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Looking for advice for a Mid late 90s classic or 80s bike

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Looking for advice for a Mid late 90s classic or 80s bike

Old 02-06-21, 12:55 PM
  #1  
longhitv
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Looking for advice for a Mid late 90s classic or 80s bike

Good Morning.

I picked up a 1982 Raleigh before Christmas for $50, added some new NOS Suntour parts and itís tuned, works so so and Iíve been riding a little. (I understand that this bike is base with the basic parts). I donít think itís worth investing much more on such a basic bike.

Iím 6í3 225lbs and looking to get back down to my 207lb weight. So a 59-61 cm frame

I donít want to do long 100 km plus rides. I donít want to do Vancouver to Squamish or to Whistler rides.

Iím looking mostly to just ride from Coquitlam to Langley or Pitt Meadows 20km maybe 30km return. Flat surfaces on a Sunny Saturday or Sunday morning. Have a coffee somewhere and head back done by 10am. Likely Iíll be solo, but at times a friend or two may jump in.

I donít think I want a newer Carbon frame. Everyone in my office seems to have Treks and Giants and $900-1200 used bikes and thatís great, itís just not me. I kind of like antiquated classic stuff. I have friends with very expensive $13k plus bikes, I donít want to ride with them or keep up. Nor would I want a set up like that.

Looking for some advice on a new set up.

Do I get a Bianchi, an Aluminum Alan or Vitus or Orbea, or find a nice mid 90s Masi bike. I likely wonít do a lot of hills so this is flat riding to get a sweat going and lose a few pounds. (Fairly active anyways, runs, gym etc). Campagnolo gear Iím guessing will be the better choice with lightweight aluminum or Reynolds wheels. Steel or Aluminum frames?

Iím happy to splurge a little for that Celeste green Bianchi colour just so that when Iím having coffee itís a little different than all the Carbon bikes. Wouldnít mind some advice on Alloy versus steel, lightweight wheel choices or ideas. Or if someone has something cool for me they may want to sell.

My budget is under $1000 give or take. Which Ė seems like there is a lot of choice out there.
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Old 02-06-21, 07:22 PM
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A classic bike is a great entry point to cycling. You should head on over to the Classics and Vintage forum where you'll meet lots of like-minded people!
Bianchis produced tons of bikes from budget bikes to esoterics. Happy hunting! Keep in mind that they didn't exclusively use Campagnolo components. They built lots of bikes with Shimano gear also. From an enthusiast standpoint frankly I find Shimano easier to work with because they have complete documentation and there are lots of mix-and-match possibilities and they are generally compatible with drivetrains made by other companies.
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Old 02-07-21, 01:33 AM
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Look at local listings for bikes and test ride them. The most important thing is fit on a bike. No matter what the bike looks like or who owned it or what parts it has on it (unless just buying for parts) if it doesn't fit you must acquit. If you are looking for used, steel or titanium (though may not too vintage on the titanium) are the better options. Aluminum has a shelf life and a used bike could be towards the end of that or might have dings and damage you don't want.

Also when buying used make sure you know your stuff or have someone with you that can evaluate the bike on condition (so that one friend who commutes is out) and tell what is needed on it. Otherwise I would stick to buying new. It would suck to overpay for a vintage bike that needs a lot of work and that can be more common in that market or you might find something that looks really good deal wise and turns out it is junk. If you do end up finding a bike that fits you have to get it at the right price for the wear.

Honestly like icemilkcoffee said Shimano is potentially easier to deal with for the aforementioned reasons but Campy is always nice and I would never say no to some Nuevo Record or 50th anniversary (or even some C-Record) however that can be money.

Sadly my bikes that I am looking to sell are all a bit smaller for you not far off (56-57ish) but probably not going to work well for your height. But what I would consider is looking for a decent frame and building it up with parts and maybe upping the budget a little bit. Doesn't have to be a ton but enough to get a bike you want.
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Old 02-07-21, 05:20 AM
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Danhedonia
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Older bikes introduce complexity. I'd look at a recent aluminum bike.
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Old 02-07-21, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
Older bikes introduce complexity. I'd look at a recent aluminum bike.
You mean like PF BB, tubeless tires, electronic shifting, and juice brakes?
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Old 02-07-21, 08:54 AM
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Your Raleigh is probably perfect as a frameset. Newer than Ď86 and youíre likely to get stuck with clearance for nothing bigger than 25mm tires. 32mm Gravel King slick tires are one of the greatest things for light cycling.

