Take a look at this bike. With its lugged steel frame, downtube shifters, threaded headset and quill stem, it looks like a 15 or 20 year old road bike, right? Actually it is a brand new 2009 model bike from Fuji (see a better picture here). A couple of people forwarded this to me after seeing it on the Classic Rendezvous listserve. The person who posted on the listserve asked a good question: “Will this be a new trend?”
It seems like a lot of fairly large bike companies are offering steel road bikes that are at least inspired by classic bikes of the 70’s and 80’s. Most of them are not taking the retro design idea this far, but there do seem to be a lot of steel road bikes, many with small diameter frame tubes, which have classic graphic schemes and paint jobs. Cyclelicious posted about the 2009 Bianchi Vigorelli not long ago. Some of the new road bikes from Raleigh have a retro feel as well. Also, the new generation Masi Gran Criteriums have the same graphics as the old Gran Crits from the 1970’s. There are many other examples that I could list, but you get the idea. Along the same lines, I mentioned Renaissance Bicycles last week, a company that updates classic lugged steel frames with modern components. So what do you think? Is this a trend we are going to see a lot of? Are we going to start seeing more “mass produced” lugged steel frames from big companies?
I know from my limited eBay sales that classic items (like the 80’s Pinarello that I just sold) generate a lot of views and activity at auction. Obviously that is because the supply of classic bikes and components is limited, but I do expect to see more retro designs on the market in the future as new people become interested in shopping for a new bike. So what do you think? Will we see many more new bikes like this soon or is this Fuji going to be it? I don’t know, but I might have to dig through my parts bins soon for all those old downtube shifters that have settled to the bottom . It will be time to get those listed on eBay soon.