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  1. #1
    South Denver Commuter Leiniesred's Avatar
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    Why are most commuter bikes OLD?

    Why are most commuter bikes OLD?

    My wife asked me this a couple of nights ago as I maintained my 1986 Specialized Rockhopper commuter.
    I told her I think it is because old bikes are lower theft risk and most commuters get parked outside all day.
    In addition, They just don't make 'em like they used to! Any bike that has already survived 20 years is obviously low maintenance and that is what a commuter needs in a bike that gets ridden almost every day.
    200? Bianchi Milano (main commuter)
    2003 Specialized Epic

  2. #2
    It's true, man.
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    Yesterday on the train, a girl asked me if my '80 Miyata was a new bike.
    Me: "What year were you born?"
    Her: "1985"
    Me: ... "noooo - just a different one."
    Her: "Oh - it's pretty"
    Me; "Thanks"

  3. #3
    Senior Member pluc's Avatar
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    Personally the only thing I'm interested in these old bikes are the frames. I like to strip them apart and convert them to my taste.

    What's nice is they often have touring-like geometry, all the mounts you need to put racks and fenders and horizontal dropouts, all that on 26" wheels.

    What else can you ask more? They just don't make these anymore.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by truman View Post
    Yesterday on the train, a girl asked me if my '80 Miyata was a new bike.
    Me: "What year were you born?"
    Her: "1985"
    Me: ... "noooo - just a different one."
    Her: "Oh - it's pretty"
    Me; "Thanks"

    pix(of the girl)plz

  5. #5
    Code Warrior mwrobe1's Avatar
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    I roll on a 21 year old, 27 pound steel with friction shifters. I like it.

    If you have the means...and want to drop a grand or 2 or 3 on something with modern components and roll on carbon or Ti...more power to ya.

    Anything that keeps you off the couch and keeps a Wide Load sign off your *****.
    Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, 1/2 a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

    Jake: Hit it.



  6. #6
    Ex-Lion Tamer Bklyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truman View Post
    Yesterday on the train, a girl asked me if my '80 Miyata was a new bike.
    Me: "What year were you born?"
    Her: "1985"
    Me: ... "noooo - just a different one."
    Her: "Oh - it's pretty"
    Me; "Thanks"
    Um...huh?
    I mean, I like it. It's like early William S. Burroughs. But I have so many questions!

  7. #7
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwrobe1 View Post
    I roll on a 21 year old, 27 pound steel with friction shifters. I like it.

    If you have the means...and want to drop a grand or 2 or 3 on something with modern components and roll on carbon or Ti...more power to ya.

    Anything that keeps you off the couch and keeps a Wide Load sign off your *****.
    +1. I commute on a 1972 Paramount, 1973 World Voyageur (Both Schwinn) & a 1981 Trek 710. Old works for me as it is usually cheap & easy. New is cool too but I like messin' with stuff.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I specifically bought a NOS (New Old Stock) bike frame from the mid 90's (Schwinn Passage) for my commuter because it was cheap and had downtube shifter bosses and eyelets so I could get away without having to buy (relatively) unreliable brifters and could mount a rack and permanent fenders.

    For a while, most of the road type bicycles, from the entry level to the top, lacked niceties that differentiate commuter bikes from road bikes. These features are starting to come back now with offering from Surly and Raleigh and others, but at the time, I was looking for something under $200 to replace a crashed and bent frame, and the only thing I could find in that price range was house brand SuperGo/Performance, which didn't offer anything that would attract a commuter.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  9. #9
    Certifiable Bike "Expert"
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    You can keep your old relics. I prefer a more modern machine:

    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  10. #10
    Commuter everichon's Avatar
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    Mine is old because I'm broke.

  11. #11
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    probably a couple of reasons.
    First, most bike storage is outside and ppl don't want to leave their high end machines outside exposed to the elements. Second, and related, ppl don't want to risk having nice, new machines stolen. If a beater gets snaged it's not the end of the world. Additionally, ppl might not want daily commuting mileage causing wear and tear on a newer machine that gets used for weekend rides, racing, training, fun, etc. Another factor might be that cyclists often have emotional attachments to their bikes. Many older bikes are also more comfortable to ride than a modern road bike and they suffice for short commuting type rides. Commuting a few miles on a slow old comfy bike is nice. Doing a long weekend ride on one isn't. Vice versa for a road bike. Then there's the utilitarian aspect. Since bike commuters tend to be utilitarian, and we probably all see the value in a bike that still works, we don't see a need to just pitch an old bike for something else.
    One Less Car
    Conservation begins with you.

