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Old road bikes and weight.

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Old road bikes and weight.

Old 09-04-14, 12:30 PM
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TheRef
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Old road bikes and weight.

I'm thinking of buying a nice steel road bike, something from the 70's of 80's. Here is the thing.

I know nothing about older bikes, other than think that they look cool.

My Fuji Gran Fondo weights about 18lbs and I know that some top of the line bikes now are sub 15lbs.

What was the weight of top of the line bikes from the 60's, 70's and 80's? Was there a gradual weight reduction or it was a more sudden thing? (nor counting the move to carbon)
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Old 09-04-14, 12:38 PM
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About 20-21 lbs for a good race bikes. If you tried hard, 19 was possible.
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Old 09-04-14, 12:38 PM
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Fun thread.

My bike from the late 80's was an SL-tubed Rossin with 600 components and went at 20lbs ready to race. This was with 32 hole Open4CDs, Cinelli bar and stem.

Considered pretty light for the era. BTW, the bike road great.
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Old 09-04-14, 12:46 PM
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You might want to talk to the C&V dudes. (I'm assuming the majority are dudes. )

I personally would try to save up for a new steel bike, or at least new components. An 80s era bike will very likely have a good ride feel, but will use old-style rims (i.e. no folding tires) and downtube shifters (blech).
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Old 09-04-14, 12:53 PM
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I still ride my 1980s race frame, with a budget conversion to modern Campy 10 speed.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
An 80s era bike will very likely have a good ride feel, but will use old-style rims (i.e. no folding tires) and downtube shifters (blech).
No folding tires? If it has a clincher rim, yes, it can use folding tires. Nothing wrong with downtube shifters. The bike I select to ride 3/4 of the time has DT's. You shift without even thinking and you don't have a whole wad of cable housing in front of your head tube, much cleaner look. There's a four pound difference between all three of my bikes and it has no affect on my average speed.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:39 PM
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My 86 Gazelle Champion Mondial (531c tubes) is 20lbs with a Campy 10-speed drivetrain and 32-spoke Open Pros. Our typical rides around here are flat with plenty of crosswinds and crappy pavement. This bike just excels on those rides.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:47 PM
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21 pounds or so was pretty normal. My 1990 team miyata which was just a great racing bike weighed around that much built up with a suntour superbe gruppo. It also had splined triple butted tubing and investment cast lugs, BB, and fork crown. Beautiful machine but no light weight for a top end (in its day) racing bike.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:55 PM
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It is pretty easy to equip a vintage 4.0-4.5 lb steel frame (only) in such a way as to give a total bike weight of 16 lb or so (sans pedals, bottle cages, and computer mounts) by modernizing with a carbon fork and up-to-date components. If you want to keep the look of vintage parts, however, the total weight will be much higher as described by other folks above.
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Old 09-04-14, 02:53 PM
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My take on this - noob here, but I've gone through a pretty quick learning curve over the past few months. I am a road rider and I ride a 24 year old steel bike, so I can certainly provide some insight at least to my own recent trial-and-error experience.

When I joined an organized riding club earlier this year, the intention was to cruise around on my vintage steel bikes and smugly enjoy their retro-superior vibe. As of June 2014, all of my bikes had downtube shifters, tall Nitto quill stems, flat or toe-clip pedals, lugs, and Brooks saddles. I scoffed at Carbon roadie chic with all of the disdain that too much time on the Internet can instill.

However, I very quickly learned that I really like to ride as fast as I can, and I prefer to ride with faster, more experienced riders who are smooth and predictable. And I wondered, can I really ride in a tight paceline at 20 mph on a 21 lb steel bike with downtube shifters and toe clips and actually "fit in" (mechanically, not socially) with guys and gals on CF with brifters and clipless pedals?

The point of this is that, naturally, I started to tweak and upgrade and change things to suit the reality of riding in a modern co-operative setting, but the things I felt needed changing are NOT what I would have expected.

