Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Most common *quality* c&v bikes, and how to identify.

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Most common *quality* c&v bikes, and how to identify.

Old 01-24-14, 01:11 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Napa, California
Posts: 470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Most common *quality* c&v bikes, and how to identify.

So, I'm a bike mechanic, but the world of classic bikes is a daunting thing for a young guy to come to terms with. I have always loved classic bikes, among many other things, and when a lugged steel bike comes in for a repair in good shape I often pay it much closer attention than modern, plastic, super bikes. However, on closer inspection they are often heavy, poorly crafted, and barely salvageable...

but when they're good, they're really good.

so basically I was wondering if there is a list, or if we could start one, that highlights some of the more easy to find frames that might have high quality tubing and craftsmanship (components are secondary, IMO, as they are often swapped throughout the years, and I can get wholesale on replacement parts if replacement parts are available)

For instance telling the legendary Schwinn models apart from the gas pipe Schwinn models...

so something like:
x brand, y model, from z timeframe. you will recognize it because it has these two types of tubing, certain lugs, drop outs, etc...

I realize if we just started listing every good bike made, it would be information over load, and I'd be no better off than I am now, so was hoping it could be narrowed down to bikes that should have the most possibility of being found in the states.

and my main interest would be in "racing" type road bikes, with the best quality steel. secondary interest might be exceptional bikes with more capability based around touring, cyclocross, or rando qualities...
AlTheKiller is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:32 AM
  #2  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
When I first got into vintage bikes one of my most valued resources was Mike Kone's price guide. you can find it here

https://sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-a-f.html

The prices are all from 1997 so pay no attention to them, its the descriptions that helped me. I looked at a lot of pictures after that and concentrated on build details and tubing specs to help define a top end bike. Of course this list also seems to have a cutoff at the seventies and leaves out a lot of top end American and Japanese bikes from later.
kylarr is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:36 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 489

Bikes: 80s Rodriguez handmade lugged steel road, 1996 Bianchi Reparto Corse cyclocross, 1982 Cyclepro mountain bike, Xtracycle

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You should like at the thread I just started today, it asks the same questions more or less..
Niloc is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 02:37 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 22,998

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 305 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26479 Post(s)
Liked 10,444 Times in 7,246 Posts
...there have been dozens of threads with the same basic question as a topic, and most of them degenerate pretty quickly
into "it's not like that, and it's not easy to answer in the way you've posed the question."

I suggest you do a google search using the terms Bike Forums, and best bike brands, (brand name xxx) model hierarchy...
stuff like that. Google usually works better than the forums search function.

Good luck. Really, if you're willing to look at tubing stickers, dropouts, and lugs, your question sorta answers itself.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 02:46 AM
  #5  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: on the beach
Posts: 4,816

Bikes: '73 falcon sr, '76 grand record, '84 davidson

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts
i prefer bikes from the mid '70s to the mid '80s for a number of reasons. after the mid '80s the style and graphics became increasingly ugly.

motobecane grand record, le champion and team champion fit the bill. here is a link to catalogs: https://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/

here is a fuji link: https://www.classicfuji.com/0_Cat_Cvr_Home.htm

i like working on old steelies. if it's my size with a cotterless crank, on-frame derailleur hanger, and upper level components, i'm almost always interested.
eschlwc is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 03:34 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Daveyates's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Paris France
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I think the most important aspect of identifying good quality bikes are the components.
Good bikes come with good components. So if you see a bike with most of it's original components you can make an educated guess what sort of quality the frame is going to be.
Daveyates is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 07:19 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
jeirvine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Baltimore MD
Posts: 3,337

Bikes: '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '72 Gitane tandem, '72 Raleigh Super Course, '73 Raleigh Gran Sport, '73 Colnago Super, '76 Fiorelli Coppi, '78 Raleigh SBDU Team Pro, '78 Trek 930, '81 Holdsworth Special 650B, '86 Masi GC, ’94 Bridgestone RB-T

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 787 Post(s)
Liked 524 Times in 284 Posts
Originally Posted by eschlwc
...a cotterless crank, on-frame derailleur hanger...
That's pretty much what I use in my 2-second appraisal of any bike I see.
__________________
The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy
jeirvine is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 07:29 AM
  #8  
The Drive Side is Within
 
Standalone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Haven, CT, USA
Posts: 3,334

Bikes: Road, Cargo, Tandem, Etc.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 28 Posts
This whole subforum is basically what you are looking for. Start playing with the search function, or just visit every day for a week. You'll learn much.

There is a great diversity of quality bikes. Look '75-85. 1973 was the "bike boom," and while bikes from this year are common, the rush to manufacture and the lag time of the industry meant that later '70s bikes began to offer better technology and quality. That is not to say that the high quality pre-1974 bikes were not better than average later bikes. But I have some 1972-73 era bikes that were really slapped together. (I'm looking at you, Atala...)

