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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

First time poster, here. I bought my first road bike in 1973, a Raleigh Super Course TT, with sew-up tires(that's what they called them then, I guess they are called tubulars now). I bet I didn't ride 100 miles on that bike! I just got caught up in the excitement of buying a new bike. The sew ups made no sense for a guy like me. All I wanted was recreation and exercise. It is still sitting in my basement with the tires rotting away or mouse eaten or something, because they are deteriorating. About 1993, I bought a Specialized Crossroads hybrid bike which I have ridden semi-regularly ever since. Starting in 1999 and 4 times since, I have ridden the Kansas City area MS 150 and have ridden the Katy Trail in Missouri from start to finish on that bike.

Now, I would like to get a true road bike for exercise, fitness, weight loss, MS 150s, fun and fresh air. I was tired of being too far toward the back in the MS 150 in 1999 and vowed I would never ride it again without a road bike, a vow I have broken 4 times. I don't need to be in the front, or even the middle. I am just tired of older, fatter guys and gals passing me on their road bikes.

Anyway, I have 2 basic questions. First, does it make any sense at all to put new wheels and components on the old Raleigh to use as a road bike? I know some may say that would destroy the aesthetics and character of the bike. But, it is not getting any use anyway. And, I don't need the latest and greatest.

Second, on the other hand, I am considering a new bike and have tested a Giant OCR Composite Limited and a Litespeed Firenze at my LBS. Both have mostly Ultegra components. Any opinions on those? I initially felt more comfortable on the Litespeed, but it will wind up about $600 to 800 more when outfitted like I want it. But, I am looking for durability, reliability and longevity. So, over the long haul, it might be the better value. By the way, my LBS, which is where I bought the Crossroads, has been very helpful over the years offering advice, maintenance and discounts.

Lastly, I am 57 years old, 5' 7" tall and weigh in right now at 188(I am embarassed to admit that even that high weight is down about 12 pounds in the last 8 weeks). I am hoping to get down to at least 170 by the end of summer. I have done a fair amount of weight lifting over the years. So some of that weight is muscle and not fat. I expect to ride only recreationally approximately 50 miles per week from April through September each year.

Thanks for any thoughts you might have. I just found this site about 3 weeks ago and have enjoyed it very much.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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Welcome! (Both to RBR and to the cycling world).

Here are my thoughts... Your instinct is right in that there is no reason to attempt to rebuild and upgrade your old Raleigh. It's old enough now that its retro-cool should be left in tact, and with changes in bike geometry, etc. since they you'd have a heck of a time upgrading it anyway.

Both of the bikes you are looking at are a lot of bike. They'll do everything you want, the Ultegra will last for years, etc. etc. So, if you've got the disposable income and want something nice, you're looking at good stuff and there's no reason not to buy it. On the other hand, for 50 miles a week or so, it is kind of overkill. You could spend half as much and probably not even really notice the difference.
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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I agree, as a KC native, I welcome you to riding in the area and hope you have the information you need to help you get into riding more. KC has a nice cycling community and depending on where you live.... I'm guessing somewhere near a Bike Stop looking at those bike brands... and there are group rides to match your abilities and your ambitions.

I think the bike is cool from a retro perspective. But honestly, and this is my own personal theory, is that men like toys. If you aren't smitten with retro, then all you are doing is getting on an old bike... right? So I always suggest getting something that you are proud of, love riding, and feel fast on. Because ultimately, it will make you want to ride more, ride faster, and longer. Plus, maybe you will be proud to show up on a group ride and show off your new steed. If you have the cash, honestly... I would jump at it.

You can always make the old bike a trainer bike or rain bike... there is nothing wrong with a reliable beater, other than the fact it will likely outweigh your new ride by a good 7+lbs, and have a 5 speed rear. So... to me, the choice is clear!!!!
 

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STY, First let me welcome you as did the others. Our stories are very similar. I just started 5 years earlier. I am 55 years old, 5' 7" and currently weigh about 175. When I started I weighed almost 200 pounds, so your goals are very realistic. I was also embarrassed. I lost all of my weight (and kept it off by riding) in the first 9 months, but I rode a little more than you. I tried to average a minimum of 75 miles a week but usually averaged 100. The extra mileage is really not that much more than your goal.

I also agree with the others on the bike. Technology has changed so much you might as well take advantage of it. But you dont have to spend a lot to start. I went to my local bike shop and bought a new 5year old Trek 1000 that they had not sold. It gave me a chance to see if I liked biking and I soon became addicted. The next year I moved up to an aluminum bike with and Ultegra group and began to improve my skills and time on the bike. The past year I bought an Orbea Orca which is an all carbon bike with a Dura Ace group. The steps up with each of the three bikes has been very noticeable. But had I started with the Orca I dont think I would have ever recognized the differences or appreciated the better equipment. IMO get something that fits and is in your price range and ride ride ride. Subscribe to a magazine like Bicyling which you will learn a great deal from in the beginnning, and then when you have a better idea what you are looking for pick up ProCycling, Road or CycleSport and learn about the incredible technology in cycling today. By that time you will be hooked and can answer your own questions about what you want or need. This forum is an INCREDIBLE sourse of informaion. I wish I had started 30 years ago. It's really changed by life and health. Mick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I agree with your overkill comment. I have always strived to be a little on the high side of the quality curve when buying products. I think that it oftentimes saves money in the long run. My thought is that I don't want to buy a progression of bikes, but rather buy one pretty darn good one and hold onto it for a long time. For me, that could be 10 years. After all, I have ridden the same hybrid for 13 years. Also, as I think more about it, I probably ride more like 70 to 80 miles per week in June, July and August. Plus, with a nice new road bike, I will probably want to ride more often and for greater distances and times! A lot of people on this board say that seems to happen with a nice new road bike. So, I would rather have more than I need, and have room for upside growth. But, again, I believe your point is most valid and I appreciate your taking the time to offer your suggestions.
 

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I am 52 and I have been on various road bikes since I was 18 and spent all my financial aid money on a Raleigh Supercourse. I now ride a custom frame. For us "young old people", the most important thing is fit, fit, fit. Also, fit is not stagnant. As your flexibility changes, you must make adjustments. Don't let anyone force you into a conficguration that is not comfortable to you.

So get a new, smokin' hot bicycle at a shop that shows solid evidence that they can listen and understand your fit requirements.
 
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