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Vintage Lightweights

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AGE / VALUE:   Wanting more info on an American Eagle posted by: Rory on 7/2/2007 at 10:43:11 PM
I have an American Eagle that I am trying to find out more about. It only has two gold decals. One that says "Made in Japan" and one "Double butted Chrome Molybdenume". The bike is in pretty good shape except for the chrome on the forks and crown. TIP: Don't get etching aluminium cleaner old chrome. It will get under the chrome and bubble it. :( I was hopping someone if I give you all the info I have, someone could give me more info on it. It seems to be all original. The front derailer looks a little out of place. If posible, I would like to know the year, model, how rare of a find it is and if it's worth enough to put alot of effort into restoring it. If anyone has a pic of one simular, that would be way cool. It's way to big for me so I'll probably sell it. I'll try and post a pic after I get it back together.
Thank you,
Rory

American Eagle
Color; White with two gold decals and half chrome forks
S/N; KS107150
Frame; 62cm C-C seat post, 62cm C-C top bar, Double butted CrMo(unknown maker) with wrap around seat stays and wccsc dropouts
Bottom Bracket; Sugino MW-68
Headset; unknown, no markings of anykind
Cranks; Sugino Mighty Compe, 171 length, 48t-54t chainrings, Kuokoto Pro Ace road quill pedals
Wheels; Araya light alloy, sunshine 5345 high flange hubs, 4x ss spokes
Freewheel; 8.8.8. Pro Compe 14-18-22-27-34
Handlebars; KB Champion (randonneur touring style oddly long), Compe stem
Derailers; rear Suntour GT, front Suntour "spirt" (That's how it is spelled)
Shifters; Suntour ratchet Bar-ends
Brakes; Dia-Compe centerpull
Seatpost; Tailhel Compe
Oh, and cool little wires that scrape the gravel off your tires
by: 71.114.185.202

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           Wanting more info on an American Eagle posted by John E on 7/3/2007 at 12:29:19 PM
You have a late 1971 or early 1972 American Eagle Semi-Pro, which was later rebranded Nishiki Semi-Pro and ultimately Nishiki Competition. The CrMo frame tubing was made by Ishiwata. I bought mine, serial number KS78091 new for $150 in March 1971, with many of the same components, but with downtube shift levers and a 47T inner chainring. The barcons were introduced roughly a year later, if I recall correctly. Mine had the same funky randonneur handlebars and SunTour "Spirt" normal-HIGH front derailleur as yours, and the same wheelset you describe. I replaced the original 27x1-1/4" gumwall tires with 27x1-1/8" skinwalls and built a second (tubular) wheelset with Fiamme gold-label rims and Campa. low-flnage hubs.

I rode mine for 40k miles / 65k km and 20 years, until the bottom bracket shell broke at the seat tube lug.
by: 66.185.168.82

           American Eagle posted by John E on 7/3/2007 at 12:46:26 PM
Additional recollections: Although I rode it "fat, dumb, and happy" for 20 years (including a double century in 1972), I grew to realize just how dead the frame felt, compared to some of the better European offerings. By the late 1970s Kawamura was building world-class framesets under the Nishiki and other marques, but the American Eagle Semi-Pro was arguably the first halfway decent mass-produced bike exported to the U.S. from Japan.
by: 66.185.168.82

           RE:American Eagle posted by Rory on 7/3/2007 at 7:56:49 PM
Thank you for the info, John! I rode this bike off and on for about three years even though it is way too big. I always thought it was a very un usual bike from the time I first saw it. Part of the components, like the lack of a deraier hanger, say low end, but the barcons and cranks say something else. It really isn't to heavy for a great big bike with heavy touring wheels. I really liked it for back and forth to work. It's kind of slugish, but so am I on the way to work. I actually got kind of used to the "funky" bars and have thought about cutting off the extra length and putting them on an '83 720 Trek I'm rebuilding. I have it all apart right now and I'm trying to decide whether to part it out or not. How long did they build them under the American Eagle name and how uncommon have they become? I wouldn't wanna put alot of effort restoring a bike that isn't worth anything. If it wasn't so big I would just restore it and ride it.
Thanks again,
Rory
by: 71.114.185.202

           American Eagle posted by John E on 7/6/2007 at 2:17:26 PM
West Coast Cycle Supply began importing Kawamura frames under the American Eagle marque ca. 1968, with just two models: the heavy all-steel "gaspipe" Custom Sport and the Semi-Pro. By the time I started working at Bikecology in mid-1972, they had begun to use the Nishiki brand name, instead.

