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Road Bike Upgrade Advice Requested

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Road Bike Upgrade Advice Requested

Old 05-18-22, 08:45 AM
  #26  
Iride01
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
Riding in the drops at 12mph or a bit faster does not improve aerodynamics so why bother.
OP claims to be riding at 15 mph. So aerodynamics do matter.

Even so, low speeds benefit from aerodynamics too. The benefit will show more at the end of longer rides. A one hour ride, probably not.

Also, when in the drops, the angle of my arms holds my butt down better so it's not lifting as much with every push on the pedals. So more energy gets put in the pedal. And this is while seated or standing to pedal.
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Old 05-18-22, 07:18 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
Over the past year, I've been riding my 1987 Schwinn World Sport about 3-4 times per week over a 10-mile paved trail at an average of about 15MPH. .
A new bike will not make you any faster, especially if the trail you ride is not hilly. If your bike is in good shape, cleaned, oiled and adjusted, then the only thing holding it back from going faster is the rider. I am your age and in the last year I have ridden a ten speed bike older than your bike over a longer course at over 19mph average, and I had a heart attack and surgery last year.

Over the last year I have blown off so many riders with new bikes and equipment with that old ten-speed I can not even count them. It is a rider that makes a bike fast, the bike does not make a rider fast. It is true that an expensive bike with "aerodynamic" frame, wheels and "aero" bars can get a few mph extra, but spending all that money to go 17 or 18 mph is not worth it because that is still slow. When I was younger in the 1990s I placed 40th in a time-trial with a six-speed touring bike like yours out of 401 entrants, probably averaging about 22mph, maybe 23 at the most.

I think instead of a new bike you need to train harder and in a different way. Pick a speed you want to go and then ride at that speed as long as you can. Find some steep hills and ride up and down them until you barely have the energy to ride back home. And cross-train by riding only every other day, and in-between doing some jogging on soft grass or sand for a half-hour or 45 minutes at a fast enough pace that you are beat the rest of the day. Get to bed early and get up early and eat healthy, no soda-pop, no alcohol, no fast-food, and go for the veggies and fruits as much as possible.

It is scientifically proven that the biggest gain in speed a rider can get out of a bicycle is by using an aerodynamic riding position where their body is as level as possible and their head is low so they are out of the wind. When you go really fast down a hill you can get down in that position and hear the wind noise go away, and if you have a digital speedo on your bike you can get down in that position and watch the mph climb three or more mph easily. If you do not train your body well and do not use that riding position then you will never go fast.

You can get different freewheels with different gearing spreads to suit the type of circuit you are riding, wide ratios for more hills, close ratios for flatter circuits. The only real difference between older and newer bikes is the number of gears they have, maybe 24 instead of ten or twelve, but by matching your gearing to the circuit you want to go fast on a bike with more speeds has little or no advantage.

I am going to do at least one time-trial this year of a dozen miles, and I know I will be able to do it on my 50 year-old ten-speed road bike at least at 20mph with no toe straps or clips or fancy aero-clothing etc.. Barring any catastrophic health problems of course. And before that time-trial while training, and at the time-trial, I am going to pass a lot of bikes people have paid one or more thousand dollars for, for no good reason.

Lastly, my old ten-speed is fast because I took it completely apart, cleaned every bearing and put it back together using grease sparingly. I would not put any lube on the derailleur wheels except dry graphite. If your bike has old dry grease in the bearings for the wheels and bottom-bracket, and the derailleur has never been apart and cleaned spotlessly, you may have a lot of drag slowing you down. Also your wheels need to be true so they never drag on the brake shoes at all. This is essential if you are going to go fast with any bike new or old. I think the older bikes might have an advantage because sealed bearings have more drag than the old non-sealed ball-bearing hubs and bottom-brackets. If I had to race a new bike I would take the seals out of the bearings and throw them away.

