Evaulating a bike

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Paul Cassel, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    I’m riding a borrowed bike named a Giordana Spica. It was lent to me by
    a friend who bought the entire bike for a few components. He lent it to
    me for my use while he slowly assembles the rest of the parts he’s
    looking for to build a new bike for himself.

    I may have a chance to buy this bike sometime later on either whole or
    by replacing the few components he bought the entire bike for thus
    leaving me with the parts he regards as surplus (such as frame and forks).

    I’ve done some research on this bike learning it was a private label
    built in Italy during the 80’s and named after the importer (feminized
    name). It’s built of quality steel tubing and fits me fairly well – or
    about as well as a standard bike will. By today’s standards, it’s heavy
    at 22+ lbs.

    My buddy is biased toward older bikes waxing wonderful about older bikes
    and generally acts somewhat skeptical about the newer ones. He is an
    expert – no doubt of that – but all experts have their biases. For
    example, at a recent bike swap, he went nuts about some bike from the
    late 70’s because someone had done something or another on that model,
    but to me, it was just an old bike. Lacking the heritage, I can’t enjoy
    the antiques.

    I’ve grown to enjoy road riding quite a bit and want a bike for myself.
    So my question is if I try to buy this bike from him or move to a newer
    bike. I have no idea if technology has moved forward enough lately to
    buy something new or if the new tech, like Ti, carbon and the new Al’s
    are really superior to this bike’s heavier steel core. How does one
    evaluate a bike? I do understand gradations in componentry like Dura-Ace
    beats a 105 (even if I’m not entirely clear on nuances) – that’s easy.
    What I don’t understand is how one evaluates the fundamentals of a bike.
    Specifically, is an older (20+) years frameset dated? Does it work less
    well compared to a newer bike? Has technology made significant progress
    which, if I bought newer, would make me a happier or faster (or both?)
    rider? The new bikes I look at in bike shops weigh 4 to 6 lbs less than
    my current ride. That strikes me as a LOT, but does that translate into
    a better ride?

    I ask this because I know some pursuits are equipment dependent. For
    example, years ago, my late wife (died young) who was a superb skier
    wanted me to ski too. I bought $10 equipment and didn’t think much of
    it. She badgered me into buying top of the line stuff which made skiing
    for me much more interesting and easier. OTOH, some pursuits are
    equipment independent so those who buy fancy or new are more posers than
    beneficiaries.

    So I ask this group – is there anything new under the sun which is
    significant in bike tech which would cause me to be happier on a new
    tech bike such as the Giant OCR1 composite which is what I’m considering?

    If there is a link to a ‘bike evaluation’ article, I’d appreciate it.
    Thanks.
     
    Tags:


  2. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    Paul Cassel wrote:

    > Specifically, is an older (20+) years frameset dated? Does it work less well compared to a newer bike?


    There are pros and cons to using an older frame. Not knowing the
    specifics of this particular frame makes commenting difficult. Can you
    post a photo?

    I wouldn't worry too much about weight. What matters is the combined
    weight of the bike and rider (and the bike is a small fraction of the
    total).

    It's possible that this frame has a somewhat longer wheelbase and more
    tire clearance than modern bikes, and those are good things. I happen
    to like the looks of lugged steel frames.

    Modern bikes will have more gears, and brake/shift levers that allow
    precise shifts without taking a hand off the bars. An old steel bike
    can be retofitted with a moden drivetrain and shifters.

    If you like the frame, if it fits you well, and if the price is right,
    buying it could be a smart move.

    You should probably visit a LBS and see what's available new before
    making a decision.

    Art Harris
     
  3. Paul Cassel wrote:
    > I'm riding a borrowed bike named a Giordana Spica. It was lent to me by
    > a friend who bought the entire bike for a few components. He lent it to
    > me for my use while he slowly assembles the rest of the parts he's
    > looking for to build a new bike for himself.
    >
    > I may have a chance to buy this bike sometime later on either whole or
    > by replacing the few components he bought the entire bike for thus
    > leaving me with the parts he regards as surplus (such as frame and forks).
    >
    > I've done some research on this bike learning it was a private label
    > built in Italy during the 80's and named after the importer (feminized
    > name). It's built of quality steel tubing and fits me fairly well - or
    > about as well as a standard bike will. By today's standards, it's heavy
    > at 22+ lbs.
    >
    > My buddy is biased toward older bikes waxing wonderful about older bikes
    > and generally acts somewhat skeptical about the newer ones. He is an
    > expert - no doubt of that - but all experts have their biases. For
    > example, at a recent bike swap, he went nuts about some bike from the
    > late 70's because someone had done something or another on that model,
    > but to me, it was just an old bike. Lacking the heritage, I can't enjoy
    > the antiques.
    >
    > I've grown to enjoy road riding quite a bit and want a bike for myself.
    > So my question is if I try to buy this bike from him or move to a newer
    > bike. I have no idea if technology has moved forward enough lately to
    > buy something new or if the new tech, like Ti, carbon and the new Al's
    > are really superior to this bike's heavier steel core. How does one
    > evaluate a bike? I do understand gradations in componentry like Dura-Ace
    > beats a 105 (even if I'm not entirely clear on nuances) - that's easy.
    > What I don't understand is how one evaluates the fundamentals of a bike.
    > Specifically, is an older (20+) years frameset dated? Does it work less
    > well compared to a newer bike? Has technology made significant progress
    > which, if I bought newer, would make me a happier or faster (or both?)
    > rider? The new bikes I look at in bike shops weigh 4 to 6 lbs less than
    > my current ride. That strikes me as a LOT, but does that translate into
    > a better ride?
    >
    > I ask this because I know some pursuits are equipment dependent. For
    > example, years ago, my late wife (died young) who was a superb skier
    > wanted me to ski too. I bought $10 equipment and didn't think much of
    > it. She badgered me into buying top of the line stuff which made skiing
    > for me much more interesting and easier. OTOH, some pursuits are
    > equipment independent so those who buy fancy or new are more posers than
    > beneficiaries.
    >
    > So I ask this group - is there anything new under the sun which is
    > significant in bike tech which would cause me to be happier on a new
    > tech bike such as the Giant OCR1 composite which is what I'm considering?
    >
    > If there is a link to a 'bike evaluation' article, I'd appreciate it.
    > Thanks.



    Here is my OPINION.

    If you have no money, then finding or borrowing or stealing or buying
    an old bike and enjoying bicycling is great.

