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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 12-24-21, 02:21 PM
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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.
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Old 12-24-21, 02:29 PM
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All 3. My time and focus shifts around. I was focused on riding for a long while but cracked a rib in the spring and never got my milage back up and with the kid home for a year wrenching time got sporadic. So the collecting bug got a bit out of hand. A small glimmer of self knowledge has crept in and It looks like I'm a serial collector of projects. So my intention is stop adding projects and start wrenching my way through the pile, and get back on the bike. Of course I just put money down on a luged Trek 720.....
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Old 12-24-21, 02:34 PM
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like bark_eater I would say that I'm all 3 (rider, wrencher and collector). The riding did get priority this season and I put together some respectable miles for myself. I rode 2 main road bikes with a 3rd "commuter" bike also in the stable with regular enough riding that only minor top offs of tire pressure were needed.

As for "wrenching" - I am embarrassed to say that my wrenching has lagged behind this year despite having most all of the correct tools to do what I want.

And for "collecting",. well my parts stash has not gotten any smaller. I have just about reached critical hoarder mass where a major organizational overhaul is really what is needed to complete the backlog of supercool, potential "grail" type bikes that are stalled in the pipleline .

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Old 12-24-21, 02:41 PM
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Ima Rider who's formed an attachment to some bikes over the years that basically serve the same purpose.
Rudimentary wrenching skills - just enough to keep me out of trouble but I don't think I'm any good at it.
I do have one bike (a '37 Hobbs) that I bought simply because it struck a chord with me from a purely aesthetic standpoint but I hardly ever ride it so maybe that makes me collector but I don't know.
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Old 12-24-21, 02:45 PM
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For me. the most fun is finding (I actually worked to perfect my methods for finding and, to date, have found over 500) a nice old vintage road bike like this 100% original and, pretty much, mint Trek I got my hands on this week...

Once found, I enjoy the research and very much enjoy the build/restoration process...

As for riding, that is the end product for me. I tend to ride my newer machine simply because it is the nicest ride of anything that I presently own...

And, believe it or not, I even enjoy selling a bike, knowing that I can help someone else get their hands on something that they truly want...
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
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Old 12-24-21, 02:55 PM
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For me it starts with mechanics. I get tremendous satisfaction cleaning and returning C&V components to service, and expanding my knowledge and technical proficiency along the way.

Riding something that I worked on, that functions well & properly, is the peak of the summit.

Within this context I’d say I’m a moderate collector of 1970’s-mid-80’s road and mountain bikes, parts, and associated tools.
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Old 12-24-21, 03:36 PM
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In post #30 I failed to address the notion of "collector". At one time I was a collector having as many as eighty bikes in my collection at one time. I could not keep them all properly maintained nor could I ride them all all of the time. Those two things, and others, caused me to decide to keep only a few bikes as my own, four to be exact. I do have a few others but they are only inventory items to be sold when the time comes.

So, I am not really a collector anymore even though I do have a small collection of bikes (and always on the look out for the next one that just might replace on of my present four). Pulled these out of The Old Shed one day, years ago and The Old Shed was still full to over flowing.
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
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Old 12-24-21, 04:08 PM
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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.
What's the number then? I'm at 8. I have a cluster of 4 by Emmo Ghelfi that make a great display.

My .02, anything more than 1 is a collection.
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Old 12-24-21, 05:29 PM
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I'm a bargain hunter first and foremost, bikes are just one of the more profitable areas.

That said, before my crashes, I was pretty car-lite and was doing 3-5k a year which was more than I drove. After crashing badly and needing to continue working (as a bike mechanic), I messed myself up badly to the point of collapse. I hate to wrench now, but refuse to take anything to a LBS. No way I'm giving them my money at this point, I've done it all anyways and would rather buy the occasional tool than pay someone else.

After being off the bike and selling nearly everything a few years ago, I've been riding a for a few years again, my focus has changed. Instead of feeling like I had to ride *to* somewhere, that there was a need at a destination that I would ride to. Now my riding is solely for physical therapy to keep my hip from causing me more trouble and there are a couple quiet loops I take 6-7x/week for an hour ride, regardless of the weather. I could do it inside on a trainer, but I need to feel the wind, you know?

Were it not for the Covid boom and constantly being online and watching the local markets, I'd probably have 5-6 instead of 19-20. I ended up buying nearly as many as I've sold. But where I was selling 80s/90s mid-range bikes, I've replaced them with 531/Vitus/SLX machines on people's grail list... and they were my size!
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Old 12-24-21, 05:43 PM
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All of the above, my Dad was a pretty good wrench and fortunately I managed to get there too.

Bikes since 10-12 years old, cars not long after and professionally for 30+years.

Drag racing motorcycles 30+ years so at the track, on the road and everywhere in between.

Back to bikes for the last 10? years, plenty of saving, cleaning, polishing, overhauling, repairing, repurposing and restoring? (uses term loosely).

