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Suggestions for my next C&V bike?

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Suggestions for my next C&V bike?

Old 03-20-21, 11:33 PM
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cyclic_eric
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Suggestions for my next C&V bike?

Id like it to be steel, but geared for climbing, from approximately the 1980 1995 era. It's a flexible date range. Probably 7-speed downtube shifters, or maybe Ergo/STI 8 or 9-speed.

For reference, here are a few of my recent bikes, each ~54cm

2014 Cannondale SuperSix Evo. Proficient, with convenient 11-speed shifting, but doesnt feel as nice as my steel rides. Stiff, easy to ride fast, slightly nervous but in-control. It has been relatively expensive, with some recent carbon upgrades.
97.5cm wheelbase, 73/73.5 angles front/rear, 45mm fork offset, 40.5cm chainstays


~2010 Mercier Kilo TT. This one cost me one-tenth the price of that carbon bike but is one of the best handling bikes Ive ridden. If you suddenly want to turn, it follows you, sure and smooth. But, it is only fixed gear or single speed. Since all my rides involve climbing, I sold it last year. That was probably a mistake.
97.4cm wheelbase, 73/74 angles front/rear, 28mm fork offset (unverified), 40.1cm chainstays.


1984 Gitane TdF. I love this bike, very comfortable for any distance, and stable at speed. I set almost as many personal records on it as on the Cannondale. But sometimes a little too stable. Ill never sell it, but Id like a bike with quicker handling.
99.7cm wheelbase, 74/74 angles, 40mm fork offset, 41.2cm chainstays.


Lately, as you can see, I tend to opt for frames that are a bit on the small side.
Thanks for your time,
Eric
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Old 03-21-21, 01:10 AM
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I start by picking the groupset I want then build the rest around it, finding a frame of the same period etc. Sometimes I've been lucky and found a whole 'survivor' bike other times I've built up from bare frame.

I currently have an early 90s 8 speed 6400 STI groupset that needs a frame. Previous builds have been Campy Super Record, Campy C Record with Deltas, Shimano 6400 7 speed 1st release, Shimano 7403 8 speed STI.

I'm thinking 7200 Dura Ace next...
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Old 03-21-21, 01:25 AM
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IMO

(A) Yes, you should have kept the Mercier and I am decidedly non-fixie, single speed, etc.

(B) Expand your date range to include most of the 70's, say 72 and on.

(C) Paramount, Cinelli or Bianchi SC, Raleigh Pro, Motobecane TC/CT, Peugeot PX-10, Gitane TDF or any bike boom era custom

builder, any of these can be retrofitted to later drivetrains, etc. although here many would not do so.

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Old 03-21-21, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AUPedla View Post
I start by picking the groupset I want then build the rest around it, finding a frame of the same period etc. Sometimes I've been lucky and found a whole 'survivor' bike other times I've built up from bare frame.

I currently have an early 90s 8 speed 6400 STI groupset that needs a frame. Previous builds have been Campy Super Record, Campy C Record with Deltas, Shimano 6400 7 speed 1st release, Shimano 7403 8 speed STI.

I'm thinking 7200 Dura Ace next...
I too like certain groupsets. I particularly like Campagnolo's monoplanar brakes, even if they weren't particularly good. What I'm wondering about in this thread is, what are the great bikes from the classic era that are good handlers?
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Old 03-21-21, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
IMO
(A) Yes, you should have kept the Mercier and I am decidedly non-fixie, single speed, etc.
(B) Expand your date range to include most of the 70's, say 72 and on.
(C) Paramount, Cinelli or Bianchi SC, Raleigh Pro, Motobecane TC/CT, Peugeot PX-10, Gitane TDF or any bike boom era custom builder, any of these can be retrofitted to later drivetrains, etc. although here many would not do so.
(A) Sad, but true
(B) Didn't older frames come with even longer wheelbases? Didn't brazing / lug making abilities improve as the bike boom went along? Yes, if a bike came originally with 5-speed, I'd want to upgrade to 10/11 speed and keep the original parts.
(C) The thing is, which ones had the best/quick handling?
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Old 03-21-21, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
I too like certain groupsets. I particularly like Campagnolo's monoplanar brakes, even if they weren't particularly good. What I'm wondering about in this thread is, what are the great bikes from the classic era that are good handlers?
Hello,
My regular riders range from the late 60s to 2010+ and focus on English & USA road bikes. Some racing, but mainly sport touring. Personally, Id look at US builders that produced some reasonable volumes like Ritchey, Eisentraut, etc.
Cheers,
Van
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Old 03-21-21, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
(A) Sad, but true
(B) Didn't older frames come with even longer wheelbases? Didn't brazing / lug making abilities improve as the bike boom went along? Yes, if a bike came originally with 5-speed, I'd want to upgrade to 10/11 speed and keep the original parts.
(C) The thing is, which ones had the best/quick handling?
Quick handling is not my thing so hopefully others will chime in, you may want to start another thread specifically for that.

