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  1. #1
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    Fix up an old bike or get a new one?

    This post specifically applies to a road bike, but it would be relevant to any bicycle.

    It looks like the time has come - either repaint/refinish my well loved 16 year old steel frame or replace it.

    First question: is it worth restoring the frame? It has a skinny head tube, Italian threading on the bottom bracket, etc. Am I going to be facing obsolescence when the next bottom bracket is worn out?

    What made it so unique 16 years ago was a combination of smooth tube joints and custom geometry. An off the rack bicycle with smooth joints is the norm today. More modern geometry (long, sloping top tube) can easily reproduce my old custom geometry. All the specifics that made it special are readily available today. It weighs just under 18 pounds with race tubulars (about 20# with daily training wheels) - light at the time but commonplace today with machine built clinchers.

    The frame has rust throughout the inside. It was Weigled twice and regularly overhauled when I did ride in the rain. The bike has seen one short rain ride in the past 8 years or so. But that plus natural condensation has done its work. I can't judge the extent of the damage yet.

    Can anyone recommend a good frame refinisher/painter?

    Has anyone gone through this experience? Should I be thinking repair or replacement? I'm also looking at cost. The frame restoration could easily cost $600, and I'd still be riding 13 year old 9 speed.

    Advice/thoughts are welcome.

  2. #2
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    No brainer, new bike. It served its purpose, time to replace!

    You don't mess around with rust.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learux View Post
    No brainer, new bike. It served its purpose, time to replace!

    You don't mess around with rust.
    Just to be clear - the rust does NOT go all the way through.

    To complicate matters, I might be able to get a 7 or 8 year old OCLV frame from a friend for cheap. I've ridden that exact frame before and it fit me well.

    Last little note: the builder and the LBS (both long since out of business) that helped me with this bike called it an "8 - 10 year bike" figuring that my age and the industry would have progressed far enough by 2007 that I would want to/need to look at something new.

    The new "endurance" geometry road bikes - like the 29er MTB I bought a few months ago - to me have created a niche in which I am VERY interested. I was just hoping to delay this decision a couple of years to see if road disc brakes became wide spread.

  4. #4
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    Go test ride some new bikes ,when I upgraded my 13 year old bike the new one rode better ,handled better,shifted better ,stopped better ,was lighter ,fit better.and cost abouit the same in real dollars.

  5. #5
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    I would make the decision to replace it not refinish.
    That done, I would continue to ride it with an eye on its condition and anticipate another couple seasons before it fails, maybe more. Discs will be farther along.

  6. #6
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    Don't play the waiting game, newer tech is always around the corner.

    The emotional attachment to the old bike will go away real fast when you are cruising on a new one.

    I always hang on to gear way to long. After replacing my thoughts are always the same." should have replaced this a long time ago"

  7. #7
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    Keep the old one, get a new one.
    This philosophy works great until you need a bigger garage.
    Btw, I,ve heard of a solution you can put inside the tubes to stop rust and it's supposed to work great. Sorry, can't remember much more, maybe someone else will chime in.
    Round and round we go

  8. #8
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    Some people like to restore old bikes as a hobby, but for me there's nothing better than riding a new bike with the latest bells and whistles.

    I have a friend who tells me that she wants to start riding again after giving it up years ago, following a fall off the bike. She say's she's been "saving" her 20 year old Miele for her return to biking. Her logical is that "it was a wonderful bike to ride [20 years ago]" I keep urging her to test ride some new bikes...
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input.

    We have some other big expenses coming up later this year and especially next. So I can't buy what I want right now.

    So... I'll do a close inspection of the frame. The shop said that the rust is limited to right around the bottom bracket. If it is all superficial rust, I'll probably Rustoleum the inside to stop the rust. Weigle's Frame Saver protects the frame but does not inhibit rust that is already there.

    I'll slap the $100 Dura Ace bottom bracket on it that will fit. That should buy me about 2 - 3 years to save up for the next bike. I expect that bottom bracket to go out of production now that 11 speed is here (Italian, narrow, Octolink v1). I think any other bottom bracket will either not fit or require new cranks.

    EDITED TO ADD: I have no doubt about how much better new bikes are. I rode a friend's 6 year old OCLV - 6 years old! - and was extremely impressed by the comfort and the fit.

    Then I'll need to figure out - gran fondo/enduro road bike or all-roads/cyclo-x?

    EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: Spent a few hours cleaning the frame. The rust is really light, although the bottom bracket was ruined. Cleaned out the seat tube and BB shell, got rid of most of the rust, taped over the threads, and gave a quick spray of Rustoleum. I'll do a semi-annual or annual inspection from now on.
    Last edited by Gregon2wheels; 05-21-2013 at 06:01 PM.

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