Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
Reload this Page >

What's the deal with riders choosing much older bikes over latest technology?

Notices
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

What's the deal with riders choosing much older bikes over latest technology?

Old 09-08-14, 08:45 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Jarrett2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: DFW
Posts: 4,126

Bikes: Steel 1x's

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 632 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
What's the deal with riders choosing much older bikes over latest technology?

I owned and rode a few bikes when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's, then stopped riding when I got my driver's license. I just got back into riding a year and a half ago. Clearly cycling technology has changed significantly during that time frame where I was not riding.

Recently, I've started doing more group rides. And it seems the majority of those riders are using bikes made in the few couple of years, but I've talked to a few that purposely choose to ride much older style road bikes. And I didn't ask why just in case it was a financial thing, but I've been wondering.

Why do some choose to ride much older road bikes these days?
Jarrett2 is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 08:54 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
EvilWeasel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 269

Bikes: Trekalized 7.Sequoia Elite+

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The same reason some people spend 80K$ on a resto-mod 68 camaro instead of just buying a new Porsche.
EvilWeasel is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 09:04 AM
  #3  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Some people like the style and feel of the classic steel road bike. I have the full carbon road bike with ultegra (though I haven't bothered graduating to electronic shifting or 11-speed) but the bike I liked riding the most was a 1984 Raleigh in Reynolds 531. When that got totalled in a crash I threw some money at a retro/modern compromise - a custom steel frame in columbus spirit tubing with a 2013 groupset and carbon forks.

CF is a terrific material, I have nothing against it. But a traditional steel frame just looks more like a bike should look, to me. Something to do with my age...
chasm54 is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 09:48 AM
  #4  
The Fat Guy In The Back
 
Tundra_Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 2,535

Bikes: '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork, '15 Kestrel Evoke 3.0, '19 Salsa Mukluk

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 320 Post(s)
Liked 179 Times in 116 Posts
I picked up my old 1981 Panasonic road bike for $60. It's not even a fancy vintage bike, just an entry level gas-pipe frame. I just loved the way it rides. Over the years I've upgraded the cockpit and the wheelset so now it's perfect for me.

I could go buy a new fancy bike if I wanted, and sometimes I'm tempted to. But then I think, "would I really like a new bike any better than my current one?" and the answer always comes back, "no." So I keep riding my old one.
__________________
Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop
Tundra_Man is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:10 AM
  #5  
got the climbing bug
 
jsigone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,212

Bikes: one for everything

Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 924 Times in 280 Posts
I have an 87 Schwinn Circuit w/ columbus SL tubes. Stored the OEM parts and swapped in 5700 105 grouppo that came on my 12' super6. Bike ride very nice, mutes the bumps n buzz far better than the super6 did. But its about 4lbs heavier and feels like noodles off the saddle stomping for accelerations, sprints or hills. IMO it won't replace a CF bike as far as speed goes but maybe a better distance bike if I ever replace the saddle. I still rock the white Condor saddle that came on the bike in 87
jsigone is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:13 AM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I ride an old road bike that I got for free a few years back. Steel framed Fuji from the 80s. What can I say, it works, I like riding it, and the frame is nice and solid. Could use a larger frame for my body type, but it isn't uncomfortable at all. Since I ride mainly for weight loss and improved fitness when I am on the road, this bike suits my purposes. Maybe when I hit my final goal weight, a modern road bike will be bought as a reward. More incentive!
JoePeri is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:36 AM
  #7  
Lost at sea...
 
headloss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western PA
Posts: 935

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount (match), Trek 520, random bits and pieces...

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Lots of possible reasons...
*don't want a big investment on a first bike.
*steel is just preferred by people that commute
*bike was already sitting around
*older bikes are more likely to pop up on craigslist
*established standards have more readily available parts
*mass produced bikes have staying power

I personally have no pressing reasons to run out and buy some new fancy carbon race bike. I'd love to have one, just because N+1, but on that same note I could probably have three nice used bikes for the same price. I do try to stay in the last fifteen or so years with 130mm hub spacing, threadless stem, 1-1/8 steerer.

In my riding group, there are just as many modern steel commuter bikes as their are retro/classic types (in which case, mostly fixed or single-speed). Steel is preferred among my local peers. I can't, nor do I have a desire to keep up with the guys that are buying $3k carbon bikes, earning KOM's, and riding in 25+mph pacelines as they blaze through stopsigns and lights.
headloss is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:36 AM
  #8  
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 13,922

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds. 2019 Giant Explore E+3

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1814 Post(s)
Liked 1,297 Times in 893 Posts
I've spent too much money getting my 2 bikes "dialed in" for my needs.
Time to get a return on my investment.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:37 AM
  #9  
Cat 5 field stuffer
 
bbeasley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hammond, La
Posts: 1,426

Bikes: Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
I picked this for my frame set after taking some long test rides on CF bikes. I'm just as fast and way more comfortable on Columbus steel. For me, it's not about "Classic Looks" or CF vs Steel. I've got a CF fork and a CF seat post, I've tried to take the best of CF and the best of steel. It's a sub 19lb bike that rides like butter. I think it's just a smarter choice for me.

