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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:02 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 69
Location: W Midlands
Hi All

I normally frequent the retro MTB forum but having completed my first project on an old Marin my attention is turning to doing a road bike.

I would like your thoughts on what the best thing to go for is.

Ive see a lovely Rossin NOS frame on the bay but think it is likely to go well beyond my budget.

I would like to know what the best compromise would be in terms of a suitable frame on cost v quality v availability.

Ideally it would be early 80s (i had a raleigh equip then but wouldnt want another lol) and have a decent steel tubeset like 531 throughout.

I like the idea of slowly collecting a campag based group over time when budget permits and would likely try and have any frame resprayed. I would like something with nice lugs too.

Budget is around £200 for frame and fork and so much the better if it comes with a good headset.

Size seems to be an issue and some of the bikes look huge that are kicking around. I ride a 56 scott CR1 as my modern ride. Am i right in thinking I should go with a 56 or do retro bikes measure up a bit bigger.

well lots of questions there but he main issue is what good frames are there that don't attract the humongous price tags but are still quality. I wouldnt want to put a record grouppo on a pig lol


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:46 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1133

Couple of thoughts:

1) Try Hilary Stone's website or his entries on the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed Forums. He sells a lot of steel frames. Even if you don't buy something, his prices seem fair so should give you a good idea of what to pay and what's out there.
Also, Sheldon Brown site has a price guide for classic steel lightweight frames. It's out of date and it's for the US market, but it's useful because it gives an idea of what brands are better quality.

2) £200 seems realistic for a decent steel frame. British frames from builders like Woodrup, Rourke, Hewitt, Pearson etc seem a bit more affordable than Italian stuff. Same where I am in Belgium: quality frames by local builders are loads cheaper than the fancy names. Look for things like campagnolo dropouts and quality lug work for signs of quality.

3) Steel frames are often custom made, so be sure to check the top tube length as well as the down tube. I have a 1980s steel frame and a modern aluminium one, both 56cm and both fit me fine, so I don't think there's any big difference.

That's just what I've learned as I've gone along. Hope it's useful.



 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:51 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 774
Frame price depends a lot on maker, size and condition - £100 is about the 'going' rate for a used frame of decent quality, but you'll pay a premium for the likes of Mercian, Holdsworth, Gillot, Hobbs and the like. For components, Campagnolo Record attracts a premium, but you can still find good deals if you look for the likes of Gipiemme, Miche, Galli, Zeus or Modolo.

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