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Archived: Vintage Lightweights







VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Wooden rims posted by: Walter on 2/25/2002 at 11:15:56 PM
To restart a brief conversation about a Jack Taylor with wood rims from below this eBayer, item # 1806467768, might be interesting. Pista track wheelset with wooden rims. They're NOS. Seller admits not knowing much about them but thinks they're from the 70s. Auction ended and the price was attractive.

Were trackies still running on wooden rims as late as the 70s? Obviously these wheels were velodrome only but I thought wood rims were long gone by then. Is the wheelset older than the seller thought or could these have been a specialty item that never sold?


   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Wooden rims posted by aaron on 2/27/2002 at 12:14:39 AM
i have a set of wooden rims on an old elgin from the 1920s that i would like to disose of for $100 they are the steel clad wood stuff probably with new departure hubs. i take the old bikes with these wheels and stick balloner rims with midwieght tires or put a skip tooth cog on a midwieght wheel then i ride them around. they are fun!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Wooden rims posted by Warren on 2/26/2002 at 12:57:10 AM
Wooden rims can still be ordered. They are tubulars made in Italy and run about $100 each. I forget the manufacturers name but they are beautiful.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Wooden rims posted by Ian on 2/26/2002 at 9:52:14 AM
In our country (New Zealand) you come across pairs of wood rims that were taken of horse sulkies when wood rims were banned in that sport, possibly in the 60's? I have come across two 28" pairs in the last three years both 32 and 36 spoke so perhaps some of the ones in the U.S. come from the same source? That said wood rims were being used by some of our die-hard track racers until at least the late 50's according to one of our masters racers who has been racing since the 1930's and is still competing at the age of 86!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Wooden rims posted by Keith on 2/26/2002 at 2:47:33 PM
Several years ago Nashbar had a clearance sale on wooden rims -- I'm not kidding. They were $50 @.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Wooden rims posted by ron on 3/3/2002 at 12:33:41 AM
A friend of mine who recently attended a USCF race mechanic's course in Colorado Springs reported that Rick Hjertberg (of Wheelsmith fame) showed the class a pair of wonderfully crafted, brand new wooden track wheels. The friend thinks Rick said they were made in England.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Rider Weight posted by: Keith on 2/25/2002 at 4:12:21 PM
In answer to Frank several of us indicated that 350 pounds should not be a problem for a vintage steel frame. Although I've known several larger riders who've used a variety of stock steel bikes, apparently without frame failures, I thought I should point out that Rivendell's frame catalog indicates that it's frames (which are a bit heavier than many racing bikes) are rated for a 240 pound rider. Just thought I should mention it as part of the mix of information.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Rider Weight posted by Keith on 2/26/2002 at 3:36:14 PM
This may be sacrilege, but here's a reivew of the contemporary titanium Airborne Zeppelin from roadbike review.com: "I bought this frame and had my LBS (http://www.chainreaction.com) build it up with Chorus Racing T, shifters, crank, bottom bracket and headset. Daytona all else. The bike has several thousand miles on it and has performed flawlessly. I am a VERY heavy rider (near 300) and have not had any problems with frame flex. The bike is very responsive and gives a comfortable and supple ride. I get a lot of comments on the bike because it is a beauty to look at and is not particularly common around these parts." Oh vintage Brothers, forgive me -- I have two Zeppelins, and love them (well, at least one of them is set up anachronisticaly with Campy Nouvo Record). My big friend rides titanium and steel Bianchis with Campy equipment -- he won't ride anything else.

   RE:Varsity posted by Frank on 2/27/2002 at 6:02:04 AM
I second your observation on steel rims. One of my bikes that I put a lot of miles on is a Nishiki Olympic (ugh!) That I set up with Shimano 600 stuff, and it has some Suzue hubs laced to Araya steel rims (with the textured sides), and it has seen more abuse by me that I'm sure would have destroyed an aluminum rim (eg bunny hopping over potholes and onto and off of curbs). There is a definate performance difference, but when you weigh 350 lbs, a few extra pounds can't hurt when the tradeoff is so much more durability. I ride some other bikes with al rims, but not as much as I do the Nishiki. I took the Varsity down to my basement shop today and disassembled it in preparation for cleaning. I'll have it on the road soon and then I'll see what kind of abuse it can take!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Rider Weight posted by Frank on 2/26/2002 at 5:52:33 AM
Very interesting indeed. I think I'm going to get the Tomassini, but I'm going to save it as an inspiration to weight loss. I stopped by the bike shop and looked at it again today. It's got a pearlized gray paint job on it, with chrome seat and chain stays, and a chrome Columbus fork. Really nice lugwork. This is the first really high end vintage lightweight I've ever had the chance to eye up close, let alone have the chance to purchase. I'm going to convert it back to a derailer shifted, multi speed bike, rather than leave it as a fixed. This should be relatively easy, due to the fact that it still has the derailer tab on the dropout, and the hub is a standard freewheel hub with a track cog threaded on. It also has downtube shift lever bosses and cable guides intact. I'm really excited about getting into a really serious bike. For now though I'm going to ride my beaters, so when I break something, the price won't be so dear. I may even get out the old Varsity that I got last December as part of several bikes given to me as leftover "junk" from our local fireman's cheer fund, and put new cables and tires on it and ride it. I know it won't break under my ponderous bulk! Thanks a lot to all who replied to my posting!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Rider Weight posted by Keith on 2/26/2002 at 2:56:00 PM
You can be very proud of what you're doing for yourself. A few years ago I lost more than 40 pounds by upping my miles. Moreover, it's worth noting that you don't need to get down to 155 pounds to be a strong cyclist. I have a sizable friend who did an unofficial finish on RAAM last year. For an official finish you have to complete the course within 48 hours of the winner -- my friend's time was a few hours over. Only 1 in 3 first time riders completes the course. I believe he finished the year with more than 12,000 miles. Anyways, RAAM is almost beyond my imagination in terms of difficulty -- find the RAAM site and read about what it entails (riding day after day and through the night with about 2 hours of sleep, through the Rocky Mountains, etc.). It might not be a bad idea to wait until you're in the 250 range (I believe that's where my friend is) before you spend lots of time on a thin-walled tubing lightweight.

