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Getting back into road cycling, should I buy new or restore?(4 posts)

Getting back into road cycling, should I buy new or restore?Hambones
Jul 24, 2001 4:08 PM
Hi folks,

I have been out of road cycling for about 10 years. I have the itch to get back into training, and wonder what I should do. I have the Raleigh Gran Prix that I bought back in '88 (I think) when I was around 14 or 15. The frame geometry will still fit for the most part because I kept riding it until I was 18 or so... then got into mountain biking. However, the bike needs a complete overhaul with basically all components. I need advice: should I purchase the new components, as well as all the tools (I'd like to do it myself) and restore this old bike, or should I go out and purchase a decent new bike to get started again with? Any thoughts??

I'd appreciate some feedback. Thanks!
start overgrandemamou
Jul 24, 2001 4:17 PM
Alot has changed since 88. There are lots of low to med. range bikes out there that would be a vast improvementover what you have. A friend in a similar situation started road riding again and had a mid 80's colnago with a mix of campy and Ofmega. He bought a close out trek with ultegra for about 1200 bucks and was amazed at the difference in componants.
Go Newgrzy mnky
Jul 24, 2001 4:21 PM
Here's the deal you can spend a small fortune to buy the individual parts and you'll still be riding a heavy vintage bike, not that this is all bad. The new bikes on the market today are a huge improvement and you get to take advantage of all the latest technology for a price that won't be too much more unless you go high end. I believe that someone from one of the bike mags wrote a bok a few years ago called "Upgrading Your Bike." It goes into all the ins and outs, but the bottom line is once your bike is about 10 years old there is a quantum leap that can't really be upgraded to. They reccommend that you keep the older bike as a vintage machine and use it for riding around town doing errands or as a buddy bike. I've kept my old late 70's Motobecane like this while newer rides have come and gone.

Build yourself a little spreadsheet and figure out the component cost and add a factor for labor/headaches. Also realize that some of the new components won't fit unless you do some modifications and/or go high end. The rear dropout spacing comes to mind but it can be bent. Your bike is English which makes life a *lot* easier than French with their funny sizes ans Swiss threaded BB's. Then think about living life with 27" wheels or getting funky offset brake bolts.

Ultimately the Grand Prix was an OK entry level bike for it's time, but it's very dated and heavy by today's standards.
Thanks... made up my mindHambones
Jul 24, 2001 6:10 PM
Thanks for your replies. I believe you're right that the Gran Prix is out of date... it was never really a great frame to begin with. It's not worth the money or the time. I'll be visiting my local shop soon to pick out a new Trek. Thanks again!