| I just purchased one at a garage sale. Pretty dirty, spider webs, etc but no rust. Can anyone tell me anything about it? How to clean it? Should I use it? I found a lot of info on Brooks leather saddles, very little on Ideale and nothing on a 39. Equivalent to Brooks? Thanks for the help. CJ|
| If I recall correctly the 39 was a touring saddle...a little wider than the racing saddle. Clean and treat same as Brooks. Very nice saddle and it should be comfy...if not, it'll make a nice display or fetch 50 bucks or more on ebay.|
| Hello all. I have several old Varsities & Continentals that I am wanting to liven up by replacing the steel rims w/ aluminum ones. I was looking on the Bikepartsusa web site and noticed the 27" Weinmann wheels that they have on here are quite affordable (the same price as what a new rim & spokes would cost). Does anyone have any experience or opinions of these wheels? I'm a pretty low-tech type guy and have been satisfied with the Weinmann rims of old, and was wondering if they were similar. Also, how are the hubs that they are laced to? Thanks in advance for any replies. |
| Their website is down for maintenance, but ANY aluminum rim has to be an improvement over your steel Varsinental rims, and the hubs are probably at least as good. (The French hubs in Varsinentals were not especially reliable, with readily-bent axles and readily-pitted cones, but they did work pretty well when new.)|
| I've got one Continental that I put a set of Araya alloy wheels from a Raleigh Pursuiton, and it is such a drastic improvement that it has inspired me to try it with my others (hence the original question). I've had good luck with the French & Japanese Schwinn hubs. I've never broke an axle and only bent maybe one (knock on wood!) and I've done lots of riding on them when I weighed 370 lbs or more (down to 295 lbs now by the way). |
| Nice going Frank! I come in at 220# (lightweight!) and the nutted-axles are stronger than the hollow quick-release variety...why do track bikes use nutted-axles? Ain't by accident. They are stronger. It is pretty hard to bend an axle on forged-forks Schwinn "varsity" when the nut is tightened up right. A lot of force is transfered through the surface of the fork blade and nut which are much tighter than a skewered axle. Most of my bent axles (never snapped one in half so far) derive from a loose cone and bearing; a perfect condition for bending axles.Those hp Araya rims are incredibly strong. I take mine on rough (dirt levee) roads and hardly have to true up afterward. I can't say about all Arayas, but I know some are superior and quite available as they came on bike-boom bikes that are all over. Lately, I have seen fewer vintage lightweights, so the availability factor has gone down in my area. I'll buy a bike just to get those wheels. |
| Since everyone's blasting the Varsinental S-6 rims around here, may I ask if anyone has an excellent (and I mean excellent, to the point of NOS) pair of front/rears, or simply a pair of S6 rims? |
I wouldn't mind saving on shipping by going for simply the rims if possible, and I would much prefer stainless spokes anyway.
P.S.: For those of you who want to know why: It's for a refurbishing of a '71 Continental to showroom-new condition...it's not going to be ridden much, that's why I want the S-6 rims.
| The best I have seen are "very good" condition...no dings, chrome is still intact, but slightly faded with some slight brake scuff. I hope you find a pristine set. |
| I agree that the steel rims are hard to find in excellent condition. Yet another reason I want to switch as many as I can to aluminum rims. I get sick of cleaning the rust off of them. I do have a set of steel wheels that cleaned up to near mint, but aren't for sale as they are on my 1976 "bicentennial" colored Varsity that I scored for $5 at a yard sale. They are the only ones I seen in all my years of looking at and buying bikes that cleaned up that well.|
JONathon, I know what you mean about buying a bike for the wheels. I've done this many a time. Seems like aound here (Columbus, Indiana) that every bike purchased in the 70s through 80s was sold in nothing under a 26" frame size, so if they are cheap, I'll buy 'em, even though I can't possibly ride them. Lot of good stuff on those old bikes. The squirreling away of old parts has saved me many a trip to the bike shop and subsequently many dollars.
| I was considering those rims from Bikepartsusa myself but no one has answered your original question. I have a pair of wienmann rims on one of my bikes but I don't know if they are the same.|
| alumunnium rims for bmw R-50|
| I am looking for a 1976 ross bicenntial girls bike for my sister that she had year ago. Our dad gave it away and i would like to supries her with it for x-mas. I live int he Albany Ny area. i will drive to get it at the right price. If you can help let me know. Thank you. Tony|
| Working on the Expresse Werke bike and thought I would start with the saddle (Too hot in the garage for anything else). It is a suspended leather saddle like Brooks but the rear badge says Corsa. Stamped in the leather on either side is Dolomiti in large letters and model Gran Prix in smaller letters. There is also B17 stamped on either side of the Dolomiti stamp. Can't find anything about Corsa or Dolomiti on the web that is of any use. Anyone ever see one of these before? I'll have to post some pictures. Could Brooks have made these for the Italian market?|
| I think my Bottecchia has Dolomiti rims. ....it could be an Italian twist on that saddle.|
| It's hard to imagine that "Corsa" or "Dolomiti" really suggest the wheels and saddle are from the same source; think "Roubaix." But the "B17" is very suggestive. Do you have an old Brooks for comparison? I wonder if the "Corsa" saddle is an OEM Brooks intended to suggest a cool Italian origin to the German buyers of Express Werke bikes. (I believe that "English" does not have the same coolness attributes as "Italian" to the Germans...)|
I just picked this up at a Goodwill today for $20. Thought it was purty..;o) I think it's "vintage". Seems to work well and be all original. Can anyone tell me about it?
