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  1. #1
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    Good Vintage brands

    I am looking to get a quality chromoly frame vintage road bike. I want to do so to lessen costs. I live in an area where vintage bikes seem pretty over priced compared to what other markets are. I only have about 200 to spend and yet all the one that look decent are at least 350. What brands do you recommend that would be the most light weight? How can I be sure I am getting a quality bike? Also, I havent really found a website I can check models on. I know that saying all the bikes from one brand will be good. I dont really know how to distinguish what the higher end models were which is proving difficult. All and any info on how I can find a good quality, light weight, inexpensive road bike would be helpful! Thanks

  2. #2
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    Japanese would probably be your best bet. You might luck out and find a Trek in your price range. Anything else is going to be over 2 bills.

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    carpe diem elboGreaze's Avatar
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    Someone started a thread on this topic just this morning , there is some good info in it . If you see a bike you like on CL or wherever , you can do a search pertaining to the bike in question and read the thread(s). Good luck with your search.
    I ride because... I really enjoy it !

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    What japanese brands? The ones I have been looking at are univega, nashiki, fuji. Any others?

  5. #5
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
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    Also check out bikes from Panasonic, Lotus, Centurion, Bridgestone, Miyata, Sekai, Sekine, Shogun.
    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

  6. #6
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Schwinn LeTour, Super Le Tour, Le Tour Luxe, Le Tour 12.2, Voyageur.

  7. #7
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    what about late 80's schwinn super sports. i see alot of those on my local CL. any opinions on those?
    i can get one for about $150.00

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    carpe diem elboGreaze's Avatar
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    Lotus, Miyata , Centurion , Shogun. ( I had a Shogun 600 for a short while, sweet ride )
    I ride because... I really enjoy it !

  9. #9
    Lotus Monomaniac Snydermann's Avatar
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    Generally, Lotus bikes are still low on the price curve. I'll say that Lotus never built a bad bike.
    Always searching for Lotus literature and memorabilia for use at www.VintageLOTUSbicycles.com, can you help?

  10. #10
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    Soooo, looking for a used bike? All these bikes are OK if they aren't too beat. Some area's have more of one brand than another because that's what the local dealer carried. Where are you and what size bike do you ride?

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    I found this:
    http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/bik/3048909992.html Not sure if it is good. I have found no fujis in the area.

    I live in portland, or and I think I am 52cm or 54cm as I'm 5'7". Thanks! The market is super competitive here for bikes. It's sort of a bummer!

  12. #12
    Senior Member kvnmuadib's Avatar
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    just keep looking...schwinn tempo's or preludes fly under the radar at times,columbus tube set usually shimano 105 components or sante'. Look for alloy wheels in 700cc for a better tire selection,shimano or suntour components,tubesets of reynolds 531 or 501,tange n0. 2 or prestige,dbl butted tubing.I have bought peugeots and bianchis for less thamn 200.00 but you always have to be looking try yard sales and thrift shops as well as craigslist and e-bay.....save a few more bucks ...good luck
    tell me of your homeworld .....usul

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    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    That Raleigh actually looks pretty nice. Not real high end, but it looks like it's in nice shape and the barcons are a nice feature. Well, I think so anyway. Some of the older Raleighs have obsolete bottom bracket threading; not sure about this one. Maybe someone will know. Personally, I think it's worth looking at, and if it fits you, the wheels are true, and you can talk them down a bit, you could do lots worse. Eventually if you want to replace the saddle and brake levers you'll have a very nice commuter.

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    Cilo bikes are usually underpriced. They are all made of high-end steel.

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    Jack of all trades anixi's Avatar
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  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirrdplanet View Post
    I am looking to get a quality chromoly frame vintage road bike. I want to do so to lessen costs. I live in an area where vintage bikes seem pretty over priced compared to what other markets are. I only have about 200 to spend and yet all the one that look decent are at least 350.
    1. Your market has decided, the bike you want is going for $350 plus.

    2. Its not about brand, or even model, its about condition, what the frame is made out of, and the grade of components. Just about all the bike shop brands made good bikes, great bikes, and bottom of the barrel bikes. Bike companies used the same model name for many years, changed design and components, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Don't know which components and frame materials are good? Spend a little time getting educated, its not really very hard to learn.

