old school 10 speed versus mountain bike versus hybrid or road bike

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by sproutgirl, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. sproutgirl

    sproutgirl New Member

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    Hi there. I am new to this forum, but want to learn more from those of you with experience. I have biked off and on most of my life, but just recreationally. I have been running for a few years, and just recently got back into biking and then into triathlons. I love running, but I am loving biking more and more and am finding myself gravitating toward my bike more...plus now my oldest daughter is getting really into biking with me which motivates me more.

    Here is my question. I recently participated in my first sprint triathlon. I followed the advice to hold off on buying a new bike until after completing my first race, to make sure competitive biking is something I enjoy. I rode my mountain bike, which is only a year old and I love, but I found that, like I had been told, my mountain bike was much slower than the road bikes, despite my thorough training. So, now I am thinking of looking for a road bike, although my budget will be limited to Craigslist, I'm afraid.

    Well, I went to my mom's house and found that she still has my old 10 speed bike, and that it is still in great shape other than needing new tires. So...for someone who will probably only race a couple of times a year, I need some advice on which way to go. My friend bought a really nice and lightweight road bike. I don't think I can afford something like that. A few people have told me that my old 10-speed would be faster than my mountain bike due to the thinner tires. Unfortunately it is not a light weight bike, but I'm wanting to try it out. My husband asked me to do some research to find out if the old-school 10 speed would be a good choice for me, and if it will speed me up very much, as he doesn't want to put much money into new tires if I will end up wanting a road bike a few months down the road. So...I mostly enjoy logging 10-15 miles with friends or up to 7 miles with my daughter, but I do want to continue training for triathlons and maybe the occasional bike race.

    What do y'all think? (keep in mind that my budget is small at this point in time)

    Thanks a bunch for any help y'all can offer me!! :)

    Mindy
     
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  2. Mr645

    Mr645 New Member

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    "Old ten speed" does not really tell much about the bike. Depending on exactly what type of bike it is, it may be perfectly serviceable or not so useful at all. If the frame. fork and wheels frame are solid, and the drivetrain works well, perhaps a set of high pressure road tires will give you a bike not too far from today's bikes.
     
  3. sproutgirl

    sproutgirl New Member

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    Okay, that makes sense. Would it help if I post a picture?


    This bike is a late 80s model, maybe 1990. Everything appears to be in very good condition, frame is sturdy, chain and gears look good, no rust or any other visible wear and tear. I'm actually surprised it is in such good shape. The biggest drawback, with my very limited knowledge, is that the frame is not light-weight. How much difference does that actually make? A friend has a really nice road bike, and I can lift his bike with one hand, it is so lightweight.

    I would love to be able to just use this bike or make minor upgrades to give me a decent road bike/racing bike. I probably won't race often, but I want to be able to at least be competitive. (Racing on my mountain bike was a bit of a joke, lol.)

    Also, you mentioned high pressure road tires. Since the tires appear to be the only thing that needs replaced at this time, I am thinking that sounds like an excellent idea. Should I visit a bike shop to find high pressure road tires? Or can I buy them online? I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to road bikes, so I apologize for asking so many questions.
     
  4. Mr645

    Mr645 New Member

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    Since you really don't know much about the bike, I would certainly suggest bringing it to a good local shop. Most road bikes use 700 x 23mm tires at 90-120 PSI and you need to be sure your wheels are even the right size and can accept this type of tire. If the bike weighs 22-23-24 lbs, probably not a big deal to ride, but if it's a 32lb bike, that will certainly slow you down
    But bringing it to a bike shop would be your first move, they can probably explain to you exactly where you stand.

    And if it's not really up to the task, acceptable road bikes start at about $500
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by sproutgirl .
    Okay, that makes sense. Would it help if I post a picture?


    This bike is a late 80s model, maybe 1990. Everything appears to be in very good condition, frame is sturdy, chain and gears look good, no rust or any other visible wear and tear. I'm actually surprised it is in such good shape. The biggest drawback, with my very limited knowledge, is that the frame is not light-weight. How much difference does that actually make? A friend has a really nice road bike, and I can lift his bike with one hand, it is so lightweight.

    I would love to be able to just use this bike or make minor upgrades to give me a decent road bike/racing bike. I probably won't race often, but I want to be able to at least be competitive. (Racing on my mountain bike was a bit of a joke, lol.)

    Also, you mentioned high pressure road tires. Since the tires appear to be the only thing that needs replaced at this time, I am thinking that sounds like an excellent idea. Should I visit a bike shop to find high pressure road tires? Or can I buy them online? I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to road bikes, so I apologize for asking so many questions.


    FYI. About a decade ago, I weighed a sample of framesets made with different materials ...

    I found that the difference between a typical steel Road frame & a non-exotic aluminum Road frame is about 2 lbs. ,,,

    • that is, a typical steel frame (sans fork & components) weighs about 5 lbs. +/-. apparently, some super-duper steel frames now weigh less than 3 lbs.
    • some decidedly pedestrian steel frames will weigh more than 5 lbs.
    [*]an aluminum Road frame weighs about 3 lbs +/-
    [*]a carbon fiber Road frame generally weighs from just over 2 lbs to about 1.6 lbs.

    A carbon fiber fork will generally weigh as much as a lb. (+/-) less than a steel fork.

    I found that frames with the SAME geometry basically rode the same if the components were the same regardless of the material which the frame was made with.

    Essentially, the cheapest "gas pipe" steel frame's weight can be reduced to 24 lbs. when equipped with fairly nice components (e.g., Shimano Ultegra).

    A good steel frame with a carbon fiber fork can be reduced to about 21 lbs when equipped with fairly nice components.

    A nice steel frame (e.g., Colnago Master X-Lite) with a carbon fiber fork + the same components will weigh UNDER 20 lbs.

    An average aluminum framed bike with the same components will also typically weigh under 20 lbs., too.

    A now-vintage CF framed bike will weigh about 17 lbs.

    A lot of high-zoot bikes weigh less than 16 lbs, now ... but, you will pay a heft premium to shave a few pounds of weight off a bike.

    THAT's a long way of saying (without getting into the weeds) that (IMO) you shouldn't worry about the weight of your bike UNLESS you are good enough to be a sponsored rider in which case you won't probably have to pay for your frame/etc.

    Definitely, post a picture of your bike ...

    Indicate the wheel size (700c or 27") ... if the rim has a decal with a label which has an indication of the size (e.g., 622-17) then indicate what it says and/or the imprint on the sidewall of the tires (e.g., 700-28).

    What kind of rear derailleur does it have (a simple picture will suffice)?

    Plus, how many Cogs are on the rear cluster.

    FWIW. If you are capable of simple DIY "stuff" (some people can't ... I even know some people who can't or shouldn't ... but, I think that most people can) which is not much more complicated than opening a jar of pickles & putting the lid back on then you can easily update your bike for about $200 +/- ...

    You can spend MUCH MORE, of course ...

    BTW. There are SOME people who can't wrap their minds around anything but an all-this-or-all-that, wholesale component changeover ...

    If you need-or-want a bike shop to do the work, then double the fore mentioned cost (in which case, as many will suggest, you may as well look for a "new" bike) for a bare minimum component upgrade.
     
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