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Has anyone downgraded their bike for more enjoyment?

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Has anyone downgraded their bike for more enjoyment?

Old 08-02-15, 12:53 PM
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Has anyone downgraded their bike for more enjoyment?

My De Rosa has Super Record non aero levers, I would much rather ride with aero levers. I have a nice looking set of non branded aero levers and I'm thinking about putting those on my bike. I think I would enjoy riding it more than I already do.I ride about 90% on the hoods. Anyone else downgrade their bikes?






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Old 08-02-15, 01:07 PM
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I put a 27" wheelset on my 1986 Trek 400 Elance. It came with 700C wheels and a middling level Shimano group set. I wanted to use 6400 brakes, but they didn't have the reach necessary.

I think the hubs and wheels I have on there now have made a HUGE difference in how the bike rides. I think most of that difference is the much better front hub- a Maillard 700.
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Old 08-02-15, 01:22 PM
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I think if you will enjoy it more with aero levers, go for it. How much 'better' could brake levers be. They don't have the complexity of brifters.
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Old 08-02-15, 01:25 PM
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I'm puzzled as to why you think that aero levers would increase your enjoyment at all over non-aero levers. I have two road bikes, one with non-aero superbe levers (pretty much a copy of SR), and one with aero dia-compe levers. They are exactly the same from a riding standpoint except that the aero levers have a slightly lower mechanical advantage (i.e. require more force applied to stop the bike) which actually makes the aero levers slightly worse than the non-aero. Also note that if you use levers designed for a different brake type (i.e. cantilever or dual-pivot), they may have the wrong mechanical advantage for your single-pivot brakes and therefore could potentially seriously degrade the braking by ramping up the effort required.

Also, why take a pristine classic bike and muck it up with non-period parts for no reason?

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Old 08-02-15, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I put a 27" wheelset on my 1986 Trek 400 Elance. It came with 700C wheels and a middling level Shimano group set. I wanted to use 6400 brakes, but they didn't have the reach necessary.

I think the hubs and wheels I have on there now have made a HUGE difference in how the bike rides. I think most of that difference is the much better front hub- a Maillard 700.
I don't buy it. Hub friction is an immeasurably small part of the effort to ride a bike.
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Old 08-02-15, 01:31 PM
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Go for it. Regardless of the aesthetics, I think most here would agree that aero levers are more comfortable.
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Old 08-02-15, 01:36 PM
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Two of three of my vintage racers has non-aero levers. I like them for the more casual and fun rides, maybe a good thrash now and then. There is nothing like attracting a little attention among the carbon fiber boyz.

I downgraded the Colnago with a set of cheap sewups.
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Old 08-02-15, 01:37 PM
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Yes.

1) Campy downtube shifters to 6-speed indexed Shimano 105
2) Super Record rear derailleur to Shimano XT, to handle
3) triplized Record crank set
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Old 08-02-15, 01:46 PM
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Like I said, I ride mostly with my hand on the hoods. The aero levers that I have feel better in my hands. The Campy non-aero makes my hands feel to cramped, especially with the cable in the way. More hand positions, like resting them on top of the ends of the hoods.
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Old 08-02-15, 02:02 PM
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I call it retrograding. I regularly swap alloy cotterless cranks for steel cottered. Remove SunTour and Shimano derailleurs for plastic Simplex and steel Huret. Take off side pull brakes in favor of centerpulls. I like the look and performance of the tried and true euro parts that came on 60's and 70's bikes. And top it off with an old leather saddle pre 1970.

I like taking these low end parts, attach to a gas pipe frame and getting them to work at their best. Challenging and rewarding..
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Old 08-02-15, 02:28 PM
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From what I see what you have there is a c-record era frame, so you should be more period correct with c-record aero levers.
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Old 08-02-15, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't buy it. Hub friction is an immeasurably small part of the effort to ride a bike.
Having had an '87 400 Elance, I think it just rode better with 27's, as that's what it was designed to have. I rode it both ways, and liked the smooth as silk 27's I had on it (Suzue/Ukai). While hub friction may be a very small part of the "effort to ride a bike," the difference between well-adjusted, well-packed hubs and not is more than immeasurable, especially since once you think there's a problem with the hub, it will bug you until it's remedied.
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Old 08-02-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Also, why take a pristine classic bike and muck it up with non-period parts for no reason?
I say why the hell not? (bad camera angle, though)

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Old 08-02-15, 02:47 PM
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Thanks Rob, that settles it, I'm swapping levers. Looks great.
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Old 08-02-15, 02:56 PM
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I've seen this one and its the Boss!

Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I say why the hell not? (bad camera angle, though)

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Old 08-02-15, 03:05 PM
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Hopefully soon I get around to building up a vintage Viner Record racing. Should be a proper NR equiped but the heck with that. Frame is straight but ratty looking. Could care less about being correct.

