Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,772

    late 80s/early 90s steel road bikes

    I am fairly certain that something along the lines of my title is what I am looking for in a commuter. steel, room for decent sized tires and fenders, braze-ons for a rear rack, not terribly heavy but not racer quality, reliable downtube shifters, etc. the problem is that I don't have the extra cash (although I might if someone would buy my singlespeed monstrosity) for a modern equivalent bike (Surly Pacer, Raleigh Clubman, Novara Verita, Rivendell, Soma, etc) but it's been extremely difficult to find anything decent on Craigslist. most of the "road bikes" I see on CL are 1970s junk from Sears with stem shifters and steel 26" rims.

    why is this? do people just know the utilitarian value of a bike like this and cling to it, or was cycling in a slump at the time and they didn't manufacture a whole lot of them during that era? anyone know of another source (ebay has been crap as well) to find something like this?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,616
    They exist, but most of those that have them are still riding them (hence your quandary). Checking out the local co-ops will likely produce more for you than craigslist, even if it does cost a bit more. I would not be shy about expanding your search to older bikes. Peugeots are a good bet, and seem to be plentiful, at least around here. Standard metric threading, parts are still available for them, not light/not heavy. Sometimes you'll find bikes from the 70s with very nice steel rims...close to the stopping power and weight of aluminum rims, different finish. They will likely say 'Araya' on them.

    I prefer to do my shopping in person if I can; estate sales (and garage sales, to a lesser extent) are great for this, as they will often produce older, lightly ridden bikes, that the current owners are looking to get rid of, and often don't know/don't care about getting market value for. Even if I'm not looking for something, I'll cruise to an estate sale if I see one.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    471
    Hmmm ... I don't think steel road bikes were all that popular in the late 80's/earl 90's. Everything was going to aluminum. You'd probably have better luck looking for something older or shopping hybrids from that era. By the way, do you really need drop bars and downtube shifters?

    Do a search with Peugeot, as suggested, along with Miyata, Bottecchia, Raleigh, Fuji, Columbus, Reynolds, Tange, Prestige, cromoly, chromoly, cromo, chromo, crmo ...

    FWIW, Hybrids from that era are CHEAP and fairly versatile. Their geometry is like an MTB (long wheelbase, high BB) which is different from a modern hauler. But if cash is an issue and you want a steel bike, it'd be hard to find a better deal.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,772
    drop bars, yes. I want to build something that would spend most of it's miles going to and from work but also lots of miles on the road just exploring the countryside. something that fits and rides like my Pompino but with gears (subject of another thread). downtube shifters attract me because countless experiences with old STI shifters is that they don't work anymore from age. dt shifters means I could put some barcons on the bike or keep the dt pieces because they are reliable. stem shifters are gross because they are always pointed at my balls.

    I have not ruled out a flat bar with some comfy bar ends of cruising and climbing. a "light touring" or "road sport" bike is probably up my alley. I guess now the industry calls them "all road" or "x road" bikes.

    I had in my possession at one time a Trek 400 from 1992 or so and I deeply regret not keeping it. I might also consider modifying a cheap old hybrid bike but I need to find the right starting point frame for this. probably a hybrid that is too small for me so the reach will not be too extreme. (que search for "hybrid drop bar conversion"). need to spend a lot more time at Yellow Bike co-op I suppose!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    471
    Gotcha'

    If budget is a concern, you may want to look into barcon costs before you pull the trigger on a "sized-down" hybrid. That style of shifters can get a bit pricey.

    Make sure to add Novara Randonee and Trek 520 to your search (in case you hadn't already). Those two seem to have everything you're looking for. And a used one might end up being the best deal when you add it all up.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  6. #6
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,388
    Bike swaps are another possible source. Around here they are mostly in the spring though. Usually held at bike shops.

  7. #7
    MTB, Road, Commuting
    Reputation: bedwards1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,073
    Hey Mack, I Love, Love, Love my Univega Viva Sport (1984 ish) It is in the 24lb range, comfortable, 98% as fast as my Scott CR1 but a WHOLE lot cheaper to maintain. $8 chains, $10 cassette (6 speed), $??derailleur (I did upgrade it in about 1988 and it has north of 10K, maybe 15K miles on it) Mine is the last generation of viva sports that they made and is a little lighter than the previous ones. I'm still on the original wheels too.
    The Candid Cyclist: Univega Viva Sport

    I find that they come up on craigslist occasionally around here but you're right. You have to wade through a lot of junk to get there. If you are patient you should be able to find one. I'm not just talking about the Viva sport but vintage steel bikes in general. Bridgestone, puch, Miyata are some other good ones to search for.

  8. #8
    MTB, Road, Commuting
    Reputation: bedwards1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,073
    Here's one: 1984 univega. Maybe MTXB can ship it to you Nice looking bike for $100

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,772
    is there any chance this bike is worth $500?
    bianchi brava 50cm

    if the TT short rather short, maybe it could work.

  10. #10
    jl
    jl is offline
    climb
    Reputation: jl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,221
    You might want to look at a MTB conversion to 700c. There are a lot of 80s/90s steel MTB frames available.

