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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by: David on 1/17/2004 at 11:03:02 PM
I got a road bike, and I have no idea what's about this bike. On the body of the bike reads Fuji DEL REY, and there's somewhere you can find some texts read "Fuji VALite Quad-butted steel Tubling 1769". The color is gray and there is a mark of "N" on the left of the handle bar and "NITTO OLYMPIAD" on the right of it.
Could anyone please help me estimate the age and value of this bike?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by Gralyn on 1/18/2004 at 3:10:05 AM
My guess on the age...with not much to go on...would be mid-to-late 80's.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by JONathan on 1/18/2004 at 5:53:38 AM
You done good. I'm always looking for FUJI's...they're all still on the road! In 1986, there were 35 models, I think.
"Del Rey" is a first-rate touring bike. I have the '86 "Team Fuji" which is superbly built and designed. I suspect the "Del Rey" is similar for its intended purpose.
I would take my FUJI over any road bike from the vintage era. Hey, they're still building their own bikes, too. I really don't think they are recognized as much as they deserve.
But, I'm a beleiver. Keep it and enjoy. They are exceptional, IMHO. Valite was a vanadium steel tubeset, which was developed for their bikes. Very strong stuff. I'm looking for a Valite
frame, since my brother won't part with his "pulsar".
Good luck and good going!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by T-Mar on 1/18/2004 at 12:45:26 PM
I suggest you refer to the Vintage Trek website which has an excellent page on component date coding ( http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm ). Fuji used Suntour for most components and their derailleurs and freewheels are all date coded. Using this and the info on Vintage Trek info you should be able to date your Del Ray to within a year, assuming the components are original.

Assuming it is a mid to late eighties Del Ray as Gralyn & JONathan suggest, original value would have been in the $350 US - $400 US range, depending on the year. Current value would depend on the condition of the bicycle and your local market conditions.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by Darryl on 1/18/2004 at 1:05:37 PM
About 1987 Fuji had a "star silver" Del Rey that had black H'bars, stem, shifters and chainwheel. The 1769 refers to the thickness of the steel in the main tubes. I had a 1983 Del Rey that was a great bike. I have all the specs on the '87 Del Rey if you want them.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by Chris on 1/19/2004 at 7:27:51 PM
Bizarre, I just found one for $10 yesterday at Salvation Army and want to convert it to a Fixie. If anyone could help with that... would love the help, but this is fantastic info you guys are putting up. Mine is dark grey and has the standard sugino granks, diacompe brakes, and suntour everything else. How would I determine the year?

Looks to be about a 52cm JONathan if you are desparate for your VALite search...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by chris on 1/19/2004 at 8:07:10 PM
Well, just was doing some research from the site mentioned above, and I "think" judging by the components... that it would be mid 80s, the cranks are throwing me... giving a code of GC on some Sugino RTs... I "think" that could be 1987, where the brakes (DiaCompe) have a straight date code on the back that say...1284 M which I believe is 12/84... I havent pulled off the rear derailer yet, but the hubs on this sucker are SunTour LePree... havent gotten a date on those yet.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Valite ? posted by Darryl on 1/20/2004 at 2:54:35 AM
If your Del Rey is gray (Star Silver) and has mostly black components and "1769" tubing and Lepree derailleurs, shifters and pedals, than your bike is in Fuji Catalog #16 which I beleive is 1987.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by: andym on 1/16/2004 at 4:57:50 AM
I picked up an "A.Camera" road bike yesterday,off ebay. I was lucky enough to be less than 20 miles away from the seller,so no freight charges were involved. I got it for sixty six dollars.
I've only seen one other "A.Camera before and I don't know anything about this make.It's an Italian amature racing bike,with fairly steep angles.
It's components are as follows:
Gnutti high flange hubs
27" alloy rims
Campagnolo stamped dropouts with deraileur hanger
Campagnolo Valentino deraileurs
Balilla centerpull brakes
Ofmega headset
No-name alloy drop bars
3TTT stem
No-name steel cottered crank

It has chrome head tube lugs and fork crown. No tubing decals but the tubes sound thick when you tap them,even though the bike feels fairly light.
I would like to know more about this mark just out of curiosity.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by T-Mar on 1/16/2004 at 2:23:44 PM
Given the era, component mix and the fact that it's Italian, it is likely Falk, plain gauge tubing. I have seen at least one reference to another A.Camera with Falk tubing.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: A. Camera posted by Warren on 1/16/2004 at 6:39:28 PM
It's nice that it has campag dropouts with a hanger...makes it a step up from the regular fare. Maybe even worth upgrading if you like the ride.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by T-mar on 1/16/2004 at 8:19:48 PM
Good point Warren! I had overlooked the dropouts! There is a possibilty that it be be a Falk double butted tubeset. What's is the seatpost diameter?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by T-mar on 1/16/2004 at 8:19:59 PM
Good point Warren! I had overlooked the dropouts! There is a possibilty that it be be a Falk double butted tubeset. What is the seatpost diameter?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by andym on 1/16/2004 at 10:15:09 PM
I don't know the seat tube diameter but it looks pretty skinny so its probably straight gauge tubing.I've heard of Falk tubing,is it seamed? I have'nt taken anything off yet to check. Also, those dropouts do have a hanger but they are definitely stamped campagnolo.
I like this bike for some reason,must be the chrome or something. Very Italian from first glance,gonna clean it up and hang it on a wall. Of course,thats if I dont fall in love with the ride first.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by JONathan on 1/16/2004 at 10:57:45 PM
Either way, it's a "win-win". You definitely picked up an uncommon bike. Sometimes I like to keep it a mystery of sorts, because my imagination is always more elaborate than the reality.
I have a Maino 10 speed road racer from the late '60's. I spent 10 years asking around about it. Nobody knew anything. Then I met a chap from Pavona, It. who grew up with Maino bikes. He said they were an old, old outfit. I realized then that my Maino was not from some little shop high in the Tyroles. hand-built by a master who made it for a famous racer.
It's still a cool bike, but I really liked the dreamworld impression that had built up around it for those years of uncertainty. Me, personally, unless you want to ride it, I would do just what you suggest as the alternative. Keep 'em guessing! Evcryone asks me about the Maino, when they see it. I always tell them the truth, but it was cool when I didn't have a clue.
Good rides,

