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Old 08-08-10, 09:36 PM   #1
mmonroe
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choosing vintage

I am searching for a vintage road bike since the loan on my current bike is nearing an end.

Does anyone have advice on a typical, good, vintage road bike I might search for. I mainly use the bike to commute but I have taken place in a 100 mile ride and several 60/70 mile rides so I need something that would be useful for the periodic long ride.

Today I found a Cannondale Black Lighting (1989) for around $350, a Fuji Allegro (1986) for $200, and an older Bianchi (80s) for $300.

The Cannondale and Fuji are mostly all original. The Bianchi seems to only have the original frame (Columbus tubing) with mainly upgraded components.

Just from the make and model does anyone have any advice regarding the overall quality of these models during these time periods?
Or in general a good vintage bike make to keep and eye out for?

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-10, 09:31 AM   #2
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Old 08-09-10, 09:59 AM   #3
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I'd stick with steel frames (in this case the Fuji or Bianchi). Having owned a Cannondale road bike, I can vouch for their rigidity and responsiveness. Unfortunately, you also end up on a first-name basis with every bump, crack, seam or other discontinuity in the pavement. If you're going on longer rides, a more "forgiving" ride is a good thing.

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Old 08-09-10, 10:30 AM   #4
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Those prices sound a bit on the high side - unless you live in a major city.

I second the suggestion for steel. You might also want something with fender eyelets (not that you'll necessarily use them, but because it indicates the bike has a somewhat relaxed geometry, which helps with commuting and longer rides.)
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Old 08-09-10, 10:48 AM   #5
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You may want to consider looking at an older rigid steel mtb for duty as a commuter. A long wheelbase and stout frame can make for a comfortable rider. Fenders and Schwalbes for commuting, maybe a second set of faster tires for the long rides. I've found two rigid Giant mtbs in the $50-75 range that have provided great service.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:35 AM   #6
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Sigh. I think the supposed harshness of aluminum frames is highly overstated.

I rode my '87 Cannondale ST 150 miles last weekend: 50 Miles on Friday night and a century on Saturday. Butt is fine, hands are fine, no problems at all and in my opinion the ride was no harsher than my steel Waterford Paramount or Trek 760. And remember that I'm 59 years old and weigh 195.

Yes, aluminum frames are stiff, but so is any good high quality frame, no matter what it's made of.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:51 AM   #7
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I think $200 for the Allegro is a bit steep .. with some searching you could get something nicer in the Fuji line for $150-200 or so.

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Old 08-09-10, 12:14 PM   #8
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Allegro is interesting, price is a little high. Around here, it would sell for around $165 in pristine, ready to ride condition.

+1 Rigid frame MTB from the 1990s makes a great commuter. Not so great for those long rides unfortunately. You are really talking about two different bikes.
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