| A coworker of mine mentioned his father use to race bicycles back when he was young, and that he still had the bike in his attic. He said it was a German make and that his Dad bought it in Germany when he was in the Army.I asked him to take some pictures so I could try to identify it. All I have is a b&w xerox of the headtube and wondering if anyone could help me out. The Lugwork looks rather ornate, the top of the badge says " Express Werke" in two lines and "Actengestellschaft" (first letters are blurred this is my best guess??) under that in smaller letters. The badge looks like a Black Flacon on a shield with crowns on top of the shield. Under the shield is "Neumarkt b. Nurnberg" in two lines. I looked at Classic rendevous and did'nt see anything like it. I'm hoping for more pictures or perhaps the bike itself. Again any help is appreciated. Thanks!!|
| Saw a few more pictures. Looks to be a five speed and the rear derailleur looks like a Simplex. According to a website I found, Express Werke was closed in 1959. When did they make Simplex Derailleurs?? Also looks like it is equipped with side pull Alloy Calipers with alloy levers. the shifter seems to be mounted on the Stem. All this points to a 1970's boom bike, but the frame seems much older and they didn't make these past 1959. I'm confused. Well the guy is bringing in the bike on Thursday so i'll get a good look at it then. |
| Simplex derailers go back to the early 50s(late 30s maybe) and the early 50s simplex "tour de France" sure go high on ebay!The only Express Werke bike I saw on the web was on bikerodnkustom site a german kid fished one out of the river and painted it hotrod colors---made a nice lookin bike.But they were not generally high end bikes.But you never know!---sam|
| Has anyone considered what the outcome would be if one of the top riders in the Tour de France were to ride the race on a NOS equipped top of the line vintage bike say like the De Rosa Merckx rode in the early 70's? Would the weight/components make that much difference to a world class cyclist? Obviously the team has to ride the new equipment with the sponsorships noted - but would be interesting to know if the high end "steel" bikes of the 70's could "compete" with the high-tech (if not high quality), bikes of today. Would also like to know if the Pros covet the older vintage machines? |
| I have thought about this also. But, I think the bikes are much better now than then - quality-wise, weight wise, etc. But also, one important factor - the gear shifting. I doubt the old down-tube shifters could really compete with today's shifters.|
Now, a track bike - that may be a different story.
| How much have the minimum weights changed over the years? I believe it's now 6.8 kg (15 lb). Several 1975 catalogs (Raleigh, Fuji, Moto) show their "professional" models weighing 20 - 21 lb. Probably more important than improved shifters is the increase in gear ratios. With 10-speed clusters, riders have a wide range of very close ratios to choose from and can keep a steady cadence on almost any grade.|
| I do not agree that yesteryear's bikes are of lower "quality" than today's, because the former are arguably more durable than the latter. |
The biggest advantages of today's bikes are: 3 kg less overall weight, better brakes, superior tires, and higher top gears. The default bottom gear ratio in the TdF has hovered around 50 gear-inches for many years (48/26 then, 39/21 now), but typical top gear ratios have gone from 100 to 130 gear-inches (52/14 then, 53/11 now). The super-high gear ratios (which I still think are silly for John Q. Public) and the ability to shift with both hands on the handlebar are significant only on the fast descents, so they really don't affect overall times by much.
It would be interesting to plot historic trends in average speeds in bicycle racing against those in, say, running to estimate how much is due to the riders, rather than the equipment. The most important component of any racing bicycle is still the person atop the saddle.
One of the guys on BikeForums suggested that someone should sponsor a vintage-style Tour de France, with 50-year-old cyclists on 50-year-old bikes. I asked him if we could loosen that to 100 years total age of rider and bike, so that I could ride my Capo. :)
| There is a big difference in a modern bicycle. For me, the biggest factor is the aerodynamics, especially on the TT bikes. Next would be the STI/Ergopower shifting in conjunction with the ramped cogs that allow you to shift under load on the big climbs, while keeping your hand on the bars. Third on my list would be the lower weight. Improvements in tires, more gears, etc., are all notable, but would be lower on my personal list. |
While the vintage machines should be more reliable, I must say that I am impressed with the reliability of the modern machines given the complexity of their mechanisms and the low weight.
