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Vintage Road Bike Recommendation

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Vintage Road Bike Recommendation

Old 07-15-19, 09:17 PM
  #1  
poetman
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Vintage Road Bike Recommendation

After realizing I don’t want to part with my Raleigh Sports, I would like to get a vintage 10-speed, but I am quite ignorant as to what I should look for. I know the basic names but know nothing about the components or other important parts.

I went to a LBS and tried a Centurion Master Ironman with “Tange 1” written on the tube. It performed lovely, and it met my needs. I also rode a Raleigh Technium 400 with “6061-T8” on the tube. I think I preferred the Centurion just a bit more because it was 22” and just felt a bit better, but I did like that the Raleigh shifters were near the quill stem instead of the down tube. The Raleigh had Shimano Light Action written on the derailleur.

Based on these preliminary observations, could you all kindly recommend some brand/models for a vintage road bike that I can look out for on my local Craigslist. The aforementioned Raleigh and Centurion were in the low $300, and I am hoping to find something closer to $100 used.

I really appreciate any insights you all can offer!

Thank you
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Old 07-15-19, 09:36 PM
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Randy's My Ten Speeds is a great start to get your head around what to look for: MY "TEN SPEEDS" - FINDING

Where are you located?
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Old 07-15-19, 09:43 PM
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It would be more efficient if you told us what city and size frame you need. Then the pros can spot the deals.
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Old 07-15-19, 11:18 PM
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Around here, the quality vintage road bikes that show up on Craigslist for peanuts are few and far between.

So, I tend to judge each bike that pops up by its own merits rather than looking for any single type of bike.

I'm partial to the European and especially Italian bikes.

Learn the build details and components that you might find in a quality bike, and what to ignore.

I've seen a few Motobecane Grand Jubilee bikes show up for varying prices, but near what you're looking for.

Some Gitanes.

I now have way too much bike stuff, and tend to be much more picky about what what I buy.

A "unique" recent find was a SR frame with Shimano 600 AX components.
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Old 07-16-19, 01:19 AM
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Don't compromise on size / quality just to hit your $.

The Master is an awesome bicycle. Top Japanese construction.
Would take modern components and still be a great ride.

Any good 531. Ishiwata , Champion butted/double butted tubeset (among some others) built bicycles
will offer something well beyond a lot of the bicycles you will find a deal on.
Read the decals and run it through a search engine.
Straight mild steel, even good carbon steel bikes will be out there as well.

If you find a carbon fibre bicycle in you price range - RUN!

If you are in a major metro, or university town, you might have a bicycle co-op,
used bicycle store. A great place to shop for deals, and generally very helpful people.

We have three in Minneapolis.

Any used bicycles available from said LBS will likely be serviced and safe.
Unlikely you will find a super deal, just one that is a fair price for the product
including the service.

One final word - beware a deal to good to be true.

An inexperienced eye can miss so much hidden damage(though it may be in plain sight).
Expensive repairs and potentially unsafe to ride.

For example - the Viscount aluminum, pinned to a steel steerer tube , "DEATH FORK".
See this recalled item on CL and auction sites regularly.

Good luck,
rusty

BTW, please do not use the time of the LBS if you do not have any intention to buy from them.
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Old 07-16-19, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by poetman View Post
After realizing I don’t want to part with my Raleigh Sports, I would like to get a vintage 10-speed, but I am quite ignorant as to what I should look for. I know the basic names but know nothing about the components or other important parts.

I went to a LBS and tried a Centurion Master Ironman with “Tange 1” written on the tube. It performed lovely, and it met my needs. I also rode a Raleigh Technium 400 with “6061-T8” on the tube. I think I preferred the Centurion just a bit more because it was 22” and just felt a bit better, but I did like that the Raleigh shifters were near the quill stem instead of the down tube. The Raleigh had Shimano Light Action written on the derailleur.

Based on these preliminary observations, could you all kindly recommend some brand/models for a vintage road bike that I can look out for on my local Craigslist. The aforementioned Raleigh and Centurion were in the low $300, and I am hoping to find something closer to $100 used.

I really appreciate any insights you all can offer!

Thank you
Location, location, location... As others have mentioned, where you live makes a BIG difference in the price of used bikes. Also we're coming up on the start of school in August so there are going to be a lot of folks shopping for inexpensive bikes.

In some areas finding a decent bike for $100 while not impossible, is wishful thinking. You might want to figure on spending a little more for a bike that's ready to SAFELY ride and will give you dependable service.

You may have to spend $100 to get a $100 bike ready to ride!!!

The frame and the wheels are the two most important components on a light weight sporting bike. The rest of the components are not as important as long as they work properly.

The next thing is fit. Ideally the most important measurement is "Stand Over Height" - how high is the top tube from that ground and how much clearance is there between the top tube and your "personal area".

You should have at least 1" of clearance when you straddling the bike in case you have to quickly dismount.

This was Schwinn's beginner fitting guide:



Once you determine the size frame you need then you can start looking for a bike. You can safely/comfortably ride a bike up to 1" or so smaller than optimal but then other things come into play.

NOW, getting down to actual bikes... I'm going to gore some oxen here but the Raleigh Technium models were a failed marketing nocturnal emission from the late 80's early 90's!

They spent a number of years trying to sell people on the benefits of GLUED together frames vs. traditional brazed or welded construction (as they were slowly listing to one side and slipping under the waves).

In Europe they called the glued together frames Dyna-Tek



In the end, it didn't work and Raleigh as they crudely say "went tits up". The real reason for glued together frames was to save manufacturing costs!

The big problem with those bikes today is the epoxy adhesives holding the frames together are ~30 years old! Raleigh had adhesive failures back when those bikes were new!



BTW, I have a glued together 1992 Raleigh USA Team Technium 753 and I expect it to fail at any time as most have.



Getting back to the Raleigh Technium 400, that was one of bottom end models when they were new. The Stem Shifters and Suicide Brake Levers fad fell out of popularity back in the mid 70's. It's odd (or an act of desperation) that Raleigh USA would resurrect those failed features???

Without pictures, it's hard to comment on the Centurion Master Ironman bike but they are highly regarded in this group.

Suggestions: do some more research on these kinds of bikes then shop round to find one that fits you and... is in good working order.

If you are not in a hurry you might find what you are looking for in the $100 range.

Good luck

verktyg

Last edited by verktyg; 07-16-19 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:34 AM
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Rather than look for a specific bike, learn to recognize the frame/fork characteristics that make a bike a good quality, or higher end, one. Look through Vintage Bicycle Quality, learn what to look for, then apply what you learned by starting a search. Looking through How to Find Vintage Bicycles and you should be on your way.

By the way, I have found, for very little cash spent, literally hundreds of vintage road bicycles and roadsters. Finding is not the problem, if you do things right. Getting too many too fast is a problem and it seems to strike frequently...
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Old 07-16-19, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
By the way, I have found, for very little cash spent, literally hundreds of vintage road bicycles and roadsters. Finding is not the problem, if you do things right. Getting too many too fast is a problem and it seems to strike frequently...

Randy,

N=70+ ??? All road bikes except 1. I've been good this year, I only got one new bike.

The Bat Cave 1



Bat Cave 2



Gitane Alley



Ladies in waiting



verktyg
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Old 07-16-19, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Rather than look for a specific bike, learn to recognize the frame/fork characteristics that make a bike a good quality, or higher end, one. Look through Vintage Bicycle Quality, learn what to look for, then apply what you learned by starting a search. Looking through How to Find Vintage Bicycles and you should be on your way.

By the way, I have found, for very little cash spent, literally hundreds of vintage road bicycles and roadsters. Finding is not the problem, if you do things right. Getting too many too fast is a problem and it seems to strike frequently...
Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Randy,

N=70+ ??? All road bikes except 1. I've been good this year, I only got one new bike.

The Bat Cave 1



Bat Cave 2



Gitane Alley



Ladies in waiting



verktyg

I see pics like this and I think maybe I just don't have enough bikes,
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Old 07-16-19, 05:44 AM
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The answer to the OP’s question is...


Ironman FTW!

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Old 07-16-19, 07:34 AM
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OP, it might also help to know what you want to use your bike for; exercise, riding fast, grocery getter, etc. The Centurion Ironman has an excellent reputation for quality. I know you might prefer the shifters on the stem, but in general that is a marker for an entry level and lower quality bike that may not be as rewarding to ride for longer distances.
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Old 07-16-19, 07:54 AM
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The three most important factors to evaluate when looking at a bike are: 1) Does it fit? 2) Does it fit? and 3) Does it fit?
Once you've learned to spot the sizes that are close to what you need (hint: head tube length is a great place to start on classic frames with a horizontal top tube), then you can start looking more closely at other details.

Next look for damage or excessive wear. Inspect the frame tubes carefully, especially near the joints. Cracks or ripples can reveal a previous collision. The fork blades should run at the same angle as the head tube. Chainrings with razor-sharp teeth, or chains that no longer have exactly 1/2" link spacing after 12", or alloy rims with heavy brake wear on the sides are all signs of a bike with many miles of hard use. The crank should spin freely, with little or no vertical play. The fork should steer freely, with no binding or "detents" in places. Sight down the rear of the frame, comparing the rear brake ridge, rear wheel position and rear triangle centering with each other. Sight down the front of the frame to verify the head tube is parallel with the seat tube. Ride the bike if you can, to verify that it tracks straight.

Try to verify that the seat post and handlebar stem can be moved when loosened. These components can weld themselves into the frame on bikes that have been ridden or stored in wet conditions.

We've already shared some of the quality steel tubing types to look for (Columbus, Reynolds, Tange, Ishiwata, Tenax, True-Temper), but frame geometry is much more subtle and subjective. Everyone has their own favorites.

