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Can you guys tell me more about a frame I'm looking at buying?

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Can you guys tell me more about a frame I'm looking at buying?

Old 04-13-22, 01:46 AM
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tajimirich
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Can you guys tell me more about a frame I'm looking at buying? ('89 Shogun Ninja)

Hey all
Budget rider here, for now at least... I'm riding a Giant Contend 2 which was the cheapest road bike that met my basic requirements, I'm extremely happy with it but I'm just not entirely sure it's right for me.

I'm a powerful rider, in some way i couldn't possibly quantify - heavy and with rugby gene shaped leg muscles (i try to use gears responsibly to compensate), and the aluminium frame seems to struggle with that; it warps a lot and the chain is forever kissing the front derailleur when i pedal, etc.

I used to have a converted single speed steel bike - nothing too special, but lugged and possibly butted - and in general i have decided that I'd rather have a nice, springy, solid and well built steel frame bike than my aluminium Giant. I like the idea of piecing together something that would have been top of the line, or on Le Tour, in the 80s.

Anyway, enough background, I've decided to start on a frankenbike, but i live in Japan and I've found it impossible to locate a good, butted, lugged steel frame bike in my size (I'm 183cm/6ft). So I've been looking at gumtree back home in Australia for a butted and lugged frame. At first i was looking for a Reynolds 531, but a user whose name i will edit into this thread asap advised me that not only were some tubesets better than 531s, a lot of those sets were Japanese!

Well, no luck at first because of my height, but funnily enough I've found a frame on Australia's gumtree for a "Shogun Ninja", using "Tange Prestige" pipes. I'm not sure of the year, so I'm not sure if it's a Japanese model or Taiwanese, and i just want to have a chat about the beast here and maybe receive a tier rating of the frame, and some suggestions on fitting it out?

I'd love it if someone could give me a history lesson on the Ninja and the other Shogun tiers...

Thanks a million!

The attached photos are screenshots of the listing, pardon the poor quality.




Coming off wanting a 531, I'm kind of put off by the lack of an obvious brand sticker for the "tenge prestige" pipes under the seat.. maybe I'm just ignorant

Too blurry, alas, I've asked for a better shot..



It looks pretty great, looks pretty modern in black, makes me worry it's a later Taiwan build?

Sure you guys will know what this signifies...

Last edited by tajimirich; 04-13-22 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 04-13-22, 01:51 AM
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That is a bike for a tall person. You did not mention your height, but if the frame is not your size, pass.
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Old 04-13-22, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
That is a bike for a tall person. You did not mention your height, but if the frame is not your size, pass.
Hey mate

I think i mentioned I'm 183/6ft, the seller says he's the same height and it's fine.. i typically ride with a high seat
I think he mentioned that the top bar was 57, i had been looking for a 58, so i guess it's okay there, too

Know much about the frame?

Last edited by tajimirich; 04-13-22 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 04-13-22, 01:55 AM
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Can't tell you about the frame other than it looks like a 60cm. Ask the seller to measure and compare it to your contend.

At 6'1", a 60cm is often to big for me. Sure I can ride it, but not optimal. ​I fit 58cm best
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Old 04-13-22, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Can't tell you about the frame other than it looks like a 60cm. Ask the seller to measure and compare it to your contend.

At 6'1", a 60cm is often to big for me. Sure I can ride it, but not optimal.
I see well yes it's 57 apparently
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Old 04-13-22, 02:18 AM
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Update:

I think the serial number "S93..." Indicates that it's a 1993 model... Is that post-taiwan?

... Or is it 1989...
Edit: it's 89, i believe 90 was the last year in Japan - and downgraded from the 89 - so I'm pretty happy

Last edited by tajimirich; 04-13-22 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 04-13-22, 03:20 AM
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Height is only part of the equation. I am just over 6’ and ride a 63/64cm bike . 60cm is on the short side, although I still ride them . I have a 35” inseam so I need the extra seat tube height and shorter top tube for comfort. This is the main reason I look for vintage racing bikes, they just feel right.
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Old 04-13-22, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
Height is only part of the equation. I am just over 6’ and ride a 63/64cm bike . 60cm is on the short side, although I still ride them . I have a 35” inseam so I need the extra seat tube height and shorter top tube for comfort. This is the main reason I look for vintage racing bikes, they just feel right.
I'm pretty happy with the size to be honest, I'll let you all know if it turns out to be whack i dunno what my measurements are but my giant bike is "M-L" size and my seat is set to somewhere around 70 or 75 before my knees are at ideal extension (my hips don't. Rock.)

More interested in learning more about this frame!

Seems like the 89 Ninja with Tange Prestige pipes is about as good as I could possibly hope to get.. so yeah I'm feeling alright atm..

Last edited by tajimirich; 04-13-22 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 04-13-22, 04:35 AM
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Stand Over Height

tajimirich 57 is most likely the top tube length - 57cm center to center.

