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Clydesdale thinking of going vintage

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Clydesdale thinking of going vintage

Old 08-15-23, 01:24 PM
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Clydesdale thinking of going vintage

Hey everyone,

6'2", 315 lbs (started at 335 a month ago). Currently riding either a Tern GSD with the family or a Trek 7.4 FX for my solo rides. Since I'm beginning to get up to 15-20 mile rides, was thinking of perhaps getting a road bike to reply the FX, which is a cheap hybrid.

Budget is limited, so I'm looking used. Everything in my brain says find a nice used Trek or Specialized with mid-range components and call it a day. But my heart says vintage (80's) road bikes with their sexy derailleurs and elegant designs are the way to go. However, I'm concerned because I'm not sure the old frames/components can take my *ahem* heft.

Any big people around here ride vintage? What have your experiences been?

Thanks.
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Old 08-16-23, 06:11 AM
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I miss my vintage Miyata that I donated to a charity. Nothing wrong with finding a vintage steel road bike and having it tuned up. Plus you are helping the environment.
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Old 08-16-23, 07:16 AM
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My vote is for the Trek 700 series of steel hybrid bikes. But this is because I like tinker, swap and upgrade parts. Given that you can make these bikes into a drop bar bike or keep it with upright bars. Swapping parts and upgrading on these frames is easy because everything was standardized at this time. They take 700C tires which gives you lots of choices and they have plenty of tire clearance for big tires, fenders or both. And they are built strong. You could also get a Trek 700 series bike and just change tires. Giant has their Cypres series that is similar. And Cannondale has their H series hybrid if you like aluminum and vintage. I'd stick to the rigid fork for the look and feel that I think you are going for.

The reason for my hybrid recommendation is because in the '80's and '90's most road bikes got tight clearances and you cannot fit bigger tires on them. There are some that are more touring oriented, like the Schwinn Voyager. Miyata, Fuji, Panasonic, Trek and others also made touring bikes with the ability to fit bigger tires.

Check out the hybrid bike section. There is a thread for hybrid bikes by brand and model. Hybrid Bikes

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Old 08-16-23, 07:19 AM
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I'm currently about your size...gained a lot of weight since I was in the hospital in December.

About the only bike I'm currently willing to risk riding is my old plain-gauge chromoly MTB-turned-commuter. My other old bikes flex alarmingly under my weight.
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Old 08-16-23, 07:44 AM
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late 80s, early 90s MTB frames make nice drop bar conversions. Maybe that's the way to go. You get a heavy-duty frame, and you can have the wheels built to suit if they are not already tough enough.
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Old 08-17-23, 09:27 AM
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‘80s road bikes flex way to much, IMO, but it depends on how you’re gonna ride it, I guess. For just noodling around a flat neighborhood, it should be fine, but if you’re going to be putting any power through it for sporty rides, I’d say to forget it and get something modern using oversized tubes.

I’m ~245lbs, ride a ‘75 Motobecane Gran Jubilée, and it’s rubbish for anything but cruising according to my standards, but I like to get after it when riding.
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Old 08-17-23, 02:33 PM
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There's some really good advice here, so I appreciate all the replies.

Wheel width is definitely something to consider. I'm currently on 700c/32's on my hybrid. Based on research the smallest I'd go is 28's (I ride exclusively on paved roads) which eliminates some older bikes like Lemonds. There's some vintage Schwinns around here which have 27"x1.25" wheels which might be okay, but that limits the tire selection.

I did find a 1990 Cannondale SR800 with the aluminum frame. A lot of people complain its too stiff, but a lot of people don't weigh as much as I do, so maybe that's a good candidate.

The main reason for me switching from my current Trek is that the groupset is garbage (Shimano Acera) and shifts really poorly, even after a tune up. My thought was "if I'm biking on a road, I should get a road bike" but maybe I'm limiting myself that way and should stick to a hybrid.

Decisions decisions...
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Old 08-17-23, 02:46 PM
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When I was in the 300s and old ChroMo FUJI saved me. So I am thinking ChroMo UNIVEGA or FUJI should do the trick with 27 1-1/4 rims and 36 14ga spokes. Be sure to have a long cage derailleur and a 34T cog on that freewheel. Having two wheel sets for an old ChroMo is not that expensive. So one wheel set with tires for the road and another one for Ravel is great.

I normally ride by myself but a few times some light weight young-uns would pick up my bike and make faces at the weight. My comment was I could knock a few pounds off the bike by just taking a good **** before my ride. At that they usually just put my bike down not wanting to engage.

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Old 08-18-23, 09:13 PM
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Well, I did it. For $50 I found a bike deal that I figured even if I maim and mangle the bike frame under my weight, I'll be okay. It feels pretty dainty and small (not the geometry, the frame construction itself) so only time will tell, but I'm smitten by it.

First Vintage Purchase! Cilo Sport 105
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Old 08-19-23, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by noquarter1
Well, I did it. For $50 I found a bike deal that I figured even if I maim and mangle the bike frame under my weight, I'll be okay. It feels pretty dainty and small (not the geometry, the frame construction itself) so only time will tell, but I'm smitten by it.

