Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-28-07, 07:35 PM   #1
x37
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ranking Vintage Bike Manufacturers

How would you rank the different vintage bicycle companies? For instance, generally speaking, which is better: Trek or Miyata? Raleigh or . . . ? I realize that ranking bikes in this way is very subjective, but I want to get a better idea of what to look for in the vintage market. Thanks.
x37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-07, 07:38 PM   #2
vpiuva
*
 
vpiuva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 3,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gitane has the most TdF wins, so in my ranking it's first
vpiuva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-07, 07:43 PM   #3
ken cummings
Senior Member
 
ken cummings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: northern California
Bikes: Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would go: 1; Bruce Gordon, 2; Miyata, 3; Raleigh. Sure there are lots of others, these I have ridden a lot. The Raleigh was as a teenager. Yes, Gordon is vintage, got to his site and look at some of his lugged frames. Extreme eye candy.
ken cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-07, 07:53 PM   #4
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 10,959
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
The problem is comparing builders vs. manufacturers. I think one has to keep the classes separate. That and over time, perhaps by decade.
repechage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-07, 09:49 PM   #5
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 17,167
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
It depends on one's application (e.g. loaded touring vs. long-distance road racing vs. criterium), body proportions (e.g. long torso, long legs, etc.), aesthetic tastes (e.g. plain and clean vs. ornate), and desire for uniqueness vs. a well-known pretigious marque. If you want a vintage racing bike, you can't go wrong with any of the first-tier Italian names, such as DeRosa, Cinelli, Masi, or even the oldest brand out there, Bianchi. For head-turning appearance, there is arguably nothing like a Hetchins with the curvy stays.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-07, 10:11 PM   #6
Otis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,639
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
If you learn how to spot quality, it will not matter who made it.
Otis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-07, 11:21 PM   #7
OrangeOkie
Senior Member
 
OrangeOkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Oklahoma City
Bikes: Canondale LL Bean, Criterium; both MY Schwinn Volare's, Voyageur 11.8; Holdsworth; Bob Jackson; Raleigh Super Course Mk II and Super Course Racing USA; Trek 1500
Posts: 443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Schwinn, Holdsworth, Raleigh, Cannondale, Trek . . . because I don't yet own any other brand.
OrangeOkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-07, 07:27 PM   #8
Snordalisk
Senior Member
 
Snordalisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Worcester, MA
Bikes: 1977 Raleigh Professional, 1997 Milano 3v, 2004 Surly Karate Monkey, 2007 Surly Crosscheck, 1984 Hutch Pro Racer
Posts: 129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otis
If you learn how to spot quality, it will not matter who made it.
This is the truth.

There are plenty of undervalued, or under regarded bikes out there merely because they have a particular brand on them. Conversely, there are plenty of over valued/regarded bikes out there merely because they have "531" on the seat tube or "Campagnolo" on the dropouts.

It's all about the workmanship and quality of that frame, brand names shouldn't really enter into it until later.

I'm the proud owner of a quite well regarded frame that is certainly "top tier". It has crooked downtube shifter posts, and an improperly aligned front derailleur braze on.

This is a touchy subject for me.
Snordalisk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 01:26 AM   #9
x37
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snordalisk
This is the truth.

There are plenty of undervalued, or under regarded bikes out there merely because they have a particular brand on them. Conversely, there are plenty of over valued/regarded bikes out there merely because they have "531" on the seat tube or "Campagnolo" on the dropouts.

It's all about the workmanship and quality of that frame, brand names shouldn't really enter into it until later.
I'm new to the vintage bike market and I'm just trying to get a general idea of which brands and models to look for and which to avoid. I do most of my browsing on eBay and Craigslist, so I cannot inspect every bike in person to judge the workmanship.