Last edited by beng1; 05-18-22 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 05-19-22, 10:53 AM
  #28  
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I don't see any reason to buy a racing bike unless you want to race. An endurance would work well. Modern bikes are really a pleasure to ride so you should treat yourself to one. I have a Domane SL5, a great bike all around.
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Old 05-19-22, 01:33 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
I've been riding a Specialized Roubaix for a few years, it has 'endurance' geometry. It is comfortable for me, and I enjoy riding it. I'm 65.
My advice is to do some test rides! Go to a few bike shops, ask to ride the bike you want. Talk to them about different bikes. Then decide on the shop you want to deal with.
Then TEST RIDE. It won't take long for you to decide if you like the way a bike rides once you ride it.
What made you decide on the Roubaix? Did you look at any competing models?
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Old 05-19-22, 01:58 PM
  #30  
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Personal opinion based off of what I'm seeing as "trends" these days in bike offerings.

If after a road endurance geometry, go ahead and instead just get either a gravel bike or a cyclocross bike. That can take lots of tire, more than even the 28's of modern road bikes.

With either with the majority of the stem spacers the stack is higher than road bike racer style bike. Largely, the difference is going to be in fork/headtube and BB drop affecting handling a bit. Then you lose the tire clearance on the road bike you keep with the other.

I feel this may be why sooo many people are going gravel bike these days, especially if using it on trails and such.

Just a thought. Obed Baseline 105 build, a hair over budget for you but a ton of bike for the money and with more capability than an endurance road bike. Or, something similar would be a SUPER nice bike that checks a lot of boxes.
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Old 05-20-22, 11:55 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
What made you decide on the Roubaix? Did you look at any competing models?
I wanted\like the more upright position of the 'endurance' frame geometry, and it was a left over with a discounted price.
If your bike shop doesn't allow you to test ride, go to a different shop.
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Old 05-23-22, 03:01 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by beng1 View Post
A new bike will not make you any faster, especially if the trail you ride is not hilly. If your bike is in good shape, cleaned, oiled and adjusted, then the only thing holding it back from going faster is the rider. I am your age and in the last year I have ridden a ten speed bike older than your bike over a longer course at over 19mph average, and I had a heart attack and surgery last year.

Over the last year I have blown off so many riders with new bikes and equipment with that old ten-speed I can not even count them. It is a rider that makes a bike fast, the bike does not make a rider fast. It is true that an expensive bike with "aerodynamic" frame, wheels and "aero" bars can get a few mph extra, but spending all that money to go 17 or 18 mph is not worth it because that is still slow. When I was younger in the 1990s I placed 40th in a time-trial with a six-speed touring bike like yours out of 401 entrants, probably averaging about 22mph, maybe 23 at the most.

I think instead of a new bike you need to train harder and in a different way. Pick a speed you want to go and then ride at that speed as long as you can. Find some steep hills and ride up and down them until you barely have the energy to ride back home. And cross-train by riding only every other day, and in-between doing some jogging on soft grass or sand for a half-hour or 45 minutes at a fast enough pace that you are beat the rest of the day. Get to bed early and get up early and eat healthy, no soda-pop, no alcohol, no fast-food, and go for the veggies and fruits as much as possible.

It is scientifically proven that the biggest gain in speed a rider can get out of a bicycle is by using an aerodynamic riding position where their body is as level as possible and their head is low so they are out of the wind. When you go really fast down a hill you can get down in that position and hear the wind noise go away, and if you have a digital speedo on your bike you can get down in that position and watch the mph climb three or more mph easily. If you do not train your body well and do not use that riding position then you will never go fast.

You can get different freewheels with different gearing spreads to suit the type of circuit you are riding, wide ratios for more hills, close ratios for flatter circuits. The only real difference between older and newer bikes is the number of gears they have, maybe 24 instead of ten or twelve, but by matching your gearing to the circuit you want to go fast on a bike with more speeds has little or no advantage.

I am going to do at least one time-trial this year of a dozen miles, and I know I will be able to do it on my 50 year-old ten-speed road bike at least at 20mph with no toe straps or clips or fancy aero-clothing etc.. Barring any catastrophic health problems of course. And before that time-trial while training, and at the time-trial, I am going to pass a lot of bikes people have paid one or more thousand dollars for, for no good reason.

