Broom Wagon Fodder
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes: Fuji Supreme; Kona Wo; Nashbar road frame custom build; Schwinn Varsity; Nishiki International; Schwinn Premis, Falcon Merckx
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I took a 1979 Fuji Royale, respaced it to 130mm for a Nexus-8 and I ride it all the time. I did a century with it last weekend.
I'd look for mid-80's steel, Japanese-made frame like a Fuji, Nishiki, Lotus, Bridgestone, Kabuki, Sekane, Schwinn LeTour or Traveler, Panasonic, etc., or a Raleigh, with horizontal dropouts. And I'd look for good tubing, Fuji VaLite or Chrome Moly.
1. Steel because you will want to respace it to 130mm. Can't do that with other frame materials.
2. Japanese made because it means you'll have common BB threading and easy to find seatpost sizes.
3. Horizontal dropouts so you can adjust the chain.
4. Mid-80's because it will be old enough to be cheap but new enough to have braze-on's for water bottles. I don't have them on mine and I really don't like the ones I had to add to mine.
5. Good tubing because the mid-level Jap bikes that were Chrome Moly or proprietary tubing like Fuji's VaLite were really nicely made.
Consider getting a 48-tooth single crank like the Sugino RD. Paired with a 19-tooth rear sprocket, it makes for a very rideable set of ratios.