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

hamster

Retro Wizard
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Quick question, as have similar job on the go - what brake calipers do you recommend, both in terms of looks and performance?

Cheers
Tektro R559 - deep enough for a 700c/27" conversion when the original had clearance for mudguards. Really good brakes, work very nicely with 1990s Campag Ergos.
 

messy11

Retro Newbie
just wanna add my 2cents here. Probably others already recommend the similar thing. Find early 90s steel roadbike with decent tubing, Columbus SL / SLX, or Max if you can find one. These early 90s road steel have 130mm O.L.D so its easy to use modern groupset and wheels. A nice neo-retro is quite fast and on par with (IMHO) with modern aluminum road bike
 

Nabeaquam

Old School Hero
You can sometimes find inexpensive 70s - 80s Japanese road bicycles for a good price. They often had quality tubing or at least very good tubing. Get one with butted tubing, unless it’s for gravel or touring with a load. Perhaps replace the wheels with quality ones with better rolling hubs. I just bought a better used wheel set for a similar project but I plan to eventually use carbon rims. I paid 200 bp this summer for a Panasonic built bicycle with Columbus SL tubing. I don’t like SLX tubing, it whips around too much on high speed downhill right angle corners. I have the same problem with my Paramount with light weight oversized tubing. I used the Panasonic all summer but it needed different bars, stem and seat post so it would fit better. I’m using a 10 speed gear cluster so I spread the rear triangle and aligned the drops. I have put on a carbon seat post as the original was too short. I also used wider take off carbon bars. It’s going to have the shifters in the brake levers. It will never be as fast or as light as a high quality full carbon bicycle. But it was already pretty fast and very comfortable for long hauls. I use a Brooks professional saddle, which is comfortable for me for about 100 miles. Eventually I’ll replace the crank, chainring and derailleurs, if the parts ever get here. Also check out the rolling resistance of tires on the net before you buy new ones. You can get a pretty fast and reliable set without breaking the bank if you do your homework. Wider fast tires might not fit so make sure they aren’t too wide for the vintage frame. I like moderately fast rolling 28s for all round use. For you, my advice is to get a good vintage Japanese bike, then you can ride it now, upgrade or sell it later. Vintage Panasonic bikes are starting to get expensive but there are a lot of alternatives. I recently gave several away because they were too big to fit me and needed work.
 

Nabeaquam

Old School Hero
You can sometimes find inexpensive 70s - 80s Japanese road bicycles for a good price. They often had quality tubing or at least very good tubing. Get one with butted tubing, unless it’s for gravel or touring with a load. Perhaps replace the wheels with quality ones with better rolling hubs. I just bought a better used wheel set for a similar project but I plan to eventually use carbon rims. I paid 200 bp this summer for a Panasonic built bicycle with Columbus SL tubing. I don’t like SLX tubing, it whips around too much on high speed downhill right angle corners. I have the same problem with my Paramount with light weight oversized tubing. I used the Panasonic all summer but it needed different bars, stem and seat post so it would fit better. I’m using a 10 speed gear cluster so I spread the rear triangle and aligned the drops. I have put on a carbon seat post as the original was too short. I also used wider take off carbon bars. It’s going to have the shifters in the brake levers. It will never be as fast or as light as a high quality full carbon bicycle. But it was already pretty fast and very comfortable for long hauls. I use a Brooks professional saddle, which is comfortable for me for about 100 miles. Eventually I’ll replace the crank, chainring and derailleurs, if the parts ever get here. Also check out the rolling resistance of tires on the net before you buy new ones. You can get a pretty fast and reliable set without breaking the bank if you do your homework. Wider fast tires might not fit so make sure they aren’t too wide for the vintage frame. 28s probably won’t fit on early 90s frames. I like moderately fast rolling 28s for all round use. For you, my advice is to get a good vintage Japanese bike, then you can ride it now, upgrade or sell it later. Vintage Panasonic bikes are starting to get expensive but there are a lot of alternatives. I recently gave several away because they were too big to fit me and needed work. Here is my drop alignment with a homemade tool after the stays were spread so the 10 speed cogs would fit.2DEC5473-C7FF-42BF-869C-D77449EE3DE0.jpeg19887D73-DB6C-4469-918F-E75720A32CD8.jpeg
 

Dicky71

Old School Hero
To throw another possible route - there are numerous examples of 15odd year old bikes out there that do not fall in the 'retro/vintage/modern' category, yet can be a blast to ride. For an example, this is an aluminium/carbon mixed Claud Butler Vicenza, full Campaq Xenon 2x9 groupset, shod on CXP22 rims (the massive branding letters hidden under some 3M decals I had laying around).
Will change to flat bars and add mudguards (can run 32mm on it). It is in excellent condition and pretty comfortable with carbon forks and rear/seat stay combo and 25mm instead of 22mm tyres it had on.

Paid under £100........ just because it is not 'desirable'


View attachment 586119
"Not desirable??" you must joking!! In my opinion the alu/carbon mix frame is the most comfortable, value for money frame available. My Sintesi has a sloping top tube which possibly gives the frame a little more relaxed frame geometry. It possibly resembles a Giant TCR frame in that respect. The cockpit on my bike is also full carbon, for increased comfort. A person that passes on something like that, doesn't know what he's missed. This is the world according to me of course.
 

taken4aride

Dirt Disciple
I'm now thinking along the lines of a new / modern gravel bike with tubeless tyres as my go-to road / rough track all-rounder. I could just get something on the cycle scheme.

We are going to the Lake District in Feb - and I am looking for a very competent and comfortable all-rounder by that date.

I've already got a Thule roof rack ready to take on a couple of bikes.
 

Jamesbike

Rocky Mountain Fan
"Not desirable??" you must joking!! In my opinion the alu/carbon mix frame is the most comfortable, value for money frame available. My Sintesi has a sloping top tube which possibly gives the frame a little more relaxed frame geometry. It possibly resembles a Giant TCR frame in that respect. The cockpit on my bike is also full carbon, for increased comfort. A person that passes on something like that, doesn't know what he's missed. This is the world according to me of course.
Most people want carbon, alu or steel.

I had a Paris Loire frame which was a nice ride but the head tube cracked eventually.

Cheers James
 

Foreigner

Retro Guru
"Not desirable??" you must joking!! In my opinion the alu/carbon mix frame is the most comfortable, value for money frame available. My Sintesi has a sloping top tube which possibly gives the frame a little more relaxed frame geometry. It possibly resembles a Giant TCR frame in that respect. The cockpit on my bike is also full carbon, for increased comfort. A person that passes on something like that, doesn't know what he's missed. This is the world according to me of course.
Yep, that's why I put 'desirable' in ''. Went out on it today for a quick blast in the sunshine and it is so easy to pick up some speed on it. Have swapped drops with flat bars for the winter time, easier to deal with. Sora rapid fire 9sp shifters and brake levers and one of those gadgets from Jtec kind of works, but will perhaps swap the groupset completely as have spare Sora 9speed to have perfect gear changes.
 

Jonny69

Senior Retro Guru
I'm now thinking along the lines of a new / modern gravel bike with tubeless tyres as my go-to road / rough track all-rounder. I could just get something on the cycle scheme.

We are going to the Lake District in Feb - and I am looking for a very competent and comfortable all-rounder by that date.

I've already got a Thule roof rack ready to take on a couple of bikes.
If you want a retro take on that, a 90s rigid-framed mountain bike with drop bars and 9- or 10-speed 1x is difficult to beat IMO.
 
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