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Why do you like riding vintage bikes?

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Why do you like riding vintage bikes?

Old 11-12-20, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stan Heinricher
Yes, I enjoy riding my 1978 Serotta road bike, which is outfitted with a combination of old components + new that look old, like a Nitto bar & stem.
Although I'm not into racing anymore, I am curious about the carbon vs steel question "How much faster is a carbon road bike than the old steel frames?"
Salesmen at bike stores assure me that carbon is very advantageous when it comes to speed. Of course, he wants me to buy a new carbon bike.
I'm looking for feedback from old riders like me who have ridden both kinds of frames.
The problem with someone trying to tell you which frame material is faster is that it's all psychological! What you scream bloody murder at me? People that have gone out and spent big bucks on a new frame material want to believe it's faster, after all the science mumbo jumbo says it is, and it cost a lot more money so it has to be, and you have to believe it to be. So where's my proof as you scream at even a higher pitch than before?

See this chart: Tour de France | areppim's chart of Tour de France winners average speeds The average speeds are in kilometers per hour. So from 1995 to 2016, they hovered at between 39 and 40 k per hour, scan all the way back to 1956 and they were still doing 36 k per hour. So let's put that into MPH perspective, the difference between 40 kph and 36 kph is 4 kph or just 2.48 mph difference on old heavy non-aerodynamic flexy gas pipe slow tires 1956 steel bikes to ultra-modern super lightweight aerodynamic super-stiff fast tires carbon fiber wonder bikes of 2016!! Not to mention more scientific training and food, or doping..LOL!!!!

But wait it gets better, in 1956 the total race distance was 2,795 miles, in 2016 it was 2,193 miles, a difference of 602 miles, yet in 1956 they had only 1 more day of racing. So the reality is that in 1956 they raced a lot more miles per day than they do today, plus had an extra day of racing. I'm under the impression that the longer race miles made for slower averages, so in other words, the new-fangled carbon superbikes aren't doing a damn thing except costing race teams a lot of money, and the general public as well. It's either that or the riders back in the earlier days were in a lot better conditioning than we are today which means all of scientific training and food is not working. Or the human race is genetically degrading over time and we're becoming weaker. Take your pick which one you think is the problem.

You can make whatever conclusion you want from those statistics, and then you decide if carbon fiber is worth the money over steel.

I read all the time people who bought a new CF bike on a forum or on a review and they remark how fast it was over others they've owned or tried...pure psychological BS! They felt nothing in terms of speed, but they wanted to feel it so they imagined they did

Having said all of that, I test rode a bunch of CF bikes back between 2012 to 2013 and did not find one I liked, the only one I thought felt the best was the Specialized with the Zertz inserts in the stays and forks, it was the most comfortable riding, but was it faster than steel? not if history tells us something. I instead bought a titanium bike because after test riding a couple it had the best ride quality out of all the materials I either owned or tested. By the way, I have 5 steel bikes, so I know how steel rides as well.

I suggest you don't buy something expensive because of "speed", you buy it if you like the quality of the ride instead because if it's comfortable for you to ride then the chances are you will ride it more miles which will be better for you in the long haul.

So don't believe the hype of sales people, their job is to sell you bikes and they will glorify CF material as being fast.

Look, I use to be in the corporate world back in the day when golf was the big corporate sport, now cycling is, anyways a co worker was heavy into golf, so he decided, after reading a lot of stuff about all the scientific wonders they can pack into a club, to go a buy a new set of clubs to improve his game. He had $50 clubs (that's $50 each club, not for the set), so after all his research he spent $2,000 PER CLUB for a brand new set. He was bragging to me about his new clubs, and I asked him to let me know how much better he scored that following weekend out on the course, and I told him he should have spent that money on pro lessons, his score would have improved more than new clubs would do, he baha me off. That next week he came in looking a bit droopy, I asked him how much better he golfed, he told me to SHUT UP! LOL! The clubs didn't do a darn thing with all that scientific stuff they built into the stupid crap, which is what those clubs were, crap...expensive crap.

All this expensive golf club stuff and expensive CF bikes is nothing more than a modern spin on the old medicine man routine.

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Old 11-12-20, 08:13 PM
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I think that's what hits me the most when owning something "vintage" is that someone hand built these with, if anything, some sort of passion or interest. Nowadays, most competitors such as Specialized and Trek are using countries that they can pay cheap to build their bikes. Of course this is the smart way to go. I'm not arguing that whatsoever. You gotta do what you gotta do. They're still in business and leading the way. It's the fact that they looked for someone to pay cheap to build high end bikes. I don't know. It's never sit well with me. I get that their quality control is still the upmost best but it comes down to saving those pennies to compete with the others. Just...not my thing.

Also, have you bled hydraulic brakes??? Hell no.

I think I just enjoy history or see vintages bikes as some sort of art that I need to grab. Today's bikes feel like they're just iphones. Yeah, they're cool but something will replace them right after.

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Old 11-12-20, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
I read all the time people who bought a new CF bike on a forum or on a review and they remark how fast it was over others they've owned or tried...pure psychological BS! They felt nothing in terms of speed, but they wanted to feel it so they imagined they did.
Ah, yes, I suppose I must have imagined that my Cateye speedometers were telling me I was averaging 2-5mph better paces over rides in similar terrain and weather conditions, ranging between 50-120 miles on a regular basis for several months back when I rode my first carbon fiber bike. Every day I rode it I must have been so pumped up with psychological BS compared to those days when I opted instead to ride my trusty old Raleigh Super Course, that my euphoria gave me access to super human strength on my Trek Madone!

Good to know.

Sadly, since you're looking at performance records from DIFFERENT PEOPLE throughout the history of the Tour de France, it really doesn't help much with this argument. Go watch actual comparisons of the same elite riders hopping on vintage steel versus their modern bikes and see what they think... I've watched such things, and it's painfully obvious why very few to no criterium racers or pro level tour riders are regularly hopping back on their old bikes for hard riding of any sort, be it for training or pleasure (and most obviously not for competition). It's because the frames and crank arms don't put the power to the ground in the same way, the brakes aren't as responsive, the gears don't shift as quickly or smoothly smoothly, etc... Make all the excuses you want, but technology keeps pushing forward and it's certainly not all just marketing and gimmicks.

You say you test rode a bunch of CF frames. For how long? Did you ever take any out and do your regular routes? Were you in peak physical condition, pushing boundaries of personal speed and stamina while you rode them? Just curious... Because I got to realize the difference when I was constantly pushing myself to go further and faster with each passing day, and I always exceeded myself and set new PRs on my modern bikes to a much greater extent than my vintage steel, without any notable difference in how hard I was riding. I was in my early 20s at the time and I could run a 5 minute mile and lay down a 52 second 400, and was riding 6-8 hours every day of the week that summer. That's when I figured out it isn't just a bunch of psychological mumbo jumbo and sales pitches.

-Gregory

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Old 11-12-20, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
Ah, yes, I suppose I must have imagined that my Cateye speedometers were telling me I was averaging 2-5mph better paces over rides in similar terrain and weather conditions, ranging between 50-120 miles on a regular basis for several months back when I rode my first carbon fiber bike. Every day I rode it I must have been so pumped up with psychological BS compared to those days when I opted instead to ride my trusty old Raleigh Super Course, that my euphoria gave me access to super human strength on my Trek Madone!

Good to know.

Sadly, since you're looking at performance records from DIFFERENT PEOPLE throughout the history of the Tour de France, it really doesn't help much with this argument. Go watch actual comparisons of the same elite riders hopping on vintage steel versus their modern bikes and see what they think... I've watched such things, and it's painfully obvious that very few to no criterium racers or pro level tour riders are regularly hopping back on their old bikes for hard riding of any sort, be it for training or pleasure.

-Gregory
You don't think for one minute that a pro rider, who has sponsors, is going to let some old vintage bike beat or tie, or just barely beat a new CF sponsored bike? Please. The sponsors would be pissed and pull their sponsorships from that team if a team of riders did that. Those sponsored bikes would lose sales like crazy.

You mentioned different people, ok, so what you're saying is that a person from 1956 in his prime was to be transported in time to 2016 and raced on a modern bike he would tear up the modern peloton? Different people don't mean a thing. I doubt you're getting an increase from just the bike, what your getting is your willingness unconsciously to ride a bit harder because you bought a new bike. I know you will disagree with that, but the brain can do some pretty weird things.
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Old 11-12-20, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
It's because the frames and crank arms don't put the power to the ground in the same way,
While this may be true, it doesn't make the bike faster. Since you do not want to go to the 41, please, share any study showing 400 watts (or whatever number you wish) on two bikes creates a significant difference in speed.
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Old 11-12-20, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
I doubt you're getting an increase from just the bike, what your getting is your willingness unconsciously to ride a bit harder because you bought a new bike. I know you will disagree with that, but the brain can do some pretty weird things.
I didn't just buy new bikes. I've bought several vintage bicycles that cost as much or more than almost all of my modern bikes. I set up every one of my bicycles to maximize its efficiency no matter what era it's from, and ride them as hard as I can. My modern bikes were not always new - they got old with me, and they were parted out or sold off because I lost interest in them and already had other new bikes to excite me. They never got any slower after any psychological effects of their "newness" would have most certainly worn off.

Bicycles are machines with no inherent or magical capability to make anyone ride fast. I make the speed. I am the deciding factor. Under the strength of my body, every machine has reacted differently, and after paying attention to what each one has done in response to my inputs, it became - and remained - very obvious that my energy was far more efficiently utilized to create speed while I rode modern carbon frames with all of the gimmicks than any vintage bicycle allowed me to do at the times when I was in peak physical condition.

By the way, I still love speed, but I don't have time any more for the kind of dedicated riding that allows me to get close to allowing me to feel dissatisfied on my vintage steel. Nowadays I much prefer the comfort and the aesthetic pleasure and the ease of maintenance that comes with my vintage bikes. I don't own or ride or care to ride a carbon bike right now. But that doesn't mean I have any delusions about why CF is presently the preferred frame material for serious riding at all levels of competition. It works very well, and better than all other viable materials for mass-production frames on the current market.

-Gregory
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Old 11-12-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
While this may be true, it doesn't make the bike faster. Since you do not want to go to the 41, please, share any study showing 400 watts (or whatever number you wish) on two bikes creates a significant difference in speed.
That may also well be true when just the frame is considered! I'm really reminiscing about the entire package here, not just the frames. The overall difference of 12 pounds between my Super Course and Madone, the quicker and more variable shifting patterns, more aerodynamic and *much* lighter wheels... Lots of things might have contributed to the difference.

But take a state-of-the-art bicycle from 1980 (which I've ridden some of) and a state-of-the-art bike from ten years ago (which I only got close to but rode for quite a time) and the overall difference proved rather stark for me.

I've also had a modern steel frame with compact geometry, oversized tubing and a carbon fork that I'm quite sure felt just as fast as my Madone, but I was not then at a fitness level to prove it to myself.

So, in case my point was unclear before, I'm talking about modern design and technology of racing bicycles in general, and not just the choice of frame materials. I said "carbon, carbon, carbon" above because that's really mostly what there is to talk about. Frame geometry and tube dimensions are very likely to be far more important factors at the end of the day... I appreciate that steel frames built to modern specifications can do amazing things, but vintage and classic that is not!

-Gregory

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Old 11-12-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
That may also well be true when just the frame is considered! I'm really reminiscing about the entire package here, not just the frames. The overall difference of 12 pounds between my Super Course and Madone, the quicker and more variable shifting patterns, more aerodynamic and *much* lighter wheels... Lots of things might have contributed to the difference.

