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Old 02-23-11, 11:07 PM   #26
ciocc_cat
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
TDF: It's a bike race with tactics. It isn't a time trial. And the course changes yearly.
These comparisons are interesting, but meaningless.

Anyone who can't perceive a positive difference between a Schwin Varsity and and adjusted-for-inflation similarly priced carbon-esque bike made in 2011, well, I've got a a bike you might like to buy.
I didn't know that anyone ever raced a Schwinn Varsity in the TDF.

At 11.5 kg, Fausto Coppi's 1952 Bianchi TDF bike was considerably lighter than an 18 kg Varsity.

As has already been pointed out, improvements in road surfaces, team support, nutrition, training and bikes have all contributed to higher average speeds. The contribution of lighter/better equipment can't be ignored, but shouldn't overstated, either. In my experience, "New and Improved" is all-too-often really just "New-and-we-want-you-to-think-its-improved-so-you'll-buy-it".
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Old 02-24-11, 07:41 AM   #27
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I'm fortunate that my old school bikes were very good. When I compare my older bikes, I'm not thinking about some mass produced POS.

Often when owners of the latest & greatest bikes (usually kitted out with Ultegra, Dura Ace, Super Record or Red) begin to talk about how much better their new bike is, compared to a bike they once owned, they fail to mention that the old school, steel bike, was a mass-produced 12 speed twenty-year-old $200 bike they purchased used.

These, to me, provide a better reference;




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Old 02-24-11, 07:59 AM   #28
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I'm fortunate that my old school bikes were very good. When I compair my older bikes, I'm not thinking about some mass produced POS.

Often when owners of the latest & greatest bikes (usually kitted out with Ultegra, Dura Ace, Super Record or Red) begin to talk about how much better their new bike is, compared to a bike they once owned, they fail to mention that the old school, steel bike, was a mass-produced 12 speed twenty-year-old $200 bike they purchased used.

These, to me, provide a better reference;



I have a 78 Paramount With a Campy Nuovo Record Grouppo, and a 2007 Lemond Carbon with full Dura Ace. There is no comparison, in the shifting or braking; the new stuff is far superior. As to ride characteristics, to each his own. I have an aluminum Giant with a carbon fork that is just as good a ride as the Paramount, The Lemond is better than either.
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Old 02-25-11, 01:32 AM   #29
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With regard to tcs' analysis, what were the mountain climbing stages in each event?

It's also well known that at elite levels of any sport, the improvements are made incrementally, not in blinding leaps.

Just as a little reference, over a 200km stage, the 1960 rider would finish around 20 minutes behind the 2010 winner. Over the entire race distance of, say, 3500km, the 2010 winner would finish some six hours ahead of the 1960s winner.

I like old bikes, too. My favourite thus far is a Shogun 400 lugged steel frame that is my fixed gear. And steel is a nice material for me -- our new tandem is a Columbus-tubed frame. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the comfort and other performance factors of my other bikes, including CF and Ti. And frankly, why bother with old derailleurs and shifters and brake levers and other stuff from yesteryear? It just isn't as crisp and nice to use and probably ranks in quality with the level of equipment attached now to entry levels bikes.
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Old 02-25-11, 10:49 AM   #30
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I had a bright yellow Schwinn Varsity as a teenager. I loved that bike, rode it everywhere, commuted to my little after school job and worked it to the bone. I have fond memories of it. I thought of it last weekend while flying along on my new carbon bike. As I approached a big hill I was dreading the effort, but the carbon bike practically jumped up that hill! I got to the top, looked down and outloud said, "WOW!WOW!WOW!" I relegated my beloved Varsity where it belonged- in my memory.
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Old 02-25-11, 11:15 AM   #31
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The new stuff is better, by far, but the old stuff has its merit and charm.

Most of my cycling is not too demanding and a wide range of road bikes will do what I need. A typical ride for me is a flat 55 mile solo ride in three hours and twenty minutes. I'm not climbing anything steep or long, I'm not hammering hard to keep up with a fast group.

My older bikes do well on these rides. The '74 Paramount lacks much of a gear range and shifting is slow, but it's about 90% as fast as my fastest modern road bike. My updated '87 Trek 400 has 20 speeds and well spaced gears, so it's a little faster.

But the modern bikes do everything well & are better than the older bikes. Modern brifters, crank-sets and all kinds of gearing options make the new bikes faster and support longer rides on hilly routes perfectly. I'll take my 2008 Soma Double Cross or my 2008 made-by-Lynskey Planet X ti bike anytime a challenging day of riding is planned.
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Often when owners of the latest & greatest bikes (usually kitted out with Ultegra, Dura Ace, Super Record or Red) begin to talk about how much better their new bike is, compared to a bike they once owned, they fail to mention that the old school, steel bike, was a mass-produced 12 speed twenty-year-old $200 bike they purchased used.
How viable an older bike is depends on the bike and on the needs of the rider.
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