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Suggestions: Vintage Steel Racing Road Bikes Around 600-700$?

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Suggestions: Vintage Steel Racing Road Bikes Around 600-700$?

Old 06-29-16, 07:03 PM
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shuru421
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Suggestions: Vintage Steel Racing Road Bikes Around 600-700$?

Hey guys, I am in the market for a new(but vintage) racing road bike (EXCITING I KNOW! loll). However, i have been online looking both craigslist/ebay to just come up short on my search on several occasions..

My road bikes;
A Fuji Gran Tourer, MY FIRST ROAD BIKE. Bought it for $90, tuned it up for another $110, rode it for several months till i got really into biking (which didn't take long) and sold it for my next bike..
A Columbus Pink Faggin built on Campagnolo components. Awesome ride.
Then was my O'Brien Columbus SLX frame with 7400 Full Dura-Ace components. Came across this bike built on Dura-Ace components online, researched this "Obrien" brand and found myself talking to the man himself. He said the frame was Columbus SLX and the reason for 1 brifter and 1 downtube shifter combo was that it was the 'norm' back then.

All of these bikes were a blast in their own way, however, the Faggin i found to be the most enjoyable ride. FAST, zippy handling, solid, and felt it was the heaviest, but not in terms of weight..not sure that made sense. Both the Fuji and the Faggin i managed to be able to PUSH and KEEP pedaling harder downhill, but the SLX had a peak to the pedaling downhill or in any scenario in general (could be due to the higher gearing?). At times, i would even 'lift' the front-end of the SLX when i would aggressively push myself on the bike. So with all this said, Im looking for some suggestions, preferably something that would ride something similar to the Faggin, something i could go FAST in.

Am i looking in the wrong places? Should i be looking for a specific frame (columbus sl, tsx?) Specific gearing?
ANY suggestions would be great help..even listings in the range? Thank you.

Last edited by shuru421; 09-05-16 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 06-29-16, 07:11 PM
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oh forgot to add, I'm a 56cm, but open to suggestions on sizing also. 5'11.
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Old 06-29-16, 07:31 PM
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If you are not in a hurry, you could find a top level Italian/Brit/US made bike with Campy NR equipment. I would look at 80's vtg bikes like Medici, Bottechia, etc. For that price you might luck into a Colnago, Guerciotti or many others.
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Old 06-29-16, 07:33 PM
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Just offered this one on the For Sale forum...

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Old 06-29-16, 07:54 PM
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.
....the whole Italian thing gets overblown at times, but most (maybe all) the Italian small producer frames I've had from the later 70's, 80's, and even into the early 90's have felt roughly equivalent to me in terms of how they feel and handle.

You can spot the geometry you want once you've looked at enough of them.

You can even find some under the radar bikes that were built in a similar vein, like Palo Alto's and the old Windsor Pro's.


I don't think that any of them will feel better to you that that Faggin, but some will feel a little "quicker", some more solid. It's knd of a taste thing, and there are plenty of options at that price point on my local CL if you're willing to do some maintenance and replacement of consumables.

If you were happy on a tres tubi Faggin, and less happy on that SLX frame, you probably ought to either go with Columbus SL, or Reynolds 531, or maybe look at some of the OS tubing frames in the later 80's, early 90's period, right before steel got less popular.

Last edited by 3alarmer; 06-29-16 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 06-29-16, 08:08 PM
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I mean, without knowing your market we don't really have much to go on. A Bob Jackson just showed up on my local CL though, and I wish it were in my size.
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Old 06-29-16, 08:20 PM
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I am student of Classic & Vintage. All I know, I got from here. With that said, I be paying $50 to $180 tops. And I got some humdingers, to me that is.. No, don't have any Italian Jobs, they and the Paramounts demand big money, I be looking for deals. Some of my prizes, my initial buy was $50, I purchase a pristine 88 Centurion Expert for $90,and the seller asked did I want Look or 105 Toe Clips..

