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Thread: "Vintage" bikes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    "Vintage" bikes

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    There are a lot of vintage bikes listed on CL. Most of the road type bikes are between $150-200 and I'm thinking about buying one but don't know what to look for. These bikes are heavier than today's road bikes aren't they? I mostly want to buy a good frame and slowly add different things to them like better brakes etc. What questions should I ask the sellers? Most of them are on the mainland and I'll probably only go across once to find the right bike. I don't want to spend too much time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    the most important part besides the frame being in safe condition (not bent or cracked or broken) is if it fits you. Do you know your size?
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Uncanny Valley
    You'll do better with a steel frame. Spreading the dropouts will let you put on a modern (10 or 11-speed hub) rear wheel. If you don't convert to at least a 9 or 10-speed cassette hub, you may have a hard time finding NOS freewheels when the one on the bike wears out (if it isn't already).

    Besides the frame not being cracked, make sure it has no rust. As far as frame alignment (whether or not it's bent), it may be hard to tell from a visual inspection, although some defects in the paint can alert you to a bent frame. Again, steel can be cold-set into good alignment by a framebuilder, and some LBS's may have a jig and the skills to do so as well. But if you don't plan to race it, if it shifts okay, stays in the gear you put it in, and doesn't wobble on high-speed descents or turns, then the alignment is probably close enough.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 11-07-2009 at 02:17 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    If you buy something with older standards (like my beloved 6 cog cassette Giant), a good resource for parts is Rivendell http://www.rivbike.com//
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson



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