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What are some of the more sought after/high end/rare etc vintage bikes?

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What are some of the more sought after/high end/rare etc vintage bikes?

Old 03-21-15, 10:50 AM
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What are some of the more sought after/high end/rare etc vintage bikes?

I'm new to the forums (this is not my first post though) and to vintage bikes and am trying to get my feet wet by learning some of the basic knowledge. I figured it might be good to get an idea of what the more sought after vintage road bikes are? I seem to see a lot of names/models pop up more than others in discussion, but am not really sure what it all means!

Also, when people talk about awesome/rare/whatever vintage bikes, is it typically just for the frame, or for the parts that would have also come stock on that bike in it's respective year? Thanks!

PS - I know the answers could be extremely varied and subjective.

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Old 03-21-15, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CountMeOut View Post
when people talk about awesome/rare/whatever vintage bikes, is it typically just for the frame, or for the parts that would have also come stock on that bike in it's respective year?
Yes.

IMO, there's a difference between an awesome bike and an awesome bike for you.

When I got into bikes, I was familiar with 80s mountain bikes, so I started looking into what made a high end mountain bike- what the frame was made of, how it was made, what are the good components for the years...

As I learned more about what I really was looking into- I realized MTB/ATBs were not what I wanted, but a lot of what I learned about components and tubing and stuff translated into bikes in general.
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Old 03-21-15, 11:17 AM
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What is sought after isn't always rare and visa versa. Just to name a few sought after bikes off the top of my head, I would say Masi Gran Criterium, Galmozi, Motobecane Champion Team, Colnago Supers and Mexicos, Cinelli SC. Others will be in shortly to add more.
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Old 03-21-15, 11:32 AM
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One man's junk is another man's treasure...sought after for me are the small British builders and unique builds:

Hetchin's Vibrant stays, A Bates fork or curly lugs on a Carlton



The list of small British builders is rather long and the story behind the builder is almost as important as the bike itself....IMO

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Old 03-21-15, 12:04 PM
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You could also categorize within a certain decade or era. In each era you have the racers (crit, road etc), touring bikes and general purpose. I dont mean to exclude mtb's or others.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:16 PM
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I agree it is kind of a personal thing not really like Big Game hnting where you have bag the big 5 or bird watching where your trying see home many you can get.

I primarily like Bianchis and the few unusual or 'rare' but I have gotten and then passed on other brands for various reasons.


There tonnes of bikes that are popular and may seem rare or sought after because they hold their value like Merckxes, De Rosa, but for me I like the less sought after or common brands, I would buy another Cornelo if it fit and nice color, I woulkd certainly buy another Hetchins if I had the money.

But some seem GAGA (not the singer) over Peugeots and Raleighs but I just don't see the appeal. Perhaps if I really rode one I would feel differently but who is to say.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
You could also categorize within a certain decade or era. In each era you have the racers (crit, road etc), touring bikes and general purpose. I dont mean to exclude mtb's or others.
Good point. I think you need to decide on a specific focus to concentrate on. It could be very broad i.e.: European racing bikes or narrowed down to something like French touring bikes of the 1960's. You need to figure out what appeals to you in interest, budget and available space and then once you have it narrowed down, people could be a lot more specific.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:26 PM
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I publish a website just for people like me, you and the OP. The focus of MY "TEN SPEEDS" is to help speed up the learning about vintage bicycles process. The information includes how to find them, how to tell if they are good or poor quality and many other things, all geared to helping people, new to the vintage bicycle interest, avoid making some or even all of the mistakes I made while learning.

Welcome to the Forum and hope this has been helpful.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I primarily like Bianchis
I noticed you talking about them in another thread. What are some awesome Bianchis?

Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
Good point. I think you need to decide on a specific focus to concentrate on.
Hmmm lets say 70s and 80s racing bikes to start with.

As I realize it's totally subjective, lets assume bikes that the producers themselves deemed "high end". I'm not looking for this stuff to try and go buy/build any of it, just so that I can get a better idea of what I'm looking at in pictures at surface level.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I publish a website just for people like me, you and the OP. The focus of MY "TEN SPEEDS" is to help speed up the learning about vintage bicycles process. The information includes how to find them, how to tell if they are good or poor quality and many other things, all geared to helping people, new to the vintage bicycle interest, avoid making some or even all of the mistakes I made while learning.