    Assuming you have some money, have an interest in riding more than just
    around the block, not particularly enamored with being your own
    mechanic, and have no preconceived bicycling biases, get a new bike.
    Most new bicyclists fit into the description given. Biases and
    mechanical ability come after you are a bicyclist. New bikes work
    great without much fuss and last very well. They are easier to shift
    (Ergo or STI) than the older bikes. And have better gearing (triples
    and wide range cassettes).

    Ride your borrowed bike to a shop and test ride some new bikes. Entry
    level new road bikes start around $600 at bike shops. The main thing
    to compare is how easy it is to shift with new bikes. And ride up a
    steep hill and try the really low gears new bikes have.

    It is possible to change your old borrowed bike to modern gear. But by
    the time you buy the parts and pay a mechanic to do it, you are
    probably half way or more to the cost of a new bike. Even if you learn
    the mechanics yourself, it still costs a bit for the parts. Unless you
    are starting with a valuable old bike, or one that has some sentimental
    value to you, it isn't economic to upgrade run of the mill old bikes
    with new components.
     
  4. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    Art Harris wrote:
    > Paul Cassel wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Specifically, is an older (20+) years frameset dated? Does it work less well compared to a newer bike?

    >
    >
    > There are pros and cons to using an older frame. Not knowing the
    > specifics of this particular frame makes commenting difficult. Can you
    > post a photo?


    Here are some photo links:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0001.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0002.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0003.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0004.jpg
    >
    > I wouldn't worry too much about weight. What matters is the combined
    > weight of the bike and rider (and the bike is a small fraction of the
    > total).
    >

    I'm baffled. All the noise I hear from bike riding folks fusses about
    mass. People seem to pay brutal money for a carbon waterbottle cage over
    a steel one to say, what, 20 g? When I go to an LBS, they go on about
    how neat their 16 lb bikes are and that I can go even lower if I choose
    to. It seems to be the ruling criterion for a bike and here you run
    counter and say don't worry too much about it. I can't reconcile both
    views.

    > It's possible that this frame has a somewhat longer wheelbase and more
    > tire clearance than modern bikes, and those are good things. I happen
    > to like the looks of lugged steel frames.
    >
    > Modern bikes will have more gears, and brake/shift levers that allow
    > precise shifts without taking a hand off the bars. An old steel bike
    > can be retofitted with a moden drivetrain and shifters.


    Is that really worth the bother? These shifters are on the 'down' tube
    (word?) and seem to work ok.
    >
    > If you like the frame, if it fits you well, and if the price is right,
    > buying it could be a smart move.
    >
    > You should probably visit a LBS and see what's available new before
    > making a decision.
    >

    I have visited and not gained much insight which is why I posted here.
    Let me expand a bit. I'm an expert in motorcycles. Today you go to a
    motorcycle store and for a reasonable price ($10k) buy a motorcycle
    which would be competititive in professional road races of 10 years ago.
    There has been that much progress. The motocycles of today are amazing
    compared to those of a decade ago.

    I'm curious to know if similar progress has been made in bicycles. Do
    the bikes of today stand way above those older tech bikes or are the
    changes mostly fashion?
     
  5. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    >
    > Here is my OPINION.
    >
    > If you have no money, then finding or borrowing or stealing or buying
    > an old bike and enjoying bicycling is great.
    >
    > Assuming you have some money, have an interest in riding more than just
    > around the block, not particularly enamored with being your own
    > mechanic, and have no preconceived bicycling biases, get a new bike.
    > Most new bicyclists fit into the description given. Biases and
    > mechanical ability come after you are a bicyclist. New bikes work
    > great without much fuss and last very well. They are easier to shift
    > (Ergo or STI) than the older bikes. And have better gearing (triples
    > and wide range cassettes).
    >
    > Ride your borrowed bike to a shop and test ride some new bikes. Entry
    > level new road bikes start around $600 at bike shops. The main thing
    > to compare is how easy it is to shift with new bikes. And ride up a
    > steep hill and try the really low gears new bikes have.
    >
    > It is possible to change your old borrowed bike to modern gear. But by
    > the time you buy the parts and pay a mechanic to do it, you are
    > probably half way or more to the cost of a new bike. Even if you learn
    > the mechanics yourself, it still costs a bit for the parts. Unless you
    > are starting with a valuable old bike, or one that has some sentimental
    > value to you, it isn't economic to upgrade run of the mill old bikes
    > with new components.
    >


    Thanks. I'm looking for OPINION. I figure that for my first bike, I rely
    on others' opinions and then after riding a while, I'll have my own. I
    don't think it possible that a new guy like me can have much of an
    informed opinion. For example, riding a bike up and down a parking lot
    gives me a rough idea of how it fits, but not how I'll feel after 40
    miles. Also I learned that I can mess with a bike to make it fit me
    better. For example, when I got the borrowed bike, I could only stand
    being on it for .5 hr. I switched the seat with an eBay special,
    adjusted the whole thing, played with it a while and now I have no
    seat/ass issues at all. I can ride 3-4 hours at least enjoying the ride
    100%.

    You have addressed and solved a complete bafflement for me on the old
    bike. It has 45/52 chainrings and a very small cluster (wd for rear
    sprocket grouping?). I guess the bike is geared for going downhill
    because that's the only place I use the 52 ring. So it's a new thing to
    have climbing gears.

    I have three motorcycles so my fiddling urge is satisfied with them. I
    really want to just ride everyday and not screw around adjusting this
    and that which is what I've been doing. I bought a book by Zinn on
    fixing bikes and have been banging away on this bike some, but now seem
    to need about $140 in tools such as cone wrenches to continue.

    I will say that the bike has Dura Ace gear train, but it doesn't really
    shift any better, or stop any better, than my mountain bike which has XT
    and XTR components.

    Do you experts really just take a new bike around a parking lot and then
    decide to spend thousands based on that short ride? There MUST be more
    to it.

    -paul
     
  6. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    Paul Cassel wrote:

    > When I go to an LBS, they go on about how neat their 16 lb bikes are and that I can go even lower if I choose to.


    That's what sells bikes. Depends what you want to do. If you're a CAT 1
    racer, and extemely skinny, a 16 pound bike might make sense. If you're
    a recreational rider looking for exercise and the enjoyment of riding,
    then bike weight isn't a big deal (within reason).

    > Is that really worth the bother? These shifters are on the 'down' tube (word?) and seem to work ok.


    Probably not worth the bother and expense if you're happy with the down
    tube shifters. Just pointing out what you will find on a new bike.

    Need to know what you're going to do with the bike. Race? Easy rides?
    Long hard rides? Solo or group rides?

