upgrade or upgrade?
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  1. #1
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    upgrade or upgrade?

    I'm 57--not old, but certainly not as young as I once was-- and ride regularly but not fanatically, on a 1989 Cannondale SR600 (near as I recall) which I purchased new with the 105 group. A typical ride for me is 20-30 miles at 16-17 mph. Lately, as I feel I've lost a bit of balance, I've begun to think that the newer brake-lever shifters might be a good thing for me to try instead of having to reach down on the frame to shift.

    So here is my main question: should I try to upgrade the old C'dale or spring for a new bike? Seems like a lot of parts would be necessary, basically the whole drive train.

    If I go with a new bike, that leads to other questions: given that I've been happy with aluminum for 22 years but am not getting any younger, would I be wise to consider switching to carbon? or should I stay with the devil I know?

    I haven't done any test drives yet, but I've done a little phone shopping which has uncovered bike names which are new to me (Cervelo, Orbea) as well as the ones I know. So if anyone wants to suggest any specific bikes for around $2200 or less, I'd be happy to listen. I've been very pleased with the 105 all these years, but would consider better components.

    I'm just looking for other people's thoughts. Throw out anything you think might be relevant for me. As you can see, I don't shop too often.

  2. #2
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    Depends on your budget....'89 Cannondale probably has SIS shifting on it? you can flip the downtube shifter to friction or indexed?
    you could probably get brifters that would work and that is all you would have to change.

    On the other hand if you are up for a new bike, go for it!! I have bought new bikes with flimsier justification.

  3. #3
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    SIS shifting for the rear, 7 speed cassette, but not for the front derailleur.

    Budget? Who knows. If the upgrade was $700 and a new bike $1200, I'd probably go for the bike; if the upgrade is $300 and the new bike $2000, I would do the fix. I've had two LBS tell me it would be cost prohibitive as well as not a good idea give the frame. Then again, maybe they just want to sell me a bike.

  4. #4
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    I think the cost prohibative part is going to be your frame. I think all old 7 spd is 126mm spacing and new parts are 130. Other than that I don't think it would be cost prohibative.

    Consider a new custom bike. You could get the same geometry as your beloved Cannondale with a better ride and components.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Sora Shifters

    Radio,

    I have an R400 Cannondale, same vintage as yours and the shifters are all you need.
    I upgraded mine with a pair of 8 speed Shimano shifters that worked on my 7 speed.

    My LBS recommended a set of Sora shifters that would work. Sora has the thumb lever like campy too!!

    I think you can get them for less than 200 bucks.

    The front derail will be fine, it really isn't indexed anyway.

  6. #6
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    how about a friction bar end shifter?

    it could address all your issues and only cost you about 100 bucks.
    Last edited by eagle_no1; 06-20-2009 at 01:51 AM.

  7. #7
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    I'm going to voice a vote for a new bike. You're riding what is widely regarded as one of the least forgiving frames ever produced. A fine machine and definitely a fast one there's no denying that and with a few key upgrades it'll still ride great.
    At 58 though it may be time to give the bones a rest and try something a bit more forgiving. Have you thought about steel? There are a few decent priced steel frames to be had that might encourage you to extend those 20-30mile rides to 50-60miles. I think after 20 years on the same machine you deserve it.

  8. #8
    Cat 3 in TT, Cat 6 in Rd.
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    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=39265&eid=117

    $2200, comes with other modes for cheaper.

    Super comfy and very spirited bike.
    2012 Idaho State TT Champion: Cat. 4

  9. #9
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    I vote new bike, and get as nice a bike as you can afford. Definitely try carbon.

    Why? If not now, when will you? You're still fit enough to ride a lot and enjoy a nice bike. If you don't try something different now, when will you?

    Taking that to the extreme, get however close to your "dream bike" as you can afford or care to.

    I'm 55 so I can relate. I have a CAAD7 from around 04 and it fits well and is comfortable. But next time I buy a bike, I'm going to try something I haven't tried before. Because, it might be my last bike and I can afford it.

    That's not to say I won't pick a frame suited to my age, fitness and liesurely pace. Probably a higher head tube than the CAAD frame, maybe a little more relaxed angles, a little longer chain stay. But top quality, light weight, and probably carbon because it might be my last chance to try it. I might even go Campy because I've never owned a campy bike... again same rationale.

    And, if for some reason I don't like it after a reasonable time, I'll sell it and try another. Life's always too short, and the next 10-15 years I plan to still be fit enough to enjoy a nice ride. After that it may be a tricycle or golf cart!

  10. #10
    Devoid of all flim-flam
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    I'm as old as you are. I got my first ten speed bike in about 1964. I've had three steel frame bikes, an aluminum frame bike, and a carbon fiber bike along the way. (Obviously, I'm not a compulsive bike flipper.) Lemme tell you, every new bike I've gotten has been better than the previous one, and my latest, the carbon fiber bike, is truly head and shoulders above all the others. Treat yourself. A new bike is ****** for the legs and balm for the behind.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  11. #11
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    Get the Sora shifters and with the money you save buy a new bike too.

  12. #12
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    If you haven't ridden a new bike, I suggest you do so, and not just for a lap around the block. Take it out for your usual ride. Then decide if you still would rather upgrade.

  13. #13
    cantankerous old man
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    Moving to STI assumes the OP is most comfortable on the hoods, but what if he's most comfortable in the drops or on top/middle of the bar? If the drops, I'd recommend bar ends; if on top, he can use bar ends with Paul Thumbs.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei
    ... A new bike is ****** for the legs and balm for the behind.
    You, sir, are a poet.

  15. #15
    ze ze zen
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    NEW BIKE. I heard Midlifecrisis makes a great bike for 2200

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radio63
    Lately, as I feel I've lost a bit of balance, I've begun to think that the newer brake-lever shifters might be a good thing for me to try instead of having to reach down on the frame to shift.
    Dude, as an ENT doc, that is by far the most concerning thing to me in your post. If you are feeling uncomfortable taking one hand off the bars, something is wrong. It could be the old bike, but if you feel imbalanced in other activities, you need to get that sorted before you crash while riding. There are lots of reasons for imbalance (vision, meds, etc), so you may need to go see your PCP to look at that.

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