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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

MISC:   Nervex Lugs posted by: Wings on 10/26/2000 at 10:18:57 PM
This will show how little I know about lightweights-- But you must remember I grew up on an Iver Johnson and rode a Varsity for thousands of miles.
What do "Nervex Lugs" look like. I have lots of bikes here. The older Motobecanes, Bianci, Miyata, ... that I have have similar lugs. The lugs on the old Peugots I have are different -- very ornate. Which are Nervex? If you know of a picture in a book -- let me know and I will find it.

   RE:MISC:   Nervex Lugs posted by Tom Adams on 10/27/2000 at 6:02:08 AM
Nervex was a french company who manufactured lugs and other bicycle fittings. The ornate lugs are the "Professional" series. My understanding is that they were made ornate so as to mimic the handcut ornate lugwork on the best British bikes that were popular in the late 50's early 60's. Rather than laboriously handcutting lug blanks, use the Nervex lugs and voila! Instant Fancy!

The Nervex lugs were used on Peugeot PX-10's, and were also commonly used on old Schwinn Paramounts and Raleigh Internationals. They are also commonly seen on Swiss, French and other high end bikes. Finishing the lugs was a lot of extra work, so they were usually used only on a manufactureer's high quality bikes. PX 10s and Internationals usually didn't equal the fine finish work on most Paramounts who even had the lugs chromed. Tres chic!

   RE:MISC:   Nervex Lugs posted by Keith on 10/27/2000 at 8:02:06 AM
There are pictures of Nervex lugs on the Cycles de Oro site (www.cyclesdeoro.com). Also, any Paramount from the 60s through the mid-70s will have Nervex Pros, usually chromed (Ebay probably has some on it right now). The widely used Nervex Pros defined an era of top-end "brand name" (as opposed to small shop) bikes, from the 50s, I believe, until about the mid-1970s. I agree the workmanship varied pretty drastically on bikes that used these lugs -- okay, I'm repeating myself, but the Nervex Pros on my '76 Paramount were obviously carefully filed and finished, and the silver brazing is very clean (or maybe cleaned up). I've read that the workers in the Paramount "cage" in Chicago spent a lot of time preparing them. The Nervex Pros on my '71 Raleigh International are pretty crude, with tool marks, jagged edges, and bits of brass solder sticking out here and there. The Swiss Mondia also used them. I don't recall whether Motobecane actually used Nervex or something almost identical. Nervex Pros were also used at least some mid-range bikes, such as the Raleigh Super Course.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Nervex Lugs posted by Wings on 10/27/2000 at 5:19:09 PM
I will check out those pictures!

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Nervex Lugs and PX-10's posted by Wings on 10/27/2000 at 5:44:46 PM
Well, I know I have seen Nervex Lugs on a bike -- but not on anything I have.
My next question was to learn more about the PX-10 and Cycle De Oro helped with that. I have a Peugot with the Stronglight cranks but not with Nervex --more common lugs instead-- however it is 541. It has Mafac Racer brakes also.
I guess I still have a question: Must a PX-10 have Nervex Lugs?

   RE:MISC:   Nervex Lugs posted by Keith on 10/30/2000 at 9:00:49 AM
Sometime in the mid-1970s Peugeot, and others, switched away from Nervex Pros to plainer lugs. I can only assume it was a cost-saving measure because it's easier to do a neat, quick brazing job if the lugs are plain. So, yes, a real PX-10 can have plain, non-Nervex Pro lugs.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Super Course year of mfg? posted by: Jim on 10/25/2000 at 7:17:35 AM
I just picked up a Raleigh Super Course and was wondering what model year it is. Serial #D9104. All of the Raleigh serial number charts I find on the 'net only go up to 1966. I believe this one is a '70's vintage.

Any help appreciated.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Super Course year of mfg? posted by Tom Adams on 10/26/2000 at 5:01:42 AM
The Retro Raleigh site has a pretty extensive serial number list. They're at http://www.speakeasy.org/'tabula/raleigh/raleigh-age.html.

As I look at their chart, it reads that your bike is a '69.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Super Course year of mfg? posted by Ray on 10/26/2000 at 6:25:44 AM
Where did you find the serial number, on the bottom of the BB shell? I can't get a number from mine even with thin paper and a soft pencil rubbing. Only the stamped rear dropout has anything, but looks nothing like a standard serial number for this model. It has an "Anniversary Headbadge" but I don't know if that actually dates it or not. What's the story about this headbadge?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Super Course year of mfg? posted by Keith on 10/26/2000 at 10:21:19 AM
One of my DL-1s has no serial number anywhere -- I'm sure of it.

