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Uh-oh! First road bike purchase in three decades.

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Uh-oh! First road bike purchase in three decades.

Old 03-15-14, 08:44 PM
  #1  
CrankyFranky
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Uh-oh! First road bike purchase in three decades.

I'm not sure whether I'm lazy or a luddite, or just too loyal to my fine steel Stan Pike that was custom built in 1982 and which I built up and toured all over the place. Anyway, I decided that I had little inclination to cold set and buy a gruoppo of modern components for it. I still ride it, but now it has been relegated to commuting - I am still lucky enough to be working at 64.

I simply needed more usable gears than the 2 X 5 that my beloved tourer has - and what with three separate foot operations and OA in many different places, I needed something with wide range. I wasn't ready for a bent yet, so I visited an LBS or two - and I decided that new anything was not really in my budget, yet I had this fixation with titanium. Far too many hours lurking and bidding on eBay finally brought me to win a used Serotta Legend Ti with a Campag triple and 10 speed cassette. It arrived today - all I need to do is borrow the pedals from my other bike because it wasn't sold with 'em. Everything else looks great - it fits, there's very little wear on the drive train, the anodizing is barely off the Open Pros, and nothing is too mucked up or mangled. Just a bit more adjusting the fit and my hope is that this will be my ticket for getting out of the "commuter only" rut. It will fit 28mm wide tires with plenty of clearance to spare, for comforts' sake. Given the state of the roads here, the 23s may prove to be too unforgiving and fragile.

All I need is for the roads to be cleared of the horrible mess left over from the last six snowfalls, and I wouldn't mind if they repaired a pothole or three.

I ultimately will have to answer the age-old question of whether I can find a clipless pedal and shoe system that works for me. I know that they're more conducive to efficiency, but I worry about my arthritic knees (and maybe also about joining club Tombay - I never learned to fall correctly and maybe now I'm a bit brittle!) I'm used to the old Campy road pedals with wide dual-strap-loop plastc toeclips - that hold the strap open wide enough to get into without hanging up, so I'll try them first. I'm led to think that a professional fitting is only sensible to do if I go clipless.

I'll have to start hanging out in the mechanics forum since I haven't any experience with freehubs or cassettes or brifters at all, let alone clipless pedals. Perhaps I can still learn something.
Wish me luck!
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Old 03-15-14, 09:08 PM
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Good for you, enjoy the new to you ride and let us see some pics when you have time. I thought I was reading the Rip Van Winkle story there for a minute!
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Old 03-15-14, 09:25 PM
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Congrats on the aquisition!

So what is OA? All that comes to my mind in a bicycle context is oxalic acid. Oh, wait, it's osteoarthritis, right? Bummer!

I've been through a lot of clipless pedals in ~25 years but I don't have any joint issues so I can't really recommend ones that might work well for you. But I currently have Crank Bros. Eggbeaters on three of my bikes and Speedplay X on the other two.
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Old 03-16-14, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
I'm led to think that a professional fitting is only sensible to do if I go clipless.
Nonsense.

Clipless may fix your feet into a single position, but what about your knees? Saddle height, fore and aft? Bar height, distance, rotation, and rotation of the levers on the bar? Toe clips (or even plain platforms) negate all these? I think not.

A fitting is a good idea for many reasons other than clipless. It is also unnecessary for many reasons other than toe clips. It all depends on how well you're able to DIY.

Last edited by tsl; 03-16-14 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 03-16-14, 05:53 AM
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I had more trouble getting acclimated to using clipless pedals than anybody I know.

If I stand normally, my feet point outward at a roughly 45 degree angle. My shoes wear the outsides of the heels. When I tried to cross country ski, I had to concentrate on holding my feet straight.

My first attempts at using clipless pedals were a near disaster. I could never get them to release easily. My son suggested I try SPD pedals with the multi-release cleat. Voila! So that's what everybody else is feeling.

That was 20 years ago. I've been afraid to try any other combination since.
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Old 03-16-14, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I had more trouble getting acclimated to using clipless pedals than anybody I know.

If I stand normally, my feet point outward at a roughly 45 degree angle. My shoes wear the outsides of the heels. When I tried to cross country ski, I had to concentrate on holding my feet straight.

My first attempts at using clipless pedals were a near disaster. I could never get them to release easily. My son suggested I try SPD pedals with the multi-release cleat. Voila! So that's what everybody else is feeling.

That was 20 years ago. I've been afraid to try any other combination since.
I second that. M520s and the multirelease cleats, SH56 are a very user friendly combo. You could also try the new Click'r pedals.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:19 AM
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Nice bike! You really came into mordern bikism with flair!

We really do need a Luddite subforum.
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Old 03-16-14, 05:12 PM
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I had that same fixation as well! So I found a late 90's Legend Ti last year and built it up to what I was looking for in a bike. I enjoy the ride, handling and the quality of construction.

I went with Crank Bros Eggbeaters a few years back, they've been pretty hardy and easy to use plus have a good amount of float. I fell twice on a single speed when I first got them, but using clipless has become second nature. That said, if you prefer the Campy model you mentioned, I doubt anyone here would call you out on it ;-) Enjoy the ride!
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Old 03-16-14, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
I'll have to start hanging out in the mechanics forum since I haven't any experience with freehubs or cassettes or brifters at all, let alone clipless pedals. Perhaps I can still learn something.
What you may learn is that contemporary equipment requires little, if any, fussing like the older stuff. I have tens of thousdands of miles on each of my bikes. I've never had to service a bearing or a freehub. The stuff just works. This includes not only sealed bearings, but contemporary versions of cup-and-cone as found in my dynamo hubs. For the record, I commute in all four seasons. My stuff gets far more abuse than the typical sunny day cyclist's stuff.

