Recent returnee' to cycling. While I am in the process of fixing this, I have never had a good (OK - call it crappy) understanding of bikes. But I'm working on that. In the meantime...
I own a late 90's vintage Bianchi purchased as a custom build of sorts from a LBS in California (I now live in NC). I honestly don't even know exactly what it is so here is some information.
The frame is a Bianchi labeled as COLUMBUS, SPECIALATI RINFORSATA, ALLINIO NIVACROM, EXTRA EL LEGGERI, whatever that is. While it is steel I can't find any information on the Columbus website (admit that I didn't work that hard). I have no frame of reference (this is the only bike I have ever owned - at least since around 1960) but from my perspective this bike is very comfortable, handles well, etc.
The groupset is late 90's Campy Chorus (53/39 front, 8x12/25 on the back). This works fine for me on the rolling hills around my home. Might be questionable on the low end if I were to chose a hilly century some day.
Wheels are Mavic Open Pro with clincher tires.
Pedals are some TIME model that uses some oddball (in my mind) cleat configuration (two piece cleats).
My objectives are to get back into riding on a regular basis (biking fitness is not bad at the moment but it is all built off work on a spinner bike) using a century or two per year as targets/goals to keep my motivation up. I'd never ride a Crit (at least I never have) but I did a handful of road races in California. Doing that again is an outside possibility.
So now for a question. At what point do you decide to quit upgrading your bike and trade in your current bike and buy a new one? I've got to replace my shoes so the pedals have got to go (I want something a bit more standard so I have some choices). And for a bit more money I can probably save a pound or more over what I currently lug up hills.
I suspect that I eventually will want a somewhat lower gear than I currently have (although in the rolling hills around here I am really surprised at how often I end up in the 53/12 gear down inclines). From what I know my 'simple upgrade' choices are limited, but there are some. And, of course, you can go high end on a (for example) expensive compact crankset to save some more grams. Or go whole hog for an 11 speed groupset upgrade, probably gain a gear at both ends, save some more grams, and spend even more money.
Tires/wheels and off we go. Or maybe save my money, replace the pedals/shoes (at least those would transfer to a new bike were I ever to buy one), work on my fitness and weight to handle the hills (or just forget about something like the 'Hilly Hellacious' or Six Gap centuries), and just be happy. It isn't like I'm riding a crummy bike.
Just opening this up for comments - thanks.
ps. The bike with pedals, spare tube, and tools weighs in the 21.5 pound range based on my bathroom scales. I'm guessing that for a couple grand I could drop a good 5 pounds off this.