Re: [CR] Rebuild/ restoration: Where do YOU draw the line?

Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 16:01:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Art Link <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Rebuild/ restoration: Where do YOU draw the line?
To: classic rendezvous <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Good work,Bob! The young set is already hip to lugged steel in the form of "Fixies". Its not too many short steps to them discovering a full bore classic 10 speed. Boone Farms Strawberry wine got a lot of youngsters weaned from Coca Cola and on the road to Pinot Noir and so it may be with bikes. Art-cellar full of Vintage Port-Link,San Antonio,TX wrote: Call me a Sinner.

I helped my friend mike rebuild a 1970s bike to run with a Modern component group. There was nothing wrong with the original components. The frame was in fine condition as well. The bike did not need to be refurbished or restored in any way... He had seen some of my bikes and was impressed with what could be done to "resurrect" a bike and wanted to put his dad's old bike back on the road - with some modern conveniences to ensure that it would be truly ridden, rather than remain in storage for yet another generation to someday discover.

So, I spread the spacing to 130 mm., tapped the French dropout hanger to accept a modern derailleur, helped him out with a suitable bottom bracket spindle to use with a recent (but still square tapered) crankset. The last was not even necessary to replace for these purposes, but what he wanted, so why not. So, now we have a perfectly good early 1970s Peugeot with a 9-speed drive system and Ergo Brifters.

My rationale for assisting with the "desecration" was :

1.) There are already simply soooo many 1970s French bikes, especially in the US, that there was no need for yet another to be gathering dust.

2.) It would indeed get the bike back on the road.

3.) He works in a bike shop, so customers seeing the bike might re-consider buying a new alum/carbon bike [of course, this was MY devious sub-agenda, not his].

4.) It would draw attention to a clearly older bike when on the road, and perhaps spark still more interest in older bikes.

As anticipated, it works just fine, is used regularly, and now his dad also rides the bike after it had simply been stored in an attic for 25+ years. In fact, they often ride together (Dad always gets to ride the Peugeot).

Several of Mike's riding buddies in their 20s and 30s have now also taken to restoring some bikes (in a more orthodox sense... not modernized). Unfortunately for me, this also diminishes the local finite vintage parts availability. But, I still feel good having helped to spread the vintage bike Gospel to a completely new group of initiates. And now there is yet another Peugeot a ... uh ... "PX-2004" on the roads rather than in the trash or simply gathering rust.

With the exception of threading the derailleur hanger, nothing is irreversible, so this bike will continue to be cherished and it may eventually be restored BACK to its earlier state. --- No harm done.

Yes, I really do believe everyone SHOULD be able to experience riding an older bike in its true original trim. Everyone should experience friction shifting, down tube shifters, and lever front changers. Is it necessary to restore every mass manufactured bike from years past? No. Is this not needlessly limiting many bikes to a final resting place hanging on a wall? I know many people who would never ride a vintage bike, so they will never appreciate the ride and geometry of an older bike.

I do ride mine, so I feel I am doing vintage bicycling a service by regularly "showing" them - but on the road, not an a shelf. And for me this is the most important consideration. Keep them out there, seen and ridden... in any condition. Let them spark the imaginations of other cyclists who may have never even seen a bike without indexing. Let them be inspirations not just collectibles for our personal hoards or photo albums.

If it requires a few modern "heresies" for someone to happily ride a bike, I'm okay with that. And, I will not bitch at someone about how they should have kept the bike in pristine AND original condition. Perhaps they will have a grand-child who may someday wish to bring the bike back to its origins. It is more likely this will happen if they see Grandpa actually riding the bike... not from seeing it hanging on his wall for years.


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