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cycles? when i was totally consumed by cycling, while in my 20's i assembled a pretty decent road bike which i still ride. handmade columbus sl frame, mavic rims, and a campy nuevo record gruppo. over time as i added downtube [suntour] index shifting, look pedals, etc. this is pretty much how it is today. i've been riding a couple of hundred miles per week. the bike still rides great. i guess my question is; how much would i have to spend today to get a like level of performance? i know that today's bikes have brake lever shifters, cassette cogs, etc. when i first assembled my bike many yrs ago, it ran me about $1500 or so. is it possible to get superior performance at say a $500. price pt? any comments or recommendatios are very appreciated. i think the lack of spare parts, like close ratio freewheels are going to eventually push me to something new. thanks in advance.
 

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well, if you have to upgrade due to unavailability of parts that's one thing otherwise don't worry about it. The bike doesn't make the rider. Nowadays I think that you won't find the same quality level in the $500 ish range. This being said....my road bike is a $515 KHS Flite 300. So far it's held up just fine. The SORA shimano shifters are still working like a dream (3 months later and approx. 3200 miles). Brakes aren't that great. They're cheapo ProMax. I switched the shoes out for Shimano's and braking was much better but there are still little things that make me want to get, at the least, the better grade of Tekro calipers. The wheels are now needing a good truing. Lets see...what else....well, I'm pretty happy with the bike so far. I still don't think that my bike will hold up in the long run whereas a bike with at least 105 level components would....but we'll see. I hope my bike does. Still I think you're going to be looking at the $1500-$2000 range to get the same level of bike you're used to riding.
 

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Coco Puff
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ocd said:
it ran me about $1500 or so. is it possible to get superior performance at say a $500. price pt? . i think the lack of spare parts, like close ratio freewheels are going to eventually push me to something new. thanks in advance.
Simple- ebay for parts, they are still available.

I also think you will need to look in the 1500-2000 range , unless you find a nice lightly used gem. I doubt you will find one that gives the performance and ride you are used to for much less than the 1200 range anyway. The new bikes are a bit lighter and sometimes more responsive. The brakes are generally better, and the brifter shifting is pretty cool.

You ride quite a bit, and it really boils down to what you want and are looking for. Do you ride with groups or friends? Race? Just like to go fast?

If you're jonesing for a new bike- go for it. Keep your old bike and start looking for a new one. Get a nice mid-upper end something that will be a sports car and have fun with it.
 

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"Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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Man, you need to go a little higher in price to match what you got now. Columbus SL and Nuevo Record were premium stuff back in the 80's. Materials and technology have gotten better, but the quality of those old bikes are unsurpassed even by todays standards. A 20 lb. bike then, equates to a 16 lb bike today, with some of the best components that could be had, not to mention that they were utterly beautiful.

No sir, you would have to be in the $2000 to $3000 price range to match that today, maybe even higher.
 

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ocd said:
is it possible to get superior performance at say a $500. price pt?

I would doubt it. Most of the improvement in modern bikes is lightness and ease of shifting. If you don't think a few pounds matter that much and can get your chain from one cog to the next, the feeling of your bike will almost certainly be much more enjoyable.

i think the lack of spare parts, like close ratio freewheels are going to eventually push me to something new. thanks in advance.
Loose Screws is back in the custom freewheel business, which is a wonderful thing.

I ride a 1986 SL Marinoni and a fixed 1992 Look most of the time. The Marinoni has 126mm dropouts, but I can get a 9speed wheel in there and run that with bar end shifters. I have ridden lots of light, new bikes hoping to find one I like more than those two, but haven't yet.

I was in a shop this winter talking to the owner. He pointed to a Columbus SL bike and said "I have a little time trial course, all right turns, twisty roads with some short, steep climbs. I have quite a few bikes and I ride the course fastest on that one."
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Inflation

ocd said:
...when i first assembled my bike many yrs ago, it ran me about $1500 or so. is it possible to get superior performance at say a $500. price pt?...
Did you skip Economics class at school and go out for a training ride? Were you watching MTV instead of the news? You want to buy a bike today that will outperform a bike from 20 years ago and only pay a third of the price. Get real. As Croswell noted you need to be shopping in the $2k to $3k range if you are looking for superior performance to a high end 1980's bike. Yes you can buy a rideable bike for less than a grand but certainly not a superior bike.

ocd said:
...a pretty decent road bike which i still ride. handmade columbus sl frame, mavic rims, and a campy nuevo record gruppo... the bike still rides great...
Fix your old bike and enjoy the ride. When I finally upgraded to the current century I took my handbuilt 1980's frame and converted it to a fixed gear. You can do it pretty cheaply buy just removing the freewheel, screwing on a track cog, shortening the chain, removing the shifters, derailers and extra chainring. Poof - you have a fixed gear. There are a few more technicalities and lots more you can do if you get fixed gear fever but at least you still get to keep your old favorite bike. The coolest part is I can take this out for a recovery ride after the Tuesday Night World Championships and still hold my own with the "fitness" buffs out for their Wednesday night ride on their $4k wonder bikes. It is not the 20 year old bike that is going to hold you back, it is the 40 year old legs.
 

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Keeping up with Junior said:
Did you skip Economics class at school and go out for a training ride? Were you watching MTV instead of the news? You want to buy a bike today that will outperform a bike from 20 years ago and only pay a third of the price. Get real. As Croswell noted you need to be shopping in the $2k to $3k range if you are looking for superior performance to a high end 1980's bike. Yes you can buy a rideable bike for less than a grand but certainly not a superior bike.
Interesting that you would post this comment using a computer.