   Varsity posted by John E on 2/26/2002 at 3:03:40 PM
Frank, you are on the right track. I would fix up and start riding that Varsity right away. When I worked at Bikecology, we had an overweight young teenage customer who pretzeled the rear rim on his new Peugeot UO-8. After I relaced the hub with new spokes and a Schwinn Continental rim*, the bike held up fine.


*Irony: the first-year 1960 Continentals used the same light steel French Rigida rims that the Peugeots of that era did. By the mid-1960s, Schwinn had converted to the more familiar heavy-but-bulletproof S-7 rims.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ghisallo posted by: Keith on 2/25/2002 at 3:21:42 PM
This year Litespeed introduced the Ghisallo model, with a 31 oz. ti frame. Okay, not very vintage, but there is a tie-in. I recently read an article in ProCycling that talked about the Ghisallo chapel, but it showed only one picture of this fantastic place. It sounds like a shrine to bicycle racing, complete with jerseys and champions' bicycles. Steven, have you been there? If so, please describe it!


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ghisallo posted by Art on 2/25/2002 at 3:46:24 PM
Keith, A boatload of photos of the church and surrounding area in the first URL

http://www.neci.nec.com/homepages/sandiway/bike/como/index.html

and bikes in this one

http://www.neci.nec.com/homepages/sandiway/bike/como/mdg/index.html

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ghisallo posted by Keith on 2/25/2002 at 3:54:28 PM
Thanks Art! This has to be the greatest collection of vintage lightweights on the planet -- the actual bicycles of the greatest racers from their most important victories. A true Mecca.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falcon Black Diamond posted by: Craig Cedarstrom on 2/25/2002 at 5:52:49 AM
I picked up a "Falcon Black Diamond" Bike. I was mainly interested in the Campagnolo "Valentino" derailleurs and levers. The Falcon headbadge reads "designed by Earnie Clements" Judging the three-piece crankset and components and ornate lugs on the bike, it looks late sixties\early seventies. Couldn't find anything on the Falcon web site and I'm hoping there may info from an "Oldroads" expert who could lend some advise. Thanks in advance.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falcon Black Diamond posted by Kevin K on 2/25/2002 at 6:53:19 AM
Hi. I saw my first Falcon about one month ago. This bike was English made, also with Campy group. The shop owner said the Falcon was very well built. That's really all I know. If you bought the bike for the components only, I'm sure you'll have no trouble reselling the frame. Kevin K

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falcon Black Diamond posted by Keith on 2/25/2002 at 2:26:30 PM
FWIW Falcon made the first series of Eddy Merckx brand bikes (not the bikes Eddy rode, just the ones he put his name on for sale to the general public.)

     Falcon Black Diamond posted by John E on 2/25/2002 at 3:33:58 PM
from classicrendezvous.com:

A solid Coventry based British concern dating from the 1930's, Falcon was best known originally as the Coventry Eagle. The Falcon marque hit it's full stride in the 1950's to 1970's under the management of famous British racer Ernie Clements. (that was he is the picture being kissed on the opening page of this site!)
A prestigeous move in the early 70's saw Falcon become the exclusive European and USA supplier of the Eddy Merckx brand. (At the peak of King Eddies reign in the Pro peloton!)
Falcon bikes were popular in the USA during the 1970s bike boom and most examples in this country date from that period.

The Valentino line, introduced in 1964 and named after Tullio's son, was a low-end Campy offering. [Berto, Shepherd, & Henry; "The Dancing Chain"]






AGE / VALUE:   MAXI-HUBS ON EBAY posted by: Warren on 2/24/2002 at 1:36:06 PM
I can't find the item number anymore but a pair of circa 50s Maxi-hubs that were customized into high flange hubs (with a series of rivets!) by Rene Herse went to $1225...and didn't make reserve! Hmmnn...a little greedy perhaps?


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   MAXI-HUBS ON EBAY posted by Walter on 2/25/2002 at 11:24:19 PM
Either that or seller paid too much for them in the first place. Herse certainly stands tall in the pantheon of builders but he wasn't Midas.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Saturday Bike Shop Tour posted by: Rob on 2/24/2002 at 4:09:17 AM
I went on one of my periodic weekend tours of the various second hand bike shops in my city...saw two bikes that immediately caught my eye:

1) The first a 1970'?s Dawes Galaxy (59cm c/t)...most of the components are Shimano 600...rear der. is Suntour V-Gx, front rim alloy Weinmann 'Made in Belgium'...hubs, I think, Shimano ?600?. Brakes, Shimano 600. Main tubes 531, Reynolds sticker damaged by readable. Dawes branded alloy crank...Vic Pro pedals. Handlebars and brake levers not original and not appropriate. The very light frame is a dark beige with nice brown detailing...lugs are fairly plain, paint fairly good...but I saw two 'dimple-type' dents; one on the main frame about 3/4" across, the other, smaller, on the downtube. Asking price $140CDN ($87US). I read the 'Dawes posting' below (2/23) Does anyone have any further comments to add? Is the price attractive?

2) The second bike is a 20 plus year-old Benotto frame. Apparently a gold-plated? special edition. Frame appears not to be 'aero'. It was hard to see...hanging from the ceiling in a dark old bike shop. Forks are broken...apparently not salvagable. Has both derailleurs (SunTour I think) and brake calipers, and head set and alloy 'criterium' handlebars. They are asking $60CDN ($38US.) Does anyone have any comments? What would the original components have been? What about this 'gold plated' special edition story?


