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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by: John E on 10/14/2000 at 8:25:58 AM
Now that the first-generation mountain bikes are well into their second decade, I wonder if it would make sense to start a vintage mountain bikes discussion group. My first question would be which mountain bikes from the 1980s are projected to become collectibles. I may be full of chain lube, but I think I may be sitting (so to speak) on one. It is a high-quality (Tange Prestige II tubing), distinctive-looking (Paramount red/white/blue), limited-production (2000 units) 1988 Schwinn from Greenville MS, with equipment that was in vogue for only a few years (rollercam front brake, chainstay-mounted U-brake, SunTour indexed thumb shifters, 4-finger brake levers, Nitto stem with brake cable passage).

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Brian L. on 10/14/2000 at 9:45:08 AM
The highest prices I have seen for mint, older (i.e. steel, un-sprung) MTBs have been for Bridgestone MB-0s. Beautiful bikes. When I raced, THE bike to have for a couple of years was a Klein "Attitude", so that might be a contender. 1st generation Stumpjumpers should also be on the list, although they were pretty clunky with bad tires. I would personally like to get a hold of one of the 1st generation Treks. I had one and totalled it. They had nice lugs and a pretty flat-crown fork. Probably not collectable though I haven't seen many around.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Brian L. on 10/14/2000 at 9:47:19 AM
I would also add: pre-trek Bontragers, Salsas and the original Yetis. I'm just not convinced about the Paramounts and I never liked the Red/White/Blue scheme (apologies). Just a little too "Rah, Rah USA" for my tastes.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Art on 10/14/2000 at 6:40:34 PM
I like the idea. I even think those early experiments with rear suspension are interesting.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Warren on 10/14/2000 at 6:42:12 PM
EARLY Ritchey, Fisher, and the other guy who's name escapes me...Joe someone. They have been given official credit for the birth of the industry if not the actual sport. I've seen an interview where they credit another bunch of guys in CA with being the first to mount a derailleur on an old ballooner...Eureka! Look for first generation Deore equipment. And the very trick Rich Cunningham centre-pull caliper brakes not unlike the rollercam.. Most of these bikes were handbuilt and will therefore be very desireable.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Brian L. on 10/14/2000 at 6:57:45 PM
Yes, definitely just about any Ritchey. Fishers are fine, but sooooo boring.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Oscar on 10/15/2000 at 7:26:15 AM
Would that "Joe Somebody" be Joe Breeze. Be careful what you get into, though. You-all are talking about the neon paint scheme era.

I've always rode mountain bikes suspension-less. I rode with a guy last year who had an early "knee-action" suspension fork. I always have my eyes open for one. Let me know if one of you buds come across one (neon paint scheme is ok).

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by jimbo on 10/15/2000 at 9:52:19 AM
How about the mountain bikes that used french components like TA cranks and huret derailers, along with the first handbuilt bikes back when they were called ATB,s and other names before mountain bike caught on.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Gary on 10/15/2000 at 12:38:04 PM
dont know about 1988 being the start, you should have seen the Gambles Hiawatha i had, 26x 2 knobby tires, 10 speed, 4 in rise bars, but cheap components. oldest MTB i have seen

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: mountain bikes that used french components posted by shoe on 10/15/2000 at 9:33:49 PM
The 1981 & 82 Stumpjumper had a TA crank, Huret derailleurs and Mafac cantilevers, all French, as well as Italian Magura brake levers.
The Specialized Stumpjumper was the first mountain bike that people in "the rest of the world" could buy. It cost $750.
I heard that 1981 models were only available in California, due to demand there. Specialized started marketing them in late 80-early 81
and I ordered one immediately. It took a year or so to arrive (January 82). I hated that bike. 15 speed gearing was great, but could it
possibly have weighed more? I heard 42 pounds (never checked). The steering was like lead. Think of steering a boat. A reallly big boat.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: mountain bikes that used french components posted by Wings on 10/15/2000 at 11:38:33 PM
I look for bikes in thrift stores one day a week. I usually go to 7 stores. Two years ago any mountain bike would be $80 and up unless it had a tacoed wheel or something. Last year they increased in number and this year they are usually under $30. I bought two Schwinn Mesa runners for $15 each - no rust - very clean. I also remembered the advertisements for those bikes years ago when I bought my Motiv in 1985 or 86 (could not afford the Schwinn). The aluminum bikes are also showing up. Things have changed so much but they are still great commuter bikes for those that cannot afford cars. Many have biotech chainwheels and always U brakes. I like the old brake levers better than the newer ones!

   Moutain Bike Ads posted by Oscar on 10/16/2000 at 7:10:54 AM
Speaking of bike ads, I remember one of Specialized's ads for the stumpjumper. It went like this:"Why does Kenya's wildlife reserve ranger force use the Specialized Stumpjumper? Because it's BITCHIN, that's why!"

Imagine chasing down poachers with a mountain bike! Where do I sign up?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: mountain bikes that used french components posted by jimbo on 10/16/2000 at 1:50:17 PM
How about some of the evolutionary dead ends designs or parts that some of the mountain bike companies came up that were supposed to be inovative. Forks blades got titanic and brakes becan unesscessarily complicated. Companies were coming up with hybreds like combiningn a beach cruiser with a ten speed and ending up with the worse qualities of both! If a bike didnt have a rube goldberg spin to it the paint scheme was "explosion in a paint factory".

   evolutionary dead ends -- R.I.P. posted by John E on 10/16/2000 at 2:02:44 PM
Agreed. I have yet to figure out any benefit whatsoever to having my U-brake mounted under the chainstays. Also, because of my rollercam/U-brake mounting bosses, I could not update to V-brakes, even if I wanted to. Also, I wish I had rack/mudguard eyelets on my dropouts. I do like the motorcycle-style brake levers, however, because I can easily grab their ends from my handlebar extensions.

   We need a mountain bike section here posted by ChristopherRobin on 10/16/2000 at 3:58:05 PM
I think there should be a mountain bike discussion section here. Thirteen thread posts since the 14 th and today is the 16th. Lively and informative reading. Yes, I think it is time to have a mountain bike section only call it "Old Trails"

   RE:evolutionary dead ends -- R.I.P. posted by Warren on 10/16/2000 at 7:32:58 PM
There was NO advantage to the lower mounts for U-brakes. They were very quickly moved up to a higher position on the chainstays because of the crud that would clog up the brakes.Unfortunately even these brake mounts were not compatible with cantis or linear pulls...wrong position. I do have an NOS U-brake somewhere if someone needs it. They stop very well when set up properly.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VVVintage: vintage mountain bike discussion area? posted by Gary on 10/16/2000 at 9:49:28 PM
MTB the response on this thread is definetly good. Let me ask this, i run a bike shop, and i have YET to see a suspension bike that dont squeak, skip, and flail from side to side like a fish tail. It seems to me these things are good for one year. I dont like the ride, they are like a 26 in huffy on flats. they usually are heavy, and cumbersome. I have been on CannonDales, Treks, Mongoose, and the usual dept store models and all i can say is Hardtails Rule. I dont want one of those susp bikes ever. Any ideas? I took a 26 in Alloy BCA MTB and put ultralight road tires on it, and i take it everywhere. My Question is this Do you think that the suspension is also absorbing the force of the pedal stroke? and to what extent? i know you can pedal 5 times on a fuji and go a block, or pedal 50 times on the AVG MTB.