| I believe the STI shifters and the cogs of today (more cogs - closer ratios - better meshing of the chain) would be ....probably the biggest advantage over the older bikes.|
| How many gear ratios does one need? Mine are spaced an average of 6 percent apart, which means I can usually match my preferred candence within +/- 3 percent, except on steep ascents or descents. |
| My 2 cents are; "the rider makes the biggest difference", as was put forward by J.E.. That is not a theory as I live by it everyday...see it all the time. I must admit it is still a joy to see more riders out there, even if it is on the bikes built for professional racers riden by duffers. Problem is the LBS's have dwindled away (without replacement) parts for the vintage, comfortable, reliable and skill-challenging lightweights of superb craftsmanship.|
| I need to vent just a bit! I figure there is not much use in trying to vent to my folks here at home - because they just wouldn't understand....but I know the folks here will understand - and can sympathize......|
I spotted a nice red Trek 400 today. It looked like it had just been unloaded and set out back at a well-known thrift store. I got a close look at it....and it looked to be in really good condition. I kind of hung around and when someone stepped out back (I'm pretty sure it was a manager) - I asked whether they would be putting the bike in the store for sale. He said no - he was throwing it away. I was shocked - and I'm sure he saw the look of shock on my face. He said it was broken. (it didn't look broken to me). I said I could fix it....He said he had to throw it away....I said...well, can I just get it then - since you are throwing it away?....NO.....he can't do that. And so now I'm thinking.....I thought the store was originally based on people donating things that needed minimal repair - and they fixed them and sold them.......and I'm thinking.....what's broken about that bike?....and I'm thinking....I've seen the bikes they put our for sale in there.....and most of them are a lot worse broken than that bike was. And then I'm thinking.....maybe it's not going to be thrown away...maybe it's going to someone else!!!
So, I see it as 2 scenarios:
1) if he really feels it's broken and he's throwing it away - then he's throwing away a very nice bike!!!!!
2) if he has it set aside for himself - or for someone else - then it's not fair that folks on the inside get the pick of all the donated merchandise for themselves, their families, and friends, etc.
I had the same experience at another thrift store a couple years back.....some very nice old vintage bikes......that somehow never made it to the floor for sale. When I had asked about them - the man told me that they had to be processed, etc......but they never made it out to the floor....they dissappeared that night between closing and when the store openned the next morning. Also, I recall hearing on a nationally syndicated radio talk show - the spouse of someone who worked in one of those stores was telling how they get the pick of whatever is donated....sometimes valuable merchandise, computer stuff, etc. actually still in the box, etc.....all of it...and those folks had all sorts of nice stuff they got as it was dropped off....etc.
OK...sorry......but I just had to vent my frustrations.
.....oh, another thing....I almost forgot: I remember one day at one of those thrift stores - I saw a cart full of stuff.....I walked over and looked....because I saw this electric sander - very nice....and I was in need of one that size at the time. I looked at the price......I was shocked.....it was priced so low....rediculously low! Very inconsistent with the normal pricing. Then I noticed other items in the cart - they were all very, very, extremely low priced compared with the normal pricing for those items....plus, all the items were very nice things. I was very surprised. Then, a gentleman who was sitting on a chair in front of the cart turned around and told me that those were his things. His english wasn't very well - but I did understand that all the items in the cart were his. Looking at the items - I knew that these weren't items that had sat on the shelf for so long that they marked them down to try and get rid of them......somehow, these were specially priced items.....some kind of inside dealings I suppose.
OK, I feel better now.
| Suggestion: Before giving up, try your luck with a few of the other employees when he's not looking - sometimes you'll get lucky.|
| Saw a bumper sticker that said"ride it like you stold it"--sam|
| I no longer donate any "good bikes" to Goodwill or other big name thrift stores, for this same reason and seems to be no sense to pricing and some places seem to have a couple of customers(maybe even employees) that get the deals. Any quality stuff I donate goes to a local non profit community bike shop, or I put some stuff at a free community bike rack at a recycled cycles shop, its near a college and I like to think maybe a bicycle smart college student can use it. Lately I have gone cold turkey on hitting the thrift stores for "bargains",Yeah! one month!|
Jon in Des Moines
| Ever tried having a little joke at the expense of your local Rip-off Thrift Shop? |
Find a small kid's bike in nice condition thrown out on the side of the street, and flip the cranks and rear wheel around from the right to the left side...then donate it -doubt it if anyone bothers to look at what side the chainring is on.
Bet they'll have a fun time trying to figure that one out!
| I've heard that some thrift shops won't sell or give away ANY bike because they've decided that they're exposing themselves to legal liability when someone gets hurt on it. I don't know why the same reasoning doesn't apply to everything in the shop; maybe they only sell broken toasters that won't burn your fingers!|
| >...because they've decided that they're exposing themselves to legal liability when someone gets hurt on it.|
Simply an elaborate twaddle of an excuse cooked up for one crooked means or another.
I distinctly recall a Salvation Army on the west coast of FL that had a bunch of beat up, rusted relics (new and old) in the back - nothing there under $30. One of the employees remarked that they had a 10% discount going that day on any price there...
Had a good laugh when I thought of the once-glorious, now completely rotten '50s women's Huffy balloon-tire bike sitting to the side there without a saddle or other important items, full of blue housepaint, marked $49 w/10% discount. What a deal...my foot.
The next Goodwill down the road had a modern Huffy cruiser with a sorely bent frame for $1, and a rather nice 24 X 1-3/8 '60s trike for $3, missing one tire and tube. Go figure!
| Just wondering what a 40 year old Schwinn Hollywood bicycle would be worth? I actually recently got it fixed up with new tires & pedals. So, it's basically in excellent condition. Just wondering what it might be worth?|
| Well... what you can do is actually do an Ebay search for the item. Track similar items as to what prices they are bringing.|
Larry "Boneman" Bone
| Yea i've been there and they only have new frames for sale. No info on older ones, but thanks for the input!!|