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Component Advice

Old 12-20-20, 02:40 PM
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Stickney
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Component Advice

I'm a middle aged Clyde that used 2020 to get back riding more miles (kids got older/quarantine/working from home). I'm looking to reward myself and update my equipment. I ride mostly flat to rolling paved road and hilly gravel.

My two bikes are older (15 year old Litespeed Tuscany road/Ultegra 6600, 2013 Motobecane CX/Rival -- both 10 sp). I'm not particularly hard on equipment, although I'm 6'3"/260 - I don't race.
I've noticed bike technology has shifted in the last few years. I'm just wondering what others would suggest as worthwhile new-ish technology to look into.
*Carbon rims
*Tubeless tires/wheels
*Other new wheelset
*Disc Brakes
*New Groupset (11 speed)

Thanks!

Last edited by Stickney; 12-20-20 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 12-21-20, 08:27 AM
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Just take what you've got and go ride it. Riding the bike you've got is far less expensive, and far more fun, than obsessing over the latest marketing (except, perhaps, late at night or when the weather's bad and all you want to do is surf the web).

You might check with your LBS about getting a tuneup -- bearing grease and cables do dry out, and tires may have dry rotted.
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Old 12-21-20, 08:47 AM
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Think back to what - if anything - that is nagging you every ride. Try to fix that instead of random updating.
Do your hands go numb?
Try another stem/bar/overall bike fit.
Is the saddle OK?
Maybe some good lights for evening rides?
Disc brakes are always nice but rarely needed.

I’m fond of having double wheelsets, with different types of tires on. Makes the bike more versatile, and/or riding safer. Switching wheels is faster than switching tires.
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Old 12-21-20, 10:27 AM
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Ditto to riding what you have as pdlamb said. Ditto also to what dabac says.

Stickney - when you say you used 2020 to get back more cycling miles, could you speak to what those 2020 miles back in the saddle taught you?

How many miles did you manage to get? How is the Litespeed Tuscany running? Titanium bikes can be lifetime bikes if well cared for, same with Ultegra 6600 components.... If the components are in good shape I would say treat them well like your bike is a Sunday morning classic sports car that deserves to be meticulously maintained.

To bring the Tuscany up to modern standards a bit, one impactful upgrade you could do is to the wheel build.

What wheels and tires are you running now? If you don’t have the highest quality wheels already, one thing I would do is to set a mileage goal for 2021 for some arbitrary amount of miles that seems right - say 4,000 road miles in 2021? Use this as a benchmark for your reward to yourself. Man, before COVID-19 shortages, high end 10 speed stuff was plentiful and cheap. Now, with all the shortages, a lot of the better deals are drying up. But they are still out there. For a #260 Clyde, you can still benefit from custom hand built wheels. Do you have an artisan wheelbuilder in your town you can consult with? If so, consider that person a tremendous ally who can work with you to implement your ideas. There are also custom wheel builders on-line such as November bikes that will build what you need.

Where I’m heading with this is (and not wanting to get the cart before the horse since I have no idea what wheels & tires you are running, let alone the condition of the rest of your 2 bikes mentioned) - is this... Modern wider aluminum rim choices use better extrusions that are stronger for a given spoke count and also enable dialing in better ride characteristics thanks to wider interior volume and tubeless ready interior rim extrusion design.

HED Belgium (and even better the wider Belgium + if your Litespeed frame permits adequate brake clearance) or Velocity Quill are 2 modern aluminum Clyde friendly rim upgrades that come to mind that would likely work with your titanium bike that could be built up with some high quality hubs of your choice (think White Industries or Dura Ace 7800, 7850 or 7900 for example) in a slightly lower spoke count such as 28 front 2 cross and 32 rear 3 cross. You could run tubeless tape and the correct tubeless valves. This would allow you to avail yourself of a ripe market of high performance tubeless road tire choices. All the major bike manufacturers are now marketing high quality road tubeless tires in different widths that might fit you frame and be Clyde friendly. Tubeless tires have firmer sidewalls when mated with wider rims such as the 2 I mentioned. This gives a different ride. It would be worth looking into. Once you get it set up, you can play around with tire pressures until you dial in the pressures (front & rear) that gives you that Goldilocks perfect compromise of buttery shock absorption over broken roads while still feeling “fast”.

These wheel suggestions listed above are probably where I would start as far as upgrading a slightly obsolete rim brake road bike...

I hope this helps and feel free to ask follow up questions. It would also be nice if you could post a picture or two of your bikes showing your wheels and drivetrains.

