RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - Retro - Classic Bikes


Archive Home >> Retro - Classic Bikes


hey spirit, lone gunman ...(16 posts)

hey spirit, lone gunman ...bianchi boy
Jun 4, 2002 7:08 PM
Are you still interested in ordering something from Renaissance bikes? I've about made up my mind to order the Tommasini frame. Just need to check a few small details.

Spirito, did you know that Renaissance has the Merckx toe straps listed on eBay? I think shipping is only about $5.

Lone Gunman, I need to know exactly what you are looking for and what it costs.

Also, how would you guys go about paying me back? I would have to use PayPal, as they don't like credit cards, so wouldn't have any float -- that is, the money comes right out of my checking account.

Let me know as soon as possible if you interested because I may go ahead and order the frame as soon as Wednesday.

Tom
i think we habe both jumped the gunSpirito
Jun 4, 2002 10:33 PM
sorry....but thanks for asking.

hope all goes well !!!!
what do you plan to build it up with if you dont mind me asking?

ciao
sacrilege, I know, but ...tarwheel
Jun 5, 2002 4:44 AM
I plan to install an Ultegra group w/ Open Pro wheels that I now have on my old Bianchi frame.

BTW, the Merckx frame that I got off eBay is going back to the seller as soon as I get it boxed. I took it by Cycles de Oro to have Dale Brown look at it last week, and he had some interesting opinions, which I trust more than the others I have received so far. Dale doesn't think the Merckx has been wrecked, but thinks it was just not one of the Merckx factory's finest moments -- in other words, the frame is flawed/imperfect but probably OK to ride. A lot of shops would have sent it back to the factory because of the imperfections, he said, but the flaws probably would not affect it's rideability. He also didn't think it was worth "fixing" and repainting because I could find plenty of nice frames for less money -- such as the Tommasini. It would be a great frame for a racer who didn't care about the cosmetic flaws and would likely wreck at some point anyway.

I have been hesitating about buying the Tommasini because a friend of mine, who rides the exact same frame size as me, offered to sell me his old mid-80s Merckx frame or his early 90s Serotta Colorado Legend steel (precursor to CSI). Both bikes would be great deals, but he wants to sell them with all the components, rather than frame only. I would rather not have to deal with the hassle of removing and selling all the old parts -- which are very nice, though.

How sellable do you think an early 90s, 8-speed Dura-Ace group would be? The Serotta frame is absolutely perfect and rides great but I would rather use my 9-speed Ultegra group, which is only a few years old.

The Merckx frame has an interesting mix of components, including a strange-looking Mavic triple crank and some really nice Mavic brakes and headset. However, the frame has a few small rust spots and is probably due for a paint job, which would put the ultimate cost much higher than the Tommasini, which is essentially new.
Time for me to chime in...Nessism
Jun 5, 2002 5:23 AM
Don't mean to rain on your parade but that Tommasini uses Cromor tubing which is bottom of Columbus's line. Straight gauge .9 mm thick main tubes with equally thick stays.

Don't get me wrong, the frame will still be durable and ride fairly well. But with all the nice older frames out there, why bother with this grade of tubing?

Ed
thanks for the infotarwheel
Jun 5, 2002 5:55 AM
I was wondering about that but Renaissance said the tubing was equivalent to Columbus SLX. Hmmm ... maybe I ought to give the Serotta another look. Both the Tommasini and the Serotta are the exact same size and dimensions -- 57 c-c seat tube and 56 c-c top tube, with a 73 seat tube angle -- which would fit me perfect.

The only problem with the Serotta is the hassle factor, having to sell all the old parts on eBay and not really knowing what it's worth until the auctions are over.

The other used Merckx is the same size but made with Reynolds 753 steel tubing. It is a very nice frame, but the owner seems to think it doesn't have the conventional Merckx century geometry -- that is, he thinks it has steeper angles. The main reason I have been interested in Merckx is the geometry.
Merckx geometeryNessism
Jun 5, 2002 8:19 AM
As I recall, Merckx has two different sets of geometery: century and some more race oriented. I can check some info I have at home and post an update later. Reynolds 753 is a very thin tubeset so the ride quality should be very smooth.

FYI, Cromor uses straight gauge .9 mm main tubes, SL uses .9/.6 mm butted tubes, SLX uses .9/.6 butted with ribs reinforcing the thicker butted sections. Cromor will ride the firmest and have the most bottom bracket stiffness - it will also weigh the most.

Lastly, what about looking into one of those Look AC353 frames that were mentioned in the Components forum? Not classic but for the price, very hard to beat. I think they had some 57's in stock. Just a thought.

