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Classic and Vintage bikes that didn’t wow

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Classic and Vintage bikes that didn’t wow

Old 10-16-18, 10:32 AM
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Classic and Vintage bikes that didn’t wow

The recent “bucket list” thread got me thinking. I am one of those people who tends to like the bike I am riding. Some are special but I am generally at a loss to identify the small differences. Kind of like wine.
So I am wondering if others have ridden “good” or “great” bikes that fell flat. Not rustbucket Huffys—I mean quality tubeset bikes that fit, with no mechanical problems, with decent wheels and acceptable tires, that for whatever reason failed to impress.
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Old 10-16-18, 10:38 AM
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I think that, like wine, many of a particular quality will taste the same... and then you get a really nice one and you do go "wow, that's good". For me this is true of tyres, of frames, of groupsets... most taste very similar and are very nice. But then you try titanium (for example), and you go "wow, that's good".
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Old 10-16-18, 10:40 AM
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Pretty much any vintage bike on the local craigslist where the seller is asking too much money doesn't wow.
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Old 10-16-18, 10:43 AM
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I didn’t like the Bridgestone RB-T and RB-1 that I had. Don’t understand the appeal outside of the Grant ideology which I find to be sound.

Hated the Cinelli Supercorsa I had. Pretty bike but ride did nothing for me.
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Old 10-16-18, 11:16 AM
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I don’t ride a lot of bikes (I still own the great majority of bikes I’ve had over the years!) but I gave away only two old bikes, even though they were fun to ride, because I knew they just were not going to work for me long term. The rest of them include some custom bikes and a 1975 California Masi, as well as my pile of cheap weird old French and Japanese bikes. They are all different yet are all a treat in their own ways. The two I disposed of, an old Gaspipe Schwinn and a Raleigh Capri, were nice for short flat smooth car-free rides but just did not have the spark that my other bikes had.
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Old 10-16-18, 11:40 AM
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The main disappointments so far have been a full 531, Trek Tri Series. It was the perfect size for me, but it just felt dead. It seemed to be a black hole for pedaling energy. I also had a Trek 760 that I had a similar impression of. It was a little small for me, which might have been part of the problem. The other one was purely in between my ears. 1954 Hetchin's Magnum Opus. Again, my size. It rode pretty well, but I could never get past feeling self-conscious that I was riding around on a museum piece. Sold them all on. The Trek Tri series must have been quite a dog, as the fellow I sold it to didn't like it either, and barely kept it a week before he was looking to be rid of it.
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Old 10-16-18, 12:06 PM
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...I have tried to like the handling of this bicycle, but I just can't.
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Old 10-16-18, 12:29 PM
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My 2nd good bicycle was a Scapin, back in the mid-1970s. Nothing since has matched it. Several Marinoni have come very close but almost everything else has failed to wow me, including dozens that are highly regarded by other members.
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Old 10-16-18, 12:33 PM
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A machine that is perfectly suitable for a rider of a certain size, riding style and pedaling technique often just won't work well for another.
At the time I was racing my Vitus 979 my teammate had a Cannondale Criterium that suited his aggressive big gear sprinters' temperament and style very well as race results showed.
Neither of us would have traded machines but understood that each was the "right" choice for the other although we trained and raced together.
"Rides like a lumber wagon" and "frightening to descend on" were both "true" assessments by the wrong rider on either machine.

Putting a lot of time, effort and $,$$$ in finding that C&V "Grail" bike based on legend/rumor/myth/fantasy only to find that it doesn't ride to expectations must be quite disappointing.
If you find a machine that works particularly well for you, new or old, hang onto it.

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Old 10-16-18, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
My 2nd good bicycle was a Scapin, back in the mid-1970s. Nothing since has matched it. Several Marinoni have come very close but almost everything else has failed to wow me, including dozens that are highly regarded by other members.
I hope you still have your Scapin!
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Old 10-16-18, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
My 2nd good bicycle was a Scapin, back in the mid-1970s. Nothing since has matched it. Several Marinoni have come very close but almost everything else has failed to wow me, including dozens that are highly regarded by other members.
Do you still have the Scapin?
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Old 10-16-18, 01:47 PM
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Ther have certainly been a bunch of iconic bikes that have passed through my hands over the years with which I was unimpressed. A Davis Phinney that just.would.not.go.fast. Couple of MAX tubing bikes that were fast but just seemed too stiff and jangly. Some that rode OK but had paint/rust problems that would have been more expensive to fix than the thing was worth. More than a few that I figured were just built early on Monday or late on Friday and were maybe not the best representatives of their respective breeds.

BUT I've also decided that part of the whole deal is...me. Gotta use a good set of wheels (build your own!), a good set of tires, the right saddle and the correct setup. Swap stuff around until you arrive at the best combination for that particular ride. Hence the Reflect, etc. thread.

