Vintage Pinarello Catena Lusso frame + modern groupset = worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by LeBramJames

Hi guys,

I'm looking into buying a vintage frame and putting a modern groupset on it. I came across the below Pinarello Catena Lusso frame: ... 81675.html

From what I can tell, the decals are not (period) correct for the frame. I would like to know exactly what year it is but so far I've not been able to figure it out. In the ad the guy is saying early 1980's.

Can someone tell me what a frame like this is worth? Is 250 euro a reasonable price (it seems like it is)?
And should I buy it, would it be possible to put a modern groupset on it? I'm aware that the rear track might be too small. Current standard is 130mm, from what I read here on the forum bikes from this period might be 120/126mm... Not sure if it's possible to modify this and if so, if it would be worth on on this frame.

by Weenie

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by RussellS

250 Euros seems on the high end. I'm not familiar with this frame. But assume it was built in Italy using Columbus tubing. Not sure if it was the regular Columbus or one of the lighter, higher end tubes. SL compared to SLX or something like that. The lugs are plain jane. Nothing fancy about them. It does have the chrome caps on the seatstays and the chainstays and the fork. Nice. But the original paint job is a little rough. Its 35 years old. I don't think 250 Euros is outrageous. But you are not stealing it or getting a good deal either. It does not look like it was a special frame from the period. It was a regular good frame made then. Nothing special or outstanding about it. You're on the high end of market price. If market price is 150-250 Euros. You are paying the absolute highest. Slight problems would be the rear spacing as you stated. 120mm most likely. So you would need to spread it quite a bit to fit a modern 130mm road wheel. The 1 inch threaded fork. Needs quill stem or one of those ugly adapter things to allow a now normal clamp stem. Also now old style 1 inch threaded headset. Harder to find now days. I should also add that putting a modern group on an old frame looks bad. Modern groups have lots of black carbon and/or gray colors. Old time groups when this frame was made were silver and chrome. The modern black, gray does not look good on old frames. The skinny tubing on old frames also does not go well with modern groups or deep section wheels.

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by bikerjulio

I'm not going to disagree with Russell on the price. This was Pinarello's entry-level frame of the day.

From my research I would have been pretty sure this would have 126 mm spacing. Meaning a modern wheel will go in, followed by a check on the straightness of the hanger. OP can always ask the seller.

I'd disagree on the old/new thing. I think it can look OK. A high end group would be overkill on that, if you can find an alloy Veloce group it would look fine. Like this
There's sometimes a buggy.
How many drivers does a buggy have?


So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

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by kgt

I agree that 250 for this frame considering its condition is too much. I sold my Pinarello Dyna (Indurain's frame) for 300 being at a much better condition.

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by LeBramJames

I don't know that much about bikes from this era so I was under the impression I was dealing with something a bit more special.

I don't think modern groupsets look bad on vintage frames, I think the Veloce-group mentioned would look great.
But I was also thinking of deep section wheels, like below:

But I think it might not be worth it to put that kind of money in an entry-level frame. Even Farsports wheels will set me back like 600 euro, which will be overkill for this frame I believe. I will keep my eye out for a more special frame.

Thanks for the response!

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by chefczyk

that 'nago looks insane! I love the blend of vintage + modern myself.

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by jasonh

I think you should pass on it. With a little more research, you'll be able to find an older stee frameset with full knowledge of the type of steel used. Classic steel frames ride beautifully, but lack of front end stiffness (compared to modern framesets) will be evident when you push hard cornering and descending.

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by Slimtim

I am riding a custom Columbus Nemo tubed Bioracer which was built in the early 90s which I guess is a bit vintage these days. Built it with Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed, a Columbus Minimal 1 inch full carbon forks, Ritchey finishing kit and some hand built wheels using modern components and she is 7.7kg. OK, so not as WW as to be interesting here but a lovely fast ride, and in my view looks great with deep section wheels when i choose to use them (although I'm not convinced they do much to make me go faster).

I rescued the frame for £50 and spent £300 having her professionally repaired, repainted, regraphiced, etc. A fraction of what it would have cost to have a custom frame built for me. The frame is the standout component at 1.590KG for a frame that is 61cm c-t, and 54.5cm c-c with a 17cm headtube - yes, I am tall with disproportionately long legs vs torso.

I'll try to post a picture over the weekend.

In short, don't be afraid of retro steel (at least it can be repaired to near new if there is a problem), and considerate use of modern tech can make an old frame into a thoroughly contemporary ride.

by Weenie

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