First, a little history, I used to ride when I was younger, mostly in the late 80's and early 90's. Had a nice Ciocc racing bike and a Bridgestone mountain bike. Sold the racing bike and swapped for a more comfortable ride in the mid 90's. A Mercian Vincitore touring frame which I have outfitted with a Campy Nuovo Record groupo with high-flange hubs. Of course its older 126mm spacing in the rear, 6 speed, but I think I could upgrade to 7. Anyway, I bought a comfort bike since I am overweight and want to lose weight. I can ride it until I hit a better weight, and then I might want to use the Mercian for touring/randonneuring and/or buy a custom bike.
So I go into this new shop that does repairs and sells replacement parts. They will also order frames and build up bikes. He was recommending a custom frame when I lose the weight and want a new bike, which I still am not sure I need. Anyway we talked, and when it came to the Mercian, I talked about keeping it the same, but that I wanted fatter tires. I have an extra set of Nuovo Record hubs, so I wanted to get them build up with rims that can take a 35-38mm tire. He says he can do it, then just to get an idea of cost, I say I would need 36-hole rims, he says, he would go with 32 and that 36 holes are harder to get, but he could get them. I said, well the hubs are 36-hole, so I would need a 36-hole rim. Then he says, the Nuovo Record stuff sells for a good price on Ebay, I would just sell it all and upgrade.
So my first question, is that really necessary? Is there a reason I should not ride with my vintage gear? is the old Campy crap and the new stuff so much better?
Then also I said I would like to get a triple crank in front, and know places like Rivendell, Compass and Velo Orange sell and recommend these. He says, nobody does triples any more, instead they do a compact double with a 10-11 speed cassette. Now can't I try to come close by adding a triple and using a 7-speed freewheel in the back? They guys at Rivendell are not stupid and they say the triple is their biggest seller.
Finally, he talked about different component manufactures and he said doing a new bike, he would go with Shimano as he feels it is better than Sram and Campy, but did qualify that it is personal preference. And he said he really believes their shifters (brifters) are the best. Then I said that doesn't matter because I want my shifters on the down tube or bar ends anyway. Which he completely poo pooed without much real explanation, other than they are just much better and you don't have to take your hands of the bars. Again, I am not a racer and want to do touring and shorter brevets as my long-term goal. I see most (or many anyway) using bar end shifters. So the final question, is there a problem with using bar end shifters that I am not aware of? Or are the brifters just all that? Seems more complicated, so more places for failure and more potential for damage in a crash. Am I wrong?
I know the bike shop is entitled to have his own opinions, which come from experience, and I am not trying to criticize him. I know I don't seem like a rider being overweight now and trying to get back into shape via riding. I had my own ideas based on research, but he kind of threw a wrench in it. I just want to know if I am the one who should be thinking differently? Or should I just go my own way?
Thanks - Chris