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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 05-06-08, 03:20 PM   #26
RoyIII
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I am nostalgic as the next guy. I'm 64 and wish I still had my old Peugeot PX10. I'd buy back the Colnago in a minute and then upgrade it. Maybe turn it into a fixed gear bike - they are GREAT riding. I have a fixed steel bike that I love to ride. If not, I just bought a new carbon frame - the rs2 group buy from the forum- and built up the bike. 16 lbs. I have been a steel guy, with one cannondale exception, and I tell you what, the rs2 rides like a dream! You can get a lot of bike for $1600-2000 these days. It's good advice to look at the Giants. If I were you I'd look at Cannondale too. Their aluminum rides great. The main thing is that it fits you and you like it. Let us know what you end up doing. The main thing is to get something you will ride.
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Old 05-06-08, 03:43 PM   #27
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I had a similar situation with my old MASI. It is a '77, California MASI, and I couldn't bring myself to sell it. Too nice a frame, too many memories.

My main road bike is a Calfee Tetra; yeah, all carbon. Great bike. FSA and Shimano Ultegra components, Topolino wheels.

So I converted my MASI to a single speed, and now I ride it a lot for recovery rides (the 42t x 16t keeps me from wanting to go too fast). Very comfortable bike.

I even rode it on a local 5fix2 ride with a bunch of "kids" (med. age probably 22) and their fixie bikes. Great fun!

(Ask Alice, I think she'll know). Here it is in single-speed set up:

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Old 05-06-08, 04:23 PM   #28
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Well, let's see... I had an old, trusty, steel Gitane that I road a lot in the early to mid '80s
Loved that bike and I put a lot of miles on it but, like for you, things changed and I didn't ride anymore.
Fast forward 20 years and the bike is gathering cobwebs and taking up room I don't have.
So, I dumped the bike for fifty bucks.
Fast forward another 6 months and I get the bug again (with the enabling assist of the ever lovely Mrs S) and I'm back in the saddle of a great, new Gary Fisher hybrid.
Fast forward another year and I realize that -while the hybrid is nice. Really nice- the road is my one, try love so I buy a nice new aluminum bike. It is LIGHT YEARS better than the old Gitane ever was. Even had I started up again with an overhauled Gitane, the LeMond would still have been a given just because it is so much better a bike.
Fast forward another year -to now- and I get the carbon bug and it is to the LeMond what the LeMond was to the Gary Fisher

The moral of this shaggy dog story?
Get thee to the LBS and test a bunch of new bikes and then buy one of them.
Things are that much better now.
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Old 05-06-08, 04:34 PM   #29
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Well, after reading all the posts, I've got to put in one more post.

I miss my old Paramount. Great, comfortable ride. Money can add different components--enough money can add anything you want to add to the old steel steed, and that will probably be less than you would spend if you don't get into the bicycle upgrade game. Just speaking from a lot of experience and a lot less weight in my ass pocket.
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Old 05-06-08, 04:41 PM   #30
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N+1+1+1

You will never regret having two different style bikes.

I have three (mtn bike, utility road bike and Lemond), and they all have different personalities, and I love them all, but I ride the Lemond the most.
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Old 05-06-08, 05:36 PM   #31
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Well, after reading all the posts, I've got to put in one more post.
Money can add different components--enough money can add anything you want to add to the old steel steed...
Now, that's the right attitude!

But I'd still say, try a bunch before you decide (and, yes, watch out for that "upgrade game". It can be a killer)
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Old 05-06-08, 06:05 PM   #32
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If the Colnago still is set up pretty much the way you sold it and/or it doesn't need a bunch of parts to get it that way it would be a good intro back into the riding thing. But, on a going forward basis getting replacement parts will always be somewhat of an issue.

OTOH with a new bike you'll get the benefit of a personalized fitting, modern components that work well and new replacement parts can be had at nearly any decently equipped LBS.

Is there any way you could grab the old steed, get back into riding and take some time educate yourself about the new stuff; then make a new purchase later?
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Old 05-06-08, 06:23 PM   #33
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I have a new CF Specialized and my old Steel bike. I love them both - so N+1 works for me. But... for practicality reasons I would not give $1600 for any bike where the frame would have to be bent to update to a 10 cog cassett, you could probably find a nice Colnalgo frame on E-Bay that could be outfitted with a whole new Campy group for less. Forget about the nostalgic value - is it a good value at $1600, maybe the right price is $600.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:33 PM   #34
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I would not think of trying to modernize the Colnago. If you want modern components, go for a new bike.

