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Any cyclists here?

child of 2

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There's gotta be cyclists here. It saves gas, and there's no insurance. I got into plain and simple commuting in college, because I wanted to save money on gas, and get some exercise. Now, it's become my most expensive hobby. It sucks because where I live, there's no cyclists at all, and I have to drive 30 miles to get into group rides. I just got a new carbon bike, and plan on doing some races, and see where I'll end up a year from now, when I'll hopefully move to a grad school. I want to get to cat 3 while I'm still single and free, if I can.


So anybody else on here like bicycles?

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Yeah, but I'm more of a fan of vintage steel. Carbon just doesn't feel right to me, and it's not much lighter than a really good steel framed racer from the 80s. 


I buy old bikes and fix them up at cost for new grad students. 


Our city is a mix of bike friendly and bike unfriendly. There are about 300 miles of bike trails, and about 30% of the population commutes regularly by bike- but the streets and trails are in pretty bad repair. 

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where are you? don't tell me, the Bay area? I want to live in SF so bad. The cycling culture there is insane. There are races everywhere. The weather/landscape is beautiful.


I've had 3-4 vintage frames. I broke one of them because I backed into it with my car, and that one quickly turned into a crappy donor bike. I bought another one of those 60s 26ers for my mom for like $20, restored it, but she never rides it :/


I still have the other two, about sell one of them. IMO, vintage frames are the best option for college students. But it's pretty frustrating to have to change gears on a tube shifter when your intention is to go fast. Also, those old steel frames tend to be in more upright positions, which is perfect for commuting. Bikes nowadays are made to be "racy" to mimic the pros. Everyone wants to look pro, it's sad. 

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Depends on the quality of the frame. 


And you can upgrade an 80s steel frame to 9 speed with STIs, it's not very difficult. Very easy to spread the back end to fit a higher geared wheel. 


I've got a top end racing Peugot (PX10) from the early 70s that's fantastic. Downtube shifters are a different feel, but once you get used to 'em they really aren't that bad, unless you're commuting and shifting a lot. But honestly, I commute on a touring bike converted to single speed, and I run 15 tooth to 52 tooth, and have no problems managing in traffic, so even if you want to go fast you don't need to shift all that much.


I actually still know people that competitively race on vintage steel, and do *really* well. 

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oh yea? which category do they race in? I'm sure there are people out there that does that. If I weren't so affected by peer pressure, or let my equipment get in the way of my state of mind, I would race with a beater too, especially in cat 5, where crashes are most likely.


I still think instead of upgrading an vintage frame, it makes more sense to just get a new bike if one's planning to get more serious. You can try to get previous generation components like shifters and whatnot, but those are either closeouts or used items. There's also compatibility issues. I tried to upgrade my 1982 fuji del rey (a very reputable bike). I ended up blowing $500 in upgrades in everything except the crankset, FD, and the bike stem. The tektro brakes didn't even fit, and I had to put a drill bit to the fork. I didn't dare touch the rear brake bridge. In the end, I still ended up with a 26 lb bike, when I could have bought a really nice aluminum bike with 105 for about $600 online. Also, the frame is a 58 cm, just like my other one, but the top tube is about 2 cm shorter than modern bike designs. Again, it'll be good for commuting. But I feel crammed in the drops when I'm out riding.


Worrying about crashing is about the only reason I can think of why you might want to stick with vintage. 

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Vibrations. Steel frames are way more shock absorbent.

And the Del Ray is a touring geometry more than racing, and at best a mid level bike in Fujis road bikes at the time. For instance, a Fuji Pro would be 21lbs fully decked out in 80s components.

Heck, for weight, my 86 Schwinn Tiuring bike builds out to about 26 lbs with racks!

As to crashing, it's great that you can actually repair a steel frame. But my steel bikes have frames worth more than $500, easily. And mine aren't the top end!

In short, vintage steel =/= beater.

As to your upgrades, sounds like you just didn't match the right parts to the frame. An 82 del ray should be quite easy to upgrade to modern.

Or you could go with campy chorus components and be even better.

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interesting. so what's wrong with titanium if comfort is the issue? Also, if shock absorption is your main concern, then it's really a matter of how the frame is built. There are good reasons why aluminum and carbon frames tend to have much thicker walls. Steel is dense, and while it's inherently the most shock absorbing, but that would only be true if if the aluminum frame were built in the exact same shape as the steel frame, in which case the bike would feel like a noodle and give out completely. Besides, I see more of a change when I switch between 23 and 25 tires verses going from aluminum to steel.


Also, you can't really change the stem length on a vintage, which is kind of important if you're trying to get a fit done.


As for campy stuff. I don't know about it, never used it, and probably never will. 


how long have you been riding?

