Advantages of upgrading, or am I just looking for ways to spend money?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by McSpin, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. McSpin

    McSpin New Member

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    I'm getting back into cycling after a 20 year hiatus. I have an older bike that was used fairly heavily for a few years and then was stored for the past 20. Maybe this is all I need, but I'm curious as to how it compares to what is now on the market, and if an upgrade or a whole new bike could be easily justified.

    I recently bought a trainer and have been using this bike in my basement for the past 2 months. I believe I'll stick with it and use cycling as a way to obtain a particular fitness level. I doubt I'll ever race, but who knows what this may lead to. I was never super happy with my old bike, because I felt the frame was a bit too large and heavy. It is 35" from the floor to the top tube and although I can stand over it, I couldn't lift the bike more than 1/2" at the most. Weight is 26 lbs. I guess I also don't relish the thought of being "left in the dust" when riding with friends, if a new bike will mean that I don't get left quite so far behind.

    I'm not going spend more than $1000 for a new bike, so keep that in mind when comparing something to my old one. It was made by Nishiki (1979)and has a Cro-moly double butted tange frame. Just about everything on it is a Shimano 600 component, which I believe was fairly good stuff in it's day. Pedals are the old toe strap type, so those at least should be upgraded.

    So, what do you think, should I upgrade particular componets, buy a new (under $1000) bike, or stick with what I have? I appreciate any opinions.
     
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  2. strummer_fan

    strummer_fan New Member

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    My story is almost the same as yours. I got back into riding after 20 years, and didn't feel like spending a ton, so I got an older Cannondale that was the same technology I was used to from when I stopped riding. Older Shimano 600, 6 speed rear freewhel, downtube friction shifters, etc.

    I started logging hundreds of miles, but found that when I did need a part or wanted to upgrade something, or needed to swap out something to adjust for fit; Almost no bike shops had parts to fit it. If it weren't for a great old shop in Pittsburgh (where I lived at the time), I would have had trouble finding decent parts just to keep it on the road.

    The main advantage to buying a newer bike (from my experience) is that everything has changed so much: (headsets, stems, bottom brackets, cassettes vs. freewheels, integrated indexed shifting vs. friction, number of gears available, as well as frame dropout spacing). They shift better, offer great value, and the parts are readily available. I dropped 800 dollars on a Bianchi Eros w/ Campagnolo Mirage components and it is serving me well.

    The main complaint I have about the new road bikes typically for sale is that they are almost all targeted towards the look / style / riding position of the Pro Tour riders. Aggressive frame angles, low handlebar / stem heights, etc.)

    There seems to be no room for the high-quality lightweight bike, that is set up to ride a bit more relaxed, but still somewhat agressive.

    Oh well. Good Luck and welcome back to riding. It's nice to hear I'm not the only one!
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Take a look at the Specialized Roubiax and Trek Pilots, among others.
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    why spend alot of money upgrading an old frame that does not fit.You had a decent bike in it's day.That was 25 years ago. Keep it for a beater or traner.
     
  5. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    I went through this a couple years ago, although my hiatus was only about 7-8 years and the bike I was "dusting off" was only about 11 years at the time, so it was fairly compatible with more recent bikes (i.e. cassette, 700 cm rims, 130 mm rear spacing). I dropped too much money upgrading (namely 8 speed downtube to 9 speed STI shifters and rear derailleur), but I got the cycling-bug bad, and after a couple thousand miles I treated myself to a new ride, The money I spent upgrading, could have gone toward my new purchase and in retrospect, I'm sure I would have been fine with the 8 speed since I didn't start racing until the next season.
    My advice would be to get it tuned and make sure you have some good tires on it, and get some clipless pedals. Ride it through '05 and if you find you enjoy the sport, treat yourself to a new bike next year. By waiting you have some time to figure out what you really want and you won't waste money on upgrades for a nice, but outdated frame. Plus you'll get pretty strong this year riding that 26 lb'er. Just my .02. Good luck!
    Pete
    :cool:
     
  6. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Man, us 'take a slight break from cycling' types are coming out of the woodwork. I took 18 years off...

    Fact is, about the only classic bike components you can find at all these days are Campy Nuovo or Super Record - old Shimano gear just doesn't turn up much. Search the bike parts section on ebay - not much available. And most of the components made back then aren't compatible with current components or bikes, so when you break parts, replacements are harder to find. Buying a bike component by component is an expensive way to get an average bike.

    $1k will buy you a very nice road bike today - 20-22 pound range, 9 speeds on the back, indexed shifters, 700c clincher wheels. I'm a bit partial to LeMond bikes, very smooth ride, but any of the major makers in that price range are good... Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, LeMond, Klein, what have you.

    I think Pete's suggestion is the best - ride the Nishiki until something breaks or you just get the urge to get a better bike. I rode a MTB with slicks for about five months until I just had to get a good road bike. Couldn't ride the MTB on the road for any real distance without getting a sore back - wrong seating position - and it handled like a truck, anyway. Bought a carbon frame, built it up the way I wanted, and have been on that bike almost every weekend for the past two years. Only parts I've replaced are upgrades - better saddle, handlebars, etc... I ended up spending almost $3k on that bike, but it was worth every penny.

