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

duane041 02-21-06 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by fatchance
This is a great thread. Hi all, first post here :)

I have a Ross Signature 294S that I bought slightly used in 1985, pretty much all original except for the handlebar wrap and saddle. I think it's the 1984 model, but not certain. Nice bike with nearly full Campy Triomphe gruppo (Suntour freewheel). I know Ross offered at least one model above the 294S around that time. At some point I possessed the full 1985(?) Ross catalog, but sadly got rid of it. I did keep the 294S section, though - I scanned it in and will try attaching it here.

The bike you are thinking of could be the Signature Triad 508. Columbus SL and SP, and full Shimano "new" 600 (????). I currently own a 292S which I always thought was an 85, but the 85 catalog lists it as not being made from Ishiwata tubing, which it is. Maybe I have an 84 or 86. I love this bike and would love to have another, as this one is so stock and near perfect I don't have the heart to upgrade anything.

roccobike, let us know how the Koolstops work. I have the Shimano 105 brakes, and they seem to be good enough, but could use more oomph. Sometimes stopping is an exercise in planning more than anything else.

roccobike 02-21-06 11:14 PM


Originally Posted by duane041
The bike you are thinking of could be the Signature Triad 508. Columbus SL and SP, and full Shimano "new" 600 (????). I currently own a 292S which I always thought was an 85, but the 85 catalog lists it as not being made from Ishiwata tubing, which it is. Maybe I have an 84 or 86. I love this bike and would love to have another, as this one is so stock and near perfect I don't have the heart to upgrade anything.

roccobike, let us know how the Koolstops work. I have the Shimano 105 brakes, and they seem to be good enough, but could use more oomph. Sometimes stopping is an exercise in planning more than anything else.

First I have to decide what I want to do with this bike. Like you, I hate to change it because it is really nice, but the size of the frame is a problem for me. I might sell it, or take the components off and build up another bike that is the correct size for me. But then I come back to how nice this bike is and I hate to break it up. For now, I'm just going to ride a bike that's the wrong size. Maybe something will break my way that will help me decide which way to go.

fatchance 02-21-06 11:54 PM


Originally Posted by duane041
The bike you are thinking of could be the Signature Triad 508. Columbus SL and SP, and full Shimano "new" 600 (????). I currently own a 292S which I always thought was an 85, but the 85 catalog lists it as not being made from Ishiwata tubing, which it is. Maybe I have an 84 or 86.

Hi Duane, not sure if you meant to quote my post or not. My bike is definitely the 294S with Campy Triomphe, Ishiwata 024, etc. Same bike as in the picture.

duane041 02-22-06 05:41 PM


Originally Posted by fatchance
Hi Duane, not sure if you meant to quote my post or not. My bike is definitely the 294S with Campy Triomphe, Ishiwata 024, etc. Same bike as in the picture.

I meant to say the bike that was above the Signature 294 in the Ross line was the Traid 508. Sorry for the confusion.

Bokchoi Cowboy 03-21-06 11:38 AM

I had a Ross Mt. Hood from 1985 that went through a long process of improvement. It is now long gone, and I am kicking myself for giving up that ride. It was a tank, to be sure, and the weight really was tiresome (literally!), but I would love to have it back, for at least the sentimental value.

It was a chrome beast, with the black square with a stylized "R" on the head-tube, triangulated bars, Sugino cranks, a heavy Tange (I think) fork, Dia Compe cantis, and a middle of the road shimano drivetrain and shifter set. I rode the stock wheels into the ground just so I could start my upgrades with their replacements: a spiffy set of wide Specialized/Wheelsmith Saturae bolt-on 5 speed wheels. I still have those wheels, as I later got a set of Specialized/Wheelsmith X-32 (or 35, I don't remember) quick-release 6 speed wheels.

I upgraded the drivetrain to the first gen Deore XT, with the nifty black labeled thumbshifters. Got the Deore XT brake levers (with the little rubber boots) and cantis. Road seat for a narrower profile and ease of movement when off-road. Changed out the fork for a unicrown one so I could use a different headset and quill stem (Ross used some weird size and standard compnents wouldn't work). Got a silk finished black Specialized stem and bar, attached through a Shimano 600 headset with an extra lockring (those scalloped nutted ones). Pedals were these interesting Shimano platform types that had this strange internal rigging that allowed toeclips to be attached, which were leather wrapped Christophes.

Went a heck of a lot of places with this bike, off-road through commuting. The frame was subject to some intense crap, including some ski-area downhills, including Mammoth. I was amazed at what it lived through. It was a definite testament to the Ross company. Many people look at them as a bargain basement type of manufacturer, but after getting much more than my money worth out of that bike I can say they knew what they were doing, even if they did build tanks. I am sorry the name does not have a current association with quality, but at least us retro-grouches can bask in the memories.