   RE:evolutionary dead ends -- R.I.P. posted by Wings on 10/16/2000 at 11:11:51 PM
Right, the U brake bosses are far from V brake positions. There are some improved U brake styles in the BMX magazines (advertisements). I bought a Tektro FX 20 and it stops better than a U brake. There is another version that has longer arms than the FX 20 and it has greater leverage to give better braking-- better than V brakes--more control. Also brake bridges can be purchased or made to do something with the old bosses. Who would want a V brake uner the stays anyhow? Yes, the U brake killed my hands the last time I did the long downhill--not the thing to use. Too bad.

   RE:RE:evolutionary dead ends -- R.I.P. posted by Wings on 10/16/2000 at 11:20:21 PM
Yes, I think rear suspension absorbs pedal energy and works against the rider uphill. I only ride hardtails and I think they are great! I pass full suspension going uphill. Gullp! They pass me on downhill.
Have you looked at the kids 20 inch bikes? They are super heavy and have the Y bike shape. Like lightweight just does not cut it anymore in 20 inch bikes. Is Y trendy or needed?

   RE:RE:RE:evolutionary dead ends -- R.I.P. posted by Art on 10/17/2000 at 7:21:14 AM
I think the observations about full suspensions are right. Loss of power, longevity(esp the Costco $150 fulls), trendy, etc. That being said, I have a Diamondback XR1 that I ride on Sundays. I love bikes, and it's just another, different kind of ride. I wouldn't have a fleet of them and on rough mountain trail I prefer a hardtail. You really can't commute on a full suspension bike and they can be spongy if you don't adjust it right. But I like how mine looks and it gives my old butt and prostate a day off. I've had and have seen some interesting early rear suspended bikes...Balance, Caloi, that may not been successful in the long run but were interesting experiments in bike building. Like aluminum bikes, anatomical seats, seat tube cut-outs and full suspension bikes, these ideas have been around since the turn of the century.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:evolutionary dead ends -- R.I.P. posted by Jeff on 10/18/2000 at 6:23:05 AM
Did anyone talk to oldroads about setting up an Old School MTB section? Are they agreeable?

   I did posted by Ray on 10/19/2000 at 7:50:02 AM
I have been in contact with Vinny of OldRoads and he is looking into it. Sounds pretty positive to me. I told him to look up this string to see the activity. I also agree that us MTB folks need a designation of our own. There is a lot of interest building on the MTB collectibles and even swapping newer stuff. PS, does anyone have a late model Cannondale swing arm for sale. I just bought a Raven frame at the Trexlertown meet on Saturday and want to build it up.

   RE:I did posted by VVVintage Vintage Bicycles at OldRoads.com on 10/21/2000 at 4:56:33 PM
And it's up. It is called "Old School Mountain Bikes". If anyone has a better name, let us know.


AGE / VALUE:   Anybody heard of this? Schwinn Continental 3-speed posted by: shoe on 10/13/2000 at 11:36:40 PM
Today, I stumbled upon an old Schwinn 3-speed. The head badge says Schwinn Continental.
It has a threaded bottom bracket with cottered crank, standard Schwinn welded kickstand,
and no date code is present on the Sturmey AW hubshell. The shifter is a 'stickshift' on
the top tube. The wheels are 26 x 1-3/8 Schwinn. Trying to contain my excitement, I
looked no closer. Figured that might jack up the purchase price. This bike reminds me
very much of a 1954 Schwinn Traveler I once had - the fork is identical. The shifter
and no date on the hubshell suggest earlier than 1954. The threaded bottom bracket has
me completely baffled (I don't remember what kind of crank the Traveler had). I'll
pick up the bike in a few days. Does anybody know anything about this model?

   Schwinn Continental 3-speed posted by John E on 10/14/2000 at 8:22:34 AM
Check the Schwinn/Heritage/Collector's Forum to be sure, but I think I have heard of 3-speed Contis, which predate the familiar 1960-1980 10-speeds. It should be at least as collectible as a first-year (suicide shifter) Conti. Nice find!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Anybody heard of this? Schwinn Continental 3-speed posted by hjfl on 10/14/2000 at 8:14:57 PM
I have one of those also,lets compare . I will have to look at mine tomorrow and email you. Mine is a pretty blue real neat decals, thick handrips. I also have an identical patrs bike not much of it left though , let me know if you need anything. Howard

   Continental 3 posted by Oscar on 10/15/2000 at 7:33:09 AM
I've seen them around. One I see in the neighborhood is a women's model with that pretty lime-green paint scheme. Also 26 x 1 3/8 tires. If I remember right, it has drop bars and shortie fenders.

I saw something unexpected yesterday - a 3-Speed Suburban. It rekindled my dream of lacing an AW hub onto a 27" rim for a touring-town bike. Tick-tick-tick!

   RE: Schwinn Continental 3-speed posted by shoe on 10/15/2000 at 8:36:04 PM
I finally got it home and had a chance to look it over. Serial number is K7060, located on the bottom bracket shell.
The paint is pretty weathered on top, but under the tubes it's plum or burgundy colored and the decals were silver.
Front hub is alloy, the rims and seatpost are stainless steel. The seat post is 26.6mm diameter. Brakes are steel
sidepulls with alloy weinmann levers. The shifter is brass - it's a beautiful piece. The stem doesn't have 'AS' on
the bolts like I would expect. The saddle is a Brooks B66, and it has full fenders. Total weight is about 35lbs.

I didn't realize Schwinn made bikes like this 50 years ago - it seems very British. The overall effect is like a
Raliegh Sports but higher quality. The only exception is that the brazing around the BB shell seems like it wasn't
cleaned up at all. I am really curious to figure out when this built - the serial number isn't on the VVVintage chart,
if I read the chart right. Cosmetically it's nothing special, but mechanically seems like new. A new set of tires
will make this my daily driver.

   RE:Continental 3 posted by shoe on 10/15/2000 at 8:47:47 PM
Are you sure about the tire size? In the 70's Schwinn made a version of the Continental with 24 x 1-3/8 gumwall tires.
Lime Green paint, drop bars and shorty fenders point straight to a mid-late 70's bike.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Anybody heard of this? Schwinn Continental 3-speed posted by Keith on 10/16/2000 at 8:32:09 AM
Are you sure? 24" seems awefully small for anything other than a kid's bike. Oscar -- go for the Sturmey 3-speed. I rode my Sports to work today -- 3 is really all you need.

   RE:RE: Schwinn Continental 3-speed posted by Bill Putnam on 10/16/2000 at 11:39:25 AM
The 26.6 seatpost indicates it may have the chrome moly tubing
as used in the Superior, Super Sport, and Sport Tourist. Are
the rear drop outs stamped (as on Varsity's) or possibly
forged Huret? This sounds like a very interesting bike-I
have a '64 Super Sport and a '50 New World Traveller, and
thinking of combining characteristics of these is something-
I like the looks of the fork "crown" on the '50 New World
Traveller (I'd be interested to know if anyone has any
history on how this style fork was made) but the fork on
my traveller weighs a ton, so it would be pretty out of
place on a Chrome Moly frame. Neat find.