Saturday, I rode on some of the worst roads around here. These are the tank tracks that Rouge Roubaix uses for it's spring classic. One of my buddies looked over at me on a brutal down hill and said "**it you're not even bouncing" .

Sunday I rode a MS training ride where we averaged 19.97 MPH for 50 miles. That's about as good as it gets for me.

One a minor note, I don't care for all the marketing stickers and my Wabi doesn't have them.

CF, is a great proven material that can be quickly pulled out of a mold. Very convenient to manufacture. My bike was hand welded, takes a skilled person to do that. Very inconvenient to manufacture.

All the above is why I picked a build like I did.
bbeasley is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:46 AM
  #10  
~>~
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1112 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 120 Posts
Originally Posted by Jarrett2
Why do some choose to ride much older road bikes these days?
I built them up new "back when" and we got old together.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
531_Internat'l.jpg (82.3 KB, 556 views)
File Type: jpg
531_Pro.jpg (82.1 KB, 555 views)
File Type: jpg
979_Dural.jpg (79.7 KB, 553 views)
Bandera is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 10:47 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 1,206

Bikes: Jamis Quest Comp

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I have a modern steel road bike. I wanted something that could stand getting banged around and abused.

My dad just hasn't bought a new bike since college. He said if he was still racing, he'd get a new bike-downtube shifters are just too much of a disadvantage, he says. But he's not racing. And the bike was just fine when he was a fast cat 1 racer, so there's no reason it can't handle his much more relaxed, casual and slow riding now.
Sullalto is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 11:21 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Jarrett2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: DFW
Posts: 4,126

Bikes: Steel 1x's

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 632 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
So a lot of it is based on nostalgia?
Jarrett2 is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 11:29 AM
  #13  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Jarrett2
So a lot of it is based on nostalgia?
Some of it. But my custom steel bike is also my most comfortable ride. Like jsigone said, it may not be the fastest bike I have but it's the one I go to for a 5 or 6 hour day in the saddle. And at about 19lbs all-in, it's not exactly a heavyweight.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 11:38 AM
  #14  
~>~
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1112 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 120 Posts
Originally Posted by Jarrett2
So a lot of it is based on nostalgia?
Definition: Nostalgia

" pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again"
-Merriam Webster

Not for me. My "old" bikes have been/still are ridden with regularity since they were built for a purpose and still serve in it.


Since I never stopped riding them over a period of decades I don't "wish" I could "experience it again", I do experience it as I please.
Nothing wistful, twee or sentimental here: they are just old bikes & I'm the old guy who rode/rides them.

edit: As far as "the latest technology" goes I'm fond of riding a fixed gear, as the bike in the pic has been equipped for the last 22 seasons.
A 19th century technology is sometimes what is required and serves perfectly well today.

-Bandera
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Fixed_Trek.jpg (62.5 KB, 578 views)

Last edited by Bandera; 09-08-14 at 01:24 PM.
Bandera is offline  
Old 09-08-14, 11:51 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 13,467
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4253 Post(s)
Liked 2,966 Times in 1,822 Posts
I just prefer the looks of lugged steel and chrome sleeves.
__________________
Bikes: 1996 Eddy Merckx Titanium EX, 1989/90 Colnago Super(issimo?) Piu(?), 1990 Concorde Aquila(hit by car while riding), others in build queue "when I get the time"





himespau is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 07:01 AM
  #16  
The Left Coast, USA
 
FrenchFit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,757

Bikes: Bulls, Bianchi, Koga, Trek, Miyata

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by Jarrett2
So a lot of it is based on nostalgia?
Read: Amazon.com: Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike eBook: Grant Petersen: Kindle Store
FrenchFit is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 07:06 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,441

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5893 Post(s)
Liked 3,480 Times in 2,081 Posts
Originally Posted by Bandera
I built them up new "back when" and we got old together.
+ 1. Heck I'd ride bikes with those forks any day.
bikemig is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 07:23 AM
  #18  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,428

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6252 Post(s)
Liked 4,278 Times in 2,396 Posts
If there is one person who epitomizes the radical Nostalgic, it's Grant Petersen. If Petersen had been in the bicycle business a couple of decades earlier, he be pushing the 3 speed Campagnolo rod shifters as the ultimate in technology. He's entitled to his opinion but the rest of us will just walk past the raving lunatic while shaking our heads.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 07:36 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,441