Mass production technology improved in leaps and bounds that led to 10's of 1000's of very well made steel frames and then much of the cookie cutter crap.

Some of the best builders went to Japan to get them sorted out, after that the sheer volume and quality was amazing, many of those frames will be around forever.

The hand made frames were some of best frames ever made, many were very well made, the process has not changed much while the tools and tech has improved, the process is still basically the same as it has always been. Many builders did their best work with the support of the factories and produced in fairly large numbers.

Some of the bikes had longish chainstays but many still had good quick handling from angles, fork rake and other tube length.

Also, plenty of custom builders specialized in racing frames so there are many of them with very quick handling.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:33 PM
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Thanks merziac. Of the bikes you recommended, the Bianchi SC looks like it may be a quick handler.
Though I'm judging by the distance from the rear wheel to the seat tube, and the fork rake, which I don't know are the best way to look at things.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:47 PM
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I raced and rode a 1991 team miyata. That is a top end bike and it handles superbly. That would be on my short list of bikes to track down.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:51 PM
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A mid- to late-90s Italian steel frame, with Campy 9-speed or newer. Your Cannondale might struggle to get out of the shed.
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Old 03-21-21, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I raced and rode a 1991 team miyata. That is a top end bike and it handles superbly. That would be on my short list of bikes to track down.
Looks promising... are you talking about a bonded titanium one like this?
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Old 03-21-21, 03:38 PM
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Steel. It will be easier to find. I was told by the rep that the frame was the same as used by the professionals in Europe. Who knows if that was true but it is a lovely frame. It wont be the lightest bike you own, but it is very stiff and responsive with splined tubing and investment cast lugs, fork crown (it's aerodynamic), and lugs. The bike is a rocket that handles well.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:32 PM
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If you want a quick handler, look for frames that have the rear wheel tucked in close to the seat tube, they generally have a steep-ish front end as well. Such as:
3 Rensho
Davidson Impulse
Cannondale SR (not steel, but still)
Tesch 101

Id also strongly recommend a late 80s Ironman, as they had a little quicker geo than the 85-87 series.

Any lf the above framesets can be made to accept modern components.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:43 PM
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You asked, so here are a couple you might want to consider:


Best, Ben
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Old 03-21-21, 08:57 PM
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That blue Cinelli is gorgeous!
And very practical too, I could put a rack on the back and use it to shop for groceries...

A Tesch 101 sounds excellent. Though not too many have ridden one - any of you?
All the bikes suggested are pretty darn rare. It is cool to be able to run a modern gear train. Perhaps Athena...
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Old 03-21-21, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
That blue Cinelli is gorgeous!
And very practical too, I could put a rack on the back and use it to shop for groceries...

A Tesch 101 sounds excellent. Though not too many have ridden one - any of you?
All the bikes suggested are pretty darn rare. It is cool to be able to run a modern gear train. Perhaps Athena...
C_E,
Blasphemy pure blasphemy., if I could afford one of those someone would be getting my groceries.....
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Old 03-21-21, 11:53 PM
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An Ironman from the late 80's does look tempting - I like the traditional paint scheme compared to others of theirs. While searching for examples, I came across these bikes in other threads...
Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
Here is a more representative photo. I think maybe I'll move the 100mm Cinelli stem and (26.4) bar from the Circuit to the Ironman and then put an 80mm stem on the Circuit.
I'll measure it, but does anyone know what diameter the Ironman's Nitto B115 bar should be? Recommendations for an 80mm stem for it? What about recommendations for a 27.0mm seatpost upgrade per RobbieTunes' advice?
Maybe I spoke too soon when I said I found one ride "notably superior" to the other.

Though James Dak appears to know the topic, here's his Schwinn Circuit:
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Then there's my beloved 87 Schwinn Circuit sporting nice black Athena 11 speed components:

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Old 03-22-21, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Steel. It will be easier to find. I was told by the rep that the frame was the same as used by the professionals in Europe. Who knows if that was true but it is a lovely frame. It wont be the lightest bike you own, but it is very stiff and responsive with splined tubing and investment cast lugs, fork crown (it's aerodynamic), and lugs. The bike is a rocket that handles well.
I did find this one, a 1990, in the "Just how big Is the Miyata Cult?" thread...
Originally Posted by zmensing View Post
My "new" Team Miyata. 1990, 58 cm, all original components. So happy to have finally found it!