   Benotto 'Gold-plated' posted by Steven on 2/24/2002 at 3:11:10 PM
Benotto came out with gold coloured frame back in the 80's. I can't remember if it was Mexican or Italian, but believe it was Mexican. It is not gold-plated but rather gold-coloured chrome. Nothing special beyond the finish if my memory serves me right. It is however an oddity that might become collectible. As you are in Canada, it likely was originally sold either in Vancouver or Toronto.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vitus and Mavic posted by: Colin Barratt on 2/23/2002 at 10:11:17 PM
Last weekend I bought an "as new" Vitus Le Cam 992 at the Worcester Cycle Jumble here in the UK. I now have to kit it out and I would like to use Mavic components in the transmission and possibly the brakes as well. I have often admired the Mavic SSC mechs with their lightweight and spartan simplicity. I don't want to go down the Ergo or STI route and retro friction levers with SSC mechs seems a good and slightly "different" alternative. Nobody I know has used them - do they have any problems ? Mavic and Vitus are the same company I believe so it should be " a match made in heaven". Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Colin.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vitus and Mavic posted by Warren on 2/24/2002 at 1:34:05 PM
I've never used the components but there were a couple of teams in the TDF peloton that used them just before Ergo/STI became popular in the late eighties. I know of another guy who just completed a restoration with a 100% complete SSC groupo but it took him some time to find every piece. Nice gear for nice frame.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vitus and Mavic posted by Steven on 2/24/2002 at 3:04:11 PM
I have a team Miyata that has been set up with Mavic SSC since the day that I set it up in the early 80's. Brakes are by Modolo and are just as good as Campagnolo. 2 year newer clip-in Mavic pedals by Look have replaced the original Mavic pedals with toe-clips. The bars and stem were not overly great and were replaced by Italian parts. This also was done because the diameters of teh bar are not Italian compatible, so if you want new bars, you have to stick with Mavic. The headset is big and chunky and requires special tools that are almost unfindable today (it would however be the perfect match for the Vitus frame!) The B/B cartridge which was novel back then, requires the frame to be chamfered to be installed; it does however work like a charm and still is perfectly smooth after over 20K miles. It also allows you to align the chainwheels perfectly. The hubs are chunky and match the headset in design and work fantastically. I have them set up with a Maillard narrow 7-block, built up with Mavic G40 rims (the first truly high-performance clincher rims at the time) At the time, by putting on Pariba hand-made tyres they looked and rode like sew-ups. The rear derailleur has a special groove that allows you to set it up as close as is physically possible to the largest cog in the back to give it the most possible wrap-around. It too is chunky and truly no-nonsense. It has bearings in the jockey wheels and the whole drive-train has less resistance than any other set-up that I have ever had before or after. The shifting is nothing inspirational but very functional. As you say it has retro-friction levers. Notwithstanding the rave reviews given by everybody back then, I have never liked them as you had to move them much more Campagnolo or other Italian levers. They are however very light shifting. The chainset is also very no-nonsense and takes Campagnolo-sized boltring chainrings. The rings were not terribly light-weight, so I switched them for a set of swiss-cheesed Campagnolo rings. I don't remember if the 'groupe' came with a seatpost, but don't think so. All told, an excellent component group that truly is alternative. Perhaps not highly sought after, but every bit as good as anything else from the same period. Lastly, I don't believe you are correct about Mavic and Vitus being the same company. Mavic at the time was family-owned.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vitus and Mavic posted by Keith on 2/25/2002 at 2:38:08 PM
Steven, I agree with your observation about Campy shifters from another perspective. For about 30 years I've been using Suntour ratchet barcons, believing like many that they are the best shifters ever made. In the past few years, however, I've set up a few bikes with Campy NR downtube shifters, and this year I took the step of removing a set of Suntours and replacing them with Campy barcons (which had been sitting in a box for about 5 years). I like the Campy better. The Campy barcons are perfectly smooth, like the downtub shifters. They also seem to allow a better feel for the shift -- with ratchet you're counting the clicks, with high quality friction you're feeling the shift more directly.






AGE / VALUE:   French bikes posted by: steelhead on 2/23/2002 at 2:28:42 PM
Taking my french components off my Trek. Need to know what frame they would be approprate on. Simplex Super LJ's,CLB brakes,and a beautiful drilled out Stronglight crank. I believe Hinault rode a Gitane to victory with these parts. What model or was it a custom frame with Gitane decals?


   French bikes posted by John E on 2/23/2002 at 3:37:54 PM
I would think any full-531 or full-Vitus Gitane or Motobecane, or even a same-era PX-10, would be appropriate.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vintage Raleighs posted by: Walter on 2/23/2002 at 2:15:09 PM
eBay #1076656024. Considering some of the recent threads about Raleighs I thought this might be interesting. NOS. I don't remember the early 80s Raleighs all that well but this doesn't look to be a real high end model. Barcons are nice. Is it worth it?

Hard to say though 225$ spent on that "new" bike probably buys you more than any new bike sitting in a shop today IMHO. He has 2 other NOS Raleighs and claims to have found a "cache" of them.

Usual disclaimers all apply


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vintage Raleighs posted by Warren on 2/23/2002 at 5:18:27 PM
Normally a bike I wouldn't look twice at...but I looked twice cuz I haven't seen a "Super Grand Prix" before. Suntour power ratchet barcons go for around $40 if you can find them NOS. He says the rims are alloy 700c but doesn't mention the hub brand and the crankset is likely Raleigh branded Stronglight. It's an OK bike although the frame is probably carbon steel. It's not worth $200 to me but it could be for others.

This guy has been posting a lot of NOS Raleighs this past month. He really does have a big stash. I'll bet he's holding back on some nice stuff.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vintage Raleighs posted by Keith on 2/25/2002 at 2:32:51 PM
I bought the bike you describe from a local used bike shop (went out of business) for $20 to get the Suntout barcons).

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vintage Raleighs posted by Dick on 2/25/2002 at 3:21:34 PM
Walter and all,
I tried to contact this ebay seller a couple of weeks ago about one of his NOS Raleighs. It was a "buy it now" for $125. He said it included a "classic" brooks saddle. I couldn't see the saddle because it was wrapped in plastic. So I emailed him to ask what model Brooks it was. I figured the saddle and the rest of the components (similar to those listed on the the bike Walter points out) would be worth the buy it now price. After I got no answer to 3 or 4 emails, I contacted one of his previous customers for help. They told me that he is very hard to get to return email but I should keep trying. I have no patience for business people who don't answer my calls. In all fairness though, he does have an excellent feedback record (for whatever that's worth).

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Vintage Raleighs posted by Walter on 2/25/2002 at 11:27:21 PM
Thanks for the note. I have no intention of buying, just older bikes in NOS condition catch my eye when I'm surfing eBay. I too don't understand not answering emails but I guess he feels it isn't necessary.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes to build posted by: Hallyx on 2/23/2002 at 3:02:48 AM
Picked up a beautiful old Dawes Galaxy frame at a thrift store. Spotless chrome forks and stays, fancy filigreed lugs (worth striping,) world's ugliest paint job on a frame that rings like a bell (good steel?). It's long, low, laid back and lovely -- certaily worth bringing back.