Lastly, my old ten-speed is fast because I took it completely apart, cleaned every bearing and put it back together using grease sparingly. I would not put any lube on the derailleur wheels except dry graphite. If your bike has old dry grease in the bearings for the wheels and bottom-bracket, and the derailleur has never been apart and cleaned spotlessly, you may have a lot of drag slowing you down. Also your wheels need to be true so they never drag on the brake shoes at all. This is essential if you are going to go fast with any bike new or old. I think the older bikes might have an advantage because sealed bearings have more drag than the old non-sealed ball-bearing hubs and bottom-brackets. If I had to race a new bike I would take the seals out of the bearings and throw them away.
Thanks for the excellent (and honest) post. Definitely not a slam dunk to give up the pizza and ice cream LOL. As for the aerodynamics, when I bend lower I can feel the wind graze my back so I know that I'm being more efficient, but it's something I'll have to get used to as that position isn't very comfortable right now. 60% seems to be comfortable but I'll admit it isn't very aerodynamic.
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Old 05-24-22, 04:31 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
I've been riding a Specialized Roubaix for a few years, it has 'endurance' geometry. It is comfortable for me, and I enjoy riding it..

Those are great bikes! I got a "pro deal" on an S-Works Tarmac a few years back and after spending some time on it, i wished a Roubaix had been available to me at the same price
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Old 05-24-22, 04:40 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
Thanks for the excellent (and honest) post. Definitely not a slam dunk to give up the pizza and ice cream LOL. As for the aerodynamics, when I bend lower I can feel the wind graze my back so I know that I'm being more efficient, but it's something I'll have to get used to as that position isn't very comfortable right now. 60% seems to be comfortable but I'll admit it isn't very aerodynamic.
Since youre the thread starter, i'd say

Just get a new bike. New bikes are fun. Like a few others have pointed out, they are not necessarilly faster, --- but the lighter weight feels better , and i seconded one of the guys' recommendation of a Roubaix (although to be fair, i once had a Cannondale Synapse and it had the same "Endurance geometry" but i never liked that bike )

Bikes like the Roubaix or Synapse, - really every big manufacturer makes a competing model - have a more comfortable position, -- but its not hard to lean over a bit more to get more "aero" --- most of us ride on the brake hoods 85% of the time anyway
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Old 05-24-22, 07:06 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
Thanks for the excellent (and honest) post. Definitely not a slam dunk to give up the pizza and ice cream LOL. As for the aerodynamics, when I bend lower I can feel the wind graze my back so I know that I'm being more efficient, but it's something I'll have to get used to as that position isn't very comfortable right now. 60% seems to be comfortable but I'll admit it isn't very aerodynamic.
I eat pizza and ice-cream and cake, just not as my main diet. It looks like you are riding about 40 miles a week, is there any way you can double that? Maybe ride the same course twice each session? I get more miles in by riding to places I like to ride. There is a 13 mile loop around a state park I like to ride around fast, and it is downhill to it and uphill back to my house for a 20-mile round-trip, and I try to do the whole thing as fast as possible. When I was younger I used to be able to leave the house, run that loop and be home in an hour, I don't know if I could do that any more or not and may not care so much. There is another ride I do on a mountainbike to a park with very steep trails and that is about a 20 mile ride overall. Some days I will do extra touring on the way back home and get 30 or more miles in, so it is pretty easy to rack up eighty or a hundred miles per week. That helps a lot with building strength and speed, but it is still half what some young racer guy will do. I am sure some people have fun riding new bikes, but I don't like much of anything new these days, so I have lots of fun riding old bikes, and many others do to as you can see the part of this forum for old bikes is one of the most populated and busy there is.
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Old 05-25-22, 08:06 AM
  #36  
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I'd like to offer a different perspective even though what everyone is saying is also true.