Slow down and learn..
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Old 06-29-16, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
....the whole Italian thing gets overblown at times, but most (maybe all) the Italian small producer frames I've had from the later 70's, 80's, and even into the early 90's have felt roughly equivalent to me in terms of how they feel and handle.

You can spot the geometry you want once you've looked at enough of them.

You can even find some under the radar bikes that were built in a similar vein, like Palo Alto's and the old Windsor Pro's.


I don't think that any of them will feel better to you that that Faggin, but some will feel a little "quicker", some more solid. It's knd of a taste thing, and there are plenty of options at that price point on my local CL if you're willing to do some maintenance and replacement of consumables.

If you were happy on a tres tubi Faggin, and less happy on that SLX frame, you probably ought to either go with Columbus SL, or Reynolds 531, or maybe look at some of the OS tubing frames in the later 80's, early 90's period, right before steel got less popular.
so would all SLX frames feel the same? as far as weight? would SLX frames all weight the same?
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Old 06-29-16, 08:27 PM
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Old 06-29-16, 09:06 PM
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it seems like you already have 2 vintage steel racing bikes that are in the 600-700 range: have you tried vintage CF or AL? might be fun to give it a whirl.

my next bike won't be steel.. i have enough of them. something like this however...

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Old 06-29-16, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
If you are not in a hurry, you could find a top level Italian/Brit/US made bike with Campy NR equipment. I would look at 80's vtg bikes like Medici, Bottechia, etc. For that price you might luck into a Colnago, Guerciotti or many others.
SR/NR bikes are not that great. If you like slow, imprecise shifting when the chain skates across the freewheel before engaging, then go for it. If you want a wall hanger, go for it. SR and NR look great.

Most of my bikes are indexed Shimano Ultegra and Dura Ace. Why? Because the shifting stone cold works.

Those are groups though.

Frames are a whole other can of worms, and that's really what we are talking about. Find a nice frame, and the world is your oyster.

To the OP, find a frame by a small batch maker who has the world champion stripes: Landshark and Spectrum come to mind. Those are the bikes that you are looking for.
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Old 06-29-16, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Wow that is killer!
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Old 06-29-16, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post
so would all SLX frames feel the same? as far as weight? would SLX frames all weight the same?
...no, not really. A lot of hos a bike "feels" when you ride it goes back to the makers use of the materials. A lot of labeled tubesets are modified in the building. It's not uncommon for a frame guy to use a beefier seat tube in a larger frame size to add some stiffness, the stays are often ovalized, some times straight gauge chainstays are used.

It's not something you can just make blanket statements about, at least not and be accurate.

I just gave you some generals. They're pretty general intentionally. But if you want something that feels rock solid going fast and pushing the pedals, in general you want the slightly thicker gauges of tubes in your frame. Depending on your weight, size, riding style, ability to dial 400 watts, etc.

Steel is a flexible material. All the hammer guys are on CF now.
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Old 06-29-16, 11:46 PM
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Have you thought abouyt something from the UK like a Holdsworth or Claud Butler? French maybe? So much out there, If you haven't already found something...
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Old 06-30-16, 01:59 AM
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any opinions on a smaller size bike? perhaps even a 54cm? would that make a huge difference for the worse or could i actually, just quite possibly, be ok with that?
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Old 06-30-16, 02:13 AM
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Nah, size ´up´ on vintage, if anything.

I´d be looking at a Merckx. I have a Corsa Extra SLX and it rides amazingly well:

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Old 06-30-16, 07:15 AM
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Mid 1980s Raleigh Competition, Fuji Teams and Bianchi Bravas are stiff. With your budget you can have one of each. Others to consider if you prefer stiffness to fine and light are a lower end Serotta and as already recommended above, an OS frame, Paramount PDGs come to mind.


