You may be familiar with the term “you can’t polish a turd,” which simply means that something inherently bad can’t be made good, no matter how much time or money you throw at it.
The Mythbusters though, proved this to be untrue. I won’t go into the details, but they were able to take actual poop, and turn it into somthing that shines. Here’s how they did it.
Now it’s my turn to see if I can do the same with a bicycle.
There are tons of people I’m sure that buy one bike, ride it, and are perfectly happy doing so. There are also tons of people – like myself – that follow a formula for bicycle ownership, and it goes a little like this;
S = N + 1
Where S is the number of bikes you should own, and N is the number of bikes you currently own.
What I love about this formula, is coming up with reasons for another N + 1 in your life.
What better topic to discuss on Throwback Thursday – #TBT if you’re not a social media uber-guru like myself – than the return of retrobike styling cues to modern bikes.
Old bike parts are becoming new seemingly on a daily basis. Bars, tires, and brakes are all going forward to the past.
I can’t say they make modern bikes work better, but they definitely make some of them look better.
I am being 100% honest with you when I saw that I am not one of those ‘vintage was waaay better man!’ guys. I remember riding my Bridgestone a couple years ago, and thinking I’d try it on some of the root infested, technical trails we have all over the river valley here in Edmonton.
It was terrible. I could barely keep my hands on the bars. And I was worried the whole time about how this very lightweight steel frame – with a reputation for breaking – was handling the punishment of the trail, and the very not lightweight rider pounding it through the roots.
So, I would say unequivocally, that the general off road riding experience has been improved since 1990. V-brakes, and disc brakes, better forks, proper rear suspension – all of these have made mountain biking better.
But, I am convinced that there is something about vintage bikes that modern bikes don’t have. Some intangible factor that existed in the early days that you don’t see now. And this early 90’s GT Karakoram just might show us what that is.