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Yard/estate sale part 2 - custom bike

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Yard/estate sale part 2 - custom bike

Old 08-07-20, 12:15 AM
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Yard/estate sale part 2 - custom bike

I posted about the yard/estate sale buy from this past weekend that was really like a swap meet. One of the bikes I posted that was for sale was a custom Rodriguez tandem. What I didn't mention is there was another Rodriguez - a road bike that looked to be about 30 yrs old. Fully Campagnolo group and blue - my favorite color. I didn't have the cash for it on Sunday and thought about it the entire way home. Part of the problem was springing for something like that is my wife who can squeeze a quarter out of a penny. Like most she doesn't understand N+1.

I had a custom bike for awhile - my dad's 1989 Spectrum titanium. It's a great bike but at 56 cm it was just a tad tall for me to want to ride all the time. So, it resides back at my dad's house in the basement as an enticement for one of my brother's to ride more. He hasn't so I'm hoping it actually ends back up with me in the future. But, having a custom built frame (granted used and not to my bodily dimensions) has always been a goal.

When I got back home Sunday I was surprised to find little resistance from my wife. Especially since I'm in the process of having a 36'X48' shop built and there's a lot of money being spent. So, with that, I headed back over the mountains to the Seattle suburbs to pick up my "new" bike this evening. It had better have been worth it. The drive over was an hour and 25 minutes. The drive back was 3.5 hrs thanks to road construction.

Photos are below - there are a couple of interesting things about it. The group (according to Drillium Dude) looks to be early Chorus. The chainstays are what I would call medium length at around 16.5 inches. The front fork will accept a low rider rack. Maybe it was built as an agile commuter? The frame is TIG welded (update: filet brazed) and has no lugs. The finish work is superb. Rear freewheel is a 7 speed, crankset looks to be 53-39. The rear wheel is a Mavic Open 4CD and the front is an aero Matrix ISOc with bladed spokes. Both are 32 hole.

The bike itself is extremely dirty but should clean up nicely. The grease and gunk on the rear derailleur is pretty nasty. So, I have my weekend chore assignment.

I'll change out the bar tape and throw on a Turbo saddle, tires, re-grease things that need to be and take it out for a spin to get the fit right.

Sorry for any cruddy photos - learning the new phone.










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Old 08-07-20, 12:19 AM
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Old 08-07-20, 12:20 AM
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Gees - I really need to earn the focus point of this camera
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Old 08-07-20, 12:39 AM
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TIG welded or fillet brazed? I'm not an expert, but but when most folks show their TIG welded frames, you don't see such perfectly smoothed-over joins.

Really looks nice. Very cool to see mid-fork rack mount bosses on a such a bike; someone knew exactly what they wanted.
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Old 08-07-20, 12:42 AM
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That is a thing of beauty, congrats on making the effort looks totally worth every bit! Are you sure it's tig-welded and not fillet-brazed? I do not know what the Rodriguez methods were when this was made but it's a lot of work to smooth out welds to get such flowing joints, not terribly easier to do with bronze but I think in general "easier". Any idea what tubing is used?
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Old 08-07-20, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
That is a thing of beauty, congrats on making the effort looks totally worth every bit! Are you sure it's tig-welded and not fillet-brazed? I do not know what the Rodriguez methods were when this was made but it's a lot of work to smooth out welds to get such flowing joints, not terribly easier to do with bronze but I think in general "easier". Any idea what tubing is used?
Frankly, I don’t know the difference between TIG welds and filet braze because everything I have except the Klein in a couple of the photos is lugged. Just ignorance on my part.

I’m hoping I can find a serial number when I clean it up and then contact R&E in Seattle to see if they have any records
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Old 08-07-20, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Frankly, I don’t know the difference between TIG welds and filet braze because everything I have except the Klein in a couple of the photos is lugged. Just ignorance on my part.

I’m hoping I can find a serial number when I clean it up and then contact R&E in Seattle to see if they have any records
Very nice, not necessarily a fan of lugless but this is beautiful and fantastic.