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5893 Post(s)
Liked 3,480 Times in 2,081 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute
If there is one person who epitomizes the radical Nostalgic, it's Grant Petersen. If Petersen had been in the bicycle business a couple of decades earlier, he be pushing the 3 speed Campagnolo rod shifters as the ultimate in technology. He's entitled to his opinion but the rest of us will just walk past the raving lunatic while shaking our heads.
Raving lunatic bikes, :

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
P1010075.jpg (101.7 KB, 1076 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_0112.jpg (97.2 KB, 956 views)
File Type: jpg
P1010986.jpg (103.8 KB, 956 views)
bikemig is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 07:39 AM
  #20  
Member
 
herzogone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Peace Dale, RI
Posts: 40

Bikes: 2017 Soma Valhallen, 1992 Trek 820, 2011 Tern Joe C21, 2012 Tern Link D8, 20?? Takara Kabuto

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In my case it is partly financial, although even if money weren't an issue I'd probably still have a similar bike since I am partial to lugged steel and I'm naturally cheap. A friend I ride with has an upgraded early-80s Univega road bike that belonged to his father, and I think for him the choice is both financial and sentimental.

On the other hand, there are those for whom finances aren't a concern who passionately choose classic or classic-looking bikes that are quite expensive and sometimes custom. I believe the term "retrogrouch" most often refers to this demographic. This post on Lovely Bicycle gets at some of what inspires that:

Lovely Bicycle!: Choosing Your Gospel: Rivendell vs Bicycle Quarterly
herzogone is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 08:04 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,319

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1031 Post(s)
Liked 208 Times in 146 Posts
Originally Posted by Jarrett2
So a lot of it is based on nostalgia?
For some, perhaps. Others might just be frugal, or have a preference for the style of bike they grew up with . That isn't necessarily nostalgia. Just personal preference. Nostalgia is someone who has already switched to modern, then intentionally goes back. I went through a nostalgic phase where I replaced my late 90s Bianchi hybrid with a mid 80s Schwinn Touring bike before ultimately replacing that with a modern steel road bike.

Or they might commute in bad weather or leave their bikes parked for hours in sketchy neighborhoods, and would prefer not to worry about theft or damage.

I was in court yesterday and struck up a conversation with a guy who is a kind of friend and religious advisor to one of my clients, and showed up to see what happened at his court date. When I asked where he was parked, he mentioned he rode his bike to court, and left it parked just outside the main entrance to the jail, just next to the courthouse. I said I would be nervous to leave my bike parked anywhere near the courthouse, which is in the inner city. When I saw this guy's bike, I realized why he wasn't worried about theft. This fellow was riding an old late 70s or early 80s Schwinn World Sport, which was built up with a bunch of mismatched components. Didn't even have quick release wheels. All he used to lock the bike with was a thin cable and lock.

Last edited by MRT2; 09-09-14 at 08:08 AM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 08:05 AM
  #22  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,428

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6252 Post(s)
Liked 4,278 Times in 2,396 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig
Raving lunatic bikes, :
They were good bikes in 1994. The world has moved on.

You might want to make some changes before those bikes spontaneously combust, however. The XO-2, in particular, is on the edge of melt down. Clipless pedals and STI? You could take out half your city when that thing goes! You need to get some index shifters on it...Stat!
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 08:13 AM
  #23  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 591

Bikes: Fiori Roma, Currently building a Bianchi, Trek 330, formerly Monshee Nomad, Favorit, Bianchi Sport SX, Frankenbike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Some of us realize that we won't be riding enough to outperform the capabilities of our old bikes. I paid less for a road bike this spring than some of you will pay for the latest crank.
JamesRL is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 08:17 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,441

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5893 Post(s)
Liked 3,480 Times in 2,081 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute
They were good bikes in 1994. The world has moved on.

You might want to make some changes before those bikes spontaneously combust, however. The XO-2, in particular, is on the edge of melt down. Clipless pedals and STI? You could take out half your city when that thing goes! You need to get some index shifters on it...Stat!
I don't think that time has moved beyond the idea of a road bike designed for mtb wheels and that can handle 26 x 1.5 tires. Those tires make for a plush ride that can handle most road surfaces with aplomb. Over the years, I've done a lot of different kinds of riding over a lot of different bikes. The XO series bikes were a very clever design and do a lot of things right. It's my favorite all rounder.

Maybe if I add a brooks leather saddle, that will help prevent it from a spontaneous meltdown due to lack of old style components on that bike. . . .
bikemig is offline  
Old 09-09-14, 08:19 AM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
brianmcg123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: TN
Posts: 1,286

Bikes: 2013 Trek Madone; 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute
If there is one person who epitomizes the radical Nostalgic, it's Grant Petersen. If Petersen had been in the bicycle business a couple of decades earlier, he be pushing the 3 speed Campagnolo rod shifters as the ultimate in technology. He's entitled to his opinion but the rest of us will just walk past the raving lunatic while shaking our heads.
He was in the business a couple of decades earlier.
brianmcg123 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.