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Preparing for the Future by Looking to the Past

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Preparing for the Future by Looking to the Past

Old 05-28-23, 09:40 AM
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Preparing for the Future by Looking to the Past

Please forgive me if this is not appropriate, but I think the C&V crowd has amazing wisdom and experience and that is what I am seeking.

I have a 14 year old Ti frame that is set up perfectly for me. It's custom geometry, external cable shifting and caliper brakes, quick release, and I am running clincher tires (not tubeless) in 23 or 25mm width. I do have a set of "fancy CF wheels" that I only use June through September, otherwise aluminum. So pretty much "C&V" for the early 2000's.

I am not a bike snob, but I do like quality gear, so I initially ran Ultegra 6700 on the bike but recently upgraded to Ultegra R8000.

It appears that I am getting obsolete based on current and future expected bike gear: tubeless wheels/tires, electronic shifting, disc brakes, through-axles, one-piece bar/stem, etc., and although the fancier gear is neat-o I don't think it makes enough of a difference to me so I do plan to stick with the current setup for the forseeable future, maybe for the rest of my life (I am 58 so hope to have another 25 years of road cycling in me, if I am lucky enough).

So I am seeking advice on what items I may want to "stock up" on given that future offerings will likely be not compatible with what I am using.

Here is the analogy: suppose someone posted here saying "I an running a down-tube shifter bike with 6 speed FREEWHEEL (not cassette) and 126mm rear triangle bike, I run toe-clips and straps"... What items for this 'Eroica' type bike are still easy to get and what are hard?

I don't want to become a hoarder, but if I knew that certain items are going to wear out in the next few years and will be less available NOS, I am willing to buy some now. The ones I figure I should get are : shifters, cassette, chains, chainrings.

Advice/suggestions??
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Old 05-28-23, 09:44 AM
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Parts for downtube shifter bikes with freewheels and 126 OLD wheels are not hard to find but there is reasonably good interchangeability of these parts. There are also a large selection of bikes from the 70s through the 90s floating around. If you're really worried about parts, you might want to hunt around for a donor bike to stock away since they tend to come cheaper than buying parts.
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Old 05-28-23, 09:48 AM
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Everything you mention about the older bike is available right now and likely into the future. We know how much of that stuff was made, how much new or new-ish stuff is still around, where to find it, and how much it costs. Yes, things are relative and some stuff is harder to find than others, but generally speaking, not hard to find, buy or keep a nice 6 speed freewheel bike around. Heck, buy a second one and store it- total spare parts!

The newer stuff like your 8000 series components, are somewhat of a mystery- partially due to how things came out in the Pando. We don’t really know how many spare parts or spare components Shimano made as opposed to selling everything OEM because the demand for complete bikes was so immense. There may be LOTS of that stuff floating around for years, it may be gray market accessible like 5800/6800 was from the UK years ago. Or…there may be nothing. I just don’t know, and haven‘t read anything on the topic recently.

If it were me, and I was concerned, I’d locate, purchase, and store anything other than consumables likely to fail in the future.
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Old 05-28-23, 10:11 AM
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Start looking for service parts, cassettes, chains, maybe bottom bracket bearings, but no panic.
brake hoods! Seal them up.
brake blocks will no doubt be around, you probably already have to exchange blocks between aluminum and carbon rims. (Or should)

the folk who have bought into electric shifting will be in a bad place when those components fail.
think of the fate of Mavic Zap.
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Old 05-28-23, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
electric shifting will be in a bad place when those components fail.
think of the fate of Mavic Zap.
Look at computers with os upgrades that obsolete hardware. Firmware that bricks "Accidently" in a forced upgrade (Screw HP)
WiFI that isn't compatible because drivers would take like 10 minutes to write.
Computerized parts may be just wonderful for some people...
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Old 05-28-23, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Here is the analogy: suppose someone posted here saying "I an running a down-tube shifter bike with 6 speed FREEWHEEL (not cassette) and 126mm rear triangle bike, I run toe-clips and straps"... What items for this 'Eroica' type bike are still easy to get and what are hard?
Frankly all of those parts are easily available. Even new. You can still buy a new 6 speed freewheel from Shimano. Now if you need a 6 speed Ultra freewheel to go on a 120mm hub- now that gets more challenging. Likewise if you want a 126mm HG hub that is still available, but not as common.
The lesson is- the stuff that is produced for a long time, will be available for a long time. The 10 speed groupset and parts will be available for a long time. Clincher tires and inner tubes will always be available. Because bike manufacturers are reluctant to sell you a tubeless setup right off the showroom floor. They typically sell you a high end bike with tubeless ready wheels, and then you the buyer can convert it to tubeless yourself.
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Old 05-28-23, 11:53 AM
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it's a great question. Most stuff is available without too much difficulty. the one thing you might be concerned about is if you are running 10 speed Shimano DI2 or 9 speed Campagnolo ergo, some componentes (notably cassettes in popular ratios) for these gearing systems are getting hard to find. At least this is my experience.

because of the year by year evolution of offerings driving by the cycling industrial complex, stock is thin on some interim models / configurations.

/markp
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Old 05-28-23, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
the folk who have bought into electric shifting will be in a bad place when those components fail.
think of the fate of Mavic Zap.
This is a real consideration: potential obsolescence in the electronic components used and/or ancillary electro-mechanical parts, making replacement parts unavailable. On his Disraeli Gears site, Michael Sweat discusses a more recent example - from Shimano.

Electronic devices are generally very reliable, long-lasting, and perform well - until they don't. Then fixing them often involves wholesale replacement because the parts and labor required to repair are either no longer made or so expensive that replacement is cheaper.

Last edited by Hondo6; 05-28-23 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 05-28-23, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas

I don't want to become a hoarder, but if I knew that certain items are going to wear out in the next few years and will be less available NOS, I am willing to buy some now. The ones I figure I should get are : shifters, cassette, chains, chainrings.

Advice/suggestions??
We've all walked this path and many of us have large stashes of inventory. Most of those components are still available, at reasonable prices. It's likely that 5/6/7 speed parts will be around for decades to come. It's a sweet spot for classic bikes.
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Old 05-28-23, 02:53 PM
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You're far from alone datlas ! Hey, when indexed shifting came along I was working in a bike shop assembling new bikes and repairing running ones. I tried it out on all the new bikes on the test rides, and I thought it was the most stupid thing ever. I still do ! With cassette hubs, the idea "sounded good" with 7-speeds and the opportunity to build your own cog combos, but no..... it all went downhill from there by adding more cogs to the center of the hub and make it difficult to create your own cogset. But I digress .

To go along with what others have said, 6-7 speed FW stuff and manual shifters isn't going away. Manual stuff that just works , that's what people like.

What is "the future" anyways but a story told presently, The NOW.
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Old 05-28-23, 03:18 PM
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I'm 1 year off your age and I have a 2009 stainless steel bike sporting 2012 SR. My only concern is cassettes because i like a certain ratio. Got a few, so I'm not that concerned. Chains are in good supply, so no worries there. The BB is a stupid press fit, but those haven't seemed to decrease either. Either wat, I figure I'm set with tat bike as long as needed.

I am also in the process of getting a 2023 bike with all the wiz-bang things you would expect, but no electronics. So if by chance the 2014 does crap out on me, I have a backup.
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Old 05-28-23, 03:26 PM
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1. If it is natural latex, its life is very short (brake hoods and sidewalls come to mind).

2. If it is an elastomer, its life is short (tires, hoods, pads).

3. If it is leather, its life is short and limited by use (Brooks saddles are the exception here).

4. Aluminum in the drive train wears out quickly (think chainwheels).

5. Steel that is not painted (chains, cables)

6. The rider, if he does not ride safely.
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Old 05-28-23, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo6
This is a real consideration: potential obsolescence in the electronic components used and/or ancillary electro-mechanical parts, making replacement parts unavailable. On his Disraeli Gears site, Michael Sweat discusses a more recent example - from Shimano.

Electronic devices are generally very reliable, long-lasting, and perform well - until they don't. Then fixing them often involves wholesale replacement because the parts and labor required to repair are either no longer made or so expensive that replacement is cheaper.
Well it is a pity that shimano stopped making Dura Ace and Ultegra as mechanical derailleurs and also the series of problematic brifters after the Dura Ace 7800 was one of the reasons , I never got into 11 or 12 speeds plus the aesthetics of the new groups whether campagnolo or shimano look ugly. As for DI2 and the electronic SRAM variant some swear by it until the battery isout of order or the software of the brifter not upgradable, I prefer a mechanical brifter over electronic wizardry.
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Old 05-28-23, 04:59 PM
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Sweet! I finally get to post this!

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Old 05-28-23, 06:25 PM
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I think that unless you run through components and consumables due to where or how you ride, I wouldn't really worry about it. R8000 is so new that a few decades' worth of industry "support" has yet to play out. And like others have said, old 6- and 7-speed stuff still exists and is produced new. The critical bits, to me, are consumables. 11-speed cassettes should be around forever in some form/level. Same with 11-speed chains. There will always be normal clincher tires, even nice ones. The tubeless stuff tends to be a big thing for the MTB and gravel scene, two areas I don't have any or much interest in, especially when it comes to hydraulic disc brakes and tire/rim tech and 'standards.'

