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Archived: Vintage Lightweights







AGE / VALUE:   The Nishiki that got away posted by: Gralyn on 4/8/2002 at 10:24:07 PM
Well, the Nishiki I wanted was somewhere in the back stockroom. The red Nishiki I would have maybe taken...had be pulled off the floor and was back there, too. There were at least 15 bikes needing to be priced and put on the floor. So, I get there the next morning...when they opened....The bikes were gone....no sign of them. The only ones there were the 2 16" kid bikes and 2 of the absolute worse department store bikes you could imagine....and no sign of any of the decent ones. What happened to those bikes during the night? I guess the bike napper got them. I will find what I'm looking for ....and it will probably be when I'm not even trying - when I find it.







AGE / VALUE:   Steven's Comments on Defects posted by: Keith on 4/8/2002 at 2:32:45 PM
I aggree that almost all so-called defects have been impoper assembly, hidden crash damage, or some other abuse. Nonetheless, there may be exceptions. The Campy NR/SR crank design had a built-in stress riser where two spiders meet the crank arm. I just retired a set because, upon inspection with an 8x loop, the cracks are visible and about 1-2mm long on both sides (I filed it out but I still don't trust it). There were no signs of cracks when I got them used -- I put several 1000 miles on them. BUT -- I've never personally seen one break at this supposed weak point. Rather, I've seen them break at the pedal threads and in the middle of the crank arm (perhaps scored by chain?). Anyway, many thousands of riders put millions of miles on them without a problem, so it's difficult to say this was a defect. More recently, Campy track hubs have proven too fragile for road use -- a defect? Sheldon had pictures and a leter to Campy posted -- Campy said road use was abuse of the product. I saw this happen to a local rider exactly as it did to Sheldon's customer. I also think some newer, superlight aftermarket components are questionable (ti axle pedals, for one). Anything with a 170 pound weight limit scares me (I'm 170 at the moment).


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Steven's Comments on Defects posted by Bill Putnam on 4/9/2002 at 5:01:29 PM
All aluminum cranks have a finite life span. Some
will fail earlier than others due to design (such as
the Campy NR crank spider/web connection), but every
aluminum crank given enough use will fail. I have
four cracked right hand cranks in my bin of failed
parts-two Campy NR, one Sugino Mighty, and one Nervar
Star. You can see more at:

http://pardo.net/pardo/bike/pic/fail/FAIL-001.html

The pedal/crank interface is a poor design, with the
pedal spindle moving within the pedal eye. I'm surprised
no manufacturer has addressed this, as all that would
be needed is a 45 degree or similar chamfer at the connection. See http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.10.html
for more discussion on this. The crank to BB spindle
interface is also another problem area, but I'm not
impressed by the Shimano spline either.

Even with all these problems, aluminum cranks can provide
adequate service and are not inordinately dangerous if you
perform a regular visual inspection. At least this goes for
cranks from major manufacturers like Shimano, Campy, TA,
or Sugino. I do not consider these cranks "defective",
rather that they have a finite life, as is the case with
rims, handlebars, and stems. Most people buy a bike and
hardly ride it (at least in the USA), for those few who
use their bikes regularly regular maintenance and inspection,
along with replacement of items such as handlebars and stems,
will provide good service.

Bill Putnam

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Steven's Comments on Defects posted by Keith on 4/9/2002 at 5:57:47 PM
All true. The problem with load-bearing aluminum is the relative lack of warning -- the cracks on my crank are almost microscopic. I've seen the same on rims. So regular CLOSE inspection is a must, and becomes more important the more you ride. The pedal interface is improved to some degree on newer cranks, at least the Campy cranks as compared to older NR/SR. The alunimum is thicker around the pedal eye, and equally if not more important there is a raised reinforcement where the flat od the pedal axle contacts the crank arm -- a place that get eaten up if pedals are removed and/or tightened more than a few times. I don't have the addresses, but there were websites for broken cranks and for the bladed Spinergy wheels.

   crank pedal eye posted by John E on 4/9/2002 at 7:06:17 PM
At the time I snapped a 1971 Sugino Mighty Compe crank at the pedal eye, I also owned a 1974 set. I noticed that the aluminum on each side of the pedal eye is about 15 percent thicker on the newer cranks, and thicker yet on my 1988 Sugino mountain cranks. I have tossed both pairs of Sugino Mighty Compe cranks, and I am preparing to do the same with the 1982 Ofmegas on my Bianchi, since the original owner did enough hill work to have worn out two 42T chainrings.

I should perhaps replace my old Nervar Stars (I have Bill's old 45T ring), but I am hoping that the spider will crack before the pedal eye fails.

   RE:crank pedal eye posted by Bill Putnam on 4/10/2002 at 3:15:08 PM
My Nervar Star right hand crank spider shows a visible
crack where the spider attaches to the arm, similar to
where my Campy Nuovo Record cranks are cracked. No cracks
are visible to my eyes at the pedal eye. My Sugino Mighty
Tour crank cracked at the pedal eye. Fortunately I discovered this before it broke off completely.

Although newer cranks might be thicker than older cranks,
I suspect that the casting or forging processes used in
newer cranks may account for increased life, as the area
in the pedal eye where the cracks begin (the threads
typically near the face of the crank where the pedal
butts up against) is essentially the same for all cranks.
Once a crack forms, the stress at the base of the crack
is very high and will propogate with fatigue regardless
of how much extra material is away from the area that is
loaded.

A fairly extensive discussion and also a modification to
improve the pedal/crank interface are discussed in the
following links (John if you want to extend the life of
your cranks you might try this modification):

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=bill+putnam+group:rec.bicycles.tech&start=50&hl=en&selm=93dkiv%246gd%244%40hplms2.hpl.hp.com&rnum=59

http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/124.html

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=crank+pedal+jobst&start=10&hl=en&group=rec.bicycles.tech&rnum=13&selm=D97osn.E65%40hpl.hp.com

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=crank+pedal+jobst&start=20&hl=en&group=rec.bicycles.tech&rnum=28&selm=8bav3m%24iep%242%40hplms2.hpl.hp.com

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&threadm=8o1h75%24ajv%245%40hplms2.hpl.hp.com&rnum=44&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dcrank%2Bpedal%2Bjobst%26start%3D40%26hl%3Den%26group%3Drec.bicycles.tech%26rnum%3D44%26selm%3D8o1h75%2524ajv%25245%2540hplms2.hpl.hp.com






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frozen freewheel: redux posted by: Hallyx on 4/8/2002 at 6:36:45 AM
(Redux...because the original thread is a page or more down by now, and it struck me as a valuable discussion applicable to many operations on old bikes.)

First of all, sincere thanks to all who have responded with such valuable suggestions. You guys are great.

Ray’s tech riff on anti-seize compound was tops. I never assemble cars or motorcycles without it (or grease) — and certainly not delicate bicycle assemblies.

I had deliberately neglected to mentioned what little I had already tried, so as not to influence the posting of good ideas.

1. I was lucky that the hub was laced to a good rim. In fact, considering the value of a good lever arm in applying the necessary torque, it might pay to lace up a hub with frozen freewheel just to have 32 or so levers — and to fill those vulnerable spoke holes.

2. Of course, I had first removed the cogs and freewheel mechanism, leaving just the core, then disassembled the hub and thoroughly cleaned everything. I then began dousing the freewheel with Liquid Wrench periodically and tugging on the wheel with the core mounted in a “secure” vice (Steve G and Bill Putnam are very right). I continued this for a few days.

NO JOY — I had nightmares about grinding the core down to the hub (Bill Putnam’s suggestion reflects better technique) — that’s when I panicked and called you guys.

I also called my 84 yr-old, ex-machinist father who suggested plenty of Liquid Wrench and:

1. Rap sharply on the FW core with a hard plastic mallet....all around and in every direction. (I’ve since seen this suggestion in a later discussion about stem removal.)

2. Torque the wheel sharply in BOTH directions. Important.

3. Squeeze the core (the overhanging part) gently in a vice. Slack off, rotate 90 degrees, sqeeze again. (I didn’t have to do this one).

After two more days of tugging (both ways), rapping and applying more Liquid Wrench than I’d ever used before, one of my tugs succeeded in breaking it loose.

(The idea behind rapping and rotating both directions is to break-up the oxide crystals; the LW penetrates and “unclumps” them.)


Following my dad’s further suggestion (to avoid grinding the aluminum threads with the resulting Liquid Wrench/oxide-grit paste), I unscrewed the core one turn, applied WD-40 and retightened it (finger tight); unscrewed twice, applied WD-40...and so on till the core was removed. The threads remain clean and sharp and ready to properly install my new freewheel — with clean threads, using anti-seize compound.

Applying heat seems counterintuitive when a steel part is threaded onto aluminum; aluminum expands more than steel.

Anyway, great advice all around. Thanks, all.

Hallyx


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frozen freewheel: redux posted by Keith on 4/8/2002 at 2:30:38 PM
Excellent! I think the Liquid Wrench can says to tap with a hammer -- similar to your banging -- helps work it in an loosen the crud.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fuji Espree and Free Spirit posted by: Phil Randall on 4/7/2002 at 10:51:04 PM
Right now I am working on getting a Fuji Espree into shape to ride. It was given to me by a coworker and is all in pieces. The frame is pretty rough lots of paint chips. I am planning refinishing the frame. There was a decal on the frame that said that it is made from vA Lite triple
butted tubing. What is that? The frame number is FK301172. Does this tell me when it was made?

I also have another bike. It is a Free Spirit. I guess it was sold by Sears. It is silver. And has a made in Austria stamp on it. It has Weinmann center pull brakes. Suntour front Derailer and Shimano rear. It has a lugged frame but the lugs are not fancy. It is really a pretty low end bike. But I am curious about it. I thought It might have been made by Austro Daimler after seeing pictures of those bikes at the classic Rendezvous web site.

Thanks ,

Phil Randall
>


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fuji Espree and Free Spirit posted by Steven on 4/8/2002 at 2:17:04 AM
Phil,

The triple butted tubes refers to tubes that have three different wall thicknesses. In the centre of the tubes where the frame is stressed the least, the tubes are given a thin tube wall for lightness, at the end where the stress is greater the thickness of the tube wall is greater to maintain strength. I believe it was Miyata that was the first of the Japanese bike companies to offer triple butting back in the early 80's. Good engineering story but more marketing ploy than reality.






AGE / VALUE:   It got away posted by: Gralyn on 4/6/2002 at 6:54:37 PM
The Nishiki I posted about yesterday.....I stopped by today....It was gone! But, to make matters worse...or better...(depends how it comes out) There was another Nishiki - an older one - but much better! A Very light bike. But, it hadn't been processed yet....and couldn't be sold...and nobody knew anything...So I had to leave....but if I go back later today...chances are....if it is processed by then...it will probably be gone. But it would have been perfect for what I was going to do...make myself a light, fixed gear bike.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   It got away posted by Gralyn on 4/6/2002 at 10:42:44 PM
.....Or did it??????

I stopped back by this evening....The other Nisiki was not there anymore. It wasn't inside the store either. The only thing inside the store was 2 16" kids bikes....and old crappy one's at that. However, outside - and just inside the "receiving" doors - there were about 15 or so bikes. I glanced them over. The nishiki was not there either. I popped my head inside and asked a gentleman about it....To my amazement....the nishiki from yesterday (I swear it was the same bike) was there in the back. I still didn't see the latter Nishiki. I said....yes, there it is....and I see you have it priced.....can I get it? No. Not until it hits the floor. Well, when will that be? No clue.

I have a funny feeling I won't ever see those bikes.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   It got away posted by Oscar on 4/7/2002 at 1:08:37 AM
Gralyn - If this game were easy, we'd all be riding $20 De Rosas - and bored with it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   It got away posted by Maurice on 4/7/2002 at 3:58:41 AM
Yeah - I can relate - it seems the best bikes I've found appeared when I wasn't actively seeking them out - usually when I was just cruising around and notice a yard sale or looking at houses to buy and spotting a bike in the basement - times like that.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   HELP!!! posted by: tom on 4/6/2002 at 5:42:03 PM
Hi,
I need some help, maybe somebody can tell me what bicycyle I have here, it is very lightweight (9 lbs. as it sits in pictures) and seems very old, Please HELP!! Thank You, Tom
To see pictures go to:
http://www.photoisland.com/servlet/GuestLogin?USERNAME=tman2002
password=Light


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   HELP!!! posted by Oscar on 4/6/2002 at 5:56:12 PM
Cool bike. It's a track bike with the handlebar flipped around the wrong way (old man style). The top of the seatpost makes the saddle position adjustable. I'd guess it's from the 1930's or older.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Iver Johnson - Approx. value? posted by: Fred Fletcher on 4/6/2002 at 4:06:55 PM
I have an Iver Johnson lightweight racing bike and want to know the approx. value. It was custom-made for my Great Uncle in 1910, has original wood rims, alloy front fork and sprocket. It has original gold leaf paint job on the frame.
I was told he paid several hundred dollars new, any ideas?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Iver Johnson - Approx. value? posted by Warren on 4/6/2002 at 8:53:20 PM
Any complete race bike from that period is going to have quite some value. I think the "several hundred" estimate to be wrong. I have a catalogue from 1921 displaying a top of the line race bike for a cost of $ 95 canadian. I can't imagine ten years making a great difference. Of course $95 was a small fortune...probably not unlike buying a car today.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Iver Johnson - Approx. value? posted by Wings on 4/7/2002 at 8:29:58 AM
I grew up on an Iver Johnson with wooden rims. Everyone was on their baloon tire bikes and I could beat everyone! Mine was a fixed gear and I got it as a used bike - but it was great!

My local bike shop has a pristine original Iver Johnson on display. It is their price possession if that helps with the value aspect. I think you have a real collectors piece.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Iver Johnson - Approx. value? posted by Warren Young on 4/7/2002 at 12:33:25 PM
One other note...if the fork and sprocket (crank?) truly are "alloy", they ain't original.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   About Di Gribaldy bicycles posted by: Ian on 4/6/2002 at 6:13:40 AM
Hi everyone, I hope that you guys can help me with a bit of a mystery. I have an Italian racing bike called a Di Gribaldy. It has Campi dropouts, Gipiemme derailers. It is a 10 speed.

I have asked around a few people whom might know something of this bike but its manufacture remains unknown. But this one thing I have discovered DiGribaldy is the name of a Tour De France racer.
Now I notice that the frame has a bit of a columbus tube set sticker, a Mavic equipee' sticker in yellow (but no mavic parts when I bought it) on it. I believe the tube set to be chom-alloy The sales ticket notes that the frame was hand-built. It is a small frame (52 cm) which I LOVE as I am 5'5". The bike is a very nice medium blue. And is dearly loved by myself.
I am an ex bike-messenger, and used this ride over the last part of my time on the road. Right now it is up on a home made rack, peeking around the corner, waiting for the "spring cleaning". I have caught thieves in the act of trying to lift my little blue bike twice now....So as a rule I don't take it out when I'm going to be away from it for more than 15 min, and can't see it from where I may be.
I know 15 min is a long time and thieves are quick but that seems to be the "baiting" time. I'd like to know these things in particular:
a)Is the manfacturer still operating
b)Is there any literature on this bike that could tell me
about where to get replacement stickers, colour of paint.
c)Is the component Mfg'r still in operation
d)how would I go about ideantifying the exact components
e)and the replacement of the components
I really do hope you guys can help
I'll check back daily if I can or if you'd like email me at agarath@shaw.ca please no spam/dealers


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   About Di Gribaldy bicycles posted by aldo ross on 4/6/2002 at 1:39:24 PM
Jean De Gribaldy was born 18 July, 1922 in Besançon, France, and died aged 76 on 2 January, 1987. Born into the aristocratic "Debreuil de Broglie" family, Jean's main business was manufacturing furniture, but he also ran a business which sold televisions, refridgerators, and bicycles. Perhaps your bike came from there?

A pro cyclist from 1946 until 1954, he was better known as a team manager during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. His teams included Frimatic-De Gribaldy, Hoover-De Gribaldy, De Gribaldy-Magniflex-Van Cauter, Bic-De Gribaly-Ludo. His riders included Sean Kelly, Joaquim Agostinho, Willy Planckaert, Mariano Martinez. In the 1980s he managed SEM-France-Loire when American racer Jacques Boyer was a member. De Gribaldy famously forced his riders to teach their bodies to function on as little food as possible. He selected his rider's food, substituting fish for meat whenever possible, and prohibited second helpings. As a result his riders were said to be constantly hungry. He rather bizzarly banned his riders from eating bananas.

His name frequently appeared on the bikes his teams used. For instance, in the second half of the 1983 season, Sean Kelly's "Vitus" frames were all marked "DeGribaldy".

I wonder if Jonathan Boyer's company, Veltec/Boyer, imported and distributed any DeGribaly bikes?

GPM is indeed still in business, as Gipiemme/Iscaselle, part of the ISCA company. Their website is: www.iscaselle.com

Hope this helps. AR

   congrats! posted by John E on 4/6/2002 at 5:37:03 PM
There is NOTHING quite like having an old steel-framed classic road bike which fits you perfectly. (I have a 1959 and a 1982, both 55cm C-T with longish toptubes, and they are not for sale!)






AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by: Steven on 4/6/2002 at 1:43:58 AM
In a string below, there was talk of the 'stem of death' saying that the purchaser should be worried about having sufficient insurance coverage. I would be interested what other people's experience is with physical harm incurred following broken components. I have broken two stems (a Cinelli 1A and a 3TTT both at the fixation bolt) without any bodily damage. I have also broken a Gipiemme pedal spindle (againt without consequences). I have witnessed many wheels collapse(however never one of my own), many saddle rails fail... Virtually all failures can also be directly linked to assembly errors or previous crashes or accidents. Like in almost any field, if a manufacturer's defect has occurred, it invariably comes to light almost immediately. Any comments?


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Warren on 4/6/2002 at 3:04:26 AM
I was feeling good...warm summer evening coming home from work on a busy Toronto street. Get out of the saddle to keep the pace up and at the bottom of a pedal stroke, the right crankarm of the old 600 group snaps in the middle. Of course I go down hard, my groin mashing into the top tube, my right elblow cracks the pavement, I'm clipped in tight and the bike and I go "ass over tea kettle" (anyone else know that phrase?) and end up a bloody mess in the middle of the lane.

There was no traffic around me, thanks to the lord, allah, buddha or whomever was on duty that night. I think old alloy components are the most suspect parts...that AVA stem would certainly bear watching. I'm a little disappointed to hear that a Cinelli stem has failed...I have them on three of my bikes and they are all 0ver 120mm....hmmmn

    Broken components posted by John E on 4/6/2002 at 4:35:56 AM
Personal experience (only 140lbs, but nearly 100K miles over 40 years, including plenty of hills):

Three frame failures (front end of downtube, bottom of seat tube, front of right chainstay) -- not injurious or life-threatening.

Two rear axle breaks (one QR, one solid) -- also benign.

One front hub flange -- cracks noticed before wheel collapse might have set in.

Steel crank -- snapped at the cotter eye while accelerating across the second-busiest intersection in Los Angeles (Wilshire and Westwood); made it across and home with the cranks at 155 - 205 degrees.

1971 aluminum Sugino Mighty Compe crank -- rupture at the pedal eye during an out-of-saddle 10-percent climb. Pulled Achilles' Tendon, sprained wrist, minor road rash, fortunately 8mph with no traffic nearby.

Fears -- breaking a fork, handlebar stem, handlebar, or chain, in roughly that order.

   RE: Broken components posted by Skip Echert on 4/6/2002 at 5:58:49 AM
Out of saddle climb. Next thing I knew I was crawling out of the ditch beside the road with a sore head. Not sure how long I was there. Broken front spoke. 1957, Age 8, Well before helmets were known.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Mike on 4/6/2002 at 11:37:45 AM
Hey Steven, when a manufacturing or product defect is present, it often takes years to surface. It's for that very reason that many states have statutes of repose -- the outside deadline for filing a lawsuit -- of 10 years or more. Manufacturers, fearing widespread liability and possible recall, are likely to fight those suits tooth and nail, blaming them on misuse by the user or some other third party. Each side must prove their case through the use of expert testimony, a costly proposition. Mike

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Steven on 4/6/2002 at 1:07:26 PM
Mike,

Are you a lawyer perhaps? I have worked for manufacturing companies in the cycling (distant past), sporting goods (presently), automotive and industrial sectors for well over 2 decades and have never seen a manufacturing defect 'suddenly' appear later in the life of the product. You would be disgusted to hear of the many absolutely groundless lawsuits that I have seen where a consumer has used an insurance-covered lawyer (ie where the lawyer is guaranteed to be paid for all of his/her time and the consumer will not fully need to cover the cost of the lawsuit themself) to try to make a case. The sole thing this does is to increase the cost of all goods for everybody. If a manufacturing defect does occur (and I know they do!), they invariably lead to catastrophic failure without any warning in the early days. If it happens later in life, there invariably are warning signs well before hand. In the past, when failures were much more common, people paid attention to these warnings. Nowadays, with everybody expecting 'no fault' production, the average person ignores all the warnings. My own stems that broke: the Cinelli was due to my using a slightly wrong-sized Japanese production handlebar (you should never mix and match brands where possible.) It creaked away incessantly until it broke. The 3TTT, it was brand new and broke on perhaps the 3rd steep hill. The saddle rail breakages are almost always traceable to seat pillar problems or mixing of two different strength metals being combined. The broken pedal had already hit in the corners during criterium races... I was recently in a LBD and heard a customer tell the shop owner to not worry about the crack in the toptube frame, as it was in an unstressed location.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Kevin K on 4/6/2002 at 1:15:43 PM
12, maybe 13 years old. Did a major ramp jump. Way up in the air I look and see the handle bars and stem in my hands and I watch the front wheel and fork bounce ahead of the bike and myself. Wasn't good. Kevin

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Mike on 4/7/2002 at 2:25:17 AM
Steven: I guess there were warning signs when all those tires failed late in their life on the Ford Explorers. Oh yeah, they rolled over.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Steven on 4/7/2002 at 4:08:44 AM
Mike,
Tread separation does not occur without warning (except for in the exceptional cases which are held up as the examples to follow by all those who have something to gain out of litigiousness.) I have punctured an inner tube (yes beyond vintage lightweights, I also collect classic cars) on a front tire of a car while travelling 150 km/h on an Italian autostrada. Did I lose control and flip over? Of course not, because I was driving within both the limitations of gravity and good sense. I am sufficiently sensible to understand that any top-heavy vehicle such as an SUV could not guarantee the same safety in this type of situation. Are you aware of the percentage of cars and bikes (this is a bicycle discussion page after all!) functioning with improperly inflated tires? Are you aware of what this does to the physical properties of the product?

If you ride a vintage lightweight with brand new rim glue affixing the tubulars on a hot day, you are taking a risk. You could often be better off to ride without any glue whatsoever. If the glued tire rolls off the rim, whose fault is that? Your average lawyer would suggest that it is the fault of the tire or glue maker. Any experienced cyclist would lie the blame on the person suggesting to ride the bicycle under such circumstances, and if nobody suggested it, on the rider themself who didn't do the common sense thing of verifying how this action could affect them. Does this mean that riding without glue is better under all circumstances? Any sensible person would understand that there is no one rule that works every time. You must be vigilant and contribute to the safety of others by frequently checking your equipment.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Mike on 4/7/2002 at 2:21:52 PM
Steven: Of course, some products fail after repeated warning signs. Other product failures, such as tire separations, occur without warning, contrary to what you assert. By the way, the official government report notes that the Explorer tires failed after a lengthy period of use, and other car tires may be similarly underinflated but have not suffered the same separation problem. Here's the government report, if you're interested.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/hot/Firestone/firestonesummary.html
But since this is a bike page, I have a friend who broke, without warning, a dual suspension titanium mountain bike frame made by perhaps the most respected U.S. manufacturer of them. There was a massive failure of the brazings or solders in the rear suspension arm. He did not get hurt and sent it back for repairs. It has failed three other times since then after being returned each time to the manufacturer for repairs, and it appears that the failure has nothing to do with improper use and everything to do with faulty design -- two other users who bought those same frames locally have also broken them. On the last go round, my friend said if the frame failed again and he got hurt, they could certainly expect a lawsuit, not an unreasonable position given the notice that the manufacturer had of documented problems. The company finally agreed to replace the frame with a newer model. This brings me back to my original point -- defective products, bike and otherwise, can fail, without warning and after a period of use of the product in its intended and normal fashion. Your experience with failures may be different, and some of the failures you reported resulted from improper use or installation. But unexpected failures do occur that have nothing to do with negligence or misuse on the consumer end. They are by no means unique, and that's the very reason there is a longer repose period for product defects. For the record, I've never had a bike product fail from the get-go, except for tubular tires. Any part failures have been exactly what I would expect -- broken spokes as the wheels age and so on. Take care, Mike

