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Best lugged steel bikes of 70's and 80's.

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Best lugged steel bikes of 70's and 80's.

Old 04-25-12, 02:25 PM
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lungimsam
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Best lugged steel bikes of 70's and 80's.

Been thinking of buying vintage, but don't know what is good and bad. Please let me know who built the best lugged steel framed bikes in the 70's and 80's so I will know what to look for on Clist, etc.

EDIT:
OK, what I mean by "best" is what is a quality frame worth getting and upgrading. Something good for everyday riding/commuting. I don't want to wind up with junk. So I need to know which makers are known as the best back in the day for making quality stuff.

Last edited by lungimsam; 04-25-12 at 02:46 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 04-25-12, 02:30 PM
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Miyata - end of discussion.

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Old 04-25-12, 02:32 PM
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Sorry, youre question is a bit pointless as despite what C&V bike owners might think of their personal rides, nothing's "the best" for everyone. It really all depends on what you are looking for in a steel bike, then that's how you might find "the best" steel bike for yourself.
There was a company though in the 80's that released a bike and proclaimed that it was the best bike in the world in all their ads and other marketing publications. I think it was Maruishi........it was certainly a very nice bike (I think they even gold plated the frame), but, of course, nobody really beleved their proclamation as being the best bike in the world.

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Old 04-25-12, 02:34 PM
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Old 04-25-12, 02:36 PM
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Old 04-25-12, 02:36 PM
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Old 04-25-12, 02:38 PM
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Very subjective question. Almost any Japanese made bike could be nominated-Fuji,Pansonic, Miyata, Shogun, Bridgestone,etc. Motobecanes were a wonderful combination of French and Japanese parts.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:39 PM
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Old 04-25-12, 02:41 PM
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It really all depends on what you are looking for in a steel bike, then that's how you might find "the best" steel bike for yourself.
Well put. Instead of looking for what is best, if there is such a thing, why not learn a bit about Vintage Bicycle Quality. Doing so will help you decide what is and is not, worth your consideration, as you seek the ride you most want. You will even notice there is a section there about you.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
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Old 04-25-12, 02:45 PM
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+1 The best steel bike from that era is not about brand or model. Its all about what material was used to make the frameset, the condition of paint and decals, and the components. Models changed just about every year, so one model might be good one year, great another year, and mediocre a third year.

I have learned over the years to not hunt for a specific brand or model, but instead, look for a quality bike with a frame in great condition. Shortcomings on components and parts can be relatively easy to address. Frame issues can make any deal a lousy deal.

I really let the deal decide for me. The last additions to our family fleet (OK, all for me), are a pretty eclectic collection: Colin Lange (unknown model), 1992 Paramount 9C (Kestrel carbon), 1986 Katakura Silk (all chrome), 1999 Quintana Roo Ariel (Merlin Ti frame bike), 1992 Paramount Series 5, 1989 ish Univega Alpina Pro. Other than the 9C, I was not looking for any of these particular models.

Last edited by wrk101; 04-25-12 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:54 PM
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The best bike is one that fits best. However, a lot of people think that Miyata made some of the best production bikes, including some sold as Univegas or Specializeds. Bridgestones, Fujis, Motobecanes and others have their admirers also.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:55 PM
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I never rode a steel framed bicycle that I did not enjoy riding.

I just enjoy some more than others. Like the appreciation of
many things in life, yours will develop with experience and
attention.

That said, wrk 101's advice is as good as any I can provide.

Having bought a bike, you are not married to it. If the relationship
goes south, you have the option of trading it for the next one that
catches your eye.

This is how many of us here have ended up with large bicycle harems.

