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Old 11-22-07, 12:55 PM   #1
dr.raleigh
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Ross Eurotour Q's?

Hello,
I just acquired a circa 1976 mens Ross Eurotour from my Grandpa. I just wondered if you guys had any experience with these bikes. Also one odd thing I noticed about this bike is that the crank is the freewheel instead of the rear hub. If this setup wears out can I convert to a normal hub and crank? I noticed the brakes are pretty weak on this bike. I was looking on JensonUSA and saw some nice tektro caliper brakes. Would the work? Other there any other things I should know about this bike either? Thanks for all your help.
Here she is.
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Old 11-22-07, 04:17 PM   #2
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That's the Shimano FFS (Front Freewheel System) - it's a neat little bit. It probably won't wear out within your lifetime, but if it does, you can replace it with a standard one piece crank and bearings/cups, etc. The bottom bracket is the same size it is on other Ross bikes. As for the brakes, just see if they are dried out, they may be.
Ross bicycles are really very interesting. They are lugged and brazed, unlike most American bikes - but this is done in a highly unconventional manner. The frame tubes were inserted into the lugs, with brass billets inside the lugs - the whole frame was clamped together, and then dipped into a molten salt bath. This melted the brass, brazing the joints together, as well as tempered the frame - ross frames are a fair bit stiffer than most other American cheapo steel frames.
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Old 11-22-07, 05:01 PM   #3
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looks very much like steel rims...does a magnet stick to the wheels? If so, you just won't have wonderful braking. like mos says - better braking will be had with new pads. If a magnet sticks to the brakes, then maybe you should consider changing out the whole shebang.

and that saddle cover really belongs in a house of ill repute...
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Old 11-22-07, 05:27 PM   #4
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It has chrome rims that I would like to keep. Also I really like the saddle cover. I'll probably put some better pads on it eventually, they work good enough for me. Thanks for the info about the frame, it sounds like a good way to build a frame. Also I like the FFS and 10 speeds is enough for me. Today I polished it up and it looks brand new, my gramps never road it much. Are there any other things I should know about these bikes? Thanks
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Old 11-22-07, 06:28 PM   #5
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Aside from those comments, there's not much very interesting about these bikes. I think the Eurotour was their bottom of the line lightweight during this era. The highend Ross bikes were actually pretty good bikes, especially for the money. The rest of the line is not very remarkable, though your bike is interesting because of the FFS. If you do a forum search for Ross, there is an enormous thread detailing the history of Ross bikes.
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Old 11-22-07, 10:01 PM   #6
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Do you guys know what size the bottom bracket is on these bikes? I'm going to convert it to a 27 speed.
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Old 11-22-07, 10:47 PM   #7
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It's a standard American "ashtabula" style bracket. Any one piece American crank and sprockets should work. Is there any reason 10 speeds isn't enough? Switching to a different crank would mean getting rid of the FFS though (which if you don't want, I'd be interested in...) unless there is some way to add a third chainwheel onto it.
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Old 11-23-07, 05:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.raleigh View Post
Do you guys know what size the bottom bracket is on these bikes? I'm going to convert it to a 27 speed.
Far be it for me to tell anyone what to do with their bike/money but to go to a 27 speed (3x9) would be akin to casting pearls before swine or putting a Hemi in a Yugo... It just wouldn't make sense. For the cost in parts alone you could buy yourself a nice, used, real bike with 27 speeds already on it and actually have something for your investment.

There's nothing wrong with your Ross the way it is. If it is in as good a condition as the pictures look, it will be sure to become more valuable as time passes. Ross, like many other bike companies made a broad spectrum of levels of bikes, unfortunately the Eurotour was near the bottom as a bike for the masses.

There's an old saw about shining a turd... All you have when your done is a shiny turd.
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Old 11-23-07, 04:18 PM   #9
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I just leave it a 10 speed. Also its not a turd, I think it was built with very high quality. Also everything on it looks and functions like new.
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Old 11-23-07, 05:05 PM   #10
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My first, actually-capable-of-going-somewhere bike was a Ross Eurosport. I believe this was the same thing as the Eurotour but with drop bars. Even had the FFS. I've commented here before that it was enough bike in 10 speed form to cover the ground between Boston and D.C. on a sagged trip.
After that trip I wanted to be able to do unsagged tours, which meant a triple.
On that Ross that meant a new crank and a new rear wheel. My LBS quoted me some absurdly high price so I just saved up and bought a different bike.