   Maino on eBay posted by Chuck Schmidt on 1/17/2004 at 6:52:50 PM
There's one on eBay right now: item # 2217235668

I ride a very early 1950s Maino equipped with a Simplex Tour de France four speed derailleur and a single chainring.

Maino dates back to at least 1900 and Costante Girardengo, Italy's first Campionissimo (Champion of Champions) rode for the Maino team.

Chuck Schmidt

   RE:Maino on eBay posted by JONathan on 1/17/2004 at 10:06:26 PM
Thanks for the information, Chuck! 1900 is getting back there in time.
I have 3 Italian built bikes. The Maino adds some classic history to my collection, it would seem.
The lug design is very ornate, It has the small Simplex derailer, the slant design plastic "Prestige".
Shifts very well. I can't recall the chainring or cranks, except they are steel rings and cottered.
Mine is a 23 inch frame, which is a bit small, but I ran it for several summers as a road racer..just fooling around
in the valley. I recall it as my quickest bike, although maybe I was just quicker, but it is light and fast off the dime.
I used to bust out and lead for a few miles. I can't see any tubing decals, but it is light stuff and the forks are larger diameter blades than the usual steel.
The stem and bars are Italian. Leather Ideale saddle. Now, I'm excited about a full restoration project. It is the only bike I kept from the pre-collecting days.
I'm certain mine was a production model, but WOW, what a goodie!
Great riding,

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   A. Camera posted by T-Mar on 1/18/2004 at 4:12:44 PM
Regarding the Falk tubing, all the examples that I have seen have been seamless, including my two Legnano. Given the the component mix and the Camapgnolo stamped fropouts with integral hanger, I would think that the odds would strongly favour a seamless tubeset.

MISC:   freewheel problem posted by: marc on 1/16/2004 at 5:30:37 AM
my neighbor just gave me a 80's schwinn world 10 speed in great condition, don't like the color but I took it mainly for the nice alloy weinmann qr wheels. But there is a problem. When the bike is on the ground and the pedals are turned only the freewheel moves and not the wheel itself. If I lift the bike off of the ground and turn the pedals the wheel only turns slightly. Is this a matter of simply tigtening the cones or is it a more serious problem? any help would be appreciated.


   RE:MISC:   freewheel problem posted by andym on 1/16/2004 at 5:54:26 AM
Sounds like the pawls in the freewheel or cassette body are either stuck or broken. If the bike has been sitting unused for a number of years then the grease inside the freewheel/cassette could have hardened,causing the internals to get gunked up.Try flushing out the freewheel with some penetrating oil.

   RE:MISC:   freewheel problem posted by JONathan on 1/16/2004 at 6:04:18 AM
I had a similar situation just last weekend. I had a "helicomatic" FW that spun without engaging the wheel. This was apparently from the pawl springs were gummed up, I think. After I removed the FW and placed in with the small sprocket down. The pawls and springs that operate them are near the large cog end of the FW. There is a retainer plate that fits over the bearings around which the body rotates. I soaked that with 30# and kept working the FW. Eventually the springs freed up and the FW engaged inner cylinder (which is what is threaded onto the hub) and it worked fine.
Your wheel moving when there is no resistance except its own drag, would be consistent with the problem. The bearing have some residual drag that might be enough to move the wheel, but not under an external load. If you get the FW off, I'd try lubing it. That's what I think is the problem. You might try tapping (very lightly!) with a plastic hammer. If that's the problem, you may have a bike that's been sitting for years...good from a wear standpoint.
Good luck,
Remember...You always win!

   RE:MISC:   freewheel problem posted by Darryl on 1/16/2004 at 12:49:31 PM
I had the same thing happen on a mountain bike bought at a pawn shop. I took the freewheel off and soaked it overnight in mineral spirits. Turn the inner part of freewheel while submerged and it will flush out all the grit. Let dry on paper towels for a few hours and drip some about 30 weight oil in the inner workings and you should be OK. No need to take the FW apart.

