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What makes a good vintage century bike build?

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What makes a good vintage century bike build?

Old 07-06-20, 09:23 AM
  #26  
repechage
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A bike that is entertaining for a two hour ride may be taxing at hour 5 or 6.

i would want a bike that takes care of you.
when you are tired, it feels like it is on autopilot.

in general, a bit more trail, longer wheelbase as a description.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:25 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
The 1985 Cannondale ST 500 has 3 water bottles. It has a long wheelbase and long chainstays which was common on 80s era touring bikes but it rides more like a racing bike because the aluminum frame is stiff and responsive. I'd run a little fatter tire for that reason. It will soak up some road shock and it deals better with bumps and the like. So run a lightweight 700 x 32c tire and 3 x 7 gearing. That is how I have my 1985 Cannondale ST 400 set up. I've used that bike for a lot of long rides. Also very good is that 1979 Trek 514. It is a full Ishiwata 022 frameset and it's low temp silver brazed. It is a fine bike that tends to fly under the radar because it's not Reynolds or Columbus steel. It only has one water bottle though but a camelbak is a good option; plus a bag can hold more water bottles if need be.
Thank you for being the first poster to answer my initial question of
“of which of these bikes that I already own, which do you think would be best suited for long mileage, single day rides?”

Your assessment matches mine, the 514 and the Cannondale. The 514 has 44.5cm chain stays, and it’s light and quick. Same with the Canny. even longer stays and even lighter bike. All my bikes are comfortable or I wouldn’t hang on to them! I toyed with racier bikes when I caught “the sickness” but I’m really a picnic biker at heart.

As my mileage was picking up, I started thinking about making some more speed as a goal. In the hillier area I was riding in MI, I only averaged 12-13mph, that included crawling up some hills, but while I want to get 100 miles in, I don’t want to spend 9 hours doing it, you know? If I can get up to about 15mph, that cuts the time to about 7 hours, and that seems more reasonable, and I’m a bit heavier than I’ve been, but I have a history of martial arts, hiking, and rock climbing, I’ve been in better shape, and I can get back there.

Focusing on distance and some more speed I’ve been losing a few pounds, and for me I think that focusing on bicycle goals will get me to my health goals in a more motivating way than watching a scale.

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Old 07-06-20, 09:54 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Thank you for being the first poster to answer my initial question of
“of which of these bikes that I already own, which do you think would be best suited for long mileage, single day rides?”

Your assessment matches mine, the 514 and the Cannondale. The 514 has 44.5cm chain stays, and it’s light and quick. Same with the Canny. even longer stays and even lighter bike. All my bikes are comfortable or I wouldn’t hang on to them! I toyed with racier bikes when I caught “the sickness” but I’m really a picnic biker at heart.

As my mileage was picking up, I started thinking about making some more speed as a goal. In the hillier area I was riding in MI, I only averaged 12-13mph, that included crawling up some hills, but while I want to get 100 miles in, I don’t want to spend 9 hours doing it, you know? If I can get up to about 15mph, that cuts the time to about 7 hours, and that seems more reasonable, and I’m a bit heavier than I’ve been, but I have a history of martial arts, hiking, and rock climbing, I’ve been in better shape, and I can get back there.

Focusing on distance and some more speed I’ve been losing a few pounds, and for me I think that focusing on bicycle goals will get me to my health goals in a more motivating way than watching a scale.

Well north of NYC has some of the finest cycling, IMO, in the US. And it's got some serious hills, as well as some smaller mountains, to climb as well.

I'm building my 1979 Trek 510. I haven't finished the build yet but I'll go 3 x 7 with suntour derailleurs. A triple is unnecessary for central Iowa but I like riding in the driftless region (NW IA, SE MN, and SW WI) which has some serious hills and its share of steep grades.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...510-build.html

I'm a long time steel bike fan and a Trek fan. That said the Cannondale ST series are fine bikes and fine long distances machines. When I raced, I road my racing bike long distances but now I prefer "sports" touring bikes like the Trek 510 and the 'Dale ST series. The Cannondale has comfortable geometry with the stiffness of a racing bike. I'm running 700 x 32c tires on mine (Schwalbe marathon supreme tires which are reasonably light and reasonably flat proof). I'm running downtube shimano shifters with 3 x 7 gearing but I think I'll switch them out to bar end shifters. I like running aero brake levers with single pivot brakes; you get a more powerful braking action and the dual quick release (caliper and lever) lets you slide out a wheel with a 32c tire easily.




