Just saw the dumbest damn thing............- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Just saw the dumbest damn thing............

    I have only ever owned MTBikes but was recently just given an old road bike (more on that later). The only thing missing from this road bike was the rear wheel, seat, and seat post. It is an older bike but thought I would take a quick spin through the Performance Bike website to look at road wheels and cassettes so that I could set my budget - holy smokes my friends, those roadies have been huffing off of one giant crack pipe. There was a Campy cassette on sale (I repeat, ON SALE) for $449. Are you sh!tting me? $450 for a cassette? What does a $450 (on sale) road cassette do that a $80 MTB cassette can't?

    So anyway, back to this new bike. It appears to be a mid to late 80's Lotus Champion with a Shimano 600 component set. As I said, it did not come with a rear wheel and the front wheel is a Mavic tubular (GP4?) so I will need to find a wheel set, seat, and seat post to put it back into service. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the old Shimano 600 components and with the down tube shifters I don't know what cassette I can run. Any thoughts? Ultimately I would like to find a wheel set that is period correct for the bike but for now I just want to get it into service as a commuter so that I can see how much time skinny tires save when compared to the 2.4 Racing Ralph's that I am currently running.

  2. #2
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    Did you take a close look at that campy cassette?

    Kinda like comparing a honda to a ferrari, they'll both get you from point a to point b, but one's built to way higher standards.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nautilus
    Did you take a close look at that campy cassette?

    Kinda like comparing a honda to a ferrari, they'll both get you from point a to point b, but one's built to way higher standards.
    I am not trying to start a fight here but I just don't see it. I genuinely appreciate quality and craftsmanship. I spent 10 years working as a machinist and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering so I am not oblivious to what goes into building these components and I have ridden enough bikes to know that there really is a noticeable difference in certain high end components.

    That being said, how is the $400+ cassette going to perform $300+ better than the base cassette? Is the shifting going to be that much smoother or that much more crisp? I never noticed a problem with shifting in the past. Is it going to be significantly lighter? What would the cost per gram be on that upgrade?

    With the Ferrari vs Honda comparison, there is a very clear quantifiable difference in performance. Aside from price (and maybe weight) how do you quantify the difference between a base Shimano cassette and the expensive Campy cassette?

  4. #4
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    It's the same with pretty much anything high end, stereo components, bike components, whatever. Once you get to the level of high end, spending 2x almost never gives you something that's 2 times better. The point of diminishing returns has been reached after you buy something decent, so no a $400 cassette won't perform 4 times better or $300 better than a $100 cassette, even the people at campagnolo wouldn't try to argue that.

    When you want to have the best bike cassette the planet has ever seen (weight, durability, efficiency, smooth shifting under power, ect.) you need to spend some big bucks.

    You're a machinist, take a look at even a high end MTB cassette, and compare it to that campy cassette, look very close, and the differences will become as obvious as those between a Honda and a Ferrari. There's good reason that old used campy record 10 speed cassettes are still worth $100+ used, they're built to last.

  5. #5
    I got nothin'
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    I don't know the old road bike market real well, but my first stop would be ebay and craigslist for a set of wheels. It might take you some time to find a period correct wheel set. Also, you might be working with a 7spd drivetrain, so check into that.

    If you have a bike shop in your area that specializes in used parts and bikes you might get lucky and find the correct parts.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  6. #6
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    I personally agree that it's "the dumbest thing", or at least one of them. A couple years ago I remember seeing a BMC road (frame/fork only) in the QBP catalogue for 10k-WHOLESALE!!!! Also, Selle Italia currently has a saddle WHOLESALING for $450.00!
    I really don't care how state of the art that stuff might be, it's freakin pathetic! Are'nt there kids starving somewhere?
    PoisonDogFart

  7. #7
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    check the rear spacing.....

    the old might be 126mm so you might need a compatible hub and freewheel most likely 6 speed. i have an old 80's miyata w/a 600 group (drilled out levers) and it uses a 6 speed freewheel.

    get some vulpines or marathons for your 29er commuter you'll have more fun than a narrow tired racing bike if your a clyde. or @ least a 28c tire might do. i thinks there's a reason why you see old campy parts still in service.

