I'm interested in hearing about the following from you:
1) What retro research resources do you use when researching a particular marque/brand/model? I use:
- Classic Vintage Guide
- Retro Raleighs
- Vintage Trek
- Yellow Jersey
- Circle whatever - the vintage event in NC
What do you use?
2) When buying a vintage bike, what do you look for? I am interested in vintage lightweights and road bikes circa 1960-1990. I look for:
- Tubing - Steel & Columbus SL SLX or Reynolds 531 (Reynolds 753 or 853 on newer bikes)
- lugs - plain/fancy/long/short
- lug cutouts - none/hearts/other
- seat stay caps -cutouts/signature
- fork crowns -decorative or plain
- wrap around seat stays
- fast back seat stays
- unique seat binders (ex: forward rather than in rear)
- dropouts - fork and rear
- originality of grouppo to original manufacturer model, or it it was originally sold as frame only - then period correctness
- Level of grouppo - Vaalentino or Gran Sport vs Nuevo vs Super Record, etc.
- Condition of decals
- Condition of paint - I prefer an original paint job with scratches and fading to a new paint job.
- Chrome pitting
- frame straight?
- forks straight?
- Wheels true/wheels servicable?
- Is bike ridable as sold?
- If advertised as, an example, a Masi, is it really a Masi?
- If advertised with SL/SLX/531 is it really - or did someone just buy the decal from ebay/chew it up a bit/affix on downtube?
What are some of the things you look at when buying a classic/vintage bile?