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Good frame to start with for a frankenbike?

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Good frame to start with for a frankenbike?

Old 09-05-14, 04:33 PM
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OrangeBike
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Good frame to start with for a frankenbike?

Since I started refurbing another old bike, I've noticed a lot of vintage parts available... and I would love to build a frankenbike from all these beautiful old parts (for some crazy reason I think I have the time).

So, what I would be looking for is something nice enough to be quality, but not so nice that stripping it down, repainting it and slapping non-original parts on it would be a sin. And something that I can find suitable components for, something with popular threadings..? I dunno, I'm not familiar with enough with the brands and history to make a qualified gamble on something. Since it's a first-time frank for me, I'm not interested in breaking the bank.

Some brands I see that are within my price range are Motobecane, Raleigh, Volkscycle... pretty old lugged frames that can be cleaned up and painted.

And I'd be building a road bike.

Thanks.
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Old 09-05-14, 04:37 PM
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I'd be pretty opportunistic in building up an old bike with a mix of parts. I simply mean I'd keep my eye out locally for something that I think looks good and is priced right.
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Old 09-05-14, 05:00 PM
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Those three brands are actually brands I would avoid. Put up a WTB frame on your local CL, or find a deal on a complete bike. Both Raleigh and Motobecane have some unique part sizing, depending on year. Depending what you have in your stash, you probably need something with standard sizing, think Japanese.
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Old 09-05-14, 05:02 PM
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How about looking for an old Schwinn Tempo frame that fits. They are fairly light weight. I have picked up frames in good shape for well under$100.
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Old 09-05-14, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
Since I started refurbing another old bike, I've noticed a lot of vintage parts available... and I would love to build a frankenbike from all these beautiful old parts (for some crazy reason I think I have the time).

So, what I would be looking for is something nice enough to be quality, but not so nice that stripping it down, repainting it and slapping non-original parts on it would be a sin. And something that I can find suitable components for, something with popular threadings..? I dunno, I'm not familiar with enough with the brands and history to make a qualified gamble on something. Since it's a first-time frank for me, I'm not interested in breaking the bank.

Some brands I see that are within my price range are Motobecane, Raleigh, Volkscycle... pretty old lugged frames that can be cleaned up and painted.

And I'd be building a road bike.

Thanks.
Hey OrangeBike,

I was in the same boat you are earlier this year, I had the same specifics regarding the frame, and my spare part bins had more than enough mish mash to build a Frankenbike. An old customer going back 20 years brought me a tasty package deal, one of the frames was an early 1990's Miele made from lugged Columbus CROMOR tubing. We agreed that the frame and fork were equal to $50.00 in parts that I had to swap. The paint was shot but he did have a replacement set of decals, so I figured it was worthy of stripping and powder coating. I went with "Wet Black" powder coat, it looked to be similar to the gloss black paint the steer tube. The sand blasting and powder coating cost $65.00, the pair of NOS Ciussi Elite bottle cages cost another $5.00 each plus $5.00 shipping, all the rest will come from spare parts. Roughly speaking I have $130.00 into the frame and fork, I think she is a beauty and the Columbus frame is more than worthy of a Frakenbuild. Miele frames are under valued and you might be able to pick up a nice Italian Columbus steel frame like mine cheaply.

Good luck and enjoy the build!

-D-

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Old 09-05-14, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'd be pretty opportunistic in building up an old bike with a mix of parts. I simply mean I'd keep my eye out locally for something that I think looks good and is priced right.
I know I want safety levers for the brakes and the Dia Compe or DC/Weinmann combo seems to be cheap and plentiful. For the brakes themselves, I would really like to do Weinmann centerpulls, look nice and available for not a lot of dough.

For the derailleurs... If I can score a set of Shimano Arabesque for low dough, I would be very happy..
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Old 09-05-14, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Those three brands are actually brands I would avoid. Put up a WTB frame on your local CL, or find a deal on a complete bike. Both Raleigh and Motobecane have some unique part sizing, depending on year. Depending what you have in your stash, you probably need something with standard sizing, think Japanese.
Drat.

There's a Volkscycle frame on FleaBay that looks so nice...

