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| I got the Puch Backtrails re-assembled. It looks nice, component-wise - but the frame didn't turn out as good as I hoped for. It's black - and has gold lettering, and some gold designs on the down-tube and seat tube. The problem is - they were just too faded. You can hardly read the script: "backtrails". I'll bet, when it was new - it looked really good with the gold - but now, as it's so faded - it just doesn't do it justice. |
I have no experience with Puch. It looks just like a common Japanese bike boom bike to me. It's often difficult to tell - when they are all covered with dust and grime - how they will turn out once cleaned and polished. (The Nishiki Olympic 12 - turned out surprisingly beautiful).
Well, I did take some before and after pictures of the Puch. I will have to download them and compare the pics.
The bike is old enough to have center pull brakes and 5-speed rear. It has regular steel frame - no alloy stuff. Araya Chrome rims, Sunshine hubs.
It does ride good, though!
Wasn't Puch - Austrian? I would suspect - like many others - they started having bikes built in Japan?
|Around the corner was a big GS that I cruised by a couple weeks back. There was a red "PUCH" MTB sittin' out front with a sign hanging off the bars listing $35 US as price. I am not looking for MTB's, but the PUCH name attracted my attention. It was a "Durango" (town in southwest) and it looked like my Univega "Alpina Uno" in many respects. Raleighs did the same thing, too. I always think; "UK" when spotting a Raleigh, but close examination reveals a branded origin. I sometimes feel duped by the discovery. I think the Taiwan and Japanese bikes really are superb, but as I collect bikes that represent authentic "country-of-origin" construction, close attention is required when looking at late '70's and newer bikes. I guess that's why I like Bridgestone and Fuji and Panasonic...they are Japanese brands in the true sense, IMHO. Needless to say, that Puch was bought by someone who just wanted a good ride for cheap bucks. I was interested in it for parts, but the conscience got the better of me. The bike had perhaps 50 miles on it!|
|Yes, Puch bikes were traditionally made in Graz, Austria, by parent conglomerate Steyr-Daimler-Puch, but yours does indeed sound like an Asian rebrand. Capo, a much smaller Austrian company, currently builds many of its frames in Taiwan.|
|Hi, This is a question for you legnano experts. I just purchased a legnano roma frame, it was repainted but does not have chromed lugs. I believe it is a roma frame because the seat tube is visable where the binder bolt is. I HAS CAMPAGNOLO drpo outs and forks. The question is do romas come with painted head tube lugs. The frame is 1959 or 1960|
| I have seen otherwise identical Capo Modell Campagnolos of that same vintage with and without chromed lugs; perhaps Legnano followed the same practice. |
There is also some discussion within the (understandably minuscule) vintage Capo community as to whether the company used various Reynolds 531 tubesets (full 531 with or without butted main tubes, butted 531 main tubes only) and saved the chrome for the top-end bikes. I wish someone had 1959-1961 Capo advertising or sales literature! However, all American import Capos I have seen have, or once had, the same "Modell Campagnolo" top tube decal and model designation.
| Mark, I am currently restoring a 1960 Gran Premio. From what you have described, it does not sound like a 1959 or 1960 frame, however it does appear to be one of the top models. |
From what I seen and learned (thank-you Aldo), all the Legnanos from the late 50's and all through the 1960s had chrome head lugs, fork ends and stay ends. Bikes from the 1940's had painted head lugs that matched the frame colour. The painted head lugs were re-introduced again about 1970.
The presence of a slotted seat lug does not necessarily indicate a Roma. After about 1965, Legano started slotting the seatlug on several models. However, the presence of the Camapagnolo dropouts indicate it is one of the top models, though not necessarily a Roma.
If the bike does not have a head badge (or the holes for mounting one) it is probably an early 70's model, as they went to a normal seat lug about 1975.
If it has a headbadge it is late 60's or earlier and the lugs may have been stripped.
