First Lo Pro build, 'Thomas' mystery frame

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  • Bought this off of Retrobike the other day, as I was curios to build one up and get a feel of how they ride. Not got any experience riding or choosing parts for these so pardon me if I commit any major faux-pas in my pairing of components ;)...

    Sold to me as a repainted Reynolds 753 frame, I am currently attempting to dig around and see if anyone could provide me with any more insight into its origins...

    The only solid clues on the bike itself are a Saba stamped BB, and Thomas engraved on the seat stays.
    It takes a 27.2 Seatpost and my scales have it weighing in at 1.94kg for the frame, and 0.66kg for the fork.

    Putting my own fanaticism of finding out what it's all about, it looks like a nicely built frame with tidy cable routing and attractive lugs, and I'm looking forward to getting it up and running...

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  • Nice frame, Love the colour!

  • didnt take 753 27.0mm posts?

    nice frame though!

  • Currently investigating the likelihood of it actually being 753, but 753 frames took seatposts ranging at least from 26.8 to 27.2, so unfortunately it's not a decisive factor!

  • Put a few bits on, probably going to be a bit of a random build (as is usual with my projects)

    Couple of issues, quill stem won't go in past a certain point, not even up to the min. insertion line. Also found it difficult to get the drive side bb cup screwed in, so will unscrew, have a go at it with a wire brush and try again (just placed the cranks on for effect)

    Anyone got any ideas re. the quill stem?

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  • Could be for a french diameter quill? Slightly smaller iirc

  • thought the same. maybe same applies to bb threads?

  • I had that 653 Condor lo pro which was 27.2 seatpost.

    So long as it fits without stretching the tube.......

  • Does the quill go in easily? I know on my Neil I can't completely slam the stem because it just stops at a certain point. I imagine there is something in the tube stopping it but have never investigated

  • Remember the head tube is super small, and the fork steerer will not be an even diameter toward the bottom - the only way I found out was the hard way, when the bottom part of a quill was floating between the brake drill hole and the bottom of the stem.

  • Would have just thought that the fork steerer is thicker at the bottom if the steerer causing you not to be able to slam it. Understandable consider that the head tube is that short.
    I had a similar thing on my Concorde I believe.

  • Went in fairly easily, would then suddenly grind to a halt, with an outrageous amount of stem still showing! Have done a bit of reading and sounds like the head tube is butted, so gets thicker at the bottom, being so short it's noticeable. Like you guys have already said...

    Can I just cut my stem down? There's no way I can deal with it sticking out so far!

    In regards to the bb this is the 2nd frame that I've had trouble getting a shimano UN sealed bb all the way in. Anyway will give it another crack tomorrow

  • Depends on the stem I'd have thought, and if you can cut it well enough. I'd make a hash of that kinda thing and would prefer to look for a shorter height stem. There must be some out there.

    For the bb, is the threading (ITA/BSA/???) definitely correct, and it's not cross threaded or damaged further in? Is there definitely enough thread in the bb shell itself? When I put the gxp bb into that Koga frame the other day one side didn't want to thread in all the way, but I did an old trick from thread tapping in school, where you tighten only so much, then ease off a half turn, then go 3/4 turn, ease off half, 3/4 again.

  • I was kinda careful, got an Italian bb cup to start with and tried to put it on by hand but it wouldn't engage at all (too large for the shell).

    In comparison the non drive side went in fairly easily with the English bb.... Would be slightly more worried about the threads but I had the exact same problem with my last project, trying to get a UN55 in on the drive side, it went in almost all the way (with a lot of effort) switched to another style of BB and it went in absolutely fine. Both times the bb has been brand new. Gunna try out your 3/4 technique.

    Will be on the hunt for a shorty quill stem, don't fancy botching it either...

    Appreciate the input thanks guys

  • You can cut the stem if it's a diagonal wedge type. I've done it with good results
    You just have to get the angle of the cut correct to ensure the quill sits snug in the steerer when tightened

    I had a very short headtube like yours on one of my bikes and I could not fit the stem down very far as the steerer tube narrowed near the crown due to the internal butting of the tube

    Also, you could remove the fork and check the steerer tube to see if there are any 753 markings
    I have seen 531 and 753 stamped on some steerers but not on others

  • I really couldn't articulate myself very concisely yesterday could I? But yea, maybe if you're worried ask @mdcc_tester about threading and alternatives to UN55.

    The GXP did the same, I was maybe 2mm or less from flush and it seemed to stop completely, so I removed, tried to clean, greased the threads, tried again, it was a bit better. Then in the end I just went for it.

  • In regards to the bb this is the 2nd frame that I've had trouble getting a shimano UN sealed bb all the way in

    This is common on older frames, the cartridge BB has much longer threads than were the case with loose ball BBs, so old frames only had their threads cut and chased to suit the shorter engagement length. Get a good workshop or framebuilder to increase the length of the threads with appropriate taps and all will be well.

  • Reynolds 753 frame...It takes a 27.2 Seatpost

    It's unlikely that both of these things are true. 753 frames usually took a 27.0mm post. 1940g is also pretty porky for 753, but about right for 531, which takes a 27.2mm post.

  • I was also under the suspicion that it's too heavy for 753. I'd like a way to be sure if I'm going to bring it up with the seller. I read that in large frame sizes (this Lo pro is a large) that 753 would commonly have a 26.8 Seatpost. Don't suppose you recognise the 'Thomas' engraving on the seat stays?

    Thanks for the advice Think I'll take it to my lbs and see if they help.

  • My Martrac lo pro is 753 with a 27.2mm seatpost so it is possible

  • This is interesting, photo of the fork steerer from underneath, not seen ridges like that before. Don't know if that's another indicator to the maker / tubing?

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  • I think Columbus slx had spirals inside?

  • I read that in large frame sizes (this Lo pro is a large) that 753 would commonly have a 26.8 Seatpost

    Where did you read that? The only examples I can think of would be frames made with metric tubes (28.0mm diameter seat tube). Imperial (28.6mm 753R) sets most often had 27.0, but 27.2 and 27.4 are also possible.

    The real killer is the weight, though. A complete 753R frame and fork shouldn't be much, if anything, over 2kg for road frames; with the hefty head tube, steerer and fork blades all shortened on a lo-pro they tend towards the lower range of weights.

  • No experience of one myself, but will look into it.. in any case it's probably not helping getting the stem in as far as I'd like (or even to a safe point) :-/

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First Lo Pro build, 'Thomas' mystery frame

Posted by Avatar for MCamb @MCamb