What’s “old” for a bike?

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  • What’s “old” for a bike?
  • Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    My road bike – a much-loved Wilier – is now five years old. Of course, nothing on it is original except the frame itself, but I am conscious with the ubiquity of disc brakes and other things (well, maybe just disc brakes and frame colour really), it will probably be considered a bit long in the tooth in some quarters. Especially in light of this thread, I can’t help but wonder if maybe I’m not deceiving myself into thinking that mine is still “modern”.

    Or is it just that mountain bikes tend to make huge leaps in shorter periods of time than road bikes?

    In any case, how old is old to you in bike terms?

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
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    do you still enjoy riding it? if you do who cares on the age or colour?

    Mine was made in 2003! 🙂

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    do you still enjoy riding it? if you do who cares on the age or colour?

    I only sort of care. I will go on riding it as long as I can. I’m more interested in perceptions, though. Not of my bike per se, but of bikes in general. I don’t tend to see bikes as being especially dated, but I feel like I may be in a small minority.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    My road bike is from 2004, its gone through the “why are you riding your winter bike in summer” phase and come out the other side and gets compliments for being a bit retro.

    Road bikes, despite aero, disk brakes, and carbon fibres are still limited by the squishy bit on top.

    Premier Icon Bez
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    My bikes stretch back nearly 30 years, so my perception of “old” probably involves rod brakes and moustache handlebars.

    My road-touring bike is somewhere I think between mid-late 1980s and early 1990s. I really don’t know. It has Biopace chainring and Exage 500LX as clues so I could I suppose look it up . But it works beautifully as is. That is the ‘test’? ie not ‘old’ vs ‘new’ so much as ‘unfit for purpose’ vs ‘fit for purpose’?

    Or ‘shite-ful’ vs ‘delightful’ 🙂

    fossy
    Member

    Best Road bike is from around 1990, fully hand built – i.e. custom for me, top spec Dura Ace, all original. Blooming lovely to ride.

    Training Road bike – triggers broom (3rd frame) some original Shimano 600/tricolour, but not changed from around mid 1995.

    Rigid MTB from early 1990’s – period components used as others wore out. About to be re-sprayed again.

    2010 Alloy and Carbon fixed road bike – still original but looking to sell as no longer used.

    2014 FS bike – bought 2016 (old stock) – far more capable off road than I am.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    This is currently right at the top of my road bike want list, you can keep your £5k Cervelo’s as ridden by Bradley Wiggins and every other sportive nodder, your venge as ridden by Saggan and half of Surreys IT consultants, give me a retro Cannondale!

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cannondale-Caad-3-Road-Bike-58cm-Shimano-105-R7000-Mavic-Ksyrium-Elite-like-new/383139771546

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
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    cannondale is lovely but if its ridden a lot cross chained like that budget for a nrew chain and cassette

    nickjb
    Member

    For mountain bikes I’d say about 10 years is old as that is where you will mostly find bikes with old standards: 1 1/8 headtube, 26″ wheels, shorter, steeper. Of course there are exceptions and there is nothing inherently wrong with any of those things but I think it marks it as ‘old’. Conversely, less than 5 years would be new for me. Only a couple of times have I had a bike that falls into this bracket. Not sure about road bikes but I reckon they age much slower.

    There is a definite no mans land between new enough not to notice and old enough to be classed as retro. At five years you are probably just entering this space.

    Personally I rarely keep a bike more than two years, 18 months is probably more like the norm for me though. Life is to short, and if I kept a bike for, lets say 7 years, I might only get to experience 4 or 5 different bikes. How dull would that be? There are far too many good bikes out there and I want to ride as many of them as possible.

    Premier Icon earl_brutus
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    currently have a 1992 kona still in service! not old, but maybe a classic?

    jabbi
    Member

    I have an 82 Stumpjumper, obviously as far as MTBs go it’s ancient (although with the exception of the seattube angle/chainstay length the geometry is back in fashion!) As far as bikes in general though, it works perfectly and in this case its age is a conversation starter! I don’t think of the age, bikes are either ‘I like it!’ or ‘Well, that’s a bit cack!’https://flic.kr/p/2hwEJDH

    andypaul
    Member

    If you still have a 70 degree head angle your mountain bike is obsolete.
    At least in the eyes of Bike Radar and the industry as a whole.

