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Bike folk, so long Serotta, Saratoga... whatever..

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by robt57, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got a steel Serotta that I built up in 2007, and know a number of others in my bike club who have steel and/or titanium Serottas. I bought my frame with fork and headset for $1200 and built it up with parts from my boxes and it's got maybe 4k miles on it so it's very young.

    One of the "loaner" bikes at our Velodrome is Sheila Young's small training track bike from the 80's that has Trek graphics but the Serotta "S" on the rear seatstay bridge.

    Long live Ben Serotta! I had no hope for company when they fired Ben last August...corporate idiocy. The closing of the plant is pretty irrelevant because Serotta died when they fired Ben. The bike biz is tough these days because Asian carbon fiber has taken over the big market for serious bikes.

    George
     
  2. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Tele-Holic

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    It has, unfortunately.

    I'm still riding the '91 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5 bought as "new old stock" in '93. I had quit racing around that time, but continued to do centuries, charity rides, etc. For the kind of riding I do, I still think a decent steel frameset has a lot to offer. I suppose that's why I cling to my antique "Japanamount." I also wonder if anybody will still be riding a carbon fiber frameset in 2037 that they bought new two decades earlier in the here and now of 2014. I've got 21 years of use out of my old lugged steel bike. I've kept it well maintained and still looks and rides pretty much like new. I'm hoping to get another 21 years or more out of it.
     
  3. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a 1972 Paramount, recent acquisition as compared to yours. And on the other end of the spectrum, a Scott Addict LTD. There is no doubt which will be around longer. ;)
     
  4. beatnik

    beatnik Tele-Meister

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    Well dang...

    I have a beautiful tri-Colorado from the mid 90's in my garage. Great bike, great builder.
     
  5. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Tele-Holic

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    I guess it sounds silly, but back in the lugged steel frame era, one of the things about the bicycle that captivated me was that, to me at least, it was a piece of functional art.

    Masi, Olmo, Bottachica, Colnago... The sculpted beauty of Campagnolo components.... All coming together in a piece of art that also had a high degree of functionallity.

    Folks like Ben Serotta were ARTISTS to me back in the day.

    I miss that aspect of cycling -of showing up for some charity ride and looking at all of the functional art that offered a level of enjoyment transcending the riding experience.

    My Paramount isn't on the same level of art as some old Campy Super Record equipped Colnago might be, but it lives in the house for a reason -I like looking at it as well as riding it. I like detailing it and keeping it in well sorted cosmetic and mechanical condition because those things are just another excuse to gaze on it.

    When I see the carbon fiber Specialized bikes hanging in the window of my local (and very good) bike shop, I see a tool, and not the work of art I might see if a Serotta or a Masi or Colnago or even a Waterford-built Paramount was hanging in the same window, instead.

    That whole "functional art" viewpoint is why I was attracted to cycling, I think. I see guitars and banjos the same way; the shotguns I shoot sporting clays with; the fly rods and reels I fish with.... Something about an artistically made, aesthetically pleasing thing that also provides top-shelf performance as a useful object has always appealed to me.
     
  6. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Steel is in the eye of the builder/weld-holder IMO. ;) [braze/weld/solder et al]. Plastic is more in the engineering I guess.

    I also have a 80 lugged, SLX Colnago, a Bridgestone 400, a Tig Welded Strong [if Boseman, MT], the 531 Paramount, a 90s Steel Stumpjumper, and a Steel Stella Bagette bike. ;) We have a Steel Tandem, IBIS, and
    a Ti TT bike, and another plastic bike [for sale].

    The Scott does have performance benefits and stupid light weight, FWIW, and For What That is Worth. ;)

    Considering the Paramount was state of the art in 1972, as was the SLX Colnago, they are not so far off the performance of the plastic bikes. But are to a degree. They do weigh a whole lot more, again for what that is worth...

    A forum friend I know for 15 years just got a Sachs he ordered 6 years ago. He also has plastic and Ti bikes.

    Because, just like Gear, why have one when you can have dozens??
     
  7. steve v

    steve v Tele-Holic

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    I worked at the Serotta factory during the summer of 2006. I actually wasn't paid, I contacted the production manager to ask if I could volunteer there just to learn about frame building and they let me come in once or twice a week. Ben and the other staff could not have been nicer, it was really a great experience and I learned a lot. I got to ride some prototypes and one-off bikes, even went on a couple group rides (and got my butt handed to me.)

    Around that time, they were expanding the line to include a carbon fiber/Ti lugged frame as well as a fully lugged carbon fiber frame while phasing out the lugged steel frames. These new frames were really expensive and I don't think they sold as well as hoped. Serotta alum Kelly Bedford is building some nice frames locally under his own name, Dave Kirk too!!
     
