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Affordable lighter steel road bikes with 27” wheels

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Affordable lighter steel road bikes with 27” wheels

Old 06-02-21, 07:59 AM
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Affordable lighter steel road bikes with 27” wheels

I’m curious what vintage drop bar road bike make/models out there can commonly be found very affordable, are lighter, steel, and still using 27” wheels? Any affordable gem brands/models out there from a performance perspective?
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Old 06-02-21, 08:03 AM
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Schwinn LeTour's are common, affordable, decent steel, and use 27"s
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Old 06-02-21, 08:05 AM
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Mid-range Motobecanes are fab. Something like a Grand Touring, or Grand Jubile, Grand Record. Great riding bikes, with 27" wheels standard, and they sold enough of them that you can pick one up for a couple hundred if you are lucky, and handy in servicing an old bike. And if you want to upgrade to 700c wheels at any point, just add longer reach brakes.
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Old 06-02-21, 08:06 AM
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27” wheels were almost entirely a steel frame pairing, save maybe a Cannondale touring bike early on.

they will sell most often at a discount due to the limited current tire choices.

maybe a USA market Motobecane, but then you have French threads and dimensions.

there is no 27” bike shop. Keenly look.
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Old 06-02-21, 08:13 AM
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The Schwinn Le Tour's as mentioned above could be a good choice. The trick is which Le Tour. The Super Le Tour had the 4130 steel "lighter" frame by the late 70's. The standard Le Tour did not get the 4130 frame until 83.
Watch carefully which 27 inch wheels, the steel rims are quite heavy and resist braking when wet.
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Old 06-02-21, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
The Schwinn Le Tour's as mentioned above could be a good choice. The trick is which Le Tour. The Super Le Tour had the 4130 steel "lighter" frame by the late 70's. The standard Le Tour did not get the 4130 frame until 83.
Watch carefully which 27 inch wheels, the steel rims are quite heavy and resist braking when wet.
My Centurion Pro-Tour weighs only 23lbs with wired-on Pasela clinchers and wide 27" wheels. Definitely a light frame, and with fairly sporting angles/wheelbase.

Some of the "clear-anodized" alloy rims were deadly when wet, at least before that shiny, hard anodizing layer wore off. I've deliberately ridden through mud on a few bikes so as to "machine" the anodizing off and/or to smooth out an uneven rim joint. These rims from before the machined-sidewalls era of course.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:00 AM
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There are lots of mid-range Japanese manufactured bicycles from the early 1980s that fit the bill, such as the Bianchi Sport SX, Centurion Elite, Centurion LeMans RS, Fuji Del Ray, Fuji Royale II, Maruishi RX-7, Miyata 710, Nishiki International, Raleigh Competition, Shogun 600, Takara Tribute, etc. These bicycles typically used a double butted CrMo or CMn main triangle with 27" rims to hit the sub-25 lb mark at a reasonable price. However, be aware that many migrated to 700C during the mid-1980s, so there are specific years to find the desired combination.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:09 AM
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You can reach back into the 70's too. Most Fuji's has 630 wheels in the mid 70's.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:17 AM
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Define "affordable"

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...327028341.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...328951598.html

french and all that entails.
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...328869578.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...322507416.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...328086704.html

Not steel but...
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...327030643.html




Too big for you but...
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...329341705.html

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Old 06-02-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
I’m curious what vintage drop bar road bike make/models out there can commonly be found very affordable, are lighter, steel, and still using 27” wheels? Any affordable gem brands/models out there from a performance perspective?
Late 70s - early 80s low to midrange Miyatas had 27" wheels. The 310/710 models as I recall. 710 was really nice from then. Can be a little hard to find.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Define "affordable"
like $150 or less that won’t get sold immediately at that price.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:33 AM
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Since you're in Wisconsin, you probably have a lot of old steel Treks around. You should be able to find maybe a Trek 400 for under $200 if you're patient.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...305312917.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...329341705.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...326611317.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...305143693.html
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Old 06-02-21, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
There are lots of mid-range Japanese manufactured bicycles from the early 1980s that fit the bill, such as the Bianchi Sport SX, Centurion Elite, Centurion LeMans RS, Fuji Del Ray, Fuji Royale II, Maruishi RX-7, Miyata 710, Nishiki International, Raleigh Competition, Shogun 600, Takara Tribute, etc. These bicycles typically used a double butted CrMo or CMn main triangle with 27" rims to hit the sub-25 lb mark at a reasonable price. However, be aware that many migrated to 700C during the mid-1980s, so there are specific years to find the desired combination.
Just an FYI, the 1986 Fuji Del Rey is quad butted. Bought mine for $75 about 3 or 4 years ago. Had it for sale trying to make space but pulled it off the market last night. I'll make room some other way.
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Old 06-02-21, 11:05 AM
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I wouldn't worry about what the brand name is on the bike, I'd just learn how to spot a decent frame. i.e. dropouts, craftsmenship, seatpost diameter, etc.
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Old 06-02-21, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
the steel rims are quite heavy and resist braking
"resist braking" tee hee...
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Old 06-02-21, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
like $150 or less that won’t get sold immediately at that price.
...the earliest Schwinn Voyageurs that were sourced from Japan came with 27" wheels, IIRC. I bought mine in good condition here for a hundred bucks, cash money.
They have excellent geometry, and the combination of a butted main triangle, with whatever they used to build the rest of the frame, makes for an excellent bicycle.