From this point on, determining the age and model gets more complex and uncertain. I suggest you contact me via e-mail for further discussions.
| need two brass rivets to reattach 1970's falcon headbadge.|
any help appreciated.
|try e-bay itr is amazing what you find there. Bikedump.com has a lot as well.|
|I bought some from Nick at Lloyds, in England, who specializes in decals. You can find his web address on Sheldon Brown's list. As the rivets are very small and light, they'd slip into an envelope and wouldn't cost more than regular postage.|
|The first time my Capo was repainted, someone cheated and replaced the rivets with small sheet metal screws, which I continued to use after the recent second repainting. One has to look VERY hard to detect this bit of subterfuge.|
| Ok I herd a rummer that there is a person who specializes in french bikes and parts. I think somewhere in Ma. Can someone help me out?|
|There are ways to get around some of the problems associated with restoring French mades. What kind of bike? Year/decade? The headsets, BB and handlebar stems/bars are unique to the French bikes that I have from the '60's and '70's. It's amazing how good some parts are from broken bikes...JONathan|
|General rule: when scrapping a vintage frame, particularly one from continental Europe, salvage all BB cups, headset races, brake releases, cable guides, etc.|
|Hello everyone.im proud to say that i now own a fantastic vintage childs bike featuring Strawberry Shortcake.its big enough for me to ride ,but i desperately need to contact someone who can give me some information on fixing it up.if anyone has this particular bike, please contact me.the petals are wobbely , the chain rubs against the rear tire and this tire is warped in a way.they are not the kind of tires with air tubes inside, they are just solid hard , im sure you all know what this is called but i do not. I really just want to be able to ride this bike.i have a BIG BOX of tools, i can do this myself, to an extent of course,i just need to know if this is hopeless.i dont see myself paying 40 dollars for a replacement tire (i paid $3.99 for the bicycle!!!!!!!! ) well if anyone can help PLEASE do.i appreciate and information anyone can provide.THANK YOU!!!|
|This new site is designed to help people just like you figure out how to go about fixing up an old bicycle. Though your specific bicycle is not included, many of the ideas for refurbishment might help. http://geocities.com/randyjawa/|
| Strawberry -- This is what I do!|
Note: Original paint is better than new paint!
1. I dust the bike off with a soft paint brush and/or blast of air from a compressor.
2. I remove the wheels. Many Older bikes will use English wrenches (9/16 etc.) I then replace tubes and replace tires if needed. I also True The Wheels! In your case you may be able to straighten the wheel by tightening certain spokes. If you have never done this I would take the wheels with the hard rubber tires to a bike shop. Oh, also simple green the rims, spokes and axle. Spray and wipe off until clean. Repeat if necessary. A stiff brush (Used in parts cleaning by auto mechanics) can help remove grime where the spokes attach to the axle.
3. Now that the frame is enclosed with the chain hanging from it -- go to work with Simple Green and clean the entire Frame and attached parts. I usually remove the seat to clean it better.
3b. The bottom bracket (pedals) could be removed, cleaned, and put back with new grease on the bearings.
3c. Use a Brass Wool pad (Dolly Duz It cleaning pad for Pots and Pans or similar that can be found in the market -- make sure it is brass!) to Simple Green and rub the Brass Wool on any chrome you have. Repeat until it is clean and shiny. And/or you could go to a Motorcycle shop and get some Simichrome in a tube and polish the chrome with Simichrome.
3d. It would be good to remove the grips, clean them with SG and then put them back on with hair spray so they will slip on and then stick.
4. Now you should look at your frame! If it is really dinged up in spots, maybe you could find the same color in nail polish and touch it up. Another way to touch up spots is to match the color in an Auto Parts store with Spray Can Touch up Paint (Lacquer!). Be careful with touch up paint or you may end up painting the entire bike!!! Those nicks really show signs of age and many prefer that they stay there. A decision must be made.
To touch up with spray paint tear a small hole in a file folder and hold it a little way from the blemish and spray the file folder with the paint can. Some of the spray will go through the hole onto the blemish. Be careful!
5. It is time to wax your frame! I wax the frame and all the chrome! These guys will say McGuires -- it is ok but if your Strawbery is one of the basic colors I would go to an auto parts store and get the Wax With Color Already Added!!!!! I think it is made by Turtle Wax and comes in white, red, blue, and several other colors. This stuff will make any bike look like a million $ after one or two coats of the wax since the wax will cover over the little nicks and blemishes! Apply and hand rub to a shine.
