Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What old road bike frame to convert?

    I've been looking through craigslist for a bike or frame to build a winter/leave outside commuter from. I'm trying not to spend too much on the frame.. but what i want is something lugged with decent steel, but nothing fancy... i rather not pay for a name

    I guess I'm at a loss at where to start. I would really like a frame that takes as many ISO parts as possible.. specifically an ISO BB so i can upgrade the current BB on my bike.

    So i guess what brands, makes, and years should i be looking for? or atleast which ones should i avoid?

  2. #2
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    My Bikes
    Sworks Venge; Kona Paddywagon; Ibis Mojo SL-R
    Posts
    10,535
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You want a bike/ frame with these:

    Fixed Gear Conversions

    There's WAY too many to go into detail but, I leave these points below if you want a conversion with a clean no rear derailleur/ tensioner look:

    You need a frameset that has horizontal dropouts so you're able to adjust chain tension

    Protips:
    Avoid ALL cannondale road bikes; all vertical dropouts
    Avoid ALL GT road bikes; either vertical dropouts or very short horizontal dropouts
    Avoid newer Treks and specialized.
    Avoid bikes with any carbon tubing whatsoever; chances are they have a vertical dropout
    Be extra careful to pay attention to the drop outs of aluminum tubed bikes; very good chance of having vertical dropouts but there are plenty with horizontal dropouts however
    Be careful of older treks, they are known for having very short horizontal dropouts
    An easy way to tell is the type of shifter the bicycle uses, look for bikes with down tube shifters.


    Off the top of my head, can't go wrong with older:
    Schwinn
    Miyata
    Centurion
    Peugeot (VO has solved the lack of french parts problem)
    Raleigh
    Fuji
    Panasonic
    Ross
    Free spirit

    Might cost more $, but who knows you might find a good deal on these brands:
    bianchi
    pinarello
    olmo
    rossin
    bottecchia
    colnago
    cinelli
    ciocc
    faggin
    de rosa
    eddy merckx
    Last edited by Leukybear; 12-15-14 at 11:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    11,094
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Most road bikes mid to late 80's and on should be what you are looking for. If in doubt you can ask about a bike in the C&V forum. Personally, I favor Japanese frames and with them I only have to measure the crown race to see if it is ISO or JIS.

    Are you trying to build a whole new bike or move parts from your current frame to something else? I second Leuky that there is way too much info to easily type out here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
    Bikerowave
    My Bikes

  4. #4
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
    My Bikes
    Europa, Hillbrick, Road Chief, Repco Superlite (Ol' Rusty)
    Posts
    3,239
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Find a bike that's got horizontal dropouts, fits properly and is very nice to ride. If it doesn't fit or is rubbish with gears, it will be as a fg ... assuming the poor old dear doesn't steel wheels or something stupid like that.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  5. #5
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    388
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What about adding "Track" or "Pista" to your searches. That may bring up some newer frames, although they may have steep seat tube angles and short wheelbases. Can you compensate for the seat tube angle with the seat and seat post position?

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
    You want a bike/ frame with these:

    Fixed Gear Conversions

    There's WAY too many to go into detail but, I leave these points below if you want a conversion with a clean no rear derailleur/ tensioner look:

    You need a frameset that has horizontal dropouts so you're able to adjust chain tension

    Protips:
    Avoid ALL cannondale road bikes; all vertical dropouts
    Avoid ALL GT road bikes; either vertical dropouts or very short horizontal dropouts
    Avoid newer Treks and specialized.
    Avoid bikes with any carbon tubing whatsoever; chances are they have a vertical dropout
    Be extra careful to pay attention to the drop outs of aluminum tubed bikes; very good chance of having vertical dropouts but there are plenty with horizontal dropouts however
    Be careful of older treks, they are known for having very short horizontal dropouts
    An easy way to tell is the type of shifter the bicycle uses, look for bikes with down tube shifters.


