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Which vintage bike frame is better?

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Which vintage bike frame is better?

Old 09-10-23, 09:31 AM
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Which vintage bike frame is better?

Hi all,

I've been riding a Mikado Randonnée for a few years. Been really good bike. I recently got an Ompax International (for extremely good price). Only reason I got the bike is the Shimano 600 groupset to put on my Mikado.

Turns out, the bike frame seems to be in good shape, but I'm not sure how to compare vintage steel bike frames. The Ompax frame is a Tange Special Plain Gauge Hi-Tensile Steel. Not much info on the Mikado frame. Which bike frame would be better, or are they both comparable?
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Old 09-10-23, 11:17 AM
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Better for what?

Which bike fits you better and handles well in the terrain and conditions you ride? If you do long rides, then weight might be a factor. So which is lighter?

Are the bikes different in their geometry where one has a slacker seat tube and for some might be more comfortable for more upright position. Or does one give you a lower stack so you can get more saddle to bar drop?

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Old 09-10-23, 11:38 AM
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It really comes down to the frame geometry, in particular the amount of fork rake, with older bikes. The concept of an "endurance" bike or having "relaxed" geometry was not prevalent 20 years ago.
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Old 09-10-23, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Better for what?

Which bike fits you better and handles well in the terrain and conditions you ride? If you do long rides, then weight might be a factor. So which is lighter?

Are the bikes different in their geometry where one has a slacker seat tube and for some might be more comfortable for more upright position. Or does one give you a lower stack so you can get more saddle to bar drop?

Welcome to BF.

If you want to show us a picture of them, just upload it to the gallery and let us know it's there.
Thanks for the tip about the gallery. I can't post photos or URLs since I'm under 10 posts, but they've been uploaded in my gallery if you can see them via my username

They both fit comfortable with me, though I haven't tested it for very much.
But your questions gave me some good insight to what to look out for. It seems like I need to do a bit more test runs to figure out which frame is best.

Thank you
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Old 09-11-23, 09:20 AM
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These are them?





https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/30757253

They both look to have very slack seat tubes. The Ompax in particular. And it looks like it's made with a long reach to stretch you out. But without detailed geometry information a pic can really be deceiving.

Still, if you have to decide on what bike, then pick the one you like to ride. Frame material depends too much on other things as to whether it's better or not in any bike. The designs and manufacture technique make a difference more than the material does. Red bikes are almost always faster!

It's okay to have more than one bike.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-11-23 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-11-23, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ddrchen
Hi all,

I've been riding a Mikado Randonnée for a few years. Been really good bike. I recently got an Ompax International (for extremely good price). Only reason I got the bike is the Shimano 600 groupset to put on my Mikado.

Turns out, the bike frame seems to be in good shape, but I'm not sure how to compare vintage steel bike frames. The Ompax frame is a Tange Special Plain Gauge Hi-Tensile Steel. Not much info on the Mikado frame. Which bike frame would be better, or are they both comparable?
- The better frame is the one that fits you best. Based on the pictures in this thread, neither fits you that well...those saddles are pretty slammed.
- Your Ompax is made with as basic of steel frame tubing as you could get back 40ish years ago.
- Shimano 600, to me, got really nice after '88 when it was tricolor. Before then?...its a friction shifting group that seems like so many other friction shifting groups from Shimano, SunTour, and Campy. Its friction shifting...its pretty simple. The 600 on your Mikado is pre-tricolor and while it was nice, its hardly something that stands out compared to a ton of other mid-level options from the various brands back in the mid-80s. The picture is from far away, but I assume the Shimano 600 group is 600 Arabesque. It didnt have a slant parallelogram rear derailleur, the brakes were flimsy, and it was overall just...meh.
- Mikado was a brand owned by a Canadian cycling group, and the frames were made in Japan and then Taiwan. I have never seen any high quality Mikado bikes, but have seen pictures of some mid-level models and they look like any number of mid-level models from other Western owned brands that imported contract manufactured bikes from Japan/Taiwan in the 80s.
- Both bikes look like they require claw adapter mounted rear derailleurs, which along with the lack of bottle cage mounts, would put these on the early side of the 80s and/or the lower end of the brand's offerings.



There is some general info.
Again- just ride whichever you like more because neither is inherently 'better'.
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