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  1. #1
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    New bike--help me identify it!

    I'm totally jazzed--just picked up a used touring bike on Craigslist for $100! It may be the best deal I've ever found, but I need your help identifying the frame manufacturer. Even if I end up ditching the frame, I got crazy value on the components alone and everything is in good shape and low miles.

    The bike is a lugged steel frame branded as a "Backroads Chimayo." From what I can tell, I think it's an older custom bike from Backroads tours. They have their own bikes for the tours they run and order them from various manufacturers. So, that's what I'm looking for--the original manufacturer who made the frame for Backroads. The tubing says Tange double-butted chro-moly, but that's all it says. I think the components were put on later since they don't match the vintage of a lugged steel frame. Please let me know if you have any info on this bike.

    Here's what it's sporting:

    Deore LX FD
    Deore LX RD
    Deore LX crankset w/ 48/36/24
    Shimano 7-sp cassette 12-28
    Shimano "light duty" bar end shifters
    Shimano 105 brake levers
    Shimano short reach caliper brakes
    sakae modolo handlebars
    sakae seatpost
    avocet touring saddle
    Deore LX hubs
    Arraya 700c rims

    P.S. I've tried to attach pics of it but am having a difficult time. It's probably due to the server change this weekend. I'll try to post pics again later, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    Looks like the bugs are worked out. Here are some pics of my new ride. Also, I noticed an embossed "C" on the inside of the rear drop outs. Any thoughts?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycoatl
    I'm totally jazzed--just picked up a used touring bike on Craigslist for $100! It may be the best deal I've ever found, but I need your help identifying the frame manufacturer. Even if I end up ditching the frame, I got crazy value on the components alone and everything is in good shape and low miles.

    The bike is a lugged steel frame branded as a "Backroads Chimayo." From what I can tell, I think it's an older custom bike from Backroads tours. They have their own bikes for the tours they run and order them from various manufacturers. So, that's what I'm looking for--the original manufacturer who made the frame for Backroads. The tubing says Tange double-butted chro-moly, but that's all it says. I think the components were put on later since they don't match the vintage of a lugged steel frame. Please let me know if you have any info on this bike.

    Here's what it's sporting:

    Deore LX FD
    Deore LX RD
    Deore LX crankset w/ 48/36/24
    Shimano 7-sp cassette 12-28
    Shimano "light duty" bar end shifters
    Shimano 105 brake levers
    Shimano short reach caliper brakes
    sakae modolo handlebars
    sakae seatpost
    avocet touring saddle
    Deore LX hubs
    Arraya 700c rims

    P.S. I've tried to attach pics of it but am having a difficult time. It's probably due to the server change this weekend. I'll try to post pics again later, but any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Hi,
    I bought a similiar Backroads touring bicycle from Backroads around 1992-1993.
    It was a cheap frame loaded with heavy components. Your component mix looks better, the frame similiar.
    I would guess it weights around 29-30 pounds. Components are probably worth much more than the frame.
    Wehen I tried to sell the Backroads, couldn't even get any offers when advertised at $100.
    Just my opinion,
    Lee

  4. #4
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    Lee, thanks for confirming that it's similar to one you bought from Backroads.

    When I bought the bike I figured it was a good deal even if I stripped everything off the frame and put the components on something else. A little more research has led me to believe the frame could be an early-80s Centurian, possibly a Pro Tour or a Comp model. The serial number format on the BB shell matches Centurians from that era and the lugs are the same. Not exactly a smoking ***, but helpful information as I decide whether to rebuild on the same frame when I tear the bike down to clean and lube everything. I'm just going to ride it for a week or so until I decide what to do. Having fun on it, though...

  5. #5
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    It's very pretty whatever it is. Heck, if you like it and it's comfy, you're all set

  6. #6
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    Ahh, a new Novrara Randonee costs $950 and weights around.....29 pounds! (size 59cm with rear stock rack on) I'm betting a Trek 520 is about the same.

    What you have there is a mighty fine touring bike for 10% of the cost of a new one. I'd gladly drive 3 hours to Portland and give you back your $100, if you still thing the bike is too heavy.

  7. #7
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    Thanks tacomee, but it's not too heavy for me so I'll be keeping it. It's funny you mention the Randonee--I was seriously contemplating buying one with my dividend and 20% off coupon, but right after I decided it wasn't feasible this year (I'm a law student, so $ is tight), I saw this beast on CL and made the call.

    I've been cleaning the bike and really dig it. The only items that shows any wear are the middle chainring and the brake pads. I'm just going to get it all tuned up and clean, true the wheels and throw new rubber on, replace the stem to lower and extend the bars a little, new bar tape, and new brake pads. Probably another hundred or so into the bike for all that and it'll be ready to tour.

    One question, though. I'm trying to decide between replacing the quill stem with another quill stem or a threaded to threadless adapter. Any thoughts?

  8. #8
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    First off, I'm a big fan of *old school* stuff. I like friction shifting, 21 gears of less, real leather saddles.....but I do believe that threadless headsets are much better than the old kind. Buying a new steel fork/headset/stem is cheap ($100 or so?) but it's a worthwhile upgrade. Touring bikes, because of the loads carried on the frount rack, need a good headset.

    With that said, If I was in your shoes, I'd be keeping the threaded one, looking for a cheap used quill stem and saving the money. It will still work.

    Good luck with the new bike and remember if there is trouble with it, you can fix it way cheaper than a new bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycoatl
    Thanks tacomee, but it's not too heavy for me so I'll be keeping it. It's funny you mention the Randonee--I was seriously contemplating buying one with my dividend and 20% off coupon, but right after I decided it wasn't feasible this year (I'm a law student, so $ is tight), I saw this beast on CL and made the call.

    I've been cleaning the bike and really dig it. The only items that shows any wear are the middle chainring and the brake pads. I'm just going to get it all tuned up and clean, true the wheels and throw new rubber on, replace the stem to lower and extend the bars a little, new bar tape, and new brake pads. Probably another hundred or so into the bike for all that and it'll be ready to tour.

    One question, though. I'm trying to decide between replacing the quill stem with another quill stem or a threaded to threadless adapter. Any thoughts?
    There's no point in going to threadless. Threadless was invented to make things more convenient for manufacturers. It just so happens to be marginally lighter and stiffer as well. On the other hand, unless you've got a lot of uncut steerer, threadless gives you a lot less height adjustment. On the gripping hand, you only need an allen wrench to adjust the bearing preload.

    All in all, it's a bunch of minor differences that usually don't justify the expense to "upgrade" in either direction.

    In fact, most of the differences that get hotly debated here are trivial and most of the "facts" used in the arguments are suspect at best.

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    There's no point in going to threadless. Threadless was invented to make things more convenient for manufacturers. It just so happens to be marginally lighter and stiffer as well. On the other hand, unless you've got a lot of uncut steerer, threadless gives you a lot less height adjustment. On the gripping hand, you only need an allen wrench to adjust the bearing preload.

    All in all, it's a bunch of minor differences that usually don't justify the expense to "upgrade" in either direction.

    In fact, most of the differences that get hotly debated here are trivial and most of the "facts" used in the arguments are suspect at best.
    While I wouldn't go to a threadless fork unless the original fork is jones, the threadless adapter makes sense if you are in need of adjusting the reach or height of the stem. Looking at the stem that is on the bike, it's rather high. The threadless adapter lets you experiment with lots of stems in various reaches and angles. And, let's face it, there are far more stems available in 1 1/8" then there are quill stems available. And the fact that most of them have two bolt face plates makes them easy to change.

    Get one and experiment (keep the threaded fork, however...for now ).
    Stuart Black
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