You can improve the performance considerably by rebuilding the wheels with modern, 27", Sun rims. But that's an extra expense, and will drive the total cost of your project upward.
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Old 06-02-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Since you're in Wisconsin, you probably have a lot of old steel Treks around. You should be able to find maybe a Trek 400 for under $200 if you're patient.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...305312917.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...329341705.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...326611317.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...305143693.html
I second this. I found my son an Elance at $85, though it needed some TLC but all of the original parts were near perfect except the rims which I replaced, but still have.
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Old 06-02-21, 12:00 PM
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"East side guy" on Milwaukee CL has several, as expected, including an early Trek or two. First link in post 9 has 700Cs, but look for ads with that background and "(East Side)" for the location.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...316736562.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...322507416.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...326509382.html

Matched pair of SS Bridgestones, not your garden variety "steel" bike:
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...327683838.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...327683659.html

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Old 06-02-21, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
like $150 or less that won’t get sold immediately at that price.
In Southern California, that will only get you hopelessly mis-titled fare.
And those are rare, I passed on one, OS tubed Paramount, just could not get past the paint. was that white with the purple and other paint "worms".
Was in the same city as work.
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Old 06-02-21, 12:05 PM
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I don’t understand seeking a bike with 27” wheels, when 700c has some distinct advantages, ie. more tire clearance, greater tire selection. That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy or ride a bike with 27” wheels, but I am curious about why that would be a preference.
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Old 06-02-21, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I don’t understand seeking a bike with 27” wheels, when 700c has some distinct advantages, ie. more tire clearance, greater tire selection. That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy or ride a bike with 27” wheels, but I am curious about why that would be a preference.
My hunch is an expectation that the 27" wheels will make the price more agreeable.
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Old 06-02-21, 12:28 PM
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Only 2 weeks ago I bought a ‘78 Motobecane Grand Record for $80.

Double butted Vitus 172, 1st gen Cyclone GT derailleurs, power ratchet shifters, 27” aluminum Rigida rims on Maillard 700 hubs.

I have no use for 27” wheels, though. Tire selection and availability is pathetic and the tires on there now are decrepit. Have a set of 700c MA2s laced to Phil hubs to use instead for now. Eventually I may try to build a 650b wheelset with the Maillard hubs.
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Old 06-02-21, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I don’t understand seeking a bike with 27” wheels, when 700c has some distinct advantages, ie. more tire clearance, greater tire selection. That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy or ride a bike with 27” wheels, but I am curious about why that would be a preference.
More tire clearance? Not always... My '86 Miyata 710 has about 1mm clearance between the tire and fork crown with a 700x28mm tire. After coming to a stop after picking up grass clippings that built up at the fork bridge, I've since replaced it with a 25. 27" bikes were built to handle 1-1/4" (32mm) tires easily. many with ample clearance for fenders.

That said, the aforementioned '86 Miyata 710 (purchased for $130) is my only 700c bike. All my others are 27s. I have no problem with 'only' having Pasela PT/TGs...

Yes, the selection of 27" tires isn't what it used to be. AND one has to be careful with unhooked 27" rims that should ONLY be used with wire beaded tires. Bontrager/Trek, Vittoria and Pasela are all available in wire bead. I won't even consider the Chin-sen and other 'cheap' (< $15) tires because those are poorer quality, heavy, and ride like truck tires.
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Old 06-02-21, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
My hunch is an expectation that the 27" wheels will make the price more agreeable.
Yes. And in the case of 27 x 1 1/4” is a nice ride. I guess I’m not sure about 27 x 1”.

But here is a question. Will early 700 bikes fit wider tires? Or are most stuck with 23mm? I prefer the smooth ride of wider tires.

Aren’t 27” bikes a bit more vintage also?

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Old 06-02-21, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
I wouldn't worry about what the brand name is on the bike, I'd just learn how to spot a decent frame. i.e. dropouts, craftsmenship, seatpost diameter, etc.
Are downtube shifters usually a good hint it’s a better bike?
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