Youíve got some mass, so you may want your LBS to build you up some fresh wheels anyways whether you stick with the Raleigh or track down a tall Bianchi.

I always like grey rims and the H + Archetypes Iíve got have taken some serious abuse recently and have wonderfully even brake tracks, and they come in grey which would look great with Celeste. They feel super safe and look really nice.

Thereís really no benefit to Campy over Suntour or Shimano so long as your cables are clean and the pivots are lubed other than making certain men say ďoohĒ.

Likewise for your cranks. If you're not smashing hills or venturing off road, those stock ones are probably fine.

Youíre really just not going to see any real improvement to shifting unless you step up into indexed systems... but if youíre staying on flat roads, thereís really no reason to shift gears at all anyways. The only reason to not convert the bike to SS is because itís fashionable to resist SS conversion.
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Old 02-07-21, 10:07 AM
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My preference would be a nice light steel frame and I would opt for something in the mid/late 90’s with a freehub and a cassette. Finding a good freewheel these days is tougher, more expensive with less gearing choices.

Ideally the frame has Uluegra 6400/6500 running 8/9 speed cassette with STI shifters. Dura Ace 7700 is wonderful if you can find it. Condition is everything as older parts, especially NOS, are hard to find and expensive.

FWIW... I ride aluminum, 7 speed cassette with 126mm dropouts, and downtube shifters.

John

Edit added: With everyone offering Shimano compatible drivetrain components, I wouldn’t even consider Campy.

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Old 02-07-21, 10:14 AM
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Based on the personal “descriptives” and the type of riding you intend to do, I think that a vintage, classic, steel framed bike will suit you well. As mentioned, frame size will be important! Also as mentioned, group set brand won’t make too much difference. While indexed shifting systems are very nice, for the type of riding you described, friction systems will work well too. I have bikes with index shifters that I often put in the friction mode as I find myself not shifting with every slight change of terrain and friction shifters allow for precise “trimming” (which isn’t always the case with the early index systems).
With your mention of office buds that just may be bike snobs, you may wish to gravitate to the higher end of the classic brands. Raleigh, Bianchi, Miyata etc., all had product lines that spanned the full range of price points. Do your research! I’m sure you’ll find a nice classic ride .
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Old 02-07-21, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by hsuBM View Post
The only reason to not convert the bike to SS is because itís fashionable to resist SS conversion.
Iím always the last to know. I was going to suggest that as an option. I have a Schwinn Sprint from the mid 80s running SS with touring bars. Great for just enjoying the ride. Lots of miles on it with no trouble, and very comfortable.

Otto
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Old 02-07-21, 11:54 AM
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I have the perfect bike for your needs. Unfortunately I am in the USA, not Canada. The frameset is a 1985 60cm Razessa SL with Shimano 9 speed on it. Has a triple FSA crank and currently runs 25mm tires, but will take 28mm as well. It is a loaner bike for when my son visits, but he only comes in the winter now so it just sits. He is 6'2" and it fits him quite nicely with a 110mm stem. My bet is it will work well for you, too. If you can find one up there it will make a nice comfy ride. If you don't mind friction shifting you should be able to find one around 200-250 USD.
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Old 02-07-21, 08:49 PM
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More important than who made the frame, it's important to look at the components, as an indicator of a bike's place in the lineup, and how it would compare to other brands. A bike fitted fitted with Shimano 600 or Ultegra will be of a better quality build, typically than one with, say, RSX, regardless of the brand.
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Old 02-07-21, 09:38 PM
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LeMond Zurich all the way
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Old 02-08-21, 12:13 AM
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Im learning

And Google searching everything you are saying.
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Old 02-08-21, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Iím always the last to know. I was going to suggest that as an option. I have a Schwinn Sprint from the mid 80s running SS with touring bars. Great for just enjoying the ride. Lots of miles on it with no trouble, and very comfortable.

Otto
I donít understand some peopleís aversion to SS. The seem offended that someone wouldnít shift down five cogs to attack a 2% grade and instead... yíknow, just maybe stand up and pedal.


I do ~ 400 miles per year on my two geared bikes combined and ~ 150 miles per week year round on my SS (14+ mile commute plus some fun rides). One of the geared bikes I keep around because itís pretty, the other is for Adirondacks and Rockies camping where I absolutely need gears.

