Steve Maas wrote:
> The contrast between old bikes and modern ones is more than just the
> technological one; it's a fundamental difference in style and
> purpose. Today's bicycles and components are designed around a
> "coolness" standard, intended to appeal to guys in their mid-20s who are
> unperturbed by big credit-card balances. Old bikes get their value from
> true beauty, elegant design, and their lessons about our history and
> place in society.
> To which Chuck Schmidt replied:
To me this sounds like something that might have been said at any period
> in the last 100 years (other than references to coolness and credit cards).
> At any period, the current bicycle of that time was cutting edge for
> that period. When I'm riding one of my old racing bikes I like to point
> out to other riders that the bike they perceive as an old crock was
> cutting edge and state of the art for its time. But I would hope that
> this list is not all about living in the past. Change is good!
> Chuck Schmidt
> South Pasadena, Southern California
I gotta jump in here as a fellow Engineer (but also as a vintage lightweight bikeaholic) and agree more with Steve than Chuck (but I can see Chuck's intent I think).
How can we say that the current crop of TIG-welded whatevers made by the gazillions in the Orient (or a factory in the US for that matter) are "equal" in style and purpose to the craftsmanship of, oh, I dunno..., a Confente for example?
There just ain't no comparison. If what you're saying were 100% true, Chuck, why bother having a CR list at all? That said, it certainly is true that each generation gets to a point where it may start to see the next one and it's creations as "young whippersnappers..." and long for the "good old days." with a slightly rose-colored perspective. ("Why, in my day, we rode barefoot in the dark in the snow three miles just to buy the old man a pack of smokes for a nickel...!")
The bicycle has become to many just another throw-away fashion statement (witness helmets and their pricing - sheesh!), in part due to whose money the industry is chasing. A lot of the folks in big-bucks mountain bikes and to a certain extent high-end road bikes today came from motocross motorcycles where sinking thousands into equipment that will soon be "obsolete" is just part of playing the game.
I do feel there are fundamental differences in the way society views bicycles today versus twenty years ago.
Greg "what counterfeit Confente?" Parker A2 MI USA