Where can I get info on original equipment? Or should I just find some old Campy gear and make it pretty? Frame number is T7879. Any help with background would be appreciated.

Oh...and what does "Carpite*Vestra*Gaudia*Ex*Dawes" mean?It's on the elegant seatpost decal.

Thanks,
Hallyx


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes to build posted by Maurice on 2/23/2002 at 5:05:46 AM
Hallyx I recall seeing a Dawes restoration at AirglowPainting.com Don't know about the interpretation of Dawes, but perhaps the business proprietor, Ronny Lindsay, can help. His email can be found within the site along with examples of his work. Good Luck.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes to build posted by Walter on 2/23/2002 at 12:26:09 PM
Courtesy of Sheldon Brown's Vintage Priceguide:
Dawes
Production bikes ranging from just OK to quite interesting. There is an interesting drawing of a Dawes in the Data Book from the 50's. The majority of Dawes in the 70's did not have full Campy N.R. - the Galaxy was one such model. Very common and impressive with its 531 tubes but not spectacular otherwise. Figure for such a bike $ 300 or so. For top-end full N.R. bikes maybe $575. There were some interesting bright pink team issue frames
from the 70's that were pretty nifty. Such bikes full N.R. should probably be worth $750 ish. Need a buyer who can deal with pink. Early 50's bikes such as the one in the Data Book with fun parts are probably worth in the thousand range - maybe. On old bikes the parts details are everything!

Depending on how you interpret that 3rd sentence Campy is appropriate, the question is whether or not a full gruppo would have been OEM. A 531 frame is always a quality find. If it fits, build it and ride it. If it doesn't and you don't have a needy friend it'll eBay for a good bit more than you paid at a thrift shop.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes to build posted by Jim on 2/23/2002 at 11:41:50 PM
Hallyx, I have been working for a cyclery since 1977 that sold Dawes up until the mid '80's, as well as Falcon until the late '80's. I have a Dawes Atlantis, 531c frame & fork. I've logged more miles on it than any other bike. I've tried several other bikes for a full season or more, thinking I had to get something newer, better...but I came back to it about four years ago, and in its current configuration, will never stop riding it - all 105,indexed barcons, moustache bars, triple chainrings and 38mm tires. The Galaxys from the late '70's came equipped with a Suntour derailleur group, Weinmann brakes & rims, Maillard or Normand hubs, SR Custom cranks, stem & seatpost, I'm almost certain the tubing was actually 501. The paint scheme on the Galaxy was pretty tolerable, the dark brown to light copper fade on the Echelon model was the occular assault. In any case, it's definitely a keeper, but if it's mid / late '70's the original gear was from Japan and Europe. I would spec it out with whatever you like, and enjoy it.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes to build posted by Oscar on 2/24/2002 at 5:20:34 AM
Obtain your joys from Dawes! (Carpite vestra gaudia ex Dawes)

   Linguistic skills! posted by Walter on 2/24/2002 at 3:50:27 PM
Nice job Oscar. I figured the "Carpite" as something along the lines "get" or "take" from my half remembered Spanish conjugations and of course the popular "carpe diem" saying. "Vestra" is close enough to the Spanish "nuestra(o)" to where I had an idea there as well but that was as far as I got.

   RE:Linguistic skills! posted by Oscar on 2/24/2002 at 11:52:21 PM
If you spent as much time in Fr. Beall's classroom as I did, you could do that one on your sleep. Omnia Gallia divisa est in partes tres.....zzzzzzzzzzz

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes to build posted by Dick on 2/25/2002 at 2:41:24 AM
Hallyx,
I worked in a bike shop in the early 70's that sold Dawes bikes. The only models I remeber are the Galaxy and a lower level model (steel rims, nutted axles, low carbon steel frame, etc). The Galaxy had 531 (3 main tubes) and chrome fork ends and seat/chain stays. They had very intricate lugwork (if not perfectly executed). The Galaxy went head-to-head against the Raleigh Super Course. They were equipped nearly identically. Simplex, Stronglight or Nervar (whichever was availble) steel, Normandy, Brooks, Weinmann, GB, etc. I purchased one of these bikes while I worked at the shop. It was my first "quality" bike purchase and I was so proud of it. Trust me. It never came with "upscale" components (although in the late 70's a "Super Galaxy" did come upscale equipped). As soon as the "Simplastic" rear derailleur broke, I repalced it with the lastest rage from Japan. The Suntour (Honor, I think) rear derailleur was smooth as butter. My next upgrade was a Super Mighty (Campy HR copy) alloy crankset. I used the British cups because the Jap cups were a different thread pitch, but everything worked fine. I would consider these as all "period" upgrades today. The bottom threads will be a problem for any upgrade there. You can have them retapped to the current standard "BSC" and then go to any of the availble cartridge BB's that will accept alloy cranksets. I believe you can have the best of both worlds. With period upgrades, you can have a very contemporary ride while tetaining it's collectable value. And do as many of us do, keep the original gruppo in a box, just in case you diced to make a mantle piece out of it. I am curious about the "ugly" paint job though. Was it a repaint? The original paint was pretty nice for tha era.






AGE / VALUE:   Probably my mistatke posted by: JOhn on 2/23/2002 at 2:19:59 AM
Hi. I was at a garage sale and saw a Raleigh bike, with thin deflated 27 in steel wheels. It had a funny name which i forget (but would remeber if i heard it) and it had the weirdest looking seat....kind of V shaped and futuristic looking. THe bike was probably newer and they wanted $25 but it statrted to rain so i said *^%^ it!! I know this is not much to go on but the seat was soooo strange.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Probably my mistatke posted by Stacey on 2/23/2002 at 10:33:12 AM
Technium?






