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  1. #1
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    Miele Umbria Elite bike frame - experience?

    I know this sounds like a troll question, but it really is not. I am building up a light touring/general commuting bike for a friend...this would be something that would be a viable alternative to a car for him + to take on 1 day camping trips and ideally be enjoyable to ride rather spiritedly when not loaded. I expect that I will build him something based on a 1980s steel touring frame (Trek, Fuji, Miyata, Univega, etc.), but looking around I saw these $49 dollar (well, actually $75) frames on Ebay using a brand name that 20-30 years ago was a quality brand. While I expect it's simply a name that's been purchased & slapped on a cheap frame, my question is whether anyone has any experience with these bikes. On the surface, it seems like a decent basis for building the bike, though I have to admit I'm not particularly fond of aluminum frames (despite owning a '80s Cannondale touring bikes that I do really enjoy) and I am particularly fond of the idea of rebuilding a semi-vintage steel frame. Anyway, here's a link to the auction & if anyone has any useful input or experience with these I'd like to hear it.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/56cm-Miele-U...item484d6217de

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    djb
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    just a thought, but the $100 nashbar touring frames (alu also) are at least a known quantity and you can find accounts of people building them up here (would be more money though, as forks are extra)

    so no, I dont have any experience with this, but one always wonders about ebay stuff about details, quality etc etc

  3. #3
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    interesting, I hadn't even thought about Nashbar. Coincidentally, I have a Nashbar Toure M/T (?) complete bike that I got from another friend to mine for parts. This one is a 59cm frame so it won't work for this build, but the fork may be useful (though it's 27"). Anyway, thanks for the suggestion.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Most decent frames will be fine , 80s will probably have a 126 rear dropout, the Biz has gone on to 130 and 135 now.
    so grabbing an off the shelf replacement wheel. better to have the spread 135.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    just a thought, but the $100 nashbar touring frames ...
    I'd choose a Nashbar touring frame + matching fork too before going with an unknown frame from an unknown ebay seller.

    Also, you should consider having your friend buy a complete bike instead of you building it from parts. It's difficult to build a decent bike for under $500 without recycling lots of components, and for $600 you can get a new, whole bike shipped from bikesdirect.com or nashbar. Your time building a bike from parts is probably worth more than a hundred bucks.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

  6. #6
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    Yes I would hope that my time is worth more.... that said I actually enjoy building up new bikes out of recycled parts. And most pacifically on vintage type frames. So it is kind of a hobby for me and I'm hoping that he will end up with a bike that has a bit of soul to it as well if that makes any sense. We do have budget to work with so if needed that can certainly be used. His initial request was to build him a bike in a similar vein to a Motobecane Grand Touring I rebuilt/restored a couple years ago...
    Sept2008_1-thumb-325x231.jpg....which, while that bike is not what I would call a 'real' touring bike, the same recipe could be applied to any number of viable touring bikes from the '80s. With steel (which is what we'd be using unless we bought a new bike/frame), cold-setting the rear & aligning dropouts is pretty simple, so I'm not concerned about the 126/130/135mm spacing as a roadblock. But, I'm digressing from the point of the post & I think I got some helpful feedback. I've got some ideas should I look at new bikes. I agree it's hard to justify a 200 or so for a bare frame&fork when you can get a complete bike for 600. The hope was (and, hey, remains) to find a complete older tourer for <200 and build/rebuild. I have a huge cache of parts to draw from and leftovers simply go back in or revive a basic bike that gets built up and sold to fund tires/cables/bar tape/etc.
    Last edited by fiataccompli; 12-14-12 at 06:27 PM. Reason: no real good reason, just thought of more to say

  7. #7
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    Just saw your post about this frame while doing a google search for specs on the original bike that these frames came from. I bought one on ebay just a couple of weeks ago for reasons similar to your own - as a project to build up over the winter using parts lying around with the goal of having a usable touring bike for me or my son to use when the warmth comes back.

    I haven't done much to it yet except pull it out of the box!

    I also originally considered the Nashbar touring frame but decided on this one because of the price and also because the seller batcavebicycles had other items I was interested in. They were good to deal with and were very fair on their combined shipping charges. The frame itself looks well made, undoubtedly made in China or Taiwan but as a Canadian I can at least appreciate the "Designed in Canada" stickers. It means that at least 1 Canadian hasn't had his job outsourced out the country yet! Also like you most of my past experience with bicycles has come from working on and riding old 10 speed type road bikes so it will be interesting to see how this hybrid style frame works out. I have no idea how to relate to the stated frame dimensions but at 5' 9" hopefully it will be ridable. The first question for me is what headstock bearings it will require.

    If you get one will keep you updated on my progress!

  8. #8
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    I considered frames from that eBay seller but couldn't get passed the shipping cost to Canada. I ended up going with a frame from zestbicycleshop (formerly WDCycleshop according to what I've seen). I haven't received the frame yet though. lol
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  9. #9
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    Yes the shipping charges to Canada are probably wicked. I live near the border so had everything shipped to a U.S. address and picked it up there. Haven't been able to find out much about the original bikes. It would be nice to know what original parts were fitted. I get the impression the frame may be from 2006 or around then. It should make a reasonable bike for local touring at least. It is set up for 3 water bottle cages and has front and back pannier rack mount points. Not sure if the supplied front fork is original or not. It can accept rear v brakes or a disk set up so that will also be something new for me to to play with.

