MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

QUALITY - INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS BETTER?

OLD vs NEW

WHO MADE IT - ???

CAMPAGNOLO

SHIMANO

SUNTOUR

SIMPLEX

OTHER MANUFACTURERS

SEAT POSTS

PEDALS

SADDLES

RIMS & TIRES

HUBS, SPOKES , SKEWERS

HANDLEBARS & STEMS

BRAKE CALLIPERS

BRAKE LEVERS

DERAILLEURS

 

WHAT IS BETTER - THE OTHER MANUFACTURERS

It would be a daunting task to discuss what is better about every component made by every manufacturer, and probably a waste of time to boot.  Who would read it?  In addition to the big names mentioned previously there are a host of others competing for a place in the vintage road bicycle arena.  Benolux, Brooks, Sugino, Reg, Mavic, Maillard, Regina, Strong, Dia-Comp, Modolo, Universal and on and on.  Are there any general rules, that you might want to consider when evaluating component quality?

In my mind the words Campagnolo, quality and collectability go hand in hand.  This is not necessarily true for the entry level line of Valentino or Velox offerings but for just about all other Campy offerings, the quality is built in and the older the stuff gets, the more valuable it becomes.

If it looks like it is finished well, it is likely collectable.  If it is mounted on a high end frame set, it is likely collectable.  If you have never seen it before, and you have no idea what it is, but it is finished well and mounted on a high end frame set, it is probably REALLY collectable.  This proved to be the case with a 1958 Carlton Flyer that came equipped with Campy high flange hubs (no problem), Courier 66 brakes, Cresta pantographed handle bars, Benolux Super 60Transmission and a Lycett Swallow saddle.

I knew absolutely nothing about any of the Carlton's exotic components.  They were old, in good condition, looked really nice and were mounted on a quality frame set.  How could I go wrong?  I didnít!  The bicycle was given to me by a complete but very kind stranger.  Sadly and as usual, the bicycle was a tad large and, quite frankly, did not work as well as I would have liked.  Here is where the vintage of a component comes into play.

Older vintage goes hand in hand with decreased "user friendliness".  The older it is, the more valuable it is (all other factors being equal).  And, the older stuff usually does not work as well as the more modern components do.  Nor does the modern stuff have that wonderful vintage feel.

On a bit of a side note at the time of this writing, "rare" has very little to do with the collectable value of a vintage road bicycle or its components.  The interest in the vintage road bicycle is blossoming and "well know" is far more important than rare.  That said, as the numbers of vintage bicycle enthusiasts grows, so to will their interest targets.  Rare will begin to play an increasingly important part when collectable considerations are taken into account.  Knowing what I know today, I would choose to keep my somewhat rare Velo Solex over just about any Peugeot made, PX10s and all.  The quality of the Velo Solex was considerably better than any French made Peugeot I have run across to date.  And, I have run across quite a few, including the revered PX10.

With who made it and where considerations examined, it is time to consider the "user friendly" aspect of components and the apparent quality or lack of quality associated with each.  Once again, this is in no way an attempt to say that guy's stuff is better than this guy's.  Rather, the comparisons will be based on design, comparing seat post designs, pedal designs, saddle designs and so on.

NEXT - WHAT IS BETTER - SEAT POSTS?

 

 

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