Was given cheap frame with Shimano 600 components. Help.

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by geickel, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    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.
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    The age of the Shimano 600 components that you have will determine if they are good or great. Shimano made the 600 series in several forms that spanned friction shifting all the way up into indexed shifting. In Shimano's heirarchy, 600 components were second only to their top of the line Dura Ace. The 600 series was renamed Ultegra around 1993. So yes, in its day, your 600 components were very good.

    Compared to todays standards, if you have the later 600 series equipment, you have components that would be comparable to todays 105 series components. These would have indexed shifting and dual pivot brakes. If you have earlier components such as the 600 Series model numbers 6207 with friction shifting and single pivot brakes, than you have decent equipment but rather antiquated by todays standards. This equipment, if funtional and not too badly worn, will still be fun to ride with.

    As far as getting a frame goes, the best place to look for a frame is on eBay. If I were looking for a frame, I would try to get either an aluminum or Chrome Moly Steel frame of the same period that the components came from. I would prefer to have brazed on shift bosses and cable guides. Also a brazed on rear derailluer hanger. Look at the photos closely to see if the wheel drop outs are thick forged dropouts or thin stamped dropouts. Thin stamped dropouts are used on cheap frames and thick forged dropouts are used on the higher quality bikes. If I were in your posistion, I would also look for a frame that has a fork and headset with it.

    Be prepared to spend a lot of time working with this bike. It may be confusing at first but building a bike is probably the best way to learn about them.
     
  3. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    Thanks. I can tell you that the shift levers are on the down tube, and it is a 10-speed. Maybe that could help determine the age?
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    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 ...
     
  5. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    Can you give me some direction as to what type of steel or brand to look for, and how to find out what exactly I need to look for as far as measurements go. If I buy online, I will need to know specifics. Also, if you could give resources, so that I don't have to ask all of the basic questions (not that I mind, but I don't want to waste anyone's time). Thanks for all of your help.
     
  6. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Do a fit calculator online then ask sellers to measure the top tube and seat tube center-to-center. Bridgestones and French bikes will typically have a fit with a longer top tube but French bikes from the early eighties and before had threads which wouldn't fit your parts.

    The frame may not be so bad. A lot of Ross bikes were entry-level quality but some were better. The reasons to get a good steel frame are ride and weight. The weight difference isn't that large and the ride can be corrected with larger tires.

    Does the frame have any stickers indicating what it's made from? Do you know what the bike weighs?
     
  7. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    Thanks for the reply and all of the info. If I was planning to buy a steel frame, could you point me in the right direction? Is there a certain size (besides sizing it for me personally) that the tubes would need to be for the components to fit? Is there a certain type of steel I should be looking for? Thanks for any more info that you can provide.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    There are only a few steel frames which your Shimano 600 components would not fit on ...

    Everything depends on your budget AND how/where you intend to ride the bike ...

    What is the size of your Ross -- what are the lengths of the top tube (c-c) & seat tube?

    Do you feel that the frame/bike is too large OR too small for you?

    How tall are you?

    What is the size of your Hybrid?

    What is your budget?

    FWIW. If I were buying a NEW "road" frame from a shop & had a budget between $500 & $1000, I would probably look at GUNNAR frames.

    If I had 2x that amount to spend (and, wanted something "sporty"), I would look at a COLNAGO Master X-Lite or some other Italian frames.

    If I had less than $500, I would look for a used frame from the 80s which could (probably) use either 700c or 27" wheels.

    There are some things which you may not be able to transfer -- specifically, the seatpost & brake calipers.

    Your rear wheel probably has 126mm spacing. IF you buy a contemporary frame then it will 130mm rear spacing ... minimally, you will need a 4mm spacer for the non-driveside of the rear hub and you will have to have the rear wheel re-dished ... a new, longer axle MAY be needed, but the existing axle may be long enough.

    If the wheels on the Ross are 27", then you will want to consider a CX frame if you want to continue to use the wheels, as-is.