Last edited by masi61; 12-21-20 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-21-20, 11:13 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the replies. PDlamb/dabac -- your advice is very sound. Masi61 -- just what I wanted to hear about tubeless set up and modern aluminum rims. It's funny you used the phrase "slightly obsolete rim brake road bike" -- that's sorta the premise of starting this thread -- now seems the time to make some upgrades/investments to keep her running for 15 more years.

I'm not hard on wheels. I run the original Easton Circuits on the Litespeed (24H Radial F/28H 2X R). The CX bike has some BikesDirect wheels (came with bike) that have been more than adequate. Both of those rims are essentially 30mm Deep Vs.

I am likely to need a new right hand 10sp Shimano brifter. Any place you are seeing those available online? Is there compatibility with a newer Shimano groupset?

Are newer rim brakes made with modern rim widths in mind (ie 30mm clearance? or are those wide rims disc only?)

Appreciate the responses!
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Old 12-21-20, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post
Thanks for the replies. PDlamb/dabac -- your advice is very sound. Masi61 -- just what I wanted to hear about tubeless set up and modern aluminum rims. It's funny you used the phrase "slightly obsolete rim brake road bike" -- that's sorta the premise of starting this thread -- now seems the time to make some upgrades/investments to keep her running for 15 more years.

I'm not hard on wheels. I run the original Easton Circuits on the Litespeed (24H Radial F/28H 2X R). The CX bike has some BikesDirect wheels (came with bike) that have been more than adequate. Both of those rims are essentially 30mm Deep Vs.

Older “Deep V” clincher rims have the reputation of being plenty strong for Clydes. That is the good news. The not so good news is that (most likely) the Easton Circuits will have an inner width of say, 14mm making them most suitable for 23 or 25mm clinchers. Also they’re not tubeless ready. You could check your current rim tape and if it is Velox cotton canvas tape, you could re-tape them with thinner tubeless rim tape to get a bit more internal tube volume and permit slightly lower tire pressures. You could also experiment with better clincher tires that might roll a bit faster. Everybody loves to talk about Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires and a new set of this I’m sure would be great. I have been playing around with Challenge branded open tubulars for a couple years now in conjunction with Vittoria (or Challenge) brand latex inner tubes. I believe I have improved the ride quite a bit on my aluminum road bike. You are lucky that you Have the Litespeed since titanium has that magical non-harsh ride.

I am likely to need a new right hand 10sp Shimano brifter. Any place you are seeing those available online? Is there compatibility with a newer Shimano groupset?

New old stock 6600 Ultegra 10 speed right side shift levers have now become scarce. Check eBay frequently and maybe a new one will pop up. Any 10 speed Shimano “brifter” can be swapped in so you can expand your search to other series of 10-speed shifters such as Dura Ace 7800 or 105 5500 series. Good luck!

Are newer rim brakes made with modern rim widths in mind (ie 30mm clearance? or are those wide rims disc only?)

Shimano has updated their dual pivot rim brakes to open up wide enough to permit the removal of a 28mm tire without deflating it first. Or at least this is what I have heard. This would mean Dura Ace 9100 brakes or Ultegra 8000 or 105 7000 series dual pivots.


Appreciate the responses!
I hope this helps!
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Old 12-21-20, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post
I am likely to need a new right hand 10sp Shimano brifter. Any place you are seeing those available online? Is there compatibility with a newer Shimano groupset?
You might want to see if you can find a NOS brifter as a spare. But try the famous WD-40 flush before you give up on the shifter: you basically squirt WD-40 in as you operate the brake and shifting functions, and when it's working, shoot some spray lithium grease in there. You may have to repeat every 6-10 years.

If you can find the rubber grip that fits your brifter, buy a couple sets.
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Old 12-21-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
You might want to see if you can find a NOS brifter as a spare. But try the famous WD-40 flush before you give up on the shifter: you basically squirt WD-40 in as you operate the brake and shifting functions, and when it's working, shoot some spray lithium grease in there. You may have to repeat every 6-10 years.

