There are a few bikes on which I like to keep nearly original parts, although even on those I don't worry about bar tape, cables, and the like.
One is a Schwinn Paramount, especially a chrome one. One sees a surprising number of these with nearly all original equipment. I think this is because a lot of guys bought these just to have "the best bike available", and really never rode them much. These were more status symbols than sporting equipment, and many owners never learned enough about quality lightweight bikes to ever want to make any changes.
Another is the PX-10. Although these got changed more than Paramounts, changeout was discouraged by the French dimensions. You had to tap and notch the rear DO to use a Campy type RD, had to shim a Campy FD. To go to non-French cranks, HS, or in the late 60's/early 70's even freewheel or pedals, you had to seek out French threaded versions. Cinelli bars required a Cinelli stem as well, and even then you had to find a 22.0 Cinelli stem or sand down a 22.2. Campy or simialr SP brakes required a drop bolt. Of couse a few guys I rode with did all these things, but a lot of PX-10's stayed al lot more original than if one could have simply slapped Campy parts on them. And I figure if one survived 35 years with those French parts intact, I'm not going to change them now.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
Tom Sanders <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Regarding the cable housing colors Jerry Moos wrote, "Well the difference is that the changeout of Campy bits improved performance rather undermining it. Lined housings pull and return more easily, ball-bearing Bullseye pulleys definitely have less friction, and Malthauser pads definitely stop better than the originals. There were changeouts in the day that were cosmetic, or which actually undermined performance, but most of the ones I rememeber being common were definite improvements. I agree exactly not only with such comments on cables, brake pads, etc. but to lots of other things that owners commonly put on their bikes back when those bikes were relatively contemporary. Saddles, tires, wheels most anything was fair game to upgrade or replace purely as a matter of taste. I still do this with my own bikes. I am shameless in this. I have tried period perfection on a couple of bikes and never found it to be as much fun. Yet, it is not uncommon to have folks treat these changes as "wrong" somehow. I think one can be overly anal about having a bike just the way it came from the factory...or ...wait...could it be the bike shop or is it the builder? Yet so many were sold as frames either to the ultimate customer or the bike shop that to attribute rightness or wrongness to the stuff on a bike unless it is way out of the time line is a bit superficial. Thank goodness that folks sought to individualize their bikes...how deadly boring if they did not! Those who think they know exactly the only way a bike should be are sure welcome to their beliefs and I love to see what they do. Now, let's hope that they can stand the things that I do to my bikes or that earlier owners did to them. When I get a newly acquired bike, I don't even like to have folks see it until I get a chance to make the changes that I feel make it my own...I sometimes wonder if this is not all a bit strange...I guess we all are a bit crazy one way or another...What fun! Tom Sanders Lansing, Mi USA