   Old Lightweight posted by Ray on 10/18/2000 at 1:04:37 PM
What you have here is an early attempt at a lightweight. The Schwinn Continental name was used before the familiar drop handlebar bike of the 1960's and up version. Your bike is very reminiscent of an English three speed in design. These are pretty and decaled well. Unfortunatly right now there is not a market for them and their value is relativly low. I believe this may change in the future so you can hold on to it for an investment. I have seen more and more of these turning up lately so until they become scarce they will probably not rise in value. They are well made but not real beauties, they are kind of plain and that is why they are on the low end of the collectors want list for now.

AGE / VALUE:   mercier posted by: jimbo on 10/13/2000 at 2:04:26 PM
Does anyone know the different models of mercier ten speeds from the late 60's to mid seventies. In Sheldon Browns guide to french bikes he mentions mb100 (or something 100 which was similar to a U08) to a mb300 which was equivalent to a PX-10! I had a catalog from the mid 70's and it was only a page or two. I saw a mercier at a thrift store (probably the 100) wich had simplex dropouts and solida cottered cranks but everything else was pretty much simplex, mafac etc. I always am impressed by old bikes especially ones that have nice color patterns head badges and decals. You can always spot them at once from the the later plain bikes.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercier posted by Brian L. on 10/13/2000 at 8:57:45 PM
Michael Kone rates the value of Mercier on his web site, www.bicycleclassics.com. I believe that he pegged the top end Campy versions at between $600 - 800. Yours sounds pretty low-end, lower than a PX-10. Doesn't mean it couldn't be fun.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercier posted by jimbo on 10/13/2000 at 10:03:01 PM
I went to the web page bicycleclassics.com but there doesnt seem to be any information on merciers or any vintage bikes. It seems that they no longer answer questions? Something it said was VRBM was dead. I've never been to this site before. Has it changed recently.

   mercier posted by John E on 10/14/2000 at 6:10:28 AM
Hi Jimbo,

I think Sheldon's right about the two models. (Although Peugeot had a PA-10 and PR-10, and later a PY-10, most bike shops carried just an occasional A-08, the ubiquitous U-08, and the venerated PX-10. Mercier probably saw no need to bother with the in-between grades.) One of my partners on the 1972 Los Angeles Wheelmen Double Century rode a Mercier that shared most of the attributes of a PX-10 of the time (nice Stronglight crankset, d.b. 531 tubing, fancy lugs and dropouts, Normandy Luxe Competition hubs, etc. -- all top-of-the-line French components, no Campy). It was very light, comfortable, and efficient -- an ideal Double Century steed.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercier posted by nz on 11/8/2000 at 5:08:28 PM
I have a Mercier catalogue from the mid 70's.If you are interested I can fax/mail a copy to you.Model 300 was 531
tubing & top of the line component gruppo,usually all
French components.Model 200 Luxtub tubing & slightly
lesser components.The problem back then was component
supplies were very scarce & most bikes were equipped
with comparable components available at time of production.
I remember it well because I was wholesaling imported
bikes & components back then.I tried to order a top of the line Mercier or Jeunet and could only secure a Model 200
Mercier.I still have it & ride it occasionally.Hope this

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Look Ma, no car! posted by: Keith on 10/13/2000 at 8:45:37 AM
Today I turned in my leased car. I'm going to try to live with out having my own car -- biking and busing. All the more reason to get good advice from all of you on commuter setups. A vintage Jackson for a commuter. Pretty awesome. I'm coming to the conclusion that a daily commuter should not be the same as a cheap beater bike -- duh! If it's what you're using all of the time, it should be a good bike (but not Art's Wastyn Paramount). Mudguards and lights -- any recommendations?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Look Ma, no car! posted by Art on 10/13/2000 at 11:53:24 AM
How come a vintage Jackson, but not my Paramount? It's all going to end up in the slag heap someday, me included. Oh well. If I listen to you guys anyway, then I "have" to have a vintage commuter. It's always good to have another reason to buy a bike...Keith..didn't you order a Rivendell? We're hopeless. I saw some very cool Jack Taylor touring bikes the last time I was in SF. But they were about $1500 each. Ouch. They had very cool front and rear racks. Unlike Oscar, I don't like a pack on my back. I'm using panniers now, Jandd double bags on each side. A Jandd handlebar bag for my wallet, glasses, phone, etc. And a small seat bag with tools and a spare tube, although I use slime in my tires. I can change a tire on my commute, but it's dirty and a pain in the butt. I've blown tires with slime but still been able to make it to work. I leave my shoes at work, they take up too much space and add the dirt factor, although I used to put them in the plastic bags newpapers come in. I roll my clothes and although I wear nice shirts, even a tie sometimes, I don't have any starch in my shirts because they'd get so wrinkled that it looked like I slept in my clothes. No starch and my body heat usually takes any wrinkles out. Back up rain gear at work if a storm comes in. My rear racks allows me to carry extra stuff to and from work and I keep about six small bunege chords in my front bag. I think I'm answering to different post here, sorry. I think we owe it to ourselves to ride great commuter bikes.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Look Ma, no car! posted by Keith on 10/13/2000 at 12:47:48 PM
I confess -- I'm full of these inconsistencies -- but -- apologies to Brian -- I'd still rate your Wastyn as more valuable than the Jackson, though the Jackson is really a better made bike (now I've offended both of you -- I didn't mean to!) My current commuters are: Raleigh DL-1 Tourist -- 28" wheels. 46" wheelbase, 67 degree seat and heatube angle, sprung Brooks B-66, rod brakes, full fenders. It's a roadster, okay? Not very "nimble" in traffic, but I'm mostly on the bike path. In the past I've also used a Dunelt 3-speed. English 3-speeds are great -- but I better not go further, I'll start "preaching to the lightweights" as they say on the Roadster page. This summer I mostly rode an early 80s Schwinn Le Tour. Added barcons, panniers. Not terrible, but not exciting either. I'm about to receive an 80s Trek 520 that I got for next to nothing -- it may replace the Le Tour. I put the Rivendell/Atlantis/Heron on the back burner for now. Of course their prices go up faster than my salary so that's probably a bad idea in the long run. One of my tests for "need" was to see whether and how well the Mercian performed on CFC. It did great -- I really don't need another new bike. But I have a late 80s Trek 400T (touring) that I'm using to try out some Rivendell-esque ideas on the cheap (my middle name). Tall stem, 700 x 32s, Brooks, barcons, Caradice bag, platform pedals, etc. I have other bikes for other purposes -- a Schwinn Colligiate with huge wire baskets front and back -- great for carrying groceries. A StingRay to pretend I'm 10. A track bike to pretend I'm fast. A single speed for when I get tired of shifting. A Chinese Forever roadster -- not sure why. Too many.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Look Ma, no car! posted by Bill Putnam on 10/13/2000 at 1:39:32 PM

Please post your e mail address so can reply at
greater length to the general commuting/life
without a car question.

Vintage lightweights can make fine commuting bikes,
but if you're riding in salt and sand I'd beg
folks to not ride their old Paramounts and other
significant bicycles through that-enjoy them for
sure, but try to save something for the next generation.
I ride my Raleigh Lenton on nice days in the spring,
summer, and fall, but never in salt.

   commuter bke posted by John E on 10/14/2000 at 6:35:54 AM
You guys know my answer to that one. I use the Capo, because it is comfortable, light, and attractive only to those who know and appreciate old bikes or fine brazing. Since it has a crummy repaint job and since nothing from Steyr-[Austro]Daimler-Puch is in the Wastyn or Colnago league, I feel it is an appropriate beater/commuter, albeit one with a full d.b. 531 frame. I use full lightweight silver-coloured plastic mudguards, a Pletscher mousetrap rack, and sometimes a small handlebar bag. I seldom wear a backpack when commuting, because of perspiration buildup. However, as carless grad students at UCLA, my wife and I carried our groceries and our laundry in huge backpacks, with the densest, heaviest items on Pletscher racks.

