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Any Love for Vintage Chrome Road Bikes?

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Any Love for Vintage Chrome Road Bikes?

Old 04-04-20, 09:50 AM
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gstein
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Any Love for Vintage Chrome Road Bikes?

After re-visiting the same CL ad for weeks, I felt compelled to take a look at an all-chrome bike. Pictures from owner weren't great, but thought the bike had potential. And, to be honest, I've always wanted to own a chrome road bike for no particular reason other than I think they look cool when polished up.

After taking a look at the bike, I couldn't resist buying it as the price was right. Condition of bike frame and components were better than expected (Shimano 105 1050 groupset throughout). Still trying to determine what type of bike it is as there are no decals or headbadge, other than the lugs are BCM/Bacoma. Headbadge has a sticker that says "Official Licensed Product CART" and has a graphic of an Indy Car and checkered racing flag. No information whatsoever on the web regarding what that sticker means or who made it.

BTW - frame is steel, chrome plated.

Anyways...back to the main my question...thoughts on chrome plated road bikes...any love for the older chrome bikes? I've done a bit of research but surprisingly have not found a lot of information. Seems like main topic related to chrome frames is the potential safety issues with the integrity of the frame once it is chromed (although there are plenty of "experts" that claim that this is just a myth).
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Old 04-04-20, 09:52 AM
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Pic assist





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Old 04-04-20, 09:53 AM
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I think most of us love a nice chrome frame.
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Old 04-04-20, 09:56 AM
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Nice curve to the fork. Unusual brake lever mounting location.
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Old 04-04-20, 09:59 AM
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You must be joking, we love chrome bikes, they are the bomb.

Schwinn made plenty of chrome Paramounts, I have a frame, Cinelli sold chrome SC's back in the day.

Several BF member have stunning examples of Raleigh Pro's, Rene Herse's and there are many others.

The only real drawback is the weight it adds and many bikes were chromed then painted so they weigh even more.

Chrome is oldschool, that makes it Classic and Vintage all day long.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:08 AM
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I have two chrome bikes. How much do I like them? Well, I have owned one of them longer than any other bike .....40 years and counting.

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Old 04-04-20, 10:24 AM
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Have started cleaning up the bike...a few more pictures...amazed at how well steel wool can make the chrome shine.








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Old 04-04-20, 10:25 AM
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OK, let's roll out the bling!

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Old 04-04-20, 10:39 AM
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@gatein, That frame worries me. Why does the fork have a hole on the right blade next to the fork crown? Not a typical spot for a drainage hole. Also, it appears to have a crack at the rear dropout on the end of the drive-side chain stay. Hopefully my fears are unfounded but I would check over the frame.

Last edited by gaucho777; 04-04-20 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
@gatein, That frame worries me. Why does the fork have a hole on the right blade next to the fork crown? Not a typical spot for a drainage hole. Also, it appears to have a crack at the rear dropout on the end of the drive-side chain stay. Hopefully my fears are unfounded but I would check over the frame.
Agree on the hole in the fork, although it was chromed over so its been there a long time so.....

The end of the CS looks like a poor crimp job and by extension a crappy weld intersection but again has been that way for a long time.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:59 AM
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Good catch on fork holes. Are you concerned with inner hole or outer hole, or both? I have no idea why the holes are there.

I think the potential crack in the chain stay was nothing more than a bad camera angle. Here’s another picture of same location.



Last edited by gstein; 04-04-20 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 04-04-20, 11:00 AM
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Everybody needs a chrome bike.

Unfortunately they don't turn up very often in my area, so when one did, close to my size, I jumped at it. Other than the chrome it's a pretty average frame, so I decided to build it with stuff from the bottom of the parts bin. It became my ode-to-the-unloved-but actually-pretty-decent-parts bike. Shimano Altus and Tourney galore!

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Old 04-04-20, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gstein View Post
Anyways...back to the main my question...thoughts on chrome plated road bikes...any love for the older chrome bikes?
Oh, they're okay....



Looks like you got a nice one

Enjoy it! I sure like mine!
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Old 04-04-20, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Everybody needs a chrome bike.
Correct.

Torpado1 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 04-04-20, 11:15 AM
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Hope I can get mine looking half as nice as the those already posted. Really like the chrome fenders...chrome on chrome, great look!
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Old 04-04-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by gstein View Post
Good catch on fork holes. Are you concerned with inner hole or outer hole, or both? I have no idea why the holes are there.

I think the potential crack in the chain stay was nothing more than a bad camera angle. Here’s another picture of same location.


The outer hole is unusual, the inner is a pretty standard vent hole. The CS seems fine from your pic, I would proceed with caution.

We need an expert opinion, paging Doug Fattic and JohnDThompson
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Old 04-04-20, 11:26 AM
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Mmm, chrome:

1966 all-chrome Raleigh Sports
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Old 04-04-20, 11:43 AM
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Is there another hole on the other fork blade? If so, they were probably for mounting a front rack.
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Old 04-04-20, 11:47 AM
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I kinda liked the all chrome ones that came my way, over the years...


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Old 04-04-20, 11:49 AM
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Yes, confirmed there is the same type of hole in same location on the other fork blade.
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Old 04-04-20, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
@gatein, That frame worries me. Why does the fork have a hole on the right blade next to the fork crown? Not a typical spot for a drainage hole. Also, it appears to have a crack at the rear dropout on the end of the drive-side chain stay. Hopefully my fears are unfounded but I would check over the frame.
I am more concerned about the missing nut on the front brake

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Old 04-04-20, 01:25 PM
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I am in the school that says examine your old chrome frames carefully. I have seen a Cinelli, a Bottechia, and a Paramount, all chromed, rusting from the inside out. This was, however, in a coastal California community where there is a certain amount of moisture in the air for a good part of the year, so perhaps not such an issue in drier climes.

Nice looking bike. The cart sticker has to do with cart racing, not with bicycles.
Brent
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Old 04-04-20, 03:11 PM
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Good to know head badge sticker has nothing to do with the bike. Wanted to remove it but thought I better keep it there in case it was original and actually was a bike label.
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Old 04-04-20, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
I am in the school that says examine your old chrome frames carefully. I have seen a Cinelli, a Bottechia, and a Paramount, all chromed, rusting from the inside out. This was, however, in a coastal California community where there is a certain amount of moisture in the air for a good part of the year, so perhaps not such an issue in drier climes.Brent
It's good advice for any old frame. Check carefully and treat with Frame Saver or similar.
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Old 04-04-20, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
The outer hole is unusual, the inner is a pretty standard vent hole. The CS seems fine from your pic, I would proceed with caution.

We need an expert opinion, paging Doug Fattic and JohnDThompson
I'm not an expert on chrome but I think the extra hole was for draining chemicals out of the inside after the chroming process. The inside hole was for venting hot air out during brazing. It would be easier to drill a 2nd one for draining then close up the 1st hole so the chroming chemicals wouldn't get in . That is just a guess on my part.
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