    Tnx for the photos, but they're kinda "blocky" an hard to see much
    detail

    Art Harris
     
  7. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    Bill Sornson wrote:
    > Paul Cassel wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Here are some photo links:
    >>
    >>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0001.jpg
    >>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0002.jpg
    >>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0003.jpg
    >>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0004.jpg

    >
    >
    > DO'T BUY THAT BIKE! IT'S OUT OF FOCUS!
    >
    > (And what the hell was that last pic?!?)
    >
    >

    <embarass> posted the wrong link. That's my GPS on a motorcycle. Beats
    me why they are so chewed up looking.
     
  8. Paul Cassel wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > Here is my OPINION.
    > >
    > > If you have no money, then finding or borrowing or stealing or buying
    > > an old bike and enjoying bicycling is great.
    > >
    > > Assuming you have some money, have an interest in riding more than just
    > > around the block, not particularly enamored with being your own
    > > mechanic, and have no preconceived bicycling biases, get a new bike.
    > > Most new bicyclists fit into the description given. Biases and
    > > mechanical ability come after you are a bicyclist. New bikes work
    > > great without much fuss and last very well. They are easier to shift
    > > (Ergo or STI) than the older bikes. And have better gearing (triples
    > > and wide range cassettes).
    > >
    > > Ride your borrowed bike to a shop and test ride some new bikes. Entry
    > > level new road bikes start around $600 at bike shops. The main thing
    > > to compare is how easy it is to shift with new bikes. And ride up a
    > > steep hill and try the really low gears new bikes have.
    > >
    > > It is possible to change your old borrowed bike to modern gear. But by
    > > the time you buy the parts and pay a mechanic to do it, you are
    > > probably half way or more to the cost of a new bike. Even if you learn
    > > the mechanics yourself, it still costs a bit for the parts. Unless you
    > > are starting with a valuable old bike, or one that has some sentimental
    > > value to you, it isn't economic to upgrade run of the mill old bikes
    > > with new components.
    > >

    >
    > Thanks. I'm looking for OPINION. I figure that for my first bike, I rely
    > on others' opinions and then after riding a while, I'll have my own. I
    > don't think it possible that a new guy like me can have much of an
    > informed opinion. For example, riding a bike up and down a parking lot
    > gives me a rough idea of how it fits, but not how I'll feel after 40
    > miles. Also I learned that I can mess with a bike to make it fit me
    > better. For example, when I got the borrowed bike, I could only stand
    > being on it for .5 hr. I switched the seat with an eBay special,
    > adjusted the whole thing, played with it a while and now I have no
    > seat/ass issues at all. I can ride 3-4 hours at least enjoying the ride
    > 100%.


    If you can ride 3-4 hours and enjoy the ride 100% then the bike is
    probably about right for you. Probably would not hurt to buy it cheap
    and ride it for a year or two. Old bikes are OK and work well.
    Beginning riders usually find modern handlebar shifting and lots of low
    gears add to the enjoyment.


    >
    > You have addressed and solved a complete bafflement for me on the old
    > bike. It has 45/52 chainrings and a very small cluster (wd for rear
    > sprocket grouping?). I guess the bike is geared for going downhill
    > because that's the only place I use the 52 ring. So it's a new thing to
    > have climbing gears.


    I ride with a 53-42 crankset on my racing style bike. Love the 42. I
    do use bigger cogs in back for the occassional times I need lower gears
    on that bike. Another road bike has a triple crankset so the front
    rings are 52-42-30. More low gears than I need unless I am in the
    mountains, but it does not hurt. The word for the rear gear set is
    either freewheel or cassette. Most likely a freewheel for this bike.
    Big cogs in back for road bikes are about 28 teeth usually. I suspect
    the bike was designed to mimic the pro racing bikes of the times and
    pro racing bikes don't have very low gears.

    Without too much difficulty or money, you could replace the double
    crankset and bottom bracket with a compact (110mm bolt circle diameter)
    and that would give you 50-34 front chainrings. The 34 on front would
    give you fairly low gears without changing anything else.

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=11459&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=12779&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=

    I'm suggesting the compact double crankset instead of a triple
    replacement because there are less parts to change. $100 total and you
    have probably low enough gears. Watch for sales.


    >
    > I have three motorcycles so my fiddling urge is satisfied with them. I
    > really want to just ride everyday and not screw around adjusting this
    > and that which is what I've been doing. I bought a book by Zinn on
    > fixing bikes and have been banging away on this bike some, but now seem
    > to need about $140 in tools such as cone wrenches to continue.


    Bike tools are fairly specialized for working on the headset, hubs,
    bottom bracket, and freewheel/cassette. You can get by with cheap ones
    and get by for maybe $50 total.

    >
    > I will say that the bike has Dura Ace gear train, but it doesn't really
    > shift any better, or stop any better, than my mountain bike which has XT
    > and XTR components.


    If the bike came with Dura Ace in the mid 1980s it may be a higher
    quality frame than I thought. Shifting should be more convenient and
    quicker on the mountain bike due to indexed shifting on the handlebars.
    That is what modern road bikes have with Ergo and STI. It would be
    cost prohibitive to put them on an older bike. Brakes have improved on
    modern bikes. Dual pivot calipers on modern road bikes require less
    force to brake. Your V brakes are likely easier to activate on your
    mountain bikes than the old single pivot calipers on the borrowed road
    bike.


    >
    > Do you experts really just take a new bike around a parking lot and then
    > decide to spend thousands based on that short ride? There MUST be more
    > to it.
    >
    > -paul
     
  9. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    Art Harris wrote:

    >
    > Probably not worth the bother and expense if you're happy with the down
    > tube shifters. Just pointing out what you will find on a new bike.
    >
    > Need to know what you're going to do with the bike. Race? Easy rides?
    > Long hard rides? Solo or group rides?
    >
    > Tnx for the photos, but they're kinda "blocky" an hard to see much
    > detail
    >

    I prefer the shifters on the bar like on my modern mtn bike but have
    been living with them down there like on the old 'english racer 10
    speeds'. My riding is recreational, but I tend to do anything rather
    vigorously.

    Right now, I typically ride 30-40 miles on some hills alternating
    between riding full out hard and recovery days. Being a 40+ I can't
    recover from day after day of hard push like I could when I was a
    distance runner. So I tend to ride hard one day, next day lift in the
    gym, then have a recovery day riding (same distance but slower) with
    some pushes in the ride. Then back to the gym, then a hard day riding.
    Repeat.