I have been riding a heavy steel Masi for about a decade. I recently as an over 50 rider bought a carbon fiber endurance bike. Is it faster? Yes! Every segment I ride it on is a personal record even without trying. The reason everyone is correct is it isn't a lot faster. What's faster is accelerating (it feels instantaneous) and hills which feel like you are just dancing up them. Once up to speed on a straight the bike is only slightly faster mainly do to aerodynamics which is why I could keep up with my carbon fiber friends on my old steel bike. The thing is while only a little bit faster I'm a lot less wiped out not spending all that energy accelerating and climbing.

I would ride the new bike. My guess is it will put a big smile on your face. If it does buy it and enjoy having fun riding a 1-2mph faster. If it doesn't then you can happily keep riding the Schwinn.
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Old 05-25-22, 03:05 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ratell View Post
I'd like to offer a different perspective even though what everyone is saying is also true.

I have been riding a heavy steel Masi for about a decade. I recently as an over 50 rider bought a carbon fiber endurance bike. Is it faster? Yes! Every segment I ride it on is a personal record even without trying. The reason everyone is correct is it isn't a lot faster. What's faster is accelerating (it feels instantaneous) and hills which feel like you are just dancing up them. Once up to speed on a straight the bike is only slightly faster mainly do to aerodynamics which is why I could keep up with my carbon fiber friends on my old steel bike. The thing is while only a little bit faster I'm a lot less wiped out not spending all that energy accelerating and climbing.

I would ride the new bike. My guess is it will put a big smile on your face. If it does buy it and enjoy having fun riding a 1-2mph faster. If it doesn't then you can happily keep riding the Schwinn.
Your post leads to another question: Is it worth spending the extra money to go with carbon instead of aluminum? Shimano 105 instead of Tiagra? Anything else worth the extra dollars?
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Old 05-25-22, 03:18 PM
  #38  
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This is hard. Basically, they are all worth it and none of them are worth it. It really depends on your situation. I will say my wife has an aluminum bike that is almost as light as my carbon fiber and running wider tires seems just as comfortable. I started looking at aluminum and it seemed like you were getting a lot more bike for just a few hundred more going to the carbon. It's similar with groupsets. Functionally I think Tiagra is good enough, but 105 gets you an extra gear and compatibility with ultegra which seems worth the upgrade. There's no clear answer other than I don't think Dura-Ace is never really worth it if you aren't sponsored or wealthy. I would ride both. If you can't feel a difference then get the aluminum. If carbon feels better than decide if it's enough to spend the extra money.
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Old 05-25-22, 04:07 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ratell View Post
This is hard. Basically, they are all worth it and none of them are worth it. It really depends on your situation. I will say my wife has an aluminum bike that is almost as light as my carbon fiber and running wider tires seems just as comfortable. I started looking at aluminum and it seemed like you were getting a lot more bike for just a few hundred more going to the carbon. It's similar with groupsets. Functionally I think Tiagra is good enough, but 105 gets you an extra gear and compatibility with ultegra which seems worth the upgrade. There's no clear answer other than I don't think Dura-Ace is never really worth it if you aren't sponsored or wealthy. I would ride both. If you can't feel a difference then get the aluminum. If carbon feels better than decide if it's enough to spend the extra money.
Got it. Thanks.
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Old 05-25-22, 05:14 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
Your post leads to another question: Is it worth spending the extra money to go with carbon instead of aluminum? Shimano 105 instead of Tiagra? Anything else worth the extra dollars?
My old bike - S-Works Tarmac --- beautiful riding machine - carbon soaks up the bumps and has very efficient power transfer. Di2 shifting is worth every penny and the disc brakes were awesome ! Not to mention premium tires which came stock --- this was a great bike!

Notice i said WAS. I got to where i wasnt riding it enough to justify having it hanging around when i really needed (need is relative) a new mountain bike. But if i had been dedicated about riding it at least 100-125 miles per week, i would have kept it for sure . Its a wonderful bike and i cant say enough good about it except that i think for me the Roubaix model would have been even better



