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The rider, the wrencher, the collector… who are you?

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The rider, the wrencher, the collector… who are you?

Old 12-28-21, 07:49 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I am most certainly a rider. I only have five bikes, each suited to a different purpose. The reason that I have interesting vintage bikes is that I like to appreciate the aesthetics as I roll along and I think most new bikes look horrid..

I have always been mechanically inclined and have always done most of my own wrenching on bikes cars, houses, motorcycles, boats, cabinetmaking, you name it. I don't particularly enjoy it while doing, but do get a great sense of satisfaction when the job is done. I also find that I am often just as, or more, skilled than, the "experts" plus the fact that it is often more hassle to take things to the shop, get estimates, deal with wait times and poor jobs, etc than it is to just do the job myself. I also like to save money.
I'm a lot like this, my 5 bikes, plus two for my wife and one each for my sons - mix of classics and moderns. My mom wrote in my baby book "very mechanical, likes to take things apart". I grew up and became a mechanical engineer.

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Old 12-28-21, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Schlafen View Post
The original spec was the best available at the time, which was upgraded to the best available to the previous owner.

A resto mod is simply giving a vintage frame the best possible components to work with, which will always be better than what it came with originally, if done properly.

I can only look at vintage builds/components from a value standpoint: high value complete and original, I will cash it in an move on.

The PH12 I posted a while ago, I initially bought it to modify it. It was mint so I serviced it and moved it on for almost x6 times what I paid for it. Sold to a collector.

Now I have a PSV10 frameset stashed away which compells me to build it as a superlight carbon everything (came to me as a frameset) to satisfy my own curiosity and to see how far I can take a superlight steel frameset.

Also compelling to sell are the prices complete and original Peugeots go for these days, especially in small and medium sizes 50-54. But it would take me a long time to source all the Simplex crap in good condition.

On the other hand my PX10 is a mule, which I'm quite happy with, the only Peugeot bit left is the frame.

Looking back I realise these dang Peugeots keep finding their way to me somwhow, lol. They are a small sample of the bikes I've gone through but they're the only ones I posted here.
That's the beauty of all this, we can take it in any direction and do, then we all benefit from that as well, different views, tips, tricks, rationale and much else.

I have only sold a handful of things, payed dearly for plenty, gotten many screaming good deals and everything in between.

The one thing I still think can be underestimated is wonderful steel frames, many are good but until you ride a really good for you one, It is transformational, has soul, you know it when you feel it but until then really have no idea IMO.

It of course helps if you have drank the Kool-Aid as I have with the Merz's.

Again, the green one above is a magical ride, works exactly as it should and the ancient running gear is flawless, shifts and brakes as good as any other I have ridden. It is one of the exceptions to me and illustrates how good the old stuff can be.

I think the frame builder can have a lot to do with it as well when they really know what to do given the build, components and hit the bullseye.
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Old 12-28-21, 02:12 PM
  #78  
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Riding. I started out as a rider. My family went touring almost every summer of my childhood, often for months at a time. I was captaining a tandem with my disabled mom on the back by the time I was 13, in the 2001 Duluth tandem rally. I think I was 15 when we went over Gotthard Pass in Switzerland. Seeing all that, at that age, makes most cycling I do now feel a bit boring. Wrenching. The early 2000s were the dark ages of touring. 700x32 tires were considered huge and decent ones barely existed, and tubular steel racks were the exclusive domain of Bruce Gordon, which my family couldn't afford. I broke so many pieces of gear on those tours (Blackburn racks, Trek frames, Mavic MA3 rims, Campy hubs and axles) that I became a good wrencher. So, trying to help others avoid the pitfalls that have befallen me and my family on tour, I wrench on friends' machines more than I ride my own. I've seen a lot in the shop. Read/memorized much of The Dancing Chain, Sutherland's, Sheldon's site, various Jobst Brandt, and most every BQ and RR issue. Been to the bicycle museum in Nijmegen and have the tee-shirt and VHS cassette from there. Collecting. So having exhausted my reading material and keen to see something new, I've gone in search of grails. I got my barn-find Jack Taylor tandem for a song. The Ron Cooper, I inherited. I paid the asking price for an Herse in need of restoration. So finally I find myself a collector. I've learned a lot from these masters, and it's fulfilling in its own way.

