Classic & Vintage - Was fastback seat clusters, NOW Mystery 531
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01-28-07, 10:47 PM
Starting a new bump to the thread (from M-theory) concerning the frame with fastback seat cluster...now I've taken some slightly better detail shots of this frame/fork and posted them to this Velospace site:
Velospace limits the size/resolution, so they aren't as great as they could be, but you get the idea. This bike seems to be an American or British build from about 1980, and seems to be all 531 and is a 55x55, takes a 27.2 post. It has a BSC BB shell and 2 matching serial numbers on the BB shell and fork steerer: 2318141.
Any help ID-ing it is appreciated. Pretty sure it's NOT Bruce Gordon or Trek...
01-29-07, 10:07 AM
the lugs look a lot like my friend lily's RIH and my friend bernards gazelle. I would look into builders from holland.
01-29-07, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the input, however I've been given a pretty strong clue from 2 separate parties to look into it being the early work of Tim Isaac, who built in Colorado in this bike's timeframe. Back then, he labelled them TJ Isaac and built with both 531 and Columbus, the seatstay treatment and lugs are similar to others he made (they say). I did a quick google of him and turns out he became a Bike Industry Heavyweight: worked for Trek, Litespeed, did a stint in China with a huge automated factory, and now has a small operation in Washington State called "match" that builds for Rivendell and had/has the contract to build Paramounts, too. Curt Goodrich was associated with him and worked at match, I think. Anyway, I'm gonna try to send him the pics attached to an email in the hope he'll take a minute out of his busy schedule and tell us if it's one of his...stay tuned...
I've got a RIH (pronounced RHEE) and yes the lug windows do look
similiar but I don't think RIH ever build a fastback seatstay bike, all I've
ever seen were traditional seatstay and binder bolt arrangements.
I've been looking at some of the more unusual bikes (gazelle slipstream) and
they're all traditional seat stay treatment. It's a puzzler thats for sure.
Mine doesn't have the long windowed lugs and is built with Columbus SL/SLX, but the seat cluster is an exact match to your mystery frame. This one was built by Bill Holland in San Diego. I've heard that some Eisentraut frames also used this type of seat cluster. Sorry the picture resolution isn't better.
01-29-07, 03:55 PM
Thanks for that post...your Holland actually is a bit more refined than "Mystery", the tip of the seatlug is taller, points a bit shorter and thinned more nicely. Bruce Gordon saw the pics and said "it's not mine", and Doug Fattic (midwest-based builder) thinks it could be one of many West-Coast based builders from the late '70s-early '80s, apparently this kind of fastback was a popular treatment. Eisentraut's signature fastback is also more refined than this one, from the pics I've seen. So the jury's still out...
I was wondering about Jeff Lindsay, Chico I think...
01-29-07, 06:33 PM
Yeah Unworthy.. I've been searching around and can't find squat.... If it is a tiny builder...I'm surprised they'd need to use a 7-digit serial number.
Anyway....I scored big as well: I ended up with the BIG VINTAGE CAMPY STASH BOX you might have seen on SF CL. The seller put $2500 but actually meant $150! It had: NOS '63 Record derailleurs, NOS Super Record brakes, titanium BB's & Headsets! Victory brakeset, 2 Campy Nuovo Record cranksets + 1 Stonglight triple !! 2 Campy Nuovo seatposts, 1 NOS '75 3TTT adjustable track stem NOS!!!! Oh and 3 Nuovo Record bottom backets and 3 sets of super record shifters!!!!! Plus Croce deraillers & cranks and more.. Craaaazy. Most is N-O-S!!!! Yaaaay!
It may be the first inventory if I open a bike shop here in SF.
01-29-07, 08:00 PM
still can't wager a guess about the builder..
but did i see in a pic that the driveside dropout is drilled for a portacatena ?
introduced in '79 that would date the frame to the early 80s
01-29-07, 08:37 PM
Coelcanth: Yes, the DO has the 2 holes which I guessed was for portacatena, but somebody else said he thought for a spring for early Sport RD...I think he misread the photo and thought there was just one hole.
I'm not very familiar with Jeff Lindsay's work, except I thought it was really nice and also didn't see any until mid-'80s at the earliest...my instinct (not the most reliable) says that the 81 in the serial number is the year built...just cause '81 seems like it jibes with the RD and other stuff...the funny thing is that somebody wanted 5-speed rear spacing in '81, probably an early retrogrouch. One thing you can't see in the photos are little touches that for me indicate a *slightly* less than stellar build quality; little brazing blobs in the lug windows, a run in the paint on the BB shell...it's really minor and doesn't spoil the bike, but to me it rules out Ed Litton, Tom Ritchey(based on one photo of a road bike he built), Eisentraut...builders who really amped-out on the details. This one seems just a bit more "production", or somebody's early effort.
Hey M-theory: good ON YA, have some champagne!
01-29-07, 08:57 PM
Anyway....I scored big as well: I ended up with the BIG VINTAGE CAMPY STASH BOX you might have seen on SF CL. Craaaazy. Most is N-O-S!!!! Yaaaay!
You dirty rat! ;)
01-29-07, 10:28 PM
""You dirty rat!""
Yeah, it's an amazing find... I could barely control myself looking through it. I gave her more money than she asked for. It was her astranged husband's collection from the 60's to present and they were rich as hell.
She told me that she just sold off his vintage '60s Jack Taylor race bikes a few weeks prior for $800 each and she was happy to get that. There's gonna be one angry fellow returning home to get his stuff.
01-29-07, 11:13 PM
ah you bastard. i emailed her about that one, you beat me to it. let me know if you want to clear any of that stuff out!
01-30-07, 11:12 AM
Just an update, no real progress: I saw some pics of a Jeff Lindsay/Mountain Goat road bike, and nice bike, but too different from this one. Other suggestions from the intelligentsia suggest it might be Don Millberger (who was once in Orinda, then maybe Walnut Creek, CA) as well as a strong vote for it being TS Isaac, including the fact that he used a 7-digit serial number on a touring bike from (maybe) 1979. I can't find any contact info to email either Tim Isaac (last known in Woodinville, WA, but match bicycles shut doors in 2000)or Mr. Millberger. If anybody knows their email, please PM me. Lastly, the guy I bought this for is now having doubts about the project, seems he is leaning more toward Fix-i-fying a Ciocc he already owns. So this might go on the market (a little small for me or I'd keep it).
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