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  1. #1
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    Best values in old components?

    Still kind of new at this (how often have I begun a post that way?). I have a bare entry level but nice Miyata Ninety frame that might fit me I'd like to build up. I'm not interested in pretty, or 100% period correct, or snob appeal -- strictly function.

    In terms of quality of function, what are some of the better "bang for the buck" vintage groupsets, especially derailleurs and hubs, worth keeping an eye peeled for? Yes, I know: Suntour and Shimano for derailleurs. But specifically, which models?
    '04 Giant OCR2|'87 Schwinn World Sport F/G conversion (6,129)|'92 Trek 820 MTB|'85 Schwinn Super LeTour
    "People who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles." - Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

  2. #2
    Senior Member jebensch's Avatar
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    There's a dinged and pretty Shimano Golden Arrow set on the For Trade thread from SeanBonham. If I wasn't accounted for I'd be asking him what he wants for it. Check it out!
    Steel-loving cheapskate

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  3. #3
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    I.M.O. most old Shimano Ders, (Outside of 600) Are clunky overweight junk. But most any Suntour will work like a dream. I have VX, and VX-GT on a couple bikes, no problems whatsoever. Cyclone and AR-ARX seem pretty nice too.

    My favorite hubs seem to be non-helicomatic Maillard lo-flanges, cause most of my bikes have them, or came with them.
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  4. #4
    Villainous huerro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
    I.M.O. most old Shimano Ders, (Outside of 600) Are clunky overweight junk. But most any Suntour will work like a dream. I have VX, and VX-GT on a couple bikes, no problems whatsoever. Cyclone and AR-ARX seem pretty nice too.

    My favorite hubs seem to be non-helicomatic Maillard lo-flanges, cause most of my bikes have them, or came with them.
    Funny you should say this...I was just about to mention that my Shimano light action with 6 speed indexed shifters work like a dream (so does the Deore with 6 speed on my tourer). Granted I'm not shifting while cranking it up the Alp d'Huez, but I've been pleasantly surprised how well they work.

    OP, since you don't mind a mishmash of parts, I would recommend going for aero brakes and some newer dual pivot calipers. They can be found for pretty cheap, are easy to adjust, and in my opinion are more important to have working flawlessly than drive train.

  5. #5
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huerro View Post
    Funny you should say this...I was just about to mention that my Shimano light action with 6 speed indexed shifters work like a dream (so does the Deore with 6 speed on my tourer). Granted I'm not shifting while cranking it up the Alp d'Huez, but I've been pleasantly surprised how well they work.

    OP, since you don't mind a mishmash of parts, I would recommend going for aero brakes and some newer dual pivot calipers. They can be found for pretty cheap, are easy to adjust, and in my opinion are more important to have working flawlessly than drive train.
    The 80's Shimano stuff got better, but it's still kinda plastic for my taste. (I'm an index shifting Luddite), I'm not against Shimano stuff, but when it comes to the 70's gear, Suntour or Huret all the way.
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  6. #6
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    With hubs - if you really don't care about age - Specialized hubs are quite nice. They evolved (I think) from Sansin - Sunshine - Specialized. Sansin and Sunshine made some iffy hubs, but they also made some excellent ones.

    SunTour - it's hard to go wrong there - s long as you don't get something that's all worn out.

    PM me if you have some derailleur wants. I have a bunch sitting in my derailleur drawer.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  7. #7
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    For dérailleurs, I like the Suntour Cyclone and Accushift stuff (Accushift was their indexed shifting gear, but works great in friction mode). Shimano Light Action, 600, and older 105/Dura-Ace are smooth performers that don't cost too much. I especially like the older 105 and 600.

    For hubs, older Shimano hubs spin nice (as do Sansin/Sunshine), and they don't cost an arm and a leg. Possible sleepers re: bang for the buck are the "Schwinn Approved" hubs on some of the junkyard Varsity/Continentals that can be found anywhere. Many of those are decent Normandy alloy high flange hubs, and can be rebuilt/polished to a nice looking solid performer.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcoppola View Post
    Still kind of new at this (how often have I begun a post that way?). I have a bare entry level but nice Miyata Ninety frame that might fit me I'd like to build up. I'm not interested in pretty, or 100% period correct, or snob appeal -- strictly function.