  10. #10
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Original parts? If I wanted to make assumptions, then I could make a wild guess the bottom bracket is probably the standard 68mm BSA. The seatpost might be 27.2mm, seatpost clamp and front derailleur might be 31.8mm and the rear dropout might take 135mm rear hubs. And it looks like it takes a top pull front derailleur and a regular threadless headset. Whoops, I wrote all of this and looked at the eBay ad. Looks like I'm inline except the seatpost size is not given. I know some bikes take 113mm bottom brackets (but you can check Shimano documents if you get a Shimano crank).
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  11. #11
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    Miele Umbria Elite bike frame - experience?

    OP; Please don't be offended in advance.

    When trying to sort a bike for someone with a limited budget and vague/general requirements... well frankly there are a zillion complete bikes for sale at near give away prices (CraigsList, ebay, BikesDirect, Amazon, etc.) that doing a full build up from some misc frame sourced from somewhere misc place to a complete bike is a huge money pit and will consume a ton of your time and energy.

    Why not just find them a nice Trek or Giant or Schwinn bike in the $50-100 range (real easy to do) and get the friend out the door and riding today rather than standing around admiring your potential ability to source and assemble $1,500 worth of bit parts and stuff over the next 2-3 months...?

    Sorry, but just had to ask.

    /// Seeker; apologies for not seeing that you had already offer similar advice. Maybe redundancy will help achieve the goal....
    Last edited by ksisler; 01-11-13 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Fix a step on

  12. #12
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    OP; Please don't be offended in advance.

    When trying to sort a bike for someone with a limited budget and vague/general requirements... well frankly there are a zillion complete bikes for sale at near give away prices (CraigsList, ebay, BikesDirect, Amazon, etc.) that doing a full build up from some misc frame sourced from somewhere misc place to a complete bike is a huge money pit and will consume a ton of your time and energy.

    Why not just find them a nice Trek or Giant or Schwinn bike in the $50-100 range (real easy to do) and get the friend out the door and riding today rather than standing around admiring your potential ability to source and assemble $1,500 worth of bit parts and stuff over the next 2-3 months...?

    Sorry, but just had to ask.

    /// Seeker; apologies for not seeing that you had already offer similar advice. Maybe redundancy will help achieve the goal....
    I know you have your point of view on this but I once looked at a lot of sites looking for specific things. I wanted:
    #1. Friction shifters (because I don't want to go to the shops when I'm "en route")
    #2. Dynamo hub (because I don't want to buy a ton of batteries for lights)
    #3. V-brakes (I find disc too complicated and even dangerous to work on)
    #4. fixed front fork (I actually changed my idea about this but that's a long topic
    #5. aluminium frame (because they don't rust)
    #6. upright seating position

    Some expensive bikes have sort of race geometry, disc brakes, suspension forks or even a steel frame etc. I even considered taking parts off a complete bicycle and replacing them. But, some manufacturers skimp on certain details like putting a Shimano BB-UN26 bottom bracket instead of a Shimano BB-UN55 or a higher resistance dyanmo hub. What in the world is that good for if you wanted to go a long distance?

    True, if someone were to repeat what I did, they might think twice. But, I highly doubt anyone could ever duplicate the absurdity of what I did which was to change my ideas every now and then about what I wanted and ended up buying almost two of everything to complete one bike. I chose eventually to complete two bicycles. There are lots of other details I could cover. But, in the end even if my two projects are not complete yet, I'm a lot more excited about them than any old "manufactured bicycle" with a mixed bag of parts I don't want. I also prefer plastic pedals despite all the comments I've read everywhere about them. And I wanted to choose my own parts for certain things like having tires with reflective sidewalls or sealed headset etc.

    Finally, there are A LOT and trust me, a lot of new old stock out there either on some online stores or eBay that sell below retail. Bike24 sells entire groupsets for a lot less than people might think.

    EDIT: I used friction shifters as an example. My other project is going to be with a mountain bike frame that has eyelets for a backrack and takes a suspension fork. And I assume people with experience know what they want even when I laughed at the idea of someone getting grip shifters and U-brakes.
    Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 01-11-13 at 03:30 PM.
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  13. #13
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful and on topic input. Anyway, the Miele is out as an idea and I'm probably gonna find a Surly Cross-Check and do some relatively minor mods (for instance, he wants a flat bar setup) to suit his preferences. I'll indulge the "why not do it the 'easier' way" comments by simply saying I actually enjoy building/wrenching projects & the creative challenge of the assimilation of bits that might not ordinarily go together in any production or mainstream sense. We're actually trading (a few bikes in exchange for returning one that fits the bill for what he wants better), so I have a reasonable budget to work with and in part it's a favor. Believe it or not, there are people who enjoy the 'hunt' aspect of building/restoring/etc. mechanical stuff and I'm one of those people...so, rather than continue growing my own collection of bikes, I enjoy helping friends out with the hunt & some reconstruction (often with the aid of trade/parts from my crazy collection of bikes and spares). Anyway, thanks all for the input. Doesn't really matter what route we take to get to the same end - in the saddle & hopefully helping some friends get in & stay in the saddle as well!

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