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by: racerrex on 10/24/2000 at 4:24:22 AM
Was wondering if anyone has seen a varsity humpback frame. its a 77 and measures 17" at the seatpost!! I've never seen one before and neither has anyone I talked to. any help would be great.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by Eric Amlie on 10/24/2000 at 6:39:28 AM
The following is from the '77 Schwinn catalog:

1977 VARSITY (sport):
10 speed, stem shifters. 38 to 100 gear range. GT-275 front derailleur. GT-500 rear derailleur. Chain wheel guard. Name on top tube(new). Oval head badge. Side pull brakes with suicide levers. 27 x1¼ tires. Colors were Sky Blue, Lime Green, Flamboyant Red, and Silver Mist (Flamingo replaces Silver Mist on Women’s). Frame sizes were men’s 17”(camelback), 20”, 22”, 24”, 26”; women’s (curved bar) 17”, 20”, 22”. $139.95 Chrome fenders available.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by racerrex on 10/24/2000 at 9:38:50 PM
thanx for the sales flyer info, I just wonder how many were sold?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by Wings on 10/25/2000 at 11:20:36 PM
In the last 5 years I saw one in a thrift store for sale.
I also saw one that was being ridden. Not common!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by Keith on 10/26/2000 at 6:13:42 AM
My 9-year-old son has a 17" Varsity -- don't recall serial # or year, but I think it is late-70s/early-80s. The top tube is sloping, but not curved. By "humpback" do you mean curved top tube, right?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by Wings on 10/26/2000 at 10:17:43 PM
Yes, A curve like a camel hump.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by Oscar on 10/27/2000 at 9:16:57 AM
Or a llama or a dromedary. My 17" Speedster is a camelback.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Varsity humpback posted by Keith on 10/30/2000 at 11:38:51 AM
Don't forget vicuna.

AGE / VALUE:   Mercier posted by: MP on 10/22/2000 at 5:47:18 AM
I have acquired a mens Mercier and want to know how to tell the age of it. It is probably from the 60s because of the cottered cranks and 5-speed hub. It is blue with red/white/blue decals, fancy ornate lugs and chrome accents on the fork and rear triangle. It's a strikingly attractive road bike, but will probably sell it because it's too small for me. Any information will be helpful.

   please refer to earlier thread posted by John E on 10/23/2000 at 7:34:00 AM
Nice find, MP! You may want to check sheldonbrown.com and earlier threads here. A chromed rear triangle usually indicated a mid- to high-end frame. Does your frame have a Reynolds 531 or other sticker indicating the pedigree of its tubing? Is the derailleur hanger an integral part of the dropout, or is it a separate bolt-on? Is the chainring gearing half-step (e.g. 52/47, 49/46, etc.) or is it somewhat wider, such as the ubiquitous 52/42? Does it have medium-reach center-pull (Mafac?) brakes? During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mercier had a Peugeot U-08 clone and a PX-10 clone. If your bike has Reynolds tubing and has cottered cranks only because it predates the popularity of aluminum cranks, it may be somewhat collectible, if it is in good condition. By the way, what is the "too small for you" frame size?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mercier posted by Keith on 10/23/2000 at 10:16:23 AM
I'd have to check my TDF book, but I'm sure that at least one prominent rider in the past rode a Mercier in the TDF. Probably one of you will pipe up before I can check.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mercier posted by Art on 10/23/2000 at 5:08:14 PM
I have a blue men's Mercier, nice lugs but not fancy, Columbus tubing sticker in French, Vitus dropouts, Velo de Mercier on one side of the down tube, 22 1/2 from center of BB to top of seat tube and no parts for it that I'm willing to move on if anyone is interested.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mercier posted by MP on 10/23/2000 at 10:10:25 PM
This was a mid-range bike because the tubing is marked LUXTUB and has integrated Simplex dropouts. I was impressed however by the superb original condition of the bike particularly the Simplex/Marfac componentry. It has a conventional 53T large chainring and a racing seat. Art, if you're interested in a swap, it's a 21-1/2" c to c frame, but I need a larger one like yours.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mercier posted by RShearer on 11/14/2000 at 12:32:37 AM
RE TDF riders on Merciers: In the 1960s and 1970s (and perhaps earlier), Mercier was a prominent name in the pro peloton. Raymond Poulidor, Joop Zoetemelk, Barry Hoban, among others, rode bikes bearing the Mercier label. (I am choosing my words carefully here, as there is really no way of knowing which of those frames were actually built by someone else and painted and decaled to look like sponsor Mercier's wares.) If you have seen photos of Poulidor battling Anquetil up the Puy de Dome in the 1964 Tour, you will notice that his jersey reads "Mercier Hutchinson," with British Petroleum patches on the arms. (Pretty jersey, by the way: purple with yellow sleeves. If anyone knows where to find one in a really big size, like 3XL or 4XL, i"d love to hear about it.) That team later became the original GAN team (with its own nice, understated light blue/white/medium blue jerseys). I don't think Mercier's involvement lasted beyond the 70s or started before the 60s, but don't quote me on that.

MISC:   Old School Mountain Bikes Discussion Area posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles at OldRoads.com on 10/21/2000 at 4:57:30 PM
We've added a new Discussion Area called "Old School Mountain Bikes", by popular request.