Some of this depends on whether you're looking for collectibility, which is one thing -- or quality and rideability from a value standpoint, which can be a little different. Since you say "common" and "quality," I think you probably mean the latter.

In that case, you're like me. I look for Japanese models like Miyata and Panasonic (DX2000 or better), Trek road bikes, Taiwanese Raleigh USAs from '85 and '86 or so....
__________________
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
Standalone is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 07:39 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,347

Bikes: Fillet-brazed Schwinns

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by AlTheKiller
For instance telling the legendary Schwinn models apart from the gas pipe Schwinn models...
Aside from the Paramount most of the "legendary" Schwinn models had fillet-brazed frames: https://sheldonbrown.com/schwinn-braze.html

The names and years in that case would be the '62-'63 and '76-'78 Superior, '64-'74 Super Sport, and '71-'75 Sports Tourer. There were also a couple of one-year only models like the '68 S/S Tourer and '77 Sport Limited. All of those had hand-made fillet-brazed chrome-moly frames with internally lugged joints.
Metacortex is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 07:40 AM
  #10  
Mr. Anachronism
 
Hudson308's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere west of Tobie's
Posts: 2,087

Bikes: fillet-brazed Chicago Schwinns, and some other stuff

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 256 Times in 165 Posts
Originally Posted by eschlwc
...if it's my size with a cotterless crank, on-frame derailleur hanger, and upper level components, i'm almost always interested.
+2

Aluminum cotterless crank, aluminum rims, forged dropouts with integral derailleur hanger, chrome stays, downtube shifters, no chainring guard. Chrome lugs and a Brooks go without saying. These will all tell me whether to take a closer look at the tubing stickers.
__________________
"My only true wisdom is in knowing I have none" -Socrates
Hudson308 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 07:48 AM
  #11  
Mr. Anachronism
 
Hudson308's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere west of Tobie's
Posts: 2,087

Bikes: fillet-brazed Chicago Schwinns, and some other stuff

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 256 Times in 165 Posts
Originally Posted by Metacortex
Aside from the Paramount most of the "legendary" Schwinn models had fillet-brazed frames: https://sheldonbrown.com/schwinn-braze.html

The names and years in that case would be the '62-'63 and '76-'78 Superior, '64-'74 Super Sport, and '71-'75 Sports Tourer. There were also a couple of one-year only models like the '68 S/S Tourer and '77 Sport Limited. All of those had hand-made fillet-brazed chrome-moly frames with internally lugged joints.
This sticker on the down tube is one of the easier ways to spots these...

Attached Images
File Type: gif
schwinn-crmo.gif (7.8 KB, 19 views)
__________________
"My only true wisdom is in knowing I have none" -Socrates
Hudson308 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 07:58 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,347

Bikes: Fillet-brazed Schwinns

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 14 Posts
The 1967 and earlier version of that decal is a little different:

Metacortex is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 08:09 AM
  #13  
Mr. Anachronism
 
Hudson308's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere west of Tobie's
Posts: 2,087

Bikes: fillet-brazed Chicago Schwinns, and some other stuff

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 256 Times in 165 Posts
Originally Posted by Metacortex
The 1967 and earlier version of that decal is a little different:

oooohhhh... pretty!
__________________
"My only true wisdom is in knowing I have none" -Socrates
Hudson308 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 08:11 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 9,598

Bikes: '65 Frejus TDF, '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1618 Post(s)
Liked 2,233 Times in 1,113 Posts
You may become confused as a result of what you see due to builders preferences of design. Seat clusters is a good example. Variations of clamping the seat post are large along with where the stays are brazed to the frame. Some really like fillet brazed joints i.l.o. lugged joints. Some really get off on chrome stays, forks and head tubes and complete frames, but that doesn't mean the the frames with minimal chrome treatment are any less quality. The Colnago Super is a good example of a much sought after frame, some would say that workmanship of a set of years suffered.

Custom frames or those "production" frames with builders names are often only high quality, Richard Sachs comes to mind along with a number of others. It is truely a quest with an aquired taste and preference that grows with knowledge. And thats just the frame, components are a lot different but not as varied. It is easier to assess performance of a brake set than a frame.

In the end, the best frame is probably one that fits the best, providing the most enjoyable riding expereince along with the pride of ownership.
SJX426 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 08:19 AM
  #15  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,809

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 584 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1908 Post(s)
Liked 575 Times in 340 Posts
You really have to start by deciding what you want. It's all well and good to look for an aluminum cotterless crank, for example, if you've already decided you want a bike from the 70's or later. If you want a good older bike, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a good cottered crank.
__________________
www.rhmsaddles.com.
rhm is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 08:43 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
r0ckh0und's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Plano, IL.
Posts: 1,523
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 223 Times in 105 Posts
You can create your own database by collecting catalog links for different bicycle manufacturers and by familiarizing yourself with the different tubing decals...................or you could just reference velobase.

