I want to buy a vintage steel-frame road bike.

thorabric95

Retro Newbie
What brands/models are good quality and hold up well over time? I really like the look of old Trek road bikes. Are they a good deal?

If it's a local bike and I can take a look at it, what are signs that there's something expensive to repair that I shouldn't purchase without a steep discount?

Any other thoughts?https://19216811.cam/ https://1921681001.id/
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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It depends a lot on where you live. Treks are well-made but in the UK at least have zero following. As a result they can be a good deal - but there aren't that many around.

Ther are LOADs of old lightweight 531 frames about, typically a scruffy one needing paint will be upwards of £30. Many will have no transfers or paint covering them. If the frame is over 5lbs/2.3kgs walk away unless it's a huge size as it's nothing special.
Check for cracking around gear bosses, head tube and seat clamp.
Check for any bulge or rippling on the downtube below the head lug junction which would be from crash damage.
Beyond that, check no damage to rear dropouts, and tidy deep bottom bracket threads.
Ensure no rust perforation (typically of chainstays or bottom of seat tube). But superficial rust is fine and will be removed by blasting.
Ideally buy a frame with matching fork serial numbers.
 

Nob

rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
Can’t go wrong with Colnago & doesn’t matter where you live the are quality in so many peoples eyes worldwide.
Depends on your budget also....
 

Tommy27

Dirt Disciple
If you're going to go Trek or Specialized, I'd go early if you can. Used to work with a friend who really rated his very early Allez.

Hamsters's advice is pretty good. I'd go steel for sure. I've had an aluminiun Trek and a M2 Specialized, that both handled well, but were harsh rides. The M2 was probably designed for a time when most American Road Racing was Criteriums. It was great a fast cornering and accelerated very well, but you felt every bump.

Steel is more comfortable and if well made just as fast in my opinion.

I'd also go for something with at least mudguard eyelets and prefrably two bottle braze on's.
 

bartholomew10

Retro Newbie
Re: Vintage Bike

Hi, How vintage do you fancy going? I do have a Dawes handbuilt Pioneer frame that seems quite light (I will weigh it and measure it if interested)
Looks all 'straight' and most paint (black) seems reasonable I was going to advertise it on Ebay for £15 and see what the response might be!
Cheers, bartholomew10
 

FiveAlpha

Retro Guru
"If the frame is over 5lbs/2.3kgs walk away unless it's a huge size as it's nothing special."

Depends what you want it for. I have 2 vintage Pinarellos, a Fondriest, a Dawes Linear 653, and an amazing Sancineto in Columbus Neuron. All are wonderful, but the lightweight tubing makes them vulnerable to dents, if you try to use them for commuting, or as a general bike.

I also shift probably 5-10 Columbus Aelle and Gara tubed bikes each year. They are heavy, but they are also stiff, so good for carrying stuff, and you can lock them up with other bikes in a bike rack, without them getting destroyed. This is why they are popular and sell fast.
 

FiveAlpha

Retro Guru
I know their stuff is mint condition, but isn’t that site a little expensive? I bought a 9-speed Dura Ace equipped Pinarello Stelvio for less than one of their Sachs equipped, Carbolite Peugeots.
 

Nob

rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
As I said good site to visit for ideas on bikes that are out there to be had elsewhere
 
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