   RE:MISC:   freewheel problem posted by Darryl on 1/16/2004 at 12:50:15 PM
I had the same thing happen on a mountain bike bought at a pawn shop. I took the freewheel off and soaked it overnight in mineral spirits. Turn the inner part of freewheel while submerged and it will flush out all the grit. Let dry on paper towels for a few hours and drip some about 30 weight oil in the inner workings and you should be OK. No need to take the FW apart.

    freewheel problem posted by John E on 1/16/2004 at 6:42:01 PM
How worn are the cogs? The other respondents correctly identified your problem as either gummed or broken pawls and/or springs. If the cogs are in great shape, try laying the bike on its left side and spinning the rear wheel while dropping penetrating oil into the freewheel. If the cogs are worn, replace the freewheel. Do not risk climbing a hill or sprinting out-of-saddle with flakey freewheel pawls!

   RE: freewheel problem posted by JONathan on 1/16/2004 at 8:09:52 PM
And don't forget to replace that chain!!! That's been a major headache (literally) for me.
I have an '84 Schwinn "world" that was Giant built branded for Schwinn. It really lacked something in performance, but it ran well enough to get some exercise on the Jedediah Smith Trail (Amer. R., Ca.) one summer. The pedals were squeaky, too. Mine has the steel rims with nutted axles, too. Yours sounds a step up in the running gear.
As I was back and forth a dozen times hauling stuff, it was great to have a "leaver" at the site. I actually looked forward to my daily run along the beautiful American River. I saw every kind of critter running at twilight. The ol "world" never failed once, just nothing like my "Traveler", also a Taiwan built (Merida I think). Look on the left dropout for a serial number starting with "G", for Giant.
I believe it has a chromoly sticker somewhere on the seat-tube. I must admit, it is comfortable riding bike. I paid $40 for it at a thrift store and spent about 1 hour tuning it, plus a couple of K-Mart tires rounded out the trimmings for my summer "beater". The steel chainrings are long lasting, too. Brakes are the DiaCompe equivalent to Weinmann "Vainqueur" 999's. Excellent braking, even on the steel rims.
Mine has a steel handlebar, too. I think in mine, they built a really decent frame, then cheapened it with the componentry, except for the brakes. Seriously, you might be better forking out $8 for a new 6 sp. freewheel and another $15 for a good chain. That's for starters. Maybe some Kool-Stop shoes and "continental" tires, if you have hooked bead alloy rims. I couldn't run high pressure tires on my steel rims.
Good luck and good rides!

   RE:RE: freewheel problem posted by marc on 1/19/2004 at 9:49:03 PM
You guys are awesome. I took your advice my freewheel problem is solved. I was going to put this wheelset on a motobecane frame but as luck would have it I found another motobecane at local thrift store for 20 bucks that had a great pair of rigada rims. The rear wheel had an atom hub I think, I forgot what the front hub was but it also had an odometer on it with only 300 miles marked. Maybe I'll keep that schwinn world original.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh ER7M posted by: Darryl on 1/16/2004 at 1:24:58 AM
I found a Raleigh frame with alloy cranks,steel stem and H'bar, steel seatpost but no wheels and brakes that was left out for trash collection. Frame is in excellent condition with hardly a scratch. Serial # P2J707621. It says Raleigh Easy Rider 7M on top tube. Takes side pull brakes. Does anyone know what size wheels were original on this bike. Rear dropout is 130mm. Single chainwheel with probably 7 sp rear. A 27" rim with tire is EXTREMELY tight on rear. Thanks for help.

AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot posted by: Gralyn on 1/15/2004 at 5:51:06 PM
I had posted previously that I had picked up 2 peugeots - really, just to get the wheelsets from them. I have already cleaned the wheelsets and mounted new tires on them. Over the past couple of nights I started on the frames. I stripped them down and cleaned them. During the process, I determined that one (blue, 21") was a 1984 model; and the other (red, 23") was a 1983 model.

Neither of these has a model name on it.....they only say "Peugeot" along the top tube. They have the outline of the lion on the head tube and the seat tube. They are both lugless frames.

The blue one has water bottle mounting screws, and der. hanger, forged dropouts, sloping fork crown, "103" frame sticker. This frame has no noticeable scratches on it at all. It cleaned and shined up like it was brand new! It was equipped with weinmann brakes, Sachs hurret der.

The red one has stamped dropouts, no der. hanger, older style fork crown, no water bottle screws. It was equipped with Suntour seven. It' too, cleaned up beautifully.

Well, obviously, the blue frame is the better. But, my question is: Are these good frames, just average frames, or even less than average frames?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot posted by jONathan on 1/15/2004 at 7:00:48 PM
I think they are internal-lug frames. I have one with the integral der. hamger and two have the "claw" adapter for hanging the der.
The "103" refers to the Peugeot steel called "Carbolite", I believe. No chrome on the forks, either. Ride: Excellent handling, especially for bobbing and weaving type stuff.
Very comfortable ride, too. Mine, with alloy wheels is about 28-29 pounds. A bit heavy for road, but touring is OK, with the relaxed frame geometry. The forged, slanted fork crown gives good handling up front, although they feel different than the flat-crown forks. I find mine to be an agile performer in close..good pickup, too.
Robust construction makes up for the added weight, IMHO. The mixte versions are even better rides. I have the older UO-18 models and the '80's versions to compare. The '80's handll great, but maybe are less comfortable...I haven't gone far with either type.
Also, my older models have the cottered Nervar cranks, which makes a differnece in both weight and acceleration, both in favor of the cotterless crank version.
I call them "Best Buy" bikes!