Even kiwigem seems to be headed in that direction, and she's a woman,
thus should be immune to such infidelities.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:57 PM
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Old 04-25-12, 02:59 PM
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Any vintage bike I buy (and don't plan on flipping) has to meet the following criteria:-Full cro-mo frame-Forged rear drop-outs with D hanger (not claw)-Down-tube, bar-end, or STI shifters (not stem)-Alloy Wheels -Straight and true and in good condition will save you from having to pay to have them trued or rebuilt. IMO, shops charge a lot for truing because that's one thing you can't buy online. -Alloy seatpost, stem, handlebars, derailleurs-No safety brake leversNo rust that looks like it can't be removed with steel wool -pull out the seatpost and check the inside of the frame for rust. the best indicator of internal rust is inside the bottom bracket.Stay away from anything that needs to be repainted unless you or someone you know will do it for free or cheap.
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Old 04-25-12, 03:01 PM
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Miyata

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Old 04-25-12, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
Been thinking of buying vintage, but don't know what is good and bad. Please let me know who built the best lugged steel framed bikes in the 70's and 80's so I will know what to look for on Clist, etc.

EDIT:
OK, what I mean by "best" is what is a quality frame worth getting and upgrading. Something good for everyday riding/commuting. I don't want to wind up with junk. So I need to know which makers are known as the best back in the day for making quality stuff.
Production, small builder or one off?
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Old 04-25-12, 03:18 PM
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a rare bike that is expensive now is a good investment for future selling,
I dont know of any bikes that all of a suddon go down in value
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Old 04-25-12, 03:19 PM
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What kind of bear is best?
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Old 04-25-12, 03:23 PM
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Let's see...last month it was ________, this month it's _______, AMD or Intel?? It's all in the butt of the rider, what ever feels good and fits.
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Old 04-25-12, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
What kind of bear is best?
I'm thinking grizzly. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Joe
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Old 04-25-12, 03:23 PM
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A polar bear.
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Old 04-25-12, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
What kind of bear is best?
Sigh. We've been over this. It is objectively true that the best bear is the Asian Sun Bear.

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Old 04-25-12, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Sigh. We've been over this. It is objectively true that the best bear is the Asian Sun Bear.

WRONG...

The best bear is:

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Old 04-25-12, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
EDIT:
OK, what I mean by "best" is what is a quality frame worth getting and upgrading. Something good for everyday riding/commuting. I don't want to wind up with junk. So I need to know which makers are known as the best back in the day for making quality stuff.
Even narrowing it down like this really doesn't lend itself to a single answer - or even a small set of possible answers.

Here's my suggestion - and remember, it's worth exactly what you are paying for it.

Pour yourself a glass of you favorite beverage. Sit down at your compouter when yhou have at least an hour (more is better) to spend. Scroll back through the C&V thread list. Open threads that have titles that indicate someone has or is asking for opinions about the ride of one or more particular frames. (Believe me, there are plenty of them.) Read them. You will not find one definitive answer, but you will gain a world of info about a lot of different frames and the factors that go into how a frame rides and feels compared to another frame. You will also get some solid info about frame geometry and build quality in general, which is really what you need to learn about.

One thing I can say from your stated use for the bike - you do not want a super-short wheelbase or super-short chainstays (and they usually go together). You want something that has clearance for tires that are at least 28mm (for 700c tires) or 1-1/8" (for 27" tires) wide. (That doesn't mean you have to ride tires that wide, but for your stated purposes I'd think you'd want to have the option.) You most likely do not want a head angle or seat angle of more than 74 degrees. It sounds to me that you are looking for something that has geometry designed for "sport touring" or possibly distance road racing, but not for criteriums. Fortunately. such frames are out there and not that hard to find via CL, eBay, LBS bulletin boards, and the like.

Another great resource is Classic Rendezvous, not for ride quality but for comparing aesthetics. There are hundreds, and maybe thousands, of photos of great classic steel to ogle at, groups by country and then builder. You may find that there is a particular look you especially like. Don't discount appearances - you are more likely to keep riding a bike you think looks great than one you think looks blah.

Finally, enjoy the process. Learning about classic steel frames can be very fun in and of itself.
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