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Bikes for bike nerds

Old 08-02-16, 11:38 PM
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Bikes for bike nerds

I'm flailing away at the keyboard tonight -- 3rd thread

Anyway ---

Bikes for bike nerds -----

I've been on an irrational lookout for a decent De Rosa for a while and it made me think --- DeRosa, Colnago, Pinarello, Cinelli -- Paramount,(& Waterford), Rivendell
-- These are all well established and lusted after marque's -- so much so that an average guy knows the name or has heard it somewhere-- a bit like Rolex -- a lot of name recognition


I just lost out on a nice Grandis on ebay and it made me think ---- what are some of the other builders out there that a guy should keep on his radar?

A recent poster showed us a beautiful Rossin - and Tommasini is always a name to know -- Hetchins - etc

But what is an under the radar marque that still delivers above average value for the price?
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Old 08-02-16, 11:49 PM
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A number of Japanese companies made great bikes but are underappreciated. Panasonic is one that comes to mind, not because the company lacks name recognition, but because most people would think of consumer electronics or other department store goods instead of bicycles. In addition to their own bikes, Panasonic also built frames for other companies, and some of those bikes are also underappreciated. I'd love to take a Panasonic-built Schwinn Prologue for a spin, for example.
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Old 08-02-16, 11:53 PM
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I've had really good luck picking up vintage Treks lately on craigslist. I'm currently fixing a 1978 Trek TX 900; the late 70s Treks are really nice hand built bikes.
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Old 08-02-16, 11:54 PM
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As a trackie first and foremost, Panasonic frames are still lusted after due to the NJS craze of a few years ago for sure
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Old 08-03-16, 04:59 AM
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Always keeping 3rensho in the periphery and lately find myself looking at vintage Looks.
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Old 08-03-16, 05:03 AM
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My primary focus is Canadian made vintage road bicycles and I can attest to the great quality of at least two makes - Marinoni...



and Cyclops...

Old School Cyclops...



Same bicycle, but upgraded with New School stuff...

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Old 08-03-16, 05:09 AM
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I was thinking this whole forum was about bike nerds, but the nerdiest bike nerd bike of all times has to be the Rosco Bubbe
People who have ridden the first dozen say they ride like a refined road bike.
And they look like a Flying Merkel


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Old 08-03-16, 08:16 AM
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There are literally thousands of small name builders from various countries who built lovely bikes worth owning. Rather than trying to get a list of names, I'd start trying to identify what makes some bikes special and others a step down. You can and will never know all of the names. Some stuff speaks to you, some doesn't.

Keep looking at the threads here...go through members bike photos if they have links to them.

I love the Italians as much, or more, than most...but there are a LOT of beautifully made Brits and US bikes built by some extremely talented guys. The Italian image of the solitary master craftsmen is actually better represented by some of the us builders. Sachs, Weigle, Redcay, Mooney, Bill Boston (my pick for most under appreciated US builder), Bruce Gordon, etc., etc.

As far as Italians - I am most partial to Marnati for a simple reason...thanks to CDM and slotcarr55, I have a custom Daniele Marnati. Some day I'll find the right vintage umberto Marnati. Some others I particularly like are Picchio and Galmozzi. CDM had a large influence on my taste. As far as Brits, I really like Ron Cooper and would love to own one. Ephgraves are incredible looking.


There are even people who like French bikes!

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Old 08-03-16, 08:21 AM
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for the sake of bike airbrush art, I would vote for Geliano
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickel...7627084302847/
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Old 08-03-16, 09:23 AM
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I recently bought a Batavus frame for $100 that I am absolutely thrilled with. Ciocc and Viner are very good Italian bikes, well-known to bike nerds, but not so much by the general public.
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Old 08-03-16, 09:31 AM
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I have no experience with them, but I'd love to get my hands on one, and they sure sound nerdy:
Home - Geekhouse Bikes

Hah! I failed to notice that this thread is in Classic & Vintage.

I think the well-known C&V brands are names such as Raleigh, Schwinn, and Univega. Names like Rivendell, Colnago, and Pinarello ARE bike nerd brands, in my book.

Personally, I want another Raleigh Alyeska, one size up from what I have now, or something a little higher up the Raleigh touring ladder, like a Kodiak. Or one of dozens of other bikes. :-)

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Old 08-03-16, 10:16 AM
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Rarely seen but truly something is a handbuilt Zunow. To see one up close and then later again because your eyes will miss stuff the first time around. They're amazing. Its going to be quite awhile before building it up, but at the moment its one frame that really excites me. Couldn't believe my luck on how acquired, needs some love yet is partly the fun of the hobby.

Its the unusual premium stuff and how these bikes 'find' us.

Good luck
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Old 08-03-16, 02:31 PM
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If bike nerds means people who know something about vintage bicycle value, I would like to offer this...

