A Retro Road bike with that can keep up with the modern bikes - advice please ?

hamster

Retro Wizard
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A gravel bike is essentially a mid-90 mountain bike geometry. The marketing industry has just discovered touring bikes. A 1990 Dawes Galaxy is almost identical, except no disc brakes and no fashionable but fragile 1x gearing setup.
 

taken4aride

Dirt Disciple
A gravel bike is essentially a mid-90 mountain bike geometry. The marketing industry has just discovered touring bikes. A 1990 Dawes Galaxy is almost identical, except no disc brakes and no fashionable but fragile 1x gearing setup.
Why are the 1x gearing setups fragile? When you say that do you mean the 1 cog on the front and 7 or more on the rear?
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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Yes, 1x means only a single chainring at the front. 1x has lots of rear sprockets packed into a small space (10 or more in a space that originally carried 8 ). Tolerances are tight, so even the bike falling onto its right hand side once is enough to take stuff out of alignment, often needing a new hanger. Chains are thin, so are sprockets. It doesn't last as wear is taken up on a smaller area.
The worst thing is that the heavily loaded bottom gears are at the extremes of chain line, compounding the wear.
Finally, many 1x have a narrower gear range than a 2x or 3x setup. And OUCH, have you seen the price of 11 speed cassettes?

Call me a retrogrouch (with some good reason) but 7-8 speed setups are stronger, tougher and more tolerant of dirt. I'll also include pre-2001 9 speed Campag and any SRAM 9-speed in the durable category.
 

badgermat

Dirt Disciple
I think Hamster is being a touch harsh on gravel bikes in general and 1x in particular.

Geometry-wise gravel bikes are closer to a classic 72 parallel road bike than a 90s mountain bike. Though perhaps not a million miles from either.

While the head and seat angles are similar to a 90s MTB, a gravel bike will be a lot shorter in the top tube and possibly a bit lower as well. The overall effect being more like a relaxed road bike than a racy MTB, certainly in cornering.

Of course, in practice, the dropped bars provide the most immediately obvious difference in feel. And for you the rest of it may be close to negligible.

Regarding 1x, while I don’t doubt the technical accuracy of all Hamster’s criticisms, in practice 1x works just fine and is no more fragile than any other 10, 11 or 12 speed drivetrain. Or indeed than 8 or 9 speed in most use cases.

I’ve been running SRAM Force 1x on my 3T Exploro for the last three years and it hasn’t broken, disintegrated or worn out in that time. Neither has it required attention when the bike has been dropped, or indeed adjusting more often than any of my other bikes. That said, I only do about 100km a week, and the bike is used pretty much exclusively on road, though I do ride in all weathers and that can be a drivetrain killer.

Poor chain line the top and bottom thirds of the cassette probably is less efficient and more wearing, but not to any extent that I’ve noticed, either in use or in maintenance.

It is fair to say that the total gear range is more limited, but with a 46t ring and 11/36 cassette I get a couple more low gears than I do with a 53/39 and 11/25 cassette, and only lose two top ratios that I rarely use anyway. I don’t mind the gaps between gears, but that’s just personal preference.

In the end most if not all gravel bikes can be configured with 2x drivetrains if you want (the Brick Lane bike linked is already), will have clearance for significantly larger tyres than most road bikes, and will have disc brakes. All of which you may want, but certainly won’t make for a classic bike that can keep up with modern bikes.

Anyway, apologies for the thread drift.
 

taken4aride

Dirt Disciple
I think Hamster is being a touch harsh on gravel bikes in general and 1x in particular.

Geometry-wise gravel bikes are closer to a classic 72 parallel road bike than a 90s mountain bike. Though perhaps not a million miles from either.

While the head and seat angles are similar to a 90s MTB, a gravel bike will be a lot shorter in the top tube and possibly a bit lower as well. The overall effect being more like a relaxed road bike than a racy MTB, certainly in cornering.

Of course, in practice, the dropped bars provide the most immediately obvious difference in feel. And for you the rest of it may be close to negligible.

Regarding 1x, while I don’t doubt the technical accuracy of all Hamster’s criticisms, in practice 1x works just fine and is no more fragile than any other 10, 11 or 12 speed drivetrain. Or indeed than 8 or 9 speed in most use cases.

I’ve been running SRAM Force 1x on my 3T Exploro for the last three years and it hasn’t broken, disintegrated or worn out in that time. Neither has it required attention when the bike has been dropped, or indeed adjusting more often than any of my other bikes. That said, I only do about 100km a week, and the bike is used pretty much exclusively on road, though I do ride in all weathers and that can be a drivetrain killer.

Poor chain line the top and bottom thirds of the cassette probably is less efficient and more wearing, but not to any extent that I’ve noticed, either in use or in maintenance.

It is fair to say that the total gear range is more limited, but with a 46t ring and 11/36 cassette I get a couple more low gears than I do with a 53/39 and 11/25 cassette, and only lose two top ratios that I rarely use anyway. I don’t mind the gaps between gears, but that’s just personal preference.

In the end most if not all gravel bikes can be configured with 2x drivetrains if you want (the Brick Lane bike linked is already), will have clearance for significantly larger tyres than most road bikes, and will have disc brakes. All of which you may want, but certainly won’t make for a classic bike that can keep up with modern bikes.

Anyway, apologies for the thread drift.
This is not a thread drift - it's spot on - I am comparing vintage bikes with newer bikes when it comes to touring road comfort and other efficiencies.

