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Weight weenie question regarding vintage versus modern component groups

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Weight weenie question regarding vintage versus modern component groups

Old 05-11-12, 12:31 PM
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Weight weenie question regarding vintage versus modern component groups

Out of curiousity, what kind of weight savings can one expect between a mid-range 80s comp group (1st gen Shimano 105 w/6-spd freewheel) and a mid-range modern comp group (Campy Centaur 10-spd)? Consider that the groups would include front/rear mechs, brakes, shifters (brifters on the modern), freewheel (cassette on modern), chain, crankset, BB.

Are we talking 1 lb? 2 lb? 3 lb?

I'm toying with the idea of upgrading my Trek 560/Shimano 105 to a modern group, and was wondering what kind of weight savings I'd see. Of course, I'd need a new wheelset as well. Current bike weight is 23lb w/o pedals.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:40 PM
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Only way to really find out is to do a comparison weigh-in., but don't be surprised if the later stuff actually ends up heavier or no weight savings at all as I noticed that most of the late 80s/early 90's components in my stash are usually much heavier than the older 80's stuff. It seems like super light weight became less a priority with manufacturers especailly after indexed shifting/brifters were introduced after the mid 80's.

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Old 05-11-12, 12:41 PM
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You'd be surprised how little you save. Brifters weigh more than trad. levers and dt's. Modern rd's weigh more, fd's same or less, but not much hubs and cogset stay the same, and cranks may have even got a bit heavier. The real savings are in the higher carbin groups. I think the ballpark figure for modern alu is about 2k, going down to 1k on the top end. I wouldn't be suprised if a reasonably good old group stays well under 2k. Damn, I should have kept better track of what i put on my bikes in term of weight!
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Old 05-11-12, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Only way to really find out is to do a comparison weigh-in., but don't be surprised if the later stuff actually ends up heavier or no weight savings at all as I noticed that most of the late 80s/early 90's components in my stash are usually much heavier than the older 80's stuff. It seems like super light weight became less a priority with manufacturers especailly after indexed shifting/brifters were introduced after the mid 80's.

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You beat me to it. I read in an interview with the north american rep for campy that they went to great lenghtS in carbon to geg the weight down, so electronic shifting could be viable without to much of weight penalty. The electro stuff was postponed till this year, but in the last 5 years griups got under 1 kilo due go this. Now they make them heavy again with electronic shifting. Idiots!
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Old 05-11-12, 12:57 PM
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That's interesting. The Centaur group (aluminum) weighs in at about 2.2kg according to some unofficial reports. I have no idea what my 105 group weighs. I'm sorta itching to modernize my Trek 560, because I love the frame, it's one of my best fitting and nicest riding frames. But if a $800 10-spd group doesn't shave a coupla pounds off the bike's weight, the questionable value of the upgrade begins to look like even less value.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:58 PM
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What is the impetus for upgrading? Weight loss? Simply trying modern stuff?
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Old 05-11-12, 01:07 PM
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The Campy brifters that came with a mixed Athena and C-Rcord/delta group I bought some time ago is scary heavy. I swear, each brifter lever weigh so much that it feels like your holding a gun in your hand. Same with the Athena derailleur. It's close to double what my Mavic SSC erector derailleurs weigh...never mind my Delta brake calipers. I think those weigh close to three times the CLB calipers I have in my stash.
BTW, do not believe published weights provided by manufacturers. they are never accurate and tend to be on the light side of the truth. Even weight weenie companies like CLB did that to some extent by a few grams here and there which did not make sense cause they did have the lightest brake calipers back then.

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Old 05-11-12, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
What is the impetus for upgrading? Weight loss? Simply trying modern stuff?
Both. I decided I'd like to have one modern bike in my stable. I'm pretty sure the 560 frame itself is pretty lightweight, made with thin-wall DB chromoly and tapered chromoly stays/fork, and it's an amazingly nice frame to ride. I just weighed the bike, and with heavy SKS fenders, mtb SPD pedals, cyclocomputer, saddlebag, spare tube, pump and multitool, it tips the scale at 26 lb. I think without the pedals and other extras it's about 22 lb. If I could modernize it and shave a couple of pounds off at the same time, I might take the plunge.

