MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

BICYCLE QUALITY - INTRO

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BICYCLE

FRAME & FORK QUALITY

WHEN BEST ISN'T BEST

FRAME & FORK  INTEGRITY

DENTED FRAME OR FORK

BENT FRAME OR FORK

MODIFIED FRAME OR FORKI

REPAIRED FRAME OR FORK

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE

FRAME & FORK MATERIALS

FRAME SET DROP-OUTS

CLAMPS & BRAZE-ONS

FRAME CRAFTSMANSHIP

CHARACTER & PERSONALITY

 

WHEN THE BEST ISN'T THE BEST

FAMOUS MAKES

Certain bicycles are more collectable than others.  A top of the line vintage Cinelli would be more desirable, from a collector’s point of view, than a top of the line Raleigh.  There is a huge gambit of different brands or makes of bicycles;  Bianchi, Torpado, Colnago, Miele, Miyata, Claude Butler.  The list is enormous and goes well beyond the scope of MY "TEN SPEEDS" to comment on.  I will never have a chance to try every best of the best, no matter what.  It would just take too much time to get to know them all.  However...

Knowing which bicycle brands have collectable valuable is important, there is no argument about that.  But do not let the name lead you down the garden path.  Do not wait until just the right bicycle comes your way.  You just might end up waiting forever, and miss the opportunity to find and ride the bicycle that is perfect for you.  Settle for a lesser steed, if one presents itself, in your quest to find a nice old bicycle to restore and ride.  Build it up and give it a try.  You just might be surprised at what you find out.  If it isn't what you wanted, pass it on to someone else and try again.  The process and the quest is fun.  I should add that I am still looking for the perfect bike for me.  And I don't even know what kind it is but I am looking.

It has been my good fortune to own some really nice and highly collectable bicycles.  My 1971 Carlton Professional being the most exotic of the Old School examples, to enter The Old Shed.  The most sophisticated mount, a later model Pinarello Trevisio with a full and matched Campagnolo grouppo, or my turn of the century, Marinoni Squadra.  Or, the race bread Vitus 979, that taught me a valuable lesson, about me and my relationship, to any bicycle that I ride.  However, each of these wonderful old road bikes, for one reason or another, has been passed on to someone else.  Each, in its own way, offered a near perfect ride.  And each, in its own way, was not right for me!

With three or four hundred Street Restorations under my belt, I have learned that some bicycles work for me and some don't, no matter who manufactured the bicycle.  I have owned and ridden top of the line bikes that simply felt wrong to me.

One of the nicest rides I have experienced in my life was on a lower end Legnano that wore an extremely well developed patina of age.  True the bicycle was a Legnano, but it was an entry level model with high tensile tube set and pressed steel drops.  No sophisticated technology.  Ordinary componentry.  And even sporting 27" wheels.  How could a bike like that have made such a lasting impression on me?  But the bicycle did impress.  The ride was magical.  What started out as a simple test ride one foggy morning, stretched into hours through the Fall mist and into the bright sunlight of mid day.  And I will never forget that ride.  The one that taught me to appreciate the bicycle, not just the legend or high end hype.

So don't worry too much if you can't afford the Cinelli.  In all fairness, are you a good enough rider to challenge such a bicycle's potential?  Perhaps working your way up to that legendary ride is the best way to go.  Then you will have a much better chance of appreciating the ride quality that it has to offer.  At least, I think so - I have never owned or ridden a Cinelli, but I would like to give it a try.

FAMOUS HISTORY

If the bicycle was owned by a famous rider, the value of the bicycle increases.  Almost a no-brainer, when one thinks about it.  I once owned a bicycle that belonged to a two time Canadian Olympic cycle champion who just happened to have been raised in Thunder Bay, where I live.   Was it a valuable bicycle?  Not really and I couldn’t prove the bicycle’s pedigree, but I did try.  Why?  Because the bicycle’s value would have increased.

But the bicycle itself, a Canadian made Peugeot Trophy, did little to impress me at the time.  A nice bicycle to say the least, but nothing all that special.  Though I did consider keeping the bike, I decided against it.  I like to ride my bicycles and the one that Kurt reputedly owned and trained on was too big for me.

NEW OLD STOCK – NOS

New Old Stock (NOS), is hugely important from a collectable point of view.  An unused vintage item will always fetch way more than an identical used one.  A NOS frame and fork set is a relatively rare commodity and the prices today, which are soaring I might add, reflect this.  The same argument holds true for NOS components.  If it is a NOS vintage road bicycle frame set or component, chances are it will be of value.

Two NOS frame sets have come my way and both through trade rather than out and out purchase.  The first was an eighties something Francesco Moser.  The second a Bianchi Trofeo.  Both were very nice bikes.  One went unridden, the other was immediately passed on to my riding buddy.

Remember, I like to ride my bicycles.  Having a bicycle in mint condition worries me.  I would hate to get it dirty, let alone damage it.  Just one more thing to consider about the bicycle and how you intend to use it.

SENTIMENTAL VALUE

If it was your Father’s bicycle, or one exactly like it, there is great value even though the value is to you alone.  Restore away, no matter what and have fun doing it….

Though my CCM Grand Prix is anything but a good bicycle, I want to build it up, try it out and perhaps keep it.  Not because of the bicycle and its apparent virtues (or more appropriately, lack of virtues), but because it is Canadian made.  Does this qualify as a sentimental issue?  It doesn't matter really.  The fact is I want to keep the bicycle for reasons other than the bike's inherent value.

And that sentiment brings up the most important of all for justifying vintage bicycle ownership and use.

I LIKE THE BICYCLE!

I "like the bicycle" falls pretty much into the Sentimental Value category.  If you like it – build the bicycle and have fun doing it.  That’s a good part of what vintage bicycle collecting and riding is all about.  Having Fun!  This Sekine SHT270 is not the most exotic ride in my collection, but I really like riding it.  It was my first really nice vintage find.  It is Canadian.  It is in excellent original condition.  I am not sure why this bicycle appeals to me so much, but it does and that is good enough.

With the above Rule Breakers out of the way, now is the time to inspect the bicycle more carefully and from a more specific point of view, using Quality Indicators as our guide.

NEXT - FRAME STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

mail@mytenspeeds.com

COPYRIGHT(2008): mytenspeeds.com