    700c wheels on a 26" frame?
    Ride On!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    is there any chance this bike is worth $500?
    bianchi brava 50cm

    if the TT short rather short, maybe it could work.
    Hard to say what it's worth? It depends on who else is shopping and what they're willing to pay.

    If you're wondering if that's a reasonable asking price, then I'd say yes. Your market doesn't seem a whole lot different than others (decent bikes start at $250). So a used, well-maintained Bianchi with pricey Brooks saddle, grips, new tires, nice pedals ... yeah $500 is a reasonable starting price.

    I recently did an MTB drop bar conversion on my rigid. The problem is that the geo stinks: slack head tube and long trail. Hybrids/mtb's with such geo work fine when you're sitting upright or going off road but that combo induces a lot of wheel flop and makes high-speed cornering a little more "interesting" than it should be--especially in the drops.

    The Bianchi has mtb geo and is probably a nice ride as is, however, I don't believe it's the best conversion candidate. If you want a GREAT handling, fun road bike for similar money, you might want to consider something like this:

    2012 Giant Defy $450
    late 80s/early 90s steel road bikes-00p0p_6rwhucozofj_600x450.jpg
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AlexCuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    810
    I went through this recently, ended up buying a bike off ebay. Shipping wasn't cheap and I guess there's the risk it won't fit at all but I was able to find what should be a lot more bike for the money that way.

    I ride a much more common size though (~57 cm top tube). For smaller / larger sizes the wider base to search might be a necessity.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  13. #13
    MTB, Road, Commuting
    Reputation: bedwards1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,073
    For $400(including 20% off today)+shipping ($42 last time I bought a bike there) you could have this.
    Nashbar AL-1 Road Bike - Drop Bar Road They have 48" & 51" in stock.
    I had an earlier version of it. It was a damn decent bicycle for the price. I rode it 2 years and sold it locally for almost exactly what I paid. The one I had had a carbon fork so this one may be a little cheaper.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,510
    I have four. The Mercian is in a higher class (handbuilt custom bikes), but the Nishiki (1976) was bought new for my wife. The Taiwanese Schwinn World Sport (4020 alloy) was free from a neighbor and is now my errand bike. The saddle, stem, and bars were missing and the rims were bent so the price is about right. The fourth is a Mixte frame Peugeot which is quite light when the steel wheels were replaced with a set of alloys I had. $75 at the bike coop.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,772
    This looks promising Panasonic Team 1985 54cm road bike

  16. #16
    MTB, Road, Commuting
    Reputation: bedwards1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,073
    Looks like a decent bike/price.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    471
    Ah, yeah ... that's nice. You may want to confirm that tire clearance meets your needs. But add some bar tape, maybe some aero levers and new rubber and that's going to be a pretty nice ride.

    late 80s/early 90s steel road bikes-00g0g_284daeknapa_600x450.jpg
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,510
    Don't forget at least a front set of cool stop brake pads. Those old pads got uselessly hard if unused a season or two.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,616
    I'd jump on it.

    Personally, pull the turkey wings off the brakes, they'll allow a bit more modulation from the main lever. It's easy peasy to do, don't even need to remove the levers.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    41
    I'm in the same boat, keep looking at CL don't be afraid to talk them down, I picked this up for $20 after talking them down from $100 it was originally a 12 speed but the FD is missing and the "speed drilling" they did on the RD downtube shifter caused it to snap on the PO while shifting.

  21. #21
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,388
    ^^$20? Yikes! I hope it was theirs to sell and/or that their intervention goes OK.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    41
    It was his old bike, he just wanted it to go to a home that wouldn't part it out. It had a LOT of surface rust from just sitting in the back yard and the downtube shifter was seized, I took it all apart and wire brushed it clean as well as lubed up everything. I'm still trying to decide if I want to go find the matching campy FD to convert it back to a 12 speed.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,510
    Sorry corvius, no spare Campy FD. You can likely pick up a Suntour or Shimano stand-in cheap if there is a bicycle coop/recycle place near you.

  24. #24
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,699
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    The fourth is a Mixte frame Peugeot which is quite light when the steel wheels were replaced with a set of alloys I had. $75 at the bike coop.
    I don`t think I`ve seen that one. Have you posted it here?

    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    I'd jump on it.
    Somebody else had the same opinion- it`s gone before I got to oggle it
    Recalculating....

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    471
    If the Panasonic didn't happen, you might want to consider this Raleigh. Not the cheapest bike out there but checks a lot of boxes, i.e. steel, barcons, tire clearance. Perfect commuter and geared to go anywhere.

    2011 Raleigh Sojourn, 55cm $600
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Early Dec/Late November too early in New Zealand.
    By eric.andrew50 in forum Vacations & Destinations
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-05-2013, 12:45 AM
  2. Trails in late may / early June?
    By grumblingcrustacean in forum Oregon
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-01-2013, 09:07 AM
  3. Coe in late fall/early winter
    By grumblingcrustacean in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-26-2012, 11:29 PM
  4. Santa is coming early or late....
    By X-FXR in forum Foes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-14-2012, 08:47 AM
  5. Fruita, in late Sept/early Aug?
    By Joules in forum Colorado - Western Slope
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-05-2011, 07:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •