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How important is vintage bike weight?

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How important is vintage bike weight?

Old 02-26-19, 04:03 PM
  #101  
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Think about it this way. How much does your filled up water bottle weigh. It's at least a pound. Most people ride with two of them. Then they fill them up when they run dry. That extra 2 pounds doesn't seem to bother anyone much.
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Old 02-26-19, 04:09 PM
  #102  
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The thread drift clearly shows that what IS important is something to obsess about! Just like any other hobby. So, "serious about climbing"?? WTF is that about? And to what end I wonder?
Ah, well. Perhaps the world is a simpler place for geezers
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Old 02-26-19, 04:45 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Well you finally clarified it. Now we can go on. With DT indexed, the only hesitation is the reaching down part.Other than that, they are the same as any other indexed system. You might want to review your initial post. You were blaming people walking and gear limitations on a DT rear shifter. Very confusing.
That's not what I was saying at all, and I was replying to gugie who made a joke about people, not bikes, being classic and vintage. Don't try to read between the lines and the posts will make sense. I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest about what serious climbs are either. I'm pretty sure I said serious about climbing, not serious climbs, as in how much effort someone puts into climbing, not how many meters of elevation there are. If I didn't that's what I meant. I'm simply expressing my opinion that this stuff is noticeable if you push yourself to whatever your personal limits are, and since weight pretty much only matters uphill, I think there are other things that matter more than weight when climbing.
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Old 02-26-19, 05:33 PM
  #104  
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Just curious (meaning, just trolling), but... how do you downtube aficionados shift while standing to climb using the hoods? I mean, without sitting and losing momentum? Or reaching down to shift while standing without toppling over or veering from a line and getting yelled at by everyone else?

I haven't figure out that technique.

I like DT shifters as much as the next guy. Used 'em since the 1970s.

But the one and only time I've tried brifters -- while testing riding a Specialized Tarmac last summer -- I immediately understood why I usually get dropped on undulating roller coaster hills by other folks in fast club rides. They're all on lightweight carbon bikes and with brifters they can shift immediately without removing a hand from the bar or veering off line. It's a little thing, but over a series of short, steep rollers over 20-50 miles that demand lots of shifting, each one puts me farther back, forcing me to sprint to catch up. It's tiring while everyone else seems relaxed because they're conserving energy.

Not to mention the lighter bike that's noticeably easier on climbs, and the stiffer frame that doesn't waste energy. But I mentioned it anyway.

Rhetorical points, obviously.

I've watched a zillion older films of races from ye olden dayes through the final gasp of DT shifters, big chainrings with little freewheels/cassettes, sometimes half-step gearing, and steel frames. The tech forced them to ride a certain way -- exemplified by the torso dipping rock 'n' roll to get the entire body involved in grunting up mountains, rarely shifting during climbs.

Changes in tech led to changes in riding technique. Spinning. Lots more shifting. Smoother, less frantic body English without much torso dipping rocking 'n' rolling. Whether it's "faster" is arguable because weather, wind, road conditions and other variables make it difficult to compare old and new schools.

As other folks have noted, it's debatable whether the typical weekend warrior really takes advantage of new tech. Some of the folks I see on sub-20 lb carbon bikes could stand to lose 20-50 lbs off the gut. And I see folks blowing shifts even with brifters, or sounding like their entire drivetrain needs adjusting and lubing.

But most of the folks I ride with occasionally on fast club rides are fit, tech savvy and taking good advantage of the benefits of lighter bikes and more efficient tech.

I'd like to put 'em all on C&V bikes to put us on even turf, but I'm betting they'd still be faster.
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Old 02-26-19, 05:44 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Think about it this way. How much does your filled up water bottle weigh. It's at least a pound. Most people ride with two of them. Then they fill them up when they run dry. That extra 2 pounds doesn't seem to bother anyone much.
Good point. In group rides with the local fast club I've noticed the water strategy. It's more apparent during the 50 mile summer rides. I noticed a couple of folks claiming they didn't carry much water because they "didn't need as much water," but they always depended on a stop at a convenience store at the halfway point for water and snacks.

It mostly seems to be tri-folk who do that. Presumably they're accustomed to supported triathlon events with people along the route supplying drinks and snacks.

So while they were technically correct that they didn't need to carry as much water or food, they still needed it. They just shifted soigneur duties to 7-11 and QT.

I usually carry at least two full large water bottles (24 oz, I think?) and a collapsible Mylar pouch filled with electrolyte/water frozen in the fridge and stuffed in my center rear jersey pocket for cooling and backup -- by the time my water bottles are drained that Mylar pouch is thawed and needed.