Never raced but have always been able to ride all day long and love to do so.

Collector, maybe, too many bikes, absolutely, way too many bikes.

Maybe even a few that are collectable.

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Old 12-24-21, 05:56 PM
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This thread has me digging within myself to find a proper answer and I know for sure I would consider myself a wrencher first and foremost. I love the mechanics of bikes and bringing one back from the dead is very satisfying.

I am NOT a collector. If someone saw one of my bikes and said that they would love to own it, great! Would you love to own it for X dollars? Cool! I take many forms of payment…

Honestly, I ride a bit but not that much. I enjoy it but I’m a busy guy that corrals a precocious and VERY active 11 y/o. gugie can confirm this.

I’ll be drastically reducing the fleet in 2022 but a few will stay. My rod brake Bianchi, Schwinn Circuit, Trek 420, Dyna Moto 7 and Legnano Condorino are keepers for sentimental/personal reasons. (I see myself as an enthusiast in this regard, not a collector) I may hang onto my ~2005 Specialized Allez since it’s modern but with rim brakes, which I prefer.

I have gathered (collected?) some very nice components that would compliment a nice frameset but it would be redundant so it too would be sent to a loving new home.
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Old 12-24-21, 06:00 PM
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I think, yes, yes and yes. I'm a pretty good wrench and a decent rider. As for a collector, I feel I've got a pretty good selection of nice desirable bikes. I will always have a list of "grail" bikes I will be on the lookout for. I am also a self admitted flipper. Though most I usually just make a small profit. I don't do it for a living, but make sure it finances the collection. I will save a bike that looks like it's on it's last leg and make them rideable for others to enjoy.
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Old 12-24-21, 06:16 PM
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I started fixing up bikes as a kid, then got paid to do it while I was trying to determine what to do with my life. Always rode as an adult and then got into flipping low-end rode bikes as single speeds in the Boston market around 15 or so years ago when those were hot. Eventually realized that I’d rather work on my own bikes than someone else’s, and further realized that I’d rather ride than wrench. I’m also just perpetually curious as to how various bikes might ride and really like building things up from a frameset, kind of a blank canvas kind of thing. I also really like the problem solving aspect of wrenching and have the shop tools to tackle just about any problem. Still, it’s all about riding for me, particularly to find relief from the stress of my day job and to adventure with friends, whether on organized rides such as Cino or the various planned tours that many of us on this list have pulled off in the last several years. I aim to ride 5K miles per year and enjoy all of them.
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Old 12-24-21, 10:27 PM
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Rider first. Somewhat grudging wrencher, mostly because I like to know how stuff works but don't always look forward to doing it myself. I'd rather just ride.

I don't collect anything but memories and dust bunnies. And I'm cutting back on both of those. I've pulled lots of stuff out of the closet that's been stored for years to get rid of as much as possible and start 2022 relatively fresh. There are hundreds of photos I took decades ago that, upon review with a now-experienced and jaundiced eye, are utter rubbish and an embarrassment. Most of those can go.
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Old 12-25-21, 03:18 AM
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Wrenching rider who builds and collects esoteric bikes. like it all. These are just my bikes in Cambodia.

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Old 12-25-21, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
To me it is funny how the bicycle forum scene parallels the audio forum scene.
My 2 bikes, working rider and currently underway project are mid-fi. 😀

I'm a compulsive fixer, wrencher, tinker across across the board. Recent rider, but I notice if a day goes by without a ride or a session on the trainer.
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Old 12-25-21, 06:52 AM
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The original question missed out on the option of "history-curious", though a couple of folks touched on it (especially randyjawa ). I love to ride but don't ride enough (compared to a lot of you) that it qualifies me as a rider; I love to wrench most of all (to bring history back to life) and I love to ride the older bikes and imagine when that particular bike was "king", however it is the searching and research on both the bike and the times that it came from that really gets me going. Learning about the region where my Paff was built (and the personal history of the original owner) is a compelling slice of this hobby for me; same with the CCM Road Racer and the Peugeots and the.... well, you get the picture.
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Old 12-25-21, 06:57 AM
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Hmmm.... I'd have to say rider first as that's the main point in having them all. Certainly a collector but not for the reason of just having. I like finding them, figuring out the history, and sorting them out to be good riders. I really like selling them off locally too so I can see the smiles on the new owner's face when they test ride one of my bikes. I'm stepping farther and farther away from the wrenching part. I can do pretty much everything but build wheels yet my focus and attention to detail has gone to crap. Too many head injuries over the years have messed me up and as luck would have it I cracked the ol' noggin again about a week ago and got another concussion.
Still despite all the bikes and despite actually rotating through and riding them all it's really about the time out with a bike between my legs. Last two years have been tough with knee problems but I'm using my VA benefits now and they attacking that problem. Looking forward to a really good riding year in 2022!

