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Should I go for vintage or new?

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Should I go for vintage or new?

Old 05-09-15, 06:58 AM
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Radrider
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Should I go for vintage or new?

Hi, I'm 15 and I don't have oodles of money to throw around, I'm thinking 300 to get me started kijiji(Craigslist alt) is my marketplace, there are a few older road bikes(miele,bianchi,etc) and few newer ones(new ones prices are also double) should I get an old road bike in good condition and put some modern upgrades on it? Like tires, seat, etc. Or should I hold off and get a new on. This will be my first road bike so I one that will get me started, it is mostly for getting around and fitness and progessivly longer rides.
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Old 05-09-15, 08:35 AM
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Get a bicycle with a frameset in good condition that fits you. Component repair is cheap if you shop around and do the work yourself. I would avoid "vintage" bicycles, and by that I mean a bicycle with components made before 1995.
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Old 05-09-15, 08:44 AM
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A vintage bike is perfect for the riding you describe and you can get a high quality bike for less than a newer bike. Older bikes tend to be easier to work on with parts being generally available and less expensive than new components. You will want to pose this question in the classic and vintage section where you can get some good feedback both on bikes you are considering and what needs to be done to get the bike working properly.

Certainly with a budget of $300, a used bike that fits you properly is the way to go regardless whether it is made before or after some arbitrary cut off date like 1995.
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Old 05-09-15, 09:16 AM
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Look up the difference between downtube shifters, stem-mounted shifters, and modern brifters (brake/shifter combos). ....if you can live with either of the first two, you can get a good vintage bike for 300.
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Old 05-09-15, 09:22 AM
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Get an old bike and see how you like it. I rode a 1984 Miyata 310 for a couple of years that I got for $100. Sold it for $100. Easy in, easy out. Have spent a bit more since...
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Old 05-09-15, 09:40 AM
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I have a "vintage" (1989) bike and I love it. ..of course the only thing vintage now is the frame, fork and headset as everything else have been updated to modern components.
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Old 05-09-15, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
Look up the difference between downtube shifters, stem-mounted shifters, and modern brifters (brake/shifter combos). ....if you can live with either of the first two, you can get a good vintage bike for 300.
Stem-mounted shifters were invariably put on very low-end bikes. You don't want those.
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Old 05-09-15, 01:38 PM
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That's what I had on my blue Huffy from K-Mart circa 1990
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Old 05-09-15, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post

Certainly with a budget of $300, a used bike that fits you properly is the way to go regardless whether it is made before or after some arbitrary cut off date like 1995.
You don't want old and cheap. Old and high end yes works fine but for $300 his choices are limited.
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Old 05-09-15, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
You don't want old and cheap. Old and high end yes works fine but for $300 his choices are limited.
Depends where he is located. Here in SoCal, I can EASILY find good older steel or aluminum bikes in the $150-300 range in a range of sizes on CL any time I look.
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Old 05-09-15, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
You don't want old and cheap. Old and high end yes works fine but for $300 his choices are limited.
Exactly which is why a vintage bike may be the best choice for the OP. In any case, who said anything about old and cheap? That's why I steered the OP to the classic and vintage forum since he'll get good advice as which old bikes are worth owning. Given his price range, an older bike is the OP's best bet for a high quality bike.

I just picked up just a beautiful 1985 Trek 400 in pristine shape with good quality parts and frame for $75 for my daughter:

