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  1. #1
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    I just sold my Ciocc.. we had barely met.

    I have never ridden a classic, high-quality steel bike....but I want to.
    I tried a '09 Masi Speciale two years ago, but was disappointed by how flexy it was. Made in Taiwan. I bought a Ciocc Designer '84 frameset on eBay for $200, but found that it was too big, and never built it. I resold it for $150 on craigslist. It needed a LOT of cosmetic restoration, but the buyer was VERY excited to buy it. Maybe it was worth much more - who knows. We chatted a bit, and he was also VERY excited about vintage italian steel. So my interest is further piqued.

    So, I'm back to looking for a vintage high-quality steel bike...I would like it to have aggressive, traditional "race" geometry. I hope to put a 10-speed group on it, so I believe i'm looking for a frame with at least 126mm rear spacing.

    Can anyone offer some pointers on shopping for these?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    I'm sure alot of guys are going to chime into this thread, but until they do, check out this thread that I started when I began my quest for a classic steel Italian bike. You'll get a real schooling from the 300+ posts there just like I did! -

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e+the+italians

    I finally did get a Basso Gap, 1984, and I couldn't be happier with the look, the ride, the speed and the comfort of it.
    Colnago Super
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    I'm sure alot of guys are going to chime into this thread, but until they do, check out this thread that I started when I began my quest for a classic steel Italian bike. You'll get a real schooling from the 300+ posts there just like I did! -
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e+the+italians
    I finally did get a Basso Gap, 1984, and I couldn't be happier with the look, the ride, the speed and the comfort of it.
    thanks, i'll check it out.

    I want to make sure that i am getting a bike that i would have wanted to buy back then - proper geometry, the right tubing, etc.
    I don't want to end up with an early 80s touring bike with mid-level tubing just because it's mid-80s, you know?

  4. #4
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you had to part with the Ciocc, I always wanted to try one too.

    When you say "10-speed group" I assume you mean 10 cogs in the back? what size bike do you ride? if you ride a taller bike, like a 60+ you may find something like a SLX Bottechia rides better than a SL Battaglin. then there is that whole 531, 753, 853 thing.

    Personally depending on size I would look for a late '80s early '90s SL or SLX bike like a Tomasso, Torelli, Bianchi (of course but the off names will be cheaper) Gita, and the like.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

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    Well, you've learned the most important lesson. Proper fit is #1 priority.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    Sorry to hear you had to part with the Ciocc, I always wanted to try one too.

    When you say "10-speed group" I assume you mean 10 cogs in the back? what size bike do you ride? if you ride a taller bike, like a 60+ you may find something like a SLX Bottechia rides better than a SL Battaglin. then there is that whole 531, 753, 853 thing.

    Personally depending on size I would look for a late '80s early '90s SL or SLX bike like a Tomasso, Torelli, Bianchi (of course but the off names will be cheaper) Gita, and the like.
    Yes, a 10-cog cassette - old frame with modern groupset is the goal. I'm a 56.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
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    Colnago, de rosa imo are consistent winners for looks and performance. There are lots of other good brands too. Don't expect any miracles stiffness wise though. A lot of those frames have pretty light tubing. My SL colnago is rather flexy compared to my modern alu frame, but stiffer than many vintage steel frames ime. That said look up the video of saronni sprinting on his old colnago, it won't slow you down too badly

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
    Colnago, de rosa imo are consistent winners for looks and performance. There are lots of other good brands too. Don't expect any miracles stiffness wise though. A lot of those frames have pretty light tubing. My SL colnago is rather flexy compared to my modern alu frame, but stiffer than many vintage steel frames ime
    well, on that '09 masi, i could see the BB flexing under me as i rode. hopefully it's not like that.

    does one look for these things on ebay? there are actually a lot of these, now that i'm looking, but they're expensive

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    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
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    Nice Italian frames from the big names are very expensive on ebay. A lot of times the condition is misrepresented. The smart thing to do would be to buy a complete bike then sell off the vintage parts to offset the cost of the frame. You can get a free frame this way if you shop well.

    As for stiffness, if that's a priority you need to ride a few bikes to see what you think. High end vintage euro frames tend to feel alive under you, connected, smooth, fast, but not necessarily stiff as racers now are used to. Some people can't handle the flex, some don't mind it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
    does one look for these things on ebay? there are actually a lot of these, now that i'm looking, but they're expensive
    Well, Italian bikes are generally expensive, especially the bigger brands like Colnago, Masi, DeRosa, Pinarello's. They are like the Ferrari's of the cycling world. Just as Ferrari's were race bred and competed in all the great races with the greatest drivers, so did these bicycle brands, and you pay for that. Other brands are normally cheaper like Atala and Bottecchia, but you might lose something like cheaper tubing or mediocre gruppo's and lousy paint and decals etc.. You really need to take your time and learn what you are looking at so you can make a good choice.

