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Oldest bike in active service/rotation?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: Oldest bike in active service?
Less than 10 years old. Newer is always better!
5
6.02%
10-19 years old. Rim brake heyday is where it's at!
12
14.46%
20-29 years old. Reliving the Lance/Ullrich/Pantani/Riis era!
16
19.28%
30+ years old. Steel is real! Or... who needs indexed shifting?
50
60.24%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

Oldest bike in active service/rotation?

Old 02-23-24, 10:33 AM
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Oldest bike in active service/rotation?

I just posted in my other thread about carbon steerers (tl;dr: getting the carbon fork on my Lynskey replaced, riding my Bianchi exclusively for now), and that got me thinking: My Bianchi is a 2004 model that I purchased as a leftover in 2005. She's still running Ultegra 6500 3x9. I replaced her nearly worn-out wheels last fall, and she's gotten nearly 600 miles on her since November. All goes well, I'll be taking her on a short ride this afternoon, and a 50 miler with some people tomorrow. One of them would've been 10yrs old when I bought my Bianchi. For that matter, I've owned the Bianchi for just about half my life (I'm 39).

So my question to the gallery: within the following criteria, what's the oldest bike that you guys are still actively riding?
- Age should be counted from the frame. Model year or date of purchase are both valid
- Substantially similar: most non-wear items are same/similar vintage to the frame when you got it. Fork, derailleurs, crankset, brakes? Understandably, tires/chain/gears/cables/saddle wear down much more quickly, and bars are more personal preference. Just want to exclude "Neo retro" builds that might have a 40yr old frame with Di2 - I'd say that's not substantially similar
- Gets at least ~1 ride per month in season, and maybe at least ~200mi or ~300km each year. In other words, more than the 3mi into town to hang out at the coffee shop, and definitely one that's not just a grocery getter/spin around the park with the kiddos. Doesn't have to be epic, but something that'll break a sweat.

For me, it's obviously my Bianchi. I keep her home when it's likely to be wet, or if I'm doing a bigger/longer descent - brake modulation and slightly fatter tires on the Lynskey make her a more confident descender, but otherwise she's definitely in rotation - if I'm riding 3x in a week, chances are at least one of them will be on the Bianchi (provided it didn't just rain the day before).

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Old 02-23-24, 10:49 AM
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It's a Peugeot from maybe 1973, but not certain. May have been repainted, but not certain.
Single speed and it was ridden almost 200mi last year. It's a very specific use case bike, but fun to use for the short 6-10mi trips that are 1 or 2x/week.
Interesting geometry- the chainstays are like 460mm and the head tube angle is steep, like 74+ deg.
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Old 02-23-24, 11:03 AM
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I do have a 20ish year old Cannondale CAAD5 w/Dura-ace and Saeco team colors, but I rarely ride it. I have a steel frame hanging from my shop ceiling that's 35 years old.

My oldest regularly-ridden bike is my 10 year old Canyon Ultimate. I haven't owned it since new, rather it was a frame I acquired to complement my newer disc-brake Endurace from 2020.

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Old 02-23-24, 11:11 AM
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Miyata City Liner, touring bike, (Edit: 1998), it’s my grocery getter and tourer. Well built bike. Has a “Peckham” sticker to honor a cycling friend who built bikes and carved mt bike trails. Passed away a few years ago,

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Old 02-23-24, 12:00 PM
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With all those parameters, it'd have to be "Old Tom", my 1995 Ritchey Road Logic, purchased new as a closeout in 1997 (1/3 off!) because it had 8 speed Dura Ace when the 9 speed had just come out. I had it repainted in 2007, and swapped the 8sp 7400 series STIs and RD for 7800 to give me more and smaller gears in 2019, but otherwise it's substantially the same bike.
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Old 02-23-24, 12:52 PM
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I bought this new in the late 80's. It is my cottage bicycle. This bike has Shimano New 600 indexed shifting with 6 gears. For some unknown reason, this is the quietest drivetrain that I have ever encountered. It weighs approximately 22.5 pounds.
The following are all minor notes, no big deal: I have lowered the stem as far as it can go, but it is still too high for me. The bars are thin and not comfortable. I had changed the stock 600 brake levers to some low end levers so I could hide the cables against the bars. No low granny gears, so I suffer on some hills due to a lack of fitness - it is not the bike's fault. The majority of the roads in the area are really rough. I am running 23mm. I think I have enough room for 25mm, once these wear out, or more likely time/rot out. Do you like how I use white electrical tape to hold the pump? Not having two water bottle carriers is about the biggest annoyance.