If you feel certain brands are under or overvalued, I would love to hear about them.
x37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 02:17 AM   #10
Sammyboy
The Legitimiser
 
Sammyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southampton, UK
Bikes: Gazelle Trim Trophy, EG Bates Track Bike, HR Bates Cantiflex bike, Nigel Dean fixed gear conversion, Raleigh Royal, Falcon Westminster.
Posts: 4,847
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a big fan of anything hand built in England. That's usually enough for me.
Sammyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 04:22 AM   #11
tolfan
Novist senior member
 
tolfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Amish Country
Bikes: have about 30 bikes right now
Posts: 1,519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Toy store bikes: Huffy, Murry, Ross, Free Spirit
tolfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 09:15 AM   #12
PRD
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Smoked Chrome

I think Austro Daimler's smoked chromed models are very special.
PRD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 11:17 AM   #13
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem
Posts: 29,135
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Just too many variables. As an extreme example, I'd take a Ben Serotta built Huffy, over any Raliegh ever built. The very top of almost any brand would be better quality than mediocre to bottom examples from some very good brands.
merlinextraligh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 11:46 AM   #14
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Schwinn is in!
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 11:54 AM   #15
jgedwa
surly old man
 
jgedwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Carlisle, PA
Bikes: IRO Mark V, Karate Monkey half fat, Trek 620 IGH, Cannondale 26/24 MTB, Amp Research B3, and more.
Posts: 3,347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Duh. Everyone knows that the Nishiki International with full Suntour is the highwater mark of civilization. And not that fancy pantsy double butted stuff. One butt is all that a person needs.
jgedwa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 01:21 PM   #16
East Hill
Lanky Lass
 
East Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Take a deep breath, and ask--What would Sheldon do?
Bikes: Nishiki Nut! International, Pro, Olympic 12, Sport mixte, and others too numerous to mention.
Posts: 21,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgedwa
Duh. Everyone knows that the Nishiki International with full Suntour is the highwater mark of civilization. And not that fancy pantsy double butted stuff. One butt is all that a person needs.
Oh, I think I've got one of those. Well, maybe. I'm not certain of the components. And I'm not certain how many butts it's got. But I do know it's an International .Bigbossman knows what it's got. I'm looking forward to riding it in a few weeks.

East Hill
__________________
___________________________________________________
TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...
East Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 01:29 PM   #17
oopfoo
Evil Genius
 
oopfoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tallahassee, Florida USA
Bikes: Pedal Force ZX3, Gary V Titanio, 1985 Cinelli Supercorsa, 1981 Pogliaghi, 1995 Casati Ellisse, Cinelli Softmachine hardtail, Surly Pugsley
Posts: 632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Sammyboy--

Got a 58 Carlton, myself. All Campy, too.
__________________
-- Michael
oopfoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 01:30 PM   #18
East Hill
Lanky Lass
 
East Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Take a deep breath, and ask--What would Sheldon do?
Bikes: Nishiki Nut! International, Pro, Olympic 12, Sport mixte, and others too numerous to mention.
Posts: 21,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Oooh, that's bragging. Where are the pics?

East Hill
__________________
___________________________________________________
TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...
East Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 02:02 PM   #19
Mariner Fan
59'er
 
Mariner Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alexandria, IN
Bikes: LeMond Maillot Jaune, Vintage Trek 520 (1985), 1976 Schwinn Voyageur 2, Miyata 1000 (1985)
Posts: 3,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's pretty hard to rate different manufacturers since alot of them make different levels of bike frames. That said, I'm pretty impressed with the workmanship on all my vintage bikes.
1985 Trek 520
1976 Schwinn Voyageur 2
1989 Pinarello Montello
__________________
Mariner Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 05:14 PM   #20
TBART
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snordalisk
This is the truth.

There are plenty of undervalued, or under regarded bikes out there merely because they have a particular brand on them. Conversely, there are plenty of over valued/regarded bikes out there merely because they have "531" on the seat tube or "Campagnolo" on the dropouts.

It's all about the workmanship and quality of that frame, brand names shouldn't really enter into it until later.

I'm the proud owner of a quite well regarded frame that is certainly "top tier". It has crooked downtube shifter posts, and an improperly aligned front derailleur braze on.

This is a touchy subject for me.

Well said!

Tom
TBART is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 05:48 PM   #21
Poguemahone
Vello Kombi, baby
 
Poguemahone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Je suis ici
Bikes:
Posts: 5,057
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do we have to rank 'em? Given the startling variety of bike and personal tastes, this is almost impossible. There are many excellent bike manufacturers I don't know squat 'bout and thus am unqualified to rank.