    Now hard is different for each of us. I've only been at this a short
    while so my hard 70% effort isn't very fast compared to good riders, I
    know but it is percieved as hard by me.

    I'd like to ride an autumn easy 100 miler. That's my short term goal.
    Long term I'd like to use bicycling as a substitute for distance running
    which I had to quit due to severe arthritis in my feet and knees
    subsequent to injuries. I find the biking helps my very bad left knee.

    Does that give you an idea of my profile? Thanks. -paul
     
  10. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 10:33:49 -0600, Paul Cassel <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Art Harris wrote:
    >> Paul Cassel wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Specifically, is an older (20+) years frameset dated? Does it work less well compared to a newer bike?

    >>
    >>
    >> There are pros and cons to using an older frame. Not knowing the
    >> specifics of this particular frame makes commenting difficult. Can you
    >> post a photo?

    >
    >Here are some photo links:
    >
    >http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0001.jpg
    >http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0002.jpg
    >http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0003.jpg
    >http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/dryadsdad/IMG_0004.jpg



    Those are about useless. Cellphone mount on a motorcycle?

    >> I wouldn't worry too much about weight. What matters is the combined
    >> weight of the bike and rider (and the bike is a small fraction of the
    >> total).
    >>

    >I'm baffled. All the noise I hear from bike riding folks fusses about
    >mass. People seem to pay brutal money for a carbon waterbottle cage over
    >a steel one to say, what, 20 g? When I go to an LBS, they go on about
    >how neat their 16 lb bikes are and that I can go even lower if I choose
    >to. It seems to be the ruling criterion for a bike and here you run
    >counter and say don't worry too much about it. I can't reconcile both
    >views.


    Sure you can. One POV is the guy selling hardware to weight weenies and
    techno-obsessives, the other is of someone who rides a bike a lot and enjoys it.

    If you are even ten pounds overweight there's no point in fussing over the
    bike's weight. In cycling terms you are almost surely at least ten pounds
    overweight unless you're also a Kenyan marathon runner and didn't mention it.

    >> It's possible that this frame has a somewhat longer wheelbase and more
    >> tire clearance than modern bikes, and those are good things. I happen
    >> to like the looks of lugged steel frames.
    >>
    >> Modern bikes will have more gears, and brake/shift levers that allow
    >> precise shifts without taking a hand off the bars. An old steel bike
    >> can be retofitted with a moden drivetrain and shifters.

    >
    >Is that really worth the bother? These shifters are on the 'down' tube
    >(word?) and seem to work ok.


    My main ride is a not quite 20 year old steel frame bike. It's been modernized
    to the extent of adding STI combined shift and brake levers and a stem and
    handlebar setup to suit me.. It's a seven speed bike and I got a great deal on
    the levers and it didn't require any other changes. Otherwise such updates
    aren't usually cost effective.

    Shifting is much, much, much handier, easier and faster with the new levers.
    Other than the initial flush of newness I still tend to drop it into a gear and
    leave it there.

    >> If you like the frame, if it fits you well, and if the price is right,
    >> buying it could be a smart move.
    >>
    >> You should probably visit a LBS and see what's available new before
    >> making a decision.
    >>

    >I have visited and not gained much insight which is why I posted here.
    >Let me expand a bit. I'm an expert in motorcycles. Today you go to a
    >motorcycle store and for a reasonable price ($10k) buy a motorcycle
    >which would be competititive in professional road races of 10 years ago.
    >There has been that much progress. The motocycles of today are amazing
    >compared to those of a decade ago.
    >
    >I'm curious to know if similar progress has been made in bicycles. Do
    >the bikes of today stand way above those older tech bikes or are the
    >changes mostly fashion?


    It's a little difficult to put it in such terms. The bicycle's engine has not
    improved in that time. The brakes were already about as good as they needed to
    be (for road bikes anyway). That leaves shifting and frames. The shifting has
    improved a lot. More gears and a lot easier to get to 'em all. The frames can be
    made lighter, but cannot be made more comfortable. A nice old steel frame rides
    as nicely as anything built now of any material. Go for low weight if you like,
    but you probably won't be faster unless you've already maxed out all your other
    potentials.

    Ron
     
  11. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    RonSonic wrote:

    >
    >
    > Those are about useless. Cellphone mount on a motorcycle?


    GPS. It's a dual purpose bike for road and dirt roads/trails.
    >


    >
    > Sure you can. One POV is the guy selling hardware to weight weenies and
    > techno-obsessives, the other is of someone who rides a bike a lot and enjoys it.
    >
    > If you are even ten pounds overweight there's no point in fussing over the
    > bike's weight. In cycling terms you are almost surely at least ten pounds
    > overweight unless you're also a Kenyan marathon runner and didn't mention it.


    I'm not 10 lbs overweight, but I'm not light either. After I stopped
    running, I took up weightlifting which caused me to grow larger, but not
    fatter. At 175 lbs, I'm very heavy for a bicycler, I suppose. The
    fellows I've seen riding around town on fancy bikes are at least as
    heavy as I am - mostly. I used to look like a Kenyan runner but will not
    go there. I enjoy being able to open up my own jars too much to try.
    >


    >
    > My main ride is a not quite 20 year old steel frame bike. It's been modernized
    > to the extent of adding STI combined shift and brake levers and a stem and
    > handlebar setup to suit me.. It's a seven speed bike and I got a great deal on
    > the levers and it didn't require any other changes. Otherwise such updates
    > aren't usually cost effective.
    >
    > Shifting is much, much, much handier, easier and faster with the new levers.
    > Other than the initial flush of newness I still tend to drop it into a gear and
    > leave it there.


    I definitely do not want to put money into this bike and then give it
    back to my buddy who won't care for my changes. So we'll both lose.
    That's why I posted - I need to make a decison or two here. For example,
    my buddy said the wheels stink so do I put $300 (used) to $600 wheels on
    this bike? If so, I'm committed to riding it if you also add in altering
    the shifters. I don't want to build a house on a poor foundation
    (frameset).

    I'm looking at putting, say, $500 in wheels, and what $300 in shifters /
    other here so it's not like I'm choosing between spending new and
    spending $0 for this bike. I'm going to spend one way or another. I'm
    hoping to optimize my outlay by asking here.
    >


    >
    > It's a little difficult to put it in such terms. The bicycle's engine has not
    > improved in that time. The brakes were already about as good as they needed to
    > be (for road bikes anyway). That leaves shifting and frames. The shifting has
    > improved a lot. More gears and a lot easier to get to 'em all. The frames can be
    > made lighter, but cannot be made more comfortable. A nice old steel frame rides
    > as nicely as anything built now of any material. Go for low weight if you like,
    > but you probably won't be faster unless you've already maxed out all your other
    > potentials.
    >

    The lack of gears is troubling me some. I can't see a cheap way to
    convert the current setup to a modern one even aside from the shifters.
    There is one serious hill on one of my loops. I'm in my lowest gearset
    and standing at about a 15 rpm cadence (so it seems) while others spin
    by me. I think this bike was built for a very strong rider on the flats.
    Even down hills I don't put this in very high gear - that's 30+ mph.
    So I guess this bike is geared for someone who goes even faster. (yikes!)

