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Interest in C&V bicycles rising or waning (or stable)?

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Interest in C&V bicycles rising or waning (or stable)?

Old 09-17-22, 10:13 AM
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John E
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Interest in C&V bicycles rising or waning (or stable)?

I just got back from our annual Wavecrest Woody wagon meet -- https://sandiegowoodies.com/wavecrest-2/
and was surprised by the relatively low turnout. In years past the event has sated both the large upper and small lower Moonlight Beach parking lots, but this year about 1/3 of each lot was empty. They took a two-year COVID breather (so to speak), but did return last year. Other than a couple of families with young kids, most attendees, myself included, were about the age of the cars, i.e., circa 60 to 80 years old.

What signs are the rest of you seeing regarding interest in classic cars?

How does this translate to interest trends in classic bicycles?

How about resto-mods? More than half of the 1940s and early 1950s cars had been retrofitted with automatic transmissions and modern engines, many with disc brakes, locking steering columns, and power steering, as well. Of course we have seen various levels of resto-modding in our bicycle community.
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Old 09-17-22, 11:55 AM
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If one were to take a survey of ages here, I'd wager over 70% are old coots (like me). As we die off, there are less and less of us interested in vintage bikes; I suspect it's always been this way. Some young'uns will continue to come along as KOFs, but the numbers will likely continue to dwindle until, one day, all our bikes will end up in either museums or landfills.

Also, there's prolly some burnout, too - something I've experienced myself. Over the past few years I've found it difficult to get interested in bike projects of others (even here!), and I haven't purchased/built a bike since 2019. Had a good run, but today it's all about the ride for me. No more drillium, polishing, bike-buying, bike-building - just preventive maintenance and the odd consumable here and there.

If anything, resto-mods are prolly going to be the way of the future of C&V, in part because one ends up with something which represents the best of both worlds. Modern shifting and braking performance allied to a solid, reliable (and hopefully lightweight) steel or aluminum frame.

Sorry for the ramble. Just some thoughts.

DD
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Old 09-17-22, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
If one were to take a survey of ages here, I'd wager over 70% are old coots (like me). As we die off, there are less and less of us interested in vintage bikes; I suspect it's always been this way. Some young'uns will continue to come along as KOFs, but the numbers will likely continue to dwindle until, one day, all our bikes will end up in either museums or landfills.

Also, there's prolly some burnout, too - something I've experienced myself. Over the past few years I've found it difficult to get interested in bike projects of others (even here!), and I haven't purchased/built a bike since 2019. Had a good run, but today it's all about the ride for me. No more drillium, polishing, bike-buying, bike-building - just preventive maintenance and the odd consumable here and there.

If anything, resto-mods are prolly going to be the way of the future of C&V, in part because one ends up with something which represents the best of both worlds. Modern shifting and braking performance allied to a solid, reliable (and hopefully lightweight) steel or aluminum frame.

Sorry for the ramble. Just some thoughts.

DD
Well said if not a bit disheartening.
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Old 09-17-22, 01:28 PM
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Well, maybe a bright spot among the darkness: A few weeks ago, near the end of my ride along the beach here in Redondo, I. came upon a caravan of vans. Must have been 200+ of em. Mostly 60s 70s driven by mostly 30-40 year olds. Chevys, Fords, Dodges, VWs.
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Old 09-17-22, 01:42 PM
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Like anything, interest by younger folks in vintage wares waxes and wanes, falls out of vogue, then pops back up.

If you grew up on alloy or CF frames, steel just feels sluggish and there is no connection to patina and history.

Then when it becomes cool, it explodes.

I would say collecting is for the older folks.
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Old 09-17-22, 01:57 PM
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C&V Interest

I just went to our local car show and think the crowds have been pretty steady for the last few years. Maybe 10 years
ago I would have been interested in a mid-50ís car, but now at 76 it would be more of a problem than a pleasure.
And I already have lots of hobby stuff, including bicycles, that my kids arenít interested in.
If I am going to ride an older bike I would resto-mod it, but just for show I would rebuilt with vintage components.

My daughter is a good example of many young peopleóshe would rather travel the world than accumulate things.
Experiential vs materialistic.

Bill
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Old 09-17-22, 02:06 PM
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I think it is a bit of a cyclical thing, hee hee, momentum keeps it going for a while, then it naturally slows down. I like vintage, classic looking frame sets, but I like them with modern components. I think that is likely true for for many riders that are a generation or two after me. I'll take comfort and performance over nostalgia, any day. But, I am not a collector, I have bikes to ride them.

