Author Topic: Old steel-  (Read 1298 times)

Old steel-
« on: 18 April, 2024, 01:08:48 pm »
So,  for a project I 've been  thinking about buying  and renovating a vintage,  ie probably from the last century, steel  tourer. Something like a Galaxy, Romany, Nigel Dean  or similar.
I ll use it for touring and rough stuff  but it won't be asked to carry more than a saddlebag.

One thought occurs  to me , provided the frame is or at least appears to be in good nick then do you  think   this is  worth while endeavour?

Will old 531 ST  hold up  to the rigours of 2024 ?


Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #1 on: 18 April, 2024, 02:19:19 pm »
I'm not sure the rigours of 2024 are any more than the rigours of 1984, and if it was made for panniered touring but will be used saddlebag only, probably less. So as long as there's no rust etc, I don't see why not. My 1985 Dawes, which was certainly not high end, is still out there somewhere. But a lot of componentry on those old bikes was fairly crap from new.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #2 on: 18 April, 2024, 02:38:37 pm »
I remember those  component well.

The one I have my eye on has a  high end Shimano triple groupset

Though I have a well stocked parts box with items from the era

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #3 on: 18 April, 2024, 02:42:43 pm »
Chromed steel rims and crappy Weinmann sidepulls, which needed a special tool to centre and they went out of alignment in a week, are the components I'm particularly glad to be rid of. A high-end Shimano groupset would be a far superior kettle of eels.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #4 on: 18 April, 2024, 02:46:15 pm »
My more or less daily ride is a Dave Yates frame, built in the 80s (I think).  It's been converted to fixed duties, been repainted and then, a few years after that, powder coat.  It doen't have a saddle bag but regularly carries a fairly hefty bar bag. And me, although I'm getting slightly less hefty.  531, possibly 531ST. 
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #5 on: 18 April, 2024, 03:13:43 pm »
I had my '93 Galaxy out this morning.
Only you can answer if it's worth it (or more likely your wife/husband/partner/bank balance/SO.)

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #6 on: 18 April, 2024, 03:36:09 pm »
IT depends.

One of the best bikes I've ever owned was 501 winter fixed bike.

One of the worst was a dawes clubman; which had a terrible speed wobble starting at about 30mph. Soggy, bendy frame, the stays touched the tyre if I stomped out of the saddle.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #7 on: 18 April, 2024, 04:47:13 pm »
I have 2 old steel road bikes currently in use...

531ST (1992) Double Butted:  Bought new in '92 as a 'fast tourer'.  Still going strong AFAIA.  Do it all bike, with 32mm tyres +/- muguards.  Good ride. 72 deg HA
501 (1988)  Built up in 2021 from a good condition frame (which I cold set).  Do it all bike, 28mm tyres.  Good ride, but steeper head angle. 74 deg HA.

Both 10sp 105.

531ST: Stealth / gravel /summer mode
PXL_531STmg by a oxon, on Flickr

531ST: Winter mode with MGS...
(click to show/hide)

501 - tend to keep mudguards on.

PXL_RRS501 by ao, on Flickr





Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #8 on: 18 April, 2024, 04:50:46 pm »
i have a bike of similar vintage, and it's not too bad (apart from being prone to rust). i've had the chainstays indented/widened to 45mm, to accept 32mm tyres. i kept the down-tube shifters on it up until now, but frankly it's a cr*p way of shifting gears, especially for a more dynamic riding. brifters are in a spares box waiting to be installed, when i get round to it.
these kind of bikes (vintage steel racers/tourers) can be had for a song nowadays, and if someone is willing to revive one and save it from skip - i see it as a good thing.

