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Old 08-18-05, 07:47 PM   #1
bbgandpg
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Buy a new bike or upgrade my old one?

I have a 25 year old Lotus Classique 12 speed road bike that I never seem to ride. I am 70, in good shape, and want to get back to cycling. I decided to buy a new fitness bike and narrowed my choice to a Giant FCR 3 or a Trek 7500FX. I like the Giant better but am concerned about the gearing (52/42/30 chainring and 12-26 cogs) which works out to a low gear of 31 gear in, while the Trek is ( 48/36/26 and 11-34) which works out to 21 and should make it much easier to climb hills.
Several people have recommended that instead of buying a new bike I should upgrade my Lotus with new equipment. I can't decide which would be the best decision. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-18-05, 08:07 PM   #2
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I spent about $120 fixing up my Raleigh Talon mountain bike from about ten years ago and then found out it is too small for me. I might have been able to make it work but I got a Trek 7200 instead and I've been happy with my choice. Just wish I hadn't wasted the money on the Raleigh. What I did wasn't an upgrade so much as a fix-up.

I'm not the strongest person in the world and can do most hills on my 28/38/48, 11/32 set-up so the Trek set-up should be good for you. But bear in mind that I'm no expert. Have fun!
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Old 08-18-05, 09:10 PM   #3
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Buy a new bike and keep the old one. You can't have too many, and you never know when you may need a spare.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:58 PM   #4
will dehne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbgandpg
I have a 25 year old Lotus Classique 12 speed road bike that I never seem to ride. I am 70, in good shape, and want to get back to cycling. I decided to buy a new fitness bike and narrowed my choice to a Giant FCR 3 or a Trek 7500FX. I like the Giant better but am concerned about the gearing (52/42/30 chainring and 12-26 cogs) which works out to a low gear of 31 gear in, while the Trek is ( 48/36/26 and 11-34) which works out to 21 and should make it much easier to climb hills.
Several people have recommended that instead of buying a new bike I should upgrade my Lotus with new equipment. I can't decide which would be the best decision. Any advice would be appreciated.

You know that the answer to your question has to do with your financial situation.
You say you are 70. I am 63. At that age we cannot afford NOT to get out of life what we can. I can tell you that the joy of a state of the arts road bike is not to be compared with a patch job on a 25 year old bike. Technology has run away from that design.
Assuming money is no object, get a top of the line bike such as Specialized Roboix
(spelling not checked) or Trek CF. These bikes are so fabulous that you will wonder why you did not do it sooner. ($5,000)
But this is just my opinion. Time is running out.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:59 PM   #5
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If you can afford such indulgence, a new bike might be advantageous. Easier shifting, if that is an issue, a fresh set of wheels, perhaps a more comfortable frame material. Also, there are more variations now: hybrids, "relaxed" but very cruise-worthy road bikes, featherweights, etc. Body changes may dictate a different fit and riding style than what the old bike provides. Worth taking a look to find out what's available and what's desirable for you.

OTH, a good local bike shop can tune your old bike, possibly refit you with a different stem, bars, saddle, wheels, etc. if your present frame is what you want.

Sounds like test ride and comparison time....lucky guy! I have more than one bike and ride 'em all depending on circumstance, mood, etc. (It can be demanding maintaining them all...but beats watching TV!

Keep us posted on your progress and hang out here at the forum kicking in your two cents. I admire you...not just for returning to cycling at 70, but for "kicking back the jams".
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Old 08-18-05, 10:37 PM   #6
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I LOVE my 7500FX - it is fast, comfortable, and quick handling. If I could only keep one of my bikes that would be the one because it can do it all and is so much fun.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:53 AM   #7
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A 48/36/26 front crank does give you some great gearing considering the fact that you will probably not be racing and they only time you need the hard gears is when you want a little extra speed pedaling on a steep down hill.

Other options would be to get a cost extimate of having the Giant 12-26 & rear derailleur swaped out for a 13-32/13-34 cassette with long cage derailleur and having the front chainrings changed from 30/42/52 to 28/42/52. If the cost was worth the difference in ride/fit between the 2 bikes, you would want the shop to modify the bike as part of the purchase and you would want to test ride it with the new gearing before purchase to confirm that they installed and tuned everything correctly. The gearing change would not give you the same easy gearing as the Trek, but should be ok unless you have a steep hill/mountain to climb everyday or need to carry alot of extra weight on the bike.

Have fun shopping & good luck.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:57 AM   #8
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I am only 51 but here's my 2 cents.

