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Old 02-27-06, 02:46 PM   #1
gfischman 
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Re-entering cycling - keep the OLD bike or start over?

I'm an older ex-cycler (not quite in the 50+ category) looking to get back into riding. Not heavy duty stuff, just some light touring.

I have a very old bike that I built from scratch when I was a kid. At the time, it was pretty high end. I'm not sure where it would fall today - thirty years later. At a minimum, I'd want to ditch the silk sew-ups (do they still make sew-ups?) and replace 'em with something a little more robust. But I'm wondering if it makes sense to convert a 35-year-old criterium bike or if I should just get rid of it and go out and buy something new?
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Old 02-27-06, 03:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfischman
I'm an older ex-cycler (not quite in the 50+ category) looking to get back into riding. Not heavy duty stuff, just some light touring.

I have a very old bike that I built from scratch when I was a kid. At the time, it was pretty high end. I'm not sure where it would fall today - thirty years later. At a minimum, I'd want to ditch the silk sew-ups (do they still make sew-ups?) and replace 'em with something a little more robust. But I'm wondering if it makes sense to convert a 35-year-old criterium bike or if I should just get rid of it and go out and buy something new?
Its cheaper to buy new.

You'll get all the latest technology advances from you old bike. Unless you really like your old bike, its not worth the time and effort to upgrade parts. There have been many changes of the last 30 years. Go out and test ride a few different style of bikes (touring, hybrid,racing,mountain) see what fits the bill for your needs.

Good luck.
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Old 02-27-06, 03:36 PM   #3
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Depends on which is your biggest motivator: saving money or getting a good ride.

If saving money, go with old and hope you can keep on riding. If getting a good ride, get a new bike and then you "have to ride" because you just spend $XXX on it.
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Old 02-27-06, 03:46 PM   #4
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Depends on what you mean by 'convert'.

If you just want something to ride again to see if you really do want to ride again, and the old bike is still the right size for you (not sure how much of a kid you were when you built it ), then you could either just buy a new set of sew-ups (and yes, they still make them ), or get some new tires (which will require either new rims or wheels).

If you're looking to upgrade the componentry on it, then it probably is cheaper to buy a new bike than to buy the components you'd need. Unless you really love the frame...

If you want to do some light touring, you'll probably want to go with at least a 700x28 tyre, and this might not fit your old frame.
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Old 02-27-06, 03:51 PM   #5
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Not really looking to upgrade the components. They were pretty high end back in the day. (Campagnolo, DuraAce, Mavic, Cinelli, etc.) I'm sure they're still at least adequate.

Maybe the better question is: what would I gain by going with "the latest technology"? What does "a good ride" mean?

If I were to buy new, is there a market for the old one?
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Old 02-27-06, 03:56 PM   #6
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The only real differences between your older bike and new would be intigrated shifting (aka Brifters/Egro-Levers) and lighter overall weight. If the bike really is 35y.o (or maybe 25?) then we need more information to really tell you what the best course of action is.
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Old 02-27-06, 03:59 PM   #7
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To see what the modern bicycle has to offer, you may want a new bike. To see what cycling has to offer, you can probably use your own. Just know that you will likely have a better experience on the newer bike. Depends on how much that matters to you.

I'd advise you to visit a bike shop and pick out a bike that you can reasonably afford. Then go up one model and buy that bike. With that plan you won't spend too much and will get a bike that will be good enough for the next 30 years if you so choose.

I am no expert on vintage bikes like yours but i can tell you that index shifting (available on virtually every new bike) is very cool. I wouldn't want to ride without it.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:00 PM   #8
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With those older components of that quality, they will have value as a whole bike or in pieces on ebay. A basic period bike wouldn't.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:03 PM   #9
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Its really over 30 years old. I bought a frame from a friend back in the early 70s. Its a Reynolds 531 criterium frame made by a Dutch builder named Zielmann. I added all the components one by one since as a kid, I couldn't afford to buy a whole bike. So I bought it in parts. Once I finished it, I took all the leftover parts and build another bike for my brother.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:10 PM   #10
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If you got pleasure from riding it then, you'll still get pleasure from riding it now. You have quality components on it.

I myself stayed with older equipment until the last year. They technological advances have done a lot for the sport.

Indexed and on the bars (STI/Ergo) is nice, but if you're comfortable with downtube friction then it won't kill you to keep with them for now.

If you find that your heart is back in it for the long-haul and it's going to take $300-$400 to get your ride back to where you want to have it then I think it's worth starting to hold out for a new bike.

