Re: [CR]"State of the Art" restorations

Example: Racing:Wayne Stetina

From: "Steven Willis" <>
To: <>, "Jan Heine" <>
References: <a052106dfbccacd42632b@[]>
Subject: Re: [CR]"State of the Art" restorations
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 15:58:00 -0700

Sounds great. I could not have said it better. Steven Willis 1778 East Second Street Scotch Plains NJ 07076 908-322-9022

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan Heine"
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2004 12:23 PM
Subject: RE: [CR]"State of the Art" restorations

> For example, I have seen many bikes with half-step gearing butchered
> by changing chainrings. A 52-48 with a standard 14-28 Regina 5-speed
> freewheel makes sense. A 52-46 does not. Also, if people spun back
> then or conversely, used huge gears, the bike won't be the same if
> ridden differently. That is like adding gears to a fixed-gear.
> Stem length: Many builders have a preferred stem length. They vary
> top tube length to fit riders. A bike with a longer or shorter stem
> handles quite differently.
> Try to find a bike that was made for somebody like you, riding in a
> style like you want to ride. Trying to modify a bike built for
> somebody 3" shorter than you, who rode on the flats in the Midwest,
> for riding in the Colorado Rockies will not capture the essence of
> the bike.
> Beyond that, I feel there should be some respect for the machine. If
> it used to be blue, why make it silver now? I read about a car
> restoration that was so meticulous that they painted it green
> underneath the white paint on top, because that is how it had raced.
> (They were restoring it in the livery of that race.)
> Of course, none of this is absolute - and if you always wanted a bike
> made by xyz, and find one that is the correct size, nothing wrong
> with setting it up as xyz would have for you, if you had been able to
> order it. But if xyz was a strong advocate of half-step gears,
> putting a 53-39 onto it - even with period-correct TA or Stronglight
> parts - won't do it justice, in my opinion.
> To me, it is important to think "What would xyz have sold me?" And
> "What would I have ordered then?" Maybe you will say "Yes, I always
> wanted xyz's frame, but even back then, his ideas about sizing were
> circumspect, and I'd have ordered one built to my size as people
> generally sized bikes then." That seems fine.
> I try to get away from modern concepts of how a bike fits, what gears
> are correct, etc., when experiencing an old machine. In fact, I found
> that the older fit (taller frames) suits me a lot better. Initially,
> I thought all my bikes should have 57 cm frames like my 1988 racing
> bike... Only when I started thinking "How would they have fit me back
> then" did the bikes start to make sense. When you realize how they
> were ridden, many perceived limitations disappear.
> --
> Jan Heine, Seattle
> Editor/Publisher
> Vintage Bicycle Quarterly
> >Jan, it's an interesting perspective, but why would you be against changing
> >stem length or changing the gearing using period correct parts? I don't see
> >how that can possibly affect the "riding experience." People "back in the
> >day" still changed parts, stems, bars, saddles, gearing, to get the bike to
> >meet their needs and if the bike is to be a rider, then its owner does
> >himself a disservice if he doesn't do what he needs to make it fit
> >appropriately. I know I'm not going to appreciate the "riding experience"
> >if the bike was equipped with flat land gearing and I have to ride it in a
> >mountainous area.
> >
> >Cheers!
> >Don Ferris
> >Anvil Bikeworks, Inc.
> >Littleton, Colorado
> >Ph: 303.471.7533 / 303.919.9073
> >Fax: 413.556.6825
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From:
> >[] On Behalf Of Jan Heine
> >Sent: Friday, May 14, 2004 11:04 AM
> >To:
> >Subject: [CR]"State of the Art" restorations
> >
> >First - this is not intended to criticise Brian Baylis or any other
> >restorer. I would not be surprised if he agrees with some of this, or
> >disagrees with all of it. Neither is this intended to criticise
> >people who try to restore to "better than new" standards. To everyone
> >their own...
> >
> >That said, in the rare cases where I restore bikes or tandems from
> >bygone eras (I prefer original finishes, even if they have lost some
> >of their original luster), I strive to replicate the original in
> >look, quality and materials. For example, if possible, I want the
> >paint to look like the original, not like modern paint. Even if it
> >were possible to apply perfectly straight pinstripes with some
> >laser-guided device, I'd prefer an artist with a brush.
> >
> >Currently, I am manufacturing a bunch of parts for an old Herse
> >tandem: bolts, nuts, stems and a few other parts. I try to use the
> >same or similar materials, and for the machining, I make them by hand
> >the old-fashioned way. I do have access to a CNC lathe, but I feel
> >that the parts will replicate the feel better if they are made the
> >same way. Ideally, the bike will look like it did when it left the
> >shop in nineteenhundredsomething.
> >
> >In the same way, I prefer to respect the authenticity of the machine.
> >If a racing bike originally came with 52-49 chainrings, I feel that
> >it would not offer the same riding experience if the small ring is
> >changed to a 46. Adding chrome to a bike that didn't have it
> >originally, is similar. It saddens me that so many Herse bikes go to
> >Japan and are "up-spec'd" with chrome on lugs, seatstay caps, etc.,
> >when originally, there were few bikes with those features. I can see
> >the appeal of owning such a "top-spec" bike, and thus the temptation.
> >
> >Of course, if you plan to ride the bike, you get into questions like
> >whether to leave a stem that is too long for you, or change it for a
> >period-correct one that is the right length. Either way, the riding
> >experience isn't the same as original. Ideally, you'd find a bike
> >built for somebody with your proportions... In cases where it appears
> >off by a bit, I see whether I can adapt - a lot of older bikes
> >provided a slightly less stretched-out position than is popular today
> >- so it may be that the bike isn't the wrong size after all, but that
> >they sized things differently. After a few miles, I often find that
> >quite comfortable, in fact, I resisted the temptation of a longer
> >stem for our PBP tandem, despite the reach being about 3 cm shorter
> >than what I usually use.
> >
> >Of course, I do believe in state of the art when it comes to
> >environmental protection and workers' health issues. In fact, I even
> >wear a helmet when riding my old bikes, even if it detracts from the
> >experience. Life is full of compromises, and everybody chooses for
> >themselves which ones to make. But that doesn't mean you have to
> >throw in the towel immediately.
> >
> >And finally, there is nothing wrong with "projects." Taking a
> >not-super-rare, not-super-special, not-super-well-preserved bike and
> >making it your dream isn't bad or wrong. Install those Ergo levers on
> >the old Raleigh, add those braze-ons on the old Trek. I have a late
> >1960s Singer that soon will sport a Schmidt hub and modern lights, to
> >be used as my main randonneur bike. I look forward to it. If it ever
> >gets a repaint, it will receive a lever-operated front derailleur,
> >also not "correct" for that vintage. (And fortunately, it already has
> >chromed lugs, so no need to "cheat" there.)
> >--
> >Jan Heine, Seattle
> >Editor/Publisher
> >Vintage Bicycle Quarterly
> >
> >
> >>BB
> >>
> >>I found the irony of your comment really quite humorous,
> >>given the long running discussion this week about old vs. new,
> >>and the proliferation of modern technology as applied to
> >>racing bicycles. I think the fact that you will be using a
> >>"state of the art" facility to restore vintage bikes is
> >>priceless!!
> >>
> >>Grant McLean
> >>Toronto.Ca
> >>
> >>
> >> wrote:
> >>I'm SUPER excited about the new venture, and the future of the
> >>vintage cycle hobby for all of us will be very exciting.
> >>Our workshop will be "state of the art" (cut)