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The Top of the Line thread

Old 07-17-21, 07:05 PM
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The Top of the Line thread

Many bikes have been offered to consumers over the years, but some were the best of the best for a given year and manufacturer. I've never had a top of the line bike, but if you have one then post it here in this thread for all to see!
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Old 07-17-21, 07:29 PM
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Hmmm..... I can quantify that with a few of my 90's bikes I think.

The mid 90's Giordana XL Supers were the top of their line those years for sure. Scored two of them.


This has the "much better build" with the C.F. tubulars, SR/Record groupset and such.

This one is just 11 speed Athena and weighs about 2 lbs more than the other one. But this one feels better under me on the road than anything else I have.

Then for sure the 1999 Trek Y-77:

Found as a NOS frame and built up with 11 speed Ultegra and sporting some nice Reynolds wheels right now.

Then there was this 1987 Schwinn Paramount:


Not only top of the line for 1987, this was also serial #1 for the year.

Then there was this mid 80's Cabestany, their top model.


This is it during it's "gravel phase" for me.

And I think this Pinarello is the top model for the year from what I was told. Haven't found it in a catalog yet so I really don't know for sure:

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Old 07-17-21, 08:24 PM
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1993 Trek 5900 OCLV, as of May 2019. At the time it was wearing some non-factory OEM components -- derailleurs, shifters, handlebar, saddle -- but most original core components, including the titanium stuff: Ibis stem; Chris King headset; White Industries bottom bracket; American Classic Equipment seatpost.

In '93 it was Trek's top of the line road racing bike, built for minimum weight and intended for mountain stages. Of the various 5xxx series carbon fiber bikes, it was the only one still wearing downtube shifters, to save weight. Rather than spec Dura Ace for the entire bike, they used the lightest available premium components regardless of manufacture. Hence the mish mash of titanium goodies. Quirky bike, including the purple paint that tends to photograph as blue, but I enjoy riding it. The frame is labeled made in the USA by Trek, but if I'm recalling correctly Trek consulted with a Spanish or Italian frame maker while developing its monocoque carbon fiber frames after moving away from the carbon fiber tubes glued into lugs process.

Only reason I can play in this thread is because the 5900 OCLV was carbon fiber, which doesn't hold its value the same way as a top shelf steel bike. It helps that those bikes were cosmetically challenged, with some gawky graphics and colors. With luck you can buy an early 1990s Trek 5xxx OCLV for $200-$300. Can't touch a comparable steel bike for that money.

For awhile after this photo I rode it with an FSA Omega compact drop bar and FSA threadless stem in 1-1/8" with collet/shim to make up for the original 1" steerer tube. And I swapped from the Deore LX long cage steel RD shown here to an 8-speed 600 Tricolor short cage RD and matching front derailleur. Good setup but I really wanted to keep that original 1" Ibis titanium stem, so when the headset needed servicing I stripped the bike to start over.

It's currently disassembled, awaiting a rebuild with more Dura Ace components, different wheels and a Soma Highway One compact drop bar. I have everything except the rear wheel ready to go. Alas, both of my rear wheels from that era developed cracked rims the same month, so I have only period-appropriate low profile lightweight mountain stage rims on the front wheels. I had a non-period-correct Bontrager semi-aero wheel ready to go, but it also developed bad bearings. Yup, 2020 was a bad year for my rear wheels. I'm not heavy or rough on bikes, just a coincidence that all three older wheels needed servicing at the same time.


1993 Trek 5900 OCLV, as of May 2019. Currently disassembled and awaiting a rebuild.

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Old 07-17-21, 10:10 PM
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My De Rosa 35th Anniversario

Tough to piece together but the pain has been worth it



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Old 07-17-21, 11:00 PM
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I believe, for 1983, that this represents the top 'o the line for Univega.

I believe....


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Old 07-18-21, 12:13 AM
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Oh boy, great fun.

1979 Jim Merz custom touring, full Campy and Cinelli with Suntour bar-cons, custom racks with integrated Eclipse pannier slide on mounts and paint to match Silca with Campy head. Super Champion 40 spoke wheels with low flange hubs.

This was built for Paris-brest-Paris but turned out to be a bit small so a Davidson was rushed through and ridden to a very good result.

This bike rides amazingly well, I took it to Leroica 2017 and was flat out down a long gravel hill where the faster we went the more stable it rode.


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Old 07-18-21, 12:20 AM
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Then we have these.




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Old 07-18-21, 12:55 AM
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1958 Rabeneick 120d...