The question of the true value of the Colnago is a good one. I don't know what it is really worth. I do know that a new bike selling for $1600 is not going to be of similar quality level as a top level hand made Italian lugged steel frame with Campy Record components. The new bike would be what? Aluminum frame with carbon stays and fork and 105 or Veloce level components? That would be a nice bike with modern features, but quality is timeless. It would be a step down.
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Old 05-07-08, 01:00 AM   #35
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My '84 Centurion gets ridden a fair amount and I love it, but I mostly ride the newer bikes - Calfee Tetra and Talerico (modern lugged steel). Give me 10 speeds and Ergo. To a degree, stiffer and lighter is better.

But the nice thing - vintage Colnago, new bike, or N+1 - there is no wrong answer. Just do it.
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Old 05-07-08, 05:34 AM   #36
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I'd like to thank all of you for your input - I never expected to get this many replies, but I guess with people our age, we have a lot of experience - and opinions - and aren't afraid to express them! As it should be.

I'd like to report that I've made a decision, but I haven't. The differing opinions in this thread reflect the swirling that's been going around in my head for the past week.

I have to admit that the new technology scares me a bit - carbon bikes, that crack, peel, cable rub, glued-in components - a disposable bike almost - then again, I remember upgrading from my Cannondale touring bike to the Colnago - oh my God - the difference was remarkable and inspiring. I guess I need to get out and experience the new technology before making a decision - is it frivolous to have a Sunday ride, too - in addition to the everyday workhorse that reflects the latest technology?

Then again, I'm 55, I don't expect to be doing any time trials in the near future - it's flat around here - how fast do I need to go? How many gears do I need? New vs. old technology - what's the difference in speed? 5% - 10%? Comfort? Here I go again. I'll let you know what I do. Thanks again.
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Old 05-07-08, 05:52 AM   #37
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Then again, I'm 55, I don't expect to be doing any time trials in the near future - it's flat around here - how fast do I need to go? How many gears do I need? New vs. old technology - what's the difference in speed? 5% - 10%? Comfort? Here I go again. I'll let you know what I do. Thanks again.
I don't want to bore you with how many times I have seen statements like that written on this forum, and then, a year or so later, a big change in attitude and goals.

I started bicycling (seriously) at 58 years old in March, 1998. I did the 350 mile "Ride the Rockies" in late June of that year, including Colorado passes at 11-12,000 feet. I am now 68 years old, and yesterday I swam 45 minutes in the morning and then went for a 20 mile bike ride.

There are folks here in their 60's doing time trials.

Don't start using "I am 55 years old" as an excuse. It won't fly here.

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Old 05-07-08, 06:01 AM   #38
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Is it frivolous to have a Sunday ride, too - in addition to the everyday workhorse that reflects the latest technology?
When confronted with two good options, choose them both if you can. Compared with the price of blonds, sports cars, sail boats and other diversions, owning a couple of bikes is a pretty reasonable proposition.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:42 AM   #39
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is it frivolous to have a Sunday ride, too - in addition to the everyday workhorse that reflects the latest technology?
Maybe, but what's wrong with that? Read a few posts and you'll see that many of us have many bikes for all sorts of reasons. Some are minor variations of the same type of bike, some are bikes for very different kinds of riding. Any reason for adding a bike to the stable is a good one. N+1 will set you free!
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Old 05-07-08, 08:13 AM   #40
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I have to admit that the new technology scares me a bit - carbon bikes, that crack, peel, cable rub, glued-in components - a disposable bike almost - then again, I remember upgrading from my Cannondale touring bike to the Colnago - oh my God - the difference was remarkable and inspiring.
My carbon fiber Calfee is 9 years young and without a problem, although I did replace the original fork. If you are more comfortable with steel that's OK too. Aluminum bikes today don't have a ride like the early C'dales. And Ti bikes these days are not generally as flexible/whippy as before.

Nothing today is as maintenance free as downtube, friction shifting, but then many people prefer indexed drivetrains, 9 or 10 speed cassettes and not having to take hands off the handlebars for gear shifts.

If you are going to cycle again for health reasons find any bike that will inspire you to ride a lot. As always a good fitting frame is the most important factor for comfort.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:06 AM   #41
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Old 05-07-08, 10:51 PM   #42
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My two cents: I am about your age and I too have ridden since I was in high school. I have had a variety of pretty good road/racing bikes in my life. I gave up road biking per se in favor of touring in the late 70s - early 80s, and kept the last touring bike I bought, a Univega Grand Touring ('86). I rode it once in a while, mainly for recreation. Last year I got interested in road biking again and went looking. As a previous poster mentioned, I too just couldn't stand the look of "modern" bikes, but I wanted to try a "new" bike just the same. I ended up buying a new LeMond Sarthe - the only bike I found that I could afford that had a "steel esthetic" and modern design elements and components. I loved it at first ride, bought it, and have been riding it daily (well, almost) ever since. I have to say, if I can use my moderately-priced road bike as a comparison, new bikes with new technology and new designs (especially the gearing/shifters) are a genuine improvement. My LeMond is so quick, so easy to ride, and so satisfying I am glad now that I fought down the old codger instinct to cling to the old and praise it for sentimental reasons. I still commute on the Univega, but I have fun on the LeMond.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:59 PM   #43
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Start a new adventure with a new bike . . .
Old bikes are nice, new ones are nicer!
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Old 05-08-08, 04:50 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
You know what the old bike rides like.