Although not steel, I'd also recommend looking into a Cannondale Criterium and any number of better titanium bikes.
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Old 06-30-16, 08:14 AM
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Agree with above about going larger vs smaller on vintage bikes. The only bike I experienced the "lift" of front end you mention was on a Bianchi with Dedaccai(sp?) tubing that was ovalized at BB, and it was about 2 Cm smaller than my ideal frame size. Was quite stiff with no flex.

Comparing SL to SLX:
On my SL frame I could feel some flex during sprints & hard climbing. My SLX frame is stiffer. Also used to have a Miyata Seven Ten that had their version of SLX type tubing and it was a stiff but light weight frame, so conclude SLX frames are stiffer. I have seen De Rosa SL frames with triangular stiffeners brazed onto seat tube at bottom bracket to help with this flex, so don't rule out SL frames.

By the way, when you get into your seventies like me, frame stiffness isn't much of an issue. Don
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Old 06-30-16, 12:15 PM
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I haven't ridden a world of bikes like some here, but have had SL, 531, Tange 1 and 2. Probably the best bike I have had so far in terms of smooth power transfer is my Davidson Impulse, which is Prestige OS tubing.
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Old 06-30-16, 01:39 PM
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Ive come across a Davidson bike, but does not mention the type of material for the frame nor does it mention the model name. All i know its that it was from 88-89? also that it has a sticker on the downtube, and it looks like its starts with a C. Any Davidson start with a C to your knowledge? Ive googled, and only came across other models, aka Impulse. etc.
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Old 06-30-16, 01:40 PM
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Anyone heard of Biondi at all?
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Old 06-30-16, 03:24 PM
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Old 06-30-16, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post

All of these bikes were a blast in their own way, however, the Faggin i found to be the most enjoyable ride. FAST, zippy handling, solid, and felt it was the heaviest, but not in terms of weight..not sure that made sense. Both the Fuji and the Faggin i managed to be able to PUSH and KEEP pedaling harder downhill, but the SLX had a peak to the pedaling downhill or in any scenario in general (could be due to the higher gearing?). At times, i would even 'lift' the front-end of the SLX when i would aggressively push myself on the bike. So with all this said, Im looking for some suggestions, preferably something that would ride something similar to the Faggin, something i could go FAST in.

Am i looking in the wrong places? Should i be looking for a specific frame (columbus sl, tsx?) Specific gearing?
ANY suggestions would be great help..even listings in the range? Thank you.
Don't look for a tubing brand as the sole criteria. It's just an ingredient. That's like picking a restaurant based on the cuts of meat they serve.

I can't tell from your description what you are looking for. I have no clue what a "peak to the pedaling" is. It seems you are not sure either. I'd guess that you like the geometry of the Faggin. The O'Brien is SLX and so it's technically a better bike, but perhaps you don't like the equipment, or it has really steep angles, or something.

If you are so "aggressively" pushing yourself that you are lifting the front wheel, you have poor form and should work on being smoother. It's wasted energy. My coach would have made you ride the rollers.
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Old 06-30-16, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
SR/NR bikes are not that great. If you like slow, imprecise shifting when the chain skates across the freewheel before engaging, then go for it. If you want a wall hanger, go for it. SR and NR look great.

Most of my bikes are indexed Shimano Ultegra and Dura Ace. Why? Because the shifting stone cold works.

Those are groups though.

Frames are a whole other can of worms, and that's really what we are talking about. Find a nice frame, and the world is your oyster.

To the OP, find a frame by a small batch maker who has the world champion stripes: Landshark and Spectrum come to mind. Those are the bikes that you are looking for.
NR and SR bikes can shift very well used within their ranges, and with correct chains. You also have to know how to shift them. But they don't offer teh slickness of indexing nor even of friction drivetrains with Shimano 600 or Maillard ARIS clusters.

I haven't had chains skating with correct chains and freewheels with teeth in good condition.
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Old 06-30-16, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post
Anyone heard of Biondi at all?
Dick Biondi, AM radio DJ on WLS radio in Chicago, about 1965 to 1975. He made bikes, too???
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