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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Remember, I warned you.

So last evening in Oakland, California near Lake Merritt I pass a bicycle locked to a parking meter. Its a town bike, a men's 21.5" frame with 3-speed style handlebars, a rotting no-name saddle, a piece of plywood shaped to act as a rear fender (attached with hose clamps), mismatched wheels, derailleurs, and a rusty chain. Oh, almost forgot to mention that the bike was filthy. But it was the most beautiful metallic maroon color, except for the head tube, which was a cream color. Chromed lugs and fork crown. Half the seat and chain stays and half the forks were chrome. All the chrome was in incredible condition. Looking close as twilight was coming on, I could make out that it was a Raleigh Professional. It did not have the full sloping fork crown my (early 1970's) Professional has....its construction was much more interesting. I've only seen one other like it. I could make out the outlines of where the Reynolds decals used to be on the forks. The fork blades had only the slightest curve to them.

Looking yet closer, I notice that there is a curl of metal, as one would make with an old fashioned can opening 'key' halfway down the seat tube, and that the upper half of the seat tube looks, well, wavy. Whatever criminal that last had their hands on this bike extended the slot in the seat tube another 12 inches to facilitate the forcing of an oversize mountain bike seatpost deep into the frame. Too bad, as before I saw that I thought it could probably be brought 'back'. I need a drink.
 

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Similar to the new practice of...

turning every vintage bike into a fixie. I see this and think "how about every few bikes, building a retro geared bike and enjoying that Bottecchia SLX or Paramount as it was meant to be.
peace
 
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