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samkl 01-08-19 06:04 PM

Do you ride your vintage bikes hard?
I’m talking mashing pedals, yanking on handlebars, sprinting up hills.

I used to be scared of doing that on my recently bought 1990 Miyata 1000LT, but after many miles, a new stem, and replacement of consumables, I feel different. It’s really solid. But would I feel comfortable doing the same on, say, an early 70s Raleigh racing bike? A 1950s Holdsworth? How old a bike/components would you ride hard, and how hard would you ride an old bike and components?

wgscott 01-08-19 06:05 PM

I take the same approach as with my vintage wife.

Having said that, I broke my 1987 Bianchi frame riding it "too hard" in 1988, so I am on a second frame, and weigh about 20 lbs more.

I think it is unlikely you will do it any damage unless it is defective, or you often become airborne.

I dented the top tube of my (1981) Miyata 1000, within a year of owning it. (It got stolen in 1989).

bikemig 01-08-19 06:06 PM

I doubt I'd ever torture my 1960 olmo grand sport but I have no issues taking it on a 50 mile plus ride. I'll take my 1985 Cannondale ST 400 pretty much anywhere or one of my vintage MTBs if going on trails.

spdntrxi 01-08-19 06:08 PM

I've done the local hammer fest rides and eroica coastal with yeah

due ruote 01-08-19 06:39 PM

I remember, way back when, friends who were trying to be encouraging would yell “break the bike!” They knew full well I couldn’t do that, but it was shorthand for “try hard”. I still have two of the same bikes I had then, and I am even less likely to succeed now, so, in a word, yes.

RobbieTunes 01-08-19 06:43 PM

Absolutely. Always do.
I baby them when I'm not on them, but they were designed for a purpose.

Even a Pinarello, which sometimes are so pretty it hurts to think of them getting dirty, much less being ridden hard.
But, like @The Thin Man says, they were made to be used, abused, ridden hard, and then do it again the next day.

Broke two aluminum Treks in the mid-80's, on 1/8 mile hill climbs.
Serious bets (beer) among fools with no regard for safety or injury.
Obviously defective frames, which Trek replaced (for the owners).
Still, the bike shop refused to sell me an aluminum frame.
That's where the Ironman seed was planted.

Years later, when I was doing some lifting, I saw an ad for a Trek 5800 OCLV and a Douglas aluminum frame.
I decided to ride there to check them out. I arrived after 35 banshee miles. I used to enjoy the punishment.
One look at me and he said "I'm not selling you either frame." I slunk home, but it was a decent 70-mile day.

I often wish I'd discovered Kleins early on. I like the way they feel invincible. I felt that way, way back then.

BarryCW 01-08-19 06:48 PM

Giant CADEX CFR1 with Spinergy RevX wheels
The vintage bikes I build up and ride are ridden "hard" because I am big, my local roads rough and some of the tiny cog clusters on the back wheel require monumental effort from me to turn on slight rises and head winds. Also despite thinking I will go for a cruise around the block, near every ride I do turns into a full scale road thrash with self, its what I enjoy. So the bikes have to inspire confidence by always being strong. I'm OK with creaking (bike and me). They are all between 1979 and 1996. Apart from broken spokes and loosening parts all has been great. A pre start and post ride check are now my norm whatever the distance traveled. I will be interested to see how my latest build of old carbon, old aluminium and old glue in the form of this CADEX responds to my life on the road.

gugie 01-08-19 06:50 PM

I used to.

Then I got older. But I do put a lot more stress on my rear wheel nowadays. I'm working on losing the gut, though.

RobbieTunes 01-08-19 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by BarryCW (Post 20738664)

Giant CADEX CFR1 with Spinergy RevX wheels

That is nine kinds of cool.

beicster 01-08-19 06:59 PM

In as much as I ride hard, yes I do ride my vintage bikes hard. I have had my 93 Paramount mountain bike since new and I would not hesitate to ride it as hard as I can on a downhill trail. I stress that riding hard is not as hard as it used to be.

crank_addict 01-08-19 07:08 PM

Originally Posted by BarryCW (Post 20738664)

I know of one that was hit by a car, snapped clear through the left side seat stay. Rider was really lucky and only roughed up. Told me he forcefully repositioned the broken stay (revealing woven shreds) and continued on his way. I had the frame and fork, was considering on saving it for the fork only but in hindsite should have repaired the frame. They are robust.

On that note, in the early 1990s I rigorously rode a hardtail Kestrel CS-X carbon mountain bike. Had a few good smashes and wipeouts. That bike never failed me.

crank_addict 01-08-19 07:13 PM

To the original question, I ride all as designed for. Quite a few of my vintage bikes have the >>DEATH<< parts as others point out. I do keep close tabs on them and respect the age.

Salamandrine 01-08-19 07:22 PM

Sure, or course. Why not? Probably not riding quite as hard as I used to, but that's me and not the bike. Steel is tough, especially good steel. Campy NR is tough. Some other early parts weren't as tough. Full sprints out of the saddle, even over steep hills? Check. Going down twisty descents at nutty speeds? Yes. That's what they were designed for.

Riding hard means different things to different people. If you like to jump off picnic tables and ride straight into curbs, don't do it on a racing bike.

shuru421 01-08-19 07:29 PM

Super hard. Its as if Im competing against the cars on the road. Fun stuff.

jamesdak 01-08-19 07:46 PM

Sure, in fact my go to sprint bike is my 1987 Schwinn Circuit.

I rotate through and use all my bikes and I like speed. So I don't have too many "off" rides where I'm just taking it easy.

Probably the only one I purposely take it easy on is my 1972 Peugeot U-08 since it's still got the original RD and I'm hoping to keep it in one piece.

Drillium Dude 01-08-19 08:13 PM

I broke this..

...and this... the past couple years. So yeah :)


SurferRosa 01-08-19 08:34 PM

My lowest gear is a 42x28t, so, a lot of times, I have no choice.

Fahrenheit531 01-08-19 08:49 PM

No special treatment for mine. We go as hard as my body allows.

rccardr 01-08-19 08:53 PM

Heck, yeah. I play with my toys.
And I get faster every year, too.

merziac 01-08-19 09:04 PM

Not me, no mashing, ever. Never had it in me, but I can, will and do ride all day long with some hills when I have to. No reservations about any of my bikes anyways. ;)

clydesdale65 01-08-19 09:06 PM

I've ridden my Eddy Merckx MX Leader and Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra in The Belgian Waffle Ride in North San Diego County. Lots of Pavement, Fire roads and a bit of single track, and they held up just fine. It's what got me into steel bikes...I didn't want to break my Carbon road bike, so I bought a steel Eddy Merckx. I no longer own a carbon road bike.

Lascauxcaveman 01-08-19 10:11 PM

I'm a frequent gravel grinder and a very hard fat man in the saddle. Sure, I ride 'em hard*, and I break 'em sometimes.

*downhill, at least :P

jimmuller 01-08-19 10:22 PM

You mean like this?

Of course that was on our tandem. All 160lbs of me couldn't do that by myself even though I do like to ride fast. Fast is relative...

sephil 01-08-19 10:28 PM

I recently bought an early 80s Zunow in mint condition. I've been riding hard in the last few months.
Makes me sad but I chip more paint in those few months than the previous owner did in the last 35+ years...
Mostly from locking it up around town.

samkl 01-08-19 11:06 PM

Ouch. What kind of bar/stem are those?

Keep those broken bike pics coming!

Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman (Post 20738915)
I'm a frequent gravel grinder and a very hard fat man in the saddle. Sure, I ride 'em hard*, and I break 'em sometimes.

*downhill, at least :P

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