MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

EBAY PURCHASE - INTRO

EBUY:  FRAME QUALITY

EBUY:  FRAME DAMAGE

EBUY:  FRAME RUST

EBUY:  FRAME PAINT & ART

EBUY:  LEGAL CONCERNS

EBUY:  FRAME TUBING TYPE

EBUY:  FRAME DROP-OUTS

EBUY:  MADE BY & WHERE

EBUY:  BIKE HISTORY

EBUY: PARTS HISTORY

EBUY:  CREDIBTILITY

EBUY:  SHIPPING CONCERNS

EBAY BUY - CONCLUSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRAME CONDITION - DROP OUTS TYPE?

QUESTION:  "Are the drops forged and if so, who are they made by?"

A second important feature, of a quality frame set, is the type, and even make, of the front and rear drop-outs, or drops, as they are more commonly called.  The drops are the places where wheels are attached to the frame set.  Pressed steel drops suggest lower level quality, while forged drops, particularly brand name drops, such as the Benotto set pictured, do suggest a higher end bicycle.  It should be noted, it is not uncommon for the rear drops to be forged, while the front are pressed steel.

Though I personally prefer forged drops, with axle positioning adjusters and integral derailleur hangers, I no longer turn my nose up at pressed steel drops, unless of course they are of obvious low quality.  The drops, both front and rear, on this old CCM Grand Prix are about a cheap as they drops come. 

Bicycles with forged drops are, generally, of better quality than those with pressed steel ones.  Needless to say, some pressed steel drops are better than others.  The CCM Grand Prix drops are about the poorest I have seen.  Still, I want to keep the bicycle as part of my collection,  nasty drops or not.  That said, I have had the Grand Prix for a couple of years now and done absolutely nothing to it.

Be prepared to decide between a great variety of drop designs and quality levels.  Many forged drop manufacturers, identify their product with their company's name, boldly pantographed, or stamped, into the face of the drop.  If the bicycle sports Campagnolo, Gipiemme, Suntour, Simplex or Shimano drops, you can bet that they are a reasonably well made, quality product.  You will also run across propriety drops, from such makers of bicycles as Bianchi, Benotto and the like.  Once again, these drops usually suggest quality and do their intended jobs nicely.

There are also a host of forged "no-name" drops that will cross your path, as you seek out a vintage road bicycle.  Though I cannot comment on the quality of such items, these "no-name" drops seem to do their job reasonably well.  I say that because in well over three hundred bicycle builds, I have never run across a "no-name" forged drop that has failed.

Of course, the Grail of drops, for vintage road bicycles, is the Campagnolo offering, in, both new and old styles.  Far more often than not, an exotic tube set, made of Reynolds 531 or Columbus SL, will be coupled with Campy drops, both front and rear.  If the drops are Campy, chances are the the bicycle's quality is also very good.

The drops issues does not end with who made it and of what.  Drop style or design will also play an important part is deciding to buy a bicycle or not.  The older style "horizontal" drop is most sought after these days for Single Speed or Fixed Gear builds.  The older "horizontal" drops is not really horizontal but slightly sloped.  The older horizontal drops are usually quite long, allowing for roughly 32mm of fore/aft axle adjustment.  Newer horizontal drops allow for about 23mm travel.  With this in mind, the older horizontal drop is the more preferred for Single Speed conversions.  When building a Fixed Gear or Single Speed bicycle, the greater the range of adjustment, the better since is necessary to help take out the chain slack when no derailleur cage is present.

Needless to say, vertical drops allow for no adjustment what so ever.  The Suntour vertical drop is a work of art but of little value if range of rear wheel adjustment is an issue.  The vertical drop allows for ease of wheel removal, a valuable feature when on the road and dealing with a flat tire.

What a frame set is made of and how it is made is fundamentally important to frame quality.  However, the frame set's actual quality does not necessarily dictate a frame's value, in the collectible sense.  The frame make, be it Colnago, Cinelli or CCM, is of primary importance when collectable value becomes the issue.

NEXT- FRAME CONDITION - BY & WHERE?

 

 

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