As versatile at the BLB bike is - it's a tad expensive for my pocket - no more than £500 used is preferable. The BLB does look like a great all rounder though - steel frame, long wheel base, thick tyres for on road and dirt tracks - and also classified as a Tourer. A heck of a mix.
 

dirttorpedo

Senior Retro Guru
Realistically no vintage or modern steel framed bike will keep up with a modern carbon bike. You can certainly find some lovely late 80's / early 90's frames and build them up with modern wheels and drivetrains and burn up the roads and if that's what you want I'd look for some high quality racing steel that can fit 25x700c rubber and build it up. with a nice set of light wheels and a modern groupset like ultegra mechanical while you can still get it.
 

Dannystorm

Retro Newbie
Reading through this thread there is plenty of good advice about your original query for a 'retro' bike that will act as a fast, comfortable tourer. Some believe you may want to keep up with the 'chaingangs' of local clubs, most of whom ride carbon bikes (usually black to match their outfits :)).
The issue there is that cyclists who enjoy 'touring' style riding will not enjoy the group riding style that local club runs, that in the main will be club members who like to race occasionally, can entail. In saying that you may be lucky that your local club has a 'casual rider' run that you can join.
In my experience as a lifelong 'tourist', now 68 years old and having more time on my bike(s), solo riding, or occasionally in a very small group (3-4), is the essence of tour cycling. You go where you please, when you please, at your own pace. For that you, quite rightly, want a comfortable bike.
The above is a scene setter to impart my advice/experience from trying to achieve the result you are seeking. Admittedly this has led me to buy multiply bikes, but any one would be suitable on its own.
You can buy a relatively modern touring bike, I have a 2018 Holdsworth Stelvio, Ultegra 11 speed, disc brakes, Brooks saddle (the best), mudguards, that I use all year round. This is a welded steel bike (from Planet X) that I bought on ebay, nearly new, for a good deal less than new price. It is not the lightest, but rides very well, ride quality up with my other bikes. You can pick these up for your price target on most used sites.
I have a 1983 Holdsworth Mistral, the epitome of a 'retro' tourists bike, 531 frame, mainly period components, Brooks saddle (did I mention comfortable), but importantly, as others have said, with modern tyres (25c Schwable Laguno's). This is my 'down memory lane' bike, downtube shifters (Suntour Powershift, the best) and all. Again purchased on ebay some time ago. You can, again, pick up similar (CB Majestic, Dawes Galaxy, Raleigh Classic/Royal, etc.) for around your budget, if you want pure retro.
Another route mentioned, buying frame/components/wheels separately, I have done for my third example. I had bought a set of wheels off ebay, as spares, newly built 700c Mavic Open Pro rims, db spokes on to 20 year old Hope TiGlide hubs, with new bearing fitted. I subsequently found a Shimano Ultegra 6603 groupset (10sp rear, 3 chain rings !), also on ebay, that no one else had bid on. When it arrived, true to the description, it had had little use and was in excellent condition. I just had the crankset polished to remove obvious scuffing. Now that I had all these parts I decided to look for a frame to join them all together. As mentioned throughout this thread, I took my time to find exactly what I wanted, in a condition I was willing to accept. I ended up with a (rare) Raleigh 531C from 1988, 130mm rear spacing. This is probably close to your requirements for about your budget (not that I am selling it, just giving an example !). A 531C frame with modern(ish) groupset, i.e. flight deck levels for brakes/gears, 30 gears (52/39/30 ft, 12-28 rr), sealed bearing wheelset with retro modern rims running on Continental Grand Prix 4000 23c tyres, Brooks saddle (there is a theme here).
So, to conclude, after my long winded diatribe, you can achieve your aim, just take your time. The bike of your dreams is out there, you just have to wait until your paths cross !.
I have attached pictures of these bikes to show off !:)
 

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fastpedaller

Dirt Disciple
The Ti Raleigh looks the part until the detail is examined. As someone else pointed out, the dropouts don't appear to be forged, but pressed steel. (sorry, I can't find the post), I've just noticed the brake blocks at as low as they can possibly be on the calipers - Hmm, Not ideal surely. I think a much nicer 'homage' could be custom made.
 

vcballbat

Senior Retro Guru
Brake pads at the bottom of the slots and long rear dropouts allow extra clearance for fatter (up 28mm) tyres to be safely fitted, the Ti Raleigh replica is supplied with 23mm as standard. As the rear wheel is pulled back in the dropouts the rear pads have to be raised...it's basic bicycle design.
Raleigh understands we don't ride on skinny tyres like we did 40 years ago and has made allowance for this, this is something that has completely eluded the self proclaimed Raleigh experts and has left them baffled and confused.
 

fastpedaller

Dirt Disciple
Brake pads at the bottom of the slots and long rear dropouts allow extra clearance for fatter (up 28mm) tyres to be safely fitted, the Ti Raleigh replica is supplied with 23mm as standard. As the rear wheel is pulled back in the dropouts the rear pads have to be raised...it's basic bicycle design.
Raleigh understands we don't ride on skinny tyres like we did 40 years ago and has made allowance for this, this is something that has completely eluded the self proclaimed Raleigh experts and has left them baffled and confused.
From what I can see in the photos I'd disagree - The rear axle seems to be the centre of the dropout, so I'd expect the brake pads to be in the centre of their adjustment. Surely this bike doesn't have 'long' dropouts? as that would be contrary to what they are aiming at - it's not a touring bike! I'd suggest 'medium' dropouts at most. The exact movement of rim wrt brake pads isn't as simple as "As the rear wheel is pulled back in the dropouts the rear pads have to be raised...it's basic bicycle design" it depends on the angle of the dropouts wrt the seatstay, and the offset of the brake behind the seatstay - it's simple geometry. The only way of ensuring there is no rim movement would be to fit dropouts that had a curve to the slot i.e. a gentle arc. I'd also suggest (because of brake offset wrt seatstay) that pulling that wheel to the rear of the dropout would mean the blocks going lower, not higher. The brake blocks on the front brake are also at the bottom .... maybe to 'match' the rear.
 
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