| Hi, I just recently bought an old (from some time in the 80's) Fuji frame at a swap meet. I was hoping to put some of newer parts on it and I was wondering if anyone knows of any problems I might encounter. The frame is set up to have down tube shifters - but I was hoping to put ErgoPower lever shifters on it. Should that work? What about the bottom bracket...I assume that it used to have a standard "cup and cone" style, and I would like to use a newer English standard BB...anyone know of any sizing incongruincies or any other reasons this wouldn't work? Any other problems?|
| It's pretty doable, particularly given the English/ISO BB threading. You will have to spread the rear triangle to 126mm (8-speed using 9-speed parts) or 130mm (proper 9-speed). You will also have to find a gear cable housing stop clamp for the downtube, like the ones used with barcons. I have been having some trouble finding one recently, although they used to be readily available.|
Make sure the frame is of high quality, e.g. "quad-butted CrMo." If you secure most of your components on eBay or at swap meets, you can probably put the bike together at a reasonable total cost, and if you are like me, you may prefer the ride quality of a fine old steel frame over one of today's close-coupled "boneshakers."
| John, I think 8/9 speed require 135 mm...yes? Shimano sells two adaptors for downtube braze-ons. They generally come with their barend shifters. |
| I have a couple of bikes.....that I would like to upgrade to STI shifting. They will currently accomodate 7-speed rear. 7-speed is OK with me. I'm thinking they made STI systems for 7-speed. I know for sure - 8-speed.....but I'm thinking also 7-speed. You would think I could find a 7-speed system out there somewhere at a reasonable price....considering some folks may have upgraded to 9-speed.|
| Warren, the official standard rear triangle overlock width for road bikes is:|
120mm 5-speed and "ultra-6"
128mm 7-speed (126 often works)
130mm 8-speed or 9-speed (dishing gets even more severe)
(9-speed takes a narrowed chain)
| I stand corrected! again...|
| Thanks, that is useful!|
| Gralyn. Because cog spacing is the same with 7 & 8 spd, an old 8 spd STI shifter set will work with a seven speed cassette, with one gear unused on the shifter.|
| Each year I check out what the university and college students are riding. In years past, I have seen everything from a ratty Pinarello Montello to a bevy of Department Store Junk rides. This year, a couple of DSJ's and that's it. Hardly a vintage road bicycle in the higher education group!|
This is just one more example of a dwindling supply of vintage lightweight road bicycles. They are few and far between in the thrift shops, scarce at yard and garage sales(rummage sales) and this year only a fraction of what I am used to getting showed up at the dump.
When I got into collecting vintage lightweight road bicycles, the daily EBay "road bikes and parts" category sported roughly 4,500 enteries. Today that number is pushing the 10,000 mark and will soon pass it. This, to me at least, suggests increased interest which leads directly to increased demand of a finite supply.
There was a time a few years ago when I would go the better part of a riding season without seeing more than a couple of vintage road bicycles out for a ride. This year they are cropping up all over, allowing me tantalizing glimpses of everything from a near mint Sardoni to rusted Dawes Galaxy. It would appear that the old iron is being used rather than stored and then later scrapped. People are beginning to see/remember the value in these old bicycles. Thus, demand is again impacted while the supply remains constant.
With gasoline prices encouraging people to find cheaper means of transportation and a "baby boomer" generation that is into senior's fitness activities, the old ten speeds hanging in the garage are being seen as opportunities rather that dust collectors. Original owners are making use of their bikes rather than donating them to thrift stores or simple throwing them away.
People like to collect things! To be collectable an item must meet certain criteria and the bicycle meets almost all of the applicable requirements to encourage collectability. Demand, once again, increases...
The point is, vintage lightweight bicycles are becoming more and more sought after. Demand is on the rise. Supply is, at best, constant(actually the supply is dwindling). These two simple factors mean one thing - be prepared to pay more and more for your vintagle road bicycle stuff.
This seems to me to be the way that it is and there is no going back. In my humble opinion...
| You are absolutely correct. There is a finite supply - and demand is obviously on the increase.....and the supply is dwindling fast.|
I remember just 2 or 3 years ago - I could stop by any of about 12 - 18 thrift stores and find a supply of old 10-speed bikes. Now, none of those stores have any bikes.....only very occasionally does one show up....and they never stay in the store for more than a day....they dissappear quickly.
Also, I don't see them at yard sales anymore.
I'm always under pressure from my wife to sell my old bikes. I have sold quite a few of them....and I always have some of them listed in local papers. I've sold quite a few on e-bay - but here recently I've done much better to sell them locally, rather than on e-bay. But.....I say....once those bikes are gone....they're gone....because there aren't any more to be found.