AGE / VALUE:   Fuji "Special Road Racer" posted by: Chris on 2/23/2002 at 12:31:01 AM
* White paint, lugged frame with chrome fork and frame ends
* "Belt" leather saddle
* Suntour V-GT rear derailleur & 5 speed freewheel
* 27" alloy rims
* Nitto handlebar & stem
* Originally equipped with Diacompe centerpull brake calipers, using calipers from a 70s dept store bike
* Originally equipped with Suntour downtube shifters, replaced with Suntour barcons
* S/N K9I03880

Might also be referred to as a Fuji S-10-S . Anyone know what year it is?

Wonder what I'm missing out on, besides a much higher credit card payment, by riding this on the road instead of a modern 700c index shifting road bike. Seems to ride at least as well around town as my new front suspension MTB, with equivalent top speeds.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji posted by DBean on 2/23/2002 at 1:57:26 AM
Fuji's still in biz, you might ask them. S10S was very popular in mid-70s (later became S12S). I considered buying one in 76 and was very impressed by the nice handling of the bike. It's a plain-gauge tubing heavy frame, but a good design.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji posted by Wings on 2/23/2002 at 5:24:07 AM
I just did a charcoal FuJi Del Rey; Ukai alloy rims, Shimano 600 group, downtube sis shifters. Really a nice bike!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji posted by Walter on 2/23/2002 at 12:18:43 PM
The S-10-S has been described by a couple of sources, (Sheldon Brown, Richard Ballantine), as the first Japanese bike specifically designed and marketed to Americans. In good repair it should be a nice rider. It has an interesting history but like nearly all Asian bikes no real collectability, as of yet. That may change someday.

    Fuji industries posted by John E on 2/23/2002 at 3:40:16 PM
I agree that "Fuji is still in business" - just visit any Subaru dealer!

   RE: Fuji industries posted by Chris on 2/25/2002 at 6:29:44 AM
Fuji is still making bikes http://www.fujibikes.com

On the site there is a page suggesting email for info on older bikes, if available so I emailed them.

On a ride today was only able to do 25 with 2001 Trek MTB with Continental T&C slicks, where I've done 30-35 with the Fuji. Also the Fuji's stock leather saddle is comfortable enough I don't even think about it, while I notice the Trek's saddle and not in a good way.

Not sure if Fuji the bicycle maker is the same as Fuji Heavy Industries the Subaru company. In fact I saw a web site on some cycling event that had Subaru sponsoring someone riding some non-Fuji bike.

   RE: Fuji industries posted by Guy B. Meredith on 2/27/2002 at 8:48:04 PM
Paul C. Brodek of Fuji has been very helpful about supplying information on
the Fuji Alero and my League Fuji on his infrequent visits to the iBOB site.
I have lost track of his position at Fuji America, but he goes back a few
years and also spent time working for SunTour and has been a wealth of
information.






AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by: Kevin K on 2/21/2002 at 6:33:58 PM
Hi. My first real experience with a bike of any quality was back in 92-93 when I bought a used beyond belief 1984 Schwinn Letour. The bike was complete, however had seen use as both a high school and college means of daily transporation. Left outside for years,it still rode ok but looked terrible. I bought it to ride in the winter months. Sold it some years back. Anyway yesterday I saw a TRUELY NOS 1984 Schwinn Letour. Same colors, same frame size, same equiptment. Not a mark / scratch or dust anywhere to be seen. The original Schwinn Record tires have never seen pavement. It is beautiful. $250 was the asking price. The frame was True Temper which I believe is 4130. Forged dropouts. Weinmann rims, stainless steel butted spokes, Maillard hubs and I belive Shimano DT shifters and derailleurs. nice side pull Die Comps. The white bar tape was mint. OOOHHHHH ! So depending on what the account has to say she just might end up with a new owner. We'll see. Kevin K


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Keith on 2/21/2002 at 8:11:54 PM
I guess things are taking a turn in a lot of ways. As I get older, I should expect that it's natural for people whose entry point into cycling was the 80s would wax nostalgic for bikes of that era. I owned an '84 Le Tour for about 3-years. It was set up as you describe -- Dia Compe, Maillard hubs, except that it had Sachs-Huret "Rival" deraileurs. When I bought it for $60 it was almost like new. I rode it almost every day as a commuting bike. It was a sturdy, somewhat heavy bike that served me well. I certainly got $60 worth of use out of it. But it never excited me. I saw it as a rather heavy, plainish, mid-range Japanese-made bike. Mine wasn't NOS, but it was very very clean. I just don't know. I suppose nostalgia can be worth a lot. I've seen a lot more posting here in the past year about Le Tours, World Sports, Voyagers and the like. While I recognize them as good, inexpensive and reliable transportation, I never thought they'd be considered valuable vintage lightweights. I may need to change my mind.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Kevin K on 2/21/2002 at 10:38:24 PM
Hi Keith. Yea, I was pretty excited about locating this bike. I may need set straight here on the Letours also. Yea, most of them were Japanese built and haven't hit my hot switch. However, several Letour bikes were USA built and I'm pretty sure this bike is one of them ( My 1984 Letour Luxe is USA built of Columbus tubing ) The frame/tubing sticker says True Temper and I believe made in the USA. The Schwinn bikes I hope to collect are the USA built pieces. I believe the Greenville plant is where these bikes originated. I was told that build quality was poor well.......... The Letour I have sure is finished nice and the red 84 I located the other day was so crisp and sharp. I'm far from an expert on any of this but I've picked up bits here and there on these bikes. I don't know I'll jump right in for the full $250 if this happens but ...... Kevin K