My local co-op has a few Ralieghs and Motobecanes that look nice for not a lot of cash.

They have a Nishiki, which I've seen talked about here, is that worth pursuing? I don't want to destroy a survivor.
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Old 09-06-14, 06:11 AM
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Recommend you look for one of these:

- Mid-80s Trek frames
- Bridgestone road or touring frames from the pre-Petersen era
- mid '80s Schwinn road / touring bikes (particularly those built from Columbus tubing)
- RX-series Maruishi/Road-Ace (preferably high-end)
- higher-end Panasonics
- Centurions (yes, even with the fluorescent paint)
- Miele - (esp. Columbus-tubed)
- Japan-built Bianchi

Whatever you grab should be built from butted chrome-molybdenum steel and have proper lugs. Points will be deducted for TIG welding or aluminum.
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Old 09-06-14, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
Since I started refurbing another old bike, I've noticed a lot of vintage parts available... and I would love to build a frankenbike from all these beautiful old parts (for some crazy reason I think I have the time).

So, what I would be looking for is something nice enough to be quality, but not so nice that stripping it down, repainting it and slapping non-original parts on it would be a sin. And something that I can find suitable components for, something with popular threadings..? I dunno, I'm not familiar with enough with the brands and history to make a qualified gamble on something. Since it's a first-time frank for me, I'm not interested in breaking the bank.

Some brands I see that are within my price range are Motobecane, Raleigh, Volkscycle... pretty old lugged frames that can be cleaned up and painted.

And I'd be building a road bike.
I would start "from the bottom, up" -- what type/size tires, and what size wheels? These will dictate certain immutable characteristics of the bicycle's frame, such as chain- and seat-stay and fork length and spacing. Also, what type of brakes -- center/side-pull, or cantilever? (the latter requiring brazed-on mounting studs) Will you want the option to use racks? (more braze-on mounts)

You have the opportunity to "engineer" this build; so, why not employ the philosophy (velosophy?) of "form follows function"?

Good luck... and post photos!!
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Old 09-06-14, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Myself, one thing I avoid is repaint.
That was my first reaction when I read the initial post. Then I saw np71's Miele (nice job!) and thought it depends on what you want to end up with.

To me a frankenbike is a great rider built up from a mix of pieces, not a restoration with the "wrong" parts. Appearance is nice but it takes lower priority; if the frame is scratched or visibly imperfect, so be it. Since painting it well is not easy, just don't bother. Instead you take the opportunity to give it the components you think would work best and can afford or already have. You'll end up with a bike that works well for you.
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Old 09-06-14, 06:30 AM
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I built up 3 frankenbikes last year. I moved so I could no longer walk to work and so I built up a pair of commuters from frames and parts I had lying around. I also finally got around to building up a gravel bike from a 1993 Bridgestone XO-2 frame. I'd been reading a lot about gravel bikes and decided I wanted one. I have more fun building up frankenbikes than pretty much anything else. I like starting with something I need and then looking around for a bike that can do the job.
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Old 09-06-14, 07:26 AM
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I re-thought this post and remembered that the original note asked for recommendations. Like bikemig I've built up a number of fb's. In fact most of mine are. Start with a decent frame. Any good chrome-moly will do, though anything with a brand name tubing might be better. Any brand of bike as long as the model is mid-range or higher. For example: My Centurion DS Ironman is Tange 1. The Bianchi Brava has no tubing sticker. The Raleigh GS has Reynolds main tubes and fork. The Motobecane is whatever they used. All these bikes carry frankenponents, though they are as close to their roots as I could manage and still make them as functional as I wanted. Even the Masi has some frankenponents though you probably wouldn't notice.

Frame differences will affect the riding. That subject has been discussed many times and I won't even try to summarize. But if you start with a bike designated as a road bike, you probably won't go far astray from what you want.
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Old 09-06-14, 08:29 AM
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Milwaukee Craigslist has a lot of bikes. A lot.

There's a Hard Rock Comp for 75 in Shorewood- looks like it's pretty prime- that would be fun to build.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/4654290923.html
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Old 09-07-14, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Milwaukee Craigslist has a lot of bikes. A lot.

