Discussion - Vintage Lightweights...

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Discussion - Vintage Lightweights



Archived discussions: February 23, 1998 through August. 8, 1998
Archived discussions: August. 8, 1998 though January 5, 1999

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Subject: Trying to identify history of bike parts
Entered on: Dec 24, 1998 12:56
Entered by: Scott (jsmaloney@earthlink.net)

Message:
I've had a box of bike parts for about 10 years now that I think are from a rare European road racer built in the early 1900's. Unfortunately I only have the parts and no frame. I have been meaning to restore this bike and am now ready but want to get my facts straight and do a good job. I have a one piece forged stem/handlebar by Titan, with removable metal/rubber hand grips. The bike had Bowden brakes. The wheels are 28". The tires have cotton rim liners. red rubber innertubes and Veith Cord Autotyp tires made in Germany. There is a three cog freewheel on one side and a fixed gear on the other side of the rear hub. It has a three piece cottered crank set with continuous, not skip teeth. It has a Simplex rear derailler that is not the conventional parallelogram design but shifts back and forth on a shaft as you pull the derailler cable. It has a serial or model number of 500 or 005. It has a pair of wodden fenders. It has a solid brass generator and rear bulb with a red glass lens. This is about all I can provide in the way of information but I have never been able to find information on these parts so I think I've got something rare. Can anyone help?




Subject: Trying to identify history of bike parts
Entered on: Dec 27, 1998 01:04
Entered by: Chuck (chuckschmidt@earthlink.net)

Message:
Scott, judging by your parts descriptions the earliest your bike could be is late 1930s and the latest probably late forties early fifties. By the way...how do you restore a bike that is missing the frame!?!?!?!




Subject: Clyclin Plus Magazine
Entered on: Dec 27, 1998 03:02
Entered by: Clem (Ahhh-clem@aol.com)

Message:
In the past I could get a British bike Mag. Cycling Plus at some of the local book stores but no longer. Is it still in print. It had some great art. on old lightweights. Anyone know a current source in the U.S. or a web sight?




Subject: Cycling Plus Magazine
Entered on: Dec 28, 1998 23:06
Entered by: Dale Brown (oroboyz@aol.com)

Message:
I get the mag more or less routinely at Borders and occasionally at Barnes & Noble in our area. Maybe you could request it at one of those chains if you have them... It might help if you find a few other bike junkies to ask as well as the book store's prime interest is whether there is a demand. We pay a stiff $7.50 per issue here though!




Subject: Campy NR Triple
Entered on: Dec 29, 1998 13:20
Entered by: Jim (jcole@memphis.edu)

Message:
I have a Campy NR triple crank which has the stock 36T inner chainring. I understand this is the smallest size Campy made for it. I saw two 1973 Schwinn Paramounts (matching his & hers for cryin' out loud!)listed on rec.bicycles.marketplace that were outfitted with Campy NR triple cranks with 31 tooth Merz chainrings. I've never heard of these? Were there any other aftermarket chainrings made to fit the Campy triple bolt pattern that were smaller than the standard 36T? I'd like to find one if anybody has anything. THANKS! -Jim




Subject: Campy NR Triple
Entered on: Dec 31, 1998 00:33
Entered by: Louis ()

Message:
Jim- Regarding your NR triple- Jim Merz was a(n excellent)custom framebuilder who operated out of Portland, Oregon in the 70's to early eighties (he then went to work for Specialized). He regularly outfitted his touring bikes with 31 tooth inners of his own design and manufacture. Unfortunately, they haven't been made for years now. Whem I worked with Bruce Gordon throughout the eighties, we equipped our top line touring bikes with Campy NR or SR triples set up for half step gearing by drilling and tapping the spider to accept Avocet inner rings. This setup allowed an inner ring down to 24 teeth if desired (Our standard half-step was 50-46-30 (or 28) used with a 13-30 (or 32). A really nice shifting set of ratios. If you don't mind drilling and tapping the spider, Bruce probably still has the tooling and should be able to help you out.




Subject: 1976 or 77 Stella bike
Entered on: Dec 31, 1998 10:45
Entered by: Vince (vmcglone@yahoo.com Or vince.mcglone@amd.com)

Message:
Can someone please help me. I bought a Stella bicycle in 1976 or 77 and like a young dumby I painted the frame. Now I would to restore this frame and would any information on decals, headbadge etc. Where can find information on this manufacturer? any help would be greatly appreciated.




Subject: Stella Bicycles
Entered on: Dec 31, 1998 23:02
Entered by: Dale 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(oroboyz@aol.com)

Message:
I have just recently added a modest page for Stella... Check it out in the French section of Classic "Rendezvous" (http://www.cyclesdeoro.com/Classc_Home.htm) Of course I am always looking for good illustrative photos to pump up the info base! Dale Brown




Subject: Thanks Dale
Entered on: Jan 1, 1999 08:06
Entered by:
Vince (vmcglone)

Message:
Dale, I found the page you suggested and it is a great help. Thank you very much. Now for the really hard question. Do you think one can still find Stella decals for purchse anywhere? Or, is that expecting too much? Thanks, Vince




Subject: Stella; Restore it or forget it and just ride it?
Entered on: Jan 1, 1999 14:43
Entered by: Vince (vmcglone@yahoo.com)

Message:
Dale, One more question please. I am up on the fence about my 1977 Stella frame. I painted this frame once before as young and dumb man. Therefore all decals are destroyed. My questions are: Can I, should I, try to find decals, headbadge etc. to do a restoration? Or, should I paint again and do an upgrade that includes braze-ons and all that good stuff? Is this bike worth a restoration?




Subject: Stella Restoration
Entered on: Jan 1, 1999 23:01
Entered by: Dale Brown (oroboyz@aol.com)

Message:
It is a tough decision whether to attempt to restore a bike like your Stella... In my mind, it would depend on the model (top of the line or more basic?) I think it will be nearly impossible to get the decals. CyclArt may have reproduced them, but as most of us know, that requires a paintjob from them ... They do premium work and the charges correspond. IF you have all the original parts and IF you want to spend $300 plus on paint & decals and IF it is a nicer model with Reynolds 531 and top parts.... then perhaps a restoration is in order. Stella was not necessarily an intricate lug work, fancy detailed artisan made bike. It was a very good rider with straight forward workmanship. The "value" of a bike like this lies in it's appeal to you on a personal level, and the fact that it is no longer made... In years to come, an extinct brand always has appeal, but obviously one wouldn't expect a Stella to ever be viewed as desirable as a Cinelli, Hetchins, Herse or Confente (the top 4?)




Subject: Stella bike frame
Entered on: Jan 2, 1999 08:55
Entered by: Vince (vmcglone@yahoo.com)

Message:
Dale, In weighing the items you spoke of it seems wiser to just paint and upgrade the frame than restore. The pluses for restoration are; Bike was high-end full Campy Record, sew-ups and 5-3-1 Reynolds tube. The negatives: I don't have all the Campy parts any more and I can't prove it's 5-3-1 tube because sticker is gone. I was thinking of upgrading the frame with all braze-ons as we spoke of. Then some new componentry like a triple chain-ring and Ergo-power shifting. What do you think? Will the rear triangle accomdate modern parts? Any wierdness I need to watch out for? Thanks again for your time and insight Dale. Oh by the way. I printed Stella pictures from your web-site. I have a friend that may be able to recreate some of the decals. Vince




Subject: Stella: the last word........
Entered on: Jan 2, 1999 22:54
Entered by: Dale Brown (oroboyz@aol.com)

Message:
Vince's idea of using the Stella as an every day rider with modern parts is not bad.. New bikes usually will not ride (as smooth and resilient)like these vintage machines. The dimensions and threadings shouldn't pose any problems, just remember that the French bikes (early 70's at least) have metric threading and tube diameters throughout. So you should plan to use your old headset, BBkt cups and possibly seatpost. The pedals are surely French threaded (smaller dia.) and won't work in the newer cranks you might add. If the bike was Campag equipped in the beginning, any rear derailleur should do. New front derailleurs may need a shim to ensure non-slipping on slightly undersized seat tube........




