RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - Retro - Classic Bikes


Archive Home >> Retro - Classic Bikes


top old bike or low new bike?(7 posts)

top old bike or low new bike?moschika
May 31, 2003 3:23 PM
looking thru ebay i've been wondering if it's worth getting a used vintage top line bike(i.e. italian classic with campy SR) or a new new bike with lower end stuff(anything at LBS with tiagra/sora). what do you lose or gain?

it seems you could get either in the ~$1000 price range.

what would pick?
Top OldWalter
May 31, 2003 5:43 PM
If your choice is really the 2 extremes I think going the old route is the best and that's not even retro-grouching. Rather it's just spending your money wisely.

A Tiagra/Sora bike will not, even brand new, outlast a well preserved/maintained bike that was originally hung with S. Record. Nor would the new bike in this example be noticeably lighter. The new bottom feeder will depreciate while the classic will, at the least, maintain its value. STI is not a big enough advantage over D/T friction to justify passing up the classic.

A harder comparison might be the classic vs. modern upper midline like a bike with Centaur. Many here would take the SR bike over just about anything but at least in this instance reasonable arguments can be made either way.
my thinkingmoschika
Jun 1, 2003 10:49 PM
is my bike is a lugless 525 steel LeMond with RSX. For what i paid I could find something like a vintage Colnago with NR or SR in fairly good shape. i guess to make a fairer comparison: Colnago classic with veloce v. vintage Colnago super with SR or NR. what's the better deal?

had i known then what i know now, i think i may have looked for a classic bike. something with a bit more character and style and possibly more fun to ride because of what it is. i'm also learning my current bike may not be the best fit for me.

I look forward to every ride on my custom steel mtb because of what it is. a top quality bike. i also look forward to riding my old moto because of what it is. a nicely lugged classic. there is a fun factor that i'm just not feeling on the LeMond.

getting into some of these classic bikes sure has added another element when it comes to getting another bike.
depends what yer going to do with it.desmo
May 31, 2003 6:02 PM
If you're just going to ride it, group rides, long days, etc. I'd say go old. A $1000 can buy you one top dog vintage velo with all the cool stuff. Style, class, fun, and a pure thoroughbred if you pick wisely. But if you're going to race get the best deal on the lightest Ultegra or 105 equipped tin can you can find. A Honda Accord can mess up a 60's Alfa Spider Veloce in any street race but what would you rather drive along the coast on a summer day?
depends what yer going to do with it.moschika
May 31, 2003 8:47 PM
well that's it. it's not for racing. my wife is not into competition and neither am i for that matter. i have a low budget bike that works for now but is a tank. my mtb is lighter then it. she needs a new bike period.

i'm working on a vintage lightweight now but fear it might be a bit too big for her and possibly me.
I'll favor a top-quality oldie almost every time ...Humma Hah
Jun 1, 2003 11:27 AM
... because I'll feel proud to own it, but I'm a retro kind of guy.

There have been only a very few real improvements in the top-quality bikes over the years. Modern brakes are significantly better. More materials are offered, but that's not going to be an issue for cheap new bikes. Ligher? A comparably-equipped top new bike is probably lighter than a top oldie that has stood the test of time, but a new low-end bike will not be much of an improvement, if any. Features? OK power mirrors and bar-end shifters are a nice convenience, but I won't give up quality to get 'em.

More gears? Heck, I'd probably pull 'em off and ride fixed or singlespeed anyway, so I don't care about that. If I did choose to ride geared, I'd have to be honest and admit that human legs do NOT always have to turn exactly 90 RPM, and 10 gear combinations are more than enough ... 30 is just downright SILLY! Gears don't give you more power, they just compensate for your lack of powerband training.

The one exception, a rode-hard and put-away-wet bike of stupid-light construction and dubious durability material. I'm thinking mostly carbon fiber, but maybe aluminum, too. Maybe you don't want a 15-year-old 16-pound carbon racebike.
I'll favor a top-quality oldie almost every time ...eddie m
Jun 2, 2003 5:28 PM
For racing or riding in groups that do a lot of drafting, 9s STI is great because you never get stuck in the wrong gear. There's nothing worse than getting dropped because you miss a shift or choose the wrong gear for a short hill. But for riding alone or in groups that don't draft, a 6s is just as fast as a 9s. You won't miss the 12 or even 13 tooth cog, and you can train into the slightly wider gaps between gears. There's less maintainence with downtube shifters, and the wider chains are much more reliable. (It amazes me anyone would even consider riding a bike with such a poor chain that they need to carry tools and repair parts for it!) Add clipless pedals and a dual pivot front brake, and an old bike is just as good as any modern bike. Best of all, when you get over your silly gear fixation, you can convert your classic NR bike to fixed gear.