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Old 08-14-12, 12:54 PM   #1
Lewis_Moon
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'90s steel racing frames

I'm a cheap bastid. That's what happens when you have no money. None-the-less, I'd like to upgrade to a nicer frame at some point. Presently, I'm on an '83 Waterford Paramount that's ~ 2cm too tall and doesn't have seat tube waterbottle braze ons...I know, picky, picky.... ("Look!!! The grass over there is GREENER!!!")

I'd like...no...I absolutely must have a steel frame. I've heard that in the '90s builders started putting out frames built with steel tubes that were designed to compete with the onslaught of the beercan bikes. What are some marques that held out for a while against the AL/CF tsunami and had significant enough production that I might find one for sale? Lugged, fillet or welded, but hopefully with a square(ish) design.

$400 or less (less is better).

PS: Not in the market at this minute...would just like to get the search image tuned up for later on.

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Old 08-14-12, 12:58 PM   #2
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Miyata had some steel models going into the 90s, including some that were quite high end. If you're talking high end, obviously De Rosa had some pretty spiffy models around and there were many customs around. The one that instantly jumps to mind are Lemonds, which are a LOT of bang for the buck given their quality. Many are tig'd however.

If I wanted a newer steel bike, without spending a fortune, I'd be looking for a Zurich or something similar. The Lemonds were REALLY well designed machines.
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Old 08-14-12, 12:59 PM   #3
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There were plenty of manufacturers that continued to build in steel in to the 90's. I have a beautiful lugged Bianchi constructed of Columbus TSX. These can be had easily for what you would expect get for your Waterford...and they have two waterbottle mounts.

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Old 08-14-12, 01:03 PM   #4
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Per Aaron's remark...there's a very nice LeMond on the L.A. CL for $250. I would post a link, but CL has been blocked here at work
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Old 08-14-12, 01:11 PM   #5
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I think the ultimate 90's steel frame is an Merckx MX Leader, I'm biased however, I own one. They are not super cheap but you should be able to find one for $400
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Old 08-14-12, 01:19 PM   #6
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Your Paramount should bring a good price. If you like it, consider a Waterford. I have a 92 that rides really well. The weight is close to just about anything available at the time. Unless its custom or at the extremes of size (very small or very large), they are "square" - mine's 56 (57 c-t) X 56.
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Old 08-14-12, 01:22 PM   #7
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Per Aaron's remark...there's a very nice LeMond on the L.A. CL for $250. I would post a link, but CL has been blocked here at work

Some good info so far. I think I'll need to cast a wider net on CL when I decide to make the leap. Here in PHX, everyone thinks their old, battered, Asian PDG is some sort of collector's item.
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Old 08-14-12, 01:41 PM   #8
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Your Paramount should bring a good price. If you like it, consider a Waterford. I have a 92 that rides really well. The weight is close to just about anything available at the time. Unless its custom or at the extremes of size (very small or very large), they are "square" - mine's 56 (57 c-t) X 56.

Love the Waterford, but it was "rode hard and put away wet" before I got it. I had a good powder coat put on it and it's now, basically, a work bike logging ~150+ miles a week. Couldn't bring myself to spend the dosh to get the provenance or decals. I promised myself something nicer when I reached some sort of milestone....of course that milestone may arrive early if something drops into my lap.
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Old 08-14-12, 01:45 PM   #9
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I think the ultimate 90's steel frame is an Merckx MX Leader, I'm biased however, I own one. They are not super cheap but you should be able to find one for $400
I don't recall ever seeing one for $400...if you do in a 56cm, let me know

They really are one of the keystone 90s steel frames, but there are others - EL OS Primatos, MAX...some of the Serottas with the Colorado tubing.
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Old 08-14-12, 01:58 PM   #10
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Look for a lesser known brand with ELOS.

Lightning would have to strike for a Primato at your price point.

....or sometimes a well known brand like Bianchi. We just had an ELOS framed Bianchi on our local CL two months ago. Sat there for over a week at $975 for the entire bike. That was with 8 speed Campy no less and it was clean.

The bike was parted out and the frameset sold to a riding partner for $375. That was a steal.

An MX Leader would be a great riding frameset, but you could be waiting a bit for one at that low of a price point.

..and fwiw, I certainly wouldn't throw away an SLX framed racing bike from that time frame.

There is a drop dead gorgeous Zullo on eBay right now for $335.

Probably rides like a champ.