Subject:
Entered on: Jan 3, 1999 14:24
Entered by: Chuck (chuckschmidt@earthlink.net)

Message:
I'm looking for mid-50s or earlier three-piece hubs (alloy flanges with chrome steel barrel) made by Campagnolo, Gnutti, FB, EP, or British Hub (Airlite Continental) either singlely or pairs, large or small flange, road or track, any hole drilling.




Subject: Vince's Stella
Entered on: Jan 3, 1999 15:34
Entered by: Russ (rfitzger@emeraldis.com)

Message:
While the idea of repainting the Stella is a nice idea, my temptation would be to use nice older parts to build her back up. It does require patience, but I have built back up some rather nice old bikes with non-Campy but still lovely bits. The drawbacks I see to current stuff include (a) rear geometry - newer hubsets are wider in the rear and (b) pure aesthetics. Call me one of those who thinks five cogs on the rear are all you need, though I can live with six - but no more. Haunt the newslists and pick up nice but not-so collectible bits. Raid your local LBS that's been around forever for parts. I've just finished cleaning and restoring to service a set of old French wheels with mirror finish Normandy Luxe Competition hubs I got from a shop in Georgia, and I paid very little for them. As someone who takes a certain pleasure in demonstrating that 70s 10-speeds with sewups, Stronglight cranks and Mafacs more than hold their own on club rides, I would urge to you consider older but less expensive parts.




Subject: Back on the fence about my Stella
Entered on: Jan 4, 1999 13:03
Entered by: Vince (vmcglone@yahoo.com)

Message:
I can see this will be a difficult choice to restore or upgrade. Both Russ and Dale present compelling arguements and I am back on the fence as to which way I will fall. My first steps will be to haunt newslist as Russ suggests. Then I think I will price faithful restoration choice. This could come down to simple economics. Thank you both for your input and time. Happy New Year, Vince




Subject: Japanese lightweights
Entered on: Jan 5, 1999 15:45
Entered by: Keith (velohund@yahoo.com)

Message:
Back in the early 70s I don't think I'd have been caught dead on a Japanese bike, though today I'm not sure why. About three years ago, soon after I met my wife, I bought her an almost new Pro-Miyata with friction-shift Dura Ace for $100. The workmanship on the frame appears to be as good as or better than a lot of mid to high-end European bikes (I'm thinking of brand names like Raleigh, Peugeot, Gitane and the like -- not small shop bikes). The brazing is super clean, and the finish on the lugs and dropouts is superb. The lugs are cut out, as is the bottom bracket, though they are not ornate. Much if not all of the frame appears to be chome judging by the chrome shining through the various small paint blems. About a year later I picked up a similar vintage Lotus Competition, with Campy NR for $50. The frame appears to be of similar quality to the Miyata -- the brazing is very clean and the finish at the Campy droputs is nicer than on some Euro bikes. For example, the finish is far better than a '71 Raleigh International I have, and much beter than a Peugot PY-12 I have hanging in my office. Both bikes ride very well. The Lotus is particularly stiff. Anyway, the question all this leads to is, from a totally objective standpoint, how do you guys rate the quality and workmanship of the better Japanese bikes? Would we shun them because they lack the mystique of European bikes?




Subject: Ouch!
Entered on: Jan 5, 1999 16:39
Entered by: steve (garko1@aol.com)

Message:
As I was doing my weekly check of this group, I feel compelled to tell this short story that happened recently. A co worker of mine just told me that she had just found out from her elderly mother that her mother had sold her "old schwinn 10 speed" without checking with the daughter(my co worker). The bike was "still shiny, and in perfect shape, except cracked tires." The bike?.... a 1971 Paramount. The price?... $10. The deals are out there, my friends. My co worker finally called her mother the other day. steve




Subject: Japanese Bikes
Entered on: Jan 5, 1999 xx.xx (I can do this stuff)
Entered by: It's my job and I hope I don't get fired!

Message:
I do the web stuff around here and lemme say this. The owner of Menotomy Vintage Bicycles rides a 1972 C-ITOH. Thats a Bridgestone I believe. He does all these charity rides and irondude rides on it and he always... well, he finishes. They don't break down...