6. Your hard rubber wheels would look better if you leaned them well with Simple Greeen! They will have a soft black look! There are also some sprays that will give the rubber a shiny look -- do not use these if the bike is to be ridden in the future (slippery wheels!).
7. Put the wheels back on. The rear wheel must be tight enough to keep the chain from falling off. Turn the pedal around and push up on the bottom chain as you turn the pedal -- there is always a tight place and a loose place. Tighten the wheel so the tight place is not too tight. Too tight = a popping noise is made when the bike is ridden.
The brake arm should be attached loosely while the chain is adjusted. Tighten the brake arm to the frame when the wheel has been tightened in place.
8. What about the chain? Pedal (the bike should be stationary) and hold the chain on the bottom with a sock loaded with Simple Green! Do this until the chain is degreased. Got Rust? Take a brass brush and pedal while holding the brass brush on the chain -- or tighten the chain and scrub it with a brass brush. Of course, Simple Green will help! Wipe your chain!
Enjoy your bike!!!
| can anyone tell me what bikes would have come stock with a Schwinn GT-100 rear derailuer? i happened across a nice one a few weeks back at a junk shop and just couldn't pass it up. i dont do lightweights much, but though that it would be good for something. |
also have a motobecane frame in a really nice gold color, that i have removed the motobecane crank from, are these parts worth selling? and would anyone here even have an interest in this stuff?
please feel free to email me directly if you want. i will check back here often, thanks.
|Since the crankset is presumably not in pristine condition, its value is limited. Cottered steel cranks, unless pristine and historically important, generally fetch very little on eBay. Low-end aluminum cranks (swaged spider, attach with a nut on a solid spindle instead of a bolt into a hollow spindle) are worth even less. High-end aluminum cranks, such as Stronglight 49s or 93s (think Peugeot PR-, PKN-, or PX-10) or Nervar Stars are worth a quite a bit more.|
|Almost missed the post! I have a Motobecane "Super Mirage" with 20-40 high resiliency tubes. SunTour stuff and fine wheels (reinforced spokes eye; alloy, hp hook-bead rims) Weinmann "Vainqueurs" with built-in mirror on the left brake cover. Motobecane (SR branded) cranks with 52/42 rings. The wheelbase is prodigous...I think 42 1/2 inches was what I measured. The black and red paint with gold trim is cool. It rests along with my recent acquistions. After I get past the non-bicycle "to do's" and I get to the bicycle "want to's", the "Super Mirage" is top on the list. August looks good for a summit run at Yuba Pass in the Sierras. I have a Raleigh RA with TA triple; Cannondale front and rear bags and Blackburn heavy-duty rack and new rubber that is ready to go. The "Super Mirage" is a candidate as it has the right attributes. It can be ready. I think I'll give it a test up the coast range. The TA triple is nice to have, but will it go on the French Moto? I guess I'll find out. Anybody have an idea how the "Super Mirage" handles with full packs (40 pounds) plus 215 pounds of rider? It looks and feels tougher than the RA. I love the way the Moto rides. The 20/40 tubes are heavier than a road racer, but as a tourer with a heavy loading they may be the ticket. The downtube SunTour "power shifters" are nice features. The Raleigh can do it, but the Moto may be a better ride....I'd guess that mine is a late '70's. The 20/30 tubes? Were they earlier? I think the 20/40 may have been earlier as the trend seemd to favor "cheapening" rather than "improving" the tubing on the low to mid models of Raleigh...maybe the Moto's, too. Anybody know anything?...JONathan|
| John is, as usual, right with his analysis. However I remember that the 1978 Motobecane Gran Jubile was in a really nice metal flake gold. That bike was only 2 steps or so down from the top of the line and does have value. As I recall alot of the components were SunTour. This is one of the cases where the complete bike is worth more than the parts IF the bike is a Jubile. Easy enough to tell, there should be a blue decal on the top tube that says "Gran Jubile." If so and it's clean you've got a nice bike. A great rider but if you're only looking for resale they consistently attract bids on eBay.|
How do I know these particular details? In 1978 I bought a brand new Motobecane. Mine was several steps below the Jubile but I remember looking at one for probably hours on end.