Last edited by bikemig; 07-06-20 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:47 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Well north of NYC has some of the finest cycling, IMO, in the US. And it's got some serious hills, as well as some smaller mountains, to climb as well.

I'm building my 1979 Trek 510. I haven't finished the build yet but I'll go 3 x 7 with suntour derailleurs. A triple is unnecessary for central Iowa but I like riding in the driftless region (NW IA, SE MN, and SW WI) which has some serious hills and its share of steep grades.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...510-build.html

I'm a long time steel bike fan and a Trek fan. That said the Cannondale ST series are fine bikes and fine long distances machines. When I raced, I road my racing bike long distances but now I prefer "sports" touring bikes like the Trek 510 and the 'Dale ST series. The Cannondale has comfortable geometry with the stiffness of a racing bike. I'm running 700 x 32c tires on mine (Schwalbe marathon supreme tires which are reasonably light and reasonably flat proof). I'm running downtube shimano shifters with 3 x 7 gearing but I think I'll switch them out to bar end shifters. I like running aero brake levers with single pivot brakes; you get a more powerful braking action and the dual quick release (caliper and lever) lets you slide out a wheel with a 32c tire easily.




waaaaaiiiiiit a second, was it the ST400 that had the Shimano 600 group on it...?
mine might be a 400 too... heck of a frame, I had it built up a couple years back, and meant to put it back together, but life... etc.
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Old 07-06-20, 11:11 AM
  #30  
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Yep sure looks the same. But the ST 500 and 400 in '85 were the same frames I think but the parts were different. If yours came stock with Shimano 600, it's an ST 400. Mine did.
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Old 07-06-20, 04:53 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Then...
Fitness.
That is all.
Pretty much this, but all of my bikes fit me, but comfort is important as well. Fat, supple tires make a world of difference,
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Old 07-06-20, 06:30 PM
  #32  
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I don't think I would drop the one day recovery idea . About 8yrs. ago a friend of mine was training me (because I was letting him ride one of my bikes) . Anyhow PsychoBilly was very big on the what to eat before a ride , and drink . And drink before you need to , during the ride , and breathe . Breathe deep a bunch before a hill . And he was very adamant about the one day recovery thing . I have to admit , he had me doing 60 mi. and I was not wiped out at the end .
Right you asked about the bike , a light weight steel racer and pay close attention to the wheel set .

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Old 07-06-20, 06:38 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Then...
Fitness.
That is all.
Add people if possible.
Same thing, only different.
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Old 07-06-20, 07:42 PM
  #34  
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I SO much miss riding with you.
You’re right...people make a difference.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:22 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I have been upping my miles and speed during the past few months! It's been a lot of fun, and I would like to continue to go further and faster. Speed is not the ultimate goal, but a way to get more miles under my belt, and I would like to work up to a century, and from there who knows.
I have a friend who regularly rides big miles who will help with training, and I've picked up a copy of Burke and Pavelka's Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling. I'll be slowly increasing miles, adjusting nutrition, and basically doing my best to progress steadily without injury. After the stress of the shutdown, and still not being able to really visit with friends, I've taken on a new personal challenge. I fully realize my engine is what needs the most tuning, but selecting one of my rides and building it up for this purpose will be fun and motivating.

So for me, a mechanic at heart, the fun now is to select and build up a fast century ride!

My first thoughts are light weight, some carrying capacity, and most important comfort. I thought I would not use a touring bike for this, in the interest of the light and fast part, with the possible exception of a cannondale ST, which is lighter than the steel road bikes I have. Possibilities include...

1985 Miyata 710
1979 Trek 514
Both of which are built and ready for some miles

I also have some frames I'd like to get up and running, and I'll be working on them in the evenings, and trying them out when ready to roll. those include...
1985 Cannondale ST500
1974 Raleigh International

These represent the sportier rides in my stable of mostly touring bikes, I know I'll eventually try all of them, but I'm excited to do build right now, so what would you pick? I have my leanings but I'll save those for later.

Cheers!!
I'm in the same boat, except I think I have some of the bikes. To your list of production values, I would add efficiency - making the most of your energy input. I'm not an expert on this, but I think my vintage long road race bikes (Mondonicos) are good candidates. Not so easy to find but if I had your backlog list, I'd jump to get the International working and fitted. I think it will be smoother and easier over the long haul than the Trek. Much as I sometimes like my Trek 610, I'm back on the side of my Terraferma, and I have a Trek 720, a Peug PX-10, and a vintage Rudge 27x1 ¼ Club-style to work on.

