| I just picked up a Schwinn 434 with a 25 inch frame and a Schwinn Voyager 11.8, 21 inch frame. Will those with experience with these bikes tell me about them and there collector value if any, and any other information you have about them. |
| Voyageur is a well-liked bike, but I wouldn't consider it exactly "collectible." What is the "434?"|
| The Scwhinn 434 is a aluminum rode bike. I'd like to know more about it and The Schwinn Voyager 11.8. |
Who made them for Schwinn? Is The Schwinn Voyager 2 considered a better touring bike than the Schwinn Voyager 11.8? If so, why?
Here is a picture:
| Hi... when i purchased my house there was an old bike in the basement that I never paid much attention to. Now we are moving and I was wondering what to do with it. I checked it out and I think it has been painted all black. It has a crest on the front that says Glider with a bird on it and Eaton Co. Made in Canada. It looks really old and alot like the picture of the 1962 Road King picture that is light blue when I searched this site. It has a number MZ 173 engraved on it near the seat. Does anyone have any idea if this is a valuable bike? |
| They are cool looking with a retro-deco thang going on but they've never become collectable. They didn't ride that well either...odd geometry. That robins-egg blue was the only colour I've seen on those bikes.|
You're not losing money if decide to leave the bike to the next owners.
| Hello, I have recently aquired a Hawthorne Hercules in need of some attention, and require some assistance. I was able to remove the cotter pins on both crank arms, but the crank arms are stuck on the bottom bracket. Any sugestions as to how I can remove these would be greatly appreciated. Thank you|
| I've never encountered this problem before. Typically, the problem I have is getting the cotter pins out.....and each time - the cranks are loose on the spindle. With steel cranks - I can think of a couple options you might try: You could secure one of the cranks - then whack the other one with a hammer, or mallet of some sort - maybe that would break it loose. But then, to get the other one loose....I guess you would have to re-install the crank you just got loose - with the cotter pin - then secure it - then whack the other one. Or, you might could use some type of puller....like a gear puller....to pull it off the spindle. |
| Since the arms and spindle are steel, a gear puller should work fine and won't harm the arms. You could also try heating the arm with a propane torch (don't burn the paint) and see if expanding it a bit breaks it free.|
| I have been thinking about buying a Miyata 1000 or a Bridgestone RB-T if I can find one. My interest in riding is as a commuter and tour(er). I'm looking for a bike that is comfortable to ride and rides comfortably over paved streets and walks. Recently I compared the ride of a 1970's Peugeot U-08 and a 1970's Raleigh Sprite 10 speed, a 1966 Sears (Puch) 3 speed, and a 1980's Raleigh Super Course 12 speed. The ride quality is in the order of the bikes listed except that the Sprite and U-08 are about the same. The U-08 and the Sprite seem to dampen the bumps in the road better than the other bikes listed. Will someone with experience riding these bikes compare their ride to the Miyata 1000 and Bridgestone RB-T? I must admit that I'm disappointed in the comparative ride quality of the Raleigh Super Course considering all of the rave that I have read concerning it. Is it the snob appeal that makes the Miyata 1000, the Bridgestone RB-T, and the Raleigh Super Course "more desirable"?|
Thanks in advance for your help.
| Well, your "touring" bikes certainly have a more relaxed geometry, slacker seat tube and head tube angles, longer wheel base.....and this absorbs a lot of shock from the road - making a much more comfortable ride. The "racing" bikes, that is, true racing bikes - have much steeper angles for head and seat tube, have shorter wheel bases - and much of the road shock is transferred to "you". I'm not familiar with the Raleigh Super Course - but I'm thinking it's more a racing bike. |
But then, the bulk of bikes build during the '70's and into the '80's had "sport" geometry.....which was more between racing and touring. I would expect that an actual "touring" bike would have a much more comfortable ride. But, there are other factors to consider: A nice "touring" bike might have a rough ride - if it has really small tires with really high pressure......and likewise, a racing bike, with 700 X 32C tires - might have a more comfortable ride. Also to consider: the saddle. Differences in saddles can make for a big difference in ride feel. Also, how the bike fits you - can make a big difference: the saddle position relative to the pedals, and relative to the bars, the height of the bars, the reach of the bars.......Many factors to consider.
If the Miyata 1000 is an actual "touring" bike (I'm not familiar), and I know the RB-T is an actual touring bike - then they should have a comfortable ride....and very high quality....
| I think Gralyn's covered most of the important issues here. There's really no reason any decent bike (Miyata, Super Course, Bridgestone) couldn't be dialed in to suit a specific rider assuming you start with the correct frame size and you are not committed to keeping the bike absolute stock period correct.|
For instance, I don't like bars less than 44 cm and I don't like crit bars. I use micro-adjustable seatposts to get my collection of Brooks saddles angled just right. I have short legs and a long torso and often use stems that are 120 to 135 mm in length. I get more power from a forward seat position so I prefer mtn style seatposts to road posts with a setback. When you get to really know your riding position you can make most frames comfortable and the ride always seems better.
The Bridgestone and Miyata are considered to be excellent bikes. Nothing snobby about that. I'd like one of each. I road a fixed Super Course for a few years but found it a little laid back in the old school fashion. Still I got used to it and enjoyed it a lot.
The U-O8 and Sprite are somewhat inferior bikes but they have long wheelbases and will even out the bumps.
Also, the Miyata is a touring bike and it likely has stiffer tubes and will have a harsher ride. Until you put loaded panniers on it and it then should smooth right out. My Cannondale T1000 was a spine-jarring beast naked but it floated across Europe with 80 lbs of gear.