There's a Hard Rock Comp for 75 in Shorewood- looks like it's pretty prime- that would be fun to build.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/4654290923.html
Already gone...
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Old 09-07-14, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
Already gone...
Keep checking CL- even several times a day, email/text/call right away.

You have to beat other people to the bike.
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Old 09-07-14, 09:58 AM
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Wow, lots of good info. I don't really know what's good or bad, thanks.

The goal here is that I want to build a bike and I want to use these vintage parts because they're beautiful. Well, and vintage. And I like to build things. And I like bikes... And I don't have the coin to drop on a Campagnolo Record group set.

The bike itself... I would like to build a 27in road bike. Brakes, Weinmann center pulls would be great with Dia Comps safety levers. I'm thinking Shimano for the derailleurs and shifters, looks like that would be affordable quality. Cranks... Matching Shimano would be swell, but I haven't investigated that part yet. Wheels, the Normandy high flange hubs can be found and fixed up for not much, not the Luxe though, the rep is that they have soft races? Rims, I can get a set of Rigida or Weinmann 27 1 1/4 from the LBS for 20-30 a wheel, with hubs.

Repaint, no problem there and I probably would anyway. I wouldn't do a rattle can, if I'm putting the time in on this I'll drop the coin on a nice respray.
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Old 09-07-14, 10:15 AM
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I bought a decent condition 64cm (?) Univega Gran Rally that was way too big for me. It was cheap because few people want a vintage bike that big. Sold the frame and held on to the Shimano 600 components. After a year of looking at C-list 4-5 times a day, I found a 58 cm Univega Super Strada frame cheap. It's 2nd on my bike projects.

And some components are just too pretty to hide

Univegas are common and still fairly reasonable. The Super Strada was a score, top of the line for $20 more than I sold the original huge frame.

Repaint? Powdercoat if you must.
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Old 09-07-14, 10:54 AM
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@jimmuller, Excellent word "frankenponents".

OrangeBike, My definition of a Frankenbike has nothing to do with period correctness. It's either defined, in my mind, as a modernization of an older bicycle or a bike built up from a hodgepodge of parts bin items. I've even back dated a build using DT shifters rather than another set of STI levers. The idea is to have a good rider made from a frame set that you approve of.

Have fun with the build.

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Old 09-08-14, 08:19 AM
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I think a higher end Raleigh would make excellent candidate

I'm building up a Raleigh International... it will be an international frankenbike!

Here are the specs.. so far...


Framee / Fork Raleigh International - UK

Stem - GB - UK

Headset -Campagnolo Nuevo Record - Italy

Bars Nitto Randonneur 44cm handlebars - Japan

Tape - Specialized - China?

Brake levers - Cane Creek SCR-5 aero - Taiwan?

Shifters- Shimano 9 speed Dura Ace Bar Ends - Japan

Shifter bands for Cable Stop - Huret (Machined in America) - France

Brakes - Weinmann Center Pull 999 610 - Switzerland

Brake Pads - Scott-Mathauser Superbrake Brake Shoes - USA

Cables - Jagwire - China?

Rear Derailleur - Shimano Ultegra 6500 - Japan

Front Derailleur - Campy Record Triple - Italy

Rear Hub - Shimano 6000 - Japan

Front Dynamo Hub - Shimano DH-3N80 - Malaysia

Cassette - Sram PowerGlide 990 9 12/32 Taiwan?

Crank - Velo Orange Grand Cru 50.4 BCD Crankset - Taiwan

Chain - KMC - Taiwan

Pedals - Shimano - Japan

BB - Shimano - UN55 - Japan

Saddle - Brooks B17 Narrow - UK

Seatpost - Velo Orange - Taiwan

Rims - Velo Orange PBP - Taiwan

Rim Tape - Velox - France

Tires - Panaracer Pasela 32 - Japan
Spokes - Japan

Light - Schmidt Edelux - Germany

Brass bell - Japan

Some of the highlights that make it a Frakenbike…


1) Shimano, Campy, Sram drivetrain.
2) Triple derailleur on a double crank
3) 130 mm hubs on 126 mm spread frame
4) 32 tooth cassette for 28 tooth max derailleur
5) Most parts are used..
6) Most parts came off four other bikes that I owned

I will have a write up.. when I am done..
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Old 09-08-14, 09:39 AM
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That International sounds great; reminds me a little of my '73 Gran Sport that has shed all but its original crankset.