Great score, well done.
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Old 08-07-20, 02:58 AM
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Nice find! Looks like it would make an excellent randonneuse légère.
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Old 08-07-20, 04:06 AM
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Really great score, what a beauty. That frame is filet brazed, not tig welded.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Any idea what tubing is used?
Pulled the seat post out today and it's 26.6. There's no tubing stickers so that's going to be fun to figure out.
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Old 08-07-20, 08:12 AM
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Just did a wipe down this morning and put on a Bernard Hinault Turbo saddle. Definitely right at the top end of what I can ride (55.5 c to c on the seat tube). Will need to swap out the aero seat tube for a straight one that's a little longer so I can lower the saddle. The aero seat post is at its limit right now.








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Old 08-07-20, 08:34 AM
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I've seen a lot of Rodriguez bikes from you west coast folks, and I've always been really impressed. This one is over-the-top nice, my size, I love everything about it. I think the attention to detail, the practical features with how sleek it is set it apart from others.

Don't forget to update your signature, unless you're a madman or it's not your size/fit, I suspect you may be keeping this one for a bit
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Old 08-07-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
I've seen a lot of Rodriguez bikes from you west coast folks, and I've always been really impressed. This one is over-the-top nice, my size, I love everything about it. I think the attention to detail, the practical features with how sleek it is set it apart from others.

Don't forget to update your signature, unless you're a madman or it's not your size/fit, I suspect you may be keeping this one for a bit
I'll ride it with the lower seat post and enjoy it for sure. It needs some work so I'm sure I'll be a little anxious to get it out on the road.
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Old 08-07-20, 10:51 AM
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26.6, huh? wonder if it's something Metric? Makes me think "Excell" perhaps, but no idea if R&E ever used such tubing. subscribing for more updates!
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Old 08-07-20, 11:17 AM
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Nice score, well worth the second trip to pick it up. Enjoy!
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Old 08-07-20, 11:54 AM
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Absolutely gorgeous. You’re lucky it lasted until you could make it back.
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Old 08-07-20, 12:18 PM
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Nice bike.

A lower profile saddle and higher profile pedals will help with the seat post height.
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Old 08-07-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Nice bike.

A lower profile saddle and higher profile pedals will help with the seat post height.
Agreed, I have a beat up Avocet O2 Air 40R I could put on it. I'll use my go to original Sampson Stratics pedals on it. Problem is the aero post is at the line limit for height.
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Old 08-07-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Agreed, I have a beat up Avocet O2 Air 40R I could put on it. I'll use my go to original Sampson Stratics pedals on it. Problem is the aero post is at the line limit for height.
Those Campy posts have about 1" of total adjustment!! Sharp bike though.....
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Old 08-07-20, 01:28 PM
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Not a vintage thing but if you get a Thomson or similar post, with it's low profile height and put a super flat seat like an SLR on it, then of course swap the Oreo cookies out for Looks or toe clips, you should have a lot to play with.

Doing it with vintage gear on the other hand, is totally out of my wheelhouse, but others here seem to have some ideas.

FWIW, I've got 2 custom steel bikes that we're not built for me. Amazing rides both of them. I think you're going to be pretty happy.
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Old 08-07-20, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
26.6, huh? wonder if it's something Metric? Makes me think "Excell" perhaps, but no idea if R&E ever used such tubing. subscribing for more updates!
Japanese? Tange/Champion, even Ishiwata. There's lots of mid late 80's Japanese seatubes.
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Old 08-07-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
26.6, huh? wonder if it's something Metric? Makes me think "Excell" perhaps, but no idea if R&E ever used such tubing. subscribing for more updates!
Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Japanese? Tange/Champion, even Ishiwata. There's lots of mid late 80's Japanese seatubes.
Got an email back from Dan at R & E Cycles. Their records don't go back far enough to give me specifics on the build. Serial number I found was #709 .

He did say they used Columbus alot on the sport and touring frames then. Based on some other research I would guess it's Columbus SL tubing.
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Old 08-07-20, 02:47 PM
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What a nice find that is.
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Old 08-07-20, 03:43 PM
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Sorry to ask, but I guess I am having a senior block.
You're saying you need to lower the saddle? But the current seatpost can't go lower? Are these marked for max as well as min insertion? To my eye it appears it could still go down - what am I missing?
Finally, you mentioned needing a longer seatpost so you can go lower. That sounds backwards to me.
I hope this didn't come off as snarky. I am genuinely confused.
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Old 08-07-20, 03:47 PM
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If it is Columbus SL then 26.6 would point to Metric (I think) rather than the typical 27.2 of an Imperial seat tube, measure the OD of the main tubes with a digital caliper and factor in a little for paint, just for "skittles and grins"
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