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Advice in selecting a retro bike.

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Advice in selecting a retro bike.

Old 10-02-20, 08:22 AM
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the_don
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Advice in selecting a retro bike.

I just sold my full hi-modulus carbon, Di2 Ultegra hydro disc brake bike and want to get something retro to ride on for a bit of a change, I miss my old NJS track bikes from when I was in Japan and so want to get something similar (doesn't have to be lugged steel, but I do love the look of quill stems). Plus, I am in Belgium at the moment and there are lots of old bikes here.

Points I am looking for are:
  • A nicely built and designed frame.
  • Rides smooth.
  • Not too flexy.
  • Brifters, probably Campagnolo, because they look and feel great.
  • Internal cable routing for the rear brake.
  • Build doesn't have to be period correct (I might put some deep section carbon wheels on it).
Here are a few bikes I am considering:

A Colnago with Athena grouppo (seems a bit over priced at Ä 1350) https://www.2dehands.be/a/fietsen-en...058d1faeba90f4


This Vitus Seven seems like a really nice build and the price and condition seem great, and the asking price seems ok at Ä 450. It is Aluminum which might be a bit flexy in narrow lugged tubes https://www.2dehands.be/a/fietsen-en...058d1faeba90f4


This last Colnago also seems really nice (and is hot pink), the asking price seems a bit more reasonable also at Ä 875 https://www.2dehands.be/a/fietsen-en...f4f8b9c5b7a618
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Old 10-02-20, 09:16 AM
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Of the three, I like the pink Colnago.

I think a mid nineties Miyata would also float your boat, run a little less for price. Basso made some nice stuff.

Lots of choices.

Last edited by Mr. 66; 10-02-20 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 10-02-20, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Of the three, I like the pink Colnago.

I think a mid nineties Miyata would also float your boat, run a little less for price. Basso made some nice stuff.

Lots of choices.
Yes, that pink one does tickle my fancy.
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Old 10-02-20, 12:38 PM
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Assuming all three are within your sizing limits -- and I get the impression you know your stuff -- the pink one is in the middle of that range as well. No-brainer here. Pink Colnago for the win.
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Old 10-02-20, 02:49 PM
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Looks like the first Colnago (with Athena) is a touch bigger frame, and the stem on the pink Colnago is perhaps longer? Fit is everything, as I’m sure you know.

The Vitus might be too flexy if you’re a powerful rider. But it might also have a nicer ride if the local roads in Belgium are rough. It’s deep section rims might not be as good there, however.

Presumably the pedals shown are either fine with you, or not important since you’ll switch to something compatible with your shoes.
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Old 10-02-20, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Looks like the first Colnago (with Athena) is a touch bigger frame, and the stem on the pink Colnago is perhaps longer? Fit is everything, as Iím sure you know.

The Vitus might be too flexy if youíre a powerful rider. But it might also have a nicer ride if the local roads in Belgium are rough. Itís deep section rims might not be as good there, however.

Presumably the pedals shown are either fine with you, or not important since youíll switch to something compatible with your shoes.
I usually ride a 56cm top tube frame, both the colnagos are listed as being 56cm. The Vitus is 54, which is a size I have ridden the the past and really enjoyed as it lets me tuck in tighter and have a more aggressive position on the bike. I used to ride track so like a low bar position.

I am flirting with the idea of going neo-retro and putting deep carbon wheels with a modern groupset and crankset. I have an Ultegra 6800 crankset sitting in a box here, but I think a modern Campagnolo would be better.

