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Does politics, culture or nationalism influence your vintage bike collection?

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Does politics, culture or nationalism influence your vintage bike collection?

Old 11-26-20, 12:41 AM
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Does politics, culture or nationalism influence your vintage bike collection?

I just watched the Diego Maradona (rip) documentary on HBO. The fanaticism gets as ugly as you would ever want to see. I started to question the two Italians in my small collection, which seems ridiculous. I wouldn't hesitate to drive a German car, for example. Maybe cycling is a more tolerant beast compared to futbol.?.

I see no reason this can't be discussed civilly. If it needs to be moved, I'd just rather it be closed. Cheers, all.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:00 AM
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Does politics, culture or nationalism influence your vintage bike collection?

Yes but only one country is exempt from my bike collecting interests. Every other country is fair finding game in my book.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:07 AM
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Nope.

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Old 11-26-20, 01:22 AM
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Culture, sure. I like things that are culturally French. My Jack Taylor, my Ron Cooper, and my Trek are exceptions that prove the rule. But I've always liked French things of all kinds. That's why I learned the language back in undergrad. From there, it's a feedback loop. The more I got into it, the more I learned, which made me get into it more.

Politics might factor into it, maybe through culture. The governments of midcentury France and Britain somehow created an environment that allowed these small one- to five-man frame building shops to stay in business making these incredibly labor-intensive bikes.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:29 AM
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Yes, no, maybe, sure.
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Old 11-26-20, 02:01 AM
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I have blue bikes and red bikes.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Old 11-26-20, 02:08 AM
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I think this is a good and fair question. I have actually acquired mostly American bikes. It never was a conscious decision but something that kind of happened. It might go back to my early childhood wanting a Schwinn. Then getting one at probably age 9.

I have had a French and then Mexican bike. Then started racing and wanted a better frame than my low end Windsor International. I did some research and bought a Serotta. It wasn't that Serotta was a hot bike at the time, 1979. They were well respected frames and the price of a Club Special frame was within my budget, and the shop had one in my size in stock.

Now I have Schwinn's and Treks. I think vintage Schwinn's are undervalued since Pacific acquired them and sell them in big box stores. It doesn't hurt that Schwinn sold a lot of bikes and for the most part they were either well made or had heavy frames that enabled them to last.

Vintage Treks are definitely on my wish list, but undervalued they are not. I picked up a Cannondale mountain bike frame and a complete bike to combine into one bike. I have to get that project going as soon as I can sell some other bikes.

I like French, Italian, Belgian, English, well lets just say European, Japanese and Taiwanese bikes but these have not been as available as the US brands for me. Especially for the money I'm willing to pay. I tend to pay low and work hard instead of buying something that is more expensive but needs less work.

I do have a, made in Japan, Panasonic mixte for my wife. Although, I have to convince her it is better than a Peugeot. I think our early preferences affect us later in life.
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Old 11-26-20, 02:32 AM
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Nope. I can appreciate the historical context of an object without fetishizing it or regarding possession of an object as tacit approval of the person or politics associated with the object.

I've considering buying a US Postal era Trek frame just because they occasionally go on sale for reasonable prices. Doesn't mean I approve of the actions of some people associated with that team and era. It's just a pretty good bike and interesting relic of a fascinating bit of history.

I don't follow soccer/football and while I'm aware of the death of Diego Maradona I don't know much about his background other than what wikipedia says (which the PBS stories danced around), and nothing about the context or significance to real fans. I suppose it's comparable to controversial boxers such as Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, a sport I do know more about. But other than perhaps owning an item autographed by them, I'm not seeing the connection to cycling.

Regarding nationalism, I've never regarded it as anything more than a necessary evil to preserve a buffer to protect the better elements of what we consider ideal values -- despite our frequent failures to live up to our own standards. But among fellow veterans I'm usually the outsider who has no problems with demonstrations they consider unpatriotic.