So, for me, it was a natural progression. Rider => wrencher => collector.

I still like to ride, but nothing I ever do in adulthood will equal the tours of my childhood.
But having an old Herse and Taylor in my apartment, just like the bike museums I remember stopping by while touring - and building stuff that incorporates elements of those pieces of history into robust touring bikes as I understand them through my experience - gives me some joy and novelty. One day soon I will need to have a career and a house, and in order to do that I will probably have to forget about riding and wrenching, but hopefully I can still hold onto my collection. Maybe one day I'll be able to retire and build frames.
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Old 12-28-21, 02:26 PM
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It seems as if it’s a journey as well as a hobby. Some such as Merziac are further along and more connoisseurs. Others of us are at a different level. As an aside, that sometimes leads to a few conflicts on this forum. I am at the mass produced level but at a point where I am gravitating towards middle to higher ends of the factory stuff.

I liken it to my son who plays guitar. A beginner wouldn’t appreciate the nicer instruments or ones he has set up nicely. He is always changing wiring, pickups, etc. (I dig the telecaster sound) Wine and bourbon fans are the same and on and on.

Rider, collector, wrencher is a blessing as it can incorporate a physical aspect into the mental aspect. As it seems like the C&V crowd is at least on the far side of 40 years old, we benefit from it all. As another aside, being seasoned folks, the monetary aspect is less important hence we see some NICE stuff and the posts of other hobbies with other nice stuff is interesting too.
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Old 12-28-21, 03:32 PM
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Rider/wrencher

need to ride more and certainly more hills

only have 3 bikes, so not really a collector, each has a role: 1) my go to bike for commuting, long rides, etc (85 Miyata team with 150 5800 11 speed) 2) bike for short, spur of them moment local rides, errands, pub, etc, throw a leg over and go (SR1 Semi pro, with original 600 arabesque and Velo orange postino bars 3) bike for Cino or Eroica rides (84 team miyata with 7400)

that said I am open and have changed up the mix and would add if something interesting came along.
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Old 12-28-21, 11:43 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Can you be a "collector" if you only own five bikes? No, I didn't think so either.

Can you even wrench on bikes when you haven't bought a new project in well over a year? And you never ride in the rain, so you really don't need to wrench on the five bikes that you do rotate to ride. No, I didn't think so...

And since October, it's been raining every single day in an unprecedented and most horrible fashion. Unless it's just to the grocery store, are you even considered a "rider"? No, I didn't think so...

Maybe I should just log out.
Yeah - I have 5 bikes and yeah I don't ride too much! I really do like to wrench and really love to restore what I have acquired so far. NO I do not ride in the rain! But I do like to rotate what I ride as I find it satisfying to change it up during the summer months. NOT riding much as it is -10 degrees below zero in MN right now.
Fun to ride, fun to collect, and I am an eternally addicted to finding new (OLD) treasures on Craig's!
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Old 12-29-21, 12:31 AM
  #82  
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Dittos

Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Yes to all three. I collect them, because I want to wrench on them and ride them. If forced to choose just one, I'd say ride, because I won't collect or restore any bike just to sit there. I do it to ride them. But I enjoy every part of it.
Same for me. Not a day goes by without indulging in any one of the three choices. Wrenching and collecting gets me by these days since I had prostate surgery a year ago and still can't ride more than 6 miles at a crack.
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Old 12-29-21, 02:29 AM
  #83  
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I think I'd classify myself primarily as a reanimator. I enjoy the mechanical aspects of wrenching on bikes, but what I enjoy even more is finding an old bike, preferably in rough shape, coming up with a vision for what it could be, and then executing on that vision. Sometimes that means building it up as close to original as I can, more often it involves transforming it with more modern parts while still (I hope) maintaining some essential part of the original spirit of the bike. I love riding these creations, but even then part of the joy of the ride is indulging in the successful execution of the vision. And having gone through the process, I tend to get attached to the bikes and can't let them go, so I suppose there's a bit of collecting in that.
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Old 12-29-21, 03:14 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
It seems as if it’s a journey as well as a hobby. Some such as Merziac are further along and more connoisseurs. Others of us are at a different level. As an aside, that sometimes leads to a few conflicts on this forum. I am at the mass produced level but at a point where I am gravitating towards middle to higher ends of the factory stuff.