The reasons you can ride a large early Nishiki frame are that the top tube is unusually short relative to the seat tube and the bottom bracket is pretty low. I rode a 23" Semi-Pro, which was 3.5cm taller than my ideal 55cm C-T size, and I actually ended up using a long-reach stem.
by: 66.185.168.82

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Wanting more info on an American Eagle posted by Doug in Silicon Valley on 7/7/2007 at 8:22:14 AM
I have one too, circa '71 I guess, and on a hunch did a google and found this site and topic, wow. I bought it for about $160 in Champaign, IL. It's still functional, and was thinking of just giving it away, I might fix it up just for grins. At the time the sales pitch was it a Japanese clone of the Schwinn Champion or some such, their $500 top of the line road bike. We all bought them because they were light and affordable and had decent gears, etc. Way before all the current sophistication. Thanks for sharing, I'm going out now to clean her up...
by: 24.6.177.13

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Wanting more info on an American Eagle posted by Rory on 7/7/2007 at 11:35:14 AM
You came to the right place. John E seems to be the only one around that has the stats on this bike. I'm for sure not going to say they were the greatests bikes, but mine had a very smooth and stable feeling. Actually kind of slugish. At the time I was riding it and a Peugeot with 700x20 tires. They were like night and day. It was almost always my choice when I just wanted to get from point A to point B. Sometimes you just want to kick back, drink your coffee and put some pavement behind you.
by: 71.114.185.202

           Compe stem for American Eagle posted by Paul on 7/14/2007 at 7:06:01 PM
I have an American Eagle Semi-Pro that I bought in 1975. Lots & lots of miles on this bike, which I have always really enjoyed riding. Sadly, last time I hopped on it, the Compe stem fractured at the handlebar clamp. Anyone have an idea where I could get a replacement?
thanks
by: 68.34.180.55

           RE:AGE / VALUE: Wanting more info on an American Eagle posted by Kevin on 7/26/2007 at 7:43:27 PM
My dad bought a bike before I was born (1971) and he never throws anything out. I just got off the phone with my mom and I had her go check the bike. She said all that is on it is Eagle Deluxe Cycle and a sticker that says made in Japan. Any idea if this is the same company you guys are talking about?

Should I ask her to go take pics and send them to me?
by: 67.180.242.49




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AGE / VALUE:   40s era favorit (no e) road bike posted by: Bill Rountree on 7/2/2007 at 11:26:25 AM
Hey Warren. Can't upload pix to the site at this time. If you send me your E-mail address, I can send you some shots.
Billrountree@comcast.net
by: 66.31.214.124

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AGE / VALUE:   favorit bikes co. posted by: Bill on 7/2/2007 at 8:07:56 AM
Thanks WArren.I actually found a bunch of info on the co.Been building bikes since 1870's.They also made handguns... Wow.Used to be a prestigious bike name. It was bought out years ago, and now makes mostly cheapo kids bikes.Quite a few people are collecting, and restoring the old ones apparently.They all said pretty much the same thing. "Ride like a dream".
I'll try and get a picture, or two on here this afternoon, or tomorrow.Thanks.
Bill

by: 66.31.214.124

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AGE / VALUE:   40s era favorit (no e) road bike posted by: bill rountree on 7/1/2007 at 4:16:12 PM
Years ago a friend gave me this bike.He found it in a dumpster,fixed it up, and rode it for a few years before giving it to me. It's very lightweight, fast, and squirrely. I took it into a bike shop to get a couple of adjustments. The guy in the shop offered to buy it on the spot. They were made in czechoslovokia, and he said it was probably made between 1944-47. When I got it, it had shimano deraillers, but I don't know if they were original.They were pretty well beat. I replaced them with a symplex set that works great to this day! I ride this bike every day. I'm just curious if anyone has some knowledge of these bikes.He said Favorit was the name on the imports, but I think he said they went under another name in Europe(?).Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Bill
by: 66.31.214.124

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           RE:AGE / VALUE: 40s era favorit (no e) road bike posted by WArren on 7/1/2007 at 8:01:40 PM
Favorit were a Czech company and they made frames and their own components in the style of french and italian marques. Many of them were imported to Canada and I've seen dozens of them but never anything high end. I had a small supply of their chains which were very good quality and they also sold them under the name Velo.

