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"Old School" bikes?(34 posts)

"Old School" bikes?Tri-State Cycler
Sep 3, 2001 5:07 PM
Does anybody here ride or have old school? Gitane, Peugot, LeJeune, Masi, Ross, Rossin, Geurciotti, Raleigh, Paramount, Panasonic, Bridgestone to name just a few old schoolers. Or are we all "techno" freaks? There's a shop that's more than a few miles from me and the guy has more old frames than you can shake a stick at. As I looked at some of the frames I realized that most are more than worthy of build ups. A lot of these old bikes rival anything put out today if you put new parts on them. Now I'm not saying that they'd be the lightest but for everyday riding and amateur racing? Why not? I remember when some of these bikes were top-end and drooled over. It really is a shame that some of these frames are just hangin' out somewhere and that the market for them is relatively small.
re: "Old School" bikes?DINOSAUR
Sep 3, 2001 5:31 PM
Sad to say, but I crossed over into a techno freak. My last road bike was a Guerciotti SLX. It hung in my garage for years until I unloaded it. I put it on my top ten list of life's greatest blunders. It rode like a dream, a tad heavy by today's standards. Does that shop do mail orders? I'd be interrested to see what his inventory is. I think steel is being re-discovered as a frame material....
I agree, to a degree ...Humma Hah
Sep 3, 2001 6:49 PM
... as far as the basic function of a bike goes, some of those old rides are perfectly fine, and I'd personally rather have an old Paramount (providing I could get one that fit, with chromed Nervux lugs) than any new roadbike you could name. Its not that it would be better, or even as good as, a modern bike, but its a bike I've always admired and wanted.

As most here know, I ride a 30-year-old Schwinn cruiser, just finished 2 weeks in a row of 150 miles of riding each. That bike's design dates to the 1950's.

I ran into an old frame last year, an 1890's-something Pierce, which, with just a little work, would mingle in a paceline today and a lot of riders would never notice it was not a modern bike. Riding weight would be in the 18-20 pound range, fixed gear. Leave the wooden rims on it, or build a set of modern wheels for modern tires. I'd have loved a chance to ride it on a century.

But I will say that a couple of modern improvements are worthwhile. If you're gonna shift, might as well have something better than un-detented downtube shifters. I can live with one gear most of the time, so 10 is plenty for me, and 24-30 gears is a little silly. But if you've bought into the gear thing, more is better, I guess.