Retrogrounches also like to think integraged levers are delicate frail things that are prone to breakage and in-ride failure. Baloney. Mine have survived not only the aforementioned tens of thousands of miles, but my oldest set has also survived a couple of falls due to pilot error and getting hit by a Pontiac (the other pilot's error).

Just learn how to change cables, the chain, and brake pads. (You probably already know all that stuff.)

Every 10,000 miles or so, you may need a cassette. If that's every year, then maybe it's worth learning that too. If it's every five years, why bother? (Not that there's anythig to learn. Use the right tools and it's a five-minute job, including removing and reinstalling the wheel.)

Last edited by tsl; 03-17-14 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:13 PM
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IMHO - new road bike - nice ! Don' worry about the components or mechanics.
Get a set of MKS sylvan road pedals and enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by martianone View Post
IMHO - new road bike - nice ! Don' worry about the components or mechanics.
Get a set of MKS sylvan road pedals and enjoy the ride.
I have those on the Peugeot and Capo #1 and like them almost as well as the Campagnolo road quills on the Bianchi. I have been riding clips and straps since 1968 and have felt no urge to change to anything else.
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Old 03-16-14, 09:43 PM
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Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions - and the specific SPD reference was very helpful, Dudelsack.
If I try clipless, those or the eggbeaters will get a trial.

And tsl, thanks for setting me straight about fitting - I had gone to the largest almost-LBS and the fitter said that basically it'd be a waste of time fitting me without clipless pedals. I mist have switched my scepticism off for some reason. I'll go elsewhere if I have any doubts. And yeah, I know how to do the basic stuff already. I just like to have an exploded diagram of every part in my noggin and it bugs me when I look at the bottom bracket and simply don't know exactly how it looks!

I borrowed the pedals off the Atala and lubed 'em and on they went for a trial. I have an old pair of Shimano SPD shoes that I never affixed cleats to. Layered up in a fredly way due to the windy 35į afternoon. Took the right two allen wrenches and rode around the airport perimeter, stopping a few times to adjust the bar angle and tweak the seat height. I managed to avoid all the small sand berms practically everywhere. The city ran out of salt and started using grit and beach sand or so it appears.

I had initially feared that the waaaaaayyyyyy oversized tubes on the Legend would prove to be too stiff, buy I couldn't have been more wrong. While there's no discernible bb deflection, the ride is comfy yet solid. No teeth were rattled in the bumpy / scarred bits of the road. Also, my cervical vertebrae (one locus of OA) like the higher head tube and rising stem. Even with 95 pounds in the 23s, it rides quietly and accelerates responsively. Overall, it feels very nimble.

I might have to consider a shorter stem once I get a little more involved it working out my fit. I had spent a fair amount of time having a look at variously helpful YouTube fitting videos. It is too early to tell though, as I've been only on a 3-speed for the last few months. I used to spend most of my time on the hoods of my Stan Pike, and that kept me from moving around too much. I'll be spending a lot of time with my steel tape measure, that's for sure!

I am really happy. I had spent the last two years in a delayed recovery of an achilles rupture - my skin wouldn't heal - so a lot of my strength atrophied with me being forced to be on my back with my leg up. This purchase was a kind of desperate attempt to motivate me to get some real miles under me again - to renew the joy that is lacking in my short-ish and trafficky commute.

My other bikes are both friction DT levers - and are so second nature to me that the new challenge of having brifters to deal with is my one Rip Van Winkle area. I've understood how both front and back shift and why they work the way they work, but I just find it comical that I have to spend brainpower on it. I imagine that these will also become instinctual - and then the DT levers will feel clunky. The gears work well and I have quite a lot of increments to choose from, once I get used to managing the triple.

Thanks again for everyone's help/encouragement!
Here it is:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Serotta Legend Ti.jpg (100.7 KB, 19 views)

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Old 03-17-14, 04:05 AM
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CF,
Nice choice of an N+1, after so long you sure rated one. I'm with the others about the brifter's reliability. They are pretty much bullet proof now, I've not had a single problem with either a double or triple front unit, nor the rear, in both 7 and 10 speed. When I returned to riding in 2008 I had to learn them, my total experience was in friction down tube and barcons. You have Campag components so they are more easily re-buildable than Shimano or SRAM, but all can be fixed if you take your time and use a good manual. Keeping all of the clean(ed) is the biggest thing, to me. And, that is easy to do.

If you kept your older bicycle going you won't have any problems. Good to see you back posting here, too.

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Old 03-17-14, 06:00 AM
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Good luck, I also have an arthritic knee and have used speed play pedals for years, gives me the angle I need for my knee. You might want to check the out.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:17 AM
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Congrats on the new bike. The fitter that was unwilling to help unless you went with clipless pedals needs to improve his manors. While clipless pedals provides a fixed foot location and improves precision of the fit, it is not required. The fitter simply didn't want to to do his job and help someone with special requirements.
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Old 03-17-14, 07:41 AM
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You got yourself a very nice ride. I really like the length of the head tube on it. I think you'll like titanium. I've bikes made of carbon, steel, aluminum and titanium. My two titanium bikes get three times the mileage than the other materials. I guess it's the retro in me that likes the look better than some of the carbon designs, and the ride is better than the best steel I've ever ridden. It's not that I don't like the other materials - I do. I guess I'm also smitten with the material's ability to withstand things others can't, and with the unpainted one, there's no worry about cosmetic blemishes. Enough babble from me. Enjoy the new Serotta.
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