proletarian classics

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 1 Nov 2009, 4:10pm

...or old junk? Great site either way.
http://oldtenspeedgallery.com/about-otsg/

papacojones
Posts: 67
Joined: 3 Sep 2008, 3:17pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby papacojones » 1 Nov 2009, 6:13pm

Excellent.

I have just been given an early eighties Fuji 12 speed in mint condition so I am feeling a bit nostalgic for this era atm.

Unfortunately the Fuji is tiny- 18 and a bit inch seat tube and it'll probably end up with flat bars for wife.(Top tube is too long for drops any way).

Has Fuji Valite(Marketed as 531 equivalent at the time afaik) butted/lugged front triangle though. A posh enough bike in its day. It came via the states. Anyone know if they were sold here.

Great site Glueman.

glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 1 Nov 2009, 6:26pm

There are some good quotes about liberating them from the menace of fixed. Wise words.

papacojones
Posts: 67
Joined: 3 Sep 2008, 3:17pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby papacojones » 1 Nov 2009, 6:43pm

Excellent again.

I intend all my mods to be of the period. Its paintwork is immaculate- maroon with a real metal badge on headtube. Flat bars and levers will be eighties and I have found a short upward sloping quill stem NOS on ebay. My wife will look fifteen again.

Come to think of it-It might take more than a bike to make my wife look fifteen again. Don't tell her I said that though.

glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 1 Nov 2009, 6:53pm

Yep, I don't care if it is a cult fashion thing, if it keeps 27" tyres and 5 speed freewheels being made sign me up! The butchery required to modernise either has been the death of many an ordinary but perfectly usable bike.

papacojones
Posts: 67
Joined: 3 Sep 2008, 3:17pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby papacojones » 1 Nov 2009, 7:07pm

Just had a chance to look some more at the pics on that site.
I reckon with a good polish my one could easily win bike of the month.

My friend went to a going away party for an American girl who was going home. She had a few drinks and was lamenting the fact that she couldn't afford to take the bike-which had been her Mother's- home with her. My mate told her of a bike obsessed nerd (me) that he knew who would cherish her bike. She gave it to me there and then- without ever meeting me.

I gotta win bike of the month with that story.

glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 1 Nov 2009, 7:16pm

I have an awful feeling my father-in-law has recently junked a near mint, if cobwebby 70s Peugeot (or was it a Falcon?) after 18 years of asking me what he should do with it. D'oh!
It had the chrome spoke guard, suicide levers, steel seat pin, plastic faux leather bar covering, metal shortie guards, rat traps and sprung rack to make it to 10-speed heaven.

I'm just hoping he's done what he usually does and couldn't bear to throw it away.

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15070
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby Si » 2 Nov 2009, 11:35am

I had an old Puch a few years back. Lovely condition for the age - almost gleaming, with much original condition. However, it did remind one that not all progress is bad or driven by fashion - attempting to stop it in the rain required the services of a trained ocean liner captain (good old steel rims and leather pads).


My Jacques, I'm afraid, has gone the way of the single gear (although not a trendy fixie, but a low maintenance town bike).

User avatar
quiksilver
Posts: 275
Joined: 13 Apr 2009, 9:38am
Location: Cornwall & London

Re: proletarian classics

Postby quiksilver » 2 Nov 2009, 11:58am

glueman wrote:...or old junk? Great site either way.
http://oldtenspeedgallery.com/about-otsg/


Yes I have been on this site it great, there's some lovely old bikes on there, most of them need converting to fixed gear though.

glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 2 Nov 2009, 12:12pm

quiksilver wrote:most of them need converting to fixed gear though.


Nooooooo.....! I like riding fixed but there are enough new SS or quality 531 frames round that we don't need to butcher old 10-speeds. Most are predictable handling workhorses which are unattractive to thieves and die because the LBS claims 'yer can't get 5 speed freewheels no more' or the owner gets seduced by 'clean lines' or some other nonsense.