I have a few sets of pedals so yeah, thatís not a problem. The roads are crap here, not only that but they paint sidewalks red and call them bike lanes, so often we are forced onto them, which is annoying because pedestrians have nowhere else to walk, so they expect us to ride together, never mind all the curbs and bumps that you typically encounter with a sidewalk. The few times I have ridden on the road instead of them I have invariably been treated to long blasts of car horns and angry drivers pointing to the red sidewalks.

things are better when you reach the countryside, although even then the roads arenít usually the smoothest I have ridden. The worst though are the cobblestone country roads. There is a big hill (the only hill?) on which one of the roads has a lovely fast long descent with a nice and smooth recently resurfaced road that lasts for about 100m, and just as you build up a good speed, turns into about 500m of cobblestones. The first time I took it slow, it was bumpy as hell. The second time I encountered it (by accident as I really had wanted to avoid it) I decided to try going flat out to see it would be any better....

it was not....

it was definitely worse.

Last edited by the_don; 10-02-20 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 10-02-20, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by the_don View Post
I am flirting with the idea of going neo-retro and putting deep carbon wheels with a modern groupset and crankset. I have an Ultegra 6800 crankset sitting in a box here, but I think a modern Campagnolo would be better.
Steel frames with modern groups make excellent riders.
85 Tommasini with 6800
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Old 10-02-20, 06:43 PM
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Raleighís from the 2010-2018 time are nice sleepers with good tubing like Reynolds 631 and modern Campy parts.


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Old 10-02-20, 06:57 PM
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Of those three, that pink 'Nago would be what I'd pursue. I say this being an inveterate Raleighphile, but it seems you know your style of riding, and frankly, what American in their right mind would question the judgment of someone from the Netherlands or Belgium when it comes to cycling?

3speed - them's a lot of spacers on that stem. Wouldn't doubt its a blast to ride, but ... aesthetics.
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Old 10-02-20, 07:30 PM
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Oh man, the Bridgestone RB-1 has Ishiwata tubing. Not internally routed, however. 130mm rear spacing. Rides very nicely, the geometry is awesome (for me anyway).
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Old 10-02-20, 07:41 PM
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Colnago with Tange tubes? That pink bike is pretty but keep looking. Find the frame and then put Mechanical Ultegra on it.
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Old 10-02-20, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Colnago with Tange tubes? That pink bike is pretty but keep looking. Find the frame and then put Mechanical Ultegra on it.
Nothing wrong at all with Tange tubing, unless the label means more than the product. Surprised you're not locked into Campagnolo too.
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Old 10-02-20, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Nothing wrong at all with Tange tubing, unless the label means more than the product. Surprised you're not locked into Campagnolo too.
Nothing wrong with Tange. I have more Tange miles over the last couple years than any other tubing. But, if I had 2k to spend on a retro brifter Colnago, it would not be Tange. Yes Label. No big deal.
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Old 10-02-20, 10:50 PM
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Find the cheapest frame with forged fork ends and tange, reynolds or columbus tubs. Strip off the paint and make it yours. Get ahold of someone with a cricut and add your own decals to say whatever you want. Add your favorite parts and go. Its great fun
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Old 10-03-20, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by klasse View Post
Oh man, the Bridgestone RB-1 has Ishiwata tubing. Not internally routed, however. 130mm rear spacing. Rides very nicely, the geometry is awesome (for me anyway).
I had a pristine one a few years ago, bought of a network engineer near me that bought it new and rode it a handful of times and kept in his garage for 20 years.

This just popped up for sale yesterday. Looks very interesting and already has the carbon wheels! https://www.2dehands.be/a/fietsen-en...f4f8b9c5b7a618



That pink Colnago does look wonderful though.
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Old 10-03-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Nothing wrong with Tange. I have more Tange miles over the last couple years than any other tubing. But, if I had 2k to spend on a retro brifter Colnago, it would not be Tange. Yes Label. No big deal.
see i'm the opposite, Columbus tubed Colnagos grow on trees practically, the Tange Ultimate ones are much, much rarer
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Old 10-03-20, 01:30 PM
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What do you guys think of this Barrosi? The seller says it is actually a Casati Monza. Could it have been repainted? i don't understand why it would have been. Any ideas? Maybe repainted???
I am planning on going to take a look tomorrow as a rarer frame is interesting.....

https://www.2dehands.be/a/fietsen-en...f4f8b9c5b7a618

The seller is a bit light on info:
  • Casati monza
  • Size 56
  • Campagnolo
  • Carbon wheels 50 mm made by zipp

He says it has Columbus Max tubing, I have never seen anything like the way that seat stay is finished at the top lug.