      Peugeot posted by John E on 1/15/2004 at 10:13:28 PM
I gave away my one Carbolite 103 frame, partly because the seat tube's inner diameter forces one to use a hard-to-find nonstandard seat post. Also, the frame seemed less resilient, more leaden, than even my old externally-lugged UO-8, which ranks well above average among "bargain basement 10-speeds."

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot posted by T-Mar on 1/16/2004 at 12:58:11 AM
Carbolite 103 is pretty much indicative of an entry level Peugeot model. The mid and higher range bicycles usually have name brand tubing, with Vitus and Reynolds being Peugeot's preferred sources during this period.

Having said that, to rate these frames I think you have to look at these frames relative to their functional intent and what the competition was offering. From a purely functional standpoint, the Carbolite frames would probably be considered an average, entry level frame. They were cost effective, had nice joints, were durable and had a good finish. Maybe the handling wasn't great and the weight was high, but this was also typical of most competitors' models.

In the end, personal preference will dictate how far from, and on which side of average these frames deserve to be rated. Things like the aesthetical appeal of the graphics, colour or the lugless appearance. John E.'s two examples of resiliency and seat post size are great examples of personal preference. Most people couldn't care less about the seat post size and couldn't detect the difference in resiliency, but John E. can and that makes these two factors very valid in his case. On the other hand, JONathan appreciates the extra robustness, as would anyone else of his strength and physical stature. While these are two opposing opinions, they are both valid, given their personal preferences. Entry level frames are pretty much designed for the averge Joe (and Josephine)with a little bias towards the designers personal preferences. Barring some glaring manufacturing defect, your personal preferences are what will determine the ranking of these frames.

As for the models, I have some catalogues, spec sheets and road tests from this particular period, and your description of the 1983 bicycle is a good match for the P8 model. I haven't found a match for your 1984 bicyle ... yet.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot posted by JONathan on 1/16/2004 at 4:20:02 AM
Interesting point made, To,. The 25 inch frame introduces more "give" to the construction as well.
My only direct comparison has been with mixte frames. There is probably less variance in the ext./int. lug ride with the seat-tubes being the same and the decidedly tighter "triangle"
composing the rear support structure. The BB and head-tube connections are distinct. One has the flat crown, while the others are slanted. The lugged frame feels softer riding at slow speeds.
The int. lug frame works great off-road due to it having more stiffness. It would make sense for the int. lug to be stiffer than external, assuming the lugs are stronger than the tubing. My problem is I "bottom out" a lot of softer riding frames or feel like I'm in a canoe, except for the "Team Fuji" which is amazingly strong with quad-butted main tubes. That frame is soft at slow speeds, smooth road and soft at high speeds on rough blacktop!
How'd they figure that out? My biggest test will be when I finish the UO-8 (197x) lugged, 25 inch frame. All I need is a rear derailer installed and it's ready to roll. I'm using the "helicomatic" alloy Rigida 27x1 1/4 wheels.
I can't use my few rides on the lugged UE-8 with cottered cranks, fenders, racks and alternator as a basis to compare.
VLW's certainly are fun.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Holdsworth Blue Streak posted by: tod on 1/15/2004 at 4:10:46 AM
Greetings.. sort of new here.. I have just started picking up vintage lightweights this year.. helps that i bought a house awhile back now i need to fill up my empty garage.. I know longer have to keep the stable so thin anymore.. ..

I picked up a holdsworth today from one of my good haunts ( i have got a austo daimler superleicht and a peugeot px-10 in the last 6 months all under 50 bucks) The only sticker on the holdsworth is one that says "blue streak" no reynolds sticker and just one holdsworth sticker (sticker is black with with white outlines) serial number is 700837 and EO stamped on the other side...it was set up with shimano 105 slr.. color of the bike is a blue to black to blue fade.. allez dropouts.. it seems like a nice bike.. light.. just have not ever heard of the blue streak.. does not come up on the holdsworth site.

anybody ever heard of it?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Holdsworth Blue Streak posted by Gralyn on 1/15/2004 at 5:50:49 PM
I wish I had a bigger garage, or an additional garage. My stable is full and overflowing. I have no more room for any more bikes. My small workshop now has 12 bikes, plus 12 extra wheelsets, plus tons of other stuff. The garage is hanging full. I even have 7 bikes in my bedroom right now. So for me - it's time to thin some of them out. If I pick up another bike.....I don't know where I will put it!