1969 Atala Professional...


1973 Peugeot PX10...


And an early sixties Torpado Professional which is still a pending project...


And, of course, my Marinoni (not sure if it is the top dog but darn close to it)...
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Old 07-18-21, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa
...And, of course, my Marinoni (not sure if it is the top dog but darn close to it)...
The Campagnolo Daytona on this bicycle was a 3rd tier group and the Piuma frame itself was 3rd or 4th tier in Marinoni's lineup during Daytona's era, depending on the exact year. So, not as close as you think.
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Old 07-18-21, 05:31 AM
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Yeah, some interesting interpretations of “top of the line” happening here so far. Perhaps @cudak888 should post his Raleigh Superbe as it was top of the line in the category of Raleigh’s upright bar Sports-like models for some time.
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Old 07-18-21, 05:55 AM
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1925 Frejus Model A.

Frejus 01 by iabisdb, on Flickr




1933 Frejus Model A

Frejus001 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 07-18-21, 06:15 AM
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TOTL Catalog Schwinn for 1981. You could still get a Paramount "Elite", but that was a custom order through the dealer

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Old 07-18-21, 06:42 AM
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Except for the limited edition 170, my now departed Super Record equipped Trek 770 was the top of the line in 1985.


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Old 07-18-21, 07:29 AM
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Some really nice examples and some really curious examples so far.
The pink 770 is smokin! And the Girodana to start things off is always a great one to see. It has pretty ideal measurements for my eye.
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Old 07-18-21, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Oh boy, great fun.

1979 Jim Merz custom touring, full Campy and Cinelli with Suntour bar-cons, custom racks with integrated Eclipse pannier slide on mounts and paint to match Silca with Campy head. Super Champion 40 spoke wheels with low flange hubs.

This was built for Paris-brest-Paris but turned out to be a bit small so a Davidson was rushed through and ridden to a very good result.

This bike rides amazingly well, I took it to Leroica 2017 and was flat out down a long gravel hill where the faster we went the more stable it rode.


Any Merz is top of the line!
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Old 07-18-21, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Yeah, some interesting interpretations of “top of the line” happening here so far. Perhaps @cudak888 should post his Raleigh Superbe as it was top of the line in the category of Raleigh’s upright bar Sports-like models for some time.
Agreed; there needs to be some representation of city bicycles.

The whole "glorifying the top-end stuff" seems a bit gratuitous though, so I'd rather not participate.

-Kurt
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Last edited by cudak888; 07-18-21 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 07-18-21, 08:31 AM
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I think these were the top models for the year/maker but then again... '72 Holdsworth Professional, '92 Merckx MX Leader, '92 Colnago Master PIU Decor, '90 Pinarello Montello, '86 De Rosa Professional/Super Prestige, '89 Tommasini Super Prestige, '90 Serotta Colorado II
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Old 07-18-21, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Feldman
Any Merz is top of the line!
Tx, couldn't agree more, guess we'll have to do this then.




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Old 07-18-21, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Agreed; there needs to be some representation of city bicycles.

The whole "glorifying the top-end stuff" seems a bit gratuitous though, so I'd rather not participate.

-Kurt
There are dozens of threads glorifying low-end bikes, yet one on high-end bikes makes you take your ball and go home?
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Old 07-18-21, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by iab
There are dozens of threads glorifying low-end bikes, yet one on high-end bikes makes you take your ball and go home?
I know that our BF C&V group has wonderful members who won't use their bikes as a means of ego tripping - but flippers and my-collection-is-better-than-your-collection types coming through Google in future might interpret this thread as such. Given that, I'd rather not participate.

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Old 07-18-21, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
I know that our BF C&V group has wonderful members who won't use their bikes as a means of ego tripping - but flippers and my-collection-is-better-than-your-collection types coming through Google in future might interpret this thread as such. Given that, I'd rather not participate.

-Kurt
So stop participating.
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Old 07-18-21, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone
So stop participating.
@nlerner invited me to do so. I declined. If you and @iab want to make something of it, go ahead.

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Old 07-18-21, 11:51 AM
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I hear the bell ringing; time to go back to our junior high classrooms.
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Old 07-18-21, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
seems a bit gratuitous.


I wish I could participate! Mine all seem to be one notch below the "top of the line." After I'm done with them though, they're pretty darn close...
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Old 07-18-21, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by joluja
Tough to piece together but the pain has been worth it



I have the rear derailleur to complete that build. Lmk!
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