If you can find the rubber grip that fits your brifter, buy a couple sets.
Thanks for that advice. I went and watched a couple videos. That is particularly useful after I looked on ebay and realized used brifters were, let's say, not cheap, haha.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:31 AM
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I get what you are saying. Yes you can just go ride, but there is something to be said about sprucing it up which makes you want to ride it more. You have a really nice titanium frame that is timeless...so updating the drivetrain is what I would do as well. Yes to all thoughts....definitely go tubeless because Ti and tubeless is an awesome combination....yes on carbon rims. Depending on your saddle, I would probably update that too. Frame is not made for disc brakes (to my knowledge).
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Old 12-23-20, 01:12 PM
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bah. humbug. that's what I'm seeing. forget that! sure, you've got good stuff, and I'm sure you appreciate what you've got. Ah... we're talking bikes here, and MORE IS BETTER. figure out your budget, then start walking into bike shops and see what they can show ya. this is the fun stuff. what else are we saving it for? no one in this forum will be on their future death bed saying "gee, I wish I'd never bought that other bike." we may have a lot of regrets on that day, but bikes aren't going to be on the list.
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Old 12-27-20, 07:50 AM
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I'm sort of in the same boat. I'm 6 ft, 260 and getting back into riding after 20 years away from it.
Took the Covid money and got an E-Bike. Rad City. Did 1000 miles on it before I took the plunge back into analog bike. Found a used road bike, Specialized Sirrus, Lg. frame. Had wheels upgraded to carbon Zipp 404's and new tires. Tune up and it made all the difference!
Also ended up getting a used gravel bike, Giant AnyRoad too. Fine for gravel and dirt rides. So, now have 3 bikes for any adventure that awaits!
Last week E bike and 20 miles, this week road bike and 6 mile sprint and 2 weeks ago gravel bike and 26 miles trail riding.
Good luck to you. Hopefully it will be a smooth winter and we'll all be back in the saddle and riding together again.....soon!
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Old 12-27-20, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post
Thanks for the replies. PDlamb/dabac -- your advice is very sound. Masi61 -- just what I wanted to hear about tubeless set up and modern aluminum rims. It's funny you used the phrase "slightly obsolete rim brake road bike" -- that's sorta the premise of starting this thread -- now seems the time to make some upgrades/investments to keep her running for 15 more years.
The “slightly obsolete rim brake” comment may have been in reference hub mounted disc vs rim brakes. I would disagree. Rim brakes from a 15 year old bike aren’t “obsolete” in any way. There really haven’t been any changes or improvements in rim brakes in the last 15 years. There really hasn’t been that many improvements in disc brakes in that same period. Your rim brakes will be perfectly adequate for every imaginable condition.

Since your bike likely doesn’t have the fittings for disc brakes, that’s a moot point but, if you know how to use your brakes effectively, discs aren’t the “vast” improvement that many make them out to be. Watch an old movie of Eddie Merckx or Lemond or even Lance Armstrong flying down some French mountain and realize that the brakes they were using were less effective then the ones on your bike and they were doing crazy speeds down those moutains.

I am likely to need a new right hand 10sp Shimano brifter. Any place you are seeing those available online? Is there compatibility with a newer Shimano groupset?
Why do you need a shifter? Is it sticky or not shifting? You can often refresh them with a squirt of solvent or WD-40 into the guts.

Are newer rim brakes made with modern rim widths in mind (ie 30mm clearance? or are those wide rims disc only?)

Appreciate the responses!
I doubt that either of your bikes will take 30mm tires, much less 30mm rims. The Tuscany, especially. But I’ve never seen the appeal of super wide rims. I don’t use 30mm rims on my mountain bikes with 2” tires on them. I can’t see a reason for using them on a lightweight road bike. A wider rim doesn’t gain you any strength...no rim does. It’s just heavier. Stick with what you’ve got. If you need to upgrade the wheels, upgrade the spokes, not the rims.

Finally, tubeless. Meh.
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Old 12-28-20, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The “slightly obsolete rim brake” comment may have been in reference hub mounted disc vs rim brakes. I would disagree. Rim brakes from a 15 year old bike aren’t “obsolete” in any way. There really haven’t been any changes or improvements in rim brakes in the last 15 years. There really hasn’t been that many improvements in disc brakes in that same period. Your rim brakes will be perfectly adequate for every imaginable condition.

Since your bike likely doesn’t have the fittings for disc brakes, that’s a moot point but, if you know how to use your brakes effectively, discs aren’t the “vast” improvement that many make them out to be. Watch an old movie of Eddie Merckx or Lemond or even Lance Armstrong flying down some French mountain and realize that the brakes they were using were less effective then the ones on your bike and they were doing crazy speeds down those moutains.

Why do you need a shifter? Is it sticky or not shifting? You can often refresh them with a squirt of solvent or WD-40 into the guts.

I doubt that either of your bikes will take 30mm tires, much less 30mm rims. The Tuscany, especially. But I’ve never seen the appeal of super wide rims. I don’t use 30mm rims on my mountain bikes with 2” tires on them. I can’t see a reason for using them on a lightweight road bike. A wider rim doesn’t gain you any strength...no rim does. It’s just heavier. Stick with what you’ve got. If you need to upgrade the wheels, upgrade the spokes, not the rims.