I agree there's nothing wrong with the higher end Raleighs, just stay away from the 26tpi stuff. But I also agree that many of the better deals seem to be Japanese frames eg. Miyata, Centurion, mid-80's Schwinns, etc.

The Arabesque bits tend to fetch higher prices; Suntour works better and although it's getting up there in price, it's still a good value imo. Also Deore is fantastic and usually can be had for a bargain.
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Old 09-08-14, 10:02 AM
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So... would these be examples of good candidates?

Peugeot Vintage Frame and Fork | eBay

Univega Gran Sprint Frame Set 58cm Classic Lugged Road Cromoly Triple Butted | eBay

Miele Bicycle Road Frame Tange 900 About 58cm | eBay

58cm is ball-parky good for me, not ever actually been fitted it would be close for me at 6'.

Would the Peugeot have French threadings, being French and all?

700c v 27"... I guess it's a horse apiece. I can build either wheel size and it would appear the two can be interchanged with some mods too, so it's a wash.
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Old 09-08-14, 10:15 AM
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I build my Frankenbikes when I have a left over frame versus when I have left over components.
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Old 09-08-14, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
Wow, lots of good info. I don't really know what's good or bad, thanks.

The goal here is that I want to build a bike and I want to use these vintage parts because they're beautiful. Well, and vintage. And I like to build things. And I like bikes... And I don't have the coin to drop on a Campagnolo Record group set.

The bike itself... I would like to build a 27in road bike. Brakes, Weinmann center pulls would be great with Dia Comps safety levers. I'm thinking Shimano for the derailleurs and shifters, looks like that would be affordable quality. Cranks... Matching Shimano would be swell, but I haven't investigated that part yet. Wheels, the Normandy high flange hubs can be found and fixed up for not much, not the Luxe though, the rep is that they have soft races? Rims, I can get a set of Rigida or Weinmann 27 1 1/4 from the LBS for 20-30 a wheel, with hubs.

Repaint, no problem there and I probably would anyway. I wouldn't do a rattle can, if I'm putting the time in on this I'll drop the coin on a nice respray.
Don't take this as mean or rude-

Do you know what you're looking for?

A 27" bike (that's a BIG bike) or a bike with 27" wheels? Why limit to 27" when 700c is SO much more prevalent.

Milwaukee's CL is pretty good- there's a LOT of really nice bikes that go through there- there's no need to look at eBay and fight for a bike that you have to pay to ship and possibly get damaged unless you're looking for something VERY specific.

I guess if you're starting from scratch, do a LOT of reading, pay attention to what people are working on, what people like and find something similar.

I was really bummed when our son went bike shopping- and paid WAY too much for a hi-ten frame and decent, but low end parts.

Decent frames are around, and fairly abundant around this area. You can start with a relatively inexpensive bike and play around with component changes- but your best bet is to get to know what's what. What models and years are good candidates. What kind of tubing is "good." What parts are "good."

Ask questions- everyone is learning, and everyone's been where you were and where you're going.
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Old 09-08-14, 11:25 AM
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The C & V was not kind to my Schwinn Paramount Frankenbike; be careful in your frame and parts selection. While you may get away with anything if you build up a Varsity, sensibilities get ruffled if one uses too nice of a bicycle.
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Old 09-08-14, 11:43 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Don't take this as mean or rude-
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Do you know what you're looking for?

Ask questions- everyone is learning, and everyone's been where you were and where you're going.


No that's not rude and I appreciate the comment. That's what I'm doing here, I really have no idea on this as far as brands go.

A couple few posts up I asked what about this, or that... The answers are really all, 'It depends.' That's what I'm trying to navigate. There are high end brands that are always high-end, there are crap brands that are always crap, there are brands that are high-end and crap...

That's the specific knowledge you folks here have, hoping to learn something. I appreciate the assist.
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