Unless you're talking value. Then , I dunno, Rene Herse, Alex Singer, after that some Italian dudes, maybe.
__________________
"It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

Waste your money! Buy my comic book!
Poguemahone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 09:40 PM   #22
Six jours
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 6,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, there is a school of thought which holds that Italian built racing bikes are superior to all others, while Italian built racing bikes are all essentially identical to one another. There is some merit to this school, IMO.

OTOH, there were/are custom builders from a number of countries that turned out superior work -- Mario Confente, Rene Herse, Claud Butler, Ugo DeRosa, etc. As far as I am concerned, any of their products are technically superior to the "mass production" frames put out the Italians or anyone else. Nishiki? Raleigh? Please...

As far as I concerned, the very finest frames ever made, at least in terms of worksmanship, are being made right now, right here, in the shops of Brian Bayliss, Peter Weigle, Richard Sachs, Peter Mooney, and a number of others. I know that doesn't go to the thread question, but it should be said!

IMO: If it's Italian and made with Columbus SL or SLX, it's a good frame. If it's British and made with the above tubing or Reynolds 531 or higher, it's probably good. (Raleigh, IMO, never made anything beyond barely acceptable, and a lot that falls below that. I know that ruffles feathers. Sorry.)

If it's French it's a tossup. You simply have to know not just your names, but the individual variations within the name -- ie. you can buy a very good Gitane made with SL, and you can by a Gitane made with SL that's a total piece of crap, and it's very hard to know which is which. If it's a Herse or a Singer, it's a great frame, bottom line.

American? Trek made a good if undistinguished frame. Keep an eye out for the better makes of tubing -- low end tubing makes low end bikes, bottom line. Pretty much anything from any custom builder is going to be very good.

Japan? Very little of it is outstanding. San Rensho (3 Rensho) is excellent. Nagasawa is amazing. Fuji made some decent stuff but nothing to wet the bed about. Most of it is passable, like upper end Nishiki, Centurion, etc., and a lot of it is complete crap. The only way to really learrn it is to look at a bunch of it and let price be your guide. Nobody's gonna drop a bunch of money on a Miyata, and there's a reason for that. Especially learn to closely examine lugs, particularly around the seat cluster. Good quality frames will have nicely filed and thinned lugswhich taper down to the tubing. Lower end lugs will be more abrupt and square, and bottom end stuff will look like the plumbing in your house -- perfectly round lug ends with no shape, and often clumps of brazing material at the joint.

I'd start with the list at Classic Rendezvous and go from there. http://www.classicrendezvous.com/main.htm
Six jours is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 11:20 PM   #23
x37
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Six jours -- thanks for the info. That's exactly the sort of guidance I am looking for. Just a place to start.
x37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-07, 11:38 PM   #24
Mos6502
Elitest Murray Owner
 
Mos6502's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes: 1972 Columbia Tourist Expert III, Columbia Roadster
Posts: 2,662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know what you classify as a "bunch", but my definitions of a "bunch" - I'd drop a bunch for certain miyatas.

Back to the original question - it's incredibly vague. Are you talking about say road bikes? Mountain bikes? Cruisers? What era are you wanting to know about? Some further defining of the question is needed if you're going to get any sort of adequate answer.

I mean I could say that Overman is better than Pope - but this opinion probably would mean nothing to you, since you probably want to know about newer vintage bikes...
Mos6502 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-07, 09:26 AM   #25
dbarnblatt@usa.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Six jours
Japan? Very little of it is outstanding. San Rensho (3 Rensho) is excellent. Nagasawa is amazing. Fuji made some decent stuff but nothing to wet the bed about. Most of it is passable, like upper end Nishiki, Centurion, etc., and a lot of it is complete crap. The only way to really learrn it is to look at a bunch of it and let price be your guide. Nobody's gonna drop a bunch of money on a Miyata, and there's a reason for that. Especially learn to closely examine lugs, particularly around the seat cluster. Good quality frames will have nicely filed and thinned lugswhich taper down to the tubing. Lower end lugs will be more abrupt and square, and bottom end stuff will look like the plumbing in your house -- perfectly round lug ends with no shape, and often clumps of brazing material at the joint.
Toei... The Rene Herse or Alex Singer of Japan. Expect to pay the same as well! In business for a long time and still makes bikes the old fashioned way...

http://www.generalworks.com/toeisha/...allery_eg.html
dbarnblatt@usa. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:43 AM.