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The most underrated vintage bikes?

Old 08-15-20, 07:25 PM
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Tomm Willians
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The most underrated vintage bikes?

A rather open question I realize so take it for whatever it means to you. Who do you believe makes the most underrated vintage bicycles, that bike that everyone either sneers at or just ignores but shouldn’t be.......
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Old 08-15-20, 07:47 PM
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Mid to late 80's Schwinns.
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Old 08-15-20, 07:49 PM
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Schwinn Tempo

Schwinn Tempo's.

Super smooth quick ride!!
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Old 08-15-20, 08:01 PM
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in volume- many French bikes.

to keep an eye out for? Small American builders, many were one man shows. Regional appeal when new, often overlooked, bypassed now.
There are so many, one has to be diligent though to not miss out.
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Old 08-15-20, 08:48 PM
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The lugged frame Free Spirits. I have no idea what year those were made. Why does every one hate them? I have thousands of around town miles on mine. Never have replaced anything other then chain tire and tubes. Maybe I was lucky and got the only good one made. For pavement it rides decent. Definitely not as nice as my fuji though.
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Old 08-15-20, 11:15 PM
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1984 - 1985 Raleigh "Racing USA" Series (NOT Made in Huffy Factories!!!!). Made with pride in the Orient. Super affordable, have great finish, and amazing ride. My addiction.
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Old 08-16-20, 03:22 AM
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If we looked back on all the threads on this subject, I probably repeat the same models from 1980-82:

- Miyata 912
- Univega Gran Rally
- Motobécane Grand Jubile
- Trek 400 series

It's kinda nice to start off with better than mid-level tubing, bottle bosses, and 126mm rear spacing.
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Old 08-16-20, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Mid to late 80's Schwinns.
Yep!


The holder of my few Strave KOM's for local sprints.


The mint, more original one I bought my son.


Nicely built and pretty light with modern parts.



A real beauty of a frame that just never got past the que to build. Now on the roads in SLC.


A real rocket of a bike bought super cheap.


Hmmm....but as I type this. Reality is all have been passed on but my Circuit and I'm thinking of selling that too for more room in the bike cave. All great bikes yet not being kept......hmmmm....why,......
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Old 08-16-20, 06:08 AM
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Shhhhhhhhhhh

Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Mid to late 80's Schwinns.
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Old 08-16-20, 06:18 AM
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Top end French and other continental bikes tend to go for less than equivalent quality bikes from other nations. I recently picked up and rebuilt a 1970s era Motobecane Grand Record. It's a fine riding bike with sensible gearing due to the TA crank. Plus it has generous tire clearance.



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Old 08-16-20, 06:23 AM
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"Seems" in my area to be GT and Mongoose, bikes that were excellent (IMO), but became "garden variety" because they are associated with big box stores now.
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Old 08-16-20, 06:24 AM
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Takara!

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Old 08-16-20, 07:19 AM
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Asian made Paramount's, Lugged Treks, US made Cannondale's, MONGOOSE through 1997, Miele's
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Old 08-16-20, 07:33 AM
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Japanese Bianchi's with Ishiwata tubes.
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Old 08-16-20, 08:04 AM
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Going to give a shout to 1980s Peugeots here, especially with Super Vitus tubes.


80s Schwinn has been mentioned (and there's a Super Sport SP calling for me on CL, but for lack of space) but I do want to shout out the 80s aluminum Schwinns (with the Klein downtube sticker) as especially cool. As long as the seatpost still works, and you can get past the flakiest paint job in the history of cycling (I don't think I've seen a single one where the decals weren't slightly distressed- too bad they didn't license "good paint" from Gary Klein...)

GT-Schwinn (up until 2002 when Schwinn died and became fully BSO-ed) also had some good stuff- I've seen 2001 titanium Serotta Paramounts go for about half the cost of what the bike would have gone for as a "Real" Paramount, or with Serotta decals. .

Finally, a bit past the C+V cutoff, but Trek Lemonds frequently came with cool high end steel like 853/OX Platinum, and are plentiful enough that the prices aren't too out of control for relatively new bikes.

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Old 08-16-20, 08:53 AM
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Going to give a shout to 1980s Peugeots here, especially with Super Vitus tubes.
]
Like this one?


