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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hey Ducati! Do you ride a motorcycle? I just got my M1 endorsement 3 years ago and I'm enjoying my 97 Honda Shadow ACE VT1100! I'm an old dude and my engine is not what it used to be. The V-twin will do. Anyway, in my previous life I was nuts about bicycling. I still have 12 bikes. Half are steel with down tube shifters. 3 with STI and one carbon (just to see what all the fuss is about). I started riding in the era of steel bikes (1990s) and to this day I love a good steel ride. All that fancy mechanical shifting do-hickies and plastic fantastic whatnots has it's place if your racing but if you just like the pleasure of long rides with your buds, a good steel frame with down tube shifters are fine. Hey, they're 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 speed compatable!

My body can not take the rigors of riding hard anymore. My racing days are over. I may occacionally race on the velodrome, but that's it. I say if the bike fits you well then learn as much as you can and ride the hell out of the steel steed. It'll only get better. I promise.

Stay safe and keep the rubber side down.

Yes JaeP, I ride a Ducati 998. I got my MSF endorsement about 3 years ago as well. I absolutely love my bike. In fact, motorcycling is what made me start cycling. I figured that if I want to continue riding my motorcycle for another 20 years (I'm 43), I need to get in better shape. Furthermore, I plan to take the Ducati for my first track day in a couple of weeks and I hear that can be pretty demanding physically. Cycling has helped tremendously thus far and Im sure it will continue to do so.
 

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I ride a 1982 Bridgestone Sirius to commute to work, about 100 miles a week. This is a bike frame that I purchased on eBay that I then added all the rest of the parts to. The I did not keep it "period correct" so I have modern wheels and eBay dual pivot brakes and use a ten speed drive train with downtube friction shifters (which works just fine). This entire assemblage of used and new stuff was $500 ten years ago. No one has ever admired my $1600 2006 carbon fiber bike but this bike gets compliments all the time - because it is obviously a great bike. It is a great bike.

The key aspects for me were that it was the top of the line bike Bridgestone sold at the time and it was possible to produce a completed bike at around 25 lbs.

I forced the rear wheel stays apart slightly to get a modern rear wheel in there, yeah. This doesn't weaken the steel (says me, thousands of miles later) and within a year wheels went in and out of it like it was made that way.
 

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I own an 84 Fuji Club so I'm quite familiar with it, I also own a few other older bikes as well as a couple of new ones.

All the usual wear parts, like rear gears, chain, brake pads are all found at LBS's, major parts like a new derailleur of the same type on it now can be found on EBay with a few even brand new and unused. I changed mine over to a 7 speed without having to spread the rear stays.

Sure you can look at a new bike, but to get a bike of the quality of that Fuji you would have to spend a lot more money than you think and you still won't get the reliability! If the Fuji has been lubed and adjusted properly it will ride very nicely, and it's a steel frame adding to the ride quality you're not going to find with a new aluminum or carbon fiber bike.

My bike came with Suntour ARX, I've had other Suntour models and the ARX impressed me the least! So just last month I took out my new and unused Suntour Superbe stuff that I had since the late 80's and took off the front and rear derailleur off the Fuji and put on the Superbe derailleurs, I also took my Torelli Master Series wheels that were built with Suntour Superbe hubs off of my old 84 Trek 660 I used when I use to race, the rear wheel I had converted to 7 speed, and I put that stuff on the Fuji, and I had a new set of Superbe pedals and put those on the Fuji as well. I still have to remove the Superbe brakes and levers and get those transferred, then I have to put all the old Fuji stuff on the Trek and probably sell it at some point. I'll probably leave the old and high mileage Suntour Superbe derailleurs on the Trek when I sell it, I haven't decided yet to keep those and place the ARX crap on it, or forget it and keep the ARX for another project.

The old Trek had faded it's yellow decals to a faded white, and the paint is faded, all from intense S California sun for 20 years and over 150,000 miles. I was going to have it repainted, but I can't get paper transfers only vinyl transfer duplicates, and I didn't like the way those look, and repainting can get pricey as well, so I just figured it wasn't worth spending that kind of money on that Trek and then not be happy with vinyl transfers.