I'm going with a mix bag of components. Aluminum fork. Aero Gran Comp's, Tektro cal's., drillium ST Cyclone stuff, triple rings and a milled up Japanese arms. Undecided on wheels but likely riding on tubulars. Some tricks- have some ti hardware to use up. Unsure with the bottom bracket but might shop for a ti Stratics - sealed cartridge. Its going to be sinful
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Old 08-02-15, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I say why the hell not? (bad camera angle, though)

You have one of everything don't you, Robbie.
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Old 08-02-15, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
My De Rosa has Super Record non aero levers, I would much rather ride with aero levers. I have a nice looking set of non branded aero levers and I'm thinking about putting those on my bike. I think I would enjoy riding it more than I already do.I ride about 90% on the hoods. Anyone else downgrade their bikes?





All the time. On keeper bikes, I change stuff out to suit me, sometimes it is an upgrade, sometimes its a downgrade. I don't care either way.

+10 Personally, I prefer aero brake levers, so I pretty much always make that change.
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Old 08-02-15, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I'm puzzled as to why you think that aero levers would increase your enjoyment at all over non-aero levers. I have two road bikes, one with non-aero superbe levers (pretty much a copy of SR), and one with aero dia-compe levers. They are exactly the same from a riding standpoint except that the aero levers have a slightly lower mechanical advantage (i.e. require more force applied to stop the bike) which actually makes the aero levers slightly worse than the non-aero. Also note that if you use levers designed for a different brake type (i.e. cantilever or dual-pivot), they may have the wrong mechanical advantage for your single-pivot brakes and therefore could potentially seriously degrade the braking by ramping up the effort required.

Also, why take a pristine classic bike and muck it up with non-period parts for no reason?
Aero levers typically have more advantage from the perspective of the pivot point...simply, they brake better from the hoods.
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Old 08-02-15, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't buy it. Hub friction is an immeasurably small part of the effort to ride a bike.
I still have 2 pairs of tires for you in the basement. I haven't forgotten; I just keep forgetting to take them to work to send out.


You may recall my thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...-4mm-make.html

The overwhelming consensus was that the wheel size was completely and totally irrelevant.

A lot of people said the change in tires made all the difference in the ride of the bike. I'm not buying that the tires made all the difference for that bike. Both wheels were Panaracer Pasela Tourguards- going from 700C 32s to 27" 1 1/8" Going to narrower, more shallow tires- the ride should have gotten more stiff. Being as I had ridden that bike quite a bit with all kinds of different tire pressures in there, with at least 3 sets of tires (the National Dual, and two pair of Pasela Tourguard 32s) it wasn't a tire pressure issue. After changing to the 27" wheels- the bike just felt THAT much better.

I've gone from 1 1/8" to 1 1/4" and that was a great difference in the ride of the tire. Again, from Pasela Tourguard to Pasela Tourguard- the only difference was the size of the tire- and that made a difference in the "plushness" of the ride. I've also put a 1 3/8" tire on the rear of my 620- and to be honest, I expected to be riding on a floofy cloud of rubber- but it hasn't made a whole lot of difference. I'm thinking I really need to do the front as well.

When I initially had changed to 27s, I had a set of Sansin hubs laced to single wall Araya rims. Although we weren't talking about the pinnacle of quality- those wheels felt so much better than the wheels that were on there.

The wheels that are on there now are comprised of the 27" Matrix Safari rims that came on my Trek 720, the front wheel was the Maillard 700 hub, and the rear I had the original Maillard 600 sealed hub laced to the Matrix Safari. I have no doubt that the Maillard 700 is a much better piece of equipment than the Sovos hub that was on there.

Since I discount the tire theory (not that tires can and will make a colossal difference in the ride), most everyone discounted the wheel size theory, and now you discount the hub theory... what makes for the nicer ride of this bike?


(BTW- I don't mean to be coming across pointing an accusatory finger at you or rude in any way)


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Old 08-02-15, 03:53 PM
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Think being comfortable is better then being best up and looking cool.
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Old 08-02-15, 03:53 PM
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Are you saying tire size made a difference, i.e. width and height? Sure, I can believe that.

A mediocre hub and an excellent hub should ride the same if they're both properly adjusted.

Thank you for the tires you will eventually send.
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Old 08-02-15, 04:23 PM
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Didn't you already downgrade with the Gran Sport crankset on a Super Record bike?
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Old 08-02-15, 04:26 PM
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Give me a break, that's what I had in the bin. They will be upgraded to Super Record. I thought about doing a modern build, but I have a Rich Adams frame I plan on doing that with.
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Old 08-02-15, 04:33 PM
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Got rid of toe clips years ago. Even on the off-topic commuter. I am not certain if I agree with GP's assertion straps or clips don't enhance performance, but I am not certain I don't agree either. (yes, it is a double-negative, shoot me).

Changed one bike from a 3-speed to a single-speed. But that was because the Campagnolo Sport derailleur sucks so hard.

Changed my commuter from a 16-speed to a fixed gear.
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