Lipstick red "General" frame
Well, I bought the "General" frame I posted about awhile back; a local CL listing. It's not Tange Champion #1 (as advertised), but #2; which is probably better for a large frame. It's also larger than I thought -- advertised as a 62, but it measures 63.5, or 25". I'm pretty confident that I can ride a 62, but this may be too large -- we'll see. It's never been built up. While it's not the most fastidious workmanship I've ever seen, the lugs are quite nice, even the BB lugs, which are pointed. Has a cute rear brake bridge, scalloped diamonds at the bottle braze-ons. The dropouts don't appear to be stamped with any mfgr's name, but that might be filled with paint: there's no chrome anywhere on the frame or fork. It came with a headset that appears to be aTange Levin. There is a serial number on the seatpost, P4293142. Color: lipstick red, as photos show.
Wheelbase is right about 1.000 meter, chainstays about 41 cm. Head and seat tubes both at 73 degrees. This is all seconded by the "Racing" decals on the chainstays. Brake holes are for recessed nuts, and the clearance on both front and rear is for 700C wheels with short-reach brakes -- 355 or 356 mm only, which means a reach of about 44 or 45. The fork has a lugless crown, and is sort of narrow-shouldered and anthropomorphic (no edges) -- I think that I've seen one like this on a Univega or other quality Japanese bike before. Seatpost needs to be 26.6, meaning that the top of the seat tube is butted.
Based on all the features, I'm guessing that it's in the '86 thru '90 range. Would Tange have still produced #2 then? The paint is in quite good shape, and the only barn rash is a chip/scrape low on the left seatstay, and one of the under-BB cable guides was nearly flattened by impact, but I already straightened it out. Other than that, it's in pristine condition.
Weight-wise, I was pleasantly surprised. Frame and fork bare except for pressed-in races weigh 2140 + 780 = 2920 grams -- not bad for a larger frame. For comparison, my Raleigh 57 cm Reynolds 531C weighs (in similar state) 2850, and my Nishiki Prestige 58 cm with Tange Infinity (DB seamed) weighs 2925. I can definitely use a shorter seatpost and stem on this one.
My plan is to remove the (IMO) cheesy decals, if I can, and do some sort of ironic idiosyncratic graphic treatment. It's not like there's some lofty heritage that needs to be conserved here.
Last edited by Charles Wahl; 01-29-08 at 09:43 PM.