But brakes -- good lord, there's been such a revolution. They're SO much better than the old calipers. And you can't just slap modern brakes on the old frames. I managed to put V-brakes on the back of the cruiser, but the adapter weighs several pounds!
re: "Old School" bikes?SS_Billy
Sep 3, 2001 7:46 PM
I ride an '80s model lugged 4130 frame set up as a fixed-gear. What brand it is? Your guess is as good as was bought second hand for really cheap. The bike wasn't quite complete when the picture was taken...
re: "Old School" bikes?Mike
Sep 3, 2001 7:50 PM
I don't own any of the bikes you've listed, but my Torelli EL-OS is looking pretty old-school after six years. I guess any lugged steel frame looks a bit retro in 2001. The Torelli's a great ride, but I've got to say that the new Strong Foco TIG beats it hands down. As for old school bikes, I still kick myself for selling my Medici SLX Super Record-equipped beauty. Maybe one day I'll find it on ebay.
re: "Old School" bikes?ACH
Sep 4, 2001 8:19 AM
I still have my 88 Medici made from SL tubes and Campy C-Record/Record drivetrain. I almost sold it while I was in college-now I'm glad I didn't. The thing still rides and shifts and stops like new, and it's comfy. Downtube shifters, sidepull brakes, 7 speed freewheels-gotta love it. What's a couple extra pounds, right?
re: "Old School" bikes?steb50
Nov 14, 2001 8:31 PM
I kick myself for selling my Dave Tesch autograph frame. arghhh !
Hey,Tri-State Cycler ,where is the shop ?Djudd
Sep 3, 2001 8:44 PM
One of my favorite rides is a Bridgestone RB-1. My first real bike (then known as a "ten-speed") was a black Gitane. My question to you is how can I get in touch with this guy with the old frames? I am definitely interested in buying. Although as anyone who deals with those old frames knows they are oddly sized with no standard for fitting. Really though, how can I talk to this shop? where is it?
I second that ...Humma Hah
Sep 4, 2001 7:40 AM
I do believe Tri-State lives around here somewhere ...
The shop is here.....Tri-State Cycler
Sep 4, 2001 1:01 PM
The shop is Mount Airy Cycles (301) 831-5151 4540 Old National Pike. If I'm not mistaken you would be coming from the DC Metro area? Coming from DC/VA take I-270 North to exit 16 Damascus (Route 27) You will have to make a left onto Rt 27 again once you are in Damascus (Going straight will put you on Rt 108 toward Olney). Go straight for about 5 miles until you see a Exxon on left and Shell on the right. Turn right just after the Shell station, make immediate left and proceed 1/2 mile. Shop is on left. Hummah, since you are in Manassas it is faster to go Rt 7. (LMK if you need alternate directions) I would strongly suggest calling ahead as the guy also has a shop in College Park, MD (This is much closer to you guys, but I don't know what's there) The time I was there I did spy a couple of Bridgestones as I was looking at a jaw dropping beautifully restored 75 Paramount (Chrome lugs, stays, drop-outs and fork crown) HH would have loved it. He did mention he was building a warehouse (that's an indication of how many bikes/frames he has) but I don't know if he completed it yet. I also don't know if he does mailorder but if your interested in a older bike then it would be worth a call. One of the benefits of working all over the place is running into places like this.
re:The shop is this Larry Green?Djudd
Sep 4, 2001 2:59 PM
You are absolutely right I am coming from DC and thanks for the tip, I will be there this weekend. I was wondering is this the same guy who owns College Park Cycles?, I think his name is Larry Green. I've been to that shop and there are classic frames and fully built bikes hanging from the rafters, literally the place is a monument to classic racing cycles, it's unbelievable. Thanks again for the info.
Why not? No reason why.Dog Breath
Sep 3, 2001 10:44 PM
I have bikes with SP, SLX, ELOS and Genius tubing. They all work great.

It is funny how quickly cycling has changed of late. Seems that bikes are marketed based upon what people are riding in the Tour de France. In the "old days" (10 or so short years ago) it was fine. Pros rode TSX or SLX, rec. rider can use the same bike. I doubt that many of todays Tour bikes are suitable for rec riders.

Lugged ELOS becomes old tech after five years, but do we really need Ultra Foco or Scandium? Who knows how well and for how long these new wonder bikes will last? The "old school bikes" have proven themselves to be capable over the long haul. They are always going to be a pound or two heavier, which is no big deal.
re: "Old School" bikes?MJ
Sep 4, 2001 1:17 AM
very serious Bridgestone fan - have an MB0 - totally sweet

Rivendell, amongst others, seems to have efectively taken that niche approach re 'Old School' in a modern way
re: "Old School" bikes?Steve
Sep 4, 2001 2:01 AM
I just got in from a few morning miles on an Olmo with SPX tubing. Heavyish frame, but very comfortable.