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Old 05-09-15, 04:20 PM
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at that price go vintage all the way, you can't afford new. 300 well spent buys a great bike. frame fit is the most important, its the hardest to change!
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Old 05-10-15, 12:58 AM
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I have a 1980 Colnago Super with downtube shifters, a Ridley Noah and a Specialized Tarmac. Looking at my Strava performance I can see that there is virtually no difference in my results between these bikes, and I get far more compliments on my vintage bike. I also ride with a club with a lot of young riders, and the 15-17 years olds among the fastest riders, no matter what equipment they are on. So I would also vote for starting with a quality vintage bike.
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Old 05-10-15, 07:58 AM
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I had a 1990 Trek 1500 that I bought in excellent condition for $150. The only upgrades it got was a new saddle, a newer used wheelset (the originals had very narrow hard anodized rims) and I swapped the original 105 brakes for some dual pivot RX 100s that I already had. I rode it for two seasons with zero problems. Some people act like downtube shifters are a major inconvenience. They aren't. They are still among the most bombproof and reliable shifting mechanisms ever put on a bicycle and, with a reasonable amount of coordination and a little practice, are easy to operate. The pros used them for a couple of decades in all kinds of races, including mountains. I now have a newer road bike with 105 brifters. The brifters are more convenient, but it didn't change my average speed or safety one bit.



Not mine but looks just like it, except I had black handebar tape and SPD pedals.

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Old 05-10-15, 01:54 PM
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I'm riding my classic bike (86 Schwinn super sport, lugged Columbus steel, made in America, with non aero drilled out shimano 600 levers, downtube shifters, Phil Wood hubs and mavic open 4 rims of the same era) for now since the return spring in my campy shifter snapped. I paid under $100 for the bike at the bike co-op I volunteer at. The two bikes are roughly the same quality, (top level frames with a mix of ultegra and higher level bits) but 20 years apart. My strava data across basically the same route says I'm within a mile an hour of my carbon bike. I lose out on climbs, the big one on my loop, 9%ish, is 19 seconds slower on Schwinn than carbon, which has more to do with the period correct gearing (42/21 low end) than anything else. The two or three pound weight difference isn't to blame. It feels just as snappy and stiff, and just as comfortable. I was just thinking on my morning ride that if I had purchased this bike first (rather than a used trek 1000) I would have had a far better bike to start with at under a third the cost. It's far better quality than most bikes under about 1000/1200 (I work in a bike shop, so I'm aware of the spec. on new bikes).

I vote a good vintage bike, be sure to post anything you're considering here for feedback. Ride it hard and learn what you want for when you can get a modern ride (if you even want one, vintage race bikes are awesome). The only real improvement that I miss is integrated shifters.
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Old 05-10-15, 02:39 PM
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If you shop you could be able to find a good steel, alloy or even a carbon composite name-brand bike with your choice of downtube or brifters for the equivalent of $300 US. Here in SoCal, on CraigsList, if I wanted I could get a 1990s Trek Carbon composite bike with my choice of brifters ot downtube shifters (different models and model year bikes) for between $150-$275. I can also get Trek bonded aluminum frame bikes: 1000, 1100 1200, 1400, and 1500 for between $100 and $300, or steel frame bikes for $75 and up, depending on the model, equipment and condition.
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Old 05-10-15, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Radrider View Post
Hi, I'm 15 and I don't have oodles of money to throw around, I'm thinking 300 to get me started kijiji(Craigslist alt) is my marketplace, there are a few older road bikes(miele,bianchi,etc) and few newer ones(new ones prices are also double) should I get an old road bike in good condition and put some modern upgrades on it? Like tires, seat, etc. Or should I hold off and get a new on. This will be my first road bike so I one that will get me started, it is mostly for getting around and fitness and progessivly longer rides.
Where do you live ?? You can also check Ebay, and look for local listings. In the U.S. they have a zipcode radius option.
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Old 05-10-15, 03:54 PM
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Wow, nice thread! I thought I was in the C & V for a bit.

The logical answer to "Vintage or New?" is both. When you can afford them, of course.

An older bike that you can fix up yourself is the better buy, especially with your budget. CL and garage sales are your best bet, just be patient. Make sure you know what size bike will fit you.

Sheldonbrown.com is a great place to learn lots of stuff. Here, the Classic and Vintage forum and the Mechanics forum are also good places for info.

Sheldon's Beginners section
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Old 05-10-15, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Where do you live ?? You can also check Ebay, and look for local listings. In the U.S. they have a zipcode radius option.
Probably somewhere in Canada, considering kijiji and Miele mentions.
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