Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

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Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:28 am

Hi all,

after some inspiration from probably all of youse from this particular topic (retro biking), I decided to hunt for a nice steel frame in order to build like all those other booty-ful bikes..
I'm tall at 6'2 and I picked up a solid 58ish square frame from a seller on gumtree who was extremely vague about the bike.
This will be my first assignment/project, to build a bike up from scratch (if it is worthwhile depending on the frame).
The problem is i have no idea about the frame and if it is worth doing or just scratching and passing it on to someone else.
I dont necessarily have the right equipment for it either so I need advice on whether i should:

a. sell it to a professional
b. use frame & build (and if so, what components, parts, cleaning stuff etc)
c. scrap it because it is junk

Anyway here are the photos (sorry forgot to take a whole frame shot so i will use the one i received from the seller)

Image
the bike, which i "tried" to strip
Image
Image
a dent in the downtube....
that is one of the most worrying parts of the bike...
Image

Actually have a look at my album:
here

It came with those nice reynolds wheels too.
I dont have any idea how much the bike is worth, the wheels are worth, i dont even know the model of the bike as there is no serial number or anything...
The only words on the bike were:

Reynolds - On Fork

Suntour Superbe Pro - On hangers front and back

Sunrace - Deraileur

Shimano - Front Deraileur

Looks like whoever built the bike put a crappy 3 chainring and some cheapo cassette with "mega range" (for climbing massive hills?)

It also has a down tube shifter but only on one side which makes me think it was stripped of its parts and was originally a 7 speeder with nice suntour parts.

Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.

I am located in Ryde/Sydney/NSW.

Cheers,
David
Last edited by sunho on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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by BNA » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:26 am

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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby vaeske » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:26 am

DAvid,

have a read of this thread. that should give you a rundown of what to look for.

I'd say reynolds fork with Suntour superbe pro dropouts and fork ends are great. reynolds stamped on the fork reminds me of that Geoff Scott 653 frame that wazza has. How much does it weigh? Do give it a clean and wash down to find out where exactly those dents etc are, serial numbers are usually on the bottom bracket somewhere or rear dropouts. If only the top tube (TT), or seat tube (ST) are dented slightly inwards, it shouldn't be such a big issue. but do run your hands along the bottom of the tt and down tube (DT) where it joins to the headtube and you should be able to tell if its had a front end crash.

parts apart from the wheels aren't so good but if you can clean it up, and grease everything to make sure they're all running smoothly, you can get it up and running fine. or strip it and get a better groupset and some drop bars and turn it into a quasi-racing bike.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby bychosis » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:52 am

If, as above, the frame has not had significant damage the you should bld it up, even just for the experience. New/quality parts can be switched to a better frame if you end up getting one. Don't trash it.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:18 am

I haven't had a chance to weigh it but it is really light. So much lighter than my shogun katana which is a steel frame too. I don't think it's had a significant crash. It seems the front fork moves around a little against the frame tubing.

I had a read of the drubie post a while back, it's great stuff but more so for finding junk rather than prepping the bike.

I'll definitely strip the parts and put new parts but even if I did do I set it up with the down tube lever which there is only one or do I grind it and plug it and set up some modern gear shifting with drop bars?

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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:10 am

That looks like a schmick frame dripping with affordable but inappropriate parts as part of a repurposing.

The ding in the downtube is unfortunate but probably not life threatening. The current cable routing (and outer management) is hilarious but easily fixed. Must admit I've never seen a frame with only one downtube shifter mount...I'm assuming that it might've been a single chainring up front in its original format.

Which makes me think....

I'd build that up with a 1x10 roadie driveline. Single ring (say 36 tooth to start with) up front and 11:32 out back with a medium or long cage RD - more than enough to cope with most of the hills in your area. You can still get parts to fit an indexed shifter to the downtube mount. This way the build would be much much much cheaper than using integrated brake/shifters. The wheels look fine so it's only a driveline (and brakes) that you need...should be quite reasonable, price wise.
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby rkelsen » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:04 am

Step 1: Work out if it's the right size for you. The easiest way to do this is to clean it up and ride it for a week. Your body will tell you if it doesn't like the bike. There's no point continuing if it doesn't.

If it turns out to be comfortable, then you can make plans about what to do with it.

People seem to worry a lot about over-capitalising on bikes. You need to step back and put it into perspective. Compared to houses and cars, bikes are very cheap. For this reason, they're worth SFA 2nd hand... so why worry about it? If you're going to ride it, then whatever you spend on it is money well spent, IMO.

This frame is a nice one. If you buy all of the bits online from the UK, you could easily build this within a budget of $1,500. Campy groupset & wheels, Cinelli bar & stem, Brooks saddle. Done. And it'll be better than anything else you can buy for $1,500.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:26 am

hmm, that's a good idea but the bike was not in a ridable condition.
The gears werent working and nor were the brakes!
i went down a small hill and stopped with the feet, it felt ok but i wont know til i ride it properly.

interestingly the toptube has internal cabling which was suprising for this steely.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:27 pm

sunho wrote:Image


I've just twigged to something...the driveline is on the wrong side. It's on the left. Not the right.

:shock:

How the bugger me do you do that?
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby rkelsen » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:55 pm

^ Flip image horizontally in Photoshop.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:15 pm

I have no idea, that photo was an original the seller gave me.