Frankly I'd be surprised if many or any bikes were made in central Europe in the 40's during WWII. Take that info with a grain of salt. Love to see good pictures of it though.
by: 24.224.141.224

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   40s era favorit (no e) road bike posted by Brian on 7/5/2007 at 4:50:11 PM
I used to sell Favorit bicycles in the late 70's. We bought them from a distributor in Canada. I think Favorit was associated with the motorcycle company Jawa/CZ. They were a sturdy low end bike with a flashy paint job. We sold 3, 5 and 10 speeds. All of them had a derailler gear system even the 3 speeds.


by: 74.243.225.172





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AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Mirage--worth much? posted by: Tom on 6/29/2007 at 9:49:53 AM
Hi Guys,
Picked up a fair to good condition Mirage (no other designation), decent white paint, lugged, labeled 1020 steel, with Weinmann rims, Suntour drivetrain, Nervar cranks. It's straight, all bearings smooth, everything works. Can anyone give me a ballpark on value? Thanks.


by: 66.251.53.122


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           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Mirage--worth much? posted by Gralyn on 7/1/2007 at 7:09:45 AM
I don't believe it's all that collectible or anything. I believe it was one step up from the bottom of the Motobecane line. I have an older...like from the 70's....Mirage. It's 1020 steel - and french components - and steel (rigida) rims - and steel bars.
So far as value? You might check e-bay to see if anything similar has sold - and what it went for.
by: 65.1.149.217




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AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heirarchy posted by: Bryan on 6/28/2007 at 7:25:28 PM
Can someone run down the line of Schwinn lightweights for me, from high end to low end? I know about the Paramount, but my knowledge of other models is non-esistant.

I'm primarily interested in higher end rides, what models should I look for?

I ask because I noticed my local used bike guy had a nice dark green Schwinn lightweight there, and from 40 MPH, it looked pretty nice. I'll stop tomorrow to see what it is.

Thanks,

Bryan
by: 208.54.95.1

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           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heirarchy posted by Drew on 6/29/2007 at 3:48:54 AM
Of course I can't find my 1979 Schwinn catalog, but If I remember correctly the Super La Tour was near the top -
U.S. made $250 new. Then came the La tour at about $180....Made in Japan ? Most of the Schwinn's from the 1970s into the early 80's produced in Japan with lugged frames were pretty nice bikes. The Electro-forged frame bikes like Varsity, Continental were very well made, but HEAVY and best for tough duty riding...back in the 70's a friend of mine set a ramp to ramp jump record on a Varsity, 31 feet ! He was crazy, but proved you can't hurt a Schwinn with a electro-forged frame.

If I find the Schwinn catalog, I'll post a run down of the top models.
by: 68.160.6.87

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heirarchy posted by David on 6/29/2007 at 5:06:31 AM
See
http://www.geocities.com/sldatabook/models.html?200525
by: 216.15.114.27

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heirarchy posted by Gralyn on 6/29/2007 at 5:21:13 AM
I think over the years - some of the models changed positions in the hierarchy.
Oh, from 40 MPH......
I've stopped to check out many bikes that I spotted while driving by......From 40 MPH you don't know if it's a Paramount - or a Huffy......but you just have to stop - because you just never know.
by: 198.137.214.36

           RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heirarchy posted by Bryan on 6/29/2007 at 11:06:44 PM
Don't worry, Gralyn, there's a stop light right there, so I was able to get a better glance at it then I suggested. I went back later, it was a Varsity. Nice bike, but not what I was looking for, so I passed.

Drew, 31 feet ramp to ramp!?!! Did you guys grow up in my neighborhood by any chance.... Thats an accomplishment.

Thanks for the input.