I do agree that a nice SS/Fixed is a good thing to do with your old bike.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Superior Performance

harlond said:
Interesting that you would post this comment using a computer.
Nice try Harlond (actually a good catch). My old Compaq Portable computer is a far more effective boat anchor compared to these weight weenie handheld computer devices of today. Think of how many of those puny things you would have to buy at $500 a pop to equal the weight of my portable computer. Plus the putty color does not scare away the fish!

 

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I drank what?
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Doubtful considering $500 today is roughly $198 in 1980 dollars. So could you get the a good bicycle for $198 in 1980? I don't have a clue I was in the single digit age category back then, but I doubt it.

So lets compare apples to apples. $1500 in 1980 dollars is ~$3800 in today’s dollars. Can you get a bicycle for $3800 that will out perform your old bicycle. Absolutely.

You could probably get something comparable for $1500 that would out perform the bicycle.
 

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No you can't get a better bike for $500, but you can get a better bike for (this is subjective) for $1500.
A Cannondale r800 is lighter, stiffer and quite well equiped with modern shifters which will allow you to ride in a better gear (faster) on frequently changing terrain. Sprinting will be faster because of the stiffer bb. Decending will be more sure because of the stiffer head tube, TT and downtube.
Will you like the Cannondale better? Maybe not. It won't be as comfortable as your trusty steel steed, and it won't have that old school italian romance.
 

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"Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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Second that

Dave Hickey said:
In my case, it's no comparision. Nothing can touch my 1986 LOOK Reynolds 753 bike. I wouldn't trade it for the latest carbon go fast machine:)

Hint hint: If you feel faster with a new bike, buy one. In reality, it will have little to do with how fast you really go......
No comparison in my case either. My '91 Tommasini is "the 'creme de la 'creme" all the way down to the last bolt. It was clearly the most beautiful bike I ever saw.
 

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Non non normal
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Of course you could always look for a sale on a gruppo and slap it on the bike you have.

For a grand you could trick out the old bike.
 

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Some data

Dave Hickey said:
Hint hint: If you feel faster with a new bike, buy one. In reality, it will have little to do with how fast you really go......
Just for reference, I've been riding a 10 mile TT pretty much weekly through the season starting in 1986. At that point, I was riding a 1972 top of the line Italian hand built, Columbus SL tubing, Campy Nuovo Record. My average speed for over a dozen TTs for two years was 23.5 mph. In 1988, I got a custom built (Assenmacher) with Columbus SLX, Campy C-Record. I rode that for a decade and over 100 TTs - average speed, 23.5 mph. In 1998, I got my current ride, a Litespeed Vortex with Campy Record. Average speed over the ensuing time frame, 23.5, give or take. It's not about the bike :)
 

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imbasilical moreon
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croswell1 said:
Man, you need to go a little higher in price to match what you got now. Columbus SL and Nuevo Record were premium stuff back in the 80's. Materials and technology have gotten better, but the quality of those old bikes are unsurpassed even by todays standards. A 20 lb. bike then, equates to a 16 lb bike today, with some of the best components that could be had, not to mention that they were utterly beautiful.

No sir, you would have to be in the $2000 to $3000 price range to match that today, maybe even higher.

...prolly so Cros., he mentioned his SL frame is "custom"...
b0nk
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Just for reference, I've been riding a 10 mile TT pretty much weekly through the season starting in 1986. At that point, I was riding a 1972 top of the line Italian hand built, Columbus SL tubing, Campy Nuovo Record. My average speed for over a dozen TTs for two years was 23.5 mph. In 1988, I got a custom built (Assenmacher) with Columbus SLX, Campy C-Record. I rode that for a decade and over 100 TTs - average speed, 23.5 mph. In 1998, I got my current ride, a Litespeed Vortex with Campy Record. Average speed over the ensuing time frame, 23.5, give or take. It's not about the bike :)
So, three decades hasn't taken the edge off at all. You are amazing! Or, the improvements in the bikes has allowed you to maintain the same pace from age 20 to age 50. It is impossible to tell. Excellent speed though.
I wonder what my speed would be over your loop at age 43. Every year it is harder to gain the fitness of the previous year. So many aches and pains to overcome.
 

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newer bike

My first roadbike was a peugeot 853 special edition, steel frame and 32lbs. My second roadbike is a giant ocr elite, weighing a hair under 20 lbs. Theres a lot of factors to consider to compare bikes. The peugeot I got 10 years ago. I'm 44 know. With my giant I can average over 19mph over distance. With the peugeot I was happy with anything over 17mph.
 

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"Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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ocd said:
when i was totally consumed by cycling, while in my 20's i assembled a pretty decent road bike which i still ride. handmade columbus sl frame, mavic rims, and a campy nuevo record gruppo. over time as i added downtube [suntour] index shifting, look pedals, etc. this is pretty much how it is today. i've been riding a couple of hundred miles per week. the bike still rides great. QUOTE]


umm.........just so I can swoon, you dont suppose you could tell us more about your bike do you?...........Like maybe a pic or two?
 

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How very very interesting. I bought a new Peugeot in 1972 for $120. In the mid 80's I replaced the crank the hubs the rear derailer with Zues high end stuff. Changed to Rigida wheels and 1.25 inch tires. Total investment = $300. The idea was to upgrade the frame when I had the chance. I commuted on that bike for 7 years from North Seattle to South Seattle, one hilly place. Then marriage etc happened and time restraints and yada yada. I have since moved to Dallas and am now enjoying riding again. I have been trying out the new stuff. It is a lot more responsive, quicker, and a moment on the peddle is instantly transfered to the wheels. But the ride, the ride. I get home and take the ol' mare out and it is soooo comfy. And at 25 pounds, substatntial. But I was wondering how much faster that Pinarello F3-14 would be...but total investment comes in right around $5K. Pretty hard to justify. And after reading here, maybe I will get that vintage frame afterall.
 
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