| ok, here is more info on the motobecan stuff:|
cranks say "motobecane" on the outside of the arms, not a sticker either, actually cast as part of the arms. 170 lenght. on inside of arms, "SR, 77, G". has SR SAKAE 40 and 52 chainrings, with an outer chainring guard bolted on.
frame says "made in france MOTOBECANE" on downtube, "super MARAGE" on top tube, nice round rivited headbadge, "built with 2010 hi-res tubing" sticker on seatmast just under top tube, and the motobecane "M" sticker bout half-way down the seat mast. frame and fork are a gold color with brown between the lugs on the headtube, and two 2" brown stripes on the seatmast spaced evenly. forks are gold with chrome ends. frame also has single cable guide on top of top tube, i assume for a rear brake. and dual cable guides on bottom of downtube, i assume for front and rear deraillers. frame also has intigral derailler hanger on rear dropout, with cable guides on top of right-side chainstay.
this is all i can tell about this f/f set. if anyone wants to know anything else about it, please ask detaied questions. i can also take a pic for anyone that may be interested. thanks a bunch for everyones help.
| one more thing...|
frame is 23" from center of bottom bracket to top of seatmast. i'm not sure how road bikes are measured, so thats how i did it. please feel free to correct my measurement technique. thanks.
| Center to top measurement is fine.|
The Mirage is a good bike. Not as nice as the Jubile I described, mainly b/c of that hi-ten frame. There are a couple of Mirages on eBay right now. In fact there are usually a couple of Mirages on eBay as it was a popular bike. I'd keep the crankset on it and sell as a complete bike. The Moto badged crank is not a real highline set as it has steel chainrings. It might sell separately if someone is doing a restoration but complete bike is best IMO.
| one more thing:|
can anyone tell me about what year this is and what parts would be correct on it? here is the serial number:
it also has what appears to be two sets of aftermarket (?) numbers on it as well:
i dont know what they are for, anyone?
|I recently bought a Campy equiped bike which the seller claims is a Raleigh Team model. It is made from 531c tubing and has lugs with cut-outs, possibly Prugnat, and Campy dropouts. The frame is painted white and blue with red and yellow bands. Raleigh decals are on the three main tubes as well as the seatstays. The serial number is WG7000247. I bought the bike for the components, Super Record, and was wondering if it is really a team frame from the mid 80's. If anyone has info on Team bikes or knows where I can learn more about them I'd appreciate hearing from them. Thanks GDW|
| I bought a mid 70's Raleigh International frame from an estate sale yesterday. Nice paint Campy changers,shift levers,and seat post. Also has the Campy fork races and fixed cup for the bottom bracket. I have lots of bike parts in the garage, although not much high quality stuff,nevertheless I would like to use as much as much from my parts supply as possible.My first concern is a front fork. What factors do I need to consider besides the stem height when choosing a fork? If the stem height is right will the total length be right? Anybody got any Campy stuff for sale I might use for this project? I would like to keep my cost below |
$100.00 ,I spent $20.00 for the frame so I have $80.00 remaining.I have some good quality wheels,tires,bars and levers,chainrings and crank arms and brakes.
| It is not clear from your post whether or not you have the complete headset. The following info assumes the headset is an orignal Campagnolo Record Strada headset as found on mid-seventies Raleigh Internationals and Professionals.|
If you do have all the headset parts, the new fork should require a 1"x24TPI thread. You can verify this by checking the bottom of the locknut, which will be stamped with the thread standard. The fork crown race should have a inner seat diameter of 26.4mm. (NOTE: There was also an undersize 25.9mm available for worn crown race seats) The new fork should have a crown race seat that is 0.1-0.2mm larger to ensure a proper interference fit. The stack height of original headset is 39.1mm, so the length of the steering column on the new fork should be the length of the frame's head tube plus 37mm. You will have to compensate for the thickness of the hanger if you intend on using centre-pull brakes.
