Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

Old 05-02-17, 12:19 PM
  #451  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17,864
Mentioned: 434 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 74 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by Berone View Post
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.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 06-27-17, 07:01 AM
  #452  
rlstites
rls
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 12

Bikes: KHS Easton Aero Turbo -1993

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This Ross is for sale; what model is it?

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
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Ross Road Bike.jpg (98.6 KB, 307 views)
File Type: jpg
Ross shifters.jpg (93.0 KB, 306 views)
File Type: jpg
Ross gears.jpg (98.9 KB, 301 views)
rlstites is offline  
Old 06-27-17, 10:41 AM
  #453  
DiegoFrogs
Senior Member
 
DiegoFrogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 2,371

Bikes: '77 Centurion "Pro Tour"; '67 Carlton "The Flyer"; 1984 Ross MTB (in USA)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by rlstites View Post
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.
DiegoFrogs is offline  
Old 06-27-17, 01:24 PM
  #454  
Bikedued
Senior Member
 
Bikedued's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 10,929
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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
Bikedued is offline  
Old 06-27-17, 01:55 PM
  #455  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,708
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 494 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
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.
due ruote is offline  
Old 06-27-17, 09:47 PM
  #456  
RiddleOfSteel
Lugged, Dura-Ace Glory
 
RiddleOfSteel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,521

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prologue - '74 Schwinn Paramount P15 - '8X Davidson Impulse - '88 Land Shark Road Shark - '92 Specialized Epic Carbon - '15 Cannondale CAAD10 Disc - '81 Trek 710 - '92? Bushnell Track Bike

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 797 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
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.
RiddleOfSteel is offline  
Old 08-15-17, 09:06 AM
  #457  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Lazyass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,171

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1910 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.



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

https://budgetbicyclectr.com/1987-ro...n-bicycle.html
Lazyass is offline  
Old 08-16-17, 07:32 AM
  #458  
4funbikes 
Senior Member
 
4funbikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southeastern,VA
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
4funbikes is offline  
Old 08-16-17, 12:30 PM
  #459  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,708
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 494 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
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.
due ruote is offline  
Old 04-06-18, 08:15 AM
  #460  
Revracer
Senior Member
 
Revracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 145

Bikes: 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur | Francesco Moser SL | 1984 Ross Utopian | St. Etienne 531 | 1981 Peugeot PK10 | 2015 Cannondale SuperSix | 2012 Felt F65X

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
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. )


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.
Revracer is offline  
Old 04-06-18, 08:48 AM
  #461  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17,864
Mentioned: 434 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 74 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by Revracer View Post
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.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 04-06-18, 12:32 PM
  #462  
Revracer
Senior Member
 
Revracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 145

Bikes: 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur | Francesco Moser SL | 1984 Ross Utopian | St. Etienne 531 | 1981 Peugeot PK10 | 2015 Cannondale SuperSix | 2012 Felt F65X

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
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?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
WP_20180406_11_34_24_Rich.jpg (691.3 KB, 175 views)
Revracer is offline  
Old 04-07-18, 06:49 AM
  #463  
EchoBravo
Fish Out of Water
 
EchoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Milwaukee, U.S.A.
Posts: 44

Bikes: 1992 Cannondale 2.8, 1993 Trek 930, 2012 Trek Marlin, 2018 Raleigh Back Alley

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.



EchoBravo is offline  
Old 04-07-18, 05:16 PM
  #464  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17,864
Mentioned: 434 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 74 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by Revracer View Post
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.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 04-08-18, 02:15 AM
  #465  
RiddleOfSteel
Lugged, Dura-Ace Glory
 
RiddleOfSteel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,521

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prologue - '74 Schwinn Paramount P15 - '8X Davidson Impulse - '88 Land Shark Road Shark - '92 Specialized Epic Carbon - '15 Cannondale CAAD10 Disc - '81 Trek 710 - '92? Bushnell Track Bike

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 797 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
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.
RiddleOfSteel is offline  
Old 04-08-18, 05:27 AM
  #466  
Revracer
Senior Member
 
Revracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 145

Bikes: 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur | Francesco Moser SL | 1984 Ross Utopian | St. Etienne 531 | 1981 Peugeot PK10 | 2015 Cannondale SuperSix | 2012 Felt F65X

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
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.
Revracer is offline  
Old 04-08-18, 02:03 PM
  #467  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17,864
Mentioned: 434 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 74 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by Revracer View Post
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.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 04-11-18, 08:20 PM
  #468  
onyerleft
Senior Member
 
onyerleft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 366

Bikes: All of your bicycles are belong to me

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 220 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
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.
onyerleft is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 12:41 AM
  #469  
RiddleOfSteel
Lugged, Dura-Ace Glory
 
RiddleOfSteel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,521

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prologue - '74 Schwinn Paramount P15 - '8X Davidson Impulse - '88 Land Shark Road Shark - '92 Specialized Epic Carbon - '15 Cannondale CAAD10 Disc - '81 Trek 710 - '92? Bushnell Track Bike

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 797 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
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.
RiddleOfSteel is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 01:21 PM
  #470  
DQRider 
Old Boy
 
DQRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,474

Bikes: I finally have all the bikes I need.

Mentioned: 109 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 578 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
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.



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.


__________________

Rouler pour la joie, jamais pour la douleur.


USMC 1981-1991 Semper Fi!

Last edited by DQRider; 04-12-18 at 01:37 PM.
DQRider is online now  
Old 05-22-18, 04:07 AM
  #471  
Kristine29
Junior Member
 
Kristine29's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Interesting! Didn't know this before
Kristine29 is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 12:18 PM
  #472  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,708
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 494 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
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.
@T-Mar, here is another SN for you, from my Signature 294s. I have been calling it 1985. Just uncovered the SN and now I don’t know what to think. Looks to me like two different numbers struck one over the other, with a second cable guide hole drilled in the middle for good measure.

When I bought the bike it had a mix of parts, but enough Campy Victory/Triomphe still there that it looked like a pretty good match with the 1985 catalog page.

The other marking reads “Ross 200” fwiw.

due ruote is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
RKELLY
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
1
12-17-16 09:50 AM
bloom87
Bicycle Mechanics
17
05-22-16 10:53 AM
Regulatori
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
42
04-06-16 06:45 PM
newleefixed
Framebuilders
0
01-20-11 02:57 PM
jasonguard
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
2
07-07-06 01:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.