    My mtn bike is a CAAD frame of Al and I don't like the ride at all on
    pavement. I am steering away from Al due to this. Do road Al bikes ride
    like Al mtn ones? I can't imagine tolerating this sort of harshness for
    100 miles or so.

    -paul
     
  12. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    >
    > If you can ride 3-4 hours and enjoy the ride 100% then the bike is
    > probably about right for you. Probably would not hurt to buy it cheap
    > and ride it for a year or two. Old bikes are OK and work well.
    > Beginning riders usually find modern handlebar shifting and lots of low
    > gears add to the enjoyment.
    >
    >

    That's a good point. I am functioning on this bike ok.
    >


    > I ride with a 53-42 crankset on my racing style bike. Love the 42. I
    > do use bigger cogs in back for the occassional times I need lower gears
    > on that bike. Another road bike has a triple crankset so the front
    > rings are 52-42-30. More low gears than I need unless I am in the
    > mountains, but it does not hurt. The word for the rear gear set is
    > either freewheel or cassette. Most likely a freewheel for this bike.
    > Big cogs in back for road bikes are about 28 teeth usually. I suspect
    > the bike was designed to mimic the pro racing bikes of the times and
    > pro racing bikes don't have very low gears.
    >
    > Without too much difficulty or money, you could replace the double
    > crankset and bottom bracket with a compact (110mm bolt circle diameter)
    > and that would give you 50-34 front chainrings. The 34 on front would
    > give you fairly low gears without changing anything else.
    >
    > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=11459&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=
    >
    > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=12779&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=
    >
    > I'm suggesting the compact double crankset instead of a triple
    > replacement because there are less parts to change. $100 total and you
    > have probably low enough gears. Watch for sales.


    OK, so I'm looking at $500 for the wheels and now a total of $600 which
    I doubt I can ever recover v buying something new. I think your idea of
    the chainring sizes apporpriate. Based on my feel, I 'd like a 36 / 48
    combo leaving the freewheel alone as you say.

    I thought that for about $1000, I could kick some serious ass in the new
    bike dept for a person of my abilities and station in the sport. Am I
    dreaming?
    >


    > Bike tools are fairly specialized for working on the headset, hubs,
    > bottom bracket, and freewheel/cassette. You can get by with cheap ones
    > and get by for maybe $50 total.
    >

    I don't know what those tools are that I need in the form of a list. I'd
    happily spend $50 to be able to work peaceably on my bike, but not sure
    what to get so I was looking at those tool set kits from places like
    Performance or nashbar.
    >
    >>I will say that the bike has Dura Ace gear train, but it doesn't really
    >>shift any better, or stop any better, than my mountain bike which has XT
    >>and XTR components.

    >
    >
    > If the bike came with Dura Ace in the mid 1980s it may be a higher
    > quality frame than I thought. Shifting should be more convenient and
    > quicker on the mountain bike due to indexed shifting on the handlebars.
    > That is what modern road bikes have with Ergo and STI. It would be
    > cost prohibitive to put them on an older bike. Brakes have improved on
    > modern bikes. Dual pivot calipers on modern road bikes require less
    > force to brake. Your V brakes are likely easier to activate on your
    > mountain bikes than the old single pivot calipers on the borrowed road
    > bike.
    >
    >

    Apparently the Dura Ace was added which is what my friend, the bike's
    owner, was after. This bike is a combo of early 80's tech. Some bike
    donated the components, another the frameset. Then someone stripped it
    of some stuff sometimes replacing parts with low quality parts. When I
    got it, it was missing cables and the seat was like from a $10 bike swap
    bike. The handle bars are also very low quality, ditto the seatpost, etc.
    >

    I never have liked the brakes either in design or function. They just do
    not work well. My daughter's cross bike, a Specialized, can do a
    stoppie. I can hardly stop even with them adjusted properly, etc.

    Now I'm in a quandry. You make great points, but also that I'm happily
    riding for hours is a serious consideration. That came from replacing
    then adjusting the seat. Oh, I also got those tight pants. No more chafe.
     
  13. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 10:42:15 -0600, Paul Cassel wrote:

    > I bought a book by Zinn on fixing
    > bikes and have been banging away on this bike some, but now seem to need
    > about $140 in tools such as cone wrenches to continue.


    You can get a bike tool kit from Nashbar for a pittance:

    http://tinyurl.com/azvtq

    $40

    Or get the individual tools you need, I got a Pedros headset spanner, a
    Park cone wrench, and a basic chain tool for under $5usd each in my last
    order.

    If you're using XTR on your mtb--Dura Ace probably isn't going to feel any
    better--but it's going to last a long time, it's quality stuff.

    Replace your brake pads with something like a nice set of Koolstops will
    give you a huge improvement in braking. If they're vintage calipers, the
    Continentals are your better choice. Cheap too, about $8 for two pairs on
    Ebay.

    I've got a motorcycle too, and believe me, it's refreshing to work on
    bicycles in comparison. So, so simple. You can overhaul all your bearings
    and cables on a bike in a couple hours plus or minus beer breaks. Very
    satisfying compared to spending those same hours diagnosing a carb issue.
    LOL
     
  14. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 13:09:29 -0600, Paul Cassel <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >RonSonic wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >> Those are about useless. Cellphone mount on a motorcycle?

    >
    >GPS. It's a dual purpose bike for road and dirt roads/trails.
    >>

    >
    >>
    >> Sure you can. One POV is the guy selling hardware to weight weenies and
    >> techno-obsessives, the other is of someone who rides a bike a lot and enjoys it.
    >>
    >> If you are even ten pounds overweight there's no point in fussing over the
    >> bike's weight. In cycling terms you are almost surely at least ten pounds
    >> overweight unless you're also a Kenyan marathon runner and didn't mention it.