But take a state-of-the-art bicycle from 1980 (which I've ridden some of) and a state-of-the-art bike from ten years ago (which I only got close to but rode for quite a time) and the overall difference proved rather stark for me.

I've also had a modern steel frame with compact geometry, oversized tubing and a carbon fork that I'm quite sure felt just as fast as my Madone, but I was not then at a fitness level to prove it to myself.

So, in case my point was unclear before, I'm talking about modern design and technology of racing bicycles in general, and not just the choice of frame materials. I said "carbon, carbon, carbon" above because that's really mostly what there is to talk about. Frame geometry and tube dimensions are very likely to be far more important factors at the end of the day... I appreciate that steel frames built to modern specifications can do amazing things, but vintage and classic that is not!

-Gregory
But you have absolutely no power meter evidence to back your claim. It is an extraordinary easy experiment to conduct. Yet no manufacturer has done it and the reason is obvious. Average TdF speed has gone up 4kph from 1970 to now. But also consider the average length dropped from 4000km to 3500km in the same time. While there have been incremental gains in tech, there has also been the same in training and they freshly pave most roads in the tour today and not yesterday. So no, for an average schlub on these forums, the speed difference is insignificant between bikes.
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Old 11-12-20, 09:27 PM
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It's because they're simply fantastic man!
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Old 11-12-20, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
But you have absolutely no power meter evidence to back your claim...
So you also think that in a case like mine, over a couple of seasons of hard riding with plenty of back-to-back between vintage and modern on the same roads and weather conditions, the rather stark contrasts in my overall average speeds and max sprinting and climbing results (which I watched carefully, but as you say, never tracked with a power meter) were simply due to psychological factors?

I find that incredible. I suppose its possible, but given the energy I put into all of my riding during those early years of hard riding, it seems highly improbable.

-Gregory
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Old 11-12-20, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mackgoo
Do you think some guy in Taiwan proudly holds up every frame he makes with a grin from ear to ear?

Found one.
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Old 11-12-20, 10:03 PM
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My comment was more directed to the carbon crowd.
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Old 11-12-20, 10:05 PM
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Number 1: It's the aesthetics. With the exception of handbuilt steel or titanium, new bikes are ugly, period.

Number 1 again: The slightly higher performance of new bikes is irrelevant for 99% of riders. I ride all the time with guys (mostly younger than me) who are on fancy carbon bikes with tons of gears, brifters, etc, but more often than not I'm ahead of them even on the ascents where their lighter bikes should make a difference. Obviously not much of a difference.

Number 1 x3: Not wanting to contribute to the culture of planned obsolescence that permeates modern society.

Number 2: It's more affordable than buying new bikes.
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Old 11-13-20, 01:25 AM
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I'm certain that CF bikes are faster, they pass me ALL THE TIME! Yup, it's the bike fer shure, nothing to do with age, how much I like donuts, how I like to ride in regular shoes, gotta be the bike .
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Old 11-13-20, 01:49 AM
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I was selling an '80s Canadian bike to a young athletic girl one summer day. It was rad. Japanese steel. Campy NR friction shifting. Black Suzue hubs with black rims. Modolo brakes. Everything perfectly dialed-in. I was asking $400. She took it for a test ride. On her return, she couldn't pay me fast enough and asked, "why doesn't everyone ride a sleek old road bike like this?" "Beats the hell outta me," I said.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:23 AM
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^^^^^ Bike bias, either you get it or you don't.
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Old 11-13-20, 04:16 AM
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Quality and simplicity.
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Old 11-13-20, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BFisher

Found one.
This guys makes some nice Ti frames!
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Old 11-13-20, 06:57 AM
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While I don't have a collection of C&V, nostalgia is what attracted me initially. I found a Japanese bike boomer like I rode in high school on facebook marketplace and passed on it due to it missing the front brake. Various things made me pass on it not realizing not only how easy it would have been to find the missing pieces, but how much fun it would have been working on it. Some weeks later I found a similar bike on craigslist that was in excellent condition and paid more than what it would be worth to someone who wanted to flip it, but for the return I have had on happiness, it was a steal of steel. Now I'm constantly combing craigslist and facebook marketplace to find something that I think I may want or enjoy.

