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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:58 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
If you stick roughly to the travel of the forks it was designed for you should not have a problem.

Bear in mind the design purpose of the bike as well, don't take an xc machine on fast hairy downhill and expect it to take it.

There is a lot of expertise on the Raleigh UK bikes on here, so I would think you will get some definitive answers as soon as someone notices. I know nothing about their mountain bikes.

However I hammer around on a couple of WCF DBR Vertexs, and they don't seem to have an issue with modern forks and all mountain use!


Last edited by highlandsflyer on Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:58 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 5667
Location: Dorset
ultrazenith wrote:
Russell wrote:
Have you seen how light a modern 26" bike is?

I have modern bikes with disc brakes and full suspension that weigh less than the rigid, canti braked retro bikes that sit next to them in my garage.


From browsing my local shop, and reading the odd review, I gather that a rigid 26" at a price point of 1000 pounds weighs in at about 13 kg (29 lb). Initially I was surprised, but I guess the long travel forks add a kg or so, and the additional cost of the forks means the other components need to be cheaper. It's possible I was looking at 29ers by mistake, perhaps :oops:

My rigid 96 Diamond Back Apex weighs roughly 11 kg, without having made much effort to use the lightest parts (hope hub aside). I guess weight isn't all that important anyway, and riders / speccers have figured that out after the 90s weight weenie madness. What different does an extra kg make to a 75 kg rider+bike combo? 1-2% difference in total weight.


My newly purchased Canyon 29er hardtail was exactly 25lbs out of the box, and cost me £1130 delivered to my door.
I'd say I'm 20% faster over every kind of terrain I've ridden so far on the Canyon compared to any of my retro bikes, past or present.
It doesn't make me smile as much, either when riding or simply when I look at it though, as my retrobikes :D


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:02 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
That is mighty impressive for a 29er.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:13 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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highlandsflyer wrote:
That is mighty impressive for a 29er.

I was surprised.
It was what was listed on the website, but when does that ever come true?
That was without pedals though, but I have fitted lighter brakes, seatpost and saddle so far so it's probably not far off of that again.
For just over £1k, it's a hell of a ride for the money!


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:20 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Have to agree. Intrigued by the 20% faster idea too. Would you say you have to manual a lot on your trails?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:04 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 am
Posts: 794
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
On the commuter path to work the retro bike might be faster. I never stopped riding nor buying new bikes as technology updated and I can tell you that I could not do the things I do now on an equivalent bike from 20 years ago. No way. I could ride up and down the same things, and potentially the up part would be about the same, but the thing would self destruct at the pace you can descend now. IMO bikes have never stopped getting better, although from probably '97-2003 everything was a bit 'experimental' as technology changed rapidly and reliability did not keep pace.

Now, I ride up to get to the down. If I were out for an all day fireroad marathon, I could probably do it just as well on an old rigid bike (not an old suspension bike as something would be irreparably damaged by day's end, no doubt).

Heavier...I don't know, my 'All Mountain' 29er has big and sticky-soft 2.35 Schwalbe Hans Dampfs and wide Stans Flow EX rims, 130/120mm suspension, 780mm wide bars, 4 piston Zee brakes and a dropper post, its 30lb. My '96 LTS-2 is only about a pound lighter, but its got Q21Rs and M56X LX, no fork lockout, 1.95 tyres, no chain retention etc.
I took the LTS out once on the same trails and had blown the rear shock about 20 minutes into a 1hr descent/traverse trail, all whilst struggling to maintain pace with guys I usually drop because it simply didn't stop, the suspension didn't really work and it had no grip. For two middle of the road all-purpose full suspension bikes, the comparison was night and day different.
You adapt your style to suit the bike, yes, but adapting it to an old bike just means cutting the speed back and taking all the B-lines.

FWIW I don't tend to use the rear lockout except on tarmac and despite the LTS being efficient by 90s standards my 1lb heavier big wheel bike runs away from it on climbs, as did my previous similar design modern 26" bike.


There are crap modern bikes, brilliant older bikes, and applications which will suit any of them perhaps better than some others. But all in all, bikes never stopped getting better at doing what we do, although SOME got a LOT better at doing LESS things. It may also sound like I'm concerned about going fast but in reality, going places faster, easier, more reliably is pretty much the measure of a better bike (Not necessarily a more engaging experience).


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:29 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 am
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Also, don't kid yourself, in pure speed a 500GBP used recent modern bike would hose a 500GBP vintage bike. But thats not really why we're here, is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:28 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Keep inflation in mind as well. £500 BITD is close to £1K now.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:26 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader

Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:48 am
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Location: Bristle
I believe it was MBUK that once said "Steve Peat would beat you downhill in a wheelie bin"


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 Post subject: Re: Is Retro faster?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:35 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:26 am
Posts: 709
Location: Kuala Lumpur
This thread is very interesting! Lots of valid and well considered opinions.
Ultimately though I don't care if retro is slower, it makes the ride - and the joy - last longer and that's just fine :D Like driving a Triumph TR4 instead of a Carrera 4.


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