    >
    >I'm not 10 lbs overweight, but I'm not light either. After I stopped
    >running, I took up weightlifting which caused me to grow larger, but not
    >fatter. At 175 lbs, I'm very heavy for a bicycler, I suppose. The
    >fellows I've seen riding around town on fancy bikes are at least as
    >heavy as I am - mostly. I used to look like a Kenyan runner but will not
    >go there. I enjoy being able to open up my own jars too much to try.
    >>


    Then you'll stay heavy by cycling standards and there's no reason to feel bad
    about it. You can still crush them if they give you any crap.

    >>
    >> My main ride is a not quite 20 year old steel frame bike. It's been modernized
    >> to the extent of adding STI combined shift and brake levers and a stem and
    >> handlebar setup to suit me.. It's a seven speed bike and I got a great deal on
    >> the levers and it didn't require any other changes. Otherwise such updates
    >> aren't usually cost effective.
    >>
    >> Shifting is much, much, much handier, easier and faster with the new levers.
    >> Other than the initial flush of newness I still tend to drop it into a gear and
    >> leave it there.

    >
    >I definitely do not want to put money into this bike and then give it
    >back to my buddy who won't care for my changes. So we'll both lose.
    >That's why I posted - I need to make a decison or two here. For example,
    >my buddy said the wheels stink so do I put $300 (used) to $600 wheels on
    >this bike? If so, I'm committed to riding it if you also add in altering
    >the shifters. I don't want to build a house on a poor foundation
    >(frameset).


    Why on earth spend that much for a wheelset. You aren't racing and a decent $250
    set of built up wheels will run forever and be only trivially heavier than the
    higher priced ones.

    >I'm looking at putting, say, $500 in wheels, and what $300 in shifters /
    >other here so it's not like I'm choosing between spending new and
    >spending $0 for this bike. I'm going to spend one way or another. I'm
    >hoping to optimize my outlay by asking here.
    >>

    >
    >>
    >> It's a little difficult to put it in such terms. The bicycle's engine has not
    >> improved in that time. The brakes were already about as good as they needed to
    >> be (for road bikes anyway). That leaves shifting and frames. The shifting has
    >> improved a lot. More gears and a lot easier to get to 'em all. The frames can be
    >> made lighter, but cannot be made more comfortable. A nice old steel frame rides
    >> as nicely as anything built now of any material. Go for low weight if you like,
    >> but you probably won't be faster unless you've already maxed out all your other
    >> potentials.
    >>

    >The lack of gears is troubling me some. I can't see a cheap way to
    >convert the current setup to a modern one even aside from the shifters.
    >There is one serious hill on one of my loops. I'm in my lowest gearset
    >and standing at about a 15 rpm cadence (so it seems) while others spin
    >by me. I think this bike was built for a very strong rider on the flats.
    > Even down hills I don't put this in very high gear - that's 30+ mph.
    >So I guess this bike is geared for someone who goes even faster. (yikes!)


    Or for someone living in flatter terrain. I'm old, fat and slow and have no
    trouble living with a 13-23 cogset, but I live on a sandbar, aka Florida.

    We can get into specifics, just what are your wheels, how bad are they, is the
    frame worth building up and so on. But ya know, I'm thinking maybe the best
    thing at this point is to put on a cogset you can manage on the hills you ride.
    Deal with the downtube shifters. Get used to the road bike vibe. Then with more
    time, experience and exposure get a better feel for what you really need and
    want in a bike.

    The rear cassette or freewheel will cost you 25-35 bucks and be fair rent
    whenever you give the bike back to your buddy or give you many good miles if you
    keep. Nothing wrong with riding retro style, especially with a cool old italian
    bike.

    >My mtn bike is a CAAD frame of Al and I don't like the ride at all on
    >pavement. I am steering away from Al due to this. Do road Al bikes ride
    >like Al mtn ones? I can't imagine tolerating this sort of harshness for
    >100 miles or so.


    Pretty much - not quite as bad. Like I said, they don't make anything that rides
    nicer than a good steel frame. Good titanium and graphite can ride about as well
    I'm told. Cost a bunch too.

    Ron
     
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Guest

    Dans le message de news:[email protected],
    >
    > OK, so I'm looking at $500 for the wheels and now a total of $600
    > which I doubt I can ever recover v buying something new. I think your
    > idea of the chainring sizes apporpriate. Based on my feel, I 'd like
    > a 36 / 48 combo leaving the freewheel alone as you say.
    >
    > I thought that for about $1000, I could kick some serious ass in the
    > new bike dept for a person of my abilities and station in the sport.
    > Am I dreaming?


    Exactly, you're dreaming. Not a healthy dream. Kind of a cross between a
    geek, a golfer, and someone with a superman complex, in that reverie. Just
    because you may be good at one sport doesn't give you a sure thing in
    another one. But do what you can, develop, enjoy, RIDE.

    And what's with a 500 dollar wheelset ? Really, this is the putter
    syndrome, where that magic gimmick gets you first prize. A hundred for a
    pair of solid wheels will be fine, thank you.

    > Now I'm in a quandry. You make great points, but also that I'm happily
    > riding for hours is a serious consideration. That came from replacing
    > then adjusting the seat. Oh, I also got those tight pants. No more
    > chafe.


    Then, there's the recycling effect. If you spend to the moon, and don't
    really continue, then you might as well not have spent a dime. So look
    around carefully for a guy who has just done that trip, whose wonderbike is
    going for a song, and avoid filling that role for someone after you.

    Try hard to remember that there are plenty of bikes that will fit you, and
    fit is the key to enduring enjoyment and development. You sound, now, to be
    all too ready to be sold the magic ride, and while I don't want to dull your
    enthusiasm, it will be good to add a measure of reality to your search.
    --
    Bonne route !

    Sandy
    Verneuil-sur-Seine FR
     
  16. Tom Reingold

    Tom Reingold Guest

    Are you asking how to upgrade your friend's bike or how to decide what
    (or whether) to buy new?

    If it's an old bike, don't spend too much on an upgrade. I have an old
    bike and spend carefully. You get the most bang for your buck by buying
    tires! We often overlook tires. Get some supple smooth-tread tires and
    inflate them to 100 psi.

    If the bike doesn't have clipless pedals, get some of those.

    If the bike fits you well enough for you to spend hours on it, it's
    right for you. The rest is so much window dressing without much
    functional difference, as long as it all works well.


    --
    Tom Reingold
    Noo Joizy
    This email address works, but only for a short time.
     