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Broken components posted by Chris on 4/8/2002 at 2:38:35 PM
The tire companies have been studying tread seperation for years and years and years. Hours and hours of tests. Diffrent jigs and ways of testing. This shouldn't happen,not today, not with all the work the various companies have done and all the money spent on research.
It's a big,ugly, unreliable, behemoth that is bounding along on balloon tires. When they pull in, have your oil ready to sell them. We work on commission with oil, and the customer will likely need some. Yup! Ye Gods! "Excuse me, you're off the stick" It leaks or they're burning oil. Still, today!
Oh,just keep it away from me! (Shudder!)

    This Oldsmobile isn't so merry. posted by Chris on 4/8/2002 at 3:18:02 PM
What I like about the bicycle is that usually I don't have to trust somebody else to work on it. I don't have to move heaven and earth to get at the books telling me how to work on it. Don't really need a special place to perform work and the tools needed to repair a bicycle is nothing compared to $15,000.00 for car repair tools.
When they sell me tires, nobody is going to hold down the air ratchet gun until the nuts strip out the studs holding the bloody wheel on the brake drum. This way, when I need brake work or a tire replaced along the highway by the tow truck driver I cannot or they cannot remove the wheel.Now they need to tow me in, lightly apply a torch to loosen the rear wheel.
Now I get hit with a $275.00 bill just to replace 10 studs and nuts and they have to pull apart the whole back axle assembly and brake drum to correct somebody elses mess up.
Now an additional bill for a $100.00 tire, additional bill for brake work, Careful with those alloy wheels and stupid shims too. Hit one pot hole,oh you sorry soul! You need a new wheel now! We have to order it. Pay up front, we'll call you.
They broke off studs, missing the nut all together now because it's so wasted the nut won't thread on it. "How dare you check our work!" We didn't do that, can you prove it? Now they are really gonna get me. Hey! Did ya know you need two new C.V. boots! (Grin!)
What is really something is that I trusted their work and have been driving the darned thing with messed up wheel nuts."Oh, that won't come off" Still,it ain't right, now is it?
I stand looming and watching every move for the two hours it takes for these guys to perform the work. They hate it when you watch. Get the book, buy the tools, and do it your self!
The proper way is to use a torque wrench set to a certain spec. They are supposed to do this by hand.The driver comes back,wiping his hands and tells me "Sorry,I can't get the tire off" Another bill! I'm good and late for my meeting now. None of this bother ever happens with the bicycle. No bicycle mechanic is going to mess me over 1/10th as bad as a garage mechanic. However, I have seen really stupid bicycle mechanics. I don't smoke and yes, I mind very much when you do in my car and Thank You for letting cigarette ash burn holes in new velour factory seat coverings. Hello upholstery shop, and you're paying too!

   RE: This Oldsmobile isn't so merry. posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 4/8/2002 at 3:22:07 PM
Or I just ignore the burns in the seat and then people ask "How did this get here? Do you smoke?"






AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki posted by: Gralyn on 4/6/2002 at 1:32:21 AM
I did happen onto a Nishiki today. It had to be from the 80's because of the foam rubber grips all over the bars. It had Dia-Compe brakes - which were in excellent condition. Araya alloy rims (I believe it was the shinny aluminum ones - as opposed to the dull, flat finish....no, they weren't chrome) Sugino cranks and sprocket. Sunshine hubs, Sun Tour. It was in really great condition - except for the tires. It appeared to be a 19" frame (4130 Chro-Mo).....a little small for me - but it seemed to sit up pretty tall - for a 19 incher. It looked like it would fit me OK. I didn't buy it. I couldn't decide about it. I have a Nishiki from the 70's....which I will sell - because I don't like the way it feels riding it. I don't know...this bike was $30. I will be by there again tomorrow. If it's still there - should I get it? Help me decide.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki posted by Warren on 4/6/2002 at 2:37:44 AM
I think your previous post says it all...a good beater to make a fixie. I think you might only need a cog, possible new chain and a redishing of the wheel to "get it on" . Track bikes tend to be smallish...not that that has anything to do with a fixed road bike but what the hey!