   RE:MISC:   Old School Mountain Bikes Discussion Area posted by ChristopherRobin on 10/22/2000 at 9:26:48 AM
Good idea! A lot of people will be happy you did. Thank- You

   best bicycle discussion board out there posted by John E on 10/23/2000 at 7:13:12 AM
The gracious, accommodating hosts and the interesting, informative guests make this my favourite bicycle discussion board.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Cambio Corsa derailleur on eBay posted by: John E on 10/21/2000 at 3:21:01 PM
Interesting -- a German eBayer is selling a rechromed/reconditioned complete Cambio Corsa rear derailleur (Tullio's first model), plus matching front hub. To adapt it to a modern frame, one would need to machine the requisite, precisely-aligned teeth in the rear dropouts. Of course, operating the thing is another matter entirely!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Cambio Corsa derailleur on eBay posted by Keith on 10/23/2000 at 6:33:45 AM
Art - you really need this! BTW, I was looking at "The Mighty TOSRV" book, about out oldest local 2-day double century. Chuck Siple, who founded the ride in 1962 with his son Greg, got a Paramount in 1940. It was derailleur-equiped and had drop bars -- neither a usual "Tourist" setup nor a 6-day bike. Also, re discussion below about using bike messenger bags -- on the first TOSRV Chuck and Greg carried their sundries in shoulder bags they called "musettes" after the fashion of the European racers who got their food in such bags.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Cambio Corsa derailleur on eBay posted by Art on 10/24/2000 at 7:12:49 PM
The last time I checked, this thing I "needed" just went to $200. Yikes!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   NO RESERVE, auction posted by: Joe Rapoza on 10/20/2000 at 4:00:30 PM
I have 300 or so bicycles and parts for auction all NO RESERVE with the lowest opening bids. Balloon Schwinn, J.C. Higgins, Colson, Firestone, Elgin, Roadmaster and many more as well as 20" Krate, early and late Fastbacks, Manta Ray, Screamer, Huffy and many more. NOS parts lights, speedos, generator sets, tires, used schwinn parts. New Departure boxes with contents. Everything goes. For more info please email. Bicycles and parts at give away starting bids every item to be sold with NO RESERVE. Don't miss it. You need to see the list to believe it. Please email me for the complete list and photo's. Thank you.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Super Course available posted by: Warren on 10/19/2000 at 6:42:31 PM
I'd like to re-introduce the subject of the Raleigh Super Course. I can buy one tommorrow, dirt cheap...it's green, nervex lugs, chrome stays, simplex shifters, CLB bars, Weinman centrepulls, Normandy hubs, Stronglight Cranks, Suntour derailleurs, Carlton 531 frame. The problem...it's too damned big. I didn't measure it but it looks to be around a 58 cm...I need a 53 or 54. The question is...does anyone have a smaller Carlton frame they would like to trade if I buy this bike? I will insure this frame is dead straight...easy to do with a piece of string and a test ride for the forks. I would rate the frame and decals as an 8 out of 10. I just can't buy any more bikes on a whim...(yeah sure).

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Super Course available posted by jimbo on 10/19/2000 at 9:19:52 PM
I have a frame and fork that I think is 56cm or smaller raleigh super course that has been repainted wth no decals just the older raleigh head badge. Its hard to say which model it is, I know its not the gran prix or record or top of the line like competition or professional.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Super Course available posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 10/21/2000 at 11:07:04 AM
A large frame is worth getting because there are a lot of bean pole, daddy long legs, out there(like myself) that are looking for a large frame and all they are finding are smaller frames. You gotta find someone who is wanting this bike of yours and dirt cheap is good. Sounds just like the one I found only mine is red.

AGE / VALUE:   Bike Wars posted by: Art on 10/19/2000 at 7:52:21 AM
Bill's point below that a community's attitude towards bicycling is more important or influential than the weather got me to thinking. I live in an area where, except for several months of the summer, the weather is ideal for commuting. But there exists in the minds of many drivers, an in-your-face, aggressive, pre road rage mentality that can't help but filter down to and effect bicyclists. It seems that here in Phoenix, the whole cowboy, throttle jockey mindset continually pits agressive drivers against cyclists of all ages. Is it like that where you live? I tend to limit my contact (literally) with cars by riding back roads, bike paths, canals. I have read articles about agressive bikes- take-to-the-streets movements like SF's Critical Mass. Any opinions on that?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bike Wars posted by Keith on 10/19/2000 at 11:45:44 AM
I think that drivers are more aggressive now where I live (central Ohio) than they ever have been. People drive faster, and are willing to take reckless risks to gain a few seconds in their car commute or errand. I believe that cyclists are viewed with extreme irritation when they ride in traffic and slow it down. The infrastructure here (almost no bike right-of-ways) does not accomodate both cars and bicycles safely. I'm familiar with the "John Forester" school of thought, that a bicycle is just another vehicle, subject to the same rights and so on, and that you need to assertively take a whole lane when you ride a bicycle. I don't trust that teaching in our 21st century road rage society. I feel there are peole out there who will run me down eventually if I do that. A few people in our local club have been hit and killed over the years. Were they riding John Forester-style? They aren't around to tell us. Very simply, when I ride in traffic I stay to the right -- not in the gutter, but to the right, and try to stay out of the way of drivers as much as I can. So I don't think the solution is to ride at 15 mph in front of a row cars that want to go 45. I'm ambivolent about critical mass. We've had some here -- very small, and nothing like SF. I've never participated. "Bike advocacy" seems like a good thing, but I wonder what actual good it does to stop traffic and tick a bunch of people off. What measurable gain has it netted in SF or anywhere else? Maybe it has -- tell me! But what else does CM do? Release our frustrations on motorists? An excuse for a roudy bike party? So we can pat ourselves on the back for being brave activists? For me the ultimate solution is for cyclists to have their own lanes, which I suppose Forester and his disciples would view with distain as a bicycle "ghetto." Give me the ghetto, because I have kids and I want to live and ride in my old age.

   it's a jungle out there posted by John E on 10/19/2000 at 1:13:06 PM
I am very active in the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (Forester, now a La Mesa resident, is one of our members), which has been able to secure improved cycling facilities. When the city restriped a one-mile, two-lane stretch of my daily commuting route to four narrow 45mph lanes, we convinced the them to restore the previous configuration.