Whatever you decide...just keep riding!
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Old 02-27-06, 04:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
I am no expert on vintage bikes like yours
Can we find better terminology than "vintage"? Jeeez, I feel like we're talking about my grandfather's Chrysler.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:14 PM   #12
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Keep your old bike as is. You can find Vittoria sew-ups for $20, not the lightest but they are very robust contrary to popular belief (pros still ride tubulars at times, but expensive ones). I still have my 79 racer with a custom fit columbus frame. I still ride it now and then for fun, it works great, I am even thinking of getting the frame resprayed as rust has settled here and there. You can still find parts fairly easily. I wouldn't sell it, sentimental value

Clean your bike, put new sew-ups and cables but don't invest in conversion. Ride it while you do your research on a newer bike. Test ride and pick the one that fits you and your budget best.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:23 PM   #13
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If $$$ is the problem, just buy some glue and 3 new sew-ups (one spare) and go riding . Oh, don't forget to tune her up before you go on a big ride.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfischman
Can we find better terminology than "vintage"? Jeeez, I feel like we're talking about my grandfather's Chrysler.
Not my term. It belongs to Bike Forums. Look, it won't cost you anything to go to a LBS and ride some new bikes. Or you can borrow a friend's. Ultimately you will have to decide.

I have never ridden your bike nor driven your grandpa's Chrysler. I have ridden old 10 speeds and i can promise that I would probably quit riding if i had to go to one full time, but that's just me. I think the newer bikes are just that much better.
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Old 02-27-06, 05:06 PM   #15
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Hi,
I'd get a new one, did get a new one. Depends on you,
as a middle aged guy, I wanted a more upright riding position, and a cushier ride than a stiff high performance bike was going to give me.
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Old 02-27-06, 06:04 PM   #16
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Start over. Better brakes, better materials &c. And Twist shifters are great. If you are gonna be serious about riding, GET decent equipment.
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Old 02-27-06, 09:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfischman
Its really over 30 years old. I bought a frame from a friend back in the early 70s. Its a Reynolds 531 criterium frame made by a Dutch builder named Zielmann. I added all the components one by one since as a kid, I couldn't afford to buy a whole bike. So I bought it in parts. Once I finished it, I took all the leftover parts and build another bike for my brother.
I'm not very familiar with this particular bike, but from what I understand, they are exceedingly rare and of very high quality.
http://classicrendezvous.com/Benelux/Zieleman_main.htm

Zieleman

Might want to post in Classic & Vintage about your Zieleman forum before you make a decision.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:18 PM   #18
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I don't see any reason to get a new bike. If you want to upgrade, keep your frame and components you want and upgrade the components that you think need upgrading.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:19 PM   #19
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As a "retro" guy myself, I would say ride the old bike with pride.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:27 PM   #20
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Yeah, ride it if you like it. I wish i still had a couple of my old bikes from 25 years ago.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:44 PM   #21
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I've been looking for a Zieleman since I first saw one in McLean Bikes in Va.

Just some info on your bike, it is one of 235 that were imported to the US
by the Meerman family (ran McLean bikes), they also were the importers
of RIH, and Batavus (also dutch bikes).

The frames were all what is referred to as Dutch Criterium geometry,
high bottom bracket (probably 10 3/8 inch), parallel angles not too steep.
Ko Zieleman also liked to mix tubing, I wouldn't be surprized if the fork
blades were Columbus.

As to what to do with it, I cannot with any objectivity tell you
since that is the one bike on top of my want list.

If you want more info on Zieleman, articles by Ko send me a PM

Marty
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Old 02-27-06, 11:01 PM   #22
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Hang with vintage. I just bought a 1963 Austro Daimer Bergmeister and I'm really enjoying it. I'm riding it much more than my litespeed right now.
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Old 02-27-06, 11:25 PM   #23
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If you like your current bike then ride it. I bought a PX10 over 30 years ago and continued to use it when I got back to serious riding over 4 years. Using only my PX10 for the last 4 years, I have logged over 22k. I did make some changes to it over 20 years ago like going to clincher wheels. It still is a 10 speed but I must admit I have not done any touring. Now that I am retired, I am planning to do a lot of travelling so I will shortly take posession of a 18 speed Swift folder that will accompany me on my world travels. It's my 1st bicycle purchase in over 30 years.

Enjoy your new biking adventures.

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Old 02-28-06, 12:47 AM   #24
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I'm a bit older than you and have a 1957 Maclean (UK) which has great sentimental value, because, like you, I put together myself and the frame was made for me when I was 17. I'm wondering whether to have it repainted and upgraded. I also have a 2004 Trek 2300 and a 2004 Bianchi Pista, but the comfort of the Maclean is better than both. As others have said, it's things like index shifting which make a big difference on modern bikes.
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Old 02-28-06, 01:10 AM   #25
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No shame in "vintage." I love my vintage 77 Fuji, and its just a mid-level ride.
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