    Off the top of my head, can't go wrong with older:
    Schwinn
    Miyata
    Centurion
    Peugeot (VO has solved the lack of french parts problem)
    Raleigh
    Fuji
    Panasonic
    Ross
    Free spirit

    Might cost more $, but who knows you might find a good deal on these brands:
    bianchi
    pinarello
    olmo
    rossin
    bottecchia
    colnago
    cinelli
    ciocc
    faggin
    de rosa
    eddy merckx
    Thanks! this is exactly the starting point i was looking for!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
    Most road bikes mid to late 80's and on should be what you are looking for. If in doubt you can ask about a bike in the C&V forum. Personally, I favor Japanese frames and with them I only have to measure the crown race to see if it is ISO or JIS.

    Are you trying to build a whole new bike or move parts from your current frame to something else? I second Leuky that there is way too much info to easily type out here.
    I pretty much want a frame where i can add a crank and bb that i already have.. and buy a new wheelset, cog, and chain and be done.

    Yeah, after i posted i realized my question was a big silly. But I'm thankful Leuky took the time to type that.

    From what i understand tho, some of the older french bikes (peugeot, motobecane) or raleighs could have non ISO BB. How old is too old? is there a certain year where the majority started using ISO brackets? am i safer sticking with a japanese frame?

    Also whats the deal with Univega, are there any worth looking at? it seems like the overwhelming majority of bikes available are that brand.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Find a bike that's got horizontal dropouts, fits properly and is very nice to ride. If it doesn't fit or is rubbish with gears, it will be as a fg ... assuming the poor old dear doesn't steel wheels or something stupid like that.
    I agree. thats defiantly something i need to keep in mind.. that i can't fix a poor riding bike just by removing its gears.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    What about adding "Track" or "Pista" to your searches. That may bring up some newer frames, although they may have steep seat tube angles and short wheelbases. Can you compensate for the seat tube angle with the seat and seat post position?
    Thanks, i always do search those terms. But it seems anything with track dropouts always adds a few hundred to the price right off the bat. but i do keep an eyelet in case one comes up for the right price. Also i prefer a frame that has fender braze-ons on the drop outs, which the majority of road frames do.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    869
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One that fits should be your first priority.

    Second horizontal drop outs make your life easier but could get an Eno eccentric hub if you have a frame you love that doesn't have them and don't mind spending the money. Not ideal but doable.

    I built up a beautiful old Italvega from the 70s. Chromed lugs, horizontal drop outs, no cable guides etc. Put on nice mostly vintage italian parts. But it didn't fit so all my hard work was for naught.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    388
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've seen some people on this website that are rebuilding frames.

    If you can do a little machine work or welding/brazing, then you should be able to put your own custom dropouts on the bike.

    That would open you up to almost any steel framed bicycle frame.
    Maybe some Aluminum frames.

    And, if you could build custom dropouts, then you would even be able to modify some CF frames to suit your needs.

    Frames with bad derailleur hangers often go for dirt cheap on E-Bay.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Huffandstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    I got bikes.
    Posts
    1,034
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd just avoid French bikes all together, the old peugeots are a nice ride but still can be a pain with the odd sizing and you can get the Swiss threading which means a Phil wood bb. I have a preference for late 70s/early 80s Japanese bikes. Easy to find parts/frames and smooth riding.

  12. #12
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ciudad de Vacas, Tejas
    My Bikes
    28 frames + 73 wheels
    Posts
    7,952
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Huffandstuff View Post
    I'd just avoid French bikes all together, the old peugeots are a nice ride but still can be a pain with the odd sizing and you can get the Swiss threading which means a Phil wood bb.
    Old French bikes from the 70s bike boom era are ok if you keep the stock parts and just freshen them up a bit. I converted an early 70s French Mercier into an SS, keeping the stock steel cottered cranks and bar/stem combo, and just got a nice set of 27" wheels with a 120mm flip/flop rear hub from Velomine for $119 + shipping. The only parts I replaced were the seatpost and saddle.
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  13. #13
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    11,094
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by SGMongoose View Post
    Also whats the deal with Univega, are there any worth looking at? it seems like the overwhelming majority of bikes available are that brand.
    Univega came out with some excellent bikes, but they made a wide range of high and low end bikes. American based so compatibility is no problem. I have an older high model that I adore.
    Last edited by hairnet; 12-16-14 at 05:19 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
    Bikerowave
    My Bikes

  14. #14
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    My Bikes
    Sworks Venge; Kona Paddywagon; Ibis Mojo SL-R
    Posts
    10,535
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Haha I knew I was forgetting one of the biggies!
    Yup, too many to name.

