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Inexpensive upgrades to make my 80s bike faster?

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Inexpensive upgrades to make my 80s bike faster?

Old 09-24-10, 11:25 PM
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SouthToTheLeft
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Inexpensive upgrades to make my 80s bike faster?

Hey there,

I would love to get my road bike faster, but don't want to spend a fortune on it. I have an early 80s Schwinn Traveler with a full aluminium frame. It is heavy, which means I am going up hills pretty slowly. Can anyone suggest some ways to upgrade and hopefully get some more speed in it?

Thanks!
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Old 09-24-10, 11:28 PM
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Don't worry about it, just keep riding and you will get faster. If you want a "faster" bike just buy an inexpensive 80's racing bike.
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Old 09-25-10, 12:04 AM
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I go up hills at about 15 MPH ... would like to get up to 18-19. Any advice for brands to look for?
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Old 09-25-10, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SouthToTheLeft View Post
I go up hills at about 15 MPH ... would like to get up to 18-19. Any advice for brands to look for?
Define hills... if you can climb anything of significance at 15mph you are already pretty fast.

Most people are pretty happy to be able to hold 18-19 mph on the flats.
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Old 09-25-10, 12:47 AM
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Wheels may be #1 but also may not be cheap.
Otherwise - don't spend the $$$ too much.
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Old 09-25-10, 04:20 AM
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The most inexpensive way to make your bike faster is to work on the engine i.e. you. Fitness will come very quickly.

It is easier and cheaper to drop weight on the rider rather than the bike.

As far as riding up hills faster is concerned, I have found hill repeats work wonders. But they hurt (a lot).

Remember, as soon as your fitness is improved, you will be able to pass more guys on expensive carbon bikes, and that is a wonderful feeling.
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Old 09-25-10, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SouthToTheLeft View Post
Hey there,

I would love to get my road bike faster, but don't want to spend a fortune on it. I have an early 80s Schwinn Traveler with a full aluminium frame. It is heavy, which means I am going up hills pretty slowly. Can anyone suggest some ways to upgrade and hopefully get some more speed in it?

Thanks!
I thought a Traveler was steel. My wife's Traveler is made from True Temper steel.
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Old 09-25-10, 04:31 AM
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+1 Early 1980s Schwinn Traveler with an all aluminum frame? Nope.

Your speed up hills sound excellent. I would find some bigger hills to practice on for a while.

Last edited by wrk101; 09-25-10 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-25-10, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Define hills... if you can climb anything of significance at 15mph you are already pretty fast.

Most people are pretty happy to be able to hold 18-19 mph on the flats.
That's what I am thinking !
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Old 09-25-10, 05:01 AM
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If you're going up "hills" at 15mph, you need to get outside of your zip code more often
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Old 09-25-10, 05:42 AM
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80's Schwinn Traveler bikes are steel, not aluminum. Put a magnet to the frame and it will stick. These were recreational bikes, not racing bikes.

Unless they have been switched, the OEM wheels, and most the other components, are aluminum so the quickest way to lighten the bike has already been done.

Best to sell it and by a racing bike.
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Old 09-25-10, 06:16 AM
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Are you riding with others or by yourself? Nothing like trying to keep up to make you get stronger/faster.

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Old 09-25-10, 06:44 AM
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More riding up hills, less donuts, blasphemous as that sounds.
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Old 09-25-10, 08:23 AM
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Shave that blubber bumper off.

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Old 09-25-10, 11:05 AM
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Hereya go..https://monterey.craigslist.org/bik/1972955016.html
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Old 09-25-10, 11:18 AM
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Steel bike.
Alloy wheels.
Apparently suitable gearing.

There are basically 3 ways to climb faster on that bike.
Reduce the weight of the engine.
Increase the power of engine.
Different engine.

You sound like you're fine.
Don't try to buy speed until you can drop the bike weight by 5 lbs.
Figure about $200-$400 per pound.

For that money, I'd get P90X and spend serious time in the saddle.
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Old 09-25-10, 03:48 PM
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Maybe you could try asking in the road cycling forum and see what they have to say
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Old 09-25-10, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthToTheLeft View Post
I go up hills at about 15 MPH ... would like to get up to 18-19. Any advice for brands to look for?
There is nothing you can buy which will do what you want. Really.

But you need a sense of perspective. There are hills and there are hills. Some I go up at 15mph and some I go up at 7.5mph.
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Old 09-25-10, 04:38 PM
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Loosing weight off your belly is free. Doesn't come cheaper.
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Old 09-25-10, 04:51 PM
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+1 on the "engine" upgrade.
Lighter wheels and tires will help acceleration, but nothing compares to fitness for "cheap" speed.
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Old 09-25-10, 06:05 PM
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Fixed gear conversion.
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Old 09-26-10, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets View Post
Fixed gear conversion.
In the SS?FG forums, that would be spelled "fixt gaer convresron".

EDIT:

Actually, it would be more like "awsome fixt gaer convresron LOL gearz r 4 wimps"
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Old 09-26-10, 01:07 PM
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You're looking for a 20% or better improvement. If your bike weighs 30lbs and you weigh 120lbs getting rid of the bike completely will lose 20% of the weight. Or you could get a bike that weighs 20lbs and get yourself down to an even 100lbs. Good luck.
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Old 09-26-10, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Don't worry about it, just keep riding and you will get faster. If you want a "faster" bike just buy an inexpensive 80's racing bike.
It is not clear but assuming he has owned his 80's Traveler since the 80s then we can assume he is going as fast as he can go as he has "just kept riding" and I would suggest you get a new bike or a vintage bike that was actually intended for going fast on which would not be a lead pipe Traveler.

LC
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Old 09-26-10, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mcgreivey View Post
In the SS?FG forums, that would be spelled "fixt gaer convresron".

EDIT:

Actually, it would be more like "awsome fixt gaer convresron LOL gearz r 4 wimps"
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