Anyway you would have to spend around $1,800 to get a bike equipped with Shimano 105 which is extremely reliable yet relatively low priced, and still not get the ride of steel that you have with the Fuji. Yes I know a new bike can be exciting, but will it satisfy you in the long run like your Fuji has been? no way, not even close. If you have a lot of money you could look at Titanium bikes, those actually ride better than steel and will last longer than any aluminum or carbon fiber bike, and much more resilient to crashes...well accept for the CF fork.

Now here's my story. I have an 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe that was in excellent condition with very little miles on it that I used for bike camping and later I was going to use it for touring, some idiot sideswiped me and in the process bent the fork to the point of no return. So I bought a new touring bike, a Masi Giramondo, yes it has all the newest stuff including disk brakes, but all the touring bikes I looked at are heavy, and so is this one, the Schwinn was only 26 pounds, the Masi is 35 pounds, howbeit when I get new tires for it I will cut that weight down by 4 1/2 pounds, the factory equipped tires are horribly heavy, but it will still be about 4 pounds heavier than the Schwinn. Both are steel, but the Masi uses larger tubing and thus doesn't ride as comfortable as the Schwinn did, some say that the Schwinn flexed too much under load, and that is true, which probably accounted for some of the comfort, but once I switched the original AL pannier rack to steel that flex went away but the comfort stayed the same. Anyway, the point is, I would have much rather kept the Schwinn had I not crashed it. There was only two minor changes I was going to do the Schwinn, and that was move the shifters from the down tube to the barends, and build up a 700c wheels for it instead of using the 27" wheels where finding tires that size could be difficult to find touring and having to go to a small shop someplace, everything else was good to tour on.
 

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I ride a 1982 Bridgestone Sirius to commute to work, about 100 miles a week.
Hey Ishi, if your bike is a Bridgestone it's either an RB-1, RB-2 or RB-3. Those bikes are Legendary (with a capital "L"). They weren't the lightest frames on the market but had race proven geometry (I think they mimic Colnagos) and they had a wider fork crown and chain stays to accommodate wider tires, just in case you want to do some bike touring or cyclocross.

I had an RB-2 and it's the only bike I regret selling.
Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel rim
 

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Ducati998,

Keep the bike and replace the parts as necessary. These are available in e-Bay.

I have been riding my Pinarello since 1986. Some components still stay strong: hubs, rear derailleur, handlebar, bottom bracket, seat post, stem.

All the other replacement parts were available from e-Bay. Surprising, they are new old stock. I have actually updated the components with those made later than the original ones I had. In this case, I am extending the life of the parts. My saddle is modern from Specialized, which is way more comfortable than the Regal one I had.

The last thing I would recommend is to use cockpit set-up for carbon bike on vintage bikes. Keep the 126mm hubs, or buy a new set. New rims of 32- or 36-holes are still in production from a number of manufacturers, Mavic, DT Swiss, etc.

One thing easier with me is I have been doing maintenance myself. Five years ago, I had the frame resprayed, and components dissembled and reassembled. My bike is still in top performance.

Five years ago, I bought my first carbon bike, but I am still riding my steel bike and carbon bike alternatively. The feel is totally different. I am equally happy riding both.

Keep the bike.
 

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Hi. 100 miles per week, meaning 5k miles / year, bridges the gap between recreational and serious enthusiast. Nice!

So, your old rig can ride just fine, I mean people did the oldschool Tour de France on less. Biggest shortcomings:

  • Do you have hills where you live? Old 2 x 6 cranks often have a low gear that is not that low at all, 42 x 25 , your knees and back will thank you with easier gears on modern setups
  • Wheels, old skinny axles are easy to break, especially freehub style, probably looseball which means greasy services more often.
  • Tires, you can fit bigger rubber on most 70’s and 80’s bikes than skinny-skinny only early 00’s stuff, so you may be okay there, your bike should be, ah, new enough to have so-called “700C” wheels which are still the norm. If you happen to have old-style 27” rims, more popular in the 70’s and before, there won’t be many tire choices.


So there’s enough there, never mind the enjoyment of integrated shifting and powerful, easy-to-modulate disc brakes, that you’ll appreciate a modern rig. That shouldn’t stop you from tuning and enjoying your current bike, but if it’s at the complete overhaul level, where not only tire and chain and cable but rims and hubs need replacing or serious work, pandemic inventory shortages notwithstanding, it might not be worth the cost and effort.



Disclaimer: I work in the bike industry in the manufacturer side so am hardly unbiased, but also have put a stupid-ton of miles on my legs and bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks Argentius. As for hills, I live in Florida so there are very few around here. My bike isn't due for a complete overhaul, just a few bits and bobs. Thanks again.
 

