Vintage lugged steel bikes

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by antikeye, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. antikeye

    antikeye New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've bought (and sold) vintage steel bikes for several years. I'd like to hear your experiences with your own rides, why you chose the bikes you chose, and the deals you got on old Columbus and 531 and the components that they came with.

    What have you done with them since? Rideable? Dead stock? Future project? Post it here.
     
    Tags:


  2. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a pair of early 70's vintage Falcon San Remo bikes. Pretty much your top end road bike back then - 531 butted tubing, all Campy NR, Cinelli Giro bars, Clement tubulars on arc-en-ciel or weinmann rims.

    Why get them? Sentimental attachment. I rode a San Remo back in college (late 70's/early 80's) in some local club crits, did fairly well. Just wanted to relive some memories. And, they're excellent riding bikes.

    Cost? Paid $500 for one in mint condition, $225 for one that had been hanging in a garage for 20 years, and had grime everywhere and a bit of surface rust on the chromed parts. Bought the restoration case because it had a larger frame, more suited to me, my wife gets the smaller one. The distressed example is cleaning up nicely - just needs cables, tires, and those expensive brown brake lever hoods. The old Campy NR gear has held up quite nicely. Still tight and useable after 30 years.

    Ride them? You bet - update the rims to modern 700c clincher and you're good to go. The old Reynolds frames ride very smooth, yet they're really not flexy. Interesting to compare these classics to my reasonably contemporary carbon framed Trek. If you take the aero wheels out of the comparison, they aren't much slower, especially on the flats. The downtube shifters are a nuisance after using indexed brake shifters, but otherwise the contemporary bike doesn't represent that much of an improvement. The fit and finish on the old bikes is so much better than what you see today. Chromed Campy fork ends - sure don't see that any more.

    Plus, one looks so stylish on a classic racer.
     
  3. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 1970's Dawes Galaxy that I've just had refurbished with modern components and it easily in the top 5 of the best bikes I've ever ridden, and I've ridden a few. I also ride an unbranded handmade Iatalian cyclo-cross bike made from Columbus tubing. It's from the early 80's and it's amazingly light and strong. It can easily compare with many modern alloy frames from the most reputed makers, except that it's much MUCH tougher.
    I use the first for touring (and I couln't really imagine touring on anything else, especially when you consider what the bike has to cope with) and the other when I want speed.
    There's an incredible amount of snobery against lugged steel frames at the minute and, it's sad to say, they' re on the way out.
    If carbon, alloy, titanium, God knows what really made bikes so much lighter, faster, better in any way, then cyclists would have opted in favour of these materials a very long time ago.
    The only advantage of giving up on steel bikes is to make cyclists buy more bikes more often from big companies who have one-size-fits-all frames built in massive workshops in the Far East and to kill off small independant bike shops and local frame builders.
    I'd like to hear from anybody who either shares my views or who may have contrasting opinions.
    f.j.


     
  4. toomanybikes

    toomanybikes New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you on most of this.

    I have a lugged steel Derek BAiley - Reynolds (753?) from about 1984 - C Record
    I have a Columbus SL lugged frame (Titan) - early '80's Super Record
    I have a Claud Butler ('60's) Reynolds 531 - Record
    I have Miyata 1000 - lugged Ishiwata - fixed gear.

    Love them all, they all ride better than my newer bikes. They are all a joy. All of the new stuff - carbon and Aluminum - in my view are designed to limited lifespans to make us buy more bikes more often.

    The next new bike I buy will be a handbuilt lugged steel custom - I will not buy a factory bike on principal nowadays.
     
