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  1. #1
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    Has anyone downgraded their bike for more enjoyment?

    My De Rosa has Super Record non aero levers, I would much rather ride with aero levers. I have a nice looking set of non branded aero levers and I'm thinking about putting those on my bike. I think I would enjoy riding it more than I already do.I ride about 90% on the hoods. Anyone else downgrade their bikes?






    Semper fi

  2. #2
    NT... Big Difference...
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    I put a 27" wheelset on my 1986 Trek 400 Elance. It came with 700C wheels and a middling level Shimano group set. I wanted to use 6400 brakes, but they didn't have the reach necessary.

    I think the hubs and wheels I have on there now have made a HUGE difference in how the bike rides. I think most of that difference is the much better front hub- a Maillard 700.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

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  3. #3
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    I think if you will enjoy it more with aero levers, go for it. How much 'better' could brake levers be. They don't have the complexity of brifters.
    As my old friend Al used to say... "I'm in pretty good shape, for the shape I'm in..."

  4. #4
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    I'm puzzled as to why you think that aero levers would increase your enjoyment at all over non-aero levers. I have two road bikes, one with non-aero superbe levers (pretty much a copy of SR), and one with aero dia-compe levers. They are exactly the same from a riding standpoint except that the aero levers have a slightly lower mechanical advantage (i.e. require more force applied to stop the bike) which actually makes the aero levers slightly worse than the non-aero. Also note that if you use levers designed for a different brake type (i.e. cantilever or dual-pivot), they may have the wrong mechanical advantage for your single-pivot brakes and therefore could potentially seriously degrade the braking by ramping up the effort required.

    Also, why take a pristine classic bike and muck it up with non-period parts for no reason?
    Last edited by davester; 08-02-15 at 01:29 PM.

  5. #5
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    I put a 27" wheelset on my 1986 Trek 400 Elance. It came with 700C wheels and a middling level Shimano group set. I wanted to use 6400 brakes, but they didn't have the reach necessary.

    I think the hubs and wheels I have on there now have made a HUGE difference in how the bike rides. I think most of that difference is the much better front hub- a Maillard 700.
    I don't buy it. Hub friction is an immeasurably small part of the effort to ride a bike.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

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  6. #6
    I love the rolling hills. ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Go for it. Regardless of the aesthetics, I think most here would agree that aero levers are more comfortable.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Two of three of my vintage racers has non-aero levers. I like them for the more casual and fun rides, maybe a good thrash now and then. There is nothing like attracting a little attention among the carbon fiber boyz.

    I downgraded the Colnago with a set of cheap sewups.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  8. #8
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    Yes.

    1) Campy downtube shifters to 6-speed indexed Shimano 105
    2) Super Record rear derailleur to Shimano XT, to handle
    3) triplized Record crank set

  9. #9
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    Like I said, I ride mostly with my hand on the hoods. The aero levers that I have feel better in my hands. The Campy non-aero makes my hands feel to cramped, especially with the cable in the way. More hand positions, like resting them on top of the ends of the hoods.
    Semper fi

  10. #10
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    I call it retrograding. I regularly swap alloy cotterless cranks for steel cottered. Remove SunTour and Shimano derailleurs for plastic Simplex and steel Huret. Take off side pull brakes in favor of centerpulls. I like the look and performance of the tried and true euro parts that came on 60's and 70's bikes. And top it off with an old leather saddle pre 1970.

    I like taking these low end parts, attach to a gas pipe frame and getting them to work at their best. Challenging and rewarding..

  11. #11
    Senior Member parken's Avatar
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    From what I see what you have there is a c-record era frame, so you should be more period correct with c-record aero levers.
    I'm not old, I'm vintage

  12. #12
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I don't buy it. Hub friction is an immeasurably small part of the effort to ride a bike.
    Having had an '87 400 Elance, I think it just rode better with 27's, as that's what it was designed to have. I rode it both ways, and liked the smooth as silk 27's I had on it (Suzue/Ukai). While hub friction may be a very small part of the "effort to ride a bike," the difference between well-adjusted, well-packed hubs and not is more than immeasurable, especially since once you think there's a problem with the hub, it will bug you until it's remedied.

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    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davester View Post
    Also, why take a pristine classic bike and muck it up with non-period parts for no reason?
    I say why the hell not? (bad camera angle, though)


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  14. #14
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    Thanks Rob, that settles it, I'm swapping levers. Looks great.
    Semper fi

  15. #15
    Senior Member crank_addict's Avatar
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    I've seen this one and its the Boss!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    I say why the hell not? (bad camera angle, though)

    “If the constellations had been named in the twentieth century, I suppose we would see bicycles.” ~ Carl Sagan

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    Senior Member crank_addict's Avatar
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    Hopefully soon I get around to building up a vintage Viner Record racing. Should be a proper NR equiped but the heck with that. Frame is straight but ratty looking. Could care less about being correct.