Finally, tubeless. Meh.
cyccommute -- thanks for the reply.
*Rim brakes -- I've run rim brakes my entire life (well, after I stopped using the skid technique, haha) -- and they have been just fine. Obsolete in the sense that there are a lot of rims on the market that may not fit my old rim brakes in terms of clearance.
*Shifter -- yes sticky. I've flushed it. I live on gravel and dust is omnipresent. My bike shop fears that it may just be getting past the point of repair. I plan on flushing it again this weekend.
*Tires -- I've run 28c on my Tuscany since I got it. I'm not sure that 28c will work with a wider rim profile (wider internal width), but I guess I can just switch to 25c if that occurs. If the wheels don't work at all the cyclocross bike has plenty of clearance. My current road rims are like 19mm external -- lots of current rims are 23mm external -- give or take. 30mm rims won't fit and yes, I sorta scratch my head about the benefits. I am looking at a few different wheelsets that are all in the 23mm external width realm -- both I and my LBS thought those should work.
*Tubeless -- I spoke with my LBS this morning and they felt that tubeless was "meh" as well, haha, particularly for my size/weight and riding type. I get the appeal of tubeless, but, what is funny is that I live on a farm and we rather frequently have to install tubes in our tubeless tires to stop the headache of flats (haha).
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Old 12-29-20, 02:07 AM
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Tubeless sounds like the answer to a question no cyclist was asking. They are mature technology on cars and motorcycles but NOT on bicycles. A casual perusal of threads in various sub-fora of BF will attest to the MISERY a large number of tubeless adopters experience. Many love them but not nearly enough that I am convinced to join them! A 15 year old bike ... during Covid I cleared out the garage and made some local cyclists VERY happy. A 1984 Raleigh Team USA went for free to a good home. I simply hadn't ever ridden it after buying it. So also went a 1984 Schwinn World Tourist. Some other stuff. When you can't use Allen wrenches on a bike that's when it's old.
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Old 12-29-20, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
When you can't use Allen wrenches on a bike that's when it's old.
haha -- that is an accurate (and wise) measuring stick.
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Old 12-30-20, 01:57 AM
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I think 15 years is a good excuse for getting a whole new bike and trying out all the tech goodies and improvements for yourself.

I think things like hydraulic disks, thru-axles, wide rims and tires, and clutched derailleurs on wide-range cassettes are pretty awesome. Tubeless, too, can be awesome, but indeed requires the right setup, both in terms of rim and tire match, and tools. Or maybe you just let your LBS take care of initial setup, and you just ride and enjoy them.

I get that a lot of people have a deeply ingrained perspective that bikes are, and should be, simple devices, and that any competent person should be able to maintain one at home. I get that in terms of the appeal to nostalgia, practicality, and dogma; I have it, too, to a degree. However, as the saying goes, “time waits for no man,” and things change. Bikes have and will continue to evolve regardless of whether any one person has ever conceived of how their ride life might benefit. Therefore, I see no benefit in being mired in the past as the world looks forward.

For me, I love experiencing new bikes and bits, and I don’t feel that detracts at all from my love of cycling, which has been a passion since I learned to cycle more than 40 years ago. In fact, the quest to try new stuff and have new experiences has enriched my cycling life and broadened my perspectives. I had the great privilege to see MTB burst on the scene in the mid-80s just as I was “coming of age,” and that relentlessly fast-paced of evolution of a new kind of bike was really exciting, so maybe that spirit of innovation in cycling means more to me than to other people, but I really cherish what that amazing evolutionary period did for bikes and for me, and that’s with the perspective that my ‘87 Bridgestone MB-3 is a category of bike literally doesn’t exist anymore. It turned out that bikes got a lot better.

I remember back then people grumbling about the new tech and the specialized tools, like cassette lockring wrenches, and *****ing about unserviceable STI shifters when they came out. There were those who warned of the dangers of being trapped in SPD pedals...obviously they’d never used the old slotted cleat/toe clip setup I was riding on the road in ‘84. My point here is that there is always a status quo, but never a status infinitum, so the only question is whether you move with the times or not. The old dudes who swore by 5spd freewheels and downtube friction shifting are now just really old dudes, while the rest of us have seen not only 6spd SIS, but the evolution to bar shifted STI and onto 13spd wireless. That kind of change is amazing to me, and I pity those who couldn’t even imagine it might happen.