I find it a lot easier to take a 30 mile ride on something like the Mondonico ELOS which is designed for long day stages of a few hundred km at racing pace. I don't have those kind of legs, but it does more with what's in my legs. The Mondo and the Terra are also working now, so next is the Trek 720.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:04 PM
  #36  
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I would go with the Cannondale some people claim the aluminum is too harsh a ride but ive done quite a few long rides over 100 miles on a Specialized Aluminum and it wasnt too bad. I would stick 25's on it if you want to be moving fast ( I know ,I know all about the wide tire /low pressure B.S. but thats for another debate) and put some Mr. Tuffy's in the tires to eleviate the flats. The last thing you wanna do on a Century is deal with flats, and since youre going to be covering alot of unfamiliar terrain install some, they dont weigh alot and its good insurance. You dont need a Triple unless you plan on going on some very short steep climbs. Im pretty sure your Cannondale rear derailleur can handle a 29 tooth freewheel and a 39 X 29 can get you up some long climbs without having to stop and walk.

You dont need a bike fitting, watch a few Youtube bike fit videos and it should get you in the ballpark. But since you are going to be in the saddle for over 6 hours you best have a comfortable seat figured out before you go on a loong ride and find out it hurts your ass. Try not to do any drastic equipment changes before your Century, test everything out beforehand so you can concentrate on your ride and not on dealing with equipment issues.

Your Cannondale is a rock solid bike and should be fine.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:13 PM
  #37  
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Which bike can you sit on the longest comfortably? When I started doing centuries a friend told me it was just a matter of sitting on the bike long enough to do the miles. That is about right although there are subtleties of course. If you plan to carry everything on your bike you'll either have to be very fit or have a touring type setup. It takes a lot of calories and water for a normal person to ride 100 miles. Personally, I'd plan stops for water, food and rest of course.
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Old 07-07-20, 04:28 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Then...
Fitness.
That is all.
I'll add a couple to the good doctor's list: being bull headed and too stupid to realize that you can't do it. Also planning an "out and back" helps as, at the 50 mile point, you have no choice but to finish the game. Oh, and being way out in the woods.

Somewhere in the "where'd you ride today" thread is an account of my century ride on our D&L trail here in PA on June 9th. A 1995 Trek 850 does not generally top the list of long distance tourers but it "worked a peach" on that ride. Fit was spot on, drops were appreciated and cool dry weather topped the cake. The fit on that bike is the same as on my road bikes - the saddle, BB, bar triangle the same. So training on one bike pays off on all of them.

Last August on my GAP trail trip, one of the days was 85 miles on the 70# loaded Schwinn. Coulda been 100 but it was getting dark and that shelter looked so good. Bull headed!
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Old 07-07-20, 05:10 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Fit.
Then...
Fitness.
That is all.
This.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:23 AM
  #40  
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You meant.. Miyata 610 I think. Yet be aware Miyata made several frames of the triple butted tubes w different model numbers. I've had two.. still have a tall 210 if your interested. They are excellent bikes.. the equal of any of the era.

I found... LOL.. I can not ride them all.. enough. Then garage space... and keeping a multitude maintained... all the while fippin' a few.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:26 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
A bike that is entertaining for a two hour ride may be taxing at hour 5 or 6.

i would want a bike that takes care of you.
when you are tired, it feels like it is on autopilot.

in general, a bit more trail, longer wheelbase as a description.
A few mm's in wheelbase.. dunno. Think emphasis on tires, seat fit and position, handlebar fit as regards to actual riding posture and postion.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:27 AM
  #42  
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I'd put some nice tires (25s) on the 710 and use it to go longer and faster. I think a fast (whatever that means) century is best ridden on a race bike. Meanwhile, build the International with similar contact points because sometimes on long rides over familiar roads, it is nice to look down and see a pretty bike.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:33 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I'd put some nice tires (25s) on the 710 and use it to go longer and faster. I think a fast (whatever that means) century is best ridden on a race bike. Meanwhile, build the International with similar contact points because sometimes on long rides over familiar roads, it is nice to look down and see a pretty bike.
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...000-comparison

Course.. someone who 'knows' will always whine per the drum. But I do actual roll out tests.. and 32's do roll out better. Yet I do run 28's on my 'speed' bike.. 5000's TL... given my 5000+ miles running Ultra ll's TL... Wind resistance in s Tx.