    I'm going with a mix bag of components. Aluminum fork. Aero Gran Comp's, Tektro cal's., drillium ST Cyclone stuff, triple rings and a milled up Japanese arms. Undecided on wheels but likely riding on tubulars. Some tricks- have some ti hardware to use up. Unsure with the bottom bracket but might shop for a ti Stratics - sealed cartridge. Its going to be sinful
    “If the constellations had been named in the twentieth century, I suppose we would see bicycles.” ~ Carl Sagan

  17. #17
    Ride More seedsbelize's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    I say why the hell not? (bad camera angle, though)

    You have one of everything don't you, Robbie.


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  18. #18
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    My De Rosa has Super Record non aero levers, I would much rather ride with aero levers. I have a nice looking set of non branded aero levers and I'm thinking about putting those on my bike. I think I would enjoy riding it more than I already do.I ride about 90% on the hoods. Anyone else downgrade their bikes?





    All the time. On keeper bikes, I change stuff out to suit me, sometimes it is an upgrade, sometimes its a downgrade. I don't care either way.

    +10 Personally, I prefer aero brake levers, so I pretty much always make that change.

  19. #19
    Senior Member lord_athlon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davester View Post
    I'm puzzled as to why you think that aero levers would increase your enjoyment at all over non-aero levers. I have two road bikes, one with non-aero superbe levers (pretty much a copy of SR), and one with aero dia-compe levers. They are exactly the same from a riding standpoint except that the aero levers have a slightly lower mechanical advantage (i.e. require more force applied to stop the bike) which actually makes the aero levers slightly worse than the non-aero. Also note that if you use levers designed for a different brake type (i.e. cantilever or dual-pivot), they may have the wrong mechanical advantage for your single-pivot brakes and therefore could potentially seriously degrade the braking by ramping up the effort required.

    Also, why take a pristine classic bike and muck it up with non-period parts for no reason?
    Aero levers typically have more advantage from the perspective of the pivot point...simply, they brake better from the hoods.
    74 Fuji "The Finest", 74 Schwinn Voyageur II, 79 Raleigh Clubman, 80 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 Chrome, 85 Schwinn Super Le Tour.

  20. #20
    NT... Big Difference...
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I don't buy it. Hub friction is an immeasurably small part of the effort to ride a bike.
    I still have 2 pairs of tires for you in the basement. I haven't forgotten; I just keep forgetting to take them to work to send out.


    You may recall my thread: How Much Of A Difference Does 4mm Make?

    The overwhelming consensus was that the wheel size was completely and totally irrelevant.

    A lot of people said the change in tires made all the difference in the ride of the bike. I'm not buying that the tires made all the difference for that bike. Both wheels were Panaracer Pasela Tourguards- going from 700C 32s to 27" 1 1/8" Going to narrower, more shallow tires- the ride should have gotten more stiff. Being as I had ridden that bike quite a bit with all kinds of different tire pressures in there, with at least 3 sets of tires (the National Dual, and two pair of Pasela Tourguard 32s) it wasn't a tire pressure issue. After changing to the 27" wheels- the bike just felt THAT much better.

    I've gone from 1 1/8" to 1 1/4" and that was a great difference in the ride of the tire. Again, from Pasela Tourguard to Pasela Tourguard- the only difference was the size of the tire- and that made a difference in the "plushness" of the ride. I've also put a 1 3/8" tire on the rear of my 620- and to be honest, I expected to be riding on a floofy cloud of rubber- but it hasn't made a whole lot of difference. I'm thinking I really need to do the front as well.

    When I initially had changed to 27s, I had a set of Sansin hubs laced to single wall Araya rims. Although we weren't talking about the pinnacle of quality- those wheels felt so much better than the wheels that were on there.

    The wheels that are on there now are comprised of the 27" Matrix Safari rims that came on my Trek 720, the front wheel was the Maillard 700 hub, and the rear I had the original Maillard 600 sealed hub laced to the Matrix Safari. I have no doubt that the Maillard 700 is a much better piece of equipment than the Sovos hub that was on there.

    Since I discount the tire theory (not that tires can and will make a colossal difference in the ride), most everyone discounted the wheel size theory, and now you discount the hub theory... what makes for the nicer ride of this bike?


    (BTW- I don't mean to be coming across pointing an accusatory finger at you or rude in any way)


    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

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  21. #21
    Slow Recreational Rider TheManShow's Avatar
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    Think being comfortable is better then being best up and looking cool.
    “Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.”-Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) American comedian & actor.

  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Are you saying tire size made a difference, i.e. width and height? Sure, I can believe that.

    A mediocre hub and an excellent hub should ride the same if they're both properly adjusted.

    Thank you for the tires you will eventually send.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  23. #23
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Didn't you already downgrade with the Gran Sport crankset on a Super Record bike?

  24. #24
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    Give me a break, that's what I had in the bin. They will be upgraded to Super Record. I thought about doing a modern build, but I have a Rich Adams frame I plan on doing that with.
    Semper fi

  25. #25
    iab
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    Got rid of toe clips years ago. Even on the off-topic commuter. I am not certain if I agree with GP's assertion straps or clips don't enhance performance, but I am not certain I don't agree either. (yes, it is a double-negative, shoot me).

    Changed one bike from a 3-speed to a single-speed. But that was because the Campagnolo Sport derailleur sucks so hard.

    Changed my commuter from a 16-speed to a fixed gear.

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