  17. Paul Cassel wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > If you can ride 3-4 hours and enjoy the ride 100% then the bike is
    > > probably about right for you. Probably would not hurt to buy it cheap
    > > and ride it for a year or two. Old bikes are OK and work well.
    > > Beginning riders usually find modern handlebar shifting and lots of low
    > > gears add to the enjoyment.
    > >
    > >

    > That's a good point. I am functioning on this bike ok.
    > >

    >
    > > I ride with a 53-42 crankset on my racing style bike. Love the 42. I
    > > do use bigger cogs in back for the occassional times I need lower gears
    > > on that bike. Another road bike has a triple crankset so the front
    > > rings are 52-42-30. More low gears than I need unless I am in the
    > > mountains, but it does not hurt. The word for the rear gear set is
    > > either freewheel or cassette. Most likely a freewheel for this bike.
    > > Big cogs in back for road bikes are about 28 teeth usually. I suspect
    > > the bike was designed to mimic the pro racing bikes of the times and
    > > pro racing bikes don't have very low gears.
    > >
    > > Without too much difficulty or money, you could replace the double
    > > crankset and bottom bracket with a compact (110mm bolt circle diameter)
    > > and that would give you 50-34 front chainrings. The 34 on front would
    > > give you fairly low gears without changing anything else.
    > >
    > > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=11459&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=
    > >
    > > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=12779&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=
    > >
    > > I'm suggesting the compact double crankset instead of a triple
    > > replacement because there are less parts to change. $100 total and you
    > > have probably low enough gears. Watch for sales.

    >
    > OK, so I'm looking at $500 for the wheels and now a total of $600 which
    > I doubt I can ever recover v buying something new. I think your idea of
    > the chainring sizes apporpriate. Based on my feel, I 'd like a 36 / 48
    > combo leaving the freewheel alone as you say.
    >
    > I thought that for about $1000, I could kick some serious ass in the new
    > bike dept for a person of my abilities and station in the sport. Am I
    > dreaming?
    > >

    >
    > > Bike tools are fairly specialized for working on the headset, hubs,
    > > bottom bracket, and freewheel/cassette. You can get by with cheap ones
    > > and get by for maybe $50 total.
    > >

    > I don't know what those tools are that I need in the form of a list. I'd
    > happily spend $50 to be able to work peaceably on my bike, but not sure
    > what to get so I was looking at those tool set kits from places like
    > Performance or nashbar.
    > >
    > >>I will say that the bike has Dura Ace gear train, but it doesn't really
    > >>shift any better, or stop any better, than my mountain bike which has XT
    > >>and XTR components.

    > >
    > >
    > > If the bike came with Dura Ace in the mid 1980s it may be a higher
    > > quality frame than I thought. Shifting should be more convenient and
    > > quicker on the mountain bike due to indexed shifting on the handlebars.
    > > That is what modern road bikes have with Ergo and STI. It would be
    > > cost prohibitive to put them on an older bike. Brakes have improved on
    > > modern bikes. Dual pivot calipers on modern road bikes require less
    > > force to brake. Your V brakes are likely easier to activate on your
    > > mountain bikes than the old single pivot calipers on the borrowed road
    > > bike.
    > >
    > >

    > Apparently the Dura Ace was added which is what my friend, the bike's
    > owner, was after. This bike is a combo of early 80's tech. Some bike
    > donated the components, another the frameset. Then someone stripped it
    > of some stuff sometimes replacing parts with low quality parts. When I
    > got it, it was missing cables and the seat was like from a $10 bike swap
    > bike. The handle bars are also very low quality, ditto the seatpost, etc.
    > >

    > I never have liked the brakes either in design or function. They just do
    > not work well. My daughter's cross bike, a Specialized, can do a
    > stoppie. I can hardly stop even with them adjusted properly, etc.
    >
    > Now I'm in a quandry. You make great points, but also that I'm happily
    > riding for hours is a serious consideration. That came from replacing
    > then adjusting the seat. Oh, I also got those tight pants. No more chafe.



    I read your other posts. Seems like not having low enough gears is
    really the problem with this bike. The wheels can be trued and will
    likely stay true enough. Or not. Either way until they collapse on
    you they will still roll. So don't worry about them.

    For gearing you need to count the number of teeth on the rear
    freewheel. And the number of cogs. This will tell you where you are
    starting at. Nashbar sells 6 and 7 speed freewheels. 6 speed with a
    big cog of 28 and 7 speed with a big cog of 32. I am pretty sure your
    rear derailleur will clear the 28 cog. Not sure if it would clear the
    32 cog. So for $20 get the 6 speed freewheel and put it on. You have
    down tube friction shifters I think. So they will shift the 6 speed
    freewheel just fine. If they are index then ... Going to the Nashbar
    compact crankset and new bottom bracket to fit it will cost around
    $105. But you will have much lower gears than just changing the rear
    cogset. Or do both for $125.
     
  18. Paul Cassel wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > If you can ride 3-4 hours and enjoy the ride 100% then the bike is
    > > probably about right for you. Probably would not hurt to buy it cheap
    > > and ride it for a year or two. Old bikes are OK and work well.
    > > Beginning riders usually find modern handlebar shifting and lots of low
    > > gears add to the enjoyment.
    > >
    > >

    > That's a good point. I am functioning on this bike ok.


    I'd say keep riding it.

    > >

    >
    > > I ride with a 53-42 crankset on my racing style bike. Love the 42. I
    > > do use bigger cogs in back for the occassional times I need lower gears
    > > on that bike. Another road bike has a triple crankset so the front
    > > rings are 52-42-30. More low gears than I need unless I am in the
    > > mountains, but it does not hurt. The word for the rear gear set is
    > > either freewheel or cassette. Most likely a freewheel for this bike.
    > > Big cogs in back for road bikes are about 28 teeth usually. I suspect
    > > the bike was designed to mimic the pro racing bikes of the times and
    > > pro racing bikes don't have very low gears.
    > >
    > > Without too much difficulty or money, you could replace the double
    > > crankset and bottom bracket with a compact (110mm bolt circle diameter)
    > > and that would give you 50-34 front chainrings. The 34 on front would
    > > give you fairly low gears without changing anything else.
    > >
    > > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=11459&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=
    > >
    > > http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=12779&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=
    > >
    > > I'm suggesting the compact double crankset instead of a triple
    > > replacement because there are less parts to change. $100 total and you
    > > have probably low enough gears. Watch for sales.

    >
    > OK, so I'm looking at $500 for the wheels and now a total of $600 which
    > I doubt I can ever recover v buying something new. I think your idea of
    > the chainring sizes apporpriate. Based on my feel, I 'd like a 36 / 48
    > combo leaving the freewheel alone as you say.