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/22/2002 at 1:45:11 AM
I saw a mens (not for sale) one in a really aweful burnt orange/ red and a ladies frame one for 50.00 and I passed over it. It looked to be junk, but I really don't know. I understand the trepidation with the Schwinn Le Tour bikes. They are later models and it did vary. Where is this clarified? Is this the "call for later Schwinn bike effort" I saw posted about here at oldroads.com very recently?
If so, hopefully it will be set straight.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Maurice on 2/22/2002 at 2:06:04 AM
I have an original 1982 Le Tour Luxe, Graphite Gray, black decals, sugino crank, Sakae Road Champion handle bars,avocet saddle, Araya Alloy rims, original Super Record tires, Shimano Altus derailleur 12 speed. Brake levers are Schwinn Approved with the bronze colored sideways quick release hood latch that is Schwinn stamped. The seat downpost has a 4130 Chrome - moly sticker that says "main tubes and stays", the Schwinn name beneath. I may be wrong but I don't believe the rear hangers are forged. Think the bike is Taiwan built - but I've had it since new and is 26" - very light and quick. I have enjoyed it very much. But my favorite is my fillet brazed 1973 Super Sport. The long cage derailleur, oversized rear chrome spoke protector, Brooks Leather B15 saddle w chrome rails, weinmann alloy rims w double butted spokes and Opaque Blue color really stands out among today's bikescape. I know that today's bikes are lighter and technologically superior. But for me, the old Super Sports really stand out on today's bike landscape.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Jim on 2/22/2002 at 3:18:57 AM
Kevin, if a real clean LeTour, gives you a shot of adrenaline, get it & ride it. My wife's cousin is riding a red LeTour (Keith - you know this bike)that sounds very similar. I set it up with Suntour Edge downtube indexing. It came to us with Araya rims, Shimano hubs, & generic Dia Compe side pulls. I ride it when we visit him on the North Shore of Long Island. A tad heavy, but a truly good ride. A world less finicky than anything I currently own. My wife has a LeTour Lux (Keith - again) frame work definitely looks like Columbus tube Schwinns of the same vintage. Beautiful forged dropouts. Hers has a riser bar, thumb shifters, v-brakes and 1 3/8 cross type tires. I take it to my Saturday job at a local cyclery pretty often, it's the only bike at our house set up for paniers & I absolutey love it. I didn't respect these bikes back when they were new, but I appreciate them now as my scope of reference broadens with time. We all enjoy a super light whatever, but there's more to respect about these highly reliable, well made bikes.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Keith on 2/22/2002 at 1:42:52 PM
The Le Tour, World Sport, Voyager, et al. (can we call them Asian Schwinns?) are indeed wonderful, rugged, utilitarian lightweights, and in this sense they are true to the Schwinn vision of a well-made, robust product. The brazing on these bikes is uniformly clean -- on the Japanese and the Taiwanese models. Like other Schwinns, they're built to last a lifetime. So, it's very true that a nice one is probably in most respect superior to the $500 - $700 base model road bikes offered today. So, they are great bargains no matter how you cut it. And with their long horizontal dropouts, they're perfect for fixed gear conversion.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/22/2002 at 3:25:32 PM
Ugh! But you have a good point.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Keith on 2/22/2002 at 4:02:43 PM
BUT, I guess I feel that I need to add that top-notch vintage lightweights are available in the $500-$800 range, if you care to save for one. For example, go to recycledcycles.net -- a couple of Mercians, Conago, etc., all at reasonable prices.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Art on 2/22/2002 at 7:28:09 PM
I was waiting for that BUT to drop, Keith. I agree with you and when I think about why, it comes down to personal choice and aesthetic. I've had a number of these bikes over the years and they have always been the first bikes I moved on when I thinned out the herd. I don't think they're inferior to many other bikes, but I seem drawn lately to English club and road bikes. I think I like those bikes because they're less common and also because they aren't priced so over the top like high-end bikes like Herse and Hetchins that they make sense for me to buy. There are some nice deals on e-bay for mid-range frames and parts.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Keith on 2/22/2002 at 8:52:02 PM
British Club bikes are wonderful -- rich heritage behind them. Although I've spent loads of time on a Le Tour, and a fair amount on a Voyager, I'd have to say that these bikes, like many Japanese mid-range machines, are somewhat heavier than nicer lightweights. I don't think it's in my mind -- the nicer bikes I've owned, the Paramount (cost less than $400 from Recycled Cycles), Mercian, Bottechia, Motobecane Grand Record, and Raleigh International all have a livlier and more responsive ride than the Asian Schwinns, though I'm not putting those down. The nicer bikes also have a certain elegance that goes beyond the utilitarian plainess of the Asian Schwinns -- Nervex Pro lugs, some hand thinned and filed. Also go to the Classic Rendesvous site and look at the for sale ads -- nice earlier vintage bikes are out there. I have to admit, however, that this is all colored by the fact that my enrty point into cycling was 1970.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   NOS 1984 SCHWINN LETOUR posted by Jimbo Jones on 2/24/2002 at 10:40:53 AM
Im thinking twenty bucks tops. Ive got a Le Tour. Chain guarded Shin busting Super maxy cranks (some name) assessory brakes levers for those who prefer not to bend unnessesarly , fat tire headset, cabled derailuer junctions, a non-removeable kickstand support, crimped rear brake support with ample length to ensure that any huffy brake could be used in a pinch , a chromed fork cap assessory on top of a chromed fork, plastic tip on the quick release front hub, no unessary provisions for a water bottles,(le tour? Hello?) a straight axle on back, two safety jobbers that supposedly hold the front wheel on in case of god only knows what, tall flanged hubs laced with double-butted spokes onto steel rims and enough reflectors to make gramandma proud .All this wrapped in a chicago built mild steel frame with schwinn approved japanize components . Everything you woud expect from a 33 pound lightweight . This is a historical bike for it may have killed schwinn but is also a very good quality bike. I haven't parted with mine. It's campy. But don't pay too much for yours.






FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by: Jim on 2/21/2002 at 2:31:56 PM
I suppose there is good economic reason to part out a bike, but it just feels wrong. I have re-listed my Super Course, Item #1075897719, as it didn't reach my reserve of $125, which I thought was reasonable (feel free to comment on the reserve). The bike is everything it should be, and had I not bought a Bianchi, I wouldn't consider selling it. The frame was a gift from a regular of this group, and I easily spent more than the reserve price putting it together, a phenomenon that most of us are too familiar with. I have had so many good experiences with folks from this group, Oscar, Keith, Kevin 1,Kevin 2,Oscar, Chuck, Sheldon, that I hope I'm not pricing this as at the gouger, or perceived as profit motivated. Look forward to comments from the group, either way. Thanks, Jim


   RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by Jim on 2/21/2002 at 3:48:55 PM
meant to say "...price at the gouger level..."

   RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by Keith on 2/21/2002 at 6:25:51 PM
I'm familiar with this SC and $125 is not gouging. It's an early model with very nice Nervex Pro lugs.

   RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by Logan Minter on 2/21/2002 at 6:27:59 PM
Where are you lacated? I might be interested in purchasing it for $125.

