I sometimes wonder about what we will oggle and lust after in a decade’s time. I mean, I can see and understand vintage today. The steel frames and variations on components that has dotted the past. The range of frame builders and the experimentation in design. And then I look at cycling today and what will be on show all too soon.
Walking a vintage market reminds me of my past, the bikes I bought, the bikes I wanted, the bikes my heroes rode. Today, with the surfeit of carbon fibre, I wonder if I will have the same sense of attachment to the past as I have with steel frames and evolution of technology.
Then some common sense starts to reappear. In the past decades,. our scope of competitive cytclihjg was limited to road and track racing. If vintage remains fixed to competitive rides, then there is a broad reach of cycling that has yet to find a place in the vintage displays. Mountain bikes are now ultra-competive, adding new leaps in technology every year. Or the descent bikes that offer the most trilling YouTube videos. Triathlon rides and their camel pack hydration systems, ultra-distance riders and their changing specifications. All these will have their place in vintage markets as the next generation looks for their history.
Then there are points of familiarity to my generation. Bikes have become increasingly focused. Where racers used to use their road bikes for time trials, now every amateur cyclist seems to have dedicated machines.
Or the return to steel manufacturing as there is an increasing number of custom frame builders creating special steeds for the enthusiasts.
As road racing seems to have hit some kind of pinnacle (and I will be proven so very wrong on this point), competitive cycling has opened into a wide range of sports that will become part of our cycling past. And vintage markets will expand further and further from the limited scope of road and track racing of the past decades.
Pretty soon, vintage markets will host a range of bikes that will seem almost alien to my past. Much like the guys who visited Stalen Ros and remembered their cork-sealed water bottles who now see their sport develop to electronic gearing. It must have been an impossible vision in their day.