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Suggestions on what bikes/companies to look at

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Suggestions on what bikes/companies to look at

Old 03-04-11, 11:48 PM
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miko
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Suggestions on what bikes/companies to look at

I'm looking for a road bike under $200, it seems at this price point I will most likely get something from the mid 70's to late 80's maybe into the 90's?

I've done the usual so far, craigslist, LBS, ebay etc. I know I'm a little early in the season as it seems tag sales etc pick up around april/may. There are tons of bikes that have so far come up for sale and I have just started my search about 2 weeks ago.

In my hunt I have a ridden a few 10 speed bikes, 1 was a bridgestone from the late 80's and the other was a mid 80's univega nuovo both of which the used bike store manager told me were top of the line back then. And they were really nice, lightweight, (both had alloy wheels) felt solid and fast on the test ride, quality components etc. I just wish they had center pull brakes. I would want to continue looking at bikes that are at least as good as these if not better.

My friend has a schwinn letour 2 and I also test rode a mid 80's lotus both of which while nice looking do not compare to the two bikes above.

The bike store manager said that the mid 80's japanese bikes are plentiful and he comes across them often. Aesthetically I prefer the peugeots and the bianchis, but if they are not as good of a bike then I probably won't be interested.

To help me narrow down my search any companies/bikes from this era I should avoid or put more focus on? components to keep an eye on? or maybe any threads/articles I can read?
obviously huffy, sears etc I would shy away from.

You can say I am looking for a bike that was top of the line back in the day. Here are some of the bikes I have come across, it seems that some manufacturers had their top models etc.

bianchi
centurion
motobecane
panasonic
peugeot
cannondale
trek
raleigh
ross
royce union
centurion
univega

I will also be going to a swap meet in 2 weeks if I don't find a bike by then, and there will be tons of bikes to look at there so I would like to be as educated as I can be so I don't spend too much time looking at junk bikes
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Old 03-05-11, 12:07 AM
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funkflex
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From what you have written, you have already answered your own question.
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Old 03-05-11, 12:08 AM
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Pay attention to the quality of the framework (lug craftsmanship and type of steel) and also the quality of the components. Old higher end road bikes have good steel and good components. Double check the bikes for broken or about to be broken parts. Cracks in the frame, spin the crank and wheels to get a feel for the condition of axles and bearings.
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Old 03-05-11, 12:19 AM
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Also carry a set of allen wrenches with you and make sure the seatpost and stem move freely.
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Old 03-05-11, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rivas7200 View Post
Pay attention to the quality of the framework (lug craftsmanship and type of steel) and also the quality of the components. Old higher end road bikes have good steel and good components. Double check the bikes for broken or about to be broken parts. Cracks in the frame, spin the crank and wheels to get a feel for the condition of axles and bearings.
^That.

Plus, you may find Sheldon Brown's somewhat obsolete "price guide" to be useful. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-a-f.html
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Old 03-05-11, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by miko View Post
I'm looking for a road bike under $200...
I am looking for a bike that was top of the line back in the day.
in my area these two statements are mutually exclusive.. mostly see entry level bikes at this price.
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Old 03-05-11, 03:31 AM
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Understand How To Determine a Bicycles Quality Level is useful information when seeking to purchase a vintage road bicycle. Knowing a thing or two about Quality Components is also useful.

And you better understand that old road bicycles are/were fragile, often times reaching today in bent condition. You need to know How To Evaluate Frame Condition.

Take the time to learn what makes a good bike good, and you will be better prepared to make intelligent choices, should any choices present themselves.

Hope this is a help.
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Old 03-05-11, 04:38 AM
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Why do I NOT see Fuji in your list of wanted bikes?

Where in MA are you located, I'm willing to help with your search if you like? For around $150-$200 you can get a very nice bike in this area.... I think you will have a very hard time finding a Bianchi for that price. I would tend to stick with the Japan made bikes as components are much easier to find than for the French made bikes.
I see several nice bikes on CL right now in your price range. Again, if you need a hand with your search, or someone to pick the bike up for you if you do not have a vehicle let me know.

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Old 03-05-11, 09:41 AM
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I'd add late eighties Schwinns with Tenax tubing to the list. These include the Tempo, Prelude, and Premis models. If you're really lucky you might find a Circuit (SL,SP tubing) for $200. These bikes are all underappreciated by most folks IMHO.
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Old 03-05-11, 11:31 AM
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I dont think you need to focus so much on the manufacturer. You need to focus more on frame quality if you want a good bike. When you're looking over bikes, the first thing you need to look at is the tubing sticker located on the seat tube. Good steel bikes will be made of cro-moly of various levels, either from Ishiwata or Tange in the the japanese bikes and Reynolds or Columbus in American or european bikes. I know I'm probably forgetting some, but these are the most widely known materials you need to look for.
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Old 03-05-11, 11:38 AM
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Getting a "top of the line" classic bike for $200 is going to require CONSTANT CL searching, luck getting there first and lots of time finding the deal. If you scan CL constantly you might find those kinds of deals a few times a year, max (at least in my area). All of that is time you aren't riding. I'd either open the wallet more or lower your standards.

There are HUNDREDS of bike companies that made multiple levels of frames. I'd go 80s Japanese for best bang for your bike.

Add Miyata, Lotus, Nishiki, Specialized and Panasonic to your list.
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Old 03-05-11, 01:49 PM
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So what size bike are you looking for?Or did I miss that!A swap meet in Ma is it near Cape Cod ?

Last edited by Salt Air; 03-05-11 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 03-05-11, 02:58 PM
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Given your budget, strongly consider a next-to-top-of-the-line bike, such as a Peugeot PR/PKN-10 instead of a PX/PY-10, or a Bianchi w/ a tre tubi frame (Columbus main triangle only). I have owned both, and they have been delightful, since the main triangle and the geometry determine the ride quality and weight. Don't overlook straight-gauge Reynolds 531 frames -- I have owned both double-butted and straight-gauge Capos, and the straight gauge is a bit less whippy on hard acceleration or climbs, and far better when carrying cargo.
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Old 03-06-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
Why do I NOT see Fuji in your list of wanted bikes?

Where in MA are you located, I'm willing to help with your search if you like? For around $150-$200 you can get a very nice bike in this area.... I think you will have a very hard time finding a Bianchi for that price. I would tend to stick with the Japan made bikes as components are much easier to find than for the French made bikes.
I see several nice bikes on CL right now in your price range. Again, if you need a hand with your search, or someone to pick the bike up for you if you do not have a vehicle let me know.
thanks for the offer I'll be in touch, I'm in springfield and don't have a car, there is not much of a selection out here, seems much better out in boston
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Old 03-06-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Salt Air View Post
So what size bike are you looking for?Or did I miss that!A swap meet in Ma is it near Cape Cod ?
I need a 22" frame, the swap meet is in monson, MA and it's the 27 of march
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Old 03-06-11, 09:59 AM
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thanks for all the replies and links, now it's time to do some research, I'm sure I will find the right bike just have to know what to look for, and I'll probably be asking more questions about certain bikes I come across
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