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Nominate the most beautiful vintage groupset

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Nominate the most beautiful vintage groupset

Old 06-04-19, 04:16 AM
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co_rouleur
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Nominate the most beautiful vintage groupset

Just throwing it out there, my favourite is 1980s Campagnolo Super Record.
Of course some will categorise this as Classic rather than Vintage, but regardless it still commands a hefty price for components on ebay, not to mention by the mid 1980s there were 3 different versions of it;
  • Standard Super Record
  • Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Super Record
  • Colnago 30th Anniversary Super Record (as supplied on the Arabesque)
There was even a Cobalto variation of the brake calipers.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 06-04-19, 04:28 AM
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Shimano's tricolor series. Would love to see a modern groupset release with that sea grey finish.
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Old 06-04-19, 04:46 AM
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horatio 
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Early to mid-80s Super Record
Early to mid-80s Shimano 600 (post arabesque, pre-indexed)

Both non-aero brake cables.
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Old 06-04-19, 04:53 AM
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First Generation Suntour Superbe
105 Golden Arrow
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Old 06-04-19, 04:54 AM
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Sturmey Archer?
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Old 06-04-19, 05:17 AM
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Campagnolo C-Record

[/thread]
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Old 06-04-19, 05:23 AM
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Too many beautiful and worthy components wind up being left out of the running here because they were never part of a complete group. Stronglight cranks, the Huret Jubilee RD, New Gran Compe centerpull brakes. This almost guarantees a win for Shimano, SunTour, or Campagnolo.

Plus, you know the Campy fans are going to start their little Cosa-Record Nostra the moment they get wind of this thread.

So I vote Mavic SSC just to bring some balance to the Force here.

-Kurt
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Old 06-04-19, 05:31 AM
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Ist gen black DA w/Crane rd or Cambio Rino Excel/Crono.

It all starts with the crank.
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Old 06-04-19, 05:35 AM
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They all have their charms...for aesthetics, I'd probably go C-record. Simplex had some beautiful bits. Mavic's erector set gruppo looked awfully beautiful as well...

I've always had a soft spot for Shimano Deerhead.
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Old 06-04-19, 06:28 AM
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For beauty alone, without regard for function:
Shimano 600 Arabesque
1st Gen Suntour Cyclone
1st Gen Shimano Dura Ace/Crane
Sachs New Success
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Old 06-04-19, 06:48 AM
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If this is going to be a C&V thread, we should be nominating individual parts rather than groups. The beauty of parts--before Shimano screwed everything up--was that you could mix and match the best parts. I know this thread is about the most "beautiful" parts but for me the most beautiful are the ones that work the best.

So best and most beautiful headset, stronglight A9.
Best derailleurs, suntour.
Best brakes, take your pick, Mafac racers (cheap but great) or campy sidepulls.
Best crank is tough but I'd vote stronglight cranks. The rings were very good on the rockwell hardness test. The cranks were light. And they chainring sizes (or bcd), unlike campy, came in useful sizes. Even the racing crank, the stronglight 93, could go down to 37 teeth. Then stronglight screwed up by copying the campy bcd.
Best hubs, I love campy but the later suntour cartridge bearing ones were great as well.
Best pedals, campys are great but so are the later suntour cartridge bearing pedals (I think they were made by MKS).

If I have to vote for a group worth owning as a group, I like the suntour xc pro stuff/superbe stuff. That was suntour's swan song before it went broke and that stuff is excellent. I have a full xc pro group salted away for a 650b build I plan on doing.

Oh, and shimano gets zero votes which is exactly what it deserves. Don't get me wrong, I love shimano click shifting and the shimano 600/dura ace stuff is pretty hot but shimano made a lot of crappy stuff before it finally figured out how to kill off the competition.

There is not a lot of campy stuff on my post but then campy stuff was beautiful, pricey, and overrated. Was there a crappier uber expensive rear derailleur ever made then the first or second gen campy rally? Or a crappier less well thought out triple then the campy triple? Plus campy headsets are overrated. They were a lot easier to "index" than a well made headset like the stronglight A9. The older stronglight headsets are great too.

Last edited by bikemig; 06-04-19 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:04 AM
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Stronglight cranks. So many geometric shapes and angles blended together. Yet looking at one straight on, it appears to be made with a minimum amount of metal. No big chunks of metal except in the crank arms. Beautiful! The same can be said for those funky honeycomb dropouts that came on some french bikes in the 70s. A visual feast for my eyes.

Last edited by seypat; 06-04-19 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 06-04-19, 08:51 AM
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+10 First Gen black Dura Ace.
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Old 06-04-19, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
I vote Mavic SSC just to bring some balance to the Force here.
I second that, but also because it is gorgeous in its own quirky Gallic way.

But wait! What about the Spidel (Simplex/Stronglight/MAFAC) group in all its gold-anodized lusciousness?
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Old 06-04-19, 09:16 AM
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Where are the pics?
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Old 06-04-19, 09:50 AM
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I'm partial to the non-gruppo of flip flop hub, rakish fork like a chopper, vestigial fender, water bottles on the handlebar, goggles and spare tubs worn bandolier style.

And civilized pockets on the jersey chest where they belong, so you can reach your smokes.



And enthusiastic soigneurs.
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Old 06-04-19, 10:15 AM
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My own favorite complete group would be Dura Ace 7400-the last version in the 1990;s with square-tapered cranks which I would call one of the most beautiful cranks ever made. To me they're the best meeting of function and appearance ever. I know they're barely vintage--but that "C" brand has always left me cold; give me French or Japanese any day.
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Old 06-04-19, 10:23 AM
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A thread about aesthetics without pictures? Who'da thought?
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Old 06-04-19, 10:26 AM
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Old 06-04-19, 10:43 AM
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  • Campagnolo Record
  • Campagnolo Super Record
  • Suntour Superbe Pro
  • Shimano Dura-Ace AX
And great groupsets without brake calipers and/or brake levers.
  • Mavic Mektronic
  • Simplex Super LJ
  • Huret Jubilee
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Old 06-04-19, 02:44 PM
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Ofmega Mistral. Can't speak for the function, but it's pretty.
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Old 06-04-19, 03:02 PM
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You know how you can find bikes that came with Sante but they never have the Sante parts any more?
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Old 06-04-19, 03:11 PM
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The first style of Suntour Cyclone front and rear derailleurs:




Add in a Stronglight 99BIS crankset:





Then the Avocet triple crankset- with some drilled rings, of course...

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Old 06-04-19, 03:17 PM
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Nuovo Record is sure enough pretty despite its shifting faults ..
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Old 06-04-19, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rando_couche
I second that, but also because it is gorgeous in its own quirky Gallic way.

But wait! What about the Spidel (Simplex/Stronglight/MAFAC) group in all its gold-anodized lusciousness?
I was hoping someone wouldn't mention the Spidel group, as I struggle to accept outright badge-engineering as a group.

Does that mean that Schwinn Varsities have Schwinn Approved groups? Because if that counts, I'm nominating it right now just to piss everyone off


Originally Posted by SamSpade1941
Nuovo Record is sure enough pretty despite its shifting faults ..
I love it too...and it's been done to death. It's time for the decade to crown an overlooked successor of the classic era.

-Kurt
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