As for steel feeling sluggish, that is too general of a statement, IMO.
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Old 09-17-22, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
If one were to take a survey of ages here, I'd wager over 70% are old coots (like me). As we die off, there are less and less of us interested in vintage bikes; I suspect it's always been this way. Some young'uns will continue to come along as KOFs, but the numbers will likely continue to dwindle until, one day, all our bikes will end up in either museums or landfills.

Also, there's prolly some burnout, too - something I've experienced myself. Over the past few years I've found it difficult to get interested in bike projects of others (even here!), and I haven't purchased/built a bike since 2019. Had a good run, but today it's all about the ride for me. No more drillium, polishing, bike-buying, bike-building - just preventive maintenance and the odd consumable here and there.

If anything, resto-mods are prolly going to be the way of the future of C&V, in part because one ends up with something which represents the best of both worlds. Modern shifting and braking performance allied to a solid, reliable (and hopefully lightweight) steel or aluminum frame.

Sorry for the ramble. Just some thoughts.

DD
I guess the world is not that black and white... first, we should not forget, what is the "vintage sweet spot" for the current of future generations. I guess - and there is enough photo evidence - that it is safe to say, that most of the people currently in this C&V forum are fans of (riddeable) bikes from the 70's to 90's range. A few "aficionados" tap into 50's to 60's or earlier, but the active riding bikes in that range is lower... the interest is more focused on the rare collectibles which are too valuable for daily beating. I think it doesn't even have to be mentioned, that the more we go back, the versatility for daily or at least regular riding drops... so much about the as-is...
The question if "love for vintage" will disappear is wrong by principle, since vintage is not the same for a 60+guy, a 30ish one and a teenager today.

Will there be people, who will like the bikes we love today, and willing to care about them? Definitely. Also this forum brings in new people every day to ensure supply. It is a different question, if they will be able to afford the bikes their favorite "forum heroes" had on these pages... I think this and similar forums over the decades also played a part of the "vintage revolution" (beside certain shops and the rise of the hipsters). And that not only included the occasianal "everybody wants a vintage bike" which lasted a few years, but as a side effect also filtered out many who were in for the hype, and educated the rest on whats (mostly considered) good and whats not... just becuase its old its not necessary gold...etc.

It is also a thing that maybe for them new guys these bikes are just too old... ultimately, we are also not dying for that 1800's wooden running machine either.... so maybe for them a 2000's bike is the "oldest" vintage (yeah they are also 22 yo) which can come to consideration. Will it be a bad thing, if they start to care about those? No. Painful for us, maybe. But if a kid became addicted to bicycles because he saw a certain carbon bike or a rider which/who was the wow in 2000 and he makes the dream come true 30 years later, he can't be any worse than the people here. plus, he has a life ahead of him to experience things, and maybe discover affection for even older things.

Living in Essen, Germany we have the classic car expo Techno Classica, which is pretty big. I saw an interview with the representative of one of the auction houses, who also said, that with cars/motorbikes the overall rule of the 50's-60's-70's is over. Pre-war was usually for "special" people already. The big names are long in the exorbitant price range, whereas the "regular" models are just way too much hassle for the everyday guy with "some" money.
Even aside of Ferraris/Porsche's/Jaguars/Aston Martins the 50/60/70's not only got really expensive, but also seem to be less interesting for the new generation of wealthy collectors, who were born in or after the 80's.

I guess I reached the point where I'm so tired, that my sentences might not make any sense anymore. So in short...

If you would let a teenager choose any of these today



He cannot make a bad choice.... even if you would have preferred the older...
If he finds the way to the C40 alone without external offers, he is a vintage aficionado

(I hope it came trough I don't try to imply, that Colnago or nothing... but anything older than the then "most modern ultra hyped one advertised by the most popular tiktokker of the day)

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Old 09-17-22, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post

As for steel feeling sluggish, that is too general of a statement, IMO.
Maybe so but its a bias thing that often seems prevalent with the unenlightened.

Fully agree with the modern resto-mod angle, I have plenty of both and many in between, love them all.

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Old 09-17-22, 02:19 PM
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Old cars and old bikes have the same problem for me. I have no desire to own a bike with clamp on shifters 126 spacing and 5 cogs out back. I have no desire to tune and jet carbs, play little games with points, pull a choke, or deal with old wiring all for less horsepower and a 1/3 more fuel consumption than a modern turbo 4cyl. <br /><br />Give me a Ď65 Lincoln with a turbo coyote a 10 speed auto and all the modern conveniences inside and Iím good, I very much want the same thing with bikes.

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Old 09-17-22, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Maybe so but its a bias thing that often seems prevalent with the unenlightened.

Fully agree with the modern resto-mod angle, I have plenty of both and many in between, love them all.
I think a lot depend on what bike someone starts.... for some, the inherited always highly regarded all-orig whatever, daddy's only love will set the course to same direction, while others might want similar but in a more down to earth manner.
If someone had a nice 70'-80's frame but with 90's top shelf gruppo (if we talk road bikes) it is highly unlikely he would want less gears, or weaker brake, unless he is heading to the "must get it back to orig"...... but then the number of ridden kms most likely get reduced...
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Old 09-17-22, 02:29 PM
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Resto-modding might become more difficult in the future as disk-only groupsets take over. I'm perfectly happy restomodding everything with 10-speed Campagnolo Triples, but eventually I'll no longer be able to find enough of those at a price I can afford.
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Old 09-17-22, 02:30 PM
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Waning, but the positive is that this makes it affordable for the next generation, until it rises again.
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Old 09-17-22, 03:42 PM
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I think much of vintage world is driven by what people yearned for in their youth, when they didn't have the means to buy their dream car/bike/motorcycle/ etc. Radwood and 90s retro have bigger crowds than 1950s hot rod shows now, and the value of old school boomer built hot rods has declined. Bring a Trailer is now loaded with big money German cars. It doesn't bode well for vintage bicycles, especially now that the 'fixie' craze has run its course. Is somebody going to really, really want my 2008 s-works stumpjumper in a few years? I have no idea. I imagine so, but it might not be worth hanging onto year after year. Millennial kids might only be nostalgic for Nintendo Ds games and consoles they could never afford waaaay back in the early 2000s
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Old 09-17-22, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
What signs are the rest of you seeing regarding interest in classic cars?
Not sure about other peoples' interest. I bought my Tiger from a dead man, and that is how someone will get it from me.

That said, gasoline engines? I put in a bigger engine (crate motor) years ago figuring some day I'll switch to CNG fuel and loose 100HP, that's OK. Now, maybe I'll wait until there are affordable electric conversions?

Just got a call from my brother, have not heard from him in a long time. He just got back from a car show and was excited enough to share. I suspect interest in old cars will be around for a while.

Meanwhile, enjoying the classic-bike rides. Did 30 miles today with a local club, I was riding one of TWO bikes that were not carbon fiber; I was second to the top of The Hill of Death and most other riders were half my age. No interest in giving up the classic bikes.
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Old 09-17-22, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by beech333 View Post
Waning, but the positive is that this makes it affordable for the next generation, until it rises again.
Again, maybe, I see a lot of curmudgeon's doubling down despite not being able sell them yet, cold dead hands and all that.

I don't see many of them letting letting go anytime soon, looked like Auburn was flush with 100's of beautiful examples.

It would be very interesting to know what sold and for how much.
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Old 09-17-22, 04:30 PM
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We also should not forget about the climate and lack/or price of of petrol problem either. In the car/motorcycle world the "restomod to current tech" is not as easy as forking out 1-2 thousand bucks for a newer/st gruppo...
There are easily and affordably available aftermarket complete solutions for conversions to electric or hydrogen yet. Of course there are nice videos of electrified VW bugs, Porsche 356s and classic 50's US cars, but they are not made by everyday curious humans but engineers with teams paired with a budget and equipment of a smaller race team.

For the part of today's younger generation, who has any care about the planet, classic cars could only be collectors items, which is fun, but missing out on the biggest part of the fun.
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Old 09-17-22, 04:39 PM
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I've seen a LOT more electric bikes around here. At least one out of ever four or five is an ebike. As they become more popular, and more affordable, there is true FOMO and people will want to see what they are missing and the 'old style' (i.e. human powered) bikes will collect more and more dust. People will also want to relive their childhood or get now what they couldn't afford when they were younger and for FAR more people now it is bmx instead of old road bikes.

At the estate sale I just went to where I picked up an '81 Trek 957 and an '87 560 Pro Series, I was a little worried about rushing out to where the bikes were and losing out on all of them. I shouldn't have been. I was the only one who went out to the 'old road bikes' where there were about 9 or 10 lined up, easily seen in the pictures of the sale. Everyone instead rushed downstairs to the bmx cache and a fight almost broke out. BMX stuff is red hot right now, because that is what this current generation (35-45yrs old) grew up on and are reliving their childhood. I think the classic road bikes from the 70s and 80s had already been relived by most of the generation that grew up on them, or we are starting to come out of that now.

