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RIP VAN WINKLEfredstaple
Aug 15, 2003 4:59 AM
I went to sleep and woke up 20 years later to find the world of Bicycles has really changed-actually I bought my bike 21 years ago and haven't upgraded or paid attention to new bikes.

My bike is 531, it has toe clips, Sun Tour derailers and shifters (on the tube), Wienmann brakes, etc. What happened to Sun Tour, what happened to Wienmann? Are these parts just no longer any good. Is the new stuff just that more superior?

I want a new bike, but the longer I research the more confused I get. It used to be you bought a pair of pedals and toe clips, pretty simple. Now do you buy Ti or some heavier metal, do you buy Look, SPD, SPD-R, SPD-SL, eggbeater, Time, that funny looking disc one, ahhhhhhhhhhh. And that is just the pedals.

Then you have to decide threadless or threaded; 1 or 1 1/8 head tube. Shimano or Campy; chorus or ultegra. Used to be Steel or Steel; now it is Ti, Alum, carbon, 10 diffent grades of steel, combo of one or all of the previous mentioned.

Roadbike, road sport, cyclocross, sport touring or some other hybred. custom or production, Italian or US. I am about to lose my mind. Anyone recommend a good book to explain all the diffenences and options. Thanks, Fred
re: RIP VAN WINKLEjtolleson
Aug 15, 2003 5:44 AM
Well, no one will say that your stuff isn't "any good." Many wax nostalgic and wistful about 531, Suntour, etc. etc. Today's stuff DOES weigh less, and being able to shift without reaching to the downtube is undeniably an improvement.

The good news is that there are no "wrong" answers so much as there are just differences of opinion. Though I will say that threaded is fading fast, so don't bother. Whether you wind up with a 1 1/8 head tube will depend on the manufacturer you choose (though will probably be 1 1/8). Shimano or Campy is a debate without resolution. Ride both and see which feels good.

Frame materials will be as much a function of budget as anything. If you want to spend less than $1500 on a complete bike, for example, you can assume that you will be deciding between steel and aluminum. Again, a test ride will help.

Stay on websites like this one, and devote about 3 hours to talking with an understanding salesperson at a road oriented LBS. That will speak volumes more than any book.
Aug 15, 2003 6:11 AM
If you're still riding your old bike you may want to look at doing your research on pedals first. You could be getting used to the new style pedals on your familiar bike instead of learning how to use them and and new shifters, brakes etc. all at once. Most bikes are sold without pedals so they will be a seperate purchase anyway. If you do happen to purchase a bike with pedals included you could always E-bay them.
ALso, check out the product reviews on this site. You can learn alot from reading what individuals have written about individual parts or complete bikes.
Also, what's your budget. Knowing that will help people here offer suggestions.
If it ain't broke...MXL02
Aug 15, 2003 6:39 AM
if your bike works well for what you are doing, why replace it? Unless you just want a new toy, keep what you have.
re: RIP VAN WINKLEtarwheel
Aug 15, 2003 7:46 AM
I was in a similar situation 3 years ago. I got my old steel Bianchi tuned up, installed a new cassette and some clipless pedals and rode it for about 4 months while I was researching new bikes. I ended up buying a newer model used aluminum Bianchi, which turned out not to be a good fit. So after riding that a while, I had a fitting done at a good bike shop and bought a new steel bike.

If you are just getting back into biking, the best advice I can give you is to find a good bike shop and have a fitting done. I found that proper fit is much more important now that I'm older. It also seems more important with index shifting, since you spend more time riding on the hoods than with old friction shift bikes where you were always reaching down to shift. A good bike shop can also answer a lot of the questions you have about newer technologies. Personally I think threadless stems/forks are for the birds, but it's worthless fighting it unless you buy used. Virtually all the new bikes are threadless -- which is another good reason to have a fitting done, because it's much harder to adjust a threadless system (without spending a bunch of money.) If you are older, also resist the urge to buy a bike with handlebars 3-4" inches below the saddle. I made that mistake and paid for it. Also don't get too caught up in the weight weenie game. You can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars just saving a few ounces or a couple pounds. You can't beat the ride of a nice steel frame, even if it's a little heavier than other options.