Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
I have two early to mid 80's Reynolds bikes, one with Shimano RX-100 groupset & the other is just a frame. I am restoring these & need help in identifying whether they are Peugeot, Raleigh, Gitane or Columbus bicycles etc.
The red one (pic below) with the shimano groupset has 3 distinguishing features... 1) the top tube has 2 slotted holes at either end for the rear brake cable to run in through the tube & back out, 2) the front lugs on the head tube have a heart shape in them & 3) the front forks are smooth with no lug work, (had badly faded 531 decals) .
The other (black) has lug work on the front forks & the top tube has 3 small brazed on ringlets for the rear brake cable & also has the Shimano gear on it but slightly earlier than RX-100.
The red one had no serial numbers anywhere on the frame. All it had was "Reynolds" stamped at the end of the rear stay lug (where the bolts tighten the rear wheel). Frame size is 55/55cm & the seat post is 26.8mm I.D.
Any help will be appreciated.
By nixcars at 2011-04-14
thats a whopper of a hole for the cable, seems to be in a bad spot for frame strength, maybe not done by the maker? is the hole reinforced? paint (powder coat?) looks nice and new so maybe the stickers are bogus? whats the history of the frame?
missed the stamped reynolds bit, more pickies?
It looks nice & new cause the frame has been powder coated in candy apple red & the resto on this one is nearly done. The old 531 stickers were faded but will be getting new ones (ebayer has a few different types like 501, 531, 653 etc - handy).
The frame is definitely a Reynolds from the stamping but just want to no the type of bike it is. I took it to a few bike shops & they seem to think it's either a Gitane, Campagnolo, Raleigh or Gazelle. I just want to narrow it down to one make. I'll put pics up as soon as it's finished.
Yah, that's the only distinctive thing I see about the frame in that shot. Afaik those lugs used on the headtube were pretty common.
Seatpost of 26.8 might suggest it's an earlier/cheaper variety of reynolds tubing?
wont be Camagnolo they dont make frames, more photos required.
Just came back from the bike shop & they also confirmed this. Trouble is, they are no longer available.
Any pics in particalar required? Any specific part of the bike?
I've been to a few more bike shops & spoke to 2 gentlemen in their 50's & they are both basically 95% sure it's either a Gazelle or Gitane from around '86-'89 ( leaning more towards the Gazelle) as the head tube was commonly used by both. Can anyone here please confirm as I want to purchase a decal set for it & want to be sure. I'd hate to finish it & then all the bike professors come out of the woods only to say it isn't either one... it's a bla bla!
Please, somebody has to no what this thing is!
Looking at the lugs, it seems to me that they haven't been filed down to thin them out like what you might expect on an Italian frame. French frames seemed to have a more 'agricultural' look like the lugs on your red frame. I bet if you measured the bottom bracket width it would be 68mm wide which is the far more available size. If ir measures 70 mm it would be Italian and you would most probably have an Italian frame.
My bet though is that it is an Australian built frame. The heart cut-outs on the head lugs lightened the lug and helped the builder see the penetration of the brazing. Many frames look like your frame and it might be impossible to tell who built it. I took a frame I thought was a Hillman frame to Hillmans in Brunswick, Victoria, to see if they could identify it. This was about 15 years ago. They weren't sure but thought it wasn't one of their frames even though they gave it a very good 'going over'.
The brake cable entry hole is quite unusual though - perhaps this is an identifying element.
It is a Reynolds tubed frame and I would say that it is of good quality and would make a very nice riding bike. I think the pump peg on the head tube would place it in the mid to late 80's. I just don't think an identification is possible.
Best of luck,
Thanx for ur reply Gary & yes it does ride very nice. It feels so light & very direct. I had a very good look at the frame before i got it sandblasted & it was in tip top shape with no rust at all or any cracks. I've read some posts here saying that 531 tubing is of high quality & it shows. The project is finished except for the decals, so I'd like to no if it would devalue the bike if I were to stick on a set of desired decals such as the Gitane or Gazelle since no one can actually identify it. Would it also be fair to say that the value is in the 531 Reynolds frame regardless of who puts there name on it?
Interesting question. I have had this same predicament with a bike frame I had been searching for for 5 years. I found the frame but it didn't have an identity I could trace with any certainty. I waited another year and a half before I got up the courage to give it an identity. I chose not to give it an identity of a known bike manufacturer. I gave it my identity.
It just didn't feel finished without an identity. I think you feel the same way.
Should you call it a Gitane or a Gazelle? Both well respected frame/bike manufacturers. There will be many retro bike enthusiasts that would be grinding their teeth at the thought. It has been done many times before. There were many bikes re-identified as Colnago's in the past. Colnago replacement decals were plentiful in the 80's and often found their way onto all sorts of bikes. Just recently there was a "Colnago" on ebay that was a fair copy. It was, however, being passed off as a real one.
Colnago decided to move away from decals to spraying his logo onto frames with stencils and airbrush to make it more difficult to forge his identity.
What have you got? You have a top notch racing frame from the 80's. Reynolds 531 frames came in a few different configurations but it was the frame material of choice used by many professional teams and did carry many riders to victory in races such as the Tour De France. It does deserve to be looked after. You are obviously a person who cares for the frame.
Personally I don't have a real problem with you identifying it as a Gitane or a Gazelle. It is your way of paying respect to those companies and their riders such as Bernard Hinault. I don't think you are looking to profit from a re-birthed bike.
Ultimately, It is your bike and you can do with it as you wish. The red looks great by the way.
Best of luck, I'm sure others will have strong opinions about a re-identity of your frame,
LOL!... Gary, we all no that opinions are like arsholes, everyones got one! but seriously, at the end of the day they are only decals which can be easily removed if & when it is identified as something different. That's my opinion anyway. Lol.
most gazelles i've seen came with pantographed logos on the fork crown
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/Ha ... 042_lr.jpg
Edit: there seems to be plenty of gazelle's out there without any identifier on the fork crown
if you're keen to call it a gazelle, there's plenty of resources out there for you to pore over in order to determine its approximate age and so on
take my advice - i don't need it!
Thanx for pointing that out Gary. Another thing mate, we were talking about the Gitane frame being Italian with a BB of 70mm. Is it also posible that Gitane also put their name on Aussie/American "Reynolds" frames with the 68mm BB? The reason I ask is cause the other black frame I have is slightly older with the rear brake cable runing thru the 3 brazed-on loops on the top tube. This one doesn't have the heart lugs, but it also has the 68mm BB.
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