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-   -   Anybody know the history of Ross bikes? (https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/39115-anybody-know-history-ross-bikes.html)

T-Mar 05-02-17 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by Berone (Post 19553747)
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."

Yes, it's definitely no older than 1987, as that is a SunTour Alpha 3000 derailleur, which was introduced in 1987. The optional colour that year was "Snow White" with red forks and bars, which is what you have. The stem looks black in the catalogue, as opposed to blue but we've seen some variations in stem and bar colour combinations. Despite the name difference, the brakes are OEM. I posted some blown up pictures of the brakes from the ad copy, in the other thread.

rlstites 06-27-17 07:01 AM

This Ross is for sale; what model is it?
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hi all your Ross fans!
I could purchase this Ross for $120. I road it and it rides well and does not feel like it is 32 pounds for sure. Everything has been tuned up. It has 27 inch tires/rims.


Let me know what you can tell me about what year/model it might be.

Thanks, Robert

DiegoFrogs 06-27-17 10:41 AM


Originally Posted by rlstites (Post 19680081)
Hi all your Ross fans!
I could purchase this Ross for $120. I road it and it rides well and does not feel like it is 32 pounds for sure. Everything has been tuned up. It has 27 inch tires/rims.


Let me know what you can tell me about what year/model it might be.

Thanks, Robert

This has all the hallmarks of a pretty low-end bike, and Ross made many of those types. I'm far from an expert in Ross bikes, but I suspect it's from the early 1980's.

Saying this as a guy who is planning on some small upgrades to a 1980's Ross MTB with the same decals when I visit my family not too far from Allentown this fall, I think $120 is too much. You can probably find a better bike for less money if you have the patience to look.

Bikedued 06-27-17 01:24 PM

I would say that is double what it's worth, but really not worth spending the money on anyway. There are MUCH better bikes out there for that price if you look around.,,,,BD

due ruote 06-27-17 01:55 PM

I would have to agree with others. I paid $160 for a Signature 294S and it came with Record hub/MA40 wheels. Maybe that was a lucky deal but all the same, if it were me, I would hold out for a better frame.

RiddleOfSteel 06-27-17 09:47 PM


Originally Posted by due ruote (Post 19681153)
I would have to agree with others. I paid $160 for a Signature 294S and it came with Record hub/MA40 wheels. Maybe that was a lucky deal but all the same, if it were me, I would hold out for a better frame.

I paid the same for the same bike about five years ago. All Campy Triomphe. Lucky you with the Record/MA40s. Knowing what I know now, $160 in either of our cases is a truly great deal. I still have the bike, and it serves as a stellar winter/rain bike.

Lazyass 08-15-17 09:06 AM

Can anyone ID this bike? I think it may be a Mt. McKinley? Fillet brazed triple butted Tange? I can get it for $45 but it appears to have some serious seat post issues.

https://images.craigslist.org/00I0I_...5_1200x900.jpg

It looks like this one except for the top tube decal:

https://budgetbicyclectr.com/1987-ro...n-bicycle.html

4funbikes 08-16-17 07:32 AM

Seems like the one McKinley. Rear wheel appears to have been replaced unfortunately.
For $45 I don't think you can go wrong. That's a pretty cool frame. The seat post will require some patience.

due ruote 08-16-17 12:30 PM

I agree; for $45 I would buy it and do battle with the post. If you have to bail on it you can likely recoup your outlay on parts. The shifters alone would probably get you at least half way there.

Revracer 04-06-18 08:15 AM


Originally Posted by auchencrow (Post 16930653)
Here's a bunch'a pics of my '79 Allentown Ross "Aristocrat".
Built-up from a frame, it has quite a mix of parts on it.
(BTW - I think this about as good a ride as I have ever thrown a leg over. :))

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...979/Ross_3.jpg

Auchen, I am curious if you or others know if the Paragon / Aristocrat / Utopian were built in Allentown or overseas? I see your frame has a Ross Allentown head badge. My Utopian head badge does not include "Allentown" but I am led to believe they are all the same Ishiwata 024 frameset. I understood from other posts these were from 83-84, anyone have any certainty? Wanted to understand the history and whether this frame was truly made in my back yard in PA.

T-Mar 04-06-18 08:48 AM


Originally Posted by Revracer (Post 20268223)
Auchen, I am curious if you or others know if the Paragon / Aristocrat / Utopian were built in Allentown or overseas? I see your frame has a Ross Allentown head badge. My Utopian head badge does not include "Allentown" but I am led to believe they are all the same Ishiwata 024 frameset. I understood from other posts these were from 83-84, anyone have any certainty? Wanted to understand the history and whether this frame was truly made in my back yard in PA.