That’s where we are today, too. Sitting on a spectrum of evolution which continues forward regardless of any given one of us feels about it. I’m along for the ride.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:37 AM
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it always depends on how much you want to spend , and what you want to try , if you want to try it and you have the money , it will make you happy and give you a new experience , then no need to ask anyone .

if you want a full spec out for free well then maybe you might have to pay pal me ill send you a part list LOL.

for older bikes the difference is always the technology used to achieve a result , newer bikes have more tech in them so they can be stiffer lighter , so if your trying to upgrade your old frames , you really have to think about is it worth it to drop parts on an old frame , the parts are only going to make the frame lighter and drive train more efficient , and since you are a big boy i doubt you will ever get an aero advantage from any part available , you will get a more efficient drive train and better gear rations from 11 speed , i would still be happy with 10x2 , i would not really go for ceramic bearings but larger jockey wheels have been shown to improve drive train , and thats about it , on your older frames you might get a new fork to add stiffness , you are not going to get disc brakes without a full frame upgrade , if you want discs its and option more than a requirement outside of CX races
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Old 12-30-20, 11:48 AM
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A lot of diverse opinions here and a lot of good points made. I'll share some of my thoughts with you. First, I've never been in the camp where I tried to keep up with technology at all costs. I hang out mainly in the Classic & Vintage area, so you can tell what sort of enthusiast I am. I don't dislike modern bikes and components, just the opposite, I appreciate them. But what I don't feel the need to do is take an older bike and try to make it into something it isn't.

If you are going to go, then I say go all the way. Just know that in a few short years, even that bike that was "state of the art" will be replaced by "newer and better". For example, mechanical disc brakes were all the rage until hydraulics came along.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 12-30-20, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
First, I've never been in the camp where I tried to keep up with technology at all costs.... Just know that in a few short years, even that bike that was "state of the art" will be replaced by "newer and better".
You bring up a couple of good points which haven’t really been touched on yet.

First off, the stuff the OP mentions can be had well below “state of the art” costs. Disc brakes, 11 speed, carbon wheels, and tubeless have all been around for several years, so the market is stratified by quality and price, with lots of entry points. For example, carbon wheels are still pretty pricey, but there’s a huge gap in cost between a good carbon wheelset and a state of the art carbon wheelset. Any of that stuff can be “tried on” at prices which won’t make the OP feel trapped if they get the wandering eye for the next new thing.

To the point of price, all the features mentioned, except CF wheels, can be had most effectively and economically on a new bike rather than going piecemeal. For example, upgrading the Litespeed to 11spd will probably cost $600 for a gruppo, whereas a complete bike with everything except carbon wheels— 11spd, discs, tubeless— can be had for around $1200, maybe even less. So, for a $400-$600 premium over the cost of adding just 1 thing to the old bike, the OP could grab a whole new ride where everything is mat hed up to work together and showcase the best each component has to offer. They’d also then have a really good platform in which to invest in CF wheels and try out the wide tire thing, too.
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Old 12-31-20, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
You bring up a couple of good points which haven’t really been touched on yet.

First off, the stuff the OP mentions can be had well below “state of the art” costs. Disc brakes, 11 speed, carbon wheels, and tubeless have all been around for several years, so the market is stratified by quality and price, with lots of entry points. For example, carbon wheels are still pretty pricey, but there’s a huge gap in cost between a good carbon wheelset and a state of the art carbon wheelset. Any of that stuff can be “tried on” at prices which won’t make the OP feel trapped if they get the wandering eye for the next new thing.
There’s more hype than substance to “state of the art”. If you are competing at a high level, having all the latest and greatest doodad and geegaw might make a difference in a race. But you aren’t paying for that privilege out of your own pocket nor are you likely to have to deal with any issues that might develop over time with that “state of the art” bicycle. Even if some issue crops up, you have someone who deals with it so that all you have to do is ride.

Additionally, all that “state of the art” stuff doesn’t really change the ride all that much. 11, 12 or even 13 speed rear clusters, carbon wheels, disc brakes, etc don’t change the experience much...especially for the cost of those improvements. Adding one (or even 2 or 3) gears on the back isn’t going to suddenly make the bike faster. It’s adding one gear within the same range of gearing. It’s a marginal “improvement” for a lot of money.