I quickly ditched the toe clips and got proper clipless pedals and road shoes.
The tall Nitto stem got swapped for a long, low stem that allowed for a more aggressive/aero position
The Noodle bar got swapped for a lighter ugly ergo-bend bar in ghastly matte black paint

So far that's all I've felt that I needed to change. The bike is still a 20-ish lb steel bike and it hasn't held me back. Surprisingly, I LOVE the downtube shifters. They're intuitive and convenient. I find that the ability to drop 7 cogs and shift/trim chainrings instantaneously and one-handed outweighs the occasional need to sit briefly on an ascent to shift. And I hear a lot of chain rubbing and drivetrain noise coming from "modern" drivetrains whereas my bike is silent and shifts with a reliable "chunk."
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Old 09-04-14, 03:25 PM
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1972 Atala frame, very, very large, with 27" (not 700) wheels, and all Campy top of the line parts for the era. Sits at 26 lbs with pedals and cages. Working on the wheels alone, I could probable get it down to 24.
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Old 09-04-14, 04:24 PM
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Can't speak to the weight of vintage bikes, but I rode in a sportive recently with a guy riding an '80s-looking Marinoni steel frame and a brand new Super Record drivetrain; the bike looked amazing, and I on my carbon race bike was only able to hold his wheel for an hour or so before he just effortlessly accelerated away. That bike undoubtedly weighed more than mine; it's the rider that makes the difference. In a race, with other riders of similar ability, sure, a few extra pounds can be a huge difference; but for recreational riding, even at a high level, I doubt you'd be significantly held back by an old-school frame - and they do look super cool.
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Old 09-04-14, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
You might want to talk to the C&V dudes. (I'm assuming the majority are dudes. )

I personally would try to save up for a new steel bike, or at least new components. An 80s era bike will very likely have a good ride feel, but will use old-style rims (i.e. no folding tires) and downtube shifters (blech).
This is what I did. I bought a Ironman Master and road it for a while with stock 600 group but right now it is in the middle of conversion to brand new 5700 105 group.
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Old 09-04-14, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
I know nothing about older bikes, other than think that they look cool.

Was there a gradual weight reduction or it was a more sudden thing? (nor counting the move to carbon)
They do look cool, and perform very well even today.

Race frames evolved in Europe to reflect the improved road surfaces of the post-WWII era but always preserved the ability to go very fast on the pave'.
Paving Alpine roads was the genesis of "modern" frame design not the tubesets or the famous boutique frame builders.
Weight hovered in the 20-24lb range for frame size & stage conditions for decades until reliable aluminum & CF frame construction was the norm.

A "classic" road race bike today is a lively dependable machine, fitted w/ modern drivetrain a more efficient machine.

Bike weight has/is never been a significant factor in race performance despite what the mfgs. are selling.
Good kit will see you through in competition, a good program will give you the legs and heart you really need.
It's not about the hardware, and never has been.

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Old 09-04-14, 07:15 PM
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Follow up question to my original question. I don't really plan to race nor ride fast with whatever old bike I end up getting.
My Fuji Gran fondo even with it's relax endurance geometry is pretty fast specially when I drop the stem all the way down the spacers.
That said, when did the "relaxed" or "endurance" geometry emerged? Do old models vary a lot in terms of geometry like modern bikes do or they are more like the racing geometry?
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Old 09-05-14, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
That said, when did the "relaxed" or "endurance" geometry emerged? Do old models vary a lot in terms of geometry like modern bikes do or they are more like the racing geometry?
Versatile lightweight frames designed for club riders were always available "back when".
The British "Clubman" or French Randonneur designs were lively fast machines capable of very long distances at pace on the rough secondary roads of the day.
Fit mudguards, a seatbag or handlebar bag and go for a weekend tour.
Fit the "sprint" tubular wheel set, remove the mudguards and race in the club time trial with the same bike.

Current "endurance" CF framesets lack the versatility of the classic clubman's designs since fender fitment is generally lacking, a serious oversight in my opinion.

