On Aug 3, 2007, at 6:45 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org
> The whole messenger/fixed gear movement seems to revere classic steel
> (and subsequently is helping to drive up the price of steel frames
> and pista
> components, but thats another rant).
So more people loving classic steel is bad, because it raises the price?
These guys are often saving bikes that would have gone to landfill anyway, and they not only love them, they ride them every day. As do I. Both my classic steel bikes run fixed and go everywhere in LA, to the tune of 150 miles a week or more. (Two weeks ago I rode a fixed century that included joining a vintage ride in Long Beach.) They both run recently-built wheels, modern tires, and in one case a modern track drivetrain. At the same time the classic character of the frames shines through--even though we painted my Bottecchia ourselves, people everywhere look at the bike with a sort of plaintive lust in their eyes and shyly tell me how beautiful it is. Dusty plastic fenders and all!
It gives me great joy to see fixie punks and messengers on classic steel frames. It gives me greater joy to hear the love in their voices when they speak of their classic steel frames. It gives me the most joy of all to see them putting mile after mile on them, not just on playrides but going to work, going to meet friends at coffeehouses, going out on dates with their bicycling girlfriends. A bike isn't finished till it's rolling on the road.
The best way to "restore" an old bike is to ride it. That's what it's for.