The serial number should tell us the exact year and who manufactured the frame.

Revracer 04-06-18 12:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by T-Mar (Post 20268302)
The serial number should tell us the exact year and who manufactured the frame.

T-Mar, thanks for the response. Attached is a pic of the bottom showing ROSS 290 and a serial of 0883113147. Guessing that is a 1983, but curious to know what indicates the production facility?

EchoBravo 04-07-18 06:49 AM

I am in the process of saving an old, ugly Ross 4130 frame from an unpleasant fate in eBay purgatory. Its a 66cm and will be a SS/FG ride for me. I had the "Ross" decals made and found a foil headbadge sticker on eBay. Paint by Rustoleum.

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net...de&oe=5ACADC91

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/p...ot_mmthumb.jpg

T-Mar 04-07-18 05:16 PM


Originally Posted by Revracer (Post 20268780)
T-Mar, thanks for the response. Attached is a pic of the bottom showing ROSS 290 and a serial of 0883113147. Guessing that is a 1983, but curious to know what indicates the production facility?

Not very many members have been willing to disclose their Ross serial numbers but based on the couple of dozen that I've been able to collect, I believe that your frame dates to August 1983. That is in the grey area where it could be either a 1983 or 1984 model.

Regarding the source, the known Allentown manufactured models from the mid-1980s all have an 'R' prefix to the serial number. Yours doesn't have one but there appears to be an isolated 'R' stamped into the drive side of the shell. If this was just sloppy workmanship and meant to be part of the serial number, then it could be an Allentown bicycle but I can't make a definitve statement.

RiddleOfSteel 04-08-18 02:15 AM

My '85 Signature 294S had a serial number of 0485100816. I believe, somewhere on the internet, somebody decoded the SNs for them, and 04 = month, 85 = year, and 100816 = sequence number during that year.

Revracer 04-08-18 05:27 AM


Originally Posted by T-Mar (Post 20270922)
Yours doesn't have one but there appears to be an isolated 'R' stamped into the drive side of the shell. If this was just sloppy workmanship and meant to be part of the serial number, then it could be an Allentown bicycle but I can't make a definitve statement.

Thank T-Mar, but I for some reason am failing to see the R on the drive side in the picture. My eyes aren't what they once were though.

T-Mar 04-08-18 02:03 PM


Originally Posted by Revracer (Post 20271461)
Thank T-Mar, but I for some reason am failing to see the R on the drive side in the picture. My eyes aren't what they once were though.

You have the bicycle in front o fyou, soI'm likely mistaken.

ROS' post adds further value, given that his serial number is from 1985 and matches your format (i.e. mmyyxxxxx). I have a handful of other 1985 serial numbers and they are format RAyymmxxxx. Besides the RA prefix (Ross Allentown?), the year and month positions are reversed and there is one less 'x' character. A couple of the samples have one and two places holding zeroes at the start of the 'x' character string, so it would appear that this portions of the serial number was a maximum of four characters, for this format.

onyerleft 04-11-18 08:20 PM

Here's my condensed history of Ross bicycles:

"Ross Bicycles provided good value but otherwise were mediocre. That's why they went out of business."

I should know. I owned a Mount Hood that I purchased new. Beautiful to behold (it was solid chrome) but rode like a pig.

RiddleOfSteel 04-12-18 12:41 AM

Clever, and perhaps fitting, except for their Signature line (290/292/294 plus a unicorn or two above that) in the '80s (at the very least). A bit 'too little too late' but nevertheless very good frames built by skilled craftsmen.

- former Signature 294S owner.

DQRider 04-12-18 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by onyerleft (Post 20279186)
Here's my condensed history of Ross bicycles:

"Ross Bicycles provided good value but otherwise were mediocre. That's why they went out of business."

I should know. I owned a Mount Hood that I purchased new. Beautiful to behold (it was solid chrome) but rode like a pig.

I wouldn't paint them with so broad a brush, especially based on your subjective judgement of just one model.

To expand on what the honorable RiddleOfSteel said, they certainly did have at least two master framebuilders in Tom Kellogg and Jim Redcay. They were responsible for the Signature series of roadbikes, and I suspect they had a hand in the design/build of the Aristocrat, Paragon, and Utopian as well. These were all built with Ishiwata tubesets, either 022 or 024, and are widely recognized as high quality bicycles. I know my Aristocrat is one of my favorite rides.

https://i.imgur.com/sJQrBIR.png

Of course, the Ross bikes that were sold through department stores or as the low-end "economy" models in bike shops certainly were mediocre. On that we can definitely agree.



Kristine29 05-22-18 04:07 AM

Interesting! Didn't know this before


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