Re: Was given cheap frame with Shimano 600 components. Help.
Originally Posted by geickel
I was given an older bike by a friend. He informed me that the frame (Ross or Boss) was a cheap one, but that I could learn about components of a road bike with what he gave me. He also told me that the Shimano 600 components on the bike were good stuff back in the day. My father-in-law has a 1980 Raleigh Competition GS with Campagnolo Grand Sport components (which, to my knowledge, was OE). After riding it, I knew the Raleigh hybrid that I have been riding wasn't gonna cut it anymore. My friend told me that Shimano 600 was comparable to the Campy set that came on my f-i-l's bike. I know virtually nothing about what's good and not good in the bike world. I don't want to race, I just want a good road bike to ride. I'd like to know, first of all, if Shimano 600 components are very good. Secondly, I would like to find a good frame to put the components on to have a decent ride.
Thanks for any and all help in this matter.
There are some things you probably need to do before you shop for a new frame ...
First, you need to realize that your Raleigh Hybrid may seem sluggish compared to your father in law's Raleigh because of the wheels-and-tires AND if your Raliegh has a suspension fork then the Hybrid has an unnecessay burden ...
Despite what some people think regarding wheel weight, the weight of the wheels CAN make a difference in certain riding situations ... that's not an issue to address here-or-now.
If you were to change the tires on your Hybrid to 700x28 you would find that the bike probably would feel remarkably different.
If your Hybrid has a suspension fork and it was replaced with a "solid" fork, particularly a ROAD fork, it would also change the way your Hybrid feels.
As far as your Ross frame, it may-or-may-not be as bad as you think ...
The appellation "cheap" to describe the Ross could be your friend's label because the entire bike may have cost less than the cost of a Colnago frame & fork which, around 1980, would have cost about $450+.
Even now, a steel Colnago (Master X-Lite) frame & fork will cost more than many very nice ready-to-ride bikes. I think a Pegoretti steel frame would cost even more than the Colnago steel frame.
FYI. A bike with a 5-speed Freewheel suggests a date of 1978-or-before; but, I don't know the timeline for when Shimano introduced their 600 series ...
I think the 600 series was introduced somewhere between 1978-to-1981 (who can remember?).
Are there possibly 6 cogs on the Freewheel?
BTW. The Shimano 600 was subjectively better than the Campagnolo GS + the "better" Campagnolo components as far as functionality ... but, most vintage Campagnolo components have more value because of Japanese collectors.So called "better" components have a nicer finish & weigh less than less expensive components.
If you were to look at a 9-speed Shimano 105 rear derailleur, you would see that it looks nice. Then, if you look at 9-speed Ultegra rear derailleur, you will see that it is polished. Then, if you look at a Dura Ace rear derailleur, you will see that the finish is marginally nicer than the finish on the Ultegra.
The difference in the finish seems smaller on the 10-speed rear derailleurs which Shimano makes; but, the less visible differences remain which makes the 105 rear derailleurs heavier than the Ultegra & Dura Ace rear derailleurs + the 105 rear derailleur has pulleys which 'only' have bushings whereas the Ultegra & Dura Ace rear derailleurs have bearings.
The difference in finish on Shimano's 10-speed lines is more evident when you look closely at the cranksets.
Most of Shimano's & Campagnolo's less expensive components work as well as their better stuff ...
You could spend $600 on a frame-and-fork and it would be considered by some to be a "cheap" frame ... but, there would be nothing wrong with it AND it could ride as well as a frame that cost $3500+.
As far as moving your vintage components to a new frame, the rear wheel's spacing is probably 126mm ... not an insurmountable problem; but, many bikes from the 70s had 27" wheels/tires AND that size wheel/tire combination will not fit in most contemporary ROAD frames ...
If your Ross does have 27" wheels, then the brake calipers may-or-may-not be useable on a contemporary frame because of the caliper's "reach" ... if nothing else, the contemporary frame will use RECESSED NUTS to secure the brake calipers whereas the calipers on the Ross use "regular" nuts.
The front derailleur's clamp is probably a 28.6mm, and that probably won't fit on most contemporary road frames.
Many contemporary road frames do not have downtube bosses and you would probably need to have a "custom" clamp made made to use the downtube shifters.
Basically, it probably isn't practical to move the components from your Ross to a "new" frame unless it is another STEEL frame.
IMO, a frame's geometry + wheels have more affect on how a bike rides
than a lot of the other aspects; so, if the Ross seems to ride well, then some maintenance may be all that is required to make it ride as well as it did when it was new.
Regardless, updating the components on the Ross at some point in the future could be a better option than buying a new frame for the vintage components unless you were planning to buy another steel frame ...