To the OP regarding weight loss: my typical weight is 165ish. Iím small boned 6í. I was in a wreck thatíd brought me up to 230. It took a serious ton of work on and off the bike to get down to 190. Lots of crunches, planks, bridges, and side planks. The moobs didnít start to go away till I got into doing dips- but they tune me up into looking like a gym-bro (for better or worse). Best wishes.

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Old 02-08-21, 05:17 AM
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Aluminum has a shelf life? Do I have to park my faithful 1983 Cannondale? I weigh 245 lbs

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Old 02-08-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bald1 View Post
Aluminum has a shelf life? Do I have to park my faithful 1983 Cannondale? I weigh 245 lbs
Shelf life is not a proper term for Al frames. Period.
But if you have an Al frame that has been ridden hard for decades it should be closely inspected regularly, as I do with my 20yo CF frame.
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Old 02-08-21, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by longhitv View Post
I’m happy to splurge a little for that Celeste green Bianchi colour just so that when I’m having coffee it’s a little different than all the Carbon bikes. Wouldn’t mind some advice on Alloy versus steel, lightweight wheel choices or ideas. Or if someone has something cool for me they may want to sell.
If you were local to me - which you're not - I'd have you trying out my 2002 Litespeed Siena that's probably about your size, but is a bit big for me.

With a titanium frame and 2002-vintage Ultegra components (lots of shiny aluminum), that would certainly qualify as being a little different from the CF bikes.
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Old 02-08-21, 03:27 PM
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well if you want a classic bike , then you will be limited to the technology that was used to make it , i see tons of bikes of all kinds on the web , if you are looking for an UPGRADE , i would just look for a CAAD 8 or 10 , those frames are sometimes dirt cheap , if you need wide tires and want a pure road frame, you will have to look for disc brakes , but a caad 9 will work as a road cx hybrid , i usually recommend cannondales bikes because they are are always being sold low and are plentiful , they can be found for under 500 , and if your budget is 1000 you have so much room to work with for a real banger , ive seen caad9s in the cx format for 650 , that will give you tires choices up to almost 40mm slick and 35mm knobbed , you dont have to worry about age just , but try to focus on getting a solid technological advancement in frame if you are spending over 500 and dont even worry if under 500 because then you can just focus on buying another cheap bike that you like and is comfy for your sunny day rides , BUT if you have any itch for performance , investing all of that 1000 wisely will allow you to access it int he future if you do get that itch
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Old 02-08-21, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
well if you want a classic bike , then you will be limited to the technology that was used to make it , i see tons of bikes of all kinds on the web , if you are looking for an UPGRADE , i would just look for a CAAD 8 or 10 , those frames are sometimes dirt cheap , if you need wide tires and want a pure road frame, you will have to look for disc brakes , but a caad 9 will work as a road cx hybrid , i usually recommend cannondales bikes because they are are always being sold low and are plentiful , they can be found for under 500 , and if your budget is 1000 you have so much room to work with for a real banger , ive seen caad9s in the cx format for 650 , that will give you tires choices up to almost 40mm slick and 35mm knobbed , you dont have to worry about age just , but try to focus on getting a solid technological advancement in frame if you are spending over 500 and dont even worry if under 500 because then you can just focus on buying another cheap bike that you like and is comfy for your sunny day rides , BUT if you have any itch for performance , investing all of that 1000 wisely will allow you to access it int he future if you do get that itch
the frame heís already got almost definitely will fit 700x35c tires and absolutely will fit 40ís if he goes down to 650b...

While thereís hundreds of threads featuring bikes from the 70s and 60s with full STI/brifter setups and some with carbon wheels, seatposts, and bars- did you even read the OP?

Do you have a Cannondale or two which youíre trying to sell?
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Old 02-08-21, 10:58 PM
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Me the OP

Actually I pitched this idea to a few avid biker friends.

I asked, why dont I just go on ebay and buy a NOS classic frame, and build a great bike will all new gear. As a car reference, like a restomod.

I was told nobody does that?


This past weekend I sold my 82 Raleigh. The bike needed everything redone, and the costs would have been far exceeding the value. It was a base bike with the most basic groupset.

