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Ross an American Treasure

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Ross an American Treasure

Old 10-05-21, 07:28 PM
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Ross an American Treasure

I bought this as a novelty, my reasoning was totally sound with that notion in mind, $120 plus shipping. The seller has perfect feedback, but for some reason he only did the minimum necessary to get the bicycle into a used box and out the door.
So I got some shipping damage because the bicycle was mostly loose in the box. The Shimano Eagle ll derailleur hanger part was bent, I'll need to bend it back, or replace it with a Tourney, which I think will work as a replacement.
Or convert the bicycle to fixed gear by shortening a usable chain, if that can be done by using the freewheel sprocket that lines up with the inner chainring. It's flat here, or the 30 plus pound weight would be too much for me to ride it at all.
The link to the sell page may work, https://www.ebay.com/itm/194378846875

I wouldn't have bought it foolishly if it had been much different at all, I don't think. The dark brown frame, no professional word, chrome rims, and the galvanized satin looking crank, and the puzzling condition.
Ross threads are on the forum, but I didn't notice one that was similar, a few similar ratted out copies are for sale.
Mostly, I don't want to throw too much good money after bad, a NOS Tourney costs about $40, and I doubt if it will shift gears very well, the seller cracked the shift cable housing tossing the bicycle into a box.

Conversion to fixed gear to seems like the best cheap way to test ride the bicycle, more could be off than I know about, the front wheel was knocked out of true by more than a quarter inch, I have to assume in shipping.
And the tires are old and not good for much more than a test ride.
The frame is odd for a so called 23" standover is pretty much 33" and the fork seems longer than it needs to be, with lots of room for a fender or something.

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Old 10-05-21, 07:52 PM
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I had something very similar happen to me. Seller also did the bare minimum getting the bike in the beat up, old box he used/recycled.

The bike I thought I got a good deal on showed up looking like it’d been thrown off a cliff and recovered before it arrived on my doorstep. The box it was in also had an enormous hole in it and one of the pedals had fallen out in transit.

After some back and forth, the seller refunded half the price of the bike. Funniest thing is, the seller was a professional shop. Guess they just didn’t feel like doing a good job that day or something.

I hope you got/get something like that back on the bike.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:17 PM
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The shipping and sales tax was almost as much as the selling price, so nothing makes very much sense anywhere that I've noticed.
The Eagle ll derailleur looks like NOS, and you can't just buy a new one on eBay. It's obsolete, but nice looking for a paperweight or just for looking at, the chrome and general appearance is much nicer than a Tourney.

Almost enough room for a Giant Tasmanian Bullfrog as a fender.

These cable management claws are what they appear to be, unless the user has young tough skin that only scrapes.

Last edited by Peroni; 10-08-21 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Add Photos
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Old 10-06-21, 06:27 AM
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As portly as it is, the Eagle II isn't a bad shifting derailleur. I had a Schwinn Varsity set up as 1x5 years back with one of those. Not a single problem.

I have had two Ross Professional Gran Tour bicycles come my way over the years. I have to say, they might have been the worst riding bikes of their type that I've ever had. I don't really know why. Just terrible all around.
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Old 10-06-21, 07:02 AM
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I assembled so many of those damn things, I hope to never see one close up ever again.
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Old 10-06-21, 03:56 PM
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Curiosity Killed the Cat, petty much in this case, I just had to see it and the parts and pieces that I've never see before, and the condition is without rust, somehow. I read how the frame was pinned together with brass collars in the lug joints and lowered into molten salt for brazing, and then submerged in cold water for tempering.
So I guess the frame is about as flexible as a slab of granite, if the seller had made some effort in packaging the bicycle for shipping, and it was delivered undamaged and generally as described in the sell page description, I would probably still find it entertaining as novelty.

The Eagle ll is removed form the bicycle because needs to be repaired or replaced with a Tourney is my best guess, or replaced with something modern and better if anything can be made to work.
It seems that only the Eagle ll hanger stamping part is bent, or damaged. It may be easier to bend back in place than I imagine, I know how I would attempt to bend it back in place without breaking it or damaging it further, but I've never actually attempted the repair.
A mint looking Eagle ll probably shouldn't be installed on this bicycle for utility usage, if a Tourney will work well enough.