MISC:   generators posted by: mark on 1/15/2004 at 3:54:16 AM
i bought my wife a schwinn 10-speed womens bike its in great shape had 2 generators on it one for the front headlight and one for the back taillight they both work and i was just wandering is there any place you can still buy these. thank you

   RE:MISC:   generators posted by Dick in FL on 1/15/2004 at 5:57:45 AM
Your best bet is a Backtrails bottle generator and light kit from Target at $9.95. Be aware that the knurled plastic friction wheel is screwed onto the generator axle with a right-hand thread which tends to be unfastened by the torque arising from friction contact with the tire. Be warned! Superglue the threads before using! In addition, numerous vintage kits are offered on ebay, but shipping costs make them uncompetitive. Of these, my favorite is the Schwinn-approved Soubitez (faux chrome over plastic).

   RE:RE:MISC:   generators posted by JONathan on 1/16/2004 at 8:27:16 PM
I'm always looking for "Miller" generator sets. They are robust bottles.
I also look for the fork-blade mounted bottle that has the integral round lens.
No reaching back to activate them and there are no wires running all over the place. Real positive connections. You can run a wire to a rear lamp, but I have found those cheap 2 AA powered LED's to be better...especially at a stop. They are easy on the juice, especially in the flashing mode.
That rt. hand thread problem. I'm wondering if you ran left-sided, would that make that problem go away? The bracket would be in front of the bottle, but is that a problem?Just 2 c's worth.

FOR SALE:   Update: more cycles and some price changes. posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/14/2004 at 9:16:20 PM
We've posted some more vintage bicycles and reduced the prices on some which have been getting 'stale'.
Have a look by clicking on 'Bicycles for Sale' at the top of this page.

Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.

AGE / VALUE:   Winchester bicycle information posted by: Ed on 1/14/2004 at 7:31:19 PM
Does anyone out here know anything about a brand called "Winchester"? I am not sure where it was made, but I am guessing the USA. It has very fancy lugging and is outfitted with Campy Valentino deraileurs. The bike itself looks like it could be newer than the components. It has 27x1 1/4 aluminum quick release wheels with Sunshine hubs. The crankset is cottered and the brakes are typcal Weinman center pulls that are on a lot of 70's era bikes.

I would just like to know if anyone has heard of Winchester or if they know if it has any type of collector value to it. I got the bike at a local thrift store for $25 just because of the lugwork and the old school campy pieces. Thanks for any help.


   RE:AGE / VALUE: Winchester bicycle information posted by Warren on 1/15/2004 at 4:57:29 PM
Does it look to be all chrome under the paint? Foil decals? There were many bikes like this from around 1970 on with the Valentino/Sunshine/27"rim components with cottered cranks. Not of great value...perfect fixed gear conversion?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Winchester bicycle information posted by Ed on 1/16/2004 at 3:24:43 AM
No, no chrome anywhere that I can see of. No foil decals either. The only decal is on the seat tube and it is a water transfer type. That decal looks like there should be something else above "Winchester", but there is not.

I also do not see any tubing manufacturer information on the bike at all, but the lugging is quite ornate. I looked at cyclo24de.com and found some lugging that looks exactly like mine from one of the Nervex postings. I thought that only the higher ended bikes came with the Nervex lugwork. Hence my confusion about the overall quality of the bike.

The head badge is riveted and has the word Winchester slanted at a 45 degree angle. I am just wondering if anyone has ever heard of this brand or not or whether this bike is an American brand or not. I am leaning towards maybe English.

The paint is maroon in color and it seems to be in very nice condition. One odd thing, anad it was probably stuck on by someone, but maybe not. It has a red and white "Team Honda" sticker on the downtube. It is very well applied (straight with no wrinkles or bubbles) and looks like some type of sponsor sticker. It probably means nothing, but I just thought I would share. I am not sure if I should try and lift the sticker or not. Any ideas on whether I should or not?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Winchester bicycle information posted by Eric on 1/18/2004 at 1:19:40 AM
Hi Ed,

Where did you get your bike? I got the exact same one today at a Thriftshop in Seattle including the Honda markings... perhaps, this was yours and you returned it. I spent about 3 hours scrubbing down the derailer and other general micellanous clean up duties and it just shines. Pumped up the tires and had a fun ride. As I love semi-vintage Treks ala 1986 or so, I plan on selling it. So, if anyone is interested give me a email.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   dating a schiwnn wheel posted by: marc on 1/14/2004 at 3:21:54 PM
I have a 1973 5 speed schwinn sport collegiate with racing drop bars. My question has to do with the front wheel. Both front and back are stamped schwinn tubular S-6 but while I was cleaning it up I noticed the front hub was stamped differently than the back hub. The front hub has the Schwinn name in script style that they used back in the fifties and such. The rear hub's stamp is of the period of the bike. Is there any way to date the front wheel? Do I have an older wheel that wound up on this bike somewhere along its life or did schwinn continue to use this mark into the 70's?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Serial Numbers?? posted by: Rob on 1/14/2004 at 6:49:03 AM
Can anyone provide any insight on the following serial number for a Raleigh Gran Sport? I've copied it here as it appears on the bottom bracket.


It was purchased new in May of '62 so I'm guessing it was probably built in 1961. I'm curious what the RB and the N stand for...if anything...any ideas?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Serial Numbers?? posted by P.C. Kohler on 1/14/2004 at 4:03:48 PM
I believe the Gran Sport was introduced in 1962 (model year) which means the first ones were generally available from Nov '61 on. I've seen other '61 Raleighs with a "R" prefix and my soon to arrive '61 Lenton Grand Prix should also be "R", so sounds like you've got this dated pretty well already. The letters themselves mean nothing just a jolly convoluted letter and number game Raleigh loved. "Enigma" in WW2 had nothing on these people. Me, I would have just had 613458354 with the first two digits denoting the year but what do I know?!

