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Old bespoke frame on the Craigs. Worth it?

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Old bespoke frame on the Craigs. Worth it?

Old 05-31-19, 06:10 PM
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Old bespoke frame on the Craigs. Worth it?

Custom frame by a Florida builder - sent him an email . Seller is trying to ask $200 for the pile - I think it's way too much, especially as that seatpost is probably stuck. At a cheaper price, I'd be tempted to swap the bits onto another frame to flip and give this some more effort. Those are NOT Campag high flange hubs; the cutouts are squared off.

Also a bit on the short side for me - looks like a 55cm and I usually can take 56cm at the smallest - but looks like a long top tube, so may be doable. Worth farting around with for a better price, or pass?





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Old 05-31-19, 07:39 PM
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My basic rule on a bike like this is the value of the parts have to exceed the asking price. I'd be hard pressed to offer half of asking price.

I've sometimes given the seller parts back to get a more realistic price. Once it was the wheels (mismatched). Seller was in LOVE with the wheels. So I said, OK, you keep the great wheels, how about $xx?
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Old 05-31-19, 07:46 PM
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Custom builder is a plus, but a big minus for me is that this looks like a 70's frame designed around centerpulls, with a cable hanger coming off the seatpost binder bolt. I hate that arrangement on any bike, much less a custom. Yeah, you can run sidepulls just to avoid this, and I've done it myself. But this is one instance where I like having a seatpost binder bolt not tied to the rear brake and not having to institute a workaround. Others might not be so bothered by it.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:08 AM
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...there are a lot of custom frames bouncing around from that era with no name recognition for the builder. Some of them are really nice riding bikes, and some of them are not. So it's kind of a tossup on whether it's worth a lot of trouble. But I confess I have a soft spot for custom built frame s from back in the early days of the American frame making renaissance, and have taken the gamble at least six or eight times.

None of them were terrible bikes, and a couple of them were very interesting to ride. Like anything, I guess it's time and interest, and where you want to put it. I think you paint, right ? So if the paint is something you do yourself, it might be worth the trouble even if you can't get decals.

I have a Michael Johnson bike with no decals (but it's from later than yours in the American frame building timeline). It's a sweet bicycle. I have another made by a local builder in the Bay Area who only made and sold a few hundred frames. It's kind of advanced in some of the experimentation with mixed frame tubing and geometry that is sort of sport touring/ light touring. Still trying to decide if I like the ride.

Both of them required some time and effort to reconstruct and equip.

The Richard Sachs frame I bought here off the CL from a Cat racer didn't require much consideration, but any frame that's been raced is a leap of faith, IMO
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Old 06-01-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
My basic rule on a bike like this is the value of the parts have to exceed the asking price. I'd be hard pressed to offer half of asking price.

I've sometimes given the seller parts back to get a more realistic price. Once it was the wheels (mismatched). Seller was in LOVE with the wheels. So I said, OK, you keep the great wheels, how about $xx?
Seller knows jack about it. Can't even spell bicycle correctly.

Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Custom builder is a plus, but a big minus for me is that this looks like a 70's frame designed around centerpulls, with a cable hanger coming off the seatpost binder bolt. I hate that arrangement on any bike, much less a custom. Yeah, you can run sidepulls just to avoid this, and I've done it myself. But this is one instance where I like having a seatpost binder bolt not tied to the rear brake and not having to institute a workaround. Others might not be so bothered by it.
It's got some reach, that's for sure. Tektro's nutted dual pivots have made this a non-issue, IMHO.

I noticed that it has a very 1970's look - but it is probably a mid-1980's frame by this guy:

https://sites.google.com/site/bicycl...owski/about-me

Seems as if his style was about 10 years behind the era, but note how many braze-ons are on this thing that are incongruous with 1970's clamp-on hardware.

Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...there are a lot of custom frames bouncing around from that era with no name recognition for the builder. Some of them are really nice riding bikes, and some of them are not. So it's kind of a tossup on whether it's worth a lot of trouble. But I confess I have a soft spot for custom built frame s from back in the early days of the American frame making renaissance, and have taken the gamble at least six or eight times.

None of them were terrible bikes, and a couple of them were very interesting to ride. Like anything, I guess it's time and interest, and where you want to put it. I think you paint, right ? So if the paint is something you do yourself, it might be worth the trouble even if you can't get decals.