To the point of price, all the features mentioned, except CF wheels, can be had most effectively and economically on a new bike rather than going piecemeal. For example, upgrading the Litespeed to 11spd will probably cost $600 for a gruppo, whereas a complete bike with everything except carbon wheels— 11spd, discs, tubeless— can be had for around $1200, maybe even less. So, for a $400-$600 premium over the cost of adding just 1 thing to the old bike, the OP could grab a whole new ride where everything is mat hed up to work together and showcase the best each component has to offer. They’d also then have a really good platform in which to invest in CF wheels and try out the wide tire thing, too.
You have way underestimated the cost of a new bike with 11 speed, disc brakes, and tubeless that is of the same quality as the Lightspeed. A $1200 Trek Domane 3 disc has a 9 speed Sora drivetrain. That’s a long step down from a Lightspeed Tuscany and is a slight step down from the Motobecane. The entry price on Ultegra is about $3000 in the Trek line. It’s not a bad bike but not really comparable to the Lightspeed.

Lots and lots and lots of us have ridden bikes of far less quality then the Lightspeed with rim brakes, as few as 5 speeds, and with tubes in our tires and survived to tell the tale. We even enjoyed the trip.

Stickney: Just ride. Don’t worry about chasing the latest hot thing. You have a great bike in the Tuscany and an okay bike with the Motobecane. Don’t trade a great bike for an okay one just because it’s not new.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
There’s more hype than substance to “state of the art”. If you are competing at a high level, having all the latest and greatest doodad and geegaw might make a difference in a race. But you aren’t paying for that privilege out of your own pocket nor are you likely to have to deal with any issues that might develop over time with that “state of the art” bicycle. Even if some issue crops up, you have someone who deals with it so that all you have to do is ride.

Additionally, all that “state of the art” stuff doesn’t really change the ride all that much. 11, 12 or even 13 speed rear clusters, carbon wheels, disc brakes, etc don’t change the experience much...especially for the cost of those improvements. Adding one (or even 2 or 3) gears on the back isn’t going to suddenly make the bike faster. It’s adding one gear within the same range of gearing. It’s a marginal “improvement” for a lot of money.



You have way underestimated the cost of a new bike with 11 speed, disc brakes, and tubeless that is of the same quality as the Lightspeed. A $1200 Trek Domane 3 disc has a 9 speed Sora drivetrain. That’s a long step down from a Lightspeed Tuscany and is a slight step down from the Motobecane. The entry price on Ultegra is about $3000 in the Trek line. It’s not a bad bike but not really comparable to the Lightspeed.

Lots and lots and lots of us have ridden bikes of far less quality then the Lightspeed with rim brakes, as few as 5 speeds, and with tubes in our tires and survived to tell the tale. We even enjoyed the trip.

Stickney: Just ride. Don’t worry about chasing the latest hot thing. You have a great bike in the Tuscany and an okay bike with the Motobecane. Don’t trade a great bike for an okay one just because it’s not new.
You’ve somehow managed to miss the fact the the stuff the OP is talking about is not “state of the art.” I have a $600 Novara that came with disc brakes 15 years ago. It had 17mm internal width rims, too. 11 speed drivetrains are 10 years old. I don’t even know how old tubeless and carbon rims are, but if they don’t go back 15 years, it’s probably 20. What you call “geegaws” are not state-of-the-art. The state-of-the-art is integration and optimization, and for that to go over your head suggests some unflattering peculiarities about your perspective.

With regards to what is “a lot of money,” that’s something not of my concern at all, because I don’t know the OP, nor did they indicate what they were willing to spend. $1200 is not a lot for a bike to me, and who knows if $3500 is not a lot for the OP. Not my biz, not yours, and who-the-f**k cares anyway.

With regards to needing to spend enough to get a bike equivalent in quality to the Litespeed, I don’t see neither why that’s necessary nor even how that’s relevant. Did someone say the OP needs to get rid of the Litespeed? Is a steel bike which handles better, stops better, shifts better, and feels great necessarily of lesser quality? A 15 year old midrange Litespeed may enthrall you, but I bet the OP would have a hard time finding someone to assess value for that bike at more than $1.2k if they wished to sell it. I’m not saying it isn’t a nice bike, only that the notion of quality is rather abstract, and that in the same way you dismiss a couple of extra gears as not making one faster, neither is a 15 year old Litespeed frameset going to that. Anyway, we know the OP said they want to reward themself, update equipment and ride more, so this going faster element is just some garbage you pulled out of your arse.

Lastly, your attempt to dismiss and belittle my perspective with the silly comment about how you have ridden 5 speeds and “enjoyed the trip” is a tragically pathetic effort, because any yokel can look at my sidebar and see that amongst my current 10 bikes are bikes with tubes, a 5 speed, and and undoubtedly bikes of lesser quality than the Litespeed, so it’s clear you’re just as oblivious about whom you’re talking to as you are about what the state-of-the-art is.