One classic brand that can consistently be found with quality materials, components and features at an affordable price is Trek.

Finally, one small frame detail that almost universally means "quality" is a forged rear dropout with adjuster screws. Note the adjuster screw where the rear axle slides into the frame.

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Old 07-16-19, 08:46 AM
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I see pics like this and I think maybe I just don't have enough bikes,
No problem. For a bit of $$, I can send you some..:-)
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Old 07-18-19, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Randy's My Ten Speeds is a great start to get your head around what to look for: MY "TEN SPEEDS" - FINDING

Where are you located?
-J
Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
It would be more efficient if you told us what city and size frame you need. Then the pros can spot the deals.

Thank you all very much for your helpful replies. I am not sure what my size is. I think my Raleigh sports is a 22” or 23”. The Ironman was 22” and perfect; the Technium was 21” and fine.

I have checked out Randy’s site, but I was more interested in hearing you share makes/models that I should look out for.

While I am in a pretty premium bike city (Boston), Craigslist deals do appear for those patient English to wait.

On a side note, I am looking at a Shogun sport touring city bike but am uncertain if it would fit. The seller says it’s a

“24-1/2” Tange Champion lugged frame with
Friction shifters, 6x3 Shimano Deore”
but he says it “fits a 6’ +/- rider. I’m 5-10.5” and its ok”
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Old 07-18-19, 10:34 AM
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Reynolds 501 frame
https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/bi...934956620.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...936014077.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...936715571.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/bi...934856370.html
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Old 07-18-19, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Rather than look for a specific bike, learn to recognize the frame/fork characteristics that make a bike a good quality, or higher end, one. Look through Vintage Bicycle Quality, learn what to look for, then apply what you learned by starting a search. Looking through How to Find Vintage Bicycles and you should be on your way.

By the way, I have found, for very little cash spent, literally hundreds of vintage road bicycles and roadsters. Finding is not the problem, if you do things right. Getting too many too fast is a problem and it seems to strike frequently...
The man is MAD, I tell you, MAD.

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Old 07-18-19, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
The man is MAD, I tell you, MAD.

nope Canadian
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Old 07-18-19, 01:00 PM
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miyata $100 https://boston.craigslist.org/sob/bi...935936170.html

panasonic $200 https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...934153718.html

univega $200 https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...935029698.html

fuji $200 https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...936013224.html

novara $250 may be small nice bike https://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/bi...928023402.html
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Old 07-18-19, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
OP, it might also help to know what you want to use your bike for; exercise, riding fast, grocery getter, etc. The Centurion Ironman has an excellent reputation for quality. I know you might prefer the shifters on the stem, but in general that is a marker for an entry level and lower quality bike that may not be as rewarding to ride for longer distances.
+1
The Ironman is a great bike but really has race oriented features. As good as it is, if you want something more versatile, I would look for greater tire clearances and fender eyelets.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:10 PM
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Thanks for these suggestions. Can you give me any sense of why you recommend these particular bikes?

As to an earlier post, I definitely want to go faster than my Sports, for longer distances—6-10 miles—and (if possible) use the bike on trails.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by poetman View Post
Thanks for these suggestions. Can you give me any sense of why you recommend these particular bikes?

As to an earlier post, I definitely want to go faster than my Sports, for longer distances—6-10 miles—and (if possible) use the bike on trails.
If that Fuji Finest in Allston is still available, I'd run not walk to buy it at $205.

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...936013224.html

It's been nicely modded from original specs with a long cage RD and a really big freewheel which will be a big help the next time you ride in Western MA or the White Mtns in NH. That is an excellent machine. It also has lots of clearance for a pretty fat tire.

I'm building one up right now, https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...ld-thread.html
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Old 07-22-19, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by poetman View Post
Thanks for these suggestions. Can you give me any sense of why you recommend these particular bikes?

As to an earlier post, I definitely want to go faster than my Sports, for longer distances—6-10 miles—and (if possible) use the bike on trails.
I picked those because

seemed to be in OP size range

classic high quality japanese bike

looked to be in decent shape

decent to nice components

stated price range and usage at trails complicates it a bit but put on 28mm to 32 mm tires and you should be ok

my 2 favorites would be the panasonic and the novara both are a bit newer and will have indexed shifting.

I had a pansonic like that and it is a good bike

The novara if it fits would be my first choice, 105 components, looks clean, good frame and tubing
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Old 07-22-19, 07:49 PM
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Japanese bikes from the late 1970s and the 1980s are a great value. Fuji was always one of my favorites. Mid-level French Motobecanes with Japanese Sun Tour components are also exceptionally nice. Other reliable bike brands include Trek, Panasonic, Schwinn, Centurion, Raleigh USA, Bridgestone. Those are the ones with a high "affordability index" that I personally like. I have owned some really expensive bikes, but still like to knock around on mid-level Fujis. They hold up very well, and leave me with less headaches and expenses. "Beat it up, and it will beat you up .. with maintenance bills".
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