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Actually my 84 Fuji Club is a very nice bike, it's one of the best road steel bikes I ridden or own, it may even have an edge over the 85 Trek 660 with the Reynolds 531cs tubing, but I can't compare the two till I can get the 660 up and running which won't be for awhile if ever since the paint and decals are so faded from the sun. I did remove the ARX derailleurs off of the Fuji and put on stored brand new Suntour Superbe components, when that happened that led to putting on a new Shimano 7 speed cluster onto the Torelli Master Series wheels that I had built with Superbe hubs and DT Revolution spokes on the front and Competition dble butted spokes on the rear that were on the 660, and a new slightly narrower chain, and now the thing shifts like a dream. I dinked around and dinked around for several years hoping that ARX stuff would work really nice like Suntour stuff is known for, but it wasn't going to happen, but I kept the derailleurs for another project for when I retire, those ARX derailleurs don't have more than 1,000 miles on them so they're like new but they don't shift like the Superbe stuff does.

Next summer I will probably remove the Superbe crank and bottom bracket, plus the Superbe brakes from the Trek and swap them with the Fuji stuff.

So no, I don't want to replace my Fuji now that I have it running good.
 

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Word. I used to mix it up at the velodrome on my steel Panasonic (thinking about racing again). Former British Olympian, Shaun Wallace, is a fixture in the velodrome here in Sandy Eggo. He once showed up on a local charity ride called "Low Tide Ride" (you can either run or ride your bike on 6 miles of beach) on a beach cruiser and flip flops and still kicked everyones butt.

Do yourself a favor and ride the hell out of your steel bike. Learn all you can about riding and then you'll appreciate what ever "this years model" will be.
 

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I guess you missed Duriel's sarcasm. Oh well.
My fail. It's hard to read sarcasm on an on-line forum. (Does that sound sarcastic?)
 

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My fail. It's hard to read sarcasm on an on-line forum. (Does that sound sarcastic?)
Well to be fair, I only knew it was a tongue in cheek remark because I've seen him make the "new bike" remarks quite a few times before.
 

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Not sarcasm, sorry but this guy isn't a world champion, local crit champion, or KOM's any mountain in FL. If he showed up at a training ride, he would be dropped immediately, IMO. For one, he doesn't have the gears, I had the same problem. They were always shifting one or two more than me.
You feel safe cutting a corner down a mountain on a 30 YO bike? ....maybe if it was maintained by a real mechanic. I don't think he is one.
He is 43, if he wants to ride to his maximum ability, he will need a new bike within 5 years, probably sooner. If all he wants to do is ride around the rotunda, yea, that bike is fine.
Get the bike fixed, dial in the setup, find out your reach and stack, then when bikes are available, he'll be able to figure out the size and target the kind of bike he wants.
 

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Hi. 100 miles per week, meaning 5k miles / year, bridges the gap between recreational and serious enthusiast. Nice!

So, your old rig can ride just fine, I mean people did the oldschool Tour de France on less. Biggest shortcomings:

  • Do you have hills where you live? Old 2 x 6 cranks often have a low gear that is not that low at all, 42 x 25 , your knees and back will thank you with easier gears on modern setups
  • Wheels, old skinny axles are easy to break, especially freehub style, probably looseball which means greasy services more often.
  • Tires, you can fit bigger rubber on most 70’s and 80’s bikes than skinny-skinny only early 00’s stuff, so you may be okay there, your bike should be, ah, new enough to have so-called “700C” wheels which are still the norm. If you happen to have old-style 27” rims, more popular in the 70’s and before, there won’t be many tire choices.


So there’s enough there, never mind the enjoyment of integrated shifting and powerful, easy-to-modulate disc brakes, that you’ll appreciate a modern rig. That shouldn’t stop you from tuning and enjoying your current bike, but if it’s at the complete overhaul level, where not only tire and chain and cable but rims and hubs need replacing or serious work, pandemic inventory shortages notwithstanding, it might not be worth the cost and effort.