Sooooo --- that said. With the proceeds from selling the above bike plus a few other things, i built the aforementioned mountain bike , and had my local shop refurbish an old Litespeed i have had since 2002. I stripped the paint from the frame (it was one of the painted Litespeeds ) and utilized an old Campagnolo Record 10 speed group and other parts i had laying around . It looks good, gets lots of compliments anytime i go out, and is all the road bike i really need for the rare occasions (maybe once every 2 weeks at most) that i get goaded into a road ride
It doesnt look too far off the back, but the bike , despite being Titanium, transmits a lot of road vibration, the analog shifting is clunkier than Di2, and the head tube is shorter so im always in a "race ready" position whether i want to be or not. Weight difference is really not that much

So for me and with the amount of road riding i do -- the re-furbished old bike (but this would have been close to state of the art when it was new) is a better fit for my needs than the new 12k Superbike --- But that is the operative phrase - "For my needs" -- as the new bike is still better

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Old 05-26-22, 04:15 PM
  #41  
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I got an Argon18 Krypton CS and couldn't be happier. Had the same questions and concerns as the OP.
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Old 05-27-22, 05:10 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Outrider1 View Post
So far you've been discussing objectivity. The joy you will derive from riding a newer, precision machine, cannot be explained. You will rediscover cycling.
To your point.....I have been riding for about 40 yrs. And, until about 3 months ago, my main rides were a CAAD 12 and a GURU Sidero (steel). Each weighs about 17 1/2 lbs and both are wonderful bikes. But, recently I paid off two car loans and now have all this money with nowhere to go. If that isn't a recipe for a new bike I don't know what is. So, I came across a GURU Photon at the Pro's Closet and thought it was time for my first CF bike. For $2200 I got a 14 lb 8 oz bike (15 lb 3 oz w/pedals, etc) with Dura Ace 11 sp mechanical and 1295 g Mavic clinchers. I can't even tell you what a joy it is. And, yes, it feels like rediscovering cycling.

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Old 05-27-22, 05:20 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
Your post leads to another question: Is it worth spending the extra money to go with carbon instead of aluminum? Shimano 105 instead of Tiagra? Anything else worth the extra dollars?
Just some personal opinions based on my experience and what I've heard others (think GCN) say. If you get the basic CF frame you will not get anything better than say a CAAD type frame. And, since AL is less expensive to build you will get better components and wheels for the same price. Now if you buy Hi-Mod CF you will get lighter and better but you will pay twice the price of either of the aforementioned. As for 105, everyone says it's the best bang for the buck you can buy. I have no reason to doubt that. Mine have been excellent.
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Old 05-27-22, 09:04 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by lmk5 View Post
You're probably right. There are things I can do now to get faster that I should be doing:
1) Installing clipless pedals
2) Getting better tires
3) Using the drops more often
4) Wearing tighter fitting clothing

TBH, those aren't likely to change your speed that much instantly either, unless your current tires are really, really bad.

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Old 05-27-22, 09:59 AM
  #45  
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You don't say how important comfort is, but if you're used to the ride characteristics of steel, you may not like the way an aluminum bike feels.

You may be able to get most of the improvement you're looking for by just upgrading the wheelset and tires to something lighter. That makes the most difference anyway (rotating mass) and might breath new life into that bike. There are probably a few other things you could do to reduce the weight a little, but start with the wheels and tires.
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Old 05-27-22, 10:12 AM
  #46  
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Although if the OP is in the 16'ish mph range for average speed
3) Using the drops more often
then staying in the drops more will save energy that can be used to ride faster speeds for more of the ride. Therefore having a better average speed than sitting up. But maybe not as much of an increase as the OP wishes.

When doing 20 mph or more, One should be able tell a big difference in more aero in the drops as opposed to less aero. Pedaling is much less effort to hold a particular speed.
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Old 05-27-22, 10:17 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
You don't say how important comfort is, but if you're used to the ride characteristics of steel, you may not like the way an aluminum bike feels.

You may be able to get most of the improvement you're looking for by just upgrading the wheelset and tires to something lighter. That makes the most difference anyway (rotating mass) and might breath new life into that bike. There are probably a few other things you could do to reduce the weight a little, but start with the wheels and tires.

I just bought a new aluminum Allez Elite after a few years of basically riding steel only. The Elite is a damn smooth ride, if anything it's more comfortable than the steel.
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