The City of San Diego's a paid Bicycle Coordinator does a fantastic job of promoting and maintaining facilities for cyclists. The city no longer permits the California Department of Transportation to design the mouths of freeway access ramps with fast, freely-flowing merges, diverges, or free right turns.

We constantly battle with local merchants who want to permit on-street parking where it would force us into travel lanes too narrow to share side-by-side with motor vehicles. We recently won a battle with several wealthy La Jolla residents, who tried to get a critical block of the Torrey Pines Road (Highway 101) bike lane deleted for on-street parking in front of their homes.

I restrict my recreational cycling to daylight hours on streets with wide shoulders, wide curb lanes, low speed limits, or marked bicycle lanes. For commuting, wherever possible, I select routes that avoid obviously hazardous intersections. I always take the curb lane on Coast Highway 101 through downtown Encinitas, because we have diagonal parking, a 25mph speed limit, and too little width for safe sharing. Although I, too, feel insecure taking the lane on a 45mph street, it is often safer to do so than to cower too far to the right.

My biggest safety concern is that California and most other states make it way too easy to secure and to retain a driver's license, even though our Vehicle Code clearly states that "driving is a privilege, not a right." A year ago, Cecy Krone, a popular 42-year-old San Francisco area cyclist, was killed by a previously-convicted drunk driver, who struck her while she was resting on the shoulder, well outside the travel lane. When Michele Young received a 4-year minimum-security jail term, her defense attorney complained, "I hope they are happy! They sent a 50-year-old housewife to jail. What else do they want?" (Cecy's family and members of the San Francisco area cycling community orchestrated a very effective letter-writing and publicity campaign, including silent, well-dressed courtroom observers carrying bicycle helmets. In my letter to the judge, I had also advocated permanent revocation of Ms. Young's driver's license and lifelong restitution payments to Cecy's mother and sisters.)

   RE:it's a jungle out there posted by jimbo on 10/19/2000 at 6:26:39 PM
I dont know if Phoenix is worse than anywhere else concerning mad car disease, we have young kids burning up tetesterone in pocket rockets, bondoed tatooed 4-wheel pickups and bi-polar king of the road ragers out running red lights. Hit and run accidents involving pedestrians are bicyclists are a normal occurence. One time a hit and run driver who was drunk abandoned his car and when the police caught up with him they took him home because they said the judge would just book him with a misdemeanor! Sometimes when you drive the bicyclists are just as brazen, I've seen people riding in the center turn in heavy traffic with a child stradling the handle bars. The driver,s all have the same mentality to get from point a to b in the least amount of time irregardless of how many accidents they cause.

   Swinging from vine to vine posted by Oscar on 10/20/2000 at 5:36:48 AM
It amazes me how fast Chicago is growing...for an established city. The suburbs are reaching farther, and the central city is packing it in with people too. Driving and biking in the city is becoming crazy. Our streets are becoming like the streets of Rome, Beirut, Saigon, or even New York.

My two goals in life are to make it to the hereafter, and at a long time from now. I don't view biking as an unnecessary risk, but I take all the precautions the above writers take. I also use some past lessons to get me through.

For a short time, I was a highway construction worker. When you play in traffic for a living, you make sure that you know what the drivers are doing. If you're stopping a lane of traffic, you lock eyes with the car you are stopping so you know that they are not daydreaming. Many drivers take this as a challenge, especially from a cyclist. If they don't like it, I just flash a smile to them...they think bikers are goofy anyway (or gay).

Not too long ago, a bike messenger was killed when he was chased down an rammed by an SUV. First-degree murder, but it started when the biker flipped off the driver. My fingers stay on the bar when someone pisses me off.

I have a wife and two kids who are my main responsibility. I also handle a large part of my beloved boss' business, so I want to be around for him, too. When I meet St. Peter, I want to be an old man.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bike Wars posted by Art on 10/20/2000 at 7:30:56 AM
I was riding with my son on our tandem on a quiet residential street. Slowly. We had the right of way, when a car pulled up to a stop sign. I did the eye locking thing. If my son is with me I never take "anything" for granted. He saw me. As we passed in front of him, he lurched the car at us. Just to mess with us. I yelled just to let him know I was there. Nothing personal or abusive. He pulled up along side of us and with a young child in his car went ballistic on us. Over the top. I didn't say anything back to the idiot. He eventually sped off. Like Oscar, I've learned to put a harness on my mouth and middle finger when some moron does something stupid because you never know what's going to happen. I saw a guy yesterday all decked out in Tour wear on a moutain bike slowing down a whole lane of city traffic. I read an article once encouraging trail riders to tone down the neon pinks and greens because it's in your face to hikers. Bad PR. I know that the drivers behind the tour rider were pissed off and I can only assume that they could take out their frustration on the next innocent cyclist they see. I already am an old man, I just want to be an old old man. And I don't want my son to see me gunned down by some rager.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bike Wars posted by Keith on 10/20/2000 at 7:33:15 AM
Case in point: this morning I was waiting at a red light -- I was going straight across. It was about 8:30, it was plently light out, I had my headlight on anyway, I was wearing abright yellow vest, and made eye contact with the young mother driving the SUV across from me who had her left turn signal on. The light changed, I started across, and when I was about halfway across she gunned it and almost ran me over. What more am I supposed to do? SUVs -- I don't know whether they are the symptom, the cause, or the catalyst, but I find SUV drivers to be uniformly more aggressive and reckless than other drivers.

