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The Paramount discussion got me wondering about this. Thinking of the almost legendary status a Masi 3v or say a Merckx Leader enjoys. Or any other vintage brand for that matter. What's behind it? Is it purely nostalgia? Something to do w/ the famous riders who rode them? Or did the bikes themselves have some sort of quality that their competitors lacked?

I remember reading an article where Merckx disparaged Peugot bikes saying they were such lousy handlers that he knew he could exploit this weakness on any descent if he needed to. So I'm guessing no one is saving their coin for vintage Peugot.
 

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Sintesi said:
The Paramount discussion got me wondering about this. Thinking of the almost legendary status a Masi 3v or say a Merckx Leader enjoys. Or any other vintage brand for that matter. What's behind it? Is it purely nostalgia? Something to do w/ the famous riders who rode them? Or did the bikes themselves have some sort of quality that their competitors lacked?

I remember reading an article where Merckx disparaged Peugot bikes saying they were such lousy handlers that he knew he could exploit this weakness on any descent if he needed to. So I'm guessing no one is saving their coin for vintage Peugot.
actually there are lots of people out there who think the world of the old Peugot PX-10s, which was P's top end race bike back in the day - that said, the construction and groupos on the PX-10 always looked a little lower quality I thought then some of the the usual campy equiped bikes that most other top riders were racing back then
 

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Hi,

Times were different back then I suppose. Top end frames were truly handmade by small builders and you could buy one that was virtually identical to what the champs rode. There was a romance about them thats not necessarily the same today. I had a Masi 3V and remember well the "magic" I felt when I first held it.

The French did their own thing, hard to argue with the quality/quantity of champions they produced (and still do) but it seems the Italians nailed down the Quality thing a tad better.
 

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I think its just like old hot rods.... aging demographics. Kids watched these legends race, and remember the "ultimate bike" as the bike they lusted after. Now they are grown up, but have the money to buy things.

Of course this isn't all of it, and they are nice bikes, I am making a more general observation about material goods. Outside of a few very scarce and rare keepsakes, a lot of items peak in value when they are about 40 years old- when the boys of yesteryear now have $$$ and want to purchase those cherished goods they remember. Baseball cards, Cars, bikes, guns, motorcycles, etc...
 

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Well... Peugeots were pretty crappy bikes. French components, meh. Handling I dunno b/c I was never able to ride one long enough to get a good idea before something broke.

But mainly it's nostalgia. Combined w/ esthetics... I just think a nice lugged steel bike with silver components and quill stem just looks elegant.
 

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I don't have a true representative sampling at my house, as my 1973 and 1985 bicycles are an Italvega and a Somec -- not exactly in the Masi, Colnago, Paramount league. But I can say that compared to my latest bicycle, a Time Edge Translink with Campy 10, those older bicycles are like comparing a 1960's MGB to a modern Honda S2000.

Italvega and Somec with Campy Nuovo Record -- beautiful, quaint, rickety, charming and slow.
Time Edge Translink - not quite as beautiful, solid, secure and responsive. Softer riding, too. Though certainly more businesslike than charming.
 

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cuz we had optional helmets or leather ones that provided little protection, fixed cleats with clips and straps that would make your feet go numb, scratchy wool jerseys, shorts that would sag and chamois that would harden, non-indexed downtube shifting, and doggonnit, we liked it!
 

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MB1 said:
Originally Posted by Kestreljr But to play devil's advocate to my own argument, this post makes a convincing case that you are in fact right.

Originally Posted by JChasse So MB1 may be, in fact, correct.

Originally Posted by indianabob Yep, I've been a pro for about 15 years, and MB1 is absolutely right, mostly..
I just saw your signature... I feel like I have been pawnd. And at the top no less. I do remember posting that... something to the effect that I haven't posted anything productive, ever. At least I am staying consistent!
 

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"So what was it that made those old bikes so magical?"

Simple......back in the way-back time, there were tons of crap frames. You had crap department store bikes that weighed 30 to 35 pounds, huge tires, and one speed......slow.
Along came European racing frames, and the world was never the same. The difference between 35 pound clunkers and 22 pound "lightweights" was huge.
People tend to remember their first "real" bike, and give it magical qualities in their head.
The truth is, if you stick some normal overweight guy on these magical bikes, the magic disapears. These bikes weren't made for 195 pound tubs of goo. You stick one of us on one of these magic bikes, and all of a sudden, that magic bike becomes rather wiggley.
Give me a modern steel bike anyday. Most of them are made to ride well when a modern "tub of goo" is riding them. (and are still lighter by 3 pounds, or so)
 

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One thing I've found with older bikes it that the sum is greater than the parts would indicate...

Take a skinny tubed steel frame- if it's built by someone who knows what they're doing, it's gonna have a little give and snap. Add a quill stem- there's a little more flex here, too and it's likely set at a more reasonable 1 or 2 inches lower than the saddle, not 4-6" currently fashionable. Add a San Marco Rolls or a Selle Itallia Turbo or any similar saddle- wider, better padding, designed to be comfortable. Add silk or cotton tubulars, sized 25-28 instead of the current 23, and you've got yerself a bike that rides really nice. Magical even. But, if you were to replace that stem (and fork) with a threadless system, I bet you'd lose some of that feel. and if you dropped a modern cutaway saddle on, you'd lose a little more. And if you set the saddle 5" higher than the handlebars...

The other thing that seems to work in their favor is that a well-maintained classic isn't a whole lot heavier than a current bike- maybe 2 or 3 pounds- so the difference isn't as great as you'd think- most people have pretty low expectations of what an old steel bike can do, so they're surprised when it does anything even close to as well as their new bike...

Add to that, old index shifters are a lot easier to trim so you can get your drivetrain ghost-quiet... much quieter than a modern indexing system...
 

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bigtea said:
The older I get the better I was.
Yep..that's usually the case...in my case it's "The older I get the faster I was":)

Agreed...nostalgia hits us all. I'll also add that a really nice road bike was affordable then (at least to me and I wasn't of great means). Ferrari's weren't among other exotica. This put handmade, exotic excellence in our hands and under foot. Hard to forget that "first experience".
 
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