    Where did $500 for the wheels come from? I kind of thought the
    borrowed biek would come to you sort of complete except for a few
    missing parts. If you have to buy a new set of wheels, then I'm not
    sure its that great of a deal. Cheap wheelsets that will function well
    enough can be had mail order from Nashbar or other mail order places.
    Maybe a local shop has some wheels taken off another bike they can sell
    cheap. Cheap being the key word here. Assuming the borrowed bike is a
    freewheel bike, you should be able to find these wheelsets really
    cheap. At the very most a new set of freewheel type wheels should cost
    $100. Or less.

    The crankset I mentioned comes with 50-34 tooth rings on it. It costs
    more money to replace chainrings. Money that could be used to buy a
    new bike if you start replacing parts on replacement parts before you
    even use them. The 50 will work for most riding around. The 34 will
    work very well for any hills.


    >
    > I thought that for about $1000, I could kick some serious ass in the new
    > bike dept for a person of my abilities and station in the sport. Am I
    > dreaming?
    > >


    You can get a very nice road bicycle for $1000. Look for sales at bike
    shops or mail order. Its best to know what size you need if ordering
    mail order. Probably crucial to know your correct size. That you get
    from riding and figuring it out.

    http://www.gvhbikes.com/welcome.html I had dealings with the original
    Gary V Hobbs. Guessing the new owner is carrying on the good customer
    service.

    >
    > > Bike tools are fairly specialized for working on the headset, hubs,
    > > bottom bracket, and freewheel/cassette. You can get by with cheap ones
    > > and get by for maybe $50 total.
    > >

    > I don't know what those tools are that I need in the form of a list. I'd
    > happily spend $50 to be able to work peaceably on my bike, but not sure
    > what to get so I was looking at those tool set kits from places like
    > Performance or nashbar.


    Cone wrenches to fit the hubs. Use a vernier caliper to figure out the
    size of the inner ones. 13/14 and 15/16 and 17 should cover most
    things. Traditional crank puller for square taper cranksets. Assuming
    that is what is on the bike now. If you get a new crank/bottom bracket
    then you will have to get a new crank puller for the new crank (ISIS or
    Octalink specific). Bottom bracket hook tool for the locking ring.
    Assuming that is the kind of bottom bracket you have now. New style
    for a new bottom bracket. Pin spanner to adjust the old bottom
    bracket. Headset wrench 32 mm. Freewheel removal tool. Assume
    Suntour style with 4 notches. Chain whip. Crescent wrench and metric
    wrenches and metric Allen wrenches are also needed but I assume you
    have these already.


    > >
    > >>I will say that the bike has Dura Ace gear train, but it doesn't really
    > >>shift any better, or stop any better, than my mountain bike which has XT
    > >>and XTR components.

    > >
    > >
    > > If the bike came with Dura Ace in the mid 1980s it may be a higher
    > > quality frame than I thought. Shifting should be more convenient and
    > > quicker on the mountain bike due to indexed shifting on the handlebars.
    > > That is what modern road bikes have with Ergo and STI. It would be
    > > cost prohibitive to put them on an older bike. Brakes have improved on
    > > modern bikes. Dual pivot calipers on modern road bikes require less
    > > force to brake. Your V brakes are likely easier to activate on your
    > > mountain bikes than the old single pivot calipers on the borrowed road
    > > bike.
    > >
    > >

    > Apparently the Dura Ace was added which is what my friend, the bike's
    > owner, was after. This bike is a combo of early 80's tech. Some bike
    > donated the components, another the frameset. Then someone stripped it
    > of some stuff sometimes replacing parts with low quality parts. When I
    > got it, it was missing cables and the seat was like from a $10 bike swap
    > bike. The handle bars are also very low quality, ditto the seatpost, etc.
    > >

    > I never have liked the brakes either in design or function. They just do
    > not work well. My daughter's cross bike, a Specialized, can do a
    > stoppie. I can hardly stop even with them adjusted properly, etc.


    Cheap dual pivot brakes can be head from Nashbar that will work fine.
    Lots of power and easy to squeeze. Cheap too.


    >
    > Now I'm in a quandry. You make great points, but also that I'm happily
    > riding for hours is a serious consideration. That came from replacing
    > then adjusting the seat. Oh, I also got those tight pants. No more chafe.


    If you knew what you were doing you could probably replace a few parts
    and get by cheap. But if you have to replace quite a few parts the
    owner takes for himself and then pay for what is left and then replace
    a few more to make it satisfactory for you to ride, .... You might be
    close to half or more of the cost of a new bike.
     
  19. When was a growing kid looking at steel bikes in the 1980's, the main
    criterion were :

    a. Weight. A 2 lbs saving in frame weight improved the ride tremendously.
    b. Shifting. There were a lot of really bad derailleurs in the 1970's.
    c. Wheels. Very light (tubular) tires/wheels are desirable if you
    want good acceleration and are willing to put up with the hassle
    factor (pumping frequently, getting > 1 flat tire on a ride)
    associated with tubulars.

    Today, when you get below 17 lbs you are going "stupid light" and
    putting yourself in danger and purchasing a "fast food" bicycle that
    will last about as long as that lunch you bought at McDonalds. most
    of today's derailleurs work better than the best 1975 derailleur,
    which was a Suntour VGT. Even the worst 2005 derailleur is about as
    good as that VGT.

    When I last bought a bike in 2000, I looked mainly at these issues:

    a. Fit. The optimal bike for me is between 23.5" and 24.5" frame
    size. Anything bigger is uncomfortable to stop. Anything smaller
    feels "leaden" to me - small steel frames do not have a springy feel
    that I like in larger 531/columbus frames. At 24" my bike was a
    perfect fit for me.

    c. Materials. I bought a carbon frame but I rode about 6 bikes
    before I decided on the Carbon Trek 2300. The carbon bike had by far
    the best road feel - damped & astonishingly quiet. at 18 lbs and a
    proven design offered by TREK from 1990-1998 it was likely to be a
    robust bicycle. I was wrong about this, however, as my seat lug
    cracked after just 2000 miles rendering the frameset useless.

    d. Looks and Theft-Prevention. At $1700 I wanted a beautiful bike
    that didn't have "STEAL ME" written all over it. I opted for 1998
    TREK 3-tubes carbon bike - not monocoque - conventional diamond frame
    - which could be mistaken for a normal bike with black main tubes
    until you were within 3' of the bike. The paint job was not Colnago
    flashy but it was nice. Non-bikers would probably not realize that my
    bike had 3 main tubes of carbon.

    - Don Gillies
    San Diego, CA
     
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