Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
Ah, Ricky Ricardo. Man his hair was slick.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
Quick question from the owner of what is most probably a Ricardo Elite.
Did Ricardo make their frames here in Australia from Tange tubing?
I had assume by the sometime in 70's they moved their production offshore like almost everybody else.
I say Ricardo Elite, because when I acquired it, the paint job was a pale purple undercoat applied with a brush and no stickers or identifying marks. (other than tange headset, bb, suntour GT dropouts and serial L6A####
The frame, the braze ons particularly gear changer stud are identical to Rustychisel's departed Ricardo Elite and Brendon03's Elite and this time the serial numbers is very similar L1T####. Brendon's Elite has no Ricardo badging, but the similarities to Rustychisel's including placement of the Elite stickers makes it likely it was a Ricardo in it's former life, prior to the "new" forks.
What makes you think that the fork is not original? I had a look at my Ricardo elite in the garage, metallic silver made from Tange champion 5, and the fork crown is identical to his.
Just that Brendon03 said mine and his where different forks, and mine had matching suntour GTIV dropouts, so I thought mine original.
Mine are big too, fits a 27" 1 1/4 without a problem, but I did not think that big. Running stock Dia-Compe G caliper with 700c rim.
Just went to the shed and checked mine, the fork crown is identical too.
As I said I have no history for my frame, acquired it with dodgy paintwork and mix and match components 105 7sp rear derailleur and shifters (1987-89 I believe) and mismatched in brand crank arms.
I am just trying to find out a little more about Ricardo, where the frames made in SA, did they manufacture frames for anybody else around 84.
Reason my original paint job was a mustard yellow over white (from the small traces I could find) and all the Ricardos I have seen have been a single metallic blue or silver in colour. The mustard and yellow would indicate to me Gordonson (a Perth company)
Mine are white with blue/red spray overs (red at the seat and steerer, blue on the crank). One with blue handlebar wraps, the other red. Both Shimano 600 friction six speed with Araya rims + doublebutted 3 cross spokes (36 + 36) and Italian bars/stems.
The frame in question is almost identical, and has a similar frame number (down to the poorly stamped L) to the pair I have. Mine have rear-axle-position-adjusting-screws (what's the technical term?)
Both mine claim to be "Made in Australia". Tange-2 tubing.
Here is one of them - rear wheel, derailleur, pedals and seat are not original along with the accessories, otherwise all as ex-factory.
Good question - but some soul is trying to sell a plain red one on bikeexchange.
There's one or two regularily at the Loftus St recreation centre - I'll checkout the colours next time (I was oogling the braze-ons last time)
Just a quick not to say someone tried to sell a Ricardo Elite on a NZ trading post site for $10,000.
I'm sure I'm missing I vital piece of the comedic puzzle on this listing, regardless throws another groupset / colour into the discussion.
A ricardo started my obsession with cycling. It was about 400kgs. Had gears that used to work. Some wheels that I never got around to truing, and the whole time it was my flat mates
Pretty sure I road it more then he did Tehehehe
b is for bicycle
When I was growing up in Kalamunda, a lot of the kids at school rode Ricardo's. Steele Bishop Cycles used to sell them.
I started out on a second hand 5 speed Malvern Star "racing bike". Neither me nor my parents could afford a new bike.
It was some years later I bought a Ricardo road bike - I forget which model. I later replaced that with a Ricardo Kakadu mountain bike. The Kakadu got squashed underneath a van about 6 years ago.
So, what's the good news on Ricardo? S.A. company? Did they make their own frames from tange tubes or ship in complete frames?
My frame appears to be a "Ricardo Elite" but there is no Ricardo branding on the fame - just the "elite" decals. Is it possible other manufacturers were producing bikes under the "elite" brand?
Any idea what the elite branding even signified? Was it a particular groupset or frame geometry?
Why is the sky blue and is the earth really round?
I found my frame as hard rubbish waste. I have even less to go on than others as it was literally frame and fork (scattered among the pile at that). No headset, but it did have the BB cups. No idea what components it was originally equipped with.
Ok Brendan !
At your request here is the Ricardo 'Rival' pure 80's goodness in magical 1021 Hi Tensile steely stuff ! Has fancy araya rims with steel hubs , nice shimano shifters with a crappy derailler , and poo brakes ! ( not to mention the white n pur pull paint ! )
But , p155taking aside this is the quietest , smoothest bicycle ever , the sum of its parts is almost zen like , on their own they are rubbish -together wonderful !
As found on the rubbish collection , all that it needed was the tyres pumped up !
Brendan03, the 'Elite' refers to the model of bike, it was the second to top model IIRC. Ricardo made a number of different models, of course, with different frame tubing and componentry etc. Mine originally came with Dia Compe brakes, a collection of no name alloys bits (seatpost, stem, bars) and Sugino gears. Not flash by any means, but a really nice riding bike of its time.
I've only ever seen those top tube decals on Ricardos, which would suggest to me that your frame is indeed a Ricardo Elite, or rebranded by it's originating bike shop (perhaps). There is obviously variation even in the same model, from year to year, consignment to consignment, and availability of bits. To that end your headtube lugs look more substantial and heavier than I recall on my frame.
There are others who know a lot more than I on the provenance and supply line of Ricardo models (ie where manufactured, sold, etc)
I had a bit of a look at my Ricardo Elite this evening. The frame is made from Tange 5 PG (plain Guage)tubes with a Tange Cr-mo fork. The dropouts are suntour. The frame says it is made in Australia and interestingly came with a 10 year warranty on the frame (not many bike manufactures today are willing to do that). On closer inspection the construction is nothing flash but it does look nice and sturdy. It originally came with a mix of suntour derailleurs and shifters with SR cranks, hubs, 26.8mm seatpost, stem and bars with diacompe brakes. The rims where 700c single wall alloy Araya's. The paint is metallic grey. I don't know what am going to do with it yet, I am thinking of turning it into a fixie monster cross to hit the fire trails around home. We'll see what happens .
Good info - thanks all. I assume no one has a definitive way of dating Ricardo frames from the stamp under the BB? Maybe we should all post our numbers, see if we can devise a rhythm or rhyme?
My elite has a date with the paintstripper on the near horizon but I might try and lift or produce a copy of the elite decal before I do. Someone recently linked to a post, and a fellow capable of reproducing decals. It would be great to preserve a bit of the bikes identity.
Already going though colour schemes in my head - thinking I'll keep the metallic silver but add some blue touches.
Mine already had a date with paint stripper and had updated components 105 shifters, RD, hubs and matching rims. Cinelli bars and Nitto 20deg stem before I got it.
Still has dia-compe G brakes and aero levers, and one SR crank. (the left is a shimano clone)
Depending on what happens with other projects, mine which is already powdercoated bistro orange, will be:
singlespeed running 27 1/4 front and 700c rear
cyclocross influenced singlespeed with the 105 hubs and rims
old school cyclocross 7sp with the 105 hubs and rims, and cherry cable pull brakes (off the older, lesser and damage Ricardo)
but that depends on mood and which parts go with which project (got another singlespeed and commuter to build)
Looking at the labels on my Ricardo tonight I can be pretty sure that they were still making frames in OZ in the early eighties. The label on mine below the 10 year warranty states that it was made by "Leisure Cycles Aust. P/L, 25-27 Naweena Road, Regency Park S.A."
Speaking from my knowledge of the bike industry in the early 80s, yes Ricardo were one of the last Australian mass-market frame makers still operating here. By the late 80s they had shopped the framebuilding out to Taiwan I believe.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
+2 Or something basically similar.
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