Do I or don't I?

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
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alamb200
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Do I or don't I?

Postby alamb200 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 08:31 am

Hi,

I am considering getting a new bike to use to get to work and back a round trip of around 38 miles and I tend to average around 20 mph.

At present I have a old Falcon racing bike which I bought second hand for £30 26 years ago which I love even if the frame is a bit big for me. In the past year I have had the headset bearings and the crank replaced but it currently needs a respray a new back wheel and tyre and various other cosmetic works to get it up to a decent spec.

I have been looking at other options rather than spending the money on a 30 year old bike but I do not know if I would gain anything.

The bikes I have been looking at are the Specialized Tricross and the Forme Calvert X both of these bikes are meant to be a bit tougher, which with the state of the roads near me and the fact I carry pannier's I thought would be an advantage.

The question is what would I gain by changing my bike and is it worthwhile to spend the extra money? If I do get a new bike the old one will have to go to the bike graveyard because I do not have storage space for it and again this upsets me.

Any advice on this would be gratefully received.

Thanks,

alamb200

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Rolf F
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby Rolf F » Wed Oct 03, 2012 08:54 am

If you are doing big miles then maintenance/parts cost becomes an issue.

Ultimately, the Falcon will cost you less to run than a modern bike and you've already spent a few quid on it. Wheels can be wrecked in a second by a pothole. Basically, you shouldn't begrudge any bike fair and square maintenance.

The new bike will be lighter and shinier but it probably won't get you into work noticeably quicker (sounds like you have a fairly flat commute which minimises the difference between lighter and heavier bikes).

So, you can get a handbuilt rear wheel for £80 which will be a much better wheel than the one you'll get on the new bikes you mentioned plus a tough powder coat paint job for about £60. So less than £150 which is cheaper than the new bike. Plus maybe a shorter stem to mitigate against the slightly oversized frame (though this is the only really good reason to get a new bike).

Also, if you are looking at a new bike - maybe consider touring bikes which are similar to the Cross bikes but actually set up the way you need them! And if you do decide to get a new bike - stick the old one on Ebay - you'll probably get more than you think for it.
Faster than a tent.......

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Coach H
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby Coach H » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:20 am

As I could not manage an average speed of 20mph over a 38 mile ride this weekend an a good spec carbon bike with lightweight wheels whist riding through and off for most of the time with a friend, I am not sure I will have any appropriate advice.

If you are managing this riding on your own, on an old bike, which is the wrong size, with a shot rear and carrying loaded panniers there are VERY few on here who are riding at your level and will be able to offer constructive advice.

If you manage to get close to this average speed over this distance on a pannier bearing cross bike I would be very surprised. Sound like you are doing fine as you are.
Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')

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alamb200
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby alamb200 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:10 am

The going is fairly flat and the prevailing wind is more or less a side wind which helps and I am going by the speedo that is on my bike so there is room for error on my mph. According to my speedo on a fairly flat bit last night with a very pleasant back wind I got to 27mph, again give or take.

My commute is 38 miles as a round trip so only 19 miles each way.

I am stupid when it comes to exercise and tend to run myself to the ground and turn up as a sweating gibbering wreck by the time I get to work. (Always a good look for the ladies)

What speed is a good speed? I watch the professionals on TV doing 96Kph and think that I am so slow that kids on trikes would be able to pass me.

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southdownswolf
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby southdownswolf » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:21 am

If your commute distance is 19 miles then an average speed of 20mph would mean that you get to work in 57 minutes. 27mph is very possible if on the flat or downhill and with a tail wind, although I doubt I would get up to that speed on a commute INTO work, maybe back home... :lol:

As for a new bike, I doubt that a new bike will make you any quicker, except that you will not be carrying as much weight in your wallet. As mentioned above, spend some money on a handbuilt wheel that will be much better than wheels on a new budget bike. If you have an attachment to the bike, why get rid?
http://www.stuartmole.co.uk/

racingcondor
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby racingcondor » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:41 am

I'd stick with what you have. You clearly like the bike and by the sounds of it it's been well looked after, it's just reached a mileage which means a few more expensive repairs than usual.

With panniers a handbuilt rear might well be a good option to get something that will run and run but I'm guessing that given the age of the bike the hard task will be finding a hub that's compatible (i.e. probably less than 8 speed and narrower than 130mm). If you can do that then the rest should be reasonably easy.

AndyPkr
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby AndyPkr » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:47 am

If you can afford it, buy a new bike. Upgrading a bike that is nearly 30 years old is madness. Unless you intend to do a full restoration which again would be madness for that make of bike. As suggested earlier put the old bike on Ebay and put the money towards a new one. Even a new £300 pound bike will be far superior to your old one.

MichaelW
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby MichaelW » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:26 pm

I went through the upgrade decision with an old racer and decided to buy new. You can still keep the Falcon, it is worth something as a backup.
IMHO, a modern all-weather road commuter should have rack and mudguard eyelets, disc brakes (on the chainstay). A set of handbuilt 32spoke wheels are tough and reliable and cheaper to maintain than most factory pre-built wheels.
My bike has Alfine 8 spd and a Shimano front dynamo hub. This is good for an urban runabout but may not be right for a long distance commuter.
I dont think CX bikes are any tougher than road bikes but they do have useful tyre clearance and some have the disc option.

There are some modern components that seem to want in the durability department, some versions of external bottom bracket. I'm not convinced that high sprocket counts work in the lower grade groupsets, without the benefit fancy advanced engineering and materials.

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alamb200
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby alamb200 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 15:24 pm

Okay quite a spread of opinion here as to what I should do.

To make it simple for me is there any chance of a yes or no answer as to whether there would be any benefit to me in buying a new bike and if yes then a recommendation for a bike under £750?