Welcome to the Forum and hope this has been helpful.
Awesome! Thank you, I'll be taking a good look at this.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:35 PM
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There are a few things you can do.
You can either search for a specific bike that you saw once and thought was interesting. Perhaps E-Bay.

Or, keep an eye out for what shows up locally in the price range you're looking at.
Then figure out how to weed out the junk from the good stuff.

Junk:
Smashed tubes cut out for dropouts.
Pressed steel dropouts
1 piece cranks.
Takes a forklift to pick up.

Good stuff:
Unique lugs
Cast/forged dropouts.
Lightweight.
Alloy components.

There are quite a few beautiful 3-speeds out there, many going for a song. You have to decide what kind of bike you seek, 3-speed, 10-speed, etc.

When you see a unique brand, look it up on the internet.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:47 PM
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He! Good responses so far but a bit lacking in useful detail. CMO, your question is a bit like asking "I'm just starting eating, so what's some good food to eat?"

Frame vs. components? The frame is the bike's soul. There are marginal frames, decent frames which make great bikes, very good frames which make great bikes, and some superb frames which make superb bikes. But understand that "better" usually means more specialization as well as lighter weight and higher cost, for both frames and components. Manufacturers try to match both frame and component choices to a particular market segment and particular type of riding. So you generally find lesser components on lesser frame sold at lower prices, better components on higher-end bikes at higher prices. That's the long-winded expansion of TGB's answer "yes".

Many of us could have been content to ride most anything decent but often dreamed of riding the next model or two up. When one comes along we jump at it. But there isn't necessarily a "why is it better?" rationale behind the choice, only opportunism. Some of us look for bikes we knew about when we were younger. Some of us find rare or highly decorated bikes intriguing.

randyj's website had good explanations of what might make an particular model good or bad but it doesn't explain why would like to own one or ride one.
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Old 03-21-15, 12:50 PM
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What era, also? You can easily create categories & sub categories. The steel era being a primary example. You look at early road racing bicycles next to 80's steel racing bikes, there is quite a difference. There was a lot of evolution in the process of getting them to indexed,brake lever shifters.
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Old 03-21-15, 01:19 PM
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Wide open and no correct answer. The phrase 'sought after bikes' could also be a low-end but unusual model or custom frame, trimmed in high-end components.

Personally, I don't have anything top shelf but perhaps a few oddballs. I don't exactly 'seek' a particular make or bike but rather if the timing strikes, the frame is something I could fit to ride, then its a go. With that, I like and ride a wide range of bikes (for vintage - lightweight road, upright, ATB, tandem, foldable type's), appreciate them for what they are and not monetary value.

What I especially enjoy is seeing others perspective of their prized bike and particpating in some events / group rides. Great listening, learning and the history. Mostly, its the coolest thing just watching others propel a piece of rare machinery.

Enjoy whatever the C&V cycling means to you~
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Old 03-21-15, 02:01 PM
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+10 Sought after at what price point? $100, $300, $500, $1000, or even higher. There are "sought after" bikes at every price point.

#1 mistake I think newbies make is they look for a specific brand and model, and miss out on a lot of great bikes they did not recognize. Better to seek quality regardless of brand. Realize that a lot of brands did not build their own bikes anyway.

Models changed every year or two, so focusing on a specific model is a fools exercise, unless you have an eye for detail and can spot that it is one of the great years. Sellers rarely get year right, so if I posted every good model and year, its not nearly as helpful as you might think.

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Old 03-21-15, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CountMeOut View Post
I figured it might be good to get an idea of what the more sought after vintage road bikes are?
Before shelling out any $,$$$ consider some of the realities of acquiring and operating C&V bicycles.

Are you an experienced cyclist?
Riding C&V kit is not quite like riding modern bikes and has it's "unique" qualities which are not for everyone.