    3. So faced with a red hot market, where stuff goes high? Two choices: A. Look outside of public sales forums (word of mouth, spread the word, friends whatever). Realize if good bikes bring $350 or more, then there are going to be scoopers out there that will ace you out of the good/great deals, as they will leverage the deals and make $$. or B. Look outside your geographic area. I picked up four smokin hot deals on my last vacation, pretty much ANY road trip I go on by car includes bringing back bikes and bike parts. The other way to pick up bikes outside your area is to solicit help from friends, family, or whatever.

    4. Garage sales are a great place to find bikes, BUT, you have to go to a lot of garage sales, and there are plenty of other people looking for deals at garage sales too. In general, the best deals at garage sales are in more remote areas (drive farther) and also are where the word "bikes" is not in the ad. I have picked up four bikes at garage sales in the last week and a half.

    In general, to get deals, you have to hustle, look aggressively, and pounce!

    That Traveler above is a high ten steel bike, pretty basic, hopefully you can do better. Super Grand Prix is also a high ten steel bike, pretty basic, but nicer than the Traveler.

    I am a HUGE fan of 1980s Japan built bike. First, they built some great bikes (and some duds as well). Secondly, they usually are at an attractive price point, compared to other bikes from that era. Third, they used common, standard, part sizes. So finding replacement parts at a reasonable price is pretty easy.
    Last edited by wrk101; 06-06-12 at 08:41 PM.

  17. #17
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    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3050170989.html
    What do you think of this? I would only get if I could lower the price

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    Also I am going to Mexico for a month soon, so it may be better to look after. I doubt they would have any good bikes down there and transportation back would be a pain/expensive.

  19. #19
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    http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/bik/3060015683.html

    I am literally having difficulty finding any reviews on vintage bikes...

  20. #20
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    I like the Nishiki better than the Gitane . I don't know much about this Gitane , but sometimes French components and threading have a little world all their own . A Sekai or a Nishiki would be a better bet, all things being equal.

  21. #21
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirrdplanet View Post
    I am literally having difficulty finding any reviews on vintage bikes...
    You aren't going to find modern reviews of these bikes, and if you did they wouldn't tell you anything significant. For what you are looking for, it's like buying a used car. The quality of the individual bike is waaaaaay more important then any differences between comparable models back when they were new. Equally important is how well it fits you - like a pair of shoes if the bikes doesn't fit you will never be comfortable and thus won't ride it much.

    As GA said, French bikes have their quirks (which weren't quirks when they were new) such as the French standard for threading. Some of the components may be better or worse. For example, the common Simplex Prestige derailleurs are prone to breaking when they get older. Gitane made good bikes but their finish was sometimes sloppy, but they may still ride great. Sill, a good specimen of a Gitane (or anything) is better than a bad, non-fitting anything else.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
    Generally, Lotus bikes are still low on the price curve. I'll say that Lotus never built a bad bike.
    Heres somthing wierd Lotus wise at the local bike coop we built a dozen or so medium size street bikes as for free including 5 road bikes and pretty nice 80,s Lotus whent untaken despite being the best of the free bikes on the lot.

  23. #23
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    Just looked at Portland Craigslist (and saw three bikes in my size at good prices, which helps you not at all).

    Here's three I'd look at:
    A Giant Iguana($125)--welded, not lugged, but has good components (Shimano Alivio); it's a mountain bike.
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3036793201.html

    A Trek Antelope ($195)--again, a welded-chromoly mountain bike with Alivio components.
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3055345428.html

    If you want a road bike, this might be a good deal--it's an off-brand, but probably worth looking at if you really want a road bike.
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3064594329.html



    Relative to Richmond prices, it looks like road bikes are relatively expensive vs mountain bikes.
    I can be emailed at my user name at google's mail.

  24. #24
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    If you want a road bike, this might be a good deal--it's an off-brand, but probably worth looking at if you really want a road bike.
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3064594329.html

    I do want a road bike, with drop handle bars. Is the third one a good bike that will be light weight with decent components?

  25. #25
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    It's hard to tell, as it's one of those Japanese brands that was probably created for some importer. It's in the "worth looking at" category, though, in my opinion.

    It may be too big (it's says it's a 55cm, which isn't a Fuji size) and it's $250 (which I know is more than you want to spend, but this Fuji Roubaix is a good bike,generally quite light, and the bar-end shifters (which are likely indexed) are a major upgrade.
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3062476675.html
    I can be emailed at my user name at google's mail.

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