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Old 12-12-07, 04:52 PM   #1
Lt.Gustl
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Mystery oddly Lugged steel Tri-bike

Just got this bike from a thrift shop, it has no identifying marks other than Oakley on the seat tube, everything else is a sticker. It's a mish mosh of parts, most are DA other than the rear derailer crank, seatpost and steel stem. The seatpost is marked american classic components and is about 4" long, but as you can see the seat tube lug is extra tall. The dropouts are vertical and the rear spacing is 130mm. The crank is aluminum and the chainrings are Campagnolo. Aside from the odd lugs the rear brake cable is routed through the top tube. The paint seems original and is a dark bluish black metalflake. there isn't even a serial number on the BB, The TT is 55cm c-c and the seat tube is 56 cm c-c and 60cm to the seatpost clamp, I haven't a clue about this bike and any help is appreciated.

Here are some pictures:







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Old 12-12-07, 04:55 PM   #2
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How much, if you don't mind me asking? I like to get a good frame of reference for my thrift store finds.
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Old 12-12-07, 06:14 PM   #3
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More than I'm used to but less than if I were to buy the wheelset. I just wish they were 126mm, they'd be on my Merckx now that I can either use the original sew-ups or a set of crummy old Trek clincher wheels that are anodized black.

I hit this thrift shop nearly every day as it's along the way on my morning ride, if I find something I just ghost ride it home and then go back to run my errands. Normaly all they have is way too high priced dept. store junk or silly high priced name brand stuff that lingers around till half price day if that, they had a Cannondale comfort bike marked $900, but if you find a Nishiki or something that no one's heard of it's normaly a deal, just have to be there.

All the cables are badly frayed and the aerobars and extra long steel stem weigh a ton, not too mention how wide the bars are. Also I think the drops of the bars were shortened because when you go for the drops there's hardly anything to hold on to. It's just odd the whole thing, the wheelbase is pretty long despite the short chainstays. I also could use another set of 7spd bar-cons, if I keep the frame I'll more than likely be putting on DT shifters.
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Old 12-12-07, 06:31 PM   #4
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Which Thrift store?
Strange looking machine, weird angles, and it looks like even I could snap the crank spiders!

How does it ride?
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Old 12-12-07, 06:37 PM   #5
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Which Thrift store?
Strange looking machine, weird angles, and it looks like even I could snap the crank spiders!

How does it ride?
Are you kidding?
I love that crank (although I'm trying to figure out what's the strange protrusion on the large chainring).
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Old 12-12-07, 06:41 PM   #6
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I think that's supposed to keep the chain from falling off the outside of the ring and into the crank, but it only works for crank arms that are offset from the crank bolts.
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Old 12-12-07, 06:42 PM   #7
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Are you kidding?
I love that crank (although I'm trying to figure out what's the strange protrusion on the large chainring).
I think it looks good, too! Just a bit fragile looking. The peg on the large chainring is one of those post CSPC things to keep the chain from dropping in and getting caught. Normally it would be behind the crank arm.
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Old 12-12-07, 06:50 PM   #8
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Is that crank a machined campy?
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Old 12-12-07, 06:54 PM   #9
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I think it looks good, too! Just a bit fragile looking. The peg on the large chainring is one of those post CSPC things to keep the chain from dropping in and getting caught. Normally it would be behind the crank arm.
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I think that's supposed to keep the chain from falling off the outside of the ring and into the crank, but it only works for crank arms that are offset from the crank bolts.
Right you are; the ring is obviously not original to the crank.
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Old 12-12-07, 06:59 PM   #10
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I would say the rings are not original. The crank looks like a bunch of cranks that were made in the 90's by small startups. Probably has an interchangeable spider. That pin should be behind the arm.
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Old 12-12-07, 07:02 PM   #11
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very interesting.

What are your plans for it?
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Old 12-12-07, 07:55 PM   #12
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Vaguely Yamaguchi'ish, hmmm, I wonder?
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Old 12-12-07, 08:11 PM   #13
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that crank is a topline. Ultralight...that is a campagnolo ring - I used shimano with mine and the chain keeper lined up just fine. Oh, hey. That looks like a Grammo (titanium) stem as well. If it is, we have just discussed about $130 in parts on eBay. Didja pay that much?

Last edited by luker; 12-12-07 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 12-12-07, 10:01 PM   #14
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You found that at a damn thrift shop?!
Jesus....all I ever see are crap 10-speeds for $100......