   Bike Wars posted by Ray on 10/20/2000 at 1:01:40 PM
Sounds like you struck a nerve. I guess all of us have a bike / car story that we can tell. I try to bike defensivly and not take chances. If you think you have it bad where you live try riding in NJ. The most densly populated state in the Union. Not only do you have to learn to have eyes in the back of your head, the locals are always closing roads or trails to bikers making it more and more tough to get a peaceful ride in. I like to think of us all sharing the road and for the most part I find cars respect me and visa versa. I do know that there is a movement to ban cars, reduce their size, make them more pollution free and these are for the most part and idealistic approach to a problem. Political movements such as this turn me off. Leave me be, I do not need more laws limiting my freedom either as a biker or a driver. I would like to turn back time to when people used common sense to guide them and not congress. My pet peve is really an ironic one. I go to many local car shows and swap meets. Not for the cars but I usually find great bikes at them. Some of them treat me fine as I ride my bike through and look at the many offerings. One in particular is down right nasty. The Hershey PA car show is downright unfriendly to bicycles. I have been threatned by security with confiscation of my bicycle and yelled at by vendors all at the same time I am being passed by motorcycles, old smoking cars, golf carts and you name it. It really does not make sense to me why a hobby like car collecting, that has come under scrutny from the environmental crowd, does not warm up to a guy riding a tiny two wheeled bicycle. I don't want to limit their rights and I just want the favor returned. Again, I favor common sense but it seems as if we have all gone mad with laws and litigation. Soon the government will mandate that you cannot ride a bike without a suit of armor and only on designated roads on odd days in sunlight between the hours of 12 and 3.

   RE:Bike Wars posted by Wings on 10/20/2000 at 8:49:26 PM
California: This last year has gone crazy with speed and delibrate road violations. Passing in no passing areas with no fear--or a suicide urge. I have been yelled at and had stuff thrown at me-- and I have been hit by sodas and other stuff by passing cars in a residential area and I was in a marked bike lane. The old roads I once traveled I have given up for new routes with as little traffic as possible. Sunday at 2pm is a great time for a ride here!
A neighbor was struck by a car while on her bike when the woman driving looked back to check here kid in the back seat. Mirrors must be used!
You guys have written a lot of wise advice up there!

   RE:RE:Bike Wars posted by Oscar on 10/21/2000 at 6:51:38 AM
Wings brings up a point. Raging drivers are one thing, but sharing the road with sleepy, distracted drivers is another. Cars are comfortable, and even cosy. With a smooth suspension and a good heater on a frosty morning, some drivers are rocked gently to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

   RE:RE:RE:Bike Wars posted by ChristopherRobin on 10/21/2000 at 11:11:38 AM
I remember asking her, What do you mean, you fell asleep? This is unfathomable to me, that folks fall asleep on the freeway! However it happens all the time. And now there are cell phones too.

MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by: Wings on 10/16/2000 at 11:22:11 PM
I have enjoyed the string of messages last week on cold weather rides and the choice of clothing and the temperatures and distances. It has caused me to ride more and appreciate the warm weather we have this time of year in southern California. I still wear shorts and a t shirt and I appreciate it as I have had some midwest living experiences. You have a lot of dedication. Keep it up!!!!

   So Cal posted by John E on 10/17/2000 at 6:37:56 AM
Where are you located, Wings? I live in north coastal San
Diego County, work in Sorrento Valley, and do alot of
cycling on Coast Highway 101 and through Rancho Santa Fe.

   Youth wasted on the young posted by Oscar on 10/17/2000 at 7:18:37 AM
When I was a young man, I lived in beautiful Long Beach, CA. Without a car, I rode my Huffy mountain bike to work and grad school. By definition, I was biking, but I wasn't a biker. (It's like saying I love you, but I'm not in love with you.)

Now I remember the beautiful rolling hills that I thought were a pain. My shortcut along the paved San Gabriel river was always beautiful and peaceful, but I thought the mornings were chilly and the lonely riverside was dangerous. Back then, biking was healthy and affordable, but kind of a drag.

I now live in a place with no terrain and lots of weather...and every bike ride is a joy!

   RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Keith on 10/17/2000 at 8:18:05 AM
We've had beatiful weather here in Ohio -- until this morning. Before this a.m., it's been brisk in the mornings -- upper 30s to 40s, and warmer but pleasant by afternoon -- 50 to low 70s. Very comfortable riding weather, as in no sweat. Cold rain -- well, at least you have the bike path to yourself when it happens. I've always considered 20F to be a limit of sorts for riding comfortably. I've gone out in zero and sub-zero, but I've usually ended up feeling cold and frostbitten somewhere. This year I have a full set of very heavy wool hunting clothes donated by my father-in-law who moved to Florida (smart guy). The pants feel like they're about a quarter inch think, and the coat feels like it weighs 20 pounds by itself. It's all red plaid -- I'll look pretty wild, or maybe weird is more like it (shades of Elmer Fudd). There's even a matching plaid wool hat with ear flaps. Anyone ever try ski goggles for below 20F? Ask me how I feel about all this in mid-February.

   RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Bill Putnam on 10/18/2000 at 6:49:42 AM
I've ridden nearly every day for the last 20 years in
Wisconsin. Most of the winter we'll be somewhere
between 10F and 25F but we usually get one to two
weeks when it doesn't get above 0F. For me, anything
above 20F is comfortable,0 to 20F is no big deal, and
when it's below 0 I ride just to get somewhere.
The speed and direction of the wind gets to be a big
issue at -10 to -20F. I find that a gore tex shell
works well-anything above 20F I wear a t-shirt and a
gore tex shell on top, and jeans and polypropylene
underwear on bottom. When it's really cold (-10F
or below) I also wear "wind briefs"-underwear
made for men who jog in cold weather but they work for
biking too. Oversize SPD shoes with a thick pair of
wool socks and below 20F or so neoprene booties, big
fleece mittens with a gore tex shell over them, a fleece
headband and neck gaiter for my head. Below 0F I'll
put on a thin "Lifa" hat under my headband. Often
sunglasses if it is bright. Glasses are kind of
problemmatic, though, as they steam up easily and
then freeze, so once they've steamed up it's a big
hassle to thaw them out and wipe them off. I've
thought about making electrically heated glasses
to act as a defroster but haven't tried this yet.

Much of the time in the winter I ride a 3 speed with 36 X 22
gearing-top speed is around 14 mph but that way there's
less wind chill and I stay warmer. It's also useful to
have a low gear to plow through snow.

I've found that dressing in layers works best, and
you can overdress your torso so that you'll be sweating
while at the same time your hands and feet or other
extremeties are freezing.

There's a lot of discussion on the icebike listserver
about riding in winter too.

   RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Art on 10/18/2000 at 7:13:50 AM
With a 6:30 ride in to work this morning in the low seventies and a ride home that will be in the high eighties it seems the only appropriate thing to add, like wings, is an expression of the amount of respect I feel for you gentlemen riding in real weather.I grew up on Long Island, so I have some faint memories of what it means to be cold, but I've spent 40 years in the desert and it's easy to forget. Keith's description of his Elmer Fudd suit and Bill's heated glasses brought it all back to me. What amazes me is that in a place like Phoenix, where the weather is so conducive to commuting, so very few do it. Even my students, living just a mile or so from school, need to 'get a ride' to go home. I don't get it.

   RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by eith on 10/18/2000 at 12:28:26 PM
I think it's intesting that Bill, along with a number of riders I know locally, recognize 20F as at least a significant point. When it gets really cold I use a polyprop top, long underwear, socks, and glove liners. I think it lives up to its reputation for wicking moisture. I also like wool layers -- a couple of heavy wool sweaters is good from 32F down to 20F, and cap that off with the controversial cotton outer layer because it's windproof but more breathable than nylon. When it's below 20F, I tend to avoid longer rides, and I resort to things like neoprene shoe covers, and more layers. If you keep the ride short the perfect selection of what to wear is not as critical, and overdressing is not as hazardous -- but I need to fine tune for winter commuting, so thanks for the comments and advice! In all honesty I doubt I'll really use the hunting outfit for riding, since removable layers are truly the way to go. Okay, maybe once to just try it, and see the reaction I get.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Wings on 10/19/2000 at 12:42:00 AM
Wow! And I did not ride yesterday -- it was too hot!
And then to read all those comments........
Wisconsin -- I changed a flat tire there once (Near Berlin) as a kid and it was 5 below. I can still feel that tire iron!
I live in Ventura County, Ca about 12 miles from the Ocean. The fall is really my best riding time.
Great reading!!!!
The Wimp

   RE:RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by racerrex on 10/19/2000 at 5:51:37 AM
Keiyh, what part of Ohio do you live in, I want to see the Elmer Fudd riding gear?!

   RE:RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by racerrex on 10/19/2000 at 5:51:51 AM
Keith, what part of Ohio do you live in, I want to see the Elmer Fudd riding gear?!

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Keith on 10/19/2000 at 6:27:18 AM
I live in central Ohio, in a city just north of Columbus, and commute along the Olentangy River into downtown Columbus. It was in the low 40s this a.m., and I wore 3 layers, and was very comfortable.

   RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Bill Putnam on 10/19/2000 at 6:46:00 AM
Maybe Keith could post a photo of him in his Elmer Fudd
gear? I don't consider anyone who rides a bike a wimp-
I'm just grateful for others who do ride, and don't feel
it's any big deal riding in the winter. People from
every walk (ride?) in life in Europe ride year around
and think nothing of it-it's just a regular part of
life for them.