I do have a chrome Mt Whitney, sans wheels, in my attic that I should probably pull down and restore. It has the original Shimano "Deer Head" group on it, and appears functional. Perhaps that will be the project after the PXN10-E restoration....

*

halcpa 06-22-06 12:50 PM

Good thread.

I recently salvaged a Ross Mt. Rushmore from the dumpster. After a good scrubbing, lube and new rubber the bike runs amazingly well. I was looking for some info on the bike when I stumbled across this forum.

Now I know why all the references are post mortum. Its a shame. The high end mfgrs seem to forget that biking is about fun. This bike is very shiny silver and just fun to ride.

Mooo 06-22-06 07:10 PM

My turn for a Ross story
 
Whan I were but a wee laddie, I shelled out fistfulls of paper route money for a new Ross Eurosport (I came within about an inch and a half of getting a used Schwinn Super Sport - too big, blast). I'm thinking 169 new in 79 or 80. While the other kids in the 8th or 9th grade were getting wound up about stick and ball sports, that Ross introduced me to a good many of the back roads in our county.
In fact, I took it on my first tour, after my sop****re year of high school. From near Boston to near DC. (has it really been 25 years!?), steel rims in the rain, vinyl bar tape, suicide levers, sag support, 20 other kids...
Eventually, I grew aware of it's limitations - shimano front freewheel, no eyelets on the front fork, no freewheel on the rear wheel... it was going to cost a fortune to gear it low enough to wade around with panniers... So I bought a Nishiki Royale.

In college I helped lead tours for the same group I'd ridden with. One of our "regulars" started out on a Huffy, but soon moved up to a Ross Gran Tour II (?). I looked it over when he bought it, eyelets, a decent wheelbase, decent looking frame... He rode that all over, to Florida, Wisconsin, St Louis, Gettysburg, Nova Scotia... An under rated touring bike, I think. Not flashy, but pretty functional. 280 or 300 something new, I think.

masiman 07-11-06 07:58 PM

Most of you all have later models, lol.

My first bike ever was a Ross. I it was the Gran Tour I. My mom did not think I would stick with it so she made me buy it with my own money. That must have been 77 or 78. I think it cost $215 out the door. I rode it the 7 miles home, smiling all the way. That took me a long time to save for that back then. It was my first bike so I forget the components. I know it was the cheaper end. It had the safety levers that I eventually removed when I started riding with the local club. I put on the Grab-On foam handlebar coverings that were just out too. I put on toe clips and because I could not afford cleats I took my brothers old soccer cleats and cut the cleats where I needed to so that they gripped the pedals. I never had shoes that held the pedals better than those until clipless came along. That thing got me into riding and eventually racing. Treks were just starting to make headway into the market. My Ross was eventually stolen. I bought a Trek after that. A semi sport-tourer, club racer. Sold that to a friend who still laments having that stolen while he was in college. Kleins around that time were exotic. Their frames were going for 2k and up if I remember correctly. They were introducing thin walled oversized aluminum with beautiful brazing. Very posh posh.

Anyway. Ross's were well respected. They had a small following but could not quite find their niche. They had some fine builders (Tom Kellogg was one).

dingster1 07-14-06 02:12 PM

I just got a Ross "adventurer" Mixte for $35 at Goodwill. Since my LBS was on the way home, I stopped in and had it checked out. Didn't need tubes, tires or cranks, but a tune up will be done when I come back from vacation since there is a 3 week wait right now. A change in saddle is definitely in order!!!! Handlebar tape,lights and a good oiling are next

rosserx3 07-15-06 06:59 PM


Originally Posted by dingster1
I just got a Ross "adventurer" Mixte for $35 at Goodwill. Since my LBS was on the way home, I stopped in and had it checked out. Didn't need tubes, tires or cranks, but a tune up will be done when I come back from vacation since there is a 3 week wait right now. A change in saddle is definitely in order!!!! Handlebar tape,lights and a good oiling are next

wow another person wiht an adventurer. I have a 1981 adventurer all original brand new no rust not nothing. I also have 2 ross eurosports 1 that is my fav ride i put miles after miles on that thing. The other one i just have as a working ss that i use to get around my dh and xc races. Its an awsome bike. i have 13 friends that all have rosses some have more then 1 and we all get together every month except winter and do a long ride. All ross all day. A lot of fun.

profpf 07-26-06 08:38 PM

Ross History!
 