Have you guys seen the seat stay attached to the dropout. I think I've seen that style in this forum before but I don't remember where..
Image

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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby funnybike » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:01 pm

I'm guessing that this frame did actually have a left hand shift lever boss at some point. Perhaps it was stripped out or damaged and then removed prior to being painted black.
Wishbone rear stays, Reynolds fork crown, Suntour tips, and that imitation Cinelli BB shell. These were all popular with Soren son frames. That is far from conclusive, but worth considering. I can't see from your pics, but is the wishbone brazed to the seat tube or TIG welded? If it's a TIG, then it's more likely to be a factory bike rather than a local builder. Local builders tend to use only one joining method.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:17 pm

I also guessed that it would have had another left hand downshift lever but i felt around the place, it is smooth, and my other bike friend Eugene also agreed that it probably didnt have one.
I dunno how people modify and alter the frames these days but it seems quite hard to do something like that no?

looks like no one can identify the frame. I guess it is hard because it might have been repainted, maybe not, stickers/decals removed and the seller took it to a bike builder to do some adjustments.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby rkelsen » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:50 pm

It wouldn't surprise me if it didn't originally have a LH shifter boss. It may have been a custom build.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:41 pm

funnybike wrote:I can't see from your pics, but is the wishbone brazed to the seat tube or TIG welded?


Image
looks brazed
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Sure does. ^^ I like it.

Remove the seat post and see what size it has stamped on it.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:22 pm

I got some more photos to put up which i will later tonight however after stripping the parts there seems to be an even bigger dent! just around where the crankset was to ensure that the crank didnt rip up the rear drop.


Anyway seat post size: 27.0

Weight of frame: 1882g
Weight of fork: 690g
Total: 2.572kg
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby rkelsen » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:16 pm

The chainstay dint was put there at the factory.

1882g = very light for an older steel frame. That was in the category of "pro racing weight."
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby munga » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:21 pm

time trial bikes don't really need two chainrings do they?
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroclassiccycling/
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby rogerrabbit » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:26 pm

Maybe it was set up as a single chainring time trial bike? It looks like a nice frame.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:57 pm

could have been a time trial bike as you say or a track bike right?

Still dont know the frame or how old it is.
Here is the full frame pic (fork out):
Image

here are some more photos that i was talking about..
Chain/crank side:
Image

Internal tubing:
Image

one sided down tube:
http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b242/ ... 154352.jpg


All stripped bare.
Now need to strip the paint...
To Sandblast or to paint strip or both!
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby GaryF » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:38 pm

At 6' 2" I think a 58cm seat tube may be too small for you. I would think a 60cm to 61cm may be a better fit. I'm a bit smaller than you at 6' 1" and the smallest frame I can ride comfortably, with the seat tube extended out to its limit and a 130cm stem, is a 58cm seat tubed frame. Personally, I like a 59cm frame. I think I'm of an average build but you might have shorter legs and a longer torso making a 58cm seat tube a more realistic size. I have tried riding smaller frames (57cm) but I just don't feel right on the bike. I'd much prefer a taller frame than a smaller frame.

Now that's me. Everyone is different so you may like a small frame.

My suggestion: build it up and give it a go - it may be really nice. rkelsen also suggests this step. If it's too small, strip it down and sell the frame. Buy a bigger frame and rebuild the bike.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:20 am

Thanks Gary, that's exactly what I'll do.
I was a bit iffy when I bought it but still, I can ride the smaller frame.

I had a bike fit done and this the geometry I'm comfortable with:
Image
And just frame wise it will be ok at a 58 square

Yes it's weird, the bike seems small for me but I think it fits ok based on above.
Yes when I lift my bike off the ground and check my inseam I clear it generally well but that's the fit I was given, it's a good fit and I don't have an health issues with it which is the main thing. I had ITB probs, knee probs etc before, and now all gone!

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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby GaryF » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:25 am

Hi Sunho,

Its good to have your bike sizing done and it looks like a 59 cm seat tube should be your size. I'm sure you will fit onto a 58cm frame but my prediction is that it will start to feel small after a few months and that one centimetre will make a difference. I think it is easier to fit onto a slightly bigger frame than a smaller frame. I do have an '02 Colnago that is 57cm in the seat tube but it's design is far different that an older steel bike. It fits me like a glove.

There is nothing wrong with your frame though. If I was re-painting it I would clean all the old paint off, fill up the crease in the tube with car body filler and start the re-painting process again. The wishbone rear stays are a nice feature and really go well with the front fork.

Best of luck with your project,

Gary.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:33 am

sunho wrote:could have been a track bike right?


nah mate, track bikes look nothing like that. Drillings for brakes, and mounts and guides for brakes and gears, as well as a deraileur hanger with those forward facing drop outs mean its a roadie. Track bikes have a higher BB as well and usually tighter geo. Well true track bikes anyway, not the plethora of OTR fixie type bikes that are popular these day.
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Re: Need advice/help/expert opinion on steel frame

Postby sunho » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:36 am

Cheers Gary,
Will see how the bike goes. Still slightly worried by the geometry of it but I'm not sure whether I should keep searching or stick with this nice frame.
I might buy the group set, set it up and give it a go and see how it fits.

Yeah I realized it wasn't a track bike after I saw more track bike photos.

Now the difficult part is to get the group set, stem and drop bars and see how it goes.


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