Fancy, high end top of the line well known collectable brands are easy to figure out. However, old is also pretty darn interesting and, as often as not, right now old is not commanding high prices. But that will change as more people get interested in vintage bicycles. Put another way...

I can't afford the top of the line collectable vintage bicycles offered at absurd prices these days. That does not mean that they are not worth it. It only means that I, and a lot of others like me, can't afford it. With that in mind...

Old and cheap is OK with me...



This guy cleaned up, so far, has set me back less than a six pack...



However, after approximately $40.00 CND, just for painting supplies, this is not what I was shooting for. I have to change the seat tube panel, before adding the art and clear coat...



I like being a bike nerd!
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Old 08-03-16, 02:53 PM
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Given what you're after, I think it's a mistake to look for bikes by name, because doing so ends up having you look at things whose values are high. Look for just bikes, and if you see a name you don't know, do some research to see if it's any good.
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Old 08-03-16, 03:34 PM
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Under the radar.....there are numerous if in 100's of British builders from the 40-60's that built incredible frames. Cruz ebay.uk or Hilarystone.com , find a frame, then go to classiclightweights.co.uk to read all about it. Prices vary, shipping to the states is not that costly and you'll discover some really great stuff.

I'm sure you could do the same thing with Italian and French frames.
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Old 08-03-16, 03:35 PM
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I don't have nearly enough C&V knowledge to answer the question of lesser known brands of exceptional value if that's the question, but I could offer my opinion about the related question of what makes a good personal bike collection. For me, the key is the word "personal." I think this is especially true if you don't have the budget to chase after the well known cream of the crop bikes.


If you got together a bunch of bike collectors and had them show their collections, what would stand out? If this forum is any indication, you'd see so many De Rosas, Pinarellos, Colnagos and Paramounts that they'd all blur together. You'd know they were nice and you'd probably want one, but any of those bikes would have to be in really amazing condition to stand out. On the other hand, you'd probably find a few bikes with little quirks that appealed to you and whose quirks were probably the reason the owner keeps them. Depending on how much you liked those quirks these might not even be bikes you would want to own, but you'd notice them. More than anything, though, the thing that you would likely find compelling about the whole exhibition would be the sheer variety and that variety arises from the individual way in which each collector has gathered bikes that appeal to him or her in a personal way.


I wouldn't really consider myself a bike collector, but I have a bunch of bikes and most of them are the product of a two-step process where I (1) find a bike that appeals to me in some particular way, and (2) tinker with it and make it into exactly what I want it to be. There's a kind of artistic expression in this and the ultimate result is that the bikes I have are bikes that I really like, even though they're all probably much more valuable to me than they are to anyone else.
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Old 08-03-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldguyonoldbike View Post
I recently bought a Batavus frame (...)
Pics, please!

In response to the OP: I like the unsung heroes. Master frame builders that built the very best, even championship-winning bikes but did not get the credits they deserved.

Many prize-winning bikes were not what they seemed to be. They were painted in sponsors' colors and badged as such, but more often than not, they were built by someone else: the rider's personal favorite frame builder. Because of the sponsor contracts and sums of money involved, it was in no-one's interest to disclose the actual frame builder, so many are still shrouded in mystery.

Builders that come to mind are Jan de Reus and Maurits Martens, who provided many a pro with a tailor-made unpainted frame, which would be ridden to glory in Flandria or Gazelle colors.

Some of those builders are better-known, because the cover-up wasn't always successful. This picture shows the 1978 world champion in his GAN-Mercier team livery riding a ... well, not a Mercier:



And my guess is that the Flandria that won the fastest ever Paris-Roubaix came from the same shop ...



... as Peter Post was an avid RIH fan as well:



When Post went on to become the manager of the TI Raleigh team he brought along his own frame builder for the team bikes: Jan le Grand. One reason being the track bike he'd built for a guy called Eddy Merckx:

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Old 08-03-16, 04:57 PM
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As I have said before,

Merz

Newlands

DiNucci

however the list is endless, so good luck.
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Old 08-03-16, 05:16 PM
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I view the Italian market a bit differently than some others here; basically you have your top level big names, and depending on the era, it's usually some combination of:

Masi
De Rosa
Colnago
Cinelli
Pinarello
Pogliaghi
Bianchi (a bit different based on their extensive range)

Then you have higher end Italians that are less well regarded or valued for a variety of reasons. Often they were the slight budget alternative, or more available during shortage, than the bikes above. They typically had less profile on the racing circuit and/or less influence on design. They often tried to capitalize on markets and trends pioneered by others.

Ciocc
Rossin
Most Ten speed drive stuff
Basso

You have the higher end stuff from companies that offer more of a full service line. Typically these are also less well regarded in the market than your top of market stuff. They also have mid-low level

Olmo
Atala
Bianchi
The Bozzi brands
Bottechia

Finally you have less well known, but highly respected smaller builders:

Galmozzi
Picchio
Grandis
Marnati
Marastoni

You have the bikes contracted for others - and often these are great bikes. The BMZ catalog bikes, billato brothers lemonds, etc.