I have toyed with the idea of purchasing a more modern used bike. I have also contemplated spreading the frame and modernizing the drive train. Both rejected due to costs, and the fact that despite my comments above, I still love riding this bike. The only area that would like to improve is the bar height, bar diameter and hoods. Any ideas?
Also, I am just as slow on this old bicycle as I am on my newer 17.1 pound carbon bike.

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Old 02-23-24, 01:25 PM
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A 72 Lejeune that I need to take a pic of. I was thinking the other day, "Maybe I need a gravel bike in case I want to ride some gravel." Then it dawned on me, that bike was made in France in 1972. If there's any bike suited for riding on crappy roads/terrain, that's the one. It's sports 27" x 1 1/4" tires on touring rims. It has fenders, barcons and a triple. I could take the fenders off and stuff bigger tires on it, or 700c and monster tires. I think I'm good to go.
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Old 02-23-24, 03:10 PM
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20 year old Gunnar Roadiie. Still in the rotation for flatter rides but at 72 when to road goes up something else comes out.




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Old 02-23-24, 04:08 PM
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1985 Miyata 1000 with slightly more modern parts.
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Old 02-23-24, 04:39 PM
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Because I brought it back from defunct state a couple years back, my '83 Colnago. I ride it, not frequently, and enjoy it even while observing the fit is not what I recall, I suspect from a compacting back affecting my reach. My newest is half a year old and gets more use. In between are several others filling in that 83-24 span.
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Old 02-23-24, 04:40 PM
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Since the mid-70s, I have purchased a new primary top-tier bike every three years at maximum. However, in the 90s, I put this on hold due to financial constraints from my mortgage, kids, and starting a business. But since then, I plan on continuing this schedule or even upgrading to a more aggressive one until I can no longer ride. I sell the bikes after use and keep them in top condition, so I only need to pay an upgrade fee. Since I usually buy them at wholesale prices, any losses are reasonable. I am due next year for a new endurance bike, I am excited already!
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Old 02-23-24, 05:01 PM
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My oldest bike in service is a 1986 Klein Quantum.
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Old 02-23-24, 05:06 PM
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My three bikes are 3.5 years, 3.0 years, and .5 years old.

Newer is better.
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Old 02-23-24, 08:44 PM
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1957 Carlton:



Yes, I regularly ride it and a couple of others that are a little younger. I like the disc brakes and brifters on my more modern bikes but I get a lot of pleasure out of riding the older ones too.
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Old 02-23-24, 09:02 PM
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Technically it is the Phil Wood bike which the frame is from 1994 and the groupset is mid to late 80s Dura Ace 74xx but it was built more recently so not current tech but I bought it as a frame and build it up with a vintage groupset with modern vintage compatible parts (Phil Wood hubs and B.B., Chris King headset, Nitto Ergo bars, Vittoria Corsa G+ tires...) I am hoping to ride her more this year. I am thinking I want to swap the stem and give myself a little more rise. Obviously going to a MTB stem would be sacrilege but I did build the bike for looks and now I am realizing comfort is more a priority now.


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Old 02-23-24, 10:31 PM
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'76 Fredo Speciale

Seat, stem, bar tape, and cables are newer, as is the powder coating and the triplizer. It gets around.



Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona
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Old 02-24-24, 10:55 AM
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These days I do the vast majority of my riding on modern bikes, my oldest remaining bike from the 1970's is really just for display at this point and I sold/gave away the rest of my vintage collection already. But I do have a 1993 Giant Allegre that I ride semi-regularly. The parts are not from 1993, but it does have downtube shifters so the ride experience is definitely old fashioned.

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Old 02-24-24, 12:47 PM
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Wow, lots of bikes from the 70s through 90s, and one from the 50s! Keep ‘em coming!