Thanks,

alfablue
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby alfablue » Wed Oct 03, 2012 15:47 pm

Yes

An Audax bike (fast tourer)

night_porter
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby night_porter » Wed Oct 03, 2012 16:08 pm

What do you consider a benefit?

Faster - No

Stronger - No

More Unique - No

Cheaper - No

More blingy - No not if you get some nice handbuilts and a new paint job

More comfortable - I would be surprised as you have ridden the Falcon for so long your a$$ has probably moulded to the shape of the bike

Lighter - Yes but it won't make any difference until someone picks it up and nods knowingly at the weight so the benefit is kudos (so what?)

Keep the bike, fix it up and be proud that you are riding a unique bike!

neeb
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby neeb » Wed Oct 03, 2012 16:34 pm

alamb200 wrote:The going is fairly flat and the prevailing wind is more or less a side wind which helps and I am going by the speedo that is on my bike so there is room for error on my mph. According to my speedo on a fairly flat bit last night with a very pleasant back wind I got to 27mph, again give or take.

Ah, OK, so by average speed you mean the speed you see on your speedo most of the time. If your computer calculates real average speed you will probably find it is a little bit lower.. :wink:

I say get a nice modern road bike, you'll notice a big difference in the way it rides compared to your old bike and it will help to keep you enthusiastic. It probably won't be significantly faster over the entire route, but it will accelerate and handle better and just be a bit more fun to ride. Keep the old bike and set it up as a wet weather/winter bike and save the new bike for good weather days.

Is 750 your absolute limit? If you could stretch to a bit over 1000 you could get something quite a bit nicer, like a Cannondale CAAD10 105 or one of the cheaper carbon options from one of the German brands such as Cube or Focus.

<edit - just saw the bit about storage space and not being able to keep 2 bikes... Are you sure? I've lived in umpteen tiny flats with two or more bikes, you just need a few feet of wall space for each one. If the problem is the person/people you live with, get rid of them. :wink: >

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alamb200
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby alamb200 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 19:41 pm

At the moment in my garage I have my road bike and my mountain bike, on top of that there are my kids bikes and my wifes bikeso adding another one would make 6 bikes and my wife would flip.:)

Focus-rider
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby Focus-rider » Wed Oct 03, 2012 20:36 pm

Can't offer much device here I'm afraid. I commute 17 miles in each direction 4 days out of 5 on what I would call a slightly hilly route, few 200m steep climbs the quite a few long slog gradual climbs. For some reason the wind always seems to be head on :roll: . On a really good day my record is a 21mph average if I'm pushing on. A normal day is 18mph and this is all on a carbon focus with full Lycra gear and a ruck sack. In my opinion you seem to be doing dam well at that speed on an older bike with full panniers. You may enjoy a new bike but not sure how much faster you will be, heck who am I trying to kid. Buy the new bike, it will make you happy. :mrgreen:

nathancom
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby nathancom » Thu Oct 04, 2012 06:19 am

You will easily find a rear handbuilt with a the correct axle width for an old bike on EBay.

mike6
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby mike6 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 18:24 pm

I am not knocking you here but If you can average 20 mph, on a 30 year old bike, with panniers, I would give Team Sky a call. That is a good average on a new carbon framed bike, with good wheels and a fit rider. Get a new bike and you will get to work before you leave home.
Anyway, a new bike will be easier to maintain as the parts will be readily available. I don't know what the market is like for parts for a 30 year old model?

farrina
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby farrina » Thu Oct 04, 2012 19:11 pm

alamb200 wrote:Hi,

I am considering getting a new bike to use to get to work and back a round trip of around 38 miles and I tend to average around 20 mph

alamb200


My first thought was that if you were averaging 20 mph on your way to work, assuming you don't live on the top of a mountain, is that you consider giving up your current employment and look for gainful employment as a potential professional cyclist. :D

The only reason I am bringing this up is that I am jealous of your speedy legs and big lungs .... If only I were 20 again I might be in with a vague shout of such speeds

Regards

Alan
Regards
Alan

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alamb200
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby alamb200 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:40 am

Hi Alan,

20? I am 41, but to stupid to realise that when it hurts I should maybe relax a bit :)

saprkzz
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby saprkzz » Fri Oct 05, 2012 09:34 am

20mph average is do-able on a 19mile flatish commute, my communte is 18 miles, and only have 3 short uphills, although you can still ride at over 18mph up them. I do seem to get a lot of days with a head wind which drops me below 20mph, but on a nice clear day i can ride with a side and keep over 20 without pushing too hard:

This is one of my commutes:

Distance: 18.03 mi
Time: 53:20
Avg Pace: 2:57 min/mi
Avg Speed: 20.3 mph
Elevation Gain: 377 ft
Calories: 1,269 C
Avg Temperature: 66.4 °F

Details

Timing
Time: 53:20
Moving Time: 52:03
Elapsed Time: 53:35
Avg Speed: 20.3 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 20.8 mph
Max Speed: 32.3 mph
Avg Pace: 2:57 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 2:53 min/mi

Elevation
Elevation Gain: 377 ft
Elevation Loss: 364 ft
Min Elevation: 180 ft
Max Elevation: 306 ft

When we did the blenheim 62 mile sportive which had some horrible hills we average 19mph in a group of 3 and one of my mates was on a carrera from halfords, he has since got a full carbon BMC and says the difference is amazing, i dont reckon i will keep up with him now! :)

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Graeme_S
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Re: Do I or don't I?

Postby Graeme_S » Fri Oct 05, 2012 09:49 am

alamb200 wrote:I am considering getting a new bike


Do it!

This is a cycling forum, what sort of answers did you expect? ;)


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