Yeah, it weighs me down. But if I didn't stop along with the other stragglers at the convenience store, I'd finish before them even though they were trying to save weight by not carrying enough water for a ride when the temp reaches into the high 90s by 10 am.
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Old 02-26-19, 05:50 PM
  #106  
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This thread is a parody Stoned episode that incredibly used to be broadcast prime time TV America.

Press the laugh track button, Freddie

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Old 02-26-19, 06:15 PM
  #107  
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Climbing out of the saddle? That does not compute. With my power to weight ratio, that is about the dumbest thing I can do. I only come out of the saddle 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 to keep the cramps at bay. Even that doesn't work some of the time. All of us are different people. The variables we are talking about here will affect each person differently. Give me a 15lb bike and my total weight is still around 215. 5lbs off of that is not as much as for the 150lb rider.
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Old 02-26-19, 07:16 PM
  #108  
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What I'm wondering is where do we buy these $2000 modern wonder carbon 15 pound bikes?? I don't see them anywhere. They are more like 19 to 21 lbs, not including any pedals. BFD. My 1978 Masi weighed 19 lbs with race wheels sans pedals. Add a half pound or so for training/everyday wheels. My classic but new Mercian steel touring bike weighs 20 lbs with the light but everyday wheels, sans pedals. Yeah, I could spend $10,000 on a top end carbon bike... Well, I'm not sure I could, but if I did, then it'd be in that sort of weight range. More than likely for someone my size a bike that light could only be safely ridden for a season or two, and if I dinged it with rock, it'd be toast. No thanks. I'll take that 7.5 seconds at the top of a one mile climb. That's like 3.5 bike lengths. Just doesn't make sense for a sport recreational rider. For a racer, of course it does.


Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Just curious (meaning, just trolling), but... how do you downtube aficionados shift while standing to climb using the hoods? I mean, without sitting and losing momentum? Or reaching down to shift while standing without toppling over or veering from a line and getting yelled at by everyone else?

Simple, you don't shift when standing up, ever. This is what people were taught during the downtube shifter era. I think it's a bad idea to shift when standing up even though it's possible now with brifters. No wonder people break chains.


The basic technique was not to shift that much when climbing. When the road gets steeper for a few yards, for example when crossing the apex of a switchback, stand up. When the road gets a little less steep, sit back down. Even in ye olden days people were climbing in the saddle most of the time. Shift while you are in the seat. If you see the road getting significantly steeper in front of you, shift just as you are getting to the transition. It really isn't that hard. I think people underestimate how natural this becomes if you do it everyday. It's a bit like young drivers now who have never driven a manual transmission car. They don't understand how it can possibly driven fast, since the whole thing seems awkward and complicated.

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Old 02-26-19, 07:33 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Climbing out of the saddle? That does not compute. With my power to weight ratio, that is about the dumbest thing I can do. I only come out of the saddle 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 to keep the cramps at bay. Even that doesn't work some of the time. All of us are different people. The variables we are talking about here will affect each person differently. Give me a 15lb bike and my total weight is still around 215. 5lbs off of that is not as much as for the 150lb rider.
Yeah, my weight is down from 175 in 2015 to 150 now. So I can almost climb out of the saddle more often and longer. Except for stupid muscle cramps. Getting older sucks. I'm light enough now but too danged old to enjoy the anticipated benefits.

Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
What I'm wondering is where do we buy these $2000 modern wonder carbon 15 pound bikes?? I don't see them anywhere.
Zackly. That's why I prowl craiglist for bargains, like the Trek 5900 texaspandj snagged the other day to cannibalize for the non-carbon bits.

But realistically a Tarmac, Domane or similar bike is out of my budget. If i do get a newer lighter bike it'll probably be a used titanium Litespeed or Lynskey. Those show up occasionally for around $1,000 or so here.

I'll take that 7.5 seconds at the top of a one mile climb. That's like 3.5 bike lengths. Just doesn't make sense for a sport recreational rider. For a racer, of course it does.
I don't race anymore, but I still like going fast once in awhile. My main motivation now is to improve my Strava times on some segments. It amuses me to see my name in the top ten alongside men and women half my age. Even though I know my overall time and speed are nowhere near theirs. I'm sandbagging most of the ride until I sprint for a short segment or put out more effort for a 5-6 mile segment. I can't maintain it like the younger riders.

But my window of opportunity is closing. A few more years the body won't cooperate anymore, so the bike won't matter. Right now, though, a lighter and more efficient bike would help a bit.

Simple, you don't shift when standing up, ever. This is what people were taught during the downtube shifter era. I think it's a bad idea to shift when standing up even though it's possible now with brifters. No wonder people break chains.


