Bike repairs and the 1980s...

Cp40Carl

Über Member
Location
Wirral, England
How is it that when I was a young lad in the 1980s I practically lived on my bike (for the record, a Brown Bros Vindec Racer...cool). At that time, I must have clocked up thousands of cycle miles, in all weather conditions, although never replaced a single chain, brake cable or gear cable. I also had and perhaps only 2 to 3 punctures over the space of many years. These days it seems that bike chains, tyres, cables and even seats have to be replaced every few months.

Motor cars seem to be in reverse to this; back in the 1980s they were very unreliable and you had to constantly feed them WD40 on winter mornings and mess about with feeler gauges and replace batteries, bulbs and other parts every few weeks. In comparison, modern day cars tend to just 'work' with seemingly little or no maintenance.

So, what do we learn from this? Are the car designers and builders in the 1980s now designing modern day bikes following their retirement (with final salary pension schemes)? At the same time, are the bike builders of the 1980s perhaps now designing and building the reliable modern cars of today (with a feeble pension to look forward to when they reach the same age as Master Yoda)?

Maybe I've just had a long day at work? It could be that I need to get a glass of white wine in my hand?
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I sometimes wonder this. I was a fettling fan back in the 70s/80s, and was forever regreasing bearings or taking the chain off and cleaning it and so on, but I never used to replace stuff as a matter of course. Certainly not chains. As for punctures. they just didn't happen, I simply can't remember getting one out on the road. Sometimes you'd find your tyre flat having deflated slowly. Perhaps it was the lower tyre pressures and tyres that all looked like Marathon pluses.
 
Ahh, happy days balancing the choke and throttle on cold winter mornings, get it wrong and the plugs got flooded. The lost art of real driving. I know what you mean though. I had a Puch Pursuit, did hundreds if not thousands of miles on that in my teens. Plastic saddle, 5 speed, never replaced a chain, derailleur, bottom bracket or much of anything really. And you're right I never really had many punctures.
 

subaqua

What’s the point
Location
Leytonstone
How is it that when I was a young lad in the 1980s I practically lived on my bike (for the record, a Brown Bros Vindec Racer...cool). At that time, I must have clocked up thousands of cycle miles, in all weather conditions, although never replaced a single chain, brake cable or gear cable. I also had and perhaps only 2 to 3 punctures over the space of many years. These days it seems that bike chains, tyres, cables and even seats have to be replaced every few months.

Motor cars seem to be in reverse to this; back in the 1980s they were very unreliable and you had to constantly feed them WD40 on winter mornings and mess about with feeler gauges and replace batteries, bulbs and other parts every few weeks. In comparison, modern day cars tend to just 'work' with seemingly little or no maintenance.

So, what do we learn from this? Are the car designers and builders in the 1980s now designing modern day bikes following their retirement (with final salary pension schemes)? At the same time, are the bike builders of the 1980s perhaps now designing and building the reliable modern cars of today (with a feeble pension to look forward to when they reach the same age as Master Yoda)?

Maybe I've just had a long day at work? It could be that I need to get a glass of white wine in my hand?
nah. its the white wine you need.

we tend to tinker with bikes more because cars got so complex .
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
I suspect rose-tinted specs. Tyres were a lot heavier and slower in those days (which is why roadmen used tubs, even for club-runs). Being lazy I do tend to run my chains and cassettes to destruction, and I get thousands of miles out of them. The fixed, of course, is the nearest to maintenance-free. I choose my tyres carefully and don't ride through stuff blindly; I get one or two punctures a year at most.
 

S.Giles

Guest
Many (particularly expensive) modern bikes are built to be ultra light weight, and it seems reasonable that ruggedness may have suffered as a result. Also, some contributors on this board have (IMHO) a tendency to be incredibly over-fussy about maintenance. My bike stays outside in all weathers and doesn't show any ill-effects as a result, given a little regular lubrication, adjustment, etc.

I recently rode my old bike which had been left outside unused for over a year. The chain needed to be un-seized with WD-40 and the tyres pumped-up but after that it was still ridable and actually felt pretty good.

The puncture thing I can't comment on. I get very few punctures now, and seem to remember getting very few in the eighties.
 

paddypete

Guest
Location
cumbernauld
like i said,modern bikes are all high priced crap,made to be thrown away,get yourselfs a good old raleigh,thay'r made to last
 

Gravity Aided

Legendary Member
Location
Land of Lincoln
College student bicycles seem to work, they are outside in all weathers and neglected to a fault. Here, they are sometimes buried under snow for a month or two. Then they get abandoned and wind up in a pile to be given away, after some fettling, of course.
 

Shut Up Legs

Down Under Member
I suspect rose-tinted specs. Tyres were a lot heavier and slower in those days (which is why roadmen used tubs, even for club-runs). Being lazy I do tend to run my chains and cassettes to destruction, and I get thousands of miles out of them. The fixed, of course, is the nearest to maintenance-free. I choose my tyres carefully and don't ride through stuff blindly; I get one or two punctures a year at most.
Agreed. I think tyres were larger and heavier, thus fewer punctures. I also don't recall doing much maintenance on the bikes I used to have decades ago. I needed less maintenance myself all those years ago, too. :rolleyes:
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Why is this thread titled "1980s"? Back in the 1960s I had a series of hand-me-down Raleigh roadsters that were too big for me and never seemed to need any maintenance, despite being dumped in the garden every night nd ridden for miles over country lanes.

In 1975/6 I worked in the factory in Darlaston where Brown Brothers/Vindec bikes were manufactured and I can tell you that the OP is deluded as they were utter garbage by comparison with a 50s or 60s roadster..
 
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