    About the only nice thing I noticed after 18 years off is that I can afford a better bike this time around.
     
  7. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Agreed. Not everyone wants to be the next Lance wannabe. I ended up getting a Specialized Sequoia Elite. It's not a high end bike compared to some of these newer rigs but I can actually ride it without being in pain.

    Like boudreaux says the Specialized Roubiax and Trek Pilots are geared for a less aggressive riding posture. At the lower end of the spectrum are the Giant OCR series and the Trek 1000C and 1200C bikes.
     
  8. davidbod

    davidbod New Member

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    A new $1,000 bike will be much better than your existing bike and will fit if you get the right shop to fit you correctly. The integrated shifters and brakes alone are miles ahead of your older bike.
     
  9. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    I agree with what some of the others here have said. Bikes have come a long way over the last 20 years! For $1000 you could buy a bike that you'll find to be much nicer than your old bike and you'll probably want to ride more for that reason. I'd leave the old bike on the trainer and get a new one for riding on the road. It's definitely not worth upgrading your old bike. Welcome back to cycling and good luck!
     
  10. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    What a load of baloney. It's pre index.Almost anything will work as replacement,even current derailers and cranks.
     
  11. McSpin

    McSpin New Member

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    Thanks for all the replys. Several things were mentioned that I hadn't considered. I suppose the old bike would make a good trainer and bad weather, poor-roads bike. I'm not overly concerned about something breaking. I haven't found that to be much of a problem in the past and if it gets to the point where I can't replace a part - well that's the best excuse in the world to get a new bike (my wife prefers I have a good excuse when I get my toys).

    If as many have suggested, the new bikes are just that much better, then I can't see myself riding long before I just gotta have one of them. Sounds like I better cut to the chase and start the search process.

    So, to start out, would most suggest taking a look at the aluminum frames or would I be better off sticking with steel (50 year old body that is starting seeing the effects of arthritis)? I must say that the thought of riding in a more comfortable position sounds inviting. I'll have to check out the Trek Pilot and Specialized Roubiax.
     
  12. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Yeah another vote of confidence for the Roubaix composite, it's like butter. Another in the similar comfortable geometry/stable/feels great category would be Giant's OCR.
     
  13. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Good luck finding either one of those bikes for under $1000. It just ain't gonna happen unless by chance you find a super deal on a last year's model. Even the aluminum base model Roubaix has an MSRP of $1600. The next step up is the carbon fiber Roubaix Elite Double which has an MSRP of $2200.

    An aluminum base model Pilot 2.1 is closer at $1,319.99. It has 105 components which are pretty decent so it's a little closer to the ballpark. The next step up is the carbon fiber Pilot 5.1 at $2,339.99. Quite a jump but carbon fiber frames don't come cheap.

    The Giant OCR1 has an MSRP of $1000 and it has Ultegra shifters and R. derailleur. If I were looking at buying a new bike today I'd give this one a thorough testing. The '05 models don't have the adjustable stems like the '04 models did but that's an easy, low cost swap out and it will give you more options on riding position.

    The '05 Sequoia Elite has an MSRP of $1300. At that price I'd probably lean more toward the OCR1. I bought the '04 model for $1100. It actually has an Octalink bottom bracket and crank as opposed to the square taper on the newer model. My Sequoia is actually more comfortable than my MTB which has a farily upright riding position.

    Your next step (after convincing the missus, of course) is to test out as many bikes as you can and get one that has a proper fit. Should you end up with a bike that has a more agressive riding posture and you are miserable riding it you may not be as happy with it and you may be less likely to stick with cycling even after your 20 year hiatus.

    Good luck and welcome back.
     
  14. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Dr. Morbius why'd you have to go and do a thing like bring budget back into the discussion?!? ;) OK yeah those models aren't in the 1k range for sure if that's the budget. It's so much more fun to spend 3k tho...
     
  15. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Sorry 'bout that. :eek: I'll be more careful next time.

    Just didn't want the poor fellow to have his bubble busted when he went to his LBS and got a case of sticker shock. :eek:
     
  16. McSpin

    McSpin New Member

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    I figured I'd make an update on what happened. I enjoyed riding my old bike for most of the summer. I know biking is something I will continue since it has been such a positive thing for my health and well being. I have now retired the old bike to the trainer and for banging around town.

    When searching for a new bike, I looked at quite a few bikes, and found that I couldn't get much for my $1000 at the local bike shops. I ended up buying a bike off the internet. For $1050 I got new road bike with an aluminum frame, carbon fork and seat stays, and full Shimano Ultegra components. The bike rides like a dream. It's not a name brand frame, but I've never been one that had to have name brands. I test road some name brands and this one rides better than any that I tried. Of course, the ones I tested, were Shimano 105 and lesser components.

    The important thing is that I'm now even more motivated to ride and it has caused me to become more fit than I've been in over 15 years.
     
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