My alternate beater is the Peugeot PKN-10E, because it can take 28mm tyres and because its mass-produced mixed-531 frame will never be a collectible. I won't feel guilty about not leaving this one for the next generation. (My U-08 couldn't take the daily grind up the 12 percent Lusk Bl. grade up from Sorrento ("Telecomm") Valley -- I don't know how much more durable this one is.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Look Ma, no car! posted by Keith on 10/16/2000 at 8:37:38 AM
John's point is well taken -- if your riding a lot, it's worth it to have really good equipment, not a UO-8 or Record or bottom line Japanese bike. On the other hand, I'd certainly avoid subjecting something truly rare and collectable to the daily grind and salt. Today I rode my Raleigh Sports 3-speed to work. Very comfortable, 42" wheelbase, sprung Brooks B-66 saddle, 26 x 1 and 3/8 tyres. A cheap bike, with really messy brazing, but it's plenty sturdy and I like the upright position for a change of pace.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Look Ma, no car! posted by Michael on 11/2/2000 at 4:08:53 PM
I've been car-free for about 4 years, hiring motors as and when I need them. A reliable commuting bike needs to be good enough, but not better. I could shed some weight from my machine, but I dont think that would make a huge impact. Handbuilt wheels are a must, even if you go for cheaper components. Cheaper heavier rims will last longer than lightweigths in gruelling all weather riding. A good frame, ie production touring bike is useful. You dont carry camping loads, so expedition racks are overkill.Dont skimp on the headset and bottom bracket .

SKS/ESGE mudguards, Brooks saddle, Stronglight chainset, 3TTT Morphe handlebars with synthesis stem, MKS pedals with Christophe clips and straps, Zefal HP-X pump, these are a few of my favourite things.
I really could do with a folding bike for some journeys. It might be a Brompton 7spd, but I'm designing a carbon fibre dream folder for the hell of it. Maybe one day I'll build it.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Prepare for high maintanance posted by Mike Stone on 11/27/2000 at 10:42:12 PM

Congratulations on joining the bicycling commuting world. I admire your courage to actually go completely car-less, though. I don't mind not driving one, but I like to have one around when the wife needs me to pitch in for kid transport and stuff - or to pick up bikes I find on the curb or at thrift shops.

Anyway, there is a lot of discussion above about using a high-end bike or a junker and everybody has their favorite bike. What I find is that commuter bikes require a lot of maintanance. Plan on having two or three bikes to commute with because you will be working on one and need one ready to go to work the next day.

Use a bike with readily available parts and one which you can maintain yourself. I use several bikes - all which use parts I can cannibalize cheaply from readily available junker bikes. You will be eating up tires for a change. You will be bashing up rims from road hazards.

Another piece of advise is to get yourself a good basket. Why not designate one of your bikes as a freighter and have a big wire basket on it for the day you want to haul a bunch of stuff to/from work or anywhere.

You want to be able to carry stuff easily and comfortably and you need a nice big basket for that. Sure, you can get by with a standard rear carrier, but not really.

Carry a rag with you at all times. Somewhere along the way, you will have to do some kind of mainanance which will get your hands dirty. I have heard some guys suggest bringing latex gloves to do road-side work. O.K., if you are that nimble with gloves on.

Hey, bicycle commuting gives you a reason to bike. You will love it and you are doing wonderful things for the environment. Not only are you not burning fossil fuels, the simple fact that you are bicycle commuting will encourage others to do the same.


AGE / VALUE:   Trek w Columbus tubing/Campy dropouts posted by: Dave on 10/13/2000 at 6:04:34 AM
My latest thrift store find is a Trek road bike, no model number on the frame, has Columbus tubing, Campy droupouts,
Suntour Cyclone DRs with bar-cons ... any guesses on the year this was
made or anyway to tell from the bike itself? Seat tube is 19", too
small for me, and needs a number of rust spots cleaned up.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Trek w Columbus tubing/Campy dropouts posted by Keith on 10/13/2000 at 11:16:38 AM
My knowledge of the 80s stuff is even weaker than the rest, so I'm curious too. Was it the Trek 900 series that was their top-end steel in the early 80s? Didn't they make some with Columbus and some with Reynolds? Campy ends -- this was a high-end bike.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Trek w Columbus tubing/Campy dropouts posted by shoe on 10/13/2000 at 11:29:05 PM
In the late 70's, Trek had three frames that I'm aware of: the 510 had Ishiwata tubing & touring geometry (Ishiwata 022? I don't remember).
The model 710 was Reynolds 531 with touring geometry and the 930 had Columbus tubing with racing geometry. The 930 was visually distinguished by
its fastback joint at the seat cluster; the 510 & 710 had fairly standard oval caps with 'TREK' stamped in the top of the seat stays. I'm not
sure how long this lineup continued. In 1980 or 81, Trek started shipping complete bikes with a more diverse (read: less expensive) group of
frames in the mix, while continuing with the original three.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Mile 112 posted by: Gary on 10/12/2000 at 9:34:00 PM
I recently bought a Bridgestone Mile 112, 12-speed bicycle with biopace crankset, araya rims with suntour cyclone hubs, shimano 600 SIS rear derailleur, and suntour cyclone front derailleur. The frame is Cro-Moly with an aluminum fork. I bought the bike for $80. The frame fit me just right. The bike seems to be from the late 80s because there is a 1988 license sticker on the bike. Can anyone else tell me more about this bike such as, price, quality, etc...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Mile 112 posted by Keith on 10/13/2000 at 11:38:58 AM
I think Bridgestone is a well-thought of Japanese line. Grant Peterson, currently of Rivendell, was a designer for Bridgestone for part of the 90s and the 80s, but I don't know the exact years. The really desireable Bridgestone is the RB-1 road bike, which was Peterson's work, though I don't know that it qualifies as "vintage" or "collectable." As you probably know, the 600 Shimano was (and is) the step below the top-of-the-line Dura Ace. John and others can check me on this, but I think the black-plate 600 SIS rear D (which may or may not have been original in light of all of the Suntour stuff)was introduced in '86, so your bike might be somewhere between that date and the '88 sticker. Much later than that and it would have been 7-speed 600 Ultegra. The Biopace fits in the late 80s era as well. I wouldn't call your bike vintage or collectable, but since I've been reading the Dancing Chain, and using some 80s equipment myself, I've been warming up to the idea that some really significant design advances were made in the 80s, so what you have is a nice road bike, and a great bargain considering it will get you where you're going every bit as well as a new bike that would cost 20 times more.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Mile 112 posted by Art on 10/13/2000 at 12:03:40 PM
The Bridgestone XO and XO-1 are sought after bikes. Mustache bars and bar end shifters were an odd twist on the then early mountain/cross/city bike scene. I'd like to have a XO that fits me. They had a mt bike line, MB 1 through MB 6 and a road bike line, RB 1,2 and 3 that I know of. I've seen other Bridgestones that appeared to be earlier and I think they even made Japanese built roadsters.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Mile 112 posted by gary on 10/13/2000 at 9:48:26 PM
Thanks all for your replies. If anyone else got anything they can add please feel free. I appreciate your comments.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Winter Bikes posted by: Brian L. on 10/12/2000 at 8:06:34 PM
My current is a tatty '68 Olympic commemorative Bob Jackson that I picked up at a swap meet a couple of years ago. Full db 531 - very nice handling and cool graphics despite the rust and dings. It's set up with Shimano 175 x 110/74 triple, 50-39-28, 13-30 six in back with Deore shifters and SunTour ratchet bar-cons. Clipless, 'cause they work great, have good power transfer and I just don't buy Grant's kvetching - besides, with the recessed cleats, what's his gripe. Brakes are Mafac Racers up front and (Zeus) Super Alfa centerpulls in back with Kool-Stops all around. Dia-Compe canti-specfic aero levers provide extra stopping power. Have tried various rubber. Lots of the couriers here like slicks, but I could never get over the psychological barrier of slicks in the rain. IRC 700x28 rain tires on mis-matched rims. No rack, 'cause I've found that a good messenger bag makes for better handling. Multiple flashers (helmet, bike and bag) and a Zygolite dual beam round things out (I'd go for the Nightsun if I was buying new now). Lately I've been getting up early and getting a good 1-1/2 ride in to work since they've put in a shower. It's nice, quiet and the dark is kind of cool.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Winter Bikes posted by Oscar on 10/13/2000 at 7:34:20 AM
Any mix of old and new that works is great. There's no rhyme or reason to the curious mix of parts on my most used bike, but everything works.