In short, go for the best frame that fits you can find and dress it up accordingly.
| Doesn't answer your questions, but if you want a very comfortable older (or newer if you have the $$)commuter/touring bike, have you considered a Moulton? A little more pricey maybe, but fully suspended,can be found with factory front/rear luggage racks and are a funky, "cool" ride that will always get looks and start conversations. Many are 3spd SA but you can find an occasional 5spd and can always have a 5spd hub laced to your wheel. TOTALLY different frame geometry, sitting position etc. but very comfortable... just thought I'd throw it out there. Good luck! http://www.moultoneers.info/|
| Warren thanks for your insight. Why do you consider the Peugeot U-08 and the Raleigh Sprite inferior models, considering that are rugged, work flawlessly and ride like limousines? Is it because they have less expensive components and are more common? |
| Warren thanks for your insight. Why do you consider the Peugeot U-08 and the Raleigh Sprite inferior models, considering that they are rugged, work flawlessly and ride like limousines? Is it because they have less expensive components and are more common? |
| Ah, this is a philosphical question. From a practical and utilitarian point of view, there's nothing wrong with the Sprite or the U-O8. Especially when they can be purchased for little money. Comfortable rides that can last for decades.|
From a bike purist point of view, the other three all have superior tubesets. The SC has Reynolds 531 straight gauge and the Miyata and Bridgestones used various double-butted Japanese tubesets. Start with a good frame and you can build a lighter, better, faster bike.
The Brigestone is likely a cut above all of them because most were handcrafted frames and a good framebuilder can take a set of tubes and lugs and create something sublime from both a functional and aesthetic point of view. This is why a Confente/Sachs/Bayliss/Mariposa/Moon/Masi bike can cost thousands of dollars. It's not just snobbery, it's craftsmanship.
| Hi Warren, I enjoyed reading your post. The Super Course has a hand built English frame. Even though the tubing is straight gauge, how does the quality of the workmanship compare to the Bridgestone RB--T? Have you seen and piloted both bikes?|
| Super Courses were mass produced on a large scale and it showed in the quality of the brazing of the lugs. A decent mid quality bike. I've owned one. Bridgestones were handmade at the beginning and later were mass produced. I suspect the touring models were earlier models. I've never seen one of these but I have ridden an RB-1 road bike. Nice.|
Grant Peterson was the founder of Bridgestone and he now runs Rivendell bikes. Go here and you can likely ask him yourself.
| Hi Warren, here is a link to a 1968 Raleigh brochure and it says the Super Course was handmade at the Carlton facility. I have read that a "W" in the Super Course serial indicated that it was built at the Carlton facility. I have also read that some of the Super Course bikes in the later years were made in Japan.|
What do you think?
Two letters, followed by a series of six digits.
First letter stands for the production factory:
W=Worksop (Carlton, until 197?)
B=Unknown, but reported
| Hi Uni, |
I can offer an explanation for your comment "I must admit that I'm disappointed in the comparative ride quality of the Raleigh Super Course considering all of the rave that I have read concerning it".
The frame geometry and wheelbase length of the Raleigh Super Course changed very significantly from the early 1970's through the early 1980's. The "Raleigh Super Course" model sold in the US up until about 1974 had a wheelbase over 41 inches (I don't have the exact measurement handy)and more relaxed frame angles. I had a '71 model (no longer have it) and it was an extremely comfortable ride (soaking up lots of road shock). Around '74 through about '77, the "Raleigh Super Course Mk II" was sold. The frame angles were slightly more upright, and the wheelbase was about 40.5 inches. I have one of those, it is my absolute all time favorite bike. It handles a bit faster than the ealier SC models, but still is a comfortable ride.
Sometime in the late 70s, the SC geometry was again changed, with shortened wheelbase and much more upright frame angles. I had one of these, a 1980 model (had 700C wheels and was a 12-speed). It was not comfortable to ride, and very unlike the earlier SC models. From your description, you have one similar to this. I share your impressions of these later SC models. For me, it was no fun to ride...I disliked it so much I donated it to a local non-profit bike shop.
| My Super Course was a MKII from 76 and was as Lenny said, a very good bike while still having a laid back geometry. Cool panelled paint with chrome suspenders too.|
As far as hand made is concerned, I suspect that there was a lot of poetic license taken when Raleigh gave that descriptor to their models out of the Carlton Worksop facility. Yes they likely had real humans doing the brazing and and assembling but I doubt the tubes were carefully mitred inside the lugs and there certainly isn't any hand filing done to them. That would have been reserved for the team professional bikes. The SC was made in huge numbers and you really can't compare one of those frames to a crafted frame from a reputable builder. It's easy to hand built a truly horrible frame.
| Hello to all and thanks for your comments. |
Lenny My Super Course has a serial number indicating that it was made November 1979. It looks like the one in the catalog that is hosted on this site except that it does not have bar end shifters:
The length of the bike from wheel to wheel is about 68 inches (about 6 inches shorter that the Sprite and the Peugeot U-08) and from hub to hub about 39.5 inches. It has a Brooks B-17 saddle. I think I'll try changing that to a Brooks Champion Flyer or some other heavily sprung saddle, and maybe I will be more pleased with the ride. I'm really interested in a comparison of the older and newer Super Course frame angles.
| I have several old bikes from the sixties , seventies and one from the 50's. One is a James Pickering Sprint. Custom made by hand fo rmy dad. 24"frame, ten speeds front and rear brakes...(been searching your site and see those are things people stress). original equipment. any ideas of value ?|
| The Nov 1975 issue of Bicycling magazine has an article on small framebuilders that mentions Pickering, I believe. (I DON'T have that magazine.) Perhaps your library can find it and it will be useful.|