    N.B./FYI. If your Raleigh has a suspension fork, then simply replacing it with a regular ROAD fork + replacing the tires & tubes would be a good-if-not-great place to start [as an interim bike] because it will give you a greater appreciation (beyond what you read here-or-elsewhere) of how important (IMO, at least) the front end geometry (and, the actual fork) matter (or, don't) in how a bike feels.

    Installing a "road" fork on a Hybrid usually results in a 73ยบ head tube angle (which is common on most road bikes).
     
  9. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    The advise given to you so far is good, however, to answer your question, you should look for a bike that is made of 'chrome-molybdenum", "chrome-moly", or "manganese-molybdenum" steel. These are the highest quality steel alloys that are available. The best known steel manufacturers are Reynolds, Columbus, Dedacciai, True Temper, Ritchey, Tange, and Ishiwata. When purchasing a bike, look for a sticker with one of these manufacturer's names and the alloy located on the seat tube. Some of the highest levels of quality are Reynolds 853, TrueTemper OX Platinum, and Columbus Foco. If a seller is providing photographs of a bike but has not listed one specifically of this sticker, ask him to add it.

    Things to be wary of are high tensile steel or mild steel bikes. These frames are ordinarily very heavy and are seen mostly on budget bikes. If they have any steel manufacturer's sticker on it at all, it will usually say that it is high tensile, hi-ten, steel, or any one of a number of proprietary names. A step up, but not much of one is high-carbon steel. Examples of this are Columbus Aelle, Reynolds 500, and VALite.

    Also be wary of stickers that say something like "Chrome-Molybdenum" followed by "three main tubes" or "main frame". These frames will have the top tube, down tube, and seat tube made of a good alloy but the stays and fork will most likely be high tensile steel.

    The last thing that you might want to look for is butted tubing. This is where the tubes are thicker where they need the strength but are thinner where they don't need so much strength. Butted tubing is usually used only in the finest of frames. It is a little more expensive to make this kind of tubing, so the frames are usually more expensive.

    As to brands of bicycle, it is difficult to name one as there were so many good ones in the 1980's. Since you are using Shimano components, you will probably want to use a Japanese frame. Some of the ones that come to mind are Univega, Lotus, Centurion, and Nishiki. There are many others. If you buy a steel bike frame from this era, your components will fit as most of the steel tubes were pretty much standard among the Japanese bikes.

    Your biggest concern though is to get a bike that fits. Either get a fitting from a bicycle shop or use one of the free on-line fit calculators and find out what you are going to need for a frame size. Once you find out your size, try to find a frame that is within +/- 2 cm. Anymore than that and the frame will not actually fit you right. If you are looking at a frame on line, don't be afraid to ask the seller questions. If you buy the frame, you will be stuck with it so make sure that it is what you want before you buy it. Good luck.
     
  10. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    Thanks to everyone so far for their help. I have not been able to pursue restoring this bike to a ridable condition yet, but am now finally able to start. I would like to post pictures of the different components with descriptions of what I know about them in hopes that you guys and gals can advise me on: rebuilding some parts, replacing some parts, cleaning some parts, etc. I will start with the frame. It is, as I mentioned in an earlier post, a frame by a company called Ross. I cannot find info anywhere on the frame that lets me know what kind of steel it is made out of. The only thing I have been able to find (besides the ROSS badge on the front) is a number on the rear right (from rider's perspective) dropout (0179456699). I googled the number, but to no avail. Maybe someone can help me with identifying what type of steel it is or where I might find that info. Any advice on certain measurements to help me find out the size of the frame, as well as what to measure in terms of the rear axle, front axle, chain size, etc. would be awesome. Tips?
     
  11. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    The number that you found on the dropout is likely the serial number of the frame. Unfortunately the Ross Bicycle Co went bankrupt in 1989 so there is little hope that you will be able to use that number for info about the bike. After researching Ross a little, it sounds as if their focus was on the budget bike market, ala Huffy, so the steel probably is high tensile steel. From the photograph, it appears that the components were of the earlier pre-indexing design. They will still give you a good ride if they are not too worn.