In the event that you do not have all the headset parts, you should buy a new headset as mixing headset parts is not reccommended, unless it is from another recorda Strada headset. To fit the frame, the press in race cups on a new headset should be 30.2mm diameter. (NOTE: There were also oversize press in races with 30.7mm, for frames with worn head tubes). The new headset may have a different crown race seat, stack height and thread standard than the Record Strada, so the new fork must be bought to fit the new headset.
The International was equipped with tubulars, so the new fork should be designed for tubulars or 700C wheels, so as not to change the head angle. Unfortunately, the old Raleigh catalogues do not provide fork geometry dimensions such as trail and rake, so the only way to match that would be by comparison with another International fork.
For a complete treatise of headset matching and critical parameters, please refer to my post of a few days ago under Schwinn Headsets.
| Something else to remember they had center pull wienmann brakes. If its like my super course TT that was also made for tubulers ,it may have used long reach brakes. The wienmann 610 on the front of the TT I have has the blocks all the way out. Wich means it has a abnormaly long fork . |
Install a rear wheel and check brake reach if it is long on rear it was more than likely long on front also. This was a good bike and is worth doing right . To equip this bike back to oem specs would take a lot more than 80$ but at least do not alter the frame in any way that can not be easily returned back to original. this frame is worth a lot more than 20$ in origanel form . Matt Asenmacher (not sure on the spelling) does frame refurbs he may know the specs on this fork and could make a new one he has web sight and i think he is in the Detroit area. He did a great job on my Bob Jackson and when i told him i wanted it painted like a raleigh profesional he said he had done those and knew what the colors were.
Good luck and after you get this bike up and running you may like the English Heron as much as the Chicago iron
|Thanks to Tom and Smitty for your precise well thought out comments.I have the frame stripped of the few parts that were left and the frame shines nicely with a few nicks and scrapes.|
|Anybody know anything about tandems? I have a chance to buy a Schwinn down tube mounted 5 speed with drum brake for $200. Appears to be of 1973 vintage and the overall appearence reminds me of two varsities welded together(it's not a homemade). Has minor paint chips but everything works well and he even has new tires mounted I've been trying to convince my wife that a tandem might be fun to ride from time to time, but she claims I won't get her on it. I want to buy it, but if my attempts to get her to try fail, can I get my $200 out of it? Thanks.|
|That vintage will be either a Schwinn "Twinn" or a Paramount. The Twinn is a middleweight with 26 by something Schwinn tires. It came in, I believe, a single-speed or 5-speed derailer version. I'm not sure if the drum brake is typical and I'd expect a stem shifter on the Twinn. It's an electroforged frame - typical Schwinn. The Paramount tandem has a fillet-brazed frame, which also looks much like the electroforged frame. Giveaways will be the one-piece Ashtabula cranks, chain idler, 26" wheels on the Twinn. The Paramount would have 27" wheels, most likely, 3-piece cranks (probably TA or Campy), and generally pretty high quality components. If you can get the bike locally (and not invest in expensive shipping), you can probably get most of your $200 out of a Twinn if your wife won't ride. If it's a Paramount and the condition is ok, it's a bargain and you should buy whether or not she'll ride!|
|Per my old spec sheet, a rear drum/expander brake was standard on the 5 speed model which was designated T13. FYI, original MSR in '72 was $149.95.|
|A Twinn came up in a thread on the General FS/Wanted page just the other day. $200 is probably fair for a clean Deluxe (i.e. 5 speed) Twinn but might not be a particularly liquid investment... note: the one- and two speed (kickback) Twinns had 26x1.75 wheels, while the derailleur version used 26x1 3/8.|
|Does anyone know where I could get some detailed info on early to mid 80's panasonic bikes? Brochures etc.|
|Hi Tim Check your emails. Kevin|
|I recently picked up a Panasonic (my first). I think it's all original - it even has Panasonic tires. I think it will clean up pretty well - but some of the parts are questionable as to whether or not they will clean up. Yes, if there is any information available on these bikes - pass it my way also.|
