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Bought my carbon bike 18 years ago now, time for new? or how to refresh it?

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Bought my carbon bike 18 years ago now, time for new? or how to refresh it?

Old 07-08-20, 08:43 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I suppose if you are travelling 20+ mph all the time (on your fat-tire gravel endurance bike) the aero gains will offset the extra weight.
You write this as though that's something to be avoided. I road ride on my gravel bike all the time, complete with 2.1" tires at 40PSI or less:



I did a half-century loop on it with a cafe stop in the middle recently, looks like the Strava moving average had me at 20.6mph:



It was windy today, and it looks like I missed that magical 20+mph moving speed.



Maybe if the bike had more aero tubing, I would have made the benchmark!
Or perhaps better aerodynamics would have done nothing, since as we all know, aerodynamic drag does not exist below 20mph.
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Old 07-08-20, 09:48 PM
  #52  
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Interesting. My main ride is a '99 Trek 5200. I sanded off the garish, peeling paint so now it's nude carbon like yours, but no decals. Can't think of a single reason to buy a new bike. Build up a set of aero alu wheels. I used AForce Al33 rims and CX-Ray spokes, run 23mm Conti 5000 on them. Change the drivetrain to 10-speed, triple. You can't go compact because of the braze-on FD. You'd have to change the FD to go 10-speed triple, but not the RD. Or you could just leave the drivetrain alone, depends on your strength and terrain. I don't think tires larger than 25mm will fit and the 23mm are perfect aero on those AForce rims. Someone's already converted the threaded headset to take threadless stems just like I did. Plenty good.

You might want to put on a -17° stem to get a little lower and a set of modern compact bars. New cables and housings of course. I can't think of anything else. That's a great bike. I think those older carbon bikes damp vibration better, maybe because they have more carbon in them.
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Old 07-08-20, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
What size bike do you need? One of those is a 60cm, the other is a 56cm. There's no way that both of them fit you.

I would stop looking at bikes on CL, and go to a shop and figure out what fits.
Ah sorry, forgot to mention that info eariler. I was more looking at the frame style and components. My current bike is 56cm, but I could go up to 58 (have ridden on other friends' bikes 58, no problem).
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Old 07-09-20, 06:58 AM
  #54  
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Being somewhat of a Trek fanboy and having owned a 1999 Trek 5200 that served me well for over a decade, I'm drooling a little over your bike, supernova87a!

If I were you, I'd clean-up that bike, keep it as stock looking as possible, and make it my "retro pride" bike I love the "nude carbon" look! If money is an issue and you have the "new bike itch", after cleaning the 5500, put it up for sale and be firm about the price as it is in great shape... if you wait long enough, the right buyer will come along and offer you a good price. You can then take that money to buy a new bike and make the cost less painful.

I've been down the road you're travelling in that I was quite content with my 5200 until I went to a bike store and started looking at new bikes... big mistake for my wallet I have since owned a 2014 Trek Domane 5.2 and now ride a 2020 Trek Domane SL7 Disc which is by far the nicest bike I've ever owned, but also the most expensive. In hindsight, could I have been happy had I just kept my 5200 rolling? Yes. I think the decision to upgrade is somewhat of a "you don't know what you don't know" decision. In other words, if you never ride a newer bike, you won't know what you're missing and likely won't care. This route saves you a TON of money as your existing bike is a very capable bike and we all know that it's really the motor (i.e., YOU) that determines how fast the bike will be.

That being side, if you're looking for something more comfortable and more versatile as I did, the modern endurance bikes like the Trek Domane are lovely, but not light. I liken the difference between riding a 5500 and a new Domane as being the difference between being hit in the crotch with a metal hammer vs a rubber mallet The newer bikes are definitely more comfortable, but not quite like riding on a fluffy cloud or anything. Older bikes with smaller tires don't offer much in terms of ride comfort. Due to the brake calipers, it's not possible to go beyond a 25c tire to add a little more comfort.

Only you can decide if spending several thousand dollars on a new bike that you don't really need is "worth it". Other than potentially more comfort and better shifting performance, don't expect a new bike to radically increase your average ride speed by much or at all. And obviously, buying a new bike won't somehow make you put out more power (watts).
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Old 07-09-20, 11:25 AM
  #55  
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You can pretty much just listen to what Psimet says and follow it - he gives Good Advice.

Retrogrouchery complaining that disc brakes, aero shapes and wider tires are bad things is not good advice. Referring to Hambini as an unbiased resource is not good advice.