    The most common component of frame size is the length of the seat tube. This is measured from the centerline of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube. This is most often measured in centimeters, but you will sometimes find it in inches in advertisements for a used bike or frame. There are other factors in sizing a bike such as length of the top tube effecting your reach, but they are pretty much a moot point unless you have been fitted and are looking for a new frame.

    As far as rebuilding and maintenance, I suggest that you invest $20 - $30 in a good bicycle maintenance and repair manual. The topic of rebuilding and maintenance is just too long to go into in a post on the forum. The specific manual that I use is Bicycle Maintenance & Repair for Road & Mountain Bikes published by Rodale Press. This manual is available in most major bookstores or online at rodalestore.com . It is fairly comprehensive and easy to understand. Good luck and have fun with this.
     
  12. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I'll check out the book. About the frame though, I have recently discovered that the axle is too short. The rear wheel was not on the frame, so I didn't know until I started doing research...and tried to put it on. I am keeping an eye open for vintage frames on ebay, and will probably ask if I see something that looks decent. I would like to list the components so as to find out if they are any good, or if I should look into replacing them as well. The crank, brakes, and derailleurs are all Shimano 600; the pedals are Campagnolo; the chainring (2 spd.) and cassette (6 spd.), as well are the front and rear hubs, are all Shimano (the rear cassette is a Uniglide type with 24, 21, 18, 16, 13, and 12 tooth sprockets, and the bearing cover says "Shimano 60"; the chainring has 52 and 40 tooth sprockets); the seatpost is SR Laprade, the headset is SR, the handlebars are SR Road Champion; the front wheel is an Araya 27 x 1 1/8, and the rear wheel is a Flamme 27 x 1 1/4 (I measured this one, since it wasn't marked). Sorry the pics are all yellowish. Are most of these decent?
     
  13. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Seems to me you've got a collection of decades-old components on an old, rusty, heavy steel frame. The problem with the components is that they are likely worn, fatigued or corroded, ie, of unknown strength or remaining life. I've had an alloy stem like yours fail from corrosion, so I woudn't really trust any of that stuff, frame included.

    Suppose it all depends on your goals, but if you want a bike you can safely ride and enjoy, suggest this one isn't a good choice. Your friend didn't really give you much of value; at least around here these kinds of bikes are sold for $20 at garage sales, or even found in dumpsters. Spending money to "fix it up" wouldn't be a good idea since it needs everything....frame, wheels, components. If you really want a bike to ride, a newer used bike or even a low-priced new one is going to be a better deal all around.
     
  14. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. The frame probably dates to between 1974 & 1978 ...

    What dhk2 describes as "rust" looks like grease-and-dirt ... regardless, since it is a less expensive frame the tubing is undoubtedly THICKER and so unless you live near a body of SALT WATER, then the rust is probably superficial, or negligible.

    So, get some PAINT THINNER and clean the grease off ALL of the components + off the frame ...

    THEN, wash the frame with some dish washing solution + warm water.

    MEASURE the distance between the dropouts. Is it 120mm OR 126mm OR 130mm?

    What is the distance between the axle droputs and the rear brake bridge & the brake mounting hole in the fork?

    How much did you want to spend to get the bike rolling down the road?

    FYI. Almost everything you may decide to spend can be used on a future bike frame.
     
  15. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yeah, agree the frame is probably OK.....old heavy-weight 1020 tubing can be quite rusty and still be safe. My post does sound pretty negative; maybe I've just seen and worked on too many old clunkers to be fond of them:)

    Suggest the OP invest in a can of WD-40, some fine-grade steel wool and give it a go. It's surprising how much better things look after being de-greased and polished a bit. Still don't advise investing any money in the bike, beyond maybe a spoke, new cable, pads and tires....just minimal needed to make it safe to ride a bit this spring while shopping for something better.
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    The drive train that you have was pretty high end in its day. These components were known in cycling circles as Shimano Arabesque because of the stylish design of the derailleurs and brake calipers. The other parts are decent items. While they are old and outdated, they can be cleaned up and give you a fun ride. Just make sure that you clean and lubricate them well. To clean them, WD-40 and very fine steel wool will work wonders as dhk2 stated. For lubrication, a little light oil at all of the pivot points and a little grease on the pulley sleeves should do well for you. Btw, I just noticed that you are missing the idler pully on the rear deraulleur. This could be a problem if that section of the cage is missing too.