  5. Stomper

    Stomper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Stomper here, I have a steel lugged bike that I keep at my daughter`s house in Spain.It is a Raliegh (Scirocco I think) and it is a much more comfortable ride than the Ridgeback Genesis I have back here in England.I found it in a pub cellar whilst working as a refrigeration engineer ,and payed the princely sum of £30 for it:) I have since fitted a 6spd block ,reduced the chainset size to 50/38 ,new tyres and brake blocks.With a bottom gear of 38x28 =36 I can get up most of the climbs.I find the alloy Ridgeback is not as comfortable especially on the rough roads in West Yorkshire:eek: .I am thinking of looking round for a good secondhand club machine from the 80`s:cool:
     
  6. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    3
    I just acquired a 1983 Bianchi Alloro:
    Colombus Tre Tubi
    Bianchi Crank (May have been made by Ofmega) Does anyone know if Bianchi made cranks?
    Campy shifters and derailleurs
    Ofmega headset and 3TTT stem
    Mavic 700c Clinchers
    It is a very nice riding bike. Cost was $150 off Ebay with very low mileage(seller said less than 500 miles and I'm inclined to believe him)

    Don't Know if this is vintage but I have a 1991 Serotta Colorado II:
    Proprietary Colorado Concept tube shapes made by Columbus
    Complete Camagnolo C Record Groupo (with those Delta brake calipers)
    Superb in every way and a thing of beauty
    Cost $950 off Roadbike Review classifieds

    Both are lugged steel
     
  7. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    1
    To this day I still miss mine

    '76 Raleigh Competition GS, DB Reynolds 531, all campy, Brooks saddle. What a sweet ride and so beautiful!
     
  8. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, why not check ebay listings?
    I'm quite convinced you'll find a replacement there, if anywhere...
    fj.

     
  9. wolfix

    wolfix New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,756
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ride a British 1975 MKM ... All Campy. I recently picked up a Team Pro Raleigh and am restoring it. I ride about 5,000 miles a year and I see no reason to purchase anything else. I admit I am a traditionalist, but lugged steel classics just seem to carry some class about them. Some of the top-end road bikes of today seem so disposible. And buying a steel lugged bike from a local craftsman or knowing your bike was made by craftsmen gives it much more personel appeal then buying one of these modern bikes from a pimply faced college student who thinks Eddy Merckx is a brand of bikes.
     
  10. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fortunately there seems to be a growing backlash against this kind of thinking. While the big companies have moved to aluminum and carbon, there are a growing number of small builders that are puting out what are arguably the best steel frames ever made.
     
  11. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know if I'm a traditionalist...
    I'd say my choice of frames and kit is mainly based on sometimes hard earned experience.
    Although I have to say that, in my opinion, a lugged frame always will look better, I had no problems the old school bottom bracket for a sealed shimano octalink when doing up my touring bike.
    When I bent the forks while riding over a pot hole a few days ago, I was on all four in the mud bending it back into some kind of a shape so I could clumpety clampety ride back to the nearest train station, still carrying the whole of my kit and pulling my trailer.
    It is clear to me that I could never have done that on many so called "modern" frame. It just would have snapped and that would have been it...

    Admitedly, I got a few laughs from pimpely gimps in more than a few cycle shops when trying to find replacement forks, (why would you want to ride an "old" thing like that?) but I forgive them because they are excluively leisure cyclists who have never covered more than 10 miles and never carried more than their own weight.
    f.j.


     
  12. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'd just like to add that the dismissal of lugged steel as being old school obsolite frame material by the "gotta have the latest gimmic" technophiles provides us with a continuing source of low priced great bikes.

    P.S. If you haven't visited the Classic Rendezvous website before, this is a gift from me to you. http://www.classicrendezvous.com/ You're gonna love it!
     
  13. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is an element of grace and craftsmanship to the vintage racers that you just don't get today. Chromed lugs blended into the frame, slender chainstay and fork tubes, polished SS spokes glittering in the sun, that velvet finish that Campy used to put on its Record gear... the rare occasions that I see someone else out on a classic, I just admire the fit and finish.

    We may have learned a lot about materials in the last 30 years, but we've sure forgotten how to finish a bike.

     
  14. jamboj

    jamboj New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I have 3 early 80's(does that count as vintage?) steel lugged bikes in my collection.