I'm with you on messenger bags - I love them. I realize that carrying a load on my bike is more efficient than carrying it on my person. Since I commute on one of three bikes, its easier to have one bag than three racks.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Winter Bikes posted by Art on 10/13/2000 at 8:11:27 AM
I used to be of the mindset that everything on a bike had to be "correct." By that I meant original or at best the correct time period, everything had to match, etc etc. Then I read an article in Rivendell that talked about different style brakes on the same bike! Even a different color bar tape on each side of the handlebars! Reading the posts on this site and especially the conversations about the structural problems with Campy cranks, I realized that all of my pre-conceived ideas about building up older frames just got thrown out the window, or at least it has given me a lot more options. I haven't used this approach on rebuilding a bike, yet, but I've got something working in my head.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Winter Bikes posted by Keith on 10/13/2000 at 8:40:20 AM
Great setup -- how about mudguards? I've used SPDs for five years now. I've still got SPDs on the Mercian, but for a commuter I like wide pedals with clips and straps, so I can wear whatever I want on my feet. Grant Peterson is out there, but I'm going to experiment with some of his ideas with an open mind. I like his description of clipless pedals -- "like standing on a stack of quarters." After 100 miles my SPDs feel like that. And ex-racer Jerome(?) of Rivendell claims to beat the clipless Berkley racers up the local mountain while wearing Keds. I don't necessarily buy what Rivendell preaches just because it swims against the stream. On the other hand I've never bought the idea that a stiff sole is more efficient. Show me some science to back it up -- 'cause the ball of your foot is what presses the pedal. Heck, I could probably make up a believable fake "study" showing that stiff soles isolate muscles in the foot that could otherwise add 2% more power to your pedal stroke, and next year the marketing guys would have a line of flexible sole shoes. I remember seeing a picture of Van Impe kneeling next to Eddy -- his cycling shoe is bent 90 degrees -- no stiff sole. Anyway, these days I'm testing everyone's ideas and the bottom line will be my own experience. BTW, I need lights -- what's better about Nightsun?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Winter Bikes posted by Brian L. on 10/13/2000 at 8:53:45 PM
To respond to Bill Putnam's comment re: salt-road riding, no worries here in Seattle. The truth is that I only paid $85 for the Bob Jackson (JRJ from Leeds), complete. I ditched most everything with the exception of the headset and have built it up a couple of times before it was properly sorted. It has full fenders in the traditional style. On the Legnano (garage sale, but better overall condition) I'm just about done building, I'm going with a massive 700 x 38 tire in back, 700 x 32 in front. I have to deflate both to get them past the brakes but then they fit fine (now I really understand why cantis were invented). Regular fenders with stays won't fit, so I'm running MTB style with better clearance. This bike is also set up with a triple and clipless, but retains the cool chrome stem and french bar, along with Campy HS and triple BB that I got from Bicycle Classics in their big closeout.

Keith, to answer your question about Nightsun, they are extremely well designed, consistently test out on top, have a myriad mounting options and have great run times on low beam.

To respond in greater detail to the debate between panniers and messenger bags, I've commuted with both, and in traffic the weight that bags add to a bike severely affects my ability to "get up on it" in a way that isn't there when the weight is on my back. I carry a change of clothes every day and lunch, but leave a pair of good shoes and a blazer at the office.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Brooks Saddles info needed posted by: Peter on 10/11/2000 at 1:13:05 PM
I have 3 old Brookes saddles that I would like to date and identify prior to possible sale. Can anyone with expert knowledge help please.
1/ this I think was an original from a 1951 Hetchins (the frame of which I shall sell when I get round to it). The stamp is worn but I can read "Brooks Champion ****** B15. Does this sound right for 1951, and what is the missing word?
2/ This is a cutaway (makes me ache to just look at it) with a totally unreadable stamp on the top. It has a chrome (very rusted) frame. I think it is from a mid 50s Carlton. What would the model number be?
3/ This is clearly marked Brooks Professional, has chrome frame which is stamped B67. It is from a mid 60s Carlton Cobra. Does the B67 refer to a date of manufacture and would this be right for a Cobra?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Brooks Saddles info needed posted by Art on 10/11/2000 at 7:11:28 PM
Peter, I tried to email you, but I couldn't get through, the link didn't work.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Brooks Saddles info needed posted by JimV on 10/19/2000 at 9:15:32 PM
Peter, I have a B15 Brooks Champion Standard from a Raleigh
Lenton Grand Prix 8-speed that I bought new in 1960.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Brooks Saddles info needed posted by Peter on 10/22/2000 at 3:45:38 AM
Thanks for the help. With the above, and a long discussion with Tony Colegrove, who worked for Brooks and now restores saddles, I have been able to work out the following:
1/ is indeed a Brooks B15 Champion Narrow, but it wpould not have been original on a 1951 Hetchins, as at that time it would have had an oval stamp on it. This one is probably mid to late 50s, as are the others
2/ is a Brooks B15 Swallow. Early 50s models were not chromed.
3/ is a Brooks professional which would be correct for an early to mid 60s Carlton.
They are all now going to Tony for restoration. He tells me that the liquidators have some offers for the Brooks factory, but they may be for the valuable site rather than the business.

MISC:   Simplex Tour de France posted by: Art on 10/11/2000 at 7:48:59 AM
The 1960 Schwinn Continental discussion got me thinking about the Simplex Tour de France rear derailleur. It is my understanding that there are French and Italian made versions. Also that the derailleur has three, four and five speed models. The length of the collapsable, metal spring determines its compatability with different rear hubs. I only assume this because I have a lot of loose small parts for the derailleur and the springs are of different sizes. (I have extra small parts if anyone needs them.) I'm looking for a simplex, campy, or Benelux front suicide derailleur, or parts for one, if anyone has one they would part with.