Some of the finest Classic & Vintage road bicycles compared to moderately priced modern bikes (which work very well):

Heavier unless top quality and well equipped
Lack low range gearing w/ fewer gears
Less powerful braking
Controls on the down tube or bar-end
Friction shifting, no click-n-go

The desirable racing models require the physically adapted riding position of racing riders of the era and the legs that only comes w/ seat time.

Do you do your own maintenance?

Many modern shops have little or no experience w/ C&V machines, lack the tools and expertise that were common back when making maintenance part of the enjoyment of riding old bikes, or not.
Parts often have to be sourced outside of the LBS supply chain, a time consuming and sometimes expensive proposition.

Racing bikes are cool from any era, racing bikes in every era get wrecked.
As with anything "vintage" today from toasters to bikes provenance is everything in determining just what is really what.
Scareity drives prices up into a bubble that bursts when the next collecting fad comes along. C&V is Not an Investment.
Caveat Emptor: that Classic Pinna-Chioti will require very careful examination before purchase and most likely a complete tear-down overhaul as well.

Read @randyjawas website and go into (or not) C&V w/o rose tinted glasses distortion of the experience.

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Old 03-21-15, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Before shelling out any $,$$$ consider some of the realities of acquiring and operating C&V bicycles.

Are you an experienced cyclist?
Riding C&V kit is not quite like riding modern bikes and has it's "unique" qualities which are not for everyone.
It may well be that the younger less experienced riders would do better on the C&V bikes. Throw a 16 yr old on anything with 2 wheels and they'll learn to ride it.

Put someone that is used to riding a bike with pie-plate gearing and well tuned indexed brifters, and they'll be driven bonkers by the tight gearing on a true 10-speed, and reaching for DT shifters. It isn't that hard to listen to one's drivetrain and adjust the shifters when it is too loud.

It is not that a 30 or 40 year old bike has gotten any more difficult to ride over the years, just that the riders have gotten used to little progressive improvements.
Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Do you do your own maintenance?

Many modern shops have little or no experience w/ C&V machines, lack the tools and expertise that were common back when making maintenance part of the enjoyment of riding old bikes, or not.
It could also get very expensive to pay someone to do simple work on a "classic". Although there are some things like painting that some people routinely farm out while others do themselves.

Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
What is sought after isn't always rare and visa versa. Just to name a few sought after bikes off the top of my head, I would say Masi Gran Criterium, Galmozi, Motobecane Champion Team, Colnago Supers and Mexicos, Cinelli SC. Others will be in shortly to add more.
Absolutely.

The bike I grew up with is a Colnago Super. It is rare only in the sense that it is a fairly early one. Otherwise, Colnago Supers are one of the most common C&V bikes.

Looking at some of the C&V Finds that I see posted, my old Colnago lacks many of the refinements that other brands were putting into their bikes, even a decade earlier.

However, if it was for sale, it would retain some value on the C&V market. It certainly isn't pristine, nor are the components original. Not particularly due to rarity or fancy lug work... It always has been a nice road bike. I won't deny that. But, much of the value comes from the brand name recognition, and the fact that Colnago bikes are still relevant on the market today. I think old Ernesto is still part of the company, perhaps things will change when he kicks the bucket.
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Old 03-21-15, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CountMeOut View Post
I noticed you talking about them in another thread. What are some awesome Bianchis?
I can only speak of the '80s and early to mid '90s but for the most part any of the Italian built ones (except a few Campione De Italia models) are good. The real Reparto Corse models from the later '80s and early '90s are tops but you pay top dollar for them.

If your a heavier rider the Columbus MAX frames are pretty good but some lighter riders will find MAX stiff.

The Mini MAX (shaped EL OS) was great too. Prety much any of the SLX frames, which were more production bikes, and the EL, EL OS, SBX, Genius, should give a great ride but I have never ridden any.

