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Looking for a classic steel frame bike

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Looking for a classic steel frame bike

Old 02-13-20, 05:14 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
...a free bike that doesn't fit is no bargain
That is, unless it has some great parts on it!!!
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Old 02-13-20, 05:19 PM
  #27  
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Yes, if parts can be salvaged. I was so tempted to convert my Nashbar Sport RX to a fixie, but all the components are original ( with the exception of the seat ) , so I decided to sell it instead of cannibalize it. Better to play around with a cheap fixed gear than strip a nice old chromoly classic.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:48 AM
  #28  
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You mentioned 3-speeds. Here's a thread to skim if your interest leans that way:

For the love of English 3 speeds...

However, the laid-back ethos of the 3-speed might not be what you're looking for, although the limited gearing range is probably adequate for your flatlands. Most 3-speed riders stick with the stock sized wheels (usually 26 x 1 3/8") and don't bother with 650B conversion as the 27"/700C crowd does; that would be a lot of trouble and expense for very little difference. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-14-20, 01:43 PM
  #29  
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Thanks for the reply Thumpism. I'm doing more research and taking my time looking to see what pops up on the local Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. I think I have leaned away from the British bikes due to wanting to have a bit more options. I am selling a few more of my bikes to clear garage space and maybe use that money and some tax refund money to open more possibilities.
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Old 02-14-20, 03:20 PM
  #30  
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Gino71 , may I ask why no 26" wheeled bikes? Old '80s and '90s steel mountain bikes are cheap to buy and very versatile. There are C&V threads to show off your drop bar conversions and to show off your upright urban conversions; people have made some pretty amazing bikes.
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Old 02-14-20, 03:31 PM
  #31  
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Korina, honestly ... I don't know why. I have seen some very good deals locally for old Specialized Rockhoppers and HardRocks.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:48 PM
  #32  
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Rock Hoppers are the bomb. I found this one last year for $65 needing a bit of gear work and then did a tire swap to some nice plush city tires. Smooth ride

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Old 02-14-20, 08:57 PM
  #33  
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Wow! That is gorgeous!
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Old 02-15-20, 01:58 AM
  #34  
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I know it's not what you're looking for, but here's my stylin' sturdy steel street steed. Those are 26" x 2" road tires; very cushy.

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Old 02-15-20, 07:07 PM
  #35  
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That is an amazing shade of purple ( don't tell me it's gold ) on the Rockhopper!
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Old 02-15-20, 08:39 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Gino71 , may I ask why no 26" wheeled bikes? Old '80s and '90s steel mountain bikes are cheap to buy and very versatile. There are C&V threads to show off your drop bar conversions and to show off your upright urban conversions; people have made some pretty amazing bikes.
Originally Posted by Gino71 View Post
Korina, honestly ... I don't know why. I have seen some very good deals locally for old Specialized Rockhoppers and HardRocks.
...for the sort of "gravel" biking you describe, especially with your smaller size, an old steel, non suspension MTB is your easiest (and probably cheapest) alternative.

Here is a 3 speed Raleigh Sports that I set up to ride the gravel levee tops here where I live. All the British 3 speeds are similar, but to get access to slightly wider tires you need to build wheels with 26" rims and get brakes with the reach to fit the smaller new rims. And like someone already said, most of the Raleigh 3 speed bikes have quirky threading and cottered cranks. Early mountain bikes are the most bang for your buck, and some of them are excellent in the quality of frame materials and components.

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Old 02-16-20, 09:43 AM
  #37  
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Early, "Rigid" mountain bikes give good bang for your buck:

1991 Gary Fisher Montare. Added bar, grips, saddle, blinkie, used fenders

1988 HKII as found, + new saddle

1988 HKII current setup: New Saddle, VO Porteur bar and new grips

1987 Hoo Koo E Koo + Co-Op Saddle + Trial setup with reversed Nitto Bar, but will likely go with upright bar. Still to mount: Used Fender Set and new 2" Maxis

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Old 02-16-20, 12:58 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Gino71 View Post
That is an amazing shade of purple ( don't tell me it's gold ) on the Rockhopper!
It's even cooler than that; it's a fade. Darker in back, lighter in front. Unless you're in full sun, it looks like a trick of the light.
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Old 02-16-20, 05:21 PM
  #39  
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There is a nice Niko on the Tampa craigslist for $85. Go to the E-Bay Craigslist thread.
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Old 02-17-20, 08:45 AM
  #40  
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I would look for a '10 speed' from Miyata, Fuji, or Nishiki, or other Japanese made brands... Centurion? Others? Preferably late 70s or Early 80s.
Also Raleighs from the same era should have mostly standard threading and sizes for replacements.

Lots of old bikes will have 27" wheels which are usually pretty straightforward to replace with 700 wheels, which adds a bit of tire clearance so you can run 35 or 38mm tires for mixed surfaces without a problem.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:17 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I would look for a '10 speed' from Miyata, Fuji, or Nishiki, or other Japanese made brands... Centurion? Others? Preferably late 70s or Early 80s.
Also Raleighs from the same era should have mostly standard threading and sizes for replacements.

Lots of old bikes will have 27" wheels which are usually pretty straightforward to replace with 700 wheels, which adds a bit of tire clearance so you can run 35 or 38mm tires for mixed surfaces without a problem.
Good recommendations including those 27” to 700C thoughts, but don’t overlook the 12-speed Miyatas (912, 712, and later 312’s). The paint jobs on those Miyatas seem to hold up extremely well, judging from my own ‘79 912, my daughter’s, friends’ and many others of that brand that come through where I volunteer rebuilding bikes.
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Old 02-17-20, 02:58 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Good recommendations including those 27” to 700C thoughts, but don’t overlook the 12-speed Miyatas (912, 712, and later 312’s). The paint jobs on those Miyatas seem to hold up extremely well, judging from my own ‘79 912, my daughter’s, friends’ and many others of that brand that come through where I volunteer rebuilding bikes.
Thanks for the suggestion. When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, we called all drop-bar bikes '10 speeds', even after 12 became the standard mid '80s.

Other brands to look for are:

Bridgestone
Raleigh (often not as nice as the Japanese made bikes but still solid platforms for building fun bikes)
Trek (older lugged frame construction is more desirable IMO)
Paramount (Schwinn's Japanese (later Taiwanese) made performance line)
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Old 02-19-20, 09:10 PM
  #43  
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Those Gary Fisher bikes are gorgeous! What model is that first pic?

Thanks so much for all the replies! I truly appreciate it!
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