Purchased a GT Force 1994, need help deciding what to do next

helmsp

Retro Newbie
Long time reader, first time poster.

First of all, I want to thank you all and the forum for the great information. It really helped me a lot to understand the material and mindset behind this wonderful hobby.
Also, please excuse my mediocre English since it's not my native language.

I still can vividly remember me as a kid in the early 90ies going through roadbike/MTB magazines from friends and every time a triple triangle frame is displayed my heart rate went up by 100. Unfortunately I never had enough money to buy one.
Almost three decades later I bought myself a GT Tequesta 1997 for offroading with my kids...and two days ago a GT Force (I guess its from 1994) for EUR 300. All components are original (except of the rear tire), full Shimano RX100 and steel frame.

It hasn't been ridden much and condition of the bike is, imho, almost mint.
Of course I took it for a spin to my office yesterday. In comparison to my other roadbike, a Trek Domane ALR 5 2018, this bike really has a soul and charisma...no noise, crisp shifting...now I truly understand why some of us rather ride something vintage/retro bike than a "modern machine".

There a three things though which attracted my attention:
1. Those pedals are harakiri when commuting
2. Braking is inefficient due to the geometry of the shifters and performance (maybe the brake pads are hard/brittle/old
3. staying on top of the hood for a longer time doesn't feel comfortable


Now here is my dilemma:
I'm aware that the GT Force is not as desirable as a GT Edge but the condition is extremely good and I think that I might have a trusty and soulful bike by changing the following components:
1. Tires (Continental GP5000, 28mm front, 25mm rear)
2. Handlebar and stem (shorter stem and handlebar with modern geometry)
3. Shifters and maybe brake caliber
4. SPD pedals
5. Modern wheels (optional)

What would you guys do? There are two options for me:
1. Clean it up, keep it original, hang it on the wall and adore the aesthetics (potential investment?)
2. Change it and ride it

Thanks for your time
 

Attachments

  • 2021-10-05 15.27.04-1.jpg
    2021-10-05 15.27.04-1.jpg
    741.7 KB · Views: 37
  • 2021-10-05 13.39.52.jpg
    2021-10-05 13.39.52.jpg
    211.3 KB · Views: 36
  • 2021-10-05 06.54.06.jpg
    2021-10-05 06.54.06.jpg
    356.8 KB · Views: 36
Last edited:

jim haseltine

Old School Hero
I think that's a really good looking bike and I'd be happy to ride it as it is. The pedals are just a technique which you'll pick up and in my opinion are less risky in traffic than SPDs - when I had straps I used to ride in town with the kerbside strap loose enough to easily pull my foot out.
I'd change the stem to suit a comfortable position and replace the brake blocks with something more modern - they do harden with age, I recently changed a set of mine after noticing that the braking on a bike with much newer but cheaper calipers was way better than that I had on my better but older bike.
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
Feedback
View
I agree with Jim. Fit new blocks (with replaceable pads), lubricate the brake cables and I'm sure braking will improve dramatically.
GP5000s are wonderful fast tyres, but not something for a wet winter. 100km on dirty wet roads and you stand a real chance of destroying a tyre (how do I know this? :(). Conti GP4Seasons or Michelin Pro4 Endurance would be my choice - with the 5000s in the summer. (Disregard if you live in Spain or Italy).
 

was8v

Senior Retro Guru
I would make it fit me by changing bar and stem, swap the brake blocks / tyres and ride it.

Road bike geometry has not changed much if at all, and they don't make steel framesets like that any more without going custom.

Lighter modern wheels may be a nice upgrade but be sure to get something that looks right.

300 euro is not an expensive bike these days and don't be deluded into thinking its an investment.
 

helmsp

Retro Newbie
Thank you all for the great advice. It seems that I'll take option number two then.

The pedals are just a technique which you'll pick up and in my opinion are less risky in traffic than SPDs - when I had straps I used to ride in town with the kerbside strap loose enough to easily pull my foot out.
I ride SPD every day to work and love it. It's second nature to put twist and put the foot out to the side. With the clip pedals it's not a "movement" sind you have to pull the foot back first instead to the side. Plus, it takes longer to get back in once the light turns green.

GP5000s are wonderful fast tyres, but not something for a wet winter.
I've been riding 32mm GP5000 on my main bike for around 3000km now (with occasional rain shower and light gravel) and quite content with them. I'll only take the GT for a spin when the sun is out, don't want to unnecessarily accelerate the rusting process.

300 euro is not an expensive bike these days and don't be deluded into thinking its an investment.
Good to know, I thought that a bike from that era in that condition might gain value. Every day is a school day.


Two new questions then:
1. Are there smaller chainring for my specifig crank? 53/42 is a bit...bold for my fitness level.
2. Which modern style/geometry shifter would fit?
 

jim haseltine

Old School Hero
No, standard smallest ring for that style or crank was 42t - occasionally you could find a 41t but they were very rare, the only ones I remember seeing were Campagnolo and often the ends of the spider arms had to be slightly relived to allow some makes of chain to seat properly. Sedisport were usually ok but to use a chunkier chain like Everest or Regina the arms often needed machining.
 

Nob

rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
Nothing wrong with GP5000 winter or summer & they are surprisingly hardy tyre yet lively & responsive thanks to the black chili compound. Pirelli 4 seasons tyre is a good option also. The Conti stood up well in the desert with temps of 45+ degs & marble like sand strewn on the roads……so with a 45+ air temp guessing the roads are well up to near 100degs which I road often.. stay clear of the GP4000 there side walls have a habit of splitting…I had 2 go that way mind you under the desert heat…..
 

extramedium

Dirt Disciple
I’d do a full neo-retro build on it. Find a nice modern bike with something like a 10 speed 105 or above (depending on budget). Swap components over. Sell frame and spare parts on eBay. Something like this…
1998-gt-edge-titanium-2329_1.jpg
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
Feedback
View
Nothing wrong with GP5000 winter or summer & they are surprisingly hardy tyre yet lively & responsive thanks to the black chili compound. Pirelli 4 seasons tyre is a good option also. The Conti stood up well in the desert with temps of 45+ degs & marble like sand strewn on the roads……so with a 45+ air temp guessing the roads are well up to near 100degs which I road often.. stay clear of the GP4000 there side walls have a habit of splitting…I had 2 go that way mind you under the desert heat…..
I guess you don't live in an area with flints! Round here I'm lucky to get 1000 miles before they get cut to bits.
 
Top