   RE:MISC:   Simplex Tour de France posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 9:22:29 AM
Art, you're headed for the rarified air of collecting pre-bike boom stuff, and I truly admire that. I've got boxes and boxes of parts from 70s and 80s bikes -- we were awash in it and now it's being thrown away! None of it is truly rare (well, maybe a Mavic deralleur is kind of). But pre-1970 stuff -- not much was imported. I'd really get with the experts -- Michael Kone, the shops you are visiting in Sunny CA, and maybe even contact Rev. Frank Berto. Next you'll want a Campy Corsa. Go for it!

AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by: Jeff on 10/10/2000 at 7:45:53 PM
have original bike I purchased 25 years ago. All original to include all French components Has been used and still being used. Value and is it a collectable. Yes it is a Carlton.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 6:44:08 AM
First -- major disclaimer -- the fact that the Retro Raleigh site has detailed specs on this bike does NOT suggest collectability. Okay, I've seen them sell for more than $100 on Ebay, and I've seen them not sell at all on Ebay. I consider something like the Super Course to be the bottom rung of is collectable -- NO ONE ELSE SAYS THIS, and certainly NOT the Retro Raleigh guys. I place value on the proprietary tubing (Reynolds 531) although it's either straight gauge or single butted. The French components were on their way out by 1974, but 10-12 years earlier they would have been considered top of the line. If it has the Nervex Pro lugs, I think that's especially cool because many nicer bikes had these in that era. The whole Carlton thing does not excite me much. Some people (NOT the Retro Raleigh guys) seem to suggest it was a fine small shop. Hmmmm. Look closer guys. I have a '71 International with the Carlton sticker. Compared to my Paramount, with the exact same lugs and tubes, the International looks pretty nasty. The Carlton shop is known for forgetting to braze the bottom bracket. I know someone who had one of these "tacked but not brazed on one side" shells, and Michael Kone mentions the problem in an interview by Grant Peterson. I'm only speculating, but I'd guess that the 70s bike boom put a lot of pressure on shops to churn out bikes faster. Maybe Carlton was great in the pre-Raleigh days, I don't know. Having said all this -- I'd still love to have an early 70s, Simplex/Stronglight-equiped Super Course with Nervex lugs. I recently gave away a small Super Course frame. If it had been my size, I'd have sunk all kinds of money and time into it for myself. I'd peg a nice one at $100 - 150. Did I mention that Retro Raleighs, which does not like rabid racoons in their laps, does NOT say they are collectable?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 10/11/2000 at 7:09:34 AM
The later day Simplex front derailur was made with black plactic that turns grey and breaks which makes me go in my parts bin and fit another one back on the bike. This is all chrome with candy apple red paint over the chrome. G-B stem. Mine is threaded 24 T.P.I. at the bottom bracket. As they had to turn out more bikes, corners were cut and it is apparant in the work they turned out.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 8:50:15 AM
Armor All will make a faded crusty plastic Simlex look like new. But it will still break if you aren't very careful with it.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by Oscar on 10/11/2000 at 9:18:04 AM
After 25 years, I finally destroyed the plastic Simplex rear derailleur. Best thing I ever did for the bike! Still can't seem to blow up the front push-rod unit.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 9:24:45 AM
No problemo, Osc -- just over-tighten the bolts that hold it on the frame -- it will split right apart!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 9:30:09 AM
Speaking of Simplex, I have one of the lowly Prestige models in front of me right now. I noticed a little 2 with a 72 under it on the cage. Is this the date of manufacture?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1974 Raleigh Super Course MK 2 posted by Oscar on 10/12/2000 at 3:02:03 PM
I looked at my Prestige cages, but there's no number. Hmmm.

FOR SALE:   24mm Alu Peugeot seat post posted by: Keith on 10/10/2000 at 11:51:40 AM
A long time ago, [in a galaxy far, .. oh stop!], someone needed a 24mm fluted aluminum alloy seatpost for his or her 80s Peugeot carbolite frame bike. Back then I said I didn't have it -- well I was WRONG! Anyone who needs it can have it for shipping, which I'd guess would be about $3. It's pretty short, and has very strange diagonally-attached-from-below-two-bolt-micro-adjusting-saddle-rail-holder thingy. Probably took years of design development. Very French, very weird, and very free [like my first girlfriend -- STOP!].

   RE:FOR SALE:   24mm Alu Peugeot seat post posted by JohnM on 10/13/2000 at 2:29:52 PM
Yes, that was me. I still don't have a good solution on that bike, so I'll take you up on your offer. Please email your address to me at jmellen@compuserve.com, and I'll send money. It might not be long enough, but it can't be any shorter that what I have now, and what I have now won't even take a standard saddle rail. Thanks.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by: Keith on 10/10/2000 at 9:28:38 AM
From ages 12-15, my mentor was a wonderful man named Ashley Molk, who started cycling in the Dark Ages (early 1960s). He had the typical Legnano from that period. Anyway, one of the things he taught me (or tried to) was to use layers of sweaters in cold weather. He had a system all worked out (he was, after all, an engineer) -- a certain number of layers for any given temperature. As temperatures rose during the day, he'd peel off the layers one by one and stow them in his large saddlebag. I wish I could remember his system, and I end up re-inventing the wheel every year on this subject. Occassionally I'll do what I see many others do -- wear an essentially non-breathable nylon shell, get soaked with perspiration, and feel cold. I also see lots of Euro-racer wannabes wearing only arm and leg warmers and shivering until noon. You don't look like a racer with four sweaters on, or a big saddlebag to hold them, but man it's nice to be warm and dry on a cold day of riding! This morning it was in the 40s and used silk, then thin wool (from Rivendell), then a cotton flannel shirt, and finally a light cottom jacket I've had since high school. What's your system? (Guys from the south and southwest, feel free to mock us.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Brian L. on 10/10/2000 at 4:02:52 PM
After a beautiful summer and fall, the rain and cold temps have arrived back in Seattle. I still like my rides though. I agree with your attire up to a point, Keith. Ixnay on the ottoncay. Cotton is the absolute worst in wet weather, or cold weather when you're going to sweat, particularly in an outer layer. Start with silk, or polypro, and then go with a wool blend. I've been buying up all of the vintage wool jerseys that I can find/afford. ebay is a pretty good source for this, BTW. As an added bonus, you just can't beat the classic, understated graphics of the old jerseys. After getting my first pair of arm warmers, I've got to disagree with you (Keith) about their utility, particularly when paired up with a good quality wool jersey and light liner. There have been a few mornings in the low 40's when afternoon temps have risen up to 70. Nice to have bare arms for the ride home. Wool blend tights are very kind to aging knees, also.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by WIngs on 10/10/2000 at 11:21:00 PM
I just walk outside and stand for 10 seconds.
Then I grab one or more of the following: the old thin t, the heavy t, or the long sleeved t, the cool max fleece jacket. I start off with more and gradually put them in a saddle bag. I have not turned the heat on yet and usually do not until November 1! Not much of a problem!
I lived in Kansas (College Days) and that was horrible with my Big Ears -- almost airborn on several occasions. Frozen ears drove me up the wall!!!!!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 6:18:00 AM
I avoid cotton next to the skin, for the reasons Brian points out, but use it for outer layers because it's relatively wind proof but more breathable than nylon. Today I re-learned another lesson -- pace yourself. What I was wearing for 39 degrees was fine, but I had to go faster and catch and pass the mountain biker -- so I sweat a lot and soaked the silk layer. Which reminds me of the lesson I also re-learn every year -- silk feels great next to the skin -- much nicer than wool -- but its legendary "wicking" abilities are grossly exagerated in my experience. Really, polyprop or wool next to the skin is best, especially is you swaet a lot, like me. Live and learn, and re-learn. Save the silk for winter sleepwear.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Art on 10/11/2000 at 7:09:41 AM
Any suggestions for commuting on rainy days? Do you ride no matter what the weather? Do you ride a certain bike when it rains? Often in Az when it rains it storms and I never seem to know some of the rain tricks you guys might know.