Bryan
by: 208.54.95.129




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AGE / VALUE:   one other picture posted by: harvey sutlive on 6/27/2007 at 5:06:28 PM
here's a lug picture


by: 4.154.64.147


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AGE / VALUE:   old racing bike picture posted by: harvey sutlive on 6/27/2007 at 4:58:44 PM
here's a picture of the bike mentioned below - not sure how to post multiple pictures


by: 4.154.64.147


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AGE / VALUE:   identifying "old racing bicycle" posted by: harvey sutlive on 6/26/2007 at 6:35:24 PM
hi,
i was referred to the Old Roads site by someone at the Cabe forum.
we bought a second hand ten-speed bike back in the late seventies from a guy in athens ga who told us that the bike was an old racing bike.
at the time it had sewn tires on it. the frame is lightweight compared to an average touring bike, and it's lines are somewhat more refined or drawn out (especially the back part of the frame where the rear wheel bolts on) than a conventional touring bike, for what that's worth.

recently a guy at a bike shop damaged the crank on this bike. he told us it couldn't be repaired, and the shop owner gave us another seventies-era touring bike for compensation.
i've recently taken the bike apart to repaint the frame and replace the crank. a crank assembly from a japanese bike goes into the housing with no problem.
while i've been sanding and cleaning i've also been wondering what the make the bike might be.

the old crank is marked "dural force carantil legedur."
the handlebars are marked "mod campione del mondo"
serial number 53571 stamped on the crank housing and the same number is stamped on the front forks.
does this sound familiar to anybody?
i can post a picture of the frame - the bike is disassembled just now for painting - if that would be helpful. regards,
harvey

by: 4.154.64.102

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           RE:AGE / VALUE:   identifying posted by nate on 6/27/2007 at 5:52:16 AM
Sounds like an interesting old cycle.
Pictures would really help, including closeups of the lugs and dropouts, too
by: 205.179.119.126

           identifying posted by John E on 6/27/2007 at 6:48:13 AM
Yes, please post pictures and/or rummage around on ClassicRendezvous.com to find something similar. Your English/ISO bottom bracket threading GENERALLY rules out Italian, French, or Swiss origin, although the crank sounds like a cotterless aluminum [dural] French or Italian unit. The U.K., Austria, Sweden, and several other countries produced bicycles with English/ISO threading.
by: 66.185.168.82

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   identifying posted by harvey sutlive on 6/29/2007 at 11:21:25 AM
update on this bike - a forum member emailed to ask for a picture of the crank. he was able to identify it as TA Specialities.
by: 4.154.73.49

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: identifying posted by Warren on 6/30/2007 at 8:56:22 AM
Specialties TA 3 arm Professional crank to be axact. Shame it got damaged, really. Points to the frame being worth the price of restoration.

by: 24.224.141.224

           TA Professional crankset posted by John E on 7/2/2007 at 1:35:03 PM
Save those 3-bolt TA Professional chainrings, since their bolt circle diameter is the same as that on conventional cottered steel cranks.
by: 66.185.168.82

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   identifying posted by harvey sutlive on 7/3/2007 at 8:58:10 AM
thanks all for the information, and particular thanks to john e. for the tip about clasicrendezvous.
i looked through their british-made bikes and found mercians.
my bike looks like a king of mercia model in every respect, and it's serial number fits their serial number format - pretty sure of a positive id.
regards, harvey
by: 4.154.72.253




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WANTED:   Nishiki International information posted by: Bruce on 6/25/2007 at 4:34:46 PM
I got a response from John E. in the past on a different Nishiki I had, thank you for that information. I recently acquired an orange Nishiki International with the serial # KS259094 I am curious as to what year it was made. Any info concerning it would be appreciated. I plan on turning it into a single speed. thanks in advance....Bruce
by: 76.183.248.190

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           Nishiki International information posted by John E on 6/27/2007 at 6:55:42 AM
Kawamura (American Eagle, later Nishiki) first introduced the International in late 1971 or early 1972 (Christmas season 1971????), under the Japanese equivalent, "Kokusai." By 1974 it was rebranded "International." With its straight-gauge CrMo frame, aluminum rims, and low-end aluminum crankset, it fit nicely between the all-steel Olympic and the Semi-Pro / Competition. I believe Nishiki retained the "International" model designation for several years, gradually upgrading it (and the Olympic). My only Kawamura serial number calibration point is my American Eagle Semi-Pro, KS78091, which I purchased new in March 1971, making it presumably a 1971 model built in late 1970.

