Wednesday 24 December 2014

The Joy of Retro

The rediscovery of vintage bicycles has brought new enthusiasts into the fold and it was fun to watch this video highlighting the difference between modern and classic bicycles, the latter being one of Stephen Roche's race-winning mounts.  There are definite disadvantages to old technology.  The brakes in the pre-dual pivot era were not very good; the hairnet "helmet" is completely useless and even though it might ruin the look I use a modern helmet whenever I ride; and the clip-and-strap pedals are not very good as to be effect the straps have to be tightened up enough that they are difficult to get out of quickly.  And, yes, the gearing sometimes seems crazy to me.  Several of my bikes came with a 44-tooth chainring as the small one!

On the positive side, friction shifting seems to work well with the short cable run, there is nothing too difficult to work on, the frames tend to be comfortable and offer a smooth ride and the aesthetic value of these colourful bikes is superior to lookalike carbon bikes, although style is of course always a matter of personal opinion.   Steel bikes evoke a classic era not only in racing but touring as well and it is a good thing to see that what was once perceived as obsolete is making a comeback.  Retro rules!

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