| Ran across an Astra at a thrift..I know it was a cheap Moto knockoff, but it is a Tour de France model..Huret stuff, but I'm a sucker for old French, so 20 bucks later, it's on the porch, and the wife is giving me the weird stare. What is up with the long shift levers on the downtube (still has rubber caps)..they have to be 4+ inches long..more to grab I guess. Anyone have any insights on this marque, I'm all ears|
| I have an old Hercules 10-speed with touring bars and those Huret down-tube shifters - which must be at least 4" long! I don't really know why they made them so long.|
I remember when I was a kid - I had picked up some old 10-speed...probably a department store brand.....no markings or head badge or anything.....but I remember it had these stem shifters.....they were very, very long....and they had these black knobs on the ends.....just like some type of stick shift....it was weird.
| I don't know if I would call Astra a cheap Moto Knock-off, back when they first showed up here, they were Motobecanes way of marketing a bike here in the USA, I believe there was some affilitation with DP Harris, (Rollfast). I had one years ago with Reynolds 531 tubes, and Huret gear changers. They sold levels of bikes. |
In the later years, towards the end, Motobecane also began selling under their own name here, in effect competing with Astra and it's distributors. I was told that this is what brought an end to Astra, while Motobecane continued to sell under their own logo.
The long shifters were common on many brands, I've seen them on various bikes of that era. I just had a '62 Varsity with a set of them with the common 'S' Logo, and I had a Vanquer with the same shifter with an 'H' logo. I've seen a few styles in that length. I;ve also seen one version that is just a chrome lever with an outlined rough inner surface.
| You're right, Joe, cheap was not the best description of this bike. It does have the Moto "M" on the chrome forks, and also on the plastic handlebar plugs. It has cleaned up real nice..it's 20 degrees here in the midwest, so a test ride will have to wait. Thanks for clearing up its lineage.|
| SheldonBrown.com lists the Astra as "Beacon Cycle house brand, made by Motobécane". I'm not familiar with Beacon Cycle, but maybe someone can chime in on that topic. I have had a couple of their entry level bikes that were similar to a Peugeot UO-8 (guess it would be more like the entry level Moto, no?). Both had chalky white paint...the worst French paint I have encountered. Mine too had the LONG Huret shifters; one bike had them on the downtube the other on the stem.|
| A final note on the Astra..found some nice Pivo alloy bars to match the stem...had some newer Moto Araya rims..put them on...the little bike scoots right along..it's comfortable frame size will get it some miles when the weather breaks|
| My friend has a Miyata 1100 A road bike with aluminum frame and is asking $200.00. I really like the bike but would like any information on this bike. What did this bike cost when it was new, and how is the quality.|
| The late 80's Miyata aluminum frames were decent but not known as anything special. The value of the bike is dependant on the components and condition. A full description of all parts are necessary to evaluate it.|
If I had to guess, I think $200 is the top end price for a bike like this, assuming it has a mid quality group (early 105 for example)
| Do ALL Campagnolo BB square tapered bottom bracket spindles have the same dimensions? Newer ones conform to ISO standards, I believe. Japanese, and most other newer, spindles conform to JIS. Are older Campy spindles the same? How about other older European mfrs; Zeus, Stronglight, TA, Ofmega etc? |
| Not always! Best to match chainset and BB for best fit, as some tapers are different, certainly as far as track bikes go anyway.|
| I believe the taper itself is always 2 degrees, and only the end dimension varies. If I am correct, then one can distinguish between ISO and JIS spindles simply by measuring the width of either cut-off end. |
The easiest way to test compatibility test is perhaps simply to mount one crank onto the spindle and to observe whether the spindle goes most of the way through the channel in the crank, without bottoming out.
With older equipment, I was always able to interchange European spindles and cranks with one another and with SunTour, but not with Shimano. With a 1990s Campag. Veloce crankset and a Campag. cartridge BB, however, I find that the cranks sit out farther from the centerline than I would have expected.
| I have a old raligh record I'm putting together, and ran into a problem. the threads on the right side of the bottom bracket are kind of worn, took it in to have it apart and putting it back tonight was a little hairy, the cup caught good threads for the last five turns or so, and seems tight, so I put it all together and it feels ok, but.|
is it possible to have the bottom bracket rethreaded to a twenty four thread per inch from the twentysix per?
the twentysix TPI seems to be hard to get, and I would like something a little more replacable. any options out there would be great, thanks.
| I believe your only option would be to rethread it to accept an Italian threaded B.B. |
| If it reassembled OK, I would just leave it alone for now. There is very a small chance of it stripping out, because English- and Swiss-threaded fixed cups are self-tightening, but five good threads may be able to hold.|
| This is clearly a Super Course. Reynolds 531 straight gage tubing just like the ones out of the Worksop facility. But I don't see the Worksop decal. I know that when the Raleigh USA marque first appeared, there were still Worksop models being marketed. But where was this one made?|
Dick in L.A.
| Which Super Course Dick?|
| Well quap! Too many margaritas! It's item 7213918098 on ebay.|
| And it went for $255. A very nice bike. I like the sloping fork crown. I usually don't like the Raleigh USA stuff. How many ways can you put you brand name on a bike? This one was definitely worth the price though. And $40 shipping including insurance. How many auctions have you seen with $100+ shipping - you pay insurance? Maybe should have bid.|
Dick in L.A. with too many Super Courses
| A very sweet period Japanese road bike...great value in a rider for not a lot of money.|
| Thats the best set of pictures I've ever seen on an auction. Wow.|
| Japanese huh? Any idea who in Japan built it?|
Dick in L.A.
| Hard to say...Kuwahara, SR maybe. I'm not familiar with the makers but there were (and still are) lots of them. |