| just pulled this bike from under the house where they sit till I get time to look at them... I had kind of dimissed it at first, cause it looked sort of like a varsinental that was to small, anyway, its a 1972(CHO70688)with a three piece crankset, a neat looking nervar, with a recessed area on the crankarm with heavy texture in it, alloy chainrings. weinnman 27" wheels on french, Schwinn approved QR hubs. Schwinn letour rear derailer and one of those rear freewheels with the skip tooth teeth on the big rings, works out to 34 teeth on the big cog. Regular schwinn approved front derailer, alloy randoneur style drop bars on a british made alloy S stem. Uber long headset mounted shift levers(the kind like stem mounted but on that big plate).|
the weird thing is that it looks at first glance to be a tiny frame, a real short head tube, but its almost 23" along the seat tube. the BB is really low, about 10 1/2 inches from the ground, and the top tube is 23". it has forged drops with a derailer hanger. the chainstays are almost 19" from the BB to the end of the dropouts. there is a strange little stop in the leftside dropout, only letting the wheel go back halfway. I don't see the use for this thing, but its removable. there are no frame mounts other than the fender eyelets. the only real damage to the bike is the seat tube collar has been pried and there is a break in the metal next to the bottom of the slot. annoying but brazable. paint is rough but OK enough.
it feels like a decent touring geometry to me, long chainstays, low BB and all, and even though it feels like a 23" bike the top tube does that schwinn thing and sets an inch below the top of the head and seat tubes, so a lower standover hight, I kind of like that.
Does anyone know anything about this kind of rig, what it was for, or why schwinn painted things such a horrible yellow?
If this frame is as sturdy as varsitys or contys, I think that it would make a grand little tourer.
But I would like to add bottle eyelets, fender mounts, and possibly brake bosses to upgrade to cantilever or V's. and of course barend shifters, alloy seat post, maybey a triple. but I will leave the schwinn approved bottle generator and lights.
or should I leave it as original as possible?
| This sounds more like a Sports Tourer than a Japanese-built "World" bike. The ST usually has a Nervar crank, the stem you describe, and is fillet-brazed rather than lugged construction, which is what all (?) the Japanese-built Schwinns would be. Look at http://www.geocities.com/sldatabook/models.html?200525|
and see if you find it there.
| I was at a thrift store the other day and saw them getting ready to send an old Gitane frame (with SOME components intact) to the scrap metal company. I decided to save it temporarily. |
Anybody able to give me an idea what model it would be?
I can't get pictures right now, but will see if I can later.
To describe it...
Frame feels very lightweight. But that's hard to judge as it's missing bars, wheels and derailleurs.
Paint appears to be original and is brown. (Maybe "bronze" or "copper," but seems to dark for those descriptors I've seen.)
It has a small "Cycles Gitane. Made in France. 44" label on the seat tube. This one is multicolored and appears to use the logo from the late 60s.
It has clear decals with yellow-gold "cycles gitane" on the down tube. This appears to be the font style they began using in the mid 70s. Very plain, only a single line for flourish.
Fork tips are NOT chrome (as in most of the TdF models I've seen). It has a chrome cap on the very top of the frame. Under that on each side of the frame is a small gold logo decal (three circles overlapping with a tail dropping from the top one to make a "g"). And, there's another decal with a v-shaped multicolored insignia.
Brakes are both present and are Mafac Racers.
Levers are DiaCompe.
The remaining cranks is a cottered Solida.
(Missing the right crank and chainwheels.)
Stem is Pivo.
Saddle is San Marco.
Since it seems to be a pretty good frame but is missing so many original parts, I thought it might be a good candidate for a single-speed or fixie conversion.
I know there would be some obstacles to doing this. I wouldn't mind some advice on that later.
| Probably gaspipe with the Solida crank/Mafac etc. Perfect for a fixed conversion. Don't try to jam a standard stem in that headtube. Need a bar to match the french stem. That's Brake reach can be iffy if you go 700c rims. Chainline/axle width is the other typical consideration...keep it dead straight. I saw a similar Peugeot conversion with a Raleigh cottered crank (and axle?) that just looked good that way. Do it.|
| as far as the frame is concerned, 6 lbs stripped indicates gaspipe and under 4 will be butted. Thereabouts...|
| ...around 4 to 4 1/2 will be butted|
| Excellent candidate for a fixie!|
| Thanks for the response. |
Sounds like I should strip it down and weigh it if I want a better idea of the frame quality--suspecting that it is cheaper steel.
Any other ways to get a sense of that?
Can you tell much by the thickness of the steel (maybe taking out the seat post and measuring the thickness of the wall of the seat tube)?
Thanks for the advice on the headset. I'm planning to leave that alone for now. It appears to be in good shape. I don't think the bike got that much mileage.
As one of the cottered cranks is missing, is it possible to replace the spindle with something that would allow a wider variety of cranks? Any idea what I would ask for at my local bikeshop?
| Assuming the seat tube has a standard 28.6mm outer diameter, a seat post diameter of 27.2mm would indicate butted Reynolds 531; 26.4, straight gauge 531; smaller, gaspipe.|
| What John says is true but there were special Reynolds french tubing sizes that were I believe, slightly smaller (metric instead of imperial). Vitus was a possibility too. If it has stamped dropouts, it's not going to be butted. A forged drop will suggest a better steel.|
Theres an interesting french bike page here.
| True to form, the French used a "hard metric" 28mm outer diameter on the seat tube, instead of the otherwise ubiquitous 28.6 = 1-1/8". I believe a Peugeot PX-10 takes a 26.4mm or 26.6mm seatpost, rather than a 27.0 or 27.2.|
| Just a question. Does anyone know if they made the Men's 1975 version with a camelback like the Boy's or if the Boy's that year only had the camelback frame? Thanks.|
| I strongly recommend reposting under balloon / middleweight discussion area.|
| I recently bought a Hercules bicycle. The head badge reads Birmingham, England and not Nottingham (which would indicate it was made before 1960 when Raleigh took over). However, lettering on the frame reads AMF Hercules (which means that it was distributed in the USA by AMF for Raleigh after 1960). It is a one speed with a coaster brake. The hubs read "made in America" and I assume they are not the originals. Any input you could provide would be extremely helpful. Thanks!|
| Change the rear wheel out to a 3 speed.|
| I concur that the bike may have started out as a 3-speed. You may want to repost under "English Roadsters" to obtain feedback from folks who really know Raleigh, Hercules, Armstrong, etc. 3-speed bikes.|
| Was wondering why Raleigh stamped the bottom bracket 'TT' on this model, the only difference I see is the use of tubular tires. The frame itself seems to be exactly like the regular Super Course. Pretty sure it's a 1972 model I have.|
| Never were tubs on a Super Course. 27" till around 75 and then they were 700c clinchers. Maybe the bottom bracket was sourced from outside. The lugs were Nervex.|
| In the 1973 Raleigh catalog they show the Super Course TT and wheel size is listed as 27" with tubeulars. The regular Super Course is a seperate model in the catalog. Check Sheldon Brown's Retro-Raliegh website, the have many images from cataloges.|
| Beg your pardon...never heard of one with tubulars but as you point out, it's in the catalogue. Nisi sprint rims maybe. I had looked at the 72 catalogue and didn't see them there. 74 just lists high pressure alloy.|
TT is usually short for Time Trial. Tubular tires would be an odd thing to name a model after but hey, stranger things have happened.
| Does seem odd, mine has the pre 1973 graphics with bronze paint. Only red paint offered on the TT in '73. I was Looking for a serial number and simply found "TT" on the bottom bracket and no numbers. Anyway, thanks for your input Warren.|