    In terms of quality of function, what are some of the better "bang for the buck" vintage groupsets, especially derailleurs and hubs, worth keeping an eye peeled for? Yes, I know: Suntour and Shimano for derailleurs. But specifically, which models?
    Let me suggest Campagnolo, especially scratched and dinged old racing gear, like the first generation Chorus. I got a set of cranks with usable 8-speed chainwheels for $25 on Ebay, and a set of 8-speed wheels with usable cassette for about $10, and a set of 8-speed Ergo brifters for $25. That's a decent basis for a low -cost index-shifting bike. I've also seen scratched but functioning front/rear derailleurs cheap, and a respected colleague here on BF got me a set of Centaur dp calipers for $50. There's a lot of Shimano and nearly all high-end Suntour that does not go that cheap. Non-indexed tubular wheels on classic Campagnolo Nuovo Record and Super Record hubs are nearly givaways, and they can handle 126/128 mm OLDs with ease.

    Road Fan

  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Every SunTour derailleur I have ever encountered, even the steel boat anchor bottom-of-the-line models, has worked superb(e)ly. Sunshine hubs and Sugino cranksets are great, too, although the latter can fail after extensive use (you do not want to know how I learned this). The higher-end DiaCompe sidepulls are every bit as good as their Campagnolo counterparts, as are Galli sidepulls.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  10. #10
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Get some new Shimano 105 and be happy.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Suntour, especially cyclone is not all that expensive on ebay. I bought front and rear
    1st gen cyclone for less than $50 in mint condition. Superbe would be more unless I stumbled
    on a deal.
    and +1 to roadfan's campy suggestion. I put together a campy 8 speed gruppo for $250 back in
    2001, although I got to admit $25 for brifters is a good deal. Chorus is going to be the best bang
    for the buck (imho).

    Marty
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
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  12. #12
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    Shimano 600, 105 Campy Chorus and Campy Athena stuff, from the 8spd days are all very affordable and, minus the 105, look the part of high-end componentry. That said and done, the best bargains for modern stuff are:

    Cranks: Shimano 105, Sram Rival and Ultegra (5600 and 6600). For some weird reason, these things sell for under $100 all the time.
    Brakes: Shimano 105, and Campagnolo Centaur grey. $50 for pretty heavy but superbly functional dual pivots. Brand new.
    Brake/Shifters: Campagnolo Centaur and Shimano 105. Under $125 new if you're patient.
    Wheels: Neuvation, Ritchey Protocol and Shimano 5600's: Look hard enough and the Shimano's can be had for $150. Ritchey's @250-300 and the Neuv's starting @ $200
    Rear derailleurs: Shimano 105 5600 @$ 40 shipped, Ultegra 6600 @$50, Ultegra SL @$62. All brand new. Dura Ace 7800 for $62 if you can stand a small scratch or two.
    Front Derailleurs: Look hard for your brand (and level) of choice and you'll find deals everywhere. I bought a Dura Ace 7800 used for $15 shipped.

    Danny

  13. #13
    Villainous huerro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannyg1 View Post
    Shimano 600, 105 Campy Chorus and Campy Athena stuff, from the 8spd days are all very affordable and, minus the 105, look the part of high-end componentry. That said and done, the best bargains for modern stuff are:

    Cranks: Shimano 105, Sram Rival and Ultegra (5600 and 6600). For some weird reason, these things sell for under $100 all the time.
    Brakes: Shimano 105, and Campagnolo Centaur grey. $50 for pretty heavy but superbly functional dual pivots. Brand new.
    Brake/Shifters: Campagnolo Centaur and Shimano 105. Under $125 new if you're patient.
    Wheels: Neuvation, Ritchey Protocol and Shimano 5600's: Look hard enough and the Shimano's can be had for $150. Ritchey's @250-300 and the Neuv's starting @ $200
    Rear derailleurs: Shimano 105 5600 @$ 40 shipped, Ultegra 6600 @$50, Ultegra SL @$62. All brand new. Dura Ace 7800 for $62 if you can stand a small scratch or two.
    Front Derailleurs: Look hard for your brand (and level) of choice and you'll find deals everywhere. I bought a Dura Ace 7800 used for $15 shipped.

    Danny
    I guess value is in the eye (and pocketbook) of the beholder. From his post, I thought the OP was looking to get on the road with reliable equipment for minimum money. That's all great stuff you suggest, but much more than you need to get on the road and have fun.

    Must be nice not to be broke

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by huerro View Post
    I guess value is in the eye (and pocketbook) of the beholder. From his post, I thought the OP was looking to get on the road with reliable equipment for minimum money. That's all great stuff you suggest, but much more than you need to get on the road and have fun.

