[CR]re: We are truly... mainstream-how much faster you'd be

(Example: Component Manufacturers)

From: "John Barron" <jb@velostuf.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 19:24:03 -0500
Thread-Index: AcfVZJiCnVTr75TmQHesuTwZUOr3pQ==
Subject: [CR]re: We are truly... mainstream-how much faster you'd be

It would be romantic if old bikes were as fast as new bikes, wouldn't it? Well, without getting too worked-up about this, I'll tell you all that my experience shows that a $3,000 Heuer watch from the 60's doesn't keep as good a time as a $9.99 quartz watch bought today; a $100,000 Ferarri from the 60's doesn't perform, overall, as well as a $22,000 Camry bought today, and a $5,000 Cinelli, Masi, DeRosa, whatever from the 60's will NEVER perform as well as a $600 race bike bought today.

What we love about racing bikes from the old days can not be expressed in elapsed time over 20 kilometers. It's MUCH more. So, PLEASE get over the fact that all the bikes we spend time, money and bandwidth on, are dogs when compared to modern bikes. Your argument that "you are unlikely to be faster on a modern bike" is like trying to divide by zero. It doesn't compute.

* Old bikes are cool for lots of reasons

* Modern bikes are boring/generic for lots of reasons

* We embrace the old bikes for reasons that many people won't ever "get"

* If old bikes were as fast as modern bikes, we wouldn't have to try to explain all of the subtleties as to why we dig old race bikes

* Everyone should on the list should think about accepting the fact that while it would be convenient to simply say, "it's the rider, not the equipment", the reality is that modern bikes kick bloody arse on the old bikes. I raced for 13 years, and although I HATE to admit it, modern bikes make me significantly faster!

John Barron


"Norm and Val Lafleur" wrote:

Marcus, sounds like a great weekend. I know how you ride and I don't think you had to worry about embarassing yourself.

The comment in your note that really caught my attention was, "think how much faster you'd be on a new bike." A few years ago after 20 years of beating myself up trying to stay with the fast guys on the local century I thought I'd try something different....ride it on a fixed gear. If you can't be fast go for style points. So in 2004 at age 61 I did a fixed gear century. I was amazed at how few other riders noticed. Those that did were usually sitting on my wheel when suddenly they would say "hey you don't have a brake" and I would respond "and no gears either".

The following year I continued the "style" theme by riding my 1988 Basso Loto with 7 speed friction C Record shifting. Again mostly unnoticed.

The third year I rode my modern carbon Trek with 10speed Ergo.

The result was that I finished all three rides within 5 minutes of each other. So, I believe you are unlikely to be faster on a modern bike unless you are riding hilly terrain where weight and wider gear ranges might make a difference.

You might be faster however by swapping the sneakers for cleated shoes.

Norm Lafleur

Ashfield, Ma.