First Vintage Purchase! Cilo Sport 105
That's a pretty good deal. The parts alone make that a bargain.
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Old 08-23-23, 10:18 PM
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Follow up in case anyone was wondering (or for posterity), went on a 22 mile ride yesterday and the bike did great. The rider still has a lot to learn, but no complaints about the bike except...it's a 10 speed. I guess people were tougher back in the mid 80's or the world was flatter. Ran out of gears real quick and had to simply grind my way to the top. Since the point of me biking is exercise, though, I can't say that's a bad thing. Just something to think about if you're considering going vintage and live somewhere hilly.
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Old 08-24-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by noquarter1
Follow up in case anyone was wondering (or for posterity), went on a 22 mile ride yesterday and the bike did great. The rider still has a lot to learn, but no complaints about the bike except...it's a 10 speed. I guess people were tougher back in the mid 80's or the world was flatter. Ran out of gears real quick and had to simply grind my way to the top. Since the point of me biking is exercise, though, I can't say that's a bad thing. Just something to think about if you're considering going vintage and live somewhere hilly.
perhaps source a proper cassette/ freewheel. Those 105 components would have originally been 7 speed (14) and a 14-28 gear cluster would help
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Old 08-24-23, 09:39 AM
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You could go older touring bikes. Canti brakes let you go larger tires and the frames are more robust for caring loads. Usually have a wider range of gears.

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Old 09-01-23, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
perhaps source a proper cassette/ freewheel. Those 105 components would have originally been 7 speed (14) and a 14-28 gear cluster would help
Why do you imagine a non-stock cluster? "10 speed" in the o.p. was likely a euphemism, and not a literal specification. However, even if literal, 14-28 applied to anything from 5sp - 8sp and more. A 42/28 is the defacto granny on anything from that era and I take the o.p.'s point: 28/28 = 1:1 ~28" meh. My granny these days is 18". 42/28 ... eef. Did I really spin that back in the day? Not anymore!
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Old 09-01-23, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Why do you imagine a non-stock cluster? "10 speed" in the o.p. was likely a euphemism, and not a literal specification. However, even if literal, 14-28 applied to anything from 5sp - 8sp and more. A 42/28 is the defacto granny on anything from that era and I take the o.p.'s point: 28/28 = 1:1 ~28" meh. My granny these days is 18". 42/28 ... eef. Did I really spin that back in the day? Not anymore!

the OP linked to the thread of his new purchase. It literally looks like a 5 speed freewheel.

yes - 28 tooth is max on a lot of old stuff, but it’s a much better ramp up to it with a couple more cogs
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Old 09-09-23, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by noquarter1
(...) I'm concerned because I'm not sure the old frames/components can take my *ahem* heft.

Any big people around here ride vintage? What have your experiences been?

Thanks.
If anything, I would expect older bikes to have bigger safety margins, as engineering was less precise in the old days.

I am at 220 lbs or so and have ridden pretty much everything I've found, mostly racing bikes from the late 1940's to the 1990's. I haven't come across frames or components that I don't feel comfortable with yet.
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Old 09-10-23, 05:37 AM
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Vintage Trek mtb

Originally Posted by noquarter1
Hey everyone,

6'2", 315 lbs (started at 335 a month ago). Currently riding either a Tern GSD with the family or a Trek 7.4 FX for my solo rides. Since I'm beginning to get up to 15-20 mile rides, was thinking of perhaps getting a road bike to reply the FX, which is a cheap hybrid.

Budget is limited, so I'm looking used. Everything in my brain says find a nice used Trek or Specialized with mid-range components and call it a day. But my heart says vintage (80's) road bikes with their sexy derailleurs and elegant designs are the way to go. However, I'm concerned because I'm not sure the old frames/components can take my *ahem* heft.

Any big people around here ride vintage? What have your experiences been?

Thanks.
This last summer I bought a 1995 Trek 800 steel frame on eBay and built it into a 1x and it rides great to me. I have a carbon road bike and aluminum and I think I enjoy the vintage bike more. I shopped at bike shops for a new bike but they just seemed shiny and cheap. It was satisfying to build up a bike the way I wanted and to give an old frame new life.
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Old 09-24-23, 01:59 PM
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After re-spoking the wheels, my Fuji S10S and S12S rode well, and I was 300#.
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Old 12-14-23, 07:02 PM
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I'm 6'3" and weigh about 255 lbs. All I ride is old lugged steel. My favorite set-up is an old lugged steel frame with a Campy 10sp triple drivetrain (meaning 10 cogs in the back, there up front), complete with combined brake/shift levers, but I have a couple that have traditional 5- or 7-sp friction set-ups. Not a problem.

I seriously doubt you are going to "maim" that Cilo. Assuming no major rust issues or structural damage, my bet is it will serve you well for as long as you want it to.
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Old 12-14-23, 07:47 PM
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6'7" tall, 235 to 250 pounds depending upon the season, and all I ride is tall old vintage steel (and a couple of Rivendells...). Vintage steel worls fine fro Clydes -- although learning how to unweight properly on bumps is a skill worth practicing if you are not already proficient at it.
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Old 12-24-23, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JulesCW
6'7" tall, 235 to 250 pounds depending upon the season, and all I ride is tall old vintage steel (and a couple of Rivendells...). Vintage steel worls fine fro Clydes -- although learning how to unweight properly on bumps is a skill worth practicing if you are not already proficient at it.
6’7”?! So when you say your location is “upper third of the central USA,” you mean upper third of the atmosphere, eh? 👍
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Old 04-17-24, 10:28 AM
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At about 260, I bought a used '84 Trek 660 road bike. I restored it with modern parts and it's my daily rider. Very comfortable, very agile. It has Reynolds 531 cromoly steel tubing throughout. It's a bit heavier than carbon or aluminum, but it's a wonderful ride and I don't think there's ever going to be an issue with the tubing.
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Old 04-19-24, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
late 80s, early 90s MTB frames make nice drop bar conversions. Maybe that's the way to go. You get a heavy-duty frame, and you can have the wheels built to suit if they are not already tough enough.
biggest issue with drop bars on this era of stuff is you have to be careful with the reach and the height of the headtube is pretty short...
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