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Old 02-08-21, 11:10 PM
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longhitv I did not see any mention of you wanting to mechanic or build a bike yourself. By this I assume you want a solution with a minimum of mechanic or build work. If I'm right about this then this rather dictates where you are going. I agree that the 32mm tire is a good choice for us Clydes. To get a bicycle that will accommodate bigger tires you can look at bicycles that have or could have fenders. These bikes usually will have the clearance to put on 32mm tires. Most older steel 10 speed style bikes from the 70's and 80's that had fender clearance would work. However the wheel size of that era was 27" x 1 1/4". 1 1/4" does work out to be 32mm wide. If you are OK with this older wheel size then Craigslist or its equivalent in Canada is your hunting ground. If you desire newer style bikes that have bigger tire clearance then look no further than so called gravel bikes. They can have tire sizes up to 50mm or more now a days. Another type of bike that you might look at are cycle cross racing bikes. Essentially these bikes are racing bikes with drop bars and gears but with wider tires and cantilever or disc brakes. All used bikes have been dropped, crashed, and treated poorly sometime in the past. So carefully inspect frames, forks, and component groups for condition problems before buying. I have bought many bikes with worn out components and replaced those components and had fine riding bicycles. Good luck with your search.
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Old 02-08-21, 11:28 PM
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I haven't read the entire thread in detail, especially the parts about single speed.

Anyway, the only advice I give you is to find a bike that is recent enough to have an 8 speed or more cassette in the back.This will mean that the rear spacing is adequate, without modification, to take modern wheels that are readily available, at least 9, 10 and 11 speed in addition to 8. The gearing/ shifting brand doesn't matter at all. Anything that was offered in 8 speed and above, if it isn't worn out, will be excellent.

So you should be able to find such a bike in good used condition for less than $1,000 which seems to be your budget.

Someone mentioned wider tires - that 's something that an older, especially English, frame will get you is tire clearance. Really for a big guy, minimum of 28 mm and if you can go 30 or 32 you will really enjoy the ride much more. Just something to keep in mind.

If you go to the Classic and Vintage forum, you'll get excellent advice and on the C&V sale site you might even find a perfect bike. It might be easier to just buy a new $900 bike from a good bike shop though.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:10 AM
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Im no mechanic

Sorry, I dont want to lead myself as a mechanic on these.

Local bike shop has to do anything or service anything I get.

I wouldn't feel comfortable down a hill with my wrenching
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Old 02-09-21, 12:18 AM
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where I am....

Seems like weve narrowed it down to:
  • 32 mm tires with aluminum wheels
  • 10 or 11 speeds.
  • 60 cm frame.
  • 1999 and newer Aluminum frame.
  • Dura-ace or Ultergra groupset.

Seems to be what people are saying.
So what fits the above. 2000 Masi?

Or just grab a 2008 or 2010 Cannondale with Ultergra.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
Older bikes introduce complexity.
How? They're generally mechanically simpler than modern bikes. They can sometimes be bound to obsolete standards, although even this is sometimes a non-issue: there was a standards convergence in the 70s and 80s that resulted in many bikes and frames from that period still having readily-available new drop-in replacement parts for almost everything. Some bike shops inventory as good of a selection of viable replacement parts for my '79 Fuji as for some of the bikes on their own show floors.

Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Finding a good freewheel these days is tougher, more expensive with less gearing choices.
Fewer choices, yes. But unless maybe if you're using 5-speed, finding a good freewheel is easy: Shimano works great and is dirt cheap.

Originally Posted by longhitv View Post
I asked, why donwhI just go on ebay and buy a NOS classic frame, and build a great bike will all new gear. As a car reference, like a restomod.

I was told nobody does that?
It's not really a popular thing to do, but it's not like there's anything wrong with doing it. I wouldn't say it's any weirder than seeking out a vintage bike for the sake of having a vintage bike. There's a long-running thread in the C&V section where people post builds of this sort.

I'm just surprised that you'd bring it up, considering that you said you wanted "antiquated classic stuff." When you throw modern components on an old frameset, it's not going to have the old-school aesthetic, and in most respects it won't feel like an old bike either.

Originally Posted by longhitv View Post
I don’t want to do long 100 km plus rides. I don’t want to do Vancouver to Squamish or to Whistler rides.

I’m looking mostly to just ride from Coquitlam to Langley or Pitt Meadows 20km maybe 30km return. Flat surfaces on a Sunny Saturday or Sunday morning. Have a coffee somewhere and head back done by 10am. Likely I’ll be solo, but at times a friend or two may jump in.
I'm not sure what a road bike that's not for doing long 100km+ rides is. Like, what are you asking for? Do you want us to tell you how to deliberately sabotage your bike so that it stops being comfortable after the 30km point?

Last edited by HTupolev; 02-09-21 at 01:05 AM.
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