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Excited for our local bike swap coming up in 1.5 weeks.

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Excited for our local bike swap coming up in 1.5 weeks.

Old 04-04-16, 08:39 AM
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corrado33
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Excited for our local bike swap coming up in 1.5 weeks.

I'm extremely excited this year for our local bike swap. I was told that last year there were close to 400 bikes for sale! Also, since I'm volunteering I get to get in early and buy whatever I want before anybody else shows up! I'm really only looking for one type of bike. A 54-56cm classic, late 80s road bike with downtube shifters, hopefully indexed. (Like an old Premis.)

Early 80s bikes are starting to feel a bit... old at this point. There are certainly some great riding early 80s bikes, I built one up the other day, but I like the few modern conveniences that late 80s bikes offer like indexed rear shifting and more comfortable hoods. Friction shifting is fun and all, but I can see the advantages that indexing brought to the table. It takes much of the skill out of shifting, but generally makes for quicker shifts (for me.) However, I do not like indexing on front derailleurs. Wish they have left that friction.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for bikes I should look for? I think at this point I think I'm experienced enough to be able to pick them out myself, but remembering a few model names would help me tremendously. I'm generally pretty close to the shop "old guy" when it comes to pricing these old bikes. That is certainly something that takes time to learn, regardless of how much you read up on it (and I am not old enough to have learned it sufficiently.)

(I remember an old website that told you how to value old bikes by looking at dropouts, seat stays, types of tube connections (brazing, welding, lugs, etc. but I don't remember what the website was... Anybody remember?))
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Old 04-05-16, 02:53 AM
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Where is it?
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Old 04-05-16, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Marlin View Post
Where is it?
Bozeman!
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Old 04-07-16, 01:56 PM
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There are so many names in that category. You'll probably get a long list from your question. Me? yea, there's some I look for, but mostly, I just try to find a good quality frame. You can look at the lugs, dropouts, paint, etc. and, if you're lucky, the tube decals. It's not rocket science to tell a "worthy" frame from one that is crap. Note I said "worthy" - this means it might not be highest of high end, or popular or collectable, but it is a good quality frame worth building, restoring and most importantly, riding.

I found a frame I'd never heard of (Sannino), but I could tell by the clean nice looking lugs and campy dropouts that it was most likely a good quality frame. And the paint and chrome were in very good shape, nothing to be embarrassed about or needing rehabilitation. It was pretty simple to tell it was "worthy", and I later learned it was probably a top end (Columbus SLX) frame in its day.

I built it up with 9 speed and then 8 speed DT indexed shifting on it (had the 9 speed Shimano on hand, so used it until I found some vintage-ish Campy 8 speed stuff to keep it Italian).

I grew up with friction shifting for a good 20 years, so it doesn't bother me, but the minute I tried indexed shifting in the 90s (on a bike swap bike!), I loved it. So I'm totally on board with your opinion on that.

I actually tried friction DT shifters with both 8 and 9 speed on this bike before going indexed. 8 was OK, but pretty fussy. The 9 speed friction shifting, for me, really wasn't fun at all. The spacing is so narrow it took quite a bit of fine motor skill and very subtle trimming to get the clean shifts, and it was subject to ghost shifts because of the narrow spacing. Indexed was much, much better for that and works great for both 8 and 9 speed. I think 7 speed is a good rule of thumb maximum for friction.

9 speed Shimano DT indexed shifters are easy to find. I'm not totally sure, but I think they still make them and might even make 10 speed indexed DT shifters.

Last edited by Camilo; 04-07-16 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 04-07-16, 03:20 PM
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Getting a bike that's the right size and fits you well should be the #1 priority. It's kind of like buying pants, it doesn't matter how fancy it is if it's not the right size.

Specialized, Giant, Trek, all make good decent bikes. Thing to avoid is mostly not buying department store quality bikes.
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Old 04-07-16, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Getting a bike that's the right size and fits you well should be the #1 priority. It's kind of like buying pants, it doesn't matter how fancy it is if it's not the right size.

Specialized, Giant, Trek, all make good decent bikes. Thing to avoid is mostly not buying department store quality bikes.
Oh most definitely. 54 or 56 for me. I've bought bikes that were the wrong size before. They just end up sitting in the garage never used.

I know that the type of steel used back in the day was highly personal for what the individual liked, but I wish there was a list of alloys that were typically on higher end bikes, compared to lower end bikes.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:21 PM
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Don't have any recommendations for you but this sale/swap sounds like a great idea. Wish we had one in my city. Good luck in your search.

(I've only been to Bozeman once, on a U.S. road trip - nice city)
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Old 04-07-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I'm extremely excited this year for our local bike swap. I was told that last year there were close to 400 bikes for sale! Also, since I'm volunteering I get to get in early and buy whatever I want before anybody else shows up! I'm really only looking for one type of bike. A 54-56cm classic, late 80s road bike with downtube shifters, hopefully indexed. (Like an old Premis.)

Early 80s bikes are starting to feel a bit... old at this point. There are certainly some great riding early 80s bikes, I built one up the other day, but I like the few modern conveniences that late 80s bikes offer like indexed rear shifting and more comfortable hoods. Friction shifting is fun and all, but I can see the advantages that indexing brought to the table. It takes much of the skill out of shifting, but generally makes for quicker shifts (for me.) However, I do not like indexing on front derailleurs. Wish they have left that friction.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for bikes I should look for? I think at this point I think I'm experienced enough to be able to pick them out myself, but remembering a few model names would help me tremendously. I'm generally pretty close to the shop "old guy" when it comes to pricing these old bikes. That is certainly something that takes time to learn, regardless of how much you read up on it (and I am not old enough to have learned it sufficiently.)

(I remember an old website that told you how to value old bikes by looking at dropouts, seat stays, types of tube connections (brazing, welding, lugs, etc. but I don't remember what the website was... Anybody remember?))
Serotta.

Merlin.

Chris Chance.

Independent Fabrication.

I could go on forever, you can find some screaming deals at the swaps, good luck.

Here's the website you are looking for.

MY "TEN SPEEDS - Home Page
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Old 04-07-16, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Oh most definitely. 54 or 56 for me. I've bought bikes that were the wrong size before. They just end up sitting in the garage never used.

I know that the type of steel used back in the day was highly personal for what the individual liked, but I wish there was a list of alloys that were typically on higher end bikes, compared to lower end bikes.
Yeah, the best way to try to figure out the quality level of a bike is to look at the shifters and deraillers and see what level they're at. If it's stock just the derailler would do it, if it's not stock then the most likely thing to be original is the shifters because of their high cost to replace.
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Old 04-07-16, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MR BIG STUFF View Post
Here's the website you are looking for.

MY "TEN SPEEDS - Home Page
Thanks! I had actually found it pretty much right after I asked about it. It's certainly an interesting site. I've been trying to look at every older bike I come across to see if I can identify how nice of a frame it is by the lugs/dropouts. People probably think I'm weird for checking out their bike.

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Yeah, the best way to try to figure out the quality level of a bike is to look at the shifters and deraillers and see what level they're at. If it's stock just the derailler would do it, if it's not stock then the most likely thing to be original is the shifters because of their high cost to replace.
I will certainly try to do that, I'm still a newbie at identifying older components though. I was servicing an old rear derailleur the other day. I though "Yeah, it's ok, nothing special." Well, it ended up having ceramic jockey/tension wheel bearing bearings, so probably better than "OK." Sure, the old dura ace stuff and campy stuff is easy, it's the stuff in between "really good" and "really bad" that's tough for me. Simply not enough experience yet.

Last edited by corrado33; 04-07-16 at 10:29 PM.
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