It is interesting that in Madison, WI, we have a pretty
substantial amount of bike riders in the winter as well
as warmer months. On one main bike route, there are
about 10,000 bicycles per day in September, this drops
off to 1,000-2,000 bicycles per day in January-February.

The introduction of mountain bikes seemed to have a lot
to do with winter biking. A group of us racers had a
New Years Day Ride tradition, where we would go for a
ride on New Years Day. In the late 70's/early 80's it
was a big deal to get out the lightweight bikes and go
for a ride in the snow (then spend the next day completely
dissassembling your bike to clean the salt off.)

These days, though, there are plenty of other riders
out on new years day so people don't look at us so
quizically any more. The amount of bicycle riding
in a community is affected to a greater degree, IMHO,
by what facilities are available (wide curb lanes,
convenient routes for bicyclists) and the general
attitude towards bicycling than the weather.

   To all our warm weather friends posted by Oscar on 10/19/2000 at 7:42:02 AM
Thanks for all the warm wishes from San Diego and Ventura counties, and from the great state of Arizona. I have no doubt that all of you are bike-committed enough to ride in cold weather if you had some.

Had some low-hanging clouds over the prairie this morning. Very eerie by dawn light.

   RE:To all our warm weather friends posted by Wings on 10/20/2000 at 8:52:27 PM
Nope! Too Wimpy!!
Those days I work on bikes!

   RE:MISC:   Cold Weather rides posted by Michael on 11/2/2000 at 3:43:58 PM
Over in the UK we have been having a rather unusually wet autumn, with lots of flooding. It hasn't really affected the cycling and in flooded areas it is more reliable than cars.
One guy was riding up to his top tube in water.
The only thing on my wet weather wish list is for some good lightweight waterproof boots, not the arctic kind, just normal looking ones. I'm not going to put neoprene overboots or gortex undersocks on for a trip to the shops.

Riding in heavy rain while you are all geared up in gortex can be a blast. its especially good by the sea-front during a storm. The spray doesn't do my bike much good, but it puts a smile on my face.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   No Reserve ONLINE auction, EVERYTHING GOES posted by: Joe Rapoza on 10/16/2000 at 3:35:00 PM

I have 300 or so bicycles and parts for auction all NO RESERVE with the lowest opening bids. Balloon Schwinn, J.C. Higgins, Colson, Firestone, Elgin, Roadmaster and many more as well as 20" Krate, early and late Fastbacks, Manta Ray, Screamer, Huffy and many more. NOS parts lights, speedos, generator sets, tires, used schwinn parts. New Departure boxes with contents. Everything goes. For more info please email. Bicycles and parts at give away starting bids every item to be sold with NO RESERVE. Please email me for the complete list and photo's . Don't miss it. You need to see the list to believe it. Thank you.

MISC:   Winter Projects posted by: Oscar on 10/16/2000 at 2:25:17 PM
Winter is coming, at least in my zone of the sphere. That's the time that I haul a bunch of bike parts to the basement, make loud noises and swear, and return to light with a new creation. It's called winter projects time.

Each winter, I pull off something pretty cool. Once it was a mountain bike out of a middleweight, one winter it was a fixed gear bike out of a 10-speed, and last year I did a re-paint.

This winter, I'm thinking of building a 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub onto a 27" rim. If it works, I can fit it onto a road bike and create a fast epicyclic road wheel that can stand road grime and snow. Kinda of a faux club bike.

I also might put bar end shifters on the touring bike. Is anyone else doing a winter project?

   RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Tom "Mad Cow" Faust on 10/16/2000 at 9:40:40 PM
I need a suggestion for a winter project. A previous winter has produced a Dawes Galaxy with a Sachs 7 speed hub and a double chain ring for 14 speeds. The next winter produced a Puch with a Sachs 3X7 hub and double chain ring for 42 speeds. I feel the cold coming on, please save me from a triple chain ring and 63 speeds.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Wings on 10/16/2000 at 11:01:34 PM
No cold coming on here. Nice 80 deg. ride today at 4pm. The shadows do get longer and the daylight ends at 5 pm in a couple of weeks when the time changes--wish they would turn the clock the other way!
I go through a frantic reorganizing of all the bikes and make sure everything is out of the rain. I no longer count how many because it causes depression. Each one represents past and future work. The favorites are in where it is worn and the projects hang like slabs of beef in covered storage areas -- projects I hope! It also forces me to harvest some and just give some away to keep things more orderly. Here, I must prepare for the future rains--keeping everything dry. No basements here! I wish we had them. Just crowded garages.

   RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Keith on 10/17/2000 at 5:39:37 AM
Oscar, you might want to search the archives of the English Roadster site for tips on using a 3-speed hub with a lightweight frame. You may already be well aware, but basically your choices are to find a long axle and use washers, or "cold set" the stays to fit the narrower hub. Look for threads on the "American Roadster." Good project!

   3-speed fixed gear posted by John E on 10/17/2000 at 6:48:07 AM
If I had the time, I would like to convert a Sturmey-Archer
hub into a 3-speed fixed gear, per the instructions in
Sheldon's website. Instead, I am finishing my aluminum-
framed Ross mountain bike, which is now a 24-speed with
nice retro friction thumb shifters.

