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Do I need a modern bike?

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Do I need a modern bike?

Old 08-23-18, 02:32 PM
  #1  
robertj298 
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Do I need a modern bike?

I've been riding a 1984 Lotus Unique and a 1987 Centurion Ironman. I'm 64 years old and consider myself in pretty good shape.
I've been riding 3 or 4 months and am slowly getting faster. I have a 12 mile fairly flat loop I ride and have increased my average
speed riding hard from 13 mph to 16.5 mph then read about older guys riding 50 miles at 20 mph. Now I can probably hit 20-25mph
for a very short distance but can't imagine riding 50 miles at that speed. So would a newer bike help me ride faster?
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Old 08-23-18, 03:46 PM
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I am sorry, did you mean to post, "I need to start a fight!"
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Old 08-23-18, 03:47 PM
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Maybe a little, but it's the motor that matters by far the most.

I ride semi-regularly with a group of riders who roughly fit into your age group. I'd guess that the majority would also fit approximately into your speed range.
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Old 08-23-18, 04:06 PM
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I will say I like my late 90's Colnago with some newer parts. It just feels like a bike should feel like, and makes one wonder what one has been missing all these years.

Performance improvement... maybe a bit.

I think I should be able to average 20 MPH for long rides, but am not there yet. Maybe someday, but I'm not getting younger either.
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Old 08-23-18, 04:59 PM
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No
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Old 08-23-18, 05:18 PM
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Need? No. But if you've got the itch, go take a couple out for test rides. No better way to find out how they compare to what you're riding now.

SP
OC, OR
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Old 08-23-18, 05:36 PM
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No. But that's no reason not to get a new bike.
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Old 08-23-18, 07:37 PM
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Ahhh ... this thread will never get to 20 pages ... you're all too mature in here.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:37 PM
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get a new carbon bike with good wheels and use your others in bad weather
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Old 08-23-18, 08:48 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
...would a newer bike help me ride faster?
An E-assist bike would.

+1 what rando_couche said...try some out.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:18 PM
  #11  
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Many years ago Maynard Hershon wrote a piece 'It's Not For Sale', arguing that with bicycles, you can't buy speed.


You can buy efficiency. You could get 'fitted' on your existing bikes. You could fit lower rolling resistance tires. These are surely not bad things to do, but they're not a magic bullet.


You could buy a new bike with faster (index, brifter and perhaps even electronic) shifting and more, finer gear ratios, to keep your physiology at peak efficient output. You could get a lower air resistance frame and wheels. You could get a super stiff frame or one that 'planes', depending on which Church of Cycling you attend. The gains you will see from this will be modest - orders of magnitude less than the difference between 12 miles at 16.5 mph and 50 miles at 20 mph.


BobbyG's suggestion would actually get you there. Check out the Giant Road E+. (I think these are really cool. I think these are mopeds, not bicycles.)
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Old 08-23-18, 10:36 PM
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If you want a new bike, get one, but don't think you will suddenly be a lot faster.
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Old 08-23-18, 11:25 PM
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Assuming the same cockpit and position on the bike:
On flat terrain = almost zero % faster, wheels most important.
On hilly terrain = a little faster, closer gearing options + brifters encourage sustained cadence
Sustained long climbs = somewhat faster, lighter and stiffer.

Last edited by Wildwood; 08-23-18 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 08-24-18, 04:34 AM
  #14  
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I have two bikes that I ride on a regular basis, a '73 Peugeot PX-10 set up as a 3-speed and a new aluminum Evo Slay with carbon fork set up as a 2-speed. Both have the same Mavic A319 wheels with Conti Ultrasport 28 tires.

I find no speed difference between these bikes on my usual 20 mile loop over flat terrain.

I prefer to ride the aluminum Evo, smoother and not as twitchy as the Peugeot.





Last edited by pcf; 08-24-18 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 08-24-18, 06:11 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
If you want a new bike, get one, but don't think you will suddenly be a lot faster.
Yes, this ^^^^^^^. I learned long ago that gains from "better" equipment always are less than anticipated. Also, going faster is not always the most important objective. Spend as much as you want as long as you end up with a bike that gives you the most pleasure.
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Old 08-24-18, 06:55 AM
  #16  
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There’s enough of a difference between a steel with (maybe) downtube index shifting ?, to a carbon with brake-shifter shifting, to notice and enjoy the difference. Move to electronic shifting and even more a difference. A current bike with 11 cogs will likely offer closer gearing then a 6 or 7 speed would have.

If you enjoy the ride of the new, it’s often makes you want to ride more, that in turn develops fitness which results in an increase in speed. I find I ride harder having moved to Di2 electronic, as I shift more often thus can maintain cadence. So my avg. spd. is a bit higher this year.
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Old 08-24-18, 07:25 AM
  #17  
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I am in the same quandary. I really like my old Cannondale, but am now jonesing for more than a six speed cassette (freewheel), and even a generation or two older than current stuff would be a big upgrade. However, I don't think I will get much more speed, and that's not really my objective. I think I will just find the experience more rewarding with newer, smoother, lighter stuff. I will test ride a carbon, but I may stick with AL as I do like it.
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Old 08-24-18, 07:36 AM
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At 60, I do lots of rides with middle aged guys who are younger but not faster than me on the flats.
I really love my 23 pound steel bike, but once we get into the foothills or mountains my 17 pound carbon bike is the key to not getting dropped.
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Old 08-24-18, 08:04 AM
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OP.....you cannot compare yourself to others based on what you hear or read. There are too many variables. A new bike will give you some things an older bike won't. Do you need one? Depends on how you want to ride and what you want from a bike. IMO, if you want a new bike and have the money...buy one.
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Old 08-24-18, 08:29 AM
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Feed your head.
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Old 08-24-18, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
. So would a newer bike help me ride faster?
Maybe, maybe not. I nicer new bike is not such a bad thing, if you can afford it. You have no time for regrets.
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Old 08-24-18, 09:04 AM
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I echo everyone who says at least try one, and if you can afford it, buy one.
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Old 08-24-18, 09:49 AM
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It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one up.
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Old 08-24-18, 10:50 AM
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I could afford a new bicycle, but I have three reasons to keep what I have:
1) The bicycles I currently own serve my needs very well;
2) I am, by nature, a "saver," not a "spender";
3) I prefer the look and feel of a steel frame with a horizontal top tube and 32- or 36-spoke wheels;
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Old 08-24-18, 11:04 AM
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So would a newer bike help me ride faster?
Some years ago on this forum I compared average speed from two years of the Tour de France, 50 years apart, and tried to tease out the speed increase solely due to bicycle improvements from the myriad of other changes in roadways, training, nutrition, tactics, race radios, race computers, pharmaceutical advancements, etc. This post was not particularly well received.

So anyway, in 1884 one Thomas Stevens rode his highwheel bicycle across America on wagon trails, railroad rights-of-way and occasionally trackless prairie, passing pioneers in covered wagons on the way. He covered 3700 miles in 83.5 riding days, coast to coast, averaging 44.3 miles a day. Today's Adventure Cycling groups riding modern multi-geared, purpose build touring bikes on a 100% paved roads take 92 days on a route of 4250 miles, averaging 46.2 miles a day. Admittedly, there are a boat load of variables, but somewhere in 44.3 miles a day vs. 46.2 miles a day is 134 years of bicycle improvements.
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