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Old 05-11-12, 01:18 PM
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This bike weighed 21 lbs with that modern saddle and no pedals. It now has a Brooks Pro and I haven't weighed it again. Getting to 20 lbs on a steel frame of that size is about as good as it's going to get. Whatever it weighs, this bike feels light and I am definitely my fastest on it by a long shot. Lightweight wheels will make a bigger difference than the rest of the components regarding weight savings.

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Old 05-11-12, 02:25 PM
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I modernized my '84 Trek 560 a while back with a mongrel mix of components, but at a similar level to what you're considering. When I started, it was completely stock except for the wheels which were comparable to the originals. The weight before and after? Almost no difference, about 22.5 lbs.

Mine's different than yours in that the '84 has Reynolds 501 tubing and components were Suntour Cyclone MkII, but still it gives you an idea of what to expect.

The modern components I used were:
Crankset: IRD Defiant Compact
Front Dr: Shimano 105
Rear Dr: Shimano 105
Shifters: Campy Veloce 10 spd
Wheels: Forte Titan (yes, they're kinda heavy and generally crap but the price was right)
Cassette: SRAM 8 spd

Other components are original or similar enough that there isn't a significant weight difference.

Incidentally, the Campy 10 spd shifters work flawlessly with the 105 derailleurs and Sramano 8 spd cassette without a Shiftmate or any other modification. One of those happy accidents...

I highly recommend the updates, not because you'll shave any weight, but because it's a killer bike and with modern components it will perform nearly as well as the modern ugly carbon fiber beasts (well, maybe not if you're climbing Mont Ventoux, but how often are you doing that?).
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Old 05-11-12, 02:52 PM
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I don't know the specifics of your current wheelset but I'm guessing that there's an opportunity to save a pound there without a loss in durability. I think that across a groupset there is a chance to shed some weight too but modern shifters do negate some of the savings compared to DT shifters and brake levers. Check out the weight weenies listings to get a ballpark idea. Weight aside, you will get a performance enhancement - IMO, there's less stuff to go wrong with old stuff but the new components are much nicer to use on a day to day basis.
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Old 05-11-12, 02:59 PM
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IMHO, most of the weight loss seen in modern vs. vintage bikes is attributable to composite frame/seatpost/saddle/handlebar materials, threadless headsets, and cartridge bearing/hollow BB spindle designs. wheelsets weight discrepancies appear to be a wash and the components that you mentioned, for the most part, have gained weight and performance.

if one takes the best of both worlds (and can live with the somewhat diminished racing performance and the dismay of your peer group ) a nice bike that weighs 13 pounds can be had for very little.

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Old 05-11-12, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
You beat me to it. I read in an interview with the north american rep for campy that they went to great lenghtS in carbon to geg the weight down, so electronic shifting could be viable without to much of weight penalty. The electro stuff was postponed till this year, but in the last 5 years griups got under 1 kilo due go this. Now they make them heavy again with electronic shifting. Idiots!
I actually am interested in the electronic group. Might have to get one of those sup kilo frames and silly priced wheel sets to keep the final weight "competitive" at the local club ride.
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Old 05-11-12, 03:17 PM
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I believe my Ironman with 9sp brifters and shimano 600 tricolor group and different wheels is 20lb (dont think its 19).

Wheels made a good difference but i can only lighten the crank a little more if I upgrade.It's not worth it to shave off a few oz and have a mismatch group.

Definitely looked at weights of things and the 600 vintage crank or RD/FD can't be improved unless I spring for carbon with integrated BBs and such. Seems like the best "vintage" upgrade is to find light cranks, good light BB, light vintage RD and FD and then slap brifters on it (if that's your direction).

If you were to go full midrange new stuff you'd be heavier than before.

Yes, wheels are the biggest benefit/weight weenie upgrade.
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Old 05-11-12, 03:29 PM
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I look at the overall package, because I tried comparing parts-parts and just got dizzy, but I'll give you my take.
1050 vs. Campy 10-sp Centuar, both of which I happen to have:

Calipers: advantage 1050
Crankset/BB: advantage Campy
Shifters/Levers: advantage 1050
FD: I call it a wash, 28.6 FD vs. lighter braze-on, but then you add the tab
RD: I call it a wash, the 6/7 RD is about the same as my Centaur
Hubs: advantage Campy. I'm running Eurus 10-sp wheels, but even the Veloce are lighter.
(I didn't say smoother when packed right.)

