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So what's the difference? Classic vs Vintage

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So what's the difference? Classic vs Vintage

Old 10-24-19, 06:25 PM
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GBearFan
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So what's the difference? Classic vs Vintage

I've really enjoyed checking out lots of great information of these forums. The "Classic & Vintage" forum is by far my favorite, but, I need to know what the definitions are. Is "Classic" just a look or style of bike or is there an actual age cut-off to qualify for that designation? What makes one old bike vintage and another one classic??? Just something that is bugging an old newbie.
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Old 10-24-19, 06:52 PM
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There are many others that answer this more eloquently but vintage is from the age of the bike and classic is from the beauty of the bike.
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Old 10-24-19, 06:53 PM
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Classic is appearance/ethos.
Vintage is age.

There is no hard cutoff for what applies, but some general views are-
- must have lugs
and/or
- a level top tube
and/or
- friction shifting
and/or
- downtube shifting


Here a modern steel bike that I guess would be classic as the frame is classic in appearance with a level top tube and lugs. But it was made a couple years ago and is definitely not vintage in age.




But ultimately there are no absolutes. Old balloon cruisers weren't lugged, but are c&v. Indexed late 80s road bikes are c&v.
Etc etc.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:11 PM
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^^^this,

I think of classic to mean a traditional lugged steel bike that can be new or old, whereas vintage means an actual old bike. There really aren't absolutes though, only fuzzy categories.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by GBearFan View Post
I've really enjoyed checking out lots of great information of these forums. The "Classic & Vintage" forum is by far my favorite, but, I need to know what the definitions are. Is "Classic" just a look or style of bike or is there an actual age cut-off to qualify for that designation? What makes one old bike vintage and another one classic??? Just something that is bugging an old newbie.


It's more a state of mind, awareness, appreciation and much more.

Your willingness, curiosity and drill down so far has you well on your way IMO.

Ultimately you will define this for yourself, we all have our own version of it that steers our decisions, likes, dislikes and all else that makes up what we think we are trying to get out of this, engage.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:43 PM
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I think as time goes on, all of the traditional thoughts of C&V will become muddied up a bit. Let's face it, even what us older folks would consider "modern" is getting older. An example would be my 1990 Trek 1500. It's an aluminum bonded frame with Shimano 600 Ultegra 7-speed mated to Matrix anodized v-rims.

Come one now, it's nearly 30 years old now!



Last edited by UKFan4Sure; 10-24-19 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 10-24-19, 08:25 PM
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Lighweight steel lugged frame. Downtube shifters. Skinny tires. Woo hoo...................

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Old 10-24-19, 08:26 PM
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"Vintage" = old. "Classic" = top quality.
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Old 10-24-19, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Lighweight steel lugged frame. Downtube shifters. Skinny tires. Woo hoo...................
My plain-gauge fillet-brazed 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer with 38mm tires and bar end shifters would like to have a word with you.
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Old 10-24-19, 08:36 PM
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Fillet-brazed frames - Schwinn Super Sport, some custom frames, and ? - and the French internally lugged frames from the right period also qualify.
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Old 10-24-19, 08:37 PM
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No rules.

But, if you think you're pushing it, you are .

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Old 10-24-19, 09:55 PM
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Vlasic is a combination of the two. So it's no surprise it tastes the best.
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Old 10-24-19, 10:02 PM
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"Classic" is often a description of personal failure, sometimes epic in nature. Like when the awkward new kid falls on his face, splaying his full lunch tray out in front of him and everyone, one of the punk kids in the corner would say under his breath, "classic."
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Old 10-24-19, 11:10 PM
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Two different ways of saying old, yet still cool.
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Old 10-25-19, 03:33 AM
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Classic - What the next generations have recognized as a value, or even a masterpiece.
Vintage - Rather it refers to age and in its value (also in the abstract sense) age is the determining factor
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Old 10-25-19, 04:19 AM
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You can always go by Justice Potter Stewart's: "I know it when I see it."
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Old 10-25-19, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Vlasic is a combination of the two. So it's no surprise it tastes the best.
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Old 10-25-19, 05:34 AM
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Crispy, too.
Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
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Old 10-25-19, 05:39 AM
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Lots can play the semantics and wordplay. Me too.

A vintage carbon bike would be the Lineseeker or Exxon Graftek.
The classic carbon bike (and to me, there is only one) is the Kestrel 200 series.

Vintage represents a time frame.
Classic represents a variety of things, all given import for some reason or other.
You can say the same about dresses, cars, tools, architecture, concrete, and harmonicas.

Bikes are no different.

Trying to put rules on things makes you a rule maker, ripe for a rule breaker.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:21 AM
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Vintage= old, but classic applies differently with age. Most members over 60 have a different view of classic compared to a 40 year old.
I recently posted an italian race bike that garnered zero interest. The bike is rare, full campy, and a unique carbon aluminum frame. For me, with the bike being about 20 years old, the drivetrain and frame are dated. Being a high end bike with a connection to the pros makes it an instant classic.
Overall, the C&V forum loves steel Gitanes, Peugeots, Schwinns and then Italians. If anybody finds an old Gitane there will be two pages of posts the first day.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:22 AM
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Your bike is C&V when some one on the group ride tells you how nice your bike is and that they used to have one AND that they wish they still had it.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:37 AM
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Didn't we just do this a few months ago?
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Old 10-25-19, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
A vintage carbon bike would be the Lineseeker or Exxon Graftek.
The classic carbon bike (and to me, there is only one) is the Kestrel 200 series.
Any room in there for an Aegis?
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Old 10-25-19, 03:57 PM
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Classic is in the eye of the beholder.

Vintage is an arbitrary age again dependent on the beholder.

Both are pretty meaningless.
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Old 10-25-19, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GBearFan View Post
I've really enjoyed checking out lots of great information of these forums. The "Classic & Vintage" forum is by far my favorite, but, I need to know what the definitions are. Is "Classic" just a look or style of bike or is there an actual age cut-off to qualify for that designation? What makes one old bike vintage and another one classic??? Just something that is bugging an old newbie.
If you're hoping for well-defined and enforced rules, this ain't the place. Thank goodness for that.
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