There's a lot of good info here too.................
[h=3]The Current Classic and Vintage Sticky Threads Reference Index and Table of Contents[/h]
..........this ones pretty good too......... https://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm
__________________
Be where your feet are.......Lisa Bluder

r0ckh0und is online now  
Old 01-24-14, 09:25 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
mapleleafs-13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,763

Bikes: Pinarello Veneto, Pinarello Montello, Bianchi Celeste

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Cotter end cranks, high tensile steel, stem shifters, heavy weight, steel rims are all signs of a high end bike.
mapleleafs-13 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 09:35 AM
  #18  
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,267

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 97 Posts
Originally Posted by mapleleafs-13
Cotter end cranks, high tensile steel, stem shifters, heavy weight, steel rims are all signs of a high end bike.
Cottered cranks, no shifters, steel wheels... but if you look a little more closely you will see some Reynolds 531 stickers and might note the wheels are stainless.



Cottered cranks, steel wheels, no integrated hangar, goofy front shifter, and a primitive rear derailleur that can't possibly be worth anything.



Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 09:39 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
mapleleafs-13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,763

Bikes: Pinarello Veneto, Pinarello Montello, Bianchi Celeste

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I heard those derailleurs hurt people and have been known to explode. Let me save you from those junky bikes. Give them to me.
mapleleafs-13 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 12:58 PM
  #20  
Mr. Anachronism
 
Hudson308's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere west of Tobie's
Posts: 2,087

Bikes: fillet-brazed Chicago Schwinns, and some other stuff

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 256 Times in 165 Posts
Originally Posted by SJX426
Some really get off on chrome stays, forks and head tubes and complete frames, but that doesn't mean the the frames with minimal chrome treatment are any less quality.
Originally Posted by rhm
If you want a good older bike, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a good cottered crank.
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
Cottered cranks, no shifters, steel wheels... but if you look a little more closely you will see some Reynolds 531 stickers and might note the wheels are stainless.

Cottered cranks, steel wheels, no integrated hangar, goofy front shifter, and a primitive rear derailleur that can't possibly be worth anything.
You guys all illustrate a couple of other good points; one is that each one of us will have a different definition of what constitutes "quality", and two is that for every rule in our own personal definition there's likely an exception. Certainly as you go farther and farther before 1965, the outlines I offered above just about all go out the window. I personally don't even limit my searches to those particular outlines. That would eliminate some true gems such as 'Fiver beautifully illustrates. With that said, as a general answer to the OP's question, those outlines will typically steer him toward quality vintage steel regardless of brand or country of origin. That can quickly narrow things down for closer scrutiny.
__________________
"My only true wisdom is in knowing I have none" -Socrates

Last edited by Hudson308; 01-24-14 at 01:13 PM.
Hudson308 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:05 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
fender1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Berwyn PA
Posts: 6,413

Bikes: I hate bikes!

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 731 Times in 236 Posts
What denotes quality is up to the individual (as others have pointed out). Easiest way to learn is hang around here, scan craigslist/ebay for something that appeals to you and start a project.

Last edited by fender1; 01-24-14 at 01:18 PM.
fender1 is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:12 PM
  #22  
Junior Member
 
Don Marco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Gen 1 Dura-Ace -with- chainring guard

Don Marco is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:36 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 489

Bikes: 80s Rodriguez handmade lugged steel road, 1996 Bianchi Reparto Corse cyclocross, 1982 Cyclepro mountain bike, Xtracycle

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Don Marco
Gen 1 Dura-Ace -with- chainring guard

ooh and it's orange! Seriously what is that bike? She's a beaut.
Niloc is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:38 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
jeirvine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Baltimore MD
Posts: 3,337

Bikes: '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '72 Gitane tandem, '72 Raleigh Super Course, '73 Raleigh Gran Sport, '73 Colnago Super, '76 Fiorelli Coppi, '78 Raleigh SBDU Team Pro, '78 Trek 930, '81 Holdsworth Special 650B, '86 Masi GC, ’94 Bridgestone RB-T

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 787 Post(s)
Liked 524 Times in 284 Posts
Originally Posted by Don Marco
Gen 1 Dura-Ace -with- chainring guard

Nice. I can bring some stem shifters over tonight, if you want 'em.
__________________
The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy
jeirvine is offline  
Old 01-24-14, 01:50 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 22,998

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 305 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26479 Post(s)
Liked 10,444 Times in 7,246 Posts
Originally Posted by fender1
What denotes quality is up to the individual (as others have pointed out). Easiest way to learn is hang around here, scan craigslist/ebay for something that appeals to you and start a project.
........Craigslist = School of hard kooks
3alarmer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.