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Old 10-03-20, 02:46 PM
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I'd go for the Colnago, or whichever frame can accommodate the widest tires. For bad roads it's hard to beat latex tubes with at least 700x25 tires.

It makes so much difference that my steel road bike ('89 Ironman) with 700x25 Conti GP Classic skinwalls and latex tubes is more comfy on our rough roads than my long wheelbase Univega hybrid with flexy fork and 700x32 Conti Sport Contact II tires. The Univega is usually my most comfortable bike, but I recently put on the Conti Sport Contact tires and they're awful. Tough, puncture resistant, grippy in the wet, and ride like bricks. I'm gonna switch back to decent tires and risk the occasional flat. Life is too short to ride bad tires.
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Old 10-03-20, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Of those three, that pink 'Nago would be what I'd pursue. I say this being an inveterate Raleighphile, but it seems you know your style of riding, and frankly, what American in their right mind would question the judgment of someone from the Netherlands or Belgium when it comes to cycling?

3speed - them's a lot of spacers on that stem. Wouldn't doubt its a blast to ride, but ... aesthetics.
I get what you are saying. Itís a threadless bike so itís what has to be worked with. This is a endurance bike so the front is usually equal or a little higher then the saddle. Trying to get used to sitting up more then I am used to! Keep on going into the drops to get that lowered position I am so familiar with. The spacers are 5 mil and the stem is 40 mil for a total of 65m. Iíve contemplated getting one of the VO tall stack stems to clean it up and bring the reach down to 0 rise. It is a blast to ride! Looking forward to long miles on it.
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Old 10-04-20, 03:23 PM
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So, I threw everything out the window (primarily because all the bikes are about 1h drive away, so meaning a minimum 2h round trip. With a toddler and a pregnant wife, in a new country as expats, it is hard to be away for so long. So I decided to search very local area only and widen my horizons. I stumbled across this little number about a 10 min walk away, so ideal location wise.

My plan is to either clean it up a bit (add a quill stem and different bars) and see how it goes with the odd mix of Campagnolo and Dura-Ace parts on it, I will either keep as is, or go to town on it.

I found a 11 speed Campagnolo Record group for sale nearby that I can buy to build up. Also found a nice carbon 50mm wheelsext (10speed freebody) for really cheap too, So I can make a neo-retro build out of it for less than any of the other bikes I was looking at.

Anyway, I have never heard of this manufacturer before, but it seems pretty good based from the photos. Anyone ever heard of Cigno? A quick search and I now know that it is Italian for swan and they currently make a few bikes including a gold fixie....... weird, I didnít know the pope was a hipster.













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Old 10-04-20, 11:55 PM
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Congratulations. It looks nice and neat. Swap the brakes for some 7700 dual pivots to use while you ride around planning the major upgrades.
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Old 10-05-20, 12:26 AM
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Looks pretty good from here but I am very leery of any and all internal cable routing.

Last frame I had with it was a Merckx 10th anniversary, looked great, cable felt just fine, no detectable signs of trouble.

Stripped the frame down to ship, both ends were rust welded into the frame to the point of being scared to force them out.

Carefully dripped PB Blaster on and through until they came loose, got them out and the holes were pretty nasty.

Got them cleaned up ok but not sure how good they really were.

Like I said, pretty nasty, no way I would buy a frame without taking the cable apart and out for a serious looking at.
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Old 10-05-20, 08:49 AM
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Pink with modern groupset and tubeless tires. Ride is as good as my modern titanium bike with tubeless.


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Old 10-06-20, 08:41 PM
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Looks like I may be too late, but why choose? You need more than one...
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Old 10-07-20, 07:17 AM
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Go pink for PINK October with the Colnago
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