|Hey Guys. A few years back I bought a bunch of lit. on Panasonic bikes. Some 70's but mostly 80's stuff, inc. price sheets. Panasonic made some pretty high end bikes as several models were Dura Ace/Campy equipted. If I can locate it in the next few days, I'll let you know. Kevin K|
|Any one heard of a Bridgestone Altaire? Outside of RB-1's are any Bridgestone's collectible? TIA.|
|A lot of the Bridgestones seem to be named for stars. I have an old Spica, which is not high end. Altair is brighter than Spica, so maybe it's a better bike.|
| This model is circa 1983. I can't comment on collectibility, but I have a set of 1983 specs if you are concerned/interested about how original your sample may be.|
|does anybody know any one who might have a crankshaft set complete for sale, mine is bent severly, got all the bike done except that. also i restored my 1977 kia 10-speed and need decals for it any suggestions?|
|Mark: I have a problem with the chain ring on my world sport. I decided to rebuild the bottom braket and got a new axle and bearings from my LBS, but one of the bolts holding the high gear chain ring had fallen off, and apparently it's much smaller than any currently available, and after failing at numerous bike shops and hardward stores, I was forced to replace the chain ring assembly(I still need that blasted bolt it anybody has one!) Fortunately I had stripped a world sport last year and had a substitute assembly. Even though they both were Sugino, the replacedment had chainrings that were rivited together but it does work ok (although my original was in better condition than the replacement). Around here, lightweight schwinns can sometimes be had for next to nothing and I have bought quite a few for parts only, and that is my advice to you. It's been my experience that few people wear out a bike, it just gets propped in the corner and left the wither on the vine, so parts like chain rings and cranks are usually in pretty good shape. Good luck in your hunt. john|
|I had a low-end made-by-Stronglight Peugeot-branded aluminum crankset which used small-diameter bolts. I'll see if I can exhume the bolts from my parts bin, as they may be pretty close to what you describe.|
| Does anyone know where I can get Reynolds 531 decals (including the triangular fork decal) of the mid 70's?|
|CyclArt.com sold me a set with my repaint job, but I do not know whether they sell them separately.|
|Hi. Watch ebay. Cycle Art will only sell decals if they refinish the bike. That's what they told me. Kevin K|
| Thanks John and Kevin. I also called Cycle Art and they told me they had an agreement with Reynolds not to resell the decals. I presume there are some people that would put decals on a non Reynolds frame and sell for more money. I will watch ebay.|
|In the early 1970s, I recall similar agreements between Reynolds and various bike shops. French-language Reynolds decals were in high demand, because the 531 sticker is the first thing to get messed up on a Peugeot PX-10.|
This bike has steel tubes and aluminium lugs. I read the part where the seller explains that is why the seatpost is held in place like a handlebar stem, I thought "my Brigestone Carmel has a seatpost like that but it doesn't have aluminum lugs...." (then i grab a magnet and run over to the Carmel)... Yep, they are aluminum! With regular steel tubes, just the opposite of my Raleigh Technium. Good thing i never tried to spread the dropouts. Even the bottom bracket and fork crown are Aluminum. But why? This is not a light bike. It has a single steel chainring, steel fenders, steel chainguard that covers the outside of the chainring, and steel 27-1 3/8 wheels (which i replaced with aluminum). So why have aluminum lugs? Was it cheaper than paying brazers?
I don't know about the Kabuki on ebay but the Carmel is a great bike, it has north road handlebars and a seat with springs. The ride quality rivals that of my English 3 speeds. I was thinking of putting an internal gear hub in the rear but now i know that i would have to keep the spacing at 126mm. There is a brace between the chainstay lugs that is part of the bottom bracket for attaching a kickstand, I see now that i is meant as a brace, so the chainstays could widen a bit. It comes with a 6 speed and a Suntour Seven derailer. If you see one in a thrift store check it out, when you are real old it will be worth some money.
| The January 1975 issue of Bicycling has a road test of all 7 bicycles in the Kabuki line-up. The article states that the lugs are actually die cast around the tubes. Thus no brazing or glues are employed. It appears to be an entirely mechanical bond. |
Lest you worry about the strength, consider what happens to an un-greased aluminum seatpost in a steel frame. The oxidation of the post forces such a tight fit that the removal of a such a post is the most feared job among bicycle mechanics.
