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Hi there.
I picked up an old Schwinn Cruiser at a yard sale. The seller claimed it was 1950's vintage, but I didn't believe it. Since she took $11 for it, and it was a cool bike, I figured "What the heck."
I checked out oldroads.com, and saw that you can check the serial number of a Schwinn against a list and determine the manufacture date. According to the list (or rather, my interpretation of how to read the list), the bike was built in November, 1983 (just a bit off from the 1950's).
So, assuming I successfully uploaded pictures of it in all its dusty glory, is this bike really considered vintage, or is it just an old bike?
What makes an old bike vintage? Is there some magical age? Is it obsolete parts (like a 1" treaded headset)? What?
Thanks.
Regina
 

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Three easy tests for Retro/Vintage

I think there are three easy tests:

1) You are riding, and some stranger gives a nod to your bike- such as "I used to have one, kinda wish I had it back", "I really wanted one of those, back in the day" or "Cool bike!"

2) You like it enough to strip it down and rebuild it, buffing out scratches, wax, and touching up logos to make it look new.

3) Somebody says "That would make a great Fixie!"

'meat

ps-cool bike



Regina said:
Hi there.
I picked up an old Schwinn Cruiser at a yard sale. The seller claimed it was 1950's vintage, but I didn't believe it. Since she took $11 for it, and it was a cool bike, I figured "What the heck."
I checked out oldroads.com, and saw that you can check the serial number of a Schwinn against a list and determine the manufacture date. According to the list (or rather, my interpretation of how to read the list), the bike was built in November, 1983 (just a bit off from the 1950's).
So, assuming I successfully uploaded pictures of it in all its dusty glory, is this bike really considered vintage, or is it just an old bike?
What makes an old bike vintage? Is there some magical age? Is it obsolete parts (like a 1" treaded headset)? What?
Thanks.
Regina
 

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my stuff averages about 1987. Unfortunately I don't feel worthy of "old" "vintage" or "classic".

When I see stuff equiped with Mafac centerpulls or clamp-on downtube shifters I think worthy. If I had to pick one defining trait it would be non-aero brake levers and older are worthy....just my 0.02...,.

oh yeah

I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy.....
 

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Dave Hickey said:
The folks over at http://www.classicrendezvous.com/ consider 1983 to be the last year for "classic"...

At $11, you go a heck of a deal...Schwinns always have good resale value...
Some folks say down tube shifters, some say Campy Super Record. Others draw the line at about 1985/1986 when the louder fade frame paint jobs came into vogue.
 

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Master Bike Mechanic
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Most of my favorite stuff comes from the late 80's too. In my opinion (Mine, probably few others.) the late 80's early to mid 90's was the pinnacle for lugged Steel Production frames, and the mid to late 80's as the pinnacle of components.

Lugs and building techniques had just about reached their peak. There has been minor innovation through custom frame-builders, but nothing revolutionary. I also love the paint schemes from the period.

High quality sealed bearing hubs and free wheels weren't hard to come by, Suntour had perfected Friction shifting with their Power ratchet, every thing from rear mechs to handlebars were polished silver anodized aluminum. And best of all, none of those two piece hollow tech Dura Ace 7800 cranks, I mean, Mein Gott those are ugly, just can't stand 'em, sorta like popcorn ceilings.

I guess we can be considered Thrifty Consumers of world Class Bicycle components.
 

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"Most of my favorite stuff comes from the late 80's too."

this is the stuff I know the best. Aesthetically (Campy) more pleasing than the current stuff. Heavier yes but more beatiful (would you rather see polished aluminum or a campy decal stating the model and that its campy...duh).

"and the mid to late 80's as the pinnacle of components."

C-record crank - the most beatiful crank ever made. The C-record grouppo compared to current record? No comparison in terms of beauty.

" I also love the paint schemes from the period."

more paint, less logos...

"And best of all, none of those two piece hollow tech Dura Ace 7800 cranks, I mean, Mein Gott those are ugly, just can't stand 'em, sorta like popcorn ceilings."

Clunk city...yuk! the current DA cranks are ugly.

I'd like to add one thing.

Quill Stems vs. bolt on aheadset style clamp on.

Quill= clean beauty, aheadset = clunky ugly, especially the stems with the exposed bolts in the back(90% of them)...doh!


"I guess we can be considered Thrifty Consumers of world Class Bicycle components."

I think the older stuff looks better, the fact its cheaper is an added bonus. And I would say it is at least as durable, if not more than the current stuff.

Superbe Pro was also a beautiful grouppo and I also liked the dura ace 7400 (just picked up some 7400 brake calipers last night). In fact I like the 7400 crank more than anything they've put out since. I don't think the surface finish of anything DA has put out since the 7400 is as polished as the 7400. I also think the 7400 hubs are smoother than their current ones. My 7400 BB is still smooth as butter...20 years & 20-30,000 miles later....
 

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To each his own definition

I've got two '84 road bikes, one purchased new the other picked up fot $0.
i think of "vintage or classic" as bikes which are collectable, at least something more than just old. both my older bikes serve a purpose, but neither is my bike of choice on a fine day when a longer ride is planned. I like a smooth friction shifting system, I like narrow handlebars, the extra weight is not a problem, 27" is OK with me, 5 or 6 cogs will get the job done; but I keep them for variety or a slow day or when I want something different.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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SantaCruz said:
i think of "vintage or classic" as bikes which are collectable, at least something more than just old.
Exactly. My '85 Caprice Classic is certainly old, but I don't think I'd consider it a classic. Even though it thinks it is.
 
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