Tom has a ways to go on his transmissions. Thirty-five years
ago, Charlie Harding had a 90-speed road touring bike in his
west Los Angeles shop. (3 chainrings x 5 rear cogs x 3-speed
internal hub x 2 epicyclic ratios in the bottom bracket.)
With today's technology, this could easily become 3x7x3x2 =
126 ratios, with lots of redundancies.

   RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Gary on 10/19/2000 at 12:24:47 AM
I always wanted to pull the sproket off a 3sp sturmey, and machine freewheel threads into the sprocket mount. then with a custom axle, mount a 7 speed cluster onto that, with a gear overdriven sealed front unit. 63 gears and double overdrive. NOW Can your legs pedal this???? BTW if your reading this, its My idea since the 70s.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Tom Faust on 10/19/2000 at 6:25:48 AM
Gary, the Sachs, now SRAM, 3X7 is essentially a SA 3 speed with axle length for a 7 cog frewheel. Reail is about $110.00. I understand they have now introduced one which will accept a 9 cog freewheel or Shimano cassette.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Sheldon Brown on 10/29/2000 at 3:09:11 PM
You don't need to machine the threads (and it would be hard to do, because this part, called the "driver" is very tough stuff.) Older Sturmey-Archer and Hercules hubs came with a threaded driver. The threads are the same standard threads as a regular freewheel. That's how I made my 63 speed OTB.

Read about it at http://sheldonbrown.com/otb.html

   RE:MISC:   Winter Projects posted by Michael on 11/2/2000 at 3:50:32 PM
Want a cool idea?
How about installing some grease injection ports at all bearings. I saw some plans in Cycling Plus magazine and it seemed OK if you can drill and tap metal.
The advantages are you can clean out your bearings and remove dirt and metal chippings without disturbing the balls in their races. It saves time and effort during routine maintainance and bearings run better.

AGE / VALUE:   mercian campy gruppo posted by: jeff peters on 10/15/2000 at 7:06:41 PM
I have a Mercian bicycle that has all campy record equipment and am curious as to what it is worth. I paid 20 dollars for it 10 years ago . Also have a Vitus with campy and dura ace I would like to sell.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercian campy gruppo posted by Keith on 10/16/2000 at 6:22:09 AM
Depending on the model, and assuming excellent condition, an all Campy Merican should be worth about $750. Models range from filet brazed, plain Prugnat, lenghtened Prugnats (Professional), and very ornate British-style curly lugs (Vincitore). Though I don't entirely understand what it means (even though I've seen pictures) they are "hearth brazed" without the use of a torch. The estimate assumes you can find an interested buyer, and as Michael Kone says, the market for vintage lightweights is "thin," which may explain why Kone has basically shut down Bicycle Classics.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercian campy gruppo posted by Hearth brazed on 10/17/2000 at 8:10:28 AM
To me hearth brazed implies that they were brazed on a blacksmith's
forge. This was the only form of brazing known until torches
came in, first coal gas or town gas bunsen burner type and later

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercian campy gruppo posted by Keith on 10/17/2000 at 10:58:09 AM
The Mercian UK site has a picture of a frame joint being held in an apparently hot, glowing space surrounded by large bricks (the "hearth"?). No torches to be seen.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   mercian campy gruppo posted by Keith on 10/17/2000 at 11:06:20 AM
Never mind -- I just went to the site to check and it looks like maybe the guy IS holding a torch -- I really can't tell! Anyway, a book on custom bikes published many moons ago (can't recall the title) said they were hearth brazed, whatever it means.

AGE / VALUE:    jeunet posted by: Nick on 10/15/2000 at 7:33:06 AM
orange jeunet with rynolds 531 foureaux tubing, rear campy dropouts and front S dropouts. wienman type 730 calipers with dura ace levers (no suicide brake). suntour ax front and axr rear with shimano z401 shifters. campy double ring crankset. campy seatpost with ideal leather "2001" seat. atom pedals. nitto drop bars. wolber "gentlemen" 700mms with spoke nipple rings and omega hubs. how much is it worth (frame in exellent condition).

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    jeunet posted by Brian L. on 10/15/2000 at 9:10:29 AM
Probably $500 - 600.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Turning 40 posted by: Brian L. on 10/14/2000 at 9:38:52 AM
Turning 40 on Pearl Harbor Day. Thinking of going to Stephen Roche's cycling camp on Majorca sometime in February or March to mark the occasion. Maybe February since they have the Tour of Majorca there at that time. Anyone have any experience with this camp, or comments on cycling in Majorca in general?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Turning 40 posted by Keith on 10/16/2000 at 6:24:41 AM
No experience with any camp, but WOW! That is incredibly cool. Great way to treat yourself for the big 4-0.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Turning 40 posted by Will Herst on 10/26/2000 at 1:09:49 PM
I have two friends who went on a bicycle tour in France, stopping each day at a vantage point to watch the Tour de France riders go by. These folks both had a great time and felt their own tour was very well organized (through an outfit called VeloSportVacations), and they met pro riders as well. Their website is at www.velovacations.com