Different people would compile these classes differently, and brands changed categories at different points. Frejus in 1937 is not frejus from 1978. It's not a hard science. Some brands are well known in Italy and hardly known here...like Olympia.

Touch a lot of them, ride a lot of them and buy what you want. A lot of the differences are debatable and subjective.
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Old 08-03-16, 06:38 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
I'm flailing away at the keyboard tonight -- 3rd thread

Anyway ---

But what is an under the radar marque that still delivers above average value for the price?

Sounds Italian, built in NY = Serotta
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Old 08-04-16, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
My primary focus is Canadian made vintage road bicycles and I can attest to the great quality of at least two makes - ]
As a fan of almost anything orange due to my alma mater (Oklahoma State ) -- I love that Marinoni !




Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
I was thinking this whole forum was about bike nerds, ]
LOL -- you have a very valid point




Originally Posted by RichSPK View Post
I think the well-known C&V brands are names such as Raleigh, Schwinn, and Univega. Names like Rivendell, Colnago, and Pinarello ARE bike nerd brands, in my book.

:-)
Agree a bit on Rivendell, but Colnago and Pinarello are as mainstream and traditional as Friday night football in Texas






Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I like being a bike nerd!
Me too --- now that i'm looking beyond the things I am familiar with , - I am learning lots


Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Sounds Italian, built in NY = Serotta
I thought Serotta would have been up there with Waterford and and a few others as high end well known domestic makers --- I've been shying away from domestic makes for personal use due to the longer top tubes I typically find on domestic stuff

My pick for an "under the radar" domestic guy would be Bilenky --- but his work is expensive from what I have seen
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Old 08-04-16, 12:00 PM
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Bilenky is a perfectly decent builder, especially with tandems, but I don't think his reputation is under or overstated. Some periods are better than others...there were some problems a few years ago. I've seen more impressive work and he's not really a fine details guy. His stuff is a bit more workman like. I like our tandem a LOT. He makes a beautiful, purpose driven touring bike.

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Old 08-04-16, 12:19 PM
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For as nice as they are, I feel like Davidsons are somewhat under appreciated - at least outside the PNW.
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Old 08-04-16, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I view the Italian market a bit differently than some others here; basically you have your top level big names, and depending on the era, it's usually some combination of:

Masi
De Rosa
Colnago
Cinelli
Pinarello
Pogliaghi
Bianchi (a bit different based on their extensive range)

Then you have higher end Italians that are less well regarded or valued for a variety of reasons. Often they were the slight budget alternative, or more available during shortage, than the bikes above. They typically had less profile on the racing circuit and/or less influence on design. They often tried to capitalize on markets and trends pioneered by others.

Ciocc
Rossin
Most Ten speed drive stuff
Basso

You have the higher end stuff from companies that offer more of a full service line. Typically these are also less well regarded in the market than your top of market stuff. They also have mid-low level

Olmo
Atala
Bianchi
The Bozzi brands
Bottechia

Finally you have less well known, but highly respected smaller builders:

Galmozzi
Picchio
Grandis
Marnati
Marastoni

You have the bikes contracted for others - and often these are great bikes. The BMZ catalog bikes, billato brothers lemonds, etc.

Different people would compile these classes differently, and brands changed categories at different points. Frejus in 1937 is not frejus from 1978. It's not a hard science. Some brands are well known in Italy and hardly known here...like Olympia.

Touch a lot of them, ride a lot of them and buy what you want. A lot of the differences are debatable and subjective.
I like, this list is pretty logical.

I would add Scapin. I would say second tier, very nice but not on everyone's radar.

Gianni Motta which is also not mentioned much but second or third tier. Not sure why its not popular but with the curved stays and the "R" model having the sock type lugs for the forks and dropouts, they are pretty nice and unique.
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Old 08-04-16, 01:24 PM
  #25  
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I am unabashedly in love with my Marinoni SLX Sport Tourer (Simonne Marinoni's name for it when I asked) that I've been riding for the last three years. I rode a Rivendell Rambouillet for more than a decade, but the arrival of the Marinoni made that one redundant in purpose (everyday riding with light touring capability). It is distinctly more fun to ride in every situation, and equally beautiful in a different way, IMHO.

Having just seen "Fire in the Frame" about Giuseppe (and his wife, Simonne) Marinoni, I have even greater appreciation for the quality that goes into his bikes, and his distinctive character. They (the bikes and the man) seem to embody the magic of Italian design and lugged fabrication, with North American finish quality. (They're built by him in Montreal.) Most Marinoni are shorter wheelbase and more "race oriented", and all are held in high regard by their owners.



(Click on the photo to see more)

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