It may take me a while to find something though as many of the ads I see have Peugeot prices on rusty department store bikes.
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Old 11-13-20, 12:32 PM
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For me I guess itís because those were the new bikes when I took interest. All those bright colors of the mid 80ís peleton were hypnotic.
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Old 11-13-20, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
So you also think that in a case like mine, over a couple of seasons of hard riding with plenty of back-to-back between vintage and modern on the same roads and weather conditions, the rather stark contrasts in my overall average speeds and max sprinting and climbing results (which I watched carefully, but as you say, never tracked with a power meter) were simply due to psychological factors?
With all this back and forth, did you ever consider that perhaps you have a riding style that isn't well suited to older steel frames? Maybe those guys putting in amazing performances on steel bikes in the 70's and 80's understood something that you don't? You definitely seem to have the modern, 'it's all about pure power numbers' mentality, but surely there is some room for technique and finesse, no?

Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
..I love the ride quality of the vintage bicycles of my choosing, but would much prefer to own a brand new bicycle with similar qualities, which I could ride without the hassle of tired springs and old bearings and weak spokes and fatigued alloys, etc...
Originally Posted by Yelbom15
I think I just enjoy history or see vintages bikes as some sort of art that I need to grab. Today's bikes feel like they're just iphones. Yeah, they're cool but something will replace them right after.
You guys know that there are quite a few companies building great modern steel bikes, right? Italy has tons of options if you want modern steel.
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Old 11-13-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
So you also think that in a case like mine, over a couple of seasons of hard riding with plenty of back-to-back between vintage and modern on the same roads and weather conditions, the rather stark contrasts in my overall average speeds and max sprinting and climbing results (which I watched carefully, but as you say, never tracked with a power meter) were simply due to psychological factors?

I find that incredible. I suppose its possible, but given the energy I put into all of my riding during those early years of hard riding, it seems highly improbable.

-Gregory
I really don't have another explanation. I ride a 1960 Cinelli, 25 pounds, 2x4 old-school goodness and a 2009 Cinelli, 15 pounds, 2x11, stiff like a board with aero wheels. I see 10 minutes difference over 3 hours. I don't notice the slight uptick in speed. They feel entirely different, but that doesn't mean faster.

Again, it is an incredibly easy experiment to do. Ride box rims at 250W, get a time. Ride aero rims at 250W, get a time. Same for a stiff or whippy bike. See a difference. But since no major manufacturer has published anything, they probably found out there isn't much of a difference. Stiffer bike, aero dimples, oversized jockey wheels are marginal gains at best, very marginal.
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Old 11-13-20, 04:50 PM
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Well my bike is vintage and so I am. I bought the bike new in the 1984 and still ride it today.
I am not as young anymore so some fancy bike would be lost on me. itís a Peugeot with 80ís Campy Super record group set. Can not get much better than that.
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Old 11-13-20, 05:12 PM
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Bikes: Trek 720, Trek 620, Trek 520, Steel Schwinns, AD Puch, Kona, Nishiki Pro, All City Disc Spacehorse, Waterford

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Because I am Vintage!!!

I enjoy riding the bikes of my mid 20's.
I love the Centurion Ironman bikes, and the Schwinn's I sold and repaired. I still am blessed to have a 531 bike from that era that I built, even laced the wheels.

I love the feel of steel frames. I weigh 220, so enjoy a bit if flex.

I HATE aluminum frames. Sorry to all the fans. To each his own my Mother always said.

The full carbon weight savings is me not eating a cheeseburger......
I do enjoy a steel frame with a carbon fork.
And I do enjoy higher end Sram groups.

A foot in the past, and the other in the present. 😃😃😃😃
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Old 11-13-20, 08:58 PM
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Because they're beautiful, cool, fuel nostalgia - but mostly because they still work just fine

DD
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