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Old Puch or new roadbike?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm getting back into cycling after a long absence. I've ordered a
Trek 7300 fx to ride with my son, who enjoys the dirt bike paths we
have around here, but I wondering how much the technology has changed
for road bikes. I have a Puch I bought in about '81. I don't remember
the model. It has a Reynold 531 frame, but does not have camp.
components. (It was probably the least expensive Puch with a Reynolds
531 frame when I purchased it. Cost was about $700.)

My question is how that bike would compare to a, say, $1000 road bike
now (The Trek 1500, for example?) Is there enough performance
difference to be worth buying a new bike, or should I ride my Puch
until it falls apart? :-)

Thanks,

Sean.
post #2 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

Send me your Puch. I'll give it a thorough evaluation.
post #3 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

In article <1121708594.986943.98440@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
Carp <slgilley@gmail.com> wrote:
>My question is how that bike would compare to a, say, $1000 road bike
>now (The Trek 1500, for example?) Is there enough performance
>difference to be worth buying a new bike, or should I ride my Puch
>until it falls apart? :-)


Newer entry-level bikes will weigh around 5 pounds less than mid-range
bikes from 20 years ago. That's not a huge difference, unless you are
really fit and climbing a mountain (think Tour de France).

Modern bikes also have indexed shifting, which is convenient if you
regularly miss shifts with your old down downtube shifters. Not many
other big changes since then.

I recommend tuning up your old bike (new oil/grease, new tires) and
just riding it. If your fitness improves, you can think about getting
a new bike at that time.
post #4 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 10:43:15 -0700, Carp wrote:

> I'm getting back into cycling after a long absence. I've ordered a
> Trek 7300 fx to ride with my son, who enjoys the dirt bike paths we
> have around here, but I wondering how much the technology has changed
> for road bikes. I have a Puch I bought in about '81. I don't remember
> the model. It has a Reynold 531 frame, but does not have camp.
> components. (It was probably the least expensive Puch with a Reynolds
> 531 frame when I purchased it. Cost was about $700.)
>
> My question is how that bike would compare to a, say, $1000 road bike
> now (The Trek 1500, for example?)


As mentioned, a new bike in that price range will probably weigh 4-5
pounds less. Now, is that significant? Depends. You do have to carry all
the weight up the hill with you.

Performancewise, the new components, even cheap ones, are far better than
the best 1981 components. This goes not just for derailleurs, but also
brakes, hubs, bottom bracket, and pedals. If that Puch was low-end, so
that it would have Simplex (or worse, Huret) derailleurs, then it would
also have poorer hubs, rims, and probably brakes. New brakes stay
aligned, squeak less, and are easier to adjust. Old ones often rub on the
rim, and the levers are less comfortable. Saddles that came on bikes of
that range and era were not as comfortable as what you can get now.

But the new bits that are the best are the integrated indexed shifters
(STI or Campy Ergo), and clipless pedals. They make a huge difference.

If you wanted to ride on the road a lot (more than a few hundred miles per
year), you would want to look into upgrading all these components.
Chances are that mid- or low-range Puch is not that great a frame to spend
all that on upgraded parts. Probably cheaper to get a new bike. Keep the
Puch for nostalgia, rain riding, or fixed-gear conversion.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all
_`\(,_ | mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so
(_)/ (_) | that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am
nothing. [1 Corinth. 13:2]
post #5 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

Carp wrote:

> I'm getting back into cycling after a long absence.
> ...
> I have a Puch I bought in about '81. I don't remember the model.
> It has a Reynold 531 frame, but does not have camp. components.
> (It was probably the least expensive Puch with a Reynolds
> 531 frame when I purchased it. Cost was about $700.)


Seven hundred bucks was high zoot in 1981, when you could buy a good
bike for $250 and and an excellent one for $500.

> Is there enough performance difference to be worth buying a new
> bike, or should I ride my Puch until it falls apart?


Ride the Puch.

--
"Bicycling is a healthy and manly pursuit with much
to recommend it, and, unlike other foolish crazes,
it has not died out." -- The Daily Telegraph (1877)
post #6 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

"Carp" wrote...
> I'm getting back into cycling after a long absence. I've ordered a
> Trek 7300 fx to ride with my son, who enjoys the dirt bike paths we
> have around here, but I wondering how much the technology has changed
> for road bikes. I have a Puch I bought in about '81. I don't remember
> the model. It has a Reynold 531 frame, but does not have camp.
> components. (It was probably the least expensive Puch with a Reynolds
> 531 frame when I purchased it. Cost was about $700.)
>
> My question is how that bike would compare to a, say, $1000 road bike
> now (The Trek 1500, for example?) Is there enough performance
> difference to be worth buying a new bike, or should I ride my Puch
> until it falls apart? :-)
>
> Thanks,
>
> Sean.
>

If you don't want the frame, send it to me.