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Old 08-16-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
A rather open question I realize so take it for whatever it means to you. Who do you believe makes the most underrated vintage bicycles, that bike that everyone either sneers at or just ignores but shouldn’t be.......
Since brands are often associated with their current products, i would say sneering or ignoring would be done by those who don't know history, so any brands still around that are shells of their former self.

Schwinn, Mongoose, Motobecane(could be argued this one doesn't apply), and Nishiki would be some brands im thinking of in general.

So yeah, the comments on late 80s Schwinn road bikes would be my pick, especially the higher end models.
Nishiki late 80s quality road bikes would be another.

The Tenax Schwinn road bikes i have seen and owned arent the most well finished, but they are a solid platform to refurbish or modernize.
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Old 08-16-20, 09:02 AM
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Shogun made some good quality stuff too, though they're one of those brands like Univega or Peugeot which is a bit tough because the volume of the low end bikes sold under their name far outweighed the high end bikes.
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Old 08-16-20, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
"Seems" in my area to be GT and Mongoose, bikes that were excellent (IMO), but became "garden variety" because they are associated with big box stores now.
Those type of things come into my shop every day.. Horrific quality. I don't ever recall seeing a vintage "Kent" but they claim a hundred years of building bikes. These are one rung below the Mongoose "Hotshot" (which I suspect to be a communist plot to depress both bike owner and mechanic to the point of suicide). From the service area of the shop you may hear things such as "Oh my God, this, this derailleur is made of plastic, and still rusted."
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Old 08-16-20, 09:49 AM
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Batavus. Puch

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Old 08-16-20, 10:01 AM
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I'd certainly agree with the wide open question part. There must be dozens of bikes out there which are of good quality who never had high exposure. It's like any product not immediately considered by the masses to be "top of mind". Usually nobody remembers who came in 2nd in the race but that doesn't mean that 2nd isn't world class!
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Old 08-16-20, 10:13 AM
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1. Centurion Ironman, Elite RS and Lemans RS: performance for the price. I've tried to close the hype gap....
2. Those mid-80s Schwinns, for sure, Tempo comes to mind, but Prologue, Peloton, Circuit. Just never got the cred...
3. The Raleigh "Racing USA" series, for beauty and solid quality.
4. The Schwinn PDG Series Paramounts and the Schwinn "number series" Aluminums. Deceptively good.
5. Early Trek lugged steels were kind of overshadowed by others until Trek became the monstrosity it now is.

Schwinn sort of got dumped on from about 1985 through the Aluminums. Paramount elitists with inferiority complexes panned them left and right, aided by the cycling press and the Italian elitists, as well.

Centurion made attempts to mollify these same people in 1985 with 2 high-end models as good as anything out there, both of which failed to get traction.

Raleigh "Racing USA" series were the prettiest bikes to get the same treatment, presumably because they were no longer made in England and (gasp!) had Japanese components.

Those Trek models were simply not very well known, and a market "newcomer" then did not have the internet to blast into the arena.

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Old 08-16-20, 10:14 AM
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Oh yeah, forgot to mention-

"Store brand" bikes, mainly Novara/Performance/Nashbar. A lot of these were high end Japanese/Taiwanese steel, and some Novaras were basically rebadged Centurions in the 80s/early 90s. Good way to get high end Japanese steel/components for a low price.
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Old 08-16-20, 10:16 AM
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Huffy-era Raleighs! And all cantilever-equipped 1980s tourers that do not say "Miyata" or "Trek" on them. Also rigid steel MTBs like the Pug Orient Express or Univega Alpina. They're basically gravelbike starter kits.

And at the risk of repeating myself I'll give the Vitus 979 a shout-out as well. The exact same thing Sean Kelly won his races on, and you can have it for a couple hundred dollars. Underrated by the economy anyway.
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Old 08-16-20, 10:43 AM
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My ROSS Signature. I bought it for the Shimano components but after removing them, I see that the frame is very well made with Ishiwata triple butted tubing. I was going to sell it but decided to build it up as a touring bike. The frame is mint but not a looker, kind of bland 80's blue and gray.
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