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Old 06-16-13, 03:08 PM   #1
Fred Smedley
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Underrated or under the radar Vintage road bikes.

I thought would start a thread about exceptional riding bikes that are not on uninformed purchaser's radar and can often be had for way less that the "collectibles " like RB-1's, PX10's .
The two I have stumbled on are a 1989 Miyata 1400, which is very similar to a team or pro with a slightly longer chain stay and triple butted splined tubing. A 1973 Raleigh Grand Sports with Reynolds 531 butted tubes and a Reynolds fork. Again with longer stays than the race bikes , very similar to a International without the fancy-nancy lugs. What can you contribute to my short list?
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Old 06-16-13, 03:15 PM   #2
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Peugeot PKN-10, Bianchi Campione d'Italia, and other mixed tubeset frames. In most cases, the butted moly steel main triangle is identical to that of their higher-priced "collectible" cousins, yet I suspect very few cyclists could feel any difference in a double blind test.
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Old 06-16-13, 03:18 PM   #3
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I am not so sure that RB-1's are under the radar and "PX-10" seems to carry almost as much cache as "paramount" with everyone wanting to have found a PX-10 because they know they are valuable... or by under the radar do you mean they just ride a lot better than people give them credit for? I believe that it is hard to make a really poor riding bike if you are starting with excellent materials, but it is even harder to build a bike that is exceptional and even then it is often exceptional only to the right sized and weighted rider.

The one vintage frame the surprised me the most was my Gazelle Champion Mondial... The ride was exceptional. And while I would consider marinoni to be an "under the radar" brand for the exceptional quality, I have never truly felt they rode exceptionally better than a good quality double butted frame.
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Old 06-16-13, 03:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
The one vintage frame the surprised me the most was my Gazelle Champion Mondial... The ride was exceptional.
+1 on Gazelle Champion Mondial - and "exceptional" is very accurate IMHO. This could be a regional thing by the way: No one in my neck of the woods has ever hear of them at all. Meanwhile, they are very highly thought of in other places. All in all, mine is the best "fast" road bike I've personally ever ridden or owned, and cost me a whole bunch less than many of the "name" bikes that've passed through my studio at one time or another.
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Old 06-16-13, 03:26 PM   #5
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I missed out on a Schwinn Circuit Roadbike built with a mix of Columbus SL & SP in the larger sizes. The bike I saw on Craigslist was full Suntour Sprint and looked like it was in like-new condition. It sold for less than $300.
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Old 06-16-13, 03:51 PM   #6
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Under the radar, and way less than better known bikes....
Hmm, good frames generally available for excellent values:
Schwinn PDG OS Series
Schwinn PDG Aluminums
Schwinns made in the Panasonic National plant
KHS Flite Aero's
Panasonic 5000/6000
Bridgestone RB-2's
Mercier Serpens 853 (bikesdirect.com frameset)
Lotus upper levels
Univega upper levels
Shogun upper levels

Bikes where buyers benefit from little known brands:
F Moser
Giordana
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Old 06-16-13, 04:30 PM   #7
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I like my 73 Gran Sport and the 86 Schwinn Premis with Tenax tubing and Suntour Cyclone parts.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:41 PM   #8
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+1 to the late 80's Schwinn race offerings. They are remarkable for their ride qualites, components and paint choices.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:49 PM   #9
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Early 80's Peugeot PH10. If only everyone could have tried it as their first "real" bike......
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Old 06-16-13, 04:50 PM   #10
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Specialized Allez steel frames with the fastback seat cluster.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:54 PM   #11
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My Raleigh Gran Sport was one of the nicest bikes I ever owned.

My other particular favourites, although their value is climbing, are Kuwahara road and mountain bikes from the mid to late eighties.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:57 PM   #12
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This seems to be for roadies only but pretty much all the top end rigid MTBs are underappreciated. They don't go for much, they are available, and they make great commuters, fire road bikes, etc.