Funny thing is, I didn't grow up around old road bikes at all - I was a bmx kid. I lived about a mile from a legit GT Bicycles store and would drool every time I went in. I'm the perfect candidate for all the crazy overpriced bmx stuff, but I somehow got turned on to all these lovely old road bikes and value the ride vs the wall hanging. I don't fit on a bmx like I used to.

I don't think they will ever quite be thrown out or be valueless though. There will always be a small contingent of folks that appreciate them, like any oddball hobby.

That being said, this sub usually has the second highest # of people viewing, just behind Bicycle Mechanics, if not in the lead.
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Old 09-17-22, 05:01 PM
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My ideas here is along the lines of "cold dead hands and all that" and key site traffic . One bike a Jack Taylor, was owned by four owners including myself, two are dead and widows sold the bike in each of those cases. The other bike is a Davidson, owned by three owners including myself, same story, owner #1 dies, widow sells to a bike shop, then I buy it. Both bikes were purchased by me in the last year or so. I am sure that I own other bikes that were once ridden by someone who is now dead. The point being, sort of like cars, owners buy, and sometimes die over the years but the cars/bikes are still here, repeatedly being taken care of by someone new.

I also wonder if the curators of this C&V area of the site can give us some idea of C&V traffic history from when it was launched in, I think, 2014 according to The Wayback Machine? Or maybe the traffic on https://velobase.com or the Lightweight Classic Vintage bicycles
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Old 09-17-22, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Old cars and old bikes have the same problem for me. I have no desire to own a bike with clamp on shifters 126 spacing and 5 cogs out back. I have no desire to tune and jet carbs, play little games with points, pull a choke, or deal with old wiring all for less horsepower and a 1/3 more fuel consumption than a modern turbo 4cyl.

Give me a Ď65 Lincoln with a turbo coyote a 10 auto and all the modern conveniences inside and Iím good, I very much want the same thing with bikes.
Exactly! If it has 126 spacing, it needs 6 cogs and braze on shifters.
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Old 09-17-22, 05:51 PM
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Rode our local charity ride today and although I don't know exactly how many riders in total there were but lets say 200ish. Out of that number I saw two vintage steel bikes a blue Lemond and a black Raleigh USA add to that my Schwinn Circuit and the wifes Shogun 500 and there were a grand total of 4 out of the 200. most were carbon fiber and aluminum although there were a few modern steel rides of various configurations. Although I haven't been every year this was a marked decline in C&V from the other years I participated. The Lemond and Raleigh looked to be original whereas as both of our bikes I had restomodded with 11 speed Shimano R7000.

That said I do feel like I live in a cycling desert in the Texas panhandle. The riders I do see around here are few and far between no matter what they ride.
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Old 09-17-22, 06:27 PM
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I read an article on concours condition automobiles when I was a teen about 40 some years ago. That article made me appreciate originality in anything. Where I am in cycling is I love my modern bike like anyone would, but I love my bike boom bikes because they are what made me love cycling. In turn, I would enjoy a true quality classic, but appreciation for originality is important. Shaving braze ons, and replacing friction shifters for STIs IMHO shallows the pool. It is none of my business what anyone does with their bikes, but I think if younger cyclists can learn to appreciate older bikes and originality, the C&V genre will continue for a while.
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Old 09-17-22, 06:31 PM
  #23  
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I don't see too many people riding older bikes on the local trails for what it's worth. I do reckon demand is going down.
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Old 09-17-22, 06:45 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post

People will also want to relive their childhood or get now what they couldn't afford when they were younger and for FAR more people now it is bmx instead of old road bikes.

At the estate sale I just went to where I picked up an '81 Trek 957 and an '87 560 Pro Series, I was a little worried about rushing out to where the bikes were and losing out on all of them. I shouldn't have been. I was the only one who went out to the 'old road bikes' where there were about 9 or 10 lined up, easily seen in the pictures of the sale. Everyone instead rushed downstairs to the bmx cache and a fight almost broke out. BMX stuff is red hot right now, because that is what this current generation (35-45yrs old) grew up on and are reliving their childhood.
agree - vintage BMX has been strong and continues to be strong
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Old 09-17-22, 06:52 PM
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Once this “gravel bike” thing blows over, I predict a C&V renaissance…
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