals, it's hard to tell one from another. And they all seem to come with CampagNOlo equipment.

British bikes span a wide spectrum. They often have fairly unique lugs (although Nervex did their best to contaminate this) and come with an eclectic mix of components. I think it's good that you seldom find two British bikes, even from the same year, with the same equipment. With Italian bikes after 1960, it's hard to find two that are different. In fact, I sold my early 1960s Cinelli Super Corsa to a nice (and rich) Japanese collector a couple of years ago because it just didn't do anything for me aesthetically although I appreciated its quality.

There's too much emphasis placed on the racing side of things when considering old bikes. I'd guess that only a small percentage of CR members and cyclists in general have ever raced. The fact that there are so many great Italian and French riders from the past probably has more to do with their country's cycling tradition than the qualities of their bikes. Dismissing bikes other than those used by successful racers is a bit like saying that anything less than an F1 or maxed-out rally car has any merit.