But the Ross remains more bike than most would give it credit for. I saw a Japanese Schwinn come unglued on that trip. Seatstay braze let go. Poor guy had to ride a Huffy the rest of the way. Oh the huge manatee!
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Old 11-23-07, 05:16 PM   #11
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I think I'll just make it a 27 speed which should not cost more than $150 according to my calculations. It feels solid and is the most comfy thing I ever rode. I think it would be easy to make it a nice touring bike, I already got a rack mounted to the back.
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Old 11-23-07, 05:48 PM   #12
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There might be some surprises...
Wheel
You'll need a new rear wheel - or at the very least a new rear hub. The current hub does not freewheel, and the FFS system means you'll either need to stick with the double crank or resign yourself to a new rear wheel.

Brakes:
The current brakes have no QR, and were nothing special. If you really want to slow a load, consider some better brakes - and a new front rim. Alloy will brake better when wet.

Fork:
The current front fork has no eyelet. The fenders bolt on to the axle. If you want to put some load up front, you'll have to consider a new fork.

Chain:
There might be some interesting 1/8 vs 3/32 chain issues, but I am by no means certain of this. It seems possible that you might end up with chainrings that want a 1/8 chain but a 7 speed freewheel might take 3/32. Then again, it might be OK.

Frame:
You'll probably have to spread the frame 6mm or more to fit a 7 speed cluster in the back. If you found an old 5 speed freewheel type hub you might be able to drop that in. 21 speeds doesn't give you much over 15 speeds.

The Eurotour is a nice enough 10 speed bike, and if someone gave you a bare frame it might be fun to scrounge parts to do something interesting. But to take a nice intact bike and convert it into something ...
Do it for the fun of it if you want to.
But if the goal is a good touring bike, as in load up my stuff and take off for a week, I'm not sure this is a really good starting point. OTOH, I'd have no problems trying to figure out a tour designed around the bike as it sits. Could be fun.
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Old 11-23-07, 07:14 PM   #13
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I already planned out the new hub and the brakes work as good as my mountain bike's V-brakes. As far as the fork goes since I work with metal I'll make an eyelet that bolts on to the axle. Also I'm buying a different crankset so the chain is a non issue. How hard is it to spread the frame? Also I think I'll put a Shimano mega range free wheel on a hub for the granny gear. Also I have access to a 1976 womens Ross Eurotour my grandpa said I could get parts off of, then it would be easy to bring it back to original. It sounds like a fun project to me, and since I'm a tinkerer I can't resist. I'll leave it as a 10 speed until I gather enough money. You never know I'm thinking about leaving it all original.
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Old 11-24-07, 04:31 PM   #14
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Does anybody know what the rear dropout width is on these bikes?
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Old 11-24-07, 04:54 PM   #15
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I think I found a freewheel hub that will fit my frame. Here
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Old 09-19-08, 08:37 AM   #16
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May I piggyback on this thread? A local church rummage sale has two matching mens Ross Eurotour 5's for sale for $10 each -- yellow with brown decals and chrome fenders. The headbadge is the round one, with "Allentown, Pa" on the bottom. They are 24-inch wheels, and, if I measured correctly, 53 cm. from top of seat tube to the middle of the crank. So they are too small for me -- I am 6'1" with a 34" inseam -- and the bikes don't have the better gearsets, although I could be wrong. They are intact, though, albeit with scratches, dirt, and some light rust on the chrome. Tires look original. My question is, are these bikes worth buying to clean up and re-sell?
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Old 09-19-08, 09:10 AM   #17
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Depending on where you are located.

If you live in an area with quite a bit of cycling, I would say that almost any $10 Ross bike is worth buying for resale at $10 each. Especially if it looked like the chrome would clean up well.

If you have storage room, I would suggest buying them at $10, cleaning, lubing and getting them ready to sell in the Spring. Possibly even do touch up paint if they would match easily... and then pricing them to sell with a little wiggle room for negotiation in the spring.

You probably wouldn't get rich with them, but depending on where you are... If you are in New York or another hot market, you might even get $100 for them if you get them ready to ride and looking nice.
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Old 09-19-08, 10:04 AM   #18
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I live in Dearborn, Michigan, which is southeastern Michigan, suburb of Detroit. No, I don't expect to get rich from reselling bikes -- my biggest fear is acquiring bikes I can't get rid of, short of leaving them on the curb. My hope is to make enough on resales to cover the costs of maintenance and upgrades to the bikes I keep. In other words, I'd be happy to break even on my total outlay/consumption of bicycles and parts. Plus preventing a few American-made steel bicyclese from going to the landfill or the scrapper.

And no, I'm out of storage room, at least until I unload a couple of other bikes. There's a total of eleven bikes in the garage so far, besides the two vehicles and my son's garage band instruments and yard tools.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 09-19-08, 11:45 AM   #19
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Well, after I looked at these bikes twice, yesterday and this morning, I went back at noon and they were gone. Apparently someone else thought they were worth $10, too.
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