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Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

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Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

Old 11-19-22, 11:42 PM
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I recently picked up a circa 1982 Ross Super Gran Tour XV sporting an Ishiwata 024 frame and Shimano 600 Arabesque group. Thing is still virtually new and looks to have never been ridden. The hoods have unfortunately rotted off and Im having them replaced.







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Old 11-20-22, 07:39 AM
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That is an amazing time capsule. Gearing is a fascination to me, so what are the sprocket counts on that freewheel, and especially the crankset? I see a 52t outer, so maybe a 38,45,52? Interesting!
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Old 11-20-22, 08:50 PM
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Redux

Originally Posted by trmcgeehan View Post
I have a 1985 Ross road bike, given to me by a friend in California. I have been riding it 4 years, and it's a great bike. It is heavy -- 32 pounds ready to roll. Does anyone know the history of the Ross company? I understand they were headquartered in Allentown, PA. I was in Florida last week and stopped by a local LBS. I asked the owner if he could identify my bike (It carries no manufacturer logos). He asked me if it was European or American. When I said American, he immediately said "Ross." The owner said Ross was a going concern until the late 1980's, when they won a U.S. Post Office contract to provide three-wheel bikes to carriers in New York City. This dragged the whole company under, for what reason I don't know. He said he thinks the company still exists, but no longer manufactures bikes. Maybe Ross is now some kind of distributor for Asian bikes. Here's a little aside on this particular bike shop. The owner was formerly a Ferrari mechanic, who bought the shop 4 years ago in Jacksonville, FL. He said: "If I can tune a 12 cylinder Ferrari, I figured I could work on these things (bikes). He had a good point, I think.
Hi nice to see slime Ross bikes still on the road; posted entire history on this thread ~15 years ago; if you would like more info email me; andyrossesq@msn.com.
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Old 11-21-22, 06:06 AM
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BTW, its for sale.
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Old 11-21-22, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 100bikes View Post
BTW, its for sale.
If you're talking about mine, pictured above, I was trying to sell it for a while, but I decided to just keep it. I had originally intended to keep and ride it, but the "unridden" condition, even down to the unused original tires, made me not want to be the guy that actually started putting miles on this thing. I figured maybe it was better to just have it hanging on someone's wall as a "time capsule". I eventually decided "the hell with it" and that this thing was meant to be ridden anyway. Soon, it won't be "like new" anymore, but a "like new" bike is kind of a sad thing anyway. I'll check the freewheel and crank later, but I will say I was initially excited that the crank was a triple, only to look a little closer and discover that the small front chain ring was only a 39. Wow, times have certainly changed. Also, excuse the flopped down and drive side position of the front skewer in the photos above- I had just transported the bike home and was excited to shoot off some photos to show a few of my bike buds.
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Old 11-21-22, 11:49 AM
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So, what’s the middle ring then? I see 52 on big and guessed 38 small and maybe 45 middle. It is always interesting to see stock gearing configurations. Really a curious choice by Ross on this one. Perhaps a double half step?
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Old 11-21-22, 11:50 AM
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Wow, that Super Gran Tour is amazing. I'd be (almost) afraid to ride it.

Here's my contribution to this thread, near twin Ross Mt Hoods that my riding buddy and I picked up over the last couple of weeks. Mine (I'm wearing the Cino jersey) is a 1986 with Tange MTB triple-butted tubes and mostly Suntour XC components (including roller cam brakes) and a funky black stem with steel bars. His is a 1985 with mostly Shimano components and a Tange high tensile forks sticker (no frame sticker). His head badge says "Ross Allentown PA" while mine only says "Ross". This suggests to me that mine was one of the first bikes to be made in Taiwan.

Note that just this last weekend we took these bikes to Fairfax CA and rode some of the classic trails that the originators of mountain biking made famous. We also were given a personal tour of the mountain biking museum there by Joe Breeze and Charlie Kelly (two of the founding fathers of mountain biking).