These bikes are perfectly usable if you find 27" tyres and oil the chain. If you fix them they're just another urban fakenger stealth clone and everyone that loses its gears loses another customer asking for a freewheel and 27s.

User avatar
quiksilver
Posts: 275
Joined: 13 Apr 2009, 9:38am
Location: Cornwall & London

Re: proletarian classics

Postby quiksilver » 2 Nov 2009, 12:18pm

I can see your point Glueman, I just like the stripped down look. I run an old Viscount on 700s and an old Carlton on 27s. I make sure that I dont do anything to them to prevent them being reverted to gears. This means retaining all the original parts, even if they have had it. And only once on my first conversion did I remove the cable guides. The two I am using now are whole and intact.

glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 2 Nov 2009, 12:51pm

The site appeals to me for a number of reasons. First those old 10-speeds have been overlooked as a piece of cycling history, they're the bikes most likely to be stamped on and ignored while still locked to railings, yet share 99% of the DNA of every other bike. They also represent a cheap way into usable sub 12mph cycling, the kind of thing most people would do if everyone rode a bike. They're an object lesson in what keeps running if a bike is ignored completely - most people who talk about low maintenance SS or fixed spend hours fettling and choosing - these are more likely to fit into high neglect domestic regimes. They're also exemplars of recycling.

Most of it is trend but the important part is keeping those older components being sold and made that won't prematurely consign perfectly good bikes to landfill.

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15070
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby Si » 2 Nov 2009, 1:44pm

They also represent a cheap way into usable sub 12mph cycling, the kind of thing most people would do if everyone rode a bike


Not completely sure that I agree for all of this type of bike. A good number of the more 'sportier' ones tended to be an attempt to emulate racer's bikes. For the normal, ride to the shops/work, user that meant that they were often over geared (52/42-13/23ish) and the position was less than ideal - hence the 1970/1980s fad for spinning the bars up so that the brake levers pointed straight upwards, and the welcome arrival of the MTB/hybrid with the granny ring, the more upright position, etc. Although, to give them their due - even the sportier ones were more likely to have mudguard and rack mounts and room for mudguards.

But that's not to say that I don't think that there were some very good bikes within the group, and that the lack of 'technology' applied to them often made them better for it.

papacojones
Posts: 67
Joined: 3 Sep 2008, 3:17pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby papacojones » 2 Nov 2009, 2:46pm

They also represent a cheap way into usable sub 12mph cycling,


They certainly do represent that but I have a friend who is near 40 and uses one for club training runs. He stays with them most of the way too (embarrassing the odd 4 grand carbon wonderboy in the process) He is a womble by nature and refuses even to use a bike that hasn't been in a skip at least once.

I agree they had overgearing and position issues but I would take one of them with a stem change and smaller chainwheel over an mtb clunker anytime.

I also agree that some were better than others. The top end were not far off the tdf bikes of their day.

I really hope they catch on and get preserved as a few good bike engineering principles got lost with them imo.

glueman
Posts: 4354
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: proletarian classics

Postby glueman » 2 Nov 2009, 3:28pm

We're talking about a wide range of bikes from the Emmelle and Phillips end, up to quite posh stuff. To get the price down some quite smart bikes were made with Hi-tensile tubing (Carlton for instance). Since branded steel prices shot up a year or two ago, new models trade on the 'steel is real' thing with tubing that isn't far above the no-marque steel of older bike makes.
I've never been convinced differences in steel grades actually make you faster, since a lad on a sub-£100 Peugeot used to fly round at evens on club runs years ago.

If the options are scrap metal, cannibalising for fixed, or renewing bearing and brakes and keeping them going I prefer to see the latter. In flatter areas a 42 x 28 probably is all most people need and they can walk on anything steeper - a darn sight lower gear than most fixed. Besides, there's something nice about bikes that had dropped bars and mattress saddles in the days before every style had an exclusive provenance.