My first notion is to shorten a usable chain for use as a fixed gear, between the small chainring and the freewheel sprocket that it lines up with, for limited test riding. I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work if done correctly, but I don't know from my own knowledge, or experience.
And before spending $40 for NOS Tourney, or something better if it's an option, is all.
The front wheel got knocked out of true by a quarter inch or more, I have to assume in shipping. I have it trued up fairly well, but a small dent to the outside at the bead area of the rim on one side could effect braking, so I may need to attempt to move a small dent in the rim back to flush with braking surface, if it's enough to effect the front brake.

Someone has probably noticed what a great Halloween bike it is, before I could finish this post. There is even plenty of room for some unfortunate creature between the front tire and fork crown.

I took this photo with my neighbor's super phone, and he emailed it to me. My first photo postings are in this thread.
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Old 10-06-21, 04:13 PM
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From my childhood memories all Eagle derailleurs either came like that or ended up like that after a weeks riding. It would be period correct to grab it with your hand and wrench it back into alignment. If you were feeling fancy you could pull it off at the pivot and use a ring spanner on the pin to straighten it. This was also an infrequently used period correct repair.
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Old 10-06-21, 04:29 PM
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That bike really is in amazingly clean condition. You can definitely bend the derailleur hanger outward without doing much harm. If the derailleur unscrews at the pivot, you can even use one of those fancy dropout straightening tools to get it perfect.

I especially like the little brown stripes where a French bike would have the championship rainbow stripes.
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Old 10-06-21, 06:34 PM
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Ross tends to have a love/hate following on the forums. Mainly because they did have some very low end bikes in their days, but then they have a pretty good American company story. Regardless, they will always stir up conversations. I just rebuilt this one and have flipped it to another owner. It was a 1985 Signature 294S with a full Campy Triomphe group. Probably one of the top line models for them.
Shipping bikes is a tedious process and there is a proper way to get them to buyers without any damage at all, but few sellers will want to take the time to do it. Plenty of zip ties, pipe insulation and partial disassembly are just a start. Some people do care about their buyers.
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Old 10-06-21, 07:05 PM
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I thought that I was overthinking bending the hanger part back in place. I think the Eagle ll is mostly a factory assembly, and not much was intended to be disassembled, other than the pulleys for cleaning and lubrication, maybe.
Even a ratted out Eagle ll is scarcely available for sale on eBay that I noticed, a NOS example could be unusual to find for sale at all.

The bicycle seems like it was always stored in an immaculate home. I think someone hit a road hazard not long after it was new and got a flat tire, or had to replace the front tire, and knocked the front wheel too much out of true to ride it again.
The rear tire might be the original, the front was changed at some time, and some scratches are on the front rim from a screwdriver, or prying tool attempt.

That Signature 294S is about the nicest Ross that I've seen a picture of that I can remember.
I bought the 1981 Gran Tour ll impulsively, I knew that it would be heavy, and with entry level components, but the price and condition, along with the sellers feedback on eBay made it seem like a safe bet for amusement, it didn't arrive as I assumed it would according the written description on the eBay sell page.

I bid on a Cinelli Super Corsa not long ago on eBay, I should post the pictures and auction page, in case the bicycle hasn't been seen on the forum. I didn't win the auction, and I couldn't really do the bicycle justice as a rider, if I had gone big enough to win it.

Last edited by Peroni; 10-06-21 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-07-21, 12:11 PM
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You mean this part that got bent?

NOS. $8+ $3 shipping on Ebay.

This is a nice bike in original condition. I definitely would not put a modern Tiagra derailleur on there.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:43 PM
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Yes, thats the part that is bent to the inside, not badly bent, and I can probably bend it back in place fairly well, if I'm careful.
The Eagle ll adapter with mounting shaft is similar, but with an offset built into the hanger adapter, and the spring is hooked to it differently.
The picture is form disraeiligers, and I looked at some diagrams, and if the correct part could found, maybe it could be replaced, but the spring is strong and it might be difficult.

I think the best plan is for me is to shorten a chain, and test ride it as a fixed gear, more could be a problem like the front wheel, someone may have hit a road hazard not long after it was new.
Nothing seems to be bent like the fork or neck, so I'm fairly sure that it will be OK.
And a NOS Tourney should work as a replacement for about $40, but the chrome is cheap looking.

I'm not sure I can adapt a modern derailleur to the Ross, as far using the correct hardware.
It's flat here, so a fixed gear may be hard to find fault with.

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