Your suggestion to the OP to just stick with what they have is a real disservice to what the OP asked for, while they didn’t take it to be an insult, I cannot imagine how your arrogant dismissal of their desire to reward themself with something new, fun, and stimulating is anything other than insulting, if not also tinged with resentment and jealousy.
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Old 12-31-20, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
You’ve somehow managed to miss the fact the the stuff the OP is talking about is not “state of the art.” I have a $600 Novara that came with disc brakes 15 years ago. It had 17mm internal width rims, too. 11 speed drivetrains are 10 years old. I don’t even know how old tubeless and carbon rims are, but if they don’t go back 15 years, it’s probably 20. What you call “geegaws” are not state-of-the-art. The state-of-the-art is integration and optimization, and for that to go over your head suggests some unflattering peculiarities about your perspective.
11 speed is 8 years old (introduced in DuraAce in 2012). It was introduced in the Ultregra line in 2013. But it’s only one more gear than 10 speed which isn’t all that earth shattering. Tubeless was introduced to road bikes around 2007. Not that all that matters much.

I’m not sure where you are getting that the “state of the art” is all about integration and optimization. Most all systems were integrated and optimized long ago. A Ultegra group from 1997 doesn’t perform any worse than a system from today. It didn’t “go over my head”, it’s not all that important. Stickney’s 2015 Litespeed Tuscany will perform just as well as a $3000 bike today. He won’t be missing much.

With regards to what is “a lot of money,” that’s something not of my concern at all, because I don’t know the OP, nor did they indicate what they were willing to spend. $1200 is not a lot for a bike to me, and who knows if $3500 is not a lot for the OP. Not my biz, not yours, and who-the-f**k cares anyway.
The point is that you are way underestimating the cost and what you get for the money. You said there wasn’t enough of a difference between the $600 for components...a fair estimate, by the way...and a $1200 bike. No there isn’t. But the difference between that $1200 bike and the one Stickney has now is far more than $600. A $1200 bike would be a significant downgrade...heavier components and only 9 speeds, in particular. Sure it has tubeless ready rim and disc brakes but that’s a lot to spend for what is frankly a low level rim and low level brakes...which, by the way aren’t Shimano so aren’t “integrated” and may not be “optimized”.

With regards to needing to spend enough to get a bike equivalent in quality to the Litespeed, I don’t see neither why that’s necessary nor even how that’s relevant. Did someone say the OP needs to get rid of the Litespeed? Is a steel bike which handles better, stops better, shifts better, and feels great necessarily of lesser quality? A 15 year old midrange Litespeed may enthrall you, but I bet the OP would have a hard time finding someone to assess value for that bike at more than $1.2k if they wished to sell it. I’m not saying it isn’t a nice bike, only that the notion of quality is rather abstract, and that in the same way you dismiss a couple of extra gears as not making one faster, neither is a 15 year old Litespeed frameset going to that. Anyway, we know the OP said they want to reward themself, update equipment and ride more, so this going faster element is just some garbage you pulled out of your arse.
Boy! Some one sure took a piss in your Wheatlies didn’t they?

A 15 year old Litespeed with Ultegra is better than a modern Trek with Sora on any day. He has a pretty good bike right now that may not be the latest and greatest in 2020 terms but it’s not a plough horse either. It goes, it stops, and it has more style than a Sora equipped Trek or other bike for $1200. $1200 for a road bike is a “dabble your toes in road biking” bike.

Lastly, your attempt to dismiss and belittle my perspective with the silly comment about how you have ridden 5 speeds and “enjoyed the trip” is a tragically pathetic effort, because any yokel can look at my sidebar and see that amongst my current 10 bikes are bikes with tubes, a 5 speed, and and undoubtedly bikes of lesser quality than the Litespeed, so it’s clear you’re just as oblivious about whom you’re talking to as you are about what the state-of-the-art is.
I’m not belittling your perspective. I’m questioning what value you put on bikes. The Litespeed may only be a “midrange” bike but a midrange Litespeed is far better than a low end Trek. Stickney’s bike has Ultegra on it now...by his own statement...which I assume is an Ultegra group. That means that it is integrated and fairly well optimized. Probably better than a Tektro disc caliper is.