That bike is slick, if only because it's so damn unique.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:15 AM   #15
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Yep that's a Topline crank, very trick. I didn't know they made them to fit both Campy and Shimano BCD. Unique frame, and probably custom made and costly, when new. I'd be curious to see some more detail shots of those lugs/fillets and the BB and stays...somebody must have seen work like this somewhere, before...it's like a freakin' Batmobile!
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Old 12-13-07, 04:20 AM   #16
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That was my first thought when looking at the lugs!

http://www.bikepro.com/products/cranks/topline.html

They either still make the cranks or have boxes of them in warehouses still. Never heard of them before, I thought they were older because of the round crank arms and that the pedal spindle holes are blind, they almost remind me of a pair of cottered cranks. I thought they were chromed steel at first before looking at the bike closely because of the high polish.

The stem is steel, I'm almost certain of it. The headset is a really clunky looking aluminum Campy set up. The bike rides like crap because the shift cables are so tight that it pulls to the right and doesn't want to turn, it's handy though for leaning the bike against something though. Also the brake hoods are at an angle not to my liking and I still think that the drops were hacked short.

I need to tighten the spokes, do a few other things and then I'll take it on a longer ride.
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Old 12-13-07, 08:40 AM   #17
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A custom built triathalon bike at a thrift - I guess anything is possible. Maybe ask on the framebuilders forum? That Iron man sticker might be some 'add on' but maybe this really was in an early iron man - mid 80's? Any old pics or videos of the old IM floating around? Might help to take pictures around to some local, older, bike shops and ask if anyone knows anything about it. It's pretty unique looking.
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Old 12-13-07, 05:57 PM   #18
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It's just an optical illusion or that cranks are very long?
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Old 12-13-07, 06:49 PM   #19
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they're only 175s but they are skinny, also the lens on my camera sucks. Also I spoke to a triathlete today that instantly recognized the cranks, the first thing he said was to keep an eye on the because they develop cracks and he's broken a set personaly, though he was pretty big. but judging by the fact that they are machined plate with sharp edges it's not surprising. His boss will be in tomorrow and I was told he will definitely know what the heck it is.

One thing I must say is the frame has the most flex I've every seen, I swear just by pushing on the pedal while holding the bars you could probably kiss the rear tire with the chainstay. the ride is very comfortable though.

It's too bad old tri frames are practicaly worthless, at least this one doesn't have a 650c front wheel.

I'll take some detail shots of it at some point, probably after I find out what it is and take the messed up cables off. I think I may strip it to the frame as there's some stuff rattling around in it and I don't have eight speed DT shifters handy, so it'll be a while if ever before I get it set up to my liking.
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Old 12-14-07, 01:35 PM   #20
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Yeah, the road version is especially fragile. I have a couple of sets of MB cranks that I raced pretty hard on, and I'm still using 'em so they are not all that terrible.
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Old 12-14-07, 02:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Lt.Gustl View Post
Also the brake hoods are at an angle not to my liking and I still think that the drops were hacked short.
The bar has had the part you really shouldn't use anyway cut off. Actually a very sensible mod. Put the bar-end shifters on the drop bar and it will feel more normal to you. Do this when you retape the bars and move the brake levers to where you want them.
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Old 12-14-07, 07:43 PM   #22
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I talked to the guy who owned the store and he thinks that it may be a Colin Laing frame, who was a local builder who know longer makes frames. I could find very little information other than this about a custom tandem:

"...This frame was built by Colin Lange, a popular custom frame builder in the Phoenix area. He is English and in the past work on bikes used in the Tour de France, including Laurent Fignon a year he won the Tour."

Otherwise all I found is a defunct website and broken links, kinda frustrating but hopefully the builders email still works as I'm shooting one off.

The store owner also pointed out the Mavic Reflex rims and said they were only available for one year because they would pull spokes, great!! He said that the Stem is a Cinelli Ti stem, but I'm still not sure unless it's alloyed or something because my magnet most certainly sticks to it. I'll know better I suppose once it's off the bike since now that I'm done tooling around on it I'll be picking it apart and seeing what it needs and what I can put on it, I'll be looking around for a set of DA 8 speed DT shifters that's for sure. Not a big fan of routing bar-cons.

---------------------------------------------EDIT-------------------------------------------------

So I got a very prompt email from the man himself and he denies that it's one of his frames, though it may be the work of his son but he didn't make frames for very long at all. SO I'm back where I started trying to find out this mystery. I'm going to strip it to the frame and give it a good cleaning and get the gunk rattling around in the TT out. maybe I'll find some identifying features.

Last edited by Lt.Gustl; 12-16-07 at 04:17 PM. Reason: new information
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Old 12-14-07, 08:11 PM   #23
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My $10 bike stand...

the white bike in this bikestand thread is mentioned to be a Laing frame.

looking at the seat stays it sure seems likely that the two bikes are related.
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