I returned to biking in 2003 and bought a 7500FX. Since my job requires lots of travel, I get to ride only 6 to 8 days per month. Even with this lack of conditioning, I have found the gears to be great for all the hills here in Middle Tennessee. I may be slow, but I have yet to walked up any, including those on the Natchez Trace Parkway!

I still ride my '74 Schwinn Super Sport for grins, but the "technology" in the 7500FX is like rocket science compared to the Schwinn.
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Old 08-19-05, 09:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by doghouse
I still ride my '74 Schwinn Super Sport for grins, but the "technology" in the 7500FX is like rocket science compared to the Schwinn.

I'd have to agree with Doghouse as I recently went from my upgraded 79 Motobecane to a Specialized Roubaix Comp. It was like going from a large, old 6 cylinder Buick to a Porsche. Buy something new & save the old bike for occasional rides.
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Old 08-19-05, 09:26 AM   #10
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My sentiments are the same. The older you get, the more you want to experience things before you cannot. Assuming you go for a new bike and spend 5 grand, then skip the high volume manufacturers and go for a boron carbon fiber Calfee.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:19 AM   #11
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I have a collection of bicycles ranging from a 30 year old Motobecane touring bike to a 2 year old Bianchi Imola. Given the choice, I always opt for one of my 2 late 80's Centurion bicycles, one set up as a fixed gear, the other a purely stock touring bike (with friction shifters and 27" wheels) except for the Brooks seat. In some ways I regret buying the newer, more expensive bikes, as, at least for me, they don't offer much over my Centurions -- and I can fix exery part on the older bikes. At $50 for the fixie and $15 for the other one, plus some new tires, inline brakes, and bar tape, I'll stick with my old bikes. Besides, there's a certain satisfaction in passing folks on much more expensive bikes while riding one of my "old clunkers". By the way, in three months I'll join the Medicare set.

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Old 08-19-05, 10:32 AM   #12
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Buy a new one and convert the old one to a single speed. I bet you'll love riding them both.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:04 AM   #13
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No, upgrading is rarely the best choice for an older bike.
I have a 1977 Peugeot UO-10 that I wanted to upgrade, but after pricing out the components, it wasn't cost effective.

Of course, if you really like the bike, and have the disposable income, then by all means go ahead and upgrade. I really like my Peugeot, but didn't have the cash to throw at it.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbgandpg
I have a 25 year old Lotus Classique 12 speed road bike that I never seem to ride. I am 70, in good shape, and want to get back to cycling. I decided to buy a new fitness bike and narrowed my choice to a Giant FCR 3 or a Trek 7500FX. I like the Giant better but am concerned about the gearing (52/42/30 chainring and 12-26 cogs) which works out to a low gear of 31 gear in, while the Trek is ( 48/36/26 and 11-34) which works out to 21 and should make it much easier to climb hills.
Several people have recommended that instead of buying a new bike I should upgrade my Lotus with new equipment. I can't decide which would be the best decision. Any advice would be appreciated.
25 years old and only 12 gears. Too much on this bike is old technology to make it viable for upgrading. However, if Cash is the problem then first upgrade should be on the gearing and wheels. That with labour will be most of the cost of a new bike, so is it worth it? All you will have is an old bike with new bits fitted.
On the choice of the two bikes- trek and giant. Try both out. I, would go for the trek, and that is only because of the gearing. 48/ 11 is a high enough gear for me on the road.(I normally ride offroad) wheras I would not enjoy 30/26 on some of our local hills, even on the road. The final test is comfort though, so do try them both out.
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Old 08-19-05, 12:15 PM   #15
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New, new, new. I ride with a guy who's 80. In ten years, you can upgrade the new one.
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Old 08-19-05, 02:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim-in-Kirkland
Other options would be to get a cost extimate of having the Giant 12-26 & rear derailleur swaped out for a 13-32/13-34 cassette with long cage derailleur and having the front chainrings changed from 30/42/52 to 28/42/52. I

Have fun shopping & good luck.
Darn, Jim beat me. Cost of labor is about $15, Only cost should be chainrings. Dealer should shift out cassette at no charge. Mine did.

My recommendation would be:
28/42/54 12-32 or 11-34 cassette if you want more top end.

I have a 28/42/54 12-27 Giant OCR and love the new gearing. One person who really loves low gears, has 22/42/52 12-27 and has no problems shifting.
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Old 08-19-05, 05:55 PM   #17
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I totally agree with Al1943:

Buy the new bike!!!! Keep the old one for a spare, bad weather etc. There will be times when your primary ride is down for repairs/maintenance. That's when you pull out your old pal and appreciate him/her.
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