    I can’t recall ever ditching a bike because I thought it was old, thinking back to bikes bought over the last 15 years, for example…
    I sold one because I lost faith in rim brakes after my rta
    I sold another because long after time I finally admitted my lower back was never going to let me ride something with that low a front end again
    My old Alfine 26″ hybrid commuter guttingly developed a terminal frame crack

    My 2016 Cube road bike (bought end of season) is a landmark bike for me in terms of designs such as…
    Carbon frame
    Carbon bladed forks
    Hydraulic disc brakes
    Thru axle
    Internal cable routing

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    andypaul

    If you still have a 70 degree head angle your mountain bike is…

    obsolete going to be back in fashion in a few years.

    andypaul
    Member

    andypaul

    If you still have a 70 degree head angle your mountain bike is…

    obsolete going to be back in fashion in a few years.

    …But with drop bars and 40mm tyres

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    but with drop bars and 40mm tyres

    Stick some jones bars on it and you’ve saved yourself £2k on buying a Salsa for bikepacking.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
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    According to HMRC, a 6 year old bike is worth nothing…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    cannondale is lovely but if its ridden a lot cross chained like that budget for a nrew chain and cassette

    Judging by the length of the chain I dont think its ever been ridden.

    Although TBH I ride my road bike big-big all thr time, the chainline seems to favour that over small-small. Since MTB cassette prices went balistic Ive become a lot more blase about £30 105 cassettes anyway!

    mrlebowski
    Member

    My Litespeed is now 15 yrs YOUNG….

    If it ain’t broke – don’t fit it..

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    andypaul

    …But with drop bars and 40mm tyres

    🙂

    I think you’ve invented the gravel bike…

    taxi25
    Member

    I change Mtb’s on a regular basis, they change and there’s so much difference between them it’s fun to try different ones. My road bike is 6yrs old and is much more a tool for the job. Something else wouldn’t ride much differentially so it’s staying. Propably for another 6yrs 👍

    JonEdwards
    Member

    “best summer road bike” – the basics haven’t changed in decades. (aside from disc brakes). If its 130mm OLN rear wheel, any frame will take a modern groupset (or an appropriately NOS vintage one if that’s your bag) and it’s then all about the ride quality and an old bike may well be nicer than a new one. Mine’s (steel Enigma) just turned 5 and I have absolutely no desire to change it for many years.

    MTBs? The geometry changes of the last couple of years make a hell of a difference. Anything that’s not is going to feel old fashioned in comparison, even if in isolation it rides absolutely fine. My full sus is 6 years old and I’m faster on anything that’s not ridiculo-rough on my LLS 18 month old hardtail.

    kerley
    Member

    I pretty much only ride track bikes (or have done for last 20 years) and they have ranged from a 1972 Mercian to my current S Works. Apart from the stem (and sometimes seatpost size) all of the parts from a 2019 bike will fit the 1972 frame. That is the beauty and simplicity of track bikes.

    The geometry has even stayed the same and the best bike for road use was actually the 1972 bike and it didn’t feel in any way old to ride despite being almost 50 years old now.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    Depends on the application; for a general purpose road bike which doesn’t see much if any competitive use? I reckon it should be good for a decade as a minimum, a touring bike? 30 years is probably only just run in. And for both of the above while the presence of discs is nice, it doesn’t make the bike any faster and the pro Peleton is still a mixture of discs and calipers so I don’t think it really makes much odd in terms of a bike seemin “old”

    MTBs are different as the industry is keen on reinventing most elements every couple of years and pushing new sub-niches, plus the bikes have a harder life so break more often so yeah, a five year old bike looks and maybe feels a bit dated but I don’t think it’s truly “old” until its getting on for 8-10 years? I could happily ride a bike from 2010 today, my current MTB barely has any parts made after 2015 (Inc frame and forks) and IMO still holds its own…

    If you’ve managed 5 years without discs then you probably don’t need them!

    Have got a 3 year old Rose with Ultegra groupset and Fulcrum wheels. My only worry is that lots of turbo use might be bad for a lightweight aluminium frame, but then I’m mostly sat down on the turbo, even during intervals.

    The downside is that I couldn’t really improve it much without spending silly money, e.g. £1000 on some light and aero wheels, v.s. just spending £2000 on the updated model which would be lighter and more aero and have up-to-date groupset etc.

    My only hardtail MTB is a 2009 p7 and it feels just fine with wide bars, 2.4 rubber* and 130mm squishers. Haven’t tried anything (hardtail-wise) with newer geo so maybe ignorance is bliss but it feels great to ride. Will probably be even better when I get thru forks on it. My longer, slacker 29er rigid MTB is fun too, but in a different way. The older 26er just feels more fast and naughty than the longer 29er.

    I actually replaced a marginally newer bike (2010 Giant XTC) with the P7. The newer XTC felt positively old school by comparison, ie narrow tyres and steep head angle w/long stem/shorter tt, I just couldn’t get on with it. So it really depends on the bike to some degree.