    1, 1984 Woodrup Giro? I purchased it at a yard sale for CDN$30,it has a Reynolds 531 frameset with Cinelli lugs and Campy drop outs.The original C-Record gruppo is in excellent condition with me only having to replace the toe clips. after a complete overhaul,new rubber cables etc I wouldn't part with it, it's a beautiful rider.
    2, an mid 80's Saronni Tipo Sprint, I traded a cheap MTB commuter forthe bike, I think it's a pretty low end columbus framset with Saronni drop outs, a mix of Suntour Cyclone, Modolo and Miche parts, It's in great shape with minor wear and tear.
    3, 1980 Colnago Mexico, full super record group. I've owned this bike since 1986 I payed CDN $750.00 for it, I only ride it a few times a year, I love it and want to be buried with it..... Just kidding but she is my favorite bike and i'll never sell her.
     
  15. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. I'm just a bit concerned that, if I need a new frame in 10, 20, or more years from now, I'll really be struggling.
    Finding a new fork for my custom Galaxy was already taxing enough when you think the last ones left the workshop just 6 months ago.
    Apparently, no-one does 1' threaded headsets anymore!!!
    I already knew the classic rendez-vous. Great info on old school stuff.
    I've used it a lot.
    Totally beyond the scope of this forum, but still about classic stuff: Why P-38? Have you heard of the programme Bombing Crew?
    Ever been in one? Even accomplished modern pilots in the programme found the old planes a bit of a challenge.
    Best,
    f.j.


     
  16. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    3
    I suppose that I've always been captivated by the P38 because of the radical and innovative design(the great Kelly Johnson of Lockheed). Despite the superiority of the P51 Mustang as an escort/air superiorty fighter the 38 was a formidable weapon in a multitude of roles ( ground attack/ fighter/ and most significantly photo recon.) and was flown by the leading WW2 American ace Richard I. Bong. (40 victories)

    I haven't seen the bombing crew program,and have never sat in or seen one flying, but for some years they had one at the Pima Air Museum here in Tucson. Evergreen Aviation (Tucson area) has one under restoration but this looks to be a very lengthy job.
     
  17. Grumpy Pig

    Grumpy Pig New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    My bike's not lugged but I ride an original (except for pedals and tires) '84 Peugot PH11. It's not high end like the PX10s but it rides smooth. I always keep an eye out for older bikes.
     
  18. cuda2k

    cuda2k New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently cleaning up my first vintage (and first road) bike. It's not high end by any means but if it gets me on the road to enjoying road cycling then I'll get my money out of it. Link to some pics on my Website in my sig below.
     
  19. normano

    normano New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm neither nostalgic nor sentimental but I like to think that I can recognize a work of art when I see one. The old bikes were made before focus groups and market segmentation took over bike design. The craft and artistry are visible to the naked eye. You don't have to saw it in half to see how cool it is :) I even like the rummage sale quality of putting an old bike together, hunting for parts on eBay and in the LBS.

    I'm so addicted that I put together a search engine to help me find and learn about old bikes. Feel free to use it, it works pretty well. I have an early 70's Normano (no idea on the origin so if you know anything please email me) and am going to start looking for an early 50's project. Then onto the 20's?.. Maybe a Holdsworth if I'm lucky!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    The Gios (chrome fork) that I bought from Green Mountain Schwinn in 1979 is still my daily rider. I thought I might be getting a US Masi on sale, but the Gios was all that was left in my size. Frank cold-set the forks and faced the bearing surfaces, and put in a Nuevo Record headset, all for $525 plus tax. Frank used to work on all the national team bikes when they were in New England.

    It was blasted and repainted (periwinkle Imron) in 1984, but without decals. My sweat and New England humidity and salt caused the original paint to bubble up from below. My experience indicates that Reynolds 531 is more rust-resistant than Columbus SL.

    I've also got a chrome-plated Frejus track frame that needs a fork, that a friend left on my doorstep. Anyone know where I can find a decent steel track fork with a 7-8 inch steerer?
     
Loading...
Loading...