I liken it to my son who plays guitar. A beginner wouldn’t appreciate the nicer instruments or ones he has set up nicely. He is always changing wiring, pickups, etc. (I dig the telecaster sound) Wine and bourbon fans are the same and on and on.

Rider, collector, wrencher is a blessing as it can incorporate a physical aspect into the mental aspect. As it seems like the C&V crowd is at least on the far side of 40 years old, we benefit from it all. As another aside, being seasoned folks, the monetary aspect is less important hence we see some NICE stuff and the posts of other hobbies with other nice stuff is interesting too.
You're absolutely right about the blessing part IMO, not sure about the connoisseur part but thanx, I think?

The physical and mental aspect of both working on and riding our bikes is the perfect union of them all.

And while I have no sense of humor about many of my processes I do appreciate that others feel the same, we all have our own experiences.

Mine are forged over a lifetime of working on and fixing toys, bikes, cars professionally and drag racing motorcycles so on the road, at work, the track and everywhere in between.
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Old 12-29-21, 01:41 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I think I'd classify myself primarily as a reanimator. I enjoy the mechanical aspects of wrenching on bikes, but what I enjoy even more is finding an old bike, preferably in rough shape, coming up with a vision for what it could be, and then executing on that vision. Sometimes that means building it up as close to original as I can, more often it involves transforming it with more modern parts while still (I hope) maintaining some essential part of the original spirit of the bike. I love riding these creations, but even then part of the joy of the ride is indulging in the successful execution of the vision. And having gone through the process, I tend to get attached to the bikes and can't let them go, so I suppose there's a bit of collecting in that.
Making them ours, our way is the best thing in so many ways.

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Old 12-29-21, 06:33 PM
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By happenstance and the luck of the draw I brought home 2 bikes today, a serviceable Raleigh Competition and a Lugged Trek 750. I realized that I have now acquired every bike that I had on my "list" I'm not saying I'd pass on a $100 Rene Herse, a clean matching frame that will save a trip to the powder coater, or any of the steady stream of $10 flip bikes from the scrap yard, but yup, I think I just turned the corner as far as the collecting bug.

PS... I snapped out of that pretty quick. I still haven't found a proper British 3 or 5 speed yet.

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Old 12-30-21, 06:42 AM
  #87  
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Why

Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Riding. I started out as a rider. My family went touring almost every summer of my childhood, often for months at a time. I was captaining a tandem with my disabled mom on the back by the time I was 13, in the 2001 Duluth tandem rally. I think I was 15 when we went over Gotthard Pass in Switzerland. Seeing all that, at that age, makes most cycling I do now feel a bit boring. Wrenching. The early 2000s were the dark ages of touring. 700x32 tires were considered huge and decent ones barely existed, and tubular steel racks were the exclusive domain of Bruce Gordon, which my family couldn't afford. I broke so many pieces of gear on those tours (Blackburn racks, Trek frames, Mavic MA3 rims, Campy hubs and axles) that I became a good wrencher. So, trying to help others avoid the pitfalls that have befallen me and my family on tour, I wrench on friends' machines more than I ride my own. I've seen a lot in the shop. Read/memorized much of The Dancing Chain, Sutherland's, Sheldon's site, various Jobst Brandt, and most every BQ and RR issue. Been to the bicycle museum in Nijmegen and have the tee-shirt and VHS cassette from there. Collecting. So having exhausted my reading material and keen to see something new, I've gone in search of grails. I got my barn-find Jack Taylor tandem for a song. The Ron Cooper, I inherited. I paid the asking price for an Herse in need of restoration. So finally I find myself a collector. I've learned a lot from these masters, and it's fulfilling in its own way.

So, for me, it was a natural progression. Rider => wrencher => collector.

