Tuesday, July 17, 2007

vélo de route

The name of my blog means "Road Bike" in French. I took this name because it's what I ride, where I ride it, and what I'm interested in. This blog will be about the experience of owning and riding classic and vintage (or cranky and vintage depending on your perspective) steel-framed (and mostly lugged) road bikes. I'm particularly interested in European bikes, but old Japanese bikes can be just as interesting. My own classic Peugeot UO8 is now a hybrid with a mix of Simplex, Nervar, Campagnolo, SunTour, and MKS parts.

My philosophy is that there are lots of parts you can hang on your bike. But you want it to work and you're going to be looking at and using it a lot so it really should look good. What works well and looks good is worth putting on your bike. If it works well but it's ugly, there's probably something older and better out there for less money and it probably looks 10 times better.

The "secret" and best part about all these old parts is that they're cheap if you keep your eyes open. I have a set of old SunTour shifters from the early 80's that I think are one of the prettiest sets I've seen and they were a whopping $12 in like new condition. My SunTour freewheel with a 14-32 span (5spd) in great condition but dirty, was $5. These are non-indexed parts but they shift as well as (or very close to) any friction parts ever made. You can get top of the line vintage parts that are superior to all but the most expensive modern parts and they are a fraction of the cost.

And I'm always looking for good deals if you know of any. :)

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