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Old 09-05-14, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Follow up question to my original question. I don't really plan to race nor ride fast with whatever old bike I end up getting.
My Fuji Gran fondo even with it's relax endurance geometry is pretty fast specially when I drop the stem all the way down the spacers.
That said, when did the "relaxed" or "endurance" geometry emerged? Do old models vary a lot in terms of geometry like modern bikes do or they are more like the racing geometry?
Vintage bikes vary just like new ones do. An old steel bike that takes long reach sidepulls and has eyelets will generally make a fine endurance bike as well. There are modern steel "endurance" bikes as well like the surly pacer and the soma es.
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Old 09-05-14, 08:48 AM
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Got a brand new Cannondale CAAD 10, (18lbs) and also own a 1987 Schwinn Prelude (24lbs). The Schwinn has a slightly nicer ride to it than the Cannondale, but, the CAAD is much faster. Love both of them.
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Old 09-05-14, 09:39 AM
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http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...eel-rides.html

Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
What was the weight of top of the line bikes from the 60's, 70's and 80's? Was there a gradual weight reduction or it was a more sudden thing?)
I've got a few steel bikes I've upgraded to 8, 9 and 10 speed drivetrains with DT or bar end shifters and reasonably light wheelsets. They give up nothing to my 18 pound 10 speed STI equipped bike.
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Old 09-05-14, 09:52 AM
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I don't think bike weight within a few pounds of each other really makes that big of a difference. My De Rosa EL-OS weighs in at about 20lbs my Titus Ti weighs in at about 18lbs and my Colnago C40 HP weighs about 16lbs, and to be honest I really don't notice the weight difference between them when riding each one.

What I do notice is the handling of each one, different geometry, and that's what I enjoy the most about them. They all feel different on the road and each one excels in different ways.
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Old 09-05-14, 10:53 PM
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The oldest of my two steel road bikes weighs in at 21.9 lbs with kona wah wah pedals. The newer of the two steel road bikes has STIs and weighs 22.7 lbs

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Old 09-06-14, 12:44 AM
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My 1st bike was old when I bought it in the winter of 70/71 and may help give an idea about what older bikes can be like.

I'd gone to a bike shop to buy a Raleigh folding bike to ride around London. After taking the Raleigh for a spin around the block I asked if they had anything else I should consider and they pointed to an old bike in the corner. As it seemed a lot lighter, I tried it.

After riding that old bike around the block, there was no way I was walking out without it.

It turned out that the old bike was hand built with Reynolds 531 tubing, 10 speed Campy Record gears, Campy cranks and pedals, bar end shifters, and tubular tyres. It was a large but shortish frame and weighed somewhere in the 20-22lb range with seat and pedals. It was very responsive, went like a rocket and had apparently been used for time trials.

I imagine that the bike dated from the late fifties or early 60's but the frame could have been older.

I would guess that if you could find one like it, it would still be quite rideable in groups but not quite as fast as a good modern bike.

I wish I still had it.
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Old 09-06-14, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Versatile lightweight frames designed for club riders were always available "back when".
The British "Clubman" or French Randonneur designs were lively fast machines capable of very long distances at pace on the rough secondary roads of the day.
Fit mudguards, a seatbag or handlebar bag and go for a weekend tour.
Fit the "sprint" tubular wheel set, remove the mudguards and race in the club time trial with the same bike.

Current "endurance" CF framesets lack the versatility of the classic clubman's designs since fender fitment is generally lacking, a serious oversight in my opinion.

-Bandera

My 1955 Raleigh Lenton is that classic club bike and it has time trialled, been raced, and is a great distance bike. It does hit the curb at close to 30 pounds as it is straight gauge 531 with no alloy bits... there was still not that much faith in aluminium in Britain and "All Steel" was an important selling point.



On the other hand, my mid 70's Ron Cooper was designed for racing and handles longer distances exceptionally well... it hits the curb at around 21-22 pounds.

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Old 09-06-14, 09:43 PM
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My '86 Trek Pro Series weighs 21Lbs. I also have a custom build on an '88 Cannondale Criterium Series that weighs sub-18.
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Old 09-06-14, 10:00 PM
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26lbs. It could do with a lighter rear wheel, crank, and seatpost. Climbs and descends like a dream though.
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