I didn't care for the '99 Mega Pro LX Ti frame I had but my '97 Ti MegaTube is a fabulous machine.
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Bianchis '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, '93 Reparto Corse SBX

Others but still loved; '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape SLX Bertoni "Speckled Trout"
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Old 03-21-15, 03:13 PM
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For Italy, Cinelli, Colnago, DeRosa, Masi and Pogliaghi. In alphabetical order.
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Old 03-21-15, 03:27 PM
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I search for high quality bikes mass produced in Japan around the mid 80's. Some call them UJB's - universal Japanese bikes. Japan was batting 1000 back then. Setting standards that are still in use today. Brand new threaded & machined parts are still readily available for these old bikes. Fuji, Miyata, Shogun, Univega, Centurion & many others. Love em!
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Old 03-21-15, 03:38 PM
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Here's a site to get all wet on classic lightweights:
Lightweight Classic Vintage bicycles

When sucked in, the next thing you'll want is to ride what the racers were on.
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Old 03-21-15, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I agree it is kind of a personal thing not really like Big Game hnting where you have bag the big 5 or bird watching where your trying see home many you can get.

I primarily like Bianchis and the few unusual or 'rare' but I have gotten and then passed on other brands for various reasons.


There tonnes of bikes that are popular and may seem rare or sought after because they hold their value like Merckxes, De Rosa, but for me I like the less sought after or common brands, I would buy another Cornelo if it fit and nice color, I woulkd certainly buy another Hetchins if I had the money.

But some seem GAGA (not the singer) over Peugeots and Raleighs but I just don't see the appeal. Perhaps if I really rode one I would feel differently but who is to say.
My wife loves her '78 Peugeot, even though it is not high end. Though the frame is heavy, it really is a nice riding bike. We modified the bike with new wheels, removed the broken front shifter, made the back shifter indexed (which meant replacing the derailleur as well as the shifter), and changed the bars from the old narrow drops with suicide levers to a city bar with appropriate brake levers. Result is a vintage ride with a modern drivetrain. In some ways, it was easier to go all this stuff to a bike that is not a valuable collectible. The original components were not Campy by Simplex and pretty well sucked. It would be much harder to justify doing this kind of a conversion with a high end vintage bike.

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Old 03-21-15, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
When sucked in, the next thing you'll want is to ride what the racers were on.
Keeping in mind, as some do not, that the gearing "back when" demanded fitness, strength and endurance commensurate with being in race shape on race bikes.
For a reality check see if you would really enjoy tackling your stiffest local climbs in a 42/21 or at "best" 24 low range after a few hours in the saddle on a hot day.

That right there is the true C&V experience, and it does not change unless you want to hang it on a wall and stare at it.

edit: I had to convert my old '92 race bike from a 42/23 low range to a 39/25 to get over the same routes I've ridden for >30 years.
These race machines were set-up for strong determined riders and don't compromise much at all, which suits me at my advanced age.


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Old 03-21-15, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Keeping in mind, as some do not, that the gearing "back when" demanded fitness, strength and endurance commensurate with being in race shape on race bikes.
For a reality check see if you would really enjoy tackling your stiffest local climbs in a 42/21 or at "best" 24 low range after a few hours in the saddle on a hot day.

That right there is the true C&V experience, and it does not change unless you want to hang it on a wall and stare at it.

-Bandera
Nothing wrong with old, fat and slow on a race bike. And there is no one definition of a "true" C&V experience.
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Old 03-21-15, 04:31 PM
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Cougrrcj 
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I search for high quality bikes mass produced in Japan around the mid 80's. Some call them UJB's - universal Japanese bikes. Japan was batting 1000 back then. Setting standards that are still in use today. Brand new threaded & machined parts are still readily available for these old bikes. Fuji, Miyata, Shogun, Univega, Centurion & many others. Love em!
Pretty much where I am as well. I've had my '75 Fuji S-10S since it was new, but I also like the Miyata-built '84 Univega I had picked up a couple of years ago. I did NOT like the aluminum '90 Trek 1100.

High-end bikes? I'm just not that sort of guy, maybe because I'm not a racer. I go for the more relaxed sport-tour geometry with a road absorbing feel that doesn't have the 'twichyness' of a race bike.
__________________
'75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 52k+ miles and still going!
'84 Univega Gran Tourismo
'84 Univega Viva Sport
'86 Miyata 710
'90 Schwinn Woodlands
Unknown brand MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'
Plus or minus a few others from time-to-time

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