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Thread: Ross bikes?

  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Question Ross bikes?

    Not sure about this. Looking to get onto an entry level road bike. From the Wiki article it said they were made in my current hometown (Allentown PA) until 1989. Apparently the quality was lower but some models were a mid range type of bike.

    A family member knows someone who is selling one for $50 and I'm going to see it Friday. Is this a bad idea regardless? I'm a newb so all I know is I want about a 56-58CM frame or 22-23" frame. I don't know what to look for as a bad sign, what derailers are good/bad/acceptable. I know the tires are bad from storage so I'm expecting $50 ontop of the buy price.

    Advice?

  2. #2
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    Take a picture of it then post it and we will tell you what we think. Other than that just make sure that it fits you.
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  3. #3
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    Will do. I'm hoping it is in nice condition. I need to figure out what I should look at. I'm gonna make sure to take a close look at the cassettes but without tires I won't be able to test it's shifting under load.

  4. #4
    still shedding season
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    I saved my pennies and bought a Ross Utopian years ago. Eventually it languished in the basement for too many years until I realized I needed to get in better shape. A few years ago it was still just fine when I began to ride it again. I didn't know how to fix it up so I bought a new bike, and spent some time the next winter learning about it. It's a little too small for me now, but I haven't parted with it.

    Moral of the story: Winter is a good time to learn how to fix something up, not spring/summer. If it fits and you want to learn how to work on it yourself then it's probably a good bet. If either of those two isn't the case, then pass on it. I probably spent at least what it's worth on parts for it, to say nothing of the time (although it was fun and a good learning experience).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ross bikes?-dsc_7312.jpg  

  5. #5
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    ^

    Nice looking bike kykr!

    So are there any items in particular I should take a picture of for you guys to see?

    Oh, another tidbit; apparently this person's son used the bike for amateur racing many years ago. Not sure what that all entails or if that is a good or bad sign.
    Last edited by ProjectRider; 11-18-2010 at 11:21 AM.

  6. #6
    Uw zadel is niet waterpas
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectRider
    ^

    Nice looking bike kykr!

    So are there any items in particular I should take a picture of for you guys to see?

    Oh, another tidbit; apparently this person's son used the bike for amateur racing many years ago. Not sure what that all entails or if that is a good or bad sign.
    Take a coupla good profile shots, a closer up pic of the crainrings, and one of the rear derailieur/cogset area. And anything else that looks interesting (rust, damage, cracks, excessive wear, etc.) Make sure they are big enough we can see some detail, but not so big you can't post 'em (tho you can always resize them with photochop).

    See if you can rustle up a bike nerd friend to take along.

    And the amateur racing thing probably means nothing either good or bad. I've seen a coula Rosses around, FWIW, and a friend has one he putzes around on and uses as a commuter from time to time.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    still shedding season
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aindreas
    And the amateur racing thing probably means nothing either good or bad.
    Agreed, could be good and bad. Good from the standpoint that it's probably been decently maintained and wasn't stored outside all winter, but may need some help just due to wear and may have been crashed, etc.

    They've been out of business for about 20 years, so realize that you're not going to do much in the way of upgrades to it since it's an old bike. You probably don't need upgrades though, either. But if you're dead set on integrated brake/shifter levers and a 10 or 11 speed drivetrain, this ain't the one to mess with. Mine's just fine with downtube friction shifters, a six speed freehub and 27" wheels. No problem to add MTB pedals and a computer and ride it as is - which is what I've done (occasionally). If it fit properly it would see a lot more use, no doubt.

    Plan on cleaning it up, adjusting, lubing, replacing cables, bar tape and brake pads (and possibly tires, tubes and cable housings). All cheap and easy...

  8. #8
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    Ok, so scratch the bike. I didn't take pics because it didn't feel like a deal to me.

    The frame was a Gran Tour II. Not is pristine condition but not bad, original paint was good except where it had scratched through and rusted. Hi-tensile steel frame but you could tell it was cheaply made, spotty looking welds. I doubt the frame would have failed but nothing looked 'clean' if you know what I mean.

    It had Suntour Honor Deraileurs on it which was considered a midline 'workhorse' setup via google searching. Steel but dead reliable. (reference: http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/...281100%29.html) Unfortunately, the rear was bent and beat up BAD. It was pushing against the plastic spoke guard even fully stretched out, and the bracket was bent inward. None of the spokes were bent, but there was an inner bolt digging into the plastic guard.

    Rear sprocket teeth looked brand new, front was somewhat worn but had plenty commuting miles left in it. Just had started rounding out on the front. Besides that it would have needed a seat and new post as the post was oddly rusted badly.

    So in short, I will continue to look for something. At $50 plus probably $100 in upgrades to get it running reliably and comfortably (Tubes, tires, rear derailer, seat post and seat, bottle cage, bar tape), I'd rather just get a good condition whole bike.
    Last edited by ProjectRider; 11-20-2010 at 10:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Uw zadel is niet waterpas
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    Good call re: passing up the Ross. Let us know what you come across next.

    And those upgrades, unless you are very good at finding deals, go dirt cheap on parts, and skip the LBS tune-up (which you probably shouldn't), would probably total well over $100.

    And and, continue avoiding bikes with crain-ring wear. It's not worth the trouble later of replacing both the chain and the rings.

  10. #10
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    Crain-ring is the sprockets on the front cranks? I'm getting good at the terminology but not 100% yet

  11. #11
    Uw zadel is niet waterpas
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectRider
    Crain-ring is the sprockets on the front cranks? I'm getting good at the terminology but not 100% yet
    Yup.

    You will want to avoid getting a bike with chain-ring wear for a couple of reasons (unless you want a cheap beater to use for 3 months before you trash it): 1) It may/will cause the chain to slip when shifting from one ring to another. 2) It will wear out the chain itself very, very quickly. 3) It negatively affects how much power you transmit from your legs to the drivetrain.

    Well, that's more than two, but there are other reasons as well. But you get the point.

    And if you don't know already, one of the very best places to learn about bikes is sheldonbrown.com

  12. #12
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    I know you passed on the Ross, but I love mine.

    1985 Ross Mt. Rainier




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