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New bike at 70?

Old 02-05-21, 07:23 AM
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New bike at 70?

These rambling obsessive musings are not foreign here but that doesnít make them any less self indulgent. Fair warning.

Iím 69, but will likely be 70 on arrival if I go for it.

Iím a roadie. I might ride the gravel grinder when snow melt and cinders are to be encountered on winter roads here in PA, but my steady companion is a 28 yr old Merlin Titanium. I bought it new with an aluminum fork that I thought Iíd upgrade to carbon fiber but never did. The original Campy Ergo 8 speed was replaced with Campy Chorus 12 that Iím very happy with. I love this bike and from what a I can tell, Iím getting a great ride (not having ridden a modern road bike I donít have a frame of reference...if that matters).

Me. Cycling was it for me until I met flyfishing. But after many yearís hiatus I am back to riding 6 days most weeks. I ride outside as often as possible (22 degrees is my coldest so far) and ride on a Wahoo when dark (still working) or in inclement weather. Iím averaging 165 mi/week, more in warm seasons. I love big hills and for the most part a B or B+ rider. Once a mediocre racer.

My dilemma. Iím limited to 23mm tires due to frame spacing...front and rear. Winter shifting is difficult when my fingers go numb. The only electronic shift that is compatible with this bike is sram Bluetooth, so that upgrade is expensively available. I suppose electric shifting is easier but Iím not educated enough about that to be certain. The aluminum fork, the weak part of the bike....well one mechanic marveled at its longevity. And what about the inability to run disc brakes? Clearly, I can continue to ride this loving companion (ok, it is a heartless object) until one of us wears out or breaks down. Or I can have stainless steel Tommassini built with disc brake e shifters.... and shed a little weight in the process (dropping from 185 to 149 this year was the better way). Really donít have a grail bike in mind...a few dance through my head at times.

A new bike is not a financial reach but nor is it a charitable donation or a gift to my wife. How many years can I get out of it? Will a modern bike make riding safer, easier, or itís rider happier?

I know, to be blessed with dilemma of this magnitude, shame on me. Best to all.
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Old 02-05-21, 07:34 AM
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After reading your post, I see no reason why you should not get a new bike. Seems like you maintain your bikes well, judging by the 28 y.o. Merlin, so don't see why a new one shouldn't last as long.
Go for it!
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Old 02-05-21, 08:03 AM
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Whatever you decide to do, do it quickly! New bikes are almost impossible to find now, with some shops telling customers the bike they order now may not come in until late 2021 or early 2022! Racks are empty at all the shops here, and the trend seems to be everywhere.
I'm 68, nowhere near a B rider (history of heart attack and a very bad knee) but I just completed a build. Carbon frame and fork, carbon wheels (rim brake), Ultegra Di2. I tell those I ride with it's a Ferrari with a lawn mower engine. I had a very hard time finding all the components required to complete it.
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Old 02-05-21, 08:18 AM
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I'm in a similar situation, except for being a few years younger than you. I've almost decided half a dozen times in the last couple months to buy a new bike, gravel with discs in my case, newer and a bit lighter. Every time I've dallied until I could get out for a bike ride on my "1998" Fuji (fork and brakes are the only parts that are that old, but like George Washington's hatchet, the assembly still qualifies for 23 years old!). After a bike ride, OK, it's a little old, but it's still fun!

New bike pros, as I see it:
- Wider tires, better to handle deteriorating roads
- Modern technology, will be able to maintain it easier for the next however long I've got
- Lighter and perhaps more nimble
- I can get one that's red (faster) or blue (way cooler)

Cons:
- Cost: more than I saved by negotiating my wife's latest new car
- Spare parts -- need to start accumulating different stuff
- Won't know how the wider tires ride on my roads until I've spent the big bucks
- Will I get my money's worth out of it? My forebears' life spans varied widely. I'm more than 5 years older than my maternal grandfather when he died, and more than 20 years younger than my paternal grandfather.