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #9 on: 18 April, 2024, 05:31:41 pm »
I'd suggest buying one ready to ride, getting some miles in, then deciding if it's worth the time, effort and money to renovate.  fashions have changed, even on traditional steel tourers, most noticeably their stiffness.  Whether you consider that a good or bad thing is a matter of preference, though that might be influenced by your size and weight.  I love the aesthetic of skinny steel tubes, but the bikes I choose to ride are all OS tubing.
If I were going down this route, I think I'd leave the run of the mill bikes like the Dawes and Raleigh to one side.  It's isn't that there's necessarily anything wrong with them, it's just that prices have dropped so low there's not much difference between them and something that originally cost twice the price. 

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #10 on: 18 April, 2024, 05:34:32 pm »
My 1989 Dawes Galaxy is still in day-to-day use for everything from commuting with a saddlebag to camping with front & rear panniers, saddlebag, idiot on the top pedalling, etc. 531ST, still going as good as new (possibly better now it's "run-in"?)
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional A Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional A Circuit Commissaire
Cycling Attendant, York Sport Village Cycle Circuit and Velodrome

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #11 on: 18 April, 2024, 05:38:02 pm »
I've got at least four steel bikes dating variously from the 1970s to 1990. I use three of them for Audaxes. My trike dates originally from that period as well.

Unless rust runs rife (which it has in one hack bike that I now use mostly for Zwift), they are at least as strong as modern bikes.

Paul

  • L'enfer, c'est les autos.
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #12 on: 19 April, 2024, 04:40:07 pm »
do you  think   this is  worth while endeavour?
Do you enjoy building up bikes? I do, so I'd say yes. It's also (possibly) environmentally better.

But it can be challenging. Compatibility and availability of parts can be tricky. Then discovering something like damaged threads not immediately apparent can complicate things. You might have to buy/rent/borrow tools.

If it's not time sensitive and you are prepared to face a few challenges (and be prepared either to write it off if you meet something insurmountable or stomach the additional unexpected cost to get it on the road), then I'd say fill your boots!

I suppose the later the bike the easier it will be, but I got hold of a '64 Freddie Grubb f&f from Tiermat otp 10 years ago and it has been a joy as a fixie and now as a 7 speed commuter. It's used most days and is my go to bike.
What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #13 on: 19 April, 2024, 06:05:30 pm »
There's a curly Hetchins from the 30s going to auction on the 18th May.
https://www.chilcottsauctions.co.uk/auction-calendar/

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #14 on: 24 April, 2024, 10:13:01 pm »
Years ago I bought a 1987 British Eagle Touristique off eBay to commute into York on.  It was shabby but not rusty, 12 speed with DT shifters.  Since then it's had a complete makeover, Ellis Briggs checked out the frame and re-enamelled it.  With updated componentry and now 18 speeds it's a great bike to ride.  Doesn't look as good as Andyoxon's admittedly but I wouldn't part with it.
Sheldon Brown never said leave it to the professionals.

IanDG

  • The p*** artist formerly known as 'Windy'
    • the_dandg_rouleur
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #15 on: 24 April, 2024, 10:22:41 pm »
I'm still riding the frame I raced on in the late 70s (renovated and rebadged)

1980 Halesowen RR 1979 by ian, on Flickr

2024 P1030874 by ian, on Flickr




Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Old steel-
« Reply #16 on: 24 April, 2024, 10:32:31 pm »
So,  for a project I 've been  thinking about buying  and renovating a vintage,  ie probably from the last century, steel  tourer. Something like a Galaxy, Romany, Nigel Dean  or similar.
I ll use it for touring and rough stuff  but it won't be asked to carry more than a saddlebag.

One thought occurs  to me , provided the frame is or at least appears to be in good nick then do you  think   this is  worth while endeavour?

Will old 531 ST  hold up  to the rigours of 2024 ?

I like a 531 and even the old gas pipe pugs.

Have a 74 notigham built frame you can have.  Lost the forks and bits so not sure it is worth anything.

May have a puch pathfinder too.

Re: Old steel-
« Reply #17 on: 27 April, 2024, 05:03:24 am »
Dave yatez almost ready to ride,  in good nick not tourer rho'