Nostalgia is all well and good, but presumably you are buying a bike to enjoy the act of riding and going fast. A modern carbon bike is better at that.


Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post

I knew this would get bogged down in a turdfest of opinions.

1. Yes, I own a bike shop. I don't sell bikes though. I have made a name by not being the guy that tells everyone to get a new bike. I just fix what's broken.
2. If the OP goes and buys a new bike I don't get a freekin thing from it, and could care less.
3. Bikes at the mid to higher end don't generate crap for revenue in this industry so no...the only one trying to sell anyone on expensive new bikes is the OEM. The shop would be just as happy and actually turn a profit if they just sold you another $1500 bike.

Old bikes can be amazing and beautiful. Some can just be turd piles.

That carbon frame rides like crap. There are sooooo many better frames out today that you could buy from just about anyone. It was great at the time but it isn't worth really talking about.

9spd Shimano sucked. Bad. All over the place. If I had to place all of the decent Shimano road groups on a scale of good to bad the whole 9 speed generation would fall in second to last - last being occupied by that crappy first generation of Shimano turning the cables inside the levers. Using 9 speed levers is akin to turning 45 and making the mistake of trusting a fart. Worn out or well used 9 speed is just....no.

Quill stems and threaded fork is just as technologically irrelevant parts wise now as Dave is implying new BB standards will be in a few years. Last fork I had to clean up threads on I had to drive around the greater western Chicago burbs just to find a shop that still had some tools. They literally gave them to me.

Carbon layups don't have an infinite life. That frame has already lost a ton of what little good ride feel it actually had.

Wheel materials, tires, frame capacity, etc.

Seriously - sell this thing to one of the people on here that is nostalgic about this and then go buy something old that was actually really good in steel or ti. Put some modern components on it and really lose yourself in how much better it all really has gotten.

Honestly after having worked on almost nothing but the tech we had in the 80's, 90's and early '00s for the last 4 months as everyone has decided to go ride their bikes again has just driven home that the vast majority of it, even the decent stuff, has been so eclipsed.
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Old 07-09-20, 11:26 AM
  #56  
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Old 07-09-20, 12:53 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
A $200 set of wheels is not going to be much of an improvement. Threadless fork means fork headset and stem, so for quality worth doing, more like $300 plus.
and the current group is Ultegra. So upgrading to the same level would be around $700. And these are internet prices assuming you do your own work. And my guess is the OP is talking about the LBS doing these things.

So $1000 for a wheel set that would make an arguable difference, $700 for a group set, and $300 for a fork conversion and your at $2000. Pay LBS prices and labor, likely over $3000.
In the 200 range a used set of C24 / or kysuim would roll better then his current 32 spoke open4CDs. - if $1000 is in the budget why not. I do enjoy firecrest 404s more then the old flexy alum/carbon 404s.
a 300 fork/headset make over might not be any stiffer, lighter yes. An old kenisis carbon fork with and Alum steering column and a FSA 1inch thread less headset would be a cleaner setup then his current quill stem adapter.( if he hunts for them it can go under 150 bucks) A 1 inch Reynolds/Easton with a CK headset would be bling. (lighter too)
if he wants to stay with ultegra -- used 6800 can be assemble for well under 500.00 - moving to other 11 speed groups would even be less.

How much would a LBS labor cost ....I have no idea.
like any Resto project, the budget dictates how far you can go.
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Old 07-09-20, 02:31 PM
  #58  
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I've ridden a Trek 5200 - it was a very fine steed. Sure, carbon frame manufacturing has progressed such that a similarly-priced frame now will weigh 200-300 grams lighter, as long as you don't spec an aero-frame with disc brake mounts. If you do, then you're back to a 5200 frame weight. Unless you're willing to spend $3,000 for a UCI-level team-kit frame.


As far as the vague characteristic of 'ride quality', I have multiple bikes in each of carbon, steel, alu and titanium. I cannot tell the difference between them, as long as the wheels, bar, seatpost and saddle are the same. They sure sound different, but 90% of the 'ride quality' is due to tire inflation pressure. Possible exception: my beloved Vitus 979: this bike does indeed seem to ride 'soft' and 'compliant'.


Wheels: a $450 set of Campy Zonda's is as good as anyone needs. Bulletproof and sub 1.5kg. Or Fulcrum Racing 3's - essentially the same. Since clinchers are so fundamentally performance limited by the clincher rim profile relative to tubulars, spending any more on clinchers (tubeless or otherwise) is like hopping up a Ford Pinto with mag wheels and a spoiler. Tubular wheels are a complete quantum-level improvement in performance; there is no overlap.