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Old 03-22-21, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
I did find this one, a 1990, in the "Just how big Is the Miyata Cult?" thread...
Hey, that's my bike! I can confirm that it is indeed a lovely bike. Still can't believe I found one in such good shape.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:35 AM
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The best handling drop handlebar bikes I own on the racy side of the spectrum

'86 DeRosa
'80 Mondia Super
'89 Falcon
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Old 03-22-21, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
An Ironman from the late 80's does look tempting - I like the traditional paint scheme compared to others of theirs. While searching for examples, I came across these bikes in other threads...
Though James Dak appears to know the topic, here's his Schwinn Circuit:
Well I think you are looking in the right time frame for sure. Late 80's gives modern spacing in most cases so you don't need to deal with cold setting the rear and making sure everything is aligned. I just sold my Miyata 914SE but it seemed every bit a quality frame. For that matter, I was surprised by how nice the Miyata 312 was I refurbished for a friend last summer. I'd agree that mid to high range Miyata's are good choices and throw in the Fuji's. I've had a Team and Club and both bikes rocked. Very beautifully built with fine components. I had a slew of 87 Schwinns and not a dog in the bunch, every bit as good as my European bikes in terms of performance on the road. That Circuit is the bike I've used to set several local Strava sprint KOMS over a couple of thousand other people. Which really only means the bike is capable of moving out just fine. Sold it last year to the mechanic that built it for me as he'd been lusting after it every since.

Like mentioned above, look for a Davidson. They seem more common out there on the west coast where he built them. My impulse is easily in the top 3 of all my bikes, it's a rocket yet comfortable. The Italian built pre-Trek Lemonds rock too.

Of course there's always the chance of finding a hidden gem in the local classifieds. My David Kirk built Fishlips came that way, as well as the Martelly built rocket I have, and even a Serotta Nova Special built up with NOS 10 speed Chorus.


David Kirk built this frame, found locally for under $300


Found locally for under a couple of hundred.

Over the years turned into this.

Languished on local ads priced at $500. Only used part was the headset. Saddle still had the $252 price tag on it. Look deep for deals like this that others pass up. This was a new build by a bike mechanic with a bad back that couldn't ride it.


If your, catching anything from the thread it should be that there are a ton of quality bikes in the range you're considering. Shop for the best value deal and build up from there.

Too bad you're so far away as I am downsizing and have about 1/2 dozen bikes listed locally. Just not up for the whole shipping thing and prefer to have the buyer see my bikes and know for sure totally what they are getting. Sometimes my pictures make a bike looked better than they really are.

The one I'm finishing up right now is a prime example of what you should be able to find locally. This one came to me late last year and was an impulse buy. Saw it listed locally and could tell it was a quality frame. Some quick research indicated it was probably Columbus SL tubing. It had been recently serviced but also still a bit of a mess. Owner's grandkids had been using it. For now I've sorted out the wobbly wheels, replaced old housings and cables, better tires and tubes, new stem, seatpost, saddle, modern handlebars, better looking brake levers and rewrapped the bars. In the pics the paint looks good but it had a lot of chips and wear in it. I mixed up some red paints trying to get a match for the sparkling red original paint. Looks good from a few feet but up close you can easily see where it was touched up. So right now I have a quality built (likely Italian contracted) Columbus SL tubed bike with mostly Dura Ace and Shimano 600 parts, Campagnolo rims, and a slew of new cockpit bits ready to roll for not a whole lot of money. If after a few test rides it is a quality handler it would be super easy to properly spread the rear to 130 (seems to be spaced about 128), throw on some modern STI shifters with a matching 130 wheel and cassette and Bob's your uncle. A lot of the old RD's can cover a modern cassette.


This kind of picture makes the bike look good but up close you can see the paint issues.
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Old 03-22-21, 08:29 AM
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So many great suggestions here, truly amazing builds. Just want to throw out there that if you find something that has potential, but maybe isn't finished to your liking, there's always the option to refinish.

I had this 1986 Miyata 912 frameset powder coated by Groody Bros., and am very pleased with the results. Built up with a Campy 3x9 group sourced from a member here, Fulcrum wheelset from Merlin, and it is a fantastic bike. Link:

Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos

Check out the Retro Roadies thread for tons of inspiration.
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Old 03-22-21, 02:00 PM
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An orange bike is always worth re-sharing:
Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Saddle arrived today and I put it on. Temps in the 20's now and supposed to get over a foot of snow starting tomorrow, so no test ride yet. Here's a pic though.
Unfortunately, (fortunately) BFisher's and jamesdak's bikes are a little too large for me
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