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Old 08-14-12, 02:07 PM   #11
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What about Dedacciai? I saw this one http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bik/3199246066.html . It seems to be owned by someone who doesn't know a whole lot about bikes but thinks s/he has a gold mine. Looks to be about $900 higher than I think I'd want to pay if it were my size.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:08 PM   #12
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What size frame are you looking for?

There are always good deals on Ebay if you stay away from the most sought after brands.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:08 PM   #13
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What about Dedacciai? I saw this one http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bik/3199246066.html . It seems to be owned by someone who doesn't know a whole lot about bikes but thinks s/he has a gold mine. Looks to be about $900 higher than I think I'd want to pay if it were my size.
That's a pretty sweet bike, but I do think he's in dreamland on pricing.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:10 PM   #14
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Huffy Aerowind. It has "aero" in the name. What more do you need??????
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Old 08-14-12, 02:12 PM   #15
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Huffy Aerowind. It has "aero" in the name. What more do you need??????
Is there one with "cheap sex" in the name?
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Old 08-14-12, 02:23 PM   #16
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Specialized produced a brilliant Japanese made frame into the mid nineties - Allez Pro. It was made from True Temper OS tubing and featured some very pretty lugwork and stays. I just recently bought one for the titanium components and would be keeping it if it were a fit. It's a 56 cm; I need a 59-60. PM me if interested. You might also look at a Moser, terrific steel frames and badly overlooked. Mostly used Oria and Dedacciai tubing.

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Old 08-14-12, 02:27 PM   #17
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http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/bik/3125217634.html

This would be a welded 853 frame. Or maybe an 853/725 mix.

Not a bad price if in good condition.

But I am not sure if that is the size you are looking for.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:27 PM   #18
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Schwinn Pelotons are great frames made out of Reynolds 853. They tend to be cheap because of the marquee but they are a lot of bang for the buck. I bet you could find a complete one for $400.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:30 PM   #19
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I'm sort of in the same boat as you (though I'm hoping for a super deal - missed out on a Merckx because I tried to get too good of a deal). Would love a 90's steel frame so I could be able to use modern(-ish) components. I like the looks of lugs. Fortunately, I think we're different sizes (I'm looking in the 59-62 range) and on opposite sides of the country so I doubt we'll be competing at all. Keep wishing a Derosa would fall into my lap, but that's not happening.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:32 PM   #20
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That's a pretty sweet bike, but I do think he's in dreamland on pricing.
I agree, but I think it has dropped 500 bucks in the last 24 hours. Maybe by Thursday the price will be more inline with reality.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:33 PM   #21
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What about Dedacciai? I saw this one http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bik/3199246066.html . It seems to be owned by someone who doesn't know a whole lot about bikes but thinks s/he has a gold mine. Looks to be about $900 higher than I think I'd want to pay if it were my size.
Although a bit high, when you think about what a set of king wheels would sell for, ten a DA group, and a name brand frame....well...

I tell you what, when you find that kind of bike for 600. I would pay for it right then. It may happen, as I have seen stranger things, but those deals are few and far between.

I would agree with the Lemonds and older Serottas, or maybe some lesser known brand. But for a DeRosa, Merckx, bianchi, and that sort. Most are going to ask for a much higher price. Not unlike the one posted.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:34 PM   #22
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I agree, but I think it has dropped 500 bucks in the last 24 hours. Maybe by Thursday the price will be more inline with reality.
Maybe, but reality is it's more than a 600. bike!
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Old 08-14-12, 02:36 PM   #23
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When Centurion stopped making the Iron Man, they started making the Diamonback Master. I had one that was made in Taiwan, welded double-butted frame, nicely made and very light. I would recommend the Master very much for an overlooked 90's frame that will compare pretty well to the older, Japanese made, Centurion.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:37 PM   #24
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I'm sort of in the same boat as you (though I'm hoping for a super deal - missed out on a Merckx because I tried to get too good of a deal). Would love a 90's steel frame so I could be able to use modern(-ish) components. I like the looks of lugs. Fortunately, I think we're different sizes (I'm looking in the 59-62 range) and on opposite sides of the country so I doubt we'll be competing at all. Keep wishing a Derosa would fall into my lap, but that's not happening.
Heh....I'm looking for a 60. "Look, something shiny!!!"
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Old 08-14-12, 02:45 PM   #25
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Heh....I'm looking for a 60. "Look, something shiny!!!"
I seem to recall this sentiment from a thread up here when that "Superior" frameset was on the bay - and I was bidding (too low) .
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