The basic technique was not to shift that much when climbing. When the road gets steeper for a few yards, for example when crossing the apex of a switchback, stand up. When the road gets a little less steep, sit back down. Even in ye olden days people were climbing in the saddle most of the time. Shift while you are in the seat. If you see the road getting significantly steeper in front of you, shift just as you are getting to the transition. It really isn't that hard. I think people underestimate how natural this becomes if you do it everyday. It's a bit like young drivers now who have never driven a manual transmission car. They don't understand how it can possibly driven fast, since the whole thing seems awkward and complicated.
The trick with shifting while standing with brifters is the same as shifting while seating and climbing -- ease up pedaling effort for a fraction of second, moving the pedals without full effort. Same as shifting a manual transmission without grinding the gears, as you noted.

I ride with a group of friends on casual rides where some folks have never mastered basic shifting, even on flat terrain, let alone hills. Every ride is filled with the music of tiny metal shards sprinkling the ground.

Just because some folks can't do it doesn't mean it's useless to me. I still want to be able to shift while standing. I was able to master the technique within minutes the first time I rode a bike with brifters on a nearby hilly route. No gear grinding or chain snapping.

I can't afford it. But I want it.
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Old 02-27-19, 01:51 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I think people underestimate how natural this becomes if you do it everyday.
In a nutshell, this is it.

I can't see how getting stuck behind the curve, or walking, or falling over wouldn't tend to make you learn not to.

I'll use the Hilly Hundred as an example of a diversely equipped, trained, and physically capable group. Lots of rollers. Same with the first and last thirds of Thunder Ridge. (Dairyland Dare is best described as "coast and climb.") Anticipation and practice had @steelbikeguy, and to a lesser extent, myself, simply, smoothly rolling past people, not only for fitness level, but being able to ride smoothly, up and down, rolling and shifting and anticipating. That included both DT and bar end shifting on older steel bikes, neither of which were under 23 lbs. I know we passed people with better fitness levels, younger legs, and much more modern bikes, simply because we paid attention. There were riders there on older, heavier steel bikes, and they knew how to ride them. They moved through the crowd not because of their bikes, or fitness, but simply knowing what to do, how and when to do it, on non-modern bikes.

I know a lady who was a pro in the 80's, and at the Dare, she and another old pro move smoothly and effortlessly through the field, not with power and speed, but with skill at making the bike do what it is supposed to. They only move off their pace if something interrupts them or on the city limit sign sprints. They do it while chatting and looking at other steel bikes, and the scenery. Full DT friction Campy. People like @ldmataya and @Chrome Molly show many how it's done by wearing the bike like apparel and keeping everything in their regulated power band. It's fun to watch them move down into valleys and up into grades both when they can carry speed up the incline and when they can't, and watch them go by tri-bikes and full-on modern stuff that seems to be surging/slowing in comparison. When I asked Darryl and Pete about this, they both just say "I need to keep my cadence where it needs to be and get it done."

This just in response to other issues. The OP asked about weight, and we've all beat this subject to death, and perhaps we assume that every time the subject comes up, someone is not going to put forth the arguments so far as we see here. Not gonna happen. Glad of it.
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Old 02-27-19, 03:16 PM
  #111  
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Haha. Thanks Rob. At least climbing can be made to look easy (though it certainly was not most times at the Dare)

Reading through the thread is interesting. I actually have a 15lb road bike and a 16lb gravel/cross bike. In essence they donít ride much differently than their 5lb heavier vintage counterparts. The difference is at the extremes and also in terms of how tired you get how soon. There probably is real data to support this, but it doesnít seem necessary to quantify.

What I find more important is to ride the bike in the way it wants to be ridden and based on how it is set up. For example a metric century on a vintage half step plus granny bike is a different experience than the same ride on the current race bike. Doing it well on the vintage bike takes more skills and it is somewhat less forgiving. As to if itís more or less rewarding, that depends on the goals for your day.

The analogy to manual transmission cars with rear wheel drive is a valid comparison. We used to drive them year round and didnít think twice about it. Now the manual RWD is the summer car. I guess thatís a luxury of modern products with their ease of use, that has shifted even my gray haired mindset.
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Old 02-27-19, 03:30 PM
  #112  
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I donít think a single person was arguing that being a better rider wasnít more important.
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Old 02-27-19, 04:23 PM
  #113  
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Lets try weight per dollar. Say whaa?


In the 1970s, a little and unknown British maker came on the scene in a BIG way targeting mass market and using the weight per dollar campaign.

Americans were mostly on the very heavy Schwinn Varsity hoopla 10 speed 'racer'.