  12. #12
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    I'll hopefully be picking up an old Fuji Palisades or an old fuji touring bike in the next week or so. I had to get rid if my Schwinn Le Tour iV in Strawberry red because it was too small for me.
    Riding a 07' Fuji Touring bike now which with the exception of the STI shifters and extra gears is probably the sam as the '83 Fuji Touring bike. My '07 even has a quill stem and weighs over 27lbs so it ain't any lighter.

  13. #13
    Huge Member
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    I ride a 46 pound wrought iron velocipede

  14. #14
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    I like old because the frame is usually steel, which I prefer.

    ooops! two of my commuter bikes has AL frame. I hope I didn't hurt their feelings.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by State View Post
    I ride a 46 pound wrought iron velocipede
    Oooo! A new lightweight one! Cool!
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
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    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  16. #16
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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    I thought my 1990 Trek 1400 with 7 speed and down tube shifters was old!

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seafoamer View Post
    pix(of the girl)plz
    Man I must be getting old, I had to think about it for a second to see if 1985 is "legal". I was born in '82.

    That being said, I try not to shop for any bikes younger then me. I ride a '73 Peugeot and a late 80's (?) Raleigh. Just sold my '77 Free Spirit cruiser.

    And yes, +1 on the "mine is old because I'm broke"
    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    ..... but at the end of the day we're all just dorks riding around on bicycles, right?

  18. #18
    Artful Dodger
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    I took my 1991 Diamond Back Ascente into the local Performance shop yesterday because the crank was loose. The mechanic was great, answered some questions I had about lighting very politely. Didn't treat me like an uncouth, unwashed non-racer. Asked him to schedule an overhaud because it was 15 years old and he said "why, i'd like to take your money but its in great shape, bring it back next spring."

  19. #19
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen View Post
    Man I must be getting old, I had to think about it for a second to see if 1985 is "legal". I was born in '82.
    +1.

    "1985 is a year yonger than my brother, my brother is two years younger than me, therefore 1985=little kid... Um, wait... 1985 = 22 years old. How old am I again?" *long pause* "Holy jeebus! Surely not!"

    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  20. #20
    It's true, man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen View Post
    Man I must be getting old, I had to think about it for a second to see if 1985 is "legal". I was born in '82.

    She's sorta cute but bless her heart, with her braces she could pass for about 14.

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwrobe1 View Post
    I roll on a 21 year old, 27 pound steel with friction shifters. I like it.

    If you have the means...and want to drop a grand or 2 or 3 on something with modern components and roll on carbon or Ti...more power to ya.

    It's a good point... 20 years from now are those Ti and CF frames going to be suitable for commuting? I personally doubt the CF frames will be around...

    So what will be used for the commuter bikes of the future?

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Old is relative when it comes to commuter bikes. My 1986 Marin has parts that range in age from 1986 to Tuesday of last week. How old is it my bike? Depends on which angle you are looking at it from.

  23. #23
    Code Warrior mwrobe1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    It's a good point... 20 years from now are those Ti and CF frames going to be suitable for commuting? I personally doubt the CF frames will be around...

    So what will be used for the commuter bikes of the future?
    I don't know. Some on this board have some older CF bikes that work just fine for them (don't know if they get abused from a commute too much) and some others commute on CF. Time (and the riders level of fitness) will tell of its durability.

    But when mwrobe1 has some more $$$ to spend on bike schwag...I'm dropping the coin on a Surly LHT (steel) and when I have a little more $$$$ I may look into a Ti build.

    I can wait.
    Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, 1/2 a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

    Jake: Hit it.



  24. #24
    Rainy day people BikinginSeattle's Avatar
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    I ride two different old bikes because it rains here about half the year and I'm not about to clean my entire ride twice a day when it's raining. I let them get really dirty.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    No point in getting a nice new modern bike with a 3 pound frame for thousands of dollars only to throw rack, fenders, lights, lock, and 20 pounds worth of crap on it. Turn the question around - why would you get a modern bike to turn into a commuter over simply spending $100 on bike and outfitting it as you need?

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