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Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

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Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

Old 11-27-16, 06:48 PM
  #426  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Probably the early 1980s, Tom Kellogg built Ross Signature Criterium, which was a $2000 bicycle in its day.
A couple builders built them
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Old 11-27-16, 07:53 PM
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I'm looking forward to having this in my hands so I can post more photos, and it definitely belongs on the thread...















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Old 11-28-16, 12:50 PM
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This "Ross" being raced by Cindy Whitehead in 1986 was actually a Klein.
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Old 11-28-16, 08:57 PM
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I have to say, those are about the biggest guns I've ever seen on a serious athlete.
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Old 11-29-16, 12:53 AM
  #430  
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^ Ross riders were build a little more solid, BITD
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Old 11-29-16, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
I have to say, those are about the biggest guns I've ever seen on a serious athlete.
This is Cindy moments after finishing her legendary 1986 win over a 50 mile course with no saddle on the bike.
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Old 11-29-16, 06:40 PM
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...that begs the question... Oh, never mind. Let's leave it unasked.
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Old 12-02-16, 03:35 PM
  #433  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Keeping the thread alive. Here is a Signature 294S that I picked up from the local CL. It has some upgrades, mostly good ones. Frame is a little rougher than I would have liked, but it will be a good everyday rider once I tweak a few things. And black is an easy touch-up.

What I like about it: the geometry is like a road/crit bike, but it has room for 28mm tires and fenders (and has eyelets).
For the record, I just threw on a pair of Matrix rims/32mm Paselas and PB fenders with no trouble.
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Old 01-07-17, 08:07 AM
  #434  
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Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
This "Ross" being raced by Cindy Whitehead in 1986 was actually a Klein.
Square stays? Cool bike.

Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
This is Cindy moments after finishing her legendary 1986 win over a 50 mile course with no saddle on the bike.
Maui wowee!

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Old 01-27-17, 07:59 AM
  #435  
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Info Needed on Ross Aristocrat

This looks like the right place to ask: There has been some question as to the origin of my current favorite bike, what I was told was a 1982 Ross Aristocrat. The only one I've seen that lists a date is a 1979.

Can someone here tell me what year the Aristocrat was produced, and whether Tom Kellogg and/or Jim Redcay were involved in the design or build or both?

Here is mine in its current configuration:



Also, does anyone (KonAaron Snake?) have any further information on the 531-framed Tom Kellogg Signature Touring bike? Recently I had one slip through my fingers, (someone sniped it from me on Madison, WI Craigslist), and I would like to know just how rare they are, and whether anyone here has one they would like to sell.

Also riding impressions - does it ride as good as it looks?

Thanks!
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Old 01-27-17, 09:09 AM
  #436  
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First - I didn't snipe it from you...I contacted him well before you did and commented on it in that thread before you did. I was about halfway to completing the transaction by the time you posted. I elected not to discuss closing the deal until the deal was done and consideration had changed hands, which took a fair bit of time to complete.

As far as the ride...it's actually much quicker and more on the sporty side than I expected it to be based on the geometry. It's probably the lightest of this style bike I've had go through my hands, and I've had a few. I'm very partial to TK's bicycle design. I haven't ridden it with anything more than a lock on the back yet. Bike's a little on the smaller side for me and a stem change is likely in order.

All told, TK built around 200 frames during his brief tenure at Ross...of which, around 135 were the touring model. I found those numbers posted by Mr. Kellogg regarding his time at Ross. Redcay replaced TK, so he would not have been involved. They're quite rare, but not as rare as a crit model.

The TK built bikes all brandish his signature. The TK designed bikes, like the 294, say designed by TK. I don't think he had anything to do with the Aristocrat model. Member Pogue had an Aristocrat, but I haven't seen him around in a while; I'd GUESS they probably date 1980 or so. Probably a pre-TK attempt to enter the better ranges of the LBS market.

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Old 01-27-17, 11:13 AM
  #437  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
First - I didn't snipe it from you...I contacted him well before you did and commented on it in that thread before you did. I was about halfway to completing the transaction by the time you posted. I elected not to discuss closing the deal until the deal was done and consideration had changed hands, which took a fair bit of time to complete.

As far as the ride...it's actually much quicker and more on the sporty side than I expected it to be based on the geometry. It's probably the lightest of this style bike I've had go through my hands, and I've had a few. I'm very partial to TK's bicycle design. I haven't ridden it with anything more than a lock on the back yet. Bike's a little on the smaller side for me and a stem change is likely in order.

All told, TK built around 200 frames during his brief tenure at Ross...of which, around 135 were the touring model. I found those numbers posted by Mr. Kellogg regarding his time at Ross. Redcay replaced TK, so he would not have been involved. They're quite rare, but not as rare as a crit model.

The TK built bikes all brandish his signature. The TK designed bikes, like the 294, say designed by TK. I don't think he had anything to do with the Aristocrat model. Member Pogue had an Aristocrat, but I haven't seen him around in a while; I'd GUESS they probably date 1980 or so. Probably a pre-TK attempt to enter the better ranges of the LBS market.
OH! I had no idea we were talking about the same bike. I saw your post up top there and thought you might know some of the answers I sought. The reason I used the term "sniped" is because of this post I received from Dirk, the owner, sent to me on the day before Halloween:

Message body

Hi Gary- Thanks for your interest.Give me an email address and phone number,
and I will hold the bike until next weekend.


Thanks --Dirk


I've no hard feelings about this; you obviously made an offer he liked better. It's nice to have the mystery solved, though.

So I was reading a piece in "peloton" about TK, where he said that his design philosophy is to have the bike "disappear" beneath the rider. Depending on so many factors: riding style, body type, etc., he designs the bike to give that "one-with-the-machine" feeling (my words, not his) by using custom angles and combinations of different frame tubing for each application.

The Aristocrat feels that way to me, so I was wondering whether that was the TK touch, or just a bit of serendipity in my acquisition. One question remains: What year was this bike made?
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Old 01-27-17, 11:23 AM
  #438  
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Originally Posted by DQRider View Post
OH! I had no idea we were talking about the same bike. I saw your post up top there and thought you might know some of the answers I sought. The reason I used the term "sniped" is because of this post I received from Dirk, the owner, sent to me on the day before Halloween:

Message body

Hi Gary- Thanks for your interest.Give me an email address and phone number,
and I will hold the bike until next weekend.


Thanks --Dirk


I've no hard feelings about this; you obviously made an offer he liked better. It's nice to have the mystery solved, though.

So I was reading a piece in "peloton" about TK, where he said that his design philosophy is to have the bike "disappear" beneath the rider. Depending on so many factors: riding style, body type, etc., he designs the bike to give that "one-with-the-machine" feeling (my words, not his) by using custom angles and combinations of different frame tubing for each application.

The Aristocrat feels that way to me, so I was wondering whether that was the TK touch, or just a bit of serendipity in my acquisition. One question remains: What year was this bike made?
Gotcha...I assumed you knew. I had discussed it before:

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...illy-joel.html

I'm glad it's not "a thing".

Actually, I just paid asking price. There wasn't a bidding war...he picked my offer because it was the first cash offer and because he liked how much I love TK and his history. Seller was a real gentleman. One of the things I like best about "this thing of ours" is the folks you meet along the way.

I don't THINK Pogue was ever able to definitively answer the year on the model, but I'm almost certain it's 78' - 80'. Regardless, it's a very nice bike and I'm glad you like it. If you ever get a chance at a 90s Merlin...take it.
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Old 01-27-17, 12:19 PM
  #439  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Gotcha...I assumed you knew. I had discussed it before:

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...illy-joel.html

I'm glad it's not "a thing".

Actually, I just paid asking price. There wasn't a bidding war...he picked my offer because it was the first cash offer and because he liked how much I love TK and his history. Seller was a real gentleman. One of the things I like best about "this thing of ours" is the folks you meet along the way.

I don't THINK Pogue was ever able to definitively answer the year on the model, but I'm almost certain it's 78' - 80'. Regardless, it's a very nice bike and I'm glad you like it. If you ever get a chance at a 90s Merlin...take it.
Well, thanks for the link - I hadn't seen that thread. The phrase "cash is king" rings true for a reason (I had offered Paypal). So it seems that Ross had a few golden years there when they produced world-class road bikes before they began to concentrate on the MTBs. It seems that they could have given Trek a run for their money during that time, but chose another path.

So, how does the TK Signature Touring compare with classic Trek touring bikes like the 5- or 720?
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Old 01-27-17, 12:27 PM
  #440  
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Originally Posted by DQRider View Post
This looks like the right place to ask: There has been some question as to the origin of my current favorite bike, what I was told was a 1982 Ross Aristocrat. The only one I've seen that lists a date is a 1979.

Can someone here tell me what year the Aristocrat was produced, and whether Tom Kellogg and/or Jim Redcay were involved in the design or build or both?...
I am fairly certain that what you have is a 1983 Aristocrat. The 1982 date may come from component date codes or the serial number, both of which may date to late 1982. The Aristocrat was the replacement for the Super Gran Tour XV. If you check the 1982 catalogue on Velobase you will see that there is no Aristocrat but the the Super Gran Tour XV is similarly spec'd, with the major difference being the triple crank. I have a dated 1983 spec sheet that lists the Aristocrat and the model numbers are the same as those used for the Super Gran Tour XV, right down to the colour code! There's no Aristocrat in the 1985 catalogue and I doubt it existed in 1984, as 600EX was replaced by New 600EX in 1984. The evidence suggests that the Aristocrat was a single year model, unless Ross reused the name.
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Old 01-27-17, 12:40 PM
  #441  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I am fairly certain that what you have is a 1983 Aristocrat. The 1982 date may come from component date codes or the serial number, both of which may date to late 1982. The Aristocrat was the replacement for the Super Gran Tour XV. If you check the 1982 catalogue on Velobase you will see that there is no Aristocrat but the the Super Gran Tour XV is similarly spec'd, with the major difference being the triple crank. I have a dated 1983 spec sheet that lists the Aristocrat and the model numbers are the same as those used for the Super Gran Tour XV, right down to the colour code! There's no Aristocrat in the 1985 catalogue and I doubt it existed in 1984, as 600EX was replaced by New 600EX in 1984. The evidence suggests that the Aristocrat was a single year model, unless Ross reused the name.
Thanks, as always, for your clarity and knowledge T-mar!

I've never actually owned one of those Treks, so i really can't say.
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Old 01-27-17, 01:00 PM
  #442  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I am fairly certain that what you have is a 1983 Aristocrat. The 1982 date may come from component date codes or the serial number, both of which may date to late 1982. The Aristocrat was the replacement for the Super Gran Tour XV. If you check the 1982 catalogue on Velobase you will see that there is no Aristocrat but the the Super Gran Tour XV is similarly spec'd, with the major difference being the triple crank. I have a dated 1983 spec sheet that lists the Aristocrat and the model numbers are the same as those used for the Super Gran Tour XV, right down to the colour code! There's no Aristocrat in the 1985 catalogue and I doubt it existed in 1984, as 600EX was replaced by New 600EX in 1984. The evidence suggests that the Aristocrat was a single year model, unless Ross reused the name.
Thanks for taking the time to look, T-Mar. I had seen Velobase, but haven't really used it much.
I've bookmarked it for future reference.

1983 puts it one year after the TK Signature bikes appeared, so there may well have been some influence in the design. That would make sense. And now I get to go and research Merlin! This bike hobby rabbit hole just goes deeper and deeper...
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Old 01-28-17, 08:08 AM
  #443  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I am fairly certain that what you have is a 1983 Aristocrat. The 1982 date may come from component date codes or the serial number, both of which may date to late 1982. The Aristocrat was the replacement for the Super Gran Tour XV. If you check the 1982 catalogue on Velobase you will see that there is no Aristocrat but the the Super Gran Tour XV is similarly spec'd, with the major difference being the triple crank. I have a dated 1983 spec sheet that lists the Aristocrat and the model numbers are the same as those used for the Super Gran Tour XV, right down to the colour code! There's no Aristocrat in the 1985 catalogue and I doubt it existed in 1984, as 600EX was replaced by New 600EX in 1984. The evidence suggests that the Aristocrat was a single year model, unless Ross reused the name.
T-mar, did the super gran tour use ishiwata 022? I thought they were hi-ten? That's a pretty big difference.
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Old 01-28-17, 08:39 AM
  #444  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
T-mar, did the super gran tour use ishiwata 022? I thought they were hi-ten? That's a pretty big difference.
The 1982 catalogue states "lightweight chromoly tubing" for the Super Gran Tour XV. The specific tubeset is not mentioned but the photo shows what appears to be an Ishiwata decal with a leading "0". So, 022 is a possibility but given the era and use, 024 would also be a distinct possibility. The 1983 Aristocrat specs state 024. Earlier versions may possibly have been hi-tensile but I can't say for sure.
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Old 02-23-17, 05:51 PM
  #445  
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Unsigned signatures

... .and even within the Signature line, there were less noteworthy models without builder attribution

Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I just stumbled across a few more tidbits on Ross. The top line Signature series was established in 1981. As noted in an earlier post, the builder was Tom Kellog, who left in 1983 and was replaced by Jim Redcay. In 1984 there were 5 Signature series bicycles and 7 "sub-Signature" models using CrMO tubing. The top line Signature Road Criterium cost $2100.00 US - not a typo! In addition to these 12 top and mid-range models, Ross apparently produced 90+ models of low end bicycles, tricyles and wagons. No wonder their entry-level reputation was/is hard to shake off!
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Old 05-01-17, 09:52 PM
  #446  
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I'm going to jump right in here with my first post, despite the fact that I am embarrassed by the condition I have allowed this bike to fall into. It was a gift to me about 30 years ago after my previous bike was stolen. It's a Ross, but I don't recall the model. I'm hoping someone can help me figure it out based on the components. This one was stolen as well, but I recovered it. When I did it was in fairly rough shape, all of the decals pretty much scraped off. I wrapped it with vinyl tape to cover up the damage and make the bike look even more unappealing. It's been sitting for about 10 years in my back shed. My son is now 8 and riding a mountain bike and liking riding on the grass. I ride a road bike now, but thought I would get the old Ross back into shape and check out some of the trails in our area. I'm pretty sure I got the bike in '87, but I suppose it could have been an '86 model, depending on what Frank's Bike Shop in the Lower East Side of Manhattan had in stock when my then girlfriend bought it. Photos attached. Okay, so the bike was red, white and blue. There is an "R" engraved into the stem. Suntour derailleurs, Lee Chi Sine Power brakes, Araya wheels.
Thanks,
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Old 05-02-17, 03:14 AM
  #447  
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Originally Posted by Berone View Post
I'm going to jump right in here with my first post... It was a gift to me about 30 years ago after my previous bike was stolen. It's a Ross, but I don't recall the model. I'm hoping someone can help me figure it out based on the components... I'm pretty sure I got the bike in '87, but I suppose it could have been an '86 model... Photos attached....
Welcome to the forums. The subject bicycle appears to be a 1987 Ross Bear Mountain.
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Old 05-02-17, 04:10 AM
  #448  
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There was a thread a few weeks ago on a similar Ross Bear Mountain.
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Old 05-02-17, 07:06 AM
  #449  
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Thank you! I'll go looking for that thread. This is perfect, since I now live about 10 minutes from Bear Mountain.
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Old 05-02-17, 09:09 AM
  #450  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Welcome to the forums. The subject bicycle appears to be a 1987 Ross Bear Mountain.
I just read through that thread. A lot of it looks the same, except for the colors. One of the posts said the 87s went to the pastel colors. Mine was definitely red, whte, and blue. I wonder if it's a different year or model. I hope to get it back on the stand on Friday, so maybe I can find the serial number. Although I'm not sure where to look, anymore. That's how I proved it was mine when I recovered it, so I'm sure it's there!

Edited to say I found a page from a 1987 catalog that seems to show my bike. Only contradiction is the brakes, which the catalog describes as "Ross alloy power brakes."
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Last edited by Berone; 05-02-17 at 11:47 AM.
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