I have a Michael Johnson bike with no decals (but it's from later than yours in the American frame building timeline). It's a sweet bicycle. I have another made by a local builder in the Bay Area who only made and sold a few hundred frames. It's kind of advanced in some of the experimentation with mixed frame tubing and geometry that is sort of sport touring/ light touring. Still trying to decide if I like the ride.

Both of them required some time and effort to reconstruct and equip.

The Richard Sachs frame I bought here off the CL from a Cat racer didn't require much consideration, but any frame that's been raced is a leap of faith, IMO
I hear you on this. I think a frame by my local buddy Mike Terraferma probably holds more clout than the Kozlowski (David, if you're reading this, my sincerest apologies), but the Kozlowski frame has my interest for some reason.

I don't paint. If I did, I'd have that Raleigh Pro Mk.IV top tube finished by now

It's interesting you mention experimentation. The book Japanese Steel discusses how Yoshi Konno's more radical 3Rensho show bikes were just that - experiments. They sold well at the end of the bike shows though...

-Kurt
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Old 06-01-19, 03:28 PM
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...you should teach yourself to paint. With the stuff available now, like two part epoxy clear coat in a spray can that you mix by pushing a button that opens a separate compartment and has a 24-36 hour pot life in the can, painting has come much more within range of the average home hobbyist.

You can set up a small portable twin tank compressor with a pretty decent spray gun and water filtration on the line from the stuff available at Home Depot and Harbor Freight that does a credible job of laying on color coat and primer. You can even buy self etching primer in spray cans now.

Decals are still gonna run you around 40-50 bucks though. There's no way around that unless you want to take the time and trouble to lay out and make them yourself...which is more than I'm up for. On the upside, these decals are probably not available, so you save money.
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Old 06-01-19, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...you should teach yourself to paint. With the stuff available now, like two part epoxy clear coat in a spray can that you mix by pushing a button that opens a separate compartment and has a 24-36 hour pot life in the can, painting has come much more within range of the average home hobbyist.

You can set up a small portable twin tank compressor with a pretty decent spray gun and water filtration on the line from the stuff available at Home Depot and Harbor Freight that does a credible job of laying on color coat and primer. You can even buy self etching primer in spray cans now.

Decals are still gonna run you around 40-50 bucks though. There's no way around that unless you want to take the time and trouble to lay out and make them yourself...which is more than I'm up for. On the upside, these decals are probably not available, so you save money.
Only if that hardener is iso-free. I refuse to expose my body to isocyanates - let someone else kill their respiratory system.

That said though, are you saying to lay down color without hardener, and a clear with hardener? Wondering if I could get away with this touching up the top tube on my Raleigh Pro Mk.IV.

As a matter of fact, the single-color downtube decals on the bike would be super easy to cut out on my plotter. Font looks like it might already exist digitized too. Unfortunately, I happen to think it's visually atrocious - but I would be on the fence about refurbing it against its originality.

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Old 06-01-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Only if that hardener is iso-free. I refuse to expose my body to isocyanates - let someone else kill their respiratory system.

That said though, are you saying to lay down color without hardener, and a clear with hardener? Wondering if I could get away with this touching up the top tube on my Raleigh Pro Mk.IV.
...I use a respirator mask that's listed as good for this stuff, and I paint in the backyard. Bikes are not paint intensive, and it's pretty easy to stay out of the plume moving around the bike.

If you clear over color with regular enamel, you'll get something about as good as the original paint on a Pro.

If you use the stuff in the spray can that's two part as the clear, it's harder and more resistant to damage as long as you apply it within 24-48 hours of the color. I've had good results with House of Kolor colors and the stuff branded as Spraymax Glamour as the clear.
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Old 06-01-19, 06:11 PM
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...oh yeah, let me add it's a learning curve thing. So experiment on something you don't care about first, like some conduit or other steel tubing so you get a sense of spraying something that is tubular in an even coat. the 2 part clear coat stuff is like 20 bucks a can, and there's enough to do a frame and fork. I don't experiment with stuff that costs 20 bucks a can.

