Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Retro can means many things. For some anything pre-STI/Ergo is retro. Others will say pre-index shifting or anything pre-Shimano ;)

Retro bikes are like the classic car market. What defines classic car is constantly changing. Classic cars are getting newer and newer. 60's and 70's autos are now called classics.

For me, anything older than the late 80's is retro. Just because a frame is not steel doesn't mean it's not retro. The old Vitus and Alan aluminum frames were produced in the mid 80's. Even carbon was produced in the 80's by TVT and LOOK(Exxon had a carbon frame in the 70's).

What does "Retro" mean to you???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,655 Posts
For me

Friction shifting, DT or bar end
Steel frame with lugs
Threaded steerer
Brooks pro saddle
Clement seta tubulars
A wide selection of tubular rims with weights of 260-400gr
Cage pedals w/Binda straps
Tressostar cloth or Benotto cello bar tape
Non aero brake cable routing
126mm or 120mm rear triangle
Freewheel
Campagnolo up to and through CRecord, excluding Synchro
Shimano non-index (I had Dura Ace in 1974)
Cinelli Stem and bar combo
 

·
Devoid of all flim-flam
Joined
·
7,310 Posts
Mr. Boneman. Your list is superb. But...How about adding cottered steel cranks? How about adding any French componentry other than wheel goods? How 'bout Sturmey Archer? Cinelli leather helmets? Saggy clothing that doesn't dry overnight? :eek:
 

·
NeoRetroGrouch
Joined
·
6,491 Posts
Way different definition...

I have always thought of "classic" as the real thing while "retro" just looks old. For instance, a 2004 cruiser made to look like a 50's cruiser is retro.

FWIW,
TF

Dave Hickey said:
Retro can means many things. For some anything pre-STI/Ergo is retro. Others will say pre-index shifting or anything pre-Shimano ;)

Retro bikes are like the classic car market. What defines classic car is constantly changing. Classic cars are getting newer and newer. 60's and 70's autos are now called classics.

For me, anything older than the late 80's is retro. Just because a frame is not steel doesn't mean it's not retro. The old Vitus and Alan aluminum frames were produced in the mid 80's. Even carbon was produced in the 80's by TVT and LOOK(Exxon had a carbon frame in the 70's).

What does "Retro" mean to you???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
My thoughts exectly, but...

...where does that leave my fixie? It is made from old parts so I can't call it retro but they are put together way different than they were ever intended so I can't call it classic. I guess it's just old :)

<a href=http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2004/watson.htm>Brian</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,655 Posts
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Well, I stopped riding cottered steel cranks in 1970 as they were a pain in the ass to maintain. Ever try removing the crank retaining bolt? Huret derailleurs and Weinman sidepulls on my mid-60's to 1970 bike. Crap. Upgrade was to Mafac centerpulls and Simplex (delrin/plastic garbage) derailleurs! Well, it was the 60's. In those days it was riding my bike to school. Remember those wing-spinner nuts that kept your wheels in the forkends. More stuff I don't miss.

I remember seeing Doug Dale's (CRCA and National team member in the 60's) Campy equipped Cinelli back then. Awesome and he was running Universal '68 sidepulls.

French components I liked but never owned would be Stronglight and TA cranks. I also owned two sets of Cyclo-Pan freewheels which were essentially kits where they included cogs to make up any combo from 13-30, as long as it was 5 cogs in one of the kits and 6 cogs in the other. Superb stuff and I still have both. Also still have a few sets of Super Champion rims including NOS Medaille d'Or's.

Sturmey Archer's for getting the paper and bikes with metal baskets on the back and wicker one's on the front. That being said, I hated the kids who had them when the rest of us were on balloon tired, coaster brake equipped bikes and sucking major wind going up hills or chasing on the flats.

I raced when hairnets were legal and still have mine. It was useless junk although its replacement, the original Bell in 1974 offered great protection given that it was the size and weight of a tortoise shell.

All wool clothes. Yeah, retro definitely. Classic, if you like smelly funk in the wet and shorty shorts in all conditions. I still have some of the stuff including tights, etc. Hoping the moths will get to them and consign them to history where they belong.

Hmmm, a small rant I see. Well, there's stuff I like and there's stuff I'm trying to forget about.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
38eighteen said:
...where does that leave my fixie? It is made from old parts so I can't call it retro but they are put together way different than they were ever intended so I can't call it classic. I guess it's just old :)

<a href=http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2004/watson.htm>Brian</a>

What do you call that?.............. I'd say perfect :D
 

·
Call me a Fred
Joined
·
16,999 Posts
38eighteen said:
...where does that leave my fixie? It is made from old parts so I can't call it retro but they are put together way different than they were ever intended so I can't call it classic. I guess it's just old :)

QUOTE]

I would call it a custom. Great looking bike. How does it ride?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
How does it ride...

I will preface this by saying that I am not the best person to answer that. I have never owned, or even ridden, what most people would call a "real" bike. Most of my road riding has been on a bike I have borrowed from my brother - it is too big for me, about 20 years old and a mix of Shimano 105 and RSX etc. I put maybe 1000km on that - I am not a big rider.

Now to my fixie - I love it. It seems to be a perfect fit, everything is just where I think it should be. 40:16 on 27" wheels (67.5 gear inches) is a nice casual ride around here - pretty flat but the one steepish hill is just before I get home :) That gear is low enough to give me pretty good speed control with just the pedals. I have not tried really long, steep downhills yet.

Now, to answer your question - it is a really nice ride. As you might guess from the long, low geometry it is comfortable and smooth. But, most of my riding is on a shared cycle/pedestrian shared path that gets pretty busy and it really seems to enjoy being flicked about dodging pedestrians and kids on BMX bikes!

Thanks for asking!

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,384 Posts
Boneman pretty much hit the nail on the head. I would add component manufactures like Suntour for sure since I ride on Superbe! Also Huret, Zeus, and Simplex (yuck). But I would not include Shimano since they were not sanctioned for racing by any of the racing associations and they stole ideas from Suntour. Huret had the lightest front and rear derailleur ever made even to this day! Zeus had some wild looking parts with their drilled out components, and Suntour had the best shifting and the best reliablity of any group, while Campy had that exclusiveness that only high end racers would be seen riding along with their Italin bikes.

Year wise I would say anything pre 1985 and especially anything from back then made in Italy first, France second, England third with America and Japanese coming in last. America had their Schwinn Paramont and the Japanese had their Lotus. But both America and especially Japan had frame tubing companies making excellent tube sets and actually superior to the anything Italy had going on especially from early 70's untill mid 80's but nobody cares! The France thing is weird because they were the worst bikes built in regards to reliablity, but I guess it's their quirkiness that makes them special.

I also race on cottered aluminum cranks that used steel cotter pins, but they were a hassle and jumped ship on those as soon as the cotterless design came out! I had a French Pugh that came with those crappy Simplex friction derailleurs, and Mafac brakes; then graduated to a 76 Trek TX900 with Columbus tubing with all Campy Record friction which was a great bike but sold it to buy a car I aways wanted! Then a 4 years later got back into cycling and bought a Trek 412 with mix of Suntour XG and Dia Comp brakes with top of the line Ishwata tubing that was a very responsive frame even though it had a sport geometry, crashed it and now have the Trek 660 with Reynolds 531cs tubing and all Suntour Superbe components I got new in 84.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
What is NOT Retro is easier.....

For me, a deconstructionist, what is not retro is a bit easier:
It is not: TIG welding
ugly compact frames
planned obsolesence
anything Giant currently makes
unneeded and maybe dangerous carbon components
those horribly deformed brake/shift levers that Shimano makes (STI)
riding the streets with time trial wheels
saddles that resemble a knitting needle
$200 handlebars
10 cogs at the rear
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
228 Posts
Retro to me

Dave Hickey said:
What does "Retro" mean to you???
Steel, Ti, or Carbon frameset issued with threaded one inch fork and D/T shifter bosses.

Built up with the following:

D/T shifters, indexed or friction
Quill stem
Non-ergo handlebars
Traditional Turbo, Regal, Rolls, etc type saddle
28,32, or 36 spoke wheels
No carbon!

I notice alot of people going through the trouble of finding an old frameset, and then they build it up alot like a new bike. That is not retro!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
retro, classic, vintage

Retro- that that tries to mimic the past, horizontal top tubes, steel, lugs, (fillet brazing allowed) down tube shifters, traditional spoked wheels, quill stems & threaded steerers.

Classic- from the past or of the past, pre sissy shifting (SIS, index, STI, Ergo). Made generally prior to 1984. Alex Singer and Toei and some others still make classic cycles. They do often use NOS parts from the 70's to achieve this.

Vintage- Truly from the past, nothing prior to 1984. Some would say no C Record either, even though C Record was originally friction shifting, it was Valentino's start, (stumble?). It is pretty, but not functionally better than its sibling, Super Record, and heavier to boot.
I do like the High flange hubs from the C record group alot. The cranks look beautiful, but if one watches someone overshift beyond the big ring, it can be a mess, no landing for the chain to recoup.
 
G

·
I put the bar wrap on this this morning. I have a yellow De Rosa fork on order and will swap it out when it arrives.

Could not find Cinelli bars in right size so ended with the horrible " Anatomic Bend" bars, they will go at some point.
Super Record everything, including the chain. Record Front Derailleur. Super Record High flange hubs and Corsa Evo CX tubulars.

With the Brooks saddle and Look pedals, 19 lbs.

Columbus SLX tubing.

I would say this is Classic,possibly Vintage. Apart from the BBB handlebars all of the parts are vintage, having been on one bike before this. The frame itself is vintage, never having been built up before. Given this is essentially a brand new bike built up of all vintage parts, I would say the bike is Classic, bordering on vintage.
 

·
n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,507 Posts
Retro is one group before the current fad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
I like the basic dictionary definitions...

...where "retro" refers to a design or fashion reminiscent of the past. Examples include new diamond-framed, lugged-steel bikes like Rivendells, Herons, Kogswells, etc. as well as new cruisers, choppers, etc.

Classic refers to having lasting significance or worth. Examples include any famous-mark (Colnago, DeRosa, etc.), high-end collectable bike of its time (LOOK, Exxon Graftek, Teledyne Titan, etc.), collectable team replicas (Gitane TdF, Coors Light, GAN-Lemond, etc.) or any bike meant to last the test of time (Rivendell, Waterford, Seven, etc. where even a new bike can be an instant classic). While most of these are classics based on worth, some, like the Schwinn Varsity or Fisher Hoo-Koo-I-Koo, are classics based on significance.

Vintage, as a term borrowed from winemakers, refers to older bikes characterized by excellence and enduring appeal (so as to include classics of a certain age) as well as those that are plain old or outmoded. Since Trek doesn't make lugged steel bikes anymore, a lugged-steel Trek would be old/outmoded and thus vintage without necessarily being a classic. Vintage based on age alone is probably 15-20 years (making '80's bikes vintage).

Many older bikes will fit into classic and vintage. Many newer bikes will fit into classic and retro. And many bikes are just used, waiting to become vintage when they are outmoded or old enough.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top