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Are old bikes too bad?

paldredpaldred Posts: 25
If i was to buy a old bike say from 10 years ago, would i be so out of place to race and would it be too difficult to get seroius on a retro bike.

Basically is it worth it getting an old bike seeing as their cheaper but would it be a waste of time?

Thanks

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    The frame I race on is 8 years old - it's the legs, lungs and heart that make the difference, despite what the marketing folk will tell you. Importantly, it needs to fit you and is reliable. That said, relatively, bike prices have reduced - 10 years ago, most top range frames were aluminium and sold for £1000 plus, whereas you can pick up a comparable frame today for a few hundred. An older bike is likely to need replacement parts too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    10 years old, not too much of a problem, 15-20 then you may start wishing it was newer.
  • I bought a giant CFR road bike in 1996 and raced on it for 13 years with no problems. I bought a new bike at the start of this year and have suffered with knee and hamstring problems. The geometry of the new bike is different and I just cannot get into a position that does not cause me some kind of niggle. I am just fixing up the old bike and will be back to racing and training on it again soon, even if it is 14 years old.

    The new bike feels more comfortable and the gears are a bit smoother but in terms of performance, if I put my racing wheels on each bike the difference is very small. A bike that fits and allows consistent training is more important in my opinion.
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    Good comparison in one of the mags couple of months ago (forget which, Sport or Procycling), 80's Pinarello vs. a new carbon machine, a pro team rode both & they hated the 80s model, couldn't steer it, couldn't climb, flexible as hell - they came out with huge respect for the results of the 80s men, and the bike mag test showed that there were serious time benefits as a result of the new technologies.
    That said, agree with the posts ref. last 15 years & choice of wheels, and a great bike will not help an unfit rider.
    My knees hurt !
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    Sorry, it was definitely Procycling !
    My knees hurt !
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Last month, I borrowed a mate's 1980's steel bike, which weighs the same as my modern machine, and matched my personal best time for a particular climb on it. I just set it up to fit me like my other bike and it was almost identical.

    Perhaps over 100 miles or so, you may start to notice slight decreases in times from slight mechanical inefficiencies or whatever, but I certainly didn't really feel any different over 35 miles on a 25+yr old bike.
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    That's quite interesting Bhima & not what Procycling concluded, did you feel it flexed more ? Was it positive on the descents ?
    I would have thought you would have noticed the flex on the hill, but interesting to note it was around the same weight as your current steed, so must have been a top of the line machine from the '80s.
    Can you tell us make vs. make ?
    My knees hurt !
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Takis61 wrote:
    Good comparison in one of the mags couple of months ago ... 80's Pinarello ... flexible as hell
    I find this very hard to believe. Although they've improved in stiffness over the last 4-5 years, still about half of the carbon bikes on the market, irrespective of price level, don't reach the stiffness of a 1990s light frame made with Columbus SLX steel.
  • volvicsparvolvicspar Posts: 208
    I'm inclined not to believe a magazine that has advertisers to please :-)
  • 211dave112211dave112 Posts: 125
    I ride an "older" bike. From what I can tell the frame, a Puch Mistral 531, is from the late 80's with bits and bobs added over the years. It rides really well, better than a lot of the budget bikes i rode when looking for my first road bike. It's light as well, my dad has an old raleigh dyna-tech ti from the mid 90's and i find my bike much more forgiving and comfortable whilst being a similar weight. I'd have no issues racing my bike, not seriously perhaps but i'm sure it'd hold up to some light racing.
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    Depends on how good that 10 year old bike was when new. But top end frames from 10 years ago are still fine for racing. Used the saved money to buy good wheels.
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    Hi knedlicky, just reporting what the French pro-team found when riding it, there were several riders in the comparison, not just the journalist.
    I think the key issue is the quality of the 80's bike maybe ?
    Have to say I would quite like to do a rescue job & restore an old 80's steel bike.
    My knees hurt !
  • beckcdbeckcd Posts: 22
    I'm still riding my eddy merckx MX Leader. Which I bought in 1992 and it still rides like a dream.

    But then if I had 4 grand to spend then I would buy a new Serotta or Seven but I don't.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Takis61 wrote:
    That's quite interesting Bhima & not what Procycling concluded, did you feel it flexed more ? Was it positive on the descents ?
    I would have thought you would have noticed the flex on the hill, but interesting to note it was around the same weight as your current steed, so must have been a top of the line machine from the '80s.
    Can you tell us make vs. make ?

    It was a bike made by Colnago, not sure which one exactly but it weighs 19lbs exactly. My current "good" bike is a Kuota Kharma and with my heavy aero wheels it's 18.96lbs, or about 8 and a half kilos.

    I didn't notice much "flex", but, then again, I wasn't hammering it hard out of the saddle or anything, as I tend to climb better seated. The handlebars did feel a little flexible but it was more of a feeling of "maybe a bolt needs tightening somewhere...".

    On a steep hill, which hovers around 18-22%, the lowest gear was very high, so seated I was obviously pushing round the entire pedalling circle and I didn't notice any inefficiencies in the drivetrain at all. It's times like those where you really "feel" a frame and how efficiently it's putting your power into motion.

    Maybe I haven't ridden it enough though. I might ask for another session on it.
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