Makes me a little sad to think that some of those bike that just didn't ride well (except for the badly built ones) could have been turned around with a little more effort on my part.
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Old 10-16-18, 02:30 PM
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Cannondales, I want to like them but they just don’t feel right. I’ve owned a bunch but always end up selling them after a couple rides. The last ST I had was the perfect size and it still tore up my knees. Not sure if it’s the geometry or just me.
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Old 10-16-18, 03:20 PM
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I had an Olmo with Aelle tubing that was very underwhelming... Another Olmo with Chromor tubing was even worse.
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Old 10-16-18, 03:24 PM
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If these can now be considered vintage-

First- Cannondales 3.0 series road bikes with the aluminum fork. Never could abide the geometry or the ride characteristics. Really almost all of the fist generation aluminum road bikes. Unless you were a monster racing crits they were so stiff they beat you to death (except the gorgeous, flexy Vitus's).

Second- First generation Trek OCLV carbon fiber (about 1996 or 1997). Spent many miles on a Project One 5200 or 5500 (don't remember which). I was riding a titanium Paramount at the time and the Treks just felt dull and lifeless. It may have been the fancy/horrible Race Lite wheels.
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Old 10-16-18, 03:35 PM
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Kind of afraid to say....there are always fans of some kind of bike.

but

the early Trek Aluminums
.

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Old 10-16-18, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post


...I have tried to like the handling of this bicycle, but I just can't.
Every time you post a pic on this bridge, it takes me right back to a former life. Thanks! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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Old 10-16-18, 06:08 PM
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I've never owned a bike I didn't love, but back in my racing days, I had (still have) a 1964 Legnano Roma. My best friend had a copper colored Bianchi Specialissima that I coveted big time. Then one day, his bike developed a high speed shimmy. I thought he was messing with me, so we traded bikes, and his Bianchi's shimmy scared the crap out if me. End of my lust for that bike. He later had a bad crash on it, probably not the bike's fault. I still have my Legnano, his Bianchi has moved on to other owners, though recently he mentioned tracking it down, and maybe getting it back ... go figure.
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Old 10-16-18, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedud View Post
If these can now be considered vintage-

Second- First generation Trek OCLV carbon fiber (about 1996 or 1997). Spent many miles on a Project One 5200 or 5500 (don't remember which). I was riding a titanium Paramount at the time and the Treks just felt dull and lifeless. It may have been the fancy/horrible Race Lite wheels.
Probably both. I don't think they OCLV'd it right until 5800 and the Y-Foil.
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Old 10-16-18, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by toavii View Post
I Hated the Cinelli Supercorsa I had. Pretty bike but ride did nothing for me.
+1. Felt heavier than it was, rode uglier than it was. I had a Cinelli-made SL bike at the same time, and it seemed to be worlds better.

I am probably like rccardr, though: a build that doesn't work, with good components and a good frame, often has something missing that I missed.
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Old 10-16-18, 06:47 PM
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By no means is this a complete list.
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Old 10-16-18, 08:07 PM
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A 1988 50th Anniversary Schwinn Paramount. It always seemed to ride like a tank. I love my 1974 Paramount, but not the '88.

Anyone want to buy the frame and Stronglight headset? 63cm c-to-t.

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Old 10-16-18, 08:55 PM
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Guess I'm not the only one nonplussed by my Cinelli Supercorsa experience; this bike didn't jazz me at all:



It was heavy - much more so than any of my other bikes which had identical components (most people know I'm a Campy NR/SR guy through and through). It also didn't inspire in the ride department; because of the weight it felt a little dead. I sold it a little less than a year after having it refinished.

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Old 10-16-18, 10:32 PM
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Tried to ride an early 90's Cannondale road bike, when new at the shop. Loved the look, hated the ride. Most dead ride I ever experienced.
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Old 10-16-18, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
The main disappointments so far have been a full 531, Trek Tri Series. It was the perfect size for me, but it just felt dead. It seemed to be a black hole for pedaling energy. I also had a Trek 760 that I had a similar impression of. It was a little small for me, which might have been part of the problem. The other one was purely in between my ears. 1954 Hetchin's Magnum Opus. Again, my size. It rode pretty well, but I could never get past feeling self-conscious that I was riding around on a museum piece. Sold them all on. The Trek Tri series must have been quite a dog, as the fellow I sold it to didn't like it either, and barely kept it a week before he was looking to be rid of it.
There were a few bikes that I have test ridden while working at a bike shop and every now and again there is a "klinker". Probably overheated during the build, maybe very shoddy mitering too.
Some were quite pretty, but just not happy bikes, indeed they felt "dead". Black holes for pedal energy.
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