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High-end Chromoly Frame Makers of the 90s

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High-end Chromoly Frame Makers of the 90s

Old 01-14-21, 06:43 PM
  #26  
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I don't think anyone is offended here. Some may be puzzled as to what you want from the thread. You asked for some very specific help, the name of a frame maker from the 90s. A few names were given but there were undoubtedly dozens working at the time. You mentioned having fun. Are you offering a prize if someone randomly guesses the name?
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Old 01-14-21, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I don't think anyone is offended here. Some may be puzzled as to what you want from the thread. You asked for some very specific help, the name of a frame maker from the 90s. A few names were given but there were undoubtedly dozens working at the time. You mentioned having fun. Are you offering a prize if someone randomly guesses the name?
It's not a quiz. I'm going to take the names I've gotten, as I indicated upon receiving the name "Serotta," and I'm going to do as much research as I can with those names. I've got a couple of old Cannondales and a Trek mountain bike...hell, one even has a Heather Locklear seat cover on it, but, alas, it's not a quiz, so no "prize." As has already happened a couple of times in this thread now, some of the older cyclists among us have shared some names from the LaVieClaire days...and, yeah, I think that's kind of fun. Have a nice day and don't hurt yourself.
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Old 01-15-21, 11:13 AM
  #28  
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I had a MAZA (not Masi) frame that I outfitted with Campy Athena friction shifters. The frame was Italian and TSX. And, I remember Miele from Canada.
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Old 01-15-21, 01:40 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I had a MAZA (not Masi) frame that I outfitted with Campy Athena friction shifters. The frame was Italian and TSX. And, I remember Miele from Canada.
So...neither from the US.
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Old 01-15-21, 02:14 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
So...neither from the US.
True. I missed that in the original post. The American ones I know are Indy Fab, Zen, Ritchey and Gunnar.

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Old 01-15-21, 03:00 PM
  #31  
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Campy

Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I had a MAZA (not Masi) frame that I outfitted with Campy Athena friction shifters. The frame was Italian and TSX. And, I remember Miele from Canada.
I've always used Shimano components but some of that Campy stuff, back in the day, was pretty cool. The C-Record Delta brake set, for example, was a work of art.
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Old 01-15-21, 03:04 PM
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Ritchey

Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
True. I missed that in the original post. The American ones I know are Indy Fab, Zen, Ritchey and Gunnar.
Thank you for adding some names to the thread, Bruce. I definitely recall the ads for the Ritchey frames back in the day. As I recall, they were paying quite a bit of attention to certain details and were, consequently, a very innovative frame maker.
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Old 01-15-21, 03:17 PM
  #33  
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Adding Tesch, Sachs, Davidson and Columbine to the list.

OP - was yours a typical road bike (Stage racing geometry, like most of the Italian bikes), or touring, sport-touring?
clues: did the fork and or rear dropouts have little eyelets for fenders/racks, or were they without? That alone will help de-mystify the geometry
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Old 01-15-21, 03:38 PM
  #34  
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Here's a thread about steel tubing, you could revive it and add your thoughts. https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...ubing-why.html
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Old 01-15-21, 04:21 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Adding Tesch, Sachs, Davidson and Columbine to the list.

OP - was yours a typical road bike (Stage racing geometry, like most of the Italian bikes), or touring, sport-touring?
clues: did the fork and or rear dropouts have little eyelets for fenders/racks, or were they without? That alone will help de-mystify the geometry
Yep, Eagle, everything I ever raced, trained or tested on was a typical road setup. I recall seeing some of the "long-distance" touring bikes, but I've never actually ridden one.

By the way, a fellow I served with and, later, trained with was killed on a beautiful 90s-era Colnago Super, in the late-90s, by some guy who veered off of a long stretch of straight highway on a sunny Florida day. As I had been invited to go on that half-century training ride with my two other cyclist/coworkers that day, I still recall being upset that I missed that ride. It was quite a thing getting a call from the third rider in our group asking me to accompany him while he delivered the poor guy's car and bike to his family. That was a day that I'll never forget and, quite honestly, I think that's one of the reasons that I'd like to have a bike that reminds me of the training rides the three of us took together,

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Old 01-15-21, 05:01 PM
  #36  
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Serotta was never in Colorado. The company was founded in Saratoga Springs NY and had a few different factories in the Saratoga Area, Greenfield, Middle Grove, South Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs....

The company did create the Colorado Concept tube set.
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Old 01-15-21, 05:26 PM
  #37  
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Serotta

Originally Posted by RWHowe View Post
Serotta was never in Colorado. The company was founded in Saratoga Springs NY and had a few different factories in the Saratoga Area, Greenfield, Middle Grove, South Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs....

The company did create the Colorado Concept tube set.
Yeah, I've written to them and, apparently, they've gone through some changes that limit their records. In short, all they could tell me was that they don't [presently] do business with the large bike shop I tested the "mystery bike" out of.

As for the "Colorado" reference, I'm beginning to think that -- many years later -- I'm confusing the tube set with the frame maker's origins...which would further suggest that the bike in question may have been a Serotta?

By the way, if anyone has any photos of a green/white Serotta, I'd love to see them. Have a good one ~ LVC86
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Old 01-15-21, 05:38 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
That being said, if you want a dream road bike with a comfortable ride, today, youd be much better served by a CF frame with endurance geometry, and spacing to put on some wider tires.

A modern endurance CF frame with 28 mm tires, inflated properly, is going to be both faster, and and a more comfortable ride, than the best 1990s steel frame with 23 mm tires.