While there used to be potent nationalistic elements in professional cycling, much of that has faded. While I'm aware that Chris Froome has talked about verbal abuse from bystanders at the Tour de France, and even some forms of physical assault (including urine being thrown at him), I'm also aware that the TdF has a long history of peculiar fan reactions to winners who are "too successful." Jacques Anquetil was not well loved by some fans, supposedly because they considered him too aloof, too mercenary. Eddy Merckx was despised by some fans because he was so dominant, not only in every race but even in every stage, gobbling up every possible bonus. He was even punched by a fan, contributing to his having to withdraw from a race late in his career. Perhaps some French fans didn't consider the Belgian Merckx to be "French" enough, but those fans weren't particularly fond of Anquetil or Bernard Hinault either.

There doesn't seem to be any coherent connection to nationalism there. It seems to be more of a peculiarly French attitude toward dominance in sport, at least in pro cycling -- admittedly one of the most complex sports due to the fickle and almost incomprehensible nature of participants whose roles morph from rival to partner and back again throughout a grand tour, stage and even moment to moment. I used to joke that French fans hate winners, but that's too facile. It's much more complicated than that and difficult to grasp for Americans who prize winning above all else.
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Old 11-26-20, 06:04 AM
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I stay away from French bikes, only because people that smoke such awful cigarettes and made 22.0 steerer tubes probably are sinister in other ways.

I prefer police use bikes instead of batons, tear gas, or fire hoses. So, no Trek or Specialized or Mellow Johnny’s for me. The context is always in dispute, but I don’t currently plan to be close enough to a police line to worry about being pushed by a bike. The symbolism of “I was trying to spit on a cop and he shoved me with his/her bike” is lost on me.

Bottechia was murdered for his bike use, and Bartali cemented that for me, so even crappily done Italian bikes are OK. My Pinarello Catena Lusso is possibly the worst road bike I’ve owned. But that’s OK, the Dogma F.8 makes up for it.

I wish there were more South American bikes. There probably are. They don’t seem to escape the continent very well.

It’s only a matter of time before a TdF winner comes out of Africa, but I hear the environment is still not that friendly. Major Taylor was likely the best ever, and look how he was treated. Primus Mootry (Sr) would be Richard Sachs if things were different.

I used to fix dirty bikes. Now I don’t.

Since I see bicycling as a culture of its own, I don’t see much difference in national, political, or cultural direction with bikes.

There are places I won’t go to ride a bike, but that has nothing to do with the bike.

Unless it’s a French bike, or if there’s a cat involved. I’m having none of that.

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Old 11-26-20, 06:27 AM
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Not sure this counts.
Collecting the vintage group of bikes this last time around, I told my wife only one from every major cycling country in Europe.
Excluding Italy = exempted from a quantity limit.
Then The Daimler Clause had to be added.

Heck, all my new bicycle purchases in the last 25 years have been from American framebuilders CoMotion, Calfee, Tallerico, Litespeed

I've owned Japanese, Taiwanese and the beachcruizer Trek is probably from China.
Windsor Carabela from Mexico was quickly given away (but w/o malice).
Canadian Rocky Mountain is still ridden occasionally.

Rode a bamboo bike once, made in Africa (Ghana?).
Almost bought a Caloi (Brazil?).

Never rode a bike from India or Australia.

I just don't want to ride what everyone else rides.
Is that an 'influence'?

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Old 11-26-20, 06:41 AM
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I buy bikes with tubing from Italy, the UK, Japan, and the U.S. No plastic fantastic Chinese frames for me.
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Old 11-26-20, 07:30 AM
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I would never own a nazi party cycling jersey.
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Old 11-26-20, 07:52 AM
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I primarily select bikes based on geometry, materials and features; national origin has never been a factor that wound be decisive in anyway. However, I have intentionally investigated and collected a diverse set of vintage bikes from a large group on nationalities, including: U.S., France, Italy, Belgium and Japan. I also have modern bikes from English, Belgium and German brands. National origins should be respected and celebrated, but should never become exclusive or deemed inherently superior.

