Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-01-08, 06:50 AM   #1
devildogmech
YAT-YAS
Thread Starter
 
devildogmech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Highland, IN
Bikes: Old Green
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What to look for.....

Hey all,

I'm realy getting into this whole commuting thing (Used TREK 750 Multi-Track), and am interested in getting an old(er) road bike.... the problem, is I dont know what to look for.... I saw an old Schwinn (late 70's, early 80's by the looks of it) at a thrift store for $20 the other day... Didn't know if it was worth it, and passed.... I'd like to get something that is quality and is easy to get parts for (I'd like to tear it down and re-build it completly).... Any sudgestions on what to look for? What to stay away from? Brands? Things you think I should just know?

TIA

Billy
__________________
Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert A. Heinlein
devildogmech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-08, 07:35 AM   #2
phillyrider
peddling fool
 
phillyrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia PA
Bikes: Mid 50's Frejus, Late 50's Frejus, Early 1960s Frejus Professional, Mid 1960's Frejus Professional, Early 70's Gloria (branded), 76 Blue Pogliaghi
Posts: 512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
You will probably want to provide a little more info. Stuff like budget range (i.e. >$200), and it may also help to indicate what you like or dislike about your trek. There's a wide range in bikes - so it's hard to make a recommendation.

For me, as a commuter, I street park and initially preferred 80's japanese bikes (panasonic as an example). Parts are easy to get and less expensive. These bikes may be a good value. I stay away from french bikes, not because they're not good quality, but because with my limited knowledge on them, parts and tools may not be standard.

I am not sure if this helps - but with a liitle more info you may get a better response. It's difficult to know exactly what you're looking for. However, for commuting - vintage bikes are the way to go.
phillyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-08, 08:47 AM   #3
cuda2k
Unique Vintage Steel
 
cuda2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Allen, TX
Bikes: Kirk Frameworks JKS-C, Serotta Nova, Gazelle AB-Frame, Fuji Team Issue, Schwinn Crosscut, All-City Space Horse
Posts: 11,486
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Are you looking for the old(er) bike to commute on, or just for riding?

Mid-range Japanese frames are probably still the best value out there. Tange #2 or #1 (1 is better than 2) tubing is common on this range of frame. Best things to look for when sourcing a decent quality vintage bike are (usually, depending on age of the frame) downtube shifters, no 'auxiliary levers' attached to the brake levers (aka: chicken wings), and an integrated rear derailleur hanger on the rear drop out. By the 80's most mid to upper level frames had integrated derailleur hangers, but before then it often depended on the brand what models did or did not have them. There are a lot of factors to consider, however SIZE is the most important. If it doesn't fit, doesn't matter if it's the nicest bike out there, you wont' enjoy it.
cuda2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-08, 03:48 PM   #4
dannyg1 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First thing to look for is probably forged dropouts, like this:



Next is signs of front end crash damage. Beware the bent back fork.

Danny
dannyg1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-08, 07:17 PM   #5
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Bikes:
Posts: 3,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Good advice above. French bikes have threading that makes it more difficult to find replacement/upgrade parts. Raleighs are great, except stay away from the ones that have Raleigh's proprietary 26 tpi threading on steerer tube and bottom bracket. These are the 3-speed models, and most (but not all) Grand Prix road frames. Here's a link about it
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/raleigh26.html
Best value and easiest to work on and find parts for will be Japanese bikes from the 80s (Nishiki, Univega, Panasonic, Centurion, Bridgestone, Japan-built Raleighs and Bianchis) with forged dropouts (that have raised faces where the quick-releases and locknuts make contact). They are well-constructed, can be found relatively lightweight, and they're undervalued, typically. Plus, they came with good components that you can reuse.
Charles Wahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 04:17 AM   #6
devildogmech
YAT-YAS
Thread Starter
 
devildogmech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Highland, IN
Bikes: Old Green
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
GREAT!

I'm looking for something that is
1) Faster to commute on than my TREK 750 (its a Hybrid)
2) Something that I can tear appart and re-build (I'm a Mechanic, and I like to do stuff like that)
3) Something with drop bars (They just look cool )

Are 70-80's Schwinn's any good? They seem to pop up all the time around here......

Speaking of Japanese Bikes, is this a good example of what you are sudgesting
http://cgi.ebay.com/1980s-Nishiki-Ol...QQcmdZViewItem
__________________
Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert A. Heinlein
devildogmech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 05:51 AM   #7
cuda2k
Unique Vintage Steel
 
cuda2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Allen, TX
Bikes: Kirk Frameworks JKS-C, Serotta Nova, Gazelle AB-Frame, Fuji Team Issue, Schwinn Crosscut, All-City Space Horse
Posts: 11,486
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
That Nishiki is exactly the sort of bike you're looking for. That frame appears to be a pretty big one however, likely a 60cm I'd guess. How tall are you? 60cm usually fits people 6'1" and taller or there abouts. Schwnns can be good for what you are looking for, depending on the model and age. Look for one that has TruTemper or 4130 Cro-Mo tubing stickers on it. http://www.geocities.com/sldatabook/contents.html is a very good resource on Schwinn models up through the end of the 70's. Lots of information about the different models here on the forum as well.
cuda2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 07:18 AM   #8
skyrider
Senior Member
 
skyrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Harrow Ontario
Bikes: 85 bianchi stelvio, 80s Rossi, 80s Fiori modena
Posts: 590
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Take a look at the stickies up here, and look at the pictures, and the craigslist finds. It can give you an idea of what to look for. Have fun.
skyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 07:28 AM   #9
mike
Senior Member
 
mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Snowy midwest
Bikes:
Posts: 5,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The one quickie indicator is to look at the rear drop-out like Danny suggested. Good bikes have good quality dropouts and cheap bikes have cheap (often simple stamped steel) dropouts.

If you find a bike with good dropouts, you will probably also quickly recognize that the rest of the bike is high quality. Just look at a lot of bikes. Also, go to the bike shops and look at bikes from cheap to upper-end. Pretty soon, you will be able to tell the difference between cheap and good bikes.
mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 10:19 AM   #10
CACycling
Senior Member
 
CACycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Bikes: '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX
Posts: 4,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also size matters. You need to figure out what fits you best and limit your search to that size. My commuter is this '77 Schwinn Le Tour II that was dug out of the trash by a friend.



I really enjoyed tearing it apart, cleaning everything and putting it back together. Spent less than $50 on tires, tubes, cork tape and cables. Everthing else I had laying around including a rack and rack bag I added when it took on commuter duty. It isn't light but makes a sturdy commuter.
CACycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:31 AM.