    The freewheel is a Shimano 600 as there is no such animal as a Shimano 60 that is a Uniglide freewheel. The things that worry me about your bike are possibilities of a worn chain, worn chainrings, and worn freewheel cogs, along with the rear derailluer cage. Also, your rear wheel is a bit of a mystery. I suspect that the components that are on the frame are not original, and that the frame is more recent than the components. If the rear axle is not wildley shorter than the dropout spacing, there is a good possibility that the rear triangle was sprung together so tha the wheel could work.
     
  17. geickel

    geickel New Member

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    What do you think about this frame? Here is the description:

    1960's (I think) Atala lugged chromoly steel road bike frameset with the original steel fork, Atala headset, and T A bottom bracket........Needs some love and some cleanup.........Check out those super cool old chrome head tube lugs and old metal Atala headbadge. Chromed Campagnolo dropouts front and rear.....chromed front fork tips, chromed fork crown and chromed rear stays. Stamped "24" on the bb shell..........Straight gauge chromoly steel tubing. It has some light surface rust on the some of the chrome on the fork crown, and the left side of the fork blade has some surface rust on it from storage........A bead blast and repaint would spiff it up.......Size is 60-cm (center of crank to center of top tube), 61-cm (center of crank to top of top tube), 62-cm (center of crank to top of seat tube). Top tube measures 58-cm from center of the head tube to center of the seat tube. Color is blue (re-paint)....... Rear dropout spacing is 125. Takes center bolt mount brakes. Headset is 1".... Has no water bottle mounts, and no braze ons, not a single braze on it, nice smooth bare tubes...........Horizontal rear Campy dropouts. No dents, .........some weathering, though I think the paint has a nice pantina to it.............Take a good look at the pictures, that is what is included in the auction. It has some paint chips and scratches. Headset and bb need fresh grease. A neat old Italian frameset that needs some love to bring it back to life...........Would be cool project to bring this gal back to life........... Please check out the pictures, that's exactly what's included............. Please BID NOW! MUST SHIP FEDEX or UPS. Buyer pays ground shipping (delivery confirmation and insurance is included) at $38.50 in the continental U.S. I'll ship it anywhere in the world by USPS Express Mail as long as payment is verified and the USPS will deliver it, but NO SHIPPING TO ITALY........ Buyer to pay within 10 days of the end of auction. I can only ship Paypal orders to a Paypal "confirmed" address. High bidder must make contact within 3 days of end of auction. I will ship promptly upon receipt of confirmed payment. Check my feedback and bid with confidence. Thank you very much for bidding! PLEASE SEE MY OTHER AUCTIONS, COMBINE ITEMS AND SAVE ON SHIPPING!!!>
     
  18. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    Too bad these have been so neglected, but as above, some spit and polish might be in order. What have you got to lose but time?

    I have an early 80s bike (Reynolds 531C frame) with very nice 600 components in almost pristine condition.
     
  19. mycyclingadvice

    mycyclingadvice New Member

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    Shimano is one of the better companies providing bicycles in the $200-$300 range. I think you made a fine selection with a Shimano bicycle and components.
     
  20. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Nice frame but BIG! Will it fit you? You are also going to have to add clamp on everything since there are no braze ons, and the problem with clamps is they often cut through the paint and lead to corrosion. It would be better, if you have not done it yet, to find out what size bike is best for you and then limit your searches to frames that fall onto that general size. A couple of cm larger or smaller will usually be good. I would get a newer frame from the 80s or early 90s to get all the braze ons.

    The Atala frame is a great frame, it just might not be right for you if it doesn't fit.
     
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