Next rim set up will get 5000 TL's in 32. Regular 5000 rolls same.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:47 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
... maybe it's time I bite the bullet and get a pro fit...
I've hesitated because I'm not sure where to get a touring/endurance/comfort-for-long-distance fitting. I'm not looking for a recruit-all-muscle-power-while-in-a-super-aero-position fit.
One nice bonus with having many diff bikes (N+1) is that you really learn what fits you best for the ride and distance.
Ofcourse it depends on your current level of fitness (flexibility, strenght, and endurance)
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Old 07-07-20, 07:02 AM
  #45  
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Aladin 32s would not look very Classic on the 710. 25s are pushing it.
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Old 07-07-20, 07:41 AM
  #46  
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I bought this bike used, from a guy who used it in endurance rides, including RAAM

...it's pretty much a stock Cannondale tourer from the steel fork era. He had it set up with skinnier tyres, but I couldn't take the road shock without more cushion. With the exception of the tyres and the fenders, everything else is how it came from him. His alternate bike for the RAAM was a custom Spectrum titanium frame. The wheels are built with Phil Wood hubs.






The Merckx Century bikes are probably a good model for geometry, if you're looking for one to follow.

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Old 07-07-20, 01:38 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...it's pretty much a stock Cannondale tourer from the steel fork era. He had it set up with skinnier tyres, but I couldn't take the road shock without more cushion.
Also a fave of mine, with at least 35's on it.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:06 PM
  #48  
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This is why I like living in this”now”. All this good experience, wisdom, guidance and advice plus plain old hard training is so important.

E-bikes will make it all irrelevant.

I want you to use the 74 International then tell me how it goes! Cause I got one now!
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Old 07-08-20, 04:37 AM
  #49  
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I've ridden centuries and longer on quite a few different bikes in recent years. Which bike I chose is partly a matter of how far I'm riding.

Up to 200 km the bike doesn't matter much. Specifically, the geometry doesn't matter much. But on longer rides it is a big help to have the bike set up for the purpose.

The single most useful thing for long distance rides, in my opinion, is a good handlebar mounted bag. If you can get to your snacks, camera, etc without stopping, you'll spend less time stopped-- and that makes a difference. If you plan to make rides of 100+ miles a habit, I recommend a good front bag setup.

If you do go that route, then you should consider the geometry. A high trail race bike doesn't handle that well when you put a lot of weight on the handlebar. But a low trail randonneuring bike may handle poorly if you don't put some weight up front.

Hydration bladder in a big top tube bag, yes, that's a good idea. I do that on longer rides. A sloping top tube helps. I don't think your vintage bikes have that, though, so forget that detail.

And then there's the question of lighting. A good dynamo light setup will completely change the way you feel about riding at night-- and effectively double the number of hours in the day. Again, this isn't something you need to run out and buy for your first century, but if you're going to do a lot of them, it will pay off.

I also go with the fattest tires I can fit. If 32's are nice, 38's are nicer, and 42's are nicer still. I'm not interested in the debate about whether fat tires are faster or slower. The important thing is that the fatter tires don't beat me up. Last week I rode 138 miles on 28's and I was pretty sore the next day (then again, the fixed gear thing may have contributed to my soreness). But most of my riding is on tires in the 48-53 mm range.

Saddle? Two of my long distance bikes have bare plastic Unicanitor saddles. On a long hot summer day I've had leather saddles get soaked from sweat, but that isn't usually a problem. Rain however, is another matter. I'm not talking about the damage water can do to it; but a wet leather saddle gets uncomfortable.

So if I were starting with the bikes you mention, I'd probably start with the International. I'd consider a 650b conversion on that or another.

Last edited by rhm; 07-08-20 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 07-09-20, 07:57 AM
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Aladin
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post

I also go with the fattest tires I can fit. If 32's are nice, 38's are nicer, and 42's are nicer still. I'm not interested in the debate about whether fat tires are faster or slower. The important thing is that the fatter tires don't beat me up. Last week I rode 138 miles on 28's and I was pretty sore the next day (then again, the fixed gear thing may have contributed to my soreness). But most of my riding is on tires in the 48-53 mm range.
The focus on tire speed as you note in not primary in long mileage, yet IMO how that unit rolls is.. and at what psi. For someone to select any wide tire is a poor choice... many of them are pure dogs. The Schwalbe Marathon for one gets good marks for how it rolls... just for one example.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...-almotion-2016

Whole list is there. Some perform better at lowered psi's.. usually the best rated rubber-----> which of course goes right back to ROLLING SPEED.
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