Recommendations: get some lighter wheels and if you cannot deal with tubulars, then go for clinchers shod with Conti 5000's. Replace all of your cables/housing and get a carbon bar and post. Cherish your 9-speed shifters; Dura-Ace 7700 shifters are the smoothest and most precise Shimano STI levers ever, with Ultegra 6600 not far behind. Dura-Ace 7800 right up there as well.
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Old 07-09-20, 05:13 PM
  #59  
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Thread does not disappoint. Lol.
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Old 07-09-20, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
As far as the vague characteristic of 'ride quality', I have multiple bikes in each of carbon, steel, alu and titanium. I cannot tell the difference between them, as long as the wheels, bar, seatpost and saddle are the same. They sure sound different, but 90% of the 'ride quality' is due to tire inflation pressure. Possible exception: my beloved Vitus 979: this bike does indeed seem to ride 'soft' and 'compliant'.
You dont notice a difference in how a bike accelerates, how stiff the BB is when you drope the hamer or what a bike feels when cruising along and how planted a bike feels while cornering?
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Old 07-10-20, 12:35 PM
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I guess I really need to try out some varieties of stiffness, weight, and see how it compares to my current bike! I actually don't have much comparison experience for how different bikes differ in ride feel. I'm sure that will be interesting.

Are LBSs usually happy to let you take out a series of bikes to compare against? I suppose you kind of need to ride it at least for like 10 minutes to really tell any difference.
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Old 07-10-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
You dont notice a difference in how a bike accelerates, how stiff the BB is when you drope the hamer or what a bike feels when cruising along and how planted a bike feels while cornering?
Some of us just ride 'em and aren't too fussed about whether it's fruity or earthy, or what the afternotes are.

In all seriousness, I could probably tell the difference, but it'd be with riding back-to-back, or between seriously different geometries.

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Old 07-10-20, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
You dont notice a difference in how a bike accelerates, how stiff the BB is when you drope the hamer or what a bike feels when cruising along and how planted a bike feels while cornering?
Ha ha. Do you write reviews for BUYcycling magazine? Try this bike review:

Climbs like a methamphetamine-addicted monkey on crampons that is strapped to an ICBM.

Descends faster than monkey on crampons that is in a flooded submarine on a doomed world that is being sucked into a black hole.

Accelerates like a particle in a particle accelerator that itself is just a tiny particle in a giant particle accelerator.

Is as nimble as an animal rights advocate trying to chase down contestants in an Alabama greased pig catching contest.

Makes you cooler than if you were sipping cappuccinos outside of a trendy Milan café in your $5,000 Armani suit and $1,000 Armani loafers. Without socks of course. Makes you cooler than a supermodel reading Vogue Paris on a balcony overlooking the Champs-Élysées while Le Tour rolls by.

In summary, this bike was laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.


Some credit to Bike Snob NYC.
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Old 07-10-20, 04:33 PM
  #64  
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Reminds me of my description of riding my Battaglin MAX bike -

Accelerates like it's got a motor!
Descends like a falcon going after a dove!
Corners like it's on rails!
Climbs like an old fat guy on a 22# bike!
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Old 07-10-20, 06:30 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Thread does not disappoint. Lol.
Many of Dave's posts are gems. He claimed to love new technology, but constantly rails against.
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Old 07-10-20, 06:34 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Many of Dave's posts are gems. He claimed to love new technology, but constantly rails against.
It's good to know that that Trek frame/fork weighs the same as my R3 Disc, though it is unfortunate that my R3 doesn't ride any better than the ol' Trek.
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Old 07-10-20, 07:29 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post

3. Bikes at the mid to higher end don't generate crap for revenue in this industry so no...the only one trying to sell anyone on expensive new bikes is the OEM. The shop would be just as happy and actually turn a profit if they just sold you another $1500 bike.
I agree that a shop would make a lot more money doing all the upgrades in the service department. I don't follow all of where this came from or where this thread went, but if the OP is going to have a shop do a bunch of component swaps, they'll do fine.

Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Old bikes can be amazing and beautiful. Some can just be turd piles.

That carbon frame rides like crap. There are sooooo many better frames out today that you could buy from just about anyone. It was great at the time but it isn't worth really talking about.
I don't buy this. There was a former pro racer in my group that until recently often rode an old Trek 5900 frame that he stripped down to bare carbon and put Colnago stickers on, for whatever reason. Odd choice, but he tore the legs off everyone. I've got an old Madone 5.9 and a Trek Madone 9. They both work. I think the difference between a 10 or 15-year-old carbon frame and something new is exaggerated. The components and wheels have changed a lot more than the frames. If anything has changed, the geometry has gotten a little more relaxed and upright.

Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
9spd Shimano sucked. Bad. All over the place. If I had to place all of the decent Shimano road groups on a scale of good to bad the whole 9 speed generation would fall in second to last - last being occupied by that crappy first generation of Shimano turning the cables inside the levers. Using 9 speed levers is akin to turning 45 and making the mistake of trusting a fart. Worn out or well used 9 speed is just....no.
Yeah, you see the levers that lose shifts. I'd agree that the 7700 levers could crap out. I don't have a ton of experience with them riding them on personal bikes, but have seen them in shops more than 7800 stuff. But if the OP's levers are working and he's taken care of them, I don't see them as a time bomb. They'll probably do the job for several years.

Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Carbon layups don't have an infinite life. That frame has already lost a ton of what little good ride feel it actually had. Seriously - sell this thing to one of the people on here that is nostalgic about this and then go buy something old that was actually really good in steel or ti. Put some modern components on it and really lose yourself in how much better it all really has gotten.
It seems like encouraging him to buy a different old frame and new components is totally counter productive -- that'd be the least economical solution for him. All frames age, not just carbon, and if he's paying a shop to do the assembly (and many won't even touch that kind of stuff) it'll cost way more than just buying the latest mid-level Carbon Emonda or whatever he has his eye on.

I don't see a reason why he shouldn't keep riding this bike, or this bike with a few hundred dollars of upgrades. I also wouldn't fault him for just springing for a new $3,000 bike, give or take.

The crazy thing is, I remember being 14, 15, hanging out in a bike shop all the time, and it was just like this atmosphere of ride what you can, go for it. Here's some solid advice, but it doesn't really matter -- there will be a group of us going out tomorrow at 7 and we're thinking like 80 miles.

I hope that's the attitude we all offer.
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Old 07-10-20, 11:49 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Ha ha. Do you write reviews for BUYcycling magazine? Try this bike review:

Climbs like a methamphetamine-addicted monkey on crampons that is strapped to an ICBM.

Descends faster than monkey on crampons that is in a flooded submarine on a doomed world that is being sucked into a black hole.

Accelerates like a particle in a particle accelerator that itself is just a tiny particle in a giant particle accelerator.

Is as nimble as an animal rights advocate trying to chase down contestants in an Alabama greased pig catching contest.

Makes you cooler than if you were sipping cappuccinos outside of a trendy Milan café in your $5,000 Armani suit and $1,000 Armani loafers. Without socks of course. Makes you cooler than a supermodel reading Vogue Paris on a balcony overlooking the Champs-Élysées while Le Tour rolls by.

In summary, this bike was laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.


Some credit to Bike Snob NYC.
I was trying to be polite and give you the benefit of the doubt, despite the volume of sheer, unmitigated nonsense you have been posting on this thread.

The fact that you couldnt not answer my question but deflected by setting up a strawman indicates the lack of any kind of thinking going on before your fingers hit the keyboard. Go back to shouting at clouds.

Last edited by guadzilla; 07-11-20 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 07-11-20, 10:15 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Reminds me of my description of riding my Battaglin MAX bike -
Accelerates like it's got a motor!
Descends like a falcon going after a dove!
Corners like it's on rails!
Climbs like an old fat guy on a 22# bike!
Lol, that's quite funny. A couple of friends of mine have just bought the new Battaglin Portofino LE, I will make sure i sent it to them.

My favorite is Orbea:
"There are plenty of great bikes that offer flexibility, a relaxed, neutral position and mellow handling. Orca is not one of them – Orca is designed for the guy who has already ridden 6000kms in February and can somehow sustain 500 watts in the middle of winter. The guy whose legs look like they are chiseled directly from the local mountains, the guy you have NEVER beaten, and is always ready to make the pace. Orca is for professionals, hardmen, hardwomen and dedicated weirdos that have never even consider quitting early. Orca is for riders who spend so much time talking about watts and training that you wouldn’t dream of inviting them to your party, and they wouldn’t come anyway because it’s past their bedtime. Orca isn’t for everyone – Do you want to be fast?"

Do you wanna be fast, punk? Well, do you?
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Old 07-11-20, 11:42 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Lol, that's quite funny. A couple of friends of mine have just bought the new Battaglin Portofino LE, I will make sure i sent it to them.
Oooo, the Portofino! Beautiful! I am envious, but my MAX has pantographed lugs and fork crown, chrome chainstay, etc.