Ed
very superficial, I know, but ...tarwheel
Jun 5, 2002 9:50 AM
I'm not crazy about the appearance of Look frames. I'll take another "Look" however.

I would value your opinion on these options. The bike frame I am looking to replace is a mid-80s Bianchi Nuovo Record, Columbus lugged steel, 57 c-c seat tube, 57 c-c top tube. It is not a top-of-the line model for that period and rather heavy, although I'm not sure of the exact weight, but very comfortable riding. However, I am too stretched out on it, even with a short stem (8 cm). Not sure of seat angle. The Bianchi has a complete Ultegra 9 group w/ OpenPro wheels that I would like to switch to another better-fitting and lighter frame. My other bike is a 2001 Gios Compact Pro, 56 c-c seat tube with 55 c-c top tube and 74 seat angle. It fits me great, but I would like my other bike to have more relaxed seat tube angles and a threaded stem/fork so I can raise or lower the bars at will.

Here are my options right now:

-- Tommasini, Chromor Columbus steel lugged, from Renaissance Bikes. NOS frame (late 80s to early 90s) with beautiful paint job and chrome fork and stays. Size 57 c-c seat tube and 56 c-c top tube. Not sure of seat angle but probably 73, as most Tommasinis are in that size. Cost about $400 with shipping.

-- Serotta Colorado Legend, early 90s construction but recently repainted by the factory (flawless). This model is the precursor to the current CSI. Lugged steel with Serotta's proprietary tubing, internal cable routing on top tube. Size 57 c-c seat tube with 56 c-c top tube, 73 seat angle. I know the owner and bike has been extremely well maintained, never wrecked. I rode the bike and it fits me great and rides great -- amazingly similar to the ride of my Gios Compact Pro. Cost $1000 with Dura-Ace 8-speed group and Wheelsmith wheels w/ DA hubs. I would probably sell the DA group, or just keep it and sell the old Bianchi with Ultegra group.

-- Eddie Merckx, mid-80s, Reynolds 753 lugged steel with chrome chain stay. Size 57 c-c seat tube with 56 c-c top tube. Not sure of seat tube angle. Merckx century geometry frames in this size usually have a 72.5 seat angle, but owner thinks this might have the racing geometry. Frame has a fairly nice paint job but some rust around the cable guides on top tube. Cost $400 for frame with Mavic brakes, headset, triple crankset and wheels (I would probably sell the components, although owner says the Mavic brakes and headset are probably better than my Ultegra). Same owner as the Serotta. I would probably want to repaint the frame if I got the Merckx, which would cost about $300.

BTW, I am looking at frames with 57 c-c seat tubes because I prefer to ride with my handlebars fairly high, about 1" below the saddle. It is hard to achieve that height with a 56 frame without a lot of stem extension. Most 57 c-c seat tube frames have top tubes at least 57 or longer, so the frames I am looking at should fit me just right if they have a seat angle of 73 or less. I am more interested in comfort and handling that stiffness and speed, but it is very hilly where I ride any weight savings would be appreciated although I am not a weight weenie.
NOT superficialNessism
Jun 5, 2002 12:17 PM
I'm not really sure what to recommend. To be honest with you, I don't really like any of your options. The Serotta seems like too much money, the Merckx need too much work (which will cost money), the that Tomassini uses low end tubing. I say keep looking. And call those Boyersports guys to see what they have left. Maybe they have a lugged Look frame in your size. Also, check out rec.bicycles.marketplace. There is a LOT of traffic there. You might even want to post a Wanted to Buy ad.

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&group=rec.bicycles.marketplace

Found a 57 Merckx OS Strada with low milage.

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=merckx+group:rec.bicycles.marketplace&hl=en&lr=&scoring=d&selm=1YqI8.142800%24Q42.6978955%40typhoon.austin.rr.com&rnum=4
Merckx dimension infoNessism
Jun 5, 2002 5:38 PM
According to a dimension chart Gita sent me in 1995, Merckx has two different sets of geometery: Century road and Corsa/Corsa Extra. The difference is the seat tube angle, 72.5 vs. 73.75 for a 57 cm frame. FYI, this chart shows the top tube length to be 56.7 cm on both frames. Not much different than your Bianchi.

Ed
Merckx dimension infobianchi boy
Jun 5, 2002 7:18 PM
The Merckx frame my friend has is 57 c-c seat tube, with a 56 c-c top tube. I know this isn't standard, but I measured it myself. I fit best on a frame with a slightly shorter top tube, which is why it interested me -- as well as the Serotta. It probably has the Corsa seat angle, though, and I would prefer the century.