Regardless, this process allowed Bridgestone to attach dissimilar materials at temperatures well below the annealing temperature of the tubes. Thus, the mechanical properties of the tubes are not affected like with high temperature brazing. Reportedly, this method also produced much less distortion in the finished frame, reducing the amount of re-alignment required.
| Back in 1980, one of my then-housemates had a Sekai that he said he had bought at an Army PX in Germany. It had stainless-steel tubes that were connected by very thick lugs of a dull black color. Sounds like it might have been fabricated the same way.|
Regarding the PX connection: I wonder if that's how some of the bikes that no one seems to know anything about made it into this country?
|The PX connection is an interesting theory and probably applicable in several cases. However, in the case of Sekai they were well distributed in the US, with several road tests appearing in Bicycling in the late 70's.|
| I have two bikes I would like some information on...I'm really in the dark here, as I am not necessarily a vintage bicycle enthusiast. One bike, belonging to my dad, is labeled on the seat post as a "Western Flyer." On the seat support post, there is a design piece labeled "Cosmic Flyer." This bike looks really old, has cruiser handlebars, and many neat features. It's blue and white, has built in headlamps, a built in rack over the rear fender, and a mudflap with a small reflector attached to the front fender. It has a white, wide seat with a bar to grab onto in the back, and there are translucent glittery handlebar grips. The bike reminds me of a beach cruiser, and it looks like it came with a bike pump. The whole thing has a space-inspired design motif.|
The other bike (mine, bought for $40) isn't (in my opinion) necessarily vintage. It is an old (maybe 70's ?) road bike, labeled on the front as an "American Eagle." The seat post has a label saying "Sports Special." The bike was manufactured in Japan, according to a sticker on the crankcase. It is metallic green, and it has "Dia-Compe" center-pull brakes and "Shimano 333" gear shifting. In fact, any part on the bike related to the shifting is labeled "333." The shifting levers are the neatest part of the bike. Labeled "Stem Shifter 333," the levers are each very short and end in a bulbous plastic knob that is black with a chromed plastic top. The rear (and front) derailleur is Shimano, and is labeled "Eagle." The bike has 27" "Araya" rims, the rear one having a fancy chain guard labeled "333." There is no front chain guard. However, the front sprockets are held together by three bolts with tiny red washers labeled "American Flyer." The logo that appears is a square with diagonal lines running through it. The crank levers are removable.
Well, that's all I can gleam from the bikes by looking at them. Can anyone tell me more about their manufacturers, and their age? Perhaps their value?
P.S. Sorry for any spelling errors that may appear...
| In 1969-1971, Kawamura / Nishiki / American Eagle sold two models in the U.S.: the $90 Sports Special / Custom Sport and the $150 Semi-Pro / Competition. I bought the latter in March 1971, and one of my college pals bought the former about a month later. The Sports Special was a basic all-steel 10-speed aimed at the Schwinn Varsity. It is a sturdy, well-made bike, but the paint and chrome are not particularly durable, and at 35 lbs it barely qualifies as a "lightweight." The square with the diagonal lines was one of Nishiki's early logos.|
Unless it is absolutely pristine, I do not think the Sports Special is worth much on the open market, but we are starting to see significant price appreciation among even the most modest bike boom 10-speeds.
| Actually, the bike's in pretty good shape. There is no rust, and I've had both rims straightened and made true at a bike shop. It rides really well. All of the parts are still original, except for those flexible cable covers. I replaced them, but I still have the originals. The little stickers on the brake clamps have faded off, and the ones on the nuts holding the front sprockets together have fallen off. The paint has chipped in some areas, and I cannot remove an old licence sticker without removing all of the paint beneath it, so I just leave it on. The original seat has been replaced, and so has the bar wrap.|
Besides that, the bike looks like it did the day it was made.
|Wasn't "Western Flyer" the name Western Auto stores used for their line of bicycles (and other stuff, no doubt)? 50s or 60s, most likely.|