Thanks for sharing the history! I enjoyed it very much. My Dad collects bikes from local shops (which they have taken in trade and don't want to resell) as well as dontated bikes, which he repairs and gives to the homeless in upstate New York as part of a local "bike ministry". Somehow a Starjet made by the Chain Bike Corp. in Rockaway Beach, NY turned up. It's a red one-speed. I love it. I traded a 10-speed which didn't need any work for the Starjet and my neighbors love it. Someone left a note for me today, wanting to buy it. I guess it must have been made by Ross. I have always thought of Ross as a good company! (I must have hadd the good ones when I was growing up!)

Stacey 07-27-06 05:07 AM

Hi Adam, thanks for posting and welcome aboard. I have an old Barracuda (think Sting-Ray) in pieces and I have most of the parts, save for seat, bars & wheels. PM me if you're interested. I'm in upper Bucks Co. PA. If you're still in the Allentown area you could drive by and pick it up... freebie. One of the rear dropouts is stamped 'Chain Bike Co.'

Any info on BCA, Bicycle Corporation of America? I've heard there was a Ross tie-in there, as the BCA bikes have an Allentown origin as well.

It's cool to 'talk' with someone closely associated with a piece of local lore.

rkizzy 08-19-06 06:03 PM

I just bought a purple Ross "premier series" and what seems to be superflous "signature series", gran tour . It has shimano exage 300ex - biopace. It looked absolutely brand new. I'm obviously not a bike nut so I decided to do some research and of course found nothing but this thread. When the hell was this bike made?

kyledr 08-19-06 07:01 PM

I just got a Ross Professional. About 25 lbs single speed, was full Shimano 600 (still is, minus derailers). Any info on this? It's a touring bike. What do you figure it's worth? I hear it was late 70s. Perfect shape. The 600 parts look NOS.

rkizzy 08-21-06 06:40 AM

Here are some pics of the bike. Anyone have any insights as to when it was made?

http://static.flickr.com/97/220972770_b77b7f8bfd_o.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/75/220972772_90f26de5bf_o.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/79/220972771_25b65af748_o.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/68/220972773_0ba98e6c1d_o.jpg

leunkstar 08-21-06 06:53 AM

Or the bike is gigantic or the person holding it is not that tall ;)

I see: Shimano Exage 300EX, Biopace crankset and aero levers. Wild guess: between '88 and '91 :)

Mooo 08-21-06 06:18 PM


Originally Posted by rkizzy
Here are some pics of the bike. Anyone have any insights as to when it was made?

gaudy paint, 600ex... 1985-1987, but that's just a guess. Wait, boopace... 1987 seems more likely. My LBS at that time quit stocking (and thus I quit stalking) Rosses around 1985, and I don't recall any of these in his catalogs.

rkizzy 08-22-06 06:53 AM

Thanks, so weird that I have a new bike from the 80's. The whole bike is like brand new. I even peeled off the plastic that protected the crank. Must of been dead stock or something.

duane041 08-23-06 06:33 AM

Looks like a winner to me! Well, maybe except the color scheme. I'm sure it was the bee's knee's in the late 80's, but good gosh, that's a peculiar paint finish. Is it really marbled? It looks it from the photos.
I would guess that this was the finest Ross (save the Signature line) you could purchase for whatever year it was manufactured.

rkizzy 08-23-06 10:17 AM

Yep -marbled like a bowling ball. For some reason I kind of like the garish paint job with the white bars. And hey - the 80's are back, right? But you made me feel better about the purchase, duane.

dingster1 08-23-06 12:15 PM

Cool color!!!!

andyross 09-05-06 03:42 PM

e-mail....
 
my Dad at sherwoodross at earthlink dot net with pictures attached and he will be able to tell you when it was made.

*******************************
Email addy edited to prevent bot phishing

Stacey
Forum Moderator

duane041 09-05-06 09:17 PM


Originally Posted by andyross
my Dad at sherwoodross@earthlink.net with pictures attached and he will be able to tell you when it was made.

Andy, I have a few questions about the Ross company in general (my grandparents were from Brooklyn, and my grandfather remembers the Ross company being in Rockaway Beach). Do you think it would be proper for me to contact your father to ask? I'm mostly curious about the history of the company, and some info on my Ross, too. Info on Ross is so limited, from what I have been able to find (or not find, actually).

Thanks!

Duane

andyross 09-07-06 01:10 AM

Sure, e-mail him. Yes, company was in Rockaway Beach.

strong4terri 09-27-06 08:09 PM

I just rescued a Ross Signature 290S from curbside trash collection. I didn't know anything about it, except it looked like a good bike that someone bought and never rode. I'm so glad that you all have been writing about the Ross bikes. It's fun to get all the background! It still has original Ross tires and has a sticker "made in Taiwan" Will it be a good road or commuter bike?


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