| Interesting with what looks like internal-lugged or welded tubing..for a late '70's, early '80's bike. Motobecane came with Japanese componentry which was a bold move for that time among the European makes. You definitely got a good deal for $20...a way good deal! Just those alloy rims and skewered hubs are worth double that. I would have expected center-pull brakes and the front looks to be a long-reach side-pull; possible accommodation for fenders. What make is the derailer? Hey, that bike is real clean! Nice find.|
| hey Jonathan|
Thanks for your reply. I took a few more pictures...if you want I can email them off-list.
Yes it's a clean bike. Even the tires are holding air. I rode it last night and it felt great. It's a small enough frame for a 5'5" woman.
Ok..I'm kind of a novice about components...butthe brakes sa Weinmann Type 730, the crank Nervar, Sacs Huret Rinal Derailler...the thing that locks the wheel on, Spidel and the frame says inexternal cr mo...
I googled this bike so I know a little more. I'd never even heard of this maker..only Peugeot (SP?) I know it wasn't a top of the line bike...but it's sooo pretty..;o) Dark grey Metal flake paint... love the lights, too.
| I think you got a great deal!|
I have basically the same bike - except that mine says "Le Velo" on it instead of "Mirage". It's the same frame, same color, same design patterns on the frame, same bars - with that molded on rubber/gum wrap stuff. It even had the Sachs-Huret rear der......which I swapped out - because it didn't work even half-way decently.
| Gralyn...Thanks for sharing...|
Yes our bikes are twins! Any idea what year they are...and why yours says " Le Velo "? Where did you get yours? Do you ride it? I'm enjoying mine. Can't wait to take it on a real ride.
| I'm pretty sure my LeVelo is a 1986 model. I bought it at my favorite thrift store for $12. I ride it some - but not that much. |
| That lugless construction is Motobecane's Inexternal brazing process. It dates the bicycle as no earlier than 1983. The brand name was changed to MBK after the firm went bankrupt. Not sure of the exact date, but I think that was around 1986. So, it pretty much pegs your as a mid-1980s model. In this range, Motobecane normally used Maillard hubs and these usually have a two digit year code which should help narrow things down. Components are generally the same year or one year older than the frame, provided they are original to the bicycle.|
| T-Mar you helped me nail it! *1985*|
20 years old and obviously spent most of it's life sitting around somewhere...unless the owner was super careful. There was a Schwinn Le Tour about the same vintage (same price)in a larger frame size with it. But that one showed alot of wear and tear...his and hers betcha...
| While visiting our house in France, I was looking for a dished wheel for my old Hopper, (Lincoln Imp) which had been reduced to fixed wheel and was just the wrong gear to climb our local hill (as used on stage 6 of this year's tour de avenir and on the 03 ladies tour de France), when I came across a sad looking MBK Mirage for 50 Euros, considerably less than I would have paid for a wheel and fittings, in a bricante in Chateauroux. |
I found your site most useful, dating the Mirage to about 86 and finding it had all its original equipment. I think it must have had new tires as they were unworn but flat. After a good clean, slight adjustment to the gears and removing the near solid lubricant from the bottom bracket it went like the wind.
| Link for picture|
| A few messages ago I talked about an Express Werke bike that a buddy had from his father. Well I get to work on it today. His Dad bought it new in 1952 but I'm not sure what is original. It has a Simplex Prestige rear der, the shifter is mounted on the stem, Has Weinmann alloy brakes and a Dolomiti leather saddle. His dad kept it in good mechanical condition; I don't feel and resistance on any of the bearings. My biggest wonder is the Simplex Prestige derailleur, did they make them in Bakelite back then? And would the Dolomiti be original? it seems to be a little dry, but there is no cracking and only a few scratches. And When did Alloy brake calipers come into use. I never worked on anything this old before (three years older than I am). This will be fun!!|
| That delrin or bakelite material was around way before the '50's. Now, the question still remains wheter it was used in the derailers. My guess is that it was used. All of my Prestige derailers developed fractures near the articulation points on the housing (frame) of the derailer.|
They worked, but I changed them out, as the breakage of the housing could send it right into the rear wheel. I have not had problems with the heavier plastic derailers, just the prestige, which is a lightweight unit for racing. It shifted quite well.
I use Japanese components for repairs on bikes destined for commute/rec. ridership. The European parts are hard to find; except for Campy, that are in useable condition. Good luck. My earliest ride is a Peugeot...about '52-'53. It is the P-60, I beleive, with really ancient cranks and cantilever front brakes!
| I believe the plastic Simplex Prestige derailleurs were introduced in 1962. Not too many of the original versions seem to have survived. Most that surface are from the late 1960s or newer, when the molds were changed and steel side plates were added to re-inforce the parallelogram. |