I left out "Rides like a truck!" MAX tubes are lots of things, but compliant isn't one of them. Still, I took the old girl out for a ride last night, last ride before a refit, and DANG! Was she game! I got 9 PRs on a road that I've ridden 250 times on Strava, including when I was 6 years younger and 10 lbs lighter.


Sadly, white saddles don't stay white. They're not dyed, really. They're painted, and the paint rubs off.
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Old 07-11-20, 12:01 PM
  #71  
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That must be new tape. The bike I have on my trainer in the basement for Zwifting got new white tape in April and it's already nasty where I grab it even though the bike hasn't been outside and my hands are usually pretty clean before any ride.
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Old 07-11-20, 02:55 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Man, that's a gorgeous bike. One of my friends who has ordered the Portofino already has another Battaglin and he mentions how it is designed to be a modern bike, meant to go fast, not a retro bike intended more for display.

I'm seriously thinking of getting a Battaglin or a Pegoretti, with their one-off paint jobs. They look amazing and should also be good to ride. Photos like yours arent helping!
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Old 07-11-20, 02:55 PM
  #73  
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Yeah, the tape was pretty new. It's a lot dirtier now, a couple years later. Plus I got a pair of black gloves, which seem to bleed dye onto white tape. Giro sells the same glove in white. Maybe I need a pair for riding this bike?
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Old 07-11-20, 03:06 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Man, that's a gorgeous bike. One of my friends who has ordered the Portofino already has another Battaglin and he mentions how it is designed to be a modern bike, meant to go fast, not a retro bike intended more for display.

I'm seriously thinking of getting a Battaglin or a Pegoretti, with their one-off paint jobs. They look amazing and should also be good to ride. Photos like yours arent helping!
Thanks! I wanted a bike to ride, too, not a wallhanger. When I built it up in 2007, everything was modern. Now? It's retro again.

I bought it as a frameset on Ebay. When I got it, it had one of those early-90s blue/yellow fade paint jobs. I had it stripped and redone as you see by the guy who used to paint Ritchey frames. Then I built it up with Chris King headset, Phil Wood BB, the rest all the last generation of polished alloy Chorus. Along the way I got an American Classic seatpost (27.4, try finding those!), and custom wheels with White Industries hubs. After cracking TWO aluminum stems I found a TTT Chrome Corsa. Since it's MAX tubing, and I'm a big guy, it made sense to build it bombproof. I nicknamed it "Dreadnought".
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Old 07-11-20, 08:30 PM
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If you are in SF (based on your SF craigslist ads), rent a modern bike and take it out for an all day ride. My bike is also getting old, a 2005 Kuota Kredo with Campy Chorus 10, not quite as old as yours but still old and I rented a Specialized Roubaix with 105 11sp on it when I was in SF in November. I took it into Marin up some hills there and some hills in the city and did 45 miles total. It was an eye opening experience. The components work better, the road feel is much smoother, the climbing was easier with the much lower gearing, but you don't give up the high gearing either. It had a suspension stem and disc brakes and wider tires. It all added up to a much nicer experience. When I got back and realized I'd done 45 miles I was amazed as I didn't feel beat up at all, and this is with the hills that I'm not used to here in NYC and the SF fog that I wasn't prepared for so I was cold off and on. I have since upgraded my bike with a Shockstop stem, and with wider GP5000 tires. These partially took care of the road feel but not completely.

The flip side of this is that I just fixed up an even older Cannondale with new levers and calipers (the old ones barely stopped) and I took that for a spin yesterday and was surprised at how well that bike handled. It was from the late 80s so really getting old with 6sp. It was for my daughter who has fallen in love with this bike for some reason. It was sitting in my basement and my wife had bought it new and then never used it so it didn't cost anything other than the brake upgrade. I put an almost new GP4000 on the front and I have another GP5000 for the rear that I haven't gotten to yet. The GP5000 is a 23 that I replaced with a 25 and a 28.

Ride what you have with some modest upgrades, but consider what you'd get in something new too and save your pennies. I considered looking at new but at my age anything new would easily outlast my riding years. I'd be 80 by the time I'm in the same position again with an older bike. Even in 5 years at 70 I doubt I'll be able to push 800 watts like I can still do now. If I had a new bike I'd be dead at 65 because my wife would kill me if I got yet another bike.

Last edited by zacster; 07-11-20 at 08:40 PM.
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