So I would make a quick trip to a couple of LBSs and ride what they offer for $1500-$2000. Then decide which one gives you the most joy & go with it.
I can see why your head would be swirling! As Tom and a couple others suggested, maybe it's test ride time. You might ride some of the new stuff, and realise that with this new stuff under your but, you will never throw a leg over the old bike. Or ... you might not like the new brifters, etc, and your decision is made.

I rebuilt an old bike of mine over the winter, and using it to commute, and do a Century ride later this year. Riding with others though, it has become increasingly apparent to me, that I eventually want a new bike with integrated shifting, etc. We are all different, but maybe some test drives will stop the head-spin.
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Old 05-08-08, 05:26 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Melliman View Post
snip
I have to admit that the new technology scares me a bit - carbon bikes, that crack, peel, cable rub, glued-in components - a disposable bike almost -
snip.
I wouldn't give this much thought. My Trek carbon bike frame has a lifetime warranty.
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Old 05-08-08, 07:43 PM   #46
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I have to pipe back in. I well built older steel frame will ride just as good if not better and for most of us and climb as well as a new all CF bike. The issue is the components. the new stuff (Whether it be Ultegra/DA or Chorus/Record) shifts so much smoother and faster and for my money Brifters are a dream come true - I went over to them in 11 years ago. Try shifting on a standing climb with down tubes and not even hearing a click out of the drive train when you do it - that's what the new stuff will do. Many of us here like the tight gear spacings of a 10 speed cassett, you can keep the same cadence and pedal pressure as the terrain and wind resistance changes and it makes the ride so much more enjoyable. With the new stuff you don't even think about shifting - you just do it.

If you like classic steel (mine is a classic lugged frame with chromed fork and stays) you can find one that will take a modern group. A new Chorus group can be had on ebay for $1200. You may pay more than $1600 to outfit the modern equivalent of your previous steed but in the end you will have a great ride that is a joy to look at as well.

I learned a valuable lesson when I entered the vintage sports car restoration hobby, for every dollar you spend you are lucky to get back 50 cents and you will have a car that does not perform as well as a modern toyota corrola. Remember - they don't build'm like they use to - and there's a good reason for that.

If you are purely looking for nostalga - well then it really doesn't matter now - does it?
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Old 05-08-08, 07:50 PM   #47
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With the new stuff you don't even think about shifting - you just do it.
What's wrong with thinking?
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Old 05-08-08, 07:56 PM   #48
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What's wrong with thinking?
Tried it once - got a head ache
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Old 05-08-08, 08:08 PM   #49
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I think tsl hit it square on the head. You've been given a rare second chance, so don't let that Colnago slip away from you again. But later, get yourself something more modern, just for a change of pace. ....
Hubby's 1972 Schwinn Sport Tourer (which came stock with Campy parts and a Brooks saddle, now broken in) hung from a hook in the garage for many years. He kept saying he wanted to get it down and start riding it again. Well last year, he finally got it down and replaced the wheels and spokes, and started riding it again. It's his "old faithful" bike. A few weekends ago, the chain broke after 34 years. It's heavy, but it's vintage and I doubt he'll ever part with it.



That said... he also loves his new Specialized Roubaix Expert with full CF frame. It's light and fast. And when it's in the shop, he can always ride the Schwinn... and vise-versa (a case for at least 2 bikes).
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Old 05-08-08, 08:12 PM   #50
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There are some really great bikes out there for about $1500.

What size wheels did the old mount have..........if 27 then tire selection is somewhat limited.
Better brakes on modern bikes (certainly easier to replace pads and adjust)

I'd get into test ride mode if I were you.

Retro bikes will just turn you into a grouch.
+1! unless the brake clearances on your old ride are so close that you might do a 700c conversion, and also if you don't care about brifters.
I can't convert my 27" wheels to 700c easily. Even so for me, since I ride mainly solo or with my SO and never in echelon, I don't think newer would be much better. I just ride for my health and sanity. I'm never gonna tear up the hills as I once did - knees don't last forever. But keep an open mind and test a few modern bikes out anyway - you're not obligated to buy by after a test ride.
- it isn't the retro bikes that turned me into a grouch - it's the retro me!
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