I still like to ride, but nothing I ever do in adulthood will equal the tours of my childhood.
But having an old Herse and Taylor in my apartment, just like the bike museums I remember stopping by while touring - and building stuff that incorporates elements of those pieces of history into robust touring bikes as I understand them through my experience - gives me some joy and novelty. One day soon I will need to have a career and a house, and in order to do that I will probably have to forget about riding and wrenching, but hopefully I can still hold onto my collection. Maybe one day I'll be able to retire and build frames.
why would you have to forget about riding and wrenching to have a career??
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Old 12-30-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
why would you have to forget about riding and wrenching to have a career??
Perhaps I was being too dramatic. I can still ride and wrench, but nothing like those multi-month epic tours of my teenage years will ever happen again without me choosing to abandon my career and probably a lot of earning potential. Why am I prioritizing a career? Well, would be nice to be financially comfortable and have reliable housing and healthcare for once. That's just the way life has turned out. I can still ride and wrench, but there'll never be time to do what I really would like to, or top what I've already done.
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Old 01-17-22, 03:29 AM
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Not surprisingly so many different and interesting approaches here ! And going well beyond the rider, wrencher, collector definitions : flipper, accumulator, tinkerer, bargain hunter, researcher, rescuer, hoarder, reanimator… sorry if I forgot some…
Thanks all !
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Old 01-17-22, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by JackJohn View Post
Not surprisingly so many different and interesting approaches here ! And going well beyond the rider, wrencher, collector definitions : flipper, accumulator, tinkerer, bargain hunter, researcher, rescuer, hoarder, reanimator… sorry if I forgot some…
Thanks all !
Anytime, great question, Tx for asking!
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Old 01-17-22, 08:51 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I realized that I have now acquired every bike that I had on my "list"
The problem is sometimes those “lists” can be dynamic, and continuously evolve over a lifetime. Well, not really a problem, but can feel like a dog chasing its own tail at times. “Ok, I’m done after the next one” ... words that never seem to stick for me. I suppose as long as I remain interested and motivated by some project or another, life is good.
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Old 01-17-22, 09:02 AM
  #92  
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I suppose I'm all three. It's something I do to escape some of life's insanities. I do the same with cooking. Having a chef's knife in hand, while prepping a meal, is like therapy to me.

Life's tug-of-war between the job, free time, and taking care of two others, limits the available time for riding. Growing up during the bike boom of the early '70's, without adequate funds to drop on many of the drool-worthy bikes of the day, has left me with a passion for acquiring, and restoring/refurbishing, whichever you may call it, at this stage of life.

Hopefully, once this Covid thing passes, and work calms down a bit, I'll be able to devote more time to riding.
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Old 01-17-22, 11:12 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon View Post
The problem is sometimes those “lists” can be dynamic, and continuously evolve over a lifetime. Well, not really a problem, but can feel like a dog chasing its own tail at times. “Ok, I’m done after the next one” ... words that never seem to stick for me. I suppose as long as I remain interested and motivated by some project or another, life is good.
For me there was a bit of a self educating bell curve with acquiring cheap bikes. If I had to cut every bike that I spent less than $40 on, my collection would make a lot more sense. (I'd keep that $40 full Campy custom 531 British Adux bike that needs a fork steerer replaced)
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Old 01-17-22, 11:43 AM
  #94  
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There are 8 million cycling stories in the Naked City, here is mine in point form...

- Primarily a rider.

- Use a bike for the majority of transportation purposes. No car for 17 years.

- I never ride a bike for pleasure or exercise. The two are just incidental to getting around. If I wasn't so tired of riding everywhere, I'd take ride for pleasure.

- If I never had to maintain a bike I wouldn't.

- Not a collector or flipper.

- When those who are in their SUV's smile at you in quaint admiration (like you are some kind of holy man trying to save the planet) while you are struggling to ride a bike at -20c, I want to grab them through their window, plant them on my bike and take their vehicle, then exclaim "here, you save the planet now!"

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Old 01-17-22, 08:11 PM
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I am all of them: Rider, Wrencher, Collector. I'm the typical jack of all trades and master of none, knowing what I know but not sure what I don't. Admittedly, a mild case of both ADD and eccentricity helps.
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