I hope someone here can lend some helpful advice. I am considering getting a used road bike for next to nothing. They are calling it "vintage" (circa 1980s). The frame looks to be in decent condition. My question is in regards to the components. Is it possible to take a dinosaur of a bike and bring it back to life with modern components?
I've never restored an old bike but I've read some forum posts about it. It seems that it really depends on the specific bike, but there will often be some significant limitations.
Another problem that I've read about is that you may not be able to get the best prices for modern components, not as low as what the big bike companies get. Thus, you may not save much money at all if you have to re-outfit the entire bike.
There are some websites and forums that focus more on old bikes and bike restoration than this site. You may be able to find some good discussions there, and specific info about whether it's worth restoring/upgrading the old bike.
Unfortunately, I don't recall the other websites or forums right now. Maybe run a Google search for the bike you want to buy and see what turns up.
Thank you PT2009. That's what I suspected. I guess I will have to spend a little money to get the bike I really want.
its not worth it, and in some ways is not possible
if its an 80s/early 90s bike it probably has a 6-7 speed rear speeds meaning it has narrower spacing between the rear drop outs than current 8-10 speed bikes (modern hubs are physically bigger than the older hubs and will not normally fit in the bike, more on this later). this means the drop outs are physically closer together than current bikes and is just engineered differently.
that means only the older 80s/early 90s hubs will fit on as the bike was engineered, trtying to fit on some modern components will require more than simple modifications.
the older bikes if they are steel can be coaxed, eg, bent, to work with modern rear hubs, but again its not really worth it or the safest idea, but that's just my opinion ask your local bike shop to clarify.
if you want to restore the old bike as a museum type thing that is a completely different story and can be a fun hobby.
then again if you just want to ride the bike and save some money for a while and it works fine, ride it till things break then you can just chuck the bike and get a modern one.