Perhaps a component in the availability equation here is price: "Can I still get this component for a reasonable price (like when it was new)?" That's more a thing for me, and I think a thing for all of us in the C&V realm. A new 6-speed freewheel is still made and available, even with a nice(r) gear range, but it is not a Regina, Suntour, Shimano 600/Dura-Ace, or Campagnolo freewheel. A new freewheel may be super cheap, but previous freewheels often aren't.

I squirrel away used (but in good shape) cassettes of various cog amounts as I come across them for great prices. They take up space, especially as I don't go through them hardly at all, so that's the big bummer. Tires take up space as well, but I've got 'a few' used pairs for replacing of worn out current ones (fancy pants Compass and Continental mostly). I do pick up brake hoods and STI/brifter hoods when they're in the used-for-cheap bin. Di2 and DA9000 hoods, plus some '80s Super SLR brake lever hoods. To me, brake hoods are the most "who cares?" and "this is now critical!" component (or sub-component) out there. They last for a remarkably long time, long enough to wonder if replacements need to be made in any meaningful quantity; but then in a million years when they've finally rotted away, man oh man are new/available ones really appreciated.

Probably the only thing that is of concern to me is electronic shifting, specifically batteries. They last a long time, but compatibility of connection and software (with regard to their new replacements) are big deals and very real. Shimano just updated the wire connector design with the R9200/R8100/R7100 generation of Di2, which ends a long-running era of the first generation of E-tubes Di2 that began with Ultegra 6770. [Dura-Ace 7970 was a lot like 7400 in that it was only compatible with itself] Thankfully the world of electronics, programming, and low-run production will provide help in the continuing use of this, even if that day is not yet.
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Old 05-28-23, 06:45 PM
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The thing I most fear about my vintage bicycle, is my derailleurs. Specifically I believe that the springs will eventually go bad and cannot be replaced. So buy replacement derailleurs.
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Old 05-28-23, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kommisar
The thing I most fear about my vintage bicycle, is my derailleurs. Specifically I believe that the springs will eventually go bad and cannot be replaced. So buy replacement derailleurs.
Especially front derailleurs. Although I think my derailleurs will outlast me.
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Old 05-28-23, 09:25 PM
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I know everyone wants bling, but I think you have to quit thinking about having a perfectly matched groupset. Think more along the lines of what speed system you'll be running and everything that will work with it. Maybe you go to a longer cage RD in the same speed because it's easier to find and bigger range cassettes are cheaper. Use your imagination and put together something that works. This bike is an example. I'll discuss it in my next post.

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Old 05-28-23, 09:50 PM
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That bike has the following components:
Shimano 5500 hubs for 8-10 speed cassettes.
A Deore RD that will work multi speeds to 9 or 10.
SRAM chain/cassette that matches the shifters.
​The crank is a 110/74. It can be configured as 2 or 3x in any speed you want as long as you can find the rings and correct BB. Those are 9/10 speed chainrings. The FD brand/speed is not important. Most any will work. That's a friction MTB FD from 90/91. The brake calipers are new Dia Compes. Shifters are Microshift. I can move between 8-10 speeds just by changing shifters, cassettes and chains.
Let's talk about shifters for a moment. You hit a button/lever/paddle and the chain moves quickly to the next gear up or down. It has to work and be comfortable to operate. That's it.

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Old 05-28-23, 10:36 PM
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I’m not a high mileage rider , but I ride at least twice a week for about 50-60 miles total. I have about a dozen or so bikes that are all kept in riding condition. Almost all my bikes have equipment from the early seventies and shift well with Campagnolo mech. The brakes are as good as they can be expected to be for vintage bikes. They are holding up well and only require consumables like cables , tires, tubes, and bar tape plus a bit of grease now and then. I have spares but I don’t expect I will need them anytime soon, if ever.
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Old 05-29-23, 03:29 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I won’t lose too much sleep about my future concerns.

See you in about 15 years!
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Old 05-29-23, 06:09 AM
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There will be more parts hitting the market as the collectors (hoarders) continually sell off.
I have seen the same in other areas of sports collecting like tennis and golf.
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Old 05-29-23, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch
There will be more parts hitting the market as the collectors (hoarders) continually sell off.
I have seen the same in other areas of sports collecting like tennis and golf.
Hopefully, they can do this before their heirs can come in and toss it all in the dumpster!
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Old 05-29-23, 11:18 AM
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I have a set of chainwheels and a new chain sitting out in the garage.

I'll need to replace my handlebar tape soon, the last few months have ravaged it.

Tires last a while but not forever. I would guess 10k miles but it could easily be more or less.

Derailleur cables (exposed, raw steel) seem to last about 10 ears in my coastal environment.

I should buy a set of brake pads, too.

I worry more about my freewheel's life than I do my derailleurs.
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Old 05-29-23, 12:08 PM
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Now THAT is Dystopian!

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Sweet! I finally get to post this!

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