P.C. Kohler

AGE / VALUE:   1968 Dunelt 3-sp. posted by: JONathan on 1/14/2004 at 3:38:14 AM
Dunelt ladys' frame with SA "TCW III" rearend; SA rims; Dunlop EA-3 tires; "Premium" gen. with headlamp; and adjustable kickstand was still entangled in the heap of rolling stock in the store lot.
It was $45 US, and it was there for a month. Today, I picked it up at 30% off (31.40, no tax). The mileage counter showed 252 miles, which is consistent with the looks. Everything is in great shape. The Dunlops are in very good condition. I ran the bike for test when I got it home. The shifts are smooth, coaster brake works fine and the front caliper has OEM John Pull blocks.
Pedals are the nutted spindle rubber block OEM. The generator puts out enough juice to run the light at normal brightness. The fork has the dimpled crown with flattened top. I think it was a good buy. Question is, do I keep it as original or take in down for parts to use on Raleigh "sports" bikes that I have in partia; restorative states?
The Sal. Army store had a Maruishi (sp. ??) with Shimano 105 componentry and Araya rims all for $199. That seemed like a whopping high price. What gives? Maybe they are getting wise, as the prices are going up, but this seems like its way out of line.
Back to the Dunelt, to saty focused a bit. These are considered "mid-range" bikes; between the "sports" and Phillips bikes, I presume. However, I can't see a lot of difference, except the "sports" are heavier built it seems. The bike decals are in good condition. One says; "Ride awheel (no typo)on Sheffield Steel" on the downtube. The haedbadge looks striking, too. Fenders have the chrome
tip pinched front and reflector equipped rear with another Dunelt decal. Paint is very good, just dirty from the rain and dust. One thing about the components with chrome; it is thick plated, not the "flash" chrome jobs on so many bikes built later. Real smooth. They took some effort to copper coat and nickel plate the parts before applying the chromium. I noticed that when I cleaned up the rims, especially.
They look "new". Amazing to me, the bike is pushing forty years since it came off the line!
I think Dunelts are very good bikes.
Rides, JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1968 Dunelt 3-sp. posted by Gralyn on 1/14/2004 at 1:15:28 PM
Wow, it was there for a month? What I've noticed here in my neck of the woods is that they don't last long at all....not even a department store ladies bike...at any price! Even the ladies models are usually gone within a couple days. A men's model....anything decent.....is usually gone within a day. I've seen fairly decent models....but at a lot higher price than I would ever pay....and so I will pass them up.....but the next day - they're gone! I can remember though, back a couple years ago - waiting on certain bikes - for the price to be lowered. The bikes would sit there....then when they marked them down - I would make my move. But I suppose those days are over.

The only Dunelt I have ever seen was in an antique store. It was in really good condition....and it was $100. I didn't buy it....but it got gone within a week.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1968 Dunelt 3-sp. posted by JONathan on 1/14/2004 at 6:12:00 PM
Thanks for that information, Gralyn. I think I'll keep it as a whole bike. The seat has an interesting feature. There is a galvanized rod that connects from the seat-stay bridge to the rear support of the saddle. The saddle is made considerable more rigid due to this attachment...however, I sure wouldn't want the end to come off while riding. The bikes seem to move out faster and with higher tags than ever before. This particular store is located in an industrial area, so the visitor quota is less and the buyers want clothes and cookware, etc. Bikes tend to roost a while.
They offer a lot of on-site charity services as the mainstay and are not becoming a "department" store, with "new" prices...yet. There are tons of tiny bikes, which is the main shift in inventory. There used to be about 1/4 vintage LW's, 1/2 MTB's just two years back. Now, the combined VLW and MTB bikes make up about 1/4.

WANTED:   Lenton Grand Prix restoration posted by: P.C. Kohler on 1/13/2004 at 4:33:27 PM
I have purchased a 1961 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix.

Looking for:

1 pr. GB "Sports" Mark III brake calipers (with blue fixing nut) and a pair of GB "superhood" brake levers.

Black plastic 17-18" frame pump, ideally the Raleigh marked one.

1 pr. Cyclo-Benelux gear levers for brazed-on mounting.

Many thanks.

P.C. Kohler

FOR SALE:   1973 Schwinn paramount 54ct. posted by: Phil Scott on 1/13/2004 at 4:36:33 AM
1973 Schwinn Paramount excellant shape used little.Campy parts, crane rear der. 531 tubing- $900

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by: Rob on 1/12/2004 at 7:19:44 PM
Getting back to the Maillard Helicomatic for a moment...I've been aware of them for some time...knew they were an early type of freehub, but have not as yet, knowingly, seen one. I've done a bit of digging around on the web and I see that they seem to have debuted in the early 80's and seem to come in 6 and 7 speed versions...maybe 5-speed?? I have seen a photo of the removal tool...a nifty little thing with a serrated hole at one end a bottle opener at the other and two (I assume different sizes) spoke nipple wrenches. I have a few questions....