   cold hands posted by John E on 10/11/2000 at 7:24:35 AM
Does anyone care to recommend gloves that insulate the hands against the cold, while still permitting safe, easy shifting, braking, and grasping of the handlebar? I wear full-fingered mountain bike gloves year round, but my hands get painfully cold and stiff when the ambient temperature drops below about 40F.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 8:59:27 AM
Gloves -- I use polyprop liners under regular cycling gloves down to about 32 degrees. Below that I use thinsulite filled finger gloves that have pretty good grippy fingers. The pics of Coppi-era bikes show raised bands of handlebar tape wrapped around the brake levers -- maybe this would help control with gloves on. I also wear loose fitting shoes so I can put thick wool socks on over thin ployprop liner socks. I also have the scuba-diver-esque modern neoprene cycling shoe covers, which work great too, but for commuting, and heck, maybe all of my riding, I'm beginning to experiment with getting away from "real" cycling clothes. It's that Rivendell propaganda working on me again. (But I'm keeping the cycling gloves, dammit.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 9:07:44 AM
Rain: about half the people I know with Gore-Tex love it, and the other half tell me it was a waste of money. I'm too cheap to try it. I use a regular Peformance nylon rain suit in heavy rain -- it's terrible! The best thing you can say about it is that, used properly, it helps regulate your body tempurature in a cold, heavy rain. Aside from that it's a sweat suit. Yes! -- here's where Brian is absolutely right! -- don't wear cotton under it! I ride no matter what the weather is like. It's only about an hour each way, after all. Any Gore-Texers out there want to convert me? Geez, $200 for a rain jacket, that would buy me another bike I don't need!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Oscar on 10/11/2000 at 9:21:45 AM
Fenders! Don't be too cool for fenders. They'll keep you dry when the road is wet, and they will keep your bike cleaner, too.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Falling temps posted by Brian L. on 10/11/2000 at 12:27:46 PM
Rain is interesting. Waterproof clothing only guarantees that you'll get wet - from the inside. I've found that you can treat wool outer garments pretty successfully with the silicon spray that's sold for leather boots. Pretty waterproof, yet breathable for up to an hour in anything but a storm. I also had a vest made that has a good windshell/wateresistant front panel (gortex, I believe)with wool blend back panel. Works great to keep the core warm. I wear a polypro head band around my neck - wicks well and doesn't make me feel claustrophobic. Another one under the helmet.

Feet are tricky. I think that the big overboots make my feet feel like lead. I layer a couple pairs of thin socks with a light gortex sock and then a thin neoprene sock for the worst days. I've always bought my shoes a little big to give me some extra room.

For really wet weather, I bought a pair of full-fingered, bike-specific neoprene gloves. They work pretty well and have good grip, although they're a little stiff. Wool is too slippery when wet and I wouldn't recommend it for an outer layer when its raining.

   mudguards posted by John E on 10/11/2000 at 12:46:32 PM
I recently put lightweight full plastic fenders on the 1960 Capo. With its Nervar Star crankset, ornate lugwork, Weinmann centerpulls, Campy downtube shifters, Pletscher "mousetrap" rear rack, 27 x 1-1/4" gumwall tyres, quill pedals, toe clips, and Brooks Pro saddle, it now looks even more awesomely (albeit not 100% authentically) retro. The fenders come in very handy when I need to visit nearby companies during my workday.

   RE:mudguards posted by Keith on 10/12/2000 at 7:26:28 AM
John, your bike sounds a little like the standard late 1940s French touring bike pictured in the Dancing Chain. Very Nice! I plan to piece something very similar, though not as retro or ornate, together using either a Trek 400 frame I have or a Trek 520 frame I hope to receive shortly. Full fenders, wider tires, triple, rack: ready for anything.

AGE / VALUE:   nishiki posted by: nickelodeon on 10/9/2000 at 4:50:40 PM
has anyone ever heard of nishiki, i know its japanese. did they ever produce significant bikes. i found one someone was throwing away with the centerpulls, steel crap rims, nitto drops, and a suntour vgt luxe, same on the raleigh grand prix. quick release aluminum hubs, fancy lugs, and cotter cranks. shimano "50" derailuer(front) sr stem. THE Model is nishiki olympic. can anyone tell me a year or if it was a better or worse nishiki. thanks

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   nishiki posted by Brian L. on 10/9/2000 at 6:50:22 PM
Essentially worthless on both bikes in terms of market value. The Raleigh may have slightly better ride quality, but that's probably subjective. Decent beaters that you probably wouldn't have to lock up.

   nishiki posted by John E on 10/9/2000 at 7:48:00 PM
The Nishiki Olympic was produced during the 1970s. Earlier specimens had heavy cottered steel cranks; later ones had 12 speeds and fragile aluminum Sugino Maxi cranks. Brian's assessment is right-on. The Raleigh is probably a few pounds lighter (e.g. 30 lbs. versus 34). However, neither bike is theft-proof -- the only two bicycles I have lost to theft were older 10-speeds of that general quality level. At least losing them was pretty painless!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   nishiki posted by Keith on 10/10/2000 at 6:16:25 AM
Ditto. If one of them is complete and rideable, then it would make a good erand/beater bike. If not, it might be worth stripping the cleanest parts that you could use on a nicer incomplete bike you may find some day (save Suntour derailleurs and freewheel, cut the Suzie hubs from the steel rims, etc.).

MISC:   City by the Bay posted by: Art on 10/9/2000 at 7:11:28 AM
I am going to be in San Fransisco at the end of the month. I usually check in with American Cyclery. A friend suggested that I go into Berkeley because there is an equally good bike store there. Is Karem(?) the big shop there? If I can make it to one shop, does anyone familiar with both shops have any suggestions. I have found great stuff at American Cyclery on some trips, not much on others. And the last time I was there I found Velo City and a couple of other shops in the same area. What do you think?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by: Mike on 10/8/2000 at 3:52:28 PM
I bought a 1960 Schwinn continental at a yard sale. The bike was very dirty & the tires had no air. I have benn cleaning it up & I have noticed the seat on the bike needs replacing! It is a old Ideale seat, But its so shot I can't read whats written on the side? does anyone know what ideale seat was on this bike? I would like to buy a replacment! also what tires? the derailleur is a Huret! is that the right one? & last! is this a rare bike or just another cheap old schwinn. thanks, Mike.W

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Wings on 10/9/2000 at 12:44:43 AM
Is this another cheap bike? Well, it depends on the value you put on it. In terms of selling it--it depends on the condition but it is rather common. I saw one this week. It was green, and had a nice Schwinn derailer on it. I don't remember what the seat was -- but they usually are also Schwinn. It had the longest head tube I have ever seen. I am 6'1" and I could not stand over it.
The price was $15. They get cheaper here during the winter. I often use them for parts but I often find a bike that is really nice and hate to harvest the parts. I have several nice old Schwinn's now that I hate to tear apart but I could not sell them for any profit. Check Ebay and see what they have gone for. If you like the bike that is all that counts! Clean it up and use it!!
When an old Schwinn 10 speed is cleaned it looks great. I saw an old Breeze that had been detailed and it was just beautiful and it also had a $117 price on it. It just sparkled!!!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Keith on 10/10/2000 at 9:26:40 AM
I was looking at the Pridmore and Hurd "Schwinn" book, which indicates that the Continental was introduced late in 1960 (as distinguished from the earlier model of the same name that was tried but failed in the 50s). I imagine that there were very few of these made, and very few around, let alone one in fine condition. About 5 years ago I'd hit the Schwinn site every so ofen -- on a regular basis Varsities, etc. came up and the regulars essentially laughed the subject off the page. I'm glad people are preserving at least the early examples -- they are at least as historically significant as the Rays, Krates, and Ballooners. They are a partial fulfillment of Frank Schwinn's dream of America on lightweights (though "light" is kind of a stretch in this case).