A more critical dimension is the stand over height. Lying on the ground writhing in exquisite pain is not something most folks look forward to.

This is an old Schwinn bike fitting guide. You should be able to straddle the top tube without making contact with your "personal area' should you have to come to an emergency stop.

The "Proper Rider Adjustment" is not that important when selecting a proper fitting frame. Stand Over Height is.



The way we used to do the initial fitting to determine the best frame size was to have the customer place a 1" x 1' round object between their legs with at least 1" clearance under the contact point. Then we measured the height from the floor to the top of the object. Another way was to have them stand over several different size bikes.

Back then, lower priced bikes only came in a limited offering of sizes: i.e. 54cm, 58cm, 62cm.

Too small a frame size by an inch or so is better than too big.

As far as CraigsList/eBay listings - "fits people 5'8" to 6'2" is just plain STUPID! There IS NO AVERAGE!

I used to be 5'11" with a 29" inseam - short legs long torso. Now I'm 5'9" with a 28" inseam. A 55cm frame is the sweet spot for me but some fools or experts who apparently have no understanding of human anatomy would say a 60cm would fit me!

Hope this helps.

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Old 04-13-22, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
tajimirich 57 is most likely the top tube length - 57cm center to center.

A more critical dimension is the stand over height. Lying on the ground writhing in exquisite pain is not something most folks look forward to.

This is an old Schwinn bike fitting guide. You should be able to straddle the top tube without making contact with your "personal area' should you have to come to an emergency stop.

The "Proper Rider Adjustment" is not that important when selecting a proper fitting frame. Stand Over Height is.



The way we used to do the initial fitting to determine the best frame size was to have the customer place a 1" x 1' round object between their legs with at least 1" clearance under the contact point. Then we measured the height from the floor to the top of the object. Another way was to have them stand over several different size bikes.

Back then, lower priced bikes only came in a limited offering of sizes: i.e. 54cm, 58cm, 62cm.

Too small a frame size by an inch or so is better than too big.

As far as CraigsList/eBay listings - "fits people 5'8" to 6'2" is just plain STUPID! There IS NO AVERAGE!

I used to be 5'11" with a 29" inseam - short legs long torso. Now I'm 5'9" with a 28" inseam. A 55cm frame is the sweet spot for me but some fools or experts who apparently have no understanding of human anatomy would say a 60cm would fit me!

Hope this helps.

verktyg
Hi mate

Thanks very much for this very informative post.

I can confirm that i can achieve these stances and positions. I tend to pedal on the balls of my feet so my seat is a tad higher, but yeah the rest works fine.

I would love to hear some opinions on the actual frame haha
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Old 04-13-22, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
Hi mate

Thanks very much for this very informative post.

I can confirm that i can achieve these stances and positions. I tend to pedal on the balls of my feet so my seat is a tad higher, but yeah the rest works fine.

I would love to hear some opinions on the actual frame haha
The Ninja was a 1995 last hurrah of the steel bikes era. I don’t think Shogun manufactured but sourced out to Giant or KHS, maybe?

Tange Prestige is good stuff. Originally had 600Ultegra stuff so mid range bike.

The earlier Ninjas were the cool ones. GT clones triple triangle.

Mostly a sport and recreation bike. A little room for a bit larger tire but no fittings for racks.
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Old 04-13-22, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
The Ninja was a 1995 last hurrah of the steel bikes era. I don’t think Shogun manufactured but sourced out to Giant or KHS, maybe?

Tange Prestige is good stuff. Originally had 600Ultegra stuff so mid range bike.

The earlier Ninjas were the cool ones. GT clones triple triangle.

Mostly a sport and recreation bike. A little room for a bit larger tire but no fittings for racks.
Awesome stuff!

By "racks" do you mean things to hang saddle bags off? Sorry lol..

I guess if i were getting a steel bike it would be for how well they come out of turns and roll, how they respond to handling, and how tough they are.. going by my dilettante interpretation of the ride
What would you say counts as a "top range" steel bike that might be found in frame form on online marketplaces?
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Old 04-13-22, 05:32 AM
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Hi tajimirich, the frame is a good price from a reputable seller. If it's your size (and you like it) I see no reason to hesitate. Keep in mind the seller has a lot of other stuff for sale, so if you need anything might be a good chance to grab it as a few extra parts shouldn't add anything to the postage cost.
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Old 04-13-22, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
Hi tajimirich, the frame is a good price from a reputable seller. If it's your size (and you like it) I see no reason to hesitate. Keep in mind the seller has a lot of other stuff for sale, so if you need anything might be a good chance to grab it as a few extra parts shouldn't add anything to the postage cost.
Awesome meta commentary mate thanks!

I think i will have to take it slow and assemble the parts here in Japan, though, they're probably quite abundant here, too...

... To what extent are modern parts like derailleurs, gear/handbreaks, cycling computers and stuff able to fit into these older frames? Last time i had a retro bike it was a very simple single speed
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Old 04-13-22, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
... To what extent are modern parts like derailleurs, gear/handbreaks, cycling computers and stuff able to fit into these older frames? Last time i had a retro bike it was a very simple single speed
I have an 81 Centurion Pro-tour that I had a Shimano 5700 triple brifter group on it.
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Old 04-13-22, 06:15 AM
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Yeah, if that's made of Tange Prestige it's a score! That's good stuff and every bike I have/had with Prestige rode really well.
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Old 04-13-22, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
... To what extent are modern parts like derailleurs, gear/handbreaks, cycling computers and stuff able to fit into these older frames?
Pretty good actually, there's even a thread dedicated to it: Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos
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Old 04-13-22, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
Awesome stuff!

By "racks" do you mean things to hang saddle bags off? Sorry lol..

I guess if i were getting a steel bike it would be for how well they come out of turns and roll, how they respond to handling, and how tough they are.. going by my dilettante interpretation of the ride
What would you say counts as a "top range" steel bike that might be found in frame form on online marketplaces?
No eyelets on the rear/front drops to attach a rack...that’s what that meant.

If you are larger boned, you definitely would have to try some bikes/frames to find the ones that don’t flex too much.

There are very fine frames made with beefier tubing. Columbus Cromor/Aelle frames are very nice and stiff.

Honestly though, depending on the asking price, could be nice build.

you might want to look on Australia for part or a donor bike
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Old 04-13-22, 09:16 AM
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I'm less than 5'10" and ride mostly 60cm ST bikes with ideally 57 CTC top tubes. That looks like a fine no nonsense racer.
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Old 04-13-22, 09:22 AM
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I'm 182 cm and ride 24"/ 60/61cm frames, with top tubes shorter than 59 cm. That bike is my size. And quite possibly the op's size too.
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Old 04-13-22, 02:01 PM
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Tange Prestige is a very thin-walled tubing (eg 0.7/0.4/0.7 top tube), which is great if you're looking for the lightest steel frame possible, but not necessarily ideal for a big guy on a big frame. A lot of manufacturers switched to thicker or larger diameter tubing on the larger frame sizes even for their high end bikes because of the flex. So you're getting a high end frame, but you may find it's a bit too lightweight for you.
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Old 04-13-22, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Tange Prestige is a very thin-walled tubing (eg 0.7/0.4/0.7 top tube), which is great if you're looking for the lightest steel frame possible, but not necessarily ideal for a big guy on a big frame. A lot of manufacturers switched to thicker or larger diameter tubing on the larger frame sizes even for their high end bikes because of the flex. So you're getting a high end frame, but you may find it's a bit too lightweight for you.
That’s why I was mentioning Aelle and Cromor.

If that is Tange Prestige OS, then it might help, but if the super light stuff...
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Old 04-13-22, 03:01 PM
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Him much are they asking?
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Old 04-14-22, 07:10 AM
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I would not obsess about stand-over height. I am 180 cm tall and have routinely ridden bikes with 62 and 63 cm frames (measured center of BB to top of top tube) for decades. Like you, I like a somewhat longer-than-normal saddle to pedal setup. As long as you can mount and dismount the bike, you (and the family jewels) will be fine. I've crashed on such frames without the height being a problem. You just need to learn to tilt the bike a bit for a static mount and dismount. I have no problem with one-legged stops, and routinely rest my buttock on the top tube. YMMV. That frame looks like maybe a 61 cm tall one, possibly 62, but I doubt it's 63. OTOH, a shorter frame will feel stiffer, within reason. If you have a long torso and shorter legs (the reverse of my case) then you might be happier with a 59 cm top tube rather than 57. French and Italian bikes, plus some American ones like Serotta, often have longer top tubes, while English ones tend to cluster around 57 cm.

What you may think carefully about is that you are (from your description) what is termed a "Clydesdale", in cycling argot. You may, if possible, look for a steel frame with somewhat heavier tubing, like Columbus SP or Reynolds 531 Tourist (if I remember that correctly). I don't know that much about Tange Prestige. Some Japanese manufacturers did triple-butted tubing for awhile in the '80s, but I don't think they really marketed tubesets intended for the heavier end of the spectrum.

Unfortunately, the best solution would be to find a complete bike that you could test-ride before buying, rather than buying a frame and finding that you're dissatisfied with it after building up. You might also consider some of the "oversize tubing" frames from late '80s and '90s -- inherently stiffer to have larger-diameter sections, though many of these are aluminum.
G'day
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Old 04-15-22, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
Hey mate

I think i mentioned I'm 183/6ft, the seller says he's the same height and it's fine.. i typically ride with a high seat
I think he mentioned that the top bar was 57, i had been looking for a 58, so i guess it's okay there, too

Know much about the frame?
Top tube length is not the correct was of measuring a steel road bike. The frame size is determined by the center of the BB shell to center of the seat lug or top of it. I also try and get a standover height which is one many reasons I hate when people remove the headset from a frame before selling it.
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Sugar "Kane" Kowalczyk
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