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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings Everyone,

I'm happy to say I'm back in the saddle again! Great forum here, glad I came across it, good people and honest answers - my kind of people! I have been carting around my road and mt bikes for years and finally made time to get my butt back in the saddle and out on the road on a regular basis. From my house, I have loops that range from 18-40 mi and have been consistently getting out 3/wk and the other days in the hotel gym when on the road.

My question is.......I have the same bike I had back in college - a Specialized Epic (CF) with Shimano 600. It is pretty much stock as I really never had a problem with the bike and honestly...still don't. I have no aches after rides, no itis's or saddle sores from riding, but what would I gain from a new bike? My current bike is 1995 vintage and I'm not sure what I would gain from a new bike. I would love to get one, but don't see the point in spending mucho dollars if I won't see a marked advantage. I ride for the pure joy, will probably do some charity rides next year and maybe an occasional group ride. I currently average 19+mph so again, wondering what I could gain by a shiny new bike.....other than even MORE motivation to ride. Thanks much and again - great forum!
 

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Since you are back in the saddle again, why not ride this bike into the ground, but plan for your next bike. Start looking, dreaming and figuring out what bike you want let's say 5 years from now. Your bike will be 20 years old then and it would probably be time to replace the group set by then. Wow, you could afford a CF bike when you were in college.
 

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Does your current bike have indexed shifting? You will get a few more gears with newer stuff. You can probably shave a few hundred grams of total bike weight, always at a cost.

Other than that and an updated look that's about it.
 

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What the what???
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If you don't need to sell your current bike in order to purchase a new one, why not keep it and buy a second bike. If you're posting the question here, I'm guessing you're leaning toward a new ride anyway, plus you get the advantage of having a spare bike if you need one.
 

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Vintage cyclist
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There's nothing "wrong" with your Epic, as you say.

What you will may "gain" with a new bike is lighter weight. Depends on how much money you want to throw at it. Lighter is almost always better. But if you're carrying a few extra pounds on your body, then I'd work on that first, then go for a lighter bike.

What you WILL gain is a 10 spd. drive train and maybe a compact crankset (some people consider the compact crankset a plus).

The 10 speed will give you more to work with to keep cadence where you want. If you opt for a compact, then you'll be better geared for hills. If you don't ride hills, then I wouldn't get a compact.
 

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Go test ride one and decide for yourself.

Without knowing anything about your current bike and you have not mentioned what you'd be looking to spend for a new bike I can't even speculate what the improvements would be.
 

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Cheese is my copilot
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Do you actually need a reason for a new bike? Remember the N + 1 rule where N is the number of bikes you currently have and N + 1 is how many you need.

Of course, my bike is even older than yours, so I'm not one to talk.
 

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Still On Steel
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I think -- emphasis on think -- there may have been some failures of those old Specialized frames like yours, caused by the bond between the alloy lugs and carbon tubes coming undone as they age. I think. Something to check into, at any rate, before you go whistling down the next big descent at 50 mph.

That said, those were great old bikes. I have a steel Specialized Allez from the same era that I still ride from time to time. In fact I rode it just last night: it looked like it might rain, and I didn't want to get my newer bike all dirty. As has been mentioned, it's always good to have a second bike available.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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IIRC the Shimano 600 groupset of that era was 7 spd and (depending on iteration) may or may not be indexed, so moving to the current crop (and assuming you'd opt for 10 spd) you'll gain the advantages that STI's offer along with (FWIW) closer gear ratios.

The Epic is a highy regarded frameset, so I'm skeptical that you'll see much weight loss going to a new bike, but that's dependent of the price range you settle into. I agree with Allez Rouge that it's wise to keep an eye on the bonding points on the Epic, but wouldn't contemplate selling it or buying new just on that one (potential) issue. Also, because Specialized offers lifetime warranties, if something were to fail, you'd be covered.

JMO, but no matter what you decided about a new bike, I wouldn't sell the Epic. As long as the frameset is sound, IME the 600 groupset (while not being state of the art) is near bulletproof, thus worthy of the maintenance required to keep it running.

Maybe most importantly, all indications are that this bike fits (very important), suites your intended purposes, and is performing to your expectations. So... you don't need a new bike. Want? Well, that's another story. :)
 

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If you decide to get ride of the Epic, at least let us get a shot at it first! Personally, it'd be a great second bike for when you want something a little different, when it rains, mount on a trainer, or when the new bike is in for tune-ups, etc. Or, when you have a buddy who wants to go with you to give it a try, or may have their bike in the shop...lots of great uses for a great older bike!
 

