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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-04-09, 07:02 PM   #1
bamacrazy
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Road Bike Question: Up Grade or Buy?

I have an old Bianchi Axis Cross Bike that I bought new in 1987. It has an all Cr Mo steel frame that is still in excellent condition. A few years ago I posted a question on a non Clyde board regarding whether it would be worth while to upgrade the beast with a few more modern components. I like the fact that the bike is extreamly sturdy, really nice looking and well fitted to my frame. I'm going to try to post a picture. What is your opinion?


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Old 02-04-09, 07:05 PM   #2
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If the components work, why upgrade? Replace the broken and worn out stuff and ride it as is. Just my opinion, tho.
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Old 02-04-09, 07:08 PM   #3
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A new one would be more fun but not any faster.
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Old 02-04-09, 07:11 PM   #4
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I'd probably change from 27" to 700c wheels, but if all the other stuff works, why not keep it as is? But if you really want to upgrade to brifters and 9 or 10 speed drivetrains, I'd look for used groups or wrecks you can salvage.
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Old 02-04-09, 07:22 PM   #5
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If it will be used as a road bike, you'll probably want some slick or near slick tires. I ride vintage bikes and am a big fan of bar end shifters, so if you decide to sell yours, please send me a PM. But really no reason why you can't continue to use them.

That's a very cool bike, by the way.
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Old 02-04-09, 07:22 PM   #6
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It already has 700c wheels w 36 spokes each. Shifting is not nearly as sharp as the Deore and XTs on my Hardrock. I was thinking about changing out the derailures fore and aft, but being a 7 speed I might have to change the whole drivetrain. It is currently equipped with a Sun Tour Accushift group.
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Old 02-04-09, 07:26 PM   #7
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Thanks IceNine. I just bought a set of Schwelbe Marathon Supream HD Magic touring tires, But have not put them on yet.
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Old 02-04-09, 07:35 PM   #8
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Within the last 12 months, I upgraded from bar-end shifters to Shimano STI shifters, and then to SRAM DoubleTap shifters. Having used both STI and DoubleTap, I would never go back to bar-end or down tube shifters!
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Old 02-04-09, 07:57 PM   #9
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I have bar ends on my old Lotus, suits me fine. I also have brifters on my Colnago.

N+1 is what I recommend.

+1 More road oriented tires (narrower, etc), would be a nice move. Components on the Bianchi are fine.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:16 PM   #10
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If I were you, I would test ride some new bikes to see if there is big difference between a new bike or your other bike. This can let you know a little about different frame materials and how they are put together (geometry of the bikes). With this test, you can also test out different types of components. After you do that, I think that you can then best decide what route you want to go. That is a very nice looking vintage bike.

I know that when I went from a Peugeot built with Reynolds 531 to a Cannondale 3.0 which had STI shifters, it was a night and day difference. The bike was so much faster off the line (I could get to 20 miles an hour starting at a green light by the time I got through the intersection). The bike was also much easier to climb with. I was able to get up long hills (like hightway 9 in Los Gatos, California) that I was not able to before. Now that could have all been in my head but that was my experience. The down side of the bike is that rides over 2 hours really took a toll on my hands and back, the bike really transfered the road feel to my body.

So, try some bikes out and see how they feel.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:30 PM   #11
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Check ebay for NOS 7 speed gruppos and maybe freshen up the look with new bar tape, new tires, brakes/pads, etc.
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Old 02-07-09, 09:34 AM   #12
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upgrade or buy

The guys and gals over on the Vintage site are gonna have a 'contract' out on me for this.
Buy New.
If you're under 240# look at Carbon Fibre and BikesDirect.
I still have my venerable 91 Paramount. I've upgraded with a compact crank and E3 gel seat.
That said: The Carbon Fibre Motobecane IF with Ultegra and FSA equipment is akin to stepping out of a 1966 pontiac gto and into a 2008 porsche turbo.
The Paramount is still my main ride but on those days when riding with the A crowd is my design. The Moto is the bike I'm on.
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Old 02-07-09, 09:49 AM   #13
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For the love of all fredness, loose the dork disk!
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Old 02-08-09, 01:31 AM   #14
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Beautiful bike. Keep it, upgrade it, but yeah, lose the protection disk on the back wheel.

As far as shifting is concerned, wouldn't that be more of an issue with the shifters than the derailleurs? Are they the original cables? Maybe new cables would make things a bit crisper.
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Old 02-08-09, 03:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bamacrazy View Post
I have an old Bianchi Axis Cross Bike that I bought new in 1987. It has an all Cr Mo steel frame that is still in excellent condition. A few years ago I posted a question on a non Clyde board regarding whether it would be worth while to upgrade the beast with a few more modern components. I like the fact that the bike is extreamly sturdy, really nice looking and well fitted to my frame. I'm going to try to post a picture. What is your opinion?

Test some new bikes, and decide what components you want to replace, right now, then figure the cost, of the components you want to replace, plus the ones you need to replace along with those and the might-as-wełl-as
for example if you want a new triple crank to replace an old double, you need to replace the FD, you might as well replace the BB at the same time. If the cost is more then one half the cost of the new bike, then go with the new one. If it's less then one half then upgrade the old one.
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Old 02-08-09, 08:47 PM   #16
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Great advice! I have removed the dork, luggage rack, and lock mount. I have replaced the stock pedals with a set of look clipless.