re: "Old School" bikes?cycleguy
Sep 4, 2001 4:49 AM
I have a 26 year old Fuji Ace in my stand now. Came with all Dura Ace when Shimano first introduced Dura Ace. Not "old school" but old with lugged Double Butted CroMoly frame and Shimano dropouts. Still have most of the Dura Ace componets but am turning it into a single speed this winter. I will be picking up my "old school=new school" lugged nemo steel Mondonico later this month. Perhaps for me the circle has come around. :)
re: old school bikesvanzutas
Sep 4, 2001 7:13 AM
My favorite thing is to ride with people who have brand new titanium stuff. I ride a semi old school Centurian (sp?)Dave Scott Triathlon with a Tange lugged steel frame. As long as I can stay with the group or go faster I am happy as hell.
I also ride a 10 year old Steel Specialized Stumpjumper. I did a few local races this year, I came in 2nd and 3rd. beating all of the people on their brand new Aluminum bikes.
old school and proud of itbianchi boy
Sep 4, 2001 4:50 AM
I've still got my mid-80s Bianchi and wouldn't consider getting rid of it. In fact, I recently updated the
frame with an Ultegra group and Mavic Open Pros. It may be a little heavier than newer frames, but
the ride is incredibly smooth. The Celeste paint is still in great shape after 16+ years and the frame has
some nice details they just don't put on many new bikes any more -- lugs, engraved fork crowns and
stays, etc. You can buy frames (or complete bikes with old components) like this on eBay for incredible
prices if you do some shopping. Not just Bianchis but nice old frames made by Gios, Masi, Colnago --
you name it. I think the whole obsession over light weight frames is ridiculous. I'll take a sweet riding
steel frame with nice lugs and details any day.
I'll try againbianchi boy
Sep 4, 2001 6:09 AM
You would think you could post a link from the photos section of RBR ...
Yip, sure thingmuncher
Sep 4, 2001 5:15 AM
Have an old (late 70s) Gazelle Champion Mondial CX frame I use as a single speed commuter. Came v cheap with record all round, weighs in at under 20lbs; looks great, needs about zero looking after, pretty theft immune, and saves the "good" bikes from getting trashed day in day out. And I have never seen one the same anywhere to boot!
Does my new Old School Atlantis count?Retro
Sep 4, 2001 7:46 AM
It not, I've got a late-'80s Trek tourer that's in the middle of a single-speed conversion, a Bridgestone MB-3 rigid I still ride occasionally and a Specialized Allez from the the last year they were steel. I didn't plan it that way (except for the Atlantis, which I love). But the bikes work, they do everything I need, and when I go shopping, I can't see anything under about $2000 that suits my needs better.
"Old School" PogliaghiPogliaghi
Sep 4, 2001 1:04 PM

Mine's a second hand "NON"-classic version made after Sante Pogliaghi quit building bikes. Still rides very nicely 'though. Parts have been somewhat modernized, so I don't know if it can still be considered "Old School".
"Old School" PogliaghiDjudd
Sep 4, 2001 3:05 PM
Man oh man! what a ride, about 2 months ago I saw a Pogliaghi on eBay, I bid on it, but was beaten by a last minute bidder (darn!).
re: Battaglinbattaglin bob
Sep 4, 2001 3:02 PM
until this year my main ride was an early 90's battaglin. great all around ride. this bike started as a 7-sp and went through three groupos to its current 9-sp setup. got a new 853 frame this year and it rides great also. the only difference is weight and stiffness. still keep the batt around for those "retro"days. hard to go wrong with an old school bike. these days too many people a smitten with weight and sacrfice ride quality. if the bike isn't comfy it will quickly fall into disuse
searching hard for a guerciotti..dotkaye
Sep 4, 2001 3:32 PM
rode a late 80's guerciotti recently, frankly I liked it better than my current ride, Trek 2500 alu. It was only about 2-3lbs heavier than the Trek, and no slower, according to a series of timetrials. I'd love to have one. I bought a Japanese Paramount (built by Panasonic for Schwinn) for $175 on Ebay, still busy refurbishing it - everything works but it's awful dirty. Couldn't afford a real Waterford Paramount.. oh well.
re: "Old School" bikes?Proboscis
Sep 4, 2001 4:03 PM
My regular road rider/trainer is an 87 Peugeot manganese alloy internally lugged frame with full shimano 600 ultegra components(since new). I replaced the original wheels in the early nineties with a set of specialized trispokes. I ocasionally use the old front wheel on very windy days. A short while ago I built up a Klein Aeolus aluminum frameset with full Dura-ace. I use it only for Triathlons,TT, and uphill sprints. I definately think that many of these old frames make excellent road bikes. Use the more expensive(prettier) bike for the racing/posing. The only drawback seems to be the dwindling supply of descent freewheels, and bending lots of rear axles.
Stolen, stolen, stolen, stolenRich Clark
Sep 4, 2001 4:22 PM
Two Raleighs, two Gitanes, a Peugot, a Sears (hey, I was broke, and they *did* sell road bikes back in 1968). Every bike I ever had between 1957 (my JC Higgins, when I was 7 years old) and 1979 (my last Raleigh 12-speed) was stolen. Including the two lovely white matched Gitanes my wife and I had instead of a car.