What are your pros and cons?
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Old 02-05-21, 08:22 AM
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Got This one at 70 y/o


Bought The White One First to use on The Indy Track. Then The Seller offered The Red one for a Great Price.
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Old 02-05-21, 08:23 AM
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Get the bike.

How old will you be if you don’t get it?

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Old 02-05-21, 08:30 AM
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At 83, back in 1983, my grandmother was suffering from cataracts. When the doctor suggested surgery she balked at the price.

"Why should I spend the money? How long will I be around to justify such a sum?"

She lived to 100.

Buy the bike. If you find yourself unable to ride it somewhere down the road, you can sell it.
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Old 02-05-21, 09:08 AM
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Seems like you may want new technology that the Merlin cannot easily accept.

Same age as you, I don't feel the need for 12sp cassettes, disc brakes or e-shifting - but if I did, I would buy it.

Ride On.
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Old 02-05-21, 09:26 AM
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I was a road biker in a former life. Just turned seventy. Just ordered my second Rivendell. Rim brakes and nine speed are fine with me.Just getting a frame , already have most of the parts for the build.
I say if you want the latest tech go for it ,if you can find one . Any quality bike should last if maintained. Buy the best you are comfortable with the price.
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Old 02-05-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jleeg
These rambling obsessive musings are not foreign here but that doesnít make them any less self indulgent. Fair warning.

Iím 69, but will likely be 70 on arrival if I go for it.

Iím a roadie. I might ride the gravel grinder when snow melt and cinders are to be encountered on winter roads here in PA, but my steady companion is a 28 yr old Merlin Titanium. I bought it new with an aluminum fork that I thought Iíd upgrade to carbon fiber but never did. The original Campy Ergo 8 speed was replaced with Campy Chorus 12 that Iím very happy with. I love this bike and from what a I can tell, Iím getting a great ride (not having ridden a modern road bike I donít have a frame of reference...if that matters).

Me. Cycling was it for me until I met flyfishing. But after many yearís hiatus I am back to riding 6 days most weeks. I ride outside as often as possible (22 degrees is my coldest so far) and ride on a Wahoo when dark (still working) or in inclement weather. Iím averaging 165 mi/week, more in warm seasons. I love big hills and for the most part a B or B+ rider. Once a mediocre racer.

My dilemma. Iím limited to 23mm tires due to frame spacing...front and rear. Winter shifting is difficult when my fingers go numb. The only electronic shift that is compatible with this bike is sram Bluetooth, so that upgrade is expensively available. I suppose electric shifting is easier but Iím not educated enough about that to be certain. The aluminum fork, the weak part of the bike....well one mechanic marveled at its longevity. And what about the inability to run disc brakes? Clearly, I can continue to ride this loving companion (ok, it is a heartless object) until one of us wears out or breaks down. Or I can have stainless steel Tommassini built with disc brake e shifters.... and shed a little weight in the process (dropping from 185 to 149 this year was the better way). Really donít have a grail bike in mind...a few dance through my head at times.

A new bike is not a financial reach but nor is it a charitable donation or a gift to my wife. How many years can I get out of it? Will a modern bike make riding safer, easier, or itís rider happier?

I know, to be blessed with dilemma of this magnitude, shame on me. Best to all.
If you can convince yourself of a logical reason why you would like a new bike, why not?

There are a lot of us over 80, im 82, that ride a lot of miles, and you might be able to do so yourself.

There is an old saying-----------really old people are more sorry for what they didnt do, rather than what they did.
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Old 02-05-21, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
Seems like you may want new technology that the Merlin cannot easily accept.

Same age as you, I don't feel the need for 12sp cassettes, disc brakes or e-shifting - but if I did, I would buy it.

Ride On.
Yep. That is what I say. I am on a 10speed system, and am completely happy with it. I am not feeling the siren call of disc brakes or eshifting.

But it sounds as if both are attractive and useful to you. And you only live once. Find a bike you love and go for it.
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Old 02-05-21, 09:56 AM
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I played around on old vintage bikes for too long. I really enjoy my not so new anymore 2020 Tarmac. None of the issues that fearmongering about carbon, disc or electronic shifting led many of us to put off getting new bikes.