  8. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What did sell well after 2008 really. Rhetorical question of course.
     
  9. Slow Reflexes

    Slow Reflexes Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had no idea they'd canned him - that's just lame. Sucks that a company can do that and the Actual Person can essentially lose his name in the process.
     
  10. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, there was this guy named Leo Fender who sold out his company a few years back.... How about Bill Lawrence selling out his name? (Not the same as being canned, however.)

    And then the Schwinn family sold their name out, although Richard Schwinn is still building Waterford and Gunnar frames.

    I've got a late 70's lugged Raleigh Comp frame with chrome tips and sewups that I pull out on vintage bike day. I still have my purple 1964 Schwinn Continental that I got for my 12th birthday, needs resto because my younger bro got it after I got into music....

    I was just at the pre-party for the Detroit Bike City Expo this evening (I sit at the booth all day tomorrow), and the Detroit Critical Mass riders came by. One of our Board Members rode in and stayed at the party with a 1913 coaster brake bike with a HUGE chainwheel and a huge cog on the back. All original except for rubber and the chain, I think.... Talk about an attention getter!

    I do have a recent Madone (my son was a hot Cat 2 racer and it's one of his race bikes with a warranty replacement frame--he got new bikes each year for a significant discount). Our club gets Madones each year and out of about 20 race Madones in 2010, I think half of them ended up with warranty replacement frames. I do like the ride and weight, but if you hit a tube the wrong way, the frame is toast.

    My son raced for our club and Univ of Mich, and he was in a collegiate road race with Greg LeMond's son (I got to hang out with Greg), and the young LeMond crashed and broke his $10k carbon bike in half. My son was riding aluminum and got tangled up in the mess, and rode in with bent handlebars and a bit of road rash and did a big wheelie across the finish line :)

    I'm the prez of the Wolverine Sports Club out of Michigan (I'm fat and old) but we've had multiple Olympians, state and national champs, in cycling and speedskating.

    George
     
  11. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Me too, but still not too too slow. :cool:
     
  12. Slow Reflexes

    Slow Reflexes Poster Extraordinaire

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    That was my thought.
     
  13. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I had read they got wind of him scoping out a solo direction while under contract. I guess he saw the writing on the wall and was getting busy/ready for the usual Baincumstance when a capitol company starts up their bulldozers??
     
  14. Sceeter

    Sceeter TDPRI Member

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    I dont really have anything to contribute to the topic except that I have way too much money into bikes and I take any opportunity to post pics of my steel.:D No racing for me. Steel is real!
     

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  15. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, lets do that, pic mongers here and all that we are...

    My Aged Steel Steeds...
     

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  16. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And my last bike when I was a teen. I sold that in 1980 or so.
    One reason the Chrome Paramount I landed since I moved here jazzed me. Old school, but you can ride it all day it is so comfortable. As comfortable as bike can be when you sit on them for hours and hours being relative terminology of course.
     

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  17. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mine was lemon yellow.

    One of my Fat City bikes was made after the NY move assuming Serotta shop.

    There are still small builders making it. A week ago I suggested selling one of the old Fat City bikes and my wife said NO!

    For the moment I'm just not caring about fancy, special beautiful bikes but also considering road riding a dangerous form of misery for building fitness and errands.

    Sure I have a now aging custom steel Campy road bike but I might limited years left for mountain biking so bikes are now consumables. You treat them like dating Miss America or tenderizing meat with a hammer.

    That said, don't shoot if I get a light weight 650B this season. I need to decide the budget and yes, how many inches I want in the rear. ;P

    :)
     
  18. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Inches; twenty something? :cool:

    I have been staying flat for about 700 miles this year so far. Very lucky weather wise, unreal actually. So been 39/53ing it on everything 12-25 cassette. Or Jan about 300 miles was on my ENO Strong with about 67 GI.

    Re-purposed 1999 Strong frame that was my main bike for 12 years. Now semi fat tires on wide rims. Still as comfortable as anything else I have ridden, yet stiffer than a lot of them. ;)
     

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  19. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I plugged one of our users here semi locally into a sweet Serotta Frame over a year back. I hope he sees the subject and chimes in. Last I heard he was still collecting parts to make it the way he wanted it.

    I guess he has a collector item now, and a seriously functional one at that. ;)

    I started popping parts to get it rolling to see if I could love it, but it was just too big for me, and I never rolled on it.

    But [forgot name] was a few inches taller than me and looked like it was going to be a sweet fit for him. I think he was from Eugene or the Sisters area IIRC.
     

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