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Riding Old, Tedious Bikes in City Settings

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Riding Old, Tedious Bikes in City Settings

Old 06-12-19, 05:34 PM
  #26  
Bad Lag
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Calling vintage steel bikes 'old and tedious' should get you banned from this forum.

When riding in San Diego you will want good brakes. While it's not all hilly, it is very hilly, and steeply so, in parts; enough parts that you really do want good brakes.

A corollary to that is you will want a few low gears. Without higher gears, you can always just coast down hill but some of the roads are quite steep and you will want some low gearing.
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Old 06-12-19, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Calling vintage steel bikes 'old and tedious' should get you banned from this forum.
Ha! Well, I pay for them, restore them, and ride them, so just speaking honestly about their qualities shouldn't be considered too bad in light of that.

Thanks for the information. I do recall the city being rather hill in places during my previous visits, but really didn't have living there or cycling there in mind yet... Cheers!

-Gregory
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Old 06-12-19, 06:58 PM
  #28  
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A ride, definitely a rider, can be old and tedious. I'm not sure if a bike ever deserves that blame.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
A ride, definitely a rider, can be old and tedious. I'm not sure if a bike ever deserves that blame.
Then perhaps you haven't ridden something like my 1951 New Hudson, which as poor brakes, a heavy 26" steel wheel set, and an extremely rigid Reynolds 531 straight gauge frame with relaxed geometry - and it was a sports model at that. It's fun to ride around, but it is definitely "old and tedious."

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Old 06-12-19, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Then perhaps you haven't ridden something like my 1951 New Hudson, which as poor brakes, a heavy 26" steel wheel set, and an extremely rigid Reynolds 531 straight gauge frame with relaxed geometry - and it was a sports model at that. It's fun to ride around, but it is definitely "old and tedious."
That's a beaut! I bet it's positively thrilling on downhills.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:20 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Then perhaps you haven't ridden something like my 1951 New Hudson, which as poor brakes, a heavy 26" steel wheel set, and an extremely rigid Reynolds 531 straight gauge frame with relaxed geometry - and it was a sports model at that. It's fun to ride around, but it is definitely "old and tedious."

OK, the New Hudson is beautiful. Breathtaking. Cracking. Why let it be tedious? Sprints, or tubulars as we call them now, will fit handily under those mudguards and fitment of sprints would have been completely normal in 1951 Britain. Following that up with shorter reach brakes would be just as normal. My experience with 1950s sprint rims says they were far better made than same label rims we suffered in 70s. Sprint tires of course are marvelous in current production.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
OK, the New Hudson is beautiful. Breathtaking. Cracking. Why let it be tedious? Sprints, or tubulars as we call them now, will fit handily under those mudguards and fitment of sprints would have been completely normal in 1951 Britain. Following that up with shorter reach brakes would be just as normal. My experience with 1950s sprint rims says they were far better made than same label rims we suffered in 70s. Sprint tires of course are marvelous in current production.
Well, I got the bike in totally original condition from a resaler who had it from the original owner. I even have the sales receipt from the shop, whose transfer is still located on the seat tube above the New Hudson decal. I sort of like bikes like this for their originality. If I were to go for new wheels and brakes, I'd want some 175mm crank arms as well, and a new stem to put me out a bit further... And by then I'd just as well buy myself a 531 DB frame of comparable vintage to slap all of that stuff on and call it a day.

-Gregory
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Old 06-13-19, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Well, I got the bike in totally original condition from a resaler who had it from the original owner. I even have the sales receipt from the shop, whose transfer is still located on the seat tube above the New Hudson decal. I sort of like bikes like this for their originality. If I were to go for new wheels and brakes, I'd want some 175mm crank arms as well, and a new stem to put me out a bit further... And by then I'd just as well buy myself a 531 DB frame of comparable vintage to slap all of that stuff on and call it a day.

-Gregory
Sounds like a plan.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:42 AM
  #34  
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I would just convert an old racing bike to a city bike.

I ride my CSI as a fixed gear and it's anything but old and tedious.

I picked it up for peanuts. It's mostly flat as a pancake here in the Twin Cities, so no need for gears.

If it got ripped off I would be po'd, but I'd get over it.
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Old 06-13-19, 09:04 AM
  #35  
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Hills?

My only contribution is that San Diego and its environs are pretty hilly, so your bike must accommodate that.

I lived for a decade in Orange County in the 1980s, and rode westward into the foothills, along the coast and up in L.A. It was a paradise for bicycling, particularly in the winter. I never rode down in S.D., though. We visited Balboa frequently by car.
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Old 06-13-19, 09:21 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post

My point is simply to get a feel for what people think of as being the threshold of safety and dependability in an urban setting. I'm big on comfort and safety now that I am starting a family, and I would never ride the fixed gear without brakes that I used to have in SF, even in the safest environment. In any case, I really only commuted on the quiet side of town while I lived in San Francisco, and rarely got out for serious riding. But I don't want that to be the case down south!

-Gregory
...I live in Sacramento. While the majority of my miles here are now on the American river bike trail, I commuted and shopped for many, many years here on three speed Raleigh's and Schwinn's...even one old DBS. My own opinion is that in a larger urban setting (and I also commuted for three years in Merced, CA), your riding position is probably more important than technology. Upright with your head on a swivel gives you a more commanding view of the surroundings, even if it's slower.

I've never ridden much in San Diego, and assume there are more hills there. So I have no opinion on whether brakes from the stone age will be a factor in this. I did eventually put alloy rims on my 3 speed city bike hubs on all of them, to make them a little faster and more responsive. And you want the best puncture proof tyre technology you can be comfortable with because there's always a lot of tyre hazards over in the bike lanes and on the right shoulder.

I do ride all of them on occasion through town, even the drop bar old crit bikes. But the upright ones with straight bars give me a better idea of what's happening with the surrounding traffic and pedestrians. Watch out for the electric bikes in the bike lanes. Just go slower and let them get far away from you. Some of them radiate a sense of irresponsibility and potential for disaster. Not all of them, but there area a lot more to choose from now, and life in the local bike lanes has taken on a new sense of urgency.
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Old 06-13-19, 09:25 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
A ride, definitely a rider, can be old and tedious.

...sir, I take great exception to this portrayal (which I have heard from others before. )
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Old 06-13-19, 05:37 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott : A ride, definitely a rider, can be old and tedious.
Originally posted by 3alarmer: ...sir, I take great exception to this portrayal (which I have heard from others before. )
HEY!!!, I resemble that remark!

FWIW, I just got back from a 14 mile ride to El Porto and back. My bike is 45 years young and is light and lively, unlike its owner who is 'old and tedious'. The ride was great!

Summer is almost here, it just isn't hot,... yet. Also, I love daylight saving time.

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Old 06-13-19, 11:14 PM
  #39  
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I rode my very hilly commute (up from the lake, past the university on the hill, down to the river, then up to the bluffs) in Burlington Vermont once on a DL-1 with rod brakes. And never again. I went through half a set of brake blocks (rust on the rims wore them down I think), and barely avoided being run over by a cement mixer. The three-speed was surprisingly adequate however. That bike got sold rather quickly - to a flatlander!!
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