But to buy 2 part clear in cans to mix and spray yourself is costly, because of the minimum amount you have to buy. Bo unless you're doing a number of bikes it's not cost effective.
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Old 06-04-19, 08:20 PM
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for what it's worth , Rustoleum makes acrylic lacquer spray cans in a few colors - black,white, red, and , I think, yellow plus clear. They are easy to work with and dry fast making it possible to do the whole job in a day or two. Their enamels are also acrylic . They have 2 clear enamels, one that is clear that is specially for automotive finishes. They take longer to dry but there are lots of nice colors.

I have painted a number of bikes with both enamel and lacquer and with good prep and careful application I get pretty good results.
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Old 06-05-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
...I noticed that it has a very 1970's look - but it is probably a mid-1980's frame by this guy:

https://sites.google.com/site/bicycl...owski/about-me

Seems as if his style was about 10 years behind the era, but note how many braze-ons are on this thing that are incongruous with 1970's clamp-on hardware...
The site says frame building commenced in 1977. The bicycles fits the very late 1970s time period perfectly. Brazed-on shift lever bosses, bottle bosses and top tube brake cable tunnels were available on high end bicycles of the era. When I bought my Scapin in 1974, it had the shift lever and bottle bosses but not the brake tunnels. However, the latter were available in 1975. At the time, clamps for these items were still being used on high end models like the Peugeot PX10 and Raleigh Pro, form the mass volume manufacturers, but if you went to the small volume and custom builders you could get these as brazed-ons fittings. While the recessed brake nuts were starting to appear on some Italian frames of the very late 1970s, in my experience many of the USA builders didn't adopt them until the early 1980s, when Campagnolo started offering it as option on their brakesets.

Not being familiar with the builder's work and having to rely on a single picture, this is a very hard call for me. I don't see anything special in terms of components, that would justify the price. However, frames by lesser known builders do have an appeal. It's nice to know you have something that is uncommon or even rare. At the very least they're excellent conversation pieces. It's really unfortunate you don't know the tubeset. If it's local, I'd definitely be paying a visit to check out the workmanship first hand, try to ascertain the tubeset, confirm the fit and verify that the post and stem aren't frozen. Maybe that will help to sway you, one way or the other. At the very least, you'll educate yourself a little more on the brand.

Last edited by T-Mar; 06-05-19 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 06-08-19, 07:47 PM
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He advertises on CL in San Diego fairly regularly. From a current listing:

I'm David Kozlowski, professional frame sculpture. I co-sculpted this Nobel frame with my friend, mentor and teacher, the late Phil Fisher of Albany, N.Y. in 1977. He did most of the work, but I learned a lot. As a matter of fact I started sculpting frames professionally right after completing this one. I road raced professionally for 20 years. I have only put about 1000 miles on this frame though, she has many thousands of miles left in her, she's barely broken in. I was awarded the silver and bronze medals in individual pursuit and points races in the 1995 USA SE Regional Championships at the Brian Piccolo Velodrome (Ft.Lauderdale, Fl.) She's become a mantle piece. That's not why I sculpted her. I built her to race! She is a very special frame completly hand, tailor and custom made for me. This frame is extremely stiff. She has been reinforced throughout. Measurements are center to center: ST 58.5, TT 55.5, CS 40, WB 38". 76 degree parallel angles. I'm not looking to make any money on this frame I just want to find her a good home. So for $450. It's the frame and fork, I'll include the Alle alloy (Italy) HS, only. I built these record attempt wheels in the early 80's. For sew-up tires, Martano 28 hole 260 gr. Rims Bullseye road or track hubs. $200. Campy Record track crank 165mm×48, English BB $200. Campy SL Record track pedals w/ Alle (Italy) alloy toe clips and Cinelli Binda Extra staps that have 2 layers of leather and a steel mesh between them, $75. I will sell the wheels or the pedals separately now, but the crank is with or after I've sold the frame only. I'd be happy to give a lot more details about the special construction of the frame and wheels. Go to bicycleframesbydavidkozlowski.com. for contact info. Thanks
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Old 06-10-19, 08:48 AM
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I haven't seen any of his frames in person, but he's tried hawking one or two of his frames on the local Craigslist here in San Diego for quite a while. ... Not to be too harsh, but I wasn't impressed. Poor, out of focus photos, that still showed what looked like pretty crappy brazing, and poor paint. That, and really weird text about being a bicycle sculpter.

Maybe his older ones were better??? But I wouldn't buy one without seeing it in person.
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