Ross Mt Hood chromies
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Old 11-22-22, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Wow, that Super Gran Tour is amazing. I'd be (almost) afraid to ride it.

Here's my contribution to this thread, near twin Ross Mt Hoods that my riding buddy and I picked up over the last couple of weeks. Mine (I'm wearing the Cino jersey) is a 1986 with Tange MTB triple-butted tubes and mostly Suntour XC components (including roller cam brakes) and a funky black stem with steel bars. His is a 1985 with mostly Shimano components and a Tange high tensile forks sticker (no frame sticker). His head badge says "Ross Allentown PA" while mine only says "Ross". This suggests to me that mine was one of the first bikes to be made in Taiwan.

Note that just this last weekend we took these bikes to Fairfax CA and rode some of the classic trails that the originators of mountain biking made famous. We also were given a personal tour of the mountain biking museum there by Joe Breeze and Charlie Kelly (two of the founding fathers of mountain biking).


Ross Mt Hood chromies
Beautiful bike(s), Davester!
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Old 11-23-22, 12:38 AM
  #509  
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
That is an amazing time capsule. Gearing is a fascination to me, so what are the sprocket counts on that freewheel, and especially the crankset? I see a 52t outer, so maybe a 38,45,52? Interesting!
Checked today, and the front chain rings are 52, 45 and 39. The low gear in the back is a 32.
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Old 11-25-22, 07:31 PM
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While we're on chromies (and specifically Hoodies...):

As bought - since replaced tires, fork and saddle, and removed kickstand, rack and lock bracket




I also have a chrome (and chrome-moly) Piranha BMX, but I don't reckon it's central to the company's history.

Last edited by madpogue; 11-25-22 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 11-25-22, 09:36 PM
  #511  
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
While we're on chromies (and specifically Hoodies...):

As bought - since replaced tires, fork and saddle, and removed kickstand, rack and lock bracket




I also have a chrome (and chrome-moly) Piranha BMX, but I don't reckon it's central to the company's history.
The light bulb always burns brighter before it burns out. That was the saying when we all used incandescent bulbs. Ross made substantial improvements with the move from Far Rockaway to Allentown. They saw that BMX was a big market and although they were late, they made improvements. Where they really focused was on Mountain bikes and higher end road bikes.

Unfortunately, this was right at the time that everyone, except Schwinn, was stepping up their product lines and new companies coming in with good products. Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized were all new and brought that new innovative vibe to their bike lines. Raleigh and other established bike brands were coming in with well built bikes from Taiwan. With all of these choices, Ross wasn't able to stand out as new or innovative because it takes time to change perceptions.

Now we have an era of Ross bikes that may be undervalued compared to their used market competition. So, if you are in the know, you may be able take advantage of it and get a good rigid mountain bike.

One of the things that I remember from 1981 or '82 is the Ross rep' that came to the bike shop I worked in and was excited about their lineup of bikes. Prior to this it was just how many Eurosports do you want? How many 3 speeds, 5 speeds and 10 speeds? Now they had something to talk about and a new direction.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:46 PM
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I thought I had posted these bikes here, but it was in the vintage mountain bike thread. I found a pair of Ross Mt. Hood bikes at a local second hand shop a few years ago. I think they are 1987 models. I originally bought the grey one because it was my size, but after watching the green one sit out all summer, I went back and rescued it too for my wife. The tires and shift cables were shot, but other than that, they just needed clean and lube. The U-brakes have the thick motorcycle cables.