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As others have said, if you like your bike, and it meets your needs, there's no reason to buy a new one.

On the other hand, there have been a few improvements (though not so many as the marketing hype would have you believe) that are worth considering.

Some questions: do you have downtube shifters? How many cogs on the cassette? What kind of terrain do you ride on? hilly? rolling?

If you have downtube shifters and 7-speed, and you ride in terrain where you shift a lot and need both a wide gear range and a good selection of gears in the middle. you might want to test-ride a bike with ingtegrated levers and a 10-speed cassette. The levers are (IMHO) one of the two real advances in road bike technology in the last 30 years (clipless pedals are the other). You might decide they don't matter enough to justify the expense, but they are a real boon to most riders -- IF you shift a lot.

On the other hand, if your rides are flat, and you shift only once or twice a mile, then what you have could keep working forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, lots of responses, great stuff. The Epic does have the indexed shifting and is 7 speed which is probably the only thing I have to complain about. I completely agree that it was a quantum leap in technology when they came out! I ride in pretty hilly terrain, on my loops I might have 2-3 miles of flats (seems like it anyways) during the ride so I am constantly shifting. The 10 speed cassette definitely appeals to me as there are a couple of brutal hills on my rides, one of which I live on.

Good to hear the frame is regarded and I'll check the bonds when I get back home and look closely as I'm hitting about 45mph on one of the descents. I do like the idea of having a backup bike, that's a good thought. I need to have my wife fitted as she might just fit into this one but I think it's a just a couple of cm too big.

As far as want and need......yes, there is always the want - shiny, new, etc!!! If I were to buy a new one, I'm more of one for value, making sure I'm getting the max out of my dollar. I would probably go as high as $2500 for new, but it depends on the whole package.

Oh, one last thing. When I got to college, I had the steel Allez, however, I was run over by a University employee on University property in a University vehicle and the Allez was completely crushed. The school bought me the Epic...which is another reason to hang onto it. Kind of a good story. ;)
 

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old school drop out
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To me, the only "improvements" made sine your bike is an in crease in the number of cogs in the rear cassette, and dual-pivot brakes. If you like your current bike, but you want to upgrade, it's cheaper to by a new drive train and brakes and put it on your old bike. However, if you're not unhappy with the 7-speeds and the brake performance, keep riding. Bikes work the same today as they did in 1995. Your bike likely weighs around 20 pounds which is completely fine.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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laffeaux said:
To me, the only "improvements" made sine your bike is an in crease in the number of cogs in the rear cassette, and dual-pivot brakes. If you like your current bike, but you want to upgrade, it's cheaper to by a new drive train and brakes and put it on your old bike. However, if you're not unhappy with the 7-speeds and the brake performance, keep riding. Bikes work the same today as they did in 1995. Your bike likely weighs around 20 pounds which is completely fine.
Considering 7 spd drivetrains use 126mm dropout spacing and the OP's seat stays are CF, he's kinda stuck in that regard. Can't reset the dropouts to 130mm on that bike! :eek:
 

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minicane said:
Oh, one last thing. When I got to college, I had the steel Allez, however, I was run over by a University employee on University property in a University vehicle and the Allez was completely crushed. The school bought me the Epic...which is another reason to hang onto it. Kind of a good story. ;)
So did tuition go up the next semester?
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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If it were me I'd just ride it. More gears are nice but somewhat overrated. As PJ said you'd have a devil of a time upgrading because of the difference between the rear dropouts. There's no way that can be adjusted on a CF bike.

After riding it for awhile if you feel it's really unsuitable for what you're doing then it's time to look for another bike.
 

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PJ352 said:
Considering 7 spd drivetrains use 126mm dropout spacing and the OP's seat stays are CF, he's kinda stuck in that regard. Can't reset the dropouts to 130mm on that bike! :eek:
By '95 wasn't everything spaced at 130mm? (or at least the upper end frames) When 7-speed was top of the line 126mm was common, but by the mid 90's 8-speed was common.

Otherwise Specialized would have made two versions of the frame: one for people wishing to use Dura Ace, and one for to use wishing to use 600.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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laffeaux said:
By '95 wasn't everything spaced at 130mm? (or at least the upper end frames) When 7-speed was top of the line 126mm was common, but by the mid 90's 8-speed was common.

Otherwise Specialized would have made two versions of the frame: one for people wishing to use Dura Ace, and one for to use wishing to use 600.
The OP stated that his Epic is 7 speed, thus 126mm spacing.
 
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