Time marches on.
You could also try the 28mm's on the steel bike.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:00 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
So...neither from the US.
You have to stop being so nationalistic.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:02 PM
  #40  
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Then there's Richard Sachs but now we're talking very exclusive.
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Old 01-15-21, 08:26 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
You have to stop being so nationalistic.
headscratch
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Old 01-16-21, 12:48 AM
  #42  
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Sachs

Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Then there's Richard Sachs but now we're talking very exclusive.
Well, I did some research on the Richard Sachs brand and, unfortunately, that's not the brand I rode in the 90s.

Nevertheless, the way that he sells his frame components and the tubing itself looks very interesting. After reading about him, it was perfectly clear that he loves working with steel and his philosophy on trying to create for those who haven't married themselves to Madison Ave brainwashing (aka, marketing) is right up my alley. If I don't have any luck finding the frame I rode, I think that Richard Sachs might just be worth looking into further. Thank you for the name, Bruce.
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Old 01-16-21, 06:59 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by LaVieClaire86 View Post
Well, I did some research on the Richard Sachs brand and, unfortunately, that's not the brand I rode in the 90s.

Nevertheless, the way that he sells his frame components and the tubing itself looks very interesting. After reading about him, it was perfectly clear that he loves working with steel and his philosophy on trying to create for those who haven't married themselves to Madison Ave brainwashing (aka, marketing) is right up my alley. If I don't have any luck finding the frame I rode, I think that Richard Sachs might just be worth looking into further. Thank you for the name, Bruce.
A friend and riding buddy painted frames for Richard a LONG time ago. I didn't know he was still building. I'll check with my friend. I think he still hears from him occasionally.
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Old 01-16-21, 07:21 AM
  #44  
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A few other U.S. builders that pop into mind (although it's possible that not all were still building in the '90s): Stowe, Rodney Moseman, Seven (if they did steel; can't remember), Romic, Bill Boston (staggeringly underappreciated on Bike Forums and elsewhere; look him up), Bruce Gordon, Franklin Frames, J. P. Weigle, John Holland, Bill Holland.
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Old 01-17-21, 05:06 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
The first of them however does tend to the wobblies at high speed, getting worse as I am aging. I know a real part of that is what I told the builder to do. (It does however serve very well for very hard rides, very long rides, disappears on climbs, steers exactly like I want and rides and corners no-hands easily. And has all the quirky touches I want on MY bikes.
Sounds like a lightweight low trail rando geometry. Do you know the frame specs?
Add some weight on the front using a handlebar bag or a basket, and check if it's still doing it.
Maybe post a picture of it?
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Old 01-18-21, 08:05 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by LaVieClaire86 View Post
Yeah, I've written to them and, apparently, they've gone through some changes that limit their records. In short, all they could tell me was that they don't [presently] do business with the large bike shop I tested the "mystery bike" out of.

As for the "Colorado" reference, I'm beginning to think that -- many years later -- I'm confusing the tube set with the frame maker's origins...which would further suggest that the bike in question may have been a Serotta?

By the way, if anyone has any photos of a green/white Serotta, I'd love to see them. Have a good one ~ LVC86
All the Serotta catalogs are here.

Serotta Catalogs

And don't listen to all the silly nonsense about how superior today's C.F. bikes are. I've test ridden Trek Domane's twice now to feel that magical ride. I have at least a dozen old steel bikes in my stable that ride better on the rough roads than it easily.

That said, so much goes into ride quality beyond a brand or what it is made of. My two Serotta's are a prime example.

The CSI is a magical ride, super fast and very comfortable on chip seal.



The Nova Special is a whole 'nuther beast, I tad harsh, twitchy, but crazy fast also.

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Old 01-18-21, 09:38 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
....but if you want it to ride like you remember then you better buy one that has the geometry and tube butting that the bike you remember had.
And the same body that you had way back then!
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Old 01-19-21, 06:51 AM
  #48  
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^^^^ The mind goes downhill as well....
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Old 01-19-21, 09:31 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I had a MAZA (not Masi) frame that I outfitted with Campy Athena friction shifters. The frame was Italian and TSX. And, I remember Miele from Canada.
I think your memory is a bit off. Campy Athena came out in 1988, and it had downtube indexed shifters. I had in on a Schwinn Paramount OS I bought in 1989. It was supposed to be the first Campy group to get indexing right. It didn’t, and I replaced it with Dura Ace.

You may be referring to the shifters as friction because they were downtube shifters as opposed to grifters, but they were indexed, just poorly so.
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Old 01-19-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
All the Serotta catalogs are here.

Serotta Catalogs

And don't listen to all the silly nonsense about how superior today's C.F. bikes are. I've test ridden Trek Domane's twice now to feel that magical ride. I have at least a dozen old steel bikes in my stable that ride better on the rough roads than it easily.








The smooth ride on rough roads from your steel bikes is the result of the fact that they are flexy. That “live” steel is real feeling is also because they are flexy.

Conversely, you can make CF as stiff as you want it. More importantly, you make it stiff where you want, and compliant where you want, and also manage the direction in which it is compliant.

Ive had a number of high end steel bikes, including a Paramount OS which is pretty similar to a Serotta Colorado in the use of oversized shaped tubes. All of those bikes were dramatically more flexy than my Willier Zero 7. I haven’t ridden a steel bike that I couldn’t make ghost shift by torquing the bb and chainstays.

Also, the front end on the Willier is dramatically stiffer laterally than the front end on any steel bike I’ve had, which inspires more precise and confident handling at speed. And yet the Willier is more comfortable, not to mention 7 pounds lighter, because compliance is built in the places and direction you want, such as vertically in the seat stays.

Its simple to confirm what I’m saying, just by pushing on the bike. Press your steel bike into the ground, and push on the bb with your foot . The lateral flex will be inches further than putting the same pressure on any good modern CF frame. Same thing with the amount of flex if you press laterally on the front end.

Time does March on, and if Modern CF frames weren’t better, then they wouldn’t outsell steel by a factor of 1000 or so.
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