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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:44 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:07 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: muddy fields, usually
The thing is though, there are people in the industry genuinely trying to make better bikes. Should they just stop trying because of all the cynical retro-grouches for whom everything was always better "back in the day"..? Just because your old bike does the job you need it to do fine, doesn't mean everyone feels that way. I'd utterly destroy a retro bike if I rode it the way I ride my modern FS.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:02 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 29010
Is this your modern FS from today? 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 18 years ago? Who is genuinely trying to make better bikes and how do they make money from that?

Theres some proven facts out there and no-one is being grouchy. You've been given some genuine information rather than the usual guff yet theres always the little dig.

I like 'modern' tyres, they are great and I dont understand why the obsession with old stuff if you want to actually ride the bicycle. But then even these have been around a few years, how do you re-invent something that works perfectly well?

Certain designs work and cant be improved upon no matter how often the word 'technology' is bandied about.

Sometimes people simply see through the marketing hype and switch off - dont lambaste them for coming to their senses.

*incidentally, a frozen White Peak ride and 2500 feet of climbing didnt kill a 30 year old bicycle a few weeks ago, the rider, maybe.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:14 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
I’m as retro a grouch as anyone but there is a point. My 2012 full bounce 29er is capable of scaring the living daylights out of me at speeds and in places I would baulk at on my 97 26” retro version. I dare say a more capable rider would have more of an impact on the difference but progress has been made.

Doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water though.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:28 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:01 pm
Posts: 4548
cce wrote:
M-Power wrote:
Some of the top modern CX bikes weigh the same ~ 18.5-20lbs as custom high end builds of the retro era. They look very fragile by comparison with retro and i seriously doubt they will be around in 25yrs after serious use ;) There is also the fact most modern CF frames are made in China, where they dump the waste directly in the Ocean. :evil:



The bulk of the old kit we're all chasing after now is stuff that was used lightly or not at all back in the day though.

Carbon frames are surprisingly tough, see videos of them being deliberately smacked off concrete etc.


I have seen the videos but also seen a crazy number of FB posts showing cracked or usually ‘totalled’ carbon frames after regular use not abuse ! Stress fractures can build up in them until one day you get a ‘catastrophic failure’. These micro cracks are also not as easy to see detect like on retro frames, unless you have access to an x-ray machine. You just need to pray that the sharp pieces dont embed in you or sever an artery when it cracks as it surely will in time.

Agree with above. The bike industry needs to keep ‘reinventing the wheel’ a few times every year. They know a good % of riders are suckers for all the marketing hype.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:07 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:12 pm
Posts: 4751
Location: The Shire
I retro faster?

No of course it's not. We're all here on the forum because we love old bikes and I think we have a rose tinted view of the past and a slightly old fart cynical view of the present.



I remember people making the same arguments against, suspension forks. and then suspensions frames, disk brakes, etc. etc.The bike industry have been accused of cynical marketing since I can remember. I doubt there are many who would go back to threaded headsets or square taper cranks though.

There is always a period where the top end companies will push the envelope; others will jump on that band wagon and the results aren't always brilliant. Sure there are a lot of dubious carbon frames out there, but there have been some god awful products in previous decades too. It's not always the also rans that produce them either. Klein made some wonderfully beautiful frames but the quality control on their welding was bloody atrocious. Cannondale were commonly referred to as crack n fail- I could go on. Lessons are learned, tech is refined & then people move on to the next new idea that will set them apart, or give them the edge.

29 " wheels may only make a marginal difference if you're a pro, or paid to ride bikes for a living for magazines, but I'm a darn site faster on mine than any of my older bikes.

Do I have more fun on my new bikes?

That's a different question all together.


Last edited by cherrybomb on Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:36 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:07 pm
Posts: 1724
I vividly remember my first ride on my Kona King Kikapu in 98.It completely changed my opinion on what a bike is capable of and in one fell swoop made all the other bikes I had obsolete.Before that most full sussers were comedic abominations and suspension for hardtails was an inch and a bit.With Z1s, 600mm risers,90mm stem and an early Formula front disc that Kona opened up an entire different way of riding for me.Previously I had to pick a line, have a deft touch on the brakes and basically pray,whereas the Kona would just steamroller at speed effortlessly through with more grin factor and less trepidation.That Kona is now outclassed by my Anthem and after a recent spin on a Horsethief,I think the bar has even been set higher,I love my retros but for speed its modern for me.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:08 pm
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Location: I know where the stash is – the secret's safe with me. The flying squad will never find us...
I'd like to report that like me, 26 is still alive and shreddin' it! A 50 plus bloke on a 28 year old steel frame – well maintained with parts replaced as necessary (on the bike that is). Maybe spending more money on better upgrades or front sus forks might raise performance or the ride comfort, but not by much. Yes, it's old, but it has character and heritage and you can't buy that. Do I really need to keep up with the hype and lash out £5k on finance for a modern fancy every few months? Nope.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:51 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:49 am
Posts: 156
groovyblueshed wrote:
I'd like to report that like me, 26 is still alive and shreddin' it! A 50 plus bloke on a 28 year old steel frame – well maintained with parts replaced as necessary (on the bike that is). Maybe spending more money on better upgrades or front sus forks might raise performance or the ride comfort, but not by much. Yes, it's old, but it has character and heritage and you can't buy that. Do I really need to keep up with the hype and lash out £5k on finance for a modern fancy every few months? Nope.


Just about covers my thoughts only my 2 old full sus and a rigid cover all my riding needs, money no object yeah I'd buy a new bike but probably only if I trash one of my current rides.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:13 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5115
For speed, overall comfort and most of all, handling the really rough stuff, the trails you couldn't ride without falling off a lot, or avoiding all together, the modern bike wins everytime.

On trails that most of us actually ride and enjoy, then there's not much difference. But I'm pretty sure you'll feel less broken (tired) on the modern bike than the retro bike.

Which is more fun is a totally different matter ;-)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:55 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:03 pm
Posts: 23
Terrain,fitness and skill level being equal, modern will be faster. The pro argument, the better traction, control and ability to take the fastest line rather than that line minus ruts, 4inch babyheads etc. make that blindingly obvious to me.

It's that last point which clicks with what a few have already observed about retro rides; they feel faster/more characterful because it takes more attention to tackle the same terrain.

I'd frame that in terms of how involved I feel in the ride; my stage of life (3 kids 5 and under, long commutes), my release is 1 hr forest and bridleway blasts midweek. On a bike with any squish, these are tame rides; on my 96 rigid m2, every root, rock, hollow needs unweighting/movement and a bit of care to keep the pace up and have a nice flow to things. I'm not particularly quick, although hold my own with two more experienced friends on full squish, but it's the very effort/mindfulness of riding the stumpy that gives me complete absorption and escape from Life that's such a massive part of why I ride. I leave the Strava KOMs etc to others who get more of their reward their kicks from outright speed.

On the disc vs canti brakes, some of the posts are beyond parody even for a retro forum! An engineering friend, and fully subscribed retro + modern life-long rider, once explained this to me in terms of where the brakes apply their force in relation to the inertia/momentum of the wheel. This was in response to me asking why rim brakes with the biggest disc/lever possible weren't still the standard. Not having a brain built that way I didn't quite get it, but intuitively see that discs seem more capable of taking the rotating energy out of the wheel/axle without putting it into a skid. Looking at cars, I think the discs get bigger to give more area for the calipers to grip, not because of the bigger diameter/leverage at the disc rim...


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