All of a sudden the 22/23 pound weight Lambert - Viscount could be had under $200. Serious enough to be a 'racer', not like the beast Varsity.
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Old 02-27-19, 04:29 PM
  #114  
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Does that factor in the cost of crash replacement?
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Old 02-27-19, 04:59 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Lets try weight per dollar. Say whaa?


In the 1970s, a little and unknown British maker came on the scene in a BIG way targeting mass market and using the weight per dollar campaign.

Americans were mostly on the very heavy Schwinn Varsity hoopla 10 speed 'racer'.

All of a sudden the 22/23 pound weight Lambert - Viscount could be had under $200. Serious enough to be a 'racer', not like the beast Varsity.
I think Robbie has a poster comparing the cost per lb. between a Centurion and a smancy Eyetalian.
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Old 02-27-19, 05:44 PM
  #116  
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I'm still pulling out my calculator anytime you silly Imperial users start talking about thumbs, footlongs and stone pounds.
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Old 02-28-19, 12:30 AM
  #117  
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Pretty much all of my steel bikes, except for my Montello, weighs in a the 19 pound range. Yes, I made an effort to build them light by being choosey about the component groups saddles and going with tubular wheelsets for all of them, but I didn't go all "Stage 3" with the lightweight program builds, with all bikes still having steel axles and spindles, 32 spoke wheelsets, no custom drillium and no CF. All riding bikes, so yes, you can have lightweight and eat it too. It only becomes a "sin" if the bike ends up unridable because it turned into a useless cycling ornament, too fragile to sit your butt on and pedal.
BTW, my Montello weighs in at 20.5 pounds, the heaviest of my steel bikes, mostly because of the not-so- light, 1st gen, Campy Chorus gruppo on it. And it will gain a few ounces once I finally install my just acquired Campy rimmed, tubular wheelset on it to replace the light Mavic GL330 rimmed wheelset it us currently riding on.
All my CF bikes are presently within an 18 pound sweet spot, except for my Vitus Carbone, my own serious weight weenie live project, that is currently at 16 pounds and still entirely ridable as it still has steel hub axles and BB spindle. And the only CF on it are its frame tubes, nothing else.
So I guess lightweight is important to me cause that is all I know and experience and enjoy with my cycling/collecting. And I really cannot remember different since I started "serious" cycling in 1983 and took on the mission to mod up my humble Peugeot PH10S and turned it from a 26+ pound leisure sport bike, to a real fun 24 pound "nubee racer" the almost three years I owned it.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:38 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The tech forced them to ride a certain way -- exemplified by the torso dipping rock 'n' roll to get the entire body involved in grunting up mountains, rarely shifting during climbs.

Changes in tech led to changes in riding technique. Spinning.
Changes in fashion, not tech. Expansion to the gearing ranges of road racing bikes has generally happened long after becoming practical, at least with respect to the low-end gearing.
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Old 02-28-19, 06:29 AM
  #119  
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How important is vintage bike weight?

Apparently, somewhat to some, a lot to some, and not to the rest.
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Old 03-03-19, 08:02 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Does this mean I have to go buy a scale?
Don't, she'll never deal with you again.
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Old 03-03-19, 08:22 PM
  #121  
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Them whipper snapper youngsters are taking on hits of helium. Just listen to their funny voice. 😳
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Old 03-03-19, 08:34 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
Don't, she'll never deal with you again.
​​​​​​My wife bought me a scale for my shop. What does that mean?
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Old 03-03-19, 09:29 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
​​​​​​My wife bought me a scale for my shop. What does that mean?
I would use this approach, fewer, lighter bikes... oh, those lighter bikes are more expensive... but I'm reducing mass!
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Old 03-04-19, 11:27 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
​​​​​​My wife bought me a scale for my shop. What does that mean?
Stop cooking meth in the house.
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Old 03-04-19, 12:37 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by kross57 View Post
I know some bikes get a bad rap because they are heavier than others. But lets say my vintage bike weighs 25 pounds. When I park my butt in the saddle, it suddenly weighs 170. So, going down the road, what matters more? The 1 ounce I saved using drilled brake levers? Or the 12-ounce beer I skipped at lunch? In the final equation, how important is the bike weight, really? For high-end competitors who have leaned themselves out to the max, maybe. But for most of us?
If you are riding at 17 mph the energy difference between a 25 lb bike and the 18 lb bike is only 4% if they have the same aerodynamic profile. I dare anyone not a professional to be able to tell the difference in that. All things being equal you can detect that difference on a hard climb. But if you cannot do it with the heavy one you sure won't be able to do it with the lighter bike. Position and aerodynamics are far more important.
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