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Best overall bike you ever rode, bar none. One choice only.

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Best overall bike you ever rode, bar none. One choice only.

Old 03-14-23, 11:39 PM
Velo Mule
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There are some great bikes here and most of them with pictures. My best bike "bar-none" was a 1980 Serotta Club Special. It wasn't the ultimate racing bike, it was a club racing bike, but it had Columbus tubing, the geometry was just a tad less stiff and twitchy than a criterium bike. Some of my buddy's with fancy Italian bikes like the way the Serotta rode and handled. I had almost all SunTour components. I was in college and could barely afford the bike and tires, so Campagnolo was out.

Between training, racing and riding it races, I put a lot of miles on it including riding it to a race where I had to camp out the night before the race, so I had a backpack with a sleeping bag hanging from it.

A Club Special was not fancy. Imron paint, brazing, details and the geometry were all well done. And the key thing is, it rode great for what I needed at the time.

Edit: After I wrote this I realized I may have sounded like some great racer. I wasn't. This was Cat 4 and I started out great and kept getting worse. The problem was my knees were wearing. I was no great racer warrior. But the Serotta was a great bike.

It doesn't hurt that the Ben Serotta seemed to know what he was doing. I know, he didn't make my bike. An apprentice probably did since the Club Special was a production bike.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 03-15-23 at 07:24 AM. Reason: I'm an idiot
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Old 03-14-23, 11:54 PM
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Merlin Extralight. A regular Merlin might ride the same, but it is so energetic.
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Old 03-15-23, 07:51 AM
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1981 Miyata 610 converted from 27" wheels to 700c. It's always been just right for me. I'd ride it across the USA without hesitation (aside from my own personal fitness...)
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Old 03-15-23, 08:50 AM
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Right now my favorite ride ever is the Huffy Le Grande. I was instructed to let everyone know that I am definitely not choosing the bike against my will, nor am I making my selection under duress.

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Old 03-15-23, 09:07 AM
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11 pages already?
OK Lemond Zurich
Wait this is C&V so Pinarello Treviso.
Zombie thread...more coffee now
Last new bike 1991

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Old 03-15-23, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by sthurman View Post
I am obsessed with riding this bike since building it up. By far the best riding bike in my life. Super compact racing geometry (I can barely fit 23mm tires in rear!), Cinelli fork crown, lovely Ellis style seat cluster, Reynolds 531C. Feels like butter, turns on a dime, but somehow exceedingly stable especially at speed. Just incredible. I wish I knew more about the frame (got it off ebay). Here it is!

Built up with Shimano 600 8sp group. Suntour superbe pro pedals. Cinelli stem/bars. 70s Brooks Professional.

For comparison, I have owned/ridden 80s De Rosa Professional, Merckx Corsa Extra, Masi 3V, Gios compact, Colnago Super, Medici Pro Strada, 90s Tommasini Sintesi. All great bikes. Until the Woodrup ended up in my possession would say the Tommasini was the best overall ride.
Here's a start. A good friend has owned and loved his Woodrup for 40+ years. Good stuff.
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
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Old 03-15-23, 10:07 AM
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I just haven't ridden that many bikes in my life, but Peter Mooney #729 with 2000 Campy Record and Veloflex Criterium sew-ups is probably the best bike I've had between my legs. Peter Mooney #763 with a similar set-up is about the same.

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Old 03-18-23, 11:20 PM
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There were my bikes Cannondale SR2000,199? Bianchi Pista Reparto corse (full Campy Record).Were sold on ebay, Pista (vin N 5XX) was sold for $1400 to Denver CO.

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Old 03-19-23, 12:41 AM
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Again, you must be joking.
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Old 03-19-23, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post

As much as I enjoy variety and appreciate the different characteristics of all of my bikes, current and past, none of them beat this one. None.

Smooth - hot butter on glass. Just glides along like a thoroughbred.

Precise - It'll take corners faster than I can push it. It just goes where I want it to. No extra effort to keep it steady through the curves.

Fast - I know, I know; bikes aren't fast. Riders are. But it always seems easier to go faster on this one than the others. She was born to boogie.

Comfortable - Maybe most important of all. This bike is the opposite of harsh.

They have their detractors for various reasons. I understand that. But as far as ride quality goes, one would be hard pressed to beat one of these. Ernesto got the design right.

I am not at all surprised by your comprehensive assessment; I note all the same plusses on my same-era Nuovo Mexico.

