Is the tide turning ?

Be warned this contains modern equipment .

My First Ian May

For the past 8 years I have mainly ridden , bought and sold retro steel road bikes , you all know the sort I mean . The ones with a gear selection like an old 1960’s Austin Mini where you stirred the lever and hopefully ended up selecting the correct gear , I know it’s not quite as bad as that , but yes I mean bikes which mainly had down tube gear levers and friction type rather than the 80’s onward indexed ones .

Motobecane Levers


I also still think that bikes fitted with 27″ wheels just seem to ride that bit nicer than ones equipped with 700c wheels , I understand and accept that a lot of this is down to the slightly wider profile tyres that absorb a lot more of the undulations in the road surfaces .

Motobecane Mirage

It was about this time last year when I bought a very nice and tidy Tange tubed framed  road bike that made me realise that not all steel framed bikes had to be equipped with old fashioned technology and if they had modern technology fitted they were not the creation of the devil .


The bike in question was this Butterworth branded machine that the previous owner had bought as a New Old Stock frameset then built it up using modern components including things like Sti levers , dual action calipers and more than 10 gears to play with .


The last couple of months have seen a few more steel framed bikes that have been fitted with modern components owned and ridden with great enjoyment by myself , so I can honestly say at this moment of time I think these bikes are just as enjoyable to ride as any old 10 speed steel machine ever was  .



4 thoughts on “Is the tide turning ?

  1. So, you’ve seen the light. While most of my collection is very old school, you can’t beat the efficiency of indexed gearing, especially on a MTB. If I just want a fast ride or to run a simple errand, or do some trail riding, I go with indexed shifting. If I want to enjoy the ride as well as sharpen my senses and coordination, I’ll use old style.



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