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Old 12-25-07, 01:26 PM   #1
nlerner
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Ron Blanton frameset?

A recent eBay find is a frameset marked "Ron Blanton 1987," and my Internet searches have turned up zilch on this framebuilder. It's quite a nice rig: Reyonlds 531 Professional tubing, good quality lugwork, including the builder's initials/logo built into the seat lug, nicely mitered tubes at the bottom bracket (which is English threaded). Overall weight of frame/fork/headset is a touch over 5 lbs, which for a 23" frame is likely the lightest in my fleet. Unfortunately, the seat tube has a couple of dings, and the right-side chainstay looks like some numbskull squeezed it with some channel locks in order to get more clearance.

If anyone has any info on this builder, let me know.

Thanks,

Neal













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Old 12-25-07, 03:36 PM   #2
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a beautiful bike...I'd guess English, but I can't point to anything that I could use for proof.
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Old 12-25-07, 04:51 PM   #3
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I,m leaning towards English ! ( is always a nice feeling knowing you have something special)
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Old 12-25-07, 05:58 PM   #4
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I just spent some time surfing and couldn't match anything that I could think of. Small builder then. Any Aussie leads?
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Old 12-25-07, 07:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the digging. The only other clue I can add is that the fork ends are Shimano, and it came to me with a SunTour Cyclone MkII front derailleur, SR stem, and Sakae Randonneur bars. I don't know if those are original, of course, but somehow I'm thinking a US builder using solid mid 80s Japanese parts.

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Old 12-26-07, 12:10 AM   #6
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I have a small one in my attic, but don't know any more about it than you. I bought it in a thrift store in Fresno a few years ago as a donor bike. The thrift store had several others as frame only or with just a few parts, which makes me wonder if the builder is or was in central California. I've lived and ridden here for years and never heard of them before.
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Old 12-26-07, 07:23 AM   #7
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Interesting. The eBay seller of this frame is in Fresno, so that helps support the idea that it was a builder in your area.

Neal
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Old 12-26-07, 11:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the digging. The only other clue I can add is that the fork ends are Shimano, and it came to me with a SunTour Cyclone MkII front derailleur, SR stem, and Sakae Randonneur bars. I don't know if those are original, of course, but somehow I'm thinking a US builder using solid mid 80s Japanese parts.

Neal
I see the rear dropouts are vertical; are they Shimano as well?

I had a custom frame built in 1980 (by Andy Gilmour in Tuscon, AZ) and we used Suntour drops because I wanted vertical but Campy's verticals were kinda cheesy.
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Old 12-26-07, 11:59 AM   #9
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I see the rear dropouts are vertical; are they Shimano as well?

I had a custom frame built in 1980 (by Andy Gilmour in Tuscon, AZ) and we used Suntour drops because I wanted vertical but Campy's verticals were kinda cheesy.
Yes, vertical rear dropouts, but no markings on them. They seem quite stout. I actually hung components on the bike yesterday, pulling things out of what I have in the basement. The only odd thing is that a 27.2mm seatpost is a slightly too loose! The post that came with the bike had an alloy shim, and now I know why.

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Old 12-27-07, 08:33 AM   #10
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a 27.4 is fairly common for 753 or for some Tange Prestige builds. I have an early Klein that also uses 27.4. Is the bike frame fairly light, then?

The builder was around enough to have a really cool head badge made, and the geographic connection sounds fairly solid.
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Old 12-27-07, 09:59 AM   #11
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I'm in need of one of those Suntour front derailleur strap clamps for my Superbe Pro front derailleur. If you don't plan to re-use that Cyclone FD, maybe you can kindly sell me the clamp.
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Old 12-27-07, 05:54 PM   #12
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If you really need a 27.4 - I have a okay aero campy one came off a 90's Waterford, haven't found a use for it and it's been in my part box a long time. Very impressed by the frame - I also did some online searching, but have not had a hit as yet, I'll keep digging. Just a thought didn't Lippy build in the neck of the woods in Calif. before moving to Oregon - I wonder if he's heard of this builder?
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Old 12-27-07, 07:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for that offer, but I actually think the post is closer to a 27.3! At any rate, I tightened down again on a 27.2mm post and it seems to be holding. I certainly don't want to over tighten that seat binder bolt, so I'll see how it does with my weight on it. Unfortunately, it's been lousy weather, so I haven't had a chance to ride the bike now that I've hung parts on the frameset.