These frames are dialed in to the max.

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Old 04-20-23, 08:30 AM
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Well, that changes, because each new (old) bike I rebuild is very enjoyable in its own way. My Suntour Vx equipped Grand Sprint (plain gauge Vitus 888 tubing) is very relaxed, very chilled ride without being sluggish. My 600EX SIS equipped daily commuting Moto (Reynolds 531 main tubes and forks) is tough as nails and can pack a punch when needed. So I'm guessing when I get round to rebuilding Columbus SL tubed C5 I have awaiting its turn to be made into vintage lightweight, I might change my mind. But I do have to say my last acquisition is absolutely fantastic. The frame is still somewhat unknown (probably Matsu****a made, possibly custom order Panasonic from 1982/83). It's Tange Champion 2 tubing with Suntour Pro dropouts and very well made. It came to me nearly complete, missing seatpost, saddle, inner tubes and tyres. It's equipped with full Suntour SuperbePro group dated 1981 (derailleurs, crankset) and 84 (hubs). Rims are Ambrosio 19 Extra Elite, I suspect originally the bike would have been equipped with Araya rims, but for whatever reason they were replaced at some point.
I had to replace BB cups with Sugino equivalent (Sugino made the BB for Suntour with Superbe branding, so it's essentially the same thing with a different engraving). I have replaced the original shifters with mid-80's ratcheting ones from the Sprint gruppo (the older, pure friction ones will be used in another rebuild). I've cleaned everything up, polished some bits that required it, regreased and put it back together. Still requires taking care of the paintwork at some point and the components do have some signs of chipped chrome etc. So not a picture perfect bicycle.
But the ride quality is absolutely fantastic. The whole thing at this point weighs 9kg or so. For whatever reason even riding up the measly hills around here with much higer gear at the back than I'm used to with my other bicycles feels better. It's very responsive and stable at the same time, takes corners at speed like nobody's business (but it's also good quality tyres). Shifting works great and is very precise. Sure, no indexing, but with this thing you absolutely forget that indexing exists and don't miss it at all. In fact, I think indexing might be a downgrade. Breaking is great and efficient, I'm very impressed. It's totally on par with modern, dual pivot calipers. And I'm still using the original brake pads. They did squal a bit (well, a lot), but after few minutes meeting with a piece of sandpaper the squaling is gone. There are some small things I'll have to do, like getting some nice tan-coloured brake hoods and probably a slight modification of the FD cage to reduce the need for trimming the FD shifter. I need to replace the seatpos with something more appropriate for the early 80's and the saddle with Italia Turbo or some Ariake. These are minor things though. 40 years after it was made, it will definitely be hitting the road as much as the weather allows. Honestly, modern carbon frame bikes might be still a bit lighter, but it would take a big wad of dosh for me to willingly swap for one.

Matshu****a / SuperbePro (?)
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Old 05-09-23, 09:37 PM
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Klein Quantum Pro. I’ve ridden Chinese carbon, Italian carbon, Italian and Japanese steel…nothing has ever come close to the Quantum Pro acceleration and handling.
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Old 05-09-23, 11:14 PM
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One of These, Take Your Pick

Either of these could be my only bike and I'd be fine. The Specialize Sequoia on the left is a wonderful bike for everything I usually ride and the converted Marin Eldridge Grade on the right is just fine for that and anything that I'd ever consider riding.

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Old 05-09-23, 11:22 PM
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Sorry, but the best I've had is the CF Felt Z frame i built up with Sram Red about 12 years ago.
For classic steel, I have VERY fond memories of a mid-late 70s Raleigh Super Course. Inexpensive bike with inexpensive components (Simplex), but it always felt good to ride, better than any bike before or after until I got the Z. If I get another bike (have 6 now), I think I'll hold out for a British bike with geometry like the Super Course, except top quality with top quality period-correct components.

A 96 Litespeed Classic I've had for a couple of hears is a close second.
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Old 05-10-23, 06:36 AM
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Well two years later and many bikes later and the Giordana XL still has not been bested.

That said, I have the Gianni Motta 2001 Personal r , Losa built Krapf, Eddy Merckx Corsa 01, "Oscar Freire" Olmo, and the beautiful Raleigh Supercourse Technium all waiting for my knee to heal so they can attempt to dethrone the Giordana. Should be a great summer of riding once I get going again.
Steel is real...and comfy.

Last edited by jamesdak; 05-10-23 at 06:42 AM.
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