    On a whim,
    Benotto made good bikes too, might be cheap nowadays due to obscurity of name.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6,241
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    JFWIW, I've come across quite a few 80s Centurions with vertical dropouts. The Raleigh Technium line from the same time period also sometimes have vertical dropouts or very short horizontal ones. (In addition to being generally crummy frames).

    Providing a general list of brand names suitable to conversion is admirable (and ambitious) but probably doomed to failure.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    140
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by SGMongoose View Post
    From what i understand tho, some of the older french bikes (peugeot, motobecane) or raleighs could have non ISO BB. How old is too old? is there a certain year where the majority started using ISO brackets? am i safer sticking with a japanese frame?
    I think french bikes have the same width of bottom bracket as the standard (68mm) so it's a matter of using a threadless cartridge BB or just changing the spindle.

    The only raleighs you have to watch out for are the gas pipe ones, the ones that used raleigh branded parts. Those have wide (70mm or more) bottom bracket shells and nonstandard threads. I have one of these bikes, I cheated it by a combination of changing the spindle and screwing the cups in more than usual, but this barely leaves any room for the lockring.

  17. #17
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    My Bikes
    Sworks Venge; Kona Paddywagon; Ibis Mojo SL-R
    Posts
    10,535
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    JFWIW, I've come across quite a few 80s Centurions with vertical dropouts. The Raleigh Technium line from the same time period also sometimes have vertical dropouts or very short horizontal ones. (In addition to being generally crummy frames).

    Providing a general list of brand names suitable to conversion is admirable (and ambitious) but probably doomed to failure.
    +1
    It was off the top of my head with minimal research. Spoonfuls or even bags of salt should be taken.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Soo__Fuego's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    979
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nishiki bikes are also a decent road bike to convert and my areas CL is flooded with them.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've got a 74 Bianchi Rekord and I have struggled for two years to restore it (with time period correct parts) or to rebuild it as a SS/FG. Problem is it's made of HI-10 Gaspipe. and while it would weight ~20lbs as a SS/FG I already have a Wabi Classic so I'm not really sure to do with it.

  20. #20
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    13,133
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Huffandstuff View Post
    I'd just avoid French bikes all together, the old peugeots are a nice ride but still can be a pain with the odd sizing and you can get the Swiss threading which means a Phil wood bb.
    You can usually keep the original cups and just find a spindle to work with whatever crank you pick.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Huffandstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    I got bikes.
    Posts
    1,034
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    You can usually keep the original cups and just find a spindle to work with whatever crank you pick.
    Yeah, my pnw mindset always goes towards sealed bearings, but while it's possible to just swap spindles, the OP doesn't even have a bike so why intentionally handicap yourself. Around here a Peugeot that isn't rotted out goes for 150-200 bucks anyways, I found an old fuji/miyata sister bike for forty bucks.

    Plus if he's feeling with cottered cranks, he'll have to buy French cotters and have to find a shop with a press.

    TL;DR : I'm still bitter about the old motobecane I owned.

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    it's actually getting kind of frustrating... seems like everyone on craigslist thinks old equals vintage and collectible.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6,241
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
    +1
    It was off the top of my head with minimal research. Spoonfuls or even bags of salt should be taken.
    You did better than I would have. I just mean to point out that there are probably exceptions to every brand a person could think of.

    The short answer, IMO, is to find a frame with long horizontal dropouts, that weighs less than 10 pounds, and that isn't French. (Useful FG bikes can be made with all of those, but weeding them out helps prevent headaches for the inexperienced - we all remember our first French bike...)

  24. #24
    Junior Member SLY300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    My Bikes
    Aventon Mataro, '11 Leader Kagero, '87 Puch Mistral
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have an '87 Puch Mistral I converted pretty easily. The drop outs aren't completely horizontal, but getting proper chain tension is very manageable. Most Puch frames are the same way from what I've researched.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •