Old School, New School

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26 Responses to “Old School, New School”

  • David Bolles says:

    I ride old school but, voted new. If i had the money for all the goodness offered in current tech, I’d take it.
    The only thing I see as being a difference for you, Alan, is bar choice. It seems like that mustache(correct name?) bar is something you really prefer.
    I like drop bars but, was considering putting the mustache(?) bar on a single speed build I was hoping to do this summer…
    The belt drive is interesting and the lack detailed cleaning that seems to be involved is a seller alone.
    I can easily say that I do not like the color of the Civia. A darker gray would be up my alley.
    Thanks for this comparison. It gives a nice heads up to anyone considering a new bike purchase.

  • David says:

    Aheasets and diskbrakes are way more functional, drivetrain is personal preference, the rest is just aesthetics.

  • Darin says:

    I’ll take one of each please :-)

  • Geoffrey Yuen says:

    Alan, are those Paul Neo-Retro cantis on your Hillborne? They look great!

  • Carter Bruce says:

    I’ll second Darin!

    They’re both great!

  • Andrew Leinonen says:

    My road bike is 70′s Italian steel and I love it, but when you get down to it, I’m all about new school. I’m too interested in design and engineering to ignore all the innovations that have happened in the past decade.

    Dare I say it, I think I even prefer new school aesthetics, though I’m very much a form follows function kind of guy (and often find that a well-designed functional object is beautiful because of it).

  • Velouria says:

    I see a mix of old school and new school in both pictures in each set : )

    My flavour is old school, please. IMO you need to add a new lugged steel bicycle to your flock to balance out the modern-overload of the Civia!

  • Johnq says:

    Somewhere in the middle/bit of both. Ie: a Rivendell with modern components!

  • Sally Hinchcliffe (aka townmouse) says:

    no bell on the new one?

  • arevee says:

    Why am I not surprised that the readers of this website would prefer ‘old school’? I have a Hillborne and I love it, but I would certainly like to try that Civia. The disk brakes and silent, clean belt drive appeal. They might be especially useful in forever wet winter Portland, OR. That said, long fenders with mud flaps go a long way towards keeping the bike clean even during the winter.

  • D'Arcy says:

    I voted old but ride new. One of the things I love about bikes is it’s “evolution not revolution”. Ideas on bikes evolve over time until they become mainstream. I’d define your bike being mainstream when you can ride into a small town and get parts (in stock) to fit your bike. I think disc breaks are pretty much mainstream where the drive train is not quite there yet.

    Although my new bike has disc brakes and a drive shaft, it also has traditional upright design with traditional handlebars, coat guards and a Brooks leather seat.

  • John L. says:

    Depends on what you’re using it for. For daily commuting with less maintenance, I’ll take the Civia. For a Sunday ride with the family, I’ll take the Rivendell.

  • Alan says:

    @David

    “The only thing I see as being a difference for you, Alan, is bar choice. It seems like that mustache(correct name?) bar is something you really prefer.”

    I like the variety. For now I’m enjoying the drops. The only issue is that they don’t offer as much leverage as flat bars, which has led to a little wrist ache when carrying weight on the front. We’ll see if it’s just a matter of adapting or if I’ll need to re-think the bar/rack combo.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @Geoff

    “Alan, are those Paul Neo-Retro cantis on your Hillborne? They look great!”

    Good eye… :-) They’re awesome brakes:

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2010/12/01/stuff-we-like-paul-neo-retro-brakes/

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @Andrew

    “I’m very much a form follows function kind of guy (and often find that a well-designed functional object is beautiful because of it).”

    Me too. For me it’s not so much a particular style that I prefer, but that a bike makes sense both in design and aesthetics.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @Sally

    “no bell on the new one?”

    It’ll get one eventually – it’s still a work in progress… :-)

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @Velouria

    “IMO you need to add a new lugged steel bicycle to your flock to balance out the modern-overload of the Civia!”

    I need to give the pocketbook and our UPS driver a rest for a while… :-)

    Alan

  • Daniel says:

    Love the new drivetrain but those pictures sure do make the Riv look pretty….in my eye anyway.

  • Tim Donahoe says:

    I say old school, but only because I know I can fix it.

  • Forrest says:

    I would take the Sam H. for pure beauty (I have a green 56), but the Civia also is a fine-looking bike and functionally great, I would imagine. I am intrigued by belt drive with Alfine IGH. How easy is fixing a rear flat or replacing rear tire with the Civia? Does the split dropout help? That is my big hesitation with IGH.

  • Eddie Hurt says:

    My flavor is whatever you serve up, Alan. Whether honoring tradition or exploring innovations, everything you feature on your website enriches us with delight, wonder, knowledge and appreciation for the simple elegance that is the bicycle.

  • Trenton M. says:

    Both:

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/02/02/rawland-cycles-rsogn/

  • Don says:

    I appreciate the benefits and aesthetics of the new school components, but track record, price, and maintenance habits outweigh the additional expenditure. Every time I start leaning toward new school for the theoretical next bike, I remember how may times I could replace each part to equal the cost of its newfangled version and retreat. My innovation threshhold stopped at indexed grip shifting, probably because I’m an urban transpo rider. Were I more of a randonneur, I might even go the way of the old downtube friction shifter, because it’s what I grew up on, but indexing is just so darn efficient, and a grip shift allows double and triple shifting with ease.

    I am very interested in the Bryant generation of bikes, but the all-or-nothing investment in the IGH/belt/special frame and the drag of building a wheel around the IGH keeps me on this side of the fence.

  • Ryan says:

    I have to say that I am planted on the side of old school (I am not even that old) for a few reasons. One is simplicity. Chain drives, friction shifting and canti/v brakes are just so easy to keep working, plus I am used to them.

    I have a bike with mechanical disk brakes and just do not see what the big allure is. Makes the wheel heavy and they are constantly making a high pitched rubbing sound that sometimes goes away but always returns. Never really had an issue with cantis and now Vs, once set up they seem to do what they are supposed to do without issue, the wheel is lighter too.

    I do use a bike with index shifting (trigger shifters) and have had mountain bikes in the past with them. I will say they work and work well, fairly easy to set up and do have advantages over friction, but I have to tell you, I have replaced the shifter pods too many times to say that they are reliable. They just plain break and won’t shift, has happened about 5 times over 7 or 8 years, shimano made too. Friction shifters are not only totally cheap, but generally work for years and years without replacement; the beauty is the simplicity.

  • David says:

    It’s not natural for a bike to be that clean!

    I kind of think they are only taken out for picture taking…

  • Brian C says:

    I like the aesthetics of both. But for everyday use, and ease of maintenance, the new one wins. I love the hilborne (and I also love wooden boats), but I suspect the civia will be easier to live with on a day to day basis, because of the reduced maintenance required.

    I look forward to your experience with this over the next year (and by then the 11-speed shimano should be available for the civia, and my pocketbook will be able to support the cost (and the careful review of the purchase by my wife (grin)).

 
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