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I'm getting more and more into cycling and am currently looking for an entry-level road bike (under $700). I do live in a relatively bike-friendly place (minus the weather!), which definitely helps. I commute via bike to and from campus, and also use my bike to run errands, go to the gym, meet up with friends, etc. It helps that a lot of the stuff I do is within 3 miles of my house, meaning that driving and biking take nearly the same amount of time. My everyday bike is a late 70s Schwinn cruiser. It's a beast (by which I mean it's steel and heavy). I consider this a virtue given how common bike theft is around town and on campus here. I originally paid $95 for the bike, but have done some upgrades (tires, chain, pedals, and adding a basket). There's more I could do but, I like that it looks like a beater, which decreases the risk of theft, which I infinitely appreciate. 

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How long have I been riding? 15 years or so. Mostly long distance riding and touring, though. My roommate for the last two years has been a hard core racer though, for probably more like 20 years. 


I'm not sure exactly what you mean about not being able to change the stem length.. You can raise and lower most stems, and if you don't like the angle or length, there are a ton to choose from. Probably almost as many as with non-quill stems. 


You can also get an adapter to use newer stems with a quill insert. 


Titanium frames are nice- I've ridden a couple I like a lot. They do tend to be a lot more expensive, though. 


And yes, aluminum frames have to be much, much thicker than steel frames for the same tensile strength. But that doesn't really effect the vibration transmission, which is more a factor of material than thickness, although tube build will definitely have an effect. 


Steel has an inherent "springiness" that CF and aluminum don't, that makes for a much smoother ride. Additionally, you can play a lot with the exact alloy to modulate the properties- stiffer, more flexible, etc. That's why you find so many proprietary blends of steels used in racing frames, and all are definitely not created equal. 


Also, do you ride tubular wheels? You'll see a huge improvement with those, more likely. 


And actually, there's a sweet spot with wider tires where you get much less rolling resistance, actually- if your tire is too thin, you actually end up with more rolling resistance relative to a higher pressure wider tire. 


Campy components are still some of the best you'll find- top end sets go for thousands, easily.

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Hey guys., I would like to get a recommendation. It's been years since I rode a bike for the last time, but I want to start riding regularly for a couple of reasons like health and commuting to College.


What kind of bike do you recommend? A brand new bike or a used one? I've been visiting websites of the local bike shops where I'm gonna study and have seen some brands and bike for city and communtig. Nevertheless I need an expert opinion.


Thank you in advance!

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I'd say used, but as I mentioned I'm biased towards solid older bikes. 


Most cities, you can probably pick up a very serviceable old racer/cruiser, or an old steel framed mountain bike that will be great for commuting for 60-150. 


Any new bike you get for that price will be pretty poor. 


As you get into riding, you can figure out exactly what you want, and use that to inform your next purchase more specifically. 

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can't go wrong with a fixie with flipflop hub. You can get a nice one for $200. They don't have shifters, so they're easier to maintain. I hate cleaning my bike's drive train. With a single speed, you only have to do 1 gear, and you're done.


So eigen, I take it you're out of grad school? lol. It throws me off, because your application status says already attending. what places have you toured?


But for I agree that the best option for someone starting out is to buy used from craigslist, if you live in a city that has a decent market that is. I think a lot of times, the bike will need to be restored (eg new cables, brake pads, lubrications required) just because the bike's probably been sitting in the garage for god knows how long. A lot of vintage frames tend to be over priced though. The owners like to advertise them as "extremely rare" when in fact it's just some generic bike from the 70s that nobody knows about. I'm not very familiar with mountain bikes tough. But if your budget is $500 and above, you can get a pretty decent entry level bike. The good thing about that is you get to skip friction shifters and start out with index shifting, which is a lot nicer, even though it's harder to setup. also, 9 times out of 10, it's cheaper to buy a whole bike with the components that you want, as opposed to buying everything separately. A shimano 105 (which is a mid range shimano component) shifting setup alone will cost you $300 on ebay, and that's excluding the crankset, cassette and brakes. A full groupset will cost you at least $500... so yea, if you want a nice bike, buy a nice bike. Don't go with the upgrade route unless you got money to blow.




also, a $500 bike will get you a lighter frame, better wheels, and more responsive brakes. In my opinion, it's the perfect sweet spot between a $100 vintage, and a $4000 s-works, in terms of 80% of long term consumer needs. and when I say $500, I mean $500 online. Those sales come straight from the factory, whereas local bike shops have to retail closer to the MSRP in order to make a profit. It's still a good idea to buy stuff from them, so they'll value you as their customer, and be a little nicer to you.


my 2 cents. as you can see, I like to ramble on about bikes, because I have nothing better to do.

Edited by child of 2
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Lacking a car (and indeed a driver's license) I cycle around the place a LOT - although I don't claim to be a bike gear nut. 

I'm planning to get a bike when I start grad school - probably a hybrid or second-hand road bike (too expensive-looking at it will tempt more thieves). It also depends on the area I live in what type of bike I get. If I'm only 5 miles from campus I won't need anything too fancy to get me around the place. If I end up living 15 miles from campus I'd want a speedy bike for my daily commute. 

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