Pictures or a list of components, including any date codes or other notations on the cranks and derailleurs, may help us pin down the vintage of yours, which I am wild-guessing as circa 1974.
by: 66.185.168.82

           RE: Nishiki International information posted by Bruce on 6/28/2007 at 5:58:01 PM
I emailed the gentleman that sold me the frame, he likely still has the components and may find a clue there. I know how to attach pictures to an email, but not familiar with adding one here.
by: 76.183.248.190

           RE:WANTED:   Nishiki International information posted by Mel on 7/16/2007 at 8:48:48 PM
I also have an orange Nishiki International which I bought new February, 1974 for about $180 in '74 dollars. Great bike and in perfect shape. I ride it every weekend. Curious of its value today.
by: 72.25.77.173




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AGE / VALUE:   Hoffman Special ? posted by: Drew on 6/25/2007 at 4:17:23 AM
Anyone know anything, found at local flea market, 1940s or 50s. Decal says "Hoffman Special - London - No. 247"
by: 68.160.40.208

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MISC:Carlton "X" Bike - Wheel Size Update posted by: Colin on 6/23/2007 at 11:14:26 AM
Hello,
A few weeks ago, as you may recall I posted about my chrome Carlton and some Super Champion Competition Gentleman wheels. I wasn't sure what size the wheels were but they looked a little small. They looked like 700C on a frame made for 27". Well it turns out that they are 27" and the frame just has a lot of clearance.
I got some new Sun M13 II 27" (630x18) rims and they are the same size as the Super Champions. See the pictures.
http://home.comcast.net/'colinmil/carlton.html (replace the single quote with a tilda)
The bike probably had some long center-pull brakes on it but wow, that seems like a long reach. It would be nice to use the original fork but my nice side-pull brakes wouldn't reach even with an offset bolt I don't think. I will just swap in a new 700c fork and be done with it I think.
Thanks to those that responded before and I hope this information will be interesting to you.
The bike should be done in another week or two and I will post some pictures.
Colin


by: 71.224.55.69


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           RE:MISC:Carlton posted by NoWay on 6/27/2007 at 8:10:23 AM
You should be able to get some Weinmann 750 Vainqueur 999 calipers or Dia-Compe 750 centerpulls for pretty cheap if you look around or scavenge.
Measure the brake-mount to rim distance to get a better idea of the brake reach you'll need.
by: 65.213.77.129




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AGE / VALUE:   sierra tour posted by: brian on 6/22/2007 at 6:26:58 PM
ive got a sierra tour that i might be interested in selling.....it has cheap platic fenders....wienmann detatchable cantilever brakes and leavers huret derailures brooks seat and a rear rack w/ panners whats a good price?
by: 152.163.100.76

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           RE:AGE / VALUE:   sierra tour posted by brian on 7/25/2007 at 4:26:18 PM
its gone the first guy that saw it just grabbed it sooooooo fast....really nice bike im gonna miss it
by: 205.188.116.66




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AGE / VALUE:   Crescent Varldsmastarcykeln posted by: Niklaas on 6/22/2007 at 12:05:07 PM
I have a circa 1960's varldsmastarcykeln w/the classic orange/checkerboard pattern and I was wondering aprox. how much it would cost now
by: 166.2.22.168

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           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Crescent Varldsmastarcykeln posted by Larry T on 6/23/2007 at 7:47:29 PM
One just sold on ebay on 6/21 for $36 (#330134873388). I have a higher end model with fancy lugwork that I would not sell for $150.
by: 4.165.207.187

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Crescent Varldsmastarcykeln posted by isabel on 12/19/2010 at 10:33:47 PM
I have a women's Crescent Varlmastercykeln, which is green. Does anyone know its price range as I have 2 old bikes I wosh to sell. The other is a malvern star dragter with shimano gearing in the centre of the strut between the front and back.
Any advice much appreciated, isabel, Melbourne australia
by: 120.144.6.149

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Crescent Varldsmastarcykeln posted by isabel on 12/19/2010 at 10:35:54 PM
I have a women's Crescent Varlmastercykeln, which is green. Does anyone know its price range as I have 2 old bikes I wish to sell. The other is a malvern star dragster with shimano gearing in the centre of the strut between the front and back wheels.
Any advice much appreciated, isabel, Melbourne australia
by: 120.144.6.149




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MISC:   UNIVAL Does anyone have info about these bikes? posted by: David on 6/21/2007 at 10:13:38 PM
Looking for any info about UNIVAL bikes
by: 65.95.30.129

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           RE:MISC:   UNIVAL Does anyone have info about these bikes? posted by Joey on 8/27/2010 at 1:22:02 PM
I own one, and im trying to search some info as well... i couldnt find anything..
by: 96.30.157.180

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