   RE:RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by logan on 2/21/2002 at 6:30:00 PM
located

   RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by smg on 2/21/2002 at 7:54:28 PM
$125 strikes me as more than fair; I recently bought one in similar shape (but with rather more jumbled components) at a local shop for $60 and thought I'd made out like a bandit. Made me wish I'd bought one back in '73; I remember drooling over the catalog page!
Incidentally, mine also has one of those full-chrome replacement forks, with no obvious sign of damage to the frame. I wonder if there was a tendency for owners of Super Courses to use these forks (4130 cro-mo, I seem to recall) to upgrade to a closer-to-full-531 standard. Anybody have any ideas?

   RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by John S on 2/21/2002 at 9:59:27 PM
SuperCourse is a nice bike, can be a great rider. I feel $125 is high as a market price. Just my opinion because:

EBay is the high-water mark for pricing since it has the greatest exposure and reserve was not met, someone above bought one at a shop for $60, I've bought two good - excellent conditions SC's at popular flea markets for $15 & $20 respectively. Out west, they are very common. The frames are of quality materials and maybe of nice build-quality, but most have poor finishing - blobs of brazing material. Also, the components are pretty low-end, especially the Simplex stuff.

Anyway, I don't mean to disparage the bike, but only comment based on what you can buy them for.

   Worth it or not? posted by Walter on 2/22/2002 at 1:17:29 AM
One could be philosophical and ask if the SC brings the potential buyer $125 of value/satisfaction/worth. Since it didn't go on its first trip thru eBay the answer to that question is up in the air. As an aside I don't care much for reserve auctions and tgink I'm not alone. If $125 is the lowest price you'll sell for why not just start the auction there.

IMO there are 2 ways to look at a "vintage" bike purchase. One way is that so many are so under-valued there's almost always a "better deal" out there somewhere. John E points this out very nicely.

OTOH $125 buys you squat in a shop today. In fact it doesn't even buy much at Wal-Mart. A clean Raleigh SC is more bike than something new at 2-3X the 125$ reserve.

Ultimately it comes down to the first question.
My .02

   531 posted by Oscar on 2/22/2002 at 3:00:56 AM
I saw a Super Course (green) that had a "full 531" sticker. I remember the sticker saying 531 butted, plain gauge forks and stays (something like that).I thought these had 531 main tubes only. Did they change something? Am I crazy? (Answer one only)

   RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by Keith on 2/22/2002 at 1:36:50 PM
I don't think they were ever full 531, but keep in mind that bike factories were not rigidly controlled by factory specs. There are early Super Courses out there with very fancy lugs that aren't Nervex Pros. I envision that one day at Worksop someone had the urge to use the different lugs, or maybe thed'd run low on Nervex. Who knows? On the other hand, Reynolds stickers are easy to obtain.

   RE:RE:FOR SALE:   Raleigh Supercourse posted by matt on 2/27/2002 at 12:17:23 AM
I have a 1978 Raleigh Super Course. In fact it was the first one ordered in the bike shop I worked in. In "78 they came out with Suntour Cyclone deraullers,barcon shifters, weinmann centerpull brakes, and weinmann concave section rims 700 x 25 mm. The hubs are low flange malliard quick release. The main tubes are 531 renyolds straight gauge with the fork and stays of high carbon steel. The frame was built shorter than a touring bike but slightly longer than a racer. Sort of a fast touring bike or a entry level racing bike. I have had this bike since then and have logged about 10,000 miles on it. It also saved my life! Last year, I was in my garage and my son had moved it to get his bike out and left it in front of my portable table saw. I needed to cut something and reached over the bike to turn on the saw, but it had been bumped too close to the edge of the workbench and the starting torque of the motor caused it to fall off. Luckily it hit the super course instead of me. That 531 is hard stuff! - Broke all but 3 of the carbide teeth off the saw! The bike suffered a couple of small cuts that barely went through the top tube. I felt badly about my old bike so I took it to my brother - in -law who welded the cuts up for me. Don't know how strong it is, but I intend to keep it as a memento amyway.






AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by: John S on 2/21/2002 at 3:07:23 AM
Picked up a Centurion Semi-Pro last weekend. Styling, build and details (e.g. no braze-on fittings, 120mm across the rear dropouts) lead me to believe it is early 1970's. Tubing sticker is Champion No. 2 by Tange. Components were a mix of original and newer Shimano.

What do I have? Bought it for the styling and it's potential for single-speed conversion.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by Walter on 2/21/2002 at 3:14:48 AM
Are Centurions that old. I associate them more with the 80s but could be off here. Am fairly certain it'll never be a real collectors piece so I'd say convert away. If you're right with the 120mm DO measurement the conversion, which isn't real hard anyways, will be very easy esp. if you go with a track rear hub.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by Warren on 2/21/2002 at 3:52:16 AM
My Centurion track bike is from the late 70's...real nice. Your Tange tubeset is decent and it should make a good conversion. As Walter says, not worth a lot in Blue book value but it could be one of the nicest rides you've ever had.

Metallic orange with chrome accents perhaps? It was their colour of choice for their better bikes.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by John S on 2/21/2002 at 5:23:11 AM
Colour is dark blue metallic with Euro-style pinstriping - similar to what I've seen on a Mondia. Chrome accents on wrap-around seat stay caps, head tube lugs, fork crown and drop-outs. Round bronze head badge. It looks cool.

The fixie conversion is nearly complete, setting up with a 52 - 20 gearing (around 70 inches). Is that a good gearing? I'm getting older and set-up for neighborhood cruzing a 42 - 18 (63 inches). Are there general guidelines for gearing a fixie for different purposes?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by freespirit on 2/21/2002 at 6:39:06 AM
I saw a bike today at a 2nd hand store missing the head badge and it sounds similar to the semi-pro you changed over to a fixed gear. It had wrap around chainstays (around the seatpost), but the lugs were not chromed but were a fancy design (like nervex pros) and the rear dropouts were staped and didnt have a derailer hanger. The bike i saw must have been an earlier model. I have a
Centurion super Le Mans and it has chromed chainstays and dropouts with a derailer hanger. Did any other japanese cmpany come out with a SEMI-Pro model.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by Dick on 2/21/2002 at 8:41:48 AM
Nishiki built a frame with wrap-over seatstays. Looked very much as you described.