All the good stuff is tucked away for the winter. The Azor Dutch Bike lives in the garage and still gets used on the winter roads since it's made to take the punishment.

All warm and dry in the bike cave on Christmas Morning.
Steel is real...and comfy.
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Old 12-25-21, 07:03 AM
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I've become very curious as to how different bikes might ride so I became some what of a collector but then I will fix them up, ride them for a while , and then I'll sell them. I guess I am looking for the elusive magic bike that rides like the old Caddelac yet fly's like a jet..
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Old 12-25-21, 07:23 AM
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All three -- guilty as charged.

Bicycling is the one sport I have truly loved, and it literally transformed me physically. I ride for transportation, for recreation, and for cardio fitness, so that checks the first box. It has also enhanced my emotional and social health by introducing me to a delightful community of folks, both online and on the road.

As a fourth-generation engineer and natural-born tinkerer, I grew up with the obligatory Erector sets, LEGO blocks, electrical lab kits, etc. I graduated to working on home audio equipment and bicycles, subsequently to appliances, cars, and home electrical, plumbing, carpentry, tile, etc. I still greatly enjoy doing all of my own bicycle repairs, so that checks the second box.

I never thought of my self as a collector, but quickly recognized the need, or at least the desire, for more than one bicycle. I have a mountain bike, a practical road transportation/beater bike, and a fast and fun road bike. I got interested in the Capo marque after a college friend gave me his 1960 model, which was in need of a lot of work. Two decades after that frame failed a few years after having been bent back in my one serious crash and re-straightened, I found the 1959 at a yard sale, and, knowing what it was, snatched it up for $20. I later found the first Sieger through eBay and almost passed on the second, but I could not resist the idea of having two littermates, one with all-original components and the other a bare frame and perfect canvas for a resto-mod. I believe owning three Capos, which are fairly rare in the US, qualifies me as a collector.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 12-25-21, 07:57 AM
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"Rider" (though cyclists drive the bike with their legs while "drivers" flacidly ride in their vehicles) almost exclusively, though I've learned basic wrenching. I am in pursuit of turning my old Trek into my ultimate functional commuter (well understanding that I am chasing a moving target!) So, an inveterate tinkerer with items and positioning (drives my wife insane).
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Old 12-25-21, 08:02 AM
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Started out as a rider, daily work commute of less than 10 miles round trip.
Took some local community college adult learning classes on wrenching and built up a single speed that is still a favorite ride and I was hooked.
Volunteered at the WIBO (Walk In Bike Out Community Service Project) that helped people get on bikes that could necessarily afford them.
WIBO morphed into the local Bike Co-op and I wrench there to get people on free or affordable bikes as their basic means of transportation.
I started wrenching more at home during the pandemic when things shut down and was able to get friends, neighbors and even strangers on bikes from my stash.
I have developed a certain fondness for 50's British bikes, and I am a sucker for anything chrome.
I'll ride anything (not far, not fast) but it puts me in a better place mentally and physically.
If a collection is more than 1, then I am guilty.
No particular rhyme or reason, I enjoy every bike for what it is.

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Old 12-25-21, 08:48 AM
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Time is sticky... and I seem to have become stuck in the late 70's.

I've got a few nice bikes that I thought were pretty cool, and really haven't chased the technological trends in the bike world. At first I was just hanging onto stuff that was out of date, but now that time has marched on, I seem to have evolved into a historical re-enactor, like those folks staging civil war battles. Hey, whatever makes you happy!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-25-21, 09:15 AM
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Primarily a rider. I am not mechanically inclined. Trying to learn to do more work on my bikes starting with basic maintenance. I don't consider myself a collector although I am always on the look out for an interesting used bike. Not many in my area, but recently scored a 1995 Rockhopper in excellent condition for $70 with a four-bike Thule rack included.
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Old 12-25-21, 09:18 AM
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None of the above choices. I consider myself a rescuer. I find neglected bikes, often with issues like rust, stuck seat post or stem, missing parts and so on. These bikes are about one step from the curb.

Some I restore to their former glory, then move them on to another home. Others I rescue parts, and donate the rest of it to a co op.

My last four buys: one very nice semi-collectible bike that no one else wanted, one POS bottom end Windsor with some good parts, one unidentified brand, rattle can painted, junker with better parts, and a 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur, with some rust, stuck seat post and stem.

I consider myself an amateur picker. I pick a lot of stuff, from vintage books, to sporting goods, to bicycles. I then move my finds onto new homes, trying to not keep anything (I already have enough stuff)! Bikes are kind of a sideline, I don't find them as often as the other stuff.

I 'lost" my workshop, when I remodeled the space to become our home. it was a good 'Covid' project. Losing 1200 sq ft of space, I've had no choice but to donate a lot, and whenever I acquire something, it has to MOVE. Nothing can stay!

Sellers picture of the World Voyageur.

Last edited by wrk101; 12-25-21 at 09:33 AM.
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