    Again, go to that thread I gave you. It's chock full of good info...
    Colnago Super
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  11. #11
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    You'll need a wider spacing in the rear (130) if you want to run 10 speed, although some bikes can be forced. Here's a NOS Gap that's been up on ebay for a while. Looks pretty nice and isn't a bad price given its shape:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Basso-G...item33614e57a2
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
    You'll need a wider spacing in the rear (130) if you want to run 10 speed, although some bikes can be forced. Here's a NOS Gap that's been up on ebay for a while. Looks pretty nice and isn't a bad price given its shape:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Basso-G...item33614e57a2
    whoah, that color scheme is horrifying.
    I have read up on cold-setting, and apparently the jump from 126mm-130mm isnt a problem, especially if done professionally. which i would consider.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Here some pointers. Know what size you want and how the geometry (eg, seat tube angle) affects the fit. Geometry varies among Italian bikes, and some have very steep angles, others relaxed and other middle of the road. Don't wed yourself to a specific make and model unless you don't care how much to spend. Well-known brands like De Rosa, Colnago and Pinarello command top dollar. You can often find lesser known brands of comparable quality (eg, Basso, Guerciotti, Gios, De Bernardi, Tomassini, Rossin etc.) for much less money. For example, I was able to buy a NOS De Bernardi for $400 for the frame and fork, and it is incredibly beautiful and well-made frame. No way I could have bought a comparable De Rosa, Pinarello, etc for that kind of money.
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  14. #14
    vjp
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    The BB WILL flex when you pedal, that's what they do, they are kind of like a spring. A bicycle that had no flex would not be very efficient, or comfortable.

    Good luck with your quest!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
    well, on that '09 masi, i could see the BB flexing under me as i rode. hopefully it's not like that.

    does one look for these things on ebay? there are actually a lot of these, now that i'm looking, but they're expensive
    Demand is there, so good is not cheap most often, and poor is sometimes expensive too.
    If you are worried about "stiffness" then you had the right brand, just wrong decade.
    I would look for a Masi 3V Volumetrica. Oversized top, down tubes and oversized chain stays.
    Might also look for a Serotta Colorado in steel.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
    whoah, that color scheme is horrifying.
    I have read up on cold-setting, and apparently the jump from 126mm-130mm isnt a problem, especially if done professionally. which i would consider.
    My bianchi and colnago frames have no problem fitting a 130mm axle with only very minor fiddling (pulling against the stays), both are 126mm spaced. I wouldn't worry about that at all. And yeah the basso is pretty mcdonalds status...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ecrevisse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
    So, I'm back to looking for a vintage high-quality steel bike...I would like it to have aggressive, traditional "race" geometry. I hope to put a 10-speed group on it, so I believe i'm looking for a frame with at least 126mm rear spacing.

    Can anyone offer some pointers on shopping for these?
    10 speed group, 2x5, equals 120mm rear spacing. A 126mm rear spacing will get to 14 speed, 2x7.
    Lache pas la patate

  18. #18
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
    And yeah the basso is pretty mcdonalds status...
    I beg to differ on that.

    McDonalds status?

    Looking at the average price of a Basso Gap, I tend to think it is pretty well up there with the better Italian brands. Good tubing,(nothing less than SL in the 80's) well built, always well equipped, good paint, not to mention they are built by a good racing family. And really, they are far to rare to be considered "McDonalds status". I would consider Atala's more McDonalds status.

    I got rather lucky on mine, price wise, but I've seen 80's built Gaps go for a ridiculous $3500!(Yeah, ridiculous!), but they are out there. If the OP is looking for an Italian with a racing pedigree and geometry, he would do very well with a Basso.

    Yes, I love my Basso!
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    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
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  19. #19
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
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    The frame is nice there's no doubt about that, I'm just talking about the color scheme on that particular one.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
    The frame is nice there's no doubt about that, I'm just talking about the color scheme on that particular one.
    You mean I wasted a good rant?

    Colnago Super
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    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
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  21. #21
    Senior Member old_dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    I would consider Atala's more McDonalds status.
    Please explain...

  22. #22
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    I am looking around a bit. I can see how much of a challenge this can be - very hard to find details on geometry or tubing. and prices are all over the map.

    for example:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400276130364 - Cinelli w/ Genius tubing. beautiful...but is it worth $2k!
    http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/2854110254.html - "Colnago XL" - $775
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/2852941145.html - Colnago C96 - $600 for the frameset.
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst...856782643.html - Cinelli something. - $500

  23. #23
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
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    ^ That cinelli is a ridiculous good deal, if you can afford it I'd say go buy it now. The SR record parts it has alone are worth more than the asking price...

  24. #24
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    ^+1,000,000. Buy it now if you can. Someone else is one the way.
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  25. #25
    my name is Jim BlueDevil63's Avatar
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    What they said. Take cash. Go now.

    Oh wait a sec. You are in NYC and that bike is in LA. Too bad. It is a great deal.

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