I'd say my Centaur 10-sp pkg, sans wheels, weighs a bit more.
Toss in the modern wheels, though, and even with 370g Araya rims, the wheels are noticeably heavier.

The 1050 package, however, compared to my 8sp Record w/Hope Tech hubs/tubuars? no question the 1050 stuff is noticeably heavier.

Once I roll 30 feet, I stop paying attention, unless I need an excuse for being slow.
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Old 05-11-12, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
You beat me to it. I read in an interview with the north american rep for campy that they went to great lenghtS in carbon to geg the weight down, so electronic shifting could be viable without to much of weight penalty. The electro stuff was postponed till this year, but in the last 5 years griups got under 1 kilo due go this. Now they make them heavy again with electronic shifting. Idiots!
How so?

UCI weight limit is 6.8kg. With frames and wheels weighing nothing these days, extra weight in the groupset doesn't matter. I haven't used it but I have only heard of rave reviews of the Campy electronic (take that with a grain of salt, no one is going to say their $4-$5k purchase sucks). If I had the cash, I'd buy it.

A groupset will only get you so far if you want to go weight weenie. I originally set-up my modern steel bike with aluminum Centaur. Its total was about 7.9kg. This year I came into some cash and decided go weenie. I probably lost 500g in the groupset, 400g in the wheels and maybe another 100g in saddle, pedals, etc. It should be close to UCI limit when the new wheels come in. Not bad for a steelie. Really, the only reason to do this is because I am bored and like a good American, I need to buy crap. Although, other than the wheels, I bought everything second hand.
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Old 05-11-12, 05:57 PM
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Because I don't like electronics in terms of long time durability, and I like to fix things myself. I'd buy the new group in a heartbeat though, if I had the dough. I like shiny stuff.

My modern bike is in the throws of a rebuild to get to 6.8, just for the heck of it. I divided it up in three sections: framekit, group and wheels. The target is to get 2.4 kilo's on the first two, and 2 on the wheels. So far, so good: alloy frame 1300 g, carbon fork 435, 250 gram Saddle-seatpost combo and 480 gram steering combo. The steering unit is up next for change to get it below 400 gram, plus some leeway for tape and cages. Group is alloy 10 speed centaur, somewhere around 2.4 kilo, including pedals. good. The wheels are the hogs though, campy zonda with heavy clinchers. When I swap 'm out for some lightweight tubulars I'm set.
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Old 05-11-12, 06:47 PM
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The electronic group could be extremely durable. But since it is only a few months old, only time will tell. And fixing it isn't hard. A servo motor and DC coming from a battery is a pretty basic setup.

6.8 will be tough with that Centaur. Friggin' boat anchor.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:01 PM
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Good info here, thanks all. I definitely have a lot to mull over. If I wanted to upgrade to a cassette hub and a new clincher wheel set, what's a good classic looking rim that's not a weight hog?
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Old 05-11-12, 09:39 PM
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If you can find 105/600/Ultegra/DA in 1056-5600/6400-6600/7400-7700 used wheelsets, a lot of them will come with classic looking rims.

I'd probably start by looking for 105/600/DA wheelsets, a lot of nice tricolor UG hubsets out there laced to nice rims, like Mavic Open 4 CD's, Araya CTL's, Wolbers, some of the Matrix, Ambrosio, some Suns .

Some of the 89-92 or so bikes out there had swappable freehubs and the wheelsets themselves are very nice, classic looking for the most part.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
Good info here, thanks all. I definitely have a lot to mull over. If I wanted to upgrade to a cassette hub and a new clincher wheel set, what's a good classic looking rim that's not a weight hog?
I recently picked up a set of Ambrosio Excellence rims from a forum member that I am building up with silver Record hubs.

Reasonably light and attractive to my eye.

Going on a "grail" frameset I am having refinished, so I thought it would be time to give them a go after 35 years of Mavics.



Not exactly this finish, but close.

As for weight, I don't worry quite as much.

