Saturday, March 1, 2014

Priorities: A Cool Old Poster

I've never owned a Klein, but I have this poster hanging on the wall in my classroom:

Priorities: from the mid-80s.

There was a time when I would probably have really liked having a Klein, even though I've always really loved lugged steel frames (I do have a bit of a weight weenie past, but I gave that up a long time ago). And I think this is old enough to still qualify for Retrogrouch status. Besides, that bike has a really interesting mix of great 80s components. Campagnolo C-Record crank, SunTour Superbe Pro derailleurs, DiaCompe Aero Gran Compe brakes (tiny little super-short reach racing brakes), Modolo levers, and more -- It's a reminder that even as late as the mid-80s, one could find high-end bikes with a mix of components instead of the ubiquitous Shimano groups. You could do that back then, as parts didn't have to "match" in order to work together. One could get pretty creative when building up a bike, choosing whatever parts one believed were best for the intended purpose, whether selecting for weight, or durability, or service-ability, or whatever -- regardless of brand. In those days, for instance, it was completely normal to see an otherwise all-Campagnolo racing bike built up with Simplex Retrofriction shift levers, or maybe even SunTour's power ratchet bar-ends. Creative builders would do much more.

About the poster, I've also just always loved the "changing priorities" concept. Although I don't think Klein was intending the poster to make a social statement about our car-dominated culture, it does seem to do that anyhow.

Last note -- an interesting detail. One can look at this poster and obviously conclude that they simply took a photo of a Porsche with a bike mounted upside down on a roof rack, then just flipped the photo over. Of course. But somebody paid enough attention to the details to make sure that the toe-clip pedals stayed flipped the right way. The way the pedals are hanging in the photo is correct for an upright bicycle. Nifty.

Just a short post today.

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