    *Best quick upgrade for any old MTB if they fit, along with wider bars

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    My road bike is from 2007 – how do people perceive that?

    It’s not about years, it’s about how much tech has changed. So MTBs didn’t change much for years and then all of a sudden there’s loads of innovation. So before that, 5 years wasn’t old, but afterwards it was.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I actually replaced a marginally newer bike (2010 Giant XTC) with the P7. The newer XTC felt positively old school by comparison, ie narrow tyres and steep head angle w/long stem/shorter tt,

    My Trek is a 2013 and has steep angles, 2.2 tyres, 710mm bars and a 70mm stem. But that’s cos it’s an XC race bike – they haven’t changed a lot, but the MTBing public’s preference has shifted away.

    tpbiker
    Member

    I just ‘upgraded’ my 2014 canyon to a top of the range disk version tcr. Other than disks there is no difference. The canyon is lighter, same amount of gears, just as stiff. And disks aren’t necessarily better, the stop you slightly better, but they have their drawbacks

    If you compared it to one of the canyon 2019 models that doesn’t have disks I wager it’s would be almost identical to ride. Road bikes don’t change in same way as mtbs.

    If you want a nice new bike however, that’s another matter alltogether

    My HT was built in 1990. God knows what the geometry is but for what I use it for It’s spot on. It fits & I’m comfortable on it. It’s an antique.
    My FS is a 2011 Filing Cabinet 5. Again it’s spot on for what I need & I feel comfortable on that as well. It’s just old.
    Just bought an Orange 4 (2nd hand)to potentially replace the 5 & I’m not yet convinced. It’s newish & only bought it to ‘keep up with developments’, the old 5 might yet stay with me.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    if I kept a bike for, lets say 7 years, I might only get to experience 4 or 5 different bikes.

    Duh, that’s why you have more than one!

    My bikes may be old but I have 6. All built up and in use too.

    djglover
    Member

    2010 bike. Cheaper than a bike to work bike, lighter than the UCI weight limit. Feels new

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hjb6xS]Untitled[/url] by danjwilkinson, on Flickr

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    if I kept a bike for, lets say 7 years, I might only get to experience 4 or 5 different bikes.

    Seems to me a strange mindset, it’s not about the bike (literally), bikes are for going on rides which are the important bit!

    ivantate
    Member

    08 Roadrat. doesn’t seem old, just need to use it for the right kind of riding.
    09 Five. still feel at home on it, but when up against newer fs the lack of dropper, stability and stiffness sometimes make it feel old. Fox sent me a newer model shock when I sent mine in for service last year as they didn’t carry the parts for the original any more.
    Now it’s 10yo, like Essel I was tempting myself with a four as a more modern replacement. taper steerer, large seat tube, 34/6mm forks and boltthrough. (Jury is out on wheelsize)

    Fat and CX bikes are both 2016 and likely to still around for a long time unless I win the lottery.

    Compatibility with some of the new toys particularly the lack of 27.2 droppers for XL frames will likely see me swap the five out.
    (Despite the pleasure of still gapping carbon wonder steeds on some rides)

    Hmm, but will it end up as decoration rather than selling it on.

    Seems to me a strange mindset, it’s not about the bike (literally), bikes are for going on rides which are the important bit!

    Why do you find that strange? I like bikes. I like riding them, and if you only ever ride a limited number of them then how do you decide whats good and whats bad? When you are looking for your next bike and get a test ride, if the only thing you can compare it with is the last bike you owned for 15 years, how do you know if its any good?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    I’ve still got (although very rarely ridden) a 2002 S-Works road bike (before they did Tarmac, Allez etc, it was just that top end frame. It’s had a couple of groupset changes (currently on a DuraAce 7800) and a couple of wheel changes bit it’s basically still fine although the front end is noticeably less stiff than my 2015 carbon Tarmac.

    MTB. My Cove Stiffee. 2003 or 2004 maybe. It still goes up and down hills. Everything on it is obsolete. Triple chainset, 26″ wheels, ISIS BB. Basically of anything breaks on it, the whole thing is junk!

    I rode a Trek Remedy the other week (hire bike) and actually found it incredibly cumbersome. Admittedly it steamrollered down hills without batting an eyelid but it had no pop, no ability to flick it around. And it took the entire ride to get used to long/low/slack!

    Premier Icon IdleJon
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    Seems to me a strange mindset, it’s not about the bike (literally), bikes are for going on rides which are the important bit! pushing up small hills, spending hours chatting at the top before mincing slowly down and high-giving because you’re awesome.

    Fify

    😄

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