Let’s step into some vintage rambling. As in vintage bikes. Vintage Italian or Japanese steel frames for example. They trigger a whole bunch of nasty feelings in the vintage aficionado. Drooling over lug details, chromed chain and seat stays or the perfection of japanese rainbow flake paint jobs is something that might seem strange and excessive at first but if you love cycling, have a sense of style and taste for great materials being put into shape in an almost artful manner you’ll get into it. Sooner or later. While I don’t consider myself to be overly driven by consumerism, I did spend my time and a fair amount of cash on ebay or visiting cycling grampas in their basements fishing out vintage gear and listening to ‘way back then’ stories. I also met a bunch of cool people who are into the same stuff. We love to ramble about that shit and show each other the latest NJS frames for sale in Japan. But I’ve also met a shitload of people takin all that vintage and collector thing waaay too far. Spending a fortune on bikes, not being able to talk about anything but vintage bikes, hating everything that was produced past 1981 and being a hardass about the whole vintage trueness. They will see a nice ride and immediately start telling you what part of the setup doesn’t match the rest. Or why the wheelset is badly placed cause it wasn’t produced the same month as the frame. Why they should have used proper vintage bar tape and so on. I guess in today’s great wide world of fixed gear they’d call em haters. And to all those vintage haters I’d like to present dis ride here:
It was the last day of my summer road trip, about an hour before my plane left. Quick stop at the local market when out of nowhere grampa arrived on his bike. I know, Mr. oldschool hater will immediately point out that it has a motor, thus not being considered a real bike. I’ll get to that. First of all, grampa was all chill: ‘Yes, take your pictures, Imma get to the market real quick.’ And off he went. Locking your bike? Amateurs. So I took my pics:
Original vintage gas tank. That alone is so vintage true it should silence at least a thousand vintage haters in a second.
First class vintage bell. Operate the lever and the little metal wheel touches the spinning front wheel, let me tell ya, that was one hell of a bell. You’d seriously freak out any SUV driver with the windows down, it was that loud. And yes, the bike had a motor, but not just any motor, check out this machine right here:
I first thought it was chain driven like on a derny bike but turns out the motor operates a spindle that can be hooked to the rear wheel, haven’t seen that one before on a bike:
There’s some vintage for ya. True engineering. Fuck tire wear or efficiency factors, just make that damn thing go faster. Works for grampa and would work for the most of us. I’d also like to mention that the whole bike was in great shape overall. Most parts seemed original or refurbished, the tires were a bit brittle but still good enough for the everyday ride. As I was standing there observing, grampa came back and informed me real quickly that it’s from 1936. Again, silence vintage haters. I asked him if he maintained it himself. You should have seen the look on his face..
‘And who the fuck do you think would take care of it else then me?’
‘Listen kid, gotta go, I’ll be chillin at the corner with some schnaps, if you need to know more you gotta join me, bye..’