MISC:   ride posted by: rickey on 4/5/2002 at 8:34:40 PM
THE 26th ANNUAL HIKE/BIKE/RUN WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY may 4 in valley THE annually fund raiser for valley haven school for the handicaped ..WE EXPECT A LARGE GATHERING THIS YEAR ...THERE WILL BE MANY CYCLRIST RIDEING BACK FROM MONTGOMERY'S CAPITAL 100 MILES--A 22 MILE-- 11 MILE 5 MILE RIDERS WALKERS RUNNERS ALL AGES MOTER SCOOTERS TO -- AND I PERSONALY INVITE YOU TO JOIN US THIS YEAR MAY 4 HERE IN VALLEY AL. WERE ON THE BORDER GA & AL INTERSTATE 85 AT THE VALLEY LANNETT KING FORD EXIT TAKE FOB JAMES DR. TO FAIRFAX BYPAS THE SCHOOL'S ON THE RIGHT 1 HALF MILE THIS IS WHERE ALL THE EVENTS BEGAN & END EXCEPT THE 100 MILE RIDE WHICH ENDS AT THE KROGER GRO.IN LANNETT AL.THERE WILL BE A AUCTION WHERE ALL DONATED ITEMS WILL BE SOLD TO RAISE MONEY FOR VALLEY HAVEN SCHOOL GOD BLESS PLEASE COME PARTICIPATE YOU MAY CALL THE SCHOOL AT 334-7562868 OR 334-756-7801 OR US HERE AT KNOWLES BICYCLE SHOP 334-756-7561 TUNE YOUR BIKE & RIDE SAT. MAY 4 2002 IN VALLYE AL.YOUR PLEDGES ARE WELCOMED







VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Parts Bikes / Misc. Bikes posted by: Gralyn on 4/5/2002 at 2:37:26 PM
I saw a Schwinn (ladies model) in a thrift store last weekend. The handle bars were smashed, the rear wheel warped pretty badly. It was $10. I'm thinking - it has alloy rims, 6-speed freewheel, good side-pull brakes, levers, cables, deur, stem, cranks, and even the tires looked good. I was going to get it for parts - but my wife was with me - and she protested - so I didn't get it. So, I go back later without her - to see if it's still there....it's gone!

I have also noticed: I see some really crappy bikes from time-to-time. I wouldn't bother with them - especially for the price they usually have....well, most of them....I really wouldn't take if you gave it to me. But somehow...they get gone. I have assumed someone purchased them...but then I thought..maybe after so long...they just throw them out...but then I realize - this can't be true - because I know I have seen bikes appear and dissappear with the same week....and I have seen bikes remain for weeks...so maybe someone is buying them....and I wonder...who? I mean, no offense intended, but who wants a ladies Huffy, badly rusted, heavy, in dis-repair?

Well, I keep hoping some day I will luck out and find something good. Mostly I can find late 70s early 80s Japanese stuff - bike boom stuff - but it's pretty well bottom of the line if it's Schwinn, Raleigh, Peugeot, etc.

I would like to find a good frame I could fix up as fixed gear - but it's taking a while to find a decent frame.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Parts Bikes / Misc. Bikes posted by Eric Amlie on 4/5/2002 at 4:46:29 PM
One of the thrift stores (Goodwill) that I haunt regularly throws out better bikes than some of the ones they are trying to sell. If I try to drag them out of their dumpster they yell at me about it. I posed the question to them that "isn't it better to sell the bikes at a more reasonable price or even give them away to people who want them then to fill up the landfills with them costing the taxpayers more money (landfill siting is a hot topic around here)". No one had an answer. I can only conclude that this thrift store at least, is run by morons!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Parts Bikes / Misc. Bikes posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 4/5/2002 at 8:24:27 PM
I had to beg and plead to get them to sell the Hercules 3 speed to me at the rummage sale. It was "too old and icky". I suceeded but only by going over her head. Yes, the sales are run by morons too. Don't worry about missing out on this bike. It wasn't really worth it, they'll be others and if the wife sees you picking up a old bike then I'd let her see it be something cool and worth it. Something that'll get her hooked like you are and not something that makes her think that youre strange. The bent wheel and fact that it is a ladies frame with marred chrome doesn't help matters.
What drives me nuts is that it's all corrupt with folks or pals taking the best off the top. You gotta have connections, be in the know, schmooze. Or else you'll only see the $80.00 22 year old Huffy bikes.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Parts Bikes / Misc. Bikes posted by Gralyn on 4/6/2002 at 4:45:24 AM
Yes, Now thinking about it - I have seen Late 70's / early 80 rusty schwinn ladies models there for $40. But they would get gone. I bet they were tossed! And also....at some of the GoodWill stores - I know one usually prices bikes at $10, another store $20 on-average, and then another, $30.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Parts Bikes / Misc. Bikes posted by richie on 4/6/2002 at 5:24:41 AM
I am often puzzled by the pricing of bicycles at a local thrift store. It's a big store, and 20 or 30 bikes are usually on the floor. Last summer I watched a guy select a 20-year-old gaspipe "Firenze 15 Speed" road bike selling for $35. A 40 pounder which probably sold new for what, $75? Sure, it was in mint condition, but what made my day was the fact that he didn't buy the pristine '71 Super Course selling for $7.50. Of course I bought the Raleigh--I would have cheerfully paid $7.50 for the Brooks B5N saddle. I'd almost given up on this thrift store because I hadn't seen anything of interest to me in a couple of years. Ya gotta be persistent.