When did the helicomatic first hit the market?
How long was it in production?
Was it an OEM only or and OEM and after-market item?
While the serrated lockring set-up seems obvious if you lookk close enough, are the hubs all clearly labelled, 'Helicomatic'?
Besides Peugeots which other bike maker used them as an OEM item?
Are they always associated with Rigida rims? Alloy or steel or both?
Why the bad rep.? Is it related to the cones and bearings or the overall quality of the hub? The design and the engineering, at least from what I've heard and the photos I've seen seems pretty good.
And, this question may be for T-Mar...Did the helicomatic appear on Canadian made Peugeots or is it more frequently encountered on French made Peugeots sold in the US?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JONathan on 1/12/2004 at 8:48:33 PM
The idea was a good one, but fitting it to a standard hub/dropout width made for the spoke question.
Personally, getting the FW off is a rigorous requirement in many cases with the threaded FW's. I think the threaded FW's are stronger and heavier for what that's worth.
It was just a matter of time before the concept developed into a reliable product. Mine are just an addition to my collection of vintage LW components. Maybe as a conversation piece...but can you imagine the looks you'd get saying you had a "Helicomatic" freewheel at a dinner party.
A bit esoteric to the average person, but great for us collectors!
Good rides, JONathan

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JONathan on 1/12/2004 at 8:58:08 PM
Rob, I have the "helicomatic" on both alloy and steel rims. The steel rims are the 27 in. narrow steel rims, not the wider Rigida 1 1/4" rims like are so often on the Peugeots and Raleighs.
THe steel version has been on a mixte for a while with no problems, even on rough roads. I think the steel rides a little stiffer, IMHO.

      Helicomatic posted by John E on 1/12/2004 at 9:25:57 PM
Sheldon Brown's discussion of the helicomatic hub parallels JONathan's. I consider the helicomatic to be the missing link between the freewheel and the freehub. Unfortunately, the helicomatic had production and reliability problems, and the freehub stepped in as a well-financed, well-engineered paradigm shift which simultaneously solved two problems: 1) rear axle breakage; and 2) cog removal. (Helicomatic addressed only the latter problem.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by T-Mar on 1/12/2004 at 10:39:09 PM
I'm not sure on the exact production dates without digging a little deeper into the files, though a preliminary skim through my old catalogues and magazines indicates the heyday was 1983-1986. I don't recall them being available in 1978, when Shimano debuted their Cassette Freehub.

It was offered both OEM and aftermarket, according to mid 80's ads. Yes, I have seen literature for a 5 speed version.

I've seen hubs with a large Helicomatic adhesive label and some with nothing (though maybe the label just fell off?).

Several manufacturers used these hubs. Besides Peugeot, they were found on Trek, Cannodale, Motobecane, Gitane, Batavus, Bertin and also the Canadian built Peugeots, among others.

They are found laced to Rigida rims most often, because that was Trek & Peugeot's preferred rim supplier. However, they where also be found laced as OEM items to Weinmann, Super Champion and Mavic rims according to my documents. Since the Helicomatic hubs came in four grades/models they could be found on anything from steel rims to tubulars.

The basic theory is OK. Shimano has proven that oven the last 26 years. The big advantage of freehub design is the outboard placement of the drive side bearings. This substantially reduces the bending stress placed on the axle, reducing the probability of bending the axles. At a body weight of 185 lbs, this was a common problem with my freewheel equipped bicycles, unless I used a Camapgnolo track axle. I for one, was deleriously happy with Shimano's intoduction of the freehub!

However, the Helicomatic hubs do seem to suffer from a reputation abnormal bearing race wear. Whether this is due to soft races, smaller bearings, poor sealing or a combination, I can't say, as I have only worked on a few and that was long ago. However, I have since developed a personal theory about these hubs that is unsubstantiated. In conservations with the owners, it seems that they had relatively normal wear out of the new hubs. However, after the first hub service, they had abnormal wear. I suspect that mechanics may have substitutued non-OEM parts, in order to try and satisfy the customer. However, these parts would not have provided proper bearing load paths or sealing and would have led to accelerated wear. I wish I had a Helicomatic laying around to see if substition of non-OEM parts is even feasible. As it is, my Helicomatic tool has probaly gone unused for the past dozen years. Now that hey've gone to twist caps, I can't even use it to open a bottle of pop!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by Rob on 1/13/2004 at 12:52:45 AM
Thanks Guys...my 'education' is furthered...A new challenge!! I'll be looking carefully now to see what I can find...and four models too!!! This stuff seems to surface eventually if you keep your eyes open!!! Yesterday I found an S100 Simplex Prestige rear der (apparently an upgrade of the basic Delrin model; introduced about 1978)....used, but almost pristine...nothing scratched, pulleys intact; and a set of Gran Compe sidepulls still with the original branded pads about half worn (likely means the calipers were on a hardly used bike)...no big deal, but worth the few bucks I had to drop.... :)