If you want a new bike, get one.

As a side note, isn't your Merlin a mountain bike?
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Old 02-05-21, 10:07 AM
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When you have an itch.....scratch it. I'm about to be 75 in June. But, I'm also really happy with the bikes I have. They are all relatively new. I bought this CAAD 12 2 yrs ago for my birthday. Just about anything you buy will be "better" and you will enjoy it. I wouldn't get too hung up with disc vs rim or electronic vs mechanical. You will do fine with either of those options. Get something that makes you smile when you look at it. Have fun.

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Old 02-05-21, 10:19 AM
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Per your concerns about the aluminum fork, your mechanic should be better informed. As a class, aluminum forks are highly reliable. Most weigh only a little less than the equivalent steel fork, which suggests that they're overengineered for the application. There have been plenty of Bike Forums posts describing cracked steel, titanium, carbon, and aluminum frames over the years, but I can't recall a single report of an aluminum fork that failed in normal use.

While you're deciding whether or not to upgrade or replace your Merlin, consider buying a winter-use bike. Mine is a mid-1990s flat-bar Cannondale hybrid to which I added clip-on aero bars and full-coverage fenders. It has Grip Shift twist shifters, so shifting is easy, even with thick mittens. Older hybrids with rigid forks and wide tires can usually be found in nearly unused condition and at reasonable prices. I paid $225 for mine; I keep reading here about how used bikes listed on Craigslist sell immediately, but it had been listed for a month with no takers.

Also, FWIW, I'm 70 and I built myself a Felt time trail bike from the frame up during the winter of 2018/2019. I haven't raced for decades, but the frame was on closeout for $80 and I needed a winter project. Fun bike.

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Old 02-05-21, 10:20 AM
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The Merlin is a road bike. One thing I’m clear about is the 12 speed. I live in hill country!

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Old 02-05-21, 10:45 AM
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I had to go back and re-read your OP. Still not certain what the issue is you want us to discuss.

However,
Clearly, I can continue to ride this loving companion
I form no emotional bonds with non-humans or at least non-living things. So if that is the issue, I can't fathom anything to discuss as I don't hold machines to the same level as you.

(most of this is light hearted conversation in jest, lets not get too deep into this)

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Old 02-05-21, 11:35 AM
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Life is short
Buy the bike
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Old 02-05-21, 11:40 AM
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Issue: Is the innovation I’d get in a new bike significant enough in terms of safety and performance? Wider tires can’t be accomplished on this bike, modern geometries and weight can bring a more nimble ride, I guess.

Obviously, there’s not a correct answer other than what I decide since it is completely subjective. I enjoy the comments and suggestions, some that I hadn’t considered.

I think we bond with some things. Anyway, I’m being buried with it
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Old 02-05-21, 11:44 AM
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Well try a new modern bike that fits and is appropriate for the riding you will do with it. You might decide to take both with you to the beyond! <grin>
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Old 02-05-21, 11:44 AM
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Heck, I'm about to turn 79 next week and just bought a new bike, albeit a Giant Escape 2 Disc. My pristine Lemond Zurich is about to go on the market though, as I need something a little easier to ride at my age. :-)
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Old 02-05-21, 11:48 AM
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Nice Bike
Escape 2 Disc (2021) | Men City bike | Giant Bicycles United States (giant-bicycles.com)
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Old 02-05-21, 02:22 PM
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You made it this far get what you want enjoy life.
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Old 02-05-21, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jleeg
The Merlin is a road bike. One thing Iím clear about is the 12 speed. I live in hill country!

I can see why you rode this direction!

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Old 02-05-21, 04:43 PM
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Just got this at 71 (72 in a few weeks), what a rush, just got in from a 20 miler in 1:17:41, 15.5 average. Ok , the wind was with me on the return leg, but still a rush
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Old 02-05-21, 05:39 PM
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2 years younger than you. I upgraded 3 months ago. Couldn’t be happier. Hope to want to do it again, in a few years.

Money buys security and joy. Once needs are met, have fun!
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