Old v/s Modern bikes


Time for another pointless waffle :-) :-)
As you may already know ,I got back into cycling a few years back after buying a cheap but very sentimental old 80s Peugeot steel bike. After putting many miles on it I decided to splash out and buy a modern Specialized bike. The Peugeot got hung on the wall for most of the summer whilst I got to grips with the specialized bike. It was nice to have the lightweight and modern gears of the specialized allez elite and have thoroughly enjoyed using it over the summer building up my fitness, and seeing new places on it. Before I bought it though, I genuinely thought my cycling would be transformed by it's lightweight frame and modern gearing, but in truth it wasn't that much of the leap I hoped for. As much as the pros there's also a few con's. I think comfort was the biggest draw back of the Specialized. Don't get me wrong , I can ride the specialized all day long, but the old Steel framed Peugeot really does feel so much plusher on a long ride. Also as for thinking my new bike would propel along the road at lightening speed didn't really materialise either. I would say I cycle maybe 1 mph faster on average on it overall. The last few days gone I've decided to use the Peugeot over the coming winter months purely because it's now got full mudguards fitted. I haven't used this bike for a good few months now ,and the last few rides I've done so far have really brought home how nice old school steel bikes really are. Gears are always perfectly lined up thanks to simple friction down tube shifters ,and that muted resonance you get through the springy frame. It weighs in quite heavy compared to the Specialized but I still averaged a respectable 17 mph avg tonight on it. If you've always had new modern type bikes I really recommend you try an old school 80s steel bike. I think you would be pleasantly surprised at how nice they feel and ride :-) :-)
No doubt when the warmer dryer weather makes it's appearance again next year, the Specialized will be pressed back into service again.
All the very best,


Flouncing Nobber


I have old Dawes Galaxy. Always puts a smile on my face. I’m not out for apes these days so I’m happy plodding. Most map my rides on. Strava but that mostly for distance not for speed. Ride what you enjoy. My Boardman is also lovely to ride, just in a different way.


Flouncing Nobber
The 531 Claud is my second oldest bike, being as its from 1983. I love my modern bikes too, but the Claud is my favourite. It's not better or worse, it's just it's sporty-yet-comfy-and-easy-going nature just suits me.

My modern Felt is a very close second though, just because of the way it fits me perfectly and responds to rider input. The Claud isn't as sharp, but at my age now the comfort and laid back nature suit me a bit better these days.


You can't compare a steel framed road bike to a MTB. Have you taken the Peugeot to do some decent off road so you can give them a fair comparison?


The extra stiffness of modern aluminium frames is only an advantage if you apply enough force to overcome the stiffness of old school steel frames. For Just Riding Along that rarely happens so you end up with stiffness in excess of your needs. Obvs does not apply to powerful sprinters who do gain from modern increased stiffness.
Good morning,

I certainly agree that older bikes can be great to ride, although I wouldn't want go back as far as the


BSA restoration thread.

I had a similar bike as a youth, a Raleigh Shadow, same frame, brakes and wheels but 5 speed, this was during the period that Raleigh, BSA, Sun, Carlton etc were all just different paint jobs.

For years I have avoided progress and mostly ride a 531 steel/downtube shifters era machine, but 6 months ago I was tempted by a lonely looking used full carbon/Di2 jobbie.

I really wanted to see what I was missing, I now happily swap between the two, the lighter frame is a noticeable improvement but I am equally happy with the steel frame, but Di2 is a genuine, real upgrade, for me at least.

The ease of changing gear for just a few seconds as I go down a dip and then back up again means that I ride faster but with less rests.

Although I can't imagine it ever being Shimano's intention, changing onto the small chainring when approaching a busy roundabout and then changing back up even before leaving the roundabout is a real nice way to negotiate it without being knocked off by impatient cars. :-)

The sad thing is that the only real improvement, for my type of riding, is the also the most expensive, carbon frames and steel frames are pretty much on par price wise. Clipless and toe clip pedal are also similar prices assuming you believe that clipless is an improvement. :-)

Di2 requires at least Ultegra components, as there is no sign of Di2 105. :-(

As a piece of useless info; a couple of years ago I put a new Ultegra front mech on the steel bike, when they introduced the long pivot arm, and it is a really fast change with downtube shifters and may be worth considering for your Peugoet if you use both chain rings often.



Gravity Aided

Legendary Member
Land of Lincoln
Old steel frames can be had quite cheap, even 531, and still ride well. I have returned to all steel for my 26" tourer, a rather old Trek 950, a lugged MTB frame with quite similar geometry to the Trek 520, with 1 1/8 True Temper Cro-Moly tubing, double butted. I don't think Trek has taken that much trouble with a steel MTB since.


Legendary Member
Actually I'm not quite correct because when I resumed cycling in 1989 my first three mountain bikes, a Raleigh Maverick, then a Specialized Rockhopper then a Kona Explosif were all steel. I have fond memories of the Kona, which also had a Tange steel fork IIRC.
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