  8. #8
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    I had a 126mm bianchi touring bike. Since your bike is going to be steel, just spread the dropouts and you can fit 130mm- which is the normal road hub width. It opens your options.

    On my bike I slapped together my own cassette. I know my favorite flat gear ratio, my favorite light trail ratio, etc. I then found the best looking cogs at the used bike store, put on spacers and I have a 1x6. It was cheaper than buying a cassette and it works perfectly for me.

    I think your downtube shifters might be able to handle an 8 speed cassette.

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    Steel frame? 126 to 130 is nothing for a stretch. Whatever kind of hub you get, I recomend mounting a Hyperglide or similar (any SRAM) freewheel or cassette. Much better than flat teeth and worth a few bucks- maybe not $400, but $380 should be good enough for you. Number of sprockets isn`t too important as long as you don`t mind using the friction mode. Up to seven is easy, 8 should be the same as 7, from 9 on some people don`t like friction (I`ve never tried it with more than 7).

  10. #10
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    4mm is a stretch.......if you're gonna run a wider hub just cold set the frame, assuming the spacing is 126mm. i run 9 speed friction on my cross and 29er mtb no problems.

  11. #11
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    The top end Campy Record 10-spd cassette is $329 at Bikes Direct. So perhaps that is a typo?

  12. #12
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    2 cents. I'm not much of a roadie, but a few years ago I grabbed an old mid-'80's Bianchi - six speed, downtube shifters. People kept telling me to spread the frame and upgrade to 8 or 9 speed, but I just never saw the need - the bike feels great and I never have a problem finding a comfortable gear.
    So if you can find an old wheel and 6 speed cassette, grab it and have fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by trogdor
    I think everyone who wears a helmit should carry around an old crank arm, then when you see someone without a helmit on, give them a good wack in the head. That'll teach them to flaut their helmit-less noggins out in public.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Clyde
    So anyway, back to this new bike. It appears to be a mid to late 80's Lotus Champion with a Shimano 600 component set. As I said, it did not come with a rear wheel and the front wheel is a Mavic tubular (GP4?) so I will need to find a wheel set, seat, and seat post to put it back into service. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the old Shimano 600 components and with the down tube shifters I don't know what cassette I can run. Any thoughts? Ultimately I would like to find a wheel set that is period correct for the bike but for now I just want to get it into service as a commuter so that I can see how much time skinny tires save when compared to the 2.4 Racing Ralph's that I am currently running.
    Depending on whether your down tube shifters are indexed or not, you may or may not have a reason to stick with whatever the old number of rear speeds are. I think indexed shifters are easier to use. If they are indexed, you should be able to switch the indexing on and off. So if they're indexed and you want to use that feature, you need to match the number of speeds (just count the detentes when you go from low to high.) Otherwise, there's no harm in trying to use all 8 speeds of an 8-speed cassette - at worst, it just won't work.

    Sheldon Brown is an amazing resource for working on bikes of "a certain age." http://www.sheldonbrown.com
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Clyde
    As I said, it did not come with a rear wheel and the front wheel is a Mavic tubular (GP4?)
    I just noticed the part about the tubular in front. I don`t know much about them, but if you`re lucky, the front wheel might be worth a whole period correct low end wheelset (RSX or similar).

  15. #15
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    RSX was not low end.....light, strong, and good value

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    Durable, reasonably smooth stuff that works well enough- pretty much equivalent to Sora or Alivio. There are DEFINITELY lower depths, but RSX still falls under the "low end" banner IMO. Since it has no bling factor whatsoever, I suggested maybe he could trade his front Mavic tubular/600 (bling) for a whole RSX or STX with Araya or Weinmann wheelset- it would be a good trade and might be possible to pull off.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano.html

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