Like a few people have said, components have gotten (mostly) better, frames
aren't what they used to be. For $1000 you could put awfully nice modern
components on that bike and have the best of both worlds.

I would tune the bike up, replace parts as they wear out, and ride the Puch
as long as you can.

Modern dual pivot brakes are a dramatic improvement over old style
sidepulls, so that's one potential upgrade. Levers don't have to be changed
unless you like the looks of concealed/aerodynamic brake cables.

Cassette rear hubs are more durable and much easier to maintain (spoke
replacement, hub overhaul, cog replacement) than the old screw-on
freewheels, so that's another potential upgrade. You'll have to widen the
rear dropouts to accomodate the 130 mm axle in your old 126 mm frame or face
a struggle to get the wheel in and out every time you flat the rear tire,
but that's easy to do on a steel frame. 8 or 9 cogs in back are more fun
than the 5 or 6 (or 7?) that your Puch came with, but it's no big deal. If
you go this route you'll probably need a new derailleur with a wider range
of motion to cover 8 or 9 cogs. New rear derailleurs shift much, much better
than anything that was around in 1981. Your old friction levers may or may
not pull enough cable to shift across 8 or 9 cogs. Indexed downtube/barcon
shifters are still around, or you could splurge on integrated shifter/brake
levers.

Some of the changes in bike technology represent genuine improvements, but a
lot of changes are an attempt by component makers to force bike makers to
spec an entire system of components from one company (especially that
Japanese company that starts with an S) instead of picking and choosing the
parts they think will work best. This means that you, the consumer, have to
buy an entire system of components in order to upgrade the drive train of an
older bike instead of just replacing one or two parts. That's great for that
company that starts with an S, but not so great for the consumer IMHO.

(rant over)

If you liked your Puch back in '81 you'll probably still like it today, and
a $1000 modern road bike isn't going to change your life.
--
mark
post #7 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 23:27:30 +0000, mark wrote:

> If you don't want the frame, send it to me.
>
> Like a few people have said, components have gotten (mostly) better, frames
> aren't what they used to be.


I don't believe that at all. I have a 30-year-old frame, and a 2-year-old
frame. The 30-year-old is my rain bike, since the bare frame weighs two
pounds more than my Habanero and is neither as stiff nor as "lively"
(whatever that means, it's real).

> For $1000 you could put awfully nice modern
> components on that bike and have the best of both worlds.


For $1000 you can have someone else assemble a bike that will weigh 4 lbs
less than what you have now.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Let's not escape into mathematics. Let's stay with reality. --
_`\(,_ | Michael Crichton
(_)/ (_) |
post #8 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

"David L. Johnson" wrote
> I don't believe that at all. I have a 30-year-old frame, and a 2-year-old
> frame. The 30-year-old is my rain bike, since the bare frame weighs two
> pounds more than my Habanero and is neither as stiff nor as "lively"
> (whatever that means, it's real).


Which steel is your 30 yr old frame made of? the OP mentioned Reynolds 531,
which was one of the better grades of steel tubing available in 1981. He
also mentioned $700, which was a relatively high price for a bicycle back
then.
--
mark
post #9 of 9

Re: Old Puch or new roadbike?

On Thu, 21 Jul 2005 04:57:03 +0000, mark wrote:

>
>
>
> "David L. Johnson" wrote
>> I don't believe that at all. I have a 30-year-old frame, and a 2-year-old
>> frame. The 30-year-old is my rain bike, since the bare frame weighs two
>> pounds more than my Habanero and is neither as stiff nor as "lively"
>> (whatever that means, it's real).

>
> Which steel is your 30 yr old frame made of?


Reynolds 531 as well, double-butted. These things were nice frames, but
not magical.

> the OP mentioned Reynolds 531,
> which was one of the better grades of steel tubing available in 1981. He
> also mentioned $700, which was a relatively high price for a bicycle back
> then.


He also seemed unsure of that, and since it did not come with any Campy
components, I'd doubt that it was that high-end.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Let's not escape into mathematics. Let's stay with reality. --
_`\(,_ | Michael Crichton
(_)/ (_) |
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