Edit; 65er beat me to the punch on this.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:57 PM   #13
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Japanese and Taiwanese Bianchis are looked down upon by the pure bred Italian crowd, IMHO, big mistake. The seamless tubing Tange (gold lettering on the sticker) frames are sweet riding, very comfortable frames.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:59 PM   #14
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I'll echo the Bianchi Campione d'Italia. My recollection is that in 95 anyhow, their Eros shared the same frame, just had a triple.
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Old 06-16-13, 05:18 PM   #15
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Batavus, and all Dutch road bikes for that matter. Late 80's Schwinns. +1 for the previously mentioned Univega and Japanese Bianchi. Viscount.
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Old 06-16-13, 05:29 PM   #16
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Apollo Mk 5 and 6 , tange or ishewata , Shimano or Sugino-suntour , late 70's imported by Fred Deeley into Canada .
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Old 06-16-13, 07:26 PM   #17
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'81-'83 Raleigh Comp GS, Japanese constructed frames of excellent fit and finish with Suntour Superb Dropouts
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Old 06-16-13, 07:26 PM   #18
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Pretty much any of the Japanese brands, except for Bridgestone and Miyata (which both have been well discovered). There are a myriad of good to excellent Japan built bikes from the 1980s in particular, that few buyers recognize.

+1 Add DX-4000 to Robbie's Panasonic list.
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Old 06-16-13, 07:46 PM   #19
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Great thread Fred - But it needs more pics of those under-the-radar road bikes!

+100 to the Raleigh Grand Sports. I think it's one of Raleigh's very best ever and they sometimes are offered for absurdly low prices for lack of name recognition.

I guess I have to give a nod to the Bianchi CdI as well.

A few others that I would add to the list are the Motobecane Grand Touring. These are superb all-around road bikes with really nice manners, but (like the Pug U08) no one seems to give them the credit they deserve.

I think the original SR and ST 'dales are still a bargain given just how much fun they are to ride.

- And I'd feel remiss if I didn't mention my Ross Aristorcrat, and the subsequent Signature line. I don't think I've ever stradled a more responsive bike.





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Old 06-16-13, 08:22 PM   #20
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The previously mentioned mid to late '80s Schwinns are first on my list. Lots of quality tubing used in those years.
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Old 06-16-13, 08:37 PM   #21
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Old 06-16-13, 08:48 PM   #22
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For a great under rated Italian, I have to mention the Basso Gap. What a great riding Columbus SL frame it is. It's everything you would expect from an Italian bike, quick, agile and a bike that just wants to go fast. They also had some great two-tone paint jobs. One can be had for a reasonable price to.


The OP mentioned the Miyata 1400, and it is under rated to. You rarely here of this model when folks talk bout Miyata's, but it's a real nice all-arounder. Mine is the bonded aluminum model, not the steel, but she's a keeper...
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Old 06-16-13, 09:00 PM   #23
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I was very pleasantly surprised by the ride of my Gitane Interclub. The frame is similar in weight to the carbolite Peugeots and it has a Durax cottered steel crank but the tubular wheelset is very light and that combination of heavier frame and light wheels seems to make for a really great ride.
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Old 06-16-13, 09:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Under the radar, and way less than better known bikes....
Hmm, good frames generally available for excellent values:
Schwinn PDG OS Series
Schwinn PDG Aluminums
Schwinns made in the Panasonic National plant
KHS Flite Aero's
Panasonic 5000/6000
Bridgestone RB-2's
Mercier Serpens 853 (bikesdirect.com frameset)
Lotus upper levels
Univega upper levels
Shogun upper levels

Bikes where buyers benefit from little known brands:
F Moser
Giordana
I like this wording, I'd add to that top list mid level vintage Trek. I will sometimes spot a 560 or something in that range for a very reasonable price. I'd also add Diamond Back to that list. For the second list I keep Oschner's around Chicago and they seem to be very unknown.
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Old 06-16-13, 09:51 PM   #25
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One of the very most "under the radar" brands is the Maruishi.
.
My very fist mtb was a Maruishi back in like '83.
.
Here's a nice touring model thats not mine.
.
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