For those of you with more experience on pre-STI steeds: are there any big differences between bikes from the 50s through the late 80s? I know they were predominantly steel, with non-indexed downtube shifters. At some point rear dropout spacing increased to 130mm, number of gears went up, and (I think) indexed shifting happened just before the shift to shifter/brake combos, but as far as I’m aware, those are all changes that happened in the latter half of the 80s through early 90s. Lugs vs brazing vs welds? Butting? Bottom bracket standards? Or could a 1956 frame be sold in 1976 with few/no changes?
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Old 02-24-24, 10:19 PM
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My winter commuter is about 10 years old. It is a Lynskey Ridgeline that I have made into a ridgid fork drop bar bike.

Disc brakes, check.
Carbon Fiber wheels, check.
Tubeless tires, check.
Fancy modern group set, Ekar so check.

Keeps me riding all winter.
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Old 02-24-24, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Wow, lots of bikes from the 70s through 90s, and one from the 50s! Keep ‘em coming!

For those of you with more experience on pre-STI steeds: are there any big differences between bikes from the 50s through the late 80s? I know they were predominantly steel, with non-indexed downtube shifters. At some point rear dropout spacing increased to 130mm, number of gears went up, and (I think) indexed shifting happened just before the shift to shifter/brake combos, but as far as I’m aware, those are all changes that happened in the latter half of the 80s through early 90s. Lugs vs brazing vs welds? Butting? Bottom bracket standards? Or could a 1956 frame be sold in 1976 with few/no changes?
There were definitely plenty of improvements during those decades: new steel tubesets were developed and that allowed for lighter/stiffer frames, aluminum replaced steel for rims and many components for weight savings and better braking, high pressure clincher rims became a viable alternative to tubulars, square taper cranks replaced cottered, and slant parallelogram and b-spring rear derailers improved shifting before indexing came along.
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Old 02-25-24, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
My three bikes are 3.5 years, 3.0 years, and .5 years old.

Newer is better.
Nope.
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Old 02-25-24, 03:57 AM
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My oldest is a 2021 I bought new in 22. My newest is a 2024 that’s not fully built.
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Old 02-25-24, 05:13 AM
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From a 1972 PX10 to a 2022 Canyon Endurace, it's a nice 50 year delta.
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Old 02-25-24, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by oxman
The only area that would like to improve is the bar height, bar diameter and hoods. Any ideas?
A couple of thoughts. The stem looks very short, like 60mm. It could be a longer reach would fit better. If that reach is what's comfortable, then I think a quill-threadless adapter and a flipped stem can get the bars lowest and can fit any handlebar out there. Choose the bars first, and get the stem to fit. Since I'm spending your money, Tektro makes brake levers that have a modern hood shape. I think they're very comfy.
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Old 02-25-24, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Wow, lots of bikes from the 70s through 90s, and one from the 50s! Keep ‘em coming!

For those of you with more experience on pre-STI steeds: are there any big differences between bikes from the 50s through the late 80s? I know they were predominantly steel, with non-indexed downtube shifters. At some point rear dropout spacing increased to 130mm, number of gears went up, and (I think) indexed shifting happened just before the shift to shifter/brake combos, but as far as I’m aware, those are all changes that happened in the latter half of the 80s through early 90s. Lugs vs brazing vs welds? Butting? Bottom bracket standards? Or could a 1956 frame be sold in 1976 with few/no changes?
The scale of improvements/changes are perceived differently by different people. The bicycle used by riders to go off the pavement has evolved dramatically. But on the road side, mostly refinements. Derailleurs/multiple gears was a big development. Shifters moved around and eventually settled on the handlebars as the preferred choice. Braking is going from rim based to discs. Frame/ components materials have changed/evolved. Along the way, with each development, the bike has got more gears, or less gears. With each development, the bike has become lighter, or heavier, more aero, or less aero. It's become more user friendly, or less depending on who's talking about it. By and large, more or less, it's the same "safety bike" that replaced the Penny Farthing. The one thing that hasn't changed at all, at least on BF, is people arguing/discussing every possible aspect about it. Time marches on.

Edit: I forgot about bikes that aren't human powered or assist the user. Even those aren't new. They've been around for generations. They just went by different names like mopeds.

Last edited by seypat; 02-25-24 at 10:10 AM.
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