So true. Plastic does not last, period. It goes brittle and cracks. Steel alloys last forever. Just put some kind of rust repellant in the main tubes when servicing the threaded BB, and it will last forever. Rear tire pumps up water into the seat tube riding in the rain. I've seen guys turn the bikes upside down and watch the road grime pour out of the bottom brackets. Old cheap, low grade "high tensile" steel bikes rusted at the joints from bad brazing and poor painting. CRMO is so dense, it doesn't quickly rust.carbon fiber makes frames too stiff, aging riders complain ride too rought, then manufacturers make bigger tires, ride still too rought, but old riders not willing to go 2.3" mtb tires, so manufactuers put in elastomer gummy bear in frame to soften ride, and not gummy bear shock absober is breaking.... it's like we're going in circle.. good selling strategy for manufacturers, time to sell the bike this bike has flaws..and get a steel or ti bike.
Well, beefing up the tires just makes the bike heavier, less responsive, harder to climb, and that can ruin the experience. So yeah, old guys prefer to skate along on 25s or the nice lightweight 28s tires, absorb shocks without giving up road feel, perfectly tuned to that old high modulus steel road bike that won't start to let you down at mile 70 of a century. I think steel uniquely establishes an intimate feedback loop with the rider. Flex the frame and it springs back quickly and faithfully to the next round. Bike disappears beneath the rider, becomes an extension of his body, responds faithfully to his wishes. On a good day, that's what it's all about.