AGE / VALUE:   Info on Odd 1967?? Schwinn Collegiate posted by: Phil on 4/5/2002 at 7:53:28 AM
I've recently found an old (maybe) bike I'm hoping someone can give me some information on. I've picked up, via the thrift store, a Schwinn Collegiate, Serial # HC000369, which supposedly would make it an August 1967 vintage?? It's about a 21" frame, men's model, 5 speed Sachs Huret derailleur, 3 piece cotterless crank with a 6 hole chainring and beauty/pants protector ring, no chainguard, handlebar shifter, oh, and it says "Made in Hungary".
The little bit of research I've done on 1960's and 70's collegiates doesn't seem to fit this bike, not to mention the Made in Hungary part. I also have a 1961'ish cruiser (cantilever frame), and I can't imagine these two bikes being from the same decade of Schwinn production.
Does anyone have any information on this bike and how old it really is. Thanks, Phil


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Info on Odd 1967?? Schwinn Collegiate posted by Eric Amlie on 4/5/2002 at 4:39:29 PM
I know a bit about Collegiates but not this one! The only things about this bike that fit what I know are the name and the serial number. Everything else is wrong. I don't know what to make of this bike. Can you send a pic?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Info on Odd 1967?? Schwinn Collegiate posted by Dan on 4/5/2002 at 11:31:11 PM
Just picked up a lady's Schwinn Collegiates at a yard sale today, I swore I wouldn't buy another lady's bike but I did. The price was 5.00, it was a single speed serial no. MR671606 which makes it a 1980. It was to nice to pass up!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Info on Odd 1967?? Schwinn Collegiate posted by Phil on 4/6/2002 at 12:05:16 AM
I'll try to take a few pictures of it this weekend. Thanks.






AGE / VALUE:   Question on wheelset posted by: Kevin K on 4/5/2002 at 1:24:39 AM
Hi. I was at a church sale this evening and picked up a nice wheelset. The lighting wasn't so hot in the basement so when I picked the wheels up I assumed them to be a 60's Weinmann aluminum and either a Normandy or Maillard high flange hub. Butted stainless steel spokes too. The axles, bearings EVERYTHING was missing but these are easy enough to find for the above hubs. Besides they were a $1 for the church. So anyway I get them home and yea the rims look just like the Weinmann's I've had on several late 60's bikes but no lettering anywhere. So I look at the hubs. SHIMANO! Shimano ? I've never seen these. So now what. They are really, really nice wheels. 27" also. I've got a set of 1974 Schwinn Letour hubs here from a Letour I bought some time back. Shimano did the derailleurs on the bike. Can I assume that these just might be Schwinn Approved Shimano hubs as they are made in Japan and I lucked out. Any ideas? Thanks again guys, Kevin


   More info on wheelset posted by Kevin K on 4/5/2002 at 12:45:03 PM
Hi. Just a couple more bits of info: The holes on these high flange hubs are oval shaped instead of triangular. Also the lettering for Shimano is in longhand and runs length wise across the center of the hub instead of wrapping around the shaft. Are these early 70's ? Kevin

   RE:More info on wheelset posted by Kevin K on 4/6/2002 at 1:17:14 AM
Hi. Well I'm onto my 4th set of hubs. 2 were Japanese made and one was a Maillard. As you've probally quessed none of these will work. I've a Normandy set I was going to attempt to fit next but I sure this will noy work either. Does anyone out there have a set of hubs such as those I've described that they might be willing to sell? or suggest a shop that might have these old stock items I can purchase. Thanks, Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Question on wheelset posted by Oscar on 4/6/2002 at 2:54:35 AM
I've never seen older Shimano hi flange hubs like you describe. Are you trying to replace the axles, cones, etc? I'd be surprised these wouldn't swap in.

   old Shimano high-flange hubs posted by John E on 4/6/2002 at 4:40:52 AM
I recently retired a pair of Shimano high-flange hubs after noticing cracks in one of the front flanges.

   RE:old Shimano high-flange hubs posted by Kevin K on 4/6/2002 at 1:11:02 PM
Hi Guys. Yea I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed yet on bike components but........ John you don't by chance have those hubs, do you ? And yea, I need axles, cones.... Even the flange on this hub is different than all the others I've tried. I'm not quite ready to give up just yet. Thanks, Kevin






MISC:   Ammonia Treatment Works posted by: Bryant on 4/5/2002 at 12:17:20 AM
That ammonia idea worked great. I soaked the headset in ammonia for almost two days. Let it sit about an hour or two, put the wheel back on and tried the headset wrench again. Didn't budge at first, so gave it some whacks with my rubber mallet and tried again. This time it moved and off it came. Life is good!! Thanks Ray, Warren, Chrstopher and all the others for some good info. You are a credit to the Oldroads community.


   RE:MISC:   Ammonia Treatment Works posted by Wings on 4/5/2002 at 6:26:27 AM
Cool! Always good to hear of another option -- especially when it has been tested! Thanks for telling us!