Time to play "help the newb" please! Is there a website which catalogs different bike manufacturers/models and the type of steel they used for frames?
I am about to ditch my '73 Schwinn Suburban only because it is too small for me. Although I am kind of bummed, I am viewing this as a good opportunity to upgrade my commute. Because I have enjoyed learning how to fix/maintain the Schwinn as I went along, I am thinking I would like to buy another oldschool, bombproof, steel beauty, and then build it up into a nice hybrid-style, zippy NYC commuter. After looking around the BF and reading some articles, it has become obvious that not all steel is created equal. It would seem that Reynolds 531 and Columbus are both supposed to be pretty excellent. And apparently both Dutch and Japanese manufacturers both have their devotees!
Anyway, at this point when I browse CL or any local used bike shops I am at a complete loss as to which vintage brands/models/years I should be looking for. I am 6'2", 225lbs, and I am looking for something relatively light, but not at the cost of strength. These city roads are pretty crappy. Probably a road bike which I can put 700 wheels, fenders, and a straight or riser bar on?
If you have a link to a site which catalogs this info, or if you can just simply recommend a few specific companies/models to look for, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't need the bike to be trendy or cool, just for it to have really nice steel and geometry. Thanks!
P.S. Ultimately, I am thinking my budget for the bike and subsequent build up would be $500, or preferably much less. Not sure that info helps with recommendations or not!