   American Eagle [Nishiki] Semi-Pro posted by John E on 2/21/2002 at 2:27:49 PM
Yes, the Raleigh-like wraparound seatstay is a hallmark of the American Eagle Semi-Pro, introduced in 1968 and eventually renamed the Nishiki Competition. They had d.b. Ishiwata CrMo main triangles, CrMo stays (I think), plain carbon steel forks, a Raleigh-style cable stop for the rear (center-pull) brake, and two heart-shaped brazed-on downtube stops for the shift levers and the lower gear cable guides. Serial numbers started with KS (K, for framebuilder Kawamura).

We began to sell the Centurion LeMans at Bikecology in the early 1970s. Your Centurion Semi-Pro sounds like an upscale competitor to the Nishiki. As the others have noted, bike boom era Japanese bikes, other than 3Rensho et al., have yet to be discovered by serious collectors, making them extremely cost-effective for those of us who are looking for reliable, very well-made transportation. (I think Japanese bicycles have alot in common with Toyota automobiles.)

   gearing posted by John E on 2/21/2002 at 2:31:45 PM
Your choice of a 70-inch single gear is reasonable, as a typical American one-speed or second gear on a 3-speed tends to be in the high 60s. Strida (www.strida.com) chose 52 gear [belt?] inches for their folding "almost a bicycle," which is designed for lower speeds and shorter distances.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by Keith on 2/21/2002 at 6:38:57 PM
I agree that 52 x 20 (70")is a good choice as it is a mid-range gear for most road riders. My current fixie is 73". The old Italian CONI manual recommended 1000 base miles in even lower gears. I actually tried to do that as a kid in the early 70s, but I doubt I ever got 1000 in before a season. I'm aware of some current long-distance riders who've done Brevets and other distance events with 42 x 15 (about 75"). I've done fast-ish club rides with a 46 x 16 (about 77"). John also correctly points out that Brit 3-speeds have 60" or 66" middle gears.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by John S on 2/21/2002 at 9:45:51 PM
The Nishiki descriptions sound similar to a Road Compe frame and fork - wrap-around seat stays, bridge for rear centerpull cable stop, chrome fork & stay ends. But the lugs are loooong points, not fancy. This frame is similar to the Centurion Semi-Pro, though the Centurion seems better finished. I really like the Nishiki graphics and aesthetics, and it's better preserved than the Centurion, so I'm building it up with period high-end Japanese components: beautiful SR forged crankset & quill pedals - Campy copies, Gran Compe brakeset (really like early Suntour Superbe), Suntour Cyclone II derailleurs with probably upright bars and Suntour ratchet thumb-shifters. I must be babbling...

I have turned attention to high-end early-late 70's Japanese bikes because they are very nicely made, if not thought to be highly collectable. Some wonderful components too.

Oh, and thanks very much for comments on fixed gearing, very helpful. 52-20 it is for the Semi-Pro.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by Warren on 2/22/2002 at 1:42:45 AM
The chrome wrap arounds and long point lugs are the same on my bike. The lugs look very similar to the Prugnat (sp) long point lugs of the same period...likely made to emulate them. Mine is also fully chromed with a paint-over...

   Nishiki Road Compe posted by John E on 2/22/2002 at 3:18:16 PM
Nishiki introduced the Road Compe around 1972, as an upscale, race-oriented version of the Semi-Pro/Competition. The primary differences were the integral derailleur hanger, which the Competition finally got the following year, half-chrome stays, nicer lugwork, a shorter wheelbase, a short cage derailleur, and a full Ishiwata CrMo fork and frameset. The stock 54-44/14-24 gearing was significantly tighter than the Semi-Pro's 54-47/14-34 wide-range half-step. The Road Compe was/is a great-looking bike, but in typical Nishiki fashion, they skipped my size by jumping from 21" to 23" C-T.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Semi-Pro posted by Keith on 2/22/2002 at 4:05:41 PM
About 5 years ago I picked up a Centurian Dave Scott Ironman. Tagnge No. 1 tubing, and Shimano 600 dt 7-speed index. A beauty and a bargain. Of course I later sold it (I do that a lot).

   RE:Nishiki Road Compe posted by John S on 2/22/2002 at 8:15:59 PM
John E, you are such a wealth of information. I really like the Road Compe and your comments are helping construct the history. I purchased the frame & fork with a headset, stem and bottombracket only. Seller had parts, but not with him, he said they were Shiman. Headset is round with holes to tighten, not wrench flats, BB was a Sugino, stem was a Gran Prix with a smaller diameter quill than standard (22.0?).

Aesthetics are as you described with SunTour forged dropouts with derailleur hanger. Head-tube is matte-black with the giant crown-shaped head badge. Colour is a wonderful but wild flat green - almost like pea soup (I'm a bit colour blind...). Lugs are robust, very long points, not especially well filed and shaped, especially compared to the semi-pro.

Can't wait to get it built-up and see what kind of rider it is.

   Nishiki Road Compe posted by John E on 2/22/2002 at 9:48:30 PM
Disclaimer: I reconstruct most dates and bike statistics from my own fallible recollections.

I bought an American Eagle Semi-Pro in March 1971, before Japanese bicycles were fashionable in the U.S., and began working (repair, assembly, and sales) part-time at Bikecology (now Supergo.com) later that year. Bikecology was a major Los Angeles area Peugeot dealer which added Nishiki to its lineup in early 1972, and later sold a few Centurions, Azukis, Atalas, Mizutanis, and Steyr/Puchs whenever the distributors' flow of Peugeots and Nishikis ran dry. Since I had "hot rodded" my Semi-Pro with a Brooks Pro saddle, narrower-range gears, and tubular tyres on Fiamme/DT/Campy wheels, I paid close attention when the Road Compe came out, and even copied its gearing for the 1972 Los Angeles Wheelmen Double Century.

Is your head badge actually a crown, or might it be an eagle, which was typical of early 1970s Nishikis, which had been introduced into the U.S. as American Eagles, much to the amusement/bemusement of the local Schwinn dealers. The eagle eventually gave way to a simpler N headbadge.