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View Full Version : I am a total newbie.... I have questions, please be gentle!


blah
October 9th 04, 02:11 AM
I am going in to this post assuming that the following questions have
already been asked and answered elsewhere. Unfortunately, I can't find a
source (at least, no source I understand) for the type of information I am
looking for. So, if it is out there, please point me toward it.

So, I am pretty much a begginer. I have owned a bike my whole life, and
like most kids, it was my form of transportation when I was young. However,
I have never done any kind of repair or upgrade work on my own. So, I
wouldn't say I have any real technical understanding of bicycle physics or
components.

Without turning this in to a 10 page history of my life, I will give you a
small amount of background. I have been an athlete (though not for a long
while), and have decided to re-apply myself. Basically, I was goaded in to
running in a mini-marathon in the spring. However, I need to be gentle on
my knees and have decided to occassionally ride my bike in replacement of
running. Plus, this is a good way to start some pre-triathlon training
(also a part of next summers plants). The important part of this little
scenario is that I have fallen in love with riding! I forgot how much I
loved it when I was a kid... what a great way to get somewhere, excersize,
and spend time with my kids (often in tow).

So, that is the short story about how I started riding again. Now, for the
important stuff. My bike.

I didn't, and still don't, have the $1500-2000 I needed to buy the bike I
want. And, my 20 year Schwinn Probe is exactly comfortable for any kind of
road riding. So, I found a good deal on a "vintage" bike. I bought a Lotus
Challenger circa '83(?), and love it. I did some test rides on new Trek,
Specialized, and Burley bikes and, while they are significantly lighter, I
actually prefer the "feel" of my Lotus. So, score one for me... I have the
basics of a bike I like. Now, for the upgrades. I would like to lighten
the bike a little, and I know their are newer forks, wheel sets, seatposts,
handlebars, and other components that will be much lighter than my own.
But, where to start? Can I actually convert my "vintage" parts to the new
stuff? Are there brands I should keep in mind? Are there prerequesites for
upgrading some parts vs. others? One thing that I really liked about the
new bikes where the integrated brakes and shifters... is that even possible
for my Lotus?

As stated earlier, there is probably some easy to understand and fully
comprehensive source for this information, but I haven't found it.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,

Ross

packmagician
October 9th 04, 03:27 AM
blah Wrote:
> I bought a Lotu
> Challenger circa '83(?), and love it. ... Now, for the upgrades.
> would like to lighte
> the bike a little, and I know their are newer forks, wheel sets
> seatposts
> handlebars, and other components that will be much lighter than my own
> But, where to start? Can I actually convert my "vintage" parts to th
> ne
> stuff? Are there brands I should keep in mind? Are there prerequesite
> fo
> upgrading some parts vs. others? One thing that I really liked abou
> th
> new bikes where the integrated brakes and shifters... is that eve
> possibl
> for my Lotus
> Ross
Ross: It's probably not going to be cost-effective to try to upgrad
the shifters. I assume the bike is 6-speed. You could squeeze
7-speed wheel in there without much problem, but the kind of shifter
you are thinking of just never existed back in 7-speed days. To go t
8 or 9-speed would involve spreading out the rear triangle so that th
significantly wider wheel would fit, new derailleur, new rear wheel
new cassette, new chain, and of course the levers themselves. By th
time you were done you'd have spent a fair amount of money unless yo
could find the parts in good shape and really cheap. Otherwise,
wouldn't worry too much about the shifters, rear wheel, freewheel
chain, etc. What you can do is see if you can pick up a lighter and/o
more aerodynamic front wheel (they're all the same width), maybe upgrad
the tires, saddle, bars & stem, etc. You won't get dropped from th
group training ride because your shifters are on the downtube instea
of the brake levers. Ride the bike, lbe the chain, save your money
and get to know the local bike racers (especially the ones who ride th
same size bike as you!), so you can buy one of their bikes when they bu
new ones next year

--
packmagician

blah
October 9th 04, 03:47 AM
"packmagician" > wrote in
message ...
>
> blah Wrote:
>> I bought a Lotus
>> Challenger circa '83(?), and love it. ... Now, for the upgrades. I
>> would like to lighten
>> the bike a little, and I know their are newer forks, wheel sets,
>> seatposts,
>> handlebars, and other components that will be much lighter than my own.
>> But, where to start? Can I actually convert my "vintage" parts to the
>> new
>> stuff? Are there brands I should keep in mind? Are there prerequesites
>> for
>> upgrading some parts vs. others? One thing that I really liked about
>> the
>> new bikes where the integrated brakes and shifters... is that even
>> possible
>> for my Lotus?
>> Ross


> Ross: It's probably not going to be cost-effective to try to upgrade
> the shifters. I assume the bike is 6-speed. You could squeeze a
> 7-speed wheel in there without much problem, but the kind of shifters
> you are thinking of just never existed back in 7-speed days. To go to
> 8 or 9-speed would involve spreading out the rear triangle so that the
> significantly wider wheel would fit, new derailleur, new rear wheel,
> new cassette, new chain, and of course the levers themselves. By the
> time you were done you'd have spent a fair amount of money unless you
> could find the parts in good shape and really cheap. Otherwise, I
> wouldn't worry too much about the shifters, rear wheel, freewheel,
> chain, etc. What you can do is see if you can pick up a lighter and/or
> more aerodynamic front wheel (they're all the same width), maybe upgrade
> the tires, saddle, bars & stem, etc. You won't get dropped from the
> group training ride because your shifters are on the downtube instead
> of the brake levers. Ride the bike, lbe the chain, save your money,
> and get to know the local bike racers (especially the ones who ride the
> same size bike as you!), so you can buy one of their bikes when they buy
> new ones next year.
>
>
> --
> packmagician
>

I know that my local bike shop organizes some group rides. Perhaps I should
tag along on a couple of these...see if I can make some friends with people
my size. Good idea.

I know that some things are a lot more expensive than others, and it sounds
like serious drivetrain or shifter improvements are on the expensive side.
I assume there are some other things I can upgrade to help lighten my bike.
In addition to your suggestions above, is there a certain order I should try
to follow? I have heard that the spinning weight (tires, wheels) is more
important that static weight. Should I keep this in mind? I don't know if
there is a certain order that I should upgrade different sections of the
bike...if at all.

Thanks for the help!

Ross

packmagician
October 9th 04, 03:59 AM
blah Wrote:
> "packmagician"
> wrote i
> message ..
> I know that some things are a lot more expensive than others, and i
> sound
> like serious drivetrain or shifter improvements are on the expensiv
> side
> I assume there are some other things I can upgrade to help lighten m
> bike
> In addition to your suggestions above, is there a certain order
> should tr
> to follow? I have heard that the spinning weight (tires, wheels) i
> mor
> important that static weight. Should I keep this in mind? I don't kno
> i
> there is a certain order that I should upgrade different sections o
> th
> bike...if at all.I had a Cinelli of the same vintage that I raced until three years ago.
Never upgraded the shifters, other than to go to 7-speed (new rear axle
new freewheel, re-dished rear wheel). You will notice the bigges
change by upgrading wheels/tires. Assuming that the bike fits (i.
doesn't need a different stem, for example) next attend to the thing
that connect you to the bike. Pedals/shoes, saddle, bars/tape. Th
rest is mostly just a matter of personal preference, assuming th
existing stuff is working well. Don't know what kind of equipment i
on the bike now, so it's hard to say what would make the mos
difference

--
packmagician

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