Your suggestion to the OP to just stick with what they have is a real disservice to what the OP asked for, while they didn’t take it to be an insult, I cannot imagine how your arrogant dismissal of their desire to reward themself with something new, fun, and stimulating is anything other than insulting, if not also tinged with resentment and jealousy.
You are finding offense and insult when none has been offered. Your suggestion of $1200 was just too low to be a “reward”. Aim higher and I might agree. However, the bike Stickney has now is a pretty good bike. Maybe get something to replace the Motobecane.
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Old 01-01-21, 12:52 AM
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Just to clarify -- I've never stopped riding -- this year I was just able to get closer to my pre-fatherhood mileage. The past few years I've simply not thought about new bike equipment (other than tires). I had decided to look into a new wheelset and in so doing stumbled into the abyss of "new to me technology" like wider rims, tubeless wheels/tires, 11/12 speed spacing, and the apparent obsolescence of rim braking. Hence my inquiry for advice.

I appreciate all the replies -- it all definitely helped. Sometime soon I will be ordering a new rim brake wheel set (I figure I better get a new one before they stop making them, hahaha). I have it narrowed to a couple options.
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Old 01-01-21, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post
Just to clarify -- I've never stopped riding -- this year I was just able to get closer to my pre-fatherhood mileage. The past few years I've simply not thought about new bike equipment (other than tires). I had decided to look into a new wheelset and in so doing stumbled into the abyss of "new to me technology" like wider rims, tubeless wheels/tires, 11/12 speed spacing, and the apparent obsolescence of rim braking. Hence my inquiry for advice.

I appreciate all the replies -- it all definitely helped. Sometime soon I will be ordering a new rim brake wheel set (I figure I better get a new one before they stop making them, hahaha). I have it narrowed to a couple options.
Wheels can do a lot to refresh a ride. Just get something that’s lightweight and worth the change. I’m partial to White Industries hubs and Velocity rims myself. I saved about 4 lbs when I switched over to WI hubs (32 spoke) vs low spoke count wheels. The new wheels were lighter and stronger. That’s not a bad combination.

Don’t worry too much about rim brake wheels being obsolete. There are 10s of millions more rim brake bikes out in the world than they are disc brake equipped bikes. It’s going to take a while for them to go away completely. Hell, I’m running 26” tires on 5 mountain bikes.

If you don’t have one, that may be a way to reward yourself...a mountain bike. Go ride it off-road and test your skills or learn some new ones.
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Old 01-01-21, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
To bring the Tuscany up to modern standards a bit, one impactful upgrade you could do is to the wheel build.

HED Belgium (and even better the wider Belgium + if your Litespeed frame permits adequate brake clearance) or Velocity Quill are 2 modern aluminum Clyde friendly rim upgrades that come to mind that would likely work with your titanium bike that could be built up with some high quality hubs of your choice (think White Industries or Dura Ace 7800, 7850 or 7900 for example) in a slightly lower spoke count such as 28 front 2 cross and 32 rear 3 cross. You could run tubeless tape and the correct tubeless valves. This would allow you to avail yourself of a ripe market of high performance tubeless road tire choices.
One disagreement here is that I have not had a good experience with the quill, when I tried building a wheel with them I found the rim a little too quick to move and even go out of whack with the slightest spoke turn, after 2+hrs trying to build a wheel I gave up and took the wheel apart and the rims are now just sitting. I've seen the same issue when too high a spoke tension was used but I was between 100 and 110kgf. The Velocity A23 isn't as new an extrusion but very sturdy and an easy build in my experience.

Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
bah. humbug. that's what I'm seeing. forget that! sure, you've got good stuff, and I'm sure you appreciate what you've got. Ah... we're talking bikes here, and MORE IS BETTER. figure out your budget, then start walking into bike shops and see what they can show ya. this is the fun stuff. what else are we saving it for? no one in this forum will be on their future death bed saying "gee, I wish I'd never bought that other bike." we may have a lot of regrets on that day, but bikes aren't going to be on the list.
This, agree completely.

If you just want to update the bikes a new ultegra 11sp group would be nice, as would a really good wheelset especially with really nice hubs.
Personally I highly recommend Chris King and the r45 hub is a fast hub.
Wife and I both have White Industry and Kings and either is a nice, smooth hub but the kings feel faster, with a nice, new rim and good spokes it can be a good improvement.
As to improvements with new bikes, I find I really like hydraulic disc brakes, although rim brakes always stopped me well enough discs still do faster. Thru-axle is something I'm a little ambivalent about. I like the ones on my touring bike and mtb fork which are a QR style with a tension lever and tool free removal. Unfortunately too many are just large bolts and I hate having to carry an allen for them, and replacements aren't what I call affordable. But thru-axle does help disc brakes work more efficiently so they have their up sides. I don't think 1x is an improvement but I do like having a 12sp rear cluster, I just run 2x12. I've yet to see what's special about tubeless.
If you've got the money to spend, why not get something new and enjoy a new bike. Keep the old one as a beater or to get a friend riding and enjoy something new.
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