Perhaps I should try the builder's list to see if anyone has heard of this maker.

Neal
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Old 12-27-07, 07:55 PM   #14
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Dang it, Neal, you sure know how to find the diamonds in the rough on eBay. I didn't see that one at all, and I always look for frames in the 60-and-up size. Do you mind sharing some search lore? I promise that if I outbid you on an auction, I'll sell to you for your highest bid; Scout's honor!
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Old 12-27-07, 10:11 PM   #15
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Perhaps I should try the builder's list to see if anyone has heard of this maker.

Neal
A quick look on anywho.com for Fresno lists an R Blanton with a phone #. Might be a dead end or might be the builder.
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Old 12-28-07, 07:57 AM   #16
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Dang it, Neal, you sure know how to find the diamonds in the rough on eBay. I didn't see that one at all, and I always look for frames in the 60-and-up size. Do you mind sharing some search lore? I promise that if I outbid you on an auction, I'll sell to you for your highest bid; Scout's honor!
That auction was outed on the CR list, Charles; otherwise, I don't think I would have found it. The seller wasn't particularly knowledgeable about what she had, and the listing, while it had lots of pics, seemed to also raise lots of red flags. As a result, my winning bid was $15.50!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...EOIBSA:US:1123

Shipping, however, brought the total to $100, but that's usually my threshold for what I'll pay for 531 framesets.

Neal
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Old 12-28-07, 11:52 AM   #17
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Ah, it's a 58 -- and I don't look for those (confusing my metric and Imperious units). Mean-looking fork crown; I've never seen one like that.
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Old 06-18-11, 02:11 PM   #18
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Three and a half years later, I thought I'd update this thread as I've gone through a few different builds with my Ron Blanton and am quite happy about the latest one. This iteration started with a set of 8/9-speed Dura Ace bar-end shifters. Unfortunately, I didn't have an 8-speed Shimano wheelset, but after some study, it seemed I could transplant a new 8-speed freehub body on to a nice Shimano 105 7-speed rear wheel I had, so that's what I did. I also picked up the appropriate Dura Ace RD (thanks, MKeller!), a Dura Ace FD, some 48/38t chainrings, a 14-26t cassette, and Shimano brake levers (thanks, Colonel!). I have SunTour barcons on most of my road bikes, but I have to say I really like the action of these indexed units: crisp and sure. The bike itself is one of the lightest in my fleet as it's made from Reynolds 531P. Tires are Parigi-Roubaix clinchers, which I like just fine. Took the bike on a fast 40 miles or so this morning with a couple of neighborhood friends.













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Old 06-18-11, 02:14 PM   #19
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Gorgeous, I'm a sucker for light blue bikes and this shade is one of my favorites.
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Old 09-12-12, 11:36 PM   #20
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I know who built your frame

Ron Blanton taught Frame Building in the mid-eighties at California State University, Fresno. He was a professor in Industrial Technology. I had the pleasure of taking his class, which inspired me to this day. I may have watched him build your frame. My guess, the inside of your tubes are coated in primer. He would pour it into the frame and turn it about until the tubes where coated, then pour out the remaining primer. Attention to detail. His craft was Jewelry Making, but taught himself how to make a bicycle after being dissatisfied with what was on the market. He passed away in 2009.
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Old 09-13-12, 06:35 AM   #21
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Thanks for that info, hctrekker. That Ron Blanton continues to be one of my favorite riders, and even better its geometry, especially short-ish top tube, is ideal for my needs. Here's a pic from earlier this year:

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Old 03-28-16, 10:19 PM   #22
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He was my grandfather in law sorry to say but passed away he was a professor at fresno state and when he passed away we had like 200 of his bikes and gave them away too charity here is a link to his farewell page so you guys know I'm not lying In Memory of Ronald Leroy Blanton -- FAREWELL FUNERAL SERVICE, FRESNO, CA
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Old 03-29-16, 06:01 AM   #23
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He was my grandfather in law sorry to say but passed away he was a professor at fresno state and when he passed away we had like 200 of his bikes and gave them away too charity here is a link to his farewell page so you guys know I'm not lying In Memory of Ronald Leroy Blanton -- FAREWELL FUNERAL SERVICE, FRESNO, CA
Belated condolences to you and your family. I've had my RB on the trainer for the last couple of years, but will likely get it road worthy for this year's cycling season. It's a great frameset.
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