I suppose in a way......am I sitting on a gold mine? Will these bikes and parts just get more and more valuable...more and more sought after?
I have a lot of bikes I don't want to sell. I have many that I would like to sell. I have many that I only bought to sell.
So far as old bikes on the road.......I hardly ever see one. I think I have seen maybe 3 since early Spring. One I saw yesterday.....I don't know what brand it was - but it looked to be an old 70's or early 80's ...maybe a Raleigh or something......a young guy was riding it around town.
I sure do enjoy riding my old bikes around! I keep saying I'm going to buy myself a new or used "newer" bike...with more modern equipment....STI, etc. But most times when I stop in Bike Shop.....if there is an older used bike around - I'm drawn to it...and spend more time looking at it - than at the newer ones.
| If there is visible demand for bikes on eBay, but no one is seen riding them, where are they all going ... to nonriding collectors? I know a guy in Fallbrook with 24 pristine Hetchins bikes which never get ridden, but I cannot believe anyone would be collecting tired old Peugeot UO-8s. (I just ride mine and plan to keep doing so until either it breaks or I do.)|
| I know some folks say they have seen more old bikes out there on the road. I'm sure it's different all over the country.....but I know in my area - I haven't noticed an increase of old bikes on the road. .....but I have noticed a dissappearance of old lightweights. .....Where are they?|
| I see about the same amount of spandex-riders, but a significant (3-4X) increase in commuters on vintage LW's; mostly Japanese, but occasional UO-8 or similar types. Hardly enough to account for the drop in VLW's as a market item. ALthough I've tailed off a bit on the searching, I keep my eyes open and I would definitely agree that they are going somewhere. Possibly the "finite" theory, but ,"Why so sudden a drop off"? I would expect a more gradual drop off, and it only goes in one direction...downhill. I see riders on these $125 bikes and think how strange it is that those would be chosen in preference to well tuned VLW for about the same bucks...like a UO-8, for one example. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes down. I suspect the parts will be increasing as they tend to wearout way before a frame goes down. Speaking of it, I was going to take a break today for a little r&r thrift store checking. I'll give aa update from last month's check, when I saw nothing worth hefting from the heap of scrap that was passing for bicycles. Hang on to those VLW's! Space is not a big issue for me, so I tend to stock up, until the boom gets lowered by the "critics" for the obsessive compilation.|
| I'm ready to tail off on the searching. A round today turned up nothing! After several months of rounds of nothing.....I suppose I should just stop.....or at least cut back severely. I have already cut back quite a bit......but I should more drastically.|
| All things balence out, and we can only ride ONE bike at a time....I've got my favorite vitus French bike..the others hang and get occasional service. As to the Ebay bikes...check out the prices pedestrian steel rides are commanding...finite supply, rising demand...a lesson in Economics...equals higher prices..|
Good vintage rides all
| Well, I stopped at two stores...Sal Army and GW. Found two identical "Vita Sprint" 10 speeds that were pretty rough. I might go back to get both if they'll go for $20 for the pair. Each has some interesting parts and bits. I liked the wingnuts on the axles and the nice Simplex down-tube shifters were in good shape. Mafac "racers" were in good shape. The rest of the scrap heap was a tangled chin-buster tangled mess. I think they must go into the dumper after a short stint on the blacktop. They are so bad, that they no longer place them inside for sale. Sal Army had a few bikes, but no VLW's. One decent Specialized "HardRock" for $59. One "BoardWalk" ballooner made in China was $79...go figure that! Oh, a "Murray" was hanging on the rack, but they are not lightweights. I was surprised to find these, as the last time I passed through, there were just kiddy bikes. The "Vita Sprint" was like a UO-8, only a bit heavy. Badge had "St. Eteiene" (sp.?) which refers to the region in France where tons of bikes were built in the bike-boom.|
I noticed there were tons of dropped off stuff in the lot, but no bikes. Never saw this phenomenon before. Changing demographics, perhaps? I will try the main Sal Store, later on in the month. Maybe they have some VLW's. Bottom line...the pickin's is slim.
