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Is this a Bilenky / Sterling frame?

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Is this a Bilenky / Sterling frame?

Old 03-15-12, 10:51 AM
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Is this a Bilenky / Sterling frame?

I just traded for this frame with a friend of mine. It was in a shed with a lot of other old frames but something about the geometry spoke to me so I took it. I am planning on building it out as a fixed gear. Maybe. Is this a Bilenky Sterling frame?
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Old 03-15-12, 11:33 AM
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That looks terrific. My size too! don't cut off any of the derailler hangers and shifter bosses, this is way too nice to be turned in to a fixie for keeps.
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Old 03-15-12, 11:43 AM
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Those dropouts make it a poor candidate for a fixed gear. [strike]You will need a chain tensioner, which will ugly up the build[/strike]. You'd be better off finding a frame with horizontal dropouts, or better yet, a track frame.

It is a very nice looking frame, though.

edit: as pointed out below, you shouldn't use a chain tensioner with a fixed gear drivetrain. I was thinking of single speed.
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Old 03-15-12, 11:52 AM
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Don't ever put a chain tensioner on a fixed gear. Bad stuff happens. On a single speed with a freewheel it's ok though. But this bike deserves gears.
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Old 03-15-12, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
Don't ever put a chain tensioner on a fixed gear. Bad stuff happens. On a single speed with a freewheel it's ok though. But this bike deserves gears.
You're right! I was thinking of a single speed not fixed. Oops.

Yeah, basically your options are a geared bike or a single speed with a chain tensioner.
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Old 03-15-12, 12:08 PM
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Yes it is a Bilenky. It won't make a very good fixed gear (vertical drop outs). Its worth is as a road bike frame. Build it as a geared bike. They are great frames. Something equivalent from Bilenky now-a-days would run you close to $2,000. Not that the frame you have is worth $2,000 but that is a what a new one would run. If you don't want it as a road bike, sell it and use the money to buy a nice fixed gear.
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Old 03-15-12, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback so far.
I had a hunch that this was a good frame.
I have decided to shelve the fixed gear idea and am now going to go with a geared setup.
Does any one know how many gears this fram had when new 10-12-15?
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Old 03-15-12, 12:38 PM
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Likely 12 or 14.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MD_Spencer View Post
Thanks for all the feedback so far.
I had a hunch that this was a good frame.
I have decided to shelve the fixed gear idea and am now going to go with a geared setup.
Does any one know how many gears this fram had when new 10-12-15?
Try measuring the distance between the rear dropouts in millimeters, then post that measurement here. We can give you an idea of your range of possible setups.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:11 PM
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125mm
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Old 03-15-12, 01:12 PM
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If that's the case, then Aaron (above) had the numbers right on. The rear was probably 6 or 7 speed x a double up front for 12 or 14 total speeds.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:13 PM
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Pretty much you have two options... 126 or 130 mm between the dropouts. Doubt the frame is that old to have 120 mm rear end.

That said, if 126ish mm, you can put from 5 up to 7 cogs (or cassettes) in the bike. If you want to force the frame any wheel in 130 mm will fit any ways.

With 130 mm you can put any obviously any 130 mm rear wheel aka 8, 9 ,10 and 11 speed (campagnolo)
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Old 03-15-12, 02:33 PM
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I was hoping to do commuter bike, low cost high quality.
In other words lots of "vintage" used parts mostly Campagnolo.
Now that I am moving toward a geared set up with derailleurs and all that goes with them I am afraid that the budget won't stand my tastes.
I just can't see putting low end part on this frame.
This frame clearly deserves better!
I'm not sure that I am the right person to do a restore on such a nice frame.
I am thinking about helping it find a new home.
Not sure yet but leaning that way.
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Old 03-15-12, 03:01 PM
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It sounds like you're leaning toward making it a geared bike, which makes this comment less relevant.

If you were to set it up as a single speed or fixed gear, though, I've had good luck with the White Industries ENO eccentric hub. Much better than a chain tensioner in my opinion, as part of the draw of a single speed is a "clean" look.
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Old 03-15-12, 03:02 PM
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Contact Bilenky. They can give you the information, no matter what you decide. My brother came across a small Sterling complete bike and Bilenky traded him another frame for it. Seems he wanted that Sterling back. Maybe he will do the same for you? Who knows?
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Old 03-15-12, 04:38 PM
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Definitely a Bilenky/Sterling. And if the stays on that frame are 753, you're not going to be cold setting them to 130.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:02 PM
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i sent Bilenky an email several days ago and he / they asked for some photos which is where the one I posted here came from.
I called them this afternoon to see of they had had a chance to look at the images.
It being spring in Pa. they are hammered with work right now but told me that they would take a look and get back to me soon.
They seem like good people.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MD_Spencer View Post
I was hoping to do commuter bike, low cost high quality.
In other words lots of "vintage" used parts mostly Campagnolo.
Now that I am moving toward a geared set up with derailleurs and all that goes with them I am afraid that the budget won't stand my tastes.
I just can't see putting low end part on this frame.
This frame clearly deserves better!
I'm not sure that I am the right person to do a restore on such a nice frame.
I am thinking about helping it find a new home.
Not sure yet but leaning that way.
Maybe a member in your area can do a trade for a nice commuter to this frame. If you put it on the market, you can probably buy a nice one from the proceeds, if a trade is not available.
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Old 03-15-12, 07:26 PM
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I think what the group is gently trying to nudge you to do is one of two things: 1. Build that bike up as a serious, sporting, road bike. This is what it was designed for. 2. Trade the frame off to someone who'll either trade you for a good commuter in your size, or trade you enough parts of commensurate worth to build your commuter. Or take cash and go buy a real good commuter bike.

A commuter bike has the hardest life of all. The daily cut and thrust, being ridden in just about all kinds of weather, insanely increased possibilities of theft, cosmetic damage from being parked, locked, moved around, carry loads, etc. That Bilenky frame is a thoroughbred, not a draft horse. While I can't give you a dollar figure for it's worth, I know it's too valuable to be used as an inner city workhorse. Yeah, I know, they show all sorts of custom commuter bikes at the NAHBS with equally exquisite workmanship. How many of those bikes, at those prices, actually end up getting beaten half to death in the daily commute over a period of years?
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Old 03-15-12, 07:36 PM
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I have a Sterling/Bilenky tandem, and it is one finely crafted frame for sure. A Bilenky in my opinion is as good as any custom you might find.
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Old 03-15-12, 09:29 PM
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I am leaning more toward the trade / sale route.
As much as I would like a thorough bred I need a draft horse.
There are some condition issues that I will need to photograph better and post when I list it in the for sale area.
I am also going to wait to here back from Bilenky to see if he has any interest in it.
I will keep you posted.
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Old 03-15-12, 10:46 PM
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You should see if Stephen would consider trading it for his daughter Bina. If it were me I'd throw in some cash too.
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Old 03-16-12, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
You should see if Stephen would consider trading it for his daughter Bina. If it were me I'd throw in some cash too.
I'd give my Merckx for Bina!


MD_Spencer - don't get too carried away by how cool you're hearing the frame is. It's definitely cool, but the resale value is not as great as you might be thinking after the thread...I'd guess $200 - $300 would be quite good for it. It's a small name builder not known as much for road bikes and it's missing the fork.

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Old 03-16-12, 06:33 AM
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Aaron,
Thanks for the advise but I kind of knew that it was not a 2k frame.
I do by the way have the fork. It was off for cleaning when I took the pictures that all.
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Old 03-16-12, 06:59 AM
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Definitely include photos of the fork for us!
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