James wrote: "Ideally I was looking for an uber clean Canadian bike from say 1989 like: (a Steve Bauer "Boreas" pictured Left) ; in that way the Vitus was stretch, but I liked the lines and the colour. I have noticed small sizes are very hard to find, especially with period correct parts. Most bikes I do come across are either too used up + parts are from all over; or listed for $1800+ because they are museum quality. The $2000-$3000 1980's bikes on eBay and other specialty sites are breath taking but well above my pay grade. "
interesting that you zeroed in on a Steve Bauer bike.
this is probably the best bike I've seen with Bauer's name on it. He seems to have allowed his name to be slapped on a lot of junky bikes.
But even this one, the Boreas model, with a bit of research, appears to have Tange 900 tubing. about which one commentator said: "A Google search on "Tange 900" gave a bunch of hits. Apparently 900 is the second from the bottom of Tange's Cr-Mo butted tubing range so the basic metal is good and the tube set is reasonably light, if not exotically so.
It was made from rolled and welded strip, not seamless, but that isn't a real problem as seamed tubing can be very good as the subsequent die drawing makes the seam pretty much disappear."
So, it's not the standard of Reynolds 531 or Columbus anything. \
The "Pink Vitus" with Columbus Thron tubing is already, fundamentally, a better bike than the Bauer.
and frankly, I would rather live in the cheapest house in an upscale neighbourhood than the most expensive house in a rundown neighbourhood.
The Bauer is an example of the later, as though it is probably the best with his name on it, it's still a cheap bike.
The Pink Bike is like the "bargain" house on the expensive street - it is at least attached to the prestigious Columbus pedigree.
There are only a handful of Canadian framebuilders who I think are worth collecting or riding. Mariposa, Cyclops, True North, certain Marinonis, certain Gardins.. that's about it.
there are then some obscure makers (Edwins, Joker) but the odds of seeing one on the market is low.
what's your ideal size? a 52?
I'll keep my eyes open on the market. My next life in bikes is as a Coach, helping people find the best bike without having to collect them myself
The key I think is to close your eyes to cosmetics (i.e. brand name etc.) and knowing what to look for in frame materials and components. (that the Bauer is made of Tange 900 tubing which is rolled and seamed and NOT seamless is critical. Reynolds 531 or 753 are super sought after. Reynolds 501, which has almost identical stickers, is seamed and cheap. And it would weigh... 1-2kg more. which is a lot. weight is a pretty key indicator of frame quality. I bet the Bauer weighs 12kg+ and shouldnt weigh more than 10.)