| St. Etienne, JONathan; the final time trial in this year's Tour was there too (and we have family friends from nearby). It wasn't just the "bike-boom" years either, the place is quite similar to Birmingham in England in that many of France's large bike manufacturers were based there. France is a good place to look for old bikes if you ever fancy a holiday!|
| I'm always looking for the vintage bikes...why not go to the source? Sounds like a plan...maybe next year. So far I have a bunch of Peugeots, including an early 50's (P-60, I think), lots of the UO's; a Roold, which was serious racing bike; a Le Jeune touring bike; a Gitane (series 100); and several Motobecanes (Gran Tour; Super Mirage; GT mixte and a Nobly). The Roold is on par with the PX-10, I'd guess. The Nobly is a cafe-bike/grocery-getter. I could not make it back to GW, today. Maybe tomorrow, as those Vita Sprints were definite vintage craft. I really like the 10-speed, down-tube friction shifting bikes with long wheelbase. Who needs the STI or whatever, or 30 gears? I can;t figure out what to do with 21 anyway. Thanks for the info about St. Etiene. |
| I have an original Raleigh International that I bought new in 1973-74. The color is light green/gold. It had a Carlton pump & C-lug that were both stolen. I'm considering selling this old friend. Reynold stick worn off. Can still see the international sticker. Some rust. ...Any idea what bikes like this sell for? Or perhaps I should keep it and hang it on the wall. It really is a beautiful old bike.|
| I am interested depending on the frame size.Let me know if you determine what you want for it.|
| These come up regularly on Ebay. Watch for a few weeks until you get a feel for how they sell. The International seems to fetch the best prices of the road Raleighs. |
| I picked up, what looks to be, an early seventies made in Spain, Zeus form a retired fellow worker. The bicycle is very original an in good shape, for its age, however; the left crank is mis-matched. The entire grouppo is Zeus Alfa, including the steel cottered crank set. If anyone has a correct left crank arm, I would like to hear from you about a trade or purchase.|
While I'm on the subject, does anyone know where any good information, pertaining to the Zeus bicycles, can be found. Even though I'm not sure if I am going to keep the Zeus, I would like to learn more about them.
| My first real road bike was a 1971 Orbea OCI, a very similar spanish bike. Zeus Alpha changers with a half step double chainring (44-47?) , steel rims, bars and stems with alloy brakes. The five speed cluster was quite tight...maybe 14 - 21. |
I used to blow away my friends on their UO-8s just because of the race-friendly gears. The alpine gearing on a Peugeot is harder and slower to shift and not suitable for street racing.
Zeus later made very good pro quality bikes...they were seen as the spanish Campagnolo of the day. Your bike is an interesting example of the period but not likely to be valuable. Keep your eyes open on ebay...the occassional Zeus Alpha component shows up now and then. Just don't pay too much.
| I remember from an earlier post - that you could add a 3rd chainring to the original Schwinn Sports Tourer crankset (1972 Sports Tourer). I got my '72 green sports tourer out this weekend to ride it a little. It had been well lubed when I got it - and everything was in good working order. I had to tighten the bottom bracket a bit....and true the rear wheel just a bit. I was examining the crankset.....at the possibility of adding the 3rd chainring......but it doesn't look like there is enough space to put one there. I'm not sure it would clear the chain stay. Of course, you could add a different spindle, etc. that may put the chainrings farther out. But, after riding it a bit.......I don't know that I would really need to add the chainring.....this thing has a pretty wide range of gear ratios. The low gear is really low......it's a large skip-tooth cog......and the high gear is really high! I will verify the rear cog.......what actual tooth count it is......I know I have one skip-tooth cog on-hand that is the equivalent of 36 teeth. Even if the one on the sports tourer is 34......I know I have an even lower one. ......and , I could probably put a lower 2nd chainring up front, too,|
| Nice find. If you want to avoid the pain of changing the crank spindle, your best bet is to play around with cog and chainrng sizes. An Ultra-6 freewheel would permit you either to cover greater range or to reduce the ratiometric progression between gears, without redoing your rear axle, wheel dish, and rear triangle spread.|
Skip-tooth cogs went as small as 14T (28T equivalent), and sizes 15 through 17 (30 through 34 equivalent) were very common in those days.
| I have a skip-tooth cog with the equivalent of 36t. That's the largest I have encountered. I suspect the one I have on there now is 34t equivalent. I may just swap those out......and I may also see if I have a smaller tooth front chain ring. I'm not sure what's on there now.....maybe a 42t....or a 40t. I maybe could replace it with a 38 or 39t. I will probably do that and just forget about a 3rd chain ring. With the exception of just a couple minor changes....like swapping out a cog.....which would not be noticed....I'm leaning toward re-building it all original.|
| Which crankset do you have, Gralyn? Most cotterless Nervars, Shimanos, and Stronglights go down to 38T, Sugino Mighty Compes and Campags. of your vintage, to 42. You'll have to post some pictures when you complete your project!|