So we got a car, and not riding nearly killed me (well, that and the cigarettes and the Ben & Jerry's) but that's another story.

Today the bikes live in the house. At work they live in the office. I'm still not optimistic, but I do have better locks now, and more money, too.

JC Higgins...Gotta laugh with that one......(nm)cycleguy
Sep 4, 2001 7:41 PM
1980 DeRosa53x12
Sep 4, 2001 4:54 PM
I still ride my 1980 DeRosa. I've tried new bikes, but I just like the feel of this bike. There is something poetic about riding these old bikes with cables hanging out everywhere and friction shifting. I don't seem to have any trouble staying up with the 'new' bikes. I really don't see much of an advantage in saving 2-3 pounds when the ride quality is so much better with old steel. BTW, I did buy an 80's Paletti off of Ebay a couple months ago for 90 bucks. I've just about got it outfitted in Campy SR. I wonder how this one will ride?
old school bikesfuzzybunnies
Sep 4, 2001 5:29 PM
I ride a early eighties raleigh that's been upgraded?, to an eight speed with a four speed internal hub with inter brake so I could put on a 700c wheel with studded tires for the ice. Front is similar. Left on the rear derailleur and adjusted the screws so no shifter was needed and allows me to run a double in the front hence an 8sp with full fenders. Real fun and heavy. TTFN
Sep 5, 2001 6:36 AM
I ride a mid-80's English Raleigh Team Replica built up with Campy SR 7-spd. Frame is lugged, Reynolds butted 531C. My other bike is a late-80's Nishiki with Shimano 600EX SIS 6-spd, Biopace chainrings. The Nishiki's frame is lugged, butted Tange #1 (similar to Columbus SL).

re: "Old School" bikes?morey
Oct 2, 2001 4:39 AM
I have a 1984 Ciocc, a 1986 Masi, and a 1988 Raleigh. They have all been wonderful and comfortable. The Ciocc and Masi are as good as anything today, albeit heavier.
re: "Old School" bikes?dzrider
Oct 12, 2001 5:08 AM
I rode to work today on a 531 Trek with Campy Gran Sport cranks, brakes and f der. I've updated the r der and wheels. The ride is still supple and responsive and I find my spinning feels smoother and lighter on the heavier bike. If the dropouts were wide enough to try it with my lighter wheelset I'd be curious to see if I'm any slower than I am on my 853 Lyon.
re: "Old School" bikes?zero1
Oct 22, 2001 10:48 AM
the first bike i bought when i got into cycling was a ross...the best i can remember it came with a kick stand, the handlebar tape was styrofoam, the levers were on top of the handlebars...but believe me i was so happy to get this bike...then i upgraded to a centurion and then etc..i also test rode a geurciotti....
re: "Old School" bikes?zero1
Oct 22, 2001 11:24 AM
well i guess i was wrong....i guess u could say my first bike was a jc higgins with a huge basket on the was red and had chrome everywhere and probably weighed around 40 lbs...wish i still had was aroung 1959 or also had 2 headlights built into the frame...u applied the brakes by pushing back on the pedals.