I have been thinking along the same lines with regard to cables. They are stock. I need to have those replaced and see how everything functions.

What should one expect to pay to have the front and rear shifter cables replaced, or all cables for that matter?
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Old 02-09-09, 04:10 AM   #17
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Great advice! I have removed the dork, luggage rack, and lock mount. I have replaced the stock pedals with a set of look clipless.

I have been thinking along the same lines with regard to cables. They are stock. I need to have those replaced and see how everything functions.

What should one expect to pay to have the front and rear shifter cables replaced, or all cables for that matter?
Well, in my neck of the woods you might as well pay to have a full tuneup done and pay the extra for a new set of cables. Your tuneup cost should also include the labor for the cables. Cables and labor will probably run you around $40-$50 in parts and labor. For $10-$20 more you get a full service.
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Old 02-09-09, 05:41 AM   #18
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I'll go against the crowd... I always lose the plastic spoke protectors, but with a chrome one, shine that baby up!!!! Turn it into bling!!!

As far as upgrade or buy new. You will probably save money if you buy new. You will end up with a bike that nobody else has if you upgrade.

I bought a 1986 Schwinn Voyageur, bought modern hubs and had modern wheels built with 27" rims and upgraded all components to modern Shimano 105. I did that instead of buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I ended up aith a bike that is unlike any I have ever seen (and I got the nearly NOS lugged Columbus steel Voyageur for cheaper than an LHT frame/fork). There may be someone somewhere riding another one like it, but I have yet to see one.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:14 AM   #19
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I'll go against the crowd... I always lose the plastic spoke protectors, but with a chrome one, shine that baby up!!!! Turn it into bling!!!

As far as upgrade or buy new. You will probably save money if you buy new. You will end up with a bike that nobody else has if you upgrade.

I bought a 1986 Schwinn Voyageur, bought modern hubs and had modern wheels built with 27" rims and upgraded all components to modern Shimano 105. I did that instead of buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I ended up aith a bike that is unlike any I have ever seen (and I got the nearly NOS lugged Columbus steel Voyageur for cheaper than an LHT frame/fork). There may be someone somewhere riding another one like it, but I have yet to see one.
The plastic spoke protectors tend to turn cloudy and yellow after a short while, and they usually get a chunk broken out of them fairly quickly, if you can find an old chrome METAL one, you shine it up, maybe use a little car wax on it, and they are good for decades, never seen a plastic one that was good for a year.....
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Old 02-10-09, 12:15 PM   #20
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How about taking it apart and simply repainting it, and putting new decals on? Go ahead and run new cables, clean/repack everything, and it will be just like new. And upgrade what you want, while your at it.
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Old 02-10-09, 06:33 PM   #21
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I know I need a full service tune up. I'm going to have my shop change the cables while they have it. I also found some Bianchi cork tape in celeste for the bars. I'll get them to check the chain too. As long as I can get the shifting smoothed out, there is really no need to replace the deraillures. Making those changes, as well as mounting my Schwelbe Marathon Supream HD Magic touring tires, and a new saddle ought to keep me rolling fat and happy.
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Old 02-10-09, 10:26 PM   #22
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You have the perfect bike...frame. I purchased a Torelli Cross bike the same vintage. Although I have three MTB bikes and three road bikes I am getting more cross riding time than on my other rides especially this winter. You could buy a couple of sets of 700c wheels and put a set of knobby cross tires on one pair and a set of road tires on the other and have a totally versatile bike. You can ride the road, off road, and set the bike up for touring.
The steel frame is a real keeper but, I would buy a more modern group either campy, shimano, or SRAM have lower end groups that are great. I am sure that the components on the bike are nice and may be in good shape but if you rebuild the bike you will probably find a lot of mechanical defects that are waiting to go. You might be able to sell the components on eBay or Craigs list.
I am using the bike for a testing platform for different component combinations that I will be using on a touring frame that I will be ordering from Waterford. I am a campy fan and had boxes of components that I am using on the bike to test different gearing, shifting, brake, wheel, and tire combinations. I plan on doing some unsupported touring next year upon retirement. I have done a lot of supported touring including 5 BTC rides, Ride Virginia, Ride Oregon, and several others. The cross bike will serve you well no matter what you do.
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Old 02-11-09, 07:03 PM   #23
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I've been mighty interested in Campy for a while now, Dean. Back in 03 I actually purchased Chorus cranks, rear, and front clamp on deraillures to mount on my Bianchi. I was unsure if I had bought the right size and sold off everything except the BB and pedals that came with the crank. If I stayed with a 7 speed mix in campy would I have to convert to friction shifting rather than index?
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Old 02-11-09, 07:42 PM   #24
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Bikes are like computers, after about 3 years they begin to slow down and you're better off buying a whole new bike.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:42 PM   #25
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Bikes are like computers, after about 3 years they begin to slow down and you're better off buying a whole new bike.
Actually with a computer the problem is that Windows is a horrible hunk of junk, it tends to get polluted over time, the solution is often drastic, get one of those portable external drives, copy all your files over to the portable drive, and do a bare metal reinstall of Windows, then reinstall your current applications and put your document files back, then your computer will run nice and fast again.

It's easier for a slow bike, a good cleaning and tuneup will do wonders....
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