Anyway, what I'm looking for is a frame with a 56 top tube and relatively slack seat tube angle (73 or less). Assuming I could get $500 for the Dura-Ace parts and wheels (which might not be a good assumption), don't you think the difference ($500) would be a good price for the Serotta lugged steel frame. After all, a new CSI costs about $2,000. The paint job is flawless and the size and geometry are a perfect fit for me.
SerottaNessism
Jun 6, 2002 5:32 AM
$500 for a flawless Serotta frameset sounds like a reasonable price to me. Selling off the old DA stuff will be a pain however - less so if you are an established ebay trader. I'm not sure what this Serotta looks like but I do know that the CSI is a very nice frame - best lugged frame ever built in my opinion. It uses larger tube sizes, which are shaped/flared, compared to the earlier frames. The early frames, while still very nice, used fairly standard off the shelf tubing.

Regarding the frame fit in general, be careful regarding measurements. It is very difficult to accuratly measure a completed frame. I've tried to measure my own frames this way and it is easy to be off by a 1/2 cm or more. Another thing to consider is handlebar reach. The older round bends, such as the 3T Merckx bend and deep drop Cinelli bars, have a very long reach dimension - as much as 2 full cm longer than many anatomic bends.

I'm surprised that your old Bianchi fits you so poorly. 57x57 with a 8 cm stem? Going to a 57x56 frame will require a 9 cm stem to get the same fit which is still not ideal.

Good luck and feel free to contact me via email if I can be any help.

Ed
Serottabianchi boy
Jun 6, 2002 7:11 PM
The Serotta I'm looking has oversize tubing that flares or widens near the bottom bracket. It also has internal cable routing on the top tube. The owner had it repainted at the factory a couple years ago and has hardly ridden it since then. I am certain about the dimensions because I measured them, and he had the frame custom built to that size (57x56). The owner has 4 Serottas (including an Ottrott, Legend Ti and CSI) and all of the bikes were built to the same dimensions.

Well, part of the reason why the Bianchi fits me poorly is that my stem can't be raised high enough and the handlebar has too much drop. That's why I ordered the H2O stem and Ritchey bar. But, after riding the Gios for a year, I just like the feel of a frame with a short top tube better.
What about new Bianchi?Nessism
Jun 6, 2002 10:39 AM
57 c-t but it does have a 56 cm top tube. Just set it up with the bars a little higher. Some ideas include: tall stack length headset, spacer between upper headset race and top nut (1 cm spacer is no problem), long length stem such as Nitto, and follow up with a short reach set of bars such as 3T anatomic.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1833246757

Ed
re: new Bianchistarwheel
Jun 6, 2002 12:11 PM
Actually, I had a relatively new ('99) Bianchi in size 57 but sold it. A new 57 bianchi is really more like a 54 c-c with a 56 top tube because Bianchi measures its frames all the way to the top of the seat tube. They also have steep seat angles. So the new Bianchis are really some of the most stretched out frames around. Anyway, I couldn't raise the stem enough on this bike to get the handlebars where I wanted them.

My old Bianchi really isn't that far off, but I kind of have the itch for something different. At this point, what I have decided to do is order a taller and slightly longer stem (Profile H2O w/ 90 degree angle) and switch the handlebars to Ritchey Pros, which have a shorter drop and reach. This might be enough to make the old Bianchi comfortable for me. I really like the old Bianchi, it's got a beautiful Celeste paint job and nice lugs and engraving, even though it is on the heavy side.
Nitto stemsNessism
Jun 6, 2002 5:42 PM
Have you seen the high rise Nitto stems? They have a super long quill so you can get the bars up. Much nicer looking stem than the Profile jobs in my opinion.

http://www.bikeusa.com/MERCHANT2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=MSGI&Category_Code=RoadQuillStemsNitto
Butting in....Walter
Jun 5, 2002 5:26 PM
I like the Serotta but agree with Nessism that it seems pricey. I'm sure the DA stuff will sell no problem but I too have no idea what the auction would end at. Probably get more piece by piece but magnify the hassle too.

I'm intrigued with owning a Merckx but if the geometry's not right that settles the issue right there.

Disappointing that the Tomassini has heavier guage tubing. I (probably) weigh more than you so for me the extra stiffness might be an agreeable tradeoff but then I own a Basso in SL and really love its ride.

A dilemma to be sure but time is on your side and there are many frames out there. The best advice may be to keep looking.

That Tommassini is hot looking though......