    Must be nice not to be broke
    People have a tendency to say that they're looking for the cheapest way into the game and then, either they get relentlessly tempted by the new stuff, or they're only fooling themselves thinking that they're looking for getting only 'up and running'. Either way, they end up on an 'upgrade path'.

    I'm just as prone to this anti-logic as the next guy is, BTW.

    If, in the end, you're going to have your bike decked out in modern gear, isn't it better to know what it'll cost (best prices!) to start there?

    And also, in answer to the original posters question: The absolute least expensive way to outfit a frame is to buy a donor bike that's outfitted as you like and then sell of what you don't need. Problem is that donor bikes have unique niceties and hence tend to multiply, eventually taking over your life.

    That being the case, the most cost effective way to build up a bare frame is to sell it, after buying a built up bike that floats your boat in the same way the 'envisioned' one does.

    Danny

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    suntour is good but it's either heavy or it wears out unless it's superbe and then it's too expensive. Post '85 shimano is the way to go.. late 80s and early 90s shimano 600/105 is great stuff. That goden arrow group in the for trade is pretty snazzy and I think way nicer than 600 arabesque. Especially the RD... but honestly late 80s shimano is the way to go for cheep prices and good function.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  16. #16
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    I don't have strong feelings about cranks. I like the look of older Sakaes and Suginos, but Stronglight's fine too. Really, anything that'll match up with a bottom bracket you can get. If you really intend to hammer the thing, we might have to rethink this a little.

    DiaCompe sidepulls. They work in the summer, in the winter, in the sun, in the rain (I actually preferred them to the Campy Record brakes I replaced them with). 500's would probably work. I have some Shimano 600's floating around, but haven't ever used them.

    But Suntour derailleurs for sure. I kind of liked Cyclones, but I don't recall how many teeth they can wrap, so maybe something with a little more cage if you're running a triple. Front derailleur doesn't matter. Heck, leave it off and go as a five speed :-)

    Suntour Power Ratchet shifters. Functional.

    Hubs... I've not had a truly bad experience with a hub, and actually kind of like the Sanshin/Sunshine as others have said.

    And wear sunscreen.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I love Deore. I have it set up on my Shogun touring bike with 7 speed DT shifters. Shifts are pretty much flawless. I have a couple of sets of it, not sure what bike to put the other set on. I have two sets of Cyclone MII and for friction shifting it's my favorite. I have two sets of Golden Arrow, but have yet to try it. Looks very similar to old 600 aside from the name and a few design features. I'm going to build a bike up with it soon to see how I like it.

    For brakes I like pretty much anything late eighties Shimano sidepull, and Dia Compe. I have a set of 105 with dual pivot calipers. The pull is effortless and they stop almost as well as old school MTB canti's. That to me is impressive, and I will buy another set if they pop up.,,,,BD
    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  18. #18
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
    I love Deore.
    +1 my 1987 deore RD works flawlessly with now extinct shimano 8 speed bar-cons. That is my touring set-up. I wouldn't hesitate to go around the world on with that derailleur and shifter combo.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Suntour Superbe. Modolo. TA cranks.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Suntour Superbe. Modolo. TA cranks.
    Those are nice parts, but they're not exactly cheep. Although TA cranks seem to be pretty well priced... you may have to buy new rings to get the gearing you want and that ain't cheep!
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  21. #21
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    I'll throw in a weird one just for grins and the French fans: Simplex all-metal stuff from early '80s such as the SX660 RD and matching FD with friction levers. It's remarkably similar to early SunTour slant-parallelogram and Shimano in both appearance and function...durable little buggers, too. Only (very minor) downside is the RD uses the Simplex bolt/nut to mount it to their unthreaded DO, but this is an UPside if you have a French (Swiss or Austrian bike) with a Simplex dropout, and the RD can also mount in any conventional threaded DO hanger, too. Much cheaper than the ultra-desirable Super LJ, and with only a little weight penalty.
    Last edited by unworthy1; 03-13-08 at 10:09 AM.

  22. #22
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    I'll throw in a weird one just for grins and the French fans: Simplex all-metal stuff from early '80s such as the SX660 RD and matching FD with friction levers. It's remarkably similar to early SunTour slant-parallelogram and Shimano in both appearance and function...durable little buggers, too. Only (very minor) downside is the RD uses the Simplex non-threaded bolt/nut to mount it, but this is an UPside if you have a French (Swiss or Austrian bike) with a Simplex dropout, and the RD can also mount in any conventional threaded hanger, too. Much cheaper than the ultra-desirable Super LJ, and with only a little weight penalty.

    +1, even better on a Pearl white painted Peugeot!
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

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