I could stand to lose another fifteen pounds, so the durability of the wheelset comes into play for me.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:03 PM
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You should definitely upgrade that 1st gen 105 to campy centaur just for the experience of owning a campy equipped ride, broaden your horizons. those 105's have to be old and worn out. a new groupo is in order, why not try out the dark side, you might like it. (maniacal laughter)
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Old 05-12-12, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
If you can find 105/600/Ultegra/DA in 1056-5600/6400-6600/7400-7700 used wheelsets, a lot of them will come with classic looking rims.

I'd probably start by looking for 105/600/DA wheelsets, a lot of nice tricolor UG hubsets out there laced to nice rims, like Mavic Open 4 CD's, Araya CTL's, Wolbers, some of the Matrix, Ambrosio, some Suns .

Some of the 89-92 or so bikes out there had swappable freehubs and the wheelsets themselves are very nice, classic looking for the most part.
The stock wheels are Matrix titans, and according to the 1988 Trek Catalog they weigh 455g. They, and the entire bike, were in nearly new condition when I snatched up the bike at a yard sale three years ago (the black anodizing on the rims didn't even have brake scratches). I could re-lace the rims to new hubs, but then they're also 32H. I was thinking about a 28H rim set to save weight, but maybe that's over-thinking things?

Originally Posted by catonec View Post
You should definitely upgrade that 1st gen 105 to campy centaur just for the experience of owning a campy equipped ride, broaden your horizons. those 105's have to be old and worn out. a new groupo is in order, why not try out the dark side, you might like it. (maniacal laughter)
Actually the 105 group was almost new, not a single scratch and probably less than 100 miles ridden when I got it (see above comment). My Mercian had a complete nearly NOS Campy NR group (now mixed with some French bits), and I also had a bike with a complete Campy NGS group, so I'm familiar with vintage Campy (and I've never been overly impressed, compared with high end French comps of the same vintage). But as you say, I do want to broaden my horizons with respect to modern drivetrains. I haven't even decided whether to go with Campy or Shimano, but I had a chance to pick up a 2010 NOS Centaur group cheap, so that's what sparked the interest. I didn't jump on it because I didn't know what I was getting into, and am trying to get up to speed with the current range of modern drivetrains before dropping a grand on something I might regret later.

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Old 05-12-12, 07:56 AM
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Hey Anton... It's not just the weight with the modern groups, but also the performance. The weight balances out pretty close. The modern outboard campy cups + crank is lighter than older cranks with a BB that weighs 300g +...all the while stiffer as well.

There is no comparing a Campy dual pivot to a single pivot brake and the positive feel of Campy Ergos can't be beat.

What is the total weight of the current wheelset? Simple sealed bearing hubs can shave 200g+ from a wheelset. Are the spokes DB or even straight gauge?? Lasers or Revolutions can save even more, while still maintaining a reliable wheel set. I've been building 28H wheels on taiwanese hubs (bikehubstore) with Velocity A23 (435-450g) and Sapim Lasers/Race...easy 1500g wheelset. If you're willing to go down in spoke count or use a lower weight rim (Kinlin XR200, DT RR415, IRD Cadence) you can get down in the 1400 range.

Also, seatposts, stems and saddles. 100g in a SP and 150g in a saddle is easy.

The last and biggest change would be swapping the fork for a CF unit...1-1.5# savings.

Good luck...
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Old 05-12-12, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
but I had a chance to pick up a 2010 NOS Centaur group cheap, so that's what sparked the interest. I didn't jump on it because I didn't know what I was getting into, and am trying to get up to speed with the current range of modern drivetrains before dropping a grand on something I might regret later.[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
If you get a chance, next time jump on that alloy Centaur. I bought the group in 2009 from Ribble delivered to my door for $525. Used it for 3 seasons (great stuff) and now I just sold it on ebay for $400. I spent more that $125 wearing out tires over the 3 years. Really held its value nicely.

Some would argue that a modern drive train is "better". Some would argue its "worse". I'll just say it is different and leave at that. You may prefer it over vintage, or not. But for me, the point of riding vintage to to have the different experiences. If i wanted the same thing, I'd own more than one of the same bike. I don't get that.
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