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JONathan on 1/13/2004 at 2:18:20 AM
Keep on the lookout. I'm looking for Universals. Yes, the advantage of the large firms is that they can afford to experiment with new ideas.
The "helicomatic" were one example. After reading Sheldon Brown's description, I concluded that the marketing of the "helicomatic" must have saved them.
"Easy to change broken spokes" sounds great, but...why have to replace them in the first place? I could see that being a strong selling point, especially before the operational data raised critical questions.
I really bust spokes without half trying, but the "helicomatic" running on my Peugeot, burgundy color mixte have stood up to the beating so far. I wonder if the steel rim models hold together better.
This particular set on the mixte were primo condition, too. The whole bike was a garage decoration before its journey to the St. Vincent De Paul charity store.
The mixtes seem to have a stiffer rearend, it seems to me, due to the tighter geometry perhaps. If I run across another set, I'll let you know what gives, if you are still looking.
I sure don't need anymore in my modest collection.
Rides, JONathan

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by Rob on 1/13/2004 at 6:45:56 AM
Correction....the Simplex Prestige der. I referred to above is an S001...

JONathan... by 'Universals', do you mean the Italian brake company, or is this some type of derailleur I haven't heard of? I've got several Universal bits and pieces, and yesterday I passed on a couple of centerpulls ...but I'm sure they will still be there for a while...Are they worth getting?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JONathan on 1/13/2004 at 7:50:52 AM
Yes, Rob. I guess that brakes were not consistent with the thread, but we were talking about "looking". I have a set of worn down "Universal" cp's off a beat up Bottechia. Man, that bike lasted through a lot.
I bent the seat stays, but it ran OK for another 2 years of hard riding. I stupidly ditched the frame, not realizing it was salvageable. That was after I got my second Bottechia touring model from the late 6o's.
The "Universals" would be cool, I think. Right now, it has the Weinmann "Vainqueur" cp's, which are great, but I was thinking a more original setup wouild be nice. The old ones are OK; lots of scuffs and nicks from being out there. I crashed the bike near Truckee, Ca. one summer. Both brakes went out! After that, I became a brake freak.
No failures since that event occurred. The "Universals" were fine brakes, I just didn't have them adjusted correctly. Some law has it that things will most likely fail when you most need them to work. The "Universals" look real nice on the bike. I have not seen any around N. Calif., anywhere I've been. Pretty rare, I suppose. I set up the bike with a new cottered crank spindle...which was an attempt to keep things original.
Sugino s5s with new bearing cups, too. That may have been dumb, but I figured it's done. Now, I'm thinking of trying to make it OEM all the way, just for fun.
Drop a line about condition, if you recall them well enough.
Good rides, JONathan

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by T-Mar on 1/13/2004 at 12:56:05 PM
The Universal 61 centre-pull brakes and levers are not difficult to come by. However, find a set of the hoods in decent condition is very difficult. If anytone has a set of hoods in good condition, I'm be interested.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JONathan on 1/14/2004 at 7:04:24 AM
Thanks, Tom. There is a nice set on display at "Classic Rendevous" of the #61's. Look way better than my set. I may have to use the ones I have. The hoods are brittle and peeling apart, but maybe that's what the vintage is all about.
Cheers, JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JB on 1/15/2004 at 2:42:04 AM
Enjoyed Bottecchia comments by Jonathon...just finished fixing a 73...has the Balilla brakes...Gnutti hubs....not as fast off the mark as my old french bike...but definitely a solid...well built ride...how do those old Balillas rank compared to others of the period (they're aluminum)

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JONathan on 1/15/2004 at 5:58:37 PM
Thanks, JB. The Classic Rendevous Bottechia is a lot like mine. Mine is lacking the taped decals and no pump pins...maybe they were removed.
I don't see any vestiges of the pins. The cable braze-ons are identical. Mine is black with beacoup chromium. Can you believe I threw the aluminum
fenders out for a Spring curbside pickup!? I guess all I wanted to do was ride, back then. Yes, this bike is a bit heady at slow speeds. Very stiff ride for a steelie.
After I get it up above 20km/hr things improve immensely in handling. If I blow out the carbon, she really hauls down the expressway. I've never been passed
in that mode. MTB's are a blur! I think those bikes were designed for enhanced performance at sporty clips. You're right, they are not quick, city bikes.
Climbs great, too. I snapped a chain on one hill, but I was really heeving on it. The stiffer triangle gives a lot of direct transfer of power. You need a good chain for these bikes!
I haven't Balilla brakes around here. The CR site has pictures of a set. They look "pro".
Everyone loves the bike, only it's too big for anyone to ride, except me. That's nice.
Rides, JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic posted by JB on 1/17/2004 at 12:00:20 AM
You're right on the hill-pulling power of Bottecchia...I live in a narrow valley.....1/2 mile up and out ...I don't have to stand up in the pedals on the Bott...it still has the upper tube pump pegs...are those pumps available?? I've checked ebay occasionally...no success. Otherwise...I'm keeping the old ride stock.

   Silca pumps posted by JONathan on 1/17/2004 at 11:37:59 PM
JB, they have the pumps. Try Silca. I have a Silca, but it's not for the frame pegs.
I have a clamp for the seat-tube that holds the handle. The Silca pumps are still available.
Good luck,