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Old 11-27-22, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by trmcgeehan View Post
I have a 1985 Ross road bike, given to me by a friend in California. I have been riding it 4 years, and it's a great bike. It is heavy -- 32 pounds ready to roll. Does anyone know the history of the Ross company? I understand they were headquartered in Allentown, PA. I was in Florida last week and stopped by a local LBS. I asked the owner if he could identify my bike (It carries no manufacturer logos). He asked me if it was European or American. When I said American, he immediately said "Ross." The owner said Ross was a going concern until the late 1980's, when they won a U.S. Post Office contract to provide three-wheel bikes to carriers in New York City. This dragged the whole company under, for what reason I don't know. He said he thinks the company still exists, but no longer manufactures bikes. Maybe Ross is now some kind of distributor for Asian bikes. Here's a little aside on this particular bike shop. The owner was formerly a Ferrari mechanic, who bought the shop 4 years ago in Jacksonville, FL. He said: "If I can tune a 12 cylinder Ferrari, I figured I could work on these things (bikes). He had a good point, I think.
Hello, I am the grandson of the founder of Ross Bucycles FKA Chain Bike Corrporation; posted entire history at beginning of this thread; if you have any additional questions e-mail me at andyrossesq@msn.com; Rand in Farmingdale, NY purchased the trademark ROSS in 1991 and manufactured about 100k POS bikes in Taiwan 🇹🇼 in the mid 99s ; these are not Ross bicycles proudly made in the USA for 40 years. My dad Sherwood Ross and last CEO passed in 2013 if you GOOGLE his name you can read his obituary which Ibwrote and appeared on the front page of the New York Times; provides much of the sam info whe I first posted on this thread, Andrew Ross.
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Old 11-29-22, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewbross View Post
Hello, I am the grandson of the founder of Ross Bucycles FKA Chain Bike Corrporation; posted entire history at beginning of this thread; if you have any additional questions e-mail me at andyrossesq@msn.com; Rand in Farmingdale, NY purchased the trademark ROSS in 1991 and manufactured about 100k POS bikes in Taiwan 🇹🇼 in the mid 99s ; these are not Ross bicycles proudly made in the USA for 40 years. My dad Sherwood Ross and last CEO passed in 2013 if you GOOGLE his name you can read his obituary which Ibwrote and appeared on the front page of the New York Times; provides much of the sam info whe I first posted on this thread, Andrew Ross.
Hello Andrew,
Glad you are still watching this thread. I have always had a love for Ross bikes and have had a few. My favorite was this 1985 Signature 294S. It is the only one I have seen that was equipped with Campy parts. I have since moved this on to a new owner that fell in love with it also. As you can see in this thread the MTB's still have a great following. Thanks again for staying in touch with us bike geeks.



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Old 11-29-22, 06:59 PM
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1979 Ross Compact
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Old 11-30-22, 11:26 AM
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Back in the early 80's I worked at a local bike shop that sold Ross, Raleigh, Trek and Cannondale Bicycles. Ross was on the lower end of the scale but did make quality products.
In August this year I acquired a Ross Professional for about $70 just to harvest the Shimano parts for another project. Still have the frame and fork if anyone is interested.

Ross Professional 25"

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Old 11-30-22, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by brandenjs View Post
Hello Andrew,
Glad you are still watching this thread. I have always had a love for Ross bikes and have had a few. My favorite was this 1985 Signature 294S. It is the only one I have seen that was equipped with Campy parts. I have since moved this on to a new owner that fell in love with it also. As you can see in this thread the MTB's still have a great following. Thanks again for staying in touch with us bike geeks.
+1 It's cool to have some input from the Ross family on this thread.
I also have a 294S, and it's probably my most-ridden road bike. A very nice riding and versatile frame that takes 28mm tires with fenders easily and has a generous complement of braze-ons. I have mine set up with Shimano 8-sp and downtube shifters.
The one thing I have pondered is the choice of Ishiwata 024 tubing rather than 022. I wonder if the slightly heavier spec was an attempt to make this an everyman bike - better able to withstand some casual knocks than lighter gauge tubing.
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Old 12-03-22, 11:40 AM
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Interesting to learn the history of these bikes. I picked up this 81 Ross Signature recently. Too big for me so not quite sure what I'm going to do with it yet.


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