   I have one now and sold a few in the past posted by Ray on 10/11/2000 at 6:30:20 AM
Don't let anyone fool you on pricing. The people who told you that it is worth a couple of bucks or as much as $100 are not informed. These are first year lightweight Schwinn bikes. Both the 10 speed Continental and the 8 Speed Varsity were first year in 1960. These names were used by Schwinn much earlier but they were not true lightweights. The bike you have is very desireable and yes should have a Simplex flat coil spring rear derrailuer and front suicide. The rear derrailuer is unsuual as it shifts in reverse, that is as you pull back on the down tube shift lever the gearing goes from low to high speed or large to small cog. They are very ornate in their decaling. The Continental has the Knighs armor and shield while the Varsity has the checker board pattern. The Varsity 8 speed has the more common Huret derrailuer but it is still a very collectible and desireable model. I have had 2 of these Continentals in the past and I still have one real nice one. I have had 4 of the Varsities in the past and still have one also. If you are into collecting this is a nice piece to hold onto and show. If not it will bring a nice sum to you if you sell it right. Good luck and enjoy.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Keith on 10/11/2000 at 6:55:51 AM
Okay, now I'm really curoius -- just how much is this bike worth? $500? $1000? More? Who is buying them? Ballooner and Krate guys who want something different? Lightweight collectors looking back to their Iron Age American roots? Man, yard sales - the road to retirement -- it's a beautiful thing. Fabulous!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Keith on 10/9/2000 at 8:50:32 AM
I think the early date makes this is an historicaly significant bike, though not worth scads of money. I believe one hurdle these Schwinn 8 and 10 speed bikes face is that a lot of ballooner and krate guys won't touch anything with drop handlebars, yete it's not really light wnough to be a real lightweight (remember Varsities and Continentals called "Schwines"). Yet this was the starting point for many of us (myself included) who ended up with better quality European lightweights. Try Ebay for Ideale saddles. Is it 8 or 10 speed? Does it have the rod-lever shifter for the front derailleur?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Oscar on 10/9/2000 at 8:54:32 AM
Since your Continental is 1960, it might be worth more than bikes made during the early 70's bike boom. I don't know the correct saddle, but you might have trouble finding any Ideale leather saddle. The Continental used Huret Alvelit (sp?) derailleurs, so I'd bet it's original too.

While it might not be worth much now, you can hang onto it and ride it without fearing of hurting it. 10 years goes by quickly, you know, then the bike will be 50.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Mike on 10/9/2000 at 3:17:53 PM
Thanks Oscar, But are you sure about the Huret derailleur? I have been told that the Simplex tour de france derailleur was correct for the 1960 model?? any thought? anybody!!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Mike on 10/9/2000 at 3:29:15 PM
Thanks Keith, Yes! This is the 1960 Continental! 10-speed.The first year Schwinn came out with this model. Has the front "SUICIDE SHIFTER" & the first year! 1 year only special decals w/ the Knights-heads! Any thoughts??

   1960 schwinn continental posted by John E on 10/9/2000 at 4:48:41 PM
Yes, 1960 was the first year for the Varsity (8-speed) and Conti (10-speed). Both used the suicide front shifter and a Simplex rear. Unlike almost every later Conti, yours is at least somewhat collectible. Keep it awhile and try to find a Simplex rear derailleur. Do you still have a Simplex downtube shift lever, or did that get replaced with the rear derailleur?

(Isn't it ironic that your bike's derailleurs, archaic even in 1960, make it much more valuable than a newer Conti with the superior Huret Allvit transmission?)

   RE:1960 schwinn continental posted by Mike on 10/9/2000 at 5:46:03 PM
Yes Mike, Indeed!! The bike is close to "MINT" cond. All orig, Bright red paint. All the decals are almost perfect!pedals like new. orig rims! no rust. very very nice bike. I even found the "correct" cotton handlebar tape. all I need is the simplex shifter/derailleur to make this bike complete. I have 4 or 5 70s varsitys! & the 60 continental is so much more "regal" & much lighter then the other bikes. I will find the correct simplex parts i need. it just takes time.

   Schwinn collectornet forum posted by John E on 10/9/2000 at 7:53:38 PM
Congratulations, Mike. You may have found the most collectible Conti out there. Be sure to post a similar message on the Schwinn Heritage Collectors' Forum, where I am sure it will draw lots of admiring responses. I will keep a lookout for an appropriate Simplex rear derailleur.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Gary on 10/10/2000 at 1:01:53 AM
Awesome find. let me also add to this thread that it is a Tall mans frame, and not many bikes were made tall like that. I sold one this summer to a man that is utterly in love with it. He says it is the only bike that ever actually fit him being 6'11", so i would ask at least 100 dollars for it as a rider alone.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Keith on 10/10/2000 at 6:30:09 AM
I agree that this is worth preserving. As others mentioned, the Huret Alvit came later -- the story is posted somkewhere on the net about how the Schwinn purchasing guy took the Huret reps out drinking, and after a few the Huret guys said they'd match or beat the Simplex price. I have a book about the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV) a local back-to-back centuries ride here in Columbus, OH. The cover picture shows a group of riders -- one is clearly riding a classic brown Schwinn Continental. People took these bikes out on long, difficult rides and survived. They are part of the Bike Boom history. I started on a Varsity in 1970, though I "upgraded" to a Gitane Interclub less than a year later. Also, it's worth looking at the "Inside the Varsity" article at Sheldon Brown's sire. You find scads of the 70s Continentals and Varsities at garage sales and in the trash, but an original year model -- well done!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1960 schwinn continental posted by Eric Amlie on 10/10/2000 at 6:33:54 AM
There is a complete set of shifters and derailleurs for this bike on Ebay now. Item # 463705005. If this bike is in very good condition I think it would be worth quite a bit to the right person. I saw a '60 Varsity 8 speed in nice condition but not all original go for $500 on Ebay a few months ago.

   1960 Varsity Sold posted by Ray on 10/18/2000 at 1:26:00 PM
Just this week on ebay someone sold a first year 1960 Schwinn Varsity for over $100. What this person got for their money was a bike that was brush painted black, missing original bars and brakes. The knob from the suicide shifter was missing. The chrome did not look to great and it had the more common Huret Alvit derrailuer and it still brought over $100. This will give you some kind of idea what this version is worth even with these major flaws.