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Old 08-05-2004, 08:12 PM   #1
kevinsUBARU
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Default Bike Question: What to look for in older bikes and bicycle frames frames

I enjoy biking as much as the next biker does, and I even have three bikes to support my addiction (full suspension, singlespeed, and road). More recently though, I have taken a very serious interest in finding quality older bikes, mostly for the frame, that I can build up or restore. I always see bikes left on the roadside and at the local dump, but I am unsure of what some of the "classic", more desirable brand frames and setups are. So any pictures, details, names, ect would be greaty appreciated!

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:47 PM   #2
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Any old frames that are lugged are worth a second look... Any Italian frame with Columbus tubing is worth restoring. But people are mostly on to that, so you don't find many Italian frames in the garbage.

There's lots of "classic" bikes that were made of Tange steel or True-Temper chromoly; some are worthwhile, some are junk. I have a nice old-school Lotus tange steel frame that I built up for single speed use. It's not really worth any money, but it's a fun ride.

There's also a bunch of really nice Japanese frames designed by (??- can't remember the name- I'll go look it up) He did some of the early Bridgestones, like the RB-1 and RB-2. Those bikes rock.

Also keep an eye out for any older Schwinns that came from the Waterford factory, Chicago, IL (I think?)

Most of this info is relevant to late 70's and newer frames. There's a huge world of really old English & French bikes that are kinda neat, but I don't know what's good and what's junk.

For some cool sites on retro & classic frames, check out www.recycledcycles.net and also have a look at www.sheldonbrown.com/harris

Enjoy!

-Brian
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:59 PM   #3
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iirc San Reshno (sp) was japanese frame quite popular a while ago.

Waterfords used to be called Paramounts and they are made in Waterford, WI.

KD, makes some good points. Look for lugged frames made from Columbus and possibly Reynolds tubing.

I have been keeping an eye on a beautiful red and yellow team issue 70's vintage Raleigh for some time now.
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo
iirc San Reshno (sp) was japanese frame quite popular a while ago.

Waterfords used to be called Paramounts and they are made in Waterford, WI.

KD, makes some good points. Look for lugged frames made from Columbus and possibly Reynolds tubing.

I have been keeping an eye on a beautiful red and yellow team issue 70's vintage Raleigh for some time now.
I thought 3rensho was Korean?

I don't know much about collectables, but I love old cromoly frames. I still have my old 1987 rockhopper, and those frames can withstand thermonuclear war. Old frames don't work as well as trail bikes (loooong chainstays), but they last forever and make great commuting/city/singlespeed bikes.

I'd be interested in anything that is built out of name brand cromoly steel- GT, specialized, fisher, anything like that. Someday, I'm gonna find a beautiful steel GT with U-brake bosses...
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:04 PM   #5
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There's some good stuff around.

Bridgestone, Fuso, Rivendell, older panasonics, miyata, fuji.

If you're looking at steel frames be wary of internal rusting. Check around the weep holes (small holes on the seat stays located down by the rear drop outs facing in towards the wheel) for signs of rusting. Pull the seatpost and shine a flashlight in there for inspection.

Some guy traded in his Land Shark bike, was given about $250 for the trade in value. He didn't have a clue as to what it was worth and was taken for a ride.

If you're in doubt post with some details about a frame / bike you've found. That way I can give you more info on it.
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:38 PM   #6
KD7000
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The Japanese name I was looking for was Ishiwata- they made steel tubing that was comparable to / better than Columbus.

Early Bridgestones were designed by Grant Peterson, a well-known name in cycling world.

This info can be found on the Sheldon Brown website I linked

It's funny that when I read the first post, I immediately thought about older road bikes. As KeithRS mentioned, there certainly are a number of older steel-framed mountain bikes that would be fun projects, but, once again, not really worth much money.

-Brian
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:47 PM   #7
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also:

Brew frames. They look kinda funny with neon speckled paint. But they're truely works of art. Good luck finding one though...
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:56 PM   #8
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Heh. I've never heard of Brew. Small boutique maker, I presume?

If we're gonna name-drop semi-obscure frame makers, how about Tom Teesdale? Brent Steelman? And, my local fave, Peter Mooney?

You're not gonna find any of those in the trash pile

-Brian
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:58 PM   #9
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steelman nice.

I worked on one today, lugged seat cluster while the rest of the frame was welded. Very nice.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:35 PM   #10
Kartoffel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo
iirc San Reshno (sp) was japanese frame quite popular a while ago.
Yup, that's the one. They usually say "3RENSHO" on them. It is teh clevAr, 'cause San means three.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithRS
I thought 3rensho was Korean?

..
you're prolly right

I just remember seeing those radically steep geometry frames circling all of the local crits back in the early 80's.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:50 PM   #12
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Brew is a little frame maker in North Carolina. They make a small amount of just about every type of frame. I even saw a Brew mod-trials frame once.

If you're into mountian bike frames, keep an eye out for
- Grove Innovations
- Eastern Woods Research
- pre-Serotta Fat City frames
- pre-Trek Klein/Fisher/Bontrager/etc frames
- lugged Bridgestones
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:08 AM   #13
Bonzo
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I will have a nice Italian steel lugged frame with their exquisite handling geometry some day. Colnago, Masi, Basso or Ciocc comes to mind this instant.

I have read too many articles touting the wonderful feel and handling of these frames. Unfortunately the lower bb hieghts of these frames were never real popular with the crit infested US racing scene.

Lugged frames are now a thing of the past. The lugs are too heavy vs tig welded steel.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:21 AM   #14
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I would guess that you won't see any of these 80s-90s "boutique" frames in the trash pile. Most people that bought them would know enough about their value. Of course, maybe they got passed down to somebody who doesn't know...best of luck.

Anything lugged is worth picking up and researching on the 'net. If it's worthless, put it back in the trash pile. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Those EWR mountain bikes have quite a cult following on the net...I'd grab one of those in a heartbeat and resell it if I ever found one. Of course, I might just keep it. They're some of the best East Coast bikes ever made.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:27 AM   #15
m750
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What is this 'lugged' you speak of, I'm 100% clueless.
AO
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:31 AM   #16
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:16 PM   #17
Kartoffel
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Beauty. That's a Rivendell, isn't it?
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:29 PM   #18
Kartoffel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOtivated
Those EWR mountain bikes have quite a cult following on the net...I'd grab one of those in a heartbeat and resell it if I ever found one. Of course, I might just keep it. They're some of the best East Coast bikes ever made.
Fricken A!

Finally somebody else who recognizes the real ultimate power of EWR.

and contuing the list of old goodstuff to collect:
-Suntour XC Pro components (the 8th click made their thumbies futureproof well into the 90's)
-Shimano DX components (the OLD DX, not this new crap)
-Wilwood brake pads
-Onza Porc tires
-737 pedals
-black socks. wool.
-Mk.1 Sidi Dominators
-anything made by American Classic with grease ports

<-- original RGMC with scars and t-shirt to prove it
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