Disclaimer: I work in the bike industry in the manufacturer side so am hardly unbiased, but also have put a stupid-ton of miles on my legs and bikes.
All of my 150,000 miles plus I put on a Trek 660 with the original Suntour Superbe components (I bought the bike as a frame and fork and then had all Superbe stuff put on it) were all done in the mountains of Southern California including 10 years of racing. Never had those skinny axles break; loose ball in a cup and cone hub if absolutely fine and Shimano DA hubs still use cup and cone system, the Superbe wasn't messy at all, it had a grease port in the middle of the axle, insert the grease gun pull the trigger till you see clean grease oozing out of the sides of the axle, wipe off the grease and your done, easy peazy. There were, and still is, all sorts of gearing available for 2x6, but I upgraded mine to 2x7 shortly after I got the bike, but you can get 6 speed with a range from 14 to 34, I usually ran 13-23 but sometimes I ran 13-28 or a 13-19 depending on where I was racing.

That old Trek can take up to 25c tires, on the rear it was a bit of tight fit, I did have to flatten the tire to get the wheel off, but that was due to the close proximity of the wheel/tire to the seat tube, it cleared the brakes just fine.

I also have a bike that uses 27 inch tires, the tires are out there and some are quite good, from Panaracer, Schwalbe, and Continental.

Sorry but your information is coming from the viewpoint of a young person who's never been on bikes from that era for any length of time and thus you think old stuff is junk, now I'm going to get you responding with all the bogus claims that you have, whatever dude, and I don't care if you are a moderator! I raced on a team, against other teams, and I never saw a hub break, and if you watch old TDF videos from back in those days you don't see wheels breaking like they do today!!
 

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Moderator, feh, that doesn’t matter, I’m just a guy who likes bikes enough to have once upon a time volunteered to help squash the spammers, scammers, and trolls – though less these days, to be honest, time and life and all of that.

If you claim freewheel axles are just fine, I do not know what to tell you! You are definitely right that road racers on 5- and 6-speed systems predate me.

Everyday cyclists on 7- and 8-speed freewheels -- I promise you bent and broken axles were a common occurrence, enough that every decent-sized shop had axles on hand for all the common hubs, and, touring riders were advised to carry spares.

As to your classic retro-grouch claims, meh, phooey. You’re exactly the kind of person who doesn’t need the latest greatest – you’ve ridden and raced and have a million miles on your legs, you know the lockup pressure in the wet of your brakes by heart.

If you didn’t, new riders will have a heck of a lot more enjoyable experience getting started today with modern equipment, shifters, brakes, the rest – if you want to build up those components in a suitable modern steel or ti frame, more power to you! Bikes are the best. Better experience on bikes, more people on bikes, everyone wins.

All of my 150,000 miles plus I put on a Trek 660 with the original Suntour Superbe component...
 

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I've ridden 7 speed freewheels for everyday riding for 40 or so years, including a 10 year span when I tried to get into racing, I rode 22 of those years, including the racing years in the mountains of Southern California, I had an assortment of 7 speed freewheels from Suntour to Shimano to Campy and never had a hub break, again nor knew anyone that broke their hub. I did hear of issues with 8 speed hubs, but no one that I knew from what I can remember ever went to the 8 speed cluster, but I think that's because you were going to be forced to cold spread your rear stays and I don't think people liked that idea. All the bikes I converted to 7 speed I never had to cold spread the stays, I did however had to use a 1 millimeter thick washer to push the rear stay out a tad so the chain can go to the smallest cog without scrapping the frame, plus a thinner chain of course was used.

I have modern bikes, but I personally think that the old vintage friction stuff is more fun because you have to think a teeny bit more, but that stuff was stone cold reliable as evidenced by my 150,000 miles plus on one of my bikes, but also you can find this stuff on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Market place that still work great today. The vintage stuff is also a lot easier to work on, they're not as finicky either. Not saying I hate modern stuff, if that was the case I wouldn't have any modern bikes, but quite frankly the only reason I have modern stuff is so I won't run into an issue of trying to get a part! Otherwise I would never have bought my modern stuff.

I have ridden a lot, and my joints have paid the price! But I still ride with the achy joints. I have no issues riding in rain, even using a steel bikes, the bike I have with 150k plus miles has no rust on it. When you ride for a long time a lot of things do become automatic, the bike becomes an extension of the person riding it, I stayed alive cycling all over Los Angeles and that experience has kept me alive years after moving from that city. I will say this about rim brakes and rain, they won't work real good if you use black pads, but if you use Cool Stop Salmon pads they will work almost instantly and grab extremely well
 
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