The approximate time period a bike was initially fabricated is far more significant than where a bike is made. Having said that: Italy, France, England, Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. fostered a larger group of talent than most other nations.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:06 AM
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Not to this point. I try to reseach the companies and builders of the bikes and parts I use. I'm pretty sure that Richard Schwinn isn't the "Zodiac Killer", so the Superior stays in the collection.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:11 AM
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I like having bikes from different nations and if I find a bike at the right price from a nation that I do not own a bike from, I'm quite likely to buy it. So far I have bikes from Argentina, the US (naturally), Japan, the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. I guess I could look around for a Swedish, a Norwegian, a German, an Austrian, and a Spanish bike but I'm not that movitated to add more bikes to my collection. I know I'd like to find a Spanish bike one day.

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Old 11-26-20, 08:11 AM
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Careful, sometimes politics can be fabricated. Remember the TdF and the hatred that was swirling around Greg Lemond. Most of that was not real news, how vitriolic it was to have a dirty American perhaps win, it was hyped. That was when they were trying to push "The Great" when obviously Bernard was on the downslope of the career and Greg was yet to peak.

IMO the TdF was more interesting in the days of national pride.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:15 AM
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I don't think it is unreasonable to have any of those things influence a purchase or a collection. Sometimes, that is part of the charm.

I like small US builders and have several. I very much like early Trek because of the American success story of it and the builders behind those bikes. Later Treks not so much. I don't have a dislike for later treks, but they are unlikely to find a permanent home in my collection.

Soviet bikes intrigue me. I don't own one, but would if given the right opportunity. Growing up, the US/Soviet conflict was something that made a lasting imprint on me. Having a bike from that era and the other side of the conflict would be cool.

People, personalities, politics, etc have always influenced my collecting interests across several different collectibles.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:19 AM
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Only my personal economy does
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Old 11-26-20, 08:19 AM
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I had to go to a Russian themed costume party once and got a '80 CCCP jersey for the occasion. I've worn it on the big Saturday and Sunday rides. Sometimes, riders pull up along side me and with a very concerned look and tone tell me I'm brave. I don't get borders.

I'm whittling down to 3 bikes: Wisconsonian, Californian, and Massachusettesian only because I'll never get what I have in them and they ride great.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:23 AM
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I view bikes, and mine especially, as contra-nationalism and contra-car culture. Just like my favorite jersey which reads: "Think globally, bike locally" and, "One Less Car"
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Old 11-26-20, 08:27 AM
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Bicycles are individuals. I would not discriminate against any individual based on their country of origin.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:41 AM
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Culture, yes, politics and nationalism, no. Nationalism is a different and much more fraught term than national identity or national pride. I have a weakness for Italian race bikes, mostly for cycling reasons but also because of a strong affinity for the country itself, having opportunity to visit a few times. Pretty sure, too, I don’t have a drop of Mediterranean blood in me.
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Old 11-26-20, 08:53 AM
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I seek the unique, but in the somewhat everyday unique way, and embrace the beauty that is that uniqueness. It is the mystery of a hard to find story that draws me.

I don't care about nationality. We are but fleeting oxygen breathers of the same air.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:04 AM
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I love 'em all, but the teenage Smiths fan in me will always (close my eyes and) think of England.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:14 AM
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No. Well, maybe culture. I tend to stay away from Italian bikes. They tend to be overly flashy, gaudy and loud. Maybe a reflection of the people and culture. I have a Japanese bike that came with Columbus SL tubing and Campy NR/NGS. It became a lot better bike when I replaced the NR derailleurs with Suntour. Heck, Suntour low level RDs shift better than the NR RD as does most every other RD I have tried.